SDNY prosecutors will be freed up to investigate Trump fully with Bill Barr leaving: insiders
Attorney General William Barr. Image: Office of Public Affairs/Flickr

On Wednesday, according to Vanity Fair, current and former DOJ officials believe that Attorney General William Barr's departure could take the pressure off prosecutors at the Southern District of New York who might want to investigate outgoing President Donald Trump and his associates.

"Barr — whose departure from the office of attorney general was announced on Monday after taking a Twitter battering from Trump — politicized nearly every corner of the Justice Department," wrote Chris Smith. "His most prominent, and most effective, interference took place in Washington, whether he was preemptively and misleadingly spinning the findings of the Mueller report or intervening in the cases against Michael Flynn and Roger Stone. But his attempts to meddle in New York were unrelenting, an SDNY insider says — and the stakes were higher because the investigations threatened to come closer to the president."

Another former official in the US Attorney's office agreed: “Everything depends on the facts and witnesses in those cases. But certainly they are more likely to proceed without Barr in there, who was just a disgrace. In every way.”

The possibility remains, however, that Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, who will serve as acting AG until the Biden administration confirms Barr's replacement, could exert similar political influence over the department. According to reports, Trump may pressure Rosen to appoint special counsels to investigate his conspiracy theories of election fraud, and the finances of Hunter Biden.