US Attorney General Bill Barr to leave office, Donald Trump announces
United States' Attorney General Bill Barr will leave his position after doing an "outstanding job," President Donald Trump has announced.
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...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 14, 2020
"Just had a very nice meeting with Attorney General Bill Barr at the White House," Mr Trump tweeted on Tuesday. "Our relationship has been a very good one... Bill will be leaving just before Christmas to spend the holidays with his family."
Mr Barr had contradicted Mr Trump's unsupported claims that the 3 November election was marred by fraud.
After the election, Mr Trump's legal team filed dozens of civil lawsuits in an attempt to prove president-elect Joe Biden had not fairly won.
In a 1 December interview, Mr Barr told the Associated Press that the Justice Department found no such evidence.
"To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election," he said.
Mr Trump has also fumed over the revelation that the Justice Department decided not to make public in the run-up to the election an investigation it is conducting into the business dealings of Mr Biden's son Hunter Biden.
A senior White House official said "Barr resigned on his own accord. He wasn't pushed out or forced to resign. It was a very amicable meeting."
Mr Barr, Mr Trump's second Attorney General, was heavily criticised by Democrats for what they said was his unethical behaviour to shield Mr Trump during a probe by special counsel Robert Mueller into the president's Russia connections.
"Good riddance to the worst most corrupt despicable Attorney General in US history," House Democrat Bill Pascrell tweeted.
In the letter, Mr Barr also praised what he referred to as Mr Trump’s historic record, saying he had helped boost the economy, strengthen the military and curb illegal immigration.
Mr Trump said Deputy Attorney General Jeff Rosen, who he described as "an outstanding person", will become acting Attorney General.
Mr Trump, who is set to leave office on 20 January, already fired an attorney general, Jeff Sessions, in 2018.
In that case, Mr Sessions had angered Mr Trump by recusing himself in the Russia investigation, leading to the appointment of Mr Mueller.
More to come