Capitol Riot

Former Attorney General Thought Trump Could Have Become ‘Detached from Reality'

William Barr repeatedly said there was no evidence of election fraud in 2020

William Barr
House Select Committee

Former Attorney General William Barr testified he thought that if President Donald Trump believed the claims of a stolen election, he had lost touch with reality.

In videotaped testimony show by the House Jan. 6 hearing on Monday, Barr said, "If he really believes this stuff, I thought he’d lost contact, or become detached from reality."

Barr said repeatedly that he did not believe there was fraud during the 2020 presidential election and had told the president so.

His comments came as the House committee investigates the riot that swept over the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, when Trump supporters invaded the building and fought with law enforcement.

Barr said that he met with the president after the election as Trump was maintaining that the results would be reversed as a result of major fraud. The attorney general said he told him that the department was investigating the fraud claims but had not found any to be meritorious. Barr also told him that Department of Justice did not take sides in the election and was not an extension of his team legal

As he was leaving, Barr said he asked Trump's advisers how long Trump would keep up the fiction that he and not Joe Biden had the presidency. Then chief of staff Mark Meadows told Barr that Trump was becoming more realistic. Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner said, "We're working on it."

Instead Trump appeared on television with Fox journalist Maria Bartiromo and claimed again that the Justice Department was "missing in action." He suggested that the FBI and the Justice Department "may be involved" in the fraud.

After Barr told The Associated Press that there was no evidence of fraud sufficient to affect the election, he met again with the president and said, "The president was as mad as I've ever seen him."

Trump claimed that there had been a "dump" of votes in Detroit, of boxes of votes arrived in the early morning hours. Barr said he explained to him that because of how the Detroit precincts counted votes in a centralized location, that was to be expected.

"The claims of fraud were bullshit," he said.

Barr said he singled out as "crazy stuff" claims that the voting machine company, Dominion Voting Systems, and a software company Smartmatic were conspiring to steal the election. The claims, being pushed by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and lawyer Sidney Powell, also involved Venezuela.

Barr said he told Trump, "I told him that it was crazy stuff and they were wasting their time."

Barr said the claims were a disservice to the country because they were being made in such a sensational way that people were believing them.

Barr laughed at the movie "2000 Mules," created by Dinesh D'Souza, which he said presented unconvincing claims of coordinated voter fraud.

"The election was not stolen by fraud," Barr said.

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