Outgoing Attorney General William Barr said on Monday he will not be appointing a special counsel to investigate the presidential election or Hunter Biden. Barr made the statements during a press conference at the Justice Department to announce the filing of charges against Abu Agila Muhammad Mas’ud Kheir Al-Marimi in the 1988 terrorist bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. Mas’ud is reportedly being held by the Libyan government.
Earlier this month Barr said he had secretly appointed U.S. Attorney John Durham as special counsel in October to investigate the government’s handling of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation. Barr submitted his resignation following a meeting with President Trump last Monday, effective Wednesday, December 23.
Video clips of Barr answering questions on whether he will appoint special counsels (transcribed by TGP):
Bill Barr says he will not name a special counsel to investigate Trump's (unfounded) claims of election fraud: "If I thought a special counsel at this stage was the right tool, I would name one, but I haven't and I'm not going to." pic.twitter.com/QUAEpKX5D8
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 21, 2020
Barr on the election, “…As you said I’ve already commented on fraud. Let me just say that, you know there are fraud in, in unfortunately in most elections. I think we’re too tolerant of it and I’m sure there was fraud in this election. But I was commenting on the extent to which we had looked at suggestions or allegations of systemic or broad based fraud that would effect the outcome of the election and I already spoke to that and I stand by that statement.”
Question: “But about the idea of appointing a special counsel, would you, would you answer a question about whether you believe there’s enough there even with your, what you’ve already said, do you believe there’s enough evidence to warrant a special counsel to investigate that, perhaps Sidney Powell or someone else?”
Barr: “Well, if I thought a special counsel at this stage was the right tool and was appropriate I would do, I would name one, but I haven’t and I’m not going to.”
Attorney General William Barr says he has "not seen a reason to appoint a special counsel" to investigate Hunter Biden, and has "no plan to do so" before he steps down https://t.co/Nj065CIsxp pic.twitter.com/My7WnkdTTq
— CBS News (@CBSNews) December 21, 2020
Barr on the Hunter Biden investigation, “…I think to the extent that there’s an invest, an investigation, I think that it’s being handled responsibly and professionally currently within the department and to this point I have not seen a reason to appoint a special counsel and I have no plan to do so before I leave.”
ABC News reported Barr also said he saw no basis for the federal government to seize for inspection voting machines.
…Barr said he didn’t see any basis for the federal government seizing voting machines used in key states, as Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, has suggested.
He did not directly answer if the president has the authority to issue that order.
“I see no basis now for seizing machines by the federal government, you know, a wholesale seizure of machines by the federal government,” he said.
During a Friday meeting with Trump at the White House, a source said, Guiliani, lawyer Sydney Powell and retired Gen. Michael Flynn discussed an executive order to seize and examine voting machines across the country…