WASHINGTON (AP) – When William Barr became Attorney General in the early 1990s, he was candid about some of America's biggest problems – violent crime, drug addiction, teenage pregnancy. The "Age of Aquarius", he warned, had given way to babies and broken families, misery and misery.
The rhetoric reflected the deep-rooted personal beliefs of Barr and was typically a chat for a conservative republican at a time when family values and hard-on-crime positions determined the party.
Now Barr, as President of President Donald Trump for Attorney General, is ready to return to the same job in a dramatically different Washington.
Republicans have just gone through the biggest review of criminal law in a generation and have relaxed prison sentences. Family values are rarely discussed while Trump, twice divorced and accused of cases and sexual misconduct, is in the White House. Serving Trump, who is faced with intensifying the investigation of the department of Barr would lead, it is unlikely to compare with his tenure under President George H.W. Bush.
Trump demands loyalty and breaks with the practice of shielding law enforcement from political influence. He publicly publishes the leadership of the Ministry of Justice and deposed his first Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, for not protecting him in the Russia investigation. Although the pressure on Barr will undoubtedly be enormous when confirmed, allies describe him as driven by his dedication to the department and are clear about what is going to happen.
"I have no doubt that he is aware of any unique or unusual challenges that this Ministry of Justice, his Ministry of Justice, will take on," said his old friend and former colleague Chuck Cooper, who is also the Sessions lawyer. is. "He approaches these challenges as an official who loves his country and who answers the service call." That is the spirit in which Bill Barr accepts these challenges. "
In this January 9, 2019, the Advocate General of President Donald Trump, William Barr, meets Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., At Capitol Hill in Washington. As Attorney General, a quarter-century ago, William Barr promoted more police and prisons to deal with violence against American cities. He complained about a 'moral crisis & # 39; and increasing secularization. (AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite)
The first challenge comes Tuesday when the Democrats press him at his hearing of the Senate judge on his broad view of the presidential power, including an unsolicited memo he sent the Ministry of Justice last year, in which he criticized the investigation of special counsel Robert Mueller about whether the president had tried to hinder Russia's investigation.
Barr will probably win a confirmation and, given his experience in the past, will probably not face challenges over his qualifications like other Trump nominees. Republicans control the Senate and can get some support from democrats who would like to get rid of Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker. Democrats wanted Whitaker to step aside to oversee Mueller's investigation into ties between Russia and the Trump campaign, stating Whitaker's criticism of the investigation before joining the department.
Barr would inherit that research if it made critical decisions and if Mueller's most prominent protector in the department, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, expected to leave.
Although the handling of Barr's investigation is the most pressing issue he faces, it will be just as important to stabilize a division that is struck by leadership forces – as well as his own dynamism with Trump.
Although both Trump and Barr are simple native New Yorkers and generation contemporaries, the two seem to have little in common.
Barr, 68, is a practicing Catholic and ancient creature of Washington – an alumnus of the CIA who took the ranking of the Ministry of Justice, in connection with established establishment figures who were defamed by Trump and legal reasoning behind some of the most resulting actions of that time, including the invasion of Panama.
Even if Barr does not make any drastic policy changes, he may have to adapt to the changing winds of the White House or his fellow Republicans on Capitol Hill.
For example, the government recently supported the legislation that reduces mandatory minimum penalties and gives judges more freedom to condemn some drug offenders.
Barr will reassure lawmakers that he supports the law, according to a person who is close to the confirmation process and who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations. That is a striking deviation from Barr's insistence as attorney general, in the light of murder figures that undermine the totals of today, that "we are not punishable" about violent crimes.
Recipients of mandatory minimum penalties earn them lavishly, he once said, while using the mythical notion of sympathetic and & # 39; unfortunate victims of the criminal justice system & # 39; & # 39; if a myth condemns, languishes longer in prison than they deserve.
Barrs' law enforcement stance is so deeply rooted, a friend said, that as a student at Columbia University in the 1960s, he brought police coffee to meet protesters.
"He really is a law-and-order man, he believes the primary responsibility of the government is to preserve the safety of its citizens," said old friend Andrew G. McBride, a former colleague of the Department of Justice.
As attorney general, Barr linked violent crimes with a "moral crisis" in society, rejecting high divorce rates and drug addiction, and restraining the increasing secularism he said prevented children from wrong.
"The prophets of the sexual revolution and drug culture proclaimed the dawning of a new age of maturity and freedom, of peace and love," he said at a Chicago event in 1992. "That's not what happened – not at a distance Today we can see the grim harvest of the Aquarian era: broken families, venereal diseases, teenage pregnancies, crack babies, we see misery and misery, confusion and loneliness. "
In speeches he repeatedly spotted Woody Allen's justification – "The heart wants what it wants" – for his relationship with the adopted daughter of partner Mia Farrow.
Try that reasoning, he said, "as a basis for any human behavior and you will immediately see the danger and moral corruption it brings."
The perspective could create an uneasy coexistence with a president who is known for deviations and embellishments and who, according to public prosecutors, send hush money payments to hide claims from extramarital relationships with two women.
It is not clear how often he and Trump deal with each other and under what circumstances. Friends insist that he will not bend easily for the will of the president, and describes Barr as a principled, smart and strong will.
"Bill is not shrinking violet," said former colleague Timothy Flanigan. "Bill is hard, hard in a good way."
Barr did not campaign for the job and even suggested other names to the White House instead of his own, one friend. Returning as an attorney general to stabilize the department could be a kind of career.
"He can do this without worrying about career development," said C. Boyden Gray, White House adviser to George H.W. Bush. "If he was a lot younger, I'm not sure if he would have done it."
Attorney General-nominated William Barr leaves after a meeting with Senator John Cornyn, R-Texas, on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, January 9, 2019 in Washington. (AP Photo / Alex Brandon)
President Donald Trump's attorney, William Barr, meets Chairman of the Senate Commission, Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, on Capitol Hill, Washington, Wednesday, January 9, 2019. Barr, who was in the position in the early 1990s, has a confirmation hearing before the senate committee next week and could take place at the Department of Justice, as soon as February, when Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein leaves after Barr has been confirmed. (AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite)
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