Georgia Board of Elections finds no conspiracy or fraud in 2020 results

It’s no secret that Donald Trump lied about the 2020 Georgia election, but as NBC’s Atlanta affiliate reported overnight, state officials have now officially shut down one of Republicans’ most notorious allegations.

Officials said Tuesday that the state election board dismissed the case related to the “suitcase full of ballots” allegations at the State Farm Arena on election night 2020 in favor of President Joe Biden. Instead, the state’s long-running investigation found that claims surrounding that night were “false and unfounded.”

Certainly these are not exactly new revelations. Nonetheless, officials from the Georgian Electoral Committee took the official step yesterday to drop the case entirely.

“We are glad that the state Election Committee has finally settled this issue,” said Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. “False claims and knowingly false allegations against these poll workers have done tremendous harm. Poll workers deserve our praise for being on the front lines.”

In a press statement, Raffensperger said the conspiracy theories were reviewed by investigators from his office and by special agents from the FBI and GBI, who collectively concluded that there was “no evidence of any type of fraud as alleged.” They also concluded that the allegations of misconduct against poll workers were “unfounded and unfounded.”

In case anyone needs a refresher, let’s revisit our previous coverage and review how we got to this point.

Immediately after his election defeat, Trump said poll workers in Atlanta falsified vote counts by taking fake ballots out of suitcases. The claims were immediately discredited, not only by independent journalists but also by his own Justice Department. As Rachel noted on the show a few months ago, former acting Assistant Attorney General Richard Donoghue told the outgoing president directly that the matter had been investigated by federal law enforcement and that the allegations were unfounded.

After a conversation in which the then-president referred to an imaginary suitcase full of fake ballots, Donoghue told Trump, “No sir, there is no suitcase. You can watch this video over and over again. There is no suitcase. There was a wheeled trash can where the ballots were kept. And that’s exactly how they distributed ballots at this facility. There’s nothing suspicious about that at all.”


In other words, Trump was told the truth, which he denied. Worse, the Republican turned his lies into attacks that put innocent campaign workers at risk: Trump and some of his fanatical supporters concluded that Shaye Moss and her mother, Ruby Freeman, who had taken a temp job to help count the ballots are directly and personally responsible for the inclusion of counterfeit ballots in the Georgia electoral roll.

He kept the smear campaign going – for about two years.

In fact, Trump claimed to have evidence against them in the form of a video showing Moss and Freeman at work. What conspiracy theorists called “suitcases” of fake ballots were actually just standard boxes used locally to transport actual ballots.

The video – which showed nothing shameful or embarrassing – still made the rounds in conservative media and far-right circles, with Republicans insisting the images showed voter fraud, damn it. Trump even brought it to the big screen during one of his post-defeat political rallies. It was around this time that radical activists began threatening women’s lives and appeared in their homes.

Freeman, a retiree who opened a small fashion accessories boutique, was forced to leave her home, close her shop and move to an undisclosed location for her own safety on FBI advice.

These women who had done nothing wrong were being terrorized over a ridiculous lie.

On Tuesday, a member of the Georgia state election committee requested that Moss and Freeman receive a formal letter “acknowledging that the matter has been dismissed.”

This post revises our previous reporting on the matter.