Before MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell’s documentary aired on the One America News Network, a disclaimer rolled slowly across the screen:
“The statements and claims expressed in this program are presented at this time as opinions only and are not intended to be taken or interpreted by the viewer as established facts.”
The disclaimer cut a sharp contrast with the program’s title: “Absolute Proof.”
Does Lindell’s documentary provide what the title promises? No.
The video, which clocks in at about two hours, rehashes old conspiracy theories, touching on claims that have been repeatedly debunked by state and local officials, thrown out by the courts and contradicted by federal agencies.
The film, which Lindell produced over the past five days, has a chaotic and often perplexing style. Ominous music phases in and out as Lindell and his guests speak. Several interviews are punctuated by abrupt fades to black. At one point a hammer and sickle flashes on the screen.
Over the course of the video, Lindell interviews a series of “cyber forensic experts,” many of whom Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani featured as witnesses during his long campaign to overturn the election. Lindell’s guests include Russell Ramsland, a former Republican congressional candidate who authored an error-ridden affidavit that mistook Minnesota voting precincts for Michigan ones; Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai, who has spread conspiracy theories in the past and continues to call himself the inventor of email despite heavy pushback from technology experts; and Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney, who has falsely claimed that COVID-19 was a biological weapon.
We received many requests to take a look at Lindell’s documentary. The film has already been removed from Vimeo and YouTube. Dominion Voting Machines, the company at the heart of the video’s allegations, has threatened to sue Lindell for his baseless claims of voter fraud involving their machines.
Fact-checked here are six of the many misleading claims included in the film.
Lindell: “These (voting) machines were used to steal our elections by other countries, including China.”
This is False. There is no evidence that the Chinese Communist Party interfered in the 2020 election.
All 50 states and the District of Columbia have certified their election results, which Congress finalized on Jan. 7. There is no credible evidence that voter fraud affected President Joe Biden’s win.
Here’s how we know that:
- Election officials in every state have said there was no sign of significant voter fraud during the voting process.
- The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, called CISA, and its election partners called the 2020 election “the most secure in American history.”
- Former Attorney General William Barr said the Justice Department uncovered no evidence of widespread fraud.
- Not one of the more than 60 lawsuits that President Donald Trump and his allies filed in state and federal courts proved that voter fraud affected the election outcome.
In a rumor control page on its website, CISA said that bad actors would not be able to change election results without being caught. Dominion, a voting technology company that was targeted by disinformation after the election, said on its website that it has no ties to the Chinese government.
Lindell: “On election night, 11:15 at night, the algorithms of these (voting) machines broke … Donald Trump got so many more millions of votes that they didn’t expect, that they’re going to have to go recalibrate, right? So that’s why all these states shut down. All of a sudden they all shut down. And we’re all going, ‘What? That’s weird, this has never happened in any other election.’”
This is False. Delays with the vote count were due to an influx of mail-in ballots, spurred by the coronavirus pandemic. In several states, processing the mail-in ballots took longer than counting Election Day voting.
Battleground states did not stop counting votes on election night when Trump was ahead to swing the election to Biden.
Lindell: 4,296 Georgia voters “registered to vote in another state after their Georgia registration date.”
False. This number comes from an analysis conducted by Matt Braynard, a former Trump campaign staffer. Braynard arrived at the number by comparing Georgia registration and voting lists with the U.S. Postal Service change-of-address data.
Braynard’s methods have been strongly criticized by election experts and statisticians. In an analysis of Braynard’s findings, Harvard professor and voting statistics expert Stephen Ansolabehere wrote that “the report offers no conclusions based on scientifically accepted standards of evidence” and that parts of the report were “riddled with errors and biases that render it invalid for purposes of drawing inferences about the quantities at issue.”
A Georgia state representative documented that many voters on his list actually lived in the state. When questioned by the lawmaker, Braynard backpedaled on some of his conclusions. He claimed that he had only listed “potentially illegal” voters and that he was not accusing any of the people on his list of breaking the law.
In a Jan. 2 phone call with Trump, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, said that Braynard’s data was wrong and that only two dead people voted in the election.
In a statement rejecting the claims, Scytl said that its technologies for the U.S. are hosted and managed domestically by a Tampa-based subsidiary, SOE Software, and that it does not provide any voting machines in the U.S. or online voting services for U.S. elections.
Scytl and Dominion share no ties, according to statements from both companies.
Lindell: “15,000 people in Antrim County, Mich., voted, and 7,000 votes flipped.”
False. The scrutiny of Antrim’s ballots arises from an error in the reporting of unofficial results on election night, which initially showed voters in the heavily GOP county casting more votes for Biden than for Trump. Trump allies have seized on that error, and other alleged irregularities, in their fruitless quest for evidence of election rigging through equipment made by Dominion.
State and county officials say the reporting error, which was corrected soon after the election, was the result of human error by County Clerk Sheryl Guy, a Republican, before the election.
Trump, not Biden, won Antrim County.
Col. Phil Waldron: “We have got documented Chinese Communist Party ownership of the private equity firm whose board controls Dominion. The president of the Chinese Communist Bank who is a board of directors member of the private equity firm that owns Dominion. … The (CCP) does have access to the Dominion code.”
Fact-checkers have debunked multiple falsehoods about Dominion Voting, a company that was targeted with misinformation after the election. Dominion, which makes voting machines, was founded in 2003 and has headquarters in Denver and Toronto. The company said on its website that it has no ties to the Chinese government and that it is an American company that provides voting systems in 28 states, including in red and blue jurisdictions. We found no evidence that the company has ties to the Chinese Communist Party.
USA Today found the claim of Chinese investment in Dominion Voting Systems confuses UBS subsidiaries and rated false a claim that China invested $400 million in Dominion Voting System. The Associated Press also found no truth to the claim that “Communist China” purchased Dominion.
Lindell: “17,000 dead voters in Michigan”
This is false. Trump made a similar statement during the Jan. 6 Save America rally.
There is no evidence that dead people voted in Michigan’s election, our Michigan partner at the Detroit Free Press found. Michigan relies on Social Security Administration death records to flag deceased voters and maintain the integrity of voter files. In the November election, the state identified ballots cast by 3,469 people who had passed away between casting their ballot and the election.
We also debunked a viral tweet that over 14,000 votes in Wayne County were cast by dead people. According to the state’s voter database, several of the individuals on the list are shown as never having cast an absentee ballot, and at least one woman listed seems to still be alive.
This article was originally published by PolitiFact, which is owned by the Poynter Institute. It is republished here with permission. See the sources for these facts checks here and more of their fact-checks here.