The Fox news reporter Griff Jenkins exposed allegations by his own network that “mysterious” suitcases full of ballots contributed to voter fraud in the Georgia election.
The 90 second clip, shown by President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani at a hearing before the Georgian Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Thursday, shows election workers in roll containers in Fulton County – which the Fox News reporters claimed were “suitcases” – under a table at the State Farm Arena where the ballot count took place on November 3. Jenkins said after speaking with Georgia officials on Friday morning that reports claiming the video showed unsupervised election fraud were “simply not true.
” I just got off the phone with a high-ranking source in the office of Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, who told me they had a designated observer at that location all night and all the time, and they saw this video, they know the allegations, and they said they just weren’t true,” Jenkins said in a report Friday morning. “The allegation that the Georgian tellers were sent home and the ballots were brought in suitcases is also not true.
“What appear to be suitcases are in fact the normal containers in which the ballots are placed,” he continued. “This is not unusual for them, they say.”
Georgian election official Gabriel Sterling also exposed allegations of ballot fraud on Twitter, saying the clip showed “normal ballot processing” as noted by investigators in the Secretary of State’s office who watched hours of footage from security cameras at the State Farm Arena.
All three of Fox News’ lead anchors – Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham – showed the clip on Thursday night during their respective broadcasts. Hannity claimed: “Shortly after the observers were asked to leave the room, several large, mysterious suitcases, which they believe were filled with ballots, were rolled out from under a table.
Sterling told Lead Stories on Thursday that election workers responsible for opening the envelopes containing the absentees’ ballots and checking the ballots for scanning and counting were released that night after completing their part of the process. The workers shown in the video stayed because they were responsible for scanning the ballots prepared by the dismissed workers, as the ballots could not be left overnight without being scanned.
“When you look at the videotape, you see the work you would expect, which is to take the sealed suitcase and look at things, put the ballots in manageable stacks on the scanner and scan them,” Sterling said.
Frances Watson, the chief investigator of the Georgian Foreign Ministry, confirmed that the containers seen on the video were not suitcases but the normal containers used to count the ballots.
“There was no container with ballots under the table,” Watson told Lead Stories. “It was an empty container, and the ballots from that container were actually on the table when the media was still there, and then it was put back in the box when the media was still there, and placed next to the table.
Watson added that the media were never told to leave the box, as the claims say, but that the place was “still open to them or the public as long as [the election workers]were still working to visit it whenever they wanted. She said that the ballots that were opened before the observers were the only ones that were scanned after the media and other observers left.
After Jenkins’ initial report that these claims were false, the hosts of Fox & Friends were not convinced. They claimed that the reason for the Republicans’ cited reports of election fraud in Georgia was the high number of ballots sent by mail caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Various lawsuits filed by the Trump campaign alleging widespread voter fraud in numerous states have proven unsuccessful since election day. However, the lawsuits of both parties continue in important swing states, including Georgia.
Last week, attorney Sidney Powell, a former Trump campaign lawyer, filed a lawsuit in Georgia to decertify the election results, which narrowly confirmed President-elect Joe Biden as the state’s winner. Trump’s legal team said on Thursday that it expects to file a lawsuit with the Fulton County Supreme Court for alleged election fraud in that district.
On Wednesday, voter advocacy groups in Georgia filed a lawsuit aimed at restoring nearly 200,000 names on the state voter registration list before the January runoff in the Senate. The groups said the state illegally struck 198,000 people off the voter registration list last year due to address changes.
Washington Newsday asked Fox News for a comment, but did not receive it back in time for publication.