2020-11-10 17:18:01 UTC
Donald Trump claims 'WE WILL WIN' but admits results of his uphill fight to
overturn Joe Biden's victory won't 'start to come in' for a week - as his DOJ is
roiled by elections fraud chief quitting over AG Bill Barr tearing up rulebook
*President Donald Trump told the country in all-caps Tuesday morning 'WE WILL
WIN!' as he continues to refuse to concede the election
*WE ARE MAKING BIG PROGRESS,' the 'RESULTS START TO COME IN NEXT WEEK,' Trump
*Trump has alleged, with no proof, widespread voter fraud is the reason he lost
the 2020 election to President-elect Joe Biden, his Democratic rival
*On Monday night, Attorney General Bill Barr, a Trump ally, gave federal
prosecutors the go-ahead to probe 'specific allegations' of voter fraud
*This caused the top DOJ official overseeing election fraud cases, Richard
Pilger, to resign in protest
*Donald Trump Jr., the president's son, was quick to criticize Pilger, calling
him a member of the so-called 'deep state'
*Barr's memo angered legal experts, who pointed out that any issues around
voting are handled at the state level
President Donald Trump told the county in all-caps Tuesday morning 'WE WILL
WIN!' as he continues to refuse to concede to President-elect Joe Biden and
instead pursues lawsuits to overturn the election's result.
Trump admitted in a second tweet that while 'WE ARE MAKING BIG PROGRESS,' the
'RESULTS START TO COME IN NEXT WEEK.' He signed that one off with, 'MAKE AMERICA
GREAT AGAIN!' his original campaign slogan.
Later Tuesday morning, Trump tweeted, 'BALLOT COUNTING ABUSE!' He has no events
on his public schedule. Biden is in Wilmington, Delaware receiving briefings and
will give a speech later on the Affordable Care Act, as the Supreme Court holds
its case on Obamacare's fate.
Trump's upper-case screams came as the Department of Justice was roiled by
Attorney General Bill Barr giving federal prosecutors the go-ahead to
investigate 'specific allegations' of voter fraud - causing the top official to
Trump has falsely blamed widespread voter fraud as the reason why he was beaten
by Biden in a group of key swing states including Pennsylvania, Wisconsin,
Michigan and Nevada. Both Arizona and Georgia also look like they'll tilt Biden
once full results are in.
Barr's authorization led to the resignation of the DOJ official who oversees
investiations into voter fraud, Richard Pilger.
Pilger, director of the Election Crimes Branch of the Department of Justice
since 2010, stepped down within hours of Barr's announcement, in an email he
sent to colleagues that was obtained by The New York Times.
Donald Trump Jr., the president's son, was quick to criticize Pilger, calling
him a member of the so-called 'deep state.'
'Wait. Seriously? Isnt this the guy who was involved with the IRS and Lois
Lerner in targeting conservatives and the Tea Party? Maybe thats why he hasnt
done s**t at DOJ. #deepstate'
Pilger submitted his resignation Monday evening shortly after his boss, Barr,
announced the unprecedented federal support for the election investigations - a
move which would delight Trump.
In his resignation email, Pilger said Barr's memo was 'an important new policy
abrogating the forty-year-old Non-Interference-Policy for ballot fraud
investigations in the period prior to elections becoming certified and
He said his resignation was 'in accord with the best tradition of the John C.
Keeney Award for Exceptional Integrity and Professionalism (my most cherished
Barr's memo angered legal experts, who pointed out that any issues around voting
are handled at the state level and should not be considered a federal matter.
Several analysts said that Barr was at serious risk of dragging the Department
of Justice into a highly partisan electoral war, waged through the courts.
Pilger, whose 25-year career has been devoted to election crimes and public
corruption, told his colleagues in the email on Monday evening that he was
quitting, in a sign of how worried many within the legal community are at Barr's
Barr's action comes days after Biden defeated Trump and raises the prospect that
Trump will use the Justice Department to try to challenge the outcome.
It gives prosecutors the ability to go around longstanding Justice Department
policy that normally would prohibit such overt actions before the election is
In his memo, Barr argues that the existing 'passive and delayed enforcement
approach' could undermine the vote.
He says that the precedent should be ignored, and investigations conducted
rigorously before the certification of votes on December 8.
'In instances where they are consulted, the ECB's (Election Crimes Branch)
general practice has been to counsel that overt investigative steps ordinarily
should not be taken until the election in question has been concluded, its
results certified and all recounts and election contests concluded,' he wrote.
