President Trump took to Twitter just after midnight on Monday and demanded that the Justice Department investigate Democratic House Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota for alleged ‘ballot harvesting.’
‘This is totally illegal,’ the president tweeted on Monday morning.
‘Hope that the U.S. Attorney in Minnesota has this, and other of her many misdeeds, under serious review???
‘If not, why not??? ‘We will win Minnesota because of her, and law enforcement.
‘Saved Minneapolis & Iron O Range!’
President Trump (left) called on his own Justice Department to investigate House Rep. Ilhan Omar (right), a Democrat from Minnesota, over alleged voter fraud by her supporters
‘This is totally illegal,’ the president tweeted on Monday. ‘Hope that the U.S. Attorney in Minnesota has this, and other of her many misdeeds, under serious review??? If not, why not???’
Trump was reacting on Monday to an unconfirmed internet report from conservative provocateur James O’Keefe of Project Veritas claiming that supporters of Omar were illegally harvesting ballots.
According to O’Keefe, a Minneapolis resident, Liban Mohamed, illegally collected some 300 ballots from primarily Somali immigrants to help his brother, City Councilman Jamal Osman.
On Twitter, Mohamed claimed O’Keefe doctored the video and that the voice heard on the Project Veritas is not his, as is claimed.
Omar is one of four Democratic congresswomen known collectively as ‘The Squad’ who has frequently been targeted for criticism by the president and his supporters.
The others are House Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York; Rashida Tlaib of Michigan; and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts.
Last week, Trump again went after Omar at an election rally in Pennsylvania, suggesting that the U.S. isn’t her country.
‘She’s telling us how to run our country. How did you do where you came from?’ Trump said of the Somali-born Democrat, who’s a U.S. citizen.
‘How was your country doing?’ the president added.
Omar hit back at Trump’s comments, even calling his rallies ‘cult-like.’
‘Firstly, this is my country and I am a member of the House that impeached you,’ the Minnesota lawmaker tweeted.
‘Secondly, I fled civil war when I was 8. An 8-year-old doesn’t run a country even though you run our country like one.’
Minnesota is considered a key swing state in the upcoming presidential election.
According to the latest polls compiled by the news site FiveThirtyEight, Trump’s Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, has a six-point lead in the state.
The president on Monday was reacting to an unverified claim made by conservative political activist James O’Keefe (seen above in February) that supporters of Omar in Minneapolis were illegally engaged in ‘ballot harvesting’
O’Keefe’s Project Veritas released a video claiming that Liban Mohamed, the brother of Minneapolis City Councilman Jamal Osman, illegally dropped off some 300 ballots during the recent election
Mohamed took to Twitter late on Sunday and accused O’Keefe of doctoring the video and using a fake voice that wasn’t his
O’Keefe has frequently been accused of selectively editing videos secretly filmed in undercover sting operations aimed at catching liberals in compromising situations.
In 2010, O’Keefe pleaded guilty in federal court to a misdemeanor count of using a fake ID to enter a federal building.
O’Keefe and three others posed as telephone repairmen in order to sneak into the office of Senator Mary Landrieu, a Democrat, in New Orleans.
He was sentenced to three years probation, 100 hours of community service, and was hit with a $1,500 fine.
In 2017, Project Veritas tried to get The Washington Post to run a false story about US Senate candidate Roy Moore by having one of its female operatives claim that the former judge from Alabama impregnated her when she was a teenager.
The Post reported that Project Veritas tried to plant the fake story in order to discredit the newspaper, which had published several news items about Moore’s alleged conduct with underage women.
Moore lost the race for the US Senate seat from Alabama in 2018 after several women came forward and alleged that he assaulted them when they were teens decades ago. Moore has denied the allegations.
O’Keefe and Project Veritas are now claiming that Democrats are engaged in rampant voter fraud.
Democrats say Trump and his allies are looking to sow doubt in the integrity of the upcoming election by making unsubstantiated allegations of wrongdoing.
Ballot harvesting, also known as ‘ballot collection,’ is legal in a majority of states.
‘Ballot harvesting’ is also known as ‘ballot collection,’ which is a legal practice in many states that allows third parties to collect ballots on behalf of impaired or disabled voters who are unable to physically get to polling places. In Minnesota, the law allows a third party to collect no more than three ballots. The above file photo is a 2008 election ballot in Minnesota
It allows a third party to collect and deliver ballots to voters.
Although widely practiced and rarely found to be abused, the rule permitting a third party to collect and return multiple ballots remains a source of partisan dispute.
More than half of states allow a third party to collect ballots.
And political groups and campaigns from both parties have run ballot-collection programs aimed at boosting turnout and ensuring voters who are older, homebound, disabled, or live far from US postal services can get their ballot returned.
Trump and the GOP contend ‘ballot harvesting’ opens the door for fraud and have fought to restrict it.
This has escalated as states prepare for greater reliance on absentee voting or vote-by-mail amid COVID-19.
In Minnesota, the law states that a third party can return no more than three ballots.
California since 2016 has allowed for someone to collect an unlimited number of ballots from voters, though it does bar someone from being paid based on how many ballots they return.
This year, Republicans and Democrats have squared off in lawsuits over the third-party collection of ballots in Pennsylvania, Florida and Minnesota.
In Wisconsin, a conservative law firm known as the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty requested that election officials outlaw the process.
Though that state’s laws don’t specifically address ‘ballot harvesting,’ officials said they weren’t aware of any efforts to systematically collect absentee ballots in the state and did not impose a rule prohibiting it.
This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk