Barr Breaks With Trump on Election Fraud Claims

'We have not seen fraud on a scale' that would change the outcome, he says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 1, 2020 3:05 PM CST
Barr Breaks With Trump on Election Fraud Claims
In this Oct. 15, 2020 photo, Attorney General William Barr speaks during a roundtable discussion on Operation Legend, a federal program to help cities combat violent crime.   (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)

Attorney General William Barr is known for his loyalty to President Trump—but he's not backing the president up on his claims of widespread election fraud. Barr says FBI agents and US attorneys have been following up allegations of irregularities, but they haven't uncovered anything that would change the results. "To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election," he tells the AP. The Washington Post notes that Barr's breaking with the president on the issue is "particularly significant" because he echoed Trump before the election in warning that the expansion of mail-in voting could lead to fraud. He also issued a controversial memo allowing prosecutors to investigate allegations of irregularities before the election is certified later this month.

Trump allies including attorney Sidney Powell have claimed that voting machines switched votes from Trump to President-elect Joe Biden as part of a vast conspiracy involving China, Iran, and Venezuela. "There's been one assertion that would be systemic fraud and that would be the claim that machines were programmed essentially to skew the election results," Barr tells the AP. "And the DHS and DOJ have looked into that, and so far, we haven’t seen anything to substantiate that." He says many of the allegations should be addressed through civil lawsuits, not the federal justice system. "There’s a growing tendency to use the criminal justice system as sort of a default fix-all, and people don’t like something they want the Department of Justice to come in and 'investigate,'" he says. Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani will testify before a Michigan House committee Wednesday on alleged election fraud. (More William Barr stories.)

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