- The Washington Times
Sunday, December 9, 2018

Sen. Rand Paul on Sunday said that while he hasn’t decided whether to support William Barr, President Trump’s pick to be the next attorney general, he’s troubled by Mr. Barr’s positions on privacy issues.

“I’m concerned that he’s 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,” Mr. Paul, Kentucky Republican, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Mr. Paul said he’s “disturbed” that Mr. Barr, who served as attorney general during the George H.W. Bush administration, has been a “big fan” of seizing people’s property through civil asset forfeiture “without a conviction.”

“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’s on the individual,” he said. “It’s a terrible thing called civil asset forfeiture and he’s a big fan of that.”

“I haven’t made a decision yet on him, but I can tell you the first things that I’ve learned about him being for more surveillance of Americans is very, very troubling,” Mr. Paul said.

If confirmed by the Senate, Mr. Barr would replace Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, who took over for ousted Attorney General Jeff Sessions in November.

Mr. Paul had also raised issues with Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s views on privacy issues before ultimately voting to confirm him.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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