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The US 2020 Presidential Election & Attempts To Overturn It

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  • It does not matter how little The Former Guy’s outrageous behavior fails to outrage us.
    What matters is that EVERY SINGLE ONE who abetted his crimes is brought to justice, so as to deter any future such treason.
    Trust me?
    I'm an economist!

    Comment


    • Originally posted by DOR View Post
      It does not matter how little The Former Guy’s outrageous behavior fails to outrage us.
      What matters is that EVERY SINGLE ONE who abetted his crimes is brought to justice, so as to deter any future such treason.
      Which former guy Marius or Sulla?

      Comment


      • It’s Long Past Time to Prosecute Phony GOP Electors
        The individuals who signed and transmitted fraudulent Electoral College ballots claiming their states voted for Donald Trump must be held to account.

        While the story of phony electoral certificates submitted to Congress by Republican officials in five states as part of a failed attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election has caught on in a big way over the last week, it isn’t new. The phony certificates were submitted nearly a year ago and, as early as March 2, 2021, American Oversight published the documents themselves after obtaining them through the Freedom of Information Act.

        Actually, there weren’t just five states in which, despite Biden having won there, Republican pseudo-electors submitted Electoral College certificates in support of Trump. There were seven. The Republicans in two of those states, however, hedged their bets. The New Mexico certificate was submitted “on the understanding that it might later be determined that we are the duly elected and qualified” electors (emphasis added). The Pennsylvania certificate was similarly qualified “on the understanding that if, as a result of a final non-appealable Court Order or other proceeding prescribed by law, we are ultimately recognized as being the duly elected and qualified Electors” (emphasis added).

        The submissions from those two states deserve the benefit of the doubt. They can and should be read as contingent, belt-and-suspenders backup plans to make sure that Trump electors were identified in the event, however unlikely, that the courts reversed the election results in their states.

        Not so the other five states. The phony Trump electors from each of the other five states—Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada and Wisconsin—certified that they were in fact the “duly elected and qualified Electors for President and Vice President of the United States of America” from their respective states.

        Those representations were lies.

        Biden, not Trump, had won the elections in each of those states. In each of those states, Biden’s victory had been certified by the officials given clear statutory authority to do so. In Michigan, for instance, that authority resides with the governor: “the governor shall certify, under the seal of the state, to the United States secretary of state, the names and addresses of the electors of this state chosen as electors of president and vice-president of the United States.” In Arizona, the secretary of state is charged with that responsibility. And so on: The officials charged with determining the results of presidential elections in all five states had certified the election results showing that Biden, not Trump, had won their state’s electoral votes.

        In short, the individuals who signed the documents certifying that they were the “duly elected and qualified” electors from their states were not. Their certificates were fraudulent, full stop. No doubt or ambiguity about it.

        The fraudulent scheme did not end with the signatures of the phony electors. Far from it. In each of the five states, the would-be electors transmitted the phony certificates to federal officials as their state’s “electoral votes for President and Vice President.” Again, false.

        It is astonishing that more than a year after the certification of the 2020 presidential election, public attention has only now begun to focus intensely on these phony GOP state certifications. They are not just deplorable political acts of subversion. They are criminal acts. As laid out by Charlie Sykes over the weekend, the fake certificates are part of a much broader conspiracy by Donald Trump and others to corruptly obstruct, influence or impede the electoral vote count proceedings within the meaning of 18 U.S.C. § 1512(c)(2).

        But not just that.

        The signing and transmission of the phony certificates were also standalone crimes in and of themselves, committed in broad daylight and easily prosecuted.

        State and federal law enforcement should have been all over this for almost a year now. Worse, even for those inclined to think “better late than never,” it’s still not clear that they are on it now.

        Start with state law. As you can imagine, every state in the union has criminal laws prohibiting all forms of election fraud. For present purposes, one example will suffice: In Arizona, a person who knowingly forges or counterfeits returns of an election is guilty of a “class 3 felony,” the minimum penalty for which is two and a half years in prison.

        But the real action here is—or should be—at the federal level. These phony certifications were not isolated, one-off events. They were highly coordinated. A single glance at the five phony certificates shows that they are nearly identical in format and text, right down to the fonts. The strong implication: Somebody somewhere was running this show.

