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Vote on Trump's attorney general pick delayed

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on January 29, 2019 - Duration: 01:59s

Vote on Trump's attorney general pick delayed

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday postponed a vote on President Donald Trump's attorney general nominee, William Barr, as Democrats expressed concern that he might not make public a final report on Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.

Gavino Garay reports.

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Vote on Trump's attorney general pick delayed

The Senate Judiciary Committee has delayed a key vote to send William Barr's nomination for attorney general to a vote on the Senate floor.

The holdup coming after Democrats voiced concerns Barr might try to bury a final report on the Russia probe from Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Barr has until now seemed headed for easy confirmation in the Republican-controlled Senate... But some of his responses to questions from Democratic senators have raised red flags.

Barr pointedly did not promise to make the Mueller report public at his confirmation hearing last month, and he also hasn't said whether he'd recuse himself from the Russia probe if asked to by the Justice Department's ethics office.

NAT SOUND BARR TESTIMONY The Washington Post on Tuesday reported that in a written response to a question from Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse... Barr acknowledged he had spoken to Vice President Mike Pence about the Russia probe... but said he had not provided legal advice... The Democrats also have reservations about whether Barr would accept Justice Dept.

Legal guidance that a sitting president can not be indicted... The judiciary panel's Republican chairman Lindsey Graham has said that if Barr agrees with that view, it would not be a good reason to withhold any derogatory material about the president in Meuller's report.

On Monday, U.S. Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker... was noncommittal on how Mueller's report would be handled...while suggesting Mueller's probe was nearing an end.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL MATTHEW WHITAKER SAYING: "Right now the investigation is close to being completed, and I hope we can get the report from Director Mueller as soon as possible." Those comments seemed in contrast to Mueller's recent actions... On Monday Trumps' long time associate Roger Stone was indicted for making false statements to Congress, and other charges..

Stone pleaded not guilty Tuesday morning, A Democratic aide told Reuters the committe vote on Barr is now scheduled for February 5th... the same day as Trump's rescheduled State of the Union address.

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