December 7, 2018

"Trump Will Nominate William P. Barr as Attorney General."

The NYT reports.
President Trump on Friday said he intended to nominate William P. Barr, who served as attorney general during the first Bush administration from 1991 to 1993, to return as head of the Justice Department.

“He was my first choice since Day 1,” Mr. Trump told reporters as he walked from the White House to a helicopter for a trip to Kansas City, Mo.. “He’ll be nominated.”
This gets Whitaker out of the way. Confirm Barr, and you don't have to worry about Whitaker.

Here's a NYT article from yesterday about Barr:
Mr. Barr, a Republican and corporate lawyer, has long advanced a vision of sweeping presidential powers.... Mr. Barr has criticized aspects of the Russia investigation, including suggesting that the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, hired too many prosecutors who had donated to Democratic campaigns. Mr. Barr has also defended Mr. Trump’s calls for a new criminal investigation into his defeated 2016 opponent, Hillary Clinton, including over a uranium mining deal the Obama administration approved when she was secretary of state.

“There is nothing inherently wrong about a president calling for an investigation,” Mr. Barr told The New York Times last year. “Although an investigation shouldn’t be launched just because a president wants it, the ultimate question is whether the matter warrants investigation.” Mr. Barr added then that he saw more basis for investigating the uranium deal than any supposed conspiracy between Mr. Trump’s associates and Russia. “To the extent it is not pursuing these matters, the department is abdicating its responsibility,” he said....

A graduate of George Washington University’s law school, Mr. Barr, 68, got his start in the 1970s working for the C.I.A. and later worked in the Reagan White House before leaving for private practice. In 1989, President George Bush appointed him to lead the Justice Department’s powerful Office of Legal Counsel, later elevating him to deputy attorney general and then attorney general....

In a November 1992 speech, Mr. Barr put forward the ideal of an attorney general whose primary loyalty is to the rule of law, not to the president who appointed him — saying that he must provide “unvarnished, straight-from-the-shoulder legal advice” with no regard to political considerations like what conclusions the White House might prefer.

65 comments:

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Mr. Barr, a Republican and corporate lawyer, has long advanced a vision of sweeping presidential powers.... Mr. Barr has criticized aspects of the Russia investigation, including suggesting that the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, hired too many prosecutors who had donated to Democratic campaigns. Mr. Barr has also defended Mr. Trump’s calls for a new criminal investigation into his defeated 2016 opponent, Hillary Clinton, including over a uranium mining deal the Obama administration approved when she was secretary of state.


That won't go over well with the corruptocrats and their deep state.

tim maguire said...

Sounds nice, though he has been around an awfully long time.

Mike said...
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Mike said...

If Barr was good enough for GHWB this selection should gain approval easily. Right? One more verse of Kumbaya and we’ll hold the floor vote!

[spelling correction]

Curious George said...

LOCK HER UP!!! LOCK HER UP!!!

EDH said...

I don't see these two propositions in conflict, although you know that will be the Left's strategy during confirmation:

“There is nothing inherently wrong about a president calling for an investigation,” Mr. Barr told The New York Times last year. “Although an investigation shouldn’t be launched just because a president wants it, the ultimate question is whether the matter warrants investigation.” Mr. Barr added then that he saw more basis for investigating the uranium deal than any supposed conspiracy between Mr. Trump’s associates and Russia. “To the extent it is not pursuing these matters, the department is abdicating its responsibility,” he said....

In a November 1992 speech, Mr. Barr put forward the ideal of an attorney general whose primary loyalty is to the rule of law, not to the president who appointed him — saying that he must provide “unvarnished, straight-from-the-shoulder legal advice” with no regard to political considerations like what conclusions the White House might prefer. “The unique position of the attorney general raises special considerations,” Mr. Barr said. “The attorney general’s oath to uphold the Constitution raises the question whether his duty lies ultimately with the president who appointed him or more abstractly with the rule of law. I said in my confirmation hearings, and have said several times since, that the attorney general’s ultimate allegiance must be to the rule of law.”

