Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

William Barr

U.S. Attorney General William Barr testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 1, 2019 about the Justice Department's investigation of Russian interference with the 2016 presidential election. (Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Barr Repeatedly Claims He Doesn't Know Whether It's Illegal to Vote Twice Following Trump Comments

"As the attorney general, you are expected not to be an idiot when it comes to basic legal principles," said Rep. Ted Lieu.

Jake Johnson

Pressed late Wednesday to respond to President Donald Trump's remarks encouraging North Carolina residents to try to cast two ballots in the November election, Attorney General William Barr—the top law enforcement official in the U.S.—repeatedly claimed to not know whether it's illegal to vote twice.

"The president's chief propagandist is still at it."
—Walter Shaub

"I don't know what the law in the particular state says," Barr said in a CNN appearance when host Wolf Blitzer told the attorney general that it is, in fact, illegal to vote twice.

"Well, I don't know what the law in the particular state says," Barr repeated.

Watch:

Democratic lawmakers and other critics quickly slammed Barr for what they characterized as feigned ignorance in defense of Trump's open encouragement of voter fraud. In an interview with a North Carolina reporter Wednesday, Trump said residents of the state should attempt to vote by mail and in person to test the ballot-counting system.

If the mail-in ballot "isn't tabulated," the president said, "they will be able to vote [in person]. So that's the way it is, and that's what they should do." Under North Carolina law, it is a felony to vote twice or "induce" others to do so.

In response to Barr's remarks Wednesday, Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) pointed to federal law, tweeting: "As the attorney general, you are expected not to be an idiot when it comes to basic legal principles. Federal law prohibits voting more than once in the same election. 52 U.S. Code § 10307."

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said "Barr once again made clear today that he is not serving as the attorney general for the American people."

"He is serving as the personal henchman for Donald Trump," Jayapal added.

During the same CNN appearance Wednesday, Barr floated the claim that new expansions of mail-in voting amid the coronavirus pandemic leave "open the possibility" that either someone in the United States or a foreign nation could counterfeit ballots. Asked to provide evidence for that claim, Barr said he is basing it on "logic."

"The president's chief propagandist is still at it," tweeted Walter Shaub, former director of the Office of Government Ethics.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Doctor Describes Gruesome 'Wartime Injuries' at Highland Park Shooting

"The people who were killed were killed instantly," said Dr. David Baum, who ran towards the victims after gunfire rang out at a July 4th parade.

Julia Conley ·


Fetterman Calls for Assault Weapons Ban After July 4th Parade Massacre

The Democratic candidate for Pennsylvania's open U.S. Senate seat also demanded the prosecution of "gun dealers whose weapons routinely wind up at crime scenes."

Jake Johnson ·


Top US Nurses Union Urges Senators to Suspend Filibuster to Protect Abortion Rights

"Reproductive health services," says National Nurses United, are "fundamental to ensuring economic justice for women across the country."

Brett Wilkins ·


'Grave Injustice': Judge Rules Against West Virginia Community Devastated by Opioids

Three pharmaceutical companies distributed 81 million opioid painkillers in a West Virginia county over an eight-year period, but the federal judge ruled they were not liable for the damage done by the opioid epidemic.

Julia Conley ·


Nearly Two Dozen GOP States Attempting to Use Covid Relief Funds for Tax Cuts

Numerous Republican states, having benefited from federal coronavirus aid funds, are "pushing for income tax cuts that would deliver outsized gains to wealthy residents and profitable corporations."

Jake Johnson ·

Common Dreams Logo