Now-former Attorney General Bill Barr delivered a farewell message to staff at the Department of Justice (DOJ) on his last day in the role on Wednesday.
President Donald Trump announced Barr’s resignation in early December after the pair had disagreement over Trump’s accusations of widespread election fraud. Barr told staff it had been a “great honor” to lead them for the past two years.
“Today is my last day as Attorney General,” Barr said in his message. “As I told the President in my departure letter and reiterated during my final press conference on Monday, it has been a great honor to serve once again in this role. Over the past two years, the dedicated men and women of this Department–including its operational components–have risen to meet historic challenges and upheld our vital mission to enforce the rule of law.”
“I have been continually inspired by your professionalism and outstanding work. As I did almost 30 years ago, I leave this Office with deep respect for you, and I will always be grateful for your devoted service to the Nation we love,” he added.
Today marks Bill Barr’s last day as Attorney General. This is his farewell message to DOJ staff: pic.twitter.com/8FJ7bqzKBR
— Clare Hymes (@ClareHymes22) December 23, 2020
Trump has been complimentary of Barr in recent days despite the circumstances of the resignation. Trump announced the shift Dec. 14, directly following what he called a “nice conversation” with Barr at the White House.
“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,” Trump tweeted at the time. “As per letter, Bill will be leaving just before Christmas to spend the holidays with his family.”
Despite the kind words, Trump had repeatedly criticized Barr for his handling of investigations into Hunter Biden as well as his downplaying of election fraud claims. Barr released a statement Dec. 1 saying neither the DOJ nor the Department of Human Services had yet uncovered evidence of fraud that could have swayed the result of the election.
Deputy Attorney General Jeff Rosen will succeed Barr in the post for the remainder of the Trump administration.