In Dinesh D’Souza’s unhinged, widely maligned, and discredited pseudo-documentary 2,000 Mules, he accuses a number of American voters of acting as “mules”—trafficking fake ballots in order to tip the result of the 2020 presidential election.
These so-called couriers were featured prominently in the film, which used surveillance footage of them placing the ballots into drop-boxes, and supposedly catching them in their villainy. As D’Souza’s ominous voiceover in the movie proclaimed: “What you are seeing is a crime. These are fraudulent votes.”
The only problem, of course, is that it was all false, according to one of the voters spotlighted as an alleged mule. Mark Andrews filed suit against D’Souza on Wednesday, insisting D’Souza and his collaborators falsely accused him of ballot fraud by “combining junk pseudoscience and excerpted surveillance video of innocent voters” in the May 2022 documentary.
2,000 Mules showed Andrews, with his face blurred, depositing five ballots into a Georgia drop-box in 2020, according to his federal complaint. “In fact, the video of Mr. Andrews shows him legally dropping off ballots for himself and his family, a voting method expressly authorized by Georgia law,” it states.
A state probe by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation found that Andrews had committed no wrongdoing, and dismissed a complaint filed against him as a result of the documentary in May.
“At all times, Defendants knew that their portrayals of Mr. Andrews were lies, as was the entire narrative of 2,000 Mules,” the lawsuit explains. “But they have continued to peddle these lies in order to enrich themselves. As of the filing of this lawsuit, Defendants’ social media accounts and website still promote the film using Mr. Andrews as an example of a criminal ‘mule.’”
Later in the 123-page complaint, it explains: “Defendants promoted the film and their “mules” narrative on television, radio, online, and via other media—including in front of millions of Fox News viewers—and repeatedly showed images of Mr. Andrews as an exemplar ‘mule.’”
Names as co-defendants in the suit are D’Souza’s partners, Gregg Phillips and Catherine Engelbrecht of “True the Vote,” a controversial, conservative vote-monitoring organization. In September, the group was sued by Konnech, an election logistics software company, accusing Phillips and Engelbrecht of stealing data and conducting a xenophobic “smear campaign” against its chief executive.
“The organization is confident that the claims regarding True the Vote in this litigation will be found to be without merit,” a True the Vote spokesperson told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Andrews’ suit is seeking an undefined amount of money, claiming defamation, intimidation, and invasion of privacy. “As a Black man who grew up in the American South before passage of the Voting Rights Act, Mr. Andrews deeply cherishes the right to vote, has always been proud to cast his ballot, and has worked tirelessly to instill these same values in his family,” it claims.
“Now, because of Defendants’ conspiracy to defame and intimidate Mr. Andrews, he will never again be able to vote without looking over his shoulder.”