President Trump’s legal team took another hit on Tuesday when Attorney General William Barr said that the Department of Justice has seen no evidence of widespread voter fraud.
Speaking with the Associated Press, Barr said that U.S. Attorneys and FBI agents have been following any lead pertaining to voter fraud only to come up empty-handed.
“To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have affected a different outcome in the election,” he said.
Regarding the claims that voting machines somehow shifted the election in favor of Biden, Barr said no evidence exists indicating that.
“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.
Barr differentiated the DOJ’s investigation into voter fraud from the lawsuits brought by Trump’s legal team in several key states, however, noting the DOJ’s findings do not have bearing on civil proceedings.
“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,’” he said. “Most claims of fraud are very particularized to a particular set of circumstances or actors or conduct. They are not systemic allegations [and] those have been run down; they are being run down. Some have been broad and potentially cover a few thousand votes. They have been followed up on.”
In response to Barr’s comments, the Trump legal team issued a statement arguing that the Department of Justice never launched a proper criminal investigation into allegations of voter fraud.
“With all due respect to the Attorney General, there hasn’t been any semblance of a Department of Justice investigation,” the statement said. “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.”
The Trump legal team further pledged to pursue “the truth” through the judicial system and state legislatures.
“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,” continued the statement. “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.”
Since the president filed his lawsuits, the states of Arizona, Michigan, and Wisconsin have all certified the election results.
It is important to note that just a week after the election, Barr authorized federal prosecutors to pursue “substantial allegations” of voting irregularities “if there are clear and apparently-credible allegations of irregularities that, if true, could potentially impact the outcome of a federal election in an individual State.” Barr specifically instructed prosecutors that “while serious allegations should be handled with great care, specious, speculative, fanciful or far-fetched claims should not be a basis for initiating federal inquiries.”
In regard to the lawsuits that have been filed by the Trump campaign, many have been dismissed or denied in court while others are either currently being litigated or have been withdrawn by the campaign. The campaign did win a case in Pennsylvania when a judge issued an order that stopped counties from counting mail-in or absentee ballots for which voters gave missing identification information after a deadline that had been extended because the secretary of state “lacked statutory authority” to grant the extension.
Update note: This article has been expanded after publication to include additional information.