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Trump’s allies are luring Georgia into conspiracy claims

U.S. District Judge Steven Grimberg - shown at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Justice Committee last year after being nominated by President Donald Trump - found no reason to potentially reject more than 1.3 million absent ballots in Georgia.  The photo was provided by the US Senate Photography Service.

U.S. District Judge Steven Grimberg – shown at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Justice Committee last year after being nominated by President Donald Trump – found no reason to potentially reject more than 1.3 million absent ballots in Georgia. The photo was provided by the US Senate Photography Service.

Grimberg ruled in a lawsuit filed by Atlanta attorney L. Lynn Wood, who argued that improper election officials’ actions harmed him not only as a voter but also as a donor to a Republican campaign.

The ruling is another legal defeat for Trump, who has spread baseless allegations of widespread fraud in countries that, like Georgia, have gone from republican to democratic. It came hours after a news conference in which Trump’s lawyers, including former New York Mayor Rudolf Giuliani, said a global conspiracy had turned the election in Biden’s favor.

Giuliani has strongly criticized “crooks” who run cities such as Atlanta, Detroit and Philadelphia, which he claims are full of corruption and election elections. All of these cities are highly democratic and have large African American populations.

Take a lookThe manual census in Georgia confirms Biden’s victory

Giuliani also implicitly attacked Georgian Secretary of State Brad Rafensperger, a Republican whose office this week completed a manual review of about 5 million ballots submitted to the presidential race. The review confirmed Biden’s victory.

“The census in Georgia will not tell us anything,” Giuliani said. “They would not provide the signatures to match the ballots.”

He was referring to the special envelopes that absent voters sign when sending their ballots. After the election workers check that the voter’s signature matches the registration records, the envelope is kept separate to ensure the secrecy of the ballot.

Another Trump lawyer, Sidney Powell, claims that the president’s team has uncovered evidence of undue advantages given to “people who spent $ 100 million to buy a nationwide voting system” – an obvious reference to Georgia and Rafensperger, who directs the purchase of $ 104 million in new voting equipment from Dominion Voting Systems.

“A full criminal investigation must be launched immediately,” Powell said. “President Trump has won by a landslide. We will prove it. “

Rafensperger denied Trump’s allegations of wrongdoing in the Georgian election.

Gov. Brian Kemp, also a Republican who once considered Trump one of his most loyal supporters, declined to comment on the allegations.

In an email Thursday, a Kemp spokesman said: “The governor has supported a full audit of the results and believes only legal votes should be counted.”

A stronger rebuttal came from Eric Erickson, the conservative commentator and radio host who backed Trump’s re-election. “There are a lot of broken people who have been lied to,” Erickson wrote on Twitter, “and many of them want to believe a lie because their religion has become politics and they can’t believe God is abandoning them.”

At the press conference, Powell and Giuliani also claimed that the Dominion – based in Toronto and based in Denver – was linked to the late Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez and his successor Nicolas Maduro, and that the company had produced software that allowed voting to be changed electronically. on a large scale. They did not offer any evidence to support the allegations.

Giuliani also suggested that Dominion’s chief executive, who was involved in moving the company’s equipment to Georgia, was linked to the antifa and Black Lives Matter movements. He called the executive “a vicious, vicious man.”

On its website, Dominion denied the allegations. He also quoted a statement from the Federal Agency for Cyber ​​Security and Infrastructure Security, which rejected allegations of falsification of electoral systems and called the 2020 election “the safest in American history.”

During the press conference, Giuliani claimed that there was evidence of double voting in the elections in Georgia and for residents outside the country who are voting. He said the alleged fraud involved more than twice as many votes as Trump would have to overturn Georgia’s results.

But as he asked reporters to read his testimony, Giuliani released only a few sworn statements to witnesses of alleged fraud. These statements, most Republican poll observers or election workers, describe routine election procedures, such as checking voters’ signatures on absent ballots, as evidence of wrongdoing.

Giuliani cited an affidavit filed at Wood’s lawsuit in Atlanta by an unidentified person claiming to be a former member of Venezuela’s presidential security service. He claims to have been present when Chavez and representatives of a Florida voting equipment company talked about creating software for secret vote changes. He also said the company was linked to Dominion, a supplier of campaign equipment in Georgia, a statement that is untrue.

It is not clear why Wood filed the Venezuelan’s written statement in his lawsuit and it did not appear during the Atlanta court hearing.

Wood is suing this week to suspend certification and request a manual state census. Wood is a vocal supporter of Trump, representing Richard Jewell, the security guard who was mistakenly suspected in the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Park bombing. After the federal government released Jewel, Wood sued a number of media organizations, including The Atlanta Journal. The lawsuit against AJC was dismissed in 2011, with the Georgia Court of Appeals finding that the coverage – which reported that law enforcement officials suspected Jewell – was essentially true at the time of publication.

At the hearing, attorney Wood Ray Smith said the vote in Georgia was “tainted with inappropriateness, injustice and fraud.” He said that due to the record number of absent ballots and new procedures for rejecting those with signatures that did not appear to match the registration records, “the coincidence of the signatures for the absent ballots was not done or was not done correctly”.

But Rus Willard of the state prosecutor’s office, representing Rafensperger, said election workers had properly verified the signatures of absent voters and suggested that Wood had no evidence to the contrary. “It wasn’t until his favorite candidate lost the election that Wood complained about the process of checking for missing ballots,” Willard said. Instead of accepting the election results, Willard said, Wood sought “the biggest disenfranchisement since the abolition of the tax and other laws of the Jim Crow era.”

Wood did not speak in court – but posted on Twitter during and after the hearing. He vowed to appeal Grimberg’s decision to the 11th U.S. Court of Appeals, defend Giuliani’s allegations about the Dominion, and attack media and the fact-finding site Snopes to refute allegations of Venezuelan interference in the election.

“A LIE,” he wrote. “Snopes is paid to publish propaganda. Ignore him. “

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