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Trump Campaign Clashes with Barr for Pushing Back on Voter Fraud Claims

Attorney General William Barr testifies before the House Judiciary Committee in Washington, D.C., July 28, 2020. (Chip Somodevilla/Reuters)

Attorney General William Barr said Tuesday that the Justice Department has not found evidence of voter fraud widespread enough to change the outcome of this year’s presidential election, prompting a recrimination from the Trump campaign legal team, which claims the DOJ is unaware of the totality of the evidence they’ve gathered to substantiate their fraud allegations.

“To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election,” Barr said in remarks to the Associated Press.

The statement from the attorney general comes after Barr suggested earlier this year that the high levels of mail ballots this year due to people opting to stay home during the pandemic could become a breeding ground for fraud.

Shortly after the election, Barr authorized federal prosecutors across the country to probe “substantial allegations” of potential voter fraud. However, the DOJ has not seen evidence of certain illegal voting irregularities the Trump campaign claimed occurred, the attorney general said.

“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. And the DHS and DOJ have looked into that, and so far, we haven’t seen anything to substantiate that,” Barr said, apparently referring to allegations from since-dismissed Trump lawyer Sidney Powell that election systems flipped votes from Trump to Biden.

“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,’” Barr said.

The Trump campaign’s legal team responded to Barr’s update in a statement, saying “there hasn’t been any semblance of a Department of Justice investigation.”

“We have gathered ample evidence of illegal voting in at least six states, which they have not examined,” read the statement from Trump campaign lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis. “We have many witnesses swearing under oath they saw crimes being committed in connection with voter fraud. As far as we know, not a single one has been interviewed by the DOJ. The Justice Department also hasn’t audited any voting machines or used their subpoena powers to determine the truth.”

“Again, 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,” the attorneys said.

Giuliani and Ellis vow to continue their “pursuit of the truth through the judicial system and state legislatures.”

Since Joe Biden eked out a victory in the election earlier this month, flipping several key battleground states Trump won in 2016 by razor-thin margins, the Trump campaign has launched a slew of more than 40 lawsuits challenging the vote results in six swing states.

Late last month, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit from the Trump campaign that sought to invalidate millions of votes in Pennsylvania and block the certification of the state’s election results. The campaign subsequently lost its appeal of that decision.

In Michigan, the campaign dropped a federal suit last month that had sought to block the certification of ballots in deep blue Detroit. Republicans had claimed that GOP poll watchers were not allowed meaningful access to observe the ballot counting process in Detroit.

Even as late as Tuesday the campaign was still launching new challenges, filing a new lawsuit in Wisconsin’s Supreme Court alleging that abuse of absentee voting affected 220,000 ballots in the battleground state that President-elect Joe Biden won.

Trump has so far refused to concede the election to Biden and has claimed he won a second term “by a lot” even as his legal team fails to produce of voter fraud on a scale widespread enough to affect the outcome of the race and the former vice president’s victory.

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