Trump Nominee Narrowly Clears Big Senate Hurdle

The Senate Judiciary Committee narrowly advanced William Barr’s nomination to be attorney general on Thursday on a party line vote, sending it to the full Senate which is expected to confirm him as President Trump’s chief law enforcement officer.

Twelve Republican senators on the committee voted to advance Barr’s nomination, while 10 Democrats voted against it.

Barr, 68, who served as attorney general from 1991 to 1993 under the late President George H.W. Bush, will be the second full-fledged attorney general of the Trump administration. Trump fired former Attorney General Jeff Sessions from running the Justice Department the day after the 2018 midterm elections. Matthew Whitaker was appointed the acting attorney general.

Barr’s Senate confirmation hearings ended last month with little uproar. But even so, some Democrats charged that Barr had indicated he would exploit legal “loopholes” to hide Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report from the public and resist subpoenas against the White House.