Four key ways Barr broke with Trump at the attorney general's news conference
December 21, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 21: US Attorney General Bill Barr holds a news conference to provide an update on the investigation of the terrorist bombing of Pan Am flight 103 on the 32nd anniversary of the attack, at the Department of Justice December 21, 2020 in Washington, DC. Barr announced criminal charges against one of the alleged Libyan bombmakers. The bombing occurred on December 21, 1988, killing all 259 people on board and eleven on the ground in Lockerbie, Scotland. (Photo by Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images)
Two days before he leaves the Justice Department, Attorney General William Barr offered his sharpest rebuke to date of President Donald Trump's baseless allegations surrounding the election result, rejecting Trump's efforts to act on the conspiracy theories the President has embraced to explain his loss to President-elect Joe Biden.
(CNN)Two days before he leaves the Justice Department, Attorney General William Barr offered his sharpest rebuke to date of President Donald Trump's baseless allegations surrounding the election result, rejecting Trump's efforts to act on the conspiracy theories the President has embraced to explain his loss to President-elect Joe Biden.
Barr rejected the call for a special counsel to investigate claims of election fraud, while adding he saw "no basis" for the federal government to seize voting machines, a legally dubious step some of Trump's allies have proposed in recent days.
After the election, the Justice Department announced it would investigate allegations of election fraud, but in a December 1 interview with the Associated Press, Barr pushed back on Trump's baseless claims the election was stolen from him.
As the courts have rejected allegations of widespread fraud, Trump's backers have pushed for a special counsel to keep probing the election, including the suggestion of naming Powell, who has focused her conspiracy theories on voting machines.
The news this month that Hunter Biden was under federal investigation -- and the steps the Justice Department took before the election to follow proper protocol and not disclose the probe before the election -- was one of the key factors that raised Trump's ire toward Barr and led to his planned resignation.
"To the extent there's an investigation, I think 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," Barr said when asked about Hunter Biden.