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President Donald Trump’s nominee for attorney general moved one step closer to confirmation after winning approval from the Senate Judiciary Committee. In a 12-10 party-line vote, the panel endorsed William Barr’s nomination, which could see a floor vote as soon as next week. Senate Democrats have voiced concern about how Barr would oversee special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, in light of a memo he wrote last year criticizing the investigation as “fatally misconceived.” Barr defended the memo during his confirmation hearing, saying that he's weighed in on several legal issues over the years and intended the memo originally to be an op-ed. Barr sought to assure lawmakers that he would allow Mueller to finish his investigation, but Senate Democrats said he did not do enough to convince them that he would make Mueller's final report public. While Barr pledged to be as transparent as he can, he also said that the report itself is confidential under Justice Department regulations. Prior to the committee vote, Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) praised Barr, calling him a “steady hand” at the Justice Department. “I believe of all the people President Trump could have chosen, Mr. Barr is at the top of the list,” he said. But Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) reiterated her concern that Barr did not commit to making Mueller’s report public and providing it to Congress. “This is particularly concerning as nothing in existing law and regulations prevents the attorney general from sharing the report,” she said. “This nominee to me at least is reluctant to state a position and that’s troubling at the very least.” Feinstein further blasted Barr for his memo last year, describing it as “disqualifying.” “Under his theory, the president is above the law in most respects,” she said. “That’s stunning. To argue that the president has no check on his authority flies in the face of our constitutional principles of checks and balances.” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) also voiced concern about Barr’s commitment to making the Mueller report public but said that wouldn’t keep him from voting for the nominee. Grassley recently introduced legislation with Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) that would require the final Mueller report be submitted to Congress and the public. “I’m going to be watching what he does about this,” he said. “Except for national security and privacy, I think everything else should be made public and I want to make sure that that happens.” Trump nominated Barr to replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions in December, who the president grew frustrated with after Sessions recused himself from overseeing Mueller's investigation. Trump has derided the probe as a "witch hunt." At his hearing and in written questions, Senate Democrats pressed Barr on the circumstances under which he would accept advice from career officials at the Justice Department to recuse himself from Mueller’s inquiry. Barr said at his confirmation hearing he would not recuse himself if he disagreed with their advice. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Thursday he expects Barr to be confirmed next week. If confirmed, this would be Barr’s second stint as attorney general. He also served as attorney general under President George H.W. Bush. Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine