Attorney General William Barr is considering a departure from the Trump administration before President Donald Trump leaves office, according to a Sunday report from The New York Times.
Three people familiar with the attorney general’s perspective on the matter told The New York Times (NYT) that Barr could be leaving before Trump does on Jan. 20. One of these individuals said Barr could leave before the new year, NYT reported.
Whether or not Barr’s consideration of a possible exit is due to Trump’s consternation over the 2020 presidential election results remains unknown, according to NYT. (RELATED: Barr Appoints Special Counsel To Continue Investigation Into Origins Of Trump-Russia Probe)
However, one source said Barr was considering the move before Trump and Barr’s schisms on whether or not voter fraud majorly impacted the election became public, NYT reported.
Last week, Barr stated that the Department of Justice had not uncovered widespread voter fraud — much less fraud that could sway the election in the president’s favor. Since, Trump has refused to say whether he has confidence in his attorney general.
Trump campaign now going after AG Barr.
Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis say this: “With all due respect to the Attorney General, there hasn’t been any semblance of a Department of Justice investigation.” pic.twitter.com/XVK6WImdvX
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) December 1, 2020
If Barr does decide to leave the Trump administration, NYT noted his decision will be colored by Trump and Barr’s disagreements regardless of when Barr started considering leaving. By leaving early, Barr could avoid further confrontation with the president over the election results when Congress goes to certify the Electoral College results in early January, according to the NYT.
Trump is not the only one who has criticized Barr’s second tenure as attorney general. Some of Trump’s most ardent defenders have already called for Barr’s resignation or for the president to fire Barr.
Trump may end up retweeting Jeanine’s monologue attacking Barr pic.twitter.com/tEQi06bcKM
— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) December 6, 2020
Criticisms of Barr from the left claim Barr has politicized the Department of Justice through Barr’s handling of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russian collusion investigation, impeachmen, and Special Counsel John Durham’s investigation.
I don’t really care if Trump fires Barr, or Barr resigns first.
Barr is still evil and corrupt, and was complicit in much damage to our democracy and the department he ran, starting with burying the Mueller report. He should face hearings for his behavior.
— Amy Siskind ????️???? (@Amy_Siskind) December 7, 2020
If Barr does leave, Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen would take the reins until President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in as president.
The sources also said that Barr has not made a final decision and could indeed stay through the end of Trump’s term to finish critical work, NYT reported.
Neither the Justice Department nor the White House provided comment for the NYT story.