Jan. 6 hearing: Former U.S. attorney B.J. Pak debunks Giuliani's 'smoking gun' election fraud allegation

Appearing before the Jan. 6 House select committee Monday, B.J. Pak, who served as U.S. attorney in Georgia in the Trump administration, debunked a cornerstone of Rudy Giuliani's argument that election fraud had occurred in the 2020 presidential election. Pak told members of the committee that he had been asked to investigate the authenticity of footage that appeared to show election workers at State Farm Arena in Atlanta mishandling locked ballot boxes, and that upon review of the footage in its entirety by the FBI, no fraud had been committed.

Video transcript

BJ PAK: Approximately December 4, I believe, of 2020, Attorney General Barr and I had a conversation about an unrelated case to the case at issue. At the end of the conversation, Mr. Barr had asked me if I had seen a certain videotape that was being reported in the news where Mr. Giuliani in a Senate subcommittee hearing that was held the day before May 3 showed a videotape of a purportedly a security tape at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, which is also in Fulton County in the city of Atlanta. I'm sorry, city of-- yes.

At the time, Mr. Barr asked me that he had made a public statement that he had not seen any widespread election fraud that would question the outcome of the election. And because the videotape and the serious allegation that Mr. Giuliani was making respect to the suitcase full of ballots purported in the video, he asked me to find out what I could about it because he had envisioned that in some days after our call that he was going to go to the White House for a meeting and then that issue might come up. He asked me to make it a priority to get to the bottom of-- to try to substantiate the allegation made by Mr. Giuliani.

- Thank you I understand that Georgia Secretary of State's office investigated those State Farm Arena allegations and didn't find any evidence of fraud. What did you find when your office conducted its own investigation?

BJ PAK: We found that the suitcase full of ballots, the alleged black suitcase that was being seen pulled from under the table, was actually an official lock box where ballots were kept safe. We found out that there was a mistake in terms of it was a misunderstanding that they were done counting ballots or tallying ballots for the night. And the partisan watchers that was assigned by each of the respective parties were announced to send home.

But once they realized the mistake, someone from the Secretary of State's office had indicated that, no, no, no. We're not done for the night. You need to go ahead and continue counting. So once they packed up the lock box full of ballots, they brought back the official ballot box again and continued to tally the ballots from the lock box.

Unfortunately, during the Senate hearing, Mr. Giuliani only played a clip that showed them pulling out the official ballot box from under the table and referring to that as a smoking gun of a fraud in Fulton County. But in actuality in review of the entire video, it showed that that was actually an official ballot box that was kept underneath the tables. And then we saw them pack up because the announcement that they thought they were done for the night.

And then once the announcement was made that you should continue counting, they brought the ballot box back out. And they continued to count. The FBI interviewed the individuals that are depicted in the videos that purportedly were double, triple counting of the ballots and determined that nothing irregular happened in the county and the allegations made by Mr. Giuliani were false.

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