President Donald Trump’s attorney general nominee, William Barr, moved closer to confirmation on Tuesday after the U.S. Senate voted to advance his nomination despite Democrats’ concerns about how he might handle Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
The 55-44 procedural vote, largely along party lines, is a strong sign that Barr will win confirmation in the Republican-controlled chamber as soon as Wednesday.
A corporate lawyer who previously served as attorney general under Republican President George H.W. Bush in the early 1990s, Barr has been praised by lawmakers from both parties as someone who is familiar with the workings of the Justice Department and does not owe his career to Trump.
If he wins the job, Barr’s independence could be put to the test when Mueller wraps up his investigation into the Trump campaign’s possible ties to Russia during the 2016 election.
The Republican president has repeatedly criticized the investigation as a “witch hunt” and denies any collusion with Moscow.
Barr says he would allow Mueller to finish his investigation and would make public as much of its findings as possible.
But Barr has stopped short of promising to release Mueller’s report in its entirety — a stance that troubles many Democrats, who say his expansive views of executive power might lead him to suppress portions that address whether Trump tried to obstruct the investigation.
Republicans say they are confident that Barr will make as much of the report public as possible.
Reporting by Andy Sullivan; Editing by Lisa Shumaker
BUSTED: Trump’s White House sent out anti-Vindman talking points — trashing their own staffer
President Donald Trump's war on his own employees escalated on Tuesday when the White House spread talking points designed to result in a coordinated attack on a decorated active-duty Army officer.
"The Trump White House has taken the extraordinary step of distributing talking points to allies of the president trashing one of its employees," The Daily Beast reported after obtaining a copy of the document.
"On Tuesday morning, White House aide Julia Hahn emailed Trump surrogates under the subject line, “Vindman’s Complaints Are Nothing More Than Policy Disagreements,” according to messages reviewed by The Daily Beast. Hahn, a Steve Bannon protege and one of his former allies in the White House, works on outreach and communications involving pro-Trump talking heads and other players in conservative media," The Beast reported.
Don Lemon notes the GOP panic after their own witnesses gave testimony harming Trump: ‘Worried much?’
CNN anchor Don Lemon explained how witnesses called by Republicans in the impeachment inquiry destoryed the defenses employed by President Donald Trump and his allies.
"Now, let's just be honest, the shakedown -- that's exactly what it is -- the shakedown is exposed, people," Lemon said.
"And the evidence comes from the Republican's own witnesses," he noted. "The former envoy to Ukraine, Kurt Volker -- who resigned just one day after the release of the whistleblower's report -- telling the president's defenders exactly what they did not want to hear."
"They called him apparently expecting him to say what he said in his closed-door testimony, that he saw no evidence of a quid pro quo, or let's call it for what it is again -- a shakedown," he continued. "Well, now he says he was wrong."
Trump declares it was a ‘great day for the GOP’ — and is mercilessly ridiculed for his absurd claim
President Donald Trump responded to the end of the day's impeachment hearings by saying that it was a great day for the Republican Party and for the United States. There were many people who disagreed, however.
Every person who testified before Congress has said that Trump's obsession with Joe Biden was concerning enough to alert others. Even National Security Council aide Tim Morrison stressed that he didn’t believe there was anything inappropriate about the call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. But when Rep. Val Demmings (D-FL) asked him why then he felt the need to report it if there was nothing wrong, Morrison struggled to find an answer.