An investigation by the GBI cleared Andrews of wrongdoing when he returned absentee ballots for the 2020 presidential election. Georgia law allows voters to drop off ballots for their family members.
“The allegations about the individual defendants’ conduct, which was purportedly based solely on conjecture and speculation and continued long after Andrews was officially cleared of any wrongdoing, are disturbing,” Grimberg wrote in his 53-page order on Saturday.
While the lawsuit survived, Grimberg threw out claims involving the Voting Rights Act’s protections against intimidation. He wrote that there’s no indication Congress intended the law to allow lawsuits seeking a private remedy for violations.
“Defendants continue to portray Mark Andrews, a proud Georgia voter, as a criminal for lawfully exercising his most sacred right as an American citizen: voting,” said Sara Chimene-Weiss, counsel at Protect Democracy, an organization whose attorneys are representing Andrews. “Justice demands accountability on behalf of Mr. Andrews, our elections and our democracy.”
D’Souza’s film repeated many of the conspiracy theories peddled by former President Donald Trump and his supporters who falsely contended that the 2020 election was stolen. Trump lost his reelection bid to Joe Biden in 2020. Trump in 2018 pardoned D’Souza after he pleaded guilty to federal campaign finance violations.
The lawsuit will now move forward with gathering evidence before going to trial.