AG Jennings calls on Barr to reverse new policy that “will erode the public’s confidence in the 2020 election”
Attorney General Jennings today called on U.S. Attorney General William Barr to reverse his abrupt change to a 40-year-old U.S. Department of Justice policy that until this week had kept the department from interfering with election results.
In a letter to AG Barr, AG Jennings and 22 other attorneys general strongly objected to a November 9 directive allowing U.S. Attorneys to pursue allegations of voter fraud, which flouts long-established policies intended to prevent law enforcement agencies from influencing the outcome of an election.
“The people have spoken, and the election was secure and fair. Fearmongering will not change the result,” said Attorney General Jennings. “The Elections Clause of the United States Constitution directs and empowers the states to regulate elections. Election officials from both political parties have made it abundantly clear that there is no evidence that widespread voter fraud affected the outcome of the presidential election. AG Barr’s senseless and unprecedented decision attacks the core values of our democracy and risks the baseless erosion of public trust in our elections.”
While acknowledging that the U.S. DOJ has an “important role in some instances in prosecuting election fraud,” and reiterating the states’ commitment to bringing actual instances of fraud to justice, the letter reminds the U.S. DOJ of its decades-old record of taking care to “avoid affecting the outcome of the elections or even the perception of political intrusion in the electoral process” and of recognizing that the states are principally responsible for election oversight.
Joining AG Jennings are the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.
A copy of the letter can be found here.