Bill Barr Seen Laughing at Mention of Dinesh D’Souza’s Film Propagating Election Lies During Jan. 6 Committee Hearing
- The Indian American conservative political commentator and far-right provocateur provided relief during the former attorney general’s recorded testimony.
A recent film by conservative political commentator and far-right provocateur Dinesh D’Souza provided some respite in former Attorney General William Barr’s recorded testimony in the second public hearing of the Jan. 6 committee today (Jan. 13). In the recorded testimony played by Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) while she was interrogating Chris Stirewalt, a former Fox News political editor, Barr was seen chuckling as he mentioned “2000 Mules.”
“My opinion then and my opinion now is that the election was not stolen by fraud,” Barr said. “And I haven’t seen anything since the election that changes my mind on that, including the 2000 Mules movie.” He called it “singularly unimpressive” and accused it of making “indefensible” claims.
D’Souza’s film was lauded by the MAGA world during its May premiere at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago. The film claims “mules,” paid or unpaid political operatives placed ballots in multiple vote drop boxes in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, which were used to make voting easier during the COVID-19 pandemic. The film claims to be based on “a database of 10 trillion cell phone pings provided by the election integrity group True the Vote,”
D’Souza took to Twitter right after the testimony was aired, and invited him to “a public debate on election fraud.”
In a follow-up tweet, he wrote: “If geotracking is as useless as #BillBarr says, how come it’s being used to establish the precise location of Jan. 6 protesters? Not merely whether they are inside or outside the building but how many feet inside or outside the door? Can the fat man explain this without laughing?”
In May, “2000 Mules” debuted in over 270 theaters across the U.S., according to a PR Newswire press release. On the first weekend itself, the film reportedly made over a million dollars on right-wing YouTube competitor Rumble’s subscription-based platform.
Meanwhile, the Associated Press conducted a fact check to determine whether someone visited a ballot drop box, particularly since those boxes were installed in high-traffic areas. “But that’s based on faulty assumptions, anonymous accounts and improper analysis of cell phone location data, which is not precise enough to confirm that somebody deposited a ballot into a drop box, according to experts,” the AP report said.
An analysis by correspondent Philip Bump in The Washington Post noted that the film “offers the least convincing election-fraud theory yet,” adding that it is a “triumph” of capitalism. “There’s huge demand for proving that Trump didn’t lose in 2020, and this film provides just enough of a veneer of authority to let people collapse comfortably into that belief,” he wrote. “That it doesn’t survive even mild external scrutiny is as irrelevant as pointing out contradictions in a religious text is to recent converts: They want to believe what they want to believe.”
Writing in The Bulwark, a center-right news and opinion website, founder and editor-at-large Charlie Sykes said D’Souza, in his “varied, but consistently deplorable career, has morphed from author/intellectual-manqué, to convicted felon, to racist/pro-Putin/ Trumpist troll — and now his latest role as cinematographer to the gullible.” He continued: “It probably will not come as a surprise to learn that the movie itself is a farrago of distortions, wrapped in half-baked conspiracy theories, and laugh-out-loud falsehoods.”