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

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump knocks BuzzFeed over Cohen report, points to Russia dossier DNC says it was targeted by Russian hackers after fall midterms BuzzFeed stands by Cohen report: Mueller should 'make clear what he's disputing' 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 HolderHolder: If Trump directed Cohen to lie, impeachment proceedings ‘must begin’ William Barr's only 'flaw' is that he was nominated by Trump Protecting voices of all voters is critical to free and fair elections 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

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 McCainOvernight Defense: Trump unveils new missile defense plan | Dems express alarm | Shutdown hits Day 27 | Trump cancels Pelosi foreign trip | Senators offer bill to prevent NATO withdrawal Bipartisan senators reintroduce bill to prevent Trump from withdrawing from NATO Mark Kelly considering Senate bid as Arizona Dems circle McSally MORE in 2008, Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyThe Senate should host the State of the Union Dem leaders avert censure vote against Steve King GOP reasserts NATO support after report on Trump’s wavering 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 ComeyDems revive impeachment talk after latest Cohen bombshell Dem calls for Cohen to testify before Senate panel over explosive report The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Day 27 of the shutdown | Cohen reportedly paid company to rig online polls, boost his own image | Atlantic publishes ‘Impeach Donald Trump’ cover story MORE as FBI director.

If confirmed, Barr will replace Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsOvernight Health Care: Thousands more migrant children may have been separated | Senate rejects bill to permanently ban federal funds for abortion | Women's March to lobby for 'Medicare for All' Acting AG Whitaker's wife defends him in lengthy email to journalist Watchdog: Thousands more migrant children separated from parents than previously known 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 GoodlatteHouse GOP probe into FBI, DOJ comes to an end Murkowski to reintroduce bill to help abused Native American women FBI hits GOP chairman over push to clear sensitive transcripts by Christmas Eve 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 ComstockDems win Virginia state Senate special election Dem rep asks for asks for pay to be withheld during shutdown New Dem lawmaker hangs trans flag outside office on Capitol Hill MORE (Va.) and Sen. Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonOn The Money: Shutdown Day 26 | Pelosi calls on Trump to delay State of the Union | Cites 'security concerns' | DHS chief says they can handle security | Waters lays out agenda | Senate rejects effort to block Trump on Russia sanctions Senate rejects effort to block Trump on Russia sanctions Overnight Defense: Trump faces blowback over report he discussed leaving NATO | Pentagon extends mission on border | Senate advances measure bucking Trump on Russia sanctions MORE (Ark.).

Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsOvernight Defense: Trump unveils new missile defense plan | Dems express alarm | Shutdown hits Day 27 | Trump cancels Pelosi foreign trip | Senators offer bill to prevent NATO withdrawal McConnell blocks bill to reopen most of government Bipartisan senators reintroduce bill to prevent Trump from withdrawing from NATO 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.