The US Attorney General has authorised federal prosecutors to pursue “substantial allegations” of vote count irregularities in relation to the 2020 US Election despite no evidence.
Donald Trump has refused to accept his defeat to Joe Biden and insisted his campaign for re-election is the victim of widespread electoral fraud, though has presented nothing to back it up.
However, prosecutors have now received a memo from Attorney General William Barr to probe whether something went awry.
He has ordered an investigation into “substantial allegations of voting and vote tabulation irregularities”, but urged prosecutors not to chase “fanciful or far-fetched” claims.
The letter to prosecutors marks the first time Barr has addressed Trump’s repeated claims.
It came several hours after Barr met with Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who earlier on Monday said Trump was well within his rights to look into charges of “irregularities”.
“I authorise you to pursue substantial allegations of voting and vote tabulation irregularities prior to the certification of elections in your jurisdictions in certain cases, as I have already done in specific instances,” Barr wrote in the letter to federal prosecutors and the FBI.
Lawyers for Republican President Trump have already filed a lawsuit claiming Pennsylvania voters were held to “different standards”.
They allege a “two-track system resulted in voters being held to different standards depending on how they chose to exercise their right to vote”.
The 105-page, double-spaced lawsuit demands 600,000 votes are thrown out.
On Saturday, Biden was named the projected winner of the key swing state in America’s Rust Belt, meaning he had enough electoral college votes to win the presidency.
However, rather than concede defeat, Trump doubled down on his unfounded claims of fraud, claiming “bad things happened”.
He insisted he won the election with “legal votes” in a tweet.
Twitter quickly added a disclaimer on to his posts, saying, “This claim about election fraud is disputed”.
Trump’s attack on the integrity of the US Election has focused largely on mail-in ballots.
His camp also wrongly claims observers were prevented from entering various polling stations and were then made to stand a distance away from the ballot counting machines.
Trump will challenge the results in court after a complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief was filed with the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.
It comes as White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany staged a chaotic press conference on Monday, with Trump’s camp attacking “partisan” election officials, but again offered no evidence for wrongdoing.
Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani had brought out a convicted child sex offender as a witness.
Giuliani had flown with the commander-in-chief’s son Eric to Pennsylvania last week as the count rumbled on, to imply the Democrats had voted using dead people’s names.
McEnany told reporters yesterday: “What we have seen across the country is Democrat officials systematically trying to do an end run around the Constitution to tip the scales of the election in their favor.”
However, as the icy conference – held at RNC headquarters in Washington – was abruptly ended, one journalist asked McEnany: “Isn’t the president just being a sore loser?”
“Our poll watchers were put behind barricades in a massive room. They were many feet from the counting process. And in fact when you look at all the tables, many hundreds of feet in fact from the tables in the back. They were completely in the dark,” she said.
“What are Pennsylvania Democrats hiding?”
Giuliani had held a press conference in the key swing state over the weekend, though the first witness has since been revealed to have served jail time for exposing himself to two girls, ages 7 and 11.
When asked to provide evidence of their claims at the Washington conference yesterday, Trump’s camp declined.
McEnany, instead said they were “vetting” reports coming in, echoing calls made by Biden for “patience” as the vote count dragged on in the days after polls closed last Tuesday.
Republican National Committee head Ronna McDaniel claimed they had a whistleblower who was an election worker told to back-date ballots.
But insisted: “There’s no conspiracy there.”
“There were 682,479 ballots counted in Philadelphia, in Allegheny County, that there were no poll watchers allowed to watch,” McDaniel continued.
“It is the job of the media to ask the question why. All we are asking for is truth, transparency and sunlight here. That is all we are asking for, and sadly we are asking the questions many of you should.”
Philadelphia is not in Allegheny County.
Trump’s camp had previously claimed observers were present but didn’t have a good enough view, while members of the press present at the count, clarified poll watchers were there.
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