There’s now independent confirmation that Georgia’s Governor-elect Brian Kemp fabricated a tale about a cybercrime while serving as secretary of state to help himself steal the gubernatorial election from Stacey Abrams.
This comes on the heels of news that federal investigators did not indict Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum in its probe into city government corruption. His Republican rival for Florida governor exploited the FBI investigation to win votes by falsely suggesting that Gillum was a criminal.
Kemp, who as secretary of state oversaw his own election, was in a virtual tie in the polls with Abrams when he claimed on Nov. 4–days before the election–that the state’s Democratic Party hacked into his office’s voter registration database.
However, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on Friday that it found no evidence to support that claim, concluding that, “It appears unlikely that any crime occurred.”
In a race that Kemp won with 50.2 percent of the vote, the Journal-Constitution speculated that Kemp’s fable could have swung the election in his favor.
Abrams, who was trying to make history as the nation’s first Black female governor, dismissed Kemp’s cybercrime claim as a “desperate” attempt to distract voters.
While appearing Nov. 4 on CNN’s “State of the Union with Jake Tapper,” host Jake Tapper informed Abrams that Kemp opened an investigation of the Georgia Democratic Party.
“This is a desperate attempt on the part of my opponent to distract people from the fact that two different federal judges found him derelict in his duty and forced him to allow absentee ballots to be counted,” she said after hearing about Kemp’s allegations for the first time.
Kemp tried to use every trick in the book to suppress the Black vote for the 2018 election. Many, including former President Jimmy Carter, urged Kemp to recuse himself as secretary of state to ensure a fair election. But Kemp refused.
In another closely watched election, Florida’s governor-elect Ron DeSantis painted Gillum, who would have become the state’s first Black governor, as a criminal. It was part of his racist campaign to win a close election.
The cloud of corruption finally lifted from the mayor on Dec. 12 when an FBI report on its probe of Tallahassee officials confirmed Gillum’s denial of wrongdoing.
Gillum’s name was not listed among those indicted by federal authorities in an investigation into whether businessmen were able to influence Tallahassee development projects.
DeSantis poured millions of dollars into a smear campaign against Gillum. Republicans spent at least $7 million on TV ads to connect Gillum to the investigation. It paid off, with DeSantis winning a narrow victory.