Attorney General William Barr will leave his post leading the Department of Justice on Dec. 23, President Donald Trump revealed in a tweet Monday evening.
Barr’s departure had been rumored in recent weeks in the wake of his announcing the DOJ has found no evidence of the widespread voter fraud Trump has alleged took place during the November presidential election. Despite this rebuff, Trump praised his relationship with Barr in his announcement Monday as “a very good one.”
Barr similarly had kind words for Trump in a letter the President tweeted.
“I am greatly honored that you called on me to serve your Administration and the American people once again as Attorney General,” Barr 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 first served as attorney general under President George H.W. Bush from 1991-93. He was reappointed to the role by Trump and confirmed by the Senate in February 2019.
During his tenure, Barr was often wrapped up in the political tensions between Republicans and Democrats that have defined recent years in Washington, D.C. Unlike Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton, who also holds one of five votes on the Commission, Barr’s role at the DOJ is largely public-facing, and the agency’s work on significant fronts like the antitrust lawsuit against Google announced in October is expected to continue unfettered.
Trump announced Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen will serve as acting attorney general, with Richard Donoghue taking over Rosen’s former duties. The personnel moves are expected to be temporary as President-elect Joe Biden is set to take office in January and will have authority to appoint his own leaders at the agency.