US Lawyer Basic Barr resigns as Trump’s election defeat was confirmed by Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: US Attorney General William Barr meets with members of the St. Louis Police Department

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By Sarah N. Lynch

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -US Attorney General William Barr will resign next week, he said on Monday, shortly after the electoral college confirmed the loss of President Donald Trump to Democratic President-elect Joe Biden.

Barr, who upset Trump for not supporting his false claims that the November 3 election result was marred by widespread fraud, said he would step down on December 23, a little less than a month before Biden is sworn in on January 1st. 20th

Assistant Attorney General Jeff Rosen will take over as acting attorney general after Barr’s departure, Trump said.

“Our relationship was very good, he did an excellent job!” Trump said of Barr on Twitter.

A White House official told Reuters that Barr had resigned on his own initiative.

Trump hit Barr on Twitter over the weekend after the Wall Street Journal reported that Barr knew of a tax investigation into Biden’s son Hunter earlier this year.

Trump retweeted a comment from radio host Todd Starnes that Barr should be fired for not disclosing the probe during the campaign. “A big disappointment!” Said Trump in his tweet.

Barr’s fate in the dwindling days of the Trump administration had been questioned since he said earlier this month that a Justice Department investigation found no evidence of major fraud in the election, contradicting Trump’s claims.

Trump’s legal team accused Barr of failing to conduct a proper investigation into the allegations.

Barr’s resignation letter was released shortly after he notified the president of the Justice Department’s review of the Trump campaign’s election fraud claims. In it, Barr promised the allegations “to continue to be prosecuted”.

The White House official said Barr’s meeting with Trump was amicable.

In the letter, Barr also praised what he called Trump’s historic record, saying it helped boost the economy, strengthen the military and curb illegal immigration.

“I am proud to have played a role in the many achievements and unprecedented accomplishments that you have achieved for the American people,” wrote Barr.

Biden beat Trump in the electoral college that elects the president by 306 votes to 232 and by more than 7 million ballots in the referendum.

Even so, Trump has refused to admit and continues to promote his baseless election fraud allegations, which have been repeatedly denied by state and federal officials.

Trump has pursued a number of legal challenges in numerous states, but he has not managed to get his way in any of them.

Last week, the US Supreme Court dismissed a long-term lawsuit by Texas, backed by Trump and a number of other states, to dismiss the voting results in four states. This was the fatal blow in his quest to undo his loss of election.

CORE TRUMP SUPPORTER

Barr has long been a staunch ally of Trump and is despised by Democrats and many of the department’s attorneys who have accused him of putting Trump’s personal interests before those of the country.

“William Barr was willing to bid the president on any front but one. Barr refused to play along with President Trump’s nonsensical claims of winning the election,” Jerrold Nadler, chairman of the Democratic House Judiciary Committee, said in a statement .

“Whoever chooses Joe Biden as the new attorney general will have a tremendous amount of work to do to fix the integrity of the Justice Department,” added Nadler.

Prior to the 2020 election, Barr reiterated Trump’s unsubstantiated claim that postal ballot papers could be defrauded, and intervened in several high-profile criminal cases that benefited Trump’s political allies including Michael Flynn and Roger Stone.

In May 2019, Barr tapped Federal Attorney John Durham to investigate Obama-era intelligence and law enforcement officials for possible crimes related to their early investigation into whether Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign had partnered with the Russian government.

On December 1, Barr announced that he had appointed Durham as special adviser in October so that he could continue his criminal investigation – a move that will make it politically difficult for Biden to remove him from the post until the investigation is completed.

Noah Bookbinder, a former federal attorney who is now executive director of the progressive advocacy group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, said Monday that Barr “did tremendous damage to the Justice Department and the confidence of the American people in our justice system.

“It is more than ironic that Barr appears to have been ousted for not going far enough to abuse his position in Trump’s favor, even if he went indescribably far,” said Bookbinder. “The reason may be ridiculous, but good release.”

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