Congress voted on Feb. 15 to appoint William Barr as the attorney general of the U.S., replacing Jeff Sessions, who stepped down in November.
This won’t be Barr’s first rodeo; he served as deputy attorney general from 1990-1991 and as attorney general from 1991-1993 under former President George H. W. Bush.
The most memorable part of Barr’s time in the Justice Department was his input on and support for Bush’s pardoning of six government officials who took part in the Iran-Contra affair.
The Iran-Contra affair was a political scandal that occurred during the second term of former President Ronald Reagan. The administration facilitated the clandestine sale of arms to Iran, which was under an arms embargo, to fund the Contras, a terrorist group in Nicaragua that sought to overthrow the government. At first this was done legally, but Congress prohibited further sales under the Boland Agreement. In spite of this, the Reagan administration continued the operation until 1987, although it is unclear whether Reagan himself was aware of the ongoing operations.
Discovery of the affair led to investigations by Congress and by the three-person, Reagan-appointed Tower Commission. Fourteen administration officials were indicted, which resulted in 11 convictions and six pardons by Bush.
“I went over and told the president I thought he should not only pardon Caspar Weinberger, but while he was at it, he should pardon about five others,” Barr told historians from the University of Virginia’s Miller Center in 2001.
The men Barr helped pardon subverted the will of Congress and attempted to wage a proxy war against the lawful Nicaraguan government to stem the flow of communism.
Barr, the attorney general of the U.S., used his position of power to ensure criminals being investigated for abusing public trust and subverting the rule of law would get away with their crimes.
This is worrying now considering Barr is responsible for the ongoing affairs of the Mueller investigation seeing as he didn’t have to recuse himself from it as Sessions did before him.
It seems like a strong coincidence that he was chosen now, especially after the high profile arrests of people such as Roger Stone and Paul Manafort.
With Republicans holding a majority in the Senate, there wasn’t much anyone could have done to prevent his appointment. That said, people should be wary of Barr because he might just end up orchestrating another miscarriage of justice.