Don’t laugh. Yet.
A Black man walks from his car to the ballot drop box. Dark music plays. The Black man puts ballots in the drop box then gets back in his car.
“This is a smoking gun! This is OJ Simpson being seen leaving the scene of the crime!”
No less an expert than radical right radio kook Larry Elder is convinced he has seen a crime.
It looks to me like a Black man putting ballots in a drop box. (In Georgia, as just about everywhere, you can drop off ballots for family members.)
In this film 2000 Mules, heavily promoted by Donald Trump (who hosted the release at Mar-al-Lago), front man Dinesh D’Souza sets out to prove the Black man is a “mule,” part of a giant criminal conspiracy to stuff ballot boxes with fraudulent votes. The proof? Well, you can see it with your own eyes! The evidence is in your face: There’s a BLACK man and he is dropping off BALLOTS in a ballot drop box. Case closed! Guilty!
OK, you can laugh now. But crying time is coming. I predict that 2000 Mules will create the platform for Trump’s loss of the election in 2024 — and Trump’s inauguration in 2025.
But for now, back to the film.
D’Souza’s “expert” tells us they tracked the Black mule. “So, in one night this person, this mule went across six counties to 27 different drops.” Wow!
Does D’Souza have the film to prove it? Yes, of course he does, you liberal jerk! D’Souza worked with a courageous group, True the Vote, that obtained ALL the security footage of every ballot drop box in Atlanta — 4 million minutes of film and they looked at all of it!
They have the damning film — they just won’t show it
They have the film, but they … just don’t, uh, show it. Why not show us at least a couple of film clips of the 27 times this Black felon repeated his crime? Well, that’s the problem with you liberal jerks: You see a Black man with a ballot and you, Mr. Liberal, assume he’s voting, when he’s obviously committing a crime. And he does it dozens of times! Why do we have to show you the evidence? We just need Elder, the Chubby Checker of right wing nuttery, to blubber his amazement at seeing the footage on D’Souza’s computer. Case closed! Guilty!
I was so angry at this criminal voter, I wanted to bust him! Expose him. Arrest him. They have his photo, his car, his license plate number. In fact, their “expert” says these ballot mules have, “bad backgrounds, bad reputations, …violent guys.”
Whoa! So, If D’Souza identifies their “backgrounds,” they must have their names. So why don’t they show us the files? Name the names? Show us their faces? Confront them. Call the cops, the feds!
But D’Souza and True the Vote didn’t bust anyone. Didn’t name a single mule — though they supposedly can identify them. They even fuzzed over the mules’ faces so we can’t see who it is. Nice of D’Souza to protect the guilty. Unless, of course, the Black men weren’t guilty. Or just guilty of Voting While Black. They don’t show us the files of their “bad reputations” because these files don’t exist.
Why did the Black man with the ballots commit a crime on camera that will get him five years in prison? For the money, of course! Did D’Souza know for certain the Black man took money? Of course! D’Souza shows a film of money being handed to someone. OK, it’s a reenactment — the actor gets a credit at the end of the film. But hey, it could have happened. Case closed! Guilty!
D’Souza knows the Black man was paid by a “non-profit” group. They showed a photo of Black candidate Stacey Abrams. But he doesn’t actually say that she or her group, Fair Fight Georgia, made the payments. In fact, he doesn’t say who made the payments. Why?
And what about those “non-profits” that paid the mules — 2,000 mules casting nearly a million illegal votes — 817,765 illegal ballots (we toted up their claims) in just five cities — i.e. Black cities. D’Souza tracked the mules to the offices of these “non-profits,” even had an Arizona whistleblower say she herself gathered the ballots and paid the mules out of one office. But the whistleblower is in shadow, unnamed…and D’Souza, oddly, conceals the name of this criminal “non-profit.” He won’t reveal the group because … well, that’s odd. When I reported investigations for BBC Television, not once did I say, “We have the proof — witnesses, film, documents — of felony crimes committed by … well, that’s our secret!”
He knows who paid hundreds of millions to the mules — but he won’t tell us.
