Bill Barr Lists Reasons Not To Hand Down Indictment Against Trump

[Screenshot/Fox News]

Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
Font Size:

Former U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr listed reasons he would consider not indicting former President Trump over his alleged conduct on January 6, 2021.

Barr, who served under the Trump administration, argued during a Friday interview with Fox News’ Martha MacCallum that Special Counsel Jack Smith’s indictment against Trump is a “legitimate” case from a legal standpoint. The “divisiveness” of the indictment and the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) handling of Hunter Biden’s alleged criminal wrongdoing are solid reasoning to decide against the indictment, Barr added.

“Here you are being aggressive against President Trump, I’m not saying that it’s improper to bring the case, but I’m saying it’s an aggressive move versus I think very lenient treatment of Hunter Biden and I think that is very divisive in the country and I would take that into account,” Barr said.

Barr added bringing criminal charges against a former president could be a “slippery slope” in the U.S. (RELATED: ‘It’s Not An Abuse’: Bill Barr Defends DOJ From Weaponization Charges Against Trump Charges) 

Two whistleblowers with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) testified under oath before the House Ways and Means Committee that the DOJ, under the authority of Attorney General Merrick Garland, held back investigators’ access to evidence of Hunter’s tax violations in 2017 and 2018 and ignored the IRS’ recommendations to bring charges against the first son. They further told lawmakers the agency lied about there being no political interference in the investigation into Hunter.

A grand jury handed down an indictment on Tuesday alleging Trump attempted to overturn the 2020 election. He is charged with “Conspiracy to defraud the United States,” “Conspiracy to corruptly obstruct and impede the January 6 proceedings” and “A conspiracy against the right to vote and to have one’s vote counted.”

Barr said he is concerned the three indictments against Trump may distract the country from the “serious issues” during the 2024 presidential election. He disputed Trump and his legal team’s “overkill attacks,” which allege that the indictment is an attempt to interfere in the 2024 election.

“But I don’t like all of these overkill attacks that this is somehow reprehensible to bring it,” Barr said. “What was reprehensible was the conduct after the election and it’s perfectly to be expected that the Department of Justice would approach it the way they approach a thing like this which is under the laws against defrauding the United States and obstructing proceedings.”

Smith vowed to seek a speedy trial regarding the case, which Barr said is always ideal. He argued it is sometimes “in the public interest” to resolve these cases before the election so voters know the candidate’s actions before they are potentially elected.