However, in a May 30 CBS News interview, Barr said he had applied his own interpretation of the law and took the position that obstruction laws cannot apply to presidents who abuse their official powers to impede an investigation for a corrupt reason. This threatens to undermine a central purpose for which the Department appointed the Special Counsel: to assure full public confidence in the outcome of the investigations". Bill Barr didn’t want to work for President Donald Trump. 1 of 2 FILE - In this Oct. 15, 2020, file photo, Attorney General William Barr speaks during a roundtable discussion on Operation Legend in St. Louis. [271] Barr also refused to refute the debunked conspiracy theory of Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election during the interview. [192], On May 8, 2019, the House Judiciary Committee voted along party lines to hold Barr in contempt of congress for failing to comply with a subpoena which requested the full and unredacted Mueller Report. "[303] In a CNN news interview in September 2020, Barr denied that systemic racism plays a role in police shootings of unarmed African American men and called such shootings by white police officers "very rare. Barr promised as much … When Bill Barr arrived at the Justice Department early last year, many people there breathed a sigh of relief. The FBI investigates. "[246] Trump ordered the intelligence community to cooperate with Barr's inquiry and granted Barr unprecedented full authority to declassify any intelligence information related to the matter. LEARN MORE. "[44], In 1992, Barr authored a report, The Case for More Incarceration,[45] which argued for an increase in the United States incarceration rate, the creation of a national program to construct more prisons, and the abolition of parole release. Barr did not give a reason for Berman's firing. [240], FBI officials denied Barr's claims about spying. "[36] Barr was approved unanimously by the Senate Judiciary Committee, was confirmed by voice vote by the full Senate,[37][38] and was sworn in as Attorney General on November 26, 1991. Attorney. He replaced Jeff Sessions in 2019 after President Trump fired Sessions. "[186] The Washington Post fact-checker described Barr's claim as "astonishing"[180] and PolitiFact said it was "false. Since Barr’s departure from the West Wing 25 years ago, the conservative Republican has held prominent roles in corporate law and private practice, including Verizon’s general counsel — in which he received a $10.4 million payout upon his departure — and litigator for Washington, D.C.-based Kirkland & Ellis, where he currently practices. Barr was the second person in U.S. history to serve twice as attorney general (the first was John J. Crittenden). 1992 [First published 1992]. As Walton saw it, Barr's "lack of candor" undermined Barr's "credibility and, in turn, the department's" arguments before the court. "[3], In June 2020, amid the George Floyd protests against racism and police brutality, Barr said he rejected the view "that the law enforcement system is systemically racist. [54], In late 1992, Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh, who had been chosen to investigate the Iran–Contra affair, found documents in the possession of Reagan's former defense secretary, Caspar Weinberger, which Walsh said was "evidence of a conspiracy among the highest-ranking Reagan Administration officials to lie to Congress and the American public. I think – I think – I suspect that they probably wanted more put out, but in my view, I was not interested in putting out summaries. [5][6], Barr hinted in June 2020 that the Durham investigation would produce results regarding the "complete collapse of the Russiagate scandal" before the end of the summer. The president also took the opportunity to mention that Barr was his “first choice from day one,” a statement likely directed toward ousted attorney general Jeff Sessions. [53] According to USA Today, the program "provided a blueprint for far broader phone-data surveillance the government launched after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. As of December 2020, there are ten living former US attorneys general, the oldest being Ramsey Clark (served 1967–1969, born 1927). Barr equated the movement with antifa, characterizing that loose collective as "highly organized" and claiming "the media doesn’t take footage of what’s happening" at George Floyd protests. Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the offers appearing on this site are from advertisers from which this website receives compensation for being listed here. Senator Chris Van Hollen asked Barr regarding obstruction: "Did Bob Mueller support your conclusion?" See the Finances of William Barr, Trump’s Pick for Attorney General. William Barr is the current Attorney General of the United States. "[232] On July 22, 2020, a group of 27 "legal ethics experts and former government lawyers," including four former presidents of the District of Columbia Bar, also filed a complaint against Barr with the District of Columbia Bar. George Floyd protests in Washington, D.C. United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Special Counsel investigation (2017–2019), Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Russia investigation origins counter-narrative, Foreign interference in the 2020 United States elections, Conspiracy theories related to the Trump–Ukraine scandal, Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections, 2016 Republican Party presidential primaries, Justice Department's National Security Division, Russian interference in the 2020 United States elections, Timeline of investigations into Donald Trump and Russia (January–June 2018), Timeline of investigations into Donald Trump and Russia (2019), Timeline of investigations into Donald Trump and Russia (2020–2021), "Trump Says He Alone Can Do It. [246] Trump said Wray's statement was "ridiculous. Colleagues of Durham have said they believe he is under pressure to produce something before the election. [268], In November 2019, Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz