Attorney General William Barr resigned from his position on Monday and will be replaced with Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, according to President Donald Trump.
Barr’s unexpected and early resignation comes after intense disagreements over the past year with Trump. Trump had made it publicly known that he disagreed with Barr’s handling of the Justice Department’s investigation into the origin of the Russia probe, as well as Barr’s conflicting point of view that there was no significant evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 general election.
“Deputy Attorney General Jeff Rosen, an outstanding person, will become Acting Attorney General,” Trump wrote on Twitter Monday. “Highly respected Richard Donoghue will be taking over the duties of Deputy Attorney General. Thank you to all!”
Rosen is expected to lead the Justice Department in an acting capacity until President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. He was first confirmed to the deputy attorney general position in May 2019. It was during that time that former Special Counsel Robert Mueller released his report on the investigation into the Russian interference.
The report contained many redactions and democrats pushed for the un-redacted copy to be released. At Rosen’s confirmation hearing in 2019, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn, asked for Rosen to publish the un-redacted version.
“I want your commitment here that you will support full and release of that report to the United States Congress without redactions or edits of any kind,” Blumenthal said.
Rosen replied, “Well, Senator, I’d like to say this respectfully, but uh, if I’m confirmed I would be the deputy attorney general and I’d be working for the attorney general.”
Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio told Fox News that he appreciated Barr’s summary of the Mueller investigation which was published before the report’s actual release.
“I do appreciate the Attorney General (Barr’s) work on the Mueller investigation, and the fact that he put out that letter when the Mueller report first came out, I appreciate that he named John Durham and we know now Durham is beefing up his investigation, adding prosecutors to that investigation, I think that’s a good thing.”
“So, we appreciate the service but that’s a call for the president,” Jordan added. “And, of course, as I said, I think some Americans were, as I was frustrated, at the pace of some of the things that happened.”
During the final few weeks of a Trump presidency, the promotion of Rosen has raised concerns about the appointment of a special counsel focused on the incoming Joe Biden administration.
Trump, however, believes it the appointment of a special counsel is necessary to look into the allegations of fraud, money laundering and connections between Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, and his connections to China and Ukraine. There is no certainly, however, that Rosen will request that position.
Either way, sources have told SaraACarter.com, Connecticut prosecutor John Durham, who was appointed by Barr, will still lead his investigation into the FBI’s malfeasance in its probe into the Trump campaign and the debunked belief that he was tied to Russia.
You can follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy