Trump's attorney general nominee Barr passes first hurdle

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His nomination will be headed to the Senate floor for a full vote.

Almost nine in 10 Americans say special counsel Robert Mueller's eventual findings should be made public, according to a new CNN poll released Thursday.

All ten Democrats on the panel were opposed to President Donald Trump's nominee. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said before the vote.

"After more than two years of investigation, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has not found evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, the committee's Republican chairman said in interview", writes the Daily Caller.

His nomination is expected to go quickly before the entire Senate where it will also likely pass, given the 53-47 margin the president's party has over the Democrats.

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Barr also gave senators key assurances that he would allow Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III to finish a probe into the 2016 elections and make public as much of the final report as possible. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, called a memo in which Barr was critical of Mueller's probe "disqualifying", saying she's anxious that he has not committed to releasing Mueller's report to Congress.

He would replace acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker as the nation's top law enforcement official, who has been in the spot since Jeff Sessions was forced to resign in November. Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican, and Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut Democrat, introduced legislation requiring a special counsel to submit a report to Congress.

Barr's confirmation is expected in the Republican-controlled Senate, though his nomination encountered resistance Thursday from Democrats concerned by Barr's expansive views of executive authority and by his non-committal stance on making public Mueller's findings. "We are already seeing risky threats to the rule of law". "I hope and expect he will be confirmed next week".

Past year he sent an unsolicited legal opinion to the Justice Department and White House arguing that Mueller had no grounds to investigate Trump for obstruction of justice based on the firing of Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey in May 2017. Barr, meanwhile, scheduled several individual meetings with lawmakers, seeking to answer whatever outstanding questions they might have had.