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Senate Votes To Confirm William Barr As Attorney General

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In a widely anticipated move, the Senate voted Thursday to confirm President Donald Trump's nomination of Republican lawyer William Barr as Attorney General.

Barr will subsequently reclaim the position he held under former President George H.W. Bush from 1991 to 1993.

The Senate voted 54 to 44 in favor of confirming Barr, with the vote largely coming down along party lines.

Just three Democratic Senators, Doug Jones of Alabama, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, and Kyrsten Sinema or Arizona, voted in favor of Barr's confirmation, while Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky was the only Republican to vote against his nomination.

With the vote, Barr will take over the Justice Department from acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, who replaced fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The vote to confirm Barr as the nation's top law enforcement official was widely expected after the Senate voted 55 to 44 to move forward with his nomination on Tuesday.

During his confirmation hearing last month, Barr claimed he would not attempt to interfere in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election if he is confirmed.

Barr called it "vitally important" that Mueller be allowed to complete his investigation in remarks before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

"I believe it is in the best interest of everyone - the President, Congress, and, most importantly, the American people - that this matter be resolved by allowing the Special Counsel to complete his work," Barr said. "The country needs a credible resolution of these issues."

"If confirmed, I will not permit partisan politics, personal interests, or any other improper consideration to interfere with this or any other investigation," he added. "I will follow the Special Counsel regulations scrupulously and in good faith, and on my watch, Bob will be allowed to complete his work."

Barr also told lawmakers that Trump sought no assurances, promises, or commitments from him and that has not given the president any, other than to run the Justice Department with professionalism and integrity.

With Mueller expected to complete his investigation in the coming months, Barr is likely to play a key role in determining how much of the special counsel's findings are made available to the public.

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