Top federal prosecutor resigns following ballot fraud investigation

The U.S. attorney for Pennsylvania who made headlines in September for announcing an investigation into “discarded” ballots announced his resignation Tuesday.

“For the past three years, I have had the great fortune to work with the highly skilled attorneys and staff in the Middle District of Pennsylvania,” U.S. Attorney Daniel Freed said in a Tuesday statement. “It is an office blessed with experienced and dedicated leaders, and colleagues who truly understand the importance of working together for the benefit of their fellow citizens.”

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Freed’s resignation is effective on Jan. 1, 2021.

The prosecutor garnered headlines this September after announcing he was launching an investigation into nine military ballots that were improperly opened and “discarded.”  This announcement launched the Trump campaign’s allegations of fraud in the election.

Though the ballots were able to be counted in the general election after verifying the votes, the revelation that at least seven of the ballots were for Trump fueled the president’s accusations.

Freed’s announcement of the investigation, which involved the FBI, was viewed as unusual as the case was ongoing.

Trump had repeatedly claimed there would be widespread voter fraud with the expansion of mail-in voting – a practice that produced record voter turnout in the 2020 general election in light of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Pennsylvania’s Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar later called the incident a “bad error,” and indicated it was not “intentional fraud.”

Freed did not give a reason for his resignation but said, “I have done my best to be thoughtful and consistent, and to provide justice to my fellow citizens in a fair, effective and efficient manner.”

After winning the GOP nomination for state attorney general in 2012, he lost the general election. But five years later he was nominated to be the U.S. attorney by President Trump and was confirmed by the Senate in November of 2017.

Freed noted he was “grateful to President Trump” as well as Democratic Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey and his Republican counterpart Sen. Pat Toomey “for the opportunity to serve.” Freed also thanked “former Attorneys General Sessions and Barr for their leadership of the Department.” 

Freed’s investigation was the tip of the iceberg when it came to alleged or suspected voter fraud in the Nov. 3 Presidential Election.

Trump and his campaign launched over 50 lawsuits after states called the win for Democratic challenger President-elect Joe Biden, the vast majority of which have been thrown out for a lack of evidence, reported NBC News.

But despite Attorney General William Barr announcing earlier this month that the Department of Justice had not found any evidence supporting widespread voter fraud, Trump has maintained that “millions” of votes were cast “illegally” through mail-in voting and believes that election was robbed from him.

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“Can you imagine if the Republicans stole a Presidential Election from the Democrats – All hell would break out. Republican leadership only wants the path of least resistance,” Trump said Tuesday. “Our leaders (not me, of course!) are pathetic.”

Brittany De  Lea contributed to this report.