Kyrsten Sinema to meet with Attorney General William Barr — but her office will not say why

Sinema was among the three Democratic senators who voted to confirm the attorney general earlier this year

Published May 20, 2019 1:38PM (EDT)

U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (AP/Matt York)
U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (AP/Matt York)

This article originally appeared on AlterNet.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona was among the three Democratic senators who voted for the confirmation of Attorney General William Barr earlier this year, and Arizona Central is reporting that Sinema is planning to meet one-on-one with the U.S. attorney general sometime this week — although a spokesperson for her office did not specify what day the meeting will take place or what they will  be discussing.

The 42-year-old Arizona senator and Tucson native, who narrowly defeated Republican Martha McSally in 2018, has been among the most centrist Democrats in the U.S. Senate — sometimes inspiring comparisons to Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia. According to FiveThirtyEight, Sinema was voting in line with President Donald Trump 58% of the time in March. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), in contrast, voted with Trump only 13.6% of the time that month, FiveThirtyEight reported.

Nonetheless, Sinema is taking issue with Trump’s assertion of executive privilege with House Democrats, who have requested an unredacted copy of special counsel Robert Mueller’s final report for the Russia investigation. Trump has vowed to defy all subpoenas from investigative committees in the House of Representatives, which now has a Democratic majority.

In an official written statement earlier this month, Sinema said, “the president’s assertion of executive privilege — with the attorney general’s support — undermines what should be our shared goal of protecting America from foreign influence and meddling in our elections.”

Sinema previously met with Barr one-on-one in February prior to his Senate confirmation vote. When Sinema announced that she planned to vote for Barr, she officially stated, “I will evaluate every presidential nominee based on whether he or she is professionally qualified, believes in the mission of his or her agency, and can be trusted to faithfully execute and uphold the law as it exists. After meeting with Mr. Barr and thoughtfully considering his nomination, I believe Mr. Barr meets this criteria.”

Sinema now occupies the Arizona Senate seat previously held by former Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, who decided not to seek reelection in 2018. When she was sworn in as a U.S. senator in January, Sinema took over a seat that had been in Republican hands for decades.

Sinema and her former 2018 rival, McSally, who also voted for Barr’s confirmation, are both serving in the Senate in 2019. After losing to Sinema, McSally was appointed to a different U.S. Senate seat: the one once held by the late Sen. John McCain, who Sinema praised during her 2018 victory speech after McSally conceded.

According to Arizona Central’s Yvonne Wingett Sanchez, it is “unclear if Sinema or her office will talk publicly about the details of the meeting” with Barr after it takes place sometime this week.

By Alex Henderson

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