Former Attorney General William Barr accused President Trump of “orchestrating a mob” to stop Congress from certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory.
Barr, who resigned from Trump’s cabinet just before Christmas last year, slammed the president over his handling of a riot that broke out in the Capitol on Wednesday after pro-Trump rioters stormed the building. Four people died during the riot, including one woman who was shot by police inside the halls of Congress.
Barr denounced Trump in a statement to The Associated Press. Barr had been one of the president’s strongest allies when he served in the administration, and the former attorney general praised the president in his resignation letter. The Associated Press reported on Thursday:
Former Attorney General William Barr says President Donald Trump’s conduct as a violent mob of his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol was a “betrayal of his office and supporters.”
In a statement to The Associated Press, Barr said Thursday that “orchestrating a mob to pressure Congress is inexcusable.”
Barr’s comments come after another former Trump administration cabinet member, Former Defense Secretary James Mattis, also criticized the president for his handling of the riot. Unlike Barr, Mattis has been a frequent critic of Trump after leaving his administration.
“Today’s violent assault on our Capitol, an effort to subjugate American democracy by mob rule, was fomented by Mr. Trump,” Mattis said in a statement on Wednesday. “His use of the Presidency to destroy trust in our election and to poison our respect for fellow citizens has been enabled by pseudo-political leaders whose names will live in infamy as profiles in cowardice.”
“Our Constitution and our Republic will overcome this stain and We the People will come together again in our never-ending effort to form a more perfect Union, while Mr. Trump will deservedly be left a man without a country,” he added.
A number of President Trump’s staff members – many previously ardent supporters of the president – have announced their resignation from his administration following the riot yesterday. Special U.S. envoy to Northern Ireland Mick Mulvaney announced his resignation on Thursday citing the riots and saying that others he had spoken with may follow him. National security advisor deputy Matthew Pottinger, first lady Melania Trump’s chief of staff Stephanie Grisham, and White House deputy press secretary Sarah Matthews have also resigned.
Mulvaney explained his resignation in a statement to CNBC. As The Daily Wire reported:
“I called [Secretary of State] Mike Pompeo last night to let him know I was resigning from that. I can’t do it. I can’t stay,” Mulvaney told CNBC News.
The former chief of staff said he spoke to others who are planning to resign too, but are currently staying on “because they’re worried the president might put someone worse in.”
“Those who choose to stay, and I have talked with some of them, are choosing to stay because they’re worried the president might put someone worse in,” Mulvaney said.