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FBI Director Christopher Wray responded to a question on the security of mail-in voting to the Senate Homeland Security Committee on Thursday by saying that the agency has "not seen, historically, any kind of coordinated national voter fraud effort in a major election, whether it's by mail or otherwise."

Why it matters: President Trump has ramped up his claims, without evidence, that widespread mail-in voting would rig the 2020 election against him. On Wednesday, after declining to say whether he would commit to a peaceful transition of power if he loses the election to Joe Biden, Trump said that "the ballots are out of control."

What he's saying: Wray noted that the agency had seen local election fraud "from time to time" and that the agency takes election threats seriously, which he said includes potential threats through mailed ballots.

  • "Certainly to change a federal election outcome by mounting that kind of fraud at scale would be a major challenge for an adversary," Wray said, adding that the FBI would "investigate seriously" any issue with widespread fraud by mail.

Go deeper

Dominion worker sues Trump campaign and conservative media for defamation

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty

An election worker at Dominion Voting Systems filed a lawsuit Tuesday against President Trump, his lawyers and conservative media networks, among others, for spreading false conspiracy theories that he says forced him into hiding.

Why it matters: Trump and his allies' baseless claims of election fraud, including allegations that Dominion rigged its voting machines, have resulted in threats against election workers.

In photos: D.C. and U.S. states on alert for pre-inauguration violence

National Guard troops stand behind security fencing with the dome of the U.S. Capitol Building behind them, on Jan. 16. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Security has been stepped up in Washington, D.C., and state capitols across the U.S. as authorities brace for potential violence this weekend.

Driving the news: Following the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by some supporters of President Trump, the FBI has said there could be armed protests in D.C. and in all 50 state capitols in the run-up to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration Wednesday.

15 hours ago - Politics & Policy

The new Washington

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Axios subject-matter experts brief you on the incoming administration's plans and team.