Media all over the world ran headlines similar to this:
Lawmakers hear bombshell allegations of Georgia election fraud.
CBS 46, ADAM MURPHY, DEC 3, 2020
Thursday, a Georgia Senate Judiciary subcommittee heard new jaw-dropping allegations of alleged election fraud in the state from several people including President Donald Trump’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani.
For the first time, the president’s legal team, led by Giuliani, presented surveillance video from the state’s largest voting center. The video allegedly shows people taking out at least four boxes of ballots from underneath a table, and then counting them after hours with no election supervisors present.
“The same person that stayed behind, the person that cleared the place out under the pretense that we are going to stop counting is the person who put the table there at 8:22 in the morning. I saw four suitcases come out from underneath the table,” Attorney Jacki Pick said.
Trump’s legal team, headed by Rudy Giuliani, implied that the video served as proof that nefarious Democrats injected fraudulent ballots into the voting tabulation. Uh, oh! Not so fast. Ballot stuffing is almost impossible in the Georgia vote count scenario, and Ms. Pick (who lives in Texas) did not know for whom the ballots were marked and, if perchance there was fraud, which Party may have been responsible. Circumstances point to the Republicans more likely to have committed the impossible fraud. Actually, what is portrayed as sinister activity is normal activity and a few of Ms. Pick’s statements are obviously not true.
Attempt to Commit Fraud
The video is dated November 3, 2020, on election day, up to about three hours after some state election facilities have closed and only a fragmentary number of votes had been counted. On the previous day, the USA TODAY average of averages of several polls had Biden winning Georgia by 48.0% to Trump 47.0%. Polls indicated Biden would win the election decisively, even without Georgia. Therefore, there was no need for any Democrats to prepare to engage in fraud and jeopardize themselves by being caught and serving prison time. Not so Trump’s followers; predictions gave them little chance, and, therefore, if fraud was contemplated and occurred in the manner described, the Republicans were the more likely culprit. Yes, Giuliani was indirectly accusing the Republican Party of attempting to stuff the ballots.
Is This type of Fraud Possible?
A ballot, and no more than one, can only be obtained by a registered voter, either by email or snail mail. Obtaining a multitude of ballots requires counterfeiting, which is a difficult task, logistically and artistically. Finding someone to do the criminal task and be certain the counterfeiter will not squeal is not easy. Ballots feature particular design elements that are difficult to copy. Charlotte Hill and Jake Grumbach, UC Berkeley, Wednesday, September 30, 2020, stated, “They are printed on special card stock, with exact page size, color and thickness varying by state, or even county or town.”
Let a genius manage to print the ballots. How does the conspirator get the ballots into the canvassing centers? Because special security personnel handle the ballot transfer process to centers, all of which are initially in envelopes and placed in metal containers, the conspirator would have to improvise devious means to bring the fraudulent ballots into the secure center and also hope the 360 degree cameras do not spot the illegal entry. Once inside, he/she would need co-conspirators to stow the ballots in a known location, and, at an opportune moment, retrieve and scan them. Ms. Pick implied that there were four people left at the end of the evening and they did just that. How did these four people know they would be together in the same facility and manage to convince others to leave them alone? Did they even know one another? Lots of people to gather and coordinate for this conspiracy.
What would be gained by ballot stuffing? At that time, nobody knew if falsifying the vote would be meaningful – maybe the candidate would win regardless or the falsification would be insufficient to change the outcome. Is it worth spending the rest of your life in prison for doing what might amount to nothing, and for nothing? Hardly likely.
Ms. Pick, who presented and interpreted the video, was never at the Center. She created her own contrived story from watching the video, and supposedly, talking to someone who had been there (Ed: not verified). The claim that people were asked to leave is not shown in the video. No need to ask anyone to leave, all effort at all Centers stopped at 10 PM. The remaining people stayed due to a telephone request by a supervisor, an action that was probably duplicated throughout Georgia.
