He will stay in his post until Dec. 23
President Trump announced Barr’s decision on Twitter after meeting with him at the White House, saying they had a “very good” relationship and praising Barr for “outstanding work.”
Trump has been sharply critical of Barr in recent days, prompting talk that he could be fired.
In a letter to Trump, Barr informed the president about the Justice Department’s review of allegations by Trump’s campaign staff of alleged voter fraud in the 2020 election. In it, Barr promised that the allegations “will be investigated.”
“I am honored that you have once again called on me to serve your administration and the American people as attorney general,” Barr wrote. “I am proud to have played a role in the many successes and unprecedented accomplishments you have brought to the American people.”
A number of Republicans praised William Barr for his work and voiced their support.
“Bill Barr is a friend and a patriot. Despite slander in the media and attacks on his person, he served his country with honor and distinction. Although a loss to the country, his retirement is well deserved. I wish him and his family the best of luck,” Senator Ted Cruz said on Twitter.
“Attorney General Barr is one of the most dedicated and professional public servants I have ever seen. He has helped protect America from criminals and terrorists and promoted fundamental American values of equality before the law,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Former 2016 election candidate and former Florida governor Jeb Bush was more restrained.
“Bill Burr is a very decent man. Oddly enough, it’s a good sign if you get criticized by progressive supporters if you defend the executive branch, and criticized by the president if you don’t interfere in the election process. I appreciate his misunderstood leadership,” thinks Jeb Bush.
President Trump appointed William Barr as Attorney General and Secretary of Justice of the United States in February 2019. He had previously held the position from 1991 to 1993. During his tenure, Barr was repeatedly criticized by Democrats. When in May 2019 he refused to participate in a U.S. congressional hearing on Robert Mueller’s report on Trump’s possible ties to Russia, Democrats accused Barr of acting “as Trump’s personal lawyer” and demanded his resignation.
And now, commenting on the news of the attorney general’s departure, Democrats are not hiding their emotions.
Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, who has repeatedly criticized Barr, said on Twitter that with the attorney general gone, “work must begin to rebuild a credible and independent justice system.”
“Attorney General Barr will be remembered for misleading the public, politicizing the Justice Department, and grossly disregarding civil rights. I look forward to working with whomever President-elect Biden appoints as the new Attorney General to restore the integrity of the Justice Department,” said Jerrold Nadler, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.
Barr’s fate has been in question since he said last week that the Justice Department investigation found no evidence of fraud in the November election, contradicting President Trump’s unsubstantiated claims.
Trump’s legal team accused Barr of failing to conduct a proper investigation.
President Trump announced that Jeffrey Rosen, the current deputy attorney general, would take over Barr’s role at the Justice Department, with Richard Donahue as his deputy.
Barr’s departure followed a string of other firings and resignations in the administration since the election. Trump fired Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Christopher Krebs, head of the Computer and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Other Department of Homeland Security officials resigned, and White House Communications Director Alyssa Farah also recently left her position.