A watchdog group is alleging that the Department of Justice (DOJ) is refusing to divulge key details on how the agency is enforcing President Joe Biden’s executive order signed last year that directed federal agencies to increase voter turnout.
The Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) filed a lawsuit against the DOJ earlier this year about how it is implementing the executive order, signed in March 2021 and titled, “Promoting Access to Voting.” Text of the order, according to a White House statement, is laced with claims that black Americans and other minority groups have faced “faced discriminatory policies” and as such, federal agencies should partner with local, state, and other election officials to “protect and promote the exercise of the right to vote, eliminate discrimination and other barriers to voting, and expand access to voter registration and accurate election information.”
However, according to FGA, the DOJ has only given the group a series of heavily redacted documents. The organization told Fox News on Tuesday that it will take more legal action against the DOJ, accusing it of hiding alleged details about how the federal government is working on behalf of Democrats.
“President Biden is deeply unpopular. It’s clear his administration has weaponized DOJ to hide records and is using the legal process to run out the clock before the midterm elections,” Tarren Bragdon, the head of FGA, told Fox News. “DOJ offered flimsy excuses to justify concealing key information regarding their participation in government-funded ‘get out the vote’ efforts.”
Following a September court order that ruled in favor of the FGA, the DOJ handed over 135 pages of redacted documents.
“Among the missing documents was the DOJ’s 15-page strategic plan that detailed how the agency will help increase voter registration and participation,” FGA also said Tuesday. “This document is a finished product, completed as part of Biden’s executive order. In July, a federal district court ruled the DOJ must turn over the documents to the FGA, and this post-decisional document clearly is required to be disclosed.”
The 2021 executive order said that Attorney General Merrick Garland shall “establish procedures, consistent with applicable law, to ensure the United States Marshals Service includes language in intergovernmental agreements and jail contracts to require the jails to provide educational materials related to voter registration and voting, and to facilitate voting by mail, to the extent practicable and appropriate.”
And it directed the attorney general to “take appropriate steps, consistent with applicable law, to support formerly incarcerated individuals in obtaining a means of identification that satisfies State voter identification laws,” it said.
Stewart Whitson, legal director for the FGA, told Fox on Tuesday that the group will file a new legal complaint to “counter [the] DOJ’s stonewalling,” saying, “We’ll ask the judge to compel DOJ to finally reveal documents they’ve been hiding, including their strategic plan to carry out President Biden’s federal election scheme.”
The DOJ has not responded to a request for comment.