Rand Paul will vote against Trump’s pick for attorney general


Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said Monday that will vote against confirming President Donald Trump’s nominee for attorney general, William Barr, citing his record on privacy issues.

“I’m a no,” Paul said in brief interview. “He’s been the chief advocate for warrantless surveillance of U.S. citizens. I think that the Fourth Amendment should protect your phone calls and your bank information. People shouldn’t be allowed to look at it without a warrant.”

Paul previously criticized Barr’s record on surveillance issues, including his support of the Patriot Act.

The Senate is expected this week to vote on Barr’s final confirmation. Despite Paul’s opposition, Barr is expected to be confirmed with near unanimous support from Republicans. Moderate Republicans like Sens. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) have said they will support Barr’s nomination. In addition, Democratic Senator Doug Jones of Alabama said last week he would vote to confirm Barr.

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved Barr’s nomination Thursday along party lines. Senate Democrats voiced concern about whether Barr would make public the final results of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. In addition, they blasted Barr for a memo he wrote last year to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein that described Mueller’s inquiry into possible obstruction of justice by the president as “fatally misconceived.”

Trump nominated Barr in December to replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Trump grew frustrated with Sessions after he recused himself from the Mueller probe, which Trump has derided as a witch hunt.

Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine

Source: https://www.politico.com/story/2019/02/11/rand-paul-vote-no-barr-1164436
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The Article Was Written/Published By: mlevine@politico.com (Marianne LeVine)

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