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Former Attorney General William Barr has spoken to Jan. 6 panel, chair says

POLITICO logo POLITICO 1/23/2022 By David Cohen
Then-Attorney General William Barr speaks during a news conference in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 21, 2020. © AP Then-Attorney General William Barr speaks during a news conference in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 21, 2020.

Former Attorney General William Barr has talked to the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, the panel’s chair said on Sunday.

Speaking on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) said: “We’ve had conversations with the former attorney general already. We have talked to Department of Defense individuals.”

Thompson was responding to a question from host Margaret Brennan about a draft executive order, disclosed Friday by POLITICO, that would have had the Defense Department seize the nation’s voting machines as part of a massive investigation into possible voter fraud.


Video: Jan. 6 committee chairman confirms panel has had ‘conversations' with former AG William Barr (MSNBC)

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“We are concerned that our military was part of this big lie on promoting that the election was false,” Thompson said. “So, if you are using the military to potentially seize voting machines, even though it’s a discussion, the public needs to know — we’ve never had that before.”

The order, which was never issued, was part of a trove of documents released by the National Archives to the committee after former President Donald Trump lost a legal challenge to have materials blocked. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled against Trump’s claim of executive privilege.

Thompson said the Jan. 6 committee did not have proof that “an operational plan” to seize voting machines was developed.

“The draft itself is reason enough to believe that it was being proposed,” he said. “Our job is to get to the facts and circumstances of how far did they go.”

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