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Former President Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Durham, N.H., on Dec. 16, 2023. (AP) Former President Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Durham, N.H., on Dec. 16, 2023. (AP)

Former President Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Durham, N.H., on Dec. 16, 2023. (AP)

Amy Sherman
By Amy Sherman January 5, 2024
Sara Swann
By Sara Swann January 5, 2024

Trump’s new ‘evidence’ that Biden lost in 2020 is ridiculously wrong (and dusty). We reviewed it.

More than three years after the 2020 election, former President Donald Trump is claiming, again, to have definitive proof the election was stolen. But this new "evidence," an anonymous 32-page document, is built on many of the same flimsy claims he’s endorsed since he lost to Joe Biden.

"It has often been repeated there is ‘no evidence’ of fraud in the 2020 Election," the document says. "In actuality, there is no evidence Joe Biden won. Ongoing investigations in the Swing States reveal hundreds of thousands of votes were altered and/or not lawfully cast in the Presidential Election. Joe Biden needed them."

The proof from swing states, it says, is enough to change the outcome.

Trump shared the unsigned document on Truth Social, declaring it "fully verified." 

Stop us if you’ve heard this before: It’s not.

Trump lawyers cited Trump’s post in a federal court document arguing Trump has immunity from prosecution in the federal election interference case. The report details dozens of claims about the 2020 election from Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. Some allegations overlap with falsehoods previously debunked by PolitiFact or other fact-checkers. The report misleads about how election officials count ballots and arrive at final results. 

"Nowhere is there a smoking gun, conclusive evidence that there was fraud or illegal ballots cast for Joe Biden," said Justin Grimmer, a Stanford University political science professor who researches elections. "Instead, the report relies upon innuendo, implication and poor data analysis to reach a conclusion about fraudulent votes being cast when the evidence supposedly supporting that conclusion simply cannot justify that conclusion."

PolitiFact has documented some examples of voter fraud in 2020, such as people casting votes on behalf of dead relatives. But these instances were not enough to change the race’s outcome, and some crimes were committed by Republicans. Examples cited in the report do not prove that fraudulent ballots were cast for Biden. 

The 2020 election’s outcome was verified in many ways. States certified the results. Congress accepted the results. Trump and his allies lost more than 60 lawsuits. A group of conservatives, including former federal judges, examined every fraud and miscount claim by Trump and concluded that they "failed to present evidence of fraud or inaccurate results significant enough to invalidate the results." 

On the same day Trump shared this report, USA Today published an op-ed by Ken Block headlined: "Trump paid me to find voter fraud. Then he lied after I found 2020 election wasn't stolen." Block, a former Rhode Island gubernatorial candidate who founded Simpatico Software Systems, was hired by the Trump campaign to try to back up Trump’s allegations after the election. His work is now in the hands of prosecutors who have charged Trump with crimes for actions leading to the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack.

"What these claims don’t take into account is that voter fraud is detectable, quantifiable and verifiable," Block wrote in USA Today. "I have yet to see anyone offer up ‘evidence’ of voter fraud from the 2020 election that provides these three things."

We fact-checked a sample of the allegations in the report Trump shared. Trump campaign spokespeople and his lawyers didn’t answer our emails asking to identify the report’s author.

This May 6, 2021, photo shows contractors for Florida-based Cyber Ninjas examining and recounting Maricopa County, Arizona's 2020 general election ballots at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix. (AP)


The allegations about Arizona largely focus on Maricopa County, the jurisdiction with more than half of the state’s voters. State Senate Republicans ordered a review of the ballots and found that Biden beat Trump by about 45,000 votes — virtually the same as the county’s official canvass.

The report Trump shared repeats some debunked claims. For example, it said that Maricopa County accepted 18,000 mail ballots the day after the 2020 election from the U.S. Postal Service. The Associated Press concluded that the claim was wrong. The number referred to a form showing when early ballots received before the deadline were handed to a private vendor for scanning, a Maricopa County Elections Department spokesperson told the AP.

"In our legal system, there comes a time when questions are finally settled," Paul Bender, an Arizona State University law professor, told PolitiFact "That time has come with regard to the validity of Biden's election."

In this Oct. 19, 2020 file photo, a voter submits a ballot in an official drop box during early voting in Athens, Ga. (AP)


The report said "countless irregularities emerged" and cited "water main breaks" in reference to Georgia.

State Farm Arena in Atlanta reported that one room being used for ballot counting had a 6 a.m. water leak. There was a brief delay in tabulating absentee ballots during the two hours required to repair the leak, which resulted from an overflowing urinal. No ballots were damaged, the arena said.

In June 2023, the State Election Board dismissed a case about alleged malfeasance at the arena concluding "there was no evidence of any type of fraud as alleged."

The Trump document cites questionable sources, including True the Vote about ballot drop boxes — the focus of the "2,000 Mules" documentary by Dinesh D’Souza. The 2022 film alleged massive voter fraud involving ballot drop boxes and cellphone location data, based on several hundred phones passing by drop boxes. 

"These assertions are part of a dancing fountain of lies that have been disproven by the count, the recount, and the audit of the 2020 vote in Georgia, and for which not one single shred of evidence has been offered," said Mike Hassinger, a Georgia Secretary of State spokesperson. "Sixteen individual lawsuits were brought to challenge the validity of Georgia’s 2020 election results, of which 12 were dismissed by the courts, and four withdrawn by former President Trump’s own lawyers."

