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President Donald Trump is pressing the Justice Department to launch an investigation following the release of a bombshell video exposing an alleged pay-for-play ballot-harvesting scheme linked to Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and others.
“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??” Trump tweeted early Monday.
“We will win Minnesota because of her, and law enforcement. Saved Minneapolis & Iron O Range!” he added.
The president was reacting to a video report from James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas featuring a number of people claiming to illegally harvest ballots in Omar’s Minneapolis district.
As he opened the video clip, O’Keefe said that Liban Mohamed collected hundreds of ballots mostly from Somali immigrants to help his brother, City Councilman Jamal Osman, get elected.
“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… We got 300 today for Jamal Osman only,” Osman is heard saying in the video.
BREAKING: @IlhanOmar connected cash-for-ballots harvesting scheme EXPOSED
“Money is the king in everything”; harvester boasts harvesting HUNDREDS of 2020 absentee ballots ILLEGALLY! “Numbers do not lie…these here are all absentee ballots…my car is full…”#BallotHarvesting pic.twitter.com/cB2Bz31mSY
— James O'Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) September 28, 2020
“Money is everything. Money is the king in this world. If you got no money, you should not be here period. You know what I am saying,” he added.
In a statement accompanying the release of the video, O’Keefe said, “Ballot harvesting is real and it has become a big business. Our investigation into this ballot harvesting ring demonstrates clearly how these unscrupulous operators exploit the elderly and immigrant communities—and have turned the sacred ballot box into a commodities trading desk.
“We are showing Americans what is really going on in one of our great cities—but, it’s not me saying—we have the operators on tape saying it all themselves,” he added.
O’Keefe says his investigative team discovered a “ballot harvesting triangle” involving the Riverside Plaza apartments; a senior community at Horn Towers; and the Minneapolis Elections and Voter Services office on Hennepin Ave., “which also functions as a voting location and ballot drop-off site.”
“Money is everything and a campaign is managed by money. You cannot campaign with $200 or $100 you got from your grandmother or grandfather. You cannot campaign with that. You gotta have an investment to campaign. You gotta have fundraisers,” Mohamed says in the video.
Project Veritas reached out to Hennepin County Attorney Jeff Wojciechowski, who told the undercover investigative organization on a recorded call that the ballot harvesting scheme described was “illegal, and we will be investigating.”
O’Keefe said Omar Jamal, a political insider in the Minneapolis Somali community who works with the Ramsey County Sheriff Department and chairs the Somali Watchdog Group, was central to his team’s investigation.
“Omar Jamal is the latest brave Project Veritas Insider to come forward and expose a voter fraud scheme in Minnesota that will shock you,” O’Keefe said. “When we spoke with Omar Jamal, he actually repeated part of our PV Insider motto: ‘Do Something.’”
Project Veritas said the ballot harvesting is mostly aligned with Minnesota’s Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, “in which Ilhan Omar has emerged as a rising power broker.”
“It’s an open secret,” Jamal told the group. “She [Omar] will do anything that she can do to get elected and she has hundreds of people on the streets doing that.
“If American people don’t pay attention to what’s happening, the country will collapse,” he said, adding ominously: “I’m afraid it’s already too big to stop, you know, maybe it’s too late. Maybe it’s already too big to stop. There’s a lot of people invested in this, you know, and they don’t care how they did it: ‘We win,’ and that’s it.”
As part of Project Veritas’ investigation, Jamal interviewed a Somali-American who claimed he was a ballot harvester who was paid to vote in a special election and primary last month. He said Somali-American vote-buying operatives linked to Omar came to his apartment to manage how ballots were being filled out.
“They come to us. They came to our homes. They said: ‘This year, you will vote for Ilhan,’” the Somali American man said. “They said: ‘We will make the absentee ballots. We will fill out the forms for you and when you get them back, we will again fill it out and send it.”
The man added that the operatives told voters to stay home, that there wasn’t a need to go to a polling site. “You stay home and you will not go to the place,” he said people were told by the Omar operatives.
“When we sign the voting document and they fill it out is when they give us the money,” the harvester said. “The minute we signed the thing [ballot] for the election. That’s when we get paid.”
Omar Jamal: So they [ballot harvesters] will request it [the ballot] for the elderly?
Ballot harvester: Yes. They [ballot harvesters] request [the ballot] for them [the elderly].
Omar Jamal: And it [the ballot] is taken away from them [elderly]?
Ballot Harvester: Yes. It [the ballot] is taken away from them [elderly].
One Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party operative named Jamal who saw the scheme in action told Project Veritas he was afraid to speak out about it.
“They fight you if you speak up,” Jamal said. “Like what? Like what can I do? Like get jumped? Hell no. They ain’t got—no, no, I’m good.”
The operative also said that newly arrived immigrants from Somalia are essentially taught that ballot harvesting is the American system of voting.
“We have to understand that the immigrants mostly, here now, are first-generation immigrants,” he said. “Through no fault of their own, the new immigrants are learning about democracy from the ballot harvesters. When they get here, because of that ignorance, not knowing how this, all things work. Sometimes they even think it’s legal.”
Project Veritas also said that a source told the organization “Omar’s campaign manager Ali Isse Gainey is a key player in the ballot harvesting scheme.”
The source told the investigators, “[Gainey], who’s working in Ilhan’s campaign is the one who is managing the voting place. They bring them. They line them. They put the open ballots in there and then they take them in and say, ‘Here,’ and the people mark [the ballots].
“They’re accepting temporary addresses; they’re accepting all kind of shenanigans,” she added. “They have perfected this system.”
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