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

President TrumpDonald John TrumpOklahoma City Thunder players kneel during anthem despite threat from GOP state lawmaker Microsoft moving forward with talks to buy TikTok after conversation with Trump Controversial Trump nominee placed in senior role after nomination hearing canceled 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 HolderObamas discuss pandemic, voting, anxiety and community in new podcast Joy Reid debut delivers 2.6 million viewers for MSNBC The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Facebook — Republicans rejigger summer convention plans 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 McCainAsian American voters could make a difference in 2020 Budowsky: Trump October surprise could devastate GOP The Memo: Biden seeks to peel older voters from Trump MORE in 2008, Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyStimulus checks debate now focuses on size, eligibility CNN chyron says 'nah' to Trump claim about Russia Unemployment benefits to expire as coronavirus talks deadlock 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 ComeyFBI officials hid copies of Russia probe documents fearing Trump interference: book Sally Yates to testify as part of GOP probe into Russia investigation Comey to release second book, 'Saving Justice: Truth, Transparency, and Trust' in January MORE as FBI director.

If confirmed, Barr will replace Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsThe 'pitcher of warm spit' — Veepstakes and the fate of Mike Pence FBI officials hid copies of Russia probe documents fearing Trump interference: book Tuberville breaks DC self-quarantine policy to campaign 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 GoodlattePress: Trump's final presidential pardon: himself USCIS chief Cuccinelli blames Paul Ryan for immigration inaction Immigrant advocacy groups shouldn't be opposing Trump's raids 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 ComstockLive coverage: House holds third day of public impeachment hearings Gun debate raises stakes in battle for Virginia legislature Progressives face steep odds in ousting incumbent Democrats MORE (Va.) and Sen. Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonOn The Trail: The first signs of a post-Trump GOP The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Brawls on Capitol Hill on Barr and COVID-19 Hillicon Valley: Tech CEOs brace for House grilling | Senate GOP faces backlash over election funds | Twitter limits Trump Jr.'s account MORE (Ark.).

Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsOn The Trail: The first signs of a post-Trump GOP Frustration builds as negotiators struggle to reach COVID-19 deal Shaheen, Chabot call for action on new round of PPP loans 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.