Ex-DOJ Head Barr Says Election Fraud Debate, Suppression of Free Speech Triggered Capitol Violence

© REUTERS / Stephanie KeithSupporters of US President Donald Trump protest in front of the Capitol Building in Washington, US 6 January 2021. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith/File Photo
Supporters of US President Donald Trump protest in front of the Capitol Building in Washington, US 6 January 2021. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith/File Photo - Sputnik International
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Unlike most of the Democrats and some Republicans, the former member of the Trump administration refrained from shifting the blame for the 6 January riots on to POTUS. Instead, he suggested that special investigators should determine who caused "unacceptable" behaviour of the crowd.

The former head of the US Department of Justice, William Barr, has suggested in an interview with Britain's ITV News that the debates over election fraud allegations "precipitated" Capitol riot that took place on 6 January. Although the former Attorney-General supported US citizens' intention to use their First Amendment rights, he stressed that what happened on the Capitol Hill had little to do with it and was "unacceptable".

Despite referring to the election fraud claims, blamed by, among other people, Donald Trump as a probable cause of the storming of the Congress building, Barr stopped short of blaming his former boss for what happened on 6 January answering a direct question from the reporter. He stressed that the level of Trump's culpability in this event should be determined by the investigators.

© AP Photo / Jeff RobersonU.S.Attorney General William Barr speaks during a roundtable discussion on Operation Legend, a federal program to help cities combat violent crime, Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020, in St. Louis.
Ex-DOJ Head Barr Says Election Fraud Debate, Suppression of Free Speech Triggered Capitol Violence - Sputnik International
U.S.Attorney General William Barr speaks during a roundtable discussion on Operation Legend, a federal program to help cities combat violent crime, Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020, in St. Louis.

Barr suggested that the protesters resorting to "violence" was "inevitable" from his point of view. The former AG cited a number of factors that contributed to this outcome.

"I think that when you start suppressing free speech, when people lose confidence in the media, and also when they lose faith in the integrity of elections - you are going to have some people resort to violence", Barr said.

It is unclear what episode Barr referred to by mentioning the suppression of the free speech, but his statement comes in the wake of President Trump condemning Big Tech for trying to "silence" him after his social media accounts were either banned or suspended for an indefinite period of time. The social media giants Twitter and Facebook justified their move by claiming that Trump's use of their platforms could incite a new spiral of violence in the country, suggesting that his actions led to the Capitol riot.

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Senator Rand Paul talks to supporters at a campaign stop at the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and Museum in Knoxville, Iowa, in this file photo from January 29, 2016 - Sputnik International
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