D’Souza says, “We know that the mules got their stashes of ballots from these activist organizations.” He “knows,” but won’t say how he knows, what evidence he has. Hell, he doesn’t name even one evil organization (and he claims there are many) because… well, maybe they didn’t do it.
Why didn’t he confront this unnamed group or groups with the evidence? I do that in every report I’ve ever filmed (in fact, it’s required by British law for UK reporters). Maybe because D’Souza has no evidence. He certainly didn’t show us any evidence, zero, of a single payment to a single mule.
When the Palast team finds a crime or malfeasance or vote manipulation, we name the perps — Chevron, Katherine Harris, whomever, and I confront them.
Take a look at our last major report from Georgia. We discovered that GOP operatives challenged the right to vote of tens of thousands of Black and young Georgians on false evidence. We named the key operatives — Pam Reardon is the Republican challenger-in chief. Here’s a photo of me confronting Reardon with the evidence. We didn’t fuzz out her face. And we named and confronted the group who gave her the phony, racially poisonous purge list: True the Vote. Yep, the same characters who provided the bogus info for 2000 Mules.
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Vigilante: Vote Suppression Hitman
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And when we say True the Vote receives Dark Money for these voter roll hits, we name the perp: The Bradley Foundation, the uber-right-wing billionaires from Milwaukee.
Why does the Palast team, whether for the BBC or Rolling Stone or Democracy Now! always names the perps? Well, that’s kind of point of investigative reporting. We do it because we can: we have the evidence, so we show it.
D’Souza and True the Vote don’t name the perps nor the evil groups nor their funders because… they don’t have the evidence. Period.
Stuffing the drop box from 93 feet away
But Mules is slick. Real slick. With an air of science and hard statistics. They use the new tool of “geo-tracking”. They bought (as anyone can) “pings” from cell phones in five cities, trillions of pings. D’Souza shows a satellite in space, shows all kinds of flashing lights on a computer screen and the damning evidence — photos of Black men casting ballots.
They say (but don’t show us) that these Black men, inexplicably, went to drop boxes “on average 23 times”. That’s pretty damning, if true.
But it’s not true. The commercial geo-tracking services that True the Vote used can only identify a phone moving within 30 meters (93 feet) of a location. That is, if someone is jogging by a couple of drop boxes, although they are on the other side of a highway, they are “mules.” D’Souza shows dramatic fluorescent lines on a computer showing the path of two “mules” — who go by several drop boxes. Case closed! Guilty!
Now, who would go by the same boxes day after day? Maybe they aren’t “mules.” In fact, a more accurate name for the film would be “2000 Mailmen”.
With thousands of “mules,” somehow they didn’t name a single one. As a former professor of statistics and investigator for several Attorneys General, I can tell you it would be damn easy to locate a bunch of them. True the Vote has license plates, film of faces, and the list of voters whose ballots were dropped off. They could match the photos to the date stamp on the ballots.
They even had a detective hired by the Republican Party who said he saw and filmed men stuffing the ballot boxes late at night. But he didn’t show the film nor call the cops nor tag the suspects (nor did the GOP). Why not? Because it didn’t happen.
And where did these 817,765 ballots come from? A ballot cannot simply be printed and stuffed into a box: every mail-in ballot is assigned and coded to an individual voter (your vote choice is secret but not the ballot envelope nor the fact you voted). So, it would have been easy to call the voters whose ballots were supposedly stolen and used to vote without their consent to prove these were fraudulent votes. (Yes, it’s time consuming: Our Georgia investigation required 1,200 phone calls.)
Since proving ballots are stolen is easy (though time-consuming) why didn’t D’Souza prove his case? Provide a list of the names on the fraudulent ballots? Because he can’t.
D’Souza and True the Vote insist that tens of thousands of ballots in Georgia alone were stolen — yet there were no reports of ballot thefts. Voters would have found that someone cast their ballot when they tried to vote. They can’t prove a million ballots were stolen or illegally bought (“trafficked” in True the Vote’s terminology) because it didn’t happen.
