Weeks after Melissa Carone was heard by the Trump campaign as a star witness in Michigan, in the testimony of the contracted IT worker – an unconfirmed series of allegations of ballot fraud at Detroit’s vote-counting center – little seemed to be going as planned.
Even Fox Business presenter Lou Dobbs was stunned by her unusual story last month, which suggested in interviews with conservative-leaning media that ballots were hijacked in food vans. Two days later, a Wayne County judge ruled that his allegations were “not believable.”
Yet he was there Wednesday in front of the Michigan House panel as he dressed a Republican MP while insisting loudly that tens of thousands of games were counted twice without evidence. At one point, Trump was loudly silenced by campaign lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani.
“I know what I saw,” Carone said to State Representative Steven Johnson (Right), and raised her eyebrows sharply. “And I signed something like I could go to jail if I was wrong. Did you?
On social media, she has made comparisons with the “Saturday Night Live” characters portrayed by Victoria Jackson and Cecily Strong, with her pointy statements, Midwestern taste, and the puffy blonde updo. Earlier Thursday, a clip of his exchange with Johnson was viewed nearly 9 million times.
For many following this, Carone’s viral clips summarize the Trump campaign’s recent ditch legal efforts to challenge the vote in the fast states won by President-elected Joe Biden. While the campaign’s cases were repeatedly taken to court, Giuliani instead urged Republican lawmakers to adopt his unverified fraud allegations and stop their states’ voting certificates.
Key witness in this campaign? It is reported that even his unfounded allegations of illegal ballot papers indicate that Giuliani met him this week.
The Carone, Giuliani, and Trump campaign did not immediately respond to requests for comment from the Washington Post late Wednesday.
Carone, a contractor for Dominion Voting Systems, which provides voting technology for constituencies nationwide, became the focus of national attention last month as one of a handful of “extraordinary witnesses” that Giuliani’s Trump campaign cited to support unconfirmed “stolen election claims.”
On Election Day, Carone said she was working on a 24-hour nonstop shift tasked with IT support for Dominion’s machinery in the vote-counting operation in Detroit’s TCF Center. In a declaration published on 10 November, he claimed that some ballot papers had been illegally scanned multiple times, suggesting that vans intended to bring workers’ food to the elections instead hid tens of thousands of ballots.
Carone’s statement was included in a lawsuit filed by the Trump campaign that aimed to stop the documentation of election results in Wayne County, a liberal, vote-rich area where Biden garnered most of its support. Wayne County Environment Judge Timothy Kenny denied this request on November 13, saying that Carone and other witnesses “were inaccurate and unconvincing to interpret the events.”
About a month later, he continued to make the same allegations in separate statements this week before the Michigan House and Michigan Senate Oversight Committees.
“Everything that happened in that TCF Center was a fraud,” he said on Tuesday. “Everything.”
In a meeting with Johnson the next day, the GOP state lawmaker questioned the claim that 30,000 votes were counted multiple times but were not reflected in the poll book showing how many votes were cast in each district.
“We can’t see the survey book by 30,000 votes,” he said.
What did you do, did you take it and do something crazy? Carone fired before saying that there were “zero registered voters” in Wayne County’s poll book and 100,000 fraudulent ballots had been thrown. (Biden won Michigan by over 154,000 votes.)
Carone became personal when another representative suggested that she should be “under oath” during her presentation.
“I am a mother, I have two children, I have two degrees,” Carone said in a clip Wednesday shared by President Trump on Twitter. “I don’t know any woman in the world who will write an affidavit just to write. You can go to jail for that.”
When asked why more people didn’t come forward with allegations of fraud, he claimed that those who criticized Trump had destroyed the lives and reputations of witnesses like him. He added that he lost his family and friends, received threats, had to move, change his phone number and close his social media accounts. (A Facebook account named “Mellissa Carone”, which appeared in the media in November and has repeatedly expressed support for Trump, still appears on the social media website.)
“My life is completely ruined because of this,” he said.
But on social media, his allegations seemed to draw much more attention to what he said about the Trump campaign.
Someone on Twitter said, “Imagine you are listing your witnesses, and this is the best you have.”