Barr, who served as attorney general from February 2019 through December 2020, weighed in on the DOJ investigation into the deadly Capitol insurrection during an interview with CBS News’ Catherine Herridge on Friday.
Barr said that based on a federal grand jury’s recent subpoenas of top Trump administration officials, it seems like prosecutors are “taking a hard look” at Trump and those around him regarding their actions related to the Jan. 6 attack.
“It definitely is a significant event. It changes my view of what’s been going on,” Barr said. “This suggests to me that they’re taking a hard look at the group at the top, including the president and the people immediately around him who were involved in this.”
He also predicted to Herridge that prosecutors are “going to try to get a ruling 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 significant.”
“He has the strongest claim to executive privilege as the counsel to the office of the president,” Barr said. “That’s sort of the biggest mountain for them to climb, and the fact that they lead off with that, to me, suggests that they want a definitive resolution — not only on Cipollone — but you know, this would affect [former White House chief of staff Mark] Meadows and some of the other people, too.”
The former attorney general, who helped sow unwarranted doubts about the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election results, previously told the House committee investigating the events of Jan. 6 that Trump’s election fraud claims were “bullshit” and “detached from reality.”
Speaking to Herridge last week, Barr stopped short of saying there’d be a way to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that Trump engaged in criminal behavior.
“After the last set of hearings I said, personally, if this is what there 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.
You can watch Barr’s interview with CBS News below.