Two individuals at the top of an election conspiracy-spreading organization now face jail time for refusing to comply with an order to back up their claims. Catherine Engelbrecht and Gregg Phillips of True the Vote have one last chance to identify the source of claims about an election software company before they’re hit with contempt charges.
True the Vote is being sued for defamation, accused of spreading false and racist statements about election software company Konnech and its CEO Eugene Yu. Konnech makes election software, but their programs are for managing poll workers, scheduling, and other planning — they don’t record or count votes or voter information.
Despite this, True the Vote claimed Konnech was involved in a scheme to send data to China, where (they suggest, without evidence) it was used to alter the outcome of the 2020 election. They asked their followers to investigate further.
Yu and his family ended up fleeing their home and Konnech filed a lawsuit alleging defamation that damaged their business. After weeks of Engelbrecht and Phillips failing to turn over information as ordered by the court, they appeared before U.S. District Judge Kenneth Hoyt on Thursday, and were held in contempt.
The Texas Tribune reports:
The judge informed the pair they would face jail time if they do not comply with the terms of a court order by Monday at 9 a.m…Marshals, he said, would be ready to arrest them.
A Washington Post analysis shares some of the claims the pair and their organization made without evidence.
Phillips claimed to have evidence three million noncitizens had cast votes in the 2020 election. Phillips and Engelbrecht also produced Dinesh D’Souza’s 2000 Mules ‘documentary’ — a separate defamation suit connected to that film names D’Souza, Engelbrecht, Phillips, and others as defendants.
Now they’re also claiming to be the targets of an FBI conspiracy, because they’re being investigated for allegedly hacking into systems containing election information — that is, Konnech’s systems.
In a Sunday evening Truth Social post, one of the defendants complained that they would be going to jail in the morning but promised to be back on the job soon, calling on their followers to “hold the line” and even “finish strong” in the meantime.
Steph Bazzle covers politics and theocracy, always aiming for a world free from extremism and authoritarianism. Follow Steph on Twitter @imjustasteph.