Justice Dept.: Armed Agents Are Allowed to Oversee Ballot-Counting Venues

first_imgWASHINGTON — The Justice Department told federal prosecutors in an email early on Wednesday that the law allowed them to send armed federal officers to ballot-counting locations around the country to investigate potential voter fraud, according to three people who described the message.The email created the specter of the federal government intimidating local election officials or otherwise intervening in vote tallying amid calls by President Trump to end the tabulating in states where he was trailing in the presidential race, former officials said.- Advertisement – Mr. Donoghue, the No. 2 official in the office of the deputy attorney general, Jeffrey A. Rosen, sent his email about half an hour before Mr. Trump made reckless claims including falsely declaring himself the winner of the election and began calling for election officials to stop counting ballots.“We want all voting to stop,” Mr. Trump said at the White House. He said, without offering details, that his campaign would “be going to the U.S. Supreme Court” over the election count. The Trump campaign said later in the day that it was filing lawsuits in multiple states, including Michigan, to halt or protest vote counts.One state election official vowed to resist any interference or intimidation efforts by federal officials.- Advertisement – “Elections are a state matter, and we have authority as state officials over anyone trying to enter locations where ballots are being counted,” said Attorney General Maura Healey of Massachusetts. “Anything else is a radical reinterpretation of the law. States can handle elections, and we will ensure the people decide the outcome.”The election has been both unusual and charged. A historic number of mail-in ballots, prompted by the pandemic, have slowed the work of local election officials who tally them. And Mr. Trump has for months stoked fears about the integrity of the vote and amplified unfounded conspiracy theories that slow-counting states could not be trusted, intensifying his baseless accusations as the count stretched on past Election Day and his opponent, Joseph R. Biden Jr., gained an edge in key states. A Justice Department spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment.- Advertisement – 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 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. Attorney General William P. Barr also spent the months leading up to Election Day echoing the president’s dark warnings, claiming without evidence that the wave of mail-in ballots would lead to an unprecedented amount of voter fraud.He cited one example of 1,700 falsified ballots that The Washington Post found to be false. A department spokeswoman blamed an inaccurate memo from an aide.The new legal interpretation about armed officials at vote-counting locations appeared to be another example of the attorney general mirroring Mr. Trump’s public posture, former Justice Department officials said.“This seems like a messaging tactic for the attorney general,” said Vanita Gupta, the acting head of the department’s Civil Rights Division under President Barack Obama. “Lawfully, the Justice Department can’t interfere in the vote count, enter polling places or take ballots, even in the course of an investigation.”In instances where the department can secure access to ballots for any investigation, Ms. Gupta said that federal law allowed law enforcement officials to “copy and inspect, but that ballots stay in the hands of local election officials.”Justice Department officials said this week that they expected lawyers for the Trump and Biden campaigns to take on court challenges related to the election, and that the Trump administration would have little, if any, role.Election experts said that any effort by the Justice Department to blatantly interfere in the election would immediately prompt legal challenges. Still, armed officials arriving at ballot-counting locations even for investigatory purposes could intimidate or otherwise disrupt the process, they warned.“The very strong, longstanding norm is that the federal government does not seek to do anything to interfere with a state’s ability to count votes and certify elections,” said Kristy Parker, an official in the department’s Civil Rights Division during the Obama administration. – Advertisement –last_img read more

MLB trade rumors: Astros, Yankees discussing Robbie Ray with Diamondbacks

first_imgThe Noah Syndergaard news is getting the trade rumors to start moving.The Mets reportedly took the righty off the trade block last night and now other names are starting to gain traction in the market. First, it was reported by MLB Network’s Jon Heyman that Zack Wheeler’s market is starting to heat up, and now, according to the New York Post, the Astros and Yankees are inquiring on Diamondbacks lefty Robbie Ray. Noah Syndergaard trade rumors: Mets righty will not be dealt at deadline Still, the Yankees want to add. Told #Yankes and #Astros are inquiring on Robbie Ray #Diamondbacks— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) July 31, 2019This isn’t new news to be clear. It was reported by USA Today on Tuesday there were at least six teams interested in the Arizona lefty. But with the Syndergaard news and Indians righty Trevor Bauer being traded to the Reds on Tuesday, the market has gotten considerably smaller and the offers are likely starting to get more real.The Yankees need starting pitching, though, they do have some depth in that field with James Paxton, Domingo German, Masahiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia and J.A. Happ. It may not be the depth New York fans want and they haven’t pitched well of late, but they still have talent and a good amount of playoff experience. Related News As for the Astros, they have about as good a 1-2-3 punch as anyone numbers-wise with Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole and Wade Miley in the rotation, but the team’s No. 4 starter Brad Peacock is hurt, another potential fill-in in Josh James is on the injured list, Collin McHugh has been successful in the bullpen and Jose Urquidy has a mere four MLB starts.The team has some depth problems and the addition of a guy like Ray or even Wheeler would go a long way in giving this team confidence in a seven-game series.The Twins, Braves, Phillies and Brewers have all been connected to Ray as well and would likely have interest in Wheeler and even Reds righty Tanner Roark, who is a free agent after the season. MLB trade rumors: At least 6 teams still interested in Robbie Ray MLB trade rumors: Astros monitoring the market for a starter, interested in Robbie Raylast_img read more

Duo strike to send KCCA nine clear

first_imgBY UPL.co.ugJMC Hippos 0  KCCA 2Soana   2 URA 1Sadolin 1 Maroons 0Express 2 Lweza 0KCCA’s chances of winning a 11th national league title got even better on Saturday after they saw off stubborn JMC Hippos 2-0 in Jinja to go nine points clear at the top of the Azam Uganda Premier soccer League.Defender Denis Okot and striker Derrick Nsibambi scored the goals as manager Mike Mutebi’s side moved to 51 points, nine ahead of second-placed Vipers with six matches to go. They have, however, played one game more than coach George Nsimbe’s Vipers, the defending champions.Having ceded ground in a 1-1 draw with Lweza on Tuesday to allow Vipers cut their lead to six points on the same day, KCCA again watched on as the defending champions lost to Bul 1-0 on Friday.All they had to do the following day was just to win at Kakindu in Jinja, one of hardest grounds to visit.KCCA did just that, Okot opening the scoring on the stroke of half time before Nsibambi, netting his second in four days, added the other nine minutes after recess.UPL.co.ugShare on: WhatsApplast_img read more