The Senate confirmed President TrumpDonald John TrumpNFL freezes policy barring players from protesting during anthem McConnell spokesman on Putin visit: 'There is no invitation from Congress' Petition urges University of Virginia not to hire Marc Short MORE's nominee to lead the Justice Department's Criminal Division despite concerns about his ties to a bank that has come under scrutiny by the FBI.

Senators voted 51-48 to approve Brian Benczkowski to be an assistant attorney general. Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinOvernight Health Care: Trump officials explore importing prescription drugs | Key ObamaCare, drug pricing regs under review | GOP looks to blunt attacks on rising premiums | Merck to lower some drug prices Dems pressure GOP to take legal action supporting pre-existing conditions Election Countdown: Senate, House Dems build cash advantage | 2020 Dems slam Trump over Putin presser | Trump has M in war chest | Republican blasts parents for donating to rival | Ocasio-Cortez, Sanders to campaign in Kansas MORE (D-W.Va.) was the only Democratic senator to support the nomination. 

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Benczkowski was first nominated more than a year ago, in June 2017. He was renominated in January after his nomination was bounced back to the White House at the end of last year. 
 
Benczkowski's nomination had stalled amid questions about his work at Alfa Bank, a Russian bank that has faced scrutiny in the federal investigation into Moscow's influence on the 2016 presidential election.
 
Democrats have pounced on the selection of Benczkowski, saying it's an attack on special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE's investigation as he probes Russian election interference and potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow. 
 
"I cannot believe the Republican Party just rubber-stamped a nominee to head the Justice Department’s Criminal Division who has no prosecutorial experience, who chose to represent a Russian bank with deep ties to [Russian President] Vladimir Putin, and who would not commit to recuse himself from Russia-related matters if confirmed.This could prove to be a historic mistake," said Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinSenate approves resolution warning Trump not to hand over US officials Deal to fix family separations hits snag in the Senate Senate Democrats block resolution supporting ICE MORE (Ill.), the No. 2 Senate Democrat. 
 
Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinSenate GOP breaks record on confirming Trump picks for key court Deal to fix family separations hits snag in the Senate Election Countdown: Senate, House Dems build cash advantage | 2020 Dems slam Trump over Putin presser | Trump has M in war chest | Republican blasts parents for donating to rival | Ocasio-Cortez, Sanders to campaign in Kansas MORE (Calif.), the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, also questioned if Benczkowski would give Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsRosenstein warns of growing cyber threat from Russia, other foreign actors Key GOP lawmaker throws cold water on Rosenstein impeachment With new immigration policy, Trump administration gutting the right to asylum MORE insight into the investigation, from which he recused himself from last year. 
 
"Benczkowski’s close ties to Attorney General Sessions raise serious questions as to whether he would serve as a backdoor allowing the Attorney General to see into the investigation," she said in a statement. 

Benczkowski disclosed to lawmakers last year that he used to represent Afla Bank, one of Russia's largest financial institutions, according to The New York Times.

Benczkowski said in a letter, which was obtained by the Times, that he was initially unable to reveal his former work because of a confidentiality agreement.
 
The FBI investigated Alfa Bank after it found that one of the servers linked to the bank was communicating with a server tied to the Trump Organization. The FBI later found that the communications were not between the Trump campaign and Russia, according to the Times.
 
Because nominations only need a majority support, Trump's picks can clear the Senate without any help from Democrats. 
 
Republicans had praised Benczkowski ahead of Wednesday's vote. 
 
"His resume includes distinguished service in five different leadership positions at the Department of Justice under three Attorneys General. ... His nomination has won praise from a number of former Justice Department officials who served under presidents of both parties," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell spokesman on Putin visit: 'There is no invitation from Congress' Overnight Defense: Trump inviting Putin to DC | Senate to vote Monday on VA pick | Graham open to US-Russia military coordination in Syria Senate to vote Monday on Trump's VA nominee MORE (R-Ky.) said.