Senate confirms William Barr as attorney general

Attorney general nominee William Barr appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee for his confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington on Jan. 15.
(Melina Mara / Washington Post)

The Senate has confirmed William P. Barr as U.S. attorney general, placing the veteran government official and lawyer atop the Justice Department as special counsel Robert S. Mueller III investigates Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The Senate voted 54-45 to confirm Barr, who previously served as attorney general from 1991 to 1993. Barr will succeed Jeff Sessions, who was pushed out by President Trump last year. The president was angry with Sessions for recusing himself from the Russia investigation.

As the country’s chief law enforcement officer, Barr will oversee the remaining work in Mueller’s investigation of potential coordination between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign.

Democrats largely voted against Barr. They said they were concerned about his noncommittal stance on making Mueller’s report public.