Trump Nominates New Attorney General


President Trump announced Friday his intention to nominate William Barr to be attorney general, according to the White House pool.

Even if Barr were announced as the president's choice this week, it could take months for a confirmation vote, given the congressional schedule.

U.S. media report he has been critical of some aspects of that inquiry.

Barr previously served as attorney general under President George H.W. Bush.

Barr was the general counsel of GTE when I represented that company (as one of dozens of lawyers from at least four law firms to do so) in contentious litigation following the enactment of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. If confirmed, he would replace acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker, who was named to the role after Trump fired former Attorney General Jeff Sessions last month.

Will Democrats derail his appointment?

Other names that have been floated as possible replacements for Sessions include Rep. John Ratcliffe of Texas, a former federal prosecutor, as well John Michael Luttig, a former US Court of Appeals judge, Justice Department official and current general counsel at Boeing. Since serving under George HW Bush, he's spent most of his career as a corporate lawyer, so he's more than familiar with Washington's corridors of power.

Barr has been on a White House short list of contenders for several weeks, said a person with knowledge of internal discussions who was not authorized to speak publicly. He's not exactly a drain-the-Washington-swamp choice, but that has never been a priority in the gilded halls of the upper chamber of Congress.

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Barr wrote in a May 2017 op-ed that Trump was right to fire FBI Director James Comey, asserting that the former director "crossed a line" in the investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The Russia probe has long infuriated Trump, who calls it a "witch-hunt" and who has denied any collusion or any obstruction of justice. He already received a bachelor's degree in government and a master's degree in government and Chinese studies - both from Columbia University.

William Barr worked for the Central Intelligence Agency while going to law school at night.

"I would hope (Trump) would pick someone who would be by the book and not by the politics", Feinstein said. He served until the end of Bush's presidency in 1993. He was promoted to deputy attorney general next, and then to the top role.

As far as what we could expect from an Attorney General Barr in 2019, one can look to a piece he co-penned for the Washington Post with other former AGs in support of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

As the top United States law official at that time, he oversaw Robert Mueller, who was then leading the department's criminal division.

In this November 26, 1991, file photo, President George H.W Bush, right, and William Barr wave after Barr was sworn in as the new Attorney General of the United States at a Justice Department ceremony in Washington.

What has he said about the Russian Federation inquiry?

Barr not only said that an investigation of this would be above-board, he claimed it was necessary in the interest of justice.