Barr, Who Called Trump's 2020 Claims Bogus, Meets With Jan. 6 Committee

Former Attorney General William Barr was spotted by journalists leaving a meeting with investigators from the House select committee probing the events surrounding the 2021 Capitol riot.

Barr, who served under former President Donald Trump from February 2019 to December 2020, resigned in the wake of the 2020 election. The former attorney general drew Trump's anger after he rejected his conspiracy theories and baseless assertions that the presidential election results were "rigged" or "stolen." He reportedly told Trump directly that the often bizarre claims were "bulls**t."

CNN previously reported in May that Barr was in talks with House investigators to meet with the January 6 committee to testify. On Thursday, video of Barr leaving a room where investigators meet with witnesses was shared by Fox News producer James Levinson. CNN and NBC News later reported that Barr was seen after meeting with the House investigators.

In his 2022 book, One Damn Thing After Another: Memoirs of an Attorney General, Barr described Trump's election fraud claims as "bulls**t." Although he had the Justice Department probe some of the allegations, Barr ultimately determined there was "no evidence" that President Joe Biden's win was the result of widespread fraud.

In a March op-ed published in The Wall Street Journal, Barr wrote about confronting Trump over the claims before he resigned in December 2020.

"Our mission is to investigate and prosecute actual fraud," Barr wrote that he told the president. "The fact is, we have looked at the major claims your people are making, and they are bulls**t."

Barr went on to criticize Trump's legal team, which filed dozens of unsuccessful election challenge lawsuits. "The reason you are in this position is that you wheeled out a clown show, and no quality lawyers who would otherwise be willing to help will get anywhere near it," he wrote that he told the president.

Barr has since said he does not believe Trump should be the Republican presidential nominee in 2024—an idea that the former president and his allies have repeatedly floated.

"I think that he would be one of the weaker candidates. We have a lot of young candidates who will fight for principle but don't have the sort of obnoxious personal characteristics that alienate a lot of voters," he told NPR in March.

Trump has consistently dismissed the work of the House committee investigating January 6. The former president has said the investigators are overtly partisan—although two Republicans, Representatives Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, serve on the commission. Trump and his allies have described the probe as a "witch hunt" aimed at preventing him from seeking future elected office if he chooses to run.

Trump, meanwhile, has called Barr a "swamp creature" for not supporting his false claims about winning the election.

William Barr
Former Attorney General William Barr reportedly met on Thursday with investigators from the House committee probing the events surrounding the 2021 Capitol riot. Above, Barr talks with Megyn Kelly during a taping of her radio show on May 3. Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for SiriusXM

Hundreds of Trump's supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6. The assault came directly after Trump urged them to walk to the federal legislative building and "fight like hell" to save their country. Many proceeded to do just that. Some of those arrested after the violence argued later in court that they believed they were acting under the president's orders.

The rioters were largely animated by Trump's claims about a "rigged" election. Barr has explained on multiple occasions that there is "no evidence" to support this conspiracy theory. Dozens of election lawsuits filed by Trump and his allies failed in state and federal courts. Even judges Trump appointed ruled against the legal challenges.

Newsweek reached out to the House select committee for comment.