Donald Trump

Another Georgia Probe Finds No Evidence of Conspiracy To Steal 2020 Election

The Trump campaign's claim that two Atlanta poll workers pulled fraudulent ballots from a suitcase on election night are "false and unsubstantiated" after a two-year investigation.


In the weeks after the 2020 presidential election, Republicans including then–President Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani, one of Trump's top attorneys at the time, claimed that video footage from State Farm Arena in Atlanta confirmed that something shady happened during vote counting in Georgia.

That video footage supposedly showed two election workers pulling ballots from a "suitcase" and entering them into official counts after hours, according to reports in right-wing media like One America News Network. Giuliani testified to a Georgia legislative committee that poll workers overseeing the counting of ballots at State Farm Arena in Atlanta had engaged in blatant fraud.

Those claims were explosive—but totally wrong.

The allegations involving those two election workers—Ruby Freeman and her daughter, Wandrea Moss—were "false and unsubstantiated," Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, announced Tuesday, as his office officially closed a two-year probe into the incident. The investigation had launched at the behest of Georgia state Sen. Kay Kirkpatrick (R–East Cobb) and included the FBI and Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

The final report includes details of interviews with Freeman, Moss, and other workers present during the ballot counting at State Farm Arena on the night of the 2020 election. Those interviewed provided "a consistent account" of the ballot-counting process, and matched what investigators saw on the video footage. As for that supposedly damning video footage, "There was no evidence of any type of fraud as alleged," the report concludes, and there was "no evidence was provided to show that Freeman or Moss deviated from" the established process for storing boxes of legitimate ballots.

Additionally, the FBI interviewed the creator of an Instagram account that surfaced in December 2020 and purported to belong to Freeman. In posts to the account, the user (whose name was redacted in the final report) claimed to have participated in ballot fraud, but later admitted to the FBI that the content was fake.

Freeman and Moss reached an undisclosed settlement with OAN last year after suing the network for defamation related to its coverage of the election. In the lawsuit, the two claimed to have been subjected to intense harassment both online and in the real world.

Tuesday's report also details the extent to which state investigators double-checked the election results. Audits conducted after Election Day "did not identify any issues or discrepancies to suggest fake or fraudulent ballots were scanned and counted in the 2020 General Election results," and a subsequent recount requested by Trump's campaign "also did not identify any discrepancies to suggest fraudulent ballots were introduced and counted in the tabulation process."

"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," Raffensperger said in a statement. "Election workers deserve our praise for being on the front lines."

Trump, meanwhile, continues to push the claim that the election was stolen. In an interview on Monday with Fox News' Brett Baier, Trump said he "won in 2020 by a lot" and claimed that "they were counting ballots, not the authenticity of the ballot. The ballots were fake ballots, this was a very rigged election."

That's always been an extraordinary claim that should require extraordinary evidence to be believed. To date, no firm evidence of a conspiracy to steal the election has stood up to scrutiny. On Tuesday, another piece of what little remains of Trump and Giuliani's wild claims was conclusively debunked.