No Labels Asks U.S. Department of Justice to Investigate Racketeering Conspiracy to Subvert Americans’ Voting Rights
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Maryanne Martini
Jan. 18, 2024
No Labels' letter to Department of Justice can be read in full here.
Watch a recap video here of the press conference.
Read the FAQ to provide more information on why No Labels filed this complaint and why it’s so important to protect voting rights.
Washington, D.C. – No Labels, a 501(c)(4) organization, has filed a formal complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice, asking it to investigate an alleged unlawful conspiracy to subvert Americans’ voting rights, intimidate potential candidates and shut down the organization’s effort to secure ballot access for the 2024 presidential election.
In a detailed eight-page letter – addressed to Kristen Clarke, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, and Nicole M. Argentieri, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division, which cites substantial evidence to support No Labels allegations. No Labels alleges a group of activists, operatives and party officials of violating federal criminal law, “including the RICO statute and a number of criminal civil rights provisions, not to mention the freedom of association rights that No Labels and all Americans enjoy under the U.S. Constitution.”
Dan Webb is a No Labels leader who has served as the U.S. Attorney in Chicago, leading major criminal investigations, and as a special prosecutor in six different state and federal investigations. He is the current co-executive chairman of the international law firm of Winston & Strawn and said:
“Based on the evidence No Labels has presented to the Department of Justice, No Labels is alleging these groups are participating in a racketeering conspiracy to use fear and threats of force to intimidate and harass representatives of No Labels, potential No Labels political candidates and No Labels supporters nationwide. Unfortunately, based on this evidence, the people behind this conspiracy seem to have convinced themselves they need to undermine our democracy to save it. Based on this evidence, it is shameful that this alleged conspiracy against No Labels and the millions of voters we represent has gone on this long. No Labels is asking the Department of Justice to do a thorough investigation, and based on the evidence presented to the DOJ, determine if any criminal violations have occurred.”
Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. is No Labels National Co-Chair and a leader and icon in the civil rights movement. He is the former executive director and CEO of the NAACP, a noted author, journalist, organic chemist, entrepreneur and ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. Dr. Chavis is one of the leading voting rights advocates in America, and he said:
“In six decades working on the frontlines of the civil rights movement, I have unfortunately become very familiar with nefarious efforts to suppress the rights of American voters. This latest alleged conspiracy is based on evidence presented to the Department of Justice that shows a plan to deny millions of American voters a choice they so clearly want in 2024 is one of the most brazen suppression efforts I have ever seen. Based on this evidence presented to DOJ, I have concluded that this represents a moral, ethical and legal assault on America’s sacred right to vote.”
Webb and Chavis are signatories of the No Labels complaint letter to the Department of Justice, along with No Labels National Founding Chairman Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman and National Co-Chair Governor Pat McCrory as well as No Labels cofounder and legal board member Admiral Dennis Blair. All five leaders are volunteers.
The evidence No Labels has presented to DOJ establishes an expansive conspiracy against No Labels that began in early 2023, featuring dozens of political operatives and party officials, as well as nonprofit and activist groups including Third Way, The Lincoln Project and MoveOn Political Action.
As No Labels refused to stand down, the evidence shows that the intensity – and alleged illegality – of the attacks increased, culminating in a secret December 19, 2023, meeting in which operatives signaled their intent to destroy the reputations of No Labels supporters and intimidate candidates who may consider running on a No Labels presidential ticket.
The evidence submitted to the Department of Justice also shows these activities go far beyond those protected by the First Amendment and instead seek to extinguish the First Amendment rights of both No Labels and anyone who would seek to utilize the ballot access being facilitated by No Labels.
In its letter, No Labels asks the Department of Justice, based on the evidence submitted, to investigate the operatives behind this anti-democratic conspiracy of intimidation and harassment for violations of various federal laws including:
- 18 U.S.C. § 1951, an anti-extortion statute.
- 18 U.S.C. § 241, which prevents individuals from conspiring to oppress, threaten or intimidate any person “in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same.”
- 18 U.S.C. § 245(b), which prohibits any individual from interfering or attempting to interfere with any person from, among other things, voting or “participating in or enjoying any benefit, service, privilege, program . . . or activity provided or administered by the United States.”
In its DOJ complaint letter, No Labels also details how the evidence shows that these nefarious activities represent violations of both the organization’s and voters’ First and Fourteenth Amendment Rights.
Despite the alleged unlawful conspiracy to subvert No Labels’ ballot access, it continues to meet and exceed all of its ballot access goals. Over one million voters have signed petitions to get No Labels on the ballot in their states in 2024, and No Labels is now on the ballot in 14 states. A total of 32 states allows ballot access without naming a candidate, and No Labels is in the process of securing access in those states. No Labels will ultimately decide in the coming months whether to offer its ballot line to a Unity presidential ticket. If it does, the Unity ticket presidential campaign will be responsible for securing ballot access in the final 18 states plus the District of Columbia.
Since its founding in 2009, No Labels has worked to give voice to America’s commonsense majority. Now, No Labels is working to get ballot access in states across the country, and we may offer our ballot line to an independent Unity presidential ticket if that’s what the American people clearly want. www.nolabels.org.