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William Barr

U.S. Attorney General (2019 - Present)

Attorney General, United States Department of Justice (2019 - Present)

Quick Facts
Personal Details

Education

  • JD, George Washington University, 1977
  • MA, Government/Chinese Studies, Columbia University, 1973
  • AB, Columbia University, 1971

Professional Experience

  • JD, George Washington University, 1977
  • MA, Government/Chinese Studies, Columbia University, 1973
  • AB, Columbia University, 1971
  • Former Partner, Shaw, Pittman, Potts & Trowbridge
  • Of Counsel, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, 2009, 2017-2019
  • Executive Vice President/General Counsel, Verizon Communications, 2000-2008
  • Executive Vice President/General Counsel, GTE Corporation, 1994-2000
  • Staff Member, White House Domestic Policy, President Ronald Reagan, 1982-1983
  • Law Clerk, Judge Malcolm Wilkey, United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, 1978
  • Served, Central Intelligence Agency, 1973-1977

Political Experience

  • JD, George Washington University, 1977
  • MA, Government/Chinese Studies, Columbia University, 1973
  • AB, Columbia University, 1971
  • Former Partner, Shaw, Pittman, Potts & Trowbridge
  • Of Counsel, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, 2009, 2017-2019
  • Executive Vice President/General Counsel, Verizon Communications, 2000-2008
  • Executive Vice President/General Counsel, GTE Corporation, 1994-2000
  • Staff Member, White House Domestic Policy, President Ronald Reagan, 1982-1983
  • Law Clerk, Judge Malcolm Wilkey, United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, 1978
  • Served, Central Intelligence Agency, 1973-1977
  • Attorney General, United States Department of Justice, 1991-1993, 2019-present
  • Confirmed by the United States Senate, Attorney General, United States Department of Justice, February 14, 2019
  • Nominated by President Donald J. Trump, Attorney General, United States Department of Justice, December 7, 2018
  • Deputy Attorney General, United States Department of Justice, 1990–1991
  • Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel, United States Department of Justice, 1989–1990
Articles

'Focused on Others': Barr Says He Doesn't Envision Investigations of Biden, Obama

May 19, 2020

WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General William Barr said Monday that he did not expect an investigation into the origins of the FBI’s Russia investigation to lead to criminal probes of either President Donald Trump’s Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, or former President Barack Obama. Trump has stated without evidence that he believes Obama committed unspecified crimes as president, repeatedly tweeting, “OBAMAGATE!” The claims have become a rallying cry among Trump supporters, while Democrats view it as a desperate attempt to shift the focus from the president’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak and the nation’s soaring unemployment. Barr, speaking Monday at an unrelated news conference and responding to a question about Trump’s allegations, insisted that the Justice Department would not be swayed by political pressure to investigate the president’s opponents and that the “criminal justice system will not be used for partisan political ends.” Barr’s comments come as Democrats and some former law enforcement officials have accused the attorney general of politicizing decisions and doing Trump’s bidding at the Justice Department. That criticism was stepped up two weeks ago when the department moved to dismiss charges against Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who had pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. “We live in a very divided country right now, and I think that it is critical that we have an election where the American people are allowed to make a decision, a choice, between President Trump and Vice President Biden based on a robust debate of policy issues,” Barr said. “And we cannot allow this process to be hijacked by efforts to drum up criminal investigations of either candidate.” Barr repeated his belief that “what happened to the president” as a result of the FBI’s investigation into whether his 2016 campaign conspired with Russia was “abhorrent” and a “grave injustice.” He has appointed John Durham, the U.S. Attorney for Connecticut, to investigate whether crimes were committed as intelligence and law enforcement officials examined Russian election interference. But his comments Monday seemed designed at least in part to temper expectations among some Trump supporters that the investigation could ensnare Biden or Obama. He also pointedly noted that, as attorney general, he must approve any effort to pursue a criminal investigation of a presidential candidate, and that the U.S. Supreme Court held just this month that not all abuses of power are criminal in nature. “Whatever their level of involvement, based on the information I have today, I don’t expect Mr. Durham’s work will lead to a criminal investigation of either man,” Barr said, referring to Obama and Biden. “Our concern over potential criminality is focused on others.” He added: “This cannot be and it will not be a tit-for-tat exercise. We are not going to lower the standards just to achieve a result.” Demands by Trump allies for investigations into Biden and Obama escalated in the last week after the president’s top intelligence official declassified a list related to the Flynn investigation. The list showed requests from Biden and other senior Obama administration officials to disclose to them the identity of an American whose name had been concealed in intelligence reports documenting surveillance of foreign targets. That American was revealed to be Flynn. Trump supporters have cast the requests, known as unmaskings, as evidence of criminal conduct. But umaskings are a common procedure, done when officials believe that receiving the concealed identity is vital to understanding the intelligence report. Thousands of requests are made each year, and the first few years of Trump’s administration have featured more requests than the final stretch of Obama’s tenure. Asked later about Barr’s comments about Obama and Biden, Trump told reporters he was surprised because he believed the men “knew everything that was happening” and were involved in the “takedown of a president.” “He’s a great, honorable man and he’s going to do a very honorable job,” Trump said of Barr, “but I am surprised only in that I have no doubt. Personally, I have no doubt. But he may have another feeling. I have no doubt that they were involved in it.” ____ Associated Press writer Darlene Superville in Washington contributed to this report.Source: https://www.realclearpolitics.com/

