Trump campaign paid to prove 2020 fraud, kept findings secret: WashPo
Former US President Donald Trump's election campaign paid $600,000 to prove that the Republicans won but did not find anything on him.
Former US President Donald Trump's 2020 presidential campaign paid third-party researchers to prove that there was election fraud in the election that the Republican lost to Joe Biden, but the research firm's findings were kept out of the public eye, The Washington Post reported on Saturday.
According to what people familiar with the matter told WashPo, the firm's findings disputed many of the theories brought up by MAGA Republicans, and it was also unable to provide proof that Trump was the winner of the election.
Trump's campaign paid Berkeley Research Group researchers to examine the 2020 election results in six states in a bid to find irregularities and bring them up in courts and before the public, but nothing was found.
The states in question, which were studied by the researchers for several weeks, are Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, and Nevada.
Wisconsin was a key part of Trump's 2016 triumph, and his campaign worked hard to preserve the swing state in 2020, but Biden defeated Trump in the state by roughly 21,000 votes.
The areas that the researchers looked into included voter machine fraud and dead people voting, among other aspects, but nothing was found that would indicate fraud in the elctions, as none of the findings ever saw the light of day, either before the public or in court.
The former US President has been for over two years claiming that the Democrats stole the 2020 election, despite his own campaign not finding any irregularities.
A newly released audio recording provided a behind-the-scenes look at how Trump's campaign team realized that they had been beaten by Democrats in the 2020 presidential race in a key battleground state.
Even after they admitted defeat, they still decided to "fan the flames" of allegations of extensive fraud that supposedly cost Trump the election in that state, which were eventually discredited - again - by election authorities and the courts.
The recording from November 5, 2020, two days after the election, is flaring up as Trump eyes the presidency once more while continuing to lie about the legitimacy of the outcome and Biden's 2020 victory.
Anomalies were not significant enough
"They looked at everything: change of addresses, illegal immigrants, ballot harvesting, people voting twice, machines being tampered with, ballots that were sent to vacant addresses that were returned and voted," The Washington Post quoted one individual as saying under the condition of anonymity. "Voter turnout anomalies, date of birth anomalies, whether dead people voted."
The sources told the newspaper that the findings went against what the MAGA campaign had been hoping for, even though the researchers found there to be anomalies here and there. However, the discrepancies were found to not have been major enough to make a difference in who was the winner of the election.
Moreover, the research showed that Trump had been wrong when it came to various claims he had made, including rigged voting machines and a vast amount of votes coming from dead people.
The anomalies were not significant enough in any case, even though there were more than 10 hypotheses that the Trump campaign wanted to have tested. "None of these were significant enough," one person said. "Just like any election, there are always errors, omissions, and irregularities. It was nowhere close enough to what they wanted to prove, and it actually went in both directions," WP quoted the sources as saying.
Even when the researchers informed Trump and his then-Chief of Staff Mark Meadows of the findings, both individuals continued to claim that Trump had won the election after showing skepticism of the findings.
Trump was continuously told by practically everyone around him, even his advisors, that he did not win the election; however, he remained careless about the vote count and what he was being told, still insisting that he was the rightful winner of the "stolen elections".
Trump's own attorney general also informed him there was no evidence of widespread fraud, and many in his own staff advised him that there was little substance to numerous charges of fraud or manipulation - advice Trump frequently rejected.
In the weeks following the election, Trump and his supporters would file hundreds of lawsuits, summon phony electors, and put pressure on election authorities in an attempt to retain Trump in office.
The research was done by Berkeley through a subsidiary company called East Bay Dispute and Advisory, and Federal Election Commission filings show that the Trump campaign paid East Bay Dispute and Advisory more than $600,000 in the final weeks of 2020.
In the aforementioned audio, acquired by the Associated Press earlier in the month, Wisconsin political operatives in the planning session even praised Democratic turnout efforts in the state's major counties and appeared to laugh about their efforts to reach Black voters. It is worth noting that the recording focuses on Andrew Iverson, the state director of Trump's campaign.
Commenting on the audio, Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung said, “The 2024 campaign is focused on competing in every state and winning in a dominating fashion. That is why President Trump is leading by wide margins in poll after poll.”