“This will give the president [and others] something to play with for a while, but until Bill Barr actually puts up or shuts up, we’re still where we [have been].”
By Asawin Suebsaenge | Daily Beast
It was a memo so outrageous, it caused a top Justice Department official to quit on the spot. But for Donald Trump’s dwindling band of loyalists at the White House, it still wasn’t enough.
On Monday, Attorney General Bill Barr “authorized” Justice officials to investigate allegations of voter irregularities. But his memo doing so practically admitted there was little-to-no evidence for any such election fraud. The document warned that “specious, speculative, fanciful or far-fetched claims should not be a basis for initiating federal inquiries” and that “nothing here should be taken as any indication that the Department has concluded that voting irregularities have impacted the outcome of any election.”
The memo sparked a new wave of criticism that the president and his allies were willing to sacrifice the country’s democratic foundation in the pursuit of power. Even those steps weren’t enough to satisfy Team Trump, however. Shortly after Barr’s declaration broke, officials close to the president and working on his re-election effort said they thought the memo could give the president and Rudy Giuliani another element to incorporate into their messaging war against the results of the free and fair election, but that it wouldn’t prove to be the legal game changer that they needed.
Four officials working on President Trump’s flailing post-election effort and a senior White House official told The Daily Beast on Monday evening that the Barr memo was, at best, too little too late, a letdown, or just, in the White House official’s words, “nothing to write home about.”
“This is not what some of us wanted. This is not what I wanted,” said a senior official on the Trump re-election effort, following the news of the DOJ memo. “This will give the president [and others] something to play with for a while, but until Bill Barr actually puts up or shuts up, we’re still where we [have been].”
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