On Bill Barr and ‘bullsh-t’ voter fraud claims

cigaretteman

HR King
May 29, 2001
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President Donald Trump seemed “detached from reality” when he made his “crazy” claims of voter fraud after Election Day 2020, piling up a mountain of “bullsh-t” stories that he’d been cheated out of a second term. So sayeth former attorney general William P. Barr.

Barr’s blunt assessments of Trump’s frantic and fabulist efforts to stay in power anchored the second public hearing of the House committee looking into the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, a riot fueled by months of the former president’s false claims President Biden stole the White House.










In a nutshell, Monday’s hearing aimed to establish that Trump knew his public accusations were false, not the least because he’d heard as much from senior aides like Barr, who assured the panel in videotaped testimony that he’d been a behind-the-scenes voice of reason.
  • If you followed Barr’s public remarks throughout the 2020 presidential cycle, his baritone bravado was a lot to take in, given that he was a purveyor of fact-free claims casting doubt on the legitimacy of the election for much of the year.
And Barr’s testimony puts a new spin on his Dec. 14 resignation, which heaped praise on Trump and mentioned coronavirus vaccines but somehow omitted any of his private worries about the president’s “big Lie” and mental state. He concluded by wishing Trump and his family “a Merry Christmas and a Blessed Holiday Season.”

Barr then and now​

The phrase “voter fraud allegations” appeared in the letter’s first paragraph, but not to highlight the lack of evidence supporting Trump’s claims. “It is incumbent on all levels of government, and all agencies acting within their purview, to do all we can to assure the integrity of elections and promote public confidence in their outcome,” Barr wrote.











Here’s some of what the former attorney general said Monday, according to my colleagues Mike DeBonis and Jacqueline Alemany:
Shortly after the election, he said, he concluded the stolen-election claims “were completely bogus and silly and usually based on complete misinformation.”
  • “I told him that the stuff that his people were shoveling out to the public was bullsh-t — I mean, that the claims of fraud were bullsh-t. And, you know, he was indignant about that.”
By Dec. 14, Barr said, he concluded that Trump had “become detached from reality if he really believes this stuff.”
(Over at the New York Times, Katie Benner noted Barr also said he had dismissed some of Trump’s conspiracy theories as “complete nonsense” and “crazy stuff.”)

Barr stokes mail-in ballot fears​

But throughout 2020, Barr lent his full support to Trump’s efforts to discredit mail-in voting.

In June 2020, Barr told Fox Business mail-in ballots “open the floodgates of potential fraud.”
(My colleague Aaron Blake pointed out Barr himself voted by mail in 2012 and 2019.)










Also that month, Barr told NPR elections done chiefly via mail-in votes can’t be secure because “there's so many occasions for fraud there that cannot be policed” and suggested foreign countries might counterfeit ballots.
  • Did he have any evidence, NPR asked? “No, it’s obvious,” Barr said. Election experts dismissed his claims, noting not just the security measures used with mail-in ballots but the idea that something on the scale of what he was suggesting would go undetected. They also pointed to the lack of fraud in U.S. states that do vote-by-mail.
Barr leveled basically the same charge in a September 2020 interview with CNN. States adopting vote-by-mail were “reckless and dangerous and people are playing with fire.”
“Elections that have been held with mail have found substantial fraud and coercion,” he said. (That’s not true either.)

“For example, we indicted someone in Texas, 1,700 ballots collected, he — from people who could vote, he made them out and voted for the person he wanted to. Okay?”
Nope, as my colleague Matt Zapotosky chronicled. There was no such federal indictment. (A Barr spokeswoman blamed an errant internal memo.)










In September 2020, Barr told a Chicago Tribune columnist that moving to vote-by-mail meant “we’re back in the business of selling and buying votes” and said fraudsters could simply pay off a mail carrier to steal ballots.
“Someone will say the president just won Nevada. ‘Oh, wait a minute! We just discovered 100,000 ballots! Every vote will be counted!’ Yeah, but we don’t know where these freaking votes came from,” Barr told the columnist.

None of Barr’s fire-and-brimstone predictions came true. But they served Trump’s purpose: To try to discredit mail-in ballots.
Nor were Barr’s actions all before Election Day. Barely a week later, my colleagues Zapotosky and Devlin Barrett reported, Barr publicly gave the green light to Justice Department investigations into allegations of voter fraud before the results were certified, a break with protocol.






Some federal prosecutors called bullsh-t.

 
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Rifler

HR Legend
Jan 26, 2011
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Barr is desperately trying to rehab the image he thoroughly trashed by fluffing Trump. I'd doubt him testifying that grass is green.

I would agree with this,... A guy like Barr so casually throwing out terms like "bullshit" makes me think he's reaching for acceptance.
 
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Randon

HR MVP
Gold Member
Feb 5, 2003
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Just as damning as Barr's testimony was that of Trump's campaign manager, Bill Sepien. Him and his team told Trump that he had lost and that his election fraud claims were not true. Yet Trump continued on with his bogus deception convincing millions of his supporters that there was fraud. Trump then turned to his other campaign team headed by Rudy "one more for the road" Giuliani and his merry band of conspirators for help in selling his fraud case and eventually devising his ill-fated political coup attempt.
 

LuteHawk

HR Legend
Nov 30, 2011
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HIs daughter, Ivanka, his son-in-law,Jared, his Attorney
General Barr, and his Campaign Manager Sepien told
Trump that there was no evidence of fraud and that he
lost the election. So Trump starts an Election Defense
Fund which has conned folks to give $250 million.

Trump's colossal ego will not let him admit defeat. The
fact is that he lost an election in 2020 and is now a loser.
Yet he has gained $250 million under false pretenses to
spend for his personal use. He should be convicted of fraud..
 

ft254

HR Legend
Gold Member
Jun 3, 2003
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I was wary of Barr when he was confirmed again as AG. But after he totally distorted the Mueller Report for Trumps benefit I grew to loathe the man. Whatever his fate now, he deserves all of it.

When his eyelids flutter, he is entering his massive cover-up lying phase. A genuine POS.
 

Hawk_4shur

HR Legend
Jan 2, 2009
16,365
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HIs daughter, Ivanka, his son-in-law,Jared, his Attorney
General Barr, and his Campaign Manager Sepien told
Trump that there was no evidence of fraud and that he
lost the election. So Trump starts an Election Defense
Fund which has conned folks to give $250 million.

Trump's colossal ego will not let him admit defeat. The
fact is that he lost an election in 2020 and is now a loser.
Yet he has gained $250 million under false pretenses to
spend for his personal use. He should be convicted of fraud..
Why admit defeat when lying is so profitable? 😖
 
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