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BREAKING: Barr announces DOJ investigation into presidential election

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (ABC) - Attorney General William Barr has sent a memo to U.S. attorneys this evening authorizing them to "pursue substantial allegations of voting and vote tabulation irregularities," despite little evidence surfacing thus far of any widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election.

In the memo Barr says that such inquiries "may be conducted if there are clear and apparently-credible allegations of irregularities that, if true, could potentially impact the outcome of a federal election in an individual State." 

In Barr's letter to US attorneys, however, he says that the investigation should not be taken as the DOJ believing there to be widespread fraud - which both President Trump and the GOP have claimed without providing evidence.

Instead, he says in the memo that he is giving US attorneys authority in the event that any credible evidence of fraud is discovered.

"Nothing here should be taken as any indication that the Department has concluded that voting irregularities have impacted the outcome of any election," Barr says. "Rather, I provide this authority and guidance to emphasize the need to timely and appropriately address allegations of voting irregularities so that all of the American people, regardless of their preferred candidate or party, can have full confidence in the results of our elections." 

"While it is imperative that credible allegations be addressed in a timely and effective manner, it is equally imperative that Department personnel exercise appropriate caution and maintain the Department's absolute commitment to fairness, neutrality and non-partisanship," Barr says in the memo. "While serious allegations should be handled with great care, specious, speculative, fanciful or far-fetched claims should not be a basis for initiating federal inquiries."

Mason Dowling

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