His place in history is tied to that of President Donald Trump, because he did so much to advance Trump’s political agenda. But cracks between William Barr and the president began appearing after Barr admitted that the Justice Department did not find any signs of voter fraud “on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election” (via The New York Times). Their relationship was further strained when Trump accused Barr of being disloyal because he didn’t disclose the department’s investigation of Hunter Biden during the investigation (via The New York Times).
As the Electoral College counted out votes that would confirm President-elect Joe Biden’s victory today, Trump took to Twitter to announce Barr’s resignation, saying, “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.”
Barr to Trump: 'Your record is historic'
The president also shared Barr’s resignation letter on Twitter, where the outgoing Attorney General cataloged what he said were Trump’s achievements during his time in office. “Your record is all the more historic because you accomplished it in the in the face of relentless, implacable resistance… You built the strongest and most resilient economy in American history — one that has brought unprecedented progress to those previously left out. You have restored American military strength… You have advanced the rule of law by appointing a record number of judges committed to constitutional principles. With Operation Warp Speed, you delivered a vaccine for coronavirus on a schedule no one thought conceivable — a feat that will undoubtedly save millions of lives.”
“I am greatly honored that you called on me to serve your Administration and the American people once again as Attorney General. I am proud have played a role in the many successes and unprecedented achievements you have delivered for the American people,” Barr said.
Ethics watchdog says Barr has done damage to the Justice Department
Barr’s departure was celebrated on social media and by ethics watchdogs like the non-partisan Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, whose Executive Director, Noah Bookbinder said in a statement: “Attorney General Bill Barr has done tremendous damage to the Department of Justice and to the American people’s very faith in our justice system. Barr has repeatedly used the DOJ for the benefit of President Trump–protecting Trump’s friends and allies, attacking his perceived enemies and furthering his personal interests and agendas.”
“Barr has shown again and again that ‘law and order’ for this administration is anything but equal, benefiting those who are white and well-connected while endangering others. It is beyond ironic that Barr seems to have been pushed out for not going quite far enough to abuse his position for Trump’s benefit, however unconscionably far he did go. The reason may be ridiculous, but good riddance,” Bookbinder finished.
Barr’s last date, as stated in his resignation letter, is Dec. 23, 2020.
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