The nation’s top lawyer, U.S. Attorney General William Barr, sat down with The Associated Press recently to talk about election fraud. The Department of Justice (DOJ) has been investigating reported crimes, he said, including voting machine tampering that was alleged to have changed tens of thousands of votes from President Donald Trump to Vice President Joe Biden in the recent election.
However, the news is not good for Team Trump.
“To date,” Barr told AP, “we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.”
What about the claims involving the voting machines in many states supplied by Dominion Voting Systems, using Smartmatic software, which have been the subject of charges from attorney Sidney Powell that the machines’ programming allowed massive numbers of votes to be flipped from Trump to Biden?
Barr didn’t mention Powell by name, but said, “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 [Department of Homeland Security] and DOJ have looked into that, and so far, we haven’t seen anything to substantiate that.”
For their part, both Dominion and Smartmatic have denied the charges leveled at them and their equipment and software.
Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis, Trump’s attorneys, were quick to criticize Barr’s assessment. In a press release from the campaign, they said:
“With all due respect to the Attorney General, there hasn’t been any semblance of a Department of Justice investigation. We have gathered ample evidence of illegal voting in at least six states, which they have not examined. We have many witnesses swearing under oath they saw crimes being committed in connection with voter fraud. As far as we know, not a single one has been interviewed by the DOJ. The Justice Department also hasn’t audited any voting machines or used their subpoena powers to determine the truth.
“Nonetheless, we will continue our pursuit of the truth through the judicial system and state legislatures, and continue toward the Constitution’s mandate and ensuring that every legal vote is counted and every illegal vote is not. Again, with the greatest respect to the Attorney General, his opinion appears to be without any knowledge or investigation of the substantial irregularities and evidence of systemic fraud.”
As the AP notes, Barr gave federal prosecutors the green light early on to investigate credible claims of election fraud. But he said that many of the complaints should be investigated by state auditors, as they are not allegations of potential crimes.
Much of the mainstream media’s reporting on election fraud usually begins with something like “Trump’s baseless allegations” or something similar, so it may be worthwhile here to note that there are always cases of election fraud occurring around the country at regular intervals, and Barr implicitly acknowledges that. But the bottom line from the DOJ’s perspective is that there are no game-changing instances of fraud in the presidential election that Barr has seen.
That puts the onus on Trump’s campaign lawyers to back up the allegations they have made about widespread fraud with conclusive evidence. If the evidence is forthcoming, the DOJ will undoubtedly reconsider its conclusions.
Photo from Pool/ABACA/REUTERS