WASHINGTON — The Department of Justice did not want to discuss why the agency refuses to investigate alleged harassment and death threats toward Electoral College voters in states that went for Donald Trump.
“The department will decline to comment,” DOJ deputy press secretary David Jacobs told The Daily Caller in an email Wednesday afternoon.
The Justice Department seemed concerned about protecting voters from being intimidated at the polls on Election Day. It deployed 500 monitors to 67 jurisdictions in 28 states to watch polling stations this past presidential election cycle.
The department’s goal is “to see to it that every eligible voter can participate in our elections to the full extent that federal law provides,” Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a statement at the time to the Chicago Tribune. “The department is deeply committed to the fair and unbiased application of our voting rights laws and we will work tirelessly to ensure that every eligible person that wants to do so is able to cast a ballot.”
Some have wondered, then, why the Justice Department and the FBI will not investigate the recent claims of threats and harassment of these electors as per violation of Section 11b of the Voting Rights Act (52 U.S.C. §10307).
Attorney J. Christian Adams, who previously worked in the DOJ’s civil rights division, appeared unsurprised by the department’s reaction, telling TheDC in a statement Thursday, “The Justice Department should be investigating the brutal attacks on Trump voters caught on video and the death threats to Trump electors. Federal law protects people who want to vote. The Obama Justice Department unfortunately only protects people who vote the right way.”
According to the law, it is a crime to “intimidate, threaten, or coerce, or attempt to intimidate, threaten, or coerce any person for voting or attempting to vote.”
The law was used in the past to protect the rights of average American voters in nationwide elections, but the language is not restricted to the individuals who make up the popular vote.
Voters of the Electoral College who are casting their votes for president and vice president are also protected by Section 11b, since the College is a necessary part of the federal voting process.
Section 14(c) of the Voting Rights Act, for example, says that “voting” includes “all action necessary to make a vote effective in any primary, special, or general election.”
The votes Americans cast for president and vice president three weeks ago cannot go into effect if electors, chosen by the voters, are intimidated or threatened from casting their votes in the Electoral College on Dec. 19.