Former Attorney General William Barr said he believes that former president Donald Trump is chastely responsible for the riot in the U.S capitol that took place on 6 January 2001 but also added a contradicted statement that he isn’t legally blamable.
Questioned by NBC News Lester Holt whether he assumed Trump “responsible” for the violence at Capitol Barr replied: “I do think he was responsible in the broad sense of that word, in that it appears that part of the plan was to send this group up to the Hill. I think the whole idea was to intimidate Congress. And I think that that was wrong.”
“But he added, he has not seen any evidence that Trump inflicted any crime and hasn’t seen anything to say he was legally responsible for it in terms of instigation,” Barr said.
Lester Holt questioned Barr for a prime-time special airing Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on NBC. It was Barr’s first television conference since he stepped down as attorney general in December 2020 after 22 stormy months as the country’s top law enforcement official.
Barr eats his own words
In an interview that was held on Monday morning with NBC’s “TODAY” show Barr said he doesn’t think Trump should be the GOP aspirant and plans to support and assist another Republican candidate. When Barr was asked if he would vote for Donald Trump if he wins the party nomination in 2024, Barr replied he would surely do it.
Further, he added, “Because I believe that the greatest threat to the country is the progressive agenda being pushed by the Democratic Party, it’s inconceivable to me that I wouldn’t vote for the Republican nominee.”
Barr, a longtime advocate of the broad presidential power who was often accused of acting as Trump’s servant, was asked whether he would have investigated the former president over the matter of classified papers that National Archives confided were taken to the Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida after he left the department.
“The whole classification system is done under the executive order. It’s the president. The president decides everything,”. Barr told that there is no evidence that Trump formally declassified the documents that left the White House with him.
Barr’s One Damn Thing After Another “fake”- Trump
Barr sat for the interview before the publication of his book reciting his time in the White House, “One Damn Thing After Another: Memoirs of an Attorney General.” In a letter to NBC, News reacting to Barr’s conference and his report of his time working for Trump, Trump said the book was “fake” and called Barr a “coward” and a “big disappointment.”
During his tenure as Trump’s attorney general, Democrats and some former prosecutors condemned Barr for seeming to act as Trump’s lawyer instead of as an independent law enforcement bureaucrat.
Barr, who was also attorney general for President George H.W. Bush admitted that he spent far more time in the White House during the Trump presidency.
“I think I probably was in the Oval Office six times maybe when I was A.G. for Bush,” Barr said. Asked how many times he was there under Trump, he said: “Scores. Scores.”
He said the meetings were “sort of like a floating card game.” “There were always players coming and going,” he said. “And there was never really a beginning or end.”
In an interview with Holt, Barr protected some of his more questionable actions as attorney general, including a four-page letter he issued along with the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the Trump campaign and Russian interference in the 2016 election. Two federal judges later said the letter was misrepresenting. Mueller himself also expressed frustration that Barr’s letter “did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance of this Office’s work and conclusions.”
Barr said “I totally reject” criticism from the judges, Mueller, and others about his letter. “This was not a summary of the report. It was a description of his bottom-line conclusions. I stuck with the bottom line. You say guilty or not guilty. That’s what I did”, he said.
The decision to loosen up a prison sentence for longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone that Trump had frequently attacked as unreasonable, Barr said: “I knew it would be made to look bad. At the end of the day, all you can do is what you think is right.” Trump forgave Stone in his last few weeks in the bureau.
Barr also protected his decision to remove Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, whose office charged former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and was investigating Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani and two of his assistants. Barr maintained that getting rid of Berman had nothing to do with trying to protect Trump.
I didn’t think there was any threat to the president,” Barr said, and the decision to can Berman “was my call.” “I hadn’t thought much of him,” he said. “I wanted to make the change.”
Barr said it was also a coexistence that federal police officers violently cleared protesters from Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C., in June 2020 just before Trump held a photo chance at a close convent with Barr and others.
“Trump was upset I didn’t bring a case against Comey,” -Barr
An inspector general’s report last year decided that police initially negotiated so a contractor could not install fencing because of Trump’s event. But the report said Barr urged officers to speed up the clearing process once Trump had decided to walk through the area that evening.
“Are these people still going to be here when POTUS comes out?” Barr was referred to as telling a U.S. Park Police governor in the statement.
Barr claimed to Holt that the park “was being cleared for law enforcement purposes” and added that “an attorney general doesn’t come in and take operational control of things.”
He said he found that he was anticipated to go to the park with Trump only shortly before he left. “They told us that he was going to walk 15 feet in front and we were going to trail behind. He had a very scowly look on his face as he sort of walked along, and I said, ‘This is not going to go over well.’ That’s what I was thinking.”
Trump “was very, very upset that I didn’t bring a case against Comey,” Barr said, but “the evidence wasn’t there, the evidence of intent.”
2020’s ‘Big Lie’
He also said he avoided Trump’s demand to rush out the results of an investigation into the origins of the Russia examination before the 2020 presidential election. The investigation, which is being handled by special counsel John Durham, continues.
Barr told Trump that “we can’t run things according to a political calendar”
“I also felt that the idea that the election would turn on whether there’s a prosecution of some lower-level person at that point, you know, on the Russia gate thing, was a misperception,” he said. “I think people were worried about much bigger issues.
His decision to authorize the Justice Department to break with previous policy by giving prosecutors the green light “to pursue substantial allegations of voting and vote tabulation irregularities before the certification of elections” amid Trump’s claims of broad corruption, Barr said he just wanted answers to some of the allegations that were already running around and showed his gratitude to Trump and his allies.
What he found didn’t make Trump pleased. “I quickly came to the conclusion that the initial stuff that was pointed to, like the Dominion machines and all these other conspiracy theories, was nonsense,” he said. And “this idea of some inner-city boiler room where people are cranking out false ballots is a fantasy.”
Barr said that Trump became angry after announcing publicly that he found no sign of widespread fraud on 1, Dec 2020. “That’s the maddest I’d ever see him,” Barr told.
He referred to Trump as telling him: “Well, you know, I hear about these Dominion machines in Michigan. Some people think that they should be seized.”
“And I said, ”There’s no way the department is going to seize those machines. There’s simply not probable cause.'”
He said he told Trump, “The reason you are where you are is that you wheeled out a clown show in lawyers,” a reference to Giuliani, who was a frequent critic of Barr’s.
Holt noted that in his book, Barr said he didn’t think Trump would ever admit, because in “his universe, a loser was the lowest form of life.” He asked Barr whether he thinks Trump really speculates he won the election.
“I think his attitude probably is it either was stolen or if it wasn’t stolen I want people to believe it was stolen,” Barr said. “It’s useful. I’m not sure he’s, you know, really fixated on finding out what the truth is there.”
In his comeback, Trump said: “Bill Barr cares more about being accepted by the corrupt Washington media and elite than serving the American people. He was slow, lethargic, and I realized early on that he never had what it takes to make a great attorney general.”
That’s totally unique from what Trump has said publicly. In February 2020 — after Barr had been on the job for over a year and after he directed a brighter sentence for Stone — Trump said of Barr: “I think he’s doing an excellent job. He’s a strong guy.”