As President Donald Trump and his allies claim widespread voter fraud cost him the 2020 election, U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr has authorized Department of Justice prosecutors to go after “substantial violations” of voting irregularities
The development: In a memo issued to federal prosecutors on Monday and obtained by the Associated Press, Barr wrote “investigations may be conducted 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.”
- It’s about restoring trust in the system: “Now that the election has concluded, it is imperative that the American people can trust that our elections were conducted in such a way that the outcomes accurately reflect the will of the voters,” he wrote.
- Qualifying language: “While most allegations of purported election misconduct are of such a scale that they would not impact the outcome of an election, and thus, investigation can be appropriately deferred, that is not always the case.”
- Not all claims should be investigated immediately: “Any investigation of claims of irregularities that, if true, would clearly not impact the outcome of a federal election in an individual State should normally be deferred until after the election certification process is completed.”
Barr also urged DOJ personnel to maintain the department’s commitment to “non-partisanship” and directed prosecutors to avoid initiating probes into “speculative, fanciful or far-fetched claims.”
POTUS fights on: Despite Joe Biden’s sizable lead in several battleground states, Trump has refused to concede and, citing alleged voting irregularities at various key polling locations, has claimed the election was “stolen” from him.
- Trump’s lawyers have launched legal challenges in multiple states.
- The president and his allies have accused the Democrats and the media of being unconcerned with election integrity, an attitude they claim has shaken the public’s confidence in the electoral system.
- Many legal experts, political commentators, and even some of the president’s high-profile supporters view the voter fraud investigations and Trump’s legal challenges as long-shots to actually overturn the results of the election.
“At this stage, the fraud that we can confirm does not seem to be enough to alter the election results. We should be honest and tell you that. Of course that could change. But changing the election result is not the whole point,” Fox News host Tucker Carlson said on his program Monday night.