National Security

Barr says no evidence that Trump was ‘legally responsible’ for Jan. 6 attack

Former Attorney General William Barr said that although former President Trump bears some moral responsibility for the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, he has not seen evidence that his ex-boss was “legally responsible” for the riot.

“I haven’t seen anything to say he was legally responsible for it in terms of incitement,” Barr told NBC’s Lester Holt in an interview that aired Sunday night. 

“I do think he was responsible in the broad sense of that word, in that it appears that part of the plan was to send this group up to the Hill. I think the whole idea was to intimidate Congress. And I think that that was wrong,” Barr added.

Asked whether he would have investigated Trump after the National Archives claimed he had taken classified documents to his Mar-a-Lago resort after leaving office, Barr said: “To tell you the truth, I probably wouldn’t.”

“The whole classification system is done under executive order. It’s the president. The president decides everything,” he added. 

NBC noted that there was no indication that Trump formally declassified the documents before taking them.

In a three-page response to Barr’s remarks, the former president called him a “coward,” “a big disappointment” and “lazy,” NBC reported. 

Trump also claimed that before the Jan. 6 rally, he had suggested that troops be stationed in Washington, D.C., and at the Capitol building, but that Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) were not interested.

“If they had taken my offer, there would have been no ‘January 6’ as we know it. We would have had a minimum of 10,000 troops encircling the Capitol, and nobody would have gotten near it, or them,” Trump said in his response.

Meanwhile, a court filing from the House panel investigating the insurrection argued that Trump “engaged in criminal conspiracy” in his efforts to prevent the 2020 presidential election results from being certified. 

“Had this effort succeeded, the electoral count would have been obstructed, impeded, influenced, and (at the very least) delayed, all without any genuine legal justification and based on the false pretense that the election had been stolen,” the Jan. 6 committee wrote in a filing last week seeking to compel documents from lawyer John Eastman. 

“There is no genuine question that the President and Plaintiff attempted to accomplish this specific illegal result,” it added. 

The committee also alleged that it “has a good-faith basis for concluding that the President and members of his Campaign engaged in a criminal conspiracy to defraud the United States,” marking the most serious allegations against Trump to date. 

Updated at 11:10 p.m.

Tags Donald Trump Jan. 6 Capitol attack Muriel Bowser Nancy Pelosi William Barr
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