Attorney general William Barr ‘to step down’ before end of Trump’s term in final blow to president

Trump has refused to voice confidence in the attorney general after he said federal investigators could find no evidence of major election fraud

Mayank Aggarwal
Monday 07 December 2020 11:26 GMT
Trump repeats claims of election fraud at Georgia rally
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The US attorney general William Barr is reportedly considering stepping down before the end of Donald Trump’s term on 20 January 2021.

Mr Barr, who has often been accused of steering the Justice Department to support Mr Trump’s political agenda, said last week that federal investigators could find no evidence to support the president’s claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election. 

Following the comments, the attorney general reportedly had a tense meeting with the incumbent president, who still has not conceded the 3 November vote that he insists was “rigged” without offering any evidence.

Mr Barr has actually been considering his resignation from a week before the Justice Department announcement was made regarding the lack of evidence of election fraud, and could even be gone before the end of 2020, reported The New York Times.

If that happens, deputy attorney general Jeffrey Rosen is expected to assume the office until president-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on 20 January.

Last week, Mr Trump refused to voice confidence in Mr Barr when asked about his position, and said: “Ask me that in a number of weeks from now.” The White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany had also declined to comment on whether the president still has confidence in Mr Barr.

Advisers to the president have reportedly cautioned him against sacking Mr Barr before he leaves the White House, noting that the attorney general has been more supportive of the president’s political goals than any other attorney general in recent history.

The Times reported that unlike many other members of Mr Trump’s cabinet, Mr Barr agrees with most of the president's positions.

In October, two private ethics groups had come out with a report accusing Mr Barr of using the powers of his public office to further Donald Trump’s political objectives and prioritising the president’s interests over those of US national security. The report had requested the House of Representatives to begin impeachment proceedings against Mr Barr. 

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