“If I thought a special counsel at this stage was a right tool and was appropriate, I would name one, but I haven’t and I’m not going to,” Barr said in response to a question on the presidential election. He said that widespread fraud wasn’t found in this election.
Barr also roundly rejected suggestions from the President’s supporters in recent days who’ve called for the US government to seize voting machines.
“I see no basis for seizure of machines by the federal government,” Barr said Monday.
It was Barr’s last major news conference leading the Justice Department under Trump, and highlighted how much the attorney general has split from a President to whom he remained close until recent weeks.
Trump has inquired about the need for special investigations of Hunter Biden and on so-called voting fraud, and he continues to entertain and distribute unfounded theories that the presidential election was stolen from him.
“There is fraud unfortunately in most elections, I think we’re too tolerant of it,” he said. But in this election, Barr said, he stands by the finding that there was no systemic or broad based fraud, a finding the President refuses to admit.
Barr’s comments came after announcing new criminal charges against an alleged bombmaker in the 1988 terrorist bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.
Former Libyan intelligence officer Abu Agila Masud was charged for his involvement in the bombing.
On the SolarWinds cyber attack that affected several agencies in the US government, Barr said, “It certainly appears to be the Russians.” Barr added that he agreed with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on this conclusion.
Trump over the weekend downplayed the massive cyberattack on US federal government agencies and contradicted Pompeo’s statement, saying without evidence that the attack may have come from China.
This story is breaking and will be updated.