Live from Music Row Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles in the studio to discuss the potential for the 2020 election results to be decertified and the consequences of unelected bureaucrats.
Leahy: I’m always glad to have that great, steady, calming influence of that find Southern gentleman Andy Ogles, the Mayor of Maury County.
Ogles: Good morning. Because, you know, it’s good to have that calm, thoughtful, responsiveness to the hot energy I bring when we’re looking at these election issues. I would love to get your reaction to this.
And we have a story at The Tennessee Star. I’ll read the headline and the first two paragraphs and then get your reaction. This is a national story, but it does have state impact because we’ve got the problem here of illegal aliens coming into Tennessee. And it’s causing difficulties and expenses from the state.
We’ll get to that in a bit. Let me look at this story. I want to get your reaction. Headline. Former Trump Campaign Advisor Boris Epshteyn Predicts States Will Decertify 2020 Election Results.
Boris Epshteyn, attorney and former strategic advisor to the 2020 Trump campaign predicted many states will decertify their election results for the November 2020 election. In an interview with Gina Loudon, our friend, Epshteyn said the series of audits that may occur could lead to the reversal.
Additionally, this is what he says. There is no language in the Constitution that prevents such a move. “The further we go on this freight train of audits from Arizona to Georgia to Pennsylvania, and the more deeply horrifying information is uncovered. Ballots missing. Databases missing in Arizona. Fulton County, chain of custody documents missing in Georgia and Atlanta. Pennsylvania, a total cesspool of disaster. The more that information comes out, the more Americans believe this was a fraudulent election,” Epshteyn said.
What do you make of this claim that states will decertify their election results?
Ogles: I think that the last statement is key. We’re in unprecedented waters here constitutionally. The question is, there is no mechanism. So what happens next? And so ultimately, you think, well, it’s going to get kicked to the Supreme Court.
Well, the Supreme Court has already dodged this bullet. They wouldn’t hear it. You only had two dissenting votes in that case, and it was Alido and Thomas. So if they decertify and there’s a case to decertify and it goes to the Supreme Court, What’s the standing? How do you get standing before the Supreme Court?
Leahy: Neither of us are attorneys. But I think you’ve asked a critical question. I do think that it’s entirely possible that Georgia and Arizona, and in particular, Arizona because the state Senate is Republican.
The state House is Republican, same as in Georgia, although they’ve been a little weak in Georgia, they’re controlled by Republicans. I think it is possible that a special session could be held or even a regular session in January.
And reviewing all this evidence, I think they could say we vote to decertify the election. Okay. What’s the impact of that? And the answer is in terms of legal mechanism, nothing. Now in terms of public opinion, however, and I think this is the angle they’re going at.
I think a growing belief that this was an unlawful election and in many cases, and we’re looking in Georgia more and more that they can’t produce chain of custody documents as we speak today, seven and a half months after the election, there are no chain of custody documents for more than 300,000 absentee ballots cast in that election where the margin of victory was less than 12,000.
Ogles: Wow. At what point does this one become criminal? But, you know, I’ve had the opportunity kind of here as COVID’s been waning to speak, quite frequently across the state. And I can tell you, overwhelmingly, as I go around and I’m talking to these various groups from Jackson to Knoxville and everywhere in between that people think this election was stolen.
And I think more and more of these audits are showing that there’s a whole lot of monkey business or incompetence that took place. But at the end of the day, we were defrauded out of a true and honest election.
Leahy: Well, that’s the mantra now from the Secretary of State in Georgia. Sloppy but not fraudulent.
Ogles: Yeah, right.
Leahy: Sloppy, but not fraudulent. And it’s not just The Georgia Star News our site in Georgia. Just the News. Did you see what they got? John Solomon’s group. They got a 29 page memo from this guy by name of Carter Jones, who observed what happened in Fulton County from November second to November seventh.
And it is just a litany of a massive chain of custody problems. We’ve only reported on the movement of absentee ballots, which, by the way, they still haven’t produced the 385 missing transfer forms for 18,000 ballots to us at The Georgia Star News.
Fulton County claims to provided or Georgia Public Broadcasting complains that they provided all the missing documentation to them on Wednesday in 48 hours of receiving a request from them.
Six and seven months after we’ve requested it. We don’t have any of that data yet. They still haven’t provided it to us. And by the way of the ones we looked at, five percent of those absentee ballots were delivered to the registrar before they were collected at the dropbox. (Ogles chuckles) Time travel. If you believe in time travel, you believe in the certification of that election.
