At­tor­ney gen­eral:

San Francisco Chronicle - - FRONT PAGE - By Jill Colvin and Zeke Miller Jill Colvin and Zeke Miller are As­so­ci­ated Press writ­ers.

Wil­liam Barr, who served in the same po­si­tion in the 1990s, is se­lected to suc­ceed Jeff Ses­sions as the nations top lawen­force­ment of­fi­cial.

WASH­ING­TON — Pres­i­dent Trump said Fri­day he will nom­i­nate Wil­liam Barr, the late Pres­i­dent Ge­orge H.W. Bush’s at­tor­ney gen­eral, to serve in the same role.

Trump called Barr “a ter­rific man” and “one of the most re­spected ju­rists in the coun­try.”

If con­firmed by the Se­nate, Barr would suc­ceed At­tor­ney Gen­eral Jeff Ses­sions, who was forced out by Trump in Novem­ber fol­low­ing an ac­ri­mo­nious ten­ure. Ses­sions’ chief of staff, Matthew Whi­taker, is cur­rently serv­ing as act­ing at­tor­ney gen­eral.

Trump’s fury at Ses­sions for re­cus­ing him­self from the Rus­sia in­ves­ti­ga­tion — which helped set in mo­tion the ap­point­ment of spe­cial coun­sel Robert Mueller — cre­ated deep ten­sions be­tween Trump and the Jus­tice Depart­ment. He some­times puts the word “Jus­tice” in quotes when re­fer­ring to the depart­ment in tweets and has railed against its lead­ers for fail­ing to in­ves­ti­gate his 2016 cam­paign ri­val, Hil­lary Clin­ton, as ex­ten­sively as he would like.

Sen. Dianne Fe­in­stein, DCalif., a mem­ber of the Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee, said Barr, who as at­tor­ney gen­eral would be in a po­si­tion to over­see Mueller’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion, must not do any­thing to in­ter­fere with the probe.

“Barr must com­mit to sup­port­ing Spe­cial Coun­sel Mueller’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion,” Fe­in­stein said.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion ap­pears to be show­ing signs of en­ter­ing its fi­nal stages, prompt­ing a flurry of tweets from the pres­i­dent Thurs­day and Fri­day. But an at­tor­ney gen­eral op­posed to the in­ves­ti­ga­tion could the­o­ret­i­cally move to cut fund­ing or block cer­tain in­ves­tiga­tive steps.

Barr was at­tor­ney gen­eral be­tween 1991 and 1993, serv­ing in the Jus­tice Depart­ment at the same Mueller over­saw the depart­ment’s crim­i­nal divi­sion. He cur­rently is of coun­sel at a prom­i­nent in­ter­na­tional law firm, Kirk­land & El­lis LLP.

While in pri­vate prac­tice, Barr has oc­ca­sion­ally weighed in on hot-but­ton in­ves­tiga­tive mat­ters in ways that could prompt con­cerns among Democrats. He 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.

Scott Ap­ple­white / As­so­ci­ated Press 1991

Wil­liam Barr (left) joins Pres­i­dent Ge­orge H.W. Bush in 1991 in Wash­ing­ton af­ter Barr was sworn in as At­tor­ney Gen­eral.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.