Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel released a statement strongly rebuking Attorney General Bill Barr for involving the Department of Justice in President Donald Trump’s false election fraud allegations.
Trump has been disputing the election results for a week now, but especially since President-Elect Joe Biden was declared the winner of the race over the weekend after he reached 270 electoral votes, including Michigan’s 16 electoral votes, after securing a nearly 50,000 vote lead over Trump in the state.
So far, Trump has presented no evidence of election fraud and his false allegations have been debunked in state after state, even by Republican election officials.
But now Barr is upending a decades old policy by giving DOJ prosecutors the green light to investigate Trump’s claims before election results are certified.
Barr’s interference with the election is so objectionable that the top election crimes prosecutor in the DOJ resigned in protest because there is simply no proof of mass election fraud as Trump contends.
On Tuesday, Nessel released a statement responding to Barr’s action, and she ripped him a new one.
“Yesterday, U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr issued a memorandum to Department of Justice staff and U.S. Attorneys and staff that reversed a DOJ policy that has stood for 40 years,” Nessel said. “Under this policy, the DOJ’s Election Crimes Branch has declined to investigate election fraud until the election is concluded, the results certified, and contests and recounts resolved. With yesterday’s memo, DOJ policy allows investigations of ‘voting and vote tabulation irregularities’ before elections are certified.”
Nessel did not hold back in identifying the motivation behind Barr’s memo.
“Given the timing of this memo and the current atmosphere surrounding the recent election, the intention is clear,” she continued. “This change in policy is not intended to better serve the people of the United States by ensuring that justice is done, but rather to signal to the President that his irresponsible and unsupported insistence that he won his race for reelection is taken seriously. There have not been an unusual number of credible claims of voting irregularities this election, and there have been no credible claims of vote tabulation irregularities, such as would justify an abrupt change in a longstanding policy.”
The purpose of the longstanding DOJ policy delaying election fraud investigations is to avoid casting unwarranted doubt on the legitimacy of the democratic process. And likewise, the purpose of yesterday’s memo is to assist the President in his current efforts to do just that: to cast unwarranted doubt on the legitimacy of the democratic process. Worse than that, however, the memo is transparently a favor to the President, as it lends a misplaced air of legitimacy to his baseless claims of massive widespread voter fraud in Michigan and elsewhere… For Attorney General Barr to reverse a longstanding DOJ policy in an effort to bolster the political case of the President of the United States represents an abdication of this duty.
Nessel went on to slam Barr for engaging in activity that authoritarians often engage in.
“It is a hallmark of authoritarian regimes around the world that those who wield the power to bring criminal prosecutions act as tools of the political leaders who have appointed them, rather than as servants of the people,” Nessel pointed out. “When that happens in the United States, it is not just the Justice Department that is in trouble—we all are. Yesterday’s memo from Attorney General Barr is only the latest example in an increasingly and dangerously politicized Department of Justice… I am disappointed that Attorney General Barr is exercising the power he is entrusted with to serve the President, rather than the People he was appointed to serve.”
Bill Barr has been doing Trump’s bidding since he took over the DOJ. It is obvious that Barr is using the DOJ to support Trump and help him get away with his crimes and undermine the rule of law and democracy. It’s a travesty, and he must be held accountable when a new Attorney General takes over under Biden. This assault on democracy and rule of law cannot stand, and Barr must be made an example of so that future Attorneys General won’t dare repeat his un-American scheme.
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