Skip to Content

Special counsel received documents from Giuliani team that tried to find fraud after 2020 election

<i>Ted Shaffrey/AP</i><br/>News commentator and former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik speaks with the media at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster on June 13 in Bedminster
Ted Shaffrey/AP
News commentator and former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik speaks with the media at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster on June 13 in Bedminster

By Paula Reid, Zachary Cohen and Tierney Sneed, CNN

(CNN) — Among the materials turned over to special counsel Jack Smith about supposed fraud in the 2020 election are documents that touch on many of the debunked conspiracies and unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud peddled by former Donald Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani.

The documents had been withheld by former New York Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik, who claimed they were privileged, only to be handed over to Smith on Sunday at what appears to be the late stages of the federal investigation into efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

The files include affidavits claiming there were widespread “irregularities,” shoddy statistical analyses supposedly revealing “fraudulent activities,” and opposition research about a senior employee from Dominion Voting Systems that are central to civil litigation and a federal criminal probe stemming from a voting systems breach in Colorado.

The documents turned over by Kerik also connect him and other members of the Trump legal team to the efforts to smear a Dominion Voting Systems executive – efforts that are now the subject of both civil litigation and the Colorado state criminal investigation.

The tranche includes a 29-page dossier on the executive, Eric Coomer, detailing his anti-Trump rhetoric on social media, as well as his background working for the voting machine company. The header of the document describes it as written by a lawyer in North Carolina for the “Hon. Rudy Giuliani, Jenna Ellis, Trump Legal Team, and Other Associated Attorneys Combatting Election Fraud, 2020 Presidential Election.”

Coomer has brought a defamation lawsuit against the Trump campaign, Giuliani and others who promoted claims that he was connected to a plot to rig the 2020 election.

The documents turned over by Kerik also include a 105-page report from after the 2020 election compiled by the Trump campaign and Giuliani that contained the campaign’s unfounded allegations of fraud, including witness statements and false allegations of over-votes and illegal votes.

They also include communications between investigators hired by Giuliani – including Kerik – about the debunked report about irregularities in Antrim County, Michigan, that Trump was repeatedly told was bogus but continued to tout up to and on January 6, 2021.

One example is a memo titled “Briefing materials for Senate members” sent by Katherine Friess – a former Trump lawyer – to Kerik, Steve Bannon and an email address known to belong to Giuliani on January 4, 2021.

For months, Kerik had tried to shield some of the documents from investigators in Congress and the Justice Department, citing privilege. Then, in recent weeks, Kerik gave the documents to Trump’s 2024 campaign to review. After that review, the campaign declined to assert privilege, according to Kerik’s lawyer, Tim Parlatore, who then turned over the documents to the Smith’s office on Sunday.

“I have shared all of these documents, appropriately 600MB, mostly pdfs, with the Special Counsel and look forward to sitting down with them in about two weeks to discuss,” Parlatore said.

That interview with federal investigators in Smith’s office has now been set for early August.

‘An army of phantom voters’

This tranche of documents turned over to Smith further illustrates the scope of unproven fraud claims that were being circulated to high-level Trump allies at the time.

One of the research documents turned over by Kerik was a report on so-called U-Voters, a theory that there is “an army of phantom voters,” who have accumulated on the voter rolls over the last several years, “who can be deployed at will.”

The report was referenced in late December 2020 letters sent to the Justice Department and to then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell by Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano, a top promoter of Trump’s election reversal gambits who ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2022. The letter to McConnell, signed by other Pennsylvania Republicans as well, asked him to dispute the election’s certification.

The Kerik documents also include several versions of a research memo purporting to analyze the Pennsylvania election and claiming to find an “indication” of fraud. The Trump team’s focus on Pennsylvania, and how its bogus claims of fraud there affected election officials in the state, has been the subject of scrutiny by Smith.

In addition, the internal communications handed over by Kerik suggest Trump’s team attempted to seize on an earlier Government Accountability Office report about the Department of Homeland Security’s cyber arm to undercut what Trump was told – and embraced – during a February 2020 Oval Office meeting about election security.

They include the GAO report and what appears to be a memo highlighting the fact that “DHS Critical Infrastructure and Security Agency (CISA) failed to fully execute multiple strategies to secure the 2020 Presidential elections.”

The memo seeks to counter CISA’s public statement that the election was “the most secure in American history,” based on security programs officials presented to Trump during the February 2020 briefing. Trump had seemed to embrace the programs in early 2020, to the point of suggesting the agencies hold a press conference so he could take credit for their work, CNN reported Monday.

This headline and story have been updated with additional reporting.

™ & © 2023 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

CNN’s Sara Murray, Jeremy Herb, Marshall Cohen, Hannah Rabinowitz, Holmes Lybrand and Devan Cole contributed to this report.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

Jump to comments ↓

CNN Newsource


KTVZ NewsChannel 21 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content