Trump Announces Bill Barr As His Attorney General Pick

Bush gestures while talking to Attorney General William Barr in the Oval Office of the White House

Marcy Nighswander AP FILE

President Donald Trump's favorite for the available U.S. Attorney General position is none other than former AG William Barr, the Washington Post reported on Thursday. 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.

The post of attorney general has vexed Mr. Trump since the early days of his presidency, when Mr. Sessions recused himself from overseeing an investigation into possible collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign.

Barr is now employed with the Kirkland & Ellis law firm in Washington, D.C. There, he still advises corporations with enforcement and regulatory issues, according to The Washington Post.

Another person familiar with the discussions said Barr is "a really serious contender, and possibly the front-runner" for the job, but stressed it was impossible to predict Trump's pick definitively until it was announced publicly.

PHOTO: President George H. Bush gestures while talking to Attorney General William Barr in the Oval Office of the White House, May 4, 1992 in Washington.

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After leaving the Justice Department, Barr served as the general counsel and executive vice president of Verizon Communications but retired from the role in 2008. Those advising Trump on the issue said that the president views Barr as someone who is familiar and well-versed in the Justice Department and the demands of the job.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, said she was unfamiliar with Barr's views but encouraged by a suggestion that he was an "establishment" Republican.

"Unfortunately, beginning in July, when he announced the outcome of the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while secretary of state, he crossed a line that is fundamental to the allocation of authority in the Justice Department", Barr wrote in the 2017 article. Mr. Trump broke the news Friday to reporters on the White House South Lawn on his way to Kansas City.

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

He was my first choice from day one. He already received a bachelor's degree in government and a master's degree in government and Chinese studies - both from Columbia University.

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