Donald Trump will nominate William Barr as attorney general, the president confirmed on Friday. In addition to his stint as attorney general, he also served as deputy attorney general from 1990 to 1991, and as assistant attorney general in charge of the Office of Legal Counsel for two years before that. With the current session of Congress set to soon end, anyone Trump nominates may have to wait until well into 2019 for confirmation.
After leaving the Justice Department, Barr served in a variety of high-level corporate positions, including as general counsel and executive vice president of Verizon Communications.
People familiar with Trump's deliberations told The Washington Post that Barr is the favorite to take over the job of US Attorney General. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., before Barr's hearing on November 12, 1991.
At the Justice Department, Barr's work ranged from combatting violent crime to investigation the Pan Am 103 bombing.
When leading the Justice Department, Barr oversaw the agency's response to the country's savings and loan crisis, the investigation of the Pan Am 103 bombing and America's counter-terrorism strategy during the first Gulf War.
The largest source of friction in Sessions' relationship with Trump was his decision to recuse himself from the Russian Federation investigation - a move that Trump viewed as a betrayal.
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In a 2017 Fox News interview, Barr said that Mueller could have been "more balanced" in his choice of prosecutors, a majority of which have either ties to Democrats or have made donations to them.
"In my view, prosecutors who make political contributions are identifying fairly strongly with a political party", Barr said. He expressed confidence in Mueller early on and suggested the investigation wouldn't devolve into a "witch hunt", but he also has shared some disappointment when asked by The Washington Post a year ago about the donations that some of Mueller's team members made to Democrats.
One of the people who spoke to the AP said there have been discussions among senior administration officials about Barr's willingness to do the job, and said the belief was that he was open to doing it if asked. "I would have liked to see him have more balance on this group".
Mr. Trump called him "a highly respected lawyer" who is thought highly of by both parties.
Senator John Cornyn of Texas, the No 2 Republican leader, agreed.