A viral conspiracy theory has claimed that former US President Barack Obama connived with Italian agencies to rig the 2020 elections in favor of President-elect Joe Biden. Termed Italy Gate, the viral claim highlights the role of one Stefan Serafini, an alleged Foreign Service officer, for transferring the votes from Donald Trump to Biden using Italian military satellites.
It tows the previous election fraud theories backed by the US President Donald Trump ever since the elections results favored Biden. Trump has repeatedly questioned the role of Dominion voting machines in the rigged elections.
Software Shifted Votes from Trump to Biden
The viral claim gained momentum on various social media platforms after an hour-long audio interview of Maria Strollo Zack, founder of 'Nations In Action', a group fighting for transparency and accountability in government. The video is titled, "#ItalyGate #ItalyDidIt #LeonardoSPA ITALYGATE: Maria Zack Audio - Election Theft, Votes Switched from Trump to Biden – ItalyDidIt." It was uploaded on YouTube by The Eric Metaxas Radio Show.
Claiming that the theft of the election was orchestrated in the Rome embassy by an employee Stefan Serafini, a foreign service officer, Zack said that he retired a day before the election to ensure he would not lose his pension.
"Stefan Serafini coordinated with a General Claudio Graziano, who is on the board of Leonardo SPA (an Italian aerospace defense contractor). Leonardo used their military satellite uplink to load the software and transfer it over to change the votes from Trump to Biden," alleged Zack.
Highlighting the role of Obama, Zack alleged that the plan was orchestrated by Barack Obama with the help of Matteo Renzi, the former prime minister of Italy. "The Italian intelligence service supplied intercepts, photos, phone calls, and shockingly pictures of the CIA agents who have been involved in orchestrating this," she went on.
Zack Fails to Provide Concrete Evidence Regarding Her Claim
Debunking the claims made by Zack in the controversial audio, Lead Stories reported that there was no evidence to support the international conspiracy theory.
"Almost all votes in the 2020 election were on paper ballots or cast on machines that produce a paper audit trail, making it illogical that software could switch vote tallies without detection. When tested through audits in Michigan and hand recounts in Georgia, the accuracy of vote-counting machines was confirmed. Election officials and two independent experts have repeatedly knocked down the idea that votes were flipped," the fact-checking outlet stated.
The outlet also stated that the name of 'Claudio Graziano' does not appear anywhere on the website of Leonardo. Earlier, the US Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) too had ruled out the possibility of software rigging the elections.
Further, Zack failed to come up with any documentary, testimonial, photographic nor physical evidence to show the alleged involvement of Obama and Renzi in planning and rigging the elections.
Speaking to the outlet, Zack said: "We don't want to blow too much too quick, and I'm not sure how much the American public can tolerate. It's easy to say that that's happened with Leonardo and a couple guys loading it, but once you unveil the rest of it, I'm not sure that that will go very well."