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Paul to oppose Trump's AG nominee

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulMichigan Republican isolating after positive coronavirus test GOP Rep. Mike Bost tests positive for COVID-19 Top Democrats introduce resolution calling for mask mandate, testing program in Senate MORE (Ky.) said on Monday that he will oppose President TrumpDonald John TrumpJudge rules to not release Russia probe documents over Trump tweets Trump and advisers considering firing FBI director after election: WaPo Obama to campaign for Biden in Florida MORE's attorney general nominee, becoming the first Republican to come out as a "no" vote on William Barr.

Paul told Politico that he had concerns about Barr's record on privacy, calling him a "chief advocate for warrantless surveillance of U.S. citizens."

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A spokesman for Paul didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. The libertarian-leaning GOP senator had previously raised concerns about Barr, who also served as attorney general to President George H.W. Bush. 

His opposition comes as the full Senate could take up Barr's nomination as soon as this week following his approval by the Judiciary Committee last Thursday on a party-line vote.

Paul's "no" vote isn't enough to sink Barr on its own. Republicans hold a 53-47 majority, meaning that if Democrats could keep their whole caucus united they would still need to flip four Republican senators to stymie the confirmation. 

Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) became the first Democrat to say last week that he would support Barr. 

Jones's and Paul's defections mean Democrats still need to flip four Republicans to stop the nomination. Other potential swing votes, including Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinSusan Collins and the American legacy Democrats seem unlikely to move against Feinstein Push to expand Supreme Court faces Democratic buzzsaw MORE (D-W.Va.), have not announced how they will vote.

But Manchin told reporters earlier Monday that he viewed Barr "very favorably."