WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Attorney General William Barr authorized federal prosecutors on Monday to pursue investigations into “substantial allegations of voting and vote tabulation irregularities,” while urging them not to chase “fanciful or far-fetched” claims.
The letter to prosecutors, which was seen by Reuters, marked the first time Barr addressed President Donald Trump’s repeated and unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud since last week’s election won by Democrat Joe Biden.
It came several hours after Barr met with Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who earlier on Monday said Trump was well within his rights to look into charges of “irregularities” in last week’s election.
“I authorize you to pursue substantial allegations of voting and vote tabulation irregularities prior to the certification
of elections in your jurisdictions in certain cases, as I have already done in specific instances,” Barr wrote in the letter to federal prosecutors and the FBI.
(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Lisa Lambert and Peter Cooney)