Conspiracy theorist and former Christian leader Dinesh D’Souza has failed to halt a defamation lawsuit brought against him and others behind the popular election denial film 2000 Mules and defend his widely debunked movie’s supposed evidence in a courtroom.
U.S. District Judge Steven D. Grimberg said last month he will allow the lawsuit against D’Souza and True the Vote to move forward.
The film, which aired on Christian TV networks and was shown in hundreds of churches, argues that human “mules” harvested 400,000 fake ballots to steal the 2020 election from its rightful winner, Donald Trump.
But one of the 2,000 alleged mules says he wasn’t stuffing ballot boxes all over Black areas of Atlanta, but merely depositing votes from his wife and children in a drop box, which is perfectly legal.
Footage of Mark Andrews dropping off his family’s ballots appears in 2000 Mules, which claimed he committed a crime, and its companion book, which includes a photo caption claiming Andrews is engaged in “organized crime.”
D’Souza and others also used video and photos of Allen in promotional appearances on Christian and conservative media outlets, including Tucker Carlson’s former show on Fox News, which earlier this year paid its own whopping defamation fine.
Andrews claims he and his family have suffered threats and many other harms. He sued D’Souza along with Salem Media Group, which helped finance the film, Regnery Publishing, and Catherine Engelbrecht and Gregg Phillips of the group True the Vote, which promotes election conspiracies, and is facing a separate lawsuit.
Andrews claims these defendants knowingly and repeatedly defamed him with false claims after the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and other groups cleared him of any wrongdoing.
Salem, the onetime Christian media empire that has evolved into a powerhouse of secular right-wing programming, invested $4.5 million in the film and crowed about its success: “2000 Mules has already grossed $10 million in revenue, and in net revenue it is the most successful documentary since Obama’s America, produced by Dinesh D’Souza 10 years ago.”
D’Souza said, “The movie is a success financially for sure, but also it is successful in its political and cultural influence.”
D’Souza is a conspiracist and provocateur who once wrote for mainstream conservative publications and authored books for evangelical publishers (Tyndale House sells his book, What’s So Great About Christianity) and served as president of The King’s College in New York City (he resigned amid an adultery scandal.)
A Christian apologist who in past years debated prominent atheists, he pled guilty to one felony charge for making illegal campaign contributions and was pardoned by Trump.
In his podcast, he claimed the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol was “AN INSIDE JOB … a Set-Up Job by the FBI and Deep State?”
He mocked police officers who testified about their physical and psychic injuries, calling their testimony “a laugh fest” and claiming, “You know what, this is all scripted, this is all fake.”
Christian leaders promoted the wild claims made in 2000 Mules even amid widespread skepticism about its talk of a vast leftwing conspiracy.
Bill Barr, Trump’s former attorney general, scoffed at the film’s claims in his testimony to the House January 6 committee, calling its evidence “singularly unimpressive.”
But loyal Trumpists like author and radio host Eric Metaxas promoted the film. He did so in a tweet: “The soon-to-be-released film 2000 MULES gives us flat-out proof that the 2020 election was stolen. There is no way around it. What we as a nation do about that is on us. But we must at least stop pretending Joe Biden was elected. Truth matters. Be a truth-teller.”
Metaxas has been sued for defamation by Dominion Voting Machine executive Eric Coomer.
Former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee promoted the film on his variety show on Trinity Broadcasting Network. Huckabee is honorary national chairman for My Faith Votes, which claims it helped elect Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin by microtargeting conservative and Christian voters.
A Charisma headline screamed: “Dinesh D’Souza Presents New, Credible Evidence of 2020 Election Fraud in New Documentary.”
Movieguide said: “2000 MULES is a shocking, disturbing exposé of a Democrat, leftist campaign to get Joe Biden illegitimately elected as president. The movie shows that at least 2,000 people were caught red-handed in stuffing standalone ballot drop boxes in swing states during the 2020 presidential election.”
Now, the same Christian influencers are promoting D’Souza’s latest film, Police State, which opened in October and claims the Left has weaponized the U.S. legal system against Trump. Trump has endorsed the film that defends him as he faces numerous indictments and investigations.
“D’Souza, Bongino Expose DOJ Weaponization in New Film,” claimed the Christian Broadcasting Network.
The film has been shown at Pine Forest Baptist Church in Macon, Ga., Tahoe Community Church in South Tahoe, Calif., and other churches.