Report: Trump Originally Wanted His AG Pick To Be His Criminal Defense Atty

U.S. Department of Justice/Public Domain

President Trump asked William Barr to be his lead attorney on the Russia investigation last year, but Barr declined.

Before William Barr was under consideration to replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions, President Donald Trump had asked the Washington D.C. lawyer to represent his interests in the Russia investigation, according to Yahoo News.

In late spring 2017, President Trump was having a hard time finding a topflight lawyer to spearhead his defense in the sprawling Russian investigation conducted by the new special counsel Robert Mueller. Some of the most prominent litigators in Washington had turned aside overtures to represent the president in the case, expressing concerns that he would not listen to their advice anyway.

Around that time, sources tell Yahoo News, White House officials reached out to a man they thought would be an ideal candidate: William P. Barr, the attorney general under President George H.W. Bush. An outspoken conservative, Barr had gotten on Trump’s radar screen that spring after he had written a newspaper op-ed vigorously defending the president’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey. At one point, Barr was ushered into a brief White House meeting with Trump, who asked him if he was interested in the job, according to a source who was present for the meeting. Barr demurred. He had other obligations, he said. He would have to think about it.

Trump and his advisers brought up the prospect again this year, following the departure of lead lawyer on the Russia investigation John Dowd, though Trump tapped Rudy Giuliani for the job.

More here.