ATLANTA (AP) — A Georgia man and his family have “faced threats of violence” after the movie “2000 Mules” falsely accused him of voter fraud during the 2020 election, according to a federal lawsuit. , living in fear ”.
The widely debunked film includes a surveillance video in which Mark Andrews’ face is blurred as he puts in five ballots into a ballot box in downtown Lawrenceville, in Atlanta’s northeastern suburbs. Narrated by conservative critic and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza, it states: These are fraudulent votes. ”
In fact, a state investigation found that Andrews had posted the ballots of himself, his wife, and three adult children living at the same address. It’s legal in Georgia, and state investigators said there was no evidence of wrongdoing by Andrews.
D’Souza’s film uses research from the Texas-based nonprofit True the Vote, which voted for the Democratic Party-aligned “Mule” ballot in Georgia and four other closely monitored states. was illegally paid to collect and distribute ballots. An Associated Press analysis found it was based on false assumptions, anonymous accounts, and inadequate analysis of cell phone location data.
State and federal officials have repeatedly confirmed there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud that could have altered the outcome of the presidential election during the 2020 election.
The lawsuit names D’Souza and True the Vote, as well as the organization’s executive director Catherine Engelbrecht and former director Gregg Phillips. Both Engelbrecht and Phillips appeared throughout the film and served as executive producers and producers, according to the complaint.
D’Souza did not immediately respond on Friday to a request for comment submitted through his website. Engelbrecht and True the Vote did not respond to emails seeking comment and were unable to immediately find contact information for Phillips.
“Defendants have always known that the portrayal of Mr. Andrews was a lie, as was the entire 2000 Mule story.”But they continued to sell these lies to enrich themselves. I came.”
Their social media accounts and website continue to use Andrews “as an example of a criminal ‘mule'” to promote the film, the lawsuit says. Andrews’ face is blurred in the film, but in videos interviewing the defendants, his face and his SUV license plate were sometimes clearly visible, the lawsuit states.
The false accusations caused pain to Andrews and his family, the lawsuit said.
“They are afraid to vote, and that fear has changed the way they vote,” he said. They may face physical harm. ”
Andrews, who is black, grew up in Jacksonville, Fla. Of the “conspiracy to defame and intimidate him,” the lawsuit says, “he will never again be able to vote without looking over his shoulder.”
Among other things, the lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and the removal of false and defamatory statements about Andrews from websites and social media accounts controlled by the defendants.
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