COVID-positive Rudy Giuliani called into another cringe-worthy “hearing” on election fraud claims on Thursday and managed to take his already-ludicrous conspiracy theory up another notch.
Speaking before Georgia State House Republicans, he claimed that a video of election officials counting ballots in Atlanta’s State Farm Arena not only showed them “stealing votes” but also passing out drugs.
Giuliani initially claimed last week that the “smoking gun” clip showed officials usher observers and reporters out of the room at 11 p.m. then pull out suitcases of stolen votes.
On Thursday, he added, “Look at that woman, look at her taking those ballots out, look at them scurrying around with the ballots, nobody in the room, hiding around, they look like they’re passing out dope not just ballots. It’s quite clear they’re stealing votes.”
He claimed “Big Tech, Big Media [and] crooked Democrats” were debunking the clip—but Republicans in Georgia have, too. Gabriel Sterling, a Republican and the state’s voting system implementation manager, gave a detailed explanation of the selectively edited 90-second clip, saying investigators from the Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office found it showed normal ballot counting.
The ballots in the clips were in containers—not suitcases—and had already been removed from envelopes and verified for eventual scanning while witnesses were present. Observers were allowed to be there when the ballots were then retrieved for the scanning portion of the process, but they’d apparently followed a group of workers who left the room because their job of opening envelopes was done for the night.
Despite multiple state officials debunking the clips, Georgia Republicans were still happy to let Giuliani spew misinformation freely.
The tape “proves that anyone who says that fraud is debunked... is just plain blind or lying,” an excited Giuliani said. “You have, live from Atlanta, you’ve got voter fraud right in front of people’s eyes. Blatant, clear, obvious, you’d have to be a fool to ignore it.”
Giuliani, who previously admitted to a judge that he was not alleging widespread fraud, also claimed in his address to the Georgia lawmakers that he has “1,000 people on tape admitting fraud” and that people are now booted off YouTube “if you say the word fraud.”
He then said two Georgia election officials caught handing USB ports to each other were passing them around “like vials of heroin.”
In a Thursday afternoon briefing, Sterling excoriated Giuliani and the GOP lawmakers for indulging in “the repeatedly, and repeatedly, debunked video.”
“Giving oxygen to this continued disinformation is leading to a continuing erosion of people’s belief in our elections and our processes,” he said. “We have rules, we have laws.”
He said deluded people were making the video out to be an “Ocean’s Eleven-type scheme as opposed to what is obviously happening in the real world.”
“There’s just so much disinformation,” he added. “We have a shovel and we’re against an ocean. It’s an ocean that’s being perpetuated by the president of the United States and [his] legal teams.”
He debunked a laundry list of ridiculous claims: 10,000 felons didn’t vote (early investigations show it’s closer to 100), unregistered voters didn’t vote (it’s physically impossible to cast a vote if you’re not in the registration system), and 60,000 underage people didn’t vote (you can register as a 17-year-old if you’re going to be 18 by Election Day).
Five people working for the Trump campaign also dialed into the House hearing from a meeting room, and none were wearing masks despite a coronavirus outbreak within the legal team.
As another witness was talking, Giuliani forgot to mute his Zoom and was caught on a hot mic saying, “We should try to get this on Newsmax and OANN.”
Giuliani was released from the hospital on Thursday after being treated for the coronavirus.