Former AG Barr, in New Book, Tries to Have It Both Ways on Responsibility for Jan. 6 Insurrection

From WaPo’s report on the book:

Barr takes particular aim at those who had the president’s ear — including former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, who Barr says will be remembered as “the man who helped President Trump get impeached not once but twice.” (Giuliani was involved in the pressure campaign in Ukraine, which was at the heart of Trump’s first impeachment, and the effort to overturn the election, which fueled the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol and was at the heart of the second.)

He writes that Trump’s legal team “had a difficult case to make, and they made it as badly and unprofessionally as I could have imagined,” taking particular note of a news conference Giuliani held at a Philadelphia landscaping company to promote his claims.

“It was all a grotesque embarrassment,” Barr writes.

Barr writes that Trump “surrounded himself with sycophants, including many whack jobs from outside the government, who fed him a steady diet of comforting but unsupported conspiracy theories.” He seems to blame Trump for the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, in which supporters of the president stormed the building as lawmakers were finalizing the vote count.

“The absurd lengths to which he took his ‘stolen election’ claim led to the rioting on Capitol Hill,” Barr writes, though he notes later that he was not accusing the president of incitement.

“I did not think, from what I heard, that Trump ‘incited’ violence in the legal sense,” Barr writes. “Incitement has a legal definition, and Trump’s statements would not fit that definition in any American court.”

Barr writes that he repeatedly informed Trump, through his staff, that the Justice Department was not finding evidence to support his claims of fraud. The issue came to a head in December 2020, when Barr said as much publicly to the Associated Press.

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