In an interview published Sunday, former Attorney General William Barr criticized former President Donald Trump’s efforts to spread misinformation about the 2020 election, calling Trump’s lies about voter fraud “bullshit.”
Barr, speaking to ABC News’ Jonathan Karl for The Atlantic, spoke of his final months working under Trump, when the president pushed the Justice Department to investigate unsubstantiated allegations of electoral fraud in an attempt to to nullify Joe Biden’s legitimate victory.
Barr said he gave the Justice Department the green light to investigate “substantial allegations” of impropriety by voters a week after the election, and also began his own unofficial investigation into Trump’s allegations. . But he found the allegations peddled by Trump and his allies to be unfounded, he told Karl.
“My attitude was this: It was time to set up or close,” Barr said. “If there was any evidence of fraud, I had no reason to suppress it. But my suspicion all along was that there was nothing there. It was bullshit. “
Barr was seen as deeply loyal to Trump ahead of the election, often criticizing what he called partisan attacks on the president and defending his criminal record. But Trump’s efforts to overturn the election appeared to change his allegiance.
“We realized from the start that this was just bullshit,” Barr said of Trump’s claims that nationwide voting machines were turning Trump votes into Biden votes.
He told Karl that even if the machines somehow changed the tally, the problem would become evident when the votes were recounted by hand.
“It’s a counting machine, and they record everything that’s been counted,” Barr said. “So you just reconciled the two. There had been no anomalies reported anywhere, and I am still not aware of an anomaly.
Barr resigned his post as attorney general in December after an explosive interview with the Associated Press in which he publicly rejected Trump’s election fraud allegations for the first time. Trump, Karl reported, was furious with Barr for making such a statement.
Trump’s “big lie” about an alleged stolen election fueled the deadly insurgency attack on the US Capitol on January 6. There is no evidence of widespread fraud that would have changed the outcome of the election, although Trump continued to claim winning was illegitimate.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) Announced Thursday that she would create a new committee to investigate the Capitol Riot, including its origins and the federal response to it.
Read Barr’s full interview with Karl in The Atlantic.
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