Jan. 6 committee hopes to speak with William Barr

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Jan. 6 committee hopes to speak with William Barr

The House committee on the Jan. 6 riot spoke to former Attorney General William Barr, committee chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss. It was said on Sunday.

In an interview on CBS' Face the Nation, Thompson was asked by host Margaret Brennan if the panel is going to speak with Barr about a draft executive order prepared for former President Donald Trump that appears to be among the files that the committee has been trying to obtain from the National Archives.

We've already had conversations with the former attorney general. Thompson said that they talked to Department of Defense individuals. We are concerned that our military is part of a lie about promoting the election as false. If you are using the military to seize voting machines, the public needs to know. Barr, an ardent defender of Trump during his presidency, resigned in December 2020 amid lingering tensions over Trump's false claims of election fraud.

A draft of an executive order prepared for Trump and obtained by Politico on Friday would have authorized the secretary of defense to send National Guard troops to seize voting machines around the country in the weeks following the 2020 election.

The order, which was never signed by Trump, would have also appointed a special counsel to institute criminal and civil actions as appropriate based on the evidence collected, and calls on the defense secretary to release an assessment 60 days after the action began, which would have been well after Trump was due to leave office on January 20, 2021.

The article from Politico has a facsimile of the full order but does not say how the news organization obtained the document or whose possession it was in.

Thompson said that the committee does not know if anyone within the Pentagon is working on the issue of possibly seizing voting machines. He said that the executive order is reason enough to believe that it is being proposed. He said that a plan was put forward by the Department of Justice to potentially seize voting machines in the country and use Department of Defense assets to make that happen.