Attorney General William Barr has also baselessly attacked voting by mail in recent weeks. This is true election interference and Democrats are okay with it.
"The historical precedent of election year nominations is that the Senate generally does not confirm an opposing party's nominee but does confirm a nominee of its own", Romney said in a statement.
"This seems like a hugely important story", said Sanchez.
Freed said in his statement that his office's inquiry "remains ongoing" and he expects to provide an update later on Thursday with officials in Luzerne County. Aside from the unknowns about the investigation itself, questions persist over how the Justice Department handled the matter.
Messages were left seeking comment from Luzerne County Elections Director Shelby Watchilla and the county District Attorney's office, which said in a statement that it was notified by the county administration on September 17 "regarding issues with a small number of mail-in ballots".
After a media firestorm and several Republicans implicitly condemned Trump's comments, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany clarified Trump's remarks during a news conference Thursday, saying he would accept the results of a "free and fair election".
According to the Pennsylvania Election Code, ballot envelopes can not be opened until the canvass is under way, and it is incumbent on counties to properly store and maintain the security of returned ballots.
"It is the vital duty of government not to announce partial facts and "potential issues" in pending investigations", Levitt said in an email interview. The person could not discuss the investigation publicly and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.
Voting rights experts and Justice Department veterans immediately reacted to Freed's unusual press statement.
Before the USA attorney's statement, White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany told reporters that there would be an announcement about the case. The president went on to discuss the incident on Fox News Radio's "Brian Kilmeade Show", claiming without evidence it backed up his baseless claims on fraudulent mail-in voting.
The number of public Facebook and Instagram posts mentioning the discarded ballots quickly skyrocketed, receiving almost 900,000 interactions - likes or comments - in less than 24 hours, according to Facebook's CrowdTangle, which tracks public posts.
The Justice Department and FBI are investigating potential mail-in ballot irregularities in Pennsylvania, a crucial swing state for the 2020 presidential election. At least seven of the nine votes were meant to be cast for President Donald Trump.
When Freed first announced the case, he had said that all nine were cast for Trump.
The office later corrected that number to seven and said two others were resealed inside their proper envelope. Four other empty absentee ballot envelopes also were recovered.
Freed said the probe began Monday at the request of Luzerne County District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis. An earlier statement reporting all nine of the military ballots were marked for Trump was withdrawn and reissued with the clarified numbers.