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 and “a terrific man” while speaking to reporters on the White House South Lawn.
In the same statement, Mr Trump confirmed reports he is pushing for Heather Nauert to be the new US ambassador to the United Nations.
Currently, Mr Barr is counsel at the Kirkland & Ellis law firm in Washington DC.
If Mr Barr is confirmed by the senate after his official nomination, he will replace the current acting attorney general, Matt Whitaker.
Mr Whitaker had been a controversial pick from the start due to his views on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s inquiry.