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DOJ's Election Crimes Director Resigns After Barr Authorizes Election Fraud Investigation

Newsweek logo Newsweek 11/10/2020 Daniel Villarreal
a man wearing glasses: After U.S. Attorney General William Barr (pictured here) authorized federal prosecutors to investigate claims of election fraud made by the re-election campaign of Republican President Donald Trump, Richard Pilger, the U.S. Department of Justice Director of the Election Crimes Branch, resigned in protest. In this May 1, 2019 photo, Barr testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee. © Win McNamee/Getty After U.S. Attorney General William Barr (pictured here) authorized federal prosecutors to investigate claims of election fraud made by the re-election campaign of Republican President Donald Trump, Richard Pilger, the U.S. Department of Justice Director of the Election Crimes Branch, resigned in protest. In this May 1, 2019 photo, Barr testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Richard Pilger, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Director of the Election Crimes Branch, has resigned following Attorney General William Barr's authorization earlier today for federal prosecutors to investigate allegations of voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election.

Pilger reportedly tendered his resignation within hours of Barr's green-lighting of investigations into allegations of fraud that have yet to be substantiated, The New York Times reported.

The re-election campaign of Republican President Donald Trump and various Republican political leaders on the federal and state level have alleged that fraudulent ballots swung the contentious presidential race into the favor of Trump's opponent, Democratic President-elect Joe Biden.

Barr's authorization ignored a longstanding DOJ policy to keep law enforcement separate from committing actions that could affect an election's outcome, according to the Times. Barr sought to have investigators complete their work before each state certifies its final election results and ballot counts.

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