Conservative filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza offered to the appear before the Jan. 6 committee after GOP Rep. Liz Cheney called his documentary “2000 Mules” debunked on Monday.
Cheney quoted from a New York Post editorial board Friday opinion piece, which said, “[Donald Trump] clings to more fantastical theories, such as Dinesh D’Souza’s debunked ‘2000 Mules,’ even as recounts in Arizona, Georgia and Wisconsin confirm Trump lost.”
“Those are the correct conclusions to draw from the evidence gathered by this committee,” the congresswoman added.
D’Souza responded tweeting, “I’d be happy to appear before the committee and debunk all the debunkers. Let’s settle the issue of who’s perpetrating a ‘big lie’ through open debate.”
I’d be happy to appear before the committee and debunk all the debunkers. Let’s settle the issue of who’s perpetrating a “big lie” through open debate https://t.co/JvyrBwbUDf
— Dinesh D’Souza (@DineshDSouza) June 13, 2022
It is odd that Cheney and the New York Post cited recounts in Arizona, Georgia and Wisconsin as proof the claims made in “2000 Mules” are false.
The central premise of the documentary is that an illegal ballot harvesting scheme took place in the key swing states of Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin during the 2020 general election.
These are all states that former President Donald Trump won in 2016 but flipped to Democratic then-candidate Joe Biden in 2020.
A “mule” is a term used in the movie for those who were allegedly paid to repeatedly pick up batches of ballots and place them in drop boxes.
In other words the ballots themselves were cast illegally, which has nothing to do with whether a recount of the ballots found Biden still was the winner, as was the case based on the recounts in Maricopa County, Arizona; Georgia and Wisconsin.
D’Souza, along with the vote integrity group True the Vote — his partner in the film — concluded the ballot harvesting schemes in Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania represented enough votes that it would have impacted the outcome of the 2020 general election.
On May 31, True the Vote’s Catherine Engelbrecht and Gregg Phillips testified before a group Arizona Republican state senators that they used cellphone geotracking data to identify people who made 10 or more drop box stops along with five or more visits to non-governmental organizations working on voter turnout during the 2020 general election.
The Associated Press fact-checked “2000 Mules,” claiming True the Vote’s analysis was “flawed” based on false assumptions of how precise cellphone tracking data is, based on the fact people might frequently happen to go by drop boxes for other reasons, and based on the premise that others had business being there, such as election workers.
Engelbrecht told lawmakers True the Vote’s “mule” threshold was very high.
“We wanted to focus on a very clear, narrow data set that showed what we would consider this extreme outlier behavior, and ultimately we settled on 10 times. The devices that we focused in on went to drop boxes 10 or more times,” she said.
“And here in Arizona they went an average of 21 times,” Engelbrecht added.
D’Souza made clear in a Monday tweet that for a mule to be counted in their analysis he or she had to go to 10 different drop boxes during the election cycle.
To further guard against accidentally picking up people who happened to pass by drop box locations regularly, True the Vote bought cellphone data from September, October and November, showing before, during and after the election.
Only those whose cellphones placed them at drop boxes when voting was occurring were included in True the Vote’s data, the group said.
In addition to cellphone data, Phillips said in “2000 Mules” that his group has 4 million minutes of surveillance footage from drop boxes it obtained through public records requests, allegedly showing the mules in action.
Footage is shown in the movie of alleged mules taking pictures of the drop boxes and delivering multiple ballots at one time.
This is what stuffing the ballot box looks like pic.twitter.com/okpcKa9O4c
— Liz Harrington (@realLizUSA) April 11, 2022
The election integrity experts showed a graphic at the Arizona Senate hearing indicating 202 likely mules had been identified in Maricopa County and 41 in Yuma County.
An informant from San Luis, in Yuma County, whose identity was hidden, is featured in “2000 Mules” detailing how she participated in ballot harvesting during the general election.
The informant told Phillips how mules would drop off ballots and come in to the office she worked for what she assumed were weekly payments during the election.
At the direction of someone at her office, the informant said she was directed to put hundreds of ballots into a drop box herself over multiple trips.
Engelbrecht testified to Arizona lawmakers that the average number of trips per mule in Yuma County during the general election was 31.
Earlier this month, a Democratic former mayor of San Luis — a border city of approximately 33,000 people — pleaded guilty to participating in an illegal ballot harvesting scheme during the 2020 primary election.
According to The Associated Press, Guillermina Fuentes operated a “sophisticated operation.”
Prosecutors were only able to link her and her co-defendant to approximately a dozen ballots, but an attorney general’s report stated “investigators believe the effort went much farther.”
“Attorney general’s office investigator William Kluth wrote in one report that there was some evidence suggesting Fuentes actively canvassed San Luis neighborhoods and collected ballots, in some cases paying for them,” the AP noted.
The Arizona Republic reported that the state’s attorney general’s office served a search warrant on an employee of the Arizona nonprofit Comité de Bien Estar who also holds political office in San Luis related to its investigation into illegal ballot harvesting.
This potential illegal actively squares perfectly with the claims made in “2000 Mules.”
Just because Cheney or the New York Post said the movie is debunked does not make it so.
D’Souza and True the Vote have offered evidence. The detractors must present strong counter evidence before they can call “2000 Mules” debunked.