A Justice Department official told ABC News Friday that Attorney General William Barr personally briefed President Donald Trump about the DOJ’s investigation into a small number of ballots in Pennsylvania that were found to be discarded, prior to the information being made public by a U.S. attorney’s office Thursday afternoon.
President Trump went on to first reveal the investigation in an interview with Fox News Radio, where he, without evidence, argued that it bolsters his baseless claims of widespread fraud in mail-in voting.
“They were Trump ballots — eight ballots in an office yesterday in — but in a certain state and they were — they had Trump written on it, and they were thrown in a garbage can. This is what’s going to happen,” Trump said in the interview. “This is what’s going to happen, and we’re investigating that.”
But a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Middle District of Pennsylvania, which announced the investigation in a press release later in the day, made no explicit mention of “fraud.” The office said it “began an inquiry into reports of potential issues with a small number of mail-in ballots at the Luzerne County Board of Elections,” and discovered nine ballots in a dumpster which were cast for Trump.
The office later corrected that number to seven and said two others were resealed inside their proper envelope. The investigation remains ongoing, but the U.S. attorney’s office in a letter to the Luzerne County Board of Elections raised the specter that the improperly opened envelopes could possibly be the result of an administrative error.