Barr, on his way out, breaks with Trump on Hunter Biden and election fraud
Attorney General William Barr said Monday he saw no need to appoint a dedicated attorney to oversee the investigation into Hunter Biden or the 2020 presidential election and reject ideas that have come into conservative circles in the weeks since President-elect Joe Biden's victory have gained momentum.
Barr said the ongoing investigation into the younger Biden is already being skilfully conducted by lawyers from the Department of Justice.
"I think, insofar as there is an investigation, I think it is currently being handled responsibly and professionally within the department," Barr said at what will likely be his final press conference before his resignation takes effect later this week. "So far, I've seen no reason to appoint a special lawyer, and I don't plan to do so before I go."
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Hunter Biden announced earlier this month that the US attorney for Delaware was investigating him for potential tax issues. POLITICO later reported that the securities fraud department in the southern borough of New York, which investigates serious economic crimes, was also investigating its financial operations and that the scope of the investigation went beyond mere taxes.
Conservatives have used Hunter Biden's legal cloud as a beating on the former Vice President, voicing concerns that Joe Biden or his yet-to-be-appointed Attorney General could shut down his son's probes shortly after he took office in January. You have urged the Trump administration to isolate this investigation by appointing a special envoy.
Jen Psaki, whom Biden referred to as the White House press secretary, said on Sunday that the president-elect failed to speak to candidates to become attorney general in his administration about his son's potential legal issues.
“He won't speak to any attorney general about an investigation into his son. He won't discuss it with anyone he considers for the role. And he won't discuss it with a future attorney general, ”she said on Fox News Sunday.
Barr said he hoped Biden would not interfere in an investigation related to his son and allow such probes to operate freely.
"I hope the next government will handle this matter responsibly," he said.
Barr also turned down the idea of seizing voting machines in the service of Trump and his allies efforts to reverse his loss to Biden in November.
"I now see no basis for the confiscation of machines by the federal government," he said.
The far-fetched idea was promoted by former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who leads Trump's legal effort to challenge the presidential election results, and alarmed members of the Trump administration.
Ken Cuccinelli, a senior official with the Department of Homeland Security, reportedly expressed doubts about the agency's legal authority, among other things, to do what Giuliani and other Trump allies suggested.
Trump also came up with the idea of appointing a special lawyer to investigate his loss to Biden and empowering lawyer Sidney Powell, who has spread numerous conspiracy theories about the election, to pursue the issue.
For nearly two months, Powell has been running a far-reaching campaign to invalidate the 2020 election results, a largely unsuccessful effort that has been reprimanded in state and federal courts across the county.
Barr said if he found such special advice necessary, he would have already done so. He also stood by his earlier public statements that he had seen no evidence of rampant electoral fraud sufficient to affect election results.
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