concluded his investigation into the origins of the 2016 Russia probe, concluding that the investigation was not tainted by "political bias or improper motivation", and that the initial information gathered "was sufficient to predicate the investigation" given the "low threshold" for opening an investigation. [35], Barr supports a federal ban on marijuana. The House instructed the Justice Department to prosecute Barr, but the Department refused. White House refuses to say Trump has faith in Attorney General William Barr Published Wed, Dec 2 2020 1:27 PM EST Updated Wed, Dec 2 2020 2:38 PM EST Dan Mangan @_DanMangan Also concurrently, Barr said that Trump would nominate Jay Clayton for the permanent role of SDNY U.S. Attorney General William Barr said President Donald Trump’s tweets and public comments about the Justice Department and ongoing cases make his job “impossible.” [141] In an August 2020 interview, Trump claimed that a plane full of "thugs in dark uniforms", implying antifa, had recently flown from one unidentified city to another with the intention of fomenting riots. Read about press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ net worth and background. given that the Southern District of New York was actively pursuing criminal investigations into several persons and companies associated with President Donald Trump and The Trump Organization. The Post also reported the inspector general found the opening of the FBI's Crossfire Hurricane investigation was legally and factually predicated. [26][27][28], During August 1991, when then-Attorney General Richard Thornburgh resigned to campaign for the Senate, Barr was named Acting Attorney General. Barr replied: "I don't know whether Bob Mueller supported my conclusion. "[85][86], In June 2018, Barr sent an unsolicited 20-page memo to senior Justice Department officials. Berman also said that he only learned of his supposed departure from Barr's public announcement. [259] The Post subsequently reported in December 2019 that Barr disagreed with the inspector general's conclusion that there was adequate evidence for the FBI to open its investigation. Career Highlights: Domestic policy adviser under President Reagan; attorney general under President George H.W. [112], On July 25, 2019, Barr reinstated the death penalty for federal crimes. [11][12] Barr was the second of four sons, and his younger brother Stephen Barr is a professor of physics at the University of Delaware. [238][241] Democrats criticized Barr's statement as "incendiary", saying the statement was intended to please Trump and that the statement lacked credibility following Barr's misrepresentation of the Mueller report in March 2019. Suspicion of Russian Meddling, Prime Minister Says", "UK intelligence officials shaken by Trump administration's requests for help with counter-impeachment inquiry", "Justice Dept. Since 1973, William Barr has been married to Christine Moynihan. He also said that from this case, he wanted to show Americans that "there's only one standard of justice", instead of two standards of justice. There was no such indictment, and the matter actually involved a series of errors by election officials during a county election, rather than fraud. [238][240][241] Barr said he thought there was not "any pejorative connotation at all" to the term spying. [105] Barr had enthusiastically supported Trump's political agenda, misrepresented aspects of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report, repeated Trump's talking point that those investigating Trump had engaged in "spying", defied congressional subpoenas, and refused to give Congress an unredacted version of the Mueller report. Barr elaborated: "As a matter of law ... we didn't agree with the legal analysis - a lot of the legal analysis in the report. [306], In July 2020, Barr condemned large American tech companies, such as Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Apple,[307] and Hollywood studios, accusing them of "kowtowing" to the Chinese Communist Party for the sake of profits. Barr replied: "No, I don't. "[175][176] On April 10, Attorney General Barr appeared before the Senate Appropriations Committee. On December 14, 2020, Barr announced his resignation as Attorney General to be effective on December 23, 2020. [53] The DoJ inspector general concluded that this program had been launched without a review of its legality. [9] Barr's demand followed a concerted pressure campaign by Erdogan and his close associates, including his son-in-law, Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, and Mehmet Ali Yalcindag, a Trump family friend involved in developing the Trump towers in Turkey;[9] Erdogan himself personally insisted to President Trump that the Halkbank investigation be shut down on at least two occasions, November 1, 2018 at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, and on a telephone call on December 14, 2018. Richard Pilger, director of the Election Crimes Branch at the DOJ Criminal Division, stepped down from that position in protest hours later. [106] On May 2, the department conducted a filing with the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to nullify the entire law, arguing that the removal of the provision on individual mandate results in the entire law becoming unconstitutional. Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein themselves concluded that the evidence did not establish obstruction of justice beyond reasonable doubt, and made the decision not to press the charge; "Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and I have concluded that the evidence developed during the Special Counsel's investigation is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense. Career Earnings of Every Top NFL Pick Since 2000, 8 of the Most Notorious Music Rights Battles of All Time. [113], In December 2019, Barr said that communities that do not show the "respect and support that law enforcement deserves ... might find themselves without the police protection they need. 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