Original Mike said...

“There is nothing inherently wrong about a president calling for an investigation,” Mr. Barr told The New York Times last year. “Although an investigation shouldn’t be launched just because a president wants it, the ultimate question is whether the matter warrants investigation.”

Hard to argue with that (though they will, of course).

Nonapod said...

a Republican and corporate lawyer, has long advanced a vision of sweeping presidential powers

I know next to nothing about this guy and I'm curious to read about his "vision of sweeping presidential powers". I'm not a big fan of empowering the Executive branch any more than it already is (or any other branch). However, at this point I look at any counter to the pervasive Deep State's unending quest to get rid of Trump as generally a good thing.

rehajm said...

Shouldn't the special counsel investigate crimes that drew Flynn into this probe?

In the Flynn case, someone in the prior administration either failed to minimize or purposely “unmasked” Mr. Flynn. The latter could itself be a felony.

Ten days later someone in that administration leaked to the Washington Post that Mr. Flynn had called Mr. Kislyak on Dec. 29, 2016. On Feb. 9, 2017, someone leaked to the Post and the New York Times highly detailed and classified information about the Flynn-Kislyak conversation.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes has called this leak the most destructive to national security that he seen in his time in Washington. Disclosing classified information is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in federal prison. The Post has bragged that its story was sourced by nine separate officials.

Original Mike said...

Does this guy have a chance? I assume, as is their wont, the Dems will be a solid NO. What's the Repub count now, 53?

Chuck said...

I take this as good news.

The confirmation hearing won’t be about any lack of credentials or the fact that his only major work experience was as a host of Fox and Friends. Instead it will be about Barr’s good friend and colleague Bob Mueller, and extracting the most explicit promises that they he OCS will complete its work.

Ralph L said...

Barr wisely finessed the question of when to obey a President's lawful orders.

rcocean said...

How pathetic.

2018 and we get the old AG from 1992.

To replace 70 y/o Sessions.

what about some young blood, like someone in their 50s (LOL)

rcocean said...

I hope TRump did a better job interviewing Barr than he did with Sessions and some of his other appointments.

Amadeus 48 said...

Barr is 68. That passes for young in DC.

Actually, Barr would be a brilliant appointment, and I hope Trump does. I never believe anything I read in NYT or WaPo until it happens.

rcocean said...

He's probably going to be another old dumb Republican who prides himself on "Playing by rules" and "Losing with grace".

The D's are going to come at Trump with every Legal trick in the book. If you have some slow-thinking legal beagle who's more concerned with his legal reputation than protecting the POTUS - Trump is finished.

That was Nixon's problem. He kept thinking Watergate was a legal matter when it was political Coup D'etat.

AJ Lynch said...

I wish Trump had chosen someone from outside The Swamp.

tcrosse said...

It's good news for his sister Roseanne.

Seeing Red said...

The next 2 years is going to be fun!

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Mene Mene Tekel Peres

Browndog said...

Conservatives are certain he's Deep State, and loathe the pick. Liberals...well Trump nominated him so....there goes all the love they had for everything H.W. Bush.

I'll wait and see. He could be Deep State. He could put Rod Rosenstien in an office in Juno, AK prosecuting federal Fish and Game violations.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Mike said..."If Barr was good enough for GHWB this selection should gain approval easily. Right?"

For the Media, we have learned the only good Bush is a dead Bush.

Mark said...

Reading that he is 68 now, I didn't realize how young he was the first time around.

rcocean said...

"Barr became an independent director of Time Warner (now WarnerMedia) in July 2009."

Wow. So Trump chooses a MSM Lawyer to be his AG.

Maybe, he's not as smart as I thought.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Considering it is illegal to look into anything Clinton related, this will not go over well with the corruptocrats and their Deep State.

Chuck said...


Amadeus 48 said...
Barr is 68. That passes for young in DC.

Actually, Barr would be a brilliant appointment, and I hope Trump does. I never believe anything I read in NYT or WaPo until it happens.

