Attorney General William Barr announced late Monday afternoon he is resigning from his post next week, departing with just over a month before President Donald Trump’s term ends on January 20.
Barr’s resignation was announced by Mr. Trump just minutes after the Electoral College put President-elect Joe Biden over the 270 votes needed to formally secure the presidency, saying Barr is leaving “to spend the holidays with his family”.
The news comes just weeks after Barr refused to support Mr. Trump’s unfounded claims that the 2020 election was fraudulent. The President had been seriously considering firing Barr as late as Sunday, according to reports.
In his letter, Barr praised Mr. Trump for what he said was relentless political opposition and said allegations of voter fraud would continue to be reviewed, contradicting his own words from just a few weeks ago.
“No tactic, no matter how abusive and deceitful, was out of bounds,” Barr said. “The nadir of this campaign was the effort to cripple, if not oust, your administration with frenzied and baseless accusations of collusion with Russia.”
Barr gave a misleading review of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, using his words to clear Mr. Trump, which drew a sharp rebuttal from Mueller later on.
“No tactic, no matter how abusive and deceitful, was out of bounds,” Barr went on. “The nadir of this campaign was the effort to cripple, if not oust, your administration with frenzied and baseless accusations of collusion with Russia.”
The President has been claiming fraud and putting pressure on Barr to investigate. Recently, over 100 Republicans signed on to a now-failed Texas lawsuit that Mr. Trump joined to overturn the results in six states.
On December 1, Barr conducted an interview with the Associated Press. Despite the Trump campaign filing over a dozen lawsuits and court cases alleging fraud, the Justice Department had not found any such evidence.
“To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election,” he said.