The Senate on Feb. 14 confirmed William Barr as the 85th attorney general of the United States, succeeding Jeff Sessions, who stepped down in November. Barr joins John Crittenden (1841 and 1850-1853) as one of only two people in U.S. history to serve twice as attorney general.
Barr rejoins 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. 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 Justice Department, 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 anti-trust merger guidelines. Barr also led the Justice 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, 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.
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.