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Barr and Mueller are friends? Hearing unlikely to derail attorney general confirmation
 

Attorney general nominee William Barr (who previously served in the position under President George H.W. Bush) faced questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday about Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. The nominee's position on the investigation is a top priority for several senators. Despite Barr's past criticism of the investigation, the former attorney general called Mueller a good friend who would not engage in a “witch hunt.” 

Roll Call’s senior Senate reporter Niels Lesniewski takes a look at how Barr’s performance at the hearing suggests his nomination will likely proceed unimpeded.

Barr assures senators of his independence
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William Barr, nominee for attorney general, testifies during his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 5:59 p.m. | William Barr appeared to be on a path to confirmation as the next attorney general Tuesday, after he gave senators key assurances about the special counsel probe into the 2016 elections and distanced himself from some of President Donald Trump’s comments about the investigation.

During more than seven hours of testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Barr avoided the kind of missteps that might cost him votes of Republicans, who have a 53-47 advantage in the chamber. But some Democrats say he did not do enough to reassure them that he would protect Robert S. Mueller III’s probe and make the results public.