Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) will vote against President Trump's pick for attorney general, William Barr, he told Politico in an interview Monday evening.
"I'm a no," Paul said. "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."
The Kentucky Republican has repeatedly raised concerns about Barr's record on civil liberties since Trump chose him to replace former Attorney General Jeff Sessions. "I'm concerned that [Barr has] been a big supporter of the Patriot Act," Paul said in December. "I'm disturbed that he's been a big fan of taking people's property, civil asset forfeiture, without a conviction."
Paul's opposition is unlikely to prevent Barr's confirmation. Republicans hold 53 seats in the Senate, and at least one Democrat, Sen. Doug Jones (Ala.), has indicated he will vote yes. The confirmation vote is expected sometime this week.
Several Democratic senators have decided not to meet with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, citing President Trump's implication in possible financial crimes.
Trump's former attorney Michael Cohen pleaded guilty Tuesday to violating campaign finance laws, saying he committed the crimes "at the direction of a candidate for federal office," inevitably Trump.
"I have cancelled my meeting with Judge Kavanaugh," said Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), explaining that Trump "does not deserve the courtesy" as an "unindicted co-conspirator in a criminal matter." She said the president picked Kavanaugh "to protect, as we say in Hawaii, his own okole," or "backside." Kavanaugh has argued that a sitting president cannot be indicted.
I have cancelled my meeting with Judge Kavanaugh. @realDonaldTrump, who is an unindicted co-conspirator in a criminal matter, does not deserve the courtesy of a meeting with his nominee—purposely selected to protect, as we say in Hawaii, his own okole.
Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) said Kavanaugh's "nomination is tainted and should be considered illegitimate," while Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif) echoed Hirono by saying Americans don't want "an unindicted co-conspirator" to select a Supreme Court justice. Summer Meza
I will not take a meeting with Brett Kavanaugh. He has been nominated by someone implicated, and all but named as a co-conspirator, in federal crimes.
His nomination is tainted and should be considered illegitimate.
Americans don't want a president who is an unindicted co-conspirator in a crime to have the power to appoint someone to the Supreme Court. We should not proceed with Judge Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings.