Justice Department finds no evidence of widespread US election voter fraud, says Attorney-General William Barr

Barr (left) and Trump disembark Air Force One in Washington in September 2020. PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The US Justice Department has not uncovered any evidence of widespread voter fraud in the presidential election, despite President Donald Trump's repeated claims, Attorney-General William Barr told the Associated Press on Tuesday (Dec 1).

"To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have affected a different outcome in the election," the news service quoted Barr as saying.

Barr last month told federal prosecutors to pursue investigations into credible allegations of election fraud, but warned them to avoid probes into "fanciful or far-fetched claims."

Democratic President-elect Joe Biden beat Republican Trump by a wide margin in the Nov 3 election, by 306 to 232 votes in the state-by-state Electoral College that chooses the president, as well as by more than 6.2 million ballots in the popular vote.

Despite that, Trump has continued to claim loudly and without evidence that the election was marred by widespread fraud, claims that have been repeatedly rejected by state and federal officials.

Trump has pursued a series of legal challenges in numerous states, although none has thus far resulted in any meaningful gains for the president.

Most of the lawsuits have been rejected by judges, who have expressed scepticism about the claim that the election results are illegitimate.

The Trump campaign's legal team responded by saying the Justice Department did not do enough to investigate allegations of voter fraud.

"With all due respect to the Attorney-General, there hasn't been any semblance of a Department of Justice investigation," Trump attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis said in a joint statement.

"Nonetheless, we will continue our pursuit of the truth."

Trump's campaign has had no success advancing election-fraud claims in court, but his continued complaints appear to have yielded political benefit as polls show a large percentage of Republicans now believe the election was not conducted fairly.

A top election official in Georgia implored Trump to stop his baseless claims, saying they were leading to threats and potential acts of violence against him and other authorities.

"Someone's going to get hurt, someone's going to get shot, someone's going to get killed," said Gabriel Sterling, manager for the state's voting systems. "It has all gone too far. ... It has to stop."

In Wisconsin, Trump's campaign asked the state's top court to consider throwing out 221,000 absentee ballots that allegedly lacked information. Biden won that battleground state by about 20,000 votes.

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