In its first hearing, the Jan. 6 committee last week played a clip of former Attorney General Bill Barr testifying that he told former President Trump that claims the 2020 election was stolen were “bullshit.” In its second hearing, the committee on Monday played several additional minutes of Barr’s testimony, during which he described unsuccessful effort to convince Trump that the election was legitimate.
It wasn’t pretty for Trump.
Barr’s first post-election meeting with Trump came on Nov. 23 and featured the former president telling Barr that the Justice Department should be investigating potential fraud in the election. “It has to be the campaign that raises that with the states,” Barr says he told Trump. “The department doesn’t take sides in elections. The department is not an extension of your legal team.”
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Barr said he was then reassured by Mark Meadows, Jared Kushner, and Trump aide Dan Scavino that they were working on convincing Trump that he did, in fact, lose the election. They were not successful, of course. Barr testifying that things started to “deteriorate” over the next week, leading Barr to on Dec. 1 tell the Associated Press that there was no evidence of election fraud. “The president was as mad as I’ve ever seen him,” Barr recounted. “He was trying to control himself. The president said, ‘Well this is killing me. You didn’t have to say this. You must have said this because you hate Trump.”
Barr met with Trump again on Dec. 14. “He went off on a monologue saying there was now definitive evidence of fraud through the Dominion machines,” Barr said of a Dec. 14 meeting with Trump, noting that he gave Barr a report he said proves that the election was stolen and that he would have a second term in office. Barr said the report looked “amateurish” with no real evidence to support its claims that voting machines were rigged. Barr said he was “demoralized” after looking at the report. “I thought, boy, if he really believes this stuff, he has lost contact with — he’s become detached from reality,” Barr said.
Barr announced his resignation the same day.
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