Barr, who served as U.S. attorney general until late December 2020, emerged as a main character in making the committee’s case that Trump had been repeatedly told there was no evidence for the claims of fraud that he was peddling.
In his interviews with the committee’s investigators, the former head of Trump’s Department of Justice repeatedly slammed those election-fraud conspiracy theories as “bulls---” and “crazy,” among other terms. He testified that he said as much to the then-president’s face.
In one clip, Barr recounted an Oval Office meeting a few weeks after the Nov. 3, 2020, election, in which he had to tell Trump that the DOJ “is not an extension of your legal team” and can’t be used to “take sides in elections” by investigating fraud claims.
“We’ll look at something if it’s specific, credible, and could have affected the outcome of the election, and we’re doing that and it’s just not meritorious, they’re not panning out,” Barr recalled saying to Trump.
The former head of the DOJ also said he told Trump “that the stuff that his people were shoveling out to the public was bulls---. I mean, that the claims of fraud were bulls---. And he was indignant about that.”
“I reiterated that they’d wasted a whole month on these claims on these Dominion voting machines, and they were idiotic claims,” Barr said.
Barr said he found those claims, that Dominion voting machines were rigged to flip votes to Biden, “disturbing” in that “I saw absolutely zero basis” for them. But “they were obviously influencing a lot of members of the public” even though they were “complete nonsense,” Barr said.
He added: “I told him that it was crazy stuff and they were wasting their time on that and it was doing a grave disservice to the country.”
Barr said Trump gave him a copy of a report filled with election fraud claims. Trump said the report showed that he would get a second term, but “to be frank, it looked very amateurish to me,” Barr said.
“I was somewhat demoralized, because I thought, boy, if he really believes this stuff, he has lost contact with — he’s become detached from reality if he really believes this stuff,” Barr said.
When Barr would tell Trump how “crazy” some of these claims were, “there was never an indication of interest in what the actual facts were,” the former attorney general said, laughing.
In another clip of witness interviews, ex-Trump campaign aide Jason Miller said that former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani was “definitely intoxicated” on Election Night 2020 when he said at the White House that Trump should simply declare victory.
Miller said that he noticed Giuliani was inebriated when he and other officials, including former campaign manager Bill Stepien and then-chief of staff Mark Meadows, gathered at the White House to listen to what Giuliani wanted to tell Trump to say.
“The mayor was definitely intoxicated, but I did not know his level of intoxication when he spoke with the president, for example,” Miller said as part of an interview with the select committee, clips of which were played in the hearing.
“There were suggestions by, I believe it was Mayor Giuliani, to go and declare victory and say that we’d won it outright,” Miller said. Giuliani was effectively saying, ”‘We won it, they’re stealing it from us, where’d all the votes come from, we need to go say that we won,’ and essentially anyone who didn’t agree with that position was being weak,” Miller told the investigators.
Trump, in the early hours of Nov. 4, 2020, falsely claimed, “frankly, we did win this election.”
A spokesperson for Giuliani, who also sent along a conspiracy theory and typo-ridden statement from the former Trump lawyer, denied Giuliani was drunk on Election Night.