Not only did the state of Georgia vote blue for the first time in a presidential election since the early '90s last year, but Black voting rights organizers also played a key role in delivering the Democratic party a razor-thin Senate majority with the elections of John Ossoff and Raphael Warnock to the United States Senate.
As such, Georgia became a major focus of former President Donald Trump's and his allies' conspiracy theories regarding the validity of the 2020 election. Trump personally called Georgia's Republican Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, urging him to "find" the exact number of votes needed to deliver Georgia's electoral votes to the Republican party. Georgia officials like Raffensperger, Republican Governor Brian Kemp, and elections official Gabriel Sterling became the targets of death threats after Trump vilified them on Twitter. Trump and some of his allies are currently under investigation for election interference in Fulton County.
Despite Trump's claims being repeatedly debunked, right-wing media frequently amplified these delusions—and one site may soon be facing consequences.
Reuters is reporting that two Georgia election workers—voter registration officer Wandrea “Shaye” Moss and her mother Ruby Freeman—have sued far-right disinformation outlet The Gateway Pundit for defamation, alleging the site painted them as conspirators to "steal" the 2020 election.
The Pundit falsely claimed the pair processed suitcases full of fake ballots for then-Democratic nominee Joe Biden. These lies were swiftly debunked by Raffensperger, who confirmed the two had done their jobs by the book.
One of the Pundits headlines named Ms. Freeman directly, reading:
“What’s Up, Ruby? Crooked Operative Filmed Pulling Out Suitcases of Ballots in Georgia IS IDENTIFIED.”
Freeman said in a statement:
“I couldn't have imagined the lies that The Gateway Pundit would tell about me, pushing people to harass me and my family and to threaten us with violence."
Social media users supported the lawsuit.
Some are hoping Trump will also face consequences for his efforts to interfere in Georgia.
There's growing evidence that Fulton County prosecutor Fani Willis is moving to impanel a grand jury regarding her investigation into Trump's potential election interference.