President Donald Trump’s nominee for attorney general, William Barr, once advised that a president didn’t need Congress’ permission to attack Iraq, that the U.S. could arrest a foreign dictator and capture suspects abroad without that country’s permission.
It’s an expansive view of presidential power and an unsettling one for Democrats as the Senate holds a confirmation hearing next week for Barr, who served in the 90s as AG for President George H.W. Bush.
Democrats already fear that Barr, if confirmed, would be overly deferential to Trump in a position where legal decisions aren’t supposed to be guided by political considerations. Trump has made clear he demands loyalty from an attorney general, repeatedly haranguing and ultimately forcing out his first one, Jeff Sessions, for not protecting the president from the Russia investigation.