U.S. Attorney General William Barr is resigning from the top cabinet position with effect from Dec. 23, confirming the resignation rumours.
Barr did not give reasons for the decision in his two-page resignation letter posted by President Donald Trump on Twitter on Monday evening.
“Just had a very nice meeting with Attorney General Bill Barr at the White House. Our relationship has been a very good one, he has done an outstanding job!
“As per letter, Bill will be leaving just before Christmas to spend the holidays with his family,” Trump said in the tweet.
The president named Deputy Attorney General Jeff Rosen, whom he described as an outstanding person, as Barr’s successor in acting capacity.
Barr’s resignation came as the Electoral College formally confirmed Joe Biden’s presidential election victory.
Trump had yet to concede defeat and is challenging the election results for alleged widespread voter fraud, but his efforts to overturn the outcome had been unsuccessful in court.
In the letter, the outgoing attorney general thanked the president for the opportunity to serve in his administration and the American people.
He said he was proud to have contributed to the “many successes and unprecedented achievements” delivered by Trump for the American people.
“Your record is all the more historic because you accomplished it in the face of relentless, implacable resistance.
“Few could have weathered these attacks, much less forge ahead with a positive programme for the country,” he wrote.
Barr went ahead to outline the president’s achievements in areas such as economy, immigration, border security, Middle East and protection of competition in the tech sector, among others.
“As discussed, I will spend the next week wrapping up a few remaining matters important to the Administration and Depart on Dec. 23,” he said.
Trump recently began to criticise the Department of Justice for “missing in action” on the voter fraud probe launched by Barr in November.
On Dec. 1, Barr told the Associated Press that the investigation had found no evidence of widespread fraud in the Nov. 3 elections as alleged by the president.
“To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have affected a different outcome in the election,” he said in the interview.
The declaration did not go down well with Trump who accused Barr of having done nothing because he had not looked hard enough.
He declined to say whether or not he still had confidence in the attorney general, and simply said: “Ask me in a couple of weeks from now.”