On Tuesday, Barr said the Justice Department hasn’t found evidence of fraud large enough to change the outcome of the 2020 election. Some on the right then criticized Barr, while much of the left’s coverage focused on the right’s reaction.
In an interview with the Associated Press, Attorney General Bill Barr said the Department of Justice had not found evidence of fraudulent election activity “on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.”
- Barr said the theory proffered by attorney Sidney Powell (voting machines and counting software designed to surreptitiously switch votes), from whom the Trump legal team has distanced itself, has been examined by the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice and they “haven’t seen anything to substantiate that.”
- Before the election, Barr had gone on record saying mail-in voting provided significant opportunity for fraud, which NPR disputes in its reporting.
- President Trump’s campaign legal team, headed by Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis, released a statement disagreeing with the Attorney General, saying the Department of Justice has not properly investigated allegations of fraudulent activity.
- Trump’s campaign continued its efforts in court, filing a motion in Wisconsin to have more than 200,000 absentee ballots tossed for not being filled out completely.
- In his remarks to the AP, Barr also criticized the practice of “[using] the criminal justice system as sort of a default fix-all.”
- The same day as Barr’s comments, the Thomas More Society held a press conference releasing a list of allegations, including USPS employees backdating mail-in ballots in Wisconsin and voting machines being improperly updated.
- Many outlets on the left reported on the backlash Barr received from conservative media, with CNN noting Newsmax and The Gateway Pundit blog accusing Barr of being a member of the “Deep State.”
- Lou Dobbs attracted attention from The Daily Beast and Huffington Post after he similarly accused Barr working the “Deep State” and having been “compromised.”
- NY Mag uses its story to drive a wedge between the Attorney General and President Trump, suggesting Barr has been the most loyal and most willing to ally himself politically with Trump.
- In its coverage, Fox News inserted a detail not widely reported: A Justice Department spokesperson clarifying Barr’s remarks saying it’s been “incorrectly reported that the Department has concluded its investigation of election fraud.”
- The Editorial Board at the Wall Street Journal took Barr’s comments as an opportunity to address and debunk specific claims of fraud that have been made.
- Jim Geraghty at National Review lamented the trend towards the “conspiracy-minded subculture” and the insistence of prominent voices of conservative media accusing Barr of being in on a conspiracy.
© Dallas Gerber, 2020