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Nominating a Crony, Loyalist or Old Buddy for Attorney General is a U.S. Presidential Tradition

December 15, 2018 / Austin Sarat

With President Donald Trump’s announcement that he would nominate former Attorney General William P. Barr to fill the position again, Trump chose a prominent Republican lawyer with extensive government experience to run the Justice Department. Barr has publicly supported some of Trump’s criticisms of the Mueller investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. It’s not known how Barr would reflect those positions in his interactions with the investigation. But when Donald Trump announced Jeff Sessions' nomination as his attorney general, the position was seen as a reward for Sessions' early endorsement of the president’s 2016 campaign. And the president wanted loyalty in return.