Bloomberg Law
Dec. 2, 2020, 1:18 AM

Barr Says DOJ Hasn’t Uncovered Widespread Voting Fraud (3)

Chris Strohm
Chris Strohm
Bloomberg News

The Justice Department hasn’t uncovered significant voter fraud that would change the outcome of the presidential election, Attorney General William Barr said, delivering a blow to President Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated claims of a rigged vote.

“To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election,” Barr said in an interview published Tuesday by the Associated Press.

Barr had ordered U.S. attorneys across the country to find out if there was significant voting fraud following repeated claims by Trump and his allies, who continue to cast doubt on President-elect Joe Biden’s Nov. 3 victory.

The attorney general also said in the interview that he had appointed U.S. Attorney John Durham as a special counsel, enabling him to keep his ongoing inquiry into the origins of the FBI’s Russia probe alive into the Biden administration. Barr said he made that appointment in October.

The White House wasn’t notified until Tuesday that Durham had been appointed as a special counsel, according to a Justice Department official official.

Barr has been one of Trump’s most ardent allies and repeatedly claimed before the election that the widespread use of mail-in ballots could well lead to significant fraud. But in the interview he signaled his rejection of the post-election claims by Trump and his supporters of a massive scheme to deprive the president of re-election.

“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 said. “And the DHS and DOJ have looked into that, and so far, we haven’t seen anything to substantiate that.”

Giuliani’s Response

Trump’s legal team, led by Rudy Giuliani, quickly rejected Barr’s comments.

“With all due respect to the attorney general, there hasn’t been any semblance of a Department of Justice investigation,” the team said in a statement. “We have gathered ample evidence of illegal voting in at least six states, which they have not examined,” and the department “hasn’t audited any voting machines or used their subpoena powers to determine the truth.”

Barr was seen at the White House just after the interview was published. Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said the attorney general was there for a previously scheduled meeting.

As Trump has escalated his claims of election fraud, he has even suggested that the Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation might have been in on rigging the election.

“This is total fraud,” Trump told Fox News on Sunday. “And how the FBI and Department of Justice -- I don’t know. Maybe they are involved.”

Barr told the AP that people were confusing allegations about criminal activity with disputes that should be pursued through civil lawsuits.

“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.

(Updates with White House notified of Durham appointment, in fifth paragraph)

--With assistance from Justin Sink and Jordan Fabian.

To contact the reporter on this story:
Chris Strohm in Washington at

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Bill Faries at

Larry Liebert, John Harney

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