The Senate confirmed President TrumpDonald John TrumpNew EPA rule would expand Trump officials' powers to reject FOIA requests Democratic senator introduces bill to ban gun silencers Democrats: Ex-Commerce aide said Ross asked him to examine adding census citizenship question 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) ManchinRepublicans, Trump Jr. signal support for embattled West Virginia governor Critics say Interior's top lawyer came 'close to perjury' during Hill testimony The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by MAPRx — Trump takes heat for remarks on help from foreign governments 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 (Bob) Swan MuellerKamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump Schiff says Intel panel will hold 'series' of hearings on Mueller report 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 DurbinNegotiators face major obstacles to meeting July border deadline Senate set to bypass Iran fight amid growing tensions Schumer calls for delay on passage of defense bill amid Iran tensions MORE (Ill.), the No. 2 Senate Democrat. 
 
 
"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 McConnellEXCLUSIVE: Trump on reparations: 'I don't see it happening' Overnight Health Care — Sponsored by Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids — Trump issues order to bring transparency to health care prices | Fight over billions in ObamaCare payments heads to Supreme Court Hillicon Valley: Senate bill would force companies to disclose value of user data | Waters to hold hearing on Facebook cryptocurrency | GOP divided on election security bills | US tracking Russian, Iranian social media campaigns MORE (R-Ky.) said.