Bill Barr said Trump might not have left office had the DOJ not investigated baseless claims about voter fraud.
“I shudder to think of what the situation would have been like” without the questions, Barr said.
Barr played a prominent role in the Jan. 6 House committee hearings.
Former Attorney General William Barr said he “wasn’t sure we would have had a transition at all” had the Justice Department not investigated Donald Trump’s claims of widespread voter fraud and found them to be unfounded.
In a closed-door statement, Barr suggested to the House committee investigating the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol that Trump might not have voluntarily left office had the DOJ not proactively investigated allegations of voter fraud prior to taking office. Joe Biden’s inauguration.
“I shudder to think what the situation would have been like if the department’s position was: We’re not even going to look at this until after Biden’s office,” Barr said in the recorded statement, part of which the committee aired Thursday during a hearing focused on Trump’s attempt to pressure the Justice Department into putting forward his false claims of voter fraud.
Barr made a statement to the House Committee on Jan. 6 in early June, shortly before the congressional panel began holding public hearings. The House committee prominently featured footage of that interview, prompting Barr — who said he would vote for Trump again instead of a Democrat — into a unlikely star of the high-profile hearings.
During the first hearing, on June 9, the House committee played footage of Barr’s statement in which the former attorney general recalled telling Trump his election claims were “bullshit.”
On Thursday, the commission played part of the statement in which investigators asked Barr why he had authorized election fraud investigations in the first place rather than “following the normal course of events and allowing the investigations to take place much later in time.”
Barr said he believed it was “responsible to be in a position to see whether or not there was fraud”.
“Honestly, I think the fact that I put myself in the position of being able to say we watched this and didn’t think there was fraud was really important,” he added.
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