Barr: DOJ yet to find widespread voter fraud that could have changed 2020 election
Attorney General William Barr said Tuesday that the Justice Department has not uncovered evidence of widespread voter fraud that could change the outcome of the 2020 presidential election, despite claims by President Trump and his campaign’s legal team.
Barr, during an interview with The Associated Press Tuesday, said that U.S. attorneys and FBI officials have been working to follow up on specific complaints and information they have received, but have not uncovered enough evidence that would change the outcome of the election.
“To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have affected a different outcome in the election," Barr told The Associated Press.
Last month, Barr issued a directive to U.S. attorneys across the country allowing them to pursue any “substantial allegations” of voting irregularities if they existed, before the results of the 2020 presidential race were certified.
Barr’s move gave prosecutors the ability to go around Justice Department policy that typically would prohibit investigations of the time before the election was certified. Soon after Barr’s memo was issued, the Justice Department’s top elections crime official announced he would step aside from that position.
FILE - In this Oct. 15, 2020, file photo Attorney General William Barr speaks during a roundtable discussion on Operation Legend, a federal program to help cities combat violent crime in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)
Barr' interview comes two days after Trump told Fox News that the DOJ has been "missing in action" on possible election fraud. Trump told "Sunday Morning Futures" Sunday that he has “not seen anything” from the DOJ or FBI on investigating the 2020 election.
“You would think if you’re in the FBI or Department of Justice, this is the biggest thing you could be looking at,” Trump said. “Where are they? I’ve not seen anything.”
“They just keep moving along and they go on to the next president,” he continued.
The Trump campaign has filed lawsuits in a number of key battleground states where President-elect Joe Biden led by a razor-thin margin. The Trump campaign has been alleging a widespread conspiracy to dump millions of illegal votes into the system, but has not provided substantial evidence to support those claims. The campaign’s legal effort, led by Rudy Giuliani, has, in large part, been focused on Republican poll watchers being blocked from viewing vote counting at polling sites in some locations. Those claims have been dismissed by even Republican-appointed judges, who have said the cases lack evidence.
Election officials in many of those states, though, have certified Biden’s victory.
Giuliani and Jenna Ellis, who also is leading the campaign's legal effort, on Tuesday, fired back at Barr.
“With all due respect to the Attorney General, there hasn’t been any semblance of a Department of Justice investigation," Giuliani and Ellis said in a statement. "We have gathered ample evidence of illegal voting in at least six states, which they have not examined. We have many witnesses swearing under oath they saw crimes being committed in connection with voter fraud."
They added: "As far as we know, not a single one has been interviewed by the DOJ. The Justice Department also hasn’t audited any voting machines or used their subpoena powers to determine the truth."
They said that the campaign will "continue our pursuit of the truth through the judicial system and state legislatures, and continue toward the Constitution’s mandate and ensuring that every legal vote is counted and every illegal vote is not."
"Again, with the greatest respect to the Attorney General, his opinion appears to be without any knowledge or investigation of the substantial irregularities and evidence of systemic fraud," they said.
Trump has not yet conceded to Biden, despite allowing the formal transition process to begin, and continues to blast election officials in multiple states, while also claiming the 2020 presidential election was rigged.
The Trump administration has said, though, that the 2020 election was the most secure ever.
"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 told the AP. “And the DHS and DOJ have looked into that, and so far, we haven't seen anything to substantiate that.”
Barr added that people have been confusing the use of the federal criminal justice system with allegations that should be made in civil lawsuits, adding that such a remedy for those complaints would be a top-down audit conducted by state or local officials, not the U.S. Justice Department.
"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,"' Barr said, adding that there must be a basis to believe there is a crime to investigate.
"Most claims of fraud are very particularized to a particular set of circumstances or actors or conduct. They are not systemic allegations and. And those have been run down; they are being run down," Barr said. "Some have been broad and potentially cover a few thousand votes. They have been followed up on.”
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