WASHINGTON – On Monday afternoon, outgoing Attorney General William Barr broke ranks with President Donald Trump and said there is no need to investigate voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election.
Mr. Barr’s statement is a rejection of several of Mr. Trump’s claims regarding the 2020 election, including the President wanting to look into President-elect Joe Biden’s son Hunter. Barr said on Monday he would not be looking to investigate either claim.
“If I thought a special counsel at this stage was a right tool and was appropriate, I would name one, but I haven’t and I’m not going to,” Barr said.
Mr. Barr also took a further step and rejected the idea from several of the President’s allies for the U.S. government to seize voting machines.
“I see no basis for seizure of machines by the federal government,” Barr said Monday.
When asked about the Hunter Biden financial investigation, Mr. Barr gave a similar answer that there is no need for him to take special steps to protect the investigation.
“To the extent there’s an investigation, I think it’s being handled responsibly and professionally currently within the department, and to this point, I have not seen a reason to appoint a special counsel, and I have no plan to do so before I leave,” he said.
Mr. Barr’s comments come as part of his final press conference leading the Justice Department, showing just how far he has has split from Mr. Trump after remaining loyal to him since becoming the attorney general.
Barr is set to leave the Justice Department on Wednesday, after telling the President last week he would be leaving his post early.
In a further break with his boss, Mr. Barr commented the hack of U.S. government agencies “certainly appears to be” the work of Russia.
“I agree with Secretary Pompeo’s assessment. It certainly appears to be the Russians, but I’m not going to discuss it beyond that,” Barr said.
Mr. Barr’s comments come just 48 hours after President Trump tweeted falsely that China may be behind the attack, appearing to shift the blame from the Kremlin. Mr. Trump was responding to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s comments on Fox News, saying the attack was from the Russians.
“This was a very significant effort, and I think it’s the case that now we can say pretty clearly that it was the Russians that engaged in this activity,” Pompeo said over the weekend.