'Such a passive and delayed enforcement approach can result in situations in
which election misconduct cannot realistically be rectified.'
A Justice Department official told the New York Times that Barr had authorized
scrutiny of allegations about ineligible voters in Nevada and backdated mail-in
Trump has not conceded the election and is instead claiming without evidence
that there has been a widespread, multi-state conspiracy by Democrats to skew
the vote tally in Biden's favor.
Biden holds a sizable lead in multiple battleground states and there has been no
indication of enough improperly counted or illegally cast votes that would shift
Election officials from both political parties have publicly stated the election
went well, though there have been minor issues that are typical in elections,
including voting machines breaking and ballots that were miscast and lost.
In the memo to U.S. attorneys, obtained by The Associated Press, 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.'
States have until December 8 to resolve election disputes, including recounts
and court contests over the results.
Members of the Electoral College meet on December 14 to finalize the outcome.
Pilger's resignation was taken as a very worrying sign from people who had
worked alongside him.
Steve Dettelback, former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, said
he had first crossed paths with Pilger 30 years ago and described him as 'a
'Shame on the political "leadership" at DOJ,' he said.
Noah Bookbinder, a former federal prosecutor who is now the Executive Director
of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), said: 'Richard
Pilger is a respected apolitical attorney who has been a federal corruption
prosecutor for decades (including when I was one years ago).
'His resigning in protest makes clear to me that something very wrong indeed is
Another former colleague, former federal prosecutor Peter Zeidenberg, added: 'I
also worked with Richard Pilger at Public Integrity. He is someone with an
'If he feels the need to step down, something bad is happening,' Zeidenberg
Their concern was echoed by political figures.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Democratic member of the Senate Judiciary Committee,
said that Barr was 'the president's puppet' and was deliberately undermining the
Meanwhile, Republicans have allowed Trump to cast a cloud over the election's
'What is the downside for humoring him for this little bit of time? No one
seriously thinks the results will change,' a senior Republican official told The
Washington Post in a report published Monday night. 'He went golfing this
weekend. It's not like he's plotting how to prevent Joe Biden from taking power
on Jan. 20.'
Sen. Chris Coons, a Democrat from Biden's home state of Delaware, said
Republicans in Congress are back-channeling congratulations to him - because
they can't yet acknowledge the winner publicly because of Trump's behavior.
'They call me to say congratulations please convey my well wishes to the
president-elect but I can't say that publicly yet. These are conversations best
kept private,' Coons said on CNN Tuesday morning.
Sen. Chris Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut, said it was 'sad' how many
public servants have been forced out during the Trump era.
Preet Bharara, the former US attorney for the Southern District of New York -
until he was fired by Trump - said he expected the resignation of Pilger would
lead to a Senate inquiry.
'Who will be the first senator to call for an Inspector General investigation
over the AG Barr memo that just prompted the head of the Election Crimes Branch
at DOJ to step down?' he wondered.
Gene Rossi, a former federal prosecutor, told Law&Crime Network that the
'Justice Department is not Trump's toy - and Barr should not act like the
He added: 'Just when we thought that the most politically compliant Attorney
General in modern times would go quietly into the night, Bill Barr rises from
his bunker and shocks us again.'
National security lawyer Bradley P. Moss told Law&Crime: 'This is getting rather
dangerously close to the line of unlawful political interference by the Justice
He pointed out the voting irregularities were usually resolved at the state
'The federal government has very little role in the conduct of our elections,
and there is no indication that the various quixotic lawsuits being filed in the
states can't resolve this issue just fine without intervention by DOJ,' Moss
'Hopefully this is simply more 'election theater' by AG Barr to assuage the
president's fragile ego than anything else.'
Biden is ahead by 43,000 votes in Pennsylvania, 148,000 votes in Michigan,
34,000 votes in Nevada and 13,000 votes in Arizona, with ballots still being
Even if all of Trump's current challenges are successful, experts believe they
are unlikely to overcome those margins.
The campaign has promised more challenges to come.
The Trump campaign has said it will order a recount in Wisconsin, where Biden is
up by 20,000 votes, and is likely in Georgia, where he is currently up by
10,000, but they are unlikely to overturn those results. The Trump camp is
furiously raising money it says will go to the effort.
The Trump campaign has yet to produce any evidence to back its claims of