Attorney General William Barr said Tuesday the Justice Department had not uncovered evidence of widespread electoral fraud that would alter the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.
His comments come despite President Donald Trump's repeated claims that the election was stolen and his refusal to admit his loss to President-elect Joe Biden.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Barr said that U.S. attorneys and FBI agents worked to follow up certain complaints and information they received, but found no evidence that could change the election result.
"To date, we have not seen any fraud of a magnitude that could have affected another election result," Barr told the AP.
"To date, we have not seen any fraud to the extent that it would have affected another election result," said US Attorney General William Barr
The comments are particularly straight from Barr, who was one of the president's most ardent allies. Before the election, he had repeatedly voiced the notion that fraud against mail-in voters during the coronavirus pandemic could be particularly vulnerable to fraud as Americans feared they would vote and wanted to vote by mail instead.
They even came as Trump went on Tuesday to label the election "rigged" and blow up clips on a series of unverified allegations of election fraud.
It also came on a day when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) Referred to the "new administration" when President-elect Joe Biden introduced his economic team.
Last month Barr issued a guideline to US attorneys across the country allowing them to pursue any "material allegations" of voting irregularities if passed prior to the 2020 presidential election being confirmed, though no evidence for far at this point widespread fraud. This memorandum gave prosecutors the opportunity to circumvent the Justice Department's longstanding policy of normally prohibiting such overt acts before the election was confirmed. Shortly after its release, the ministry's chief electoral officer announced that he would step down from the position because of the memo.
The Trump campaign team led by Rudy Giuliani has alleged a widespread Democratic conspiracy to cast millions of illegal votes into the system with no evidence. You have filed several lawsuits in battlefield states alleging that observers of partisan polls in some locations at polling stations were not clear enough and therefore something illegal must have happened.
Giuliani and Trump's attorney Jenna Ellis blew Barr's comments in a statement.
Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani continues his efforts to overthrow the vote in the states Trump lost
Barr said the DHS was investigating claims made by voting machines that cast votes on Joe Biden. Attorney Sidney Powell made the claim, which also linked them to Venezuela, Cuba and China, at a press conference with fellow Trump lawyers
Trump tweeted 24 times about Dominion Voting Systems, claiming the election was "rigged".
Trump rigged the election and advanced a conspiracy theory about voting machines
Trump wrote last month that he would "never admit"
"With all due respect to the Attorney General, there was no appearance of an investigation by the Justice Department," they wrote. “We have collected a lot of evidence of illegal voting in at least six states that they have not investigated. We have many witnesses who swear under oath that they have committed crimes related to election fraud. As far as we know, not a single one was interviewed by the DOJ. The Justice Department has also not checked voting machines or used their subpoena powers to establish the truth, ”they continued.
"Even so, we will continue our pursuit of the truth through the judicial system and state legislatures and continue to work towards the constitutional mandate and ensure that every legal vote is counted and every illegal vote is not." Again, his opinion appears to be with the utmost respect for the Attorney General with no knowledge of or investigation into the material irregularities and evidence of systemic fraud, ”they concluded.
The claims have been repeatedly dismissed, including by Republican judges, who have ruled that the lawsuits contained no evidence. Local Republicans in some battlefield states have followed Trump in making similar unsupported claims.
Trump railed against the elections in tweets and interviews, despite his own administration saying the 2020 election was the safest ever. Trump recently allowed his administration to begin transitioning to Biden but has still refused to admit he lost.
The issues that Trump's campaign and his allies have pointed out are typical of any election: problems with signatures, non-disclosure envelopes, and postage stamps on postal ballot papers, as well as the potential for low numbers of ballot papers to be misplaced or lost.
But they have also requested federal investigations into the claims. Attorney Sidney Powell has told fictional stories about electoral systems that turn votes, German servers that store US election information, and voting software created in Venezuela "on the instructions of Hugo Chavez" – the late Venezuelan president who passed away in 2013. Powell has since been removed from office on the legal team after an interview she gave where she threatened to blow up Georgia with a "biblical" court record.
Barr didn't specifically name Powell, but said, “There was one claim that would constitute systemic fraud, and that would be the claim that machines were essentially programmed to skew election results. And the DHS and the DOJ looked into it, and so far we haven't seen anything to support it, ”Barr said.
He said people are confusing the use of federal criminal law with allegations that should be made in civil suits. He said one such remedy for these complaints would be top or bottom scrutiny by state or local officials, not the US Department of Justice.
"There is a growing tendency to use the criminal justice system as some sort of standard panacea, and people don't like anything that the Justice Department is supposed to bring in and 'investigate'," Barr said.
He said first of all that there has to be a basis for believing that there is a crime that needs to be investigated.
“Most fraud cases are very specific to certain circumstances, actors or behavior. They are not systemic allegations and. And these are down; You're going down, ”Barr said. Some were broad, possibly covering a few thousand votes. They were followed up. & # 39;
Giuliani and Trump discussed a possible presidential pardon for Giuliani last week, the New York Times reported – a possible indication that Giuliani is betting on the end of Trump's term in office. Giuliani denied the report.
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