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Trump reportedly looking at tapping William Barr as attorney general



President Donald Trump is reportedly considering nominating William Barr to be attorney general following Jeff Sessions’ controversial ousting.

Barr, 68, is the president’s top choice to lead the Justice Department, The Washington Post reported on Wednesday based on discussions with people familiar with the deliberations.

Barr 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.

Top administration officials have reportedly urged Trump to nominate Barr in the near future.

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.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller departs after briefing the US House Intelligence Committee on his investigation of potential collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.
Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters

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 a great deal of speculation over who Trump will 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.

Meanwhile, White House deputy press secretary Lindsay Walters told INSIDER the Trump administration has “no personnel announcements at this time.”

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