US President Donald Trump has nominated William Barr to be the new attorney general, a post he held in the 1990s.
By replacing Jeff Sessions, who was fired by Mr. Trump last month, the 68 year-old will take charge of the investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US election.
US media report he has been critical of some aspects of that inquiry.
A well-known conservative lawyer, Mr. Barr held the role under President George H. W. Bush from 1991 to 1993.
The president called him a highly respected lawyer by both Republicans and Democrats.