Barr on the election: ‘If the results are clear, I would leave office’
Attorney General William Barr on Tuesday said that he would indeed vacate his post if President Trump loses his bid for reelection in November, but punted when asked a follow-up question on the matter.
During his hearing with the House Judiciary Committee Tuesday, Barr was peppered by the panel’s Democratic members about a wide range of Justice Department-related topics — whether Trump would leave office if he lost November’s general election was just one of them.
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) asked the attorney general: “Mr. Barr … what will you do if Donald Trump loses the election on November 3rd but refuses to leave office on January 20th?”
Barr answered: “Well, if the results are clear, I would leave office.”
“Do you believe that there is any basis or legitimacy to Donald Trump’s recent claim that he can’t provide an answer as to whether he would leave office?” Jeffries followed up.
“I really am not familiar with these comments or the context in which they occurred, so I’m not going to give commentary on them,” Barr replied
Jeffries is most likely referring to an exchange during Trump’s interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace in which Wallace asked the president — who’s currently trailing presumptive Democratic nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden by double-digits in numerous national polls — if he would accept the results of the election.
“You don’t know until you see,” Trump told Wallace. “It depends. I think mail-in voting is going to rig the election. I really do.”
However, in a June interview with the network’s Harris Faulkner when asked a similar question, he said, “Certainly, if I don’t win, I don’t win.”
Barr was also asked by Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.) about the legality of moving Election Day, an idea that White House senior adviser Jared Kushner floated earlier in the year at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
“I haven’t looked into that question, under the Constitution,” Barr said, later adding that he has “no reason to think” that the general election will be rigged.
The date of Election Day, the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, is constitutionally set, meaning that the date could only be altered by Congress.