Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi is sharing her thoughts on Florida’s ongoing recount, and she’s doing so by sending respective letters to Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Rick Swearingen and Secretary of State Ken Detzner.
In the two-page letter to Swearingen, Bondi criticizes the Commissioner for not pursuing an investigation into alleged irregularities concerning the handling of election ballots in Palm Beach and Broward counties.
She expressed thoughts on being “deeply troubled” that Swearingen’s “duty is not limited to investigating allegations made by the secretary of state.”
Bondi details that “Transparent and fair elections are the bedrock of our democracy, and protecting the integrity of our electoral process is central to the oath you and I both took to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the State of Florida. As attorney general, chief legal officer, and a 20-year prosecutor in the state of Florida, there is nothing I take more seriously.”
She also asserts that “As law enforcement officials, regardless of political affiliation, it is our job to investigate facts and circumstances giving rise to reasonable suspicion in order to determine whether criminal conduct has occurred. In the case of the 2018 election, and as more fully detailed in this letter, election officials in Broward and Palm Beach Counties have been found by courts and have admitted in their own public statements, that irregularities occurred and required procedures were violated. Election officials, campaigns, media, observers, and others have documented multiple instances of additional irregularities. It is incumbent upon you, as commissioner of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, to investigate whether these documented irregularities constitute incompetence or intentional malfeasance and outright fraud.”
In Detzner’s letter, Bondi asks that if Detzner should “find any indication creating a reasonable suspicion of potential criminal activity,” that he should “report it to law enforcement agencies including the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.”
She reminds him “that Florida Statute 97.012 (15) also directs you to report such findings to the Office of Statewide Prosecution or the local state attorney’s office when prosecution might be warranted.” And, though Detzner is not a prosecutor or an attorney, Bondi is “formally requesting that you report any reasonable suspicion of criminal activity to both the statewide prosecutor and state attorney.”
Contrary to what many detractors are arguing, Bondi’s pressing that she had no authority to intervene in the process just because she’s Florida’s Attorney General. And, as the recounts continue, every effort is being made to ensure that voter fraud is avoided.