Prominent purveyors of coronavirus falsehoods joined mob, showing overlap of disinformation networks.


Two days after the Electoral School confirmed President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory, a Senate committee offered a platform on Wednesday for an additional spherical of specious authorized arguments and falsehoods about widespread voter fraud which were repeatedly rejected by courts throughout the nation.

The listening to was the newest effort by the Republican chairman of the homeland safety committee, Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, to amplify the claims and considerations of President Trump. Mr. Johnson beforehand used his committee to investigate Mr. Biden’s son, Hunter, and to elevate fringe theories concerning the coronavirus pandemic.

Although Mr. Johnson conceded in his opening remarks that fraudulent voting didn’t have an effect on the result of the election, he mentioned that “lax enforcement, denying efficient bipartisan remark of the entire election course of, and failure to be totally clear or conduct cheap audits has led to heightened suspicion.”

“The fraud occurred. The election in some ways was stolen,” Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, mentioned at one level.

These claims are false. The Trump marketing campaign has failed to provide evidence in a variety of lawsuits that Republican observers had been barred from witnessing vote tabulating. Recounts and postelection audits in a number of battleground states have both concluded and reconfirmed Mr. Biden’s victory, or are underway. There may be no evidence that the election was “stolen.”

Witnesses known as by Mr. Johnson included three males — two legal professionals for Mr. Trump and a Pennsylvania state consultant — who’ve unsuccessfully sought to overturn election outcomes. In addition they included Ken Starr, who represented Mr. Trump in the course of the impeachment listening to this yr.

At the same time as a number of witnesses insisted there was proof of widespread fraud — and as their claims had been echoed in viral posts on social media — Christopher C. Krebs, the previous head of the federal government’s cybersecurity company, testified that the election was essentially the most safe in American historical past.

James Troupis, a lawyer for Mr. Trump in Wisconsin, claimed that 200,000 folks had voted improperly within the state. He argued that accepting absentee ballots in Dane and Milwaukee Counties — two Democratic bastions — earlier than Election Day violated state legislation, and that these votes needs to be thrown out.

However the Wisconsin Supreme Courtroom rejected the case on Monday, and a conservative justice mentioned that considered one of Mr. Troupis’s 4 claims was “meritless” and that point had run out on the opposite three. Justices additionally noted during the trial that Mr. Troupis was not looking for to throw out ballots in different counties that used the identical procedures however that Mr. Trump had received.

A Republican member of the state’s elections fee observed this month that the Trump marketing campaign “has not made any claims of fraud on this election” however reasonably leveled “disputes in issues of legislation.”

Equally, Mr. Trump’s marketing campaign lawyer in Nevada used the listening to to rehash false claims and arguments rejected by courts within the state. The lawyer, Jesse Binnall, mentioned that the marketing campaign’s specialists had recognized “130,000 distinctive situations of voter fraud” in Nevada and that their proof had “by no means been refuted, solely ignored.”

A district courtroom in Nevada rejected these claims and dismissed the lawsuit this month, and the Nevada Supreme Courtroom upheld that decision final week.

The decrease courtroom mentioned that it discovered “no credible or dependable proof that the 2020 common election in Nevada was affected by fraud” and that the marketing campaign’s professional testimony “was of little to no worth.” Mr. Binnall and others on the authorized staff “didn’t show beneath any commonplace of proof” their claims about double voting, deceased folks voting, and noncitizens and nonresidents voting, the courtroom wrote.

The state’s highest courtroom, in upholding that call, wrote that it requested the Trump marketing campaign to determine findings from the district courtroom that it took situation with, however “appellants haven’t pointed to any unsupported factual findings, and now we have recognized none.”

State Consultant Francis Ryan of Pennsylvania additionally repeated a variety of claims that appeared in Texas’ lawsuit looking for to toss out election leads to Pennsylvania and different swing states. The Supreme Courtroom rejected that lawsuit last week.

Mr. Ryan mentioned {that a} information portal initially and erroneously listed 508,112 ballots counted in Philadelphia County regardless of solely 432,873 ballots being issued to voters. He then acknowledged that the five hundred,000 determine was corrected later.

He additionally claimed that the state reported that 3.1 million mail-in ballots had been despatched out, however the quantity was 2.7 million “the day earlier than the election.” Pennsylvania, in a filing responding to the lawsuit, famous that Mr. Ryan’s evaluation was “essentially defective” and that the three.1 million determine included 2.7 million mail-in ballots and 400,000 absentee ballots.

Moreover, Mr. Ryan expressed skepticism that more than 1,500 voters reported being over 100 years previous. However that determine contains dozens of situations the place a birthday is entered as Jan. 1, 1900, as a placeholder. It’s also in step with stories from the census and the Facilities for Illness for Management and Prevention on the variety of those who age in Pennsylvania and the United States.

Mr. Starr individually argued that Pennsylvania “flagrantly violated” state legislation in increasing mail-in voting. A lawsuit making the identical level was rejected by the state’s Supreme Courtroom, which was then upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Mr. Johnson and Mr. Starr additionally cited Democratic officers who had beforehand raised considerations about election safety to counsel that Republicans had been being unfairly maligned of their efforts to forged gentle on the difficulty.

“I don’t recall the media or anybody else accusing these eight congressional Democrats of indulging in, quote, quackery and conspiracy theories, unquote,” Mr. Johnson mentioned as he learn passages from three letters written by Democratic senators.

These three letters had been about potential foreign efforts to hack election security software and the involvement of private equity firms in corporations that make election tools.

Mr. Starr repeatedly referred to a 2005 fee led by former President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James A. Baker III that issued a “warning” about mail-in ballots.

However Mr. Carter urged the expansion of mail-in voting this year and his basis, the Carter Middle, famous that the 2005 report discovered “there was little proof of voter fraud” in locations with enough safeguards.

Mr. Krebs cited and debunked a variety of false conspiracy theories and rumors, together with these superior by Mr. Trump and his allies.

The declare about “a C.I.A. supercomputer and program that had been flipping votes all through the nation, and in Georgia particularly” — pushed by Sidney Powell, a former lawyer for Mr. Trump — is disproved by the paper ballots, he mentioned.

“You may all the time return to the receipts. You may test your math, and Georgia did that 3 times, and the outcomes had been constant over and again and again,” Mr. Krebs mentioned.

Mr. Krebs additionally addressed a false claim, repeated by Mr. Trump, of a 68 p.c error charge in vote counting in Antrim County in Michigan. However that, he mentioned, was primarily based on a misinterpretation of the programming language.

“Actually, it was not that there was 68 p.c of the votes that had been errors; it was that the election administration system’s logs had recorded 68 p.c of the logs themselves had some type of alert charge,” Mr. Krebs mentioned. “The issue is the report itself doesn’t really specify any of these errors aside from one.”

Mr. Krebs added: “Now we have to cease this. It’s undermining confidence in democracy.”





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