Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) voted in opposition to President Donald Trump’s nominee for Attorney-General, William Barr, on the grounds that the nominee would not do enough to safeguard the privacy of Americans from government surveillance.
“I’m a no,” he told Politico on Monday. “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.”
During Thursday’s vote, where Barr was successfully confirmed, the nomination received support from the rest of the Senate Republican caucus, including moderate members such as Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) who support the Mueller investigation, which the Attorney-General is set to oversee.
Barr also received support from moderate Democrats such as Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV). However most Democrats, including presidential candidates Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sen. Kirsten Gilibrand (D-NY), and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), voted against the nominee.
Trump hopes that Barr will take a more proactive approach to the Mueller investigation than his predecessor, Jeff Sessions, who recused himself from Russia related investigations by the Department of Justice after reports emerged that he had met with Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak during the 2016 election cycle.