50 min

The Big Grift Behind the Big Lie Reveal

    • News

This episode explores two stories of fights over the right to vote. 

Texas-based nonprofit True the Vote claims to have evidence of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election—an idea Trump loudly echoes as part of “the big lie.” But True the Vote has never shown any proof. The lack of evidence hasn’t stopped the group from netting millions of dollars in donations. As reporter Cassandra Jaramillo explains, True the Vote founder Catherine Engelbrecht and board member Gregg Phillips took home hundreds of thousands of dollars in personal loans and payments to companies they’re associated with. Despite this grift, True the Vote’s influence is still expanding. The group provided “research” for a new film called 2000 Mules that promises to expose widespread voter fraud—with no evidence to back it up. 

The big lie sparked the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6th, 2021, an event that is now part of the nation’s election history. But this was not the first time that a violent mob tried to challenge election results. In 1898, a group of armed white supremacists carried out a coup in Wilmington, North Carolina, and seized power from legally elected Black leaders. The Wilmington coup created a blueprint for taking voting rights away from people of color—a legacy of voter suppression that the country is still grappling with today. Host Al Letson pieces together the story with help from the grandson of a prominent member of the Black community in Wilmington. 


Support Reveal’s journalism at Revealnews.org/donatenow
Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get the scoop on new episodes at Revealnews.org/newsletter
Connect with us onTwitter, Facebook and Instagram

This episode explores two stories of fights over the right to vote. 

Texas-based nonprofit True the Vote claims to have evidence of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election—an idea Trump loudly echoes as part of “the big lie.” But True the Vote has never shown any proof. The lack of evidence hasn’t stopped the group from netting millions of dollars in donations. As reporter Cassandra Jaramillo explains, True the Vote founder Catherine Engelbrecht and board member Gregg Phillips took home hundreds of thousands of dollars in personal loans and payments to companies they’re associated with. Despite this grift, True the Vote’s influence is still expanding. The group provided “research” for a new film called 2000 Mules that promises to expose widespread voter fraud—with no evidence to back it up. 

The big lie sparked the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6th, 2021, an event that is now part of the nation’s election history. But this was not the first time that a violent mob tried to challenge election results. In 1898, a group of armed white supremacists carried out a coup in Wilmington, North Carolina, and seized power from legally elected Black leaders. The Wilmington coup created a blueprint for taking voting rights away from people of color—a legacy of voter suppression that the country is still grappling with today. Host Al Letson pieces together the story with help from the grandson of a prominent member of the Black community in Wilmington. 


Support Reveal’s journalism at Revealnews.org/donatenow
Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get the scoop on new episodes at Revealnews.org/newsletter
Connect with us onTwitter, Facebook and Instagram

50 min

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