by Sharon Rondeau

(Feb. 14, 2019) — Shortly after 1:00 p.m. EST, Fox News reported that U.S. attorney general nominee William P. Barr had garnered enough votes on the floor of the Senate to confirm him as the nation’s next top law-enforcer.

Several minutes later, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham affirmed Barr’s reported confirmation on Twitter.

President Trump nominated Barr in December, approximately one month after he asked for then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s resignation.  Trump had long expressed dissatisfaction with Sessions’s performance, particularly as it went to his recusal from the “Russia” investigation based on the allegation that someone within the Trump campaign might have “colluded” with Russian operatives to win the 2016 election.

Barr served in several capacities in the George H.W. Bush administration, including as U.S. attorney general, for which he was confirmed unanimously.  During his recent confirmation hearings, Barr said he believes it important that Special Counsel Robert Mueller complete the “Russia” investigation.  The probe was assumed by Mueller after FBI Director James Comey was fired in May 2017.

In his tweet, Graham said Barr will be “a steady hand at a time of turmoil and he will bring much needed reform to the Department of Justice.”  Last week, Graham presided over the commitee’s internal deliberations over Barr’s nomination, which resulted in Barr’s approval on a party-line vote.

At 1:38 p.m. EST, Fox News reported that Thursday’s vote on Barr was 54 in favor and 45 against.  Three Democrats reportedly voted in Barr’s favor along with 51 Republicans.

Update, 1:48 p.m. EST:  According to Mark Knoller of CBS News, Barr will be sworn in Thursday afternoon in a private ceremony.

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