The luggage that contained the ballots and supposedly were surreptitiously hidden under a table has been shown in earlier video footage to have been placed there by several people after ballots had been removed from envelopes, straightened, and placed in bins. The heavy bins were placed in suitcases and wheeled to positions under a table. No better place than under the cluttered tables and out of the aisles where people could trip over them.
Ms. Pick said there were no observers and four people stayed. There were at least five people — the state monitor, one Democrat and one Republican supervisor, and two machine operators. Democratic and Republican observers are allowed to watch vote-counting in Georgia, but they are not required to authorize the tasks that certify the ballots. Note that the CBS 46 article falsely stated: “…counting them after hours with no election supervisors present.” The required election supervisors were present.
Not asked and not answered is why someone from Texas would come to Georgia to speak at a Georgia hearing, how Ms. Pick was able to obtain and view a security video, and why this particular video. The Center personnel operated in a normal manner. Ms. Pick’s testimony was abnormal.
Application to Other Testimony
A similar analysis can be made for other testimony delivered in state hearings organized by the Trump team – sounding dramatic but signifying nothing. Rudy Giuliani’s confusing presentations have not convinced any courts of electoral fraud or constitutional violations that affected elections. An example of Giuliani’s incoherent legal approach is shown in his arguments before The U.S. District Middle District Court of Pennsylvania.
From Slate, Rudy Giuliani Isn’t Even Trying to Make Coherent Legal Arguments Anymore, JEREMY STAHL, NOV 18, 2020.
The judge asked, “It would be correct to say that you’re not alleging fraud in the amended complaint?” Giuliani responded that, actually, “it’s not correct” to say that because the complaint includes a “long explanation of a fraudulent process, a planned fraudulent process.” The judge followed up: “So you are alleging fraud?” Giuliani replied, “Yes, Your Honor.” A few minutes later, when the judge pointed out that the complaint would then have to meet a higher legal threshold, Giuliani chose to immediately “correct myself.”
“So does the amended complaint plead fraud in the particularity?” the judge asked. “No, Your Honor, it doesn’t plead fraud,” Giuliani finally acknowledged. “It pleads … a plan or scheme.
Is This the Real Scheme?
HuffPost, 12/01/2020, The outgoing president’s post-election fundraising committee could well be a legal slush fund for his personal expenses, by S.V. Date.
And while an animated color graphic urges donors to “Join the Election Defense Team,” the fine print beneath makes clear that the vast majority of donations will not send a single dime to any “election defense” effort.
According to that explanation, 75% of every donation goes to Trump’s Save America committee and 25% goes to the RNC’s general fund. Only after Save America has received $5,000 from any given donor does the Trump portion of the donation shift to a “recount” fund established within the Trump campaign. And only after the RNC portion of a donor’s total reaches $35,500 does that fraction start passing to the dedicated “legal proceedings” or “headquarters” funds that the RNC maintains.
Meaning that a single person’s donations must hit $6,666.67 before a single penny starts flowing to a dedicated recount fund. Because the emails and texts are sent to donors who typically give in the $20 or $50 range, the chance that any of the money winds up in either of the dedicated election funds is slim.
His Save America committee, in contrast, can pick up his personal expenses directly ― everything from travel and entertainment costs to mortgage payments to legal fees. It could even pay him a salary of however much he chooses to take.
Is Trump’s never ending attempt to change the election in his favor a genuine rally to defend U.S. democracy or is it a scam to enrich his personal bank account?
The Trump campaign is running a fraudulent scam with the full assistance of the Republican Party,” added Stuart Stevens, a top consultant to Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign. “No different than quack doctors selling fake cancer cures to desperate people. It’s shameful but true to form.
Dan Lieberman edits Alternative Insight, a commentary on foreign policy, economics, and politics. He is author of the book A Third Party Can Succeed in America, a Kindle: The Artistry of a Dog, and a novel: The Victory (under a pen name). Dan can be reached at [email protected]