Bill Barr Puts Loyalty to Trump First, American People Second
September 3, 2020
In an interview yesterday, Bill Barr showed once again that he is more interested in acting as Trump’s personal lawyer than as the people’s lawyer. He repeatedly carried Trump’s water — defending Trump’s lies about vote-by-mail; backing up Trump’s call for voters to attempt to illegally vote twice; inconceivably claiming there is not systemic racism in policing; repeating Trump’s conspiracy theory about “Antifa” flying around the country; and disputing the Intelligence Community’s stated consensus that Russia is already interfering in the election.
Barr absurdly claimed systemic racism in policing does not exist, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
BARR: “I think the narrative that the police are in some epidemic of shooting unarmed black men is simply a false narrative and also the narrative that’s based on race. … I think there are some situations where statistics would suggest that they are treated differently. But I don’t think that that’s necessarily racism.”
NBC News: “An analysis of the data published five years later, in August 2019, found that Black Americans account for 36 percent of unarmed police shooting victims even though they are just 13 percent of the U.S. population.”
Nature (journal): “By one estimate, Black men are 2.5 times more likely than white men to be killed by police during their lifetime. And in another study, Black people who were fatally shot by police seemed to be twice as likely as white people to be unarmed.”
Barr claimed without evidence that voting by mail is “dangerous,” rejecting all data to the contrary.
BARR: Mail-in voting “as a matter of logic is very open to fraud and coercion is reckless and dangerous, and the people are playing with fire.”
CNN: “These comments contradict the views of bipartisan election officials and a wide array of voting experts who say voting-by-mail is a safe option with protections in place to prevent systematic fraud. There is no widespread fraud in US elections, even in states with a history of heavy mail-in voting, running directly counter to Barr’s assertions.”
Barr was unable to cite any evidence that foreign countries could successfully flood elections with fake ballots — which experts agree is not possible.
BLITZER: “You’ve said you were worried that a foreign country could send thousands of fake ballots, thousands of fake ballots to people, and it might be impossible to detect. What are you basing that on?”
BARR: “I’m basing that — as I’ve said repeatedly, I’m basing that on logic.”
BLITZER: “But have you seen any evidence that a foreign country is trying to interfere in that way?”
Washington Post: “There is, in fact, essentially no way that a foreign country could submit thousands of ballots without detection.”
Barr defended Trump’s call for voters to commit a felony and attempt to illegally vote twice.
BARR: “It seems to me what he’s saying is he’s trying to make the point that the ability to monitor this system is not good. And if it was so good, if you tried to vote a second time, you would be caught. If you voted in person —”
BLITZER: “That would be illegal if they did that. If somebody mailed in a ballot and then actually showed up to vote in person. That would be illegal.”
BARR: “I don’t know what the law on that particular state says.”
BLITZER: “You can’t vote twice.”
ABC News: “Trump encourages supporters to vote twice, which is illegal”
NPR: “Such an action would be a felony under North Carolina law as is inducing someone to vote twice, warned Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the North Carolina State Board of Elections, who issued a statement Thursday morning.”
Barr disputed the Intelligence Community’s consensus that Russia is already interfering in the 2020 election.
CNN: “Barr downplayed Russia’s well-documented attempts to help Trump in presidential elections, including in this election cycle, while pointing his finger more at China. ‘I accept that there is some preliminary activity that suggests that they might try again,’ Barr said of Russia.”
New York Times: “Russia is using a range of techniques to denigrate Joseph R. Biden Jr., American intelligence officials said Friday in their first public assessment that Moscow continues to try to interfere in the 2020 campaign to help President Trump.”
New York Times: “Officials briefed on the intelligence said that Russia was the far graver, and more immediate, threat. While China seeks to gain influence in American politics, its leaders have not yet decided to wade directly into the presidential contest.”
Barr backed up Trump’s false conspiracy theory that Antifa members were taking planes to insight violence in various cities.
BARR: “They are flying around the country, we know people who are flying around the country, we know where they’re going, we see some of the purchases they’re making before the riots of weapons to use in those riots.”
New York Times: “There is no evidence of a flight matching Mr. Trump’s description. But the claim is similar to a baseless allegation that appeared online as early as June, when a wave of cities and towns became alarmed by unsubstantiated rumors that the loose collective of anti-fascist activists known as antifa was being sent into their communities to disrupt the peace.”