Attorney General William Barr will step down from his position in the coming days, leaving the Trump administration about a month before Joe Biden's inauguration.
President Trump announced Barr's decision on Twitter after a meeting with him at the White House, saying that the two had a "very good" relationship and praising Barr for doing an "outstanding job." Trump had sharply criticized Barr in recent days, prompting talk that he could be fired.
Barr plans to leave the Justice Department on Dec. 23, according to his resignation letter.
“As discussed, I will spend the next week wrapping up a few remaining matters important to the administration and depart on December 23rd,” Barr wrote.
Trump said that Jeffrey Rosen, the current deputy attorney general, will take over Barr’s role atop the Justice Department and that Richard Donoghue, who over the summer moved to a role at main Justice from the Eastern District of New York, would be deputy attorney general. Biden, who was affirmed the winner of the presidential race by the Electoral College earlier Monday, will be inaugurated on Jan. 20.
Barr, who was confirmed as Trump’s second attorney general in February 2019, has been one of the president’s staunchest allies in the Cabinet. But significant cracks developed in their relationship in recent weeks.
Trump over the weekend lashed out at Barr over reports that he kept information about a federal investigation into Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, from public view before the election. Trump even shared a tweet that called on Barr to be fired if the reports were true.
“A big disappointment!” Trump wrote in response to the tweet on Saturday.
Barr also broke with Trump in spectacular fashion by telling The Associated Press in an interview two weeks ago that the Justice Department had not found evidence of widespread election fraud that would alter the results of the election.
Trump may push the acting attorney general to appoint a special counsel to investigate Hunter Biden, something he reportedly urged Barr to do.
Source: The Hill