Dem ex-Philly congressman pleads guilty to election fraud charges
A former Democratic congressman from Philadelphia on Monday pleaded guilty to fraudulently filling ballot boxes for Democratic candidates and bribing judges in multiple elections.
Former US Democratic Representative Michael J. “Ozzie” Myers pleaded guilty to conspiracy to deprive voters of civil rights, bribery, obstruction of justice, falsification of voting records and conspiracy to vote illegally in federal elections.
Myers, 79, admitted he bribed an election judge — who is in charge of the polling station — to add votes for his elected candidates, including clients running for judicial positions. The bribes were hundreds or thousands of dollars, prosecutors said.
Myers also orchestrated schemes to fraudulently fill ballot boxes for Democratic candidates in Pennsylvania elections between 2014 and 2018. The schemes do not include the 2020 election, which former President Trump claimed were fraudulent assets.
A court date has not yet been set for Myers and he will not be in jail while he waits.
Myers was infamously expelled from Congress in 1980 after he was caught on camera taking bribes in the Abscam investigation.
Former U.S. Representative Michael J. “Ozzie” Myers, 79, pleaded guilty Monday to charges related to fraudulently filling ballot boxes for Democratic candidates and allegedly bribing judges
Myers – here in 1977 – pleaded guilty to electoral violations, conspiracy, bribery, obstruction
In a sentencing memo on Friday, federal prosecutors said his “criminal efforts have been generally, though not exclusively, aimed at securing election wins for local judicial candidates running for Philadelphia’s Court of Common Pleas or Municipal Court, which employs Myers.” as ‘political adviser’. †
Myers admitted to bribing election judge Domenick Demuro as part of voter fraud. Demuro was charged separately and pleaded guilty in May 2020.
He was convicted of his role in taking bribes to cast fraudulent ballots and confirm false voting results for payments between $300 and $5,000.
“Voting is the cornerstone of our democracy,” US attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams said in a press release. “If even one vote is illegally cast or if the integrity of just one election official is compromised, it reduces confidence in the process.”
Myers and his wife in a US court in Brooklyn in 1980, just before Myers was convicted of bribery and conspiracy to take money from FBI agents posing as Arab sheikhs
Myers and other elected officials were caught on camera taking bribes from FBI agents posing as Arab sheiks in the 1980s
Prosecutors said Myers conspired with another electoral judge to tell voters on election days which candidates to vote for, candidates Myers had selected, and that the now-former judge cast fraudulent votes for people who failed to appear at the polls.
Myers also admitted that he conspired to commit voter fraud with Marie Beren, a former South Philadelphia election judge.
Beren, who was charged separately and pleaded guilty in October 2021, led polls in her division by installing close associates as members of the Electoral Council.
Myers admitted that he instructed Beren to add votes to candidates he supported, including candidates for judicial office whose campaigns had actually hired Myers, and other candidates for various federal, state, and local electoral bureaus that demand various degrees. reasons preferred by Myers.
On the drive to the polls, Myers would tell Beren which candidates he supported so Beren knew which candidates would get fraudulent votes.
Myers, 79, admitted he bribed an election judge to add votes for his elected candidates, including clients running for judicial office
Myers also orchestrated plans to fraudulently fill ballot boxes for Democratic candidates in Pennsylvania elections between 2014 and 2018
At the polls and while polls were open, Beren advised real personal voters to support Myers’ candidates and also cast fraudulent votes in support of Myers’ preferred candidates on behalf of voters she knew would not physically appear in the polls. .
On Election Day itself, Myers spoke to Beren on the cell phone while she was at the polling station about the number of votes cast for his preferred candidates. Beren would report to Myers how many “legitimate votes” had appeared at the polls and votes.
If actual turnout were high, Beren would add fewer fraudulent votes in support of Myers’ preferred candidates.
The Electoral Judge and Majority and Minority Inspectors work together to administer the polling station, track voter counts and ensure that returns are delivered to the district election office at the end of the day, according to the vote. org.
Myers was removed from Congress in 1980 after he was caught taking bribes in the Abscam investigation.
In the Abscam case, Myers was convicted of bribery and conspiracy to take money from FBI agents posing as Arab sheikhs. He served more than a year in prison.
Myers also served in the Pennsylvania House for six years before his election to Congress in 1976.
Myers’ admission of electoral fraud this week did not relate to the 2020 election, which former President Trump continued to insist was fraudulent by citing a wide range of complaints, many of which involved the expansion of mail votes due to the pandemic. .
Trump’s false claims about stolen elections have fueled the deadly January 6th Capitol uprising, led to death threats against election officials and are deeply rooted in the GOP, with two-thirds of Republicans believing Biden’s election to be illegitimate.
Republican lawmakers in several states have used the false claims as justification to conduct costly and time-consuming partisan election reviews, done at Trump’s urging, and add new restrictions on voting.
The number of cases identified so far by local election officials and forwarded to prosecutors, local law enforcement agencies or secretaries of state for further review undermines Trump’s claim. Election officials also say that in most cases, the extra ballots were never counted because workers did their jobs and took them for inspection before being added to the count.
Experts say stealing the presidential election would require large numbers of people willing to risk prosecution, jail time and fines in consultation with election officials from both sides who are willing to look the other way. And everyone would somehow keep quiet about the whole affair.