by WorldTribune Staff, July 27, 2020
The Department of Justice on Thursday announced the indictment of former Democrat Rep. Michael “Ozzie” Myers on a slew of voter fraud charges.
U.S. Attorney William M. McSwain of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania announced that Myers was indicted on conspiracy to violate voting rights by fraudulently stuffing ballot boxes, bribery of an election official, falsification of records, voting more than once in a federal election, and obstruction of justice.
“It doesn’t surprise me that this is in Philadelphia, which is one of the worst places in the country for election fraud,” Hans von Spakovsky, a former Justice Department lawyer who was a member of the Federal Election Commission and the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity in 2017, told The Daily Signal.
“The key question now is who else did Myers pay to stuff ballot boxes for local, state, federal, and judicial candidates?” von Spakovsky, manager of the Election Law Reform Initiative at The Heritage Foundation, said. “Did any of these candidates happen to know what the money they were paying Myers was going for? Were other election officials engaged?”
Concerning the likelihood that voter fraud is more widespread, von Spakovsky told The Daily Signal: “There is no doubt that the prior Justice Department under the Obama administration ignored it. When I served as a Fairfax County [Virginia] election official, we sent a referral to the Obama administration’s Justice Department about noncitizens registered to vote. So, I would wonder why it took so long in Philadelphia, and why the Obama Justice Department didn’t do anything about it.”
The voting irregularities in Pennsylvania took place over the course of three election cycles — 2014, 2015, and 2016 — according to prosecutors. They were referred to the Department of Justice by Philadelphia City Commissioner Al Schmidt.
The DOJ said that, if convicted in the voter fraud case, Myers would face up to 90 years in prison.
Myers, now 77, represented Pennsylvania’s 1st Congressional District. He left Congress in disgrace in late 1979 as part of the broad “Abscam” bribery scandal and, upon conviction, was sent to federal prison. After his release in 1985, he became a political consultant.
Myers’ indictment follows a guilty plea in May by a Philadelphia election judge, Domenick DeMuro. Prosecutors have said DeMuro faces up to 15 years when he is sentenced in September.
The indictment alleges that Myers bribed DeMuro and others to stuff ballot boxes to benefit specific candidates in Pennsylvania’s Democratic primary elections in 2014, 2015, and 2016, the Daily Signal report noted.
Myers was charged with bribing DeMuro — the judge of elections for the 39th Ward, 36th Division, in South Philadelphia — over several years.
DeMuro pleaded guilty in May to adding votes illegally for certain candidates in primary elections. Some of the candidates were running for judicial offices and their campaigns had hired Myers; others were running for various federal, state, and local offices and Myers favored them for a variety of reasons, prosecutors said.
“Votes are not things to be purchased and democracy is not for sale,” McSwain, the U.S. attorney, said in a statement. “If you are a political consultant, election official, or work with the polling places in any way, I urge you to do your job honestly and faithfully. That is what the public deserves, it is what democracy demands, and it is what my office will enforce.”