Georgia’s State Election Board found the allegations made against two election workers in Fulton County that received wide circulation on the internet by supporters of Donald Trump’s discredited “stop the steal” claims were “false and unsubstantiated.”
The allegations reportedly led to harassment and threats from election denialists, and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a supporter of Trump’s attempts to overturn the election, amplified the pressure on them by claiming they were “passing USB drives ‘like vials of heroin or cocaine’ during ballot counting.“
The GBI, FBI and Georgia Secretary of State’s office investigated the charges, and found, among other things, that a person had created a fake social media account and attributed statements to one of the poll workers. The report states:
“Lastly, the FBI identified and interviewed the true creator of the Instagram account that
reportedly contained a post by Freeman admitting she conspired to adversely affect the
November 2020 election. The account creator admitted he created the fake account and
confirmed the content that was posted on the account was fake.“
The charges against the two poll workers were originally sent to the Secretary of State’s office by Republican Georgia State Senator Kay Kirkpatrick, who said a constituent had made the claims. Kirkpatrick’s Senate District 32 includes parts of Cobb and Cherokee counties.
The Georgia Secretary of State’s office distributed the following statement, which contains a link to the election board’s report:
On Tuesday, the State Election Board dismissed case SEB2020-059, a long-running investigation into alleged malfeasance during the 2020 election at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta. Over the course of the investigation, it was confirmed that numerous allegations made against the Fulton County Department of Registration and Elections, and specifically, two election workers, were false and unsubstantiated.
“We remain diligent and dedicated to looking into real claims of voter fraud,” said Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. “We are glad the State Election Board finally put this issue to rest. False claims and knowingly false allegations made against these election workers have done tremendous harm. Election workers deserve our praise for being on the front lines.”
The investigation, which included Secretary of State Investigators, and Special Agents with both GBI and FBI revealed “there was no evidence of any type of fraud as alleged.” Through the course of the investigation, “three law enforcement agencies reviewed the entire unedited video footage of the events in question surrounding [the two election workers] at State Farm Arena,” and additionally, reviewed social media posts allegedly made by a Fulton County election worker stating they engaged in election fraud, which was found to created by a third party who “admitted he created a fake account and confirmed the content that was posted on the account was fake.” Ultimately, “all allegations made against [the two election workers] were unsubstantiated and found to have no merit.”
State Election Board Member Ed Lindsey requested a letter be sent to the two election workers, “because of what [these election workers] have gone through, I’d like to ask that [the state election board] writes a letter affirmatively telling them that the matter has been dismissed.”
Last year, One America News Network agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by the two workers accused of malfeasance, paying a settlement and issuing an on-air retraction of the false allegations they amplified. A defamation claim against Rudy Giuliani, who initially aired these claims before the Georgia Senate, is still pending in court.
The full investigative report can be found here.