Reconvening of elections task force draws criticism from Bishop


Though North Carolina Congressman Dan Bishop may be exiting the Beltway, he’s certainly not afraid to leave marks on the way out.

The candidate for attorney general in his home state was on social media Monday to criticize the Biden administration for a federal power play on states. Six business days after agreeing – thereby settling a federal lawsuit – to dissolve and disband the Homeland Intelligence Experts Group, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced on Monday the reconvening of the Election Threats Task Force, created in June 2021.

“When one facet of the Censorship Industrial Complex is shut down, a new one springs up,” Bishop, R-N.C., wrote. “Always the same cast of characters in this game of whack-a-mole. We’ll root them out wherever they appear.”

Bishop won his spot in Congress in a 2019 special election brought about by a ballot harvesting scheme anchored in Bladen County. He declined a reelection bid this year to try and win the state attorney general post.

On May 3, a joint notice and stipulation of dismissal was filed in the America First Legal Foundation and Richard Grenell v. Alejandro Mayorkas, Department of Homeland Security, and Homeland Intelligence Experts Group case. Plaintiffs cited a release that says a “lack of balance, the Biden administration’s inappropriate influence over it, and its lack of public notice and participation.”

Garland, in a notice, said the Election Threats Task Force addresses threats of violence and intimidation against election workers. In an afternoon press conference, he noted several cases the task force had probed and prosecuted.

“We have seen a dangerous increase in violent threats against public servants who administer elections,” Garland said. “The Justice Department recognizes the urgency of these threats. We will continue to protect our democracy.”

Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco shared information on the expanding array of ways criminal activity happens to elections, both domestically and internationally. She described artificial intelligence as the biggest threat.

“Violent threats using AI are still violent threats,” she said.

Garland and the Justice Department have been frequently criticized by Republicans, including Bishop. It includes handling cases involving the current and most recent former president and a speech by Garland in Alabama earlier this year that drew a letter from 16 attorneys general. In the letter authored by Indiana’s Todd Rokita, a clear accusation is made of the Biden administration “weaponizing the U.S. Department of Justice against the states.”