OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
Donald Trump dropped quite a bombshell on Sunday afternoon about former Attorney General Bill Barr.
While speaking at CPAC in Dallas, Trump revealed that he received a letter from the former U.S. Attorney in Philadelphia that Barr prevented the investigation of fraud after the election.
On Monday night, Trump released the letter he received from the former U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, William McSwain.
Now, Barr has run to Politico to dispute the claims from McSwain.
In an interview with POLITICO, Barr — who became a favored punching bag for Trump after the 2020 election — denied ever telling McSwain or others not to pursue fraud allegations related to the vote.
“It’s written to make it seem like I gave him a directive,” Barr said. “I never told him not to investigate anything.”
Barr said he spoke to McSwain Monday after hearing about the letter and that Trump was pressuring the former prosecutor to claim that Barr had bottled up election fraud probes last year. Barr said the former prosecutor indicated he was trying to assuage Trump’s concerns without claiming that actual fraud went unchallenged.
“It’s very cutely written. He said he was going to try to thread the needle. … He said to me he didn’t want to say anything that would advance the president’s stolen election narrative, but by the same token he was going to try to thread the needle by saying some things that were literally, technically accurate,” Barr said of McSwain’s letter.
“I said, ‘But you’re trying to give the impression these things were not adequately or fully investigated,’” Barr said he told McSwain when they spoke earlier this week.
It seems like it’s Barr’s word against McSwain’s.
Below is a screenshot of McSwain’s letter that Trump released.
The underlined portions show where McSwain says Barr told him not to investigate the Nov. 3, 2020, election results in Pennsylvania:
Below is the full letter:
Donald Trump’s anger with Barr may have been even worse than we originally knew.
According to a forthcoming book by ABC News Washington correspondent Jonathan Karl, Barr told reporters at the Associated Press back in December that the Justice Department had uncovered no evidence of widespread voter fraud.
Trump confronted Barr in person over the comments.
“How the f— could you do this to me? Why did you say it?” Trump asked Barr.
When Barr responded “because it’s true,” Trump said: “You must hate Trump. You must hate Trump.”
Back in December, Barr told Karl: “To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.”
Barr slammed Trump while speaking with Karl, saying he “expected Trump to lose the election” and claimed he “did look into” claims of fraud in the election.
“If there was evidence of fraud, I had no motive to suppress it,” Barr told Karl. “But my suspicion all the way along was that there was nothing there. It was all bullsh*t.”
Here’s more from Conservative Brief’s Carmine Sabia on Barr’s comments to the AP back in December:
“There’s been one assertion that would be systemic fraud and that would be the claim that machines were programmed essentially to skew the election results. And the DHS and DOJ have looked into that, and so far, we haven’t seen anything to substantiate that,” he said on December 1, 2020.
“There’s a growing tendency to use the criminal justice system as sort of a default fix-all, and people don’t like something they want the Department of Justice to come in and ‘investigate,’” Barr said.
But Karl said that backstabber Barr had already believed that Trump was going to lose the election and his plan all along was to investigate the claims of voter fraud just so he could tell Trump that everything was legitimate.
“He had expected Trump to lose and therefore was not surprised by the outcome,” Karl said in the book. “He also knew that at some point, Trump was going to confront him about the allegations, and he wanted to be able to say that he had looked into them and that they were unfounded.”
But it was what Barr said to Karl that is raising eyebrows.
“My attitude was: It was put-up or shut-up time,” he said. “If there was evidence of fraud, I had no motive to suppress it. But my suspicion all the way along was that there was nothing there. It was all bullshit.”
Barr continued to trash Trump in his interview with the AP.