The Senate Judiciary Committee advanced the nomination of William Barr to be President Trump’s second confirmed attorney general on Thursday, as Republicans and Democrats split over his views on executive authority and the special counsel’s ongoing Russia investigation, The New York Times reports.
Barr will now go before the full Republican-controlled Senate, where he is expected to be confirmed and sworn into office as soon as next week. If confirmed, he would promptly assume responsibility for the special counsel investigation led by Robert S. Mueller III into possible ties between Trump, his associates and Russia, and whether the president obstructed justice. Barr, who previously served as attorney general in the 1990s, presented himself in his confirmation hearing last month as a set of steady hands who would guard the department’s independence. He said he would permit Mueller to finish his work, and he pledged to allow as much transparency as possible around the investigation’s findings.