Attorney General Aaron M. Frey called on US Attorney General William Barr to reverse his abrupt change to a 40-year-old US Department of Justice policy that until this week had kept the Department from interfering with election results.
In a letter today to Attorney General Barr, AG Frey and a coalition of 23 total attorneys general voiced their “strong objection” to this policy reversal, which they said “will erode the public’s confidence in the election,” and called on him to “reverse your decision promptly.”
The American people have voted in record numbers in a safe and secure election and have clearly chosen a new president. Despite this, AG Barr used a new directive on November 9th that US attorneys may now pursue allegations of voter fraud without adhering to long-established, important guardrails. Until now, the Department of Justice has recognized that the principal responsibility for overseeing elections lies with states and has “taken care to avoid affecting the outcome of elections or even the perception of political intrusion in the electoral process,” AG Frey and the coalition wrote.
“Attorney General Barr’s decision to unilaterally change longstanding Department of Justice policy to advance political objectives is inappropriate and must be reversed,” said Frey. “Americans have voted and their votes are being counted. Election officials in Maine and across the country, regardless of political affiliation, have all stated clearly that voter fraud was not an issue which impacted this election and the systems we already have in place ensure legitimate, fair outcomes. The people of Maine and our country have spoken and call on AG Barr to immediately stop using his office to interfere with the democratic process,” according to the press release issued by AG Frey’s office today.