Utah’s attorney general to aid Trump campaign lawsuits


By SOPHIA EPPOLITO Associated Press/Report for America
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah’s newly reelected attorney general said Friday he is taking personal leave time to help support President Donald Trump’s legal challenges to election procedures. Trump has claimed without evidence that the vote is unfair and rigged.
Republican Attorney General Sean Reyes wrote on Twitter that he’ll be helping support litigation in several states dealing with what he called a “compromised” election process. State and federal officials have not reported any instances of widespread voter fraud.
“Biden & his allies know @POTUS will win if only verified, #legal votes are counted,” Reyes wrote. “We are making sure that happens but looks like courts may have to decide that.”
Trump’s campaign and Republicans already are mounting legal challenges in several states, although most are small-scale lawsuits that do not appear to affect many votes. Reyes did not say which lawsuits he would be working on, and his representative did not respond to requests for comment.
Reyes posted additional tweets Friday afternoon to clarify that he would be taking a “personal weekend” to help review and advise on potential lawsuits, rather than a leave of absence.
He said he didn’t believe all the votes were fraudulent “but, if even some actions in battleground states resulted in improper votes being counted or proper votes being rejected, that compromises the overall fairness of the electoral process and can disenfranchise the votes of millions of Americans.”
Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill posted a tweet calling for Reyes to trust the rule of law and “not inflame it without cause.”
“Both Republican and Democrat County Clerks, State Election officials are making sure that every vote is counted,” said Gill, a Democrat. “Trust in our process and citizens is the hallmark of leadership not thoughtless agitation.”
The left-leaning nonprofit Alliance for a Better Utah issued a sharp rebuke of Reyes’ tweets and criticized him for preparing to contest election results that he disagrees with. The group called his allegations of voter fraud “irresponsible and simply not true.”
“Reyes is showing where his true loyalties lie — not with the people of Utah, but with the party-line politics of Trump and the Republican Attorney General Association,” Executive Director Chase Thomas wrote in a statement.

Sophia Eppolito is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.

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