In an interview with the Associated Press, US Attorney General Bill Barr stated that “to date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have affected a different outcome in the election.” This factual statement caused a Republican revolt against Barr, with Rudy Guiliani — who Trump tapped to head his 2020 election legal team — declaring that “with all due respect to the Attorney General [a Republican, Trump appointee], there hasn’t been any semblance of an investigation into the president’s complaints.”
Jeanine Pirro, a Trump favorite Fox News host, also stated that “We need answers. We need action. We need justice. And you Mr. Barr, are so deep in the swamp, you can’t see beyond your fellow reptiles,” referring to perceived members of ‘the swamp.’ Republican outlets, elected officials and the President’s legal team moved swiftly to paint Barr as blind to widespread fraud and a ‘never-Trumper’; concurrently, Barr was further painted as a Trump enemy and heaps of praise were given to Barr, simply for disobeying the President and upholding the Constitution.
But, this is the same Bill Barr that promoted a misleading and distorted account of the Mueller Report, ran interference for one the president’s 26 sexual assault cases, attempted to resolve the prosecution of Turkish state-owned bank Halkbank on behalf of President’s Trump and Erdogan (Turkey) by directly interfering in the Southern District of New York case and participated in the violent removal of peaceful protestors in front St John’s Episcopal Church so that Trump could have a photo-op with an upside down Bible. This is the Bill Barr who is now hailed as a savior of the Republic and an enemy of Trump. Newfound saviorism for Barr erases the fact that he, in his capacity as Attorney General of the United States, has continuously weaponized the DOJ to aid President Trump. He has used the office to mislead the public on the Mueller Report — a matter in which President Trump was not fully exonerated for, to try and dismiss credible rape charges against the President, and to aid in Trump’s authoritarian pandering in regards to Halkbank. Barr served as Trump’s lapdog — not the overseer of our Constitution.
And finally, for once, Barr has decided to stick up for the common sense and the Constitution.
But, this one act cannot erase years of damage to it.
Bill Barr was not sticking up to Trump, he was simply, for once, sticking up for the Constitution and had common sense; realizing there was no evidence or data that would support these outlandish claims. Trump and his allies are currently 1-for-46 in court cases following the 2020 election — cases that alleged widespread fraud, tossing of Trump ballots and rigged election software, none of which have been proven in any of the 47 court cases thus far. Bill Barr is the top attorney in the US, his job is to uphold the Constitution; doing the bare minimum is not grounds for praise — it's in his job description.
President Trump — on his favorite platform and bully pulpit, Twitter — has frequently interacted with, retweeted and endorsed tweets from notable election experts @CatTurd, @PlaysTrumpCard (with the bio “24/7 commentary supporting President Trump”) and @9NewsNancy in the last few weeks while relying on Sidney Powell, Rudy Guiliani and Jenna Ellis to spearhead his legal efforts — which have provided no concrete proof of fraud when their law licenses are on the line. Clearly there is a lack of evidence, credible sources and concrete fraud regarding the election. Yet, Trump is threatening to undermine the bedrock of our nation: Our democracy.
Georgia has certified its results twice in favor of now President-elect Joe Biden. The Republican voting system implementation manager for the state, Gabriel Sterling, told NBC that “the president’s statements are false, they’re misinformation … they’re stoking anger and fear among his supporters … this undermines democracy.”
Additionally, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, countered the president’s baseless claims of election fraud on Sunday morning in an interview on “This Week” with ABC — “we’ve never found systemic fraud, not enough to overturn the election,” he said. Yet, President Trump has called on Republican Governor Brian Kemp to call a special session of the legislature to overturn the results — a strategy he has used in Arizona and Pennsylvania as well.
President Trump is attempting to rewrite the results of the election, go against the will of the people and circumvent the Constitution — all treasonous, vile acts that threaten the democracy and foundation of America. Bill Barr is simply taking a common sense approach to this insane effort by the President by publicly rebuking him and standing up for the Constitution and democracy.
Following his statement, Barr was summoned to the White House for a two and a half hour meeting that was described as ‘intense’ by one senior advisor. Following the meeting, Trump refused to state if he had confidence in Barr, only saying “ask me that in a number of weeks from now. They should be looking at all of this fraud. This is not civil. He thought it was civil. This is not civil. This is criminal stuff. This is very bad, criminal stuff."
As is frequent for Trump appointees, Barr resigned shortly after, citing the need to spend more time with his family over the holidays — however, it can properly be described as a rat leaving a sinking ship. Barr protected Trump for years but with the 2020 election results certified and his role as AG coming to an end in four weeks, Barr was once again looking out for himself. He released no statement on the results of the election, no statement on the certification of results, and no statement on the electoral college meetings across the country, he was too busy preparing to leave the sinking ship that is the Trump administration.
We can answer one question, and that is that Barr does not deserve the respect of the American people, nor does he deserve their confidence. Bill Barr does not deserve praise nor his title as a savior for we have frequently see Barr stoop to protect the President from rape allegations, tax-related cases and aid Trump’s authoritarian allies.
William is a first year Masters of Public Affairs candidate at the La Follette School of Public Affairs. Do you think U.S. Attorney General Barr deserves any plaudits for his statements dismissing voter fraud? Send all comments to firstname.lastname@example.org