AG: No reason for special counsel on election, Biden's son

WASHINGTON (AP) - Outgoing Attorney General William Barr broke with President Donald Trump on Monday, saying he saw no reason to appoint a special adviser to investigate the president's allegations of election fraud or the tax investigation of President-elect Joe Biden's son.
In his final press conference, Barr also undercut Trump when he reiterated federal officials' belief that Russia was behind the cyber espionage operation against the US government. Trump had suggested with no evidence that China could be responsible.
Barr said the investigation into Hunter Biden's financial operations is "handled responsibly and professionally."
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"I have seen no reason to appoint a special lawyer and I have no intention of doing so before I go," he said.
Barr also told The Associated Press in a previous interview that despite Trump's claims to the contrary, he had seen no evidence of widespread electoral fraud. Trump continued to make unfounded claims even after the electoral college officially announced Biden's victory on December 14.
Trump - angry that Barr didn't announce there was a two-year-old investigation into Hunter Biden - has rallied with White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, White House attorney Pat Cipollone, according to several Trump authorities. and outside allies in special deliberations are advising officials and Republicans near the White House who, on condition of anonymity, spoke with The Associated Press to discuss matters they were not authorized to discuss.
Aside from appointing a special prosecutor to investigate the younger Biden, Trump said the sources were keen to appoint another special adviser to investigate his own unsubstantiated allegations of election fraud. Trump even put into action the idea of ​​appointing Attorney Sidney Powell as an election fraud attorney - despite Powell being fired from Trump's legal team after making a number of increasingly ferocious conspiratorial allegations about the election.
Appointing a special lawyer would make it difficult for Biden to close the investigation. However, it is not clear how this could be done without the consent of judicial officials. And if Trump expected his newly appointed Acting Attorney General, Jeff Rosen, to go further than Barr on both matters, he could quickly be disappointed.
Barr said the US government agency hack "certainly seems to be the Russians."
In implicating the Russians, Barr shared a widespread belief within the US government and cybersecurity community that Russian hackers were responsible for violations of several government agencies, including the Treasury Department and Commerce.
Hours after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a radio interview that Russia was "pretty clearly" behind the hacks, Trump tried to undermine that message - and downplay its gravity - by tweeting that the "cyber hack was far out in the fake news "is bigger" media than in reality. “He also said China could be responsible, although there is no credible evidence that anyone other than Russia could be to blame.
In this article
Election Center 2020
Hunter Biden
Joe Biden
Donald Trump
William Barr

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