Newly confirmed Attorney General William Barr’s son-in-law just left his job in the Justice Department for a post in the White House counsel’s office, raising questions about a possible conflict of interest.
Tyler McGaughey, who is married to Barr’s youngest daughter, has duties in the new White House job that are unspecified, CNN reported. The counsel’s office “advises the President, the Executive Office of the President, and the White House staff on legal issues pertaining to the President and the White House,” the White House website says.
Walter Shaub, who directed the Office of Government Ethics under former President Barack Obama and left the post under President Donald Trump in 2017, told CNN the situation is “concerning.” It prompts “further questions about Barr’s independence,” he said.
Barr, who oversees special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russian election interference, has suggested that the probe is politically biased against Trump.
Barr called Mueller’s actions “grossly irresponsible” and criticized an aspect of the investigation into Trump’s potential obstruction of justice as “fatally misconceived,” The Wall Street Journal reported in December.
Nevertheless, Barr said during his Senate confirmation that he considers Mueller a friend and a “straight shooter.”
Barr was sworn into office Thursday, replacing Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker.