“Well, it’s all about Russia influencing our election,” he said. “That’s the basis of it and so the American people are interested to know in a comprehensive report what happened: How did Russia influence our elections, what have we done about it and then going forward, how do we keep it from happening again? And so I think we should allow him without political interference to get his work done, submit the report. But he also shouldn’t drag it out. It’s time for us to get the doggone report and be able to analyze it and learn from it.”
Portman, who was a colleague of Barr’s in the administration of President George H.W. Bush, called him a “smart guy.”
“He’s got a good reputation as being a good strong lawyer and a manager,” he said.
Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said he planned to “fully review Mr. Barr’s record, particularly when it comes to the criminal justice issues that impact the lives of people across the country each day.”
“The American people deserve to have an attorney general who will recognize past injustices of the department and provide the public with answers on how they’d act on issues like the addiction crisis moving forward,” said Brown.
Trump fired Sessions last month and replaced him with Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker. Confirmation hearings on Barr likely won’t take place until January.
Jack Torry of the Washington Bureau contributed to this report.