Connie Cochran, the sister-in-law of Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) and a Hinds County, Mississippi, election commissioner, swears she didn’t have anything to do with destruction of election evidence. There’s just one problem with her denial: It was never alleged that she, or the Hinds County Election Commission, did any such thing.
“It’s ludicrous to imply that the Hinds County Election Commission destroyed anything,” Connie Cochran told the Jackson Free Press on Thursday morning. Shortly after making that statement, the local paper noted Connie Cochran “was advised to make no more additional comments.”
Connie Cochran’s comments apparently came in response to allegations from True The Vote’s new motion in federal court for a restraining order against the Mississippi Republican Party for the alleged destruction of election evidence in the wake of the June 24 GOP primary runoff, where Cochran got more than 7,000 more votes than state Sen. Chris McDaniel. McDaniel is challenging the election results, and True The Vote–a national conservative election integrity organization–is suing the Mississippi GOP and Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann over their handling of the runoff.
But Catherine Engelbrecht, the head of True The Vote, told Breitbart News that Connie Cochran’s comments make no sense since her group’s latest motion doesn’t allege Connie Cochran specifically or the Hinds County election commission did anything wrong. Nonetheless, Engelbrecht said that since Connie Cochran is denying something she and her colleagues weren’t accused of, that may warrant more investigation of their activities.
“Why did Ms. Cochran think we were referring to her and Hinds County?” Engelbrecht told Breitbart News. “Since she just put herself in the spotlight, maybe citizens should take a closer look at what happened in Hinds.”
Engelbrecht’s lawsuit and the latest motion for a restraining order has the Mississippi GOP in fits. State party chairman Joe Nosef has issued a series of statements questioning True The Vote’s credibility as an organization and threatening the group and the lawsuit’s plaintiffs–21 Mississippi voters who feel they were disenfranchised by alleged voter fraud–with legal action.
In response to Nosef’s latest statement, Engelbrecht sent an email to the True The Vote supporters detailing how outraged she is and what evidence she has. “We’ve uncovered evidence of possible criminal misconduct involving the destruction of relevant election documents, double voting, crossover voting and the list goes on,” she said. “Voters’ rights are being sacrificed in the interest of political gamesmanship – it’s an outrage.”
Engelbrecht said she’s used to being attacked–she’s been targeted by several agencies of President Barack Obama’s administration including Attorney General Eric Holder’s Department of Justice and Lois Lerner’s IRS, as well as by Democrat Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD). But she feels the attacks on the True The Vote lawsuit’s plaintiffs are a bridge too far.
“For Chairman Nosef to threaten me and True the Vote is one thing, I’ve grown very accustomed to being attacked,” Engelbrecht said. “To publicly threaten our other plaintiffs, twenty-one concerned citizens from Mississippi (Republican voters no less) who only want free and fair elections… that crosses the line. Party leadership, instead of responding in a way that could resolve the lawsuit, attacks it’s own voting base. It’s… it’s stunning.”
A source close to the True The Vote lawsuit told Breitbart News late Thursday that the federal judge from the U.S. District Court in Southern Mississippi, Henry Wingate, may soon seek to recuse himself from overseeing the case–meaning it could end up getting shuffled to another federal court in a different state. That comes after a different federal judge in a different federal court district, Judge Michael Mills of the Northern District of Mississippi, said his court didn’t have the jurisdiction over an earlier version of the lawsuit.