U.S. Attorney General William Barr authorized the Department of Justice (DOJ) officials to launch a probe into potential irregularities in the 2020 presidential election.
Barr issued a memo on Monday allowing federal prosecutors to “pursue substantial allegations of voting and vote tabulation irregularities prior to the certification of elections in your jurisdictions in certain cases.”
This comes in the wake of a legal defense mounted by the Trump campaign challenging the election results. Democrat Joe Biden has been projected winner in the race, with razor-thin margins in key states across the country.
Barr said the justice department could conduct a probe “if there are clear and apparently-credible allegations of irregularities that, if true, could potentially impact the outcome of a federal election in an individual state”.
DOJ election crimes director resigns in protest of Barr’s order
After the release of the memo, Richard Pilger, who led the justice department’s election crimes branch, resigned from his post.
Pilger said he resigned because Barr’s new policy “abrogated the forty-year-old non-interference policy for ballot fraud investigations in the period prior to elections becoming certified and uncontested.”
Clint Watts, a former FBI agent, and expert on disinformation made this tweet on the heels of Pilger’s resignation: “We’re long past point resigning in protest, stand & resist, just be replaced by yes men.”
We’re long past point resigning in protest, stand & resist, just be replaced by yes men “Mr. Barr’s authorization prompted the Justice Department official who oversees investigations of voter fraud, Richard Pilger, to step down from the post within hours,”https://t.co/YslIHrmFtq
— Clint Watts (@selectedwisdom) November 10, 2020
Barr, dubbed as one of the most ardent supporters of President Donald Trump, released the memo during a tense time in Washington. President-elect Joe Biden is starting his transition into the office while the Trump campaign has refused to recognize Biden’s victory.
Biden has called on “the Congress — Democrats and Republicans alike — to make that choice with me.”
I believe that this is part of the mandate from the American people. They want us to cooperate.
That’s the choice I’ll make. And I call on the Congress — Democrats and Republicans alike — to make that choice with me.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) November 8, 2020
Trump, on the other hand, continued lashing out at media outlets which projected victory for Biden after he won Pennsylvania. He said, “The worst polling ever, and then they’ll be back in four years to do it again. This is much more [than] voter and campaign finance suppression.” Trump said his campaign will fight hard in its legal battle.
…The worst polling ever, and then they’ll be back in four years to do it again. This is much more then voter and campaign finance suppression!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 10, 2020