Update (2140ET): In response to AG Barr’s decision, NYTimes reports that Richard Pilger – who oversees electoral fraud investigations – has stopped:
“Having learned of the new policy and its ramifications… I regret to resign from my post as Director of the Electoral Crimes Directorate.
Doesn’t it seem strange that when asked to investigate voter fraud, the gentleman who is charged with investigating voter fraud chooses to quit rather than do his damn job?
Perhaps it was his alleged involvement in the Tea Party group debacle that triggered this resignation?
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At a time when numerous lawsuits have been filed challenging the outcome of the presidential election, and when prominent Republicans such as Mitch McConnell finally backed Trump’s contention that the election was rigged on Monday night. Attorney General William Barr authorized the Justice Department to launch an investigation into “substantial allegations” of voter fraud in the 2020 election, the AP first reported.
In a letter to US lawyers across the country, Barr said they could conduct investigations “if there were clear and seemingly credible allegations of wrongdoing which, if true, could potentially have an impact on the result of a federal election in a given state ”.
According to the Washington Times, this is an unusual move because Department of Justice policy prohibits any action that could influence the outcome of an election until the vote is officially certified. But the Department of Justice is responsible for ensuring the integrity of federal elections.
Barr’s memo comes days after alleged President-elect Joseph R. Biden was declared winner by several media in the 2020 presidential election. President Trump has not conceded and has launched several legal efforts to challenge the results in states with slim voting margins. By giving prosecutors the power to prosecute such cases, American lawyers across the country could give Trump more ammunition for his trial.
The DOJ’s action, which many Republicans say is long overdue, comes after Republicans in recent days have stepped up pressure on Barr to take action in response to allegations of voter fraud. Earlier Monday, Barr would have met with McConnell on Monday.
On Friday, nearly 40 Republican members of Congress sent a letter to the GA asking it to shed light on the allegations of voter fraud.
“What are you doing to ensure the integrity of the voting and counting process at this time?” the Republicans asked Mr. Barr in their letter. Lawmakers also called on the attorney general to pledge to “use all resources” at his disposal to ensure that only legal votes are counted “in a fully transparent manner.”
Also last week, the Nevada Republican Party sent a criminal referral to the Department of Justice, claiming to have received reports of at least 3,062 cases of voter fraud in Battlefield State.
“We expect that number to increase dramatically,” the party said in a tweet. “Thousands of individuals have been identified who appear to have broken the law by voting after leaving NV.”
The Trump campaign has filed lawsuits in several key states on the battlefield Biden won, asking local judges to invalidate or stop counting mail-in ballots, a record number of which were cast this year in amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Earlier today, several prominent Republicans backed Trump’s election fraud allegations or his right to challenge the tally, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: “Obviously, no state has it. again certified his election results. We have at least one or two states that are already on track for a recount and I think the president might have legal challenges pending in at least five states, ”McConnell said in a speech on Monday.
The Trump administrator also accused local election officials of not allowing their representatives to monitor the vote count and claiming illegal votes were cast in states such as Michigan, Nevada and Pennsylvania.
“You don’t take these positions because you want a fair election,” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said at a press conference Monday. “What we are asking for right now is patience as we explore these equal protection claims and more.”
As a reminder, states have until December 8 to resolve electoral issues, including recounts and legal battles. Members of the electoral college meet on December 14 to finalize the result.
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