A Georgia judge on Wednesday dismissed a protracted lawsuit over the 2020 election that had attracted significant attention from Trump-aligned election observers.
The resignation came a day after attorneys for Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R)’s office again explained in detail that investigators had found no evidence of counterfeit ballots in Georgia. Plaintiffs had been trying to gain physical access to Atlanta voters’ ballots to push through the argument that the election was corrupt.
During the final weeks of Donald Trump’s presidency, Justice Department officials came under pressure to pursue one of the conspiracy theories that formed the basis of the lawsuit — alleged misconduct that Trump’s campaign claims led to fraudulent ballots. were counted in Fulton County, the home of Atlanta.
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“This lawsuit was the result of the ‘big lie’, which is nothing more than a worthless conspiracy theory being spread by people who just can’t accept that their side is lost. His defeat here today should reverberate across the country,” Pitts said.
On the phone with TPM on Wednesday, the lead prosecutor in the lawsuit, Garland Favorito of the VoterGA group, accused the state of making false claims in a Tuesday claiming investigators had found no evidence of counterfeit ballots. He said he would likely appeal the case.
“All citizens of Georgia have a right to know whether or not counterfeit ballots have been injected into Fulton County election results,” Favorito said.
Suit Targets Trumpy Conspiracy Theory Over Alleged Ballot ‘Suitcases’ At Atlanta Counting Location
The suit focused on perhaps the most persistent Fulton County myth: a video from Atlanta’s State Farm Arena, which was: distributed by the Trump campaign, and which Trump staffers and supporters claimed election workers smuggled ballots in suitcases hidden under tables. Rudy Giuliani announced the footage during a Georgia Senate hearing on Dec. 3.
The briefcase story became an obsession for Trump: As the Senate Judiciary Committee revealed in a… recent report, then Attorney General Bill Barr ordered “the FBI to interview witnesses about allegations that election workers secretly tagged suitcases full of illegal ballots at Atlanta’s State Farm Arena.”
Then-U.S. Attorney in Atlanta, BJay Pak, told the commission that on Dec. 4, Barr instructed him to make the investigation into the claims a “top priority” — though by that time, the Georgia Secretary of State had investigated the situation and found that the “suitcases” in the video were really normal ballot boxes and that election workers had followed normal protocol.
The lawyers for Raffensperger’s office cited Pak’s congressional testimony in their filing on Monday. They also quoted a statement in May from Raffenspger’s deputy principal investigator. Briefly, the lawyers wrote, the deputy testified “that the evidence did not substantiate the charges”.
“Disappointing that the judge rejected it!”
The judge’s decision sparked immediate anger among 2020 election deniers such as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and others who had supported the lawsuit as a venue for annoyed 2020 dead-enders.
“Disappointing that the judge rejected it!” greene tweeted Wednesday, calling for “full forensic audits” of the 2020 results.
Greene was furious that “No court will hear the actual evidence.” And while Amero ruled that “Applicants failed to claim a specific injury” and dismissed the case for lack of status, he also noted the “substantive and detailed” response from the Secretary of State submitted on Tuesday.
In that Submit, attorneys for the secretary of state’s office addressed the plaintiffs’ points directly, writing that “the secretary’s investigators were unable to substantiate the allegations that fraudulent or counterfeit ballots were counted in the 2020 general election in Fulton County.”
Key to the prosecutors’ case were affidavits from people who attended a post-election “risk mitigation” audit, claiming afterwards they saw what they said were suspiciously “pristine” ballots, with no folds or creases. They claimed that in some cases these ballots looked as if they had been completed by computers.
But when the Secretary of State’s investigators looked at the specific ballots that allegedly showed these suspicious markings in late December, they found the opposite: In a box quoted by fiancé Susan Voyles, who served as an auditor on the mitigation audit, the ballots had crinkles of folding, and “none appeared to have been marked or printed by a computer.”
Potentially degraded ballots, identified by another unnamed witness, were also found to be OK: “Those ballots did not fit the description of ‘pristine’ and none had perfectly filled bubbles,” the filing said.
Favorite, who? spoke at a Trump rally in Georgia last month, was not convinced. “The evidence and claims they have made in that response to the warrant are false,” Favorito claimed on the phone with TPM. He said the affiants would have demonstrated so much at a scheduled hearing in November in the case.
Favorito said the plaintiffs allegedly used a group of “top forensic document experts” to examine the ballots for forgeries — one of whom would have been Jovan Pulitzer, a “failed treasure hunter‘ and inventor who claimed he can tell fake ballots from real ones by examining them closely for ‘kinematic markers’.
Pulitzer, somewhat of a celebrity in circles demanding ‘audits’ of the 2020 recount, was Reportedly involved in the recently completed audit of Maricopa County, Arizona’s 2020 results. Yet the final report of that review didn’t mention him at all.
Pulitzer attributed to the stump to the ‘deep state’.