The Trump administration asked for Department of Homeland Security officials to investigate potential voter fraud nearly seven months before the 2020 presidential election, Politico reported.
Former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, an ally of then-President Donald Trump, asked a senior DHS official to have the department's Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) look into potential voter fraud related to mail-in voting, Politico reported Friday. The outlet cited a former DHS official as its source.
Cuccinelli, at the time, was the second in command at DHS.
Politico, citing a document it reviewed, added that a follow-up directive included a focus on mail-in voting. The guidance, from I&A, told employees in its Field Operations Division to probe a host of topics — e.g., hacking attempts, voter intimidation — related to elections and security.
Another list of topics included "attempts to alter, destroy, sell, or hide mail-in ballots," Politico said.
Employees in the division complained about the directive.
"People questioned a tasking related to reporting on voter fraud," read a memo on the sessions, which 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."
The DHS intelligence office did not release any materials substantiating voter fraud, but in September 2020 did warn that Russia was trying to undermine Americans’ confidence in the security and validity of mail-in voting.
Cuccinelli declined to comment to Politico through a spokesperson. A former Cuccinelli co-worker in the Trump administration offered a sarcastic defense: "How dare a political appointee give work to the agency he oversees?"
Trump and supporters have said that voter fraud in several key swing states resulted in President Joe Biden winning the 2020 election.
But no evidence to that effect has yet been presented.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's partisan Jan. 6 select committee — comprised of Democrats and two anti-Trump Republicans — announced in August that former DHS lawyer Joseph Maher had joined its staff.
A DHS official told Politico that Maher, given his former post at the department, likely would have seen the pre-election voter fraud tasking, and may have been aware of employees’ concerns.
The Jan. 6 committee said Maher has recused himself from all investigative matters related to the DHS.
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.