William Barr is stepping down as attorney general “before Christmas,” President Donald Trump wrote in a Twitter post on Dec. 14.
“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,” Trump wrote.
Trump said that Deputy Attorney General Jeff Rosen, whom he described as “an outstanding person,” will become the acting attorney general after Barr departs the administration.
“Highly respected Richard Donoghue will be taking over the duties of Deputy Attorney General,” Trump wrote. “Thank you to all!”
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…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 14, 2020
Trump also posted a letter from Barr, who was appointed by Trump in 2019, who said he will be now “wrapping up a few important matters” in the Department of Justice (DOJ). The letter details how the DOJ is continuing to look into allegations of voter fraud during the Nov. 3 election.
“I am greatly honored that you called on me to serve your administration and the American people once again as attorney general,” Barr added.
In recent weeks, Trump has signaled that he was disappointed with Barr’s performance after the DOJ said it wasn’t able to find evidence of widespread election fraud. Barr told The Associated Press in late November that “to date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have affected a different outcome in the election.”
The DOJ later attempted to clarify his remarks, saying that numerous news outlets published incorrect or misleading reports.
The president had also expressed his displeasure with how Barr handled probes into the origin of the probe into Trump’s campaign. Barr had appointed U.S. Attorney John Durham to look into these investigations, and so far, only one FBI official, Kevin Clinesmith, was indicted and convicted.
Trump on Dec. 3 told reporters that the DOJ and Barr haven’t “looked very hard” into allegations of voter fraud or irregularities.
“When he looks he’ll see the kind of evidence that right now you are seeing in the Georgia Senate,” Trump said, referring to hearings in the state on alleged fraud and irregularities. “He hasn’t done anything yet,” he said at the time.
When he was asked about Barr’s job status, the president told reporters to “ask me that in a number of weeks from now.”
Barr struck an optimistic tone in his letter. He noted that Trump was able to deal with “baseless accusations” that his 2016 campaign colluded with Russia.
“Few could have weathered these attacks,” Barr said, “much less forge ahead with a positive program for the country.”
“The nadir of this campaign was the effort to cripple, if not oust, your administration with the frenzied” Russia accusations, he said.
Barr also touted Trump’s record in dealing with the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) economic exploits as well as the president’s actions against Mexican drug cartels.