Bill Barr says Donald Trump ‘knew well he will lost the election’
Bill Barr, the former US attorney general, spoke out against Donald Trump prior to his court appearance over allegations that he plotted to overturn his 2020 election defeat.
Barr, who was appointed by the former president, said Trump “knew he lost”.
According to federal prosecutors, Mr Trump lied about mass voter fraud and pressed officials to change results in order to remain in power.
The defendant has entered a not guilty plea.
Thursday afternoon, the 77-year-old Republican, who is running for re-election, appeared in court in Washington. The charges have been denounced as politically motivated by him.
“There’s nothing more protected under the First Amendment [the right to free speech] than political speech,” said Trump lawyer John Lauro.
According to Barr, who left the top job in the US legal system shortly after Biden’s victory in November 2020, free speech is not a valid defense.
Mr Barr told CNN that they are not attacking his First Amendment right. He can say whatever he wants, even lie. He can even claim that the election was rigged when he knew better.
However, that does not prevent you from joining a conspiracy.”
He undermines Mr Trump’s claim that he was not defrauding the American people because he always believed he had won, by stating that his former boss knew he lost the election.
As detailed in the indictment, the former president’s alleged actions are “nauseating” and “despicable”.
According to this latest indictment, Mr Trump faces four counts, including conspiracy to defraud the US, obstruction of an official proceeding, and conspiracy against voting rights.
Two other charges were filed against him: mishandling classified files and falsifying business records to conceal a hush-money payment to a porn star.
Mr Trump slammed the case as proof of the US’ “corruption, scandal, and failure” under Joe Biden.
Since leaving office, the former president had only visited Washington DC once.
Trump appeared before Magistrate Judge Moxila Upadhyaya, while the criminal trial will be handled by Tanya Chutkan.
An investigation into the events surrounding the riot at the US Capitol on 6 January 2021 led to the indictment.
Mr Trump’s actions in the two months between his loss to Joe Biden and the riot in Washington DC, where his supporters stormed Congress as lawmakers endorsed the Democrat, were the focus of the documentary.
He said the violence had been “fuelled” by his lies, but he did not charge the former president with inciting the mob that day.
Trump is accused of conspiring through dishonesty, fraud, and deceit to impair, obstruct, and defeat the federal government function.