Mississippi GOP chairman Joe Nosef issued a statement Thursday in response to the latest legal actions from True The Vote, saying he plans to target the election integrity organization and its lawsuit’s various Mississippi voter plaintiffs with legal action.
Nosef said the Republican Party in Mississippi plans to seek “sanctions against” the various Mississippi voters who have signed on as plaintiffs to True The Vote’s lawsuit against the party and Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, labeling the accusations the election integrity group made as “frivolous litigation.”
“This out of state group ‘True the Vote’ continues in its attempts to make a mockery of our legal system,” Nosef said. “While their legal filings literally make no claim at all against the MSGOP, their public statements indicate otherwise in an effort to mislead Mississippi voters. Their first ‘demand’ was for the MSGOP to order action by people who don’t even work for us. Next, they claimed we were not granting proper access to records that we don’t have. And they have now accused us of destroying this same evidence which we still don’t have and instead is in the possession of 82 different circuit clerks. We will not only defend ourselves but will seek sanctions against every single plaintiff because of this frivolous litigation brought against the MSGOP.”
On Wednesday evening, True The Vote filed in federal court for a restraining order against the Mississippi Republican Party–alleging that Nosef’s organization and others, according to dozens of affidavits its volunteers and others have signed, have engaged in the destruction of election evidence in the wake of the June 24 runoff in the state.
On June 24, incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) got about 7,600 more votes than state Sen. Chris McDaniel due to an extraordinary effort by Cochran and his allies to get Democrats to vote for him in the GOP primary runoff. McDaniel, who is challenging the results of the election, alleges that many of those Democrat votes for Cochran on June 24 were from Democrats who voted in the June 3 Democratic primary–meaning those voters would be ineligible to vote in the GOP runoff but were allowed to anyway. There’s also the possibility, McDaniel’s team and True The Vote argue, that the massive spike in absentee ballots from the June 3 primary to the June 24 runoff contains elements of voter fraud.
Nosef’s Thursday statement comes after he and True The Vote founder Catherine Engelbrecht exchanged barbs Wednesday evening, too. After Nosef attacked the credibility of True The Vote, Engelbrecht said Nosef is no different than any Democrat politician–like President Barack Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, the IRS’s Lois Lerner, or Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD)–who targeted True The Vote over their election integrity work.
Cochran’s campaign issued a press release on Thursday questioning a McDaniel campaign fundraising pitch earlier in the day, in which Cochran’s spokesman Jordan Russell wrote that McDaniel “admits he has no evidence of illegal activity.” Russell parsed two separate statements McDaniel made–one from the fundraising pitch and the other from his election night speech–to make his case that McDaniel doesn’t have evidence.
“But send money anyway!” Russell wrote of McDaniel’s fundraising pitch to grassroots donors. “He’s got lots of campaign debt to pay.”