Here’s what’s happening Wednesday in Election 2020 and President-elect Joe Biden’s transition.
TODAY’S TOP STORIES
NO FRAUD: Attorney General William Barr says the Justice Department has not uncovered any evidence of widespread voter fraud and has seen nothing that would change the outcome of the 2020 presidential election, won by Democrat Joe Biden. In an interview with The Associated Press, Barr said U.S. attorneys and FBI agents have been working to follow up on specific complaints and information they’ve received but they’ve uncovered no evidence that would affect the final results. The comments, which drew immediate criticism from President Donald Trump’s attorneys, were especially notable coming from Barr, who has been one of the Republican president’s most ardent allies.
SENATE ROADBLOCK: President-elect Biden’s Cabinet picks are quickly running into the political reality of a narrowly controlled Senate. The new Democratic administration will depend on rival Republicans to get anything done. Under Mitch McConnell, the Republican senators will hold great sway in confirming Biden’s nominees. That’s regardless of which party holds the majority after runoff elections in Georgia in January.
BIDEN’S CHIEF: Ron Klain, Biden’s pick for chief of staff, has a gilded resume and deep knowledge of the levers of power in the capital. Klain also has done something unusual in today’s Washington: drawn praise from both sides of the ideological divide. He has a reputation among Democrats and even some Republicans for competence.
BRIBERY SCHEME: The Justice Department is investigating whether there was a secret scheme to lobby White House officials for a pardon as well as a related plot to offer a hefty political contribution in exchange for clemency, according to a court document. Most of the information in the 18-page court order is redacted, including the identities of the people whom prosecutors are investigating and for whom the proposed pardon might be intended.
LEWIS’ SEAT: Former Atlanta City Council member Kwanza Hall has won a runoff election to briefly fill the seat in Congress of the late civil rights legend John Lewis. Hall defeated former Morehouse College President Robert Franklin in a special election. Hall will serve in Congress until Jan. 3 from the Atlanta area district, but he won’t be Lewis’ long-term replacement. State Sen. Nikema Williams easily beat a Republican in November for a full two-year term.
QUOTABLE: “There’s been one assertion that would be systemic fraud and that would be the claim that machines were programmed essentially to skew the election results. And the DHS and DOJ have looked into that, and, so far, we haven’t seen anything to substantiate that.” — Attorney General Bill Barr.