Ogles: I mean, that’s like Pulitzer Prize-winning. You just proved time travel.
Leahy: Time travel!
Ogles: But, you know, Laura Baigert who was on this story for The Georgia Star News, she got a shout out from our former President Trump. That has to be an amazing accomplishment from a journalist’s perspective.
I mean, Trump is Trump. Whether you like, like Trump or dislike Trump, he’s in his own kind of stratosphere. And to be given a shout-out by the former President is pretty amazing.
Leahy: Well, he’s tracking this, and it’s important stuff. And what’s interesting is you get in the weeds on this stuff. But in an election where you have absentee ballots placed in drop boxes, what a formula for fraud that is.
By the way, the Georgia state legislature did not authorize the use of drop boxes. There were 300 around Georgia. 37 in Fulton County not authorized. It was an emergency election code rule passed by the Georgia State Election Board that put them in place.
They had a rule about how you track them. So it’s very complicated. But the chain of custody was broken on so many levels there. The way they worked it is you would put these ballots in a dropbox.
And then these election workers, some of them who worked for apparently, this attempt service called Happy Faces, who got the contract with Fulton County because they were represented by wait for it…Stacey Abrams. (Ogles chuckles)
Gee, what could go wrong there? But what we can trace is they took these ballots, apparently, to a warehouse. And they held them there until they were going to count them in the election. Supposedly they tracked the movement of absentee ballots from 37 drop boxes to the warehouses.
They’re also supposed to, although it’s not an election code rule, apparently, there were some instructions that there’s a mechanism for tracking the movement of absentee ballots from the warehouse a couple of days before the election to four miles away to the counting center at the State Farm Arena, and then back.
You’re supposed to put them in a box. Number the boxes and track all that. They haven’t done that at all.
Ogles: So you’re saying an unelected bureaucrat change election law under the nose of the legislature, kind of like CRT in Tennessee.
Leahy: Exactly like it. This is why this is kind of circling back to what is making people so angry.
Ogles: That’s right. Because our bureaucrats are doing things that they’re not authorized to do by law, and we’re being forced to live with it. And not just on the consequences of this election, but in everyday life and in everyday life here in Tennessee.
Ogles: That’s right.
Listen to the second hour here:
– – –
Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Live from Music Row Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed The Star News Network’s Senior Reporter Laura Baigert to the newsmakers line to discuss her recent story regarding the investigation and request into chain of custody documents from Fulton County, Georgia’s Board of Registration and Elections Board.
Leahy: On our newsmaker line now, Tennessee Star, Star News Network, The Georgia Star News ace reporter Laura Baigert. Good morning, Laura.
Baigert: Good morning, Michael. How are you today?
Leahy: Well, you know, it’s been a very busy week for you, hasn’t it?
Baigert: Well, for all of us. (Laughter)
Leahy: So the big news was a week ago Monday you had a groundbreaking story and tell us what you discovered in that story. And then I will follow the chain of events from that story.
Baigert: For six months, we’ve been trying to get the chain of custody documents for the absentee ballots that were deposited by voters into drop boxes in Fulton County where Atlanta is located.
And we’ve got a bunch of documents from Fulton County, but not all of them. So we’ve followed up and followed up as a team to Fulton County asking for those documents. Finally, they came back and said, we have to admit that there are a few forms missing due to COVID and some quarantining that they back in October, that they misplaced documents.
This was after we showed them how many documents were missing and how many ballots they represented. But they disagreed with us on some of our numbers. But this is the first time that someone had any elections official had admitted that there have been any irregularities with their elections.
Leahy: Exactly. Their official spokesperson, Mariska Bodison, who’s the board Secretary for the Fulton County Board of Registrations and Elections, said a few forms were missing and paperwork may have been misplaced. (Chuckles) Procedural paperwork. That’s what she said.
Baigert: Right. And she really kind of dismissed in that terminology that these are critical chain of custody documents that go back to where those ballots even came from. And granted, anybody could do anything with these forms.
But the emergency rule that Secretary of State Raffensperger and the state elections board put into play in July, circumventing the legislature, which is what’s required by the Georgia Constitution, at least they should have followed that.
Leahy: And then the story gets more interesting because Monday afternoon, after our story, by the way, Mariska Bodison, the spokesperson who represented the Fulton County Board of Registrations and Elections admitted, a few forms may be missing.
We show that of the 1,565 transfer forms that should have been there to document chain of custody, they had only 1,100. So 385 are missing.
