Past and present employees at the Justice Department are questioning the motives of higher-ups who prematurely announced an investigation into discarded ballots in Pennsylvania, only to have to quickly walk back their story as more details become available.
According to a report from the Guardian, federal prosecutors jumped all over a story out of Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, that an employee “incorrectly discarded” a handful of ballots in mid-September that led to a meeting between Donald Trump and Attorney General Bill Barr. With the DOJ publically announcing the ballots were for Trump, that allowed to the president to turn it into a campaign issue even though the story fell apart within hours.
As the Guardian reports, “the Pennsylvania story federal prosecutors initially released turned out to be misleading and incomplete. Hours after releasing the statement, the DoJ removed it from its website and issued a revised statement saying that while investigators had recovered nine ballots, they could only determine that seven of them were cast for Trump. Later, the department released a third statement detailing some of the early findings of its investigation.”
According to former DOJ employees, current officials were in violation of the department handbook by releasing investigation information that could impact an election.
That, in turn, led to accusations of political shenanigans in the department.
According to Barbara McQuade, who served as a US attorney in Michigan, “It is a violation of DoJ policy to confirm or deny the existence of an investigation. By making an exception to that rule, the US attorney is creating the appearance that he is using his office to advance the political agenda of President Trump.”
Justin Levitt, a former top official in the justice department’s civil rights division, agreed saying an investigation was warranted, but officials went overboard in publicizing it.
“Minor mistake, fine for DoJ to follow up. Investigation seems unremarkable,” said Levitt, “Telling the White House is a problem. You don’t tell the White House about a pending investigation because political folks might misuse that info (exactly as they did).”
“You don’t do a press release on starting an investigation, you don’t do a press release with partial (and unconfirmed) facts, and you absolutely 100% no question don’t do a press release mentioning the candidate. There’s zero legit reason for that candidate information,” he elaborated.
You can read more here.
Trump’s website hacked and defaced to stop the ‘fake-news’ spread by the president: report
President Donald Trump's website appeared to have been briefly hacked on Tuesday -- one week before the 2020 presidential campaign.
Visitors to the site briefly saw a fake DOJ takedown notice.
"This site was seized," the message read. "The world has had enough of the fake-news spreaded (sic) by President Donald J. Trump."
"It is time to allow the world to know the truth," the message continued.
The message also claimed "secret conversations" prove the Trump administration "is involved in the origin of the coronavirus."
There is no evidence that is the case, experts believe the virus originated in China.
3 ex-Trump Organization executives explain why the president is a disaster — and they’re voting for Biden
MSNBC's Ari Melber asked his guests Tuesday why, specifically, they thought Joe Biden might be better than Trump for America now right now.
"It comes down to one simple thing for me, Ari, and that's race. He's with a man that understands and appreciates diversity over this nation. I think Biden does and I know for a fact Trump doesn't. He will never appreciate the diversity that made this country great," Jack O'Donnell said.
Melania Trump turns her back on #BeBest campaign — and praises husband’s insane tweets at MAGA rally
First lady Melania Trump on Tuesday suggested her husband's unhinged and factually-challenged tweets were actually a good thing for America.
The comments came in stark contrast to the message of her #BeBest campaign against online bullying.
"For the first time in history, the citizens of this country get to hear directly and instantly from their president every single day through social media," she said at a campaign rally in Atglen, Pennsylvania while reading prepared remarks off a teleprompter.
The crowd applauded.
"I do not always agree what -- they way he says things, but it is important to him that he speaks directly to the people he serves," she said.