The Justice Department has refuted a New York Times report that Attorney General William Barr may leave before the end of the year, saying in a statement that he "intends to stay as long as President Trump needs him."
NEW: A DOJ official tells @CBSNews that Attorney General Bill Barr intends to stay as long as President Trump needs him. Sunday NYTimes reported, “Barr Is Said to Be Weighing Whether to Leave Before Trump’s Term Ends”— Catherine Herridge (@CBS_Herridge) December 7, 2020
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Attorney General William Barr may quit before the end of the year, according to the New York Times, citing 'three people familiar with this (not his?) thinking.'
"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," reports the Times.
According to one of the three anonymous sources, Barr had been considering an early departure since before last week, and that Trump's election fraud claims had not influenced his thinking. Another said that Barr felt he'd finished the job he set out to complete at the DOJ.
In addition to avoiding a confrontation with Trump over using the Justice Department to challenge the election results, Barr's departure would deprive the president of a cabinet officer "who has wielded the power of the Justice Department more deeply in service of a president’s political agenda than any attorney general in a half-century," writes the Times, seemingly forgetting about Obama 'wingman' Eric Holder. Meanwhile, some Trump allies who have criticized Barr over inaction may be pleased by an early departure.
In short, the Times is heavily speculating over Barr's alleged 'thinking' while framing the AG as Trump's lackey who simply can't bring himself to participate in this latest act (which the NYT all but calls illegal). They note that the 70-year-old Barr is the "strongest proponent of presidential power to hold the office of attorney general since Watergate," and that like Trump, he believes that the FBI abused its power while investigating (and setting up) the Trump campaign surrounding the 2016 US election.
The rest of the article suggests that Barr released a 'distorted and misleading' summary of the Mueller report, and noted that he's appointed US attorney John Durham of Connecticut as a special prosecutor to ensure his investigation of the FBI's conduct in the 2016 election would continue regardless of the outcome of the election.
Barr served as Attorney General under President George Bush, before becoming the general counsel of GTE Corp. which eventually became Verizon - making him a multi-millionaire.