The government watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has newly placed ex-Attorney General Bill Barr, who served during the Trump administration, under investigation. Specifically, CREW has filed a public records request with the Department of Justice for documentation related to Barr’s role in the Trump administration’s schemes to go after the 2020 presidential election outcome. Barr did not personally support Trump’s conspiracy theories about the imaginary fraud that he claimed swung the election to Biden, but in theory, Barr may have provided some level of cover, at least for a time. Either way, he was in Trump’s orbit.
Former AG Bill Barr appears to know more than he’s letting on about Trump’s attempts to overthrow the election. So we’re investigating. https://t.co/3ypPWCldMn
— Citizens for Ethics (@CREWcrew) July 13, 2021
As CREW put it, “The public deserves transparency about all of Trump’s anti-democratic efforts to delegitimize the 2020 election. On June 27, 2021, The Atlantic published an account of former Attorney General Bill Barr’s final weeks in office. The report highlighted various instances of Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election, citing interactions between Trump and his former administration, with a level of detail that suggests that Barr or others may have created notes or records of these meetings.” Now, the group is seeking to obtain “records relating to meetings and conversations involving Barr, including conversations with Mark Meadows, Senator Mitch McConnell, and meetings at the Department of Justice and White House,” according to a new statement.
Eventually, Barr left his post as Attorney General before the end of the Trump administration. Before his departure, Barr confirmed — in an interview with the Associated Press — that no meaningful evidence of systematic election fraud had emerged, no matter efforts by federal authorities to investigate the issue. Barr was replaced by Jeffrey Rosen, who served as acting Attorney General for remaining parts of the Trump administration — and apparently, Trump once contemplated replacing Rosen with Jeffrey Clark, a loyalist from within the Justice Department, who could have used the powers of the Justice Department to advance Trump’s election lies.
Without even taking on the Attorney General role, Clark communicated to top officials, including Rosen, that he “wanted the department to hold a news conference announcing that it was investigating serious accusations of election fraud,” according to The New York Times. Such a press conference would have given unfounded support to Trump’s lies about the election. The Justice Department was, in fact, not investigating “serious” election fraud accusations in the sense of claims that went beyond mere allegations and had meaningful evidence backing them up, because such supported fraud claims did not exist.