Project Veritas and its founder James O’Keefe have been forced to admit their claims about election fraud in Erie, Pennsylvania were not true as the result of a lawsuit filed against them based on a series of defamatory videos they produced.
Without any evidence, conservative Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe tweeted “fraud is happening as we speak,” in an attempt to falsely claim that election fraud occurred in the swing state of Pennsylvania in the 2020 election that Donald Trump lost to Joe Biden by more than 81,000 votes in the keystone state.
This was part of the false narrative put forth to justify claims that the election had been stolen and was used in court by Donald Trump, but of course, this too was a big, deliberate and spiteful lie.
O’Keefe and his organization actually continued malicious attacks on an Erie, Pennsylvania Postmaster even after the person who made the unfounded complaint to them recanted.
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Project Veritas falsely claimed that Erie, Pennsylvania Postmaster Robert Weisenbach backdated mail-in ballots in an effort for Joe Biden to “steal” the state. This never happened, and Project Veritas has been forced to admit it after a lawsuit was filed and settled on Monday.
“The conservative group Project Veritas and its former leader are taking the unusual step of publicly acknowledging that claims of ballot mishandling at a Pennsylvania post office in 2020 were untrue,” the AP reported.
The lies spread by Project Veritas were amplified by Republicans like Donald Trump and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who used it to call for a federal investigation into nothing, even though he was well aware of Project Veritas’ reputation for misleading and deceptive videos.
In March of 2021, the U.S. Postal Service investigation determined that there was no fraud, even though top Republicans continued to claim there had been.
In fact, not only had the accuser Robert Hopkins recanted, but, “In an interview with federal agents, Hopkins ‘revised his initial claims, eventually stating that he had not heard a conversation about ballots at all — rather he saw the Postmaster and Supervisor having a discussion and assumed it was about fraudulent ballot backdating,’ the report states.”
He saw a conversation taking place and assumed it was about ballot fraud. This is all it takes for reckless, irresponsible people to wage damaging accusations against an innocent Postmaster, who, once again, reportedly voted for Trump himself. Imagine his displeasure at finding himself in the center of a Trump conspiracy.
Protect Democracy, which joined the lawsuit, made the point that the videos helped “propel the burgeoning Big Lie around the 2020 election, which sapped critical faith in democratic institutions and fueled the misguided rage that boiled over in Washington D.C. on Jan 6, 2021, when rioters attempted to stop Congress from overseeing the constitutional transfer of power.”
The Postmaster also reportedly actually voted for Donald Trump, which might go a ways toward making the argument that conservatives were so desperate to manufacture accusations of fraud to justify the attempts to overturn the election that they didn’t even bother the most basic kind of fact-checking. What kind of motive would this Postmaster have to commit fraud, especially against someone he reportedly supported? This kind of discrepancy would raise the alarm bells at any legitimate operation. It is a question that would be asked and hopefully answered, as well as having some kind of actual evidence, before accusations were made — not after.
“The admission from Project Veritas and its former leader was the latest evidence that Donald Trump’s claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election were baseless,” Protect Democracy said in a statement issued on Wednesday.
After the 2020 election, Trump exhausted every legal option to overturn the election, eventually resorting to inciting his supporters to a violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. He and his surrogates often made the argument that these accusations needed to be investigated for the voters, and while that flies on its face, when we look deeper we see accusations that were completely unfounded. It was gaslighting in an attempt to create a smokescreen so they could steal an election.
This entire case demonstrates how Trump et al. used false narratives that were concocted out of thin air. The waste of government resources and the defamation of an innocent Postmaster evinces Trump’s craven attempt to steal an election from the voters.
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