Attorney General William Barr tells DOJ to probe allegations of voting irregularities

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Attorney General William "Bill" Barr. Yuri Gripas/Reuters

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.

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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.”

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.”

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.

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