Trump attorney general pick a prolific donor to GOP candidates, groups: report

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump watching 'very closely' as Portland braces for dueling protests WaPo calls Trump admin 'another threat' to endangered species Are Democrats turning Trump-like? MORE's new pick for attorney general, William Barr, has been a prolific donor to GOP candidates and groups, donating more than $567,000 in the past 20 years, according to a Washington Post analysis

No other attorneys general have donated to partisan causes at the same level since 1980, when the earliest available online records became available, the Post analysis found.

Former Attorney General Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderGOP governor vetoes New Hampshire bill to create independent redistricting commission Why target Tucker Carlson? It's part of the left's war on the right The Hill's Campaign Report: Obama legacy under spotlight after Detroit debates MORE, who served under former President Obama, came the closest, donating $37,000 to Democrats before he took office in 2009, according to the newspaper. Holder was also a campaign bundler for Obama, raising over $50,000.

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Barr previously served as attorney general under former President George H.W. Bush in the early 1990s. Since leaving office in 1993, he and his wife, Christine Barr, have been reliable donors for Republican candidates and groups, according to federal records reviewed by the Post.

Barr contributed to the presidential campaigns of George W. Bush in 2000, John McCainJohn Sidney McCainThe Hill's Morning Report — Recession fears climb and markets dive — now what? Trump makes rare trip to Clinton state, hoping to win back New Hampshire Graham promises ObamaCare repeal if Trump, Republicans win in 2020 MORE in 2008, Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyA US-UK free trade agreement can hold the Kremlin to account Ex-CIA chief worries campaigns falling short on cybersecurity Overnight Defense: US, Russia tensions grow over nuclear arms | Highlights from Esper's Asia trip | Trump strikes neutral tone on Hong Kong protests | General orders ethics review of special forces MORE in 2012 and President Trump in 2016. He donated $2,700 to Trump’s presidential campaign and $55,000 to Republican Jeb Bush's campaign. 

Barr also donated $50,000 total in 2016 for the GOP House and Senate campaign committees, though he did not donate to the Republican National Committee.

"Bill Barr might be the single most qualified nominee for U.S. Attorney General in the history of the country," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement emailed to The Hill on Wednesday. "That’s why he has earned bipartisan praise over decades of service."

"To question his independence because he supported the President in whose cabinet he will serve is insulting and entirely inconsistent with how Attorneys General during the Obama Administration were treated," she added.

A White House official told the Post that it is "absurd for critics to focus on financial support he provided to his party, which is consistent with what attorneys general have done previously." The official also pointed out that Barr made the contributions during his time as a career prosecutor, not as a political appointee.

Barr has recently criticized parts of Mueller's probe and defended Trump's decision to fire James ComeyJames Brien ComeyBarr predicts progressive prosecutors will lead to 'more crime, more victims' James Comey shows our criminal justice system works as intended Trump says he's 'very strongly' considering commuting Rod Blagojevich's sentence MORE as FBI director.

If confirmed, Barr will replace Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsLewandowski says he's 'happy' to testify before House panel The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and the new Israel-'squad' controversy Nadler subpoenas Lewandowski, former White House official for testimony MORE, who resigned as attorney general at Trump’s request in early November after months of attacks from the president over his recusal from the Russia investigation. 

Barr and his wife donated $27,600 in 2008 to Rep. Bob GoodlatteRobert (Bob) William GoodlatteImmigrant advocacy groups shouldn't be opposing Trump's raids Top Republican releases full transcript of Bruce Ohr interview It’s time for Congress to pass an anti-cruelty statute MORE (R-Va.), the House Judiciary Committee chairman who has led a probe into the Justice Department’s handling of the Russia investigation, the Post noted. 

The former attorney general has also donated around $33,000 to sitting Republican lawmakers, including Rep. Barbara ComstockBarbara Jean ComstockProgressives face steep odds in ousting incumbent Democrats K Street giants scoop up coveted ex-lawmakers GOP lawmaker introduces bill to stop revolving door MORE (Va.) and Sen. Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonCongress must address gender gap in nominations to military service academies GOP senators press Google on reports it developed a smart speaker with Huawei Sunday shows - Mass shootings grab the spotlight MORE (Ark.).

Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsCook Political Report moves Susan Collins Senate race to 'toss up' The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and the new Israel-'squad' controversy Trump crosses new line with Omar, Tlaib, Israel move MORE (R-Maine) last week called for Barr to pledge his independence during his confirmation hearing. 

"That would be one of the issues that I certainly would want to make sure, and that he recognizes that not only that Mr. Mueller has to be allowed to complete his investigation unimpeded but also that prosecutorial decisions that are made by the department need to be independent,” Collins said.

His confirmation hearing has not yet been scheduled.

Updated: 12:03 p.m.