Donald Trump’s infamous call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger included a whole series of false claims, threats, and obvious efforts to drag him into a conspiracy. A second call to Raffensperger’s office, heard by members of a Fulton County grand jury, added still more lies. Among the claims that Trump made was one in which he insisted “dead people voted.” Trump told Raffensperger that his team had done the research and produced the evidence to support this claim.
“They went to all sorts of methods to come up with an accurate number,” said Trump, “and a minimum is close to about 5,000 voters.”
As The Washington Post reports, Trump really did have a study in hand from researchers he had hired to look at the results in Georgia and deliver an analysis. However, what that report found was not what Trump claimed. The number his researchers had uncovered suggested that the maximum number of votes that might have been cast using the identity of dead Georgians was “23 such votes across the Peach State.” That’s roughly 5,000 short of the 5,000 Trump claimed.
This is only one of the bald-faced lies Trump told in that conversation, and it’s just one of several equally egregious falsehoods Trump and his team have tried to pass off in state after state. It’s also one of the reasons Trump’s legal team is now sweating the obvious: that grand jury in Georgia is likely to deliver an indictment.
As a number of grand jury cases connected with Donald Trump push toward possible time in court, more and more evidence is leaking to the public that shows just how much effort Trump put into finding some evidence of voter fraud, and just how much lying he was willing to do when that evidence failed to appear.
Last September, it became clear that an internal report prepared at Donald Trump’s order had failed to support claims of any issue with voting machines even as Trump’s attorneys were in court claiming that Dominion and Smartmatic were secretly using the same software, that Dominion had been founded to serve former Venezuela dictator Hugo Chávez, that the machines were funded by George Soros, and that Dominion’s leadership had connections to antifa activists.
However, all of these claims had already been debunked by that internal report prepared expressly for Trump. As The New York Times reported then, it’s not as if the people making statements in court were unaware of the findings. They just hid them.
The documents also suggest that the campaign sat on its findings about Dominion even as Sidney Powell and other lawyers attacked the company in the conservative media and ultimately filed four federal lawsuits accusing it of a vast conspiracy to rig the election against Mr. Trump.
In recent weeks, it’s become increasingly clear that Trump is terrified. He’s been using his social media accounts to attack investigations into his lies about the election, investigations into his connection to Jan. 6, investigations into tax fraud, and investigations into crimes associated with his payoff to adult film actress Stormy Daniels. The increasing frequency and vehemence of these posts shows just how certainly Trump seems to believe papers are coming to his door. And soon.
The report viewed by the Post shows that Trump knew his actions in almost every state where his “elite legal team” was clogging the courts were based on outright lies. In Nevada, Trump’s lawyers went to court claiming that 1,506 ballots were “cast in the names of dead people.” Trump’s own investigators actually indicated a number of around 20. And this number is likely too high.
Even the small number of potentially ineligible ballots that the Trump report claims were cast by dead people may be an overestimation. It is not uncommon for a small number of voters to cast ballots early or by mail and then die before Election Day. Those ballots are typically counted, and considered legally cast, because of the difficulty of tracking and retrieving the votes in such a short time frame.
The fact that Trump didn’t just lie to state officials, but did so intentionally and in absolute contradiction to the evidence that had been given to him, is another reason why the case in Fulton County, Georgia, is expected to end with charges. In every state, the researchers that Trump hired found no evidence of widespread fraud, and no reason not to support the numbers that the state reported.
Trump knew he was lying from the outset. So did his legal team. But they lied anyway—to the public, to Congress, to state officials, and in court.
On Friday, Trump pumped out a 90-second rant warning his supporters that Democrats are aiming to “steal” the 2024. In addition to repeating all the elements of the Big Lie, Trump warns that “the DOJ should stop” and that “Republicans in Congress are watching closely.”
If watching this is hard to tolerate, just imagine he’s wearing an orange jumpsuit. Trump is certainly thinking about it.
Judd Legum is the founder and author of Popular Information, an independent newsletter dedicated to accountability journalism. Judd joins Markos and Kerry to talk about the Dominion Voting Systems defamation lawsuit against Fox News and the recent revelations of behind-the-scenes deceit practiced by everyone from on-air host Tucker Carlson, to the owner of it all, Rupert Murdoch.