Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted Monday that Attorney General Bill Barr will resign from his post before Christmas, moments after the Electoral College affirmed President-elect Joe Biden's election victory.

Why it matters: Tensions between Trump and Barr had already been running high, and revelations in the Wall Street Journal that Barr had worked "for months" during the campaign to conceal a federal investigation of Hunter Biden further enraged the president.

Behind the scenes: Prior to the Hunter Biden report, Trump for weeks had privately discussed replacing Barr with somebody more willing to do his bidding.

  • Barr's comments to the AP earlier this month, in which he undercut Trump's claims of a "rigged election" by saying the Justice Department has not found evidence of widespread fraud that would change the outcome, sent the president into a rage.
  • Additionally, Trump had grown frustrated over the delays in the release of the so-called Durham report, which he hopes will contain bombshell revelations about the Obama administration's handling of the Trump-Russia investigation.
  • Barr resigned without Trump having to request his resignation, according to a source familiar.

Speculation that Trump would fire Barr temporarily subsided after the attorney general visited the White House the day that the AP interview was published. But as Axios reported this weekend, Trump began re-exploring options for replacing Barr after the Hunter Biden story broke.

  • Trump was privately venting about Barr on Friday with confidants, including Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), sources familiar with the discussions tell Axios.
  • And the president tweeted on Saturday morning: "Why didn’t Bill Barr reveal the truth to the public, before the Election, about Hunter Biden[?]"

Between the lines: Trump has a history of dropping his own announcements at moments when cable news is running stories that he hates — in this instance, the Electoral College affirming Biden's victory. This looks like another example of the president tweeting his way out of chyrons.

What's next: Trump said that Barr will be replaced by Deputy Attorney General Jeff Rosen, who will serve in an acting capacity.

The big picture: Barr, the second Senate-confirmed attorney general appointed by Trump, has been a fierce critic of the Russia probe and one of the most loyal members of the president's Cabinet — filling a role vacated by Jeff Sessions, who was unceremoniously fired by Trump for failing to stop the Mueller investigation.

  • He has frequently been a target of criticism by Democrats who claim he has politicized the Justice Department by intervening in cases involving the president's allies.
  • But like many top Trump officials, even Barr has failed to go far enough to satisfy Trump's desires.

Read Barr's resignation letter.

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.

European Super League faces collapse after English soccer teams quit

Fans of Chelsea Football Club protest the European Super League outside Stamford Bridge soccer stadium in London, England. Photo: Rob Pinney/Getty Images

The European Super League announced in a statement Tuesday night it's "proposing a new competition" and considering the next steps after all six English soccer clubs pulled out of the breakaway tournament.

Why it matters: The announcement that 12 of the richest clubs in England, Spain and Italy would start a new league was met with backlash from fans, soccer stars and politicians. The British government had threatened to pass legislation to stop it from going ahead.

Corporate America finds downside to politics

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Corporate America is finding it can get messy when it steps into politics.

Why it matters: Urged on by shareholders, employees and its own company creeds, Big Business is taking increasing stands on controversial political issues during recent months — and now it's beginning to see the fallout.