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Department of Justice
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 14, 2019

William P. Barr Confirmed As 85th Attorney General of the United States

President Donald J. Trump participates in swearing-in of William P. Barr administered by U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts on February 14, 2019.  Attorney General Barr's wife, Christine, holds the Bible.

Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour

President Donald J. Trump participates in swearing-in of William P. Barr administered by U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts on February 14, 2019.  Attorney General Barr's wife, Christine, holds the Bible.

Today, William P. Barr was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to be the 85th Attorney General of the United States. Following the vote, President Donald J. Trump participated in the swearing-in of Mr. Barr during a ceremony in the Oval Office of the White House, where U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts administered the oath of office. Mr. Barr’s wife, his three daughters and their spouses, and his grandchildren attended the ceremony. Mr. Barr joins John Crittenden (1841 and 1850-1853) as one of only two people in U.S. history to serve twice as Attorney General.

Mr. Barr is rejoining the Department of Justice where he previously served as the 77th Attorney General of the United States from 1991 to 1993 under President George H.W. Bush. Mr. Barr also served as the Deputy Attorney General from 1990 to 1991 and as the Assistant Attorney General of the Office of Legal Counsel from 1989 to 1990. While serving at the Department, Mr. Barr helped create programs and strategies to reduce violent crime and was responsible for establishing new enforcement policies in a number of areas including financial institutions, civil rights, and antitrust merger guidelines. Mr. Barr also led the Department’s response to the Savings & Loan crisis; oversaw the investigation of the Pan Am 103 bombing; directed the successful response to the Talladega prison uprising and hostage taking; and coordinated counter-terrorism activities during the First Gulf War.

Most recently, Mr. Barr served as Of Counsel at Kirkland & Ellis. Before his work at Kirkland & Ellis, he served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel for GTE Corporation from 1994 until 2000 and as Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Verizon from 2000 to 2008.

Mr. Barr served as a law clerk under Judge Malcolm Wilkey of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and from 1982 to 1983, served on the White House Domestic Policy Staff under President Ronald Reagan. He received his A.B. in government in 1971 and his M.A. in government and Chinese studies in 1973, both from Columbia University. From 1973 to 1977, Mr. Barr served in the Central Intelligence Agency before receiving his J.D. with highest honors from George Washington University Law School in 1977.

The Department of Justice welcomes back Attorney General Barr and looks forward to his leadership in upholding the rule of law and protecting the rights of all Americans.

Topic(s): 
Office and Personnel Updates
Press Release Number: 
19-124
Updated February 14, 2019