Trump says he'll nominate William Barr to be attorney general

Leroy Wright
December 7, 2018

President Trump said Friday he will nominate William Barr to replace Jeff Sessions as his attorney general, and State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert as the next U.S. ambassador to the UN.

On another Clinton-related investigative topic, Barr told The New York Times in November of previous year he believed that there was more justification for the Department of Justice to investigate Clinton's role in approving a 2010 sale of USA uranium stockpiles to a Russian energy company in what is commonly known as the "Uranium One" deal, than for investigating any potential collusion between President Trump and Russians.

Barr, 68, a well-respected Republican lawyer who served as attorney general from 1991 to 1993 under then-President George H.W. Bush, has emerged as a favorite candidate of a number of Trump administration officials, including senior lawyers in the White House Counsel's Office, these people said. Sessions resigned at Trump's request last month, and his Chief of Staff Matthew Whitaker has been the Acting US Attorney General.

While he has an extremely conservative record, Barr would also bring to the role seasoned experience and is well regarded in the legal community. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which would hold hearings on a nominee. The month prior, Trump said in a Fox & Friends interview: "I can tell you Matt Whitaker's a great guy".

Trump has been known to change his mind on key personnel decisions before announcing them.

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

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The sources say that Barr, who became a corporate executive after leaving the Justice Department, isn't especially keen to return to the attorney general position after 25 years, but will serve if asked to out of a sense of duty.

"I think he will serve with great distinction", Mr. Trump told reporters.

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

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".

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

He also wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post in May 2017 defending Trump's decision to fire former FBI Director James Comey, one of the actions Mueller has been examining for possible obstruction of justice.

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