The Senate is delaying a confirmation vote for William Barr because Democrats are still going Mueller-crazy, wanting Barr to make them certain guarantees he’s unwilling to make about Mueller’s final report:
WAPO – A planned Senate Judiciary Committee vote on William P. Barr’s nomination to serve as attorney general has been delayed for a week, as Democrats continue to raise concerns about whether he will allow special counsel Robert S. Mueller III to finish his probe and publicize the results unimpeded.
The delay, which is customary for high-profile nominations, is not expected to impede Barr’s eventual chances of being confirmed by the full Senate. But it is the latest reflection of the deep partisan tension surrounding Barr’s nomination, most of which centers on Democrats’ desire to protect Mueller’s probe from being unduly constrained.
In both his public testimony and his written answers to senators’ questions, Barr has repeatedly refused to give senators any firm guarantee that he will release Mueller’s report to Congress and the public free of redactions. In similar fashion, he has only promised to ask for, but not necessarily heed, the advice of the Justice Department’s ethics counsel on the matter of whether he should recuse himself from oversight of the probe.
That has particularly frustrated Democrats, who take issue with a memo Barr penned last year arguing that in scrutinizing the actions of the Trump campaign, Mueller appeared to be interpreting an obstruction of justice statute too broadly. Democrats fear the memo is evidence Barr, who served as attorney general under President George H.W. Bush during the early 1990s, might seek to constrain the scope of Mueller’s probe.
Barr will be bound by DOJ policies and statutes, yet Democrats want him to guarantee that he will release everything in Mueller’s probe both to Congress and the public.
While Barr’s vote will be delayed until next week, here’s the bottom line:
But Barr doesn’t need any Democratic support to be confirmed. Under rules changes that the Democratic-led Senate adopted in 2013, only a simple majority of senators’ votes are needed to confirm a Cabinet nominee.
Thanks to Harry Reid, Barr will sail through next week when they hold the vote with a simple majority of Republican votes. And who knows, maybe a Democrat like Joe Manchin will vote for him once he sees Barr has enough votes. Because, you know, he’s gotta protect that moderate image.