In the special counsel’s investigation into interference in the 2020 election, former Attorney General Bill Barr threw his former employer, President Donald Trump, under the wagon on Wednesday by casting doubt on a crucial aspect of his case by telling CNN that Trump “knew well he lost the election.”
On CNN’s “The Source” with Kaitlan Collins, the former AG further referred to Trump’s asserted behaviors as “nauseating” and “despicable,” declaring that “someone who engaged in that kind of bullying about a process that is fundamental to our system and to our self-government shouldn’t be anywhere near the Oval Office.”
According to a central tenet of the special counsel’s case, Trump knew the election claims he made were false after being informed by multiple close advisers that he had not won. In his first appearance since Trump’s third indictment, Barr argued that Trump’s attorneys’ claim that the First Amendment protected his speech was unfounded.
“As the indictment says, they are not attacking his First Amendment right. He can say whatever he wants, he can even lie. He can even tell people that the election was stolen when he knew better,” according to Barr. “But that does not protect you from entering into a conspiracy.”
In addition, he said: “At first I wasn’t sure, but I have come to believe he knew well he had lost the election.”
Special counsel Jack Smith filed four allegations against Trump on Tuesday as part of the investigation into alleged attempts to manipulate the 2020 election, which allegedly led to the violence at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021. Thursday at the federal courthouse in Washington, DC, Donald Trump was arraigned.
Trump lamented a “very sad day for America” in a statement he made in Washington, D.C., after submitting a not guilty plea in relation to the January 6 indictment.
He condemned the condition of Washington, DC at the time and referred to the legal actions taken against him as political retaliation.
“Thank you very much. This is a very sad day for America. And it was also very sad driving through Washington, D.C. and seeing the filth and the decay and all of the broken buildings and walls and the graffiti,” Trump lamented, “And it was also extremely sad going through Washington, D.C. and seeing the filth and the ruin and all of the damaged buildings and walls and the graffiti. “This is not the place that I left. It’s a very sad thing to see it.”
Barr, who supported Trump for the majority of his tenure as attorney general, made headlines in December 2020 when he stated that the Justice Department had not found conclusive evidence of widespread voter fraud, contradicting the former president’s claims that the election was stolen. Soon after, he announced his resignation, and he has since become one of the most outspoken Trump opponents.
Barr supported Smith in the “fake news” CNN interview, in contrast to numerous Republicans who have criticized the special counsel’s investigations into Trump as being politically motivated.
Barr, taking the side of the deep state, remarked “He is the kind of prosecutor, in my view, that if he thinks someone has committed a crime, he, you know, homes in on it and really goes to try to make that case. There’s no question he’s aggressive but I do not think he’s a partisan actor.”