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WASHINGTON, D.C., December 7, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – After a month of speculation, President Donald Trump has selected William Barr to be his new permanent attorney general.
“I want to confirm that Bill Barr, one of the most respected jurists in the country, highly respected lawyer, former attorney general under the Bush administration, a terrific man, a terrific person, a brilliant man,” Trump said Friday, CNN reports. “I did not know him until recently when I went through the process of looking at people and he was my first choice from day one, respected by Republicans and respected by Democrats.”
A veteran of the CIA and Justice Department since the 1970s, Barr has already held the position of Attorney General during the first Bush administration, for which the Senate confirmed him unanimously.
“The president’s selection of Bill Barr as the next attorney general is a continuation of this law and order presidency,” said Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, who has been serving in a temporary capacity ever since Trump fired his predecessor Jeff Sessions last month. “Bill is supremely qualified, highly respected at the Department of Justice, and will continue to support the men and women in blue. I commend the president for this excellent choice.”
Trump asked for Sessions’ resignation the day after the 2018 midterm elections, in which Republicans expanded their control of the Senate but lost the House of Representatives. The president had long been dissatisfied with the pro-life appointee’s handling of both the Russia investigation and scandals involving the previous administration.
Some speculated that Trump waited to fire Sessions until he knew whether he’d have enough senators to confirm a satisfying replacement.
Fox News reports that Barr shares some of the president’s criticism of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and defended Trump’s firing of former FBI Director James Comey. More importantly to pro-lifers, Barr is also a conservative who declared during his previous confirmation hearings that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided.
At the time, Barr told the Senate Judiciary Committee that, however broad a constitutional right to privacy may be, “I do not believe it extends to abortion.” Then-Sen. Joe Biden, who went on to become President Barack Obama’s pro-abortion Vice President, complimented Barr for bucking tradition and giving a “candid answer” on the subject.
Gary Bauer, a veteran pro-life and conservative activist who served with Barr in the Reagan administration, told the Daily Beast Barr is a “really good” guy. “He served without significant controversy, although he was seen and is still seen as a staunch conservative,” Hot Air's Ed Morrissey writes.
Trump could not “have made a better choice than Bill Barr for AG,” former federal prosecutor and National Review legal expert Andrew McCarthy said of the news. “He is simply excellent – supremely qualified, confident, smart, steeped in the honorable traditions of DOJ, and an all around good guy. He can right the ship and navigate through the storms.”
Some have speculated that, on top of Barr’s qualifications and alignment with the president, Trump nominated him in part to capitalize on the Senate’s previous bipartisan approval and widespread praise for Barr’s former boss, the recently-departed President George H.W. Bush.