‘A Big Disappointment’: Trump Is Still Flirting With The Idea Of Firing Barr

US President Donald Trump (R) and US Attorney General William Barr step off Air Force One upon arrival at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on September 1, 2020. - US President Donald Trump said September 1, 2020 on... US President Donald Trump (R) and US Attorney General William Barr step off Air Force One upon arrival at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on September 1, 2020. - US President Donald Trump said September 1, 2020 on a visit to protest-hit Kenosha, Wisconsin that recent anti-police demonstrations in the city were acts of "domestic terror" committed by violent mobs. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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December 12, 2020 3:15 p.m.

President Donald Trump on Saturday continued to lash out at Attorney General Bill Barr who appears to have been on thin ice lately after a report landed earlier this week and suggested the attorney general has been working to keep quiet a federal probe involving Hunter Biden, the son of Trump’s Democratic rival Joe Biden who became President-elect after winning last month’s election.

Trump shared a tweet from a sympathizing conservative columnist and radio host Todd Starnes who recently backed the President’s false election fraud claims. Starnes’ tweet suggested on Friday that Barr should be “fired by the end of business today,” if a Wall Street Journal report that said the attorney general had known and kept quiet since the spring about an investigation that involved the younger Biden proved to be true.

The probe which was launched in 2018, predates Barr’s tenure at attorney general — but led to a meltdown from Trump on Friday.

Rumors began swirling last week that Trump was considering firing his attorney general after Barr told the Associated Press in an interview that he had not seen evidence of widespread fraud that would overturn the results of the Nov. 3 election, which Trump decisively lost to Biden.

When asked about his confidence in the attorney general, Trump told reporters in the Oval Office last week that he would need to be asked the question again “a number of weeks from now,” in order to arrive at a decision about his traditionally loyal ally.

His complaint at that time was that Barr “hasn’t done anything,” and that the Justice Department hadn’t “looked very hard” to corroborate Trump’s false declarations of election fraud in battleground states he had lost.

Trump’s rage now extends to being kept in the dark about a probe involving Biden’s financial and business dealings in two investigations in Delaware and Manhattan.

Hours after a firing off the first tweet suggesting a Barr dismissal could be afoot, Trump followed up with a fresh attack on his attorney general, raking Barr through the mud over why the attorney general hadn’t revealed “the truth to the public” in an effort that he said had cost Republicans at the polls.

The accusations, clumsily lurch miles ahead of an investigation that has not drawn conclusions about the younger Biden, and appears to implicate the President-elect who is not involved in either of the investigations.

Trump’s suggestion that news of the probe would have benefited him in the polls are somewhat predictable arguments. Such an effort was central to his impeachment, when in July 2019, during a now famous call, Trump attempted to extort the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to dig up dirt on Biden’s son and announce an investigation.

 Trump and his Republican allies in Congress further intensified pressure to smear Biden and his son in October, urging Barr to appoint a special counsel to investigate Hunter Biden as his father rose in the polls.

When asked at the time whether he supported the call for a special prosecutor, Trump told Fox News that he wanted action from Barr before the election saying “he’s got to act fast,” and adding, “this has to be known about before the election.”

The Justice Department however, maintains guidelines urging officials to avoid making obvious steps that would bring an investigation into public view that could impact or give the appearance of attempting to sway the outcome of an election.

Before the Wall Street Journal reported of Barr’s efforts to keep the probe quiet, Barr is reportedly had no intentions of vacating his post early  — although those plans are likely now up in the air as Trump has taken pains to exact revenge on those he had seen as disloyal in his dwindling days in office — firing Defense Secretary Mark Esper and DHS cybersecurity official Chris Krebs just last month.

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