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No significant voting issues found in Massachusetts, federal prosecutor says

Andrew E. Lelling is the US attorney for Massachusetts.
Andrew E. Lelling is the US attorney for Massachusetts.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff/file

Andrew Lelling, the US attorney for Massachusetts, said his staff found no significant voting issues in the state. But he declined to speak in detail about various legal challenges President Trump is pursuing in other states.

“I can tell you it sure looks like Joe Biden won the election,” Lelling said on WCVB’s “On The Record” Sunday morning. “I think the president is entitled to his day in court, and that’s happening, and that’s the system working.″

In Massachusetts, he said, his office did not find “anything systemic, or anything that would have affected the tally of the vote.”

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Aside from the case of a man accused of setting a ballot drop-off box in Copley Square on fire a few days before the election, Lelling said, his office did not find issues with voting in Massachusetts.

“It appears that overall nationwide, the election proceeded as it should have,” Lelling said. “The president says he has evidence of widespread election fraud. This is why you have a court system, and we’ll see what happens.”

Lelling, who like all US attorneys is a presidential appointee, said he plans to leave his post in the coming months and will probably work in the private sector. He said he might be interested in running for public office in the future, though he did not name any specific positions.

“I could see, in the future, either seeking another executive branch appointment in a Republican administration or running for office, so I wouldn’t rule out any of those,” Lelling said. “I think part of it is waiting to see what comes up in the future.”

Since he was appointed to lead the Massachusetts US attorney’s office, in 2017, Lelling has been involved in high-profile cases like the Varsity Blues case, in which wealthy parents were charged with trying to bribe college officials into admitting their children. His office also filed criminal charges against a Massachusetts trial court judge accused of letting an immigrant evade federal immigration authorities and brought a case against two former City Hall aides, accusing them of extorting union jobs from organizers of the Boston Calling music festival. The aides’ convictions have since been vacated.

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Lelling also spoke briefly Sunday about the widely scrutinized detainment of an undocumented Guatemalan who was arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers in an East Boston park last week. An activist filmed the detention.

Since immigration processes are generally considered civil, not criminal, Lelling’s office is not involved in the case.

“If Joe Biden is sworn in in January, he will immediately change the nature of ICE enforcement,” Lelling said. “It will become less aggressive than it is now. And this is why you have elections, that’s how the process is supposed to work. But I’m not a fan of scoring political points on the backs of law enforcement officers, which is what is happening here.”


Gal Tziperman Lotan can be reached at gal.lotan@globe.com or at 617-929-2043.