The Trump administration’s acting Homeland Security Deputy Secretary directed intelligence officials at the Department of Homeland Security in late April 2020 to look into then-President Donald Trump’s bogus conspiracy theories about mail-in voting, Politico reports.
A former DHS staffer told Politico that acting Secretary Ken Cuccinelli asked a senior official to have the department’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) investigate possible widespread election fraud that could arise from mail-in voting despite there being no evidence of said fraud.
Several months later, the I&A headquarters sent a memo to its Field Operations Division that directed officials to probe “attempts to alter, destroy, sell, or hide mail-in ballots,” according to Politico, which had obtained the memo.
The timing of Cuccinelli’s reported conversation with the official in late April 2020 is key: At that point, Trump had already begun trying to cast doubt on the legitimacy of voting by mail – and more broadly, the legitimacy of the 2020 election results – by spreading conspiracy theories of mail-in ballot fraud that the I&A officials had been directed to investigate.
The officials raised complaints about the voter fraud hunt, and many suspected that the directive was politically motivated, Politico reports.
Revelations of DHS intelligence officials getting dragged into MAGAland’s voter fraud farce shed more light on how Trump and his top cronies weaponized multiple executive agencies to bolster his reelection prospects, and then tried to subvert the election by claiming it was fraudulent.