The media declared Democrat Joe Biden the winner of the 2020 U.S. presidential election on Saturday, but President Donald Trump is challenging the results. Now, U.S. Attorney General William Barr is getting involved.
On Monday, Barr put out a memo to Justice Department prosecutors directing them to investigate “substantial allegations” of voter fraud and irregularities, while cautioning them not to bother with cases that have no chance of changing the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.
“Such inquiries and reviews 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,” Barr wrote. “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 was careful to note that the memo did not indicate that the Justice Department had found any instances of voter fraud so far.
“Nothing here should be taken as any indication that the Department has concluded that voting irregularities have impacted the outcome of any election,” Barr wrote. “Rather, I provide this authority and guidance to emphasize the need to timely and appropriately address allegations of voting irregularities so that all of the American people, regardless of their preferred candidate or party, can have full confidence in the results of our elections.”
DOJ must stay neutral: Barr
Furthermore, Barr cautioned DOJ prosecutors not to waste Justice Department resources going after farfetched or specious claims about voter fraud and to maintain the department’s “neutrality” while avoiding partisanship.
“While it is imperative that credible allegations be addressed in a timely and effective manner, it is equally imperative that Department personnel exercise appropriate caution and maintain the Department’s absolute commitment to fairness, neutrality and non-partisanship,” Barr wrote in the memo. “While serious allegations should be handled with great care, specious, speculative, fanciful or far-fetched claims should not be a basis for initiating federal inquiries.”
Trump team challenges results
President Donald Trump has alleged serious vote irregularities in several states and his team has filed multiple lawsuits with sworn affidavits from dozens of election workers who say rules were not followed.
Trump is also challenging the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s ruling that mail-in ballots received until the Friday after election day at 6 p.m. could be counted. He wants late ballots thrown out because the court did not require a valid postmark or matching signature in order to be counted as a valid ballot.
Essentially, people could have mailed their ballots after Election Day and still had them counted.
Additionally, Trump’s campaign has affidavits from several whistleblowers alleging that officials directed them to backdate ballots that were received after Election Day, postmarking them for Election Day so that they could be counted.
A new poll conducted between November 6 and 9 by Politico and Morning Consult showed that 70% of Republicans didn’t believe the election was free and fair. Before the election, that number was only 35%. Democrats, of course, had the opposite reaction to news outlets calling the election for Joe Biden early on Saturday. Ninety percent of Democrats polled thought the election was fair.