New Testimony Deals Blow to Fani Willis in Investigation

A former Georgia election official has revealed a number of errors in the administration of the 2020 election in the state. This revelation may pose a challenge for Fani Willis, who is prosecuting Donald Trump for alleged election interference.

During the DC disbarment trial of former Department of Justice official Jeffrey Clark, Mark Wingate, a former board member of the Fulton County Board of Registrations and Elections, provided testimony on Monday.

When questioned during his testimony, he was asked about his rationale for voting against certifying the 2020 election on two separate occasions. In response, he cited the absence of custody documents, the lack of surveillance tapes for drop boxes, and a series of other errors as his reasons for doing so.

Multiple investigations have upheld the results of the 2020 elections, and there is no evidence to suggest any election fraud. Willis was contacted by Newsweek via LinkedIn to provide a comment on this story.

The Context

Accusations have been made against Trump and 18 others for their alleged attempts to overturn his 2020 election loss in Georgia. The state was lost by a margin of approximately 12,000 votes.

Former President Donald Trump, who is expected to be the Republican nominee for the 2024 presidential election, maintains his innocence and has entered a plea of not guilty for all 10 charges brought against him. He has consistently asserted that the case is a result of a politically motivated witch hunt targeting him. In a recent court hearing, his attorney argued for the dismissal of the charges based on First Amendment grounds. This hearing took place before Judge Scott McAfee, who had previously dismissed six charges in the case, citing insufficient information provided by the prosecutors regarding the alleged crimes.

What We Know

In 2019, Georgia implemented a law that mandates election officials to inform voters if their ballots have been rejected, allowing them the chance to verify their identities. Additionally, voters in Georgia are required to present identification when voting via absentee ballots.

According to Wingate’s testimony, he pointed out that there were more individuals registered on the voting roll in Fulton County compared to the actual number of eligible voters. Additionally, he highlighted the lack of chain of custody documents that should have tracked the movement of absentee ballots, which were not provided by the department.

“How can I, as a board member, have confidence in certifying this election if I am not provided any evidence of the chain of custody document?” he questioned.

He mentioned that he asked for the surveillance tapes of the drop boxes where people deposited their ballots, but unfortunately, they were not given to him.

He expressed his concern about the functionality of the platform used to verify the “huge number” of absentee-by-mail ballots.

In a July 2023 affidavit, Wingate had previously stated that there was no verification of signatures on absentee-by-mail ballots during the election, alongside making other similar assertions.

Views

Gene Rossi, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney, expressed his concern about the credibility of the voting process. In an interview with Newsweek, he emphasized the importance of maintaining high standards and integrity among election workers. Rossi stated, “Whenever testimony or evidence arises that questions the competency and integrity of the voting process, it affects all of us, regardless of where we reside. We should expect and demand nothing less than excellence from those responsible for conducting elections. Is it too much to ask for?”

What’s Next

The decision to allow Willis to continue on the case despite her relationship with special prosecutor Nathan Wade has been appealed by Trump. The Court of Appeals now has 45 days to determine whether they will address this issue.

Willis has requested that the trial start in August if the case proceeds.

Correction 4/3/24, 7:50 a.m. ET: We have made a correction to this article to accurately state that Mark Wingate is not a witness in Donald Trump’s Georgia election interference case. We apologize for any confusion caused by the previous reference. Additionally, we have included some additional information to enhance the content.

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