Clark, Pascrell, Swalwell warn Attorney General Barr: Stop protecting Trump, start protecting our elections

October 27, 2020
Press Release
Lawmakers demand an end to the promotion of baseless conspiracy theories and politicized investigations on the eve of the 2020 election

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Congresswoman Katherine Clark (MA-5), Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, joined by Congressmembers Bill Pascrell Jr. (NJ-9), Eric Swalwell (CA-15), and 33 other House members, sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General William Barr demanding that he stop using the Department of Justice (DOJ) to undermine our election and help President Trump’s reelection campaign. Barr has failed to condemn the President for threatening to jail his political opponents, cast doubt on the integrity of the November election, and has intentionally caused the DOJ to pursue politically motivated investigations for President Trump’s benefit on multiple occasions.  

In the letter, the lawmakers wrote to Barr: “The President has worked tirelessly to undermine faith in our elections, he has refused to condemn white supremacists and urged them to ‘stand by,’ he is recruiting an ‘army’ to intimidate voters at the polls, and his supporters are already acting on his militant calls for action. But worst of all, President Trump has recently called on you to indict his political opponent before the upcoming 2020 election in an obvious effort to influence the outcome. Make no mistake, these are the actions of an authoritarian, and your failure as our nation’s top law enforcement official to condemn them as such undermines our democratic system of government.”

“But you haven’t just failed to condemn the President’s efforts to weaken our democracy, you have actively sought to aid him. You have claimed without evidence that foreign countries could print counterfeit ballots, you have declined to say that it is illegal to follow President Trump’s suggestion that his supporters vote twice, you have made up fictitious voter fraud cases, and you have falsely claimed that mail-in ballots allow government officials to see who Americans voted for. In addition to these clear efforts to sow distrust in our elections, you have intentionally caused the Department of Justice to pursue politically motivated investigations and have attempted to use legitimate law enforcement activity for political benefit… Your attempts to politicize DOJ to benefit Donald Trump have not only pushed career public servants out of your department, they have eroded the public’s trust in the Department’s ability to deliver impartial justice.

“Free and fair elections are the foundation of our democracy and far too many Americans have fought and struggled and sacrificed for the right to participate in those elections for us to allow you and President Trump to roll back the progress that has been achieved.”

The House members urged Attorney General Barr to cease all efforts to interfere with the 2020 election and honor his oath to the Constitution by:  

  • Refusing to act on President Trump’s demand to investigate, indict, or arrest his political opponent in the upcoming election.
  • Strictly adhering to the DOJ’s 60-Day Rule prohibiting the public disclosure of information related to electoral matters within 60 days of a general election. This would apply both to politically motivated investigations as well as rushing the results of legitimate investigations to provide “victories” for President Trump.
  • Refraining from using federal law enforcement personnel or resources to intimidate, suppress, or in any other way interfere with the ability of any U.S. citizen to lawfully cast a ballot.
  • Providing state and local governments with the resources, intelligence, and support necessary to prevent and respond to acts of white supremacist terrorism or any other acts of electoral interference or intimidation.
  • Refraining from using DOJ resources or personnel to intervene in legal actions stemming from disputed election results in support of President Trump or his campaign.

To view a copy of the letter, click here.