Attorney General Bill Barr said Monday that he saw “no basis” for the federal government to seize voting machines, responding to a reporter’s question geared at the recent news that President Trump’s allies have floated such a gambit.
Barr also gave no support to the idea of appointing a special counsel to investigate the conspiracy theories around election fraud. Over the weekend, Trump reportedly discussed the idea of appointing Sidney Powell — the fringy lawyer leading the flailing legal gambit to overturn the election results — to such a role.
“If I thought a special counsel at this stage was the right tool and was appropriate, I would have named one,” Barr said Monday. “But I haven’t and I am not going to.”
Barr said he stood by his previous remarks indicating the Department had not found evidence of mass voter fraud in the 2020 presidential contest, though he stressed Monday that he did think some fraud occurs in “most” elections.
Trump is continuing on his doomed quest to reverse his electoral defeat, having spent the weekend in meetings with Powell, Rudy Giuliani and Michael Flynn to reportedly discuss ideas such as having the Department of Homeland Security seize voting machines to investigate for fraud.
At Monday press conference, which was pegged to the Justice Department’s announcement of charges against an alleged conspirator in the 1988 Pan Am Lockerbie bombing, Barr was also asked to in on the prospect that he would appoint a special counsel to lead the investigation into Hunter Biden, son of President-elect Joe Biden, who is reportedly being probed for tax issues.
Prior to the election, Barr appointed as special counsel the U.S. attorney who had been reviewing the launch of the 2016 Russia probe.
“To this point, I have not seen a reason to appoint a special counsel” for the Hunter Biden investigation, Barr said, “and I have no plan to do so before I leave.”
Barr said last week that he was resigning from his post this month, before Trump’s term is up on January 20. Barr will be departing the Department on Wednesday.