Attorney General William Barr has authorized the Department of Justice to investigate any “substantial allegations” of voter fraud in the 2020 election.
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.”
The development was first reported by The Associated Press on Monday evening.
President-elect Joe Biden was projected by every major news outlet as the winner of the presidential election on Saturday, but President Trump has indicated he will not concede, alleging without evidence that there was widespread voter fraud.
The Trump campaign has filed lawsuits in several key battleground states that Biden won, asking local judges to either invalidate or stop counting mail-in ballots, a record number of which were cast this year amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Some Republicans have backed Trump’s claims of voter fraud or his right to challenge the count, while others have moved on to congratulating Biden on winning the White House.
“Obviously no states have yet certified their election results. We have at least one or two states that are already on track for a recount and I believe the president may have legal challenges underway in at least five states,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said during a floor speech Monday.
Barr, who has been repeatedly criticized for politicizing the Justice Department under Trump, reportedly met with McConnell on Monday.
Top Trump campaign officials have indicated they are willing to appeal state court decisions that do not go in their favor all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary.
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