Wait a minute.

The Times ran this story last night. You might have made this comment then, but of course Althouse didn’t blog it at that time. She blogged it this morning. When the story had been confirmed by the words of President Trump himself.

You are essentially picking on the Times for inaccurate reporting, in an instance where the Times’ reporting, a day early, was shown to have been exactly right.

In your parlance, you should believe it now, because “it happened.”

Mike said...

Wow. So Trump chooses a MSM Lawyer to be his AG. Maybe, he's not as smart as I thought.

This comment isn't stupid but lacks context. He was general counsel for GE, AG under GHWB, general counsel and EVP for Verizon, and maybe most importantly is a partner at Kirkland & Ellis, DC's most powerful firm. Hardly fits the description of "MSM lawyer" IMO, but he is a swampy pick no doubt.

Mike said...

FWIW the PowerLineBlog has called Barr "one tough lawyer" and to clarify, I meant GTE above where I wrote GE. Oops.

Chuck said...

Mark said...
Reading that he is 68 now, I didn't realize how young he was the first time around.


Yeah; 42 as Attorney General of the United States. What I do not recall was what his Senate confirmation vote was.

Gunner said...

Rcocean: All of the Generation X candidates have stupid Twitter posts in their history or something, so that is why Trump had to pick a Boomer.

Yancey Ward said...
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Yancey Ward said...

A disappointing choice. The Barr is 68 years old- the job really requires someone with the energy and endurance of a much younger person. I liked Jeff Sessions as a Senator, but he was simply too fucking old to stay on top of an organization that was being run by Obama holdovers who were intent on taking Trump down. Were Barr his former 42 year self (when he was first appointed AG), he would be an excellent choice, but not at this stage of his life. The agency bureaucracy will run circles around him while he naps in the afternoons and evenings.

Howard said...

His first priority is to deport Trumps house maids

Original Mike said...

Really, Yancey? All 68 year olds are lethargic?

Drago said...

LLR Chuck in pitch perfect harmony with the lefty tone and narratives and demands.

Again.

As always.

Unexpectedly.

Apparently our Lifelong "Brian Stelter" "republican" Chuck thinks lefty demands for an unconstitutional attempt by the legislature to limit a republican President's constitutional authority is peachy keen.

It goes without saying our Vichy Conservative Chuck would adamently, passionately, angrily argue against this sort of manuever had it been offered during the reign of his "magnificent" obama.

Obviously.

Drago said...

"Bill Kristol republican" Chuck: "Yeah; 42 as Attorney General of the United States. What I do not recall was what his Senate confirmation vote was."

Irrelevant.

There are many LLR's cucking up to their dem/lefty superiors to stop anything Trump seeks to do.

Just look at how LLR Chucks hero Flake is completely, utterly, perfectly operationally aligned with the dems to stop conservative judge appointments.

And LLR Chuck loves loves loves him some Jeff Flakey.

rcocean said...

"Really, Yancey? All 68 year olds are lethargic?"

The chances of a 68 being a fireball & working 24/7 to get things done, are a lot less than a 50 y/o.

That's obvious.

I don't remember Barr from Bush I. He kept a low profile - in a low energy administration. That's not a good sign.

Yancey Ward said...

Original Mike,

Yes, most of them are lethargic and low energy. The odds are not in favor of Barr being a dynamo able to overcome the institutional biases of the department. This doesn't mean a younger appointment could succeed in that situation, but the odds are better.

Original Mike said...

Depends on the person. How old is Trump?

Original Mike said...

Jeff Sessions problem was not his age. Jeff Sessions problem was that he's a putz.

Yancey Ward said...

Trump is a startling exception to a solid rule, Mike. Is Barr? I doubt it. Sessions wasn't a putz, he was just overwhelmed by the organization he was put in charge of. He went and recused himself because he simply didn't have the energy to put up a fight over it, or the remaining mental acuity to understand the mistake he was making.

Original Mike said...

