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Barr says ‘no reason’ to seize voting machines as he pushes back on Trump conspiracy theories

The attorney general said there was no reason to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate allegations of systemic or broad based fraud

Justin Vallejo
New York
Monday 21 December 2020 17:47 GMT
Attorney General William Barr said he sees “no reason” to seize Dominion voting machines.
Attorney General William Barr said he sees “no reason” to seize Dominion voting machines. (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Attorney General William Barr said he sees “no reason” to seize Dominion voting machines in a major break from Donald Trump during his last press conference as head of the Department of Justice.

Asked if the president has the legal authority to order the seizure of voting machines across the country, Mr Barr pushed back on the Trump campaign’s efforts to continue challenging election results in swing states where ballots were counted by Dominion Voting Systems.

“I see no basis now for seizing machines by the federal government, you know wholesale seizure of machines by the federal government,” Mr Barr said.

The attorney general was speaking at a press conference to mark the 32nd anniversary of the Lockerbie bombing of Flight 103 that killed 259 people above Scotland in 1988.

It was his last major public appearance before he leaves the Justice Department on Wednesday, following his resignation last week.

The resignation came shortly after Mr Barr said in an interview that the Justice Department had not found widespread voter fraud to the extent that would change the outcome of the presidential election.  He stood by that assessment on Monday.

“But I was commenting on the extent to which we had looked at suggestions or allegations of systemic or broad-based fraud that would affect the outcome of the election and I already spoke to that and I stand by that statement.”

The president has been exploring the possibility of a special prosecutor to investigate claims of voter fraud, with allegations from Trump-supporting lawyer Sidney Powell focusing on Dominion Voting Systems. The so-called Kraken.

When asked if Ms Powell or someone else should be appointed a special prosecutor to investigate those claims, Mr Barr said that he didn’t see any reason to do so. It was a major contradiction of the Trump campaign’s legal efforts to overturn the results of the election.

“If I thought that a special counsel at this stage was the right tool, and was appropriate I would name one but I haven’t and I’m not going to,” Mr Barr said.

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