Trump's AG Nominee Bill Barr Is a ‘Top-Grade’ Bagpiper

In the financial-disclosure forms he sent to the Senate last week, Donald Trump’s nominee for Attorney General, William Barr, revealed a network of financial investment and ties to major energy companies and law firms common for a man atop of the political world. But there was one item tucked in the documents that seemed rather unique. From January 2017 to December 2018, Barr served as a board member of the U.S. Piping Foundation, an organization that supports competitions for bagpipers, of which Barr is one.

Arthur McAra, President of the United States Piping Foundation, told The Daily Beast that Barr, in his role, was “available to advise” on the yearly competition that the group hosts at the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware. Barr got the gig because he was known as a “top-grade” bagpiper back in the 80s. “He was discussed among the other members of the foundation’s board and one of the members, who is also an attorney, said he would ask Bill if he'd be good enough to join our board and the answer was yeah,” McAra recalled. McAra didn’t know if Barr still played the pipes. With age, he said, it’s not as easy. But he recalled that the once and possibly future AG was “very, very good bagpiper” in his day, always as a band member (Barr played alongside McAra’s son) and not as a soloist.

—Sam Stein