Lengel: Trump's Fictitious Rant Saturday About Detroit Voter Fraud in 2020 Is a Reminder Why Jack Smith Indicted Him

February 20, 2024, 11:54 AM by  Allan Lengel

Ex-President Trump in America

It wasn't the only false or misleading statement Donald Trump made Saturday night at a campaign rally in Waterford. But his fraudulent rant about the Detroit vote is a clear reminder why Special Counsel Jack Smith and Fulton County Prosecutor Fani Willis have charged Trump with trying to steal the election and stay in the White House beyond his expiration date.

“We gotta watch Detroit, we gotta watch Detroit,” Trump told the receptive crowd at an airport hangar in Waterford. “Boy-oh-boy-oh-boy. They had such horrible abuse. You know they had more ballots , you know this, they had more ballots than they had voters. Do you know that? Gee. And they didn’t want to, you know, go into that.”

“Don’t let ‘em cheat. Don’t let ‘em cheat.”

It's a refrain he's repeated over and over since the election, and likely the words that justified his efforts to try and derail the 2020 outcome. 

After the election in November 2020, he told a group of Pennsylvania lawmakers in a phone conversation: "You look at the things that happened in Detroit...You have more votes than you have voters... think of it, more votes than you had voters."

Only thing is, it wasn't true then and it certainly isn't true now. It's not as if Trump's Justice Department didn't look into those allegations. They did and found nothing. 

Believing or wishing that something is true, minus any evidence, simply is no defense. 

Started Before the Election

Even before the election, Trump was setting people up for the possibility of voter fraud.

“We have to be very careful with the ballots,” he said in September 2020. “The ballots, that’s a whole big scam. We want to make sure the election is honest, and I am not sure that it can be. I don’t know that it can be with this whole situation of unsolicited ballots.”

Shortly after the election, Trump urged Wayne County Board of Canvassars not to certify the vote, saying the Republicans were "cheated on this election" and "everybody knows Detroit is crooked as hell," the Detroit News reported late last year. 

William Barr, Trump's former attorney general, who was pressured by Trump to find voter fraud in places like Detroit, testified before the House select committee on the Jan. 6 riot that he found no voter fraud in Detroit or elsewhere. Despite his assurances, he said Trump "didn't seem to be listening."

And unfortunatley, his supporters are listening, but only to Trump. 

A CNN poll released last August showed that  69 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaners thought Biden was not the legitimate president. 

Trump has released a dangerous virus of doubt in America when it comes to democracy and free elections.

Ironically, the man who cried foul and feared election fraud the most is now charged in the biggest voter fraud scheme in American history. Each and every time he talks about voter fraud, it's a reminder about the voter fraud charges he faces.

Make America Great Again?

That's what Jack Smith and other prosecutors are working on. 

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