Capitol riot committee has spoken with ex-AG Barr

0
53
Capitol riot committee has spoken with ex-AG Barr

The House select committee investigating last year’s Capitol riot has been in contact with former Attorney General William Barr, who previously accused former President Donald Trump of “orchestrating a mob.”

Panel Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) confirmed to CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday that the committee has spoken with Barr as well as “Department of Defense individuals.”

Thompson did not say whether Barr would give a sworn deposition or testify publicly before the panel.

On Friday, Politico reported that the committee had obtained a draft executive order that commanded the secretary of defense to seize voting machines in key states where Trump believed fraud had cost him the 2020 presidential election.

“We are concerned that our military was part of this big lie on promoting that the election was false,” Thompson told “Face the Nation” host Margaret Brennan.

Rep. Bennie Thompson.
“We are concerned that our military was part of this big lie on promoting that the election was false,” Rep. Bennie Thompson explained.
Chip Somodevilla/Pool via AP

“So, if you are using the military to potentially seize voting machines, even though it’s a discussion, the public needs to know — we’ve never had that before.” 

The order would have authorized the Pentagon to “seize, collect, retain and analyze all machines, equipment, electronically stored information, and material records” related to the former president’s false claims of massive voter fraud. 

Thompson acknowledged that the committee had no proof of any operational plan to execute the order, but added that “the draft itself is reason enough to believe that it was being proposed. Our job is to get the facts and circumstances of, how far did they go?” 

House select committee.
The House select committee has also spoken with “Department of Defense individuals.”
J. Scott Applewhite/AP

The chairman also reiterated Sunday that the committee would soon hold “a series of public hearings showing the use of federal assets — Department of Justice, Department of Defense and other agencies — to actually stop the duly election of a president.”

Barr stepped down as attorney general in December 2020, as Trump continued to pressure him to investigate the then-president’s political enemies. 

The day after the Capitol riot, Barr issued a statement accusing his former boss of a “betrayal of his office and supporters.”

In the weeks following the 2020 election, Trump repeatedly claimed he had been robbed of a second term.

After Barr revealed the Justice Department had uncovered no evidence of widespread fraud, Trump ramped up his criticism of the then-attorney general, saying Barr didn’t look “very hard.” 

“He hasn’t done anything, so he hasn’t looked,” Trump said, calling the probe a “disappointment.”

At the time, Trump declined to say if he had confidence in Barr, saying, “Ask me in a  couple weeks from now.” However, the 45th president insisted the two men’s relationship “has been a very good one” in a tweet announcing Barr’s resignation.

Capitol riot.
The day after the Capitol riot, William Barr accused then-President Donald Trump of a “betrayal of his office and supporters.”
Leah Millis/REUTERS
Donald Trump and William Barr.
William Barr stepped down as attorney general in December 2020, as then-President Donald Trump continued to pressure him to investigate his political enemies.
Evan Vucci/AP

Barr is writing a memoir of his time as attorney general under both Trump and George H.W. Bush. Titled “One Damn Thing After Another,” the book is due out March 8.

Source link