Attorney General William Barr said in an interview on Tuesday that the Justice Department had uncovered any evidence of widespread electoral fraud that could affect the results of the presidential election, a comment that casts on the allegations of President Donald Trump and his Legal team directly undermined.
« To date, we have not seen any fraud on a scale that could have affected any other election result, » Barr told the Associated Press.
The comments are likely to upset President Trump and members of his legal team, who have turned increasingly to the Department of Justice and the FBI in recent days because the agencies have refused to investigate unfounded conspiracies of widespread electoral fraud.
« You would think if you were with the FBI or the Justice Department this is – this is the greatest thing you can watch, » Trump said in a Sunday interview with Fox News host Maria Bartiromo. « Where are you? I didn’t see anything. I mean, just me – they just keep moving and moving on to the next president. «
Barr explicitly highlighted a theory advocated by Trump and his allies that voting machines had been tampered with to skew the election in the direction of President-elect Joe Biden.
« There was one claim that would constitute systemic fraud, and that would be the claim that machines were essentially programmed to skew election results. « . And the DHS and the DOJ have looked into it, and so far we haven’t seen anything to support it, ”Barr said.
Barr arrived at the White House shortly after the interview was published, but a spokesman said it was for a pre-scheduled meeting and not with the president.
In the days after Biden was officially predicted as the election winner, Barr incited outrage from current and former prosecutors when he issued a memo undoing longstanding policy of the DOJ to prevent announcing election fraud investigations, before states move to certify their votes.
Barr said prosecutors are empowered to « pursue material allegations of polling and voting irregularities » if there are « clear and seemingly credible allegations of irregularities that, if applicable, could potentially affect the outcome of a country’s general election. « single state. «
At the same time, Barr urged investigators to be vigilant about « flimsy, speculative, fanciful, or far-fetched allegations » that he said « should not be used as a basis for opening federal investigations. «
The memo resulted in a senior official in the DOJ’s electoral crimes division resigning from his position, and a group of current federal attorneys later sent a letter to Barr asking for the policy reversal to be lifted and named her « not actually justified ». «
Sources close to Barr at the time defending his decision to draft the memo described electoral policy as « out of date » while saying that such an investigation announcement would ultimately support arguments that the election is safe and was carried out without massive fraud.
More than three weeks later, the DOJ and FBI have not announced any such investigations relevant to the parameters of Barr’s memo as an increasing number of states have pushed to validate their voting tables.
Barr told the AP that the division’s investigation so far has been isolated cases of potential fraud rather than anything indicative of a systemic failure in the conduct of the elections.
« Most fraud cases are very specific to particular circumstances, actors, or behaviors, » said Barr. « They are not systemic allegations and. And these are down; You’re going to run down, ”said Barr. “Some were broad and possibly covered a few thousand votes. They were followed up. «
Trump, who first retweeted the news of Barr’s memo on Sunday, went so far on Sunday that the FBI and the DOJ could be « involved » in an unspecified fraud conspiracy to elect Biden.
Republican representative. Adam Kinzinger criticized the comment in a tweet in which he accused the president of selling « unfounded conspiracies ». «
« The @FBI didn’t rig the election, » said Kinzinger from Illinois. « If you think they did, please stop and say it out loud and you will find out how silly it sounds. « »
https: // twitter. com / RepKinzinger / status / 1333162550431801344
Other Trump allies have expressed similar outrage over the FBI’s unwillingness to get involved, while continuing to campaign to convince Republican voters to refuse to uphold their state’s votes on incremental fraud allegations.
« I don’t know where the FBI has been for the past three years, » said Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani in a November. 19 press conference. « What do we have to do to make the FBI wake up? Maybe we need a new agency to protect ourselves. «
Prior to his interview, Barr had gone without a public event for more than a month and avoided giving media interviews.
It was a notable contrast to his relatively frequent public appearances during the summer, including interviews in which he repeatedly fomented conspiracies over foreign lands that could flood the country with fraudulent postal ballot papers.
« This is playing with fire, » Barr told CNN in a September interview. « We are a very closely divided country here. And when people have to trust the election results and the legitimacy of the government. «
Barr’s claim, however, has been contested by testimony from senior intelligence officials, including DHS cyber chief Christopher Krebs and William Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, who argued that mail-in voting systems were for a foreign country too complex to be able to successfully mount such a scheme. So far, no evidence has emerged that another country successfully rigged the election by sending ballot papers to the U.. S.. .
William Barr, United States Presidential Election, 2020, Associated Press, United States Department of Justice
World News – US – The DOJ has not uncovered widespread fraud that would alter election results: Barr
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