Attorney General William Barr said Monday that he does not think the federal government has the authority to seize voting machines amid election fraud allegations.
When he was asked about whether Trump should implement a plan to seize voting machines that were used in the election, Barr said he doesn’t believe it should be carried out. Barr made the comments during an announcement about the 32nd anniversary of the Lockerbie bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 that killed 259 people near Scotland in 1988.
“I see no basis now for seizing machines by the federal government,” Barr said before clarifying that it’s in regards to the “wholesale seizure of machines” by the government.
Barr on Monday also stood by his assessment that the DOJ had not found evidence of election fraud that would overturn the election. The move drew ire from President Trump and his legal team, who said they have presented ample evidence to the contrary, while accusing Barr of slow-walking investigations into the origin of the FBI’s Russia-Trump probe.
But the attorney general said that he believes “there was fraud in this election” on Nov. 3. “Let me just say that there [is] fraud in, unfortunately in most elections, I think we’re too tolerant of it,” he added.
“I was commenting on the extent to which we had looked at suggestions or allegations of systemic or broad-based fraud that would affect the outcome of the election and I already spoke to that and I stand by that statement,” he said, referring to his prior statements.
The attorney general was also asked about claims that Trump should appoint a special prosecutor to look into voting machines, or investigate fraud allegations, Barr said he didn’t see a reason to.
Barr remarked, “ If I thought a special counsel at this stage was the right tool and was appropriate I would name one but I haven’t, and I’m not going to.”
Barr’s last day at the DOJ is Wednesday, Dec. 23. Trump announced last week that he submitted his resignation.
Over the past weekend, Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani declared that his team should be able to examine voting machines in Arizona.
“They don’t contain medical information,” Giuliani told Steve Bannon’s “War Room.” “They don’t contain illegal information. We don’t get to see who you vote for. It’s public information; [it] doesn’t even belong to you. The only reason you would be resisting our examining those machines is because you know you did something crooked.”
Giuliani stated that officials in Arizona—as well as Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Georgia—should make dozens of voting machines “available,” and that his team “can do it publicly.”
“You can have the press there, make sure we don’t do any damage to the machine. Give us eight hours,” he added, saying: “Do that in Georgia, do that in Arizona, do that in Michigan, and do that in Pennsylvania.”
One of the manufacturers of voting machines, Dominion Voting Systems, has said that its machines cannot change votes from one candidate to another, has no ties with foreign governments, the machines leave behind a paper ballot trail, and has said its employees cannot access the machines during tabulation efforts.