Former AG Barr pretends he didn't spread lies that helped lead to Capitol riot

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William Barr claimed he found the violence at the U.S. Capitol 'despicable.'

In an interview aired by British network ITV on Tuesday, former Attorney General William Barr said Donald Trump's lies about voter fraud and a stolen election helped incite the violent insurrection by Trump's supporters at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6.

Journalist Rohit Kachroo suggested to Barr, "Perhaps the debate about the integrity of the election was the final straw." Barr responded, "I think that that was the thing that precipitated the riots on the Hill."

"I'm sad to see, but not surprised, in a way, to see the kind of violence we saw on Capitol Hill. I consider it despicable," Barr said.

While Barr blamed Trump's lies about voter fraud for the insurrection, which left one Capitol Police officer and four other people dead, he left out the fact that he himself told the same kind of dangerous lies multiple times before the election, questioning the security of voting by mail to help back up Trump's assault on the voting method.

In September, Barr told CNN, "Elections that have been held with mail have found substantial fraud and coercion." That was a lie.

In June, Barr told a similar lie about voting by mail in an interview with the New York Times, saying, "We've been talking about how, in terms of foreign influence, there are a number of foreign countries that could easily make counterfeit ballots, put names on them, send them in. And it'd be very hard to sort out what's happening."

Experts said it was nearly impossible for foreign countries to counterfeit ballots, due to the massive number of precincts and local offices and ballot questions in each, as well as other security measures applied to voting.

With his lies in the lead-up to the election, Barr supported Trump's efforts to sow distrust in the democratic process and the political system itself. Trump cast doubt on the legitimacy of voting by mail, preparing the ground for the lies he has not stopped spreading since Nov. 3, claiming the election was stolen from him after he lost to President-elect Joe Biden by more than 7 million votes.

Barr supported Trump's lies throughout his tenure as attorney general.

He propped up the lie that Trump was spied on by former President Barack Obama. Barr also lied about the findings of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and cast doubt on the legitimacy of the investigation itself.

Since Trump lost, Barr has been trying to rehab his image, breaking from Trump on the voter fraud claims.

On Dec. 1, nearly a month after the election and weeks after the race had been called for Biden, Barr publicly said there was no fraud in the voting. He announced his resignation from the administration on Dec. 15, a day after the Electoral College certified Biden's win.

Now Barr is blaming the violent insurrection at the Capitol on Trump, despite having repeated Trump's lies for years.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.