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

Proven ‘winner’ Alex Mallari brings leadership to table at Phoenix

first_imgMallari was drafted third overall pick in the 2012 PBA Draft by Petron but was not able to complete a full season with the Blaze Boosters and he was dealt to sister team San Mig Coffee.But it was in Magnolia that Mallari blossomed into one of the finest role players as an off guard leading to four straight titles including the Grand Slam.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissAnd it’s this quality that got Phoenix head coach Louie Alas’s attention when the Fuel Masters traded for Mallari.“Mallari’s a veteran and he’s a winner,” said Alas Thursday at Gatorade Hoops Center during the PBA Draft Combine. View comments Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Mallari was traded to the Kia franchise in 2016 and was then dealt to NLEX where he averaged 6.1 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 3.0 assists in the Governors’ Cup.For the 6-foot-4 wingman, getting Alas’ nod not just through his play but also for his experience immediately gave him a bit of pressure to contribute to the Fuel Masters.“That’s a lot of pressure I guess, I value that stuff coming from him,” said Mallari. “I had a little bit of leadership experience with Kia so it shouldn’t be new to me, I can give them that. I’m just here to do my job.”Mallari already owns four titles, and that’s four more than what the Phoenix franchise has, but he’s also excited with paying with Calvin Abueva and Matthew Wright.“The first thing I thought about was Calvin and everything he brings,” said Mallari. “He has this unorthodox wild chaotic play. I’m actually excited to play with Matt and the new guys and they’ve got a lot of talent for sure.”ADVERTISEMENT PH’s Rogen Ladon boxing flyweight final (HIGHLIGHTS) PLAY LIST 03:30PH’s Rogen Ladon boxing flyweight final (HIGHLIGHTS)03:34PH’s Carlo Paalam boxing light flyweight final (HIGHLIGHTS)02:39PH’s Josie Gabuco boxing light flyweight final (HIGHLIGHTS)02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award After winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folk MOST READ Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil ‘Mia’: Rom-com with a cause a career-boosting showcase for Coleen Garcia No.13 lucky for Orlando Bloom MANILA, Philippines—It cannot be denied that Alex Mallari has a wealth of experience in his relatively young PBA career.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES Nikola Vucevic leads Magic over Bulls in Mexico City Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plumlast_img read more