"Trump is a startling exception to a solid rule, Mike."

Yancey's "rule".

Jeff Sessions has always been a putz. It had nothing to do with his "energy". I was dismayed when Trump nominated him. I don't know anything about Barr, yet. I'm willing to learn.

Yancey Ward said...

Really, Mike, most 68 year old men are energetic and able to put in 12 hour days in a job running an organization as large and politically intense as the DoJ? Really?

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

I too would prefer someone younger. I hope Trump is considering this very carefully. Sessions was such a colossal mistake, it's difficult to trust that Trump will take the time to find the most qualified. More than qualified - an energetic fighter who will not back down to leftwing corruption bullying and Clintonian Deep State pressure.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

what is this?

Judge orders Justice and State departments to reopen part of Hillary Clinton email inquiry

Drago said...
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Drago said...

DBH: "Judge orders Justice and State departments to reopen part of Hillary Clinton email inquiry"

Egads. If true that will explode the LLR Chuck smear merchants on both sides of the aisle...which is really just the lefty side.

Browndog said...

Richard Blumenthal
‏Verified account @SenBlumenthal

Even before confirmation proceedings for Barr, President Trump must immediately reverse his unconstitutional appointment of Matthew Whitaker, as my colleagues & I have demanded in court.

narciso said...

That's his version of a danang flashback.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Is something real if the DNC-MSM refuse to report it?

Drago said...

BrowDog: "Even before confirmation proceedings for Barr, President Trump must immediately reverse his unconstitutional appointment of Matthew Whitaker, as my colleagues & I have demanded in court."

LLR Chuck is going to love that demand from his heroic Stolen Valor dem pal.

Absolutely love it.

In a "True Conservative Way" of course.

Of course.

narciso said...

That's the only way we know it is real, but I see the problem.

Original Mike said...

"Richard Blumenthal
‏Verified account @SenBlumenthal

Even before confirmation proceedings for Barr, President Trump must immediately reverse his unconstitutional appointment of Matthew Whitaker, as my colleagues & I have demanded in court."


At first I thought this was just spite. But then it dawned on me that getting rid of Whitaker before confirming someone else gives Rosenstein a window to play fast and loose with Mueller. Not that I don't think spite is also involved.

narciso said...

That's why it isn't going to happen, it's also why the deep state has put its men on whittaker.

Imagine if say holders representation re oxycontin for Purdue pharmaceuticals were so scrutinized

Fritz said...

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...
what is this?

Judge orders Justice and State departments to reopen part of Hillary Clinton email inquiry


My question is whether they can rescind all the immunities Lynch, Comey and McCabe handed out like candies, or will they have to find new crimes.

Bruce Hayden said...

“This comment isn't stupid but lacks context. He was general counsel for GE, AG under GHWB, general counsel and EVP for Verizon, and maybe most importantly is a partner at Kirkland & Ellis, DC's most powerful firm. Hardly fits the description of "MSM lawyer" IMO, but he is a swampy pick no doubt.”

The Kirkland and Ellis is a bit worrisome for me. Some of their attorneys, or former attorneys, appear to be up to their eyeballs in the Spygate scandal.

Bruce Hayden said...

I agree with Yancey about 68. I’m 68, and, if memory serves me right, Ann turns 68 next month. Most of my classmates in college are retiring or retired. I look back at myself even 5 years ago and marvel at what I could accomplish back then. I was doing maybe 100 plane flights a year, and billing just fine as a patent attorney. Now? My To Do list is getting longer, not shorter, because whole days go by with little progress.

The Godfather said...

Per Wikipedia:
Asked [during the Sen. Judiciary Committee hearing on his nomination as AG] whether he thought a constitutional right to privacy included the right to an abortion, Barr responded that he believed the constitution was not originally intended to create a right to abortion; that Roe v. Wade was thus wrongly decided; and that abortion should be a "legitimate issue for state legislators". Committee Chairman, Senator Joe Biden, though disagreeing with Barr, responded that it was the "first candid answer" he had heard from a nominee on a question that witnesses would normally evade. Barr was approved unanimously by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Chairman Biden hailed Barr as "a throwback to the days when we actually had attorneys general that would talk to you."

