Last Saturday, January 2, President Trump and his top advisors telephoned Georgia’s top election official. They asked him to disqualify more than 11,799 votes for Democrat Biden and declare Trump the winner of Georgia’s 16 Presidential Electors.
Trump claimed that far more of Biden ballots were illegal. Trump may be right. The issues he raised establish probable cause of voter fraud. That is enough to start a lawsuit.
However, most lawyers know, and most citizens should know, that first-hand, legally admissible evidence is needed to set aside elections. That evidence is usually obtained through a “discovery” process after a lawsuit involved. That process includes inspecting signatures on ballot envelopes, comparing them to signatures on voter registration forms, and questioning election officials and campaign workers under oath at “depositions”. It also involves tracking down and questioning voters who cannot be found at their voting address.
In that phone call, Trump mentioned only inferences based on hearsay that was known seven weeks ago. He did not mention a single new fact or document found through “discovery” or of any refusal to give access to public records.
During the past seven weeks, Trump’s legal team made all sorts of statistical, constitutional, and legal arguments to judges and legislators in the close swing states. But did they investigate and pursue “discovery” to get first hand, admissible evidence that thousands of Biden’s votes in Georgia were illegal?
Finding such evidence takes time and costs money. However, it can be done. Democrats did it a few months ago in Paterson–New Jersey’s third largest city.
Last May, Paterson had a hotly contested election between two factions of Democrats to decide which would control its city council. One faction was led by the mayor, Andre Sayegh. Sayegh is a key ally of New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and other top state Democrats. He is also New Jersey’s first Arab mayor. Sayegh has ties to New Jersey’s increasingly powerful and well-funded Islamic community.
Sayegh’s establishment Democrat ticket was defeated by Democrats led by Alex Mendez and Michael Jackson. Mendez and Jackson accused establishment Democrats of getting rich from dirty pay-to-play government deals, while ignoring the needs of black and Hispanic communities. In particular, Mendez and Jackson opposed a plan by establishment Democrats to have Paterson taxpayers guarantee $38 million of new debt for new projects proposed by the Passaic County Improvement Authority.
As soon as results showed that they had lost, establishment Democrats quickly got some high profile, politically connected lawyers to help them overturn the election. Photo and headline above left from northjersey.com. Video and headline above right from Fox News.
The papers they filed with the court could have been written by Trump’s lawyers. They alleged that their opponents in Paterson mailed in “nearly 900 votes. . . in bulk from three individual mailboxes”. (New Jersey permits messengers to deliver not more than three ballots. Most states have similar restrictions. Allowing ballots to be dropped in mail or “drop” boxes makes that law almost impossible to enforce–except against selected people who are targeted.) Establishment Democrats also accused their opponents of “stealing uncompleted ballots, filling them out for the candidate of their choice, and mailing them to the Board of Elections”.
Soon after filing suit, the establishment Democrat lawyers subpoenaed the winning candidates, family members and campaign workers and questioned them under oath at depositions. Their appointees on the County Board of Elections spent weeks comparing signatures on mail-in ballots with those on the registration books. They threw out 2,300 ballots for bad signatures, and 800 for improperly filled out certifications on the flaps and envelopes. That was 3,100 votes or roughly 22% of the total votes cast!
Establishment Democrats also used state and local law enforcement to build their case. Bilingual Paterson police officers questioned dozens of Spanish speaking voters and campaign workers looking for evidence of misconduct. Governor Murphy’s Attorney General also sent state investigators. One month later, the state charged and arrested the two winning council candidates and their top campaign workers of serious crimes when they helped voters fill out and return in mail-in ballots. Attorney General Grewal publicly called both winning candidates “criminals’. Governor Murphy publicly urged them to “step aside”.
Six weeks later, Superior Court Judge Ernest Caposela overturned the May election. He ordered a new election in November. However, there was a big surprise. The Establishment Democrats of Sayegh and Murphy were again defeated in the do-over election! At least one of the losing establishment Democrats is now suing again to overturn that election!
Every “illegal” ballot harvesting method used by the two winning Democrats in Paterson was used by Democrats to win votes for Biden in Georgia and other close swing states that Trump lost. They even used the same videos to teach those methods. Why didn’t Trump succeed in overturning the results in those states?
First, it seems like Republican election and law enforcement officials did little or nothing to help Trump search for illegal ballots the way establishment Democrats targeted the ballots of their opponents in Paterson, New Jersey. However, why couldn’t President Trump’s private lawyers and investigators get the evidence they needed in their private lawsuits?
Did they systematically check and compare signatures on ballot envelopes and registration applications? Did they try? Were they denied access by local election officials? If so, did Trump’s lawyers subpoena the documents or seek court orders? Did they subpoena and take deposition testimony from Democrat ballot harvesters in Georgia to see if they took illegal shortcuts that would invalidate the ballots they delivered?
Did the Trump campaign hire investigators or ask volunteers to find out if any of the 4,502 voters not on the Georgia registration lists, 18,325 voters registered out of vacant homes, or 4,925 ballots sent out of state were not qualified? This is important because illegal voting cannot be presumed. Voters can often explain apparent violations. For example, some voters may have been with relatives or in vacation homes. Others may have registered through driver’s license applications that were never shared with election officials.
If Georgia officials broke the law by denying access to ballot envelopes and signature records, why didn’t Trump mention it in his phone call? Why did Trump wait weeks before complaining to their boss? Finally, what lawyer would let a client make a call that the lawyer should be making?
If Trump’s lawyers did compare signatures, but but did not find defective ballots like in Paterson, did they tell their client? How did Trump choose these lawyers? Did other lawyers suggest other approaches? Before assuming for a fact that the election was stolen, shouldn’t we get answers to these questions?
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Seth Grossman, Executive Director