While major news outlets have declared Democratic nominee Joe Biden president-elect, Attorney General William Barr has authorized federal prosecutors to pursue “substantial allegations” of voting irregularities before the US presidential election is certified.
Barr’s action comes days after President Donald Trump vowed to use the Department of Justice to challenge the 2020 election's outcome. According to a report by AP, prosecutors will have the ability to skirt long-standing Justice Department policy that normally would prohibit such activity before the election is formally certified.
In a memo addressed to US attorneys and obtained by the AP, Barr wrote that investigations “may be conducted 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.”
Trump has not conceded the presidential election, and his campaign has promised to keep fighting. Biden holds several leads in multiple battleground states.
States have until Dec. 8 to resolve election disputes, including recounts and court contests over the results. Members of the Electoral College meet Dec. 14 to finalize the outcome.