Aug 23, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Chad Wolf says DHS has no authority to send agents to polling stations

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf told CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that — despite President Trump's claims to the contrary — his department has no authority to send law enforcement agents to polling stations on Election Day.

Why it matters: Trump told Fox News Friday there would be "sheriffs, and we're going to have law enforcement, and we're going to have, hopefully, U.S. attorneys, and we're going to have everybody, and attorney generals" at polling locations. Experts and secretaries of state have said sending federal law enforcement or any other attempts to intimidate voters would be unlawful.

What he's saying: When asked whether the president has spoken to him about sending officials to polling stations, Wolf replied, "No, absolutely he has not."

  • "That's not what we do at the Department of Homeland Security. ... We have expressed authorities given to us by Congress and this is not one of them," he continued.
  • "This is not a mission for the Department of Homeland Security. ... We don't have any authority to do that at the department."

The big picture: Wolf said that he has not seen any intelligence indicating that foreign powers like Russia, China and Iran are attempting to attack election infrastructure or forge mail-in ballots.

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