NPR Interviews George Terwilliger About AG Nominee William Barr

January 15, 2019

McGuireWoods partner George Terwilliger vouched for his one-time Justice Department boss, William Barr, in an interview broadcast on NPR’s “All Things Considered” on Jan. 14, the eve of Barr’s Senate confirmation hearings as President Donald Trump’s attorney general nominee.

Terwilliger, who leads McGuireWoods’ strategic risk and crisis management group in Washington, D.C., was deputy attorney general when Barr was attorney general under President George H.W. Bush. Terwilliger served as acting attorney general in the final days of Bush’s term after Barr had left.

In the Jan. 14 interview, Terwilliger called Barr a “very principled, careful lawyer who believes that the rule of law should dictate the outcome of anything that comes before the department.”

“Bill believes the attorney general is a subordinate – as the Constitution says the attorney general is – of the president. But he also believes that, for the sake of the integrity of the Justice Department, that its work is better freed of any political interference or undue influence,” Terwilliger said, adding that Barr maintained that independence as attorney general.

Terwilliger said that Barr understands the difficulty of the job, and is “no shrinking violet.” He said Barr agreed to take it on “because he’s a patriot, and he believes at this particular time a steadied hand committed to the rule of law was what was needed at the Justice Department.”