In an interview with NBC News’ Lester Holt, former Attorney General Bill Barr said he told Trump that allegations of voter fraud in the 2020 election were false. According to Barr, he then offered his resignation to the former president—an offer that Trump quickly accepted.
Barr said “all this stuff is bulls**t, about election fraud. And it is wrong to be shoveling out the way his team was.” Barr, who is planning to release a book about his times as AG, also said that the president was “obviously getting very angry” after Barr refuted the claims of voter fraud and that after Barr offered to tender his resignation as AG, Trump said “accepted, accepted (…) go home, don’t go back to your office, go home, you’re done.” President Trump has dismissed these claims, saying it was him who asked Barr for his resignation.
Barr also published an excerpt of his new book in the Wall Street Journal where he said that while he believed the rule changes in 2020 undermined public trust over the electoral process and that he thought Democrats took advantage of the new rules to increase their turnout in key areas, he found no evidence of widespread voter fraud and that he and President Trump had strong disagreements over this issue.
Trump responds to Barr, calls him “a big dissapointment”
In a letter to Lester Holt, former president Trump openly criticized his former Attorney General for his handling of the 2020 election fraud allegations and has questioned the motives for Barr’s recent media appearances. In the three-page letter, Trump says that Barr “cares more about being accepted by the corrupt Washington Media and Elite than serving the American people” and that he is now “groveling to the media, hoping to gain acceptance he doesn’t deserve.”
Trump also lambasted Barr for his role in investigating the allegations of voter fraud in 2020, saying that the AG “refused to go after the fraud and irregularities that had so openly taken place in the 2020 presidential election.” The former President also lamented the hiring of Barr, saying that he was a “big disappointment to me as Attorney General, he was afraid to act, and usually didn’t.” In a final jab against his former member of the cabinet, Trump said that “I would imagine that if the book is anything like him, it will be long, slow, and very boring.”
Trump was upset over Barr’s handling of fraud allegations and Hunter Biden investigations
Barr resigned as AG in December 2020, after months of reported tensions between the President and Barr due to the latter alleged refusal to investigate allegations of corruption of Hunter Biden during the election campaign. According to a Wall Street Journal report, the former attorney general knew about a slew of federal investigations on the business dealings of President Biden’s son and worked hard to prevent that information to be released to the public during the 2020 campaign.
The tensions between both appear to have reached a boiling point after the 2020 election. Initially, the Department of Justice followed up leads of allegations of potential voter fraud in the presidential election. However, in early December the DOJ announced there was no evidence of widespread fraud during the election. President Trump, however, continued to claim that the November election was mired with voter fraud, an allegation he maintains to this day.
Just a few days before Barr’s resignation, the president criticized him for not publishing the information regarding Hunter Biden’s investigations asking “why didn’t Barr reveal the truth to the public, before the election, about Hunter Biden.”
Before Barr’s resignation, Trump publicly criticized the AG’s job over voter fraud, saying to reporters that “they should be looking at all this fraud. This is not civil (…) this is criminal stuff. This is very bad, criminal stuff” and said that Barr himself “hasn’t done anything. He hasn’t looked.”
One of the last actions Barr did before leaving the DOJ was to appoint John Durham as a special counsel tasked to investigate the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation that dragged on during the first couple of years of the Trump administration. Durham’s team has been on the news lately after he filed legal files claiming that people close to the Clinton campaign spied on the Trump campaign.