FILE PHOTO: U.S. Attorney General William Barr testifies before the House Judiciary Committee in the Congressional Auditorium at the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center, in Washington, U.S., July 28, 2020. Chip Somodevilla/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

THE NEUTRAL ZONE

Attorney General William Barr will resign before Christmas, according to a tweet from President Donald Trump that thanked Barr for doing an “outstanding job.” Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen will take Barr’s place.

Rosen takes over as Trump and his campaign continue challenging the results of the presidential election. Rosen warned in August of possible election interference by other countries, but at the time said there was no evidence of intent to prevent or change votes. Over the past year, Rosen has been involved in an antitrust case against Google, a settlement with Purdue Pharma over its role in the opioid epidemic and a civil lawsuit against former national security adviser John Bolton.

In his resignation letter, Barr said voter fraud allegations would continue to be reviewed by the justice department. He also praised the president for building a resilient economy in spite of “relentless, implacable resistance.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in a statement said Barr did his work as attorney general with clarity, principle and professionalism.

Earlier this month, Barr said the Department of Justice found no evidence of widespread election fraud, contradicting statements from the president. Trump raised the prospect of firing Barr in a meeting on Friday. Trump was reportedly upset that Barr kept the federal investigation into Hunter Biden’s taxes from becoming public before the election. On Saturday, Trump attacked Barr in a series of tweets, at one point calling him a “big disappointment.”

MEDIA PERSPECTIVE

This section includes an aggregation of articles showing different viewpoints on the topic.

Bill Barr’s Departure Reveals the Hollowness of Trumpism – The Atlantic – 12/14/2020
Trump’s split with Barr echoes his falling-out with Sessions before his first attorney general’s departure two years ago. Neither man deserves much praise for doing the bare minimum of resisting some of Trump’s abuses, but their departures are interesting because no Cabinet secretaries have been as effective at carrying out Trump’s agenda as Sessions and Barr. In an executive branch filled with third-rate government apparatchiks and incompetent private-sector imports, Sessions and Barr were experienced in Washington and knew what to do. Beyond that, they were closely aligned with Trump ideologically, yet both left more or less unceremoniously.

Fox News’ Laura Ingraham: Trump Administration ‘Was Very Fortunate’ To Have Bill Barr As Attorney General – Daily Caller – 12/15/2020
“I’ve gotta tell conservatives — if you think Bill Barr was the problem for the Trump Administration, then you’re reading the wrong stuff,” Ingraham said after dismissing some of the latest criticisms of Barr. “I hate to say it, but I think the administration was very fortunate to have Barr as attorney general. I know a lot of people aren’t going to like hearing that … but that’s the truth.”

Attorney General William Barr is leaving the Trump administration – USA Today – 12/14/2020
Apart from members of Trump’s own family who serve in the administration, Barr appeared to have few rivals in the president’s inner-circle where he repeatedly rose to defend the president and his political allies while drawing withering criticism from Democrats and scores of Justice Department alums who cast the attorney general as the president’s personal lawyer.

Wish a Not-So-Fond Farewell to Outgoing Attorney General William Barr – Reason – 12/15/2020
It’s unfortunate, truly, that Barr will be remembered mostly as Trump’s craven pet because the rest of Barr’s actual record as attorney general is even more worthy of scorn. Barr opposes marijuana legalization. […] As America went through a summer of anger, protests, and violence about police abuse of minorities, Barr not only habitually took the side of police, but also basically told Americans to just shut up and do what they’re told.

Trump Says Attorney General Bill Barr Will Step Down Weeks After Barr Said There Wasn’t Widespread Voter Fraud – BuzzFeed News – 12/14/2020
President Donald Trump tweeted Monday that Attorney General Bill Barr will step down with just a month remaining in his administration, two weeks after Barr publicly threw cold water on the president’s insistence that his election loss was illegitimate because of widespread voter fraud.

Attorney General William Barr Resigns, Effective December 23 – National Review – 12/14/2020
Barr’s resignation comes after he contradicted Trump earlier this month in saying that the Department of Justice had not uncovered any evidence of large-scale voter or election fraud that would change the outcome of the election. The president has refused to concede the election and has repeatedly pushed unfounded claims of fraud, saying the race was “rigged” against him.

INFLUENCER PERSPECTIVE

This section includes an aggregation of tweets showing different viewpoints on the topic.

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