“It would be problematic enough if Barr were reversing longstanding Justice Department guidance because of significant, substantiated claims of misconduct — that could presumably be handled at the local and state level,” said Stephen I. Vladeck, a professor at the University of Texas School of Law.
Mr. Pilger, a career prosecutor in the department’s Public Integrity Section who oversaw voting-fraud-related investigations, told colleagues he would move to a nonsupervisory role working on corruption prosecutions.
“Having familiarized myself with the new policy and its ramifications,” he wrote, “I must regretfully resign from my role as director of the Election Crimes Branch.” A Justice Department spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Mr. Pilger’s message.
“Public knowledge of a criminal investigation could impact the adjudication of election litigation and contests in state courts,” the Justice Department’s longstanding election guidelines for prosecutors say.
“Accordingly, it is the general policy of the department not to conduct overt investigations.”More covert investigative steps, like an investigator going undercover, are allowed but require the permission of a career prosecutor in the department’s Criminal Division.
Barr, ”, Stephen I, ” Mr, Vladeck, Pilger, “, Department’s
Department, University of Texas School of Law, Justice