Attorney General William Barr is no longer a friend to President Trump. His most recent moves have revealed how true this is. President Trump’s hope for re-election appears to be getting dimmer and General Barr is a big reason why.
President Trump has been very critical of November’s election results. He continues to claim that he won the election, as evidenced by his Twitter account. With President Trump needing help to overturn the results, AG Barr doesn’t appear to be giving much support (CNN).
AG Barr addressed his current plans regarding President Trump’s calls to overturn the election on Monday saying, “”If I thought a special counsel at this stage was a right tool and was appropriate, I would name one, but I haven’t and I’m not going to” (CNN).
Understanding exactly what a special counsel is is important in this instance. To begin with, a special counsel can only be appointed by the attorney general (Balsamo). It is defined as “a government prosecutor who has been appointed to oversee a criminal investigation where the Justice Department has a conflict of interest or under certain circumstances where it would be “in the public interest” to appoint an investigator outside the department.” A recent example of a special counsel came in 2017 when Robert Mueller was assigned to the Trump and Russia situation (Bondarenko).
This is also AG Barr’s final week as Attorney General. He is set to resign on December 23 (Gurman). Monday was his last public appearance. He spoke about special counsels for both election fraud and Hunter Biden’s taxes. He brought up the seizing voting of machines. He also discussed new charges in relation to the bombing of Pan Am Flight 203 that happened in 1988. Finally, he talked about the recent cyberattack on multiple U.S government agencies and Russia’s involvement in them (Balsamo).
Balsamo, Michael. “Barr Undercuts Trump on Election and Hunter Biden Inquiries.” AP NEWS, Associated Press, 21 Dec. 2020, apnews.com/article/william-barr-hunter-biden-election-047487650cd50f5a874c406aad214ce7.
Bondarenko, Veronika. “Here Are the Differences between a Special Counsel, a Special Prosecutor, and an Independent Counsel.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 19 May 2017, http://www.businessinsider.com/what-is-a-special-counsel-independent-prosecutor-trump-russia-comey-2017-5.
Gurman, Sadie. “William Barr to Resign as Attorney General.” The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones & Company, 15 Dec. 2020, http://www.wsj.com/articles/attorney-general-william-barr-resigns-effective-dec-23-11607986828.
Polantz, Katelyn, and Devan Cole. “Barr Says No Need for Special Counsels to Investigate Election or Hunter Biden.” CNN, Cable News Network, 21 Dec. 2020, http://www.cnn.com/2020/12/21/politics/william-barr-hunter-biden-election-special-counsel/index.html.