(Headline USA) A Minneapolis man is on trial on charges of lying to a federal grand jury about abusing a process for submitting absentee ballots for other voters during Minnesota’s primary election in August 2020, countering claims that are no examples or even possible threads of fraud surrounding elections.
Muse Mohamud Mohamed, 34, is accused of falsely telling the grand jury last fall that he had obtained three absentee ballots for the primary on behalf of three voters who then filled them out before he returned them to the election office.
Federal prosecutors say Mohamed didn’t take any of the three ballots to the absentee voters named on the envelopes, and that none of the voters gave him ballots to return. The defense disputes the charges.
Mohamed went on trial Monday before U.S. District Judge Nancy Brasel in Minneapolis.
Absentee voters in Minnesota can use “agent delivery.” It’s meant for voters who intend to vote in person, but become unable due to health reasons or disabilities and is ripe with potential for fraud. They can then request absentee ballots after the normal deadline and can designate an “agent” to act on their behalf. That agent must be at least 18, have a pre-existing relationship with the voter, and can’t be a candidate. A agent can pick up and deliver ballots for no more than three voters in any given election.
According to a prosecution filing, city election documents show that Mohamed delivered three ballots as an agent for three voters in the Aug. 11, 2020, primary election. But prosecutors allege the three voters did not know Mohamed and did not ask him to pick up or deliver absentee ballots for them. One ballot he allegedly attempted to return was rejected because the voter had voted in person.
Mohamed was later subpoenaed and testified twice before a federal grand jury investigating the agent delivery process for the 2020 primary, the filing said.
“Ultimately, Mohamed stated he received the three absentee ballots from the voters themselves. When confronted with the fact that the voters each gave statements that they do not know Mohamed and that they did not ask him or anyone for agent delivery of their ballots for the August 2020 election, Mohamed continued to stand by his answer that he received the ballots from the voter,” prosecutors wrote.
The August 2020 primary in Minnesota wasn’t part of the nominating process for the 2020 presidential election. Mohamed was a volunteer in that campaign for Omar Fateh, according to reporting by the Minnesota Reformer and the Sahan Journal, two independent news websites.
Fateh, a democratic socialist, defeated incumbent Democrat Sen. Jeff Hayden in the primary by around 2,000 votes and went on to with the general election for the south Minneapolis seat. At most, two of the allegedly fraudulent ballots handled by Mohamed were counted, not nearly enough to effect the outcome of any race on the ballot, but certainly a clear case of fraud..
Mohamed is the only person known to have been indicted as a result of the grand jury investigation. Those proceedings are normally secret, and no details have emerged except for those related to the charges against Mohamed in this case. So the scope of the investigation and whether it uncovered any other vote fraud remains unclear.
According to the Sahan Journal, Muse’s sister is Zaynab Mohamed, the Democrat-endorsed candidate for a neighboring Senate district in Minneapolis. She told the news outlet that she was not involved in his trial, nor was she a subject of the investigation.
Democrat Secretary of State Steve Simon has claimed repeatedly that Minnesota’s 2020 elections were fair and honest, with no credible evidence of significant voter fraud, which flies in the face of recent disclosures.
In another Minnesota case, Abdihakim Amin Essa was sentenced to probation last month in state court for pleading guilty to four vote fraud counts in the 2018 election. Nine other counts were dismissed in the plea agreement.
He was accused of signing as a witness for 13 people who cast absentee ballots when he legally couldn’t because he wasn’t a U.S. citizen, and signing with his father’s name. All 13 ballots were rejected.
A September 2020 expose by conservative watchdog Project Veritas revealed evidence of what appeared to be a massive vote fraud ring in Minneapolis’s Somali community that had ties to top Democrat officials, including Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn.
Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press