The fifth week of the disbarment trial of former President Donald Trump’s former attorney and constitutional legal scholar, John Eastman, ended on Friday, featuring more testimony by Garland Favorito, co-founder of Voters Organized for Trusted Election Results in Georgia (VoterGA). Favorito, a retired IT professional with extensive experience with electronic voting machines and investigating election fraud in Georgia, underwent cross-examination by State Bar of California attorney Duncan Carling, frequently thwarting his questions.
Favorito discussed how his VoterGA organization identified counterfeit ballots. He said they found mail-in ballots in Fulton County that weren’t folded even though they must be mailed to voters, were filled out electronically instead of with a regular pen, did not have the correct paper stock, and dozens of ballots in a row were voted the same way. His team filed a lawsuit, but the judge said they didn’t have standing to proceed. Fulton County hired criminal defense attorneys after he filed his complaint. He said it was strange the judge didn’t rule that they didn’t have standing until a couple of months into it. He said his team “can’t prove something if denied a right unjustly by a judge.” He said the Georgia Supreme Court finally reversed the lower court, ruling unanimously that VoterGA had standing.
It came out during Favorito’s testimony that his election integrity team challenged thousands of problematic voter registrations in Gwinnett County, but due to activists outside the state interfering and threatening the election boards looking into it, the officials stopped investigating.
Carling spent much of the day asking Favorito about the same things he asked him about on Thursday. Favorito frequently declined to answer, stating that since Roland will not designate him as an expert, he is not allowed to provide his opinion, only testify about his knowledge. He repeatedly responded to Carling’s questions, “He’s asking me expert questions, and I’m not qualified as an expert.”
Carling brought up a post on X made earlier on Friday from the account @VoterGA, which had Favorito’s name on it, stating that Favorito would be testifying in the trial. It contained an image that said “Cross Examination of an Expert.” Favorito said he didn’t make the post; the account is run by volunteers from VoterGA.
Even though Roland refused to designate Favorito as an expert, she still required him to speculate and provide his opinion numerous times. When Carling asked him about Governor Brian Kemp’s letter denying election fraud, Favorito responded, “You’re asking me to speculate as to what the governor’s intent was, and I don’t live inside his head.”
Favorito discussed his team’s finding of improper chain-of-custody forms for over 100,000 ballots statewide in Georgia in 2020. He said there were impossibilities or violations of the State Election Board rules, such as the forms indicating that the ballots were picked up after the election or pickups marked three minutes apart when the locations were 30 minutes apart.
Carling challenged Favorito on his claim that Fulton County conducted no signature verification in the 2020 election. Favorito responded and said the election officials admitted it. Carling next asked him whether the voter file showed why absentee ballots were rejected for signature problems to get Favorito to admit there was some signature verification. Favorito said he didn’t know. Carling pressed him, asking if he’d investigated that, and Favorito said he’s “a busy guy” and hadn’t.
Carling questioned Favorito extensively about an expert witness report that accountant Bryan Geels submitted in the Trump v. Raffensperger lawsuit over the 2020 election. Carling said when Geels found 186,000 “phantom voters,” who had registered before the 2016 election but weren’t in the 2016 voter registration file, he relied on the “registration field” instead of the “date added” field. Favorito said he didn’t conduct the analysis but said he didn’t think there was much of a difference between the two dates. He said the dates should be similar; it might take employees up to a couple of days to enter new registrations into the system.
Carling tried to get Favorito to admit that a lot of voters might have canceled their voter registration then re-registered, hoping that might explain the phantom voters. Favorito responded that it would be rather odd for voters to do that.
Next, Carling returned to his Thursday questioning regarding a typo in Favorito’s report he provided to the Georgia Legislature, where Favorito meant to refer to “rejection rate,” not “signature rejection rate.” Favorito said he still found a 50 percent drop in the signature rejection rate from 2018 to 2020 in Fulton County. Carling asked him how he came to that percentage, and he said he didn’t remember.
Since Favorito said the hand count of Fulton County ballots resulted in a different outcome than the 2020 election results, Carling asked him if it was due to mistakes in the hand count, not manipulation of the original count by voting machines. Favorito said no and explained how voting machines could be manipulated through malware or human error of alignment. He said he believed they were manipulated.
Favorito said drop box videos were deleted, affecting 181,000 ballots, a violation of federal and state law, which requires retaining them for two years. He said this raised a doubt about the legitimacy of those ballots.
Favorito was asked how accurate the Georgia voter rolls are, and he responded that “the reliability is extremely low” because of “a lack of dictionary to understand what the fields are” and “there doesn’t appear to be adequate security and audit tracking.” Carling objected, and the judge sustained it.
Preparing for future days of trial, Roland said she would limit further testimony by Berkeley constitutional law professor John Yoo since he was not up to speed on the election fraud claims in the 2020 election. She said since he’d said that, she wouldn’t let him discuss whether former Vice President Mike Pence could have unilaterally rejected or postponed the disputed electoral slates. The State Bar of California is trying to prove that Eastman offered Trump frivolous advice when he said Pence could take those two options. Yoo has written extensively on how vice presidents have that authority.
Roland has not indicated yet whether she will permit Arizona State Senator Wendy Rogers (R-Flagstaff) and former Arizona legislator Mark Finchem to testify as rebuttal witnesses to refute earlier testimony by Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer and former Secretary of State Elections Director Bo Dul. She told Miller he must submit a brief by Tuesday arguing why their testimony is necessary.
The trial, which is live streamed, does not resume until the week of September 26, with several more scattered days after that due to coordinating schedules, including in October, unless interrupted by the Georgia prosecution of Eastman.
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