State Rep. Geoff Diehl Lies, the Media Turns a Blind Eye
Elizabeth Warren’s Republican rival for US Senate, state Rep. Geoff Diehl, has recently come under scrutiny for repeatedly lying and deceiving the public throughout his campaign race.
After the Independent candidate, Shiva Ayyadurai, was interviewed by the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Ayyadurai stressed the fact that Diehl was not the co-chairman of the Massachusetts campaign to elect Trump, a claim Diehl and the media have made ad nauseum.
“All of the journalists, why do you keep promoting this guy as a Trump co-chair or the Trump chair? When he’s not, the evidence is there, there was one co-chairperson - Vincent Devito,” Ayyadurai said.
The truth is, Ayyadurai is correct, there’s no evidence that points to Diehl as being co-chairman, but there are numerous documents available that prove Massachusetts lawyer Vincent Devito was, and also testimonies from volunteers to back this up.
“There’s an official letter from Donald J Trump, go back to basic essence of truth in journalism,” Ayyadurai added.
For more than a year, the media has recognized Diehl as holding this title, and Diehl has used it to raise funds and garner more publicity.
Immediately after announcing his campaign for Senate, Diehl began depicting himself as a “Trump loyalists,” touting his role in Trump’s presidential campaign by claiming to have been co-chairman of the Massachusetts campaign to elect Donald Trump.
Diehl goes out of his way to mention this title on his campaign website. He also makes sure to add this when asking for donations in emails and flyers.
The media quickly went along with it, never forgetting to mention it every time his name is brought up, evidently showing a lack of integrity when it comes to fact checking.
When looking at the letter that Ayyadurai is referring to, it addresses Devito as co chair, stating:
“Mr Trump’s Massachusetts Chairman, Vincent Devito, will be providing you with additional information about the convention and any preparations needed prior to arriving in Cleveland.”
Moreover, when looking at a staff chart from the 2016 Trump Massachusetts campaign, Diehl’s name is nowhere to be found; Devito is the only listed state campaign chairman.
Numerous individuals that worked for Trump’s campaign could not attest to Diehl’s statements of co-chair.
GOP State Committeewoman, Amy Carnevale, who served as a convention delegate said she couldn’t recall Diehl holding any authorized position.
Jeanne Kangas, vice chair of the Massachusetts Republican Party and Trump supporter, said she could not say whether Diehl had an official role either.
As WBZ points out, according to a Trump campaign source, Diehl was not an official part of the campaign during the caucuses or during the convention.
Some were even angry to learn about Diehl’s claims; Jim Brower, the former State Assistant to Trump’s campaign in Massachusetts, writes: “This infuriates me, especially since I know the truth that he wasn’t the Co-Chairman and I only reported to Vincent Devito who was the ONLY chairman of the campaign.” “It’s pretty low you would harp onto Trump supporters to pad the pockets of your campaign…after you did nothing to actually help Trump.”
Shortly after Ayyadurai’s interview, when Diehl was questioned by the Worcester Telegram & Gazette about this inconsistency, he struggled to give a straight answer.
“Regarding the Trump campaign, you’ve said that you were the chairman at the time?” Anthony Simollardes asked.
Deihl quickly interjects, correcting him by saying “co chair.”
Simollardes: Cause one of your opponent says Vinny Devito really was running the campaign and that you didn’t really have any official title or were part of that?
Diehl responds by claiming he ran the decision to be co-chair by the campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.
“There was a series of emails between Corey and Hope and Dean and myself … just running it by them that it would be alright for me to be the co-chair.” “So, I became the co-chair of the campaign and that was just the title I was given and retained throughout the campaign.”
When asked who Vincent Devito was and what role he played, Diehl’s hesitates to answer.
“I think he was a delegate to the convention, he was I think appointed to the rules committee,” Diehl said.
Simollardes continues to press him on the issue.
“So he wasn’t the co-chairman?”
Diehl: He was, you know, not the co-chairman when I was first brought on the campaign?
Simollardes: Did he subsequently become co-chairman? Cause if you were the co-chairman you would have been involved.
Diehl: Well the campaign went through several stages.
Diehl does not acknowledge Devito as co-chair.
“At some point I think Vincent devito might’ve had more of an active role during the Manafort portion, but there was never a time when I wasn’t representing the campaign in Massachusetts,” Deihl said.
Although Dean Cavaretta, then-Trump state director, made a Facebook announcement that Diehl would be made co chair (shortly after Diehl formally endorsed Trump), Cavaretta later said in an interview with WBZ that they were “technically all volunteers,” never mentioning that Diehl was co-chair.
It’s important to note that Cavaretta has received a total of $21,000 from Diehl’s campaign for Senate.
Diehl campaign spokeswoman Holly Robichaud responded after the interview by saying this was a “last-minute desperate attack by those who did not support Geoff in the primary.”
However, other than Diehl’s statements, no evidence exists which shows Diehl as being co-chair, despite this, Diehl continues to promote himself as co-chairman.
Ayyadurai believed the media was fully aware that Diehl was not the co-chair yet continued to credit him for the position. During the interview with the Worcester Telegram, Ayyadurai showed a text which he said came from Devito,“The media is in on it,” the text read.
