UPDATE — 2/14, 6:32 p.m. EST: U.S. attorney general nominee, William Barr, was confirmed by the Senate on Thursday in a 54–45 vote and later sworn into office by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.
Democrats voting for Barr included Sens. Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Doug Jones (Ala.) and Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.), while Rand Paul (Ky.) was the sole Republican to vote against President Trump’s nominee.
President Trump’s nominee for U.S. attorney general, William Barr, last week assured the Senate Judiciary Committee that he would act independently of political pressure with regards to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s on-going investigation.
“I will not be bullied into doing anything I think is wrong by anybody whether it be editorial boards or Congress or the president,” Barr testified at his confirmation hearing. “I am going to do what I think is right.”
If confirmed , Barr, who served as attorney general under Preside George H.W. Bush in the early 1990s, would oversee Mueller’s probe of Russian interference and collusion in the 2016 presidential election.
During his confirmation hearing, Barr emphasized his independence from Trump. This helped ease the fears of many Democratic senators who were concerned that the special counsel’s investigation might be impeded under the direction of the White House.
The special counsel is due to present a confidential report with the findings of the Russia investigation to the US attorney general. When pressed on whether Barr would make the special counsel’s report public, he replied, “My objective and goal is to get as much as I can of the information to Congress and the public.”
Citing security concerns, Barr reiterated that he would make as much of Mueller’s report as public as possible and pledged not to let Trump interfere.
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Barr said he would, “make as much information available as [he] can consistent with the rules and regulations that are part of the special counsel regulations.”