Film about Trump claim: Questionable documentation, lack of evidence

Status: 07.06.2022 12:21 p.m

Donald Trump maintains the claim that he is the real winner of the US presidential election. A documentary is now to provide evidence of the alleged electoral fraud.

By Sebastian Hesse, ARD Studio Washington

Although there is no evidence of this yet, around 70 percent of all Republicans in the USA say they are convinced that the last presidential election was not done properly. Donald Trump’s unproven claim that he was the actual winner of the election is caught up in his own political camp.

However, the facts speak against it, dozens of court decisions, fruitless research by Trump-friendly media, skepticism among Trump companions such as his former Attorney General Bill Barr.

But now a documentary in the United States is causing a stir, which allegedly provides evidence of massive election fraud: “2000 Mules” is the name of the film by documentary filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza.

“2000 Mules” fuels Trump’s claim

“How many of you have seen ‘2000 Mules’?” asked former Republican Senator David Perdue during a campaign appearance in Woodstock, Georgia. Almost all hands in the room go up. Also that of Elaine Guarino, who is firmly convinced that her idol Trump’s election was stolen.

More and more are coming to light, she says. “2000 Mules” show how widespread voter fraud was. “You can’t see this film with your own eyes and keep saying there was no electoral fraud,” said ex-Senator Perdue.

In the film, documentary filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza deals with a controversial feature of voting rights in some states: in Georgia, for example, postal voters can have their completed ballots picked up by special couriers. These so-called “mules” then deliver the postal voting documents to specially set up ballot boxes. D’Souza claims that such “mules” manipulated the election en masse for money – in favor of Joe Biden.

“Documentary opened many eyes”

The video hit many Republicans like a bomb – including the party chairman in Georgia’s Putnam County, Steve Arnold. He says “2000 Mules” opened a lot of eyes in Georgia, where much of the film is set. For his research, D’Souza evaluated the mobile phone movement profiles of the “mules”, the ballot couriers, and the video surveillance of the ballot boxes.

His film concludes from this that postal voting documents in favor of Joe Biden were systematically distributed to as many mailboxes as possible in exchange for money – in order to conceal the fraud, D’Souza said in a podcast. D’Souza said it was the first film to demonstrate voter fraud on a scale large enough to overturn the election result.

Fact checkers find claim false

But fact checks in many US media outlets have concluded that the filmmaker’s allegations of fraud are unfounded. Even Trump-critical Republicans like Gunnar Ramer from the “Republican Accountability Project” speak of right-wing propaganda. The film is another example of the far-right’s disinformation campaign aimed at casting doubt on the legitimacy of Biden’s presidency.

The filmmaker is an old acquaintance for Ramer: Dinesh D’Souza is one of the right-wing commentators who have long sowed doubts about the functioning of the American electoral system.

It is difficult to assess whether “2000 Mules”, which runs in cinemas across the country and can be seen on the streaming service, really convinces previous skeptics of the illegitimacy of the election. Trump himself, however, drums tirelessly for the strip.

Cult strip “2000 Mules”: Documentary hit illustrates Trump’s election lie

Sebastian Hesse, ARD Washington, 06/07/2022 11:05 a.m

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