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Photo: Michael Reynolds/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Attorney General Bill Barr sent a parting note to his colleagues on Wednesday to mark the end of his time leading the Department of Justice, stating that it's been a "great honor to serve once again in this role," NBC News reports.

What to watch: Barr will be replaced in an acting capacity by Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, who multiple administration officials privately say now has the worst job in Washington.

  • Rosen will face a month of chaos as President Trump continues to engage with conspiracy theorists like lawyer Sidney Powell, who has encouraged him to take extreme steps in his baseless efforts to overturn the results of the election.
  • Rosen will also face pressure from Trump over inquiries into Hunter Biden, whose finances are under federal investigation, as well as special counsel John Durham's probe into the origins of the Russia investigation.

The big picture: Barr — the subject of intense criticism from Democrats throughout his tenure — fell out of favor with Trump after refusing to endorse his unfounded claims of voter fraud and not releasing the Durham report before the election.

  • In his last press conference as attorney general on Tuesday, Barr took the rare step of publicly contradicting Trump on a number of hot-button issues.
  • He told reporters he sees no reason to name a special counsel to investigate Hunter Biden, there is no basis for the federal government to seize voting machines, and that he agrees with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's assessment that Russia was behind the massive recent hack of federal agencies.

What he's saying: "The dedicated men and women of this Department — including its operational components — have risen to meet historic challenges. ... I will always be grateful for your devoted service to the Nation we love," Barr wrote in his letter to staff.

Go deeper: Read more on the events leading up to Barr's resignation

Go deeper

Jan 26, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Anthony Coley to lead Justice Department public affairs

Photo: Xinhua/Ting Shen via Getty Images

Judge Merrick Garland, President Biden’s nominee for attorney general, has tapped Anthony Coley, an Obama-era Treasury Department official, to serve as a senior adviser and to lead public affairs at the Department of Justice, according to people familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: As the public face of the DOJ, Coley will help explain — and defend — the department's actions, from sensitive cases to prosecutorial decisions, including the investigation into Hunter Biden.

Top labor leader Richard Trumka dies unexpectedly at 72

Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, who led the largest federation of unions in the country for over a decade, has died at 72.

The big picture: Trumka began working as a coal miner in 1968 and would go on to dedicate his life to the labor movement, including as president of the 12.5 million-member AFL-CIO beginning in 2009.

California wildfire explodes in size, destroys historic town

Battalion Chief Sergio Mora looks on as the Dixie fire burns through downtown Greenville, Calif. on Aug. 4, 2021. Photo: Josh EdelsonAFP via Getty Images

The small Sierra town of Greenville, Calif., was heavily damaged on Wednesday night into early Thursday as the Dixie Fire surged northward amid high winds, extremely dry air and hot temperatures.

The big picture: The Dixie Fire, California's biggest blaze and the sixth-largest wildfire in state history, razed houses and businesses as it ripped through Greenville and surrounding areas in Plumas County.

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