WASHINGTON – Attorney General William Barr is reportedly considering stepping down before President Donald Trump’s term ends and could announce his departure before the end of the year.
The New York Times reported late Sunday Mr. Barr and Mr. Trump’s relationship has soured over the past week following the Attorney General’s interview with the Associated Press, where he said he saw no evidence of widespread voter fraud as the President has claimed.
Ask me that in a number of weeks from now,” Trump said when asked if he still has confidence in Barr. “They should be looking at all this voter fraud.”
One source told the New York Times that Mr. Barr is thinking of departing his post because he “completed the work that he set out to accomplish at the Justice Department.” However, Mr. Trump’s baseless claims that federal law enforcement had rigged the election against him.
If he does leave, Mr. Barr would avoid any public clashes with Mr. Trump for his refusal to advance the President’s efforts to help overturn the election results. While it would please Mr. Trump’s supporters, Barr’s possible departure would leave a hole for the President to push forward with his baseless claims of voter fraud.
Mr. Barr has reportedly not made any final decision either way and it is possible he could stay on through Jan. 20. If he does step down, Jeffrey A. Rosen would fill the role until President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in.
Since he took over the Justice Department, Mr. Barr gained the President’s trust after he opened an investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. He agreed with Mr. Trump that the FBI went too far in investigating the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.
Mr. Barr also went ahead released a summary of the report by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III that a judge would later call distorted and misleading.