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Bill Barr: ‘Would Not Come Out Very Well’ for Trump On the Stand


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Former Attorney General Bill Barr said Wednesday he does not believe the defense that former President Donald Trump was following the advice of counsel in his Jan. 6 decision-making would hold up if the former president took the stand in court.

Trump was indicted on Tuesday, after an investigation by Special Counsel Jack Smith concluded that he had conspired to overturn the results of the 2020 election by attempting to exploit the 2021 assault on the Capitol.

Barr, who resigned as Trump’s attorney general weeks after the election in December 2020, told CNN’s Kaitlan Collins on Wednesday that he did not think it would be a credible defense for Trump to say that he was following the advice of advisers like the unspecified co-conspirators mentioned in the indictment.

“It would not come out very well for him” if Trump took the stand on that defense, Barr said. “I think he’d be subject to very skilled cross examination, and I doubt he remembers all the different versions of events he has given over the last few years.”

Barr also cast doubt on whether Trump’s aides had, in fact, told Trump he had lost the 2020 election unjustly.

All of the advisers who surrounded Trump, Barr claimed, had told him that the 2020 election “was not stolen by fraud.” Even conservative attorney John Eastman — who Trump’s legal team said pushed him to declare the election a fraud — gave such vague counsel to Trump that Barr said he was not sure he would characterize it as “advice.”

Trump, Barr said, understood that he had lost the 2020 election, even as he worked to overturn its results.

“At first I wasn’t sure, but I have come to believe that he knew well that he had lost the election,” Barr said.

“The government has assumed the burden of proving that. The government in their indictment takes the position that he had actual knowledge that he had lost the election and the election wasn’t stolen through fraud. And they’re going to have to prove that beyond a reasonable doubt.”



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