Documents show Trump pushed election fraud allegations against prosecutors as Michigan voted for Biden
Newly released documents show that members of President Donald Trump’s administration have told federal prosecutors Michigan should not certify election results on the day Democratic voters are due to vote for Joe Biden.
Documents published Tuesday by the US House Committee on Oversight and Reform describes Trump’s attempts to encourage an investigation into electoral fraud following the resignation of Attorney General William Barr last December. An email containing false allegations about the County Antrim results was sent by a member of the Trump White House to the Michigan Department of Justice and federal prosecutors.
December 14, 2020 E-mail asserted that Michigan should not certify Biden’s victory and made several references to a “seditious conspiracy” to undermine the election. The email includes “talking points” about County Antrim, where errors on election night caused a counting error in the unofficial results before they were detected and corrected.
In County Antrim, human error caused an inaccurate unofficial tally before being corrected in the official results. Trump would initially have lost the traditionally Republican county, but final results show he won with 9,748 votes to Biden’s 5,960. A manual, official recount statewide audits and one 54-page analysis explained the errors in County Antrim and reaffirmed the results.
Unsubstantiated allegations regarding County Antrim’s software and Dominion Voting Systems have persisted among Trump supporters who demand a “forensic audit” of the 2020 election six months later. Michigan Republican Party activists and officials have collected thousands of signatures and plan to hand them over to state lawmakers on Thursday.
Oversight Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney, D-New York, said recently released documents showed Trump’s efforts to overturn the election.
The White House email included a Dec. 13 report from the Allied Security Operations Group that claimed to find an “error rate” of 68% in County Antrim. Trump repeatedly tweeted the ASOG report on December 14, claiming he had discovered “massive fraud” that applies to all Dominion voting machines across the country.
The report’s findings were then challenged in an analysis by J. Alex Halderman, professor of computer science at the University of Michigan and co-chair of the Michigan Election Security Advisory Commission.
Halderman’s March report found the 68% figure to be “meaningless.” The percentage was calculated by examining the scanner log for re-scanned ballots in Central Lake Township and counting the number of error lines. Halderman said scanning a single ballot can produce dozens of lines in the log file, so the ASOG report used the wrong method to identify errors.
Trump’s White House also cited another finding from the ASOG report – an 82% “rejection rate” in the votes cast. Halderman’s analysis revealed that this was also a characterization error.
The ASOG report claimed that 82% of the ballots in Central Lake Township were reversed, based on diary entries. However, Halderman said diary entries show instances where a ballot was incorrectly fed into a voting machine.
“They just mean that the ballot has been returned to the voter; that is, the paper feed mechanism has been reversed, like when a vending machine returns a dollar bill that has been misfed, ”Halderman wrote. “It is a common and benign event. “
Another claim shared by the White House focuses on the “missing” entries from the arbitration journal. Halderman found County Antrim had not purchased arbitration software.
“There are no arbitration journals for the simple reason that the arbitration was not used,” Halderman wrote.
Halderman concluded that the ASOG report contained “an extraordinary number of false, inaccurate or unsubstantiated statements”.
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