Trump Campaign Hits Barr for No 'Semblance' of an Investigation After AG Says No Evidence of Widespread Fraud

The Trump campaign on Tuesday criticized Attorney General Bill Barr for telling reporters there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud after conducting what it considers an unsatisfactory investigation.

Rudy Giuliani, Trump's attorney, has been pushing for Barr to launch an investigation into the campaign's claims that the election was marred by fraudulent ballots. On Tuesday, Barr told the Associated Press that the FBI and U.S. attorneys didn't uncover fraud "on a scale" that could have changed the presidential race's results.

But Giuliani and Jenna Ellis, the Trump campaign's senior legal adviser, pushed back on Barr's comments. They said that there was no "semblance of a Department of Justice investigation" and that the department hadn't examined the campaign's evidence of "illegal voting" in six states.

The Trump attorneys also criticized Barr for not using his "subpoena powers to determine the truth" or audit any of the voting machines. One of the Trump campaign's complaints about the election has been that the voting system that was used was tied to foreign entities and could have been hacked to change votes.

Barr told the AP that U.S. attorneys and FBI agents were working to follow up on specific complaints and information they received. He also touched on the claim that machines were programmed to skew the election results, saying that the Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department "looked into that and so far we haven't seen anything to substantiate that."

bill barr trump campaign election fraud
Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani speaks during a press conference at the Republican National Committee headquarters on November 19. On Tuesday, Giuliani criticized Attorney General Bill Barr for saying there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the presidential election. Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty

Of the particular claims that were brought to the department's attention, Barr said, a few thousand votes were involved and the allegations were "followed up on." He noted that people may wrongly think that if they don't like something the Justice Department should "come in and investigate," but many complaints must be resolved at the civil level.

On November 9, days after President-elect Joe Biden secured enough electoral votes to be declared the winner, Barr issued a memo to the U.S. attorneys, assistant attorney general and the FBI director. In it, he authorized them to pursue "substantial allegations" of voting irregularities before states certified the results, if the "clear and apparently-credible allegations" could potentially affect the election's outcome.

Barr added that he had already approved probes in "specific instances" but didn't elaborate on their outcomes or what they entailed. The memo received backlash for politicizing the election, but the attorney general's most recent comments could put him in Trump's crosshairs. Barr was seen entering the White House an hour after the AP story was published, but a Justice Department spokesperson said he was there for a previously scheduled meeting with White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.

On Sunday, Trump told Fox Business' Maria Bartiromo that the election was "a total fraud" and that "maybe" the FBI and Department of Justice were "involved."

Trump has yet to concede the election to Biden and is still insisting that he will be declared the winner. Despite filing numerous lawsuits without success, the campaign has vowed to keep up the fight, and Giuliani has said the campaign has enough cases of voter fraud to change the election outcome.

The former New York City mayor had previously questioned why Barr didn't become involved in the issue. Now that the attorney general has weighed in, Giuliani and Ellis said, they will "continue our pursuit of truth" to ensure "every legal vote is counted and every illegal vote is not."

"Again, with the greatest respect to the attorney general, his opinion appears to be without any knowledge or investigation of the substantial irregularities and evidence of systemic fraud," the two attorneys said.