During the second public hearing of the House select committee’s investigation of the Jan. 6 insurrection, former Attorney General William Barr’s taped testimony was presented regarding then-President Donald Trump’s 2020 election fraud claims. Barr called the allegations “crazy stuff” and said Trump had become “detached from reality.”
ZOE LOFGREN: Now, spurred by what he saw, Barr told the "Associated Press" on December 1 that there was no evidence of election fraud. And immediately after, Attorney General Barr's statement went public. Mr. Trump berated and he nearly fired Barr. But Barr persisted in telling the President that there was no evidence to support the fraud claims.
WILLIAM BARR: This got under my skin, but I also felt it was time for me to say something. So I had-- I set up a lunch with the AP reporter, Mike Balsamo. And I told him at lunch, I made the statement that, "To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have affected a different outcome in the election."
I had a later meeting scheduled at the White House at 3 o'clock with Meadows. This was previously scheduled, so I knew this was going to come up. And I went over there, and I told my secretary that I thought I would probably be fired and told not to go home-- I mean, not to go back to my office. So I said you might have to pack up for me.
And so when I got over there, I met with the chief of staff. He said the President was angry. He didn't really get into the issue of the fraud. And then I went up to Pat Cipollone's office, and we were talking with each other. And word came down that he wanted us both to go to the Oval. And the President was as mad as I've ever seen, and he was trying to control himself.
And the President said, "Well, this is killing me. You didn't have to say this. You must have said this because you hate Trump. You hate Trump." Then he raised "the big vote dump" as he called it, in Detroit and that you know, he said people saw boxes coming into the counting station at all hours of the morning and so forth. And I explained to him that-- at that point, I knew the exact number of precincts in Detroit I think it was 630-something.
I said, "Mr. President, there are 630 precincts in Detroit, and unlike elsewhere in the state, they centralize the counting process. So they're not counted in each precinct. They're moved to counting stations and so a normal process would involve boxes coming in at all different hours. So there's nothing--" And I said, "Did anyone point out to you. Did all the people complaining about it point out to you actually did better in Detroit than you did last time? I mean, there's no indication of fraud in Detroit."
And I told him that the stuff that his people were shoveling out to the public were was bullshit. I mean, that the claims of fraud were bullshit. And you know, he was indignant about that. And I reiterated that they wasted a whole month on these claims on the Dominion Voting machines, and they were idiotic claims.
And I specifically raised the Dominion Voting machines, which I found to be among the most disturbing allegations, disturbing in the sense that I saw absolutely zero basis for the allegations. But they were made in such a sensational way that they obviously were influencing a lot of people, members of the public that there was this systemic corruption in the system.
And that their votes didn't count, and that these machines controlled by somebody else were actually determining it, which was complete nonsense. And it was being laid out there, and I told them that it was crazy stuff, and they were wasting their time on that. And it was doing a great grave disservice to the country.