Feds Finally Find Mexican Voter Fraud In California. He Voted For Trump.
They finally found a voter frauder! Gustavo Araujo Lerma, 64, was sentenced Tuesday in federal court in Sacramento to three years and nine months in federal prison after being found guilty in August of passport fraud, voting by an alien, and aggravated identity theft. Lerma was almost everything the paranoid rightwing rants about in-person voting fraud and illegal immigration are obsessed with: a Mexican national who bought a US citizen's birth certificate and Social Security card in 1992 and has voted illegally in federal elections ever since then. But only once per election, not changing clothes, putting on glasses, and voting again and again. That guy still has yet to be sighted in the wild. Until then, white nationalists will have to chase church buses around on election day, because elderly black people are probably frauding like crazy.
Oh yes, and he's a very loyal Republican who not only voted for Donald Trump, he also donated to the party and got some nice swag, like
letters of thanks from the president, former Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus and current RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel.
Or their autopens, at least. Stands to reason a fake Trump voter would collect a bunch of fake autographs, no?
Lerma was born in León, Mexico, in the second-funnest Mexican state to say aloud, Guanajuato. (Duh, Michoacán is the funnest.) But since he bought the fake ID, he's been "Hiram Enrique Velez," the name under which he's voted and gotten married and generally been an upstanding Republican. Or rather, re-married, because his first marriage, under his real name, was in Mexico; then he and his bride got married again in the US with the fake identity so she and their kids could get legal status.
Lerma, who testified in Spanish using an interpreter, frankly sounds like he's not a terribly bright guy. Even kind of pathetic, or a very bad liar. Possibly both.
He testified at trial that he has "always been an honest person" and that he did not know his real identity because his first memory as a child is being found on the streets of San Antonio by a woman when he was 5 and later being handed over to a man named "Pedro Garza" who raised him.
Lerma said he did not know his real birthday and that he always believed he "could have" been born in the United States.
But, he said, he voted regularly in American elections.
"Yes, I signed up to vote and I voted," Lerma testified. "I'm a Republican and I voted for Donald Trump, too.
"I've always voted for my Republican Party."
His fake identity started falling apart in 2013, when he applied to renew his passport and someone at the State Department noticed the Social Security number belonged to a dead guy. The real Hiram Velez died in 1997. So it goes.
Wingnuts may find it a bit of a challenge to argue that Lerma is just the tip of a VOTE FRAUD iceberg, given that the prosecutor, Assistant US Attorney Katherine Lydon, described Lerma's fraudulent voting career as "an incredibly rare crime." But we suppose they could just decide not to include that bit.
Oh look, that's exactly what Tucker Carlson's Internet Fake News Machine did! Not a word about how rare in-person voter impersonation is. Aren't you glad a Daily Caller spinoff has a contract to do "fact checking" on Facebook?
US District Judge John A. Mendez wasn't especially impressed by Lerma's assertions that he's just an ordinary guy who isn't too hung up on the particulars of what's "legal" and what's a "crime." The Sacramento Bee reports Lerma
began defending his actions and blaming others for allowing him to end up with an Illinois driver's license in the name of Velez.
"Your honor, I'm sorry, I don't know anything about law," Lerma said. "I have no schooling.
"When they gave me that (driver's license) I thought that was right. I even bought a headstone with that name where I thought I was going to be buried."
Maybe his attorney should have played the recording of Trump saying he loves the poorly educated. That might have convinced the judge that a guy can sincerely believe he'd become a different person with a brand new name and legal status. This is America, after all, where lying about everything can get you into the Oval Office, as long as the lies are grand enough and you have an entire news ecosystem to repeat the lies.
As of blogtime, it is unclear whether Mr. Lerma intends to prove his loyalty to Donald Trump by deporting himself, or by applying for a job in Stephen Miller's office.
And it is now your Open Thread!
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