Outgoing Attorney General William Barr, who will officially leave his position on Dec. 23, said on Monday that there is “no basis” behind the idea Team Trump floated for the Department of Homeland Security to overtake voting machines. According to multiple reports, Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani called Department of Homeland Security official Ken Cuccinelli last week and asked about seizing machines as part of President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the election he lost.
Trump, furthermore, inquired about issuing an executive order to seize the machines and appointing former campaign lawyer Sidney Powell, who has peddled unhinged conspiracies about corrupt voting software “rigging” the election, as a special counsel on election fraud. Powell has held several meetings with Trump in recent days.
“I see no basis now for seizing machines by the federal government, the wholesale seizures of machines by the federal government,” Barr said during a Monday morning press conference. The attorney general also stood by his earlier comments that the Justice Department hasn’t found “systemic or broad-based fraud that would affect the outcome of the election.”
As for the president’s desire to empower Powell to investigate unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud, Barr waved off that idea: “If I thought a special counsel at this stage was the right tool, I would name one, but I haven’t and I don’t plan to.”