The Justice Department has reportedly told federal prosecutors that the law allows them to dispatch armed federal officers to ballot-counting locations to probe possible voter fraud.
The declaration came down in an email early Wednesday, according to three people who described the message, The New York Times reported.
“A law prohibits the stationing of armed federal officers at polls on Election Day. But a top official told prosecutors that the department interpreted the statute to mean that they could send armed federal officers to polling stations and locations where ballots were being counted anytime after that,” the Times reported. “The statute ‘does not prevent armed federal law enforcement persons from responding to, investigate, or prevent federal crimes at closed polling places or at other locations where votes are being counted,’ the official, Richard P. Donoghue, told prosecutors in an email that he sent around 1:30 a.m. on Wednesday.”
President Donald Trump has added fuel to the fire, writing Thursday morning on Twitter, “STOP THE COUNT!”
“ANY VOTE THAT CAME IN AFTER ELECTION DAY WILL NOT BE COUNTED!” Trump later tweeted.
Trump’s campaign on Wednesday filed lawsuits in three states — Pennsylvania, Georgia and Michigan — challenging the vote-counting process. In Michigan, the suit seeks to stop ballot-counting process until the Trump campaign is given access to oversee the process.
Campaign officials have “not been provided with meaningful access to numerous counting locations to observe the opening of ballots and the counting process, as guaranteed by Michigan law,” the campaign said in a statement. “We have filed suit today in the Michigan Court of Claims to halt counting until meaningful access has been granted,” the campaign said, adding that it “also demand[s] to review those ballots which were opened and counted while we did not have meaningful access.”
Team Trump also said it will request a recount in Wisconsin, a state Biden won by about 20,000 votes, citing “reports of irregularities.”
“Despite ridiculous public polling used as a voter suppression tactic, Wisconsin has been a razor thin race as we always knew that it would be,” said Bill Stepien, Trump 2020 campaign manager. “There have been reports of irregularities in several Wisconsin counties which raise serious doubts about the validity of the results.”
“The president is well within the threshold to request a recount and we will immediately do so,” Stepien said.
Trump, in a Twitter post in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, claimed Democrats are “trying to steal the election.”
Sources: New York Post and The Daily Wire; Photo: Getty Images