When Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani played video footage in court revealing supposed voter fraud that took place in Fulton County, Georgia, many on the right believed he may have finally released the “Kraken,” and delivered the smoking gun showing blatant voter fraud. But only one day after, it appears that the mythical beast is still deep in its underwater lair according to a number of state officials.
Giuliani traveled to Georgia on Thursday to show surveillance footage to a state Senate Judiciary subcommittee that ostensibly shows evidence of election fraud. The video was taken at the State Farm Arena, which was the state’s largest voting center.
The video clip allegedly shows workers at the polls taking out four boxes, or “suitcases” filled with ballots from under a table after clearing the room of other workers. Then, they began counting them without a supervisor present.
Jacki Pick, an attorney with Trump’s legal team said, “The same person that stayed behind, the person that cleared the place out under the pretense that we are going to stop counting is the person who put the table there at 8.22 in the morning. I saw four suitcases come out from underneath the table.”
However, multiple Republican officials in the state have dismissed allegations that workers were using covert “suitcases” to manufacture fraudulent votes for former Vice President Joe Biden. Gabriel Sterling, the state’s voting system implementation manager, told Newsmax on Friday that the video in question does not show what Trump’s legal team is claiming.
“We’ve had our investigators watch all, many, several hours of it yesterday and what essentially happened is, and we knew about part of this on election night itself, around 10:15-10:20, there’s two groups of people in this room that are working,” Sterling explained. “There are cutters, the people who are opening the envelopes, and there’s the ones who are scanning.”
He continued, noting that the cutters completed their work and started leaving. The others started to leave also but were instructed to stay. The election monitors also exited and later claimed that they were told by officials to leave, according to Sterling.
The officials pointed out that there was an “82-minute” time period in which there was no election observer present. But the entire period was captured on video footage. Sterling also stated that the containers were not suitcases.
“Those aren’t ‘suitcases,’ those are regular absentee carriers used in dozens of counties across this state,” he said. “That’s how they bring those in. Nothing was brought in without the monitors there. So everything was there. There was nothing new brought in. We didn’t see somebody wheeling stuff into the room.”
In an interview with a local NBC affiliate on Friday, Fulton County elections director, echoed Sterling’s claims. Nevertheless, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp called for a signature audit from the secretary of state after viewing the footage.
A “senior source” in Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office told Fox News’ Griff Jenkins that the Trump team’s allegations regarding the video footage were not accurate.
“I just got off the phone with a senior source in the Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office, a Republican, who tells me that they had a designated observer at that spot all night, the entire time, and they’ve seen this video, they’re familiar with the claims, and they said that they’re simply not true,” he said in a report on Friday morning. “The suggestion that Georgia vote-counters were sent home and ballots were brought in in suitcases, also not true.”
He added, “What appears is reported as suitcases are actually the normal containers that ballots are put in. That is not unusual, they say, for them”
Frances Watson, the chief investigator for the Georgia secretary of state’s office also confirmed that the containers were not suitcases. “There wasn’t a bin that had ballots in it under that table,” she told Lead Stories. “It was an empty bin and the ballots from it were actually out on the table when the media were still there, and then it was placed back into the box when the media were still there and placed next to the table.”
The investigator also stated that nobody told members of the media to leave, as has been asserted by Trump’s legal team. She said the site “was still open for them or the public to come back in to view at whatever time they wanted to, as long as [election workers] were still working.” Watson explained that the ballots that had already opened in front of observers were the only ones that workers were scanning after the press and observers left.
So far, this story does not appear to be the smoking gun that many on the right believe it to be. The video footage might seem damning to some when there is no context, but unless Trump’s team can prove that all, or even some, of the officials involved are lying, there is no rational reason to assume that the footage caught workers in the act of committing voter fraud.
Perhaps one could argue that these individuals did not follow procedure, and that would certainly be a concern. But a lapse in the operation does not automatically equate to election fraud, nor does it mean that Biden did not win the state. As it stands currently, it does not appear that Giuliani’s team has proven its claims of election fraud.
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