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Trump says Attorney General Barr resigning, will leave before Christmas

Trump says Attorney General Barr resigning, will leave before Christmas

US Attorney General William Barr meets with members of the St Louis Police Department, in St Louis, Missouri, on Oct 15, 2020. (Photo: Jeff Roberson/Pool via REUTERS)

WASHINGTON: Attorney General William Barr, one of President Donald Trump’s staunchest allies, is resigning amid lingering tension with the president over the president’s baseless claims of election fraud and the investigation into president-elect Joe Biden’s son.

Barr went to the White House on Monday (Dec 14), where Trump said he submitted his letter of resignation. “As per letter, Bill will be leaving just before Christmas to spend the holidays with his family,” Trump tweeted.

Trump has publicly expressed his anger about Barr’s statement to the Associated Press earlier this month that the Justice Department had found no widespread election fraud that would change the outcome of the election. 

Trump had long hoped that a Justice Department investigation into the allegedly political roots of the Russia probe would help him damage his Democratic opponent Joe Biden before Election Day.

When Barr made clear that nothing of the sort was forthcoming, Trump fumed publicly that he would be "very disappointed."

He became angry with Barr again after the election, which Trump has sought to overturn, claiming without evidence that Biden only won because of fraud.

Barr told the Associated Press that "we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election" - an assessment that put a gaping hole in Trump's still ongoing disinformation campaign.

READ: US Electoral College formally confirms Joe Biden's victory over Trump

Trump has also been angry that the Justice Department did not publicly announce it was investigating Hunter Biden ahead of the election, despite department policy against such a pronouncement.

A senior White House official said "Barr resigned on his own accord. He wasn't pushed out or forced to resign. It was a very amicable meeting."

Barr, Trump's second attorney general, was heavily criticised by Democrats for what they said was his unethical behavior to shield Trump during a probe by special counsel Robert Mueller into the president's Russia connections.

"Good riddance to the worst most corrupt despicable Attorney General in US history," House Democrat Bill Pascrell tweeted.

Trump announced that Deputy Attorney General Jeff Rosen, "an outstanding person," will take over Barr's job in an acting capacity.

Trump, who is set to leave office on Jan 20, already fired an attorney general, Jeff Sessions, in 2018.

In that case, Sessions had angered Trump by recusing himself in the Russia investigation, leading to the appointment of Mueller.

Source: AP/ec


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