Earlier this month, US President Donald Trump announced that the head of the Department of Justice would be leaving his office “just before Christmas”. The move was reportedly a result of his failing to back up claims of ballot-rigging in the 2020 election, and keeping silent about the probe into Hunter Biden over possible tax evasion.
The outgoing US Attorney General, William Barr, marked his last day in office by sending out a note on Wednesday thanking his colleagues for their “devoted service to the nation we love”, Axios reported.
“… It has been a great honor to serve once again in this role. … The dedicated men and women of this Department — including its operational components — have risen to meet historic challenges. … I will always be grateful for your devoted service to the Nation we love,” Barr said in his letter to his colleagues, according to NBC.
Today is William Barr’s final day as Attorney General of the United States.
Here is his farewell note to colleagues, via NBC’s Mike Kosnar. pic.twitter.com/mkFIbEQlXr
— Gary Grumbach (@GaryGrumbach) December 23, 2020
In his last press conference as the attorney general, held on Monday, Barr told reporters that he saw no reason to appoint a special counsel in Hunter Biden’s probe, while he also stated he found no use in seizing voting machines for the government and agreed with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s statement claiming that Russia was allegedly behind the recently uncovered SolarWind cyberattack.
“From the information that I have, I agree with Secretary Pompeo’s assessment. It certainly appears to be the Russians, but I’m not going to discuss it beyond that”, he added.
The DOJ will now be headed by Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, who has been serving under Barr since last year.
According to the report, Rosen will be confronted with Trump’s attempts to overturn the results of the presidential election during his last month as head of state, and is likely to face pressure from the president with respect to the federal investigation into Hunter Biden over possible tax evasion, as well as special counsel John Durham’s probe into the origins of the Russia investigation, which Barr refused to release prior to Election Day.
Barr was the subject of intense criticism from Democratic party members throughout his term as the head of the Justice Department. Subsequently, he has fallen out of favor with Trump in recent weeks, with the latter announcing Barr’s departure earlier this month “to spend the holidays with his family”, while noting that he performed an “outstanding job” at the post.