Attorney General William Barr will leave his post shortly before Christmas, President Donald Trump announced Monday.
“Just had a very nice meeting with Attorney General Bill Barr at the White House,” Trump said in a tweet. “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.”
Deputy Attorney General Jeff Rosen will become acting Attorney General, Trump said.
…Deputy Attorney General Jeff Rosen, an outstanding person, will become Acting Attorney General. Highly respected Richard Donoghue will be taking over the duties of Deputy Attorney General. Thank you to all! pic.twitter.com/V5sqOJT9PM
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 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.
Barr also drew the ire of the president for the Justice Department’s decision not to publicly announce it was investigating Hunter Biden’s tax affairs ahead of the election, though that choice was in line with department policy.
Earlier on Monday White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnancy said in an interview with Fox News that the president had grown frustrated with Barr recently.
A White House official reportedly told CNN that Barr was not asked to resign and that the meeting between the pair on Monday after was “very amicable.” Another person familiar with the matter told the outlet the meeting was “cordial.”
Barr was confirmed as Trump’s second attorney general in February 2019 and has long been seen as one of the president’s greatest allies in the Cabinet, until their relationship began to fracture more recently.
Barr used his resignation letter to commend the president on accomplishments on the economy, in developing a coronavirus vaccine and in funding the military.
“I am greatly honored that you called on me to serve your administration and the American people once again as Attorney General,” Barr wrote. “I am proud to have played a role in the many successes and unprecedented achievements you have delivered for the American people. Your record is all the more historic because you accomplished it in the face of relentless implacable resistance.”