Fact check: Trump responds to Jan. 6 subpoena with usual election lies


Former President Donald Trump was summoned to appear Thursday by the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

Trump’s response: his usual election lies.

In a 14 page rambling letter To the committee’s chairman, Rep. Bennie Thompson, Trump did not say whether he would comply with the subpoena. Instead, he repeated various long-debunked election claims.

Here is a non-exhaustive fact check of some of Trump’s claims in the letter.

Trump’s headline on the document read: “THE 2020 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION HAS BEEN Rigged and Stolen!”

The facts first: It’s wrong. The 2020 election was not rigged or stolen. Joe Biden was the legitimate winner, Trump the legitimate loser. There is no evidence, in any state, of fraud even sufficient to have changed the outcome.

Trump listed alleged evidence of wrongdoing in swing states he lost. One of his claims about Pennsylvania, which Biden won by more than 80,000 votes, was: “In Pennsylvania, in February 2021, there were 121,240 more votes than voters.”

The facts first: This is fake. Pennsylvania did not have more votes cast in the 2020 election than it had registered voters; the state had about 7 million votes cast and about 9 million registered voters, for a participation of approximately 76.5%. And Trump was also wrong if he repeated the claim that the state counted more votes in the 2020 election than it counted voters who participated in that election. This claim, which was based on a Republican state legislator’s misinterpretation of state data that was not complete at the time, has been repeatedly debunked in 2020 and 2021.

Trump made a dramatic statement about Arizona’s most populous county, Maricopa County, where Republicans have led a partisan dummy “audit” of the 2020 election. He wrote, “Maricopa County accepted at least 20,000 mail-in ballots after Election Day 2020, including 18,000 on November 4, 2020, retrieved from the U.S. Postal Service – more than the total electoral margin of 10,457 ballots.”

The facts first: It’s wrong. As Reuters has reported, this claim, which has been circulating among Trump supporters on social media, is based on a misinterpretation of a document that does not actually show that Maricopa County accepted ballots after Election Day, without talk about thousands of ballots. The document was a receipt for the transfer of ballots to a company that scans ballot envelopes, capturing voter signatures, as part of the county’s signature verification process.

Runbeck chief executive Jeff Ellington told Reuters in June: “These 18,000 ballots were received on election day before the deadline to vote and delivered to Runbeck the following day for processing, in accordance with our operating procedure. standard.”

Trump returned to a favorite conspiracy theory about a particular county in Michigan, another swing state he lost to Biden. After claiming that one of his allies, Republican Attorney General nominee Matthew DePerno, “discovered voting machines were hijacked and accessed remotely,” Trump continued: “In County Antrim, 7,048 votes were changed in favor of Joe Biden.”

The facts first: No votes have been tampered with in County Antrim due to voting machine subversion, and there is no evidence of intentional wrongdoing of any kind in the county. On the contrary, the Conservative riding made a human error in the preparation of its electoral technology. The error resulted in some votes for Trump being initially flagged as votes for Biden in the unofficial preliminary results. The error was quickly corrected, long before the results were made official, and a Republican-led inquiry of the 2020 election by a Michigan State Senate Committee concluded that “ideas and speculation that County Antrim election officials or outside entities manipulated voting by hand or electronically are indefensible”.

As for DePerno’s efforts to prove that something nefarious happened in County Antrim, the committee also wrote this in its section on the situation in County Antrim: “The committee has closely followed Mr. DePerno’s efforts and can confidently conclude that they are manifestly false and based on misleading information and illogical conclusions.” De Perno and others are now under investigation by a special prosecutor over their own alleged efforts to access election technology after the election; DePerno has denied any wrongdoing and claimed the charges were politically motivated.

Asset insinuated, as he has before, that he lost Georgia in part to nefarious acts in Fulton County, home to Atlanta. He wrote that an investigator reported that 1,200 ballots were “‘pushed in through the back door’ days after Election Day, when President Trump’s massive lead ‘diminished as more and more votes continue to be counted in “Fulton” County.

The facts first: It is misleading. The independent observer who was hired by the state Elections Commission to observe the election in Fulton County reported no signs that these ballots were fraudulent; in fact he written in his report that “at no time did I observe any behavior on the part of Fulton County election officials that involved dishonesty, fraud, or intentional wrongdoing,” although he found negligence and other problems. Instead, he simply wrote that, although “it was a call for judgment”, he thought the “optics” of having the ballots go through a back door two days after Election Day was mediocre and that it was “the wrong call for transparency purposes”.

Also, contrary to the impression Trump left here, the Monitor did not tie this particular group of ballots to Trump’s illusory lead in Georgia. The words ‘decline as more votes continue to be tallied in Fulton County’ appears to be a quote from CNN — which explicitly pointed out at the time that Trump’s dwindling lead was not the result of anything nefarious — not the monitor itself.

This story has been updated.

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