Judge: Trump knew his Georgia voting fraud stats were inaccurate

Credit: TNS

Credit: TNS

Then-President Donald Trump knew claims that thousands of people voted illegally in Georgia were inaccurate when he included them in a lawsuit that sought to overturn Joe Biden’s victory here, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

In a December 2020 lawsuit filed in Fulton County Superior Court, Trump claimed 10,315 dead people, 2,560 felons and 2,423 registered voters cast ballots illegally in the presidential election. He later incorporated those claims when he contested the Fulton County proceedings in U.S. District Court in Atlanta. But correspondence among his attorneys shows Trump knew the statistics were false by the time he vouched for them in the federal lawsuit.

In Wednesday’s ruling, a federal judge in California found that Trump’s false verification of the voting fraud statistics in Georgia was part of an effort to delay the Jan. 6, 2021, congressional certification of Biden’s victory. He made the determination after reviewing hundreds of emails that a Trump attorney sought to withhold from the congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. And he ordered some of the emails to be released to the committee.

“The emails show that President Trump knew that the specific numbers of voter fraud were wrong but continued to tout those numbers, both in court and to the public,” U.S. District Judge David O. Carter wrote. “The court finds that these emails are sufficiently related to and in furtherance of a conspiracy to defraud the United States.”

The judge’s decision is the latest consequence of Trump’s campaign to overturn Biden’s victory in Georgia and other swing states. That campaign played out in court, at the Georgia Capitol and, ultimately, at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. That’s when thousands of Trump supporters temporarily disrupted congressional certification of Biden’s victory.

Trump claimed widespread fraud cost him the election. Numerous investigations have shown those claims have no merit.

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A detailed account of Trump’s allegations was contained in the December 2020 Fulton County lawsuit. The allegations were based on what Trump’s attorneys billed as expert analysis of state registration and voting records

Election experts quickly debunked the claims. In court filings, they called the analyses “highly inaccurate,” “wildly unreliable,” and “worthless.”

Now a judge has found Trump knew the statistics were inaccurate by the time he vouched for them again a few weeks later in the Atlanta federal lawsuit. That lawsuit challenged the Fulton County proceedings and sought to decertify the presidential election in Georgia.

The judge’s ruling comes in a third lawsuit brought by Trump attorney John Eastman, who helped craft dubious legal arguments that Vice President Mike Pence could refuse to accept the Biden electors on Jan. 6. The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attacks subpoenaed emails and other correspondence from Eastman as part of its investigation.

ExploreInside the campaign to undermine Georgia's election

In his lawsuit, Eastman claimed hundreds of documents were protected by attorney-client privilege or were the work product of potential lawsuits. House investigators argued that documents used in the commission of a crime are not privileged and asked the judge to review them to determine whether they should be released.

Earlier this year, Carter ruled that Eastman and Trump had more likely than not committed federal crimes during their campaign to overturn the election.

In his latest ruling, Carter cited the false fraud statistics. He reviewed correspondence in which Eastman relayed “concerns” from Trump’s team “about including specific numbers in the paragraph dealing with felons, deceased, moved, etc.” in the federal lawsuit.

“Although the president signed a verification for (the state court filing) back on Dec. 1, he has since been made aware that some of the allegations (and evidence proffered by the experts) has been inaccurate,” Eastman wrote. “For him to sign a new verification with the knowledge (and incorporation by reference) would not be accurate.”

Carter noted that Trump signed a verification swearing under oath that the numbers were “true and correct” or “believed to be true and correct” to the best of his knowledge.

Carter ordered the release of four documents based on the false Georgia lawsuit statistics. In his order, the judge indicates the false claims were used “for the purpose of delaying the January 6 vote.”

Carter also ordered the release of other documents to the committee for various reasons. They must be given to the committee by Oct. 28.