Liban Osman was at the center of the conservative group’s recent investigation claiming that Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar was linked to a cash-for-ballots scheme in Minnesota.
The 17-minute video released by Project Veritas (PV) last month showed Osman in snapchat videos appearing to admit to the scheme. He told Fox 9 KMSP, however, that the clips were maliciously edited and claims he was offered $10,000 to say he was illegally collecting ballots for the Democrat.
Speaking to Fox 9, Osman alleged that he’d been approached by local community activist Omar Jamal and offered a lump sum of $10,000 on behalf of Project Veritas. In exchange, Osman would have to say he was offering to give people money to vote for the congresswoman.
“I told him it was insane and I walked away,” Osman told the channel. “He was setting me up.”
Osman insists he never paid anyone for votes, never told anyone who to cast their vote for and said he was legally gathering ballots from mostly elderly voters, and delivering them to election officials.
He claims Project Veritas used two of his Snapchat videos out of context and edited them together to appear nefarious. In the first, Osman is heard saying “Money is the king in this world … and a campaign is driven by money,” referencing his brother’s run for city council, and comparing his funds with his opponents’ coffers.
In the second video, Osman can be heard bragging about a large number of absentee ballots he had collected, with some envelopes appearing to have been opened. Ballot collecting was legal over a five-week period in Minnesota this year and Osman claimed some voters, afraid of identity theft, had given him their ballots inside of an extra envelope, according to Fox 9.
In an ironic twist, Omar Jamal, the Minneapolis community activist cited as the “insider” by Project Veritas – and who Osman claims had offered him the alleged bribe – was arrested on immigration fraud charges in 2013, according to the Daily Dot.
The ‘Somali Watchdog Group’ which Jamal heads, according to Project Veritas, was only set up in August 2020, seemingly after PV began filming for their investigation. Jamal also claimed to be part of the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Department, though the Daily Dot said that department’s phone line operator could not confirm if he was an employee there.
Project Veritas’ attorney responded to Osman’s claims, calling them a “baseless accusation” and insisting they have never offered him any money.
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