President Donald Trump is livid at Attorney General William Barr, with a senior administration official indicating there was a chance Barr could be fired, not just for his public comments undercutting Trump’s unfounded claims of election fraud, but also for steps he did not take on a probe of the FBI’s 2016 investigation into Trump’s campaign, the Washington Post reports. A day after Barr told the Associated Press that he had “not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election,” Trump continued to complain about his attorney general. Trump is perhaps angrier that Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham did not issue a public report of his findings before last month’s election, and that Barr had secretly appointed Durham as special counsel, giving him extra protection to continue the work he started a year ago. Durham is examining whether crimes were committed by law enforcement during its 2016 investigation of whether Trump’s campaign coordinated with Russia.
Trump has often raged about top law enforcement officials, though he has been less quick to terminate them. After he fired James Comey as FBI director soon after becoming president, the bureau began investigating whether Trump was seeking to obstruct justice, a probe that was taken over by special counsel Robert Mueller Trump toyed with firing Barr’s predecessor, Jeff Sessions, almost from the moment Mueller was appointed in May 2017. Trump did not fire Mueller, though Mueller’s investigation revealed that he came close to doing so. More recently, Trump and his advisers have repeatedly discussed whether to fire FBI Director Christopher Wray. On possible election fraud, Barr said the Justice Department had launched some inquiries. He said most of the fraud claims were “very particularized to a particular set of circumstances or actors or conduct. They are not systemic allegations.”