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Trump Calls Justice, FBI ‘Missing in Action’ on Election Allegations


NOVEMBER 29, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Trump accused federal law-enforcement agencies run by his own appointees of ignoring his claims of mass election fraud, as his legal setbacks continued to mount.

“Missing in action,” Mr. Trump said during an interview Sunday on Fox News. “You would think if you’re in the FBI or Department of Justice, this is the biggest thing you could be looking at. Where are they? I’ve not seen anything.”

No evidence of widespread voter fraud has surfaced, and homeland-security officials in early November called the 2020 contest won by former Vice President Joe Biden “the most secure election in U.S. history.”

Federal officials also have agreed with state election authorities that they have seen no evidence that voting systems were tampered with. Multiple federal judges—including some appointed by Mr. Trump—have dismissed Trump campaign complaints, saying they lacked proof backing up allegations of fraud.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation declined to comment Sunday on Mr. Trump’s remarks. The Justice Department didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Sunday’s complaints about the two agencies follow earlier criticism by Mr. Trump against officials at both. The president has expressed frustration in recent months with Attorney General William Barr for not more aggressively probing shortcomings in the FBI’s investigation into members of Mr. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and any links to Russia’s election-interference efforts.

Mr. Trump has speculated openly about firing FBI Director Christopher Wray—whom he appointed in June 2017—and has disagreed with him over Russian election interference and allegations of voter fraud. In September, Mr. Wray testified before Congress that Russia was actively trying to influence the 2020 election by denigrating Mr. Biden, drawing Mr. Trump’s ire.

Mr. Trump on Sunday maintained claims of widespread fraud in Mr. Biden’s victory.

“And how the FBI and Department of Justice—I don’t know,” he said. “Maybe they are involved. But how people are allowed to get away from this stuff—with this stuff is unbelievable. This election was rigged.”

The Associated Press has declared the Democratic nominee the winner of the election, with 306 electoral votes to 232 for Mr. Trump. Mr. Biden also won the popular vote with more than 80 million people casting ballots for him compared with 74 million for Mr. Trump. The Electoral College is scheduled to meet to certify the election Dec. 14.

Mr. Trump’s latest comments came as his legal team continues to lose cases in courts across the country. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Saturday dealt another blow to Republican efforts to reverse the election results there, dismissing a lawsuit brought by U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly (R., Pa.) and other plaintiffs. They argued a law passed last year allowing expanded mail-in voting violated the state’s constitution.

“They have failed to allege that even a single mail-in ballot was fraudulently cast or counted,” Justice David Wecht wrote.

The state had already certified that Mr. Biden won Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes by about 80,000 votes.

On Friday, the Philadelphia-based Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied an appeal in a ballot challenge, saying the Trump campaign’s case lacked proof and had no merit. That ruling could be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, and the Trump campaign signaled it would, though it hasn’t yet done so.

When asked about that prospect Sunday, Mr. Trump said, “It’s very hard to get a case to the Supreme Court.”

“You need a judge that’s willing to hear a case,” he said of the court losses. “You need a Supreme Court that’s willing to make a real big decision.”

On Sunday, Wisconsin election officials confirmed that Mr. Biden won the state after they concluded a recount in two heavily Democratic counties, Milwaukee and Dane, which includes Madison. Mr. Biden’s lead of roughly 20,000 votes grew by 87 votes, officials said.

A Trump campaign official said Sunday the campaign is reviewing its options for legal challenges for the state’s 10 electoral votes. Wisconsin Republicans have vowed to contest in court the large number of voters who received absentee ballots by claiming they were “indefinitely confined” to their homes because of the virus.

Scott McDonell, Dane County’s clerk, said that the recount process was transparent and fair and that he trusts the courts will find the same. There was no evidence of voter fraud or widespread errors, Mr. McDonell and other officials said.

Wisconsin’s statewide elections commission is scheduled to meet Tuesday, and the bipartisan panel will likely address GOP concerns related to the vote and the recount.

While many Republican Party leaders initially either backed Mr. Trump’s challenges or stayed silent, a growing number have called for the president move on. Last week the administration formally allowed for the Biden transition to begin.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R., Ark.), appearing on “Fox News Sunday,” said he understands Mr. Trump can pursue legal claims but added, “Courts have not seen any evidence of such extensive fraud that they have to change a result.”

“And so that’s why the General Services Administration recognized Vice President Biden as president-elect,” Mr. Hutchinson said. “He is president- elect. We need to work on that transition.”

Mr. Trump on Thursday told reporters it would be tough to concede and declined to say whether he would attend Mr. Biden’s inauguration.

“I hope the president is there on inaugural day,” Missouri GOP Sen. Roy Blunt said Sunday on CNN, adding that he has talked to Mr. Trump’s staff to see how the president can be involved in the inauguration and in boosting Republican senators in a pair of Georgia runoffs in January. The president is expected to campaign in Georgia on Saturday.

“I think there is a big role for President Trump,” Mr. Blunt said. “And I hope he embraces that and looks at how you move to whatever comes next for him, assuming that this election works out the way it appears it will.”

The president has expressed frustration in recent months with Attorney General William Barr. An earlier version of this article incorrectly spelled his last name as Bar.

Courtesy/Source:  WSJ