As a child, he attended a Catholic high school, Corpus Christi School, and then the non-denominational Horace Mann School. After high school, he attended Columbia University, where he studied government and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1971. Barr was also an active member of the Sigma Nu Brotherhood. He completed two more years of graduate studies at Columbia University and earned a Master of Arts in Government and Chinese Studies in 1973. While at Columbia University, Barr resisted student protests on campus against the Vietnam War. Barr was born in New York City on May 23, 1950.[16] He received his bachelor`s degree in government (1971) and a master`s degree in sinology and government (1973) from Columbia University. He received his law degree from George Washington University in 1977. During law school, he worked at the Central Intelligence Agency as an analyst. On September 3, 2020, Trump ordered Barr to identify “anarchist jurisdictions,” stating in a memorandum: “It is imperative that the federal government review the use of federal funds by jurisdictions that enable lawlessness, violence, and destruction in American cities.” [170] A few days later, Barr designated New York, Seattle, and Portland, Oregon, as such jurisdictions and suggested that they lose their federal funding because “we cannot allow federal taxpayer dollars to be wasted when the safety of citizens is at stake.” [171] Barr diverted federal resources from homeland security and law enforcement to deal with Antifa, while career law enforcement officials had long concluded that the greatest threat posed by domestic terrorism came from the far right. [172] William Barr`s controversial actions as the United States The attorney general weighed heavily on faculty members at George Washington University School of Law for months — the campus that earned his law degree in 1977 and where he has served as a fundraiser and advisor over the decades. In 1994, Barr became Executive Vice President and General Counsel of GTE Corporation, where he worked for 14 years.

During his tenure, Barr led a successful litigation campaign led by the local telephone industry to achieve deregulation by breaking a number of FCC rules and personally hearing several cases before federal appellate courts and the Supreme Court. [77] [78] In 2000, when GTE merged with Bell Atlantic to form Verizon Communications, Barr became general counsel and executive vice president of Verizon until his retirement in 2008. [79] Barr became a multimillionaire working at GTE and Verizon. In 2001, Barr`s salary was reportedly $1.5 million. [16] Barr is a long-time proponent of the unified executive theory of virtually unlimited presidential authority over the executive branch of U.S. government. [1] [2] [3] In 1989, Barr, as head of the OLC, justified the US invasion of Panama in order to arrest Manuel Noriega. As assistant attorney general, Barr authorized an FBI operation in 1991 to free hostages at Talladega Federal Prison.

An influential advocate of stricter criminal justice policies, Barr, as attorney general, authored The Case for More Incarceration in 1992, in which he advocated for an increase in the rate of incarceration in the United States. [4] On Barr`s advice, President George H. W. Bush pardoned six officials implicated in the Iran-Contra affair in 1992. Barr worked for the CIA from 1971 to 1977 while pursuing graduate studies and law school. [19] He was first hired as a summer intern for two years. [16] While in law school, he was an analyst in the Intelligence Branch from 1973 to 1975, then became an assistant in the Office of the Legislative Counsel, and from 1975 to 1977 in a congressional liaison office. [19] [20] [21] [22] After graduating from law school in 1977, Barr spent a year as a trainee attorney to Judge Malcolm Wilkey at the U.S.

Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. [23] [17] He then joined the law firm of Shaw, Pittman, Potts & Trowbridge (now Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman) from 1978 to 1982 and again from 1983 to 1989,[23] after serving as deputy director of legal policy on the domestic policy staff of the Reagan White House from May 1982 to September 1983. [23] [17] [24] In May 2021, federal judge Amy Berman Jackson ruled that a Justice Department memo dated March 24, 2019[235] must be released without redactions. [236] Previously, Barr said in April 2019 that his decision not to impeach Trump was made “in consultation with the Office of Legal Counsel and other lawyers in the department.” In that lawsuit, the Justice Department argued that since Barr relied on the advice of that memo to make his decision, that memo should not be released without redactions. Jackson rejected that argument after reviewing the unredacted memo, saying Barr could not have made the decision on the memo`s advice because the unredacted memo showed the decision had already been made not to impeach Trump. Furthermore, according to Jackson, the unredacted memo suggested that Barr had no legitimate authority to make an enforcement decision regarding Trump. Jackson concluded that Barr had been “dishonest” to Congress in 2019 and that the Justice Department had been “dishonest with this court” regarding its “decision-making process.” [203] [236] [237] In September 2019, Barr reportedly contacted foreign governments to seek assistance with this investigation, including personal trips to the United Kingdom and Italy to obtain information. At Barr`s request, Trump called the Australian prime minister to ask for his cooperation. [294] [295] Barr was seeking information related to a conspiracy theory circulating among Trump allies in conservative media, claiming that Joseph Mifsud was a Western intelligence official who was allegedly ordered to frame Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos in order to establish a false predicate for the FBI to launch an investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election. On October 2, 2019, Senator Lindsey Graham, a staunch Trump supporter and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, wrote a letter to the leaders of Britain, Australia and Italy claiming that Mifsud and Australian diplomat Alexander Downer had been ordered to contact Papadopoulos. Joe Hockey, Australia`s ambassador to the United States, strongly rejected Graham`s characterization of Downer.

[296] [297] A former Italian government official told The Washington Post in October 2019 that Italian intelligence agencies had told Barr at a meeting the previous month that they had “no connection, no activity, no interference” in the case; Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte later confirmed this. [298] [299] A British official who was aware of Barr`s investigations remarked, “It`s like nothing we`ve seen before, they`re basically asking for help in the axe work of their own intelligence agencies.” [300] The Washington Post reported on November 22, 2019, that the Justice Department`s inspector general aggressively investigated the allegation that Mifsud had been ordered to trap Papadopoulos, but found it unfounded. The Post also reported that the inspector general determined that the FBI`s opening of the FBI`s investigation into Crossfire hurricanes was legally and factually justified. [301] The Post later reported in December 2019 that Barr disagreed with the inspector general`s conclusion that there was sufficient evidence for the FBI to launch its investigation. [302] The Post also reported in December 2019 that the inspector general had asked Durham and several U.S. intelligence agencies if there was evidence of an establishment by U.S. intelligence, but they responded that there was none. [303] In 1989, Barr began his career with the Department of Justice as Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Office of Legal Counsel and later as Deputy Attorney General.