Leahy: It’s about 24 percent of them. But it’s a little bit more, right? (Chuckles)
Baigert: Right. It’s a little bit more than a few.
Leahy: So then that afternoon, Secretary eight Raffensperger announced that he’s investigating Fulton County for their absentee ballot chain of custody problems.
Baigert: Right after he exonerated them in April, three very tiny counties that only accounted for about a third of a percent of that absentee ballots were the only ones that were out of compliance.
Leahy: Then on Wednesday…
Baigert: Wednesday, the Georgia Public Broadcasting, the taxpayer-funded arm of NPR in Georgia, reports that they got all the documents between Monday afternoon or sometime Monday after our story came out and Wednesday in enough time for them to look at all of them and confirm that they received every one of the 1,565 documents.
And they evaluated them for no duplicates and everything else that they were able to publish a story and debunk as their fact check.
Leahy: That was their claim except they didn’t produce any of the transfer form documents as we did. We produced all of them that we got from Fulton County. And the other part of the story is the election director there, Richard Barron, admitted in public on Thursday that he dedicated 200 man-hours to finding these ‘missing absentee ballots,’ verifying your reporting, in essence.
Leahy: Wednesday he gives a flash drive to this reporter for Georgia Public Broadcasting and doesn’t give it to us.
Baigert: Right. And at the same time, he could have just sent that file over and said, hey, we have it here.
Leahy: I think it was on Saturday when this Georgia Public Broadcasting reporter, Stephen Fowler, puts a tweet out with a little partial image of two of these supposed 377 transfer forms.
We haven’t seen 375 of them, we just saw the top of them. And you looked at that form and what did you find out?
Baigert: In looking at that, compared to other documentation that Fulton County has provided us in the way of a spreadsheet where they tracked all of their 37 dropbox locations in the 41 days that they collected during early voting and Election Day that the numbers that they recorded on their spreadsheet don’t match up with what Stephen Fowler reported in his report.
And it was off by 21 ballots between the two locations. He may have been trying to help (Laughter) Fulton County, but I think he might hurt them even more.
Leahy: Yeah, because this is a discrepancy now and another discrepancy with this partial information. By the way, you’ve asked again, very politely on Friday for Fulton County to produce the flash drives that apparently have this data that they gave Georgia Public Broadcasting on Wednesday, but still haven’t given it to us.
Baigert: Right. And for an explanation as to how they got a 48-hour turnaround in getting the documents that we’ve been waiting months for. And in the same tweet by Stephen Fowler implies that it was his skills that allowed him to get the documents and not us. (Leahy laughs)
And if we could only tell Fulton County what documents were missing. Well, it would seem that the people who run the election would be the subject matter experts in how many documents they have to administer the election rather than us knowing how many documents they have.
Leahy: Yeah. That’s their duty. It’s a Secretary of State’s duty to obtain those before he certifies the election. That was way back in November. He didn’t do that. Where do you think this particular story is going to go? Will Fulton County respond to us?
Baigert: I would say not likely. If they didn’t voluntarily turn those over and say, hey, we located the documents you’ve been asking for.
And since, by the way, Steven Fowler at the Georgia Public Broadcasting reported that at the same time, he got a flash drive from Fulton County last week that the documents were turned over to state investigators who were now, as Raffensperger said, the Secretary of State was going to investigate this. So they turned it over to them, but not the people who originated the request.
Leahy: Yeah, that’s a little fishy, wouldn’t you say?
Baigert: Yes. (Leahy chuckles) I’d say it’s doubtful that they’ll respond to us today. We basically haven’t asked them for much at this point. By state law, they’re also supposed to reply to you within three days. They did give us an automated response last week.
Leahy: Yeah, we got your request. We’ll process it. (Laughter) They had a different response to Georgia Public Broadcasting. Okay, here they are but you can’t share them with anybody else, and you can’t make them public. And you can only put partial information about two of these 377 transfer forms. (Chuckles)
Baigert: And what’s really interesting about it is that there were six full days that we didn’t get documents for. It’s an interesting scenario and it’s obvious that not all public document requesters are treated equally. And I think that is something that Rasmussen pointed out in a tweet after Steven Fowler touted his prowess and his amazing skills.
Leahy: (Chuckles) Well, it’s probably illegal, actually, to treat different requests for records differently. And we just might have something to say to Fulton County about that. Wait, and stay tuned. Laura, thanks so much for joining us this morning. Great reporting.
Baigert: Thank you, Michael. Have a great day.
Listen to the full second hour here:
– – –
Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.