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Republican Rand Paul Announces He Will Vote Against Barr for Attorney General
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12 Feb 2019 02:52 PM EST

By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Rand Paul (Image source: Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons)

 

There's been a lot of talk about former Attorney General Rand Paul's chances to recapture his old seat in the Trump administration, mostly from Democrats who don't trust him to be in charge of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report on the Russia investigation when it's submitted. It's led them to delay a vote to confirm him.

 

And that delay seems to have led to others questioning Barr's merits, though for other reasons. Even Sen. Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican, who often sides with Trump, has announced he is voting no. 

"I'm a no," he said in an interview. "He's been the chief advocate for warrantless surveillance of U.S. citizens. I think that the Fourth Amendment should protect your phone calls and your bank information. People shouldn't be allowed to look at it without a warrant."

 

This reflects back on Paul's previous criticism of Barr with regards to his record on surveillance issues, which includes support for the Patriot Act. 

Additionally, a conservative activist group that was founded by his father, former Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), is voicing an opinion against Barr as well, with the organization's president, Norm Singleton, stating that if there was going to be anyone in the GOP going against Barr, it would be the Kentucky senator.

 

"He has taken up his dad's banner in the pro-liberty, anti-big government wing of the Republican Party," he said.  

It's expected that he'll be one of the few senators to not support Barr's confirmation. The former attorney general has support from nearly all Republicans, including moderates Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO). Even a Democrat has indicated he will vote to confirm Barr, Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL).

 

Last Thursday the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the nomination, mostly along party lines. Senate Democrats spoke of their concerns about Mueller's report not being made public as well as a memo he wrote to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein last year opining that the special counsel investigation, including possible obstruction of justice by Donald Trump, was "fatally misconceived." 

Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions was in the dog house with Trump throughout much of his time at the Justice Department, especially when he recused himself from the Russia investigation.

 

Trump asked him to resign on the day after the Republicans lost the majority in the House. He then replaced him with Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, another known critic of the Mueller investigation.  

His placement caused so much backlash that the president was urged to find a permanent replacement quickly and settled on Barr, a respected man who has the same critiques of the special counsel and the ensuing investigation.

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