Bill Barr: Attacks on the 2020 Election’s Legitimacy ‘Precipitated’ Storming of the Capitol


In his first TV interview since resigning the role of attorney general, Bill Barr said Donald Trump’s false 2020 election claims “precipitated” the storming of the Capitol by the president’s supporters.

ITV News Global Security Editor Rohit Kachroo conducted the interview with Barr, who was “sad” but “not surprised” by the mob that sought to violently interfere with Congress’ certification of Joe Biden’s presidency. When asked if the attempts to delegitimize the election results were “the final straw,” Barr answered “I think that was the thing that precipitated the riots on the Hill.”

“I think it’s always important to remember most people are exercising their First Amendment rights,” Barr continued. “But there is a substantial group obviously that went far beyond that and broke into the Capitol and tried to interfere with the proceedings and that’s unacceptable.”

Before the 2020 election, Barr gave oxygen to the notion that mail-in ballots could lead to mass voter fraud in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. This was one of several conspiracy theories Trump invoked against the election, even though there has been no evidence of mass corruption, plus his attempts to dispute the results were shot down in court dozens of times.

Barr reversed course before his resignation by saying the Justice Department has seen no evidence of mass fraud, which led to a contentious meeting with Trump. Since then, Barr said Trump’s “orchestrating a mob to pressure Congress is inexcusable,” but he hedged in terms of whether Trump incited the riot.

“I will leave it to the people who are looking into the genesis of this to say whether incitement is involved,” Barr said to ITV. “I don’t know if I would use the word ‘inevitable,’ but I think that when you start suppressing free speech, when people lose confidence in the media, and also when they lose faith in the integrity of elections, you are going to have some people resort to violence.”

Watch above, via ITV.

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