NATIONAL NEWS

Publisher of ‘2000 Mules’ apologizes to Georgia man falsely accused of ballot fraud in the film

May 31, 2024, 2:50 PM

ATLANTA (AP) — The publisher of “2000 Mules” issued a statement Friday apologizing to a Georgia man who was shown in the film and falsely accused of ballot fraud during the 2020 election.

The widely debunked film includes surveillance video showing Mark Andrews, his face blurred, putting five ballots in a drop box in Lawrenceville, an Atlanta suburb, as a voiceover by conservative pundit and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza says: “What you are seeing is a crime. These are fraudulent votes.”

Salem Media Group said in the statement that it has “removed the film from Salem’s platforms, and there will be no future distribution of the film or the book by Salem.”

“It was never our intent that the publication of the 2000 Mules film and book would harm Mr. Andrews. We apologize for the hurt the inclusion of Mr. Andrews’ image in the movie, book, and promotional materials have caused Mr. Andrews and his family,” the statement said.

A state investigation found that Andrews was dropping off ballots for himself, his wife and their three adult children, who all lived at the same address. That is legal in Georgia, and an investigator said there was no evidence of wrongdoing by Andrews.

The film uses research from True the Vote, a Texas-based nonprofit, and suggests that ballot “mules” aligned with Democrats were paid to illegally collect and deliver ballots in Georgia and four other closely watched states. An Associated Press analysis found that it is based on faulty assumptions, anonymous accounts and improper analysis of cellphone location data.

Salem said it “relied on representations by Dinesh D’Souza and True the Vote, Inc. (“TTV”) that the individuals depicted in the videos provided to us by TTV, including Mr. Andrews, illegally deposited ballots.”

Lawyers for D’Souza and True the Vote did not immediately respond to emails Friday afternoon seeking comment on Salem’s statement.

Andrews filed a federal lawsuit in October 2022 against D’Souza, True the Vote and Salem. The case is ongoing, and representatives for Salem and for Andrews’ legal team did not immediately respond to emails asking whether the statement came as a result of the lawsuit.

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Publisher of ‘2000 Mules’ apologizes to Georgia man falsely accused of ballot fraud in the film