A mule of our own

I haven’t seen Dinesh D’Souza’s 2000 Mules yet and can’t comment on it, but we have our very own mule in Minnesota. We have a pack of them, but I am thinking of the just-convicted mule Muse Mohamud Mohamed.

Last year Mohamed testified before a grand jury conducting in an ongoing federal investigation of Minnesota’s system of “agent delivery” of absentee ballots He was convicted this week on two counts of lying to the grand jury about his work delivering absentee ballots in Minnesota’s 2020 primary. It took the jury all of 40 minutes to reach a verdict, though they probably spent the first 30 minutes electing a foreman.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Mr. Mohammed was assisting the campaign of his brother-in-law, state senator Omar Fateh. Mohammed was a volunteer for Fateh’s campaign and Fateh himself had repeatedly refused to acknowledge the family relationship until the jury found Mohammed guilty. (Mohamed is also the brother of DFL-endorsed state senate candidate Zaynab Mohamed.)

The persistent Deena Winter connected the family dots in her Minnesota Reformer stories “Minneapolis man on trial for lying to grand jury has connections to senator, candidate” (May 6) and “Man accused of lying to grand jury about absentee ballots was volunteer for Sen. Fateh” (May 9). See also Joey Peters’s Sahan Journal story “State Senator Omar Fateh says he’s ‘troubled’ by the conviction of his brother-in-law and campaign volunteer…”

Fateh only asserted in a written statement provided to Winter that he is “troubled” by Mohammed’s conviction. The statement is ambiguous and Fateh refused to reply to repeated requests for comment by Winter on his relationship with Mohamed over the course of weeks (as did Zaynab Mohamed). One is left to wonder why.

A politically active Somali friend has been insisting on the family connections to me for months and wrote me after the verdict: “Told you they are family.” My friend added, as one might infer from the stories: “They had refused to comment until the DFL asked them to.”

The United States Attorney issued an understated press release with this explanation of the evidence against Mohamed:

Mohamed was served with a subpoena to provide testimony before a grand jury seated in the District of Minnesota regarding the use of the agent delivery process during Minnesota’s August 11, 2020, primary election. The City of Minneapolis’ election records document that Mohamed delivered ballots as an agent for three voters during that election. The voters, however, testified that they do not know Mohamed and did not ask him to pick up and deliver absentee ballots for them.

As proven at trial, on October 14, 2021, Mohamed provided testimony to the grand jury that he received the absentee ballots from the voters themselves. When Mohamed was confronted with the fact that the voters each gave statements that they do not know him and that they did not ask him or anyone for agent delivery of their ballots for the August 2020 election, Mohamed testified that he received the ballots from the voters.

The press release is understated. It seems to be calculated to leave feathers unruffled.

Steve Karnowski’s AP story on the case appends this note, lest sentient readers draw the wrong conclusion (links omitted):


Multiple reviews, recounts, lawsuits and an investigation by The Associated Press have confirmed there was no widespread fraud in the last White House race. The AP’s review found that virtually every case was based on an individual acting alone to cast additional ballots. Nationally, federal and state election officials and Trump’s own attorney general have said there was no credible evidence the election was tainted anywhere in the country.

Democratic Secretary of State Steve Simon has said repeatedly that Minnesota’s 2020 elections were fair and honest, with no credible evidence of significant voter fraud.

In another Minnesota case, Abdihakim Amin Essa was sentenced to probation last month in state court for pleading guilty to four vote fraud counts in the 2018 election. Nine other counts were dismissed in the plea agreement. He was accused of signing as a witness for 13 people who cast absentee ballots when he legally couldn’t because he wasn’t a U.S. citizen, and signing with his father’s name. All 13 ballots were rejected.

By contrast with the AP, my politically active Somali friend observes specifically with respect to the Minneapolis scene: “In 2020 it was a free for all.” Or as one of the internal headings of the Winter’s May 9 Minnesota Reformer story puts it: “Use of ‘agent delivery’ spiked in 2020 primary.”

Notice: All comments are subject to moderation. Our comments are intended to be a forum for civil discourse bearing on the subject under discussion. Commenters who stray beyond the bounds of civility or employ what we deem gratuitous vulgarity in a comment — including, but not limited to, “s***,” “f***,” “a*******,” or one of their many variants — will be banned without further notice in the sole discretion of the site moderator.