Gateway Pundit Goes on Offensive After Being Sued Over Fulton County GA 2020 Election Reporting
The Gateway Pundit is countersuing groups that have targeted the news outlet for its reporting concerning two 2020 Fulton County, Georgia election workers.
Yale University’s Media Freedom & Information Access Clinic (MFIA) and United To Protect Democracy filed its complaint against Gateway Pundit’s parent company TGP Communications LLC, as well as its owner James Hoft and his brother and Gateway writer Joseph Hoft in December 2021.
The defamation suit alleges that The Gateway Pundit falsely reported that Fulton County election workers Ruby Freeman and Wandrea “Shaye” Moss engaged in wrongdoing on election night 2020 after reporters and poll watchers were told counting had ended for the night. However, it recommenced a short time later.
“[S]ecurity footage from Georgia’s State Farm Arena showed dozens of ballot counters, media, and Republican observers leaving en masse at the same time from the ballot-counting area for Fulton County,” according to The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway.
“After they left, a small remnant of about four workers began pulling trunks containing thousands of ballots from underneath a table with a long tablecloth and running them through machines.”
Freeman and Moss were two of the workers in the video.
WATCH: Footage of State Farm Arena in #Atlanta shows that after poll monitors and media were told counting was done, four workers stayed behind to count #ballots, at times pulling out suitcases containing ballots from underneath desks.
Watch full video: https://t.co/EHnM5HZFWj pic.twitter.com/xuT8Svgxbr
— The Epoch Times (@EpochTimes) December 3, 2020
Georgia Republican Party chairman David Shafer tweeted the day after the election this was the report he received.
“Fulton County told our observers last night to go home because they were closing up and then continued to count ballots in secret,” he wrote.
Fulton County told our observers last night to go home because they were closing up and then continued to count ballots in secret.
— David Shafer (@DavidShafer) November 4, 2020
Jackie Pick — a Trump campaign attorney observing counting at State Farm Arena — told WXIA-TV in December 2020 that at “about 10, there was one person working the polls who told everyone in the room to leave.”
But the Georgia Secretary of State’s office investigated the matter and concluded the video in question just showed “normal ballot processing,” according to WXIA.
Why people were told counting was over for the night has never been adequately answered.
An independent review commissioned by Georgia’s State Election Board on Fulton County’s conduct of the election, concluded in a January 2021 report, “the truth about what happened on the night of November 3rd between 10:30 PM and 11:52 PM [at State Farm Arena] continues to be elusive … but if the party poll watchers are correct, then there is a serious problem.”
Fulton County registration chief Ralph Jones, who was present at State Farm Arena that night, resigned in August 2021 after coming under intense criticism for the county’s handling of the 2020 election.
“There were persistent chain of custody issues throughout the entire absentee ballot processing system,” the January 2021 report said.
It added that “the fact that ballots were delivered to State Farm Arena in unsecured mail carts is very concerning.”
“Protocol for securing ballots exists not only in securing the ballots themselves but also ensuring no ballot stuffing occurred,” it said.
“The problem was exacerbated by poor managerial processes by Ralph Jones, who failed to do intake counts for provisional ballots.”
The previous month Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger had called for his firing along with Fulton County elections director Rick Barron. Barron resigned in November 2021.
Fulton County’s continued failures have gone on long enough with no accountability. Rick Barron and Ralph Jones, Fulton’s registration chief, must be fired and removed from Fulton’s elections leadership immediately. Fulton’s voters and the people of Georgia deserve better.
— GA Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (@GaSecofState) July 15, 2021
So there were plenty of problems with the election in Fulton County in 2020.
The lawsuit brought by MFIA and Protect Democracy alleges The Gateway Pundit intentionally disseminated falsehoods about election workers Freeman and Moss, thereby defaming them.
The suit claims Freeman and Moss have continued to face emotional and economic damage due to Gateway’s reporting, though it would seem tough to close that loop that one outlet’s reporting alone caused the anger directed at the plaintiffs.
One Gateway headline, the suit points to as false read, “Huge! Video Footage from Georgia Shows Suitcases Filled with Ballots Pulled from Under Table AFTER Supervisor Told Poll Workers to Leave Tabulation Center.”
A fact check determined the “suitcases” were ballot containers used by the county, but they were pulled from under a table after the observers were asked to leave because counting had ended for the night.
James Hoft took it a step further tweeting that the footage showed alleged fraudulent ballots and those involved in counting them were “dirty crooks.” He could not prove that.
What is known is the events that took place at State Farm Arena were out of the ordinary and caused concerns and doubts among many.
A Gateway headline mirrored similar language to Hoft’s tweet saying a “Crooked Operative Filmed Pulling Out Suitcases of Ballots in Georgia” and naming Ruby Freeman. A later article named Moss.
That went too far. Authorities have not found cheating occurred in Fulton County, but have concluded procedures were not followed that help ensure the integrity of the election.
In other words, the steps that should be taken to give confidence cheating did not occur were not all followed.
Gateway Pundit’s attorney Rob Roberts sees Project Democracy’s and MFIA’s suit as targeted at them because the outlet is conservative.
“Protect Democracy, a neo-globalist group which pushed the Russia, Russia, Russia hoax, protected the Biden Crime Family’s gas interests in Ukraine,” Roberts said in a statement to The Western Journal.
“Protect Democracy also represents plaintiffs in another election ‘disinformation‘ suit against James O’Keefe and Project Veritas, filed a few months prior to the suit against Gateway Pundit starting in 2021,” Roberts added.
He further noted that MFIA is funded in part by liberal Craig’s List founder Craig Newmark, who funds multiple organizations aimed at fighting “disinformation.”
Among the organizations Newmark has backed through his foundation include the liberal ProPublica and the leftist Mother Jones magazine.
There is much to find fault with in how Fulton County conducted the 2020 election.
Gateway will get the chance to prove in court if it was wrongly targeted for being a conservative outlet or being held to account for its reporting about Freeman and Moss.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.