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Herring, colleagues call on Barr to reverse new policy on election-fraud investigations

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A Nov. 9 memo from U.S. Attorney General William Barr authorizes U.S. attorneys to open election-fraud investigations “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.”

This reversal of a 40-year-old Department of Justice policy against launching full-scale investigations into allegations of voter fraud or taking overt investigative steps until after an election result is certified has met with widespread disapproval, including from within the DOJ.

Richard Pilger, director of the DOJ Criminal Division’s Election Crimes Branch, confirmed this week that he is transferring to another role in the department, and made clear that it was his opposition to the new policy directive from Barr that was at the root of his decision to move.

A coalition of state attorneys general, including Virginia AG Mark Herring, are calling on Barr to reverse the new policy, which they said “will erode the public’s confidence in the election.”

“This election cycle saw record-breaking voter turnout, thanks in large part to the efforts by my colleagues and I to ensure a safe, secure, and accurate election,” Herring said. “The American people turned out in record numbers to vote for a new president and they are the ones who have decided this election. Unfortunately, President Trump and his Republican allies continue to spread misinformation about the integrity of the election results.

“Barr’s actions are just another way they are trying to undermine our electoral system, but my colleagues and I are prepared to do everything we can to stop them from going further,” Herring said.

Story by Chris Graham