The Atlantic

As Good an Attorney General as We’re Likely to Get

William Barr’s statements raise serious questions, but he appears far more qualified than the other candidates that Trump reportedly considered for the post.
Source: Evan Vucci / AP

It is better to have an attorney general nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate in an undoubtedly legal fashion than to have an acting attorney general serving in circumstances of dubious legality.

It is better to have an attorney general who is steeped in the traditions and culture of the Justice Department than to have an acting attorney general who is understood at the department to be operating as the “eyes and ears” of a president who is busily attacking the institution.

It is better to have an attorney general who has run the department before and served with distinction in other senior roles within it than to have an acting attorney general whose experience is limited to a brief stint running a relatively sleepy U.S. Attorney’s Office, and an even briefer stint as the chief of staff to the attorney general.

[Read: Trump picks a Washington insider as his next attorney general]

And it is better to have an attorney general with a long-standing professional.

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