Factbox: Trump’s false claims on Jan. 6 riot, ‘20 elections debunked
A year after a mob of Donald Trump’s supporters assaulted the U.S. 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 U.S. Congress on Jan. 6, 2021.
Here are some examples of the repudiation of Trump’s false claims by state and federal officials.
The top U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies have concluded that there was no widespread voter fraud in the Nov. 3, 2020, presidential election.
Former U.S. Attorney General William Barr, the nation’s top law enforcement official under Trump, said https://www.reuters.com/article/usa-biden/barr-sees-no-sign-of-major-u-s-vote-fraud-despite-trumps-claims-idUSKBN28B5UK on Dec. 1, 2020, that he had not seen any evidence of fraud that would have changed the election results.
Barr was more pointed in a later interview https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2021/06/william-barrs-trump-administration-attorney-general/619298/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+AtlanticPoliticsChannel+%28The+Atlantic+-+Politics%29 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,” Barr told 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 https://www.cisa.gov/news/2020/11/12/joint-statement-elections-infrastructure-government-coordinating-council-election issued by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, on Nov. 12, 2020.
“There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised,” the statement read.
State and federal judges dismissed more than 50 lawsuits brought by Trump and his allies challenging the election.
Several judges, including Trump appointees, noted a lack of evidence of fraudulently cast votes.
U.S. District Judge Matthew Brann, a conservative jurist in Pennsylvania, issued a decision https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-pennsylvania/u-s-judge-calls-trump-claim-challenging-biden-win-in-pennsylvania-frankensteins-monster-idUSKBN2810WR on Nov. 21, 2020, that dismissed the Trump campaign’s effort to block the certification of 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,” 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, Brann wrote: “This claim, like Frankenstein’s Monster, has been haphazardly stitched together.”
A Trump appointee in Milwaukee, U.S. District Judge Brett Ludwig, similarly rebuked https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election/trump-castigates-supreme-court-barr-as-election-challenges-sputter-idUSKBN28M0T7 a Trump campaign lawsuit contesting the election results in that state.
Unlike other judges who dismissed cases on procedural grounds, Ludwig provided the Trump campaign with a day-long hearing to consider evidence that Wisconsin’s election rules were violated. 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,” Ludwig wrote.
In Georgia, an election battleground state won narrowly by 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,” Raffensperger’s office said https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-usa-election-georgia/georgia-confirms-bidens-victory-in-state-as-it-completes-hand-audit-of-ballots-idUKKBN280014 on Nov. 19, 2020.
In Arizona, a review https://www.reuters.com/world/us/arizona-republicans-release-findings-widely-panned-election-audit-2021-09-24 of results by Trump allies in its most populous county reaffirmed 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.
Federal judges have similarly criticized Trump and Republican lawmakers for seeking to downplay the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol.
“I’m especially troubled by the accounts of some members of Congress that Jan. 6 was just a day of tourists walking through the Capitol,” U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth said https://www.reuters.com/world/us/what-planet-are-they-judge-blasts-republicans-downplaying-attack-us-capitol-2021-06-23 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.