Donald Trump’s Next Attorney General: A Careful Choice

In a long run, President Trump’s first Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, a former United States Senator from Alabama, has proven to be inefficient, to say the least.

As I pointed out in several other occasions, Sessions, although an early supporter of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, has contributed, directly or indirectly, to several major setbacks for the Trump administration, including (but not limited to) the “Russia collusion” investigation against the president, a mild stance against the corrupt political elite of Washington, DC and Hillary Clinton, and narrowing the Republican fragile majority in the Senate; see: here and here.

On November 7, 2018, Sessions submitted a letter of resignation to Chief of Staff John Kelly at President Trump’s request.

Matthew Whitaker, the current Acting United States Attorney General and former Chief of Staff to Sessions from September 2017 to November 2018, has encountered criticism from legal scholars and politicians. The legality and constitutionality of his appointment have been questioned for reasons of his selection circumventing Senate confirmation and potential conflicts of interest regarding the Special Counsel “Russia collusion” investigation led by Robert Mueller.

Everybody agrees that any president (and particularly the current one, given the strong political division of society at present) needs a loyalist and confidant at the Department of Justice to carry on efficiently his agenda.

Here’s an idea. Judge Maryanne Barry.

To be more precise, Maryanne Trump Barry, the older sister of the president.

Before everybody goes ballistic, let’s remind ourselves what Bible says: “Judge not, that ye be not judged.”

Judge Barry’s reputation is stellar. In 1983, she was nominated by Republican President Ronald Reagan as a district court judge in Newark, New Jersey. In 1999, she was nominated by Democratic President Bill Clinton, and unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate, for the Third Circuit Court of Appeal. Her reputation on the bench was that of a tough judge with strong command of her courtroom.

In 2004, Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor presented Barry with an award in women excellence. In 2006, Barry testified in support of Judge Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court.

The Democrats cannot object this nomination more than they did it in 1960, when Democratic President-elect John Kennedy appointed Robert Kennedy, his younger brother, attorney general. Despite the fact that, at the time, the choice was controversial even for The New York Times, who called the candidate inexperienced and unqualified, Robert Kennedy performed well during his 1961 to 1964 tenure as Attorney General.

As a lawyer, he gained significant experience conducting investigations against organized crime and the Teamsters, expressed the administration’s commitment to civil rights, used the power of federal agencies to influence U.S. Steel not to institute a price increase, and expressed strong willingness to support the abolition of the death penalty.

As his brother’s confidant and one of the president’s closest White House advisers, Robert Kennedy played an important role in the Berlin Crisis of 1961, oversaw the CIA’s anti-Castro activities after the failed Bay of Pigs invasion and helped develop the strategy during the Cuban Missile Crisis to blockade Cuba instead of initiating a military strike that might have led to nuclear war.

In 1967, The Federal Anti-Nepotism Statute was adopted. However, the statute does not impose de plano (absolute) restrictions to hiring relatives, and provides exceptions related to pay, special circumstances, and preference eligibility.

Trump administration is currently facing similar challenges, nationally and internationally. Therefore, a nomination for the United States Attorney General’s office should be given a serious consideration, without prejudices of any kind.

 

NOTE – A version of the article was published in MEDIUM.

 

TIBERIU DIANU has published several books and a host of articles in law, politics, and post-communist societies. He currently lives and works in Washington, DC and can be followed on MEDIUM.

 

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6 comments to Donald Trump’s Next Attorney General: A Careful Choice

  • MARCELA DESCULTU

    People around the president are essential for him in accomplishing the political agenda which he has been elected for. Family members are, usually, more loyal and reliable.

  • MARCELA DESCULTU

    Jeff Sessions, Trump’s former Attorney General and one of the president’s earliest supporters, was loyal, but not completely reliable. He recused himself in the “Russia collusion” hoax concocted by the Washington, DC swampy Uniparty elite (Democrats and RINOs). For this reason we are still having, two years after the 2016 elections, a phony anti-presidential investigation.

  • MARCELA DESCULTU

    Aside from the phony “Russia collusion” investigation, the President lost a very important Senate seat in Alabama, which was Sessions’. Let alone the fact that Sessions was never aggressive in prosecuting Hillary Clinton for her notorious illegalities.

  • DANIELA

    Given the current circumstances, when Democrats take control of the House and are already threatening to drag the President in dozens investigations, the new Attorney General should be extremely loyal and reliable to the President.

  • DANIELA

    The author comes with a very original solution, not unthinkable, for Trump’s older sister, Judge Maryanne Barry. Judge Barry has had a remarkable career in the Judiciary. She was nominated as a judge at various levels by Republican President Ronald Reagan and Democratic President Bill Clinton, and confirmed unanimously by the U.S. Congress.

  • DANIELA

    Democrats were absolutely fine confirming Democratic President John Kennedy’s younger brother, Robert Kennedy, as Attorney General in 1960, with good results. So, there is no reason for anybody to get shocked now either. Currently, President Trump is facing the same situation. Is this solution unthinkable? Of course not.

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