US ELECTION 2020

US Election 2020: fact-check on Rudy Giuliani's press conference and Trump legal issues

Trump’s legal team fighting to have the presidential election results overturned gave another press conference lacking in truth but full of conspiracy.

US Election 2020: fact-check on Rudy Giuliani's press conference and Trump legal issues
Lamkey Rod/CNP/ABACA GTRES

Donald Trump likes to boast that he only hires the best but his legal team in another press conference to lay out their case of how the election was stolen from Trump lacked professionalism. The transparency of their intention, to keep the election from being certified so that Republican-held state Legislatures can chose the electorates for the Electoral College, was backed up by the “opacity” of their evidence.

After the Four Season Total Landscaping fiasco, Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and his team held another press conference in a more appropriate setting for such an event. Although they did not offer any hard proof of the allegations, they presented an “introductory statement” of the supposed electoral fraud that they claim took place. Those claims were littered with untruths that have already been proven so, flat-out misstatements and conspiracy theories.

George Soros a pro-democracy philanthropist

Giuliani and Sidney Powell claim that George Soros (a constant bogeyman of conspiracy theorists and the hard right) along with communist governments in Venezuela, Cuba, and “likely” China had a hand in changing the outcome of the 2020 election. However, the election was declared to have been the most secure in US history by the administration’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency along with a coalition of state election officials. When the head of the agency, Chris Krebs, refused to change his department’s briefings to reflect the snake oil the President and his henchmen were trying to sell the public, Trump fired him by tweet of course.

A fact check of some of the provably false accusations

Rudy Guiliani started off with some “specifics” regarding the results in Pennsylvania and the claim that poll watchers were not allowed to inspect ballots. “In Pennsylvania, where we have probably our most precise evidence, 682,770 of these [mail-in] ballots were cast, put in, and they weren’t inspected, which renders them ballots that are null and void, cannot be counted.”

This is false. Pennsylvania state law allows observers to be present but not to look over the shoulders of workers counting ballots or inspect individual ballots. This was held up by a Pennsylvania Supreme Court judgement.

Justice Alito orders Pennsylvania to segregate mail-in votes

“Justice Alito of the Supreme Court instructed Pennsylvania that any ballot that comes in after eight o’clock on November 3rd, 2020 had to be put aside and not opened because there’s a question as to its legality and its constitutionality. What she’s telling you is that they blatantly disregarded that order.” Rudy Guliani

This is false. Justice Alito on 6 November issued an order that directed all Pennsylvania county boards of election to comply with the guidelines put forward by the Secretary of the Commonwealth. The guidelines directed counties to segregate the votes received between 4 to 6 November even if they were counted but gave no instructions not to count the votes, just keep their tally out of the final count as the state was already doing..

Overvoting and Wayne county vote was not certified

“One of the reasons why the two Republicans did not certify in Wayne, Michigan, Wayne County, Michigan is because the overvote was so high. Monstrously high in about two-thirds of the precincts in the city of Detroit.” Rudy Guilani

This is false. Firstly, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson tweeted that in fact only 28% of Detroit precincts were out of balance. There are a number of reasons why a precinct can be out of balance but generally it is due to clerical errors.

Secondly, the two Republican election board canvassers in Wayne county did not certify the vote but then after backlash and a compromise with the two Democrat members they did certify the vote. Then after Trump in an abuse of power called Monica Palmer one of the Republican members, both GOP members signed affidavits that they were rescinding their certification, but the deadline has passed so the certification stands.

Dominion voting systems

“The Dominion voting systems, the Smartmatic technology software and the software that goes in other computerized voting systems here in as well, not just Dominion, were created in Venezuela.” Sidney Powell

Powell also made the claim that the machines and software were designed to be able to flip votes and that Dominio is associated with George Soros and the Clinton Foundation.

This is false. Smartmatic technology was not used on Dominion voting machines and was only used in Los Angeles County for the 2020 election. The company was founded by Antonio Mugica and two other Venezuelan colleagues in Florida in the 1990s and their software was used by the Venezuelan Government. But the company denounced the official turnout given by the Maduro government for the 2017 election in Venezuela as being inflated by more than a million votes.

Votes counted outside the US

“Our votes are counted in Germany and in Spain, by a company owned by affiliates of Chavez and Maduro.” Rudy Guliani

This is false. This claim is in reference to a claim made by Republican Representative Louie Gohmert of Texas during a Zoom call where he said that the US Army had seized a server in Germany from the offices of the software company Scytl. The US army and the company told the Associated Press that the claims were false with Scytl adding that they do not handle vote counting.