New York Times on November 4, three people familiar with the matter said that the US Department of Justice told federal prosecutors in an email on Wednesday that the law allows them to send armed federal officials to vote counting locations across the United States to investigate potential Voter fraud.
According to the report, former U.S. government officials said that this email created a panic when U.S. President Trump asked to stop counting votes in states that fell behind in the presidential campaign, that the federal government threatened local election officials. Or do the ticketing work in other ways.
U.S. law prohibits sending armed federal officials to polling stations on polling day, but a senior official told prosecutors that the Justice Department’s interpretation of the decree is that they can send armed federal officials to polling stations at any time after polling day. Counting location.
According to reports, Richard Donohue (Richard Donohue), an official in the office of the US Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen
Donoghue) told prosecutors in an email sent at 1:30 in the morning that the law “does not prevent armed federal law enforcement officers from responding, investigating, or investigating federal crimes at closed polling stations or other vote-counting locations. prevent”. A spokesperson for the US Department of Justice has not yet responded.
When the staff counted the votes, the local police blocked the crowd outside the Detroit election department.
About half an hour after Donohue sent this email, U.S. President Trump unilaterally declared that he was the winner of the U.S. election and began to ask election officials to stop counting votes. The Trump campaign said later in the day that they are filing lawsuits in multiple states, including Michigan, to stop or protest vote counting activities.
In this regard, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said, “Elections are a state-level matter. As state officials, we have the right to deal with anyone who tries to enter the counting place. Any other practice is against the law. A complete reinterpretation of the elections. The states can handle election issues, and we will ensure that the people decide the results of the elections.”
According to the report, due to the epidemic, the number of mailed ballots in this election in the United States reached a record high, which slowed down the counting of votes by election officials. For months, Trump declared without giving a basis that mailing votes would lead to widespread voter fraud, elections would be “rigged”, and states with slow vote counting would not be trustworthy.
U.S. Attorney General Barr has been repeating the president’s “dark warning” in the months leading up to the election, claiming without evidence that mailing votes will lead to an unprecedented number of voter fraud. The former Justice Department official said that the new legal interpretation regarding the possibility of sending armed federal agents to the counting location seems to be another example of the attorney general’s following Trump’s public position.
Vanita Gupta, the head of the Civil Rights Bureau of the US Department of Justice during the Obama administration, said, “This seems to be an information transmission strategy of the Attorney General. According to the law, even during the investigation process, the Department of Justice cannot interfere in predicting votes and entering Polling station or voting.” If the Federal Department of Justice needs to obtain votes for investigations, federal law allows law enforcement officials to “copy and inspect, but the votes are still in the hands of local election officials.”
U.S. election experts said that any open interference in the election by the Federal Department of Justice will immediately trigger legal challenges. They warned that even armed federal agents who arrived at the counting location for investigative purposes could threaten or interfere with the counting process.