Bill Barr Says Evidence 'Building' Against Trump in DOJ's Jan. 6 Probe

Former Attorney General William Barr gave his assessment on Friday of the Justice Department investigation related to former President Donald Trump and last year's riot at the U.S. Capitol, assessing that the allegedly incriminating evidence appears to be mounting.

Barr was widely viewed as one of Trump's most loyal Cabinet members, serving as the former president's attorney general from February 2019 to December 2020. But the former head of the Justice Department has been highly critical of Trump's actions on January 6, 2021. He has also repeatedly said Trump's claims that the 2020 election was fraudulent are "bullsh*t."

Speaking to CBS News, Barr gave his assessment on the latest reported developments of the Justice Department's probe, and said recent grand jury subpoenas for high-ranking Trump administration officials are "significant."

Former Attorney General William Barr told CBS News on Friday that evidence is "building" against former President Donald Trump related to January 6, 2021. Above, Barr is seen on May 3 in New York City. Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for SiriusXM

"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," the legal expert said.

Barr went on to say that he thinks the "evidence definitely has been building" against Trump. However, the former attorney general said that what he's seen from the House select committee investigating the January 6 attack in its publicly televised hearings has not yet convinced that there is enough to prove beyond a reasonable shadow of a doubt that the former president committed a crime. He went on to say that the Justice Department continues to probe the events of January 6.

"I'm sure what they're doing is getting deeper and deeper into it," he said, referring to the Justice Department. "So, I think what [Attorney General] Merrick Garland is trying to do here is trying to say, 'Hey look, I am looking hard at this, and if we find any crime, we will prosecute it.'"

Newsweek reached out to Trump's press office for comment.

The ex-president insists that he did nothing on January 6 or in his effort to overturn President Joe Biden's election win. Trump continues to insist that the election was "rigged" or "stolen" from him. He describes all investigations targeting him and his allies as part of a partisan "witch hunt," while routinely dubbing Republicans who come out against him as "RINOs," an acronym meaning "Republicans in name only."

Despite Trump's claims, no evidence has emerged showing that the election was fraudulent. To the contrary, dozens of election challenge lawsuits have failed in state and federal courts. Even judges appointed by Trump have dismissed the challenges. Meanwhile, audits and recounts—including in areas where the election was overseen by pro-Trump GOP officials—have reaffirmed Biden's win.

Barr and a number of other top Republicans from the former president's administration have testified before the House committee probing January 6. "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," Barr told the committee of the often bizarre election fraud conspiracy theories.

Whether Garland actually determines that there is enough evidence to bring charges against Trump remains to be seen. Such a decision would be unprecedented in United States history, as no former president has ever faced a criminal indictment. At the same time, the attorney general has said that such a move is not off the table.

"No person is above the law in this country. I can't say it any more clearly than that," Garland said in July. His remark came in response to a question about whether the Justice Department would hypothetically indict a former president.