Senator Rand Paul has warned that President Trump’s pick to be the next attorney general holds ‘disturbing’ views on privacy issues.
Appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press, Paul warned that William Barr is a staunch supporter of The Patriot Act, and supports more surveillance on Americans.
Paul said that Barr “has been a big supporter of the PATRIOT Act, which lowered the standard for spying on Americans, and he even went so far as to say the PATRIOT Act was pretty good — we should go much further.”
“I haven’t made a decision about him, but I can‘t tell you — the first things I’ve learned about him being for more surveillance of Americans is very, very troubling,” Paul said.
Barr was previously attorney general from from 1991 to 1993 under President George H.W. Bush, and has been picked by Trump to replace Jeff Sessions.
Paul noted that there are other issues which he is at odds with Barr on.
“I’m disturbed that he’s been a big fan of taking people’s property, civil asset forfeiture, without a conviction.” Paul continued.
“Many poor people in our country have cash taken from them and then the government says, ‘Prove to us where you got the cash and then you can get it back,’ but the burden is on the individual. It’s a terrible thing called civil asset forfeiture and he’s a big fan of that.” the Senator also noted.
If Barr was confirmed, he would be in charge of overseeing Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, which is still ongoing despite the lack of any evidence of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.
Elsewhere during the interview, Paul defended Trump on the matter, stating that “It’s very troubling what these special prosecutors can do.”
“I tell people this — if a special prosecutor went after your life for the last 40 years, not you in particular but anybody, I think they could dredge up accusations.” Paul said.
“So I’m absolutely against it and I think it’s a miscarriage of justice and we should not have them going after one person.” The Senator urged.
“If we’re going to prosecute people and put them in jail for campaign finance violations, we’ve become a banana republic where every president gets prosecuted, and everybody gets thrown in jail when they’re done with office.” Paul further warned.