Donald Trump fired Bill Barr as attorney general Monday after a face-to-face White House meeting – having raged at the chief law enforcement officer keeping the Hunter Biden probe secret.
Trump announced the departure in a tweet which presented Barr’s decision to go as his own.
‘Our relationship has been a very good one, he has done an outstanding job!’ Trump said, then said Barr would ‘spend the holidays with his family.’
The White House published a resignation letter from Barr which hinted at tensions over Trump’s claims of voter fraud.
The departing AG said that the two had met for talks on voter fraud allegations and said ‘it is incumbent on all levels of government… to assure the integrity of elections and promote public confidence in their outcome.’
Bar’s letter spoke to the importance of election integrity – even as he frustrated the president by failing to to endorse his unfounded allegations of widespread voter fraud in the election.
‘At a time when the country is so deeply divided, it is incumbent on all levels of government, and all agencies acting within their purview, to do all we can do assure the integrity of elections and promote public confidence in their outcome,’ Barr wrote.
The departure came the afternoon after it emerged Barr used the force of his office to instruct prosecutors investigating Hunter Biden not to take any steps that might cause the probe to be publicly revealed in the run-up to the election.
The Hunter Biden directive, reported in the Wall Street Journal, was in keeping with existing Justice Department policy against taking investigatory steps close to an election that might interfere with it.
Barr and his team took steps to ‘insulate’ the investigations, according to the report, even as Trump repeatedly demanded a probe of his political rival’s son.
Out: Attorney General Bill Barr instructed prosecutors not to take steps that would allow a Hunter Biden probe to be made public
Those instructions were given orally in ‘conversations with prosecutors,’ according to the Journal, which would appear to suggest there is no paper trail for it. They included asking if staff members involved in the situation could be trusted.
The case reflects the deep pressures being navigated by the Justice Department in the wake of 2016 and Trump’s unprecedented and constant calls to investigate his opponents.
Just days before the 2016 elections, then-FBI Director James Comey informed lawmakers that the bureau was investigating new emails uncovered on former Rep. Anthony Weiner’s laptop. The disclosure provided another blow to the Clinton camp, and Hillary Clinton and other aides have cited Comey as helping cause her defeat.
A 2012 policy is intended to keep the Justice Department away from actions that might steer a campaign.
Democrats had blasted Barr throughout his term for several pivotal steps that appear to have benefited Trump: withholding documents and testimony from Congress during impeachment; the release of a summary of the Mueller probe; and the decision to drop charges against Trump ally Mike Flynn, who the president pardoned after the election.
Barr also made public comments in line with Trump’s concerns about the risk of voter fraud through mail-in ballots.
In October, Republican lawmakers demanded a criminal probe of Hunter Biden, but the DOJ did not respond. Senate Republicans had conducted their own investigation, which they released shortly before the election – in a move that itself would mostly likely have broken Senate mores several years back.
Trump had raged about Barr on Twitter since news of Hunter probe broke. Hunter Biden said last week he was being investigated for tax issues, and said an ‘objective review of these matters will demonstrate that I handled my affairs legally and appropriately, including with the benefit of professional tax advisors.’
Information purporting to show his dealings with top officials of Chinese energy giant CEFC were contained on a laptop that Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani provided to the New York Post before the election.
Trump on Saturday linked his complaints about Barr to his effort to overturn the election, a day after the Supreme Court refused to hear a Texas case where he sought to intervene.
‘IF Biden gets in, nothing will happen to Hunter or Joe. Barr will do nothing, and the new group of partisan killers coming in will quickly kill it all. Same thing with Durham. We caught them cold, spying, treason & more (the hard part), but “Justice” took too long. Will be DOA!’
The Durham probe refers to the investigation by U.S. attorney John Durham, appointed by Barr to investigate alleged misconduct by the FBI in the Russia probe. That probe disappointed Trump by failing to produce any bombshells in the days before the election.
Hunter Biden has faced a series of new revelations about his dealings, including that he failed to disclose $400,000 in payments from Ukrainian energy company Burisma on his 2014 tax returns, according to an email from his notorious subpoenaed laptop.
Eric Schwerin, president of Biden’s firm Rosemont Seneca, sent the email on January 16, 2017, noting that Hunter Biden’s total income for 2014 was more than $1.2 million, according to NBC News.
Information purportedly from Hunter Biden’s laptop emerged in the final weeks of the campaign
It follows confirmation earlier this week that the Justice Department is investigating Hunter Biden’s tax matters, including his lucrative dealings with China.
‘In 2014 you joined the Burisma board and we still need to amend your 2014 returns to reflect the unreported Burisma income,’ says the email from Schwerin.
The email notes that Biden’s 2014 income included the $400,000 from Burisma as well as income from Rosemont Seneca Advisors and a legal firm.
It’s unclear from the email whether Biden went on to amend the tax return. His longtime attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment from DailyMail.com on Saturday.
