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Attorney General William Tong

11/13/2020

Attorney General Tong Calls on AG Barr to Reverse New Policy That 'Will Erode the Public's Confidence in the Election'

Joins letter of 23 AGs in voicing ‘strong objection’ to abrupt policy change that allows U.S. attorneys to pursue allegations of voter fraud without adhering to long-established guardrails

(Hartford, CT) – Attorney General William Tong today called on U.S. Attorney General William Barr to reverse his abrupt change to a 40-year-old U.S. Department of Justice policy that until this week had kept the department from interfering with election results. In a letter today to Attorney General Barr, Attorney General Tong and a coalition of 23 total attorneys general voiced their “strong objection” to this policy reversal, which they said “will erode the public’s confidence in the election,” and called on him to “reverse your decision promptly.”

The American people have voted in record numbers in a safe and secure election and have clearly chosen a new president. Despite this, Attorney General Barr issued a new directive on November 9 that U.S. attorneys may now pursue allegations of voter fraud without adhering to long-established, important guardrails. Until now, the Department of Justice has recognized that the principal responsibility for overseeing elections lies with states and has “taken care to avoid affecting the outcome of elections or even the perception of political intrusion in the electoral process,” Attorney General Tong and the coalition wrote.

“Voters decided the outcome of this election—not the candidates, not the courts, and certainly not Bill Barr. The election was transparent, accurate and fair. This is a partisan witch hunt designed to undermine public confidence in our democratic process. It’s up to the states to count and certify the vote, and the DOJ needs to follow its own long-standing procedures and stay out,” said Attorney General Tong. “It’s time to respect the will of the American people and begin the peaceful transfer of power.”

Joining Attorney General Tong signing the letter are Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh and Minnesota Attorney General Ellison, who co-led the letter, and the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Click here to view the letter.

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