News Analysis Dec 2, 2020 2:31 PM EST

DOJ issues clarification—investigation into voter fraud is NOT over

The DOJ has clarified that it is still looking into allegations of voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election after establishment media reports falsely claimed that they had concluded their investigation.

DOJ issues clarification—investigation into voter fraud is NOT over
Libby Emmons Brooklyn, NY
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The DOJ has clarified that it is still looking into allegations of voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election after establishment media reports falsely claimed that they had concluded their investigation.

A DOJ spokesperson had said that “Some media outlets have incorrectly reported that the Department has concluded its investigation of election fraud and announced an affirmative finding of no fraud in the election. That is not what the Associated Press reported nor what the Attorney General stated. The Department will continue to receive and vigorously pursue all specific and credible allegations of fraud as expeditiously as possible."

Kevin Corke, White House Correspondent for Fox News, said as well that a DOJ spokesperson said that the AP's reporting of Barr saying that he had "not seen fraud on a scale that could have affected a different outcome in the election" was not an indication that the investigation into voter fraud and irregularities had ended.

This reality did not stop The New York Times from reporting in mid-November that there was "no evidence of voter fraud," writing that "The president and his allies have baselessly claimed that rampant voter fraud stole victory from him. Officials contacted by The Times said that there were no irregularities that affected the outcome."

Attorney General William Barr said in an interview with the Associated Press that while he and the FBI have been working to investigate complaints of voter fraud and irregularities, that "To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have affected a different outcome in the election."

The AP reported that these "comments, which drew immediate criticism from Trump attorneys, were especially notable coming from Barr, who has been one of the president's most ardent allies. Before the election, he had repeatedly raised the notion that mail-in voting could be especially vulnerable to fraud during the coronavirus pandemic as Americans feared going to polls and instead chose to vote by mail."

Many outlets, from NPR to CNN to Politico to the AP have reported that Barr said there was no "widespread" voter fraud, using a word that has become a flashpoint for these allegations and concerns about the election. The idea behind using the word "widespread" in mainstream media reporting on the election fraud allegations has been to both discredit the concerns of Trump's campaign and allies and to indicate that if voter fraud is not prevalent, but rather came in small doses, it is not particularly relevant.

After the AP report, Rudy Giuliani, Attorney for President Trump, and Jenna Ellis, Trump Campaign Senior Legal Adviser and Attorney for President Trump, wrote that:

"With all due respect to the Attorney General, there hasn't been any semblance of a Department of Justice investigation. We have gathered ample evidence of illegal voting in at least six states, which they have not examined. We have many witnesses swearing under oath they saw crimes being committed in connection with voter fraud. As far as we know, not a single one has been interviewed by the DOJ. The Justice Department also hasn't audited any voting machines or used their subpoena powers to determine the truth.

"Nonetheless, we will continue our pursuit of the truth through the judicial system and state legislatures, and continue toward the Constitution's mandate and ensuring that every legal vote is counted and every illegal vote is not. Again, with the greatest respect to the Attorney General, his opinion appears to be without any knowledge or investigation of the substantial irregularities and evidence of systemic fraud."

Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tex) has urged an investigation and has asked the Supreme Court to hear an appeal on the Pennsylvania election challenge. For Cruz, it's a matter of ensuring a healthy democracy moving forward. He said that "...according to Reuters/Ipsos polling, 39 percent of Americans believe that ‘the election was rigged.' That is not healthy for our democracy. The bitter division and acrimony we see across the nation needs resolution.

Cruz said that he believes that "the US Supreme Court has a responsibility to the American people to ensure that we are following the law and following the Constitution. Hearing this case-now, on an emergency expedited basis-would be an important step in helping rebuild confidence in the integrity of our democratic system."

There have been allegations of fraud, ballot tampering, rigged voting machines, and other shenanigans affecting the results of the Nov. 3 general election. The Trump campaign has attained recounts in Georgia and Wisconsin, and brought lawsuits in battleground states including Pennsylvania, Arizona, and Michigan.

State senators have convened hearings in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Arizona to try to get answers as to how the electronic voting systems operate, how votes are tallied, and just who is responsible for the oversight of these systems.

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