WASHINGTON– Today, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) gave the following statement on her decision not to support the president’s nominee to be attorney general, William Barr. He was confirmed 54-45. Klobuchar is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction over the Department of Justice.
“We cannot simply view the nomination of William Barr to be attorney general in a vacuum—we have to look at the context in which he is nominated and we also have to look at the context of the moment that we are in. The attorney general should be the people’s lawyer, the person who upholds the rule of law and makes sure that it is applied equally no matter who you are.
“In our system of government, the attorney general doesn’t just have great power, but also great responsibility. That’s why we must look not only to the nominee’s qualifications, but we must also look at his judgment to see if he can be the kind of attorney general we need right now.
“As the Justice Department continues to oversee the Special Counsel’s investigation and the U.S. Attorney’s Offices investigating related offenses, it is the attorney general who will decide what—if any—of the findings can be made public. At a time when our nation needs transparency, this is the heart of the matter.
“Mr. Barr’s record on critical issues like immigration, his 19-page memo on the Special Counsel’s investigation, and his past actions give me grave doubts about his respect for Congress’ power when it comes to overseeing the Executive Branch. This is not a time where Congress can take its responsibilities or duties lightly. This is not the time to install an attorney general who has repeatedly expressed a view of unfettered executive power. That is why I voted against this nomination.”