William Barr authorizes the DOJ to investigate the election, top official resigns

The Trump Timeline

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Attorney General William Barr tells federal prosecutors to begin investigating all allegations of voter fraud and voting irregularities, even though there is no evidence.

Barr’s action comes days after Democrat Joe Biden defeated President Donald Trump and raises the prospect that Trump will use the Justice Department to try to challenge the outcome. It gives prosecutors the ability to go around longstanding Justice Department policy that normally would prohibit such overt actions before the election is certified.

Associated Press

Barr’s memo to prosecutors says to set aside any allegations that show no signs of having an impact on the outcome of the election.

Richard Pilger, the director of the Election Crimes Branch of the DOJ which oversees investigations of voter fraud, resigns from his position just hours later.

“Having familiarized myself with the new policy and its ramifications,” he wrote, “I must regretfully resign from my role as director of the Election Crimes Branch.” A Justice Department spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Mr. Pilger’s message.

Justice Department policies prohibit federal prosecutors from taking overt steps, like questioning witnesses or securing subpoenas for documents, to open a criminal investigation into any election-related matter until after voting results have been certified to keep their existence from spilling into public view and influencing either voters or local election officials who ensure the integrity of the results.

The New York Times

Earlier in the day, Barr had a private meeting with Sen. Mitch McConnell. Afterwards, McConnell and the Senate Majority amplified Trump’s claims by supporting his “right” to pursue court cases with no evidence.

As of this morning, Trump was down more than 10,000 votes in Georgia, more than 20,000 in Wisconsin, more than 30,000 in Nevada, more than 40,000 in Pennsylvania, and 146,000 in Michigan.

Barr already has turned DOJ into a political weapon for Trump. Now he has crossed the last line of independence, and violated DOJ’s own policy, by using the prosecutorial power to try to gin up support for Trump’s desperate, last-ditch fraud narrative.

Elie Honig, CNN Legal Analyst





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