WASHINGTON — U.S. President Donald Trump confirmed via Twitter on Monday that Attorney General William Barr has tendered his resignation, effective Dec. 23.
Barr’s widely anticipated departure came moments after President-elect Joe Biden’s victory over Trump in the Nov. 3 election was formalized by the Electoral College. Barr, 70, has served in the Trump administration since 2019.
Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen will take the helm of the Justice Department as acting attorney general following Barr’s departure, and Richard Donoghue, an official in Rosen’s office, will become the deputy attorney general, The New York Times reported.
Barr also served as attorney general under President George H.W. Bush in the 1990s.
Barr’s resignation letter, which Trump shared on Twitter, praised the outgoing president, applauding “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,” Barr’s letter reads. “Few could have weathered these attacks, much less forge ahead with a positive program for the country.”
Meanwhile, Trump’s tweets highlighted no animosity toward his outgoing attorney general, despite Barr’s recent acknowledgment that the Justice Department found no evidence of widespread voter or election fraud, the Times reported.
“Our relationship has been a very good one, he has done an outstanding job!” Trump tweeted.
Barr’s statements affirming the integrity of the Nov. 3 election had undercut legal efforts from Trump campaign lawyers to reverse Biden’s wins in battleground states, CNBC reported
Trump had also taken issue with the Justice Department’s refusal to make investigations of Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, public in the run-up to the election.
Meanwhile, Barr’s tenure has been widely criticized, including by both current and former DOJ officials, for politicizing the department, primarily by intervening in several high-profile federal cases involving Trump allies, such as GOP operative Roger Stone, CNBC reported.
Barr also faced harsh scrutiny for his handling of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election and the termination of Geoffrey Berman, the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, the network reported.