'Cowardly and destructive': Bill Barr blasted for post-resignation silence over Donald Trump's election lies

'Cowardly and destructive': Bill Barr blasted for post-resignation silence over Donald Trump's election lies
Former United States Attorney General Bill Barr testifying to House January 6th investigators (screengrab/@CBSNews/Twitter).

Testifying before the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol, former United States Attorney General Bill said that his repeated attempts to convince former President Donald Trump that he lost the 2020 election were fruitless. The footage of Barr's interview with congressional investigators was shown on Monday morning, during the second of six public hearings.

"When I walked in, sat down, he went off on a monologue saying that there was now definitive evidence involving fraud through the Dominion machines and a report had been prepared by a very reputable cyber-security firm which he identified as Allied Security Operations Group and he held up the report. And then he asked that a copy of it be made for me. And while a copy was being made, he said, 'you know, this is absolute proof that the Dominion Machines were rigged. The report means that I'm going to have a second term,'" Barr recalled.

"And then he gave me a copy of the report, and as he talked more and more about it, I sat there flipping through the report and looking through it. And to be frank, it looked very amateurish to me. It didn't have the credentials of the people involved but I didn't see any real qualifications. And the statements were made very conclusory, like, 'these machines were designed to engage in fraud' or something to that effect. But I didn't see any supporting information for it," Barr continued.

"And I was somewhat demoralized because I thought, 'boy, if he really believes this stuff, he has, you know, lost contact with, he's become detached from reality, if he really believes this stuff,'" Barr explained. "On the other hand, when I went into this, and would, you know, tell him how crazy some of these allegations were, there was never an indication of interest in what the actual facts were," Barr chuckled awkwardly. "My opinion then, and my opinion now, is that the election was not stolen by fraud."

Watch below via CBS News:

Barr resigned from his post on December 15th, 2020 as rumors swirled about Trump's desire to fire him over his refusal to endorse Trump's election conspiracy theories.

But for many observers, Barr's decision to quit and maintain a post-tenure low profile provided additional opportunities for Trump's lies to fester.

"Barr's testimony makes his silence and his resignation letter all the more cowardly and destructive," MSNBC host Chris Hayes tweeted.

New York Times Justice Department reporter Katie Benner concurred with and expanded upon Hayes' perspective.

"Only in private did Barr bluntly call Trump's fraud claims absurd," Benner wrote. "He never let the public know his feeling that Trump was 'detached from reality.' He publicly lauded Trump when he resigned and said this year that he would vote for Trump again."

CNN political analyst Ana Navarro-Cárdenas, an ex-Republican strategist, remarked that "it’s simply amazing how many people around Trump, including Barr, other Cabinet Secretaries, and Senior White House staff, knew Trump was completely off-his rocker, paranoid, delusional and making insane claims, putting the country in danger AND they didn’t invoke 25th Amendment."

Former Congressman and Never Trumper Joe Walsh (R-Illinois), who left the GOP on February 7th, 2020, noted that "in sworn testimony, Bill Barr is describing a President who purposely lied about the election, refused to accept the will of the people, and incited January 6th. But know this: Bill Barr has also said repeatedly that he will vote for Trump in 2024 if Trump is the GOP nominee."

Likewise, progressive podcaster Andrew Wortman said that "as devastating as Barr’s testimony is for Trump, it is equally devastating to Barr himself, who clearly knew Trump had become completely impervious to reason, completely detached from reality, but said none of this in his resignation letter or public statements."

That was echoed by author Brian Karem.

"Bill Barr is no better than Donald Trump - he's just better at covering his own ass," he said. "On that' he's a better Trump than Trump."

CNN's Chief White House Correspondent Kaitlan Collins opined that it was "remarkable to watch Barr's testimony, including how he thought Trump was becoming 'detached from reality,' and compare that with his resignation letter from December, where he said he was honored to serve in the admin & proud of Trump's successes." Collins also attached a snippet of Barr's resignation letter in which he praised Trump.

Similar sentiment continued to flood Twitter after the conclusion of Monday's hearing.

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