Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch said Thursday he believes U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch will get approved by the Senate to replace outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder, but that the confirmation process should wait until after the new Senate has taken office in January.
"Looking at it, I have to say, she looks like she will be a good person," said Hatch on the Steve Malzberg Show. "But I think the newly-elected senators on both sides should have the privilege of voting for or against her — and I think most of them will probably vote for her. And it ought to be done in a way that has always been followed, since the Civil War."
Hatch is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which holds the confirmation hearings for attorney general.
He noted that his assessment was made before any congressional vetting has taken place.
"Well I do agree that, looking at it superficially, or cursorily, it looks to me like we would confirm Loretta Lynch. On the other hand, we haven't had a hearing, we haven't had a process like we should have for something this important. And especially after so many Republicans are, you know, very, very dissatisfied with the current leadership of the Department of Justice. And even some Democrats are dissatisfied with that, because that leadership has been plagued with scandal, as the president has tried to centralize more power within the Executive Branch. And as he, you know, tries to do that rather than work with Congress."
Lynch would be the first black woman to serve as the nation's attorney general, if confirmed.
Hatch isn't the first Republican senator to give Lynch say his first impression is that Lynch would get confirmed. Arizona Sen. John McCain said Tuesday he also believed that he thought that the Senate would confirm Lynch but that it should be voted on by the new Senate.
Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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