Even Mafia dons think these voter fraud conspiracy theories from Trump and his followers are getting out of hand.
Former Philadelphia mafia boss “Skinny” Joey Merlino has been roped into the latest allegations of ballot tampering from Trump’s MAGA cronies. Merlino, an infamous member of Philly’s criminal underground in the ’90s, has been spending recent years down in Florida, trying to operate a restaurant before a racketeering case in 2018 shuttered his business. Merlino has since been on supervised release, after entering a plea deal for that case. But none of that seems to matter to conspiracy-fueling outlets like The Buffalo Chronicle because the mob kingpin has become the latest name implicated in some totally baseless accusations from right-wing conspiracy theorists, who are hoping to retroactively win the election for Trump.
The Buffalo Chronicle, an outlet with a history of twisting outrageous conspiracy theories into “breaking news,” claimed an anonymous source outed Merlino as the brains and muscle behind an election rigging scam in Philadelphia. This unnamed informant said Merlino “fabricated ballots” and delivered them to Philadelphia polling stations in “nondescript cardboard boxes.” They also alleged that Merlino might be willing to “flip” on President-elect Joe Biden to “expose” Democratic corruption in exchange for his record being expunged and immunity from these ballot tampering crimes because he wants … and this is a direct quote here … “to fish and hunt on federal lands. He’d really like a job with the National Parks Service.”
Of course, these claims aren’t backed up by any factual evidence, and Merlino, who’s apparently been fielding dozens of calls about this nonsense since the story first ran, has gotten his legal team to issue a statement.
“My client categorically denies all the allegations and Joey would rather die than ever be a snitch,” Merlino’s attorney John Meringolo told The New York Daily News after reportedly telling people his client responded to the claims by saying, “These people are crazy!”
That hasn’t stopped some within Trump’s circle from latching onto this wagon. Jordan Sekulow, the son of one of Trump’s top personal lawyers, Jay Sekulow, retweeted the article, urging people to “follow all leads.”
— Jordan Sekulow (@JordanSekulow) November 16, 2020
But you know a conspiracy theory is too outrageous to get behind when even Rudy Giuliani calls it far-fetched like he did during an interview on Fox Business yesterday. Still, this is one of the more laughable plots we’ve heard so far when it comes to Trump’s failed campaign to beat Biden after the fact so … there’s that.