With questions about election security cropping up in battleground states across the country, many have been wondering if Attorney General Bill Barr would soon get involved. Now, it looks like his Justice Department may finally be stepping in to calm the chaos.
The Daily Caller reported Thursday that the Department of Justice (DOJ) has “sent a memo to prosecutors” indicating it may “send armed agents to ballot-counting locations to investigate potential voter fraud.”
News of the memo, which Justice Department official Richard P. Donoghue sent to prosecutors early Wednesday, was first reported by The New York Times, according to the Daily Caller.
According to Fox News, the DOJ’s memo made reference to a federal law that bars armed law enforcement officials and members of the military from being stationed at ballot-counting locations. An exception to the law applies if such force is deemed “necessary,” the Daily Caller reports.
The question then becomes: when, exactly, would this become necessary?
In his email to prosecutors, Donoghue, who was appointed to his role by Barr in July, clarified that “[the statute] does not prevent armed federal law enforcement persons from responding to, investigating, or preventing federal crimes at closed polling places or at other locations where votes are being counted,” the Daily Caller reported.
An unnamed DOJ official told TIME magazine that the message “was sent ‘in anticipation that there could be disruption’ as votes were being counted.”
“DOJ was not sending federal law enforcement anywhere, just making sure state and local officials knew federal government was available to help,” the official added.
“A mockery of the election”
It all comes as the Trump campaign continues to allege that something nefarious is going on with ballot counting across the country. According to CNBC, the campaign is planning to file suit in Nevada over allegations that some votes were illegally cast in the names of dead people, and other suits have already been put forth in states like Michigan, Georgia, and Pennsylvania.
Speaking in Philadelphia this week, the president’s son, Eric, suggested there may have been voter fraud in the Keystone State.
“They’re trying to make a mockery of the election of this country,” Eric Trump said, according to The Epoch Times. “We’re going to win Pennsylvania, but they’re trying to cheat us out of it because they know it’s their only path to victory. They know it’s the only path to victory.”
Despite the lawsuits, outlets including Politico continue to insist that the president’s claims of election fraud are “baseless.”