March 1, 2021 05:25

Barr To Leave DOJ Dec. 23; White House Denies Firing

William Barr is stepping down as attorney general on Dec. 23, ending a controversial tenure in which critics say he used the Justice Department to aid President Donald Trump’s allies, only to have Trump turn on him when he did not announce investigations of political foes and disputed White House claims of widespread election fraud, reports the Washington Post. Barr said he provided the president an “update” Monday on the department’s review of voter fraud allegations. In public and behind the scenes, the men’s relationship had significantly soured on a number of fronts. A senior White House official declared that Barr “was not fired.”

Trump expressed frustration with Barr in recent days because Barr did not reveal before the election that Hunter Biden, President-elect Joe Biden’s son, was under investigation by the Justice Department. “All he had to do is say an investigation’s going on,” Trump told Fox News. Before that, Trump had been fuming at Barr for not taking public, pre-election steps in a separate probe, run by Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham, that is examining the FBI’s investigation of Trump’s 2016 campaign. That anger intensified recently when Barr publicly broke with the president and declared he had “not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.” On Wednesday, Hunter Biden himself revealed he was under investigation by federal prosecutors in Delaware for possible tax crimes. Barr will be replaced on an acting basis by the Justice Department’s No. 2 official, Jeffrey Rosen, and Rosen would be replaced by his own top deputy, Richard Donoghue. Noah Bookbinder of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, said, “Good riddance,” arguing that Barr “has done tremendous damage to the Department of Justice and to the American people’s very faith in our justice system.”

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