Trump Calls for Investigation of Alleged Ballot Harvesting in Minnesota

House Television via AP
AP featured image
In this image from video, Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., speaks on the floor of the House of Representatives at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Thursday, April 23, 2020. (House Television via AP)


On Sunday, Project Veritas exposed a ballot harvesting scheme taking place in Minneapolis, and it appears that Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) is connected. The revelation comes amid contentions from the right that Democrats are engaging in voter fraud to influence the result of the 2020 election. President Donald Trump has called for a federal investigation into the matter. 

My colleague, Brandon Morse, reported that Project Veritas’ undercover camera crew caught individuals bragging about perpetrating the scheme. He wrote:

“According to Project Veritas, a ballot harvesting scheme in Minneapolis was uncovered by James O’Keefe and his undercover camera crew. The shocking discovery of hundreds of absentee ballots in an operative’s car. What’s more, ballots were taken directly from the elderly, and ballots belonging to young people were traded for cash.”

On Monday, President Trump took to Twitter to denounce the alleged plot and called on the U.S. Attorney of Minnesota to launch an investigation into the matter. “This is totally illegal. Hope that the U.S. Attorney in Minnesota has this, and other of her many misdeeds, under serious review??? If not, why not???” he tweeted.

In the footage, an individual named Liban Mohamed boasted about gathering hundreds of ballots for his brother, Jamal Osman, who was running for City Council at the time. “Numbers don’t lie. Numbers don’t lie. You can see my car is full. All these here are absentees’ ballots. Can’t you see? Look at all these, my car is full. All these are for Jamal Osman,” he said on the video, which was recorded in July. 


Mohamed stated that he was trying to help his brother win the special election for the City Council seat representing Ward 6. The election was held on the same day as the primary for Rep. Omar’s seat. Ward 6 happens to fall in her district. 

Minnesota law allows a “designated agent” to return an absentee ballot for an individual, but they are not allowed to serve more than three mail voters in a single election. Omar Jamal, the chair of the Somali Watchdog Group, told Project Veritas that he believes Mohamed was working on behalf of Omar and Osman. “It’s an open secret. She will do anything that she can do to get elected and she has hundreds of people on the streets doing that,” he said.

Currently, there is no evidence demonstrating that Rep. Omar was involved in the scheme. However, others are also suspicious of the connection. 

The footage showed Mohamed giving Jamal instructions on how to have a voter request a mail-in ballot and have it filled out. Afterward, it is “taken away” from the voter. “Liban didn’t get it [ballots] in a unique way, he just get them the way everybody before him, or even, maybe even after him will do, which is go to the elders, you know, probably, maybe, bait them, and collect, help—to them, and he’s helping them,” Jamal explained. “So I think that’s the process of collecting from the seniors, from their buildings.”


A Somali translator also expressed his belief that there is a connection between the plot and Omar. An unnamed source stated that Somalis were traveling to Minneapolis to vote and then returning to the real residences outside of the district. 

U.S. Attorney for Minnesota Erica MacDonald has not yet indicated if her office will start an investigation into the alleged scheme. However, Hennepin County Attorney Jeff Wojciechowski  stated that the ballot harvesting operation was “Illegal, and we will be investigating.” 


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