Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s campaign is establishing a major new legal operation, bringing in two former solicitors general and hundreds of lawyers in what the campaign billed as the largest election protection program in presidential campaign history.
Legal battles are already raging over how people will vote — and how ballots will be counted — this fall during the pandemic, and senior Biden officials described the ramp-up as necessary to guard the integrity of a fall election already clouded by President Trump’s baseless accusations of widespread fraud.
The new operation will be overseen by Dana Remus, who has served as Mr. Biden’s general counsel on the 2020 campaign, and Bob Bauer, a former White House counsel during the Obama administration who joined the Biden campaign full-time over the summer as a senior adviser.
Inside the campaign, they are creating a “special litigation” unit, which will be led by Donald B. Verrilli Jr. and Walter Dellinger, two former solicitors general, who are joining the campaign. Hundreds of lawyers will be involved, including a team at the Democratic law firm Perkins Coie, led by Marc Elias, which will focus on the state-by-state fight over vote casting and counting rules. And Eric H. Holder Jr., the former attorney general in the Obama administration, will serve as something of a liaison between the campaign and the many independent groups involved in the legal fight over the election, which is already raging in the courts.
“We can and will hold a free and fair election this fall and be able to trust the results,” Ms. Remus said in an interview.
Mr. Bauer, who was general counsel on both of Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns, said the operation would be “far more sophisticated and resourced” than those during past campaigns.
Ms. Remus and Mr. Bauer outlined a multipronged program that will include some elements common to past presidential campaigns, such as fighting off voter suppression and ensuring people understood how to vote, and some more unique to 2020, such as administering an election during a pandemic and guarding against foreign interference.
“There are,” Mr. Bauer said, “some unique challenges this year.”…
Biden officials say they are trying to strike a delicate balance, responding to Mr. Trump’s wild theories without spreading them further.
“A lot of what Trump and his allies would have us do is amplify their disaster scenarios,” Mr. Bauer said. “We’re not going to get caught up in alarmist rhetoric they are using to scare voters.”
“The constant return to the issue of fraud is itself a voter suppression tool,” he added.
Mr. Trump’s talk of fraud drew a notable Republican rebuke last week, when Benjamin L. Ginsberg, one of the party’s top elections lawyers for decades, wrote a scathing Washington Post op-ed article.