The former president and his allies can’t seem to give up when repeatedly asserting that Trump won the 2020 election even without proof.
USA — ONE federal indictment And one in Georgia accusing Donald Trump of lying about the 2020 election to overturn President Joe Biden’s victory has done nothing to slow the circuit of election lies that are flowing from the former president and supporters grandfather.
Just two days after the indictment in Georgia, one of Trump’s most ardent supporters took to the stage at a conference in Missouri to once again spread election misinformation. Mike LindellThe owner of MyPillow, who has been vocal about promoting the myth that the 2020 presidential election was stolen, kicked off an event about intentional election crime with a video of fraud.
It includes footage from November 2020 that purports to show an elections official in Fulton County, Georgia, pulling a briefcase containing ballots from under a table to surreptitiously add them to the tally.
Evidence shows that since then, the employee, Ruby Freeman, has simply been doing her job – taking out a standard government container filled with actual votes that need to be counted. Three different counts of the Georgia voteincluding a manual ballot, showing properly counted ballots and accurate results.
But Freeman and her daughter, who also worked in the election office that night, were targeted by Trump and his allies and accused of helping to throw the election to Biden, compared with others. drug traffickers and threatened by threats. Women testify before a congressional committee January 6 about their ordeal and sued several Trump supporters, including former ones New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, for libel. Lies about them were a central part of last week’s indictment against Trump and his allies for allegedly conspiring to spread disinformation to steal the Georgia election.
However, they persisted. During his conference, Lindell opened the video by saying “it’s not about proof” and was intended to evoke the atmosphere of December 2020, when Trump was challenging the election results and trying to find how to stay in power. The video, produced anonymously, is filled with feverish reports of other “anomalies” in the election, opening with the words “this video is pure data”.
“I never forgot this video,” Lindell said.
Neither did Republican voters. Although Trump’s accusations were rejected many times – usually by own personal advisor – they were firmly in his party. ONE Last week’s Associated Press poll found 57% of Republicans said they don’t watch Biden as a legally elected president.
Georgia’s 98-page indictment lists a number of Trump’s false accusations that were quickly dismissed by Republicans, Georgia’s secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger and Governor Brian Kemp. However, Trump insists to this day that the election was stolen from him and continues lie about it.
Following the indictment, he promised to hold a press conference this week to reveal a report he claimed would show how the Georgia election was stolen by him – a commit he canceled on Thursday, said his attorneys wanted to make his argument in a trial.
“Does anyone really believe that I lost Georgia?” Trump asked on his social network Truth on Saturday. “I’M NOT.”
By repeating the lie over and over, even when it has been repeatedly exposed as baseless, Trump not only ensures that his loyal supporters continue to be energized but also dominate. discussion and forced others to cancel the 2020 election on his terms.
At the recent Iowa State Fair, where he was campaigning for that state’s presidential caucus next year, Trump announced again the 2020 election is “rigged.” In the wake of Georgia’s indictment, the Trump campaign released a statement a week ago saying that prosecutors are “taking away President Trump’s First Amendment freedom of speech, and power to challenge a rigged and stolen election that Democrats do all the time.”
His lawyers defended his actions by saying that the former president actually believed that fraud led to his re-election.
Lee McIntyre, a Boston University researcher, notes that many Trump followers no longer see other Americans as legitimate opposition, but as enemies. “This is strategy,” McIntyre said. “This is not a mistake. Someone is profiting from this – politically, ideologically or financially – and we know it’s Trump.”
Called “emotional polarization,” that phenomenon has led to increased violence and political instability in other countries. This month, FBI agents shot and killed a Utah Armed Man who threatened to kill Biden and referred to himself online as “the MAGA Trump.”
“Not only is the other side wrong, but the other side is evil, and they deserve to be punished, maybe even physically harmed,” McIntyre said. “It’s no longer about truth, it’s about belief. It’s about the teams, and which side are you on.”
However, the political danger to Trump of continuing to make false claims about widespread fraud in 2020 was also highlighted last week. The same poll that showed 57% of Republicans did not believe Biden was legally elected also found that 7 out of 10 Americans considered his election valid. Trump will need to convince some of those voters if he returns to the White House in 2024.
By recreating his false claims about the 2020 election, Trump is reminding voters that even some of his most loyal supporters oppose his plans to stay in power.
Trump’s oath to prove Georgia was stolen was harshly rebuked by Kemp on the site formerly known as Twitter: “Georgia 2020 election not stolen,” Kemp wrote Tuesday. “For almost three years now, anyone with evidence of fraud has been unable to appear – under oath – and prove anything in court.”
Trump’s vice president agreed.
“Despite what the President and his allies have said over the past two and a half years, and continue to insist at this hour, the Georgia election was not stolen and I have no right to overturn it. election on January 6,” Mike Pence wrote on Twitter. the site is now called X.
Indeed, the indictment lists many of the election allegations that Trump and his allies made in public, before subcommittees of the Georgia Legislature in a last-ditch effort to persuade them to change their minds. replace Biden’s electors with Trump supporters and even in a lawsuit they filed quickly. .
For example, Trump supporters have repeatedly stated in testimony before lawmakers that they found 10,315 dead people who voted in the election. Georgia officials investigated and found only four.
Trump and his supporters also claim that a large number of underage people have registered to vote – 66,248, Trump attorney Ray Stallings told a legislative committee on December 3, 2020. The office of Raffensperger says that such voters do not exist.
They also repeatedly cited audio recordings of Freeman and her daughter in which Giuliani told lawmakers that the women, who were Black, were passing a USB drive back and forth like “theirs.” vials of heroin or cocaine”.
The baseless accusations continue. Trump has said he will use the film “2000 Mules,” which was produced by a conservative filmmaker and has been widely exposed for using flawed analysis, to defend him at trial. It alleges a conspiracy in Georgia and other swing states to deliver fake mail-in ballots to ballot boxes.
Georgia authorities investigated a man who was recorded as illegally voting in the film and discovered that the votes he submitted were for his family and therefore legal. He has sue the filmmakers. The Georgia government, after repeated requests for more evidence of the alleged crime and received nothing, also filed a lawsuit.
The Associated Press report also revealed no common problem with the use of drop boxes in the 2020 election.
Three years after the election, Trump’s claim was denied by dozens of judgesincluding some he appointed, his own Minister of Justice and dozens of Evaluate, audit And told inside battlefield statesome are overseen by Republican lawmakers.
Even if his gamble fails in 2024, Trump’s misrepresentations have left their mark on the nation’s political system by increasing polarization and convincing a large segment of the American public. that elections and their judicial system are no longer trustworthy, says David Becker, executive director of the Center for Electoral Research & Innovation and co-author of “The Big Truth.” a book that warns about the dangers of lies in the Trump election.
“The scary thing is, the people who tell these lies don’t have to make you believe that the loser has won,” says Becker. “They just have to make you believe that nobody wins. All of our democratic institutions that we have built over 250 years are at risk.”
Riccardi reports from Denver.