CNN’s Daniel Dale knocked down a staggering 21 false claims from ex-President Donald Trump’s indictment on four charges related to January 6 in an epic fact-check.
The arrest and arraignment of Trump after being indicted by Special Counsel Jack Smith’s grand jury for his attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election has blotted out the sun this week. Trump faces charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of an attempt to obstruct an official proceeding, and conspiracy against rights.
But there were many more than 4 false or misleading statements repeated throughout the indictment.
CAMEROTA: Special Counsel Jack Smith says the January 6th attack was caused by lies told by Donald Trump, and the indictment includes a litany of those election lies.
Here to take us through them, our fact-checker extraordinaire, Daniel Dale. Okay, so Daniel, you have counted up the lies that prosecutors say they’ve caught Trump in. What’s the tally?
DANIEL DALE, CNN SENIOR REPORTER: I counted 21 listed in that 45-page indictment. I think if you counted slightly differently, there’s some subjectivity here. You could go as low as 18 or as high as maybe 25. But I made a list of 21. CAMEROTA: Okay, take us through them.
DALE: Okay, here we go. Lie number one is Trump’s overarching election lie that he was the real winner of a stolen election, that fraud changed the outcome. The indictment says numerous Trump officials, Trump himself appointed, had told him this narrative was baseless, groundless false, but that he kept deploying it anyway.
Lie number two is the lie that fake pro-Trump electors in states won by Biden were real electors. They obviously were not. Lies number three and four, I thought, were two remarkable lies related to Trump’s pressure on the Justice Department.
Number three, Trump allegedly tried to get DOJ to give a government stamp of approval to his lies by sending an official letter to key states saying DOJ had identified major concerns with the election, though, of course, it had not.
Number four, Trump allegedly urged top DOJ officials to falsely — quote — “just say the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the Republican congressman.” Line number five is that Vice President Pence had the power to reject Biden electoral votes.
On January 6, 2021. Pence and White House lawyers had repeatedly told Trump that Pence did not, that this would be illegal, unconstitutional, but Trump still kept declaring that Pence did have that power.
Number six, another lie about Pence. Trump allegedly had his campaign issue a January 5th statement saying Pence totally agreed that the VP had the power to act, even though Pence told Trump just hours prior that he still actually totally disagreed.
And then number seven, Trump allegedly told Pence at a January 4th pressure meeting that they had won every state in question by hundreds of thousands of votes. Again, obviously false.
Number eight and nine are conspiracy theories about Dominion voting machines. Number eight, the lie that swing state machines had switched votes from Trump to Biden. Trump repeated this claim even though his AG, William Barr, and others had explained to him it was wrong.
Number nine, Trump retweeted Lawyer Sidney Powell’s lie about supposed — quote — massive election fraud involving Dominion, even though the indictment said he had privately said that Powell sounded — quote — “crazy.”
Now lies number 10 through 13 are about Georgia, one of the swing states he lost. Number 10 was Trump’s lie that Georgia had tens of thousands of ballots from dead people. The Republican secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, had told Trump directly on that infamous phone call that they’d found two dead voter cases, later up the number to four such cases. Number 11 is Trump’s lie that Georgia had tens of thousands of ballots from people who lived out of state. Raffensperger’s officials explained to Trump directly on that call that these were actually legitimate voters who’d moved back to the state.
Number 12 was Trump’s lie that two Fulton County elections workers had been caught on video stuffing the ballot box. Raffensperger and top Trump DOJ official told him this was false and that workers were just doing their jobs. But Trump would not stop. He actually continues to repeat that lie this year, 2023, still going.
Number 13 is Trump’s tweeted lie that Raffensperger was — quote — “unwilling or unable to address his various fraud claims on that wild, infamous call.” In fact, Raffensperger debunked those claims at length and in detail on that call.
Lie number 14 is Trump’s false claim about a supposed nefarious vote dump in Detroit, Michigan. Trump repeated this dump nonsense in remarks the day after Barr directly explained to him that what had happened in Detroit was just normal standard vote counting.
Lines number 15 and 16 were that Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, two more swing states. Each had more votes than actual voters. DOJ officials told Trump that this clearly untrue claim was indeed untrue. But he still used the Pennsylvania part in his pre-riot January 6 speech.
Lie number 17 is Trump’s lie in that same speech that Pennsylvania wanted to recertify its election results, showing a Biden victory. Some Republicans of the state did. But the Democratic governor in election sheet, the people who actually had the certification power, did not.
And lies number 18 through 21, finally, are assorted false claims about various states. Eighteen, that Nevada had tens of thousands of double votes. It didn’t. Nineteen, that a substantial number of dead people and nonresidents had voted in Arizona. Wrong again.
Twenty, that over 36,000 noncitizens had voted in Arizona. Trump’s own campaign manager told him this was wrong. And finally, 21, that Wisconsin had major fraud and tens of thousands of unlawful votes. Once again, all baseless.
CAMEROTA: Daniel —
UNKNOWN: The crowd goes wild.
CAMEROTA: The crowd here has gone wild. I really hope —
DALE: I’ve taken a breath.
CAMEROTA: — the Guinness Book of World Records was just watching that because —
DALE: Thank you.
CAMEROTA: I don’t believe you took a breath for all that time. DALE: I tried my best.
CAMEROTA: Your breath work is impressive, Daniel. That is so — so, is that everything?
DALE: Well, that — in all seriousness, that is not — that is not all of the election lying that Trump did. In my own fact checking, I counted dozens of additional lies about the election that the indictment did not mention. Of course, the indictments don’t mention everything. Maybe some of the others will come up at a potential trial.
CAMEROTA: Daniel, you’re remarkable. You are remarkable. That was —
DALE: Thanks, Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: I can’t believe you just fit that into one live shot and one breath, as far as I can tell. Thanks so much for doing that for us.
Watch above via CNN Tonight.
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