Washington – Attorney General William Barr has authorized federal prosecutors across the country to investigate “substantive allegations” of voting irregularities before the 2020 presidential election is certified, despite little evidence of fraud.
Barr’s move was announced days after Democrat Joe Biden defeated President Donald Trump at the polls, and raises the possibility that Trump will use the Justice Department to try to challenge the result. The decision gives prosecutors the ability to disregard long-standing Justice Department policy that would normally prohibit such measures before the election is formally certified.
Trump has not acknowledged his defeat, instead claiming without proof that there has been a multi-state conspiracy by Democrats to skew the vote count in favor of Biden.RELATED
Biden has a sizable lead in several contested states, and there has been no indication of enough votes undercounted or illegally cast to change the outcome. In fact, election officials from both political parties have publicly stated that the election went well, although there have been minor issues that are typical in elections, including failures in some voting machines and votes that were miscast and lost.
In a memo to federal prosecutors, which was obtained by The Associated Press, Barr wrote that investigations “may be carried out if there are clear and seemingly credible allegations of wrongdoing that, if true, could affect the outcome of a federal election in a specific state ”.
The states have until December 8 to resolve electoral disputes, including recounts and legal challenges over the results. The members of the Electoral College meet on December 14 to formalize the result.