Barr, a former attorney general under President George H.W. Bush, has been emerging this week as a consensus candidate to succeed Jeff Sessions as attorney general, two sources familiar with Trump's thinking told CNN on Thursday.
Respected by Republicans. Respected by Democrats.
During the Senate confirmation hearings when he was first appointed attorney general, Barr said he did not agree with the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision and viewed abortion as an issue best left to the states, the Los Angeles Times reported at the time.
In 2016, former US Attorney General William Barr supported Donald Trump's nominee, Jeff Sessions, for the post Barr once held.
Barr is reportedly well-liked inside the administration and among Republican lawmakers.
Barr is now employed with the Kirkland & Ellis law firm in Washington, D.C. There, he still advises corporations with enforcement and regulatory issues, according to The Washington Post.
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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.
Democrats would presumably want reassurances that Barr, who as attorney general would be in position to oversee Mueller's investigation, would not do anything to interfere with the probe. Joe Biden, who said Barr should be "complimented" for his "candid answer", even though the eventual US vice president did not agree.
This, of course, is no normal time - and it didn't take long for interested parties to scour Mr Barr's recent comments and writings in search of any meaningful hints on how he would oversee Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation.
Barr wrote in a May 2017 op-ed that Trump was right to fire FBI Director James Comey, asserting that the former director "crossed a line" in the investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. "(Barr) may be the kind of person who would be easier to confirm".
Barr said that not pursuing an investigation of "Uranium One" would be evidence that "the department is abdicating its responsibility". He expressed confidence in Mueller early on and suggested the investigation wouldn't devolve into a "witch hunt", but he also has shared some disappointment when asked by The Washington Post past year about the donations that some of Mueller's team members made to Democrats.
One of the people who spoke to the AP said there have been discussions among senior administration officials about Barr's willingness to do the job, and said the belief was that he was open to doing it if asked.