Please Wait....
Close

    Politics: Trump nominates George H.W. Bush’s former attorney general to head up the Justice Department


    William Barr, who served as attorney general under former President George H.W. Bush, is reportedly President Donald Trump's top choice to lead the Justice Department.

    President Donald Trump on Friday nominated William Barr to be attorney general following Jeff Sessions' controversial ousting.

    • President Donald Trump on Friday nominated William Barr to be attorney general following Jeff Sessions' controversial ousting.
    • Barr served as attorney general under former President George H.W. Bush.
    • This comes as the White House is under increasing pressure from special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russian election interference.

    President Donald Trump on Friday nominated William Barr to be attorney general following Jeff Sessions' controversial ousting.

    Bar, 68, is an experienced Republican lawyer who served as attorney general under former President George H.W. Bush, who is being laid to rest this week after he died last Friday at the age of 94.

    The Washington Post on Thursday reported Barr was Trump's top choice for the position, though the White House told INSIDER it had no personnel announcements at the time.

    Top administration officials had reportedly urged Trump to nominate Barr.

    "I did not know him until recently, when I was going through the process of looking at people," Trump told reporters on Friday. "He was my first choice from day one."

    This comes as the White House is under increasing pressure from special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russian election interference, which has seen a number of significant developments in recent days.

    Last month, Sessions announced he was resigning as attorney general at the president's request. The president subsequently bypassed Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and elevated Sessions' chief of staff, Matthew Whitaker, to acting attorney general.

    Whitaker has been critical of the scope of the Russia investigation, and his promotion sparked outrage from critics of Trump who are concerned he wants to squash the probe altogether. Trump has repeatedly sought to discredit Mueller and often refers to the Russia investigation as a "witch hunt."

    Read more: Here's a glimpse at Trump's decades-long history of business ties to Russia

    In this context, there's been a great deal of speculation over who Trump would nominate to lead the Justice Department in terms of how it would ultimately impact Mueller's ongoing inquiry.

    Barr has been somewhat critical of Mueller's choice of prosecutors in the probe, questioning their political leanings. "I would have liked to see him have more balance on this group," Barr told The Post last year.

    The former attorney general also wrote an op-ed in 2017 expressing approval of Trump's controversial decision to fire FBI Director James Comey, a move that prompted accusations of obstruction of justice.

    Barr did not immediately respond to a request for comment from INSIDER.

    Story Page