NBC News said that it obtained the email from Rudy Giuliani’s attorney Robert Costello, who had access to the notorious laptop that Hunter Biden reportedly left in a Delaware repair shop.
A federal prosecutor in Delaware subpoenaed the laptop’s contents as part of an ongoing probe.
Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings became a point of contention during the election, after the New York Post ran reports about revelations from a discarded laptop.
Biden’s campaign attacked the articles as Russian disinformation and smears.
Hunter Biden was appointed to the board of Burisma in 2014 and served until his term expired in 2019. New emails suggest he failed to report income from Burisma on his 2014 taxes
‘Not one single solitary thing was out of line,’ Joe Biden insisted of his son’s dealings in the second presidential debate. ‘My son has not made money in terms of this thing about, what are you talking about, China.’
Now, it has been revealed that the tax investigation into Hunter Biden was launched in 2018, the year before the elder Biden announced his candidacy for president.
Hunter Biden confirmed the existence of the investigation on Wednesday, saying he learned about it for the first time the previous day.
‘I take this matter very seriously but I am confident that a professional and objective review of these matters will demonstrate that I handled my affairs legally and appropriately, including with the benefit of professional tax advisors,’ he said in a statement.
It isn’t clear which entities or business dealings might be tied up in the probe, though a person with knowledge of the matter said at least some of focus was on his past work in China.
Federal investigators served a round of subpoenas on Tuesday, including one for Hunter Biden, according to another person familiar with the investigation.
Investigators did not reach out until recently because of Justice Department practice against taking overt investigative actions in the run-up to an election, one of the people said.
Hunter Biden (left) is seen with Joe and Jill Biden as they celebrate election victory on November 7. Hunter’s financial dealings are the subject of a federal investigation
President Donald Trump lashed out at Barr over revelations that the Justice Department kept investigations into Hunter Biden secret leading up to the election.
‘Why didn’t Bill Barr reveal the truth to the public, before the Election, about Hunter Biden,’ Trump tweeted on Saturday morning from the White House.
‘Joe was lying on the debate stage that nothing was wrong, or going on – Press confirmed. Big disadvantage for Republicans at the polls!’ he continued.
Another emails from 2017 shows that Hunter Biden requested keys from a property manager for his ‘office mates’, including his father Joe Biden and an ’emissary’ from a Chinese business partner.
Joe Biden has repeatedly denied any involvement in his son’s foreign business dealings with China, which were this week revealed to be the target of a federal investigation.
The September 20, 2017 email requests copies of keys from an office building manager in Washington DC for Joe and Jill Biden , along with Joe’s brother James Biden and ’emissary’ Gongweng Dong.
The email, first reported by the Daily Caller and also obtained by Fox News, describes Dong as the emissary of Ye Jianming, the disgraced former chairman of Chinese energy company CEFC.
‘[P]lease have keys made available for new office mates: Joe Biden, Jill Biden, Jim Biden, Gongwen Dong (Chairman Ye CEFC emissary),’ the email reads
WHO’S WHO IN THE HUNTER FILES
Vice president’s son was well-known to be seeking business deals in China. He traveled there in 2013 on Air Force Two and introduced his father to a business partner, Jonathan Li. In 2017, after his father left office, he pursued a relationship with Ye Jianming
Chairman and founder of CEFC China Energy, 43. A wunderkind of the Chinese energy world. Gave Hunter a diamond in 2017 as they pursued a business relationship. But in November 2017 company was accused of bribery in Africa by the DOJ, and in March 2018 he was arrested in China, reportedly on the orders of Xi Jinping. Has not been seen or heard from since but a prosecution in 2018 saw a senior Communist leader accused of taking bribes from him
Zang Jian Jun
Senior executive at CEFC and also a senior figure in the China Chamber of International Commerce
Penn State wrestler and Navy veteran turned-California businessman, 48, who appears to have done other business in China. Unclear how he and Gilliar know each other. Other business ventures include an investment in a Chinese men’s clothing company called VLOV
Bill Clinton administration official who is now co-founder of a technology-focused private equity firm, Pilot Growth. His wife Betsy Massey Walker was Jill Biden’s assistant when she was Second Lady
British-born 56-year-old businessman based in the Czech Republic. Set up jc2r, the company which is in the emails, in 2015. It is no longer active. Gilliar appears to breed race horses with his wife, Erika and appears to also be an adviser to a holding company run by the leader of Abu Dhabi’s son
Joe Biden’s younger brother and a serial entrepreneur who has long faced claims of profiting from his brother’s political career. He and Hunter were in business together in 2006 when they bought investment firm Paradigm Global Advisors which they unwound in 2010 after connections to a Ponzi fraudster emerged
The Chairman and The Big Guy
Said to be Joe Biden in many of the text exchanges although Hunter’s messages do not state this directly