You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Senate Confirms William Barr as Attorney General

WASHINGTON — The Senate confirmed William Barr to be the next attorney general, as his nomination survived Democratic opposition related to concerns over his independence from the Trump White House.

He was confirmed by a vote of 54-45. Democrats Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, Doug Jones of Alabama and Joe Manchin of West Virginia voted for the nomination. Rand Paul of Kentucky was the line Republican vote against.

A White House spokeswoman said that Barr would be sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts in an Oval Office ceremony on Thursday afternoon.

Barr will succeed Jeff Sessions, who resigned in November at the urging of President Donald Trump. Since then, Sessions’ chief of staff, Matthew Whitaker, has served as acting attorney general.

Democrats’ opposition to Barr’s confirmation centered on his previous comments critical of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, and Barr’s refusal to commit to publicly release any report that Mueller write about his findings.

Barr served as attorney general under President George H.W. Bush, and later worked as general counsel for GTE Corp., which later become Verizon after its merger with Bell Atlantic. He also served on the board of Time Warner.

At his confirmation hearing, he said he would take a look at the antitrust implications of the growth of major tech platforms.

“I don’t think big is necessarily bad, but I think a lot of people wonder how such huge behemoths that now exist in Silicon Valley have taken shape under the nose of antitrust enforcers,” he said. The Federal Trade Commission has been conducting a series of hearings that have delved into questions of whether current antitrust law is sufficient to ensure that tech giants are not engaging in anticompetitive behavior.

He also said he would recuse himself from the Justice Department’s antitrust lawsuit against AT&T and Time Warner over their proposed merger. A federal appellate court has yet to issue a decision on the government’s appeal of a ruling in favor of the two companies.

Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee had raised questions about Barr’s previous comments about Mueller’s investigation. He wrote a 19-page memo in June, 2017, that criticized Mueller’s apparent pursuit of an obstruction of justice investigation. Barr, however, said the memo was focused on a specific legal theory.

Barr told lawmakers that “on my watch,” Mueller “will be allowed to finish his work.”

But he declined to commit to making public a Mueller report on the investigation.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called Barr’s confirmation “a major victory for justice and the rule of law in America.”

More Politics

  • Billie Eilish and Debbie Harry

    Billie Eilish, Blondie's Debbie Harry Attack Abortion Ban

    Songwriting took a backseat to politics for the female honorees at Thursday night’s ASCAP Pop Music Awards at the Beverly Hilton. America’s rapidly spreading anti-abortion movement in states such as Alabama, Georgia and, most recently, Missouri — and resulting legal battles that could lead the Supreme Court to overturn Roe vs. Wade — had veteran [...]

  • The Spectator Magazine Summer Party at

    Trump Pardons Former Media Mogul Conrad Black

    President Donald Trump has issued a full pardon for Conrad Black, a former media mogul who was convicted on counts of wire fraud and obstruction of justice and who also wrote a biography that praised the president last year. According to a lengthy post on Black’s website, Trump called Black and told him personally of [...]

  • Trump CNN

    White House Asks Users to Report Alleged Social Media Censorship

    Doubling down on the idea that conservative views are being censored on social media, the White House launched a web form Wednesday afternoon that asks users to report any actions taken against them on platforms like Facebook and Twitter because of their political views. “Social media platforms should advance freedom of speech,” the White House [...]

  • Facebook Logo

    Facebook Gets One-Strike Policy for Live Streaming, Twitter and Twitch May Be Next

    Facebook will ban users who have violated certain rules from live streaming after just one offense, the company announced this week. The new one-strike policy includes posting content in support of hate groups and terrorist organizations. The policy change comes in response to the Christchurch shooting in New Zealand, which was live-streamed on Facebook by [...]

  • Julian Assange: Sweden Reopens Rape Investigation

    Sweden Reopens Rape Case Against Julian Assange

    Swedish prosecutors announced Monday that they would reopen their rape investigation into WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is currently serving a 50-week jail sentence in Britain for jumping bail on an arrest warrant stemming from the case. Eva-Marie Persson, Sweden’s deputy director of public prosecution, told reporters Monday that the investigation would be resumed. “I [...]

  • Pete Buttigieg Show Business Donations

    Stars Show Support for Pete Buttigieg at Gwyneth Paltrow Event

    Pete Buttigieg finished a day of fundraising on Thursday at the home of Gwyneth Paltrow and Brad Falchuk with a reception that drew about 100 people including Bradley Whitford, Rob Reiner and Martin Sheen. According to a source knowledgeable about the event, other attendees included interior designer Michael Smith and James Costos, former U.S. ambassador [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content