With the continued phenomenon of fake news, this incident really does help the media’s case, showing lack of credibility of not always backing up their sources.
Nonetheless, this isn’t the first time Diehl has been caught lying and the media failed to report on it.
On July 2017, Diehl got caught altering a picture of him and Trump, changing it to make it appear as if he was shaking Trump's hand.
After a Trump campaign event in 2016, Diehl took a picture of himself from behind as he approached Trump in a basement. He posted the picture on Facebook; immediately viewers saw a discrepancy, pointing to a disembodied hand in the background, what appeared to be a three handed Trump.
When Diehl was pressed on this issue, he heatedly denied these claims, responding online to a constituent named Frank, “It is actually sick to see you and your candidate push a bizarre lie” he wrote.
However, when the picture was sent to an independent tech lab analysis in Cambridge – Tech Fusion, they confirmed that the picture was altered; the report concluded: “There is no doubt that this photograph was altered to reflect you and President shaking hands.”
When looking at another picture from a different angle, you can see Trump poking Diehl’s collar while Diehl holds his hand up for a handshake.
Although VP Mike Pence has recently endorsed Diehl, President Trump has not offered a public endorsement of him, despite endorsing 21 other Senate candidates.
During the end of the interview with the Worcester Telegram, the interviewer begins to ask Diehl a question but the interview is suddenly cut short by someone from Diehl’s campaign.
“Well this was on Facebook live earlier, so I just wanted to give you a chance to respond.”
“Shiva Ayyadurai, he made a very serious accusation about” Simollardes adds before he is interrupted by Diehl’s campaign.
“Yes but hold on a second, we got another interview and we’ve also got an event we gotta go get going to.”
Diehl then quickly gets up and walks away.
Perhaps Simollardes was referring to the accusation made from Ayyadurai, accusing Diehl of stealing jewelry in high school and getting suspended thereafter.
“I can show you the affidavit from the academy I where he stole a women’s bracelet and he was expelled,” Ayyudurai told Simollardes. “Geoff Diehl stole, was thrown out of his second year.”
In a letter written by Amanda Nelson, a resident of Baltimore, MD, who claims to have known Diehl from attending the same school together at Moravian Academy in 1988, Nelson says that Diehl was kicked out of school in the spring of 1984, “My roomate at the time told me that Geoff Diehl had stolen jewelry from her,” she writes. “The day Geoff Diehl was kicked out of Moravian Academy was the best day of my life.”
Not only has Diehl received scrutiny, but so has his campaign strategist Holly Robichaud.
Throughout his campaign, Diehl has raised nearly three million in donations, more than 10 percent of it ($269,893) has gone to Robichaud.
Robichaud has been criticized for working as a Saudi agent in a campaign that deceived veterans and lobbied against the survivors and families of 911. The bill she lobbied against was known as the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA); it was pushed by the survivors of 911 as a way to try to receive compensation for the September 11th terrorist attacks, thus ensuring that foreign governments could be held accountable for acts of terrorism in a court of law.
Working on behalf of Saudi Arabia, PR firms like Qorvis MSLGroup used veterans to make their case against the bill stronger.
It was later revealed however that the campaign had been lying to veterans by telling them US military members would be at risk of getting sued if the bill was passed; using this premise, Veterans were given paid expense trips to DC to lobby against it.
Yet this was not what the bill entailed, according to William S. Dodge, a professor at the University of California, Davis School of Law, “JASTA deals only with the immunity of foreign states, not individuals.”
Moreover, for many veterans, the fact that Saudi Arabia was funding the campaign was kept under wraps; afterwards many were angry to learn they were working for the Saudi Kingdom.
When Robichaud was questioned by the Boston Herald about her work as a Saudi lobbyist, she said,“The work was strictly on the same position as the American Legion and VFW.”
This is also a lie. Veteran groups like American Legion and VFW never took an official stance on the bill; when Randi Law, the spokesperson of VFW, was asked if Veterans of war supported changes to JASTA, Law said, “No, the VFW did not take an official stance on this.”
Furthermore, Joe Plenzer, the director of communications for the American Legion, also said they never took a stance on this issue, “I checked our resolutions and found no resolution on JASTA,” he said. “I also check with our legislative director and we have no letters of support on file for this issue.”
Although Diehl talks about taking care of veterans - (claiming veterans will be short-changed if Elizabeth Warren remains as their Senator), hiring someone that deceived veterans for their own personal gain does not help his own cause, simply making him look like a hypocrite more than anything.
These issues and more exemplify the reason why Diehl has earned himself the nickname Dirty Deihl from his opponents.
Unfortunately the mainstream failed to cover these incidents, instead they obsessed over Diehl’s support for Trump and how he deals with Trump's rhetoric, never mentioning the fact he continues to lie about a political position he never held, doctored a picture of him and Trump and then lied about it, possibly stole jewelry in high school leading to his suspension, and hired a Saudi lobbyist that deceived veterans and went against the families of 911, as if none of this matters.
“If journalists cannot hold political figures to account, this is the beginning of the end of democracy.” - Italian journalist Carlo Bonini