Former Attorney General Bill Barr and his one-time boss, former President Donald Trump, are not exactly what you would call “friends.”
But Barr said over the weekend that he would not pursue criminal charges against Trump for the January 6 riot on the Capitol, even as he acknowledged the former president was “responsible” for the underlying cause of the mayhem with his repeated accusations that the 2020 election was stolen.
“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,” Barr told host Lester Holt in an NBC interview that aired Sunday. “I think the whole idea was to intimidate Congress. And I think that that was wrong.”
But Barr would not prosecute Trump if he were still attorney general. “I haven’t seen anything to say he was legally responsible for it in terms of incitement,” Barr said.
Barr also weighed in on a recent report that the National Archives and Records Administration discovered Trump had taken home 15 boxes of classified records to his home at Mar-a-Lago. Asked if that was worthy of prosecution, he said: “To tell you the truth, I probably wouldn’t. The whole classification system is done under executive order. It’s the president. The president decides everything.”
Trump has fired back. “Former Attorney General Bill Barr wouldn’t know voter fraud if it was staring him in the face—and it was,” he said in a statement. “The fact is, he was weak, ineffective, and totally scared of being impeached, which the Democrats were constantly threatening to do. They ‘broke’ him. He should have acted much faster on the Mueller Report, instead of allowing the fake Russia, Russia, Russia, Hoax to linger for so long, but it was the Election Fraud and Irregularities that he refused to act on because he wanted to save his own hide—and he did.”
“He never got impeached, contempt charges never went forward, and the Democrats were very happy with him—but I wasn’t. The Unselect Committee of Political Hacks continues to spin its wheels in trying to fabricate a narrative that doesn’t exist. The only thing they refuse to look into is the massive Election Fraud that took place in the 2020 Presidential Election,” Trump wrote.
In his new memoir, “One Damn Thing After Another,” which was released last week, Barr made other news that surveillance footage he viewed proves convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein really did kill himself.
The sudden death of Epstein in August 2019, ruled a suicide by a New York medical examiner, prompted conspiracy theories that he was murdered because of the things he knew. But Barr said he has seen surveillance video from the prison that shows no one else entered his cell the night he died.
Joseph Curl has covered politics for 35 years, including 12 years as White House correspondent, and ran the Drudge Report from 2010 to 2015. Send tips to [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @josephcurl.