- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Project Veritas president James O’Keefe denied Tuesday an allegation that his organization offered a bribe to a Minneapolis ballot harvester to lie about working on behalf of Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar.

In an explosive interview Monday on Fox9 in Minneapolis, Liban Osman said that Omar Jamal, a Project Veritas source and Minneapolis community activist, told him the undercover investigative outfit would pay him $10,000 to say that he was rounding up ballots for the Minnesota congresswoman.

“I thought he was insane and I walked away,” Mr. Osman said, adding, “he was setting me up.”

In its Sept. 28 “cash for ballots” investigation, Project Veritas included footage that Mr. Osman posted on Snapchat saying that he had collected 300 absentee ballots cast for his brother, a city council candidate, in what appeared to be a violation of the state’s three-ballot limit on ballot collection.

Liban Osman is featured prominently in this video by the right-wing disinformation group Project Veritas,” Fox9 reported, adding that he turned down the alleged bribe.

Mr. O’Keefe said that Mr. Jamal denied offering a bribe and blasted the station for failing to mention his denial in its on-air report. The online version of the story includes a statement from Project Veritas attorney Jered Ede, who called the accusation “wild and crazy and baseless.”

“Fox9 Minnesota just did a hit piece of Project Veritas that is erroneous, irresponsible, and did precisely what they accuse us of doing—Fox9 left the truth on the cutting-room floor,” said Mr. O’Keefe in his video response, adding, “It’s disgraceful and Fox9 will be having to release at least one retraction.”

The Washington Times has reached out to Fox9 for comment.



Mr. Osman told Fox 9 that he was collecting ballots on behalf of voters, many of whom were elderly, and that he placed them unopened in a mailbox. A cache of open envelopes shown on his dashboard were those that the ballots came in and that some voters asked him to shred, he said.

In the Snapchat video, he bragged that “money is the king in this world” and that “a campaign is driven by money,” as translated by a Somali interpreter, but he told the station he was referring to campaign costs and that he never paid voters or told them how to vote.

His brother, Jamal Osman, was elected to the Minneapolis City Council in August.

Liban Osman also said that he exaggerated the number of ballots in his car, saying it was closer to 20, although that would still exceed the state limit.

There was confusion surrounding the law after a court on July 28 ordered the state to stop enforcing the limit in response to a lawsuit filed by Democrats, but the suspension was lifted by the Minnesota Supreme Court on Sept. 4.

The station reported that the three-ballot limit was not in effect during that five-week period, but Project Veritas said the law was still on the books, just not being enforced, and violations committed during that time are now subject to prosecution.

Mr. O’Keefe said the issue was moot in any case because the Liban Osman Snapchat video was recorded July 2, as shown on a date stamp, meaning that his ballot-harvesting took place before the court’s suspension on enforcement.

Mr. Osman’s footage was a splashy but relatively small part of the Project Veritas “cash for ballots” investigation, which alleged that illegal ballot-harvesting and voter fraud was taking place to benefit Ms. Omar and other Democrats.

Ms. Omar’s campaign staunchly denied any involvement in the voter fraud alleged by what it called “a coordinated right-wing campaign.” The Minneapolis Police Department said last week that it was evaluating the footage.

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