D’Souza’s charge is mind-blowing. He claims that there are as many 54,000 mules that were organized and paid in at least five big cities. In Fulton County (Atlanta), he tells us 92,670 ballots were stuffed illegally into drop boxes.
That’s astonishing — because there were only 79,000 ballots cast in drop boxes in Fulton County!
And in Detroit, it was worse. “Mules” stuffed 226,590 ballots into Detroit area drop boxes — way more than the total number of all mail-in ballots — about three times the number of ballots in drop boxes.
True the Vote’s “expert” tells us he identified mules in Detroit, “That went to more than a hundred drop boxes.” That’s also amazing because there were only 30 drop boxes in all of Detroit.
And with over three-quarters of a million ballots stolen or “trafficked,” not one voter claimed that someone stole their ballot. Because, maybe, it didn’t happen. We can conclude: Walking 50 feet from a ballot box does not mean you were paid to stuff that box, Mr. Elder.
Don’t laugh. The guy next to me sure wasn’t laughing. As the credits rolled, he shouted, “I’M A VETERAN! YOU HAVE TO TELL EVERYONE TO WATCH THIS FILM!”
When I asked the shouter — his name is Steve — why D’Souza didn’t name the “non-profits” spending millions on ballot trafficking, Steve said, “Yeah, I was kind of wondering ‘bout that.” But then Steve added his own explanation: “These people [Clintons, Obama and the mule-driving “non-profits”] have an arrangement with the Devil.” I guess D’Souza did not want to upset Satan.
So, who put up the hundreds of millions of dollars of Dark Money to hire the mules and organize this national operation? D’Souza features a right wing “expert” who tells us Mark Zuckerberg, George Soros and Warren Buffet have the money to do it. But did they? Well, two out of three are Jewish. What other proof do you need, Liberal?
Am I saying there are no election crimes? Of course not. Example: Dinesh D’Souza was convicted of the felony crime of concealing election campaign contributions in 2014, served a 5 month sentence in a halfway house, was fined and given five years’ probation — and was later pardoned by Trump for his service to the cause.
Why hire “mules” at all?
And two more things. First, every single drop-box ballot (and mail-in ballot) must be signed by the voter and the signature verified against the registration signature. D’Souza doesn’t tell us how over a quarter million ballot signatures were forged—yet not one forgery was caught. Really?
And second, and most devastating: Why hire mules at all? Why in the world would these unnamed “non-profits” pay tens of millions to Black men to drive all over the county to stuff them into drop boxes, committing a felony crime on camera — when anyone can simply dump them into a mail box, no cameras, no time stamps, no evidence.
2,000 Mules will elect Trump in 2024
Still laughing? Prepare for the unhappy ending. This film will be the excuse for massive new vote suppression trickery all in the name of preventing “voter fraud.” In Georgia, under SB202, devised by Gov. Brian Kemp, Stacey Abrams’ likely opponent, Fulton County’s 38 drop boxes will be reduced to just eight and will be locked inside state buildings. True the Vote’s hit list of Georgia voters has expanded, without a word in the national press, to block over 300,000 ballots cast by voters of color.
Thirty-five states are purging several million voters from the rolls using a method pushed by True the Vote’s funders, the Bradleys, all to prevent chimerical fraudulent voters.
Now, jump into my time machine to 2024. Let’s say a Biden-Trump race produces the same electoral count as in 2020. But in 2024, the GOP will have the “evidence,” bogus though it may be, of “mules” stuffing ballot boxes in Wisconsin, Georgia, Arizona and Michigan. This “evidence” will allow Republican Legislatures to claim the electoral votes of those states are in question and, on January 6, 2025, those Electoral College votes will not be certified by a Republican Congress.
At that moment, the 12th Amendment to the Constitution will kick in and, in place of the Electoral College, each state will have one vote for President. Do the math: As the majority of state delegations are Republican, a 12th Amendment procedure will insure that, on January 20, 2025, Trump will be inaugurated again.
While the band strikes up, Hail to the Thief.
Palast & Palast Investigative Fund fellow Zach D. Roberts discuss the film.
Catch the conversation on our YouTube or SoundCloud.