Attorney General William Barr is considering resigning before President Trump’s first term of office expires on January 20, according to a report by the New York Times published Sunday evening.
Barr, who had previously served as attorney general in the George H. W. Bush administration from 1991-1993, was appointed by Trump in November 2019 to replace the hapless Jeff Sessions who had allowed the Deep State to run roughshod over him as it endeavored to remove Trump from office with the Russia collusion hoax that led to the Mueller investigation. Barr has failed to prosecute the coup plotters who from Barack Obama and Joe Biden to James Comey, John Brennan and beyond abused the powers of government to prevent Trump from taking office and then to sabotage and try to overthrow his presidency.
Barr’s efforts to push back against the coup have been seen as weak and ineffective, with but one minor prosecution of an FBI official and interventions to dismiss the Flynn case and reduce the sentence of Roger Stone. Trump ended up pardoning Flynn and commuting Stone’s sentence.
Barr said last week he had secretly appointed U.S. Attorney John Durham as Special Counsel to carry on his investigation into the coup, but with a narrow focus on the conduct of the FBI in the Crossfire Hurricane probe. The failure of Barr and Durham to produce indictments or even an interim report before the November election was seen as a major disappointment by Trump supporters who saw the coup plotters not only getting away with the scheme but profiting at the ballot box.
Barr last week said he had not seen any evidence of widespread fraud that could change the results of the election.
Trump reportedly had an “intense” meeting with Barr at the White House after his comments went public.
Last Wednesday, a day after the reported meeting, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany declined to say if Trump had confidence in Barr, saying in response to a reporter’s question, “If we have any personnel announcements, I’ll let you know.”
Excerpt from the New York Times report:
Attorney General William P. Barr is considering stepping down before President Trump’s term ends next month, according to three people familiar with this thinking. One said Mr. Barr could announce his departure before the end of the year.
It was not clear whether the attorney general’s deliberations were influenced by Mr. Trump’s refusal to concede his election loss or his fury over Mr. Barr’s acknowledgment last week that the Justice Department uncovered no widespread voting fraud. In the ensuing days, the president refused to say whether he still had confidence in his attorney general.
One of the people insisted that Mr. Barr had been weighing his departure since before last week and that Mr. Trump had not affected the attorney general’s thinking. Another said Mr. Barr had concluded that he had completed the work that he set out to accomplish at the Justice Department.
…Mr. Barr has not made a final decision, and the prospect of him staying on through Jan. 20 remains a possibility, the people familiar with his thinking cautioned.
UPDATE: The Times report was confirmed by the Washington Post in an article published Sunday night (excerpt):
Attorney General William P. Barr has told associates in recent weeks that he may leave his post before the Trump administration ends next month, according to people familiar with the discussions.
Barr, in his second stint as the nation’s top law enforcement official, since the fall has been the target of growing criticism from President Trump and his supporters — public attacks that intensified in recent days after the attorney general said the Justice Department had not found evidence of widespread voter fraud that could affect the outcome of the presidential contest. But people close to the attorney general, speaking on the condition of anonymity to describe private conversations, said Barr’s contemplation of resigning before Jan. 20 predates that fresh burst of criticism from the right.
Barr first broached the topic with associates shortly after Election Day, when it became clear that former vice president Joe Biden had won, according to one person familiar with the conversation. Before the election, Barr had told friends that if Trump won, he would like to stay on as attorney general for some time in the second term.
One adviser to the president told The Washington Post last week that Barr could be fired. The New York Times reported Sunday that the attorney general was considering stepping down before mid-January…