September 29, 2023

Former Attorney General William Barr said the Justice Department appears to be aggressively probing former President Donald Trump and those close to him over their role in the Jan. 6 attack.

Barr, who served as attorney general from February 2019 to December 2020, addressed the Justice Department’s investigation into the deadly Capitol riot during an interview with CBS News’ Kathryn Herridge on Friday.

Barr said that based on recent federal grand jury subpoenas from top Trump administration officials, it appears that prosecutors are “looking carefully” at Trump and those around him about their actions regarding the Jan. 6 attack.

“It’s definitely an important event. It changes my view of what’s going on,” Barr said. “That suggests to me that they’re taking a hard look at the team at the top, including the president and the people immediately surrounding him, who were involved in this.”

He also predicted to Herridge that prosecutors “will try to make a decision on the issue of executive privilege” after former White House counsel Pat Cipollone was reportedly subpoenaed by the Justice Department last week.

He described reports of Cipollone’s subpoena as “the most important.”

“He has the strongest claim to executive privilege as an adviser in the office of the president,” Barr said. “That’s kind of the biggest mountain for them to climb, and the fact that they’re riding with it, to me, indicates that they want a definitive solution — not just for Cipollone — but you know, it’s going to affect [former White House chief of staff Mark] Meadows and some of the other people too.’

The former Attorney General, which helped to sow unwarranted doubts about the legality of the results of the 2020 presidential election, previously told the House committee investigating the events of Jan. 6 that Trump’s allegations of voter fraud were “nonsense” and “out of touch with reality.”

Speaking to Herridge last week, Barr stopped short of saying there would be a way to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that Trump engaged in criminal conduct.

“After the last series of hearings I said, personally, if that’s what it is, as attorney general, I still don’t see that as a sufficient basis to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime was committed by the president,” Barr said.

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