A man that was featured in a video that went viral last week claims that he was set up by someone who offered him $10,000 to say that he was collecting ballots for far-left Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN). Project Veritas pushed back strongly against the claims.
“Liban Osman is featured prominently in a video released last week by the conservative media operation Project Veritas claiming there is ‘massive voter fraud’ in Minnesota orchestrated by Congresswoman Ilhan Omar,” FOX 9 reported. “In his first interview, Liban Osman tells the FOX 9 Investigators he was offered $10,000 by community activist Omar Jamal to say he was collecting ballots for Congresswoman Ilhan Omar.”
In the video, Osman said, “Just today we got 300 for Jamal Osman. I have 300 ballots in my car right now.” Newsweek identified the man’s last name as Mohamed, not Osman.
“It’s insane,” Osman told FOX 9 in apparent reference to Jamal. “He was setting me up.”
FOX 9 added:
Liban Osman admits the Project Veritas video footage looks incriminating, but he said the group deliberately left the full context on the cutting room floor. Project Veritas used two separate videos he posted on Snapchat while driving in his car to make it appear as if he was illegally picking up ballots and offering money for votes, he said.
In a video from July, Liban Osman said he was collecting mail in ballots from sick and elderly voters who had requested them through the campaign.
Liban Osman denies that he filled out the ballots or altered them in any way. He said what appears to be open ballots laying on the dash of his car are actually the envelopes the ballots came in. He said voters concerned about identity theft asked him to shred the envelopes.
Despite his boast that he had 300 ballots in the car, he said the actual number was closer to 20.
According to FOX 9, Osman reportedly claims that Jamal offered him $10,000 to say that was harvesting ballots for Omar.
“He said, ‘Why are you defending Ilhan Omar? They (Project Veritas) are not after you or your brother. Why are you defending her?’” Osman claimed. “I told him he was insane and walked away.”
Project Veritas pushed back strongly on the claims that were made in the FOX 9 report.
“These are wild, and crazy, and baseless accusations,” said Jered Ede, chief legal officer for Project Veritas. “This, to me, is a man who is drowning in the consequences of his own actions, who is trying to grasp at every possible straw to keep himself from going under.”
UPDATE: James O’Keefe Hits Back At ‘Bogus FOX 9 Report’ That Alleges Bribe Was Offered
KARE 11 reports that ballot harvesting was temporarily permitted in Minnesota for a brief period this summer due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Following the explosive Project Veritas video that was released last week, The Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) announced: “ALLEGATIONS OF VOTER FRAUD BEING EVALUATED. ✅ The MPD is aware of the allegations of vote harvesting. We are in the process of looking into the validity of those statements. No further information is available at this time on this.”
ALLEGATIONS OF VOTER FRAUD BEING EVALUATED. ✅ The MPD is aware of the allegations of vote harvesting. We are in the process of looking into the validity of those statements. No further information is available at this time on this.
— Minneapolis Police (@MinneapolisPD) September 28, 2020
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman’s office said in a separate statement: “The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office has received no information or cases involving so-called ballot harvesting in any elections held in Hennepin County this year. If Project Veritas has evidence of election law violations, they should provide it to the Minneapolis Police Department.”
President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter: “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!”
Democrat Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI) responded by writing on Twitter that ballot harvesting needed to be banned.
“Congress needs to pass our bipartisan bill to ban ballot harvesting so no one can exploit our sacred right to vote,” Gabbard wrote on Twitter, later adding: “Project Veritas offers further evidence of the need to ban ballot harvesting. It’s not a partisan issue. It’s been abused to help both R & D candidates, including in North Carolina & California. Please help by telling your congressional rep to pass our bipartisan bill HR8285.”