Bush 41 AG top candidate to replace Sessions

William "Bill" Barr, a former attorney general under President George H.W. Bush, is emerging as a consensus candidate to succeed Jeff Sessions as attorney general, two sources familiar with President Donald Trump's thinking tell CNN.

Posted: Dec 7, 2018 7:44 AM
Updated: Dec 7, 2018 7:53 AM

William "Bill" Barr, a former attorney general under President George H.W. Bush, is emerging as a consensus candidate to succeed Jeff Sessions as attorney general, two sources familiar with President Donald Trump's thinking tell CNN.

A third source familiar with the process said if Trump offered the position to Barr, he would be willing to accept.

Trump's consideration of a new attorney general comes during a critical time for special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, of which the next Justice Department chief will inherit oversight. Barr, 68, has previously offered mixed opinions about the investigation, having praised Mueller but also publicly criticizing political donations made by several members of his team.

The Washington Post first reported that Barr is the leading candidate. Sources cautioned to CNN, however, that Trump makes the final decision.

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.

The former attorney general hasn't shied away from weighing in on Mueller's investigation. 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 last year about the donations that some of Mueller's team members made to Democrats.

"In my view, prosecutors who make political contributions are identifying fairly strongly with a political party ... I would have liked to see him have more balance on this group," he said in July 2017.

Barr also defended Trump's decision to fire former FBI Director James Comey, who was criticized for flouting Justice Department protocols when he announced in July 2016 that he wouldn't recommend charges against Hillary Clinton for mishandling classified info during her time as secretary of state.

"I think it is quite understandable that the administration would not want an FBI director who did not recognize established limits on his powers," Barr wrote in a Washington Post op-ed in May 2017. "It is telling that none of the president's critics are challenging the decision on the merits."

The prospect of Barr taking over the Justice Department was well-received by some leading members of Congress in both parties Thursday.

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, a Texas Republican who sits on the Judiciary Committee, called Barr an "interesting pick."

"I think getting the next nominee confirmed is going to be a little bit of a challenge," he said. "(Barr) may be the kind of person who would be easier to confirm."

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, said she was unfamiliar with Barr's views but encouraged by a suggestion that he was an "establishment" Republican.

"I would hope (Trump) would pick someone who would be by the book and not by the politics," Feinstein said.

CNN reported late last month that Barr was among several potential candidates to succeed Sessions.

At the time, CNN reported that Trump was considering tapping the assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's Antitrust Division, Makan Delrahim, to succeed acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker. At the time, White House officials said Trump was in no rush to nominate a permanent successor to Sessions, whom he fired November 7. Instead, Trump was telling confidantes he was happy to leave Whitaker in place while he mulled his choices.

Other names that have been floated as possible replacements for Sessions include Rep. John Ratcliffe of Texas, a former federal prosecutor, as well John Michael Luttig, a former US Court of Appeals judge, Justice Department official and current general counsel at Boeing. One former White House official said late last month that Luttig was a strong possibility, though he had not met with the President. A second source close to Luttig told CNN he was considered for the role of FBI director after Comey was fired in spring 2017.

Huntsville
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 66°
Florence
Clear
67° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 67°
Fayetteville
Scattered Clouds
64° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 64°
Decatur
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 68°
Scottsboro
Few Clouds
64° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 64°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 153016

Reported Deaths: 2633
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson22400372
Mobile14282314
Tuscaloosa9983132
Montgomery9691196
Madison899992
Shelby703560
Lee643966
Baldwin637567
Marshall426748
Calhoun410259
Etowah402049
Morgan394532
Houston363132
DeKalb316727
Elmore309552
St. Clair279742
Limestone269227
Walker268092
Talladega255034
Cullman225823
Lauderdale206340
Autauga199928
Franklin199131
Jackson199114
Colbert190627
Russell19023
Dallas185227
Blount183823
Chilton180531
Escambia170928
Covington164729
Coffee16409
Dale162551
Pike130212
Chambers127343
Tallapoosa127286
Clarke126716
Marion104229
Butler99840
Barbour9819
Marengo96721
Winston89913
Geneva8337
Pickens80317
Randolph79514
Lawrence79230
Bibb78913
Hale74529
Cherokee71514
Clay70712
Lowndes69927
Bullock63517
Henry6316
Monroe6279
Washington62112
Crenshaw59030
Perry5796
Wilcox55712
Conecuh55413
Fayette54712
Macon52919
Cleburne5247
Sumter46421
Lamar4575
Choctaw38612
Greene33316
Coosa1963
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 232061

Reported Deaths: 2922
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby34370552
Davidson29801325
Knox1183387
Hamilton11097102
Rutherford11031106
Williamson661848
Sumner5636107
Wilson440253
Putnam411053
Montgomery385751
Out of TN379435
Unassigned37653
Madison361378
Bradley340821
Sullivan318844
Sevier314920
Blount310231
Washington308043
Maury307435
Robertson248539
Hamblen232743
Tipton219222
Gibson205437
Dyer202326
Hardeman178732
Coffee176020
Trousdale17407
Obion163617
Bedford159020
Dickson156218
Wayne15607
Greene155650
Anderson155513
Loudon154010
Fayette152022
McMinn150832
Cumberland148924
Lawrence146217
Jefferson145818
Weakley143425
Carter141532
Henderson135425
Monroe134823
Warren13399
Hardin131319
Lauderdale130818
Macon125724
Franklin121115
Haywood119025
Roane11857
Overton111211
Johnson11046
Hawkins109923
Carroll109324
McNairy108825
White107614
Marshall10528
Rhea104816
Cheatham96911
Lake9683
Smith93313
Bledsoe9244
Cocke92212
Giles89234
Campbell8647
Fentress8497
Lincoln8012
Crockett76620
Henry74110
Hickman73913
Chester71214
Marion6999
DeKalb67216
Decatur62511
Grainger5314
Grundy5168
Claiborne4956
Union4932
Polk46913
Jackson4165
Humphreys4094
Morgan4086
Houston38914
Benton3879
Cannon3862
Unicoi3641
Clay36312
Lewis3502
Sequatchie3294
Scott3244
Stewart3087
Meigs2944
Moore2452
Pickett2445
Perry2041
Van Buren1911
Hancock1123

Community Events