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Monday, January 18, 2021

Witnesses in Battleground States Have Similar Claims of Fraud and Irregularities: Giuliani

President Donald Trump’s  attorney Rudy Giuliani said at a Wednesday hearing in Pennsylvania that the type of election fraud witnesses described in the Keystone State also occurred in other battleground states.

“What we’re going to describe to you, with these witnesses, happened in roughly the same way in Michigan, Wisconsin, Nevada, and Georgia—the primary device was mail-in ballots,” Giuliani said at a Senate Republican Policy Committee hearing in Gettysburg.

The alleged fraudulent mechanism Giuliani described had “several dimensions to it, several different ways in which it was done.”

One of these dimensions, Giuliani said, was that Republican poll watchers were prevented from inspecting mail-in ballots in Philadelphia, Allegheny County, and “one or two other counties.” He said that 672,000 mail-in ballots entered in Allegheny County and Philadelphia were “not observed by any single Republican.”

“You know how important that is to determining whether it is a valid ballot or not,” he said in reference to the ability to inspect mail-in ballots. “There’s only one time you get to do that and that’s when you separate the envelope that possesses the verifying information from the ballot. The moment you separate them, you can no longer verify.” Guiliani called the moment at which ballots are separated from envelopes “prone to fraud,” while witnesses described being prevented from adequate monitoring during that critical phase.

Allegheny County election employees organize ballots at the Allegheny County elections warehouse in Pittsburgh, Pa., on Nov. 7, 2020. (Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

Justin Kweder, a lawyer and certified canvass observer from Philadelphia, said at the hearing, “What I saw was problematic to say the least.”

“The observers were not able to challenge any decision or determination being made about the processing of these mail-in ballots,” Kweder said. “No civilian oversight over hundreds of thousands of mail-in ballots. Zero opportunity for observers to observe, challenge or inspect the mail-ins being opened. I find this to be an issue and to be irregular,” he added.

Kim Peterson, a poll observer from Pittsburgh, said: “The closest was about 20 feet and you could not see at all. The envelope, the ballot itself, where they were stacking them, anything that was required that we were being able to see.”

Another dimension of the irregularities noted by Giuliani was chain of custody breakage issues, as detailed by a witness from Delaware County, who described a situation in which data on USB cards was uploaded to voting machines by a warehouse supervisor without being observed by a poll watcher, which he said he witnessed at least 24 times.

Pennsylvania ballots
Mail-in ballots are counted in Lehigh County, Pa., on Nov. 4, 2020. (Rachel Wisniewski/Reuters)

The same witness said the chain of custody had been broken on multiple occasions, including around mail-in ballots, the balance of votes from drop boxes, and USB card flash drives, in violation of procedures defined by the Delaware County Board of Elections and the election process review. “They didn’t follow one,” he said.

Giuliani characterized the election in Pennsylvania as a “sham” and alleged that “crooks” staged an illegitimate vote. He said: “We don’t want to disenfranchise anyone. We want to disqualify 672,000 votes so 72 million people are not disenfranchised, because that’s what happened by the cheating that went on here.”

The former New York City mayor also suggested to Pennsylvania GOP state senators that they have the power to vote and choose their own electors, saying that the Constitution stipulates that state legislators have the authority to nullify a state’s electors and can send their own to the electoral college. Pennsylvania’s House and Senate are both controlled by Republicans. The electoral college meets on Dec. 14.

Pennsylvania Senate Democrats, in response to the GOP hearing, said Giuliani is “[peddling] unsubstantiated voter fraud claims in any place that will have him” and won’t accept the “loss with grace or a modicum of dignity.”

On Tuesday, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, announced that the results of the election were certified by the Secretary of State’s office. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and Michigan’s Board of Canvassers also certified their elections, although legal challenges are pending.

However, Pennsylvania Commonwealth Judge Patricia McCullough on Wednesday ordered the state to not take any further steps to complete the certification of the presidential race. She also blocked the certification of all the other election results.

Democratic Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar said she has seen no evidence of voter fraud or mass irregularities that would overturn the election results in the state. State data shows that Biden leads Trump by about 80,000 votes. Other secretaries in other states where the results are being challenged have echoed those claims.

Ivan Pentchoukov, Janita Kan, and Jack Phillips contributed to this report.



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