Attorney General Bill Barr wrote a Monday memo to Department of Justice prosecutors authorizing them to “pursue substantial allegations of voting and vote tabulation irregularities,” as the Trump campaign launched legal challenges and encouraged its supporters not to accept the results of a free and fair election.
Richard Pilger, the director of the DOJ’s election crimes office, quit hours after the memo came out.
“Having familiarized myself with the new policy and its ramifications, I must regretfully resign from my role as director of the Election Crimes Branch,” Pilger wrote to colleagues, according to the New York Times, which first reported the memo.
The DOJ is the latest instrument of government being used to indulge the president’s fantasy world where he actually won the presidential election and it’s being stolen from him, rather than the reality that he was beaten in the Electoral College and soundly rejected by a margin of millions of people and counting.
In the memo, Barr said he had already authorized investigations into “specific instances” of supposed voting irregularities. These examples were allegations about ineligible voters in Nevada and “back-dated” mail ballots in Pennsylvania, a Justice Department official told the Times. The official also claimed Barr had not written the memo at the direction of Trump or GOP officials, though he met with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Monday afternoon and the Justice Department has so far refused to say why, or what happened in that meeting.
In Pennsylvania, the Trump campaign provided to Senate Judiciary chair Lindsey Graham a sworn affidavit from a postal worker in Erie who claimed that the postmaster there told workers he was “back-dating the postmarks on the ballots to make it appear as though the ballots had been collected on November 3, 2020, despite them in fact being collected on November 4 and possibly later,” the Hill reported last week.
There has been no substantiation of this, and even if so, President-elect Joe Biden’s lead in Pennsylvania stands at 45,000 votes and counting. Biden also won Nevada, where the Trump campaign released a list of more than 3,000 people who it claims voted after moving to another state, a few hundred of which appear to be members of the military. Biden’s lead in Nevada currently stands at more than 36,000 votes.
With two pivotal Senate runoffs in Georgia coming up where Republican candidates desperately need Trump’s help, the GOP posture toward his claims has turned from sheer apathy to full-throated support of his election-fraud claims. Georgia GOP Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler jointly (and unsuccessfully) called for the resignation of the state’s Republican secretary of state on Monday.
And on the Senate floor, McConnell refused to acknowledge Biden’s victory—despite acknowledging the GOP’s gains in the House, which took place on the exact same ballot—and signaled that Trump still has his support in trying to undermine the results of the election.
“Our institutions are actually built for this,” McConnell said. “We have the system in place to consider concerns, and President Trump is 100 percent within his rights to look into allegations of irregularities and weigh his legal options.”