Tensions between President Donald Trump and U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr appear to have thickened in the wake of the 2020 elections, especially after Barr revealed last week that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) hadn’t seen any evidence to confirm allegations of widespread voter fraud. Now, it’s looking like the pair’s relationship could soon come to a bitter and ugly end.
According to a Sunday report from The New York Times, Attorney General Barr is mulling the idea of quitting before Trump’s first — and possibly only — term in the White House ends in January.
Reporting Sunday, the Times cited three anonymous individuals said to be familiar with the situation, all of whom said that there’s a chance Barr could pack his things and exit the administration roughly a month prior to when he would be forced to leave, if Trump’s legal challenges to the election results fail.
“One said Mr. Barr could announce his departure before the end of the year,” the Times reported.
Barr calling it quits?
The news suggests that Barr is unhappy in some way or another; after all, why would he leave now when he only has a few weeks left in his highly esteemed role?
Some had suggested it might have to do with Barr’s recent remarks contrasting Trump’s on election fraud. Barr had told the Associated Press that “to date,” the DOJ had “not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.”
According to The Hill, Trump indicated following the AP interview that he was on the fence about Barr. Asked by reporters last week if he still has confidence in his attorney general, the president said, “Ask me that in a number of weeks from now.”
But on Sunday, the Times suggested that Barr’s relationship with Trump hasn’t had an impact on his reported — but still unconfirmed — decision to throw in the towel.
The Times said one of its sources “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 source reportedly told the Times that Barr feels he’s “completed the work that he set out to accomplish at the Justice Department.”
“He hasn’t done anything”
In the meantime, Trump appears to still be frustrated about his attorney general’s actions — or lack thereof.
According to The Hill, Trump accused Barr and his DOJ of “not looking hard enough” for ballot fraud after what some described as an “intense” meeting between the two last week. “He hasn’t done anything,” Trump said. “They haven’t looked very hard. Which is a disappointment, to be honest with you, because it’s massive fraud.”
While reports may continue to speculate, only time will tell whether Barr’s career as head of the DOJ comes to an end earlier than planned.