Since at least 1980, there has been a policy in the Department of Justice that prohibits prosecutors from making any announcement about ongoing investigations close to an election but also from taking public steps — such as an arrest or a raid — before a vote is finalized because the publicity could tip the balance of a race.
Now, it appears the DOJ is gutting that policy.
According to Pro Publica, the department is encouraging prosecutors to make their investigations public around election time.
Pro Publica reported: “according to an email sent Friday by an official in the Public Integrity Section in Washington, now if a U.S. attorney’s office suspects election fraud that involves postal workers or military employees, federal investigators will be allowed to take public investigative steps before the polls close, even if those actions risk affecting the outcome of the election.”
Experts warn that this could lead to election interference that could potentially boost Donald Trump’s chances at reelection.
“It’s unusual that they’re carving out this exception,” said Vanita Gupta, the former head of the DOJ Civil Rights Division under President Barack Obama. “It may be creating a predicate for the Justice Department to make inflated announcements about mail-in vote fraud and the like in the run-up to the election.”
Justin Levitt, a former deputy assistant attorney general in the DOJ’s civil rights division, also expressed concern that the department could be encouraging prosecutors to make more public announcements about incomplete investigations, as they did in the Pennsylvania case.
“It alarms me that the DOJ would want to authorize more of the same in and around the election,” he said. “It’s incredibly painful for me to say, but given what we’ve seen recently, Americans shouldn’t trust DOJ announcements right now.”
Could this be a stunt by William Barr to help Trump obtain another four years? Let us know what you think in the comments.
You can read the full Pro Publica article HERE.