Washington: At the ongoing inquiry into the January 2021 Capitol Hill riot, former US Attorney General William Barr said he thought that Donald Trump was “detached from reality” following the 2020 presidential election.
Barr’s remarks were part of his video testimony played during Monday’s session of the House select committee’s inquiry which is seeking to show that the Trump’s election fraud claims directly led to the riot, the BBC reported.
The former Attorney General went on to say that he had repeatedly told Trump there was no basis to claims of rigged voting machines or ballot “dumps”, which Barr referred to as “crazy stuff”.
The former President, however, refused to acknowledge these concerns and continued to spread fraud claims, the BBC quoted Barr as saying, adding that he was “demoralised” by Trump’s claims.
“I thought, ‘Boy if he really believes this stuff, he has lost contact with, he’s become detached from reality, if he really believes this stuff’,” he added.
On behalf of Trump’s former campaign manager Bill Stepien, another key witness who was scheduled to appear on Monday but could not, his lawyer gave a statement that members of the former President’s inner circle had advised him to not declare victory in the November 2020 election.
According to Stepien, a faction of the campaign he termed “Team Normal” told Trump that he had lost the election.
But another group dubbed “Rudy’s team”, after former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani who was among the most vocal of Trump’s supporters to claim the election was stolen, refused to accept the outcome, the BBC reported citing Stepien’s statement.
The committee’s first public hearing took place on June 9, which saw testimonies from key witnesses, including Caroline Edwards, the first police officer injured in the attack.
On January 6, 2021, thousands of individuals, mostly Trump supporters, stormed the Capitol in Washington, D.C. and disrupted a joint session of Congress in the process of affirming the 2020 presidential election results.
Approximately 140 police officers were assaulted in the Capitol attack — 80 US Capitol Police and 60 from the Metropolitan Police Department.
Authorities have linked five deaths to the mayhem. Four officers who responded to the attack reportedly committed suicide within the next several months.
The worst attack on Congress in more than 200 years, the siege led to Trump’s second impeachment by the House shortly, with barely a week left in his presidency.
They accused him of inciting insurrection, but he was acquitted in the Senate.
The committee is scheduled to hold more hearings on Wednesday and Thursday.