REVEALED: Trump appointee ordered DHS to probe voter fraud 'fantasy' months before 2020 election
Ken Cuccinelli (Screen Capture)

One of Donald Trump's top political appointees directed the Department of Homeland Security to investigate voter fraud in the 2020 election -- more than six months before the votes were counted.

Ken Cuccinelli, the former Virginia attorney general who served as deputy secretary of the DHS, asked a senior official in April 2020 to have analysts in the Office of Intelligence and Analysis look for evidence of mail-in voting fraud, which the former president fixated on before and after his re-election loss, reported Politico.

“What makes this inappropriate is that the underlying activity is a fantasy,” said Ben Wittes, a senior fellow in Governance Studies at The Brookings Institution, "and there are no circumstances in which the Intelligence Community should be tasked to collect on fantasies.”

Later in summer 2020 they were tasked with investigating possible hacking of political campaigns, voter intimidation and illegal entry into polling places, and as Election Day neared, DHS investigators were told to look into “attempts to alter, destroy, sell, or hide mail-in ballots,” which were all conspiracy theories amplified by Trump online, during rallies and even in presidential debates.

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“The ‘sell, destroy, or hide mail ballots’ — that’s a theoretical conspiracy that I’ve heard talked about, but there’s no evidence that that has occurred,” said Amber McReynolds, a former Colorado election official.

Analysts raised concerns about the directives during a series of listening sessions held in September and October, when voters were already casting ballots.

“People questioned a tasking related to reporting on voter fraud,” read one memo on the sessions that Politico reviewed. “‘Is this criminal activity appropriate for an IC agency?’ Thresholds and priorities are judgment calls from leadership and many people questioned whether taskings were politically motivated.”

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“The workforce has a general mistrust of leadership resulting from orders to conduct activities they perceive to be inappropriate, bureaucratic, or political,” the memo added.