Those were the good old days, weren't they?

The Godfather said...

I see no reason to think that Barr won't be up to the AG job by reason of his age. It sounds as though he's had an active career in law and business for decades. Unlike Sessions, who was a Senator.

However, I would like to have him confirm, during his Judiciary Committee hearing, that he will NOT recuse from the Mueller investigation. Mueller clearly hasn't been getting the adult supervision he needs.

Drago said...

I sure hope Barr didnt appear on Fox news too much, or is a conservative decorated military veteran, or has a child the left wants to attack because we have seen that those conditions are quite triggering for our LLR Chuck for some bizarre reason or reasons.

Bruce Hayden said...

Barr has apparently been critical of the Mueller investigation, so I thought that this whole AG nomination thing was interesting in view of what seems to be going on in the background. Indeed, there appears to be a race going on right now between Trump and the Republicans on the one side, and the Dems, Deep State, and MSM on the other.

On the Trump side:
- UT USA Huber was scheduled to testify this week, but that got canceled due to the services for GHW Bush. Many thought that his focus was supposed to be on FISAgate, but this week we are hearing that his investigation of the Clinton Foundation is wrapping up, and a number of illegalities have been discovered. We are hearing about multiple whistle blowers who have come out and worked with Huber’s team.
- evidence that MSM reporters were feeding information to Weismann, Mueller’s lead investigator, that was used in court.
- renewed calls on Trump to demand that a number of documents, including the 4 FISA warrant applications, be unclassified and unredacted.

On the other side:
- Mueller apparently pushing to wind up his investigation. This last week he tried to walk away from the Manafort plea deal (which means that he probably won’t be able to entice anyone else to enter into one, since their attempt to walk away from the deal they had made earlier shows that they can’t be trusted). The attempt to coerce Corsi just makes Mueller’s team look desperate and grasping.
- FBI (probably illegally) obtained a search warrant for information already in the hands of the DOJ OIG, served the warrant, then rummaged around the whistle blowers house for another six hours.

Francisco D said...

Trump is a startling exception to a solid rule, Mike. Is Barr? I doubt it. Sessions wasn't a putz, he was just overwhelmed by the organization he was put in charge of. He went and recused himself because he simply didn't have the energy to put up a fight over it, or the remaining mental acuity to understand the mistake he was making.

A couple of points, Yancey.

Sessions was a putz. You do not select senators from the Gentleman's Club to manage an agency.

Wisdom is more important than motivation. When I was a business consultant, the biggest challenge was to convince senior executives that the WORST possible employee was a highly motivated dumb person who run hard in the wrong direction.

With wisdom you learn how to delegate and manage professionals. That is what it takes to run the Justice Department. You also learn timing and patience, like the old story of the young bull and the old bull.

- not so old 65 year old bull.

walter said...

"Mr. Barr has criticized aspects of the Russia investigation, including suggesting that the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III,.."
--
Oh..the Third. Very impressive..and necessary to the "reporting"...

Bad Lieutenant said...

A couple of points, Yancey.

Sessions was a putz. You do not select senators from the Gentleman's Club to manage an agency.

The point is not Sessions'age. The point is that the Hon. Jeff Beauregard Sessions, if he was ever, is no longer a throat-cutter.

There is simply no higher qualification at this time. Certainly not knowledge of or fidelity to the law. Lawyers you hire, to tell you how to do X and get away with it. If Sessions felt conflicted enough to recuse, he should have had the character to simply resign.

Bad Lieutenant said...

the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III,.."
--
Oh..the Third. Very impressive..and necessary to the "reporting"...

Remarkable the people grooving on Mueller. I watched LA Confidential again last night. Mueller reminds me of James Cromwell. Who always seem to play these patrician baddies/hardcases. White shirts, forsooth!