Trump Campaign Gets Laughed Out Of Court For Claiming A Bunch Of Unvetted Webform Submissions Is 'Evidence' Of Voter Fraud

from the who-needs-sworn-statements-when-you-have-a-CAPTCHA dept

The Trump Campaign is back in court, hoping to reclaim a presidency Donald Trump has lost. It spent plenty of time in court prior to the election, hoping to prevent as many people as possible from voting. Now, it's doing the same thing, insisting (without evidence) there's voter fraud everywhere.

Immediately following Election Day, the Trump campaign opened its own voter fraud hotlines. People who thought they observed voting fraud were encouraged to call the campaign or submit sworn statements via a handful of websites. Both offerings were immediately swamped by pranksters and other non-fans of Trump, tying up phone lines and filling the webform coffers with useless things like, say, the script from "Bee Movie."

Undeterred by a lack of credible fraud accusations, the Trump campaign still attempted to submit some of its mostly unvetted webform garbage as "evidence" in its Arizona lawsuit. As Adam Klasfield reports, the judge wasn't impressed by the campaign's attempt to portray a bunch of statements from internet randos as something worth the court's time and attention.

A Trump campaign attorney conceded in court on Thursday morning that he tried to enter hundreds of dodgy form-filed affidavits into evidence, even though their own investigation found that a subset of the sworn statements that they received were filled with lies and “spam.”

“This is concerning,” Judge Daniel Kiley, from Arizona’s Maricopa County, remarked with some understatement.

This wasn't the only laughable assertion by Trump campaign attorney, Kory Langhofer. On the record and in front of a judge, Langhofer said the campaign was confident it had weeded out bot submissions because the site had a CAPTCHA.

Then he got even stupider by claiming the narratives the Trump campaign couldn't immediately disprove must be truthful representations. Not being able to prove something is a lie isn't the same thing as finding it to be true, the judge pointed out.

Judge Kiley replied that this did not show the remaining affidavits are trustworthy.

“That just shows you cannot disprove what’s asserted,” Kiley noted.

Then, despite entering the legal arena to dispute alleged fraud, the Trump attorney said it was unlikely anyone actually engaged in fraud.

“This is not a fraud case,” Langhofer said, casting the lawsuit instead as allegations of flaws within the voting system. “It is not a stealing-the-election case.”

It appears the Trump campaign's lawyer isn't getting the talking points memos. There have been wild, widespread accusations of voter fraud from both the outgoing president and many of his administration figureheads, which for some reason include his children and his children's spouses.

The Trump campaign thinks a webform and a hotline that will coddle conspiracy theorists when not swamped by pranksters is going to help it win back an election. Good luck with that. But it will make for some great popcorn munching as the campaign and its attorneys continue to embarrass themselves in courtrooms around the nation until every last avenue for redress has been (in all senses of the word) exhausted.

Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: donald trump, election, evidence, fraud hotline, trump campaign, voting, webform

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Thread

  1. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 13 Nov 2020 @ 11:28am

    Who, exactly, did Trump help? Because the way I see it, the only people he tried to help were the people who voted for/supported him. He railed against supporters of the Movement for Black Lives (including Colin Kaepernick, whom Trump once called a “son of a bitch”). He threatened to withhold funding from “blue” cities/states unless they kissed his ring. He showed no interest in having the U.S. federal government coördinate a national response to a pandemic that has killed nearly a quarter-million Americans. He banned transgender people from serving in the military and installed federal judges (including three Supreme Court justices) who seem more than willing to roll back LGBT civil rights by anywhere between 5 and 50 years. Any “help” Trump gave to any group of Americans was done so with the explicit idea that this was a debt of sorts, which he wanted repaid on Election Day 2020 in the form of a second term.

    Trump doesn’t see other people as people. He seems them as either tools or fools — as useful idiots who can help him (e.g., conservative Christian evangelicals) or subhuman idiots who stand against him (e.g., every Democrat, every “RINO” who has critcized him in even the tiniest of ways). And last I checked, even with all this supposed “help” Trump has given out, the U.S. economy is spiraling downward because of COVID and the body politic is as divided as ever thanks to Trump stoking the fires of racial division and supporting racists and saying racist bullshit and attacking people of color (especially Black women) with more venom and bile than any White person not named Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden.

    Donald Trump went into the White House with a singular vision of who he wanted to help. When he comes out of the White House, he will have fulfilled that vision — because the only person he ever wanted to help was himself. Anyone else whose life improved in some way during the past four years saw their life improve in spite of, not because of, the actions of the 45th president.

    But sure, keep thinking Trump helped a lot of people. By the way: How many more people is COVID-19 projected to kill by the end of the year, again?

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.