A new Project Veritas video released Sunday night exposes an alleged Minneapolis ballot-harvesting scheme apparently involving allies and associates of Rep. Ilhan Omar.
Project Veritas obtained deleted Snapchat videos from Liban Mohamed, who said in the July videos that he was collecting ballots to help his brother, Jamal Osman, win the race for the vacant Ward Six Minneapolis City Council seat.
“Numbers don’t lie. Numbers don’t lie. You can see my car is full. All these here are absentees’ [sic] 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,” said Mohamed.
“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’m saying?” Mohamed continued.
Project Veritas said Omar Jamal, a political insider and employee at the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office, was central to its investigation.
“It’s an open secret. She [Omar] will do anything that she can do to get elected and she has hundreds of people on the streets doing that,” said Jamal, who chairs the Somali Watchdog Group.
“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,” he added. “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.”
During the course of his involvement in the investigation, Jamal conducted an undercover interview of a Somali American who apparently functions as a ballot harvester in the community and has had ballot harvesters come to his home. He claimed Omar operatives request ballots and fill them out for voters.
“They come to us. They came to our homes. They said: ‘This year, you will vote for Ilhan,’” he 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.”
He then said he gets paid after the ballots are signed and documented.
“When we sign the voting document and they fill it out is when they give us the money,” he said. “The minute we signed the thing [ballot] for the election. That’s when we get paid.”
In another recorded conversation obtained by Project Veritas, Mohamed describes how he collects ballots from elderly residents and delivers them to polling locations. According to Project Veritas, the alleged ballot-harvesting scheme targets the senior citizen community at Horn Towers and residents of the Riverside Plaza apartments.
One Minneapolis source told Project Veritas that Ali Isse Gainey, deputy district director for Omar’s campaign, is a key figure in the alleged scheme.
“They have perfected this system,” she said. “This is what they do. They will tell you we are applying for your ballot. They take a picture of your social security and your driver’s license. They have a database. When the ballot comes, they track it, sometimes they make fake emails. They track the ballot. Then, they come and pick up the ballot — unopened.”
She also accused the Omar campaign of running a cash-for-votes scheme.
“[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],” she said.
“No, and the ones that didn’t vote on ballots, the young people, and the women and stuff, they were paying cash, cash, cash,” she continued. “They were carrying bags of money. And when you vote and they mark you off, then you get in the van, they give you the cash.”
“So, there is vested interest, but we are victims of the system,” she said. “They don’t give a shit about any Somali.”
Another source, known as Jamal, is involved with the Minnesota DFL Party and said the party “will fight you if you speak up.”
Violations of state and federal law
Minnesota law prohibits third parties from collecting absentee ballots for more than three voters and Jered Ede, the chief legal officer for Project Veritas, said Mohamed and others involved in the operation may have violated various state and federal laws.
“The federal laws, 18 USC §597 and 52 U.S.C. §10307(c), are quite clear,” he said in a press release. “In the case of 18 USC §597, it is punishable by up to two years in prison and in the case of 52 USC §10307 it’s punishable by up to $10,000 in fines and up to five years in prison.”
Minnesota statutes prohibit paying a person or receiving money to register to vote or to vote, he noted.
“This is a state felony punishable by more than one-year imprisonment,” said Ede, who elaborated on the state and federal laws regarding voter intimidation.
“The federal laws 52 USC §20511, 18 USC §594 and 52 USC §10307(b) and the Minnesota statute 211B.07 law prohibit anyone from using undue influence, threats, intimidation, or fraud to influence a person’s vote or to influence them to vote at all,” he said.
James O’Keefe, founder and CEO of Project Veritas, said his team has had cameras on the ground for months and plans to release more footage in the coming days. Meanwhile, state Rep. Steve Drazkowski has called a press conference for Monday morning to discuss “a significant investigation into voter fraud involving absentee ballots and in person voting during the Aug. 11, 2020 primary election.”
“Read and share this widely. Ilhan and her people have been cheating in Minneapolis for years. Now, they’ve been caught. These cheaters need to be punished appropriately,” said Minnesota GOP Chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan. “Our country’s foundation is freedom and fair elections.”
President Donald Trump weighed in on the matter in a late-night tweet.
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??? We will win Minnesota because of her, and law enforcement. Saved Minneapolis & Iron O Range! https://t.co/yete31P680
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 28, 2020