Former Atty. General Bill Barr told the House Select Committee Jan. 6 that former President Trump became “detached from reality” in his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election and that allegations of voter fraud were “false.”
The country’s former chief prosecutor’s remarks in a pre-recorded video testimony were broadcast on national television Monday morning during the second public hearing conducted by a House committee that has spent nearly a year behind closed doors investigating the Capitol riot from January 6 to examine. Committee members spent much of the morning presenting evidence to show Trump had gone against his team’s advice by accusing his supporters of baseless allegations of voter fraud.
Barr said he spoke to Trump three times after Election Day and made it clear that the claims, hyped up by some of the president’s allies, were unfounded.
Barr said there was an “avalanche” of voter fraud claims that were “completely false and silly and usually complete misinformation” just days after the election.
Barr said nothing he checked made him “feel like the theory that the election was stolen from Trump” had “a sense of substance.”
“It was like playing slap the mole because one day something would come out and the next day it would be a different problem,” Barr said.
Barr said he spoke to Trump in the Oval Office for the first time after election night on Nov. 23, 2020, and said his conversation was “a little…awkward because he obviously lost the election and I didn’t say anything.” him.”
During the meeting, which was attended by members of Trump’s team, including Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, “the President said there had been fraud and that since the facts were known, the election results were being reversed.” ‘ Barr said.
Barr told Trump that it was up to his campaign attorneys, not the Justice Department, to take sides in the election, and that Barr’s team would only investigate allegations of fraud that were “specific, credible, and could have affected the outcome of the election,” he stressed President that the allegations mostly didn’t add up.
Barr said as he left the Oval Office, he ran into Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and White House social media director Dan Scavino Jr. and asked them how much longer the president would push the unsubstantiated claims. Meadows told Barr that Trump is “getting more realistic and knows there’s a limit to how far he can go [the claims]’ Barr said, adding that Kushner said, ‘We’re working on it.’
Later in the month, Trump appeared on Fox News and said the Justice Department was nowhere to be found to investigate suspected voter fraud. In December of that year, Barr gave an interview to the Associated Press in which he repeated what he had said privately to Trump. After the interview was released later that day, Barr went to the White House for a previously scheduled meeting expecting to be fired.
Trump tried to control his anger during their meeting in the Oval Office, Barr said. After Trump implied that fraud existed in certain jurisdictions, Barr said he responded that there was no indication and that the fraud allegations were “bullshit.”
“He was outraged by that,” Barr said.
Barr said he told Trump his team had spent weeks making “idiotic allegations” that Dominion Voting Systems machines had been tampered with, despite “absolutely zero basis for the allegations.”
“I told them it’s crazy stuff and they’re wasting their time and doing the country a huge disservice,” Barr said.
Two weeks later, Barr met again with Trump, who shared a report prepared by a cybersecurity firm and claimed it contained evidence that the Dominion’s voting machines had been rigged and that he had won a second term. As Trump spoke, Barr flipped through the report, which he said “looked very amateurish to me” and contained no information supporting Trump’s claim. Barr said he felt “somewhat demoralized” by Trump’s belief in the cheating allegations, noting that the president was “detached from reality.”
“There was never an expression of interest [from Trump] what the actual facts were,” Barr said. “My opinion then and my opinion now is that the election was not stolen by fraud. I haven’t seen anything since the election that would have changed my mind about it.”
The former attorney general said he “feels like it’s possible to reason with the president before the election.”
“Although you had to wrestle him at times, it was possible to keep things on track,” Barr said. “But I got the feeling after the election that he didn’t seem to be listening.”
Barr resigned later that day.
“I wasn’t inclined to stick around unless he listened to advice from me or his other cabinet secretaries,” Barr said.
https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2022-06-13/barr-trying-to-shoot-down-trumps-bogus-election-fraud-claims-was-like-playing-whack-a-mole Trump became ‘detached from reality,’ Barr tells Jan. 6 panel