Undercutting President Donald Trump on multiple fronts, Attorney General William Barr said Monday he saw no reason to appoint a special counsel to look into the president’s claims about the 2020 election or to name one for the tax investigation of President-elect Joe Biden’s son.
Barr, in his final public appearance as a member of Trump’s Cabinet, also reinforced the belief of federal officials that Russia was behind a massive hack of U.S. government agencies, not China as the president has suggested.
Barr is leaving the Justice Department this week, having morphed from one of Trump’s most loyal allies to one of the few members of the Cabinet willing to contradict the president openly. That’s been particularly true since the election, with Barr declaring in an interview with The AP that he had seen no evidence of widespread voting fraud, even as Trump continued to make false claims about the integrity of the contest.
The president has also grown particularly angry that Barr didn’t announce the existence of a two-year-old investigation of Hunter Biden before the election. On Monday, Barr said that investigation was “being handled responsibly and professionally.”
“I have not seen a reason to appoint a special counsel and I have no plan to do so before I leave,” he said, adding that there was also no need for a special counsel to investigate the election.
A special counsel would make it more difficult for Biden and his yet-to-be-named attorney general to close investigations begun under Trump. Such an appointment could also add a false legitimacy to baseless claims, particularly to the throngs of Trump supporters who believe the election was stolen because Trump keeps wrongly claiming it was.
Source: Associated Press – MICHAEL BALSAMO