William Barr is being criticized from the right, with Fox News host Jeanine Pirro calling him a “reptile” for contradicting Donald Trump’s claims of massive election fraud.
As HuffPost noted, Pirro had often praised Barr for his work as attorney general, even as he has come under fire from critics for what they see as inappropriate defenses of Trump. Yet, she turned on him this weekend, saying on Saturday that he was too “deep” in the swamp with his “fellow reptiles” to see what she believed to be clear evidence to back his allegations.
As the report noted, the Fox News host has been one of the more fervent backers of the allegations, regularly repeating them on her show.
“Pirro also issued a long list of complaints that the Trump campaign has failed to prove and that courts have dismissed. She falsely claimed, for example, that the counting of ballots was halted and that GOP observers were not allowed to watch the counts,” the report noted.
Despite longstanding tradition that the Department of Justice should operate outside the influence of the White House, Barr issued a statement that contradicted Trump’s claims. As The Associated Press reported, he said last week that the Justice Department had uncovered no evidence of the widespread fraud that Trump had claimed took place, stealing a victory from him.
Barr said that U.S. attorneys and FBI agents followed up on specific claims, noting that “to date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.”
Per The Associated Press report, the comments drew criticism from Trump’s lawyers and were described as especially damaging to their case given that the attorney general was seen as a staunch ally of the president during his time in the position. Barr had been criticized in the past for releasing a summary of the Russia investigation that critics claimed downplayed the evidence against Trump and his associates.
The claims have led to other rifts on the right, with some Republicans speaking out against Trump’s continued and unfounded insistence that there were millions of illegal votes. In Georgia, some of the state’s Republican leadership have pushed back against allegations that there was wrongdoing in the state. In addition, this weekend Gov. Brian Kemp turned down a request from the president to call a special session of the state legislature and select a group of electors who would go against the will of voters and select him.