By JOHN VERHOVEK, ABC News
(WASHINGTON) — Former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign is expanding its legal operation in anticipation of a major fight over voting this fall, bringing on two former U.S. solicitors general and other top attorneys to oversee what could devolve into a fierce battle over the results of November’s vote.
The build-out comes as a slew of issues confront election officials nationwide as they prepare to conduct this year’s election amid a global pandemic and while President Donald Trump continues to spread misinformation about widespread fraud in mail-in voting.
“For months, the Biden for President campaign has been quietly building a massive election protection program — the largest in presidential campaign history,” a Biden campaign adviser said of the new legal expansion. He added that the program involves integrated legal, communications and political strategies to ensure that jurisdictions are properly prepared to handle the challenges that come with holding safe in-person voting and also to combat misinformation about voting via mail.
The Biden campaign also said that the legal team will focus on an “aggressive” response to activity they view as voter suppression and will also include robust programs for identifying and countering foreign interference and misinformation from foreign or domestic sources.
The new operation announced on Monday will be helmed by Dana Remus, the Biden campaign’s general counsel, and Bob Bauer, a former White House Counsel who joined the campaign over the summer and was involved in the vetting process for Biden’s vice presidential selection.
The legal team also includes former solicitors general Donald Verrilli and Walter Dellinger, who will oversee the campaign’s national litigation team. A separate group at the law firm of Perkins Coie will be led by prominent election lawyer Marc Elias and will focus on state-by-state voter access issues and ensuring an accurate vote count.
Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will also have a roll on the legal team, leading a communications operation aiming to “interact broadly with all stakeholders in voting rights,” per the Biden campaign.
This leadership structure will oversee a pre-existing team of hundreds of lawyers on the campaign’s national litigation team that has been working with thousands of lawyers in states across the country on voter protection.
Biden has consistently raised concerns about President Trump’s attempts to sew distrust in the American electoral system, doing so again on Monday after he voted early in his home state of Delaware’s down-ballot primary.
“I have confidence that Trump will try and not have that happen, but I’m confident the American public’s going to insist on it,” Biden told reporters outside a polling location in Wilmington when asked if he has confidence that all votes will be counted in November’s election.
President Trump has claimed, without evidence, that an uptick in mail votes will lead to widespread voter fraud, and he has recently encouraged voters in the battleground state of North Carolina to attempt to vote twice, once by mail and then again in person, to test the veracity of the state’s voting system.
“It is illegal to vote twice in an election,” Karen Brinson Bell, the executive director of the North Carolina State Board of Elections, wrote in a statement in response to the President’s comments.
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