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QAnon: William Barr mentions pizza at congressional hearing and sends conspiracy theorists into a frenzy

Attorney general was answering question about ‘corrupt officials’ supposedly trying to obstruct Donald Trump when he made seemingly innocuous reference

Andrew Naughtie
Wednesday 29 July 2020 16:05 BST
Barr: 'Justice is not something you order up on a schedule like you’re ordering pizza'

During his testimony to a congressional committee, US attorney general Bill Barr made an innocuous analogy to ordering a pizza – and sent QAnon conspiracy theorists into a frenzy.

Mr Barr’s allusion came in an exchange with Republican congressman Tom McClintock, who was questioning attorney general over the investigation into Trump presidential campaign’s ties to Russia.

Asked whether he could prevent the investigation from becoming a precedent for “future election interference by corrupt officials in our justice and intelligence agencies”, Mr Barr answered: “No, I really cannot predict that.

“As you know, these matters are being looked into. Covid did delay that action for a while ... Justice is not something you order up on a schedule like ordering a pizza.”

The reference to pizza in a discussion about alleged corruption immediately triggered a response from QAnon followers, who believe the word to be a slang term used by a satanic paedophile cabal at the heart of the “deep state”.

Some QAnon-aligned Twitter users immediately seized on the word and its apparent implications, as well as the direction of Mr Barr's gaze as he addressed the committe.

“AG Barr just said in the judiciary 'justice is not something you order up on a schedule like you're ordering a pizza”, wrote one, “Then he immediately looks at the dems on the left. HE FREAKING KNOWS!"

Another tweeted: “Did you notice at the hearing Barr said, 'Justice is not something you order like a pizza and have delivered when you want it,' as he purposefully glared up at the bench with a stone-cold death stare ... Priceless! #pizzagate

“Holy shit I heard that”, another replied.

QAnon is a sprawling web of unfounded conspiracy theories that have attracted thousands of followers, including multiple congressional candidates on the ballot this November.

It centres around a mysterious figure, known only as “Q”, who posts cryptic messages on internet forums that followers believe to describe an upcoming purge of the “deep state", which will supposedly be led by Donald Trump and his allies.

The theory claims this purge will lead to day of reckoning for various prominent people such as the Clintons, Oprah Winfrey, the late Jeffrey Epstein, and countless other elite and mostly left-wing figures. Among the assorted theories tied together by the QAnon ideology is the notion that these people exchange messages about their kidnapped child victims using a coded lexicon of different foods.

This particular theory is known as “Pizzagate”. It first emerged during the 2016 presidential campaign, when hacked Democratic party emails released by Wikileaks showed staff discussing pizza, pasta and assorted other edibles.

As users on 4chan and Reddit pored over the emails for nefarious details, the theory soon sprang up that the word “pizza” refers to a young girl provided for sexual abuse. “Hotdog” was claimed to denote a boy, with “cheese” and “pasta” describing particularly young girls and boys.

While Pizzagate appears absurd to outsiders, some of its adherents take it worryingly seriously.

In December 2016, a man arrived at the Washington, DC pizza restaurant whose basement was theorised to be the site of the paedophile operation and stormed it with an assault rifle. His attempt to rescue children supposedly held in the basement there proved pointless; he discovered not only that there were no children, but also that the restaurant has no basement.

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