Voters wait in line Nov. 2, 2020, to fill out a ballot on the last day of early absentee voting before tomorrow's general election at the Northwest Activities Center in Detroit. (AP)


One of the report’s allegations about Michigan centered around suspected voter irregularities in Muskegon, a city of about 38,000 people. The report claimed police documented "a fraudulent voter registration scheme," but this was kept "hidden" for almost three years.

The report’s source is The Gateway Pundit, and in August we rated the underlying claim False.

Here’s what happened: The Muskegon city clerk alerted police after noticing irregularities on some of the 8,000 to 10,000 voter registration forms dropped off by a canvasser. Local and state police referred the case to the FBI, because the canvasser’s employer, GBI Strategies, was operating in multiple states.

Danny Wimmer, press secretary for Michigan’s attorney general, told PolitiFact that officials hadn’t ruled out the possibility that a crime may have been committed, but none of the agencies involved in the investigation found any evidence of successful fraudulent voter registrations.

Philadelphia election workers scan ballots for the general election Nov. 3, 2020, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. (AP)


The report repeated a false claim Trump and his supporters pushed about ballot counting in Philadelphia in the days following the election. It alleged that in Pennsylvania’s largest city, "hundreds of thousands of mail-in ballots were unlawfully counted in secret," and Republican poll watchers were barred from observing the vote count.

Election observers representing the Trump campaign and the Republican Party were allowed to observe the ballot-counting process, alongside Democrats. In Philadelphia, a judge allowed observers from both parties to view the process from 6 feet away.

"Nothing was done in secret or against a court order," said Nick Custodio, a Philadelphia City Commissioners office spokesperson.

A ballot drop box sits outside City Hall in Milwaukee ahead of the 2020 election. (Rick Wood / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)


After losing Wisconsin to Biden, Trump allies filed lawsuits seeking to invalidate votes cast by drop box. The report cites the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s 2022 ruling in one of the lawsuits, which prohibited the use of drop boxes, except inside election offices.

This ruling was announced one month before the state’s primary election for the 2022 midterms and applies to future elections; it does not retroactively apply to the 2020 election.

An AP analysis found that the state’s expanded use of drop boxes in the 2020 election did not trigger widespread fraud. The Wisconsin Elections Commission saw no instances in which ballot drop boxes were damaged or used to submit fraudulent ballots.

Our ruling

If there was definitive evidence that Biden’s 2020 victory was secured on fraud, we would have it by now. The document shared by Trump is a lot of smoke — so much that we rate its central claim Pants on Fire!

RELATED: Fact-check: Trump’s bogus claim on Fox News that ballots in 2020 were ‘fake’

RELATED: In attack on Bill Barr, Trump repeats falsehood about 2020 election

Our Sources

Donald Trump, Truth Social, Jan. 2, 2024

Anonymous, Summary of Election Fraud in the 2020 Presidential Election in the Swing States, Jan. 2, 2024

Ken Block op-ed in USA Today, Trump paid me to find voter fraud. Then he lied after I found 2020 election wasn't stolen., Jan. 2, 2024

The Washington Post, Trump lawyers’ doozy of a filing on voter fraud, Jan. 3, 2024

Georgia Secretary of State, State Election Board Clears Fulton County "Ballot Suitcase" Investigation; Report Finds No Evidence of Conspiracy, No Fraud, June 20, 2023

Senator John Danforth, Benjamin Ginsberg, The Honorable Thomas B. Griffith, David Hoppe, The Honorable J. Michael Luttig, The Honorable Michael W. McConnell, The Honorable Theodore B. Olson, Senator Gordon H. Smith, Lost, Not Stolen, July 2022

Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Key election security showdown expected in meeting at Capitol, July 27, 2023

Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Investigation blames human error for issues in Fulton election audit, March 16, 2022

Texas Tribune, Leaders of Texas-based activist group True the Vote accused of using donations for personal gain, June 5, 2023

Email interview, Mike Hassinger, Georgia Secretary of State spokesperson, Jan. 4, 2024

Telephone interview, Justin Grimmer, political science professor at Stanford University, Jan. 4, 2024

Email interview, Ken Block, owner of Simpatico Software Systems and author of "Disproven: My Unbiased Search for Voter Fraud for the Trump Campaign, the Data That Shows Why He Lost, and How We Can Improve Our Elections," Jan. 4, 2024

Email interview, Nick Custodio, deputy commissioner for chairperson Lisa Deeley and spokesperson for the Philadelphia City Commissioners office, Jan. 5, 2024

Email interview, Paul Bender, Arizona State University law professor, Jan. 4, 2024

PolitiFact, "Ted Cruz falsely claims Philadelphia is counting votes in ‘shroud of darkness’," Nov. 6, 2020

PolitiFact, "Claim that Wisconsin official Meagan Wolfe allowed absentee drop boxes, ballot harvesting is false," Nov. 8, 2023

PolitiFact, "Trump’s wrong claim that election observers were barred in Pennsylvania, Michigan," Nov. 12, 2020

PolitiFact, "No, suspected voter registration irregularities in Michigan did not result in 2020 election fraud," Aug. 14, 2023

The Associated Press, "No major problems with ballot drop boxes in 2020, AP finds," July 17, 2022 

The Associated Press, "Wisconsin Supreme Court disallows absentee ballot drop boxes," July 8, 2022

Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, Order on canvassing observation, Nov. 5, 2020

Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling, July 8, 2022

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Trump’s new ‘evidence’ that Biden lost in 2020 is ridiculously wrong (and dusty). We reviewed it.

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