        The involvement of top Trump administration and campaign officials in this effort looks deep and wide. It’s the job of the January 6th House committee and (hopefully) the Department of Justice to put together all that information, and presumably journalists will continue to dig into it. But as of now, it sure looks like Mark Meadows, Trump’s chief of staff, was right in the middle of election-fraud effort. A text released last month by the January 6th Committee from an unnamed “lawmaker” (later identified by CNN as Trump’s former energy secretary, Rick Perry) to Meadows said:
        HERE’s an AGRESSIVE STRATEGY: Why can t the states of GA NC PENN and other R controlled state houses declare this is BS (where conflicts and election not called that night) and just send their own electors to vote and have it go to the SCOTUS.

        Sound familiar? Meadows seems to be up to his neck in this. Perhaps that’s why there’s speculation afoot that Meadows may end up asserting his Fifth Amendment rights to avoid testifying.

        Assertions of Fifth Amendment rights aside, there’s plenty for anyone who coordinated or participated in this fraudulent scheme to worry about.

        The biggest federal gun in the arsenal, seditious conspiracy, probably won’t work here. That statute uses the phrase “by force” four times. It was thus perfectly understandable that the Department of Justice recently charged seven members of the Oath Keepers who conspired to forcibly obstruct the peaceful transfer of power on January 6. It is theoretically possible that the phony elector scheme might one day be viewed as simply one piece in a larger conspiracy to storm the Capitol—get the phony certificates of electors and use them as a pretext to halt the process by force and intimidation—but right now that seems like a stretch. The phony certificate scheme, in and of itself, employed fraud and deceit, not force.

        However, there is one federal criminal statute that appears to cover this situation specifically and squarely. Under 52 U.S.C. § 20511, it is a crime punishable by a fine or up to five years in prison—or both—if any person:
        knowingly and willfully deprives, defrauds, or attempts to deprive or defraud the residents of a State of a fair and impartially conducted election process, by . . . the procurement, casting, or tabulation of ballots that are known by the person to be materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent under the laws of the State in which the election is held. [Emphasis added.]

        There is some debate in the academic community about whether the votes of presidential electors are “ballots” as that term is used in this statute. The reference to “ballots” may be intended to refer only to the popular vote, not the votes cast by the electors, the argument goes.

        But the statute doesn’t say that. It just says “ballots.” The common understanding is that a ballot is simply the mechanism by which votes are cast. Moreover, the Constitution explicitly and repeatedly refers to the votes of presidential electors as “ballots.” Here’s the applicable language from the Twelfth Amendment:
        The Electors shall meet in their respective states and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President. [Emphasis added.]

        Once the issue of whether presidential electors cast their votes by “ballots” is resolved—if there really is such an issue—the rest seems easy:
        • The phony electors’ ballots were clearly “materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent under the laws of the State in which the election is held.” As discussed above, Biden, not Trump, was the duly elected and qualified winner in each of the five states.
        • The fraudulent ballots were “cast.” They were fully executed and transmitted to the National Archives, Congress, and the federal judiciary, in imitation of the process set forth in 3 U.S.C. §§ 10 and 11 for the casting of legitimate ballots.
        • The phony electors clearly knew the ballots were false. The whole damn world knew that Biden, not Trump, had been certified as the winner in each of their respective states. That’s why this whole plot was hatched in the first place.
        • By casting electoral ballots that they knew were not for the duly elected and qualified winners in their states, the phony electors not only deprived the residents of their states of “a fair and impartially conducted election process,” they effectively sought to nullify the entire state election process.
        • These certificates weren’t just provisional, backup measures in case something changed. The Pennsylvania and New Mexico certificates showed how to make that clear in plain English. The phony certificates from the other five states purported to list the “duly elected and qualified” electors and were transmitted to the federal government as the state’s official electoral votes, some even on letterheads bearing the state seal.

        Other federal criminal statutes also may be applicable.

        The broadest federal statute that may apply is 18 U.S.C. § 371—“Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud United States.” That statute says that if two or more persons conspire to defraud the United States or any agency thereof “in any manner or for any purpose,” and perform “any act” to effect the object of that conspiracy, each person shall be fined or imprisoned for not more than five years, or both. As Harvard professor Laurence Tribe noted in a Boston Globe op-ed last week, under the Supreme Court ruling in Tanner v. United States, Section 371 applies to “any conspiracy for the purpose of impairing, obstructing or defeating the lawful function of any department of Government.” Conspiring to file fraudulent election returns in order to overturn a presidential election, and the actual transmittal of those fraudulent documents to the federal government, easily meets that standard.

        It is also a crime under 18 U.S.C. § 1001, punishable by up to five years of imprisonment, to file any “false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation” in any matter within the jurisdiction of the federal government, or to use a “false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent” information.

