Attorney General William Barr handed in his resignation on Monday, informing President Donald Trump he intends to step down next week ahead of the Christmas holiday while thanking him for the opportunity to serve in his administration.
Barr’s tenure was tumultuous in terms of media coverage, but those who knew both the president and Barr and have seen them together say they shared a good, genuine relationship despite Trump’s sometimes-public swipes at Barr, who returned to Washington to run the Justice Department for the second time.
Trump announced Barr’s resignation via Twitter.
“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!” the president tweeted. “As per letter, Bill will be leaving just before Christmas to spend the holidays with his family.”
The president also announced Barr’s replacement.
“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!” Trump wrote.
In his letter, the departing AG said that his last day will be Dec. 23. He also noted that his meeting Monday with Trump was to advise him of the Justice Department’s efforts to look into allegations of election fraud.
“I am greatly honored that you called on me to serve your Administration and the American people once again as Attorney General,” Barr wrote, adding that he is “proud to have played a role in the many successes and unprecedented achievements you have delivered for the American people.”
Barr then went on to list a number of the president’s accomplishments while praising Trump for battling back against “relentless” attacks by the media and political opponents.
“Your record is all the more historic because you accomplished it in the face of relentless, implacable resistance. Your 2016 victory speech in which you reached out to your opponents and called for working together for the benefit of the American people was immediately met by a partisan onslaught against you in which no tactic, no matter how abusive and deceitful, was out of bounds,” Barr wrote.
He added that the “nadir” of the effort against Trump was the “frenzied and baseless accusations of collusion with Russia.”
“Few could have weathered these attacks, much less forge ahead with a positive program for the country,” Barr, who previously served as attorney general for President George H. W. Bush (1991-1993), wrote, praising the president for revamping the economy, restoring the U.S. military, “brokering peace deals” that “most though impossible,” and curbing “illegal immigration.”
He also wrote that Trump has “advanced the rule of law by appointing a record number of judges committed to constitutional principles,” and complimented the president on his administration’s efforts to quickly develop a COVID-19 vaccine under the auspices of “Operation Warp Speed.”
In recent days, Barr has been criticized by many conservatives for failing to inform President Trump about the Hunter Biden investigation, which, according to former Justice Department official and current daily radio host Mark Levin on Monday, he was forbidden by law to discuss publicly.
Also, many supporters of the president have been disappointed by what they view as a lack of progress in terms of indictments regarding special counsel John Durham’s lengthy criminal investigation regarding the origins of the FBI’s Russian collusion probe into Trump’s 2016 campaign.
Barr’s left-wing detractors, meanwhile, blasted him online following his resignation, with many claiming he “misled” Americans regarding special counsel Robert Mueller’s findings while accusing him of using his position to ‘protect’ the president’s alleged criminal behavior.
“Attorney General Bill Barr misled the American people about the Mueller report; intervened in cases to protect the friends of @realDonaldTrump; and used the @TheJusticeDept as Trump’s personal law firm. History will not be kind to Bill Barr,” Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) tweeted.
Attorney General Bill Barr misled the American people about the Mueller report; intervened in cases to protect the friends of @realDonaldTrump; and used the @TheJusticeDept as Trump’s personal law firm. History will not be kind to Bill Barr. https://t.co/UVEVMYWR4F
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) December 14, 2020
“Not a single career prosecutor at DOJ will miss Bill Barr,” wrote Joyce Alene, a former U.S. attorney during the Obama administration and current MSNBC legal analyst, without elaborating.
Not a single career prosecutor at DOJ will miss Bill Barr.
— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) December 14, 2020
He must face consequences for turning the country's Justice Department into Trump's personal law firm for 2 years. This cannot happen again!
— Amy Siskind 🏳️🌈 (@Amy_Siskind) December 14, 2020
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