William Barr has announced he is resigning as US attorney-general just weeks after publicly admitting he found no evidence of the widespread election irregularities claimed by outgoing president Donald Trump.
Mr Trump claimed on Twitter that Mr Barr’s departure was amicable, even though it comes just a month before he is due to leave office; Mr Barr gave no hint of bad blood in his resignation letter.
But Mr Trump announced the departure within minutes of president-elect Joe Biden formally receiving sufficient Electoral College votes to be sworn in on January 20.
Mr Trump tweeted that he had a “very nice meeting” with Mr Barr at the White House, adding: “Our relationship has been a very good one, he has done an outstanding job!”
The president added that Mr Barr would be “leaving just before Christmas to spend the holidays with his family” and be replaced by Jeff Rosen, the deputy attorney-general. He attached Mr Barr’s resignation letter, dated Monday.
However, the resignation comes just days after the president attacked Mr Barr as a “big disappointment” following reports that the attorney-general knew for months about a federal investigation into the tax affairs of Mr Biden’s son, Hunter.
Hunter Biden revealed last week that his tax affairs were under investigation, saying on Wednesday that his lawyers had been informed of the probe by the Delaware US attorney’s office on Tuesday.