        And specifically regarding elections, it is crime under 52 U.S.C. §10307 for any person “acting under color of law” to “willfully fail or refuse to tabulate, count, and report” the vote of any person qualified to vote. This would seem to apply to any state officials who, acting under color of law—that is, acting in some official capacity—were involved in transmitting the phony electoral certificates to the federal government. By purporting to certify the election of a person who was not duly elected, such officials would be willfully seeking to disenfranchise millions of individuals who were qualified to and did vote.

        If federal prosecutors are already investigating these crimes, they have done a bang-up job of keeping it secret. It has been a year since the phony certificates came to light, and the criminal case to be made is not complicated.

        While it may be understandable that the Department of Justice needs to conduct a sweeping, time-consuming investigation to fully comprehend the depth and breadth of the larger conspiracy to overturn the 2020 election, no complex investigation is needed to prosecute the specific, standalone crimes committed by those who signed and transmitted the fraudulent elector certificates. It’s not as if we don’t know the identity of the culprits—the signers of the fraudulent certificates are all identified on the face of the documents. The individuals who transmitted them to the federal government signed their names to the transmittal memoranda. It’s all right there, wrapped up in a nice, tidy package that can be cut and pasted straight into an indictment.

        It’s as if the feds had perfect audio and video recordings of a heist, plus signed confessions.

        So why the slow walk?

        Robust prosecution of these cases is vital. As I wrote earlier this month, between now and the 2024 election, the battle for democracy will be won or lost in the states. Nothing in either of the voting rights bills currently pending before Congress would inhibit partisan state officials, acting under color of law, from attempting to overturn popular elections in their states.

        What would?

        Criminal prosecutions.
        ____________________
        “He was the most prodigious personification of all human inferiorities. He was an utterly incapable, unadapted, irresponsible, psychopathic personality, full of empty, infantile fantasies, but cursed with the keen intuition of a rat or a guttersnipe. He represented the shadow, the inferior part of everybody’s personality, in an overwhelming degree, and this was another reason why they fell for him.”

        Comment


        • Pence: Trump is ‘wrong’ to say election could be overturned

          Former Vice President Mike Pence on Friday directly rebutted Donald Trump’s false claims that Pence somehow could have overturned the results of the 2020 election, saying that the former president was simply “wrong.”

          In a speech to the conservative Federalist Society in Florida, Pence addressed Trump’s intensifying efforts this week to advance the false narrative that he could have done something to prevent Joe Biden from taking office.

          “President Trump is wrong,” Pence said. “I had no right to overturn the election.”

          While Pence in the past has defended his actions on Jan. 6 and said that he and Trump will likely never see “eye to eye” on what happened that day, the remarks Friday marked his most forceful rebuttal of Trump to date. And they come as Pence has been laying the groundwork for a potential run for president in 2024, which could put him in direct competition with his former boss, who has also been teasing a comeback run.

          In a statement Tuesday, Trump said the committee investigating the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol should instead probe “why Mike Pence did not send back the votes for recertification or approval.” And on Sunday, he blasted Pence, falsely declaring that “he could have overturned the Election!”

          Vice presidents play only a ceremonial role in the the counting of Electoral College votes, and any attempt to interfere in the count would have represented a profound break from precedent and democratic norms.

          Pence, in his remarks Friday, described Jan. 6, 2021, as “a dark day in the history of the United States Capitol.”

          Pence was inside the building, presiding over the joint session of Congress to certify the presidential election, when a mob of Trump’s supporters violently smashed inside, assaulting police officers and hunting down lawmakers. Pence, who had released a statement earlier that day to make clear he had no authority to overturn the will of the voters, was rushed to safety as some rioters chanted “Hang Mike Pence!”

          Pence framed his actions that day as in line with his duty as a constitutional conservative.

          “The American people must know that we will always keep our oath to the Constitution, even when it would be politically expedient to do otherwise,” he told the group Friday. He noted that, under Article II Section One of the Constitution, “elections are conducted at the state level, not by Congress” and that “the only role of Congress with respect to the Electoral College is to open and count votes submitted and certified by the states. No more, no less.”

          “Frankly there is no idea more un-American than the notion that any one person could choose the American president,” he added. “Under the Constitution, I had no right to change the outcome of our election. And Kamala Harris will have no right to overturn the election when we beat them in 2024.”

