Bill Barr in talks to cooperate with Capitol riot committee, according to reports

In recent memoir, former attorney general condemns ‘absurd lengths’ to which Trump took his baseless ‘stolen election’ claims

Alex Woodward
New York
Friday 20 May 2022 01:07
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Bill Barr says Trump's election fraud claims 'precipitated' Capitol riot

Former US attorney general Bill Barr has discussed cooperating with the House select committee investigating the attack on the US Capitol on 6 January, 2021, an assault fuelled by a baseless “stolen election” narrative that Mr Barr had previously rejected.

Mr Barr, who resigned from Donald Trump’s administration roughly one month before he left office, is reportedly discussing whether to sit for a formal interview following previous contact with members of the committee, according to Axios and CBS News.

The former president criticised Mr Barr for failing to investigate his spurious claims of voter fraud, characterising him as a “disappointment in every sense of the word” after Mr Barr told The Associated Press that federal law enforcement did not find any evidence of alleged fraud that would have changed the outcome of the 2020 presidential election, despite Mr Trump’s insistence.

Mr Barr later condemned Mr Trump’s “inexcusable” response to the attack on the Capitol.

In a recent memoir, he claimed the former president “went off the rails” following the election, which he lost due to his “self-indulgence and lack of self-control.”

He also condemned “the absurd lengths to which he took his ‘stolen election’ claim led to the rioting on Capitol Hill” and urged Republicans to seek another nominee in the 2024 election, for which Mr Trump “has shown he has neither the temperament nor persuasive powers” to lead.

The committee – which is scheduled to begin public hearings next month – previously had an “informal conversation” with Mr Barr to determine whether he had information related to the attack of the actions of former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark, who attempted to use federal resources to delay the certification of 2020 results, according to a Senate Judiciary Committee report.

Last year, the committee voted to recommend criminal charges of contempt of Congress against Mr Clark, though he later appeared before the committee, during which he reportedly asserted his right against self-incrimination dozens of times.

Jeffrey Rosen, Mr Barr’s successor as acting attorney general, sat for an interview with the committee for roughly eight hours last October.

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