During the Obama years Richard Pilger wrote up a manual of procedures for the handling of allegations of election law violations. That manual specified that the local US Attorneys, including their Assistants and FBI agents, could take no action with regard to allegations of election law violations without DoJ HQ — meaning, without Richard Pilger’s — approval.
Even some of my most respected conservative correspondents have been taken in by pessimism over Attorney General William Barr’s authorization of investigation of vote fraud. The media cabal seeking to oust President Trump focused on the abrupt purported “resignation” (he is keeping his federal paycheck and transferring to a different post) of Richard Pilger, director of the DOJ Criminal Division’s Election Crimes Branch. The narrative Pilger offers, all but universally adopted by the media, is that Barr is violating established norms and acting out of (corrupt) political motives.
Pilger’s email called Barr’s edict “an important new policy abrogating the 40-year-old Non-Interference policy of ballot fraud investigations in the period prior to elections becoming certified and uncontested.”
“Having familiarized myself with the new policy and its ramifications … I must regretfully resign from my role as Director of the Election Crimes Branch,” Pilger wrote in his message, first reported by The New York Times. “I have enjoyed very much working with you for over a decade to aggressively and diligently enforce federal criminal election law, policy, and practice without partisan fear or favor.”
That was enough to spark demands for Barr’s impeachment.
But there is a lot more going on here, and despite the frustrated worries of some of my conservative friends and colleagues that nothing will come of this, Barr’s order is hugely significant, for it removes the obstacle that has prevented serious investigations of vote fraud up to now.
To explain, I turn to Mark Wauck, an email correspondent and contributor who has written important articles here, often building on his wealth of experience as a retired FBI special agent. His blog Meaning in History is a daily read for me. Yesterday, he explained the real significance of Barr’s move, and with his permission I quote extensively.