William Barr, President Donald Trump's nominee for attorney general, faced off with the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday in his confirmation hearing.
Barr was grilled for more than seven hours, fielding questions from the 22-member committee on a range of issues including the record-breaking partial government shutdown, the federal government's stance toward marijuana and to what extent Barr would be influenced by the president.
But preoccupying the minds of most of the panel's Democrats was special counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing investigation into Russia's 2016 election interference and possible collusion with the Trump campaign.
Barr answered dozens of questions probing his thoughts on that investigation, many of which centered around whether he should recuse himself from any involvement with it. He was also asked about how he would reconcile a potential final report from Mueller's office with his commitment to bring transparency to the probe.
It was Barr's second time auditioning for the role of top law enforcement official in the Department of Justice. Barr had previously served as attorney general during President George H.W. Bush's administration in the early 1990s, and was unanimously confirmed by the Senate.
But Barr, now 68, stepped into a much different political environment this time around. And while he is still broadly expected to prevail in the Republican-controlled Senate, at least one Democratic senator— likely 2020 presidential challenger Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts — has already vowed to vote against him.
@SenWarren: William Barr has already expressed his bias against the Mueller investigation – that alone should disqualify him from serving as Attorney General. He also wants to gut the ACA, thinks Roe v Wade should be overturned, & has a troubling record on criminal justice. I'll vote no.
Here are the big takeaways from Barr's testimony: