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President Donald Trump’s anger toward Attorney General William Barr has reached a boiling point in recent days, and multiple advisors are trying to convince the president not to fire Barr, The Washington Post reported late Wednesday.
Trump’s fury stems mainly from Barr’s failure to deliver on a politically charged investigation into the origins of the FBI’s Russia probe. The investigation, spearheaded by US attorney John Durham, is examining whether the bureau broke the law when it investigated if the Trump campaign conspired with the Russian government to tilt the 2016 US election in his favor.
The attorney general told Republican senators in September that Durham’s investigation would not conclude in time to release a public report before the November election. The news angered the president, who had long said the inquiry would show proof that the Obama administration and the “deep state” masterminded a plot to take him down by illegally launching the Russia investigation.
So far, the Durham probe has resulted in a criminal charge against a former FBI lawyer who pleaded guilty to making false statements to investigators. But it has not uncovered evidence of a nefarious conspiracy against the president by his perceived political foes. Durham’s investigation is ongoing, and Barr appointed him special counsel, under the same regulations that governed Mueller’s 2017 appointment to the role.
One senior administration official told The Post that Trump remains livid that Durham didn’t issue a public report of his findings before the election, and that Barr secretly appointed him special counsel. “A lot of it is Durham,” the official said.
The president’s frustration with Barr mounted after he told The Associated Press in an interview that the FBI and Department of Justice did not have evidence of widespread, nationwide voter fraud in the 2020 election.
The revelation flew in the face of the Trump legal team’s bogus claims that Democrats conspired with “big media” to steal the election by engineering nationwide voter fraud and working with South American communist dictators (some of whom died years ago) to rig voting machines in favor of President-elect Joe Biden.
ABC News reported that Trump and Barr had an “intense” meeting at the White House after the AP interview was published. The DOJ also released a statement qualifying some of Barr’s claims hours after his meeting with the president. But Trump has continued complaining about Barr in the day since the interview dropped, The Post reported.
Barr’s potential termination would add to a growing list of revenge firings Trump has carried out since losing the election. In the week after he lost, the president dismissed Defense Secretary Mark Esper, as well as Chris Krebs, the US’s top cybersecurity official who drew Trump’s ire by publicly refuting Republicans’ misinformation about the election.
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