WASHINGTON, DC – United States Attorney General William Barr has announced his resignation from President Donald Trump’s administration. The resignation will take effect starting next week.
Just had a very nice meeting with Attorney General Bill Barr at the White House. Our relationship has been a very good one, he has done an outstanding job! As per letter, Bill will be leaving just before Christmas to spend the holidays with his family…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 14, 2020
President Trump announced Barr’s resignation on Twitter:
“Just had a very nice meeting with Attorney General Bill Barr at the White House. Our relationship has been a very good one, he has done an outstanding job! As per letter, Bill will be leaving just before Christmas to spend the holidays with his family.
“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!”
…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
“I will spend the next week wrapping up a few remaining matters important to the Administration.”
Barr also praised President Trump in saying:
“Your record is all the more historic because you accomplished it in the face of relentless, implacable resistance…
Your 2016 victory speech in which you reach out to your opponents and called for working together for the benefit of the American people was immediately met by a partisan onslaught against you in which no tactic, no matter how abusive and deceitful, was out of bounds.
The nadir of this campaign was the effort to cripple, if not oust, your Administration with frenzied and baseless accusations of collusion with Russia…
— Trading MarcoDaCosta (@MarcoDaCostaFX) December 14, 2020
“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.”
News of Barr’s resignation came after the Electorate Collage from the state of California had just voted for Joe Biden, giving him what he needed to claim the president-elect status: 270 electoral votes.
Rumors began to surface recently that President Trump had become frustrated with Barr over comments he had made when asked if he believed there was any evidence of widespread voter fraud. Barr said that the Justice Department had not found any evidence of widespread fraud, which of course was quite a different view as the President’s. Barr said:
“To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have affected a different outcome in the election.”
A comment that made President Trump to say:
“He hasn’t done anything, so he hasn’t looked.”
After word had broken that Barr made the claim that there was not sufficient evidence of widespread voter fraud, attorney’s for the President, Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis, released a statement of their own:
“With all due respect to the Attorney General, there hasn’t been any semblance of a Department of Justice investigation. Again, with the greatest respect to the Attorney General, his opinion appears to be without any knowledge or investigation of the substantial irregularities and evidence of systemic fraud.”
AG William Barr resigns.
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) December 14, 2020
Despite the appearance that Barr was forced out by President Trump, it does not appear that was the case.
According to CNN, a White House official reached out to them stating that Barr was not asked to resign by the President. The source also told CNN that the meeting between both people was “very amicable.” Another source told CNN that the meeting was very “cordial.”
Barr was confirmed as the Attorney General for the United States in February of 2019 after former Attorney General Jeff Sessions was forced to resign. This was Barr’s second stint as Attorney General, his first was under President George H W Bush.
“I am greatly honored that you called on me to serve your administration and the American people once again as Attorney General. I am proud to have played a role in the many successes and unprecedented achievements you have delivered for the American people.”
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DOJ responds to media claim that election investigation over: ‘Not what the Attorney General stated’
December 2, 2020
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Justice has taken on media outlets who inaccurately portrayed Attorney General William Barr and the DOJ as having found no evidence of election fraud and as having completed its investigations into the contested 2020 presidential election.
An Associated Press news article from Tuesday, December 1st, crowed in its headline:
“Disputing Trump, Barr says no widespread election fraud.”
The article was picked up and widely distributed by multiple media outlets, and users of social media excitedly shared the “news” that there was no evidence of election fraud.
In other breaking news, the sun will apparently set in the west this evening. https://t.co/FR3ncY5Hbr
— Dan Rather (@DanRather) December 1, 2020
However, semantics tell a different story, for those who read beyond a headline.
Even the original AP article went on to say that Barr’s specific words actually were:
“to date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.”
Regarding specific accusations of fraud, Barr went on to tell the AP:
“There’s been one assertion that would be systemic fraud and that would be the claim that machines were programmed essentially to skew the election results.
“And the DHS and DOJ have looked into that, and so far, we haven’t seen anything to substantiate that.”
Again, semantics are king here. While indicating that the DOJ had not yet uncovered evidence of fraud, Barr did not say that the question of fraud was put to bed.
To their credit, the AP also included words of disagreement from Rudy Giuliani and the Trump campaign team, who countered that “‘with all due respect to the Attorney General, there hasn’t been any semblance’ of an investigation into the president’s complaints.”
President Trump's legal team criticizes the Justice Department after Attorney General William Barr says there's no evidence of widespread election fraud https://t.co/M4fAPva9hb pic.twitter.com/0fKbJlJRML
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) December 1, 2020
The AP also included a statement Giuliani made regarding “ample evidence of illegal voting in at least six states, which [the DOJ] have not examined.”
According to the AP, Giuliani also said:
“We have many witnesses swearing under oath they saw crimes being committed in connection with voter fraud.
“As far as we know, not a single one has been interviewed by the DOJ.
“The Justice Department also hasn’t audited any voting machines or used their subpoena powers to determine the truth.”
However, although the AP contradicted its own headline in the body of its article and provided information that countered Barr’s assertions, a headline-reading public evidently assumed that the question of fraud was settled, and that DOJ involvement in investigations was complete.
Indeed, a quick Twitter search of “Barr says no election fraud” reveals large numbers of tweets proclaiming “Barr says no widespread election fraud.”
Everyone (but Trump) agrees. There was no fraud and the election was the most secure ever. https://t.co/l5GEyZrROW
— House Homeland Security Committee (@HomelandDems) December 1, 2020
Media outlets were largely no better, running with the misleading AP headline as well.
— WTKR News 3 (@WTKR3) December 2, 2020
As a result, the Department of Justice found itself having to address the misinformation.
A DOJ spokesperson stated:
“Some media outlets have incorrectly reported that the Department has concluded its investigation of election fraud and announced an affirmative finding of no fraud in the election.”
The spokesperson continued:
“That is not what the Associated Press reported nor what the Attorney General stated.
“The Department will continue to receive and vigorously pursue all specific and credible allegations of fraud as expeditiously as possible.”
— Catherine Herridge (@CBS_Herridge) December 2, 2020
For their part, the Trump campaign team has indicated that they will also proceed with their ongoing election fraud investigations.
Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis have said in a statement that the President’s campaign team will:
“continue our pursuit of the truth through the judicial system and state legislatures, and continue toward the Constitution’s mandate and ensuring that every legal vote is counted and every illegal vote is not.”
Giuliani and Ellis added:
“Again, with the greatest respect to the Attorney General, his opinion appears to be without any knowledge or investigation of the substantial irregularities and evidence of systemic fraud.”
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