Both former AG Barr and Jared Kushner called the Trump legal team a “clown show,” book says.
Competing factions in Trump World led to two separate legal teams working out of Georgia.
Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, told a Georgia senator he “couldn’t help” him.
Both attorney general Bill Barr and White House advisor Jared Kushner referred to the Trump team’s legal efforts to overturn the 2020 election led by Rudy Giuliani as a “clown show,” according to Wall Street Journal reporter Michael Bender’s new book “Frankly We Did Win This Election.”
The book, published July 13, detailed the chaos and discord behind the scenes as increasingly conspiratorial figures took the lead on former President Donald Trump’s efforts to challenge the 2020 election.
Two competing factions of legal teams led by top campaign advisor Justin Clark and Giuliani began publicly clashing over the Trump team’s approach to post-election challenges.
The tension led to one exchange reported by Bender where Clark called Giuliani ‘a f—ing a–hole’ after Giuliani, on speakerphone, accused Clark of lying to Trump in stating that Georgia’s election results needed to be certified before they could request a recount.
The animosity between Giuliani and Clark’s camps resulted in two separate legal teams, both ostensibly representing the White House, working out of Georgia without communicating or coordinating their legal strategies, the book said.
When a member of one of the teams arrived in Georgia announcing their presence on behalf of the White House, Bender wrote, another attorney responded: “well, if you were from the White House I’d know, because I’m from the White House.”
Former Sen. David Perdue, who had begged the Trump team to spend more time campaigning in Georgia before the election and was forced into a runoff, went directly to Kushner to get the Trump campaign to stop pushing false allegations of fraud that he feared would hurt GOP turnout in the runoffs. Kushner, according to Bender, told Perdue he was out of luck.
“Once Donald put Rudy in charge, it guaranteed this was going to be a clown show,” Kushner informed Perdue, according to the book, adding, “I can’t help you.”
Both Perdue and former Sen. Kelly Loeffler ended up losing in the January 5 runoff election to Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock.
Meanwhile, back in Washington, rising tensions between Barr and Trump spilled over into the open in the aftermath of the election when Barr refused to throw the weight of the Justice Department behind Trump’s fantastical efforts to try to overturn the 2020 election.
Barr, who himself had spent months promoting a conspiracy theory that foreign adversaries were going to flood the US election system with fake mail-in ballots, saw Trump’s attempts to actually overturn the election as a bridge too far.
Trump, who even considered replacing Barr as attorney general with Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, became increasingly incensed with Barr’s public statements to the Associated Press that the DOJ hadn’t uncovered evidence of substantial fraud, shouting, “I can’t believe you haven’t done anything!”
Barr, for his part, told Trump his false claims of fraud were “bull—-” and he had a “clown show” rather than a real legal team, Bender reported.
Barr eventually resigned on December 14, the day before the Electoral College voted to affirm Biden’s victory.
In the end, state and federal judges all the way up to the Supreme Court declined to hear or rejected 60 lawsuits filed by the Trump team and their allies
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