US Attorney General William Barr, a top ally of President Trump, has said the Justice Department has found no evidence of fraud in the 2020 election.
“To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have affected a different outcome in the election,” said the top US law enforcement agent.
His comments come as Mr Trump has failed to accept defeat.
He and his campaign have filed lawsuits in states that he lost, as they begin certifying Joe Biden as the winner.
Since 3 November’s vote, Mr Trump has repeatedly made unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud, and members of his legal defence team have spoken of an alleged international plot to hand Mr Biden the win.
“There’s been one assertion that would be systemic fraud and that would be the claim that machines were programmed essentially to skew the election results,” Mr Barr told AP News on Tuesday, referring to the assertion that ballot machines were hacked to give more votes to Mr Biden.
Mr Barr said that the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Homeland Security have investigated that claim, “and so far, we haven’t seen anything to substantiate that”.
“There’s a growing tendency to use the criminal justice system as sort of a default fix-all, and people don’t like something they want the Department of Justice to come in and ‘investigate,'” he added.
Reacting to his comments, Trump campaign lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis said in a joint statement: “With the greatest respect to the Attorney General, his opinion appears to be without any knowledge or investigation of the substantial irregularities and evidence of systemic fraud.”
It was getting late in the day for the US Justice Department to take action that would give life to Donald Trump’s efforts to reverse the results of the 2020 presidential election. On Tuesday, however, Attorney General Bill Barr effectively ended even the slightest hope that federal investigators would provide the president with a political lifeline.
That the justice department did not find “fraud on a scale that could have affected a different outcome in the election” shouldn’t come as a surprise. The president’s own lawyers have yet to present any such evidence in their lawsuits challenging the voting results. What is noteworthy, however, is that Barr chose to comment publicly rather than stay silent and let the lack of any announced findings or charges speak for itself.
According to news reports, Trump has been complaining privately about the lack of support he’s received from Barr and the FBI in his attempts to attribute his defeat to fraud. He is already feuding with Republican governors in Arizona and Georgia – two traditionally conservative states he lost to Joe Biden – for failing to echo his concerns.
Barr may be just the latest target of the president’s anger.
In Mr Trump’s first post-election TV interview on Sunday, he told Fox News that he would continue to pursue every legal challenge available.
“My mind will not change in six months,” he said by phone, adding: “There was tremendous cheating here.”
He also floated the idea of having a special counsel appointed to investigate the election. Any such special counsel would have to be approved by Mr Barr.
Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-55153366