Trump’s false claims debunked: The 2020 election and 6 January riot

Here are a selection explanations of examples of Mr Trump’s false claims

Jan Wolfe
Thursday 06 January 2022 18:11
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<p>Donald Trump’s supporters attacked the Capitol building one year ago </p>

Donald Trump’s supporters attacked the Capitol building one year ago

A year after a mob of Donald Trump’s supporters assaulted the US Capitol in a failed bid to overturn his 2020 election defeat, the Republican former president continues to repeat false claims blaming widespread voting fraud for his loss to Democrat Joe Biden.

Those claims have been rejected by courts, state governments and members of his own former administration. Trump and his supporters also have sought to play down or deny the violence that unfolded at the seat of the US Congress on 6 January 2021.

Here are some examples of the repudiation of Mr Trump’s false claims by state and federal officials.

Federal agencies

The top US intelligence and law enforcement agencies have concluded that there was no widespread voter fraud in the 3 November 2020, presidential election.

Former US Attorney General William Barr, the nation’s top law enforcement official under Mr Trump, said on 1 December 2020, that he had not seen any evidence of fraud that would have changed the election results.

General Barr was more pointed in a later interview with journalist Jonathan Karl for Karl’s book “Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show.”

“If there was evidence of fraud, I had no motive to suppress it,” Mr Barr told Mr Karl. “But my suspicion all the way along was that there was nothing there. It was all bullshit.”

The 2020 presidential election was the most secure in American history, according to a statement issued by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, part of the US Department of Homeland Security, on 12 November 2020.

“There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised,” the statement read.

Court cases

State and federal judges dismissed more than 50 lawsuits brought by Mr Trump and his allies challenging the election.

Several judges, including Mr Trump appointees, noted a lack of evidence of fraudulently cast votes.

US District Judge Matthew Brann, a conservative jurist in Pennsylvania, issued a decision on 21 November 2020, that dismissed the Trump campaign’s effort to block the certification of Mr Biden’s victory in the key election battleground state.

“One might expect that when seeking such a startling outcome, a plaintiff would come formidably armed with compelling legal arguments and factual proof of rampant corruption,” Mr Brann wrote. “Instead, this court has been presented with strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations.”

Of one of the assertions made by Trump campaign, Mr Brann wrote: “This claim, like Frankenstein’s Monster, has been haphazardly stitched together.”

A Trump appointee in Milwaukee, US District Judge Brett Ludwig, similarly rebuked a Trump campaign lawsuit contesting the election results in that state.

Unlike other judges who dismissed cases on procedural grounds, Mr Ludwig provided the Trump campaign with a day-long hearing to consider evidence that Wisconsin’s election rules were violated. Mr Ludwig found that evidence woefully lacking.

“This court has allowed the plaintiff the chance to make his case and he has lost on the merits,” Mr Ludwig wrote.

State audits

In Georgia, an election battleground state won narrowly by Mr Biden, a post-election audit was conducted by Brad Raffensperger, a Republican who was the state’s top election official.

“The audit confirmed that the original machine count accurately portrayed the winner of the election,” Mr Raffensperger’s office said 19 November 2020.

In Arizona, a review of results by Trump allies in its most populous county reaffirmed Mr Biden’s victory in the crucial state.

Arizona Senate President Karen Fann, a Republican who paved the way for the “full forensic audit” of 2.1 million ballots in Maricopa County, said in September that the review’s overall vote tally matched the initial results in November.

The riot

Federal judges have similarly criticised Mr Trump and Republican lawmakers for seeking to downplay the deadly attack on the US Capitol.

“I’m especially troubled by the accounts of some members of Congress that 6 January was just a day of tourists walking through the Capitol,” US District Judge Royce Lamberth said during a June court hearing. “I don’t know what planet these people are on.”

“The rioters were not mere protesters,” Beryl Howell, the chief judge of the federal district court in Washington, said in October, adding that on the day of the riot there was “shocking criminal conduct that represented a grave threat to our democratic norms.”

According to the Justice Department, about 140 police officers were injured while defending the Capitol.

Federal prosecutors have charged more than 725 people with various crimes arising from the Capitol riot. Of those arrested, 225 people were charged with assault or resisting arrest. More than 75 of those were charged with using a deadly or dangerous weapon against police officers.

Reuters

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