Attorney General William Barr has announced that he will resign from his position early next week. The announcement was made via Twitter by President Trump on Monday. Trump also announced that the current Deputy Attorney General, Jeff Rosen, will be taking Barr’s place, and that Richard Donoghue will be moving into the deputy position. Rumors of discord between the president and attorney general have recently circulated, but according to a White House official, “[Barr] wasn’t asked to resign.” It is suspected that Trump’s frustration with Barr arose “after the attorney general declared there was no widespread evidence of voter fraud” in the 2020 presidential election. Despite these factors, Barr offered a strong defense of the president in his departing remarks:
“The nadir of this campaign was the effort to cripple, if not oust, your administration with frenzied and baseless accusations of collusions with Russia. Few could have weathered these attacks, much less forge ahead with a positive program for the country. You built the strongest and most resilient economy in American history – one that has brought unprecedented progress to those previously left out.”Statement by Attorney General William Barr
The Left strongly opposed Barr as attorney general and rejoices to see him go.
“In 37 days, President-Elect Joe Biden will be sworn into office. Whomever Joe Biden chooses as the new Attorney General will have a tremendous amount of work to do to repair the integrity of the Department of Justice.”Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) seconded this notion, arguing that Barr “lied to cover for Trump. Launched political investigations. Subverted justice and the rule of law…Now, the work of restoring a credible and independent justice system must begin.” One article on CNN read that Barr “unapologetically prioritized Trump’s political goals while furthering his own vision of expansive presidential power,” and a USA Today article seconded this, stated that Barr “served as President Donald Trump’s most effective shield and advocate for broad presidential authority.” Scott Lemieux, author and political science professor at the University of Washington, wrote, “Barr is arguably the worst attorney general in American history.” “William Barr is a horrific human being and one of the worst members of the Trump administration,” tweeted author and political commentator Tony Schwartz.
This is how it always ends for enablers of authoritarians. In the end, he will always throw you under the bus. Take heed, GOP. You sold everything, yourselves, your honor, the country, for a man who values only himself. Be humiliated forever, Bill Barr. https://t.co/MlfUAVXNN5— Wajahat “Wears a Mask Because of a Pandemic” Ali (@WajahatAli) December 14, 2020
The Right supported Barr as attorney general and is sad to see him go. The Wall Street Journal praised him profusely, stating that he was “the right man at the right time for that difficult job, with the principles and toughness to make difficult decisions despite bitter Democrats in Congress and a willful President Trump.” They went on to call him a “champion of free speech and religious liberty when both are under attack by progressives.” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), chairman of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, tweeted, “I have nothing but total respect and admiration for the job done by William Barr as Attorney General of the United States.” National Review‘s editorial team wrote, “The attorney general revived the principle that the Constitution does not disappear in times of crisis or in reaction to fashionable trends” and called him “the ideal attorney general” amid our nation’s recent “toxic environment.”