Senate panel OKs Trump pick Hagerty as ambassador to Japan

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has approved Tennessee businessman William F. Hagerty as President Donald Trump’s ambassador to Japan.

The bipartisan voice vote readies Hagerty’s nomination for a vote by the full Senate.

The nomination eased through the committee after Hagerty satisfied panel Democrats that he had no role in the vetting of former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Hagerty served as the director of presidential appointments for Trump’s transition team but told Democrats he focused on Cabinet picks and not White House staff aides such as former national security adviser Flynn.

Flynn is a central figure in the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller into contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Hagerty is a founder of Hagerty Peterson & Company, a private equity investment firm.