Sullivan Lauds Barr's Missing Indigenous Persons Effort, Continued Focus on Alaska

Nov. 22, 2019

U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) today applauded U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr's announcement of a new national strategy to address missing and murdered Native Americans. The Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons (MMIP) Initiative will establish coordinators in the offices of eleven U.S. Attorneys tasked with developing protocols for a more coordinated law enforcement response to missing persons cases. Additionally, the plan authorizes the deployment of the FBI's most advanced response capabilities, improved data collection and analysis, and training to support local response efforts. "No U.S. attorney general in history has shown greater commitment to the safety and well-being of indigenous people in Alaska than Bill Barr," said Senator Sullivan. "The initiatives being undertaken and support being offered by Attorney General Barr and the Trump Justice Department are simply unprecedented. I believe his meetings with Alaska tribal leaders and visits to some of our most challenged villages this summer had a lasting impact on the attorney general. He is clearly determined to put the full weight of the federal government behind addressing the lack of justice for missing indigenous persons and safety in many rural communities. I want to thank Attorney General Barr for launching this comprehensive missing persons initiative that can bring hope to so many Alaskans who've mourned the loss of loved ones without answers and without justice being served." "American Indian and Alaska Native people suffer from unacceptable and disproportionately high levels of violence, which can have lasting impacts on families and communities. Native American women face particularly high rates of violence, with at least half suffering sexual or intimate-partner violence in their lifetime. Too many of these families have experienced the loss of loved ones who went missing or were murdered," said Attorney General Barr. "This important initiative will further strengthen the federal, state, and tribal law enforcement response to these continuing problems." The launch of the MMIP Initiative comes just one month after Attorney General Barr's announcement at the annual Alaska Federation of Natives Convention, in Fairbanks, of $42 million for Alaska Native tribes, tribal consortiums, and shelters to increase law enforcement presence and improve public safety in the state's rural communities, with an additional $7 million being sent to the Denali Commission to tackle this issue in the form of micro-grants. And, in June, Barr declared a law enforcement emergency for rural Alaska following his visit to a number of communities. Barr's emergency declaration provided another $10.5 million in resources dedicated to training and equipping rural law enforcement officers, acquiring mobile holding cells, and funding 20 officer positions. The initiative mirrors much of the efforts of Savanna's Act, legislation introduced by Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and cosponsored by Sullivan. Murkowski's legislation was incorporated into the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) that was introduced by Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Sullivan earlier this week.