WASHINGTON – The Senate Judiciary Committee holds a confirmation hearing Tuesday on President Donald Trump’s nomination of William Barr to become attorney general.
Barr is a well-respected lawyer who previously served as attorney general for President George H.W. Bush from November 1991 to January 1993.
Because the attorney general oversees special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, Democrats said they will ask Barr about his independence from Trump and his support for the probe.
Barr, an advocate of broad executive power for the president, wrote a 19-page memo in June that criticized a potential obstruction-of-justice investigation against Trump. But he explained to the committee in his opening statement released Monday that Mueller should be allowed to complete his work and that the resulting report should be made public.
The hearing is being held in room 216 of the Hart Senate Office Building, which is the largest space for a Senate hearing. But the line of spectators was a fraction of those for confirmation hearings for Barr’s predecessor, Jeff Sessions, or for former FBI Director James Comey.
Once the hearing starts, USA TODAY will provide live updates here.