Fact Check: Military Did NOT Convict William Barr

Fact Check

  • by: Dana Ford
Fact Check: Military Did NOT Convict William Barr No Conviction

Did the military convict William Barr? No, that's not true: There's zero evidence to support the allegation that former Attorney General Barr was convicted on charges of treason. A Pentagon duty officer told Lead Stories the claim isn't true. It originated on a website that features a disclaimer warning readers not to take its content at face value.

The claim appeared in an article (archived here) published by Real Raw News on June 27, 2021. Titled "Military Convicts William Barr," the article opened:

On June 21 the Office of Military Commissions convicted former Attorney General William Barr on charges of treason, buttressing Donald J. Trump's assertion that Deep State operatives had infiltrated nearly every crevice of his administration. Upon learning of Barr's fate, Trump reportedly told his inner circle 'Justice was served' and that Deep Staters masquerading as Republicans are not impervious to military justice.

Users on social media saw this title, description and thumbnail:

Military Convicts William Barr - Real Raw News

On June 21 the Office of Military Commissions convicted former Attorney General William Barr on charges of treason, buttressing Donald J. Trump's assertion that Deep State operatives had infiltrated nearly every crevice of his administration. Upon learning of Barr's fate, Trump reportedly told his inner circle "Justice was served" and that Deep Staters masquerading as [...]

The article did not include any sourcing to support its claim. Lead Stories reached out to the Pentagon to ask whether it was true. In an email, dated June 29, 2021, a duty officer responded that it is not true.

Real Raw News has an increasingly long history of publishing false claims, many of which have been about supposed convictions and executions at Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. For example, it reported that Hillary Clinton was hanged (she wasn't); it said that former White House Chief of Staff John Podesta was executed (he wasn't); and Real Raw News reported that the military arrested former FBI Director James Comey (it didn't).

The website includes a disclaimer that warns readers not to take its content at face value. Specifically, the site says:

Information on this website is for informational and educational and entertainment purposes. This website contains humor, parody, and satire. We have included this disclaimer for our protection, on the advice on legal counsel.

That disclaimer, though, doesn't appear to stop others from lifting stories off its site and reporting them as true, as can be seen here, here and here.

Lead Stories has covered claims published by Real Raw News in the past. See here for all of our previous debunks.

NewsGuard, a company that uses trained journalist to rank the reliability of websites, describes realrawnews.com as:

An anonymously run website that has published baseless and debunked conspiracies about COVID-19 and U.S. politics.

According to NewsGuard the site does not maintain basic standards of accuracy and accountability. Read their full assessment here.

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  Dana Ford

Dana Ford is an Atlanta-based reporter and editor. She previously worked as a senior editor at Atlanta Magazine Custom Media and as a writer/ editor for CNN Digital. Ford has more than a decade of news experience, including several years spent working in Latin America.

Read more about or contact Dana Ford

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