The Federalist's senior editor Mollie Hemingway is ridiculing several news outlets that claim Republican accusations of questionable behavior by Fulton County election officials at State Farm Arena, purportedly caught on video, had been debunked, rebutting the reports with affidavits and even other news reports.
Hemingway, 46, the author of "Justice on Trial," about the Senate hearings of Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court, dismissed a report by "Lead Stories" and then The Washington Post, Newsweek, and others, which appeared to anoint government officials as the sole arbiters of whether anything nefarious occurred.
At issue: a video that purportedly showed a handful of election workers telling observers and other ballot counters to leave State Farm Arena in the evening because of burst water pipe. Once the room was cleared, the remaining election officials uncovered suitcase-like containers from under draped tables — containers alleged to contain thousands of ballots that were then processed without the observers on hand.
Lead Stories, The Washington Post, and others quoted election officials as saying no one was asked to leave and characterizing the activity as normal.
"Leaving aside whether relying solely and uncritically on government officials' claims constitutes anything close to a 'fact check,' let's look at the claim that party observers were never told that counting was over for the night," Hemingway wrote.
She then noted how two Republican poll observers swore under oath they observed a woman they assumed was the supervisor "yell out" to most workers after 10 p.m. to stop counting and return at 8:30 a.m. the next morning.
This, she said, was buttressed by an ABC News report which said ballot counters were told to go home and counting had stopped. Their source was Regina Waller, the Fulton County public affairs manager for elections.
However, Lead Stories quoted Frances Walton, chief investigator for the Georgia Secretary of State, as saying no was asked to leave, according to information provided to the "media liaison who was present that night."
"While Lead Stories doesn't name the media liaison, the media liaison who was present that night, according to the affidavits, was Regina Waller, the Fulton County public affairs manager for elections," Hemingway wrote.
"OK, so on the one hand you have sworn affidavits from observers saying that supervisors told ballot counters to go home for the evening shortly after 10 p.m., and a video showing everyone leaving en masse at that time.
"And on the other hand, you have two government officials promising that no one was told that counting was over."
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