Trump releases letter from ex-US attorney criticizing Barr handling of election fraud claims

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A former federal prosecutor in Pennsylvania said he disagreed with the top official at the Justice Department on how to handle allegations of voter fraud and election irregularities, according to a letter released by ex-President Donald Trump.

William McSwain, U.S. attorney of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania from 2018 until January 2021, wrote to Trump expressing dismay with instructions he said he received from former Attorney General William Barr.

"On Election Day and afterwards, our Office received various allegations of voter fraud and election irregularities," the letter said. "As part of my responsibilities as U.S. Attorney, I wanted to be transparent with the public and, of course, investigate fully any allegations. Attorney General Barr, however, instructed me not to make any public statements or put out any press releases regarding possible election irregularities. I was also given a directive to pass along serious allegations to the State Attorney General for investigation — the same State Attorney General who had already declared that you could not win."

McSwain wrote that he "disagreed with that decision" but noted he had been a Marine infantry officer, so he would follow orders from his superior even if he did not agree with them.

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"U.S. Attorney from the Eastern District of Pennsylvania was precluded from investigating election fraud allegations. Outrageous!" Trump said in a statement of his own.

Trump previously mentioned the letter during his speech at CPAC in Texas over the weekend. He said during the remarks that he received the letter the day before. The copy of the letter sent out by Trump's Save America PAC on Monday was dated June 9.

Barr issued a memo in November authorizing U.S. attorneys to investigate "substantial allegations" of voting irregularities before the certification of elections. He later publicly said the Justice Department did not find fraud sufficient to alter the outcome of the 2020 election.

Barr went on to say he believed Trump's major claims of election fraud were "all bulls***," according to an article published by the Atlantic last month.

Pennsylvania is one state won by President Joe Biden last year that post-election audits showed no widespread fraud. Democratic Attorney General Josh Shapiro, who said the state found "absolutely no evidence" of widespread voter fraud, has been criticized by Republicans for tweeting a couple days before the November election that "Trump is going to lose." However, he said that would be if "all the votes are added up" in Pennsylvania.

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Efforts are underway in the GOP-led state Senate to conduct an Arizona-style "forensic investigation," which prompted Pennsylvania's Department of State to warn that any election equipment given to "third-party entities" will be decertified.

In the same letter, McSwain said the former president was "right to be upset" with how Democratic officials in his state ran the 2020 election. McSwain also said he intends to run for governor in Pennsylvania in 2022 and talked about election reforms he would support.

The Washington Examiner reached out to Freedom PA, McSwain’s political action committee, for comment on the letter.

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Tags: News, 2020 Elections, Donald Trump, Pennsylvania, William Barr, Justice Department

Original Author: Daniel Chaitin

Original Location: Trump releases letter from ex-US attorney criticizing Barr handling of election fraud claims

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