DOJ conceals documents on federal agencies rigging elections

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The Department of Justice (DOJ) is concealing key documents related to President Joe Biden’s March 2021 order that directed executive agencies to develop plans for federal interference in state election administration.

On Sept. 8, the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) was to receive a series of government documents from the DOJ that detailed how the agency was complying with Executive Order 14019. The executive order required all federal departments to “consider ways to expand citizens ‘ opportunities to register to vote and obtain information about and participate in the electoral process.Among these was the DOJ’s 15-page “strategic plan” of how the agency intends to comply with Biden’s executive order.

Instead of releasing the documents requested by the FGA in accordance with federal open records laws, Biden’s DOJ released only a few documents related to the order, most of which were heavily redacted.

In one of the emails dated June 11, 2021, for example, Special Assistant to the White House Deputy Advisers Devontae Freeland writes to a redacted list of administration officials about the submission of the reports. June 15 interims regarding Biden’s executive order.

“Thank you for your work on the implementation plans promoting EO voting access,” Freeland wrote. “Interim reports, which are due this Tuesday 6/15, can be submitted by email [redacted] as a Word document. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.”

In a separate email chain dated June 21, 2021, Freeland discusses a proposed Zoom meeting between members of the administration and numerous “election officials” and “nonprofits” engaged in “advocacy.” of votes” and those with “expertise in communicating with… particular populations of voters who may be more difficult to reach.

According to Freeland, the purpose of the meeting was allegedly to gather “recommendations” and “best practice thoughts” on how best to respond to the demands of Biden’s order.

“We believe these sessions will provide useful feedback as you further refine the strategic plans due to the Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy on September 23, 2021,” the email reads.

While the emails don’t specify which election officials or nonprofit organizations attended the meeting, Freeland says the administration contacted “10 pragmatic state and local officials, from different parts of the country, serving very different constituencies,” with the group including “Democrats and Republicans and those with no party affiliation.”

“The American people deserve to know whether the Biden administration’s unprecedented action is fair and non-partisan, or whether it is designed to help one political party over another,” the president and CEO said. of the FGA, Tarren Bragdon, in a press release. “Why are they ignoring public records requests for strategic plans on federal voter registration efforts? Why are they treating these documents as if they were classified information dealing with nuclear weapons? Midterms are approaching, and the DOJ’s refusal to release information raises troubling questions. They must reveal these public documents to keep our elections fair. »

FGA sued the DOJ in April 2022 after the agency failed to respond to the organization’s July 2021 open case requests related to Biden’s order. Almost a year later, on July 12, 2022, a federal district court judge ordered the DOJ to turn over the documents before the midterm elections. The DOJ did, but with heavy redactions that defy the intent of the order.

In addition to the September 8 document dump, FGA is also expected to receive documents from the DOJ on September 20 and October 20, with the group due to release those documents on September 27 and October 25, respectively.

Other organizations that have filed lawsuits against the Biden administration for refusing to comply with open records requests related to Biden’s directive include the American Accountability Foundation (AAF) and the Center for Renewing America (CRA). . Filed against agencies such as the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia’s Departments of Labor, Defense and Education, the litigation has yet to compel the administration to turn over federal records that would show how employees audiences carry out Biden’s order.


Shawn Fleetwood is an editor for The Federalist and a graduate of the University of Mary Washington. He is also a state content writer for Convention of States Action and his work has been featured in numerous media including RealClearPolitics, RealClearHealth and Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @ShawnFleetwood

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