Washington DC, Dec 14 (efe-epa).- United States Attorney General William Barr will step down before Christmas, as announced in a letter published by outgoing president Donald Trump Monday.
Barr’s term was due to end along with the president’s on Jan. 20, but the longtime ally of Trump has recently gone against the leader’s claims of electoral fraud.
“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,” Trump wrote in a tweet alongside the resignation letter.
In his letter to Trump, Barr said he appreciated the opportunity to “update” the president Monday afternoon on the Justice “Department’s review of voter fraud allegations in the 2020 election and how these allegations will continue to be pursued.”
“It is incumbent on all levels of government (…) to do all we can to assure the integrity of elections and promote public confidence in their outcome,” he added.
Barr did not detail the reasons for his departure, but said he will spend the next week closing pending issues before leaving office on Dec. 23.
He also thanked Trump, whom he praised for his achievements in the White House.
“I am very honored that you called on me to serve your Administration and the American people once again as Attorney General. I am proud to have played a role in the many successes and unprecedented achievements you have delivered for the American people,” Barr said.
Despite Trump’s conciliatory tone, he has been publicly critical of Barr in recent weeks as a result of legal issues arising from the election, the result of which the president has still not accepted.
Trump was upset that Barr dismissed the existence of widespread electoral fraud, which he clings to in denying Biden’s victory, and also the fact that he did not report during the election campaign that the Department of Justice had an open investigation against Hunter Biden, one of the president-elect’s sons.
According to local media, the relationship between the two has been tense and practically non-existent for weeks.
Barr, 70, was US attorney general from 1990 to 1991 during the presidency of George Bush Sr., a position he resumed in early 2019 after Trump fired his predecessor, Jeff Sessions.
The president also announced that current Deputy Attorney General Jeff Rosen will take over in Barr’s absence, while Richard Donoghue will rise to number two.
Rosen will serve as Acting Attorney General for just under a month until Joe Biden takes office. EFE-EPA