Donald Trump Confirms He Will Nominate William Barr as Next Attorney General

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If chosen, Barr would oversee Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling into the 2016 election-a role that Sessions recused himself from managing, which Trump saw as an act of disloyalty.

In his resignation letter, Sessions took one final jab at the president, writing: "Most importantly, in my time as Attorney General we have restored and upheld the rule of law-a glorious tradition that each of us has a responsibility to safeguard".

What he used to do: Barr served as Attorney General under President George H.W. Bush for two years, after previously working in both the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel and as Deputy Attorney General. He is now a lawyer at Kirkland & Ellis and does work advising corporations on government enforcement and regulatory actions.

President Trump said Friday he will nominate William P. Barr as attorney general and Heather Nauert as ambassador to the United Nations. Trump has elevated Sessions' chief of staff, Matthew Whitaker, to acting attorney general.

Barr has worked in the private sector since serving as attorney general from 1991 to 1993, retiring from Verizon Communications (VZ.N) in 2008.

Barr served as Mueller's boss when he was attorney general in the early 1990s and Mueller led the criminal division at the Justice Department. "Those are the best attorneys general", said Democratic Sen.

He also defended Trump's firing of Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey in an op-ed, and has said special counsel Robert Mueller's team lacks balance.

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Barr not only said that an investigation of this would be above-board, he claimed it was necessary in the interest of justice.

"In my view, prosecutors who make political contributions are identifying fairly strongly with a political party ..."

Administration officials expect Barr's nomination would be received positively by Republicans who respect his experience, and Democrats who would likely view him as an old-school Republican lawyer with no particular personal loyalty to the president.

Mr Barr holds degrees in government and Chinese studies from Columbia University.

He told The New York Times in November 2017, in a story about Sessions directing his prosecutors to look into actions related to Trump rival Hillary Clinton, that "there is nothing inherently wrong about a president calling for an investigation" - though Barr also said one should not be launched just because a president wants it.

Barr, a Columbia University graduate, worked at the Central Intelligence Agency while attending the George Washington University Law School at night.