Attorney James Trusty, a former Justice Department prosecutor, told Fox News on Tuesday that Attorney General William Barr’s memo authorizing prosecutors to investigate allegations of election fraud would not overturn the election results.
Barr, who was appointed by President Donald Trump and took control of the Department of Justice in February 2019, issued a memo this week authorizing prosecutors around the country to pursue “substantial allegations” of election fraud without the approval of the Department of Election Crimes Division of the Department. The memo, which ran counter to the long-standing policy of the Ministry of Justice, led to the resignation of Richard Pilger, Director of the Voter Crimes Unit in the Department of Public Integrity at the Ministry of Justice.
While many criticized Barr’s decision, arguing that it played into Trump’s unsubstantiated claim that President-elect Joe Biden had won through widespread electoral fraud, Rusty told Fox News that an investigation by the Justice Department would not affect the election results.
“Federal cases that are criminal will progress slowly. They will not be the things that overturn the elections,” the lawyer explained. “I mean, it would be an exception. It would be exceptional to see an indictment or anything that fast within the time frame that matters,” he said.
LISTEN: AG Barr empowered federal prosecutors around the country to investigate “substantial allegations” of voting irregularities – @TrustyLawyer on whether the investigation will affect the results of the presidential election #nine2noon pic.twitter.com/MtYZf8GiD3
– America’s Newsroom (@AmericaNewsroom) November 10, 2020
Trusty argued that Barr’s memo was not as meaningful as critics had portrayed it, describing it as “an extraordinarily tight and bureaucratic document. He said he did not believe that “it will change the overall picture of law enforcement, and it certainly will not change the election results because it simply will not move forward as quickly.
Barr’s note did not suggest that he expected that the investigation would uncover fraud on Trump’s, who did not present any evidence to support his claims. The Attorney General wrote that “most allegations of alleged electoral malpractice are of such magnitude that they would have no bearing on the outcome of an election and therefore the investigation can be reasonably postponed.
Washington Newsday turned to the Justice Department for comment, but it did not respond in time for publication.
In an e-mail to his colleagues about his resignation, Pilger wrote that Barr was “proposing an important new policy that would abolish the forty-year-old policy of non-interference for investigations of electoral fraud in the period prior to the confirmation and incontestability of the elections. Although Pilger has resigned from his post as director, he will continue to work in the Department of Justice.
Trump has refused to give up the election, even though Biden received at least 290 votes, more than the 270 required for victory. The Democrat also narrowly leads Trump in Georgia, which would bring him a total of 316 votes. Georgia is planning a recount because of the narrow margin, although analysts do not believe Biden’s lead of more than 12,000 votes will be overturned.
The Trump campaign has filed lawsuits for alleged election fraud in several states, but these have been largely unsuccessful in the courts. Analysts have also noted that none of the lawsuits, even if successful, would dramatically change the overall outcome of the elections.