Federal prosecutors push back on bar memos on claims of voter fraud

WASHINGTON – Career Justice Department prosecutors pushed back against this week Attorney General William P. A memorandum by Bur This opened the door to a politically charged electoral fraud investigation, saying in a message that Mr. Barr entangled the department in politics and called the threat of voter fraud false.

The protests were Mr Barr’s latest reprimand by his own staff, which have taken place in recent months Criticized his leadership Both in private And publically. He argued that Mr. Barre acted to advance President Trump’s interests by increasing the department’s power to shield its allies and attack its enemies.

On Friday, 16 federal prosecutors across the country were assigned to monitor elections for signs of fraud that wrote to Mr. Barr that he found no evidence of “substantial allegations of voting and vote-table irregularities.” He also said that the memo be canceled, saying that it is a thrust in the politics of the department and was unnecessary as no one has identified any suspected suspicion of voter fraud.

The memo “is not really grounded,” the monitor wrote.

Released on Monday amid efforts by the president to make a false claim of widespread voter fraud, Memorandum Allows prosecutors to investigate “substantial allegations” of fraud before attesting to presidential results, which would have disregarded the department’s long-term policies ranging from advancing the law investigation to influencing election results is.

“It was developed and announced without the advice of non-associate career professionals in the field and in the department,” prosecutors wrote in the memo. “The timing of the release of the memorandum emphasizes career prosecutors in partisan politics.” The washington post First reported his letter.

On Thursday, a top career prosecutor at the US Attorney’s Office in Washington, Mr. P. In an email sent through Donoghey to an officer in the deputy attorney general’s office, the memo should be revoked because it is against long-term practices. , According to two people with knowledge of email.

The prosecutor, JP Connie, also said that Richard Pillar, a longtime department employee who oversees election fraud offenses, had chosen to step down from the post deeply about the memo, people said.

In response, Mr. Donoghue told Mr. Connie that he would pass on his complaint but if it leaked to journalists, he would take note of that as well. Noting that the email is a concern for integrity, Mr. Donoghue said in his reply that he would assure the authorities that “I believe it would not be improperly leaked to the media.”

A department spokesman declined to comment about Mr. Connie’s message. Asked by Mr. Barr about the prosecutor’s letter, he said his memo directed the prosecution to “take reasonable precautions and maintain the department’s full commitment to fairness, neutrality and non-partisanship.”

Others in the department reported that Mr. Barr’s memo was carefully written and made claims that made it unlikely that a prosecutor could meet the threshold to open a case and initiate an investigation.

Mr. Barr wrote in his memo, “Specific, speculative, fictitious or distant claims should not be the basis for initiating federal inquiries.” “Nothing here should be taken as an indication that the Department has concluded that voting irregularities have affected the outcome of any election.”

Department lawyers often engage in heated debates on policies, investigations and prosecutions, but they rarely put their criticisms in writing and then forward them to top officials.

But Mr. Barr’s memo largely broke out among prosecutors committing acts of electoral fraud, as Mr. Trump himself was making false claims about widespread voter fraud. Even the spectators of such scrutiny in presidential votes can shadow the integrity of the election.

Mr. Pillar, the prosecutor overseeing the election fraud at the department’s headquarters in Washington, stepped down from his supervisory role in protest hours after it was released; According to three people aware of these discussions, other lawyers affected by the memo began to formulate plans to push back on Mr. Barr’s authority and what an American lawyer should announce an election-related investigation.

Even when department officials and career prosecutors argued about the memo, legal matters related to Mr. Trump’s election began to be revealed on Friday. A state judge in Michigan rejected an attempt by Republicans in Wayne County to stop the certification of the vote, which includes Detroit, pending an audit. And Mr. Trump’s lawyers withdrew election-related lawsuits in Pennsylvania and Arizona.

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