Federal judge orders arrest of True the Vote founders behind false voter fraud claims

Shortly after a federal judge ordered the arrest of the founders of a Texas group spreading baseless election conspiracy theories, U.S. Marshals escorted the duo out of a Houston courtroom and into a holding cell.

Kathryn Engelbrecht and Greg Phillips are the founders of True the Vote and the executive producers of a film being promoted by Donald Trump and other prominent Republicans to promote a fraudulent narrative that he was robbed of the 2020 presidential election.

On October 31, US District Judge Kenneth Hoyt ordered them held for “one day and further until they fully comply” with a court order requiring them to reveal the name of a person of interest in a defamation and hacking case against them . They claimed, without evidence, that the person is a confidential FBI informant.

Catherine Engelbrecht, founder of True the Vote

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Catherine Engelbrecht, founder of True the Vote


Monday’s arrest marks the latest twist in a strange, sprawling case in the wake of the 2020 election, with backers of unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud charged with defaming an election technology company that is also under investigation for alleged security flaws to be exhibited by True the Vote .

Judge Hoyt is overseeing a defamation case against True the Vote by election software company Konnech Inc, which accused the group of advancing baseless claims against the company and its founder, Eugene Yu.

True the Vote has accused the Michigan-based company of possessing information on nearly 2 million US poll workers and that Mr. Yu, a longtime US resident, is a Chinese agent. The company and Mr Yu have denied the allegations.

The Los Angeles district attorney’s office, meanwhile, charged Mr. Yu with two felonies that appeared to mirror some of the allegations raised by True the Vote. The office, however, later downgraded the charges against the company, which allegedly exposed county workers to “potential compromise,” according to the district attorney.

Mr. Yu asked that the charges be dismissed.

A Konnech spokesman said in a statement earlier this month that any Los Angeles County employee data “that Konnech may have had was provided to it by LA County and therefore could not have been ‘stolen’ as suggested.”

Ms. Engelbrecht and Mr. Phillips, meanwhile, are prominent figures among election fraud conspiracy theorists with a long history of progressive claims that election results were rigged. Mr. Phillips claimed without evidence, days after the 2016 presidential election, that he had “verified” more than 3 million non-citizen votes.

The pair were also central to right-wing director Dinesh D’Souza’s widely debunked film 2,000 Mules, which claimed to have evidence of illegal postal and absentee ballots. Both appeared as executive producers, alongside Mr. D’Souza, in the film’s credits.

True the Vote asked for donations from the group’s Truth Social account following the duo’s booking.

“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free. John 8:32,” according to the post. “To join us in the cause, please donate here.”

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