AG nominee Barr appears before Senate Judiciary Committee

Local News

President Trump’s nominee for attorney general appeared in front of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday. It’s the first of two confirmation hearings for William Barr.

The committee grilled Barr on how he plans to deal with the Russia investigation and his relationship with the president.

Attorney General-nominee Barr said he didn’t pursue this job, but he’s ready to do it.

“I will serve with the same independence I did in 1991,” Barr said. 

Barr served once before as U.S. Attorney General under President George H.W. Bush.

Illinois Democrat Dick Durbin wanted Barr to make sure the Department of Justice is independent of the president.

“When is your Jim Mattis moment when the president has asked you to do something that you think is inconsistent with your oath?” asked Durbin. 
Barr responded, saying, “I will not be bullied into doing anything I think is wrong.”

Barr told Iowa Republican Senator Joni Ernst that immigration is one of his top priorities.

“As the president says is the immigration laws just have to be changed,” Barr said.

He also told the senators that he fully supports Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

“I will not permit partisan politics, personal interests, or any other improper consideration to interfere with this or any other investigation,” said Barr.

And Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley said he wants updates throughout the investigation and the results to be made public.

“You have an obligation to ensure the Justice Department and particularly the FBI respond to congressional inquiries and to do it in a timely manner,” Grassley said.

Barr’s confirmation hearing is scheduled to continue on Wednesday.

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