Published: Fri, December 07, 2018

William Barr is leading candidate for Attorney General

William Barr is leading candidate for Attorney General

President Donald Trump has made a decision to nominate former attorney general William Barr to be the next permanent head of the Justice Department, the President told reporters Friday.

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.

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. But depending on how long the confirmation process takes, it is not clear how much of the investigation would remain by the time a new attorney general takes office.

Since leaving the Bush administration, Barr has returned to private practice, including over a decade as the general counsel for Verizon.

In a May 2017 op-ed in The Washington Post, Barr argued President Trump made the right call in firing Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey.

Currently, Mr Barr is counsel at the Kirkland & Ellis law firm in Washington DC.

Trump has come under criticism by members of Congress for naming Whitaker, Sessions's chief of staff, as the acting attorney general instead of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. And he has even spoken out against the Russian Federation investigation, telling the New York Times in 2017 that by investigating collusion allegations instead of other issues, some pertaining to the Clintons, "the department is abdicating its responsibility".

Senate Democrats have sued the administration over the appointment, arguing it wasn't constitutional.

That person said those advising the president viewed Barr as someone who knows the department well, and is a good manager.

In a 2017 opinion piece for the Post, Mr Barr said Mr Trump had been right to fire FBI director James Comey because he "crossed a line" by announcing the outcome of the investigation into Mrs Clinton's emails.

"To the extent it is not pursuing these matters, the department is abdicating its responsibility", Barr told the newspaper.

Various outlets have said Barr and Nauert were among the most likely nominees for both positions, and Trump confirmed the news as he spoke to reporters on the White House South Lawn. Barr was one tough lawyer.

He has said that Robert Mueller hired too many prosecutors with Democratic campaign ties for his investigative team - telling the Washington Post he "would have liked to see [Mueller] have more balance".

Senator John Cornyn of Texas, the No 2 Republican leader, agreed.

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