- The announcement was made minutes after the State of California confirmed Mr. Biden’s victory in the November 3 presidential election.
- The relationship between President Trump and Attorney General Barr worsened in recent months.
- William Barr found himself in a position similar to that of his predecessor, Jeff Sessions.
US Attorney General William Barr resigned Monday, and is scheduled to step down on December 23. This is less than a month before his term ends and Joe Biden takes office as President on January 20. Mr. Barr’s departure was announced by President Donald Trump on Twitter.
The announcement was made minutes after the State of California confirmed Mr. Biden’s victory in the November 3 presidential election, with the votes of his representatives in the Electoral College. President Trump tweeted:
“Just had a very nice meeting with Attorney General Bill Barr at the White House. Our relationship has been a very good one, he has done an outstanding job! As per letter, Bill will be leaving just before Christmas to spend the holidays with his family.”
The President continued:
“Deputy Attorney General Jeff Rosen, an outstanding person, will become Acting Attorney General. Highly respected Richard Donoghue will be taking over the duties of Deputy Attorney General. Thank you to all!”
The relationship between President Trump and Attorney General Barr worsened in recent months, with the President suggesting that the Attorney General was part of a plan to undermine him in the election against Joe Biden. In particular, President Trump blamed his Attorney General for not announcing the opening of investigations into Mr. Biden’s son, Biden, before the November 3 election.
Also, Attorney General Barr rejected President Trump’s electoral fraud complaints, saying the Justice Department had no evidence of fraud on a scale capable of overturning Mr. Biden’s victory.
William Barr’s departure ahead of time has been talked about since last week. According to a section of the US media, Attorney General Barr began to consider leaving after the November 3 presidential election.
Investigations on Russia
William Barr was appointed Attorney General by President Trump in early 2019, after the resignation of Jeff Sessions. Mr. Sessions, a former US Senator from Alabama, was an early supporter of Mr. Trump’s candidacy for the White House in summer 2015.
However, Attorney General Sessions fell out of favor in the U.S. President’s inner circle in the early months of 2017. At that time, the then-Attorney General recused himself from investigations into Russia’s interference in the 2016 elections, and surrendered oversight to his deputy, Rod Rosenstein.
Mr. Sessions was soon targeted by President Trump. After months of public humiliation, with the President saying on several occasions that he was sorry to have appointed him, Mr. Sessions resigned in November 2018.
The now-outgoing Attorney General, Mr. Barr, was appointed to replace Mr. Sessions due to his opposition to investigations into suspected collusion between President Trump’s election campaign and Russia in the 2016 elections.
Furthermore, William Barr was, for a long time, one of the greatest defenders of the thesis that US presidents have almost complete freedom to make decisions without being questioned by Congress or the courts.
No Evidence of Fraud
The rapport between Mr. Barr and President Trump became sour when Mr. Barr took the initiative to speak to the Associated Press about the results of the investigations into the President’s allegations of election thievery.
In confirming that, in addition to the usual problems, there was no evidence of widespread fraud that would jeopardize Mr. Biden’s victory, the Attorney General found himself in a position similar to that of his predecessor.
Mr. Barr’s interview with the Associated Press was published just days after President Trump suggested, in an interview on Fox News, that the Justice Department itself and the FBI were involved in the alleged fraud.
Two weeks ago, the President of the United States again complained about the way his Attorney General was managing the investigations.