SALT LAKE CITY — Fresh off being reelected as Utah's Attorney General, Sean Reyes says he will be taking personal leave time to help support the Trump campaign's claim of a "compromised" election process.
Reyes tweeted his intent Friday morning.
"On personal leave time to help prepare and support litigation in several states dealing with compromised election process."
Reyes did not specify which states have had alleged compromised elections or where he will assist Trump.
Since Election Night, President Trump has made numerous accusations, without offering any evidence, that elections in many states have been compromised. The president's campaign lawyers have filed lawsuits in a number of states where Trump is trailing, some of which have already been dismissed.
In another tweet, Reyes said Trump will win the election "if only verified, #legal votes are counted." He added that while he will help make sure that happens, the courts will have to decide the issue.
Later Friday, Reyes seemed to walk back his tweets and went into great detail to explain his personal leave and what he meant by saying the election process has been "compromised."
"I am not taking a leave of absence from the AG’s Office. I am taking a personal weekend to help review and advise on potential lawsuits related to ensuring all legal votes are counted," wrote Reyes. “I certainly do not believe all votes in the 2020 election are fraudulent — many dedicated volunteers and officials across the nation, including in Utah, worked hard to ensure a fair process."
“Some mistakes were likely made innocently. Others appear very intentional. But, in either case, we should carefully review and remedy any such irregularities. For the sake of our nation and whomever wins this election, let’s make sure it is done fairly everywhere.”
Reyes, who defeated Democratic challenger Greg Skordas on Tuesday, is Utah's co-chair for the Trump 2020 campaign and has been a fervent supporter of the president.
“It’s disappointing, there are a lot of things that can be done here in Utah. Our voting system has shown that vote-by-mail works and has worked well, and these lawsuits that are being brought federally are in bad faith, they have no merit and frankly they’re an insult to the American public.” Skordas told FOX 13. “The sad thing is he just, as soon as Trump tells him to move, he runs, he jumps and he hides from the people in the state of Utah."
“There are just so many things that could be done here. Our COVID numbers are off the charts, our voters have been ignored in terms of their requests, so to go nationally and try to suppress voters is just sort of unforgiveable."
Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill also took Reyes to task, responding directly to the attorney general's tweet with one of his own, saying "Leadership is to let rule of law work not inflame it without cause."
In an interview with FOX 13, Gill continued his condemnation of Reyes' tweets and plans.
“On a personal level, as a first-generation immigrant and a son of immigrants who have come to this country to exercise our right of vote and who have engaged in it and I don’t care whether it’s a Democrat, Republican or Independent, it’s our right as a citizen to call that into question without any evidence is an insult.”
The non-profit Alliance for a Better Utah called out Reyes for ignoring his state duties for personal interests.
“Days after being re-elected, Attorney General Sean Reyes has left Utahns out to dry by abandoning his post to give his full attention to Donald Trump, attempting to undermine the outcome of a democratic election to advance his own partisan interests." said Chase Thomas, the group's executive director. "Reyes is showing where his true loyalties lie — not with the people of Utah, but with the party-line politics of Trump and the Republican Attorney General Association."
Despite months of predictions about a “blue wave,” @GOP kept the Senate & expanded seats in the House. Biden & his allies know @POTUS will win if only verified, #legal votes are counted. We are making sure that happens but looks like courts may have to decide that. #RuleOfLaw— Sean Reyes (@SeanReyesUT) November 6, 2020