Washington, December 2
Disputing President Donald Trump’s persistent, baseless claims, Attorney General William Barr has declared the US Justice Department has uncovered no evidence of widespread voter fraud that could change the outcome of the 2020 election.
Barr’s comments, in an interview, contradict the concerted effort by Trump, his boss, to subvert the results of last month’s voting and block President-elect Joe Biden from taking his place in the White House.
Barr said US attorneys and FBI agents had been working to follow up specific complaints and information they’ve received, but “to date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election”. The comments, which drew immediate criticism from Trump attorneys, were especially notable coming from Barr, who has been one of the president’s most ardent allies.
Before the election, he had repeatedly raised the notion that mail-in voting could be especially vulnerable to fraud during the Covid pandemic as Americans feared going to the polls and instead chose to vote by mail.
More to Trump’s liking, Barr revealed in the interview that in October he had appointed US Attorney John Durham as a special counsel, giving the prosecutor the authority to continue to investigate the origins of the Trump-Russia probe after Biden takes over and making it difficult to fire him.
Biden hasn’t said what he might do with the investigation, and his transition team didn’t comment Tuesday.
Trump has long railed against the investigation into whether his 2016 campaign was coordinating with Russia, but he and Republican allies had hoped the results would be delivered before the 2020 election and would help sway voters. — AP
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