November 11, 2020

Donald Trump, Bill Barr, Republicans and the right wing media have been ON FIRE with baseless allegations of voter fraud and straight-up theft of the election. This culminated with a dozen lawsuits filed across the country (none successful, thus far) and Bill Barr writing a vaguely worded memo authorizing the DOJ to explore voter fraud claims. This gave Trump and the right wing media the headlines they wanted, but it also caused a panic across social media for Democrats or anyone else who cares about maintaining democracy and not allowing our country to fall to an authoritarian coup.

MSNBC's Ari Melber addressed these concerns on his show Tuesday. For those that don't know, Melber actually has a law degree AND worked on the Hill prior to becoming a journalist, so he actually knows what he is talking about:

Today Attorney General Barr out with a new memo that tweaks DOJ policy on when voter fraud claims and regulations can be probed. It tells prosecutors they don't have to wait until elections are certified if there are credible allegations to investigate. The memo doesn't change much, as I'll explain.

But the very act of trying to intervene and change the DOJ's election policy at all has Barr under fire. The head of the elections crimes unit resigning in protest after this move to this move resignation. Independent experts are condemning Barr today and it's certainly striking to see resigning to object to lay down this marker which also of course echoes that Russia probe I mentioned, recall that a top aide to the DOJ prosecutor leading it also resigned in protest. And roughly 2000 DOJ veterans from both parties have protested Barr and demanded he resign over repeated political meddling. There is a track record here for Bill Barr's ploys but can any of this change this race's outcome?


The game is over. Joe Biden is the winner. Donald Trump is the loser. Those are the results of the election. There is not a single case pending in the nation that can change that result as we've reported. Now tonight, I get it. Some may ask, okay, Ari, but is the Attorney General now doing something that could create such a case to challenge the outcome?


And I'm reporting that answer to you drawn from Bill Barr's memo itself. For two reasons. First, this memo states that the DOJ can only start these reviews earlier if there are clear voting irregularities that would change the outcome of a federal election and Barr emphasizes if irregularities would not, would not change the outcome, those are delayed until after the election certification process is complete. Translation, most probes will wait unless there is key evidence that could change the entire election result, but as we've known for days, Joe Biden's victory margins are greater than the number of allegedly challenged ballots in any of these key states.

So this memo makes no difference to that and now finally these second reasons this doesn't change things. The memo may offer a brief sugar high today for the headlines he wants about fraud or investigations just as Barr did spinning the Mueller report, but this new Barr memo doesn't even claim they found any fraud. In fact, Bill Barr in the new memo writes the opposite.

If you're hearing less about this part of the facts tonight, that means because Barr knows how to play the media and twitter and getting people salivating over words of fraud. The full truth does require more than overreacting to a few spicy words on twitter? Let's go to the memo - it states 'the DOJ that has not concluded that voting irregularities impacted the outcome of any election.' And he ends the memo with the fair sounding language that some Congressional probe in the future Biden administration 'because 'this is up to the non-partisan DOJ staff. Not to him great care and judgement.

If you want a longer explainer on why these cases won't work, listen to this excellent interview with Bob Bauer, legal adviser to Joe Biden.

The main thing to remember is that Biden has exceptional leads in the states still outstanding. Even if the GOP could gin up a few hundred cases of voter fraud, it would not change the outcome of the election. So everyone needs to breathe and not let the chaos agent President* continue to make us all panic.

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