Durbin Opposes William Barr For Attorney General

WASHINGTON—Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today released the following statement after voting against President Trump’s nominee to be U.S. Attorney General, William Barr.  He was confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 54-45.

I respect Mr. Barr and his family, many of whom also have chosen public service careers.  But I carefully reviewed Mr. Barr’s record and I concluded that I could not support his nomination. 

When it comes to Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation, I fear that Mr. Barr has been telegraphing his pitches.  The unsolicited 19-page memo he sent last June to Mr. Mueller’s supervisors and the President’s lawyers was a troubling sign.  Just as important, I am alarmed by Mr. Barr’s continued hedging about whether he will release the complete findings of the Mueller investigation.  Make no mistake: Special Counsel Mueller’s findings and conclusions should be shared with the American people and with Congress. 

I am concerned that Mr. Barr will continue his predecessor’s harsh approach to immigration, instead of charting a different course.  I am also concerned with the views Mr. Barr expressed on the unitary executive theory and expansive presidential power.  We need an Attorney General who recognizes the need for checks and balances, including within the Executive Branch.

I hope that Mr. Barr will prove me wrong, and be the Attorney General that we need – one who will lead the Justice Department without fear or favor and who will serve the Constitution and the American people, even when that means standing up to the President.