Following a meeting with Senator Mitch McConnell at the Capitol on Monday, Attorney General William P. Barr allowed federal prosecutors to investigate Trump campaign allegations of fraud.
Hours later, Richard Pilger, a career prosecutor who oversees voter fraud investigations, stepped down leaving a message behind.
“Having familiarized myself with the new policy and its ramifications. I must regretfully resign from my role as director of the Elections Crimes Branch,” he wrote.
By ordering federal prosecutors to investigate the election process, Barr ignored the department policy keeping law enforcement from intervening in its outcome.
“Given that voting in our current elections has now concluded, I authorize you to pursue substantial allegations of voting and vote tabulation irregularities prior to the certification of elections in your jurisdictions,” Barr said.
A department official added that Barr allowed the investigations over ineligible voters in Nevada and late mail ballots in Pennsylvania.
His decision sparked many critics’ outrage including Texas University Law Professor Stephen Vladeck.
“It would be problematic enough if Barr were reversing longstanding Justice Department guidance because of significant, substantiated claims of misconduct—that could presumably be handled at the local state level.”
“But to do so when there is no such evidence—and when the President’s clear strategy is to delegitimize the results of a proper election—is one of the more problematic acts of any attorney general in my lifetime.”