Apparently there are limits to how far outgoing Attorney General William Barr will go to back up Donald Trump — and baseless conspiracy theories about voter fraud and desperate steps to overturn the election results are beyond the pale.
The Washington Post reported that at a news conference on Monday — just two days before he steps down as AG — Barr said he saw no basis for the federal government to seize voting machines, and stated that he did not intend to appoint a special counsel to investigate allegations of voter fraud.
He said that he was “sure there was fraud in the election” but he had not seen evidence that it was “so systemic or broad-based” that it would change the election outcome. Barr expressed a similar opinion earlier this month which caused Trump to turn angrily on him.
“If I thought a special counsel at this stage was the right tool and was appropriate, I would name one, but I haven’t, and I’m not going to,” Barr said.
Trump and his crack legal team had asked the DOJ to take such actions in an increasingly desperate attempt to overturn the election. But while Barr had no problems with misinforming the public about the Mueller report or going easy on Trump cronies like Roger Stone, Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort, these requests were too much for him.
And even acting homeland security secretary Chad Wolf had previously told the White House they have no authority to seize voting machines unless states requested it.
Barr also said he saw no reason to appoint a special counsel to investigate Hunter Biden who had announced earlier this month that he was under investigation for possible tax law violations. Trump was angry with Barr for not announcing this investigation before the election, but Barr was only following DOJ policy (which James Comey did not do in October 2016).
Barr said the investigation into President-elect Joe Biden’s son was “being handled responsibly and professionally” by regular Justice Department prosecutors, and he hoped that would continue in the next administration.
Barr submitted his resignation last week after meeting with Trump.
Trump has been getting increasingly desperate. A few days ago, he met at the White House with conspiracy theory lawyer Sidney Powell and his disgraced former national security adviser Michael Flynn who urged IMPOTUS to declare martial law. That suggestion apparently got shot down by moderately saner Trump advisers like Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.
Trump suggested that Powell, who has made wild baseless claims about voting machines flipping votes to Biden, might be some named some sort of special counsel to investigate voter fraud in the 2020 election.
When Barr steps down on Wednesday, his deputy Jeff Rosen will take over as acting attorney general. As Barr’s deputy, Rosen has been compliant with measures that benefited Trump’s cronies, but he has not indicated whether he would go along with Trump’s requests to name special counsels to investigate voter fraud or Hunter Biden.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.