White House officials reached out to William P. Barr for position as Trump's top defense lawyer on the Russia probe a year before offering him Attorney General, Yahoo News reports. Barr, the attorney general under President George H.W. Bush and an outspoken conservative, had gotten on Trump’s radar after writing an op-ed defending the president’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey. Barr turned down the position, now held by Rudy Giuliani, saying he had other obligations. If he is confirmed as attorney general, Barr would be in charge of overseeing the Mueller investigation. Given his past public critiques of the Russia probe, many have raised concerns about how independent Barr would be in overseeing the investigation.