          Pence also acknowledged the lingering anger among many in Trump’s base. But, he said: “The truth is, there’s more at stake than our party or political fortunes. Men and women, if we lose faith in the Constitution, we won’t just lose elections — we’ll lose our country.”
          __________
          “He was the most prodigious personification of all human inferiorities. He was an utterly incapable, unadapted, irresponsible, psychopathic personality, full of empty, infantile fantasies, but cursed with the keen intuition of a rat or a guttersnipe. He represented the shadow, the inferior part of everybody’s personality, in an overwhelming degree, and this was another reason why they fell for him.”

          Comment


          • Trump backer, 4 others charged with voter fraud in Wisconsin

            MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A supporter of former President Donald Trump who said authorities should root out voter fraud is among five people who were charged Thursday with election fraud by a Republican district attorney who's running for Wisconsin attorney general.

            All five voters, including a homeless person, improperly listed a post office box number at a UPS store as their address, rather than a residential address as is required under Wisconsin law, said Fond du Lac County District Attorney Eric Toney.

            That brings the number of people charged with election fraud during the 2020 presidential election in Wisconsin to 10, including seven in Fond du Lac County. Three of the five people charged cast ballots in the 2020 election.

            Toney said he hoped the charges would serve to educate voters about the law requiring them to list a residential address when registering to vote. In response to a question about whether this would fuel false claims of widespread election fraud, Toney said that was not the intent.

            “It is clear that would have had no impact on any election results about who would have won the race," Toney said. “It has nothing to do with that type of argument.”

            In fact, one of the people charged indicated she had voted for Trump and told investigators to look into cheating because “they took it away from Trump,” according to the complaint.

            Another person charged who did not vote in 2020 “appeared very apologetic upon learning that he could not register to vote with a PO Box,” the complaint said. Another man who didn't vote said he was living out of his truck when he registered and used the post office box because he could use that on his driver's license.

            Voters in Wisconsin do not register by political party, so there is no way of knowing how many of those charged are Republicans or Democrats.

            President Joe Biden won Wisconsin by just under 21,000 votes out of more than 3.2 million cast. The outcome has withstood recounts, lawsuits and multiple reviews. An Associated Press review in battleground states also found no widespread fraud.

            The issue of voters listing post office boxes when registering to vote, rather than where they live, was also raised in La Crosse County following the 2020 election. However, the district attorney there decided not to press charges after determining the voters did not intend to break the law.

            But Toney, when explaining why he decided to bring charges, said ignorance of the law is no excuse.

            “This is an important opportunity for education on this issue,” Toney said. He said he hoped filing charges would lead to fewer criminal referrals that take time and resources away from police and district attorneys who should instead be focused on fighting violent crime.

            One of the people charged was homeless but should have listed any kind of address, like the location of a park bench, rather than a post office box number, Toney said. A married couple who were charged were traveling around the state in an RV and could have listed the address of a campground where they stay, he said.

            The five people were each charged with a Class I felony, which is punishable by up to 3 ˝ years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

            Toney is running for attorney general and faces former state Rep. Adam Jarchow in the Aug. 9 Republican primary. The winner will advance to face Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul in November.
            _________
            “He was the most prodigious personification of all human inferiorities. He was an utterly incapable, unadapted, irresponsible, psychopathic personality, full of empty, infantile fantasies, but cursed with the keen intuition of a rat or a guttersnipe. He represented the shadow, the inferior part of everybody’s personality, in an overwhelming degree, and this was another reason why they fell for him.”

            Comment


            • Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
              Trump backer, 4 others charged with voter fraud in Wisconsin

              MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A supporter of former President Donald Trump who said authorities should root out voter fraud is among five people who were charged Thursday with election fraud by a Republican district attorney who's running for Wisconsin attorney general.

              All five voters, including a homeless person, improperly listed a post office box number at a UPS store as their address, rather than a residential address as is required under Wisconsin law, said Fond du Lac County District Attorney Eric Toney.

              That brings the number of people charged with election fraud during the 2020 presidential election in Wisconsin to 10, including seven in Fond du Lac County. Three of the five people charged cast ballots in the 2020 election.

              Toney said he hoped the charges would serve to educate voters about the law requiring them to list a residential address when registering to vote. In response to a question about whether this would fuel false claims of widespread election fraud, Toney said that was not the intent.

              “It is clear that would have had no impact on any election results about who would have won the race," Toney said. “It has nothing to do with that type of argument.”

              In fact, one of the people charged indicated she had voted for Trump and told investigators to look into cheating because “they took it away from Trump,” according to the complaint.

              Another person charged who did not vote in 2020 “appeared very apologetic upon learning that he could not register to vote with a PO Box,” the complaint said. Another man who didn't vote said he was living out of his truck when he registered and used the post office box because he could use that on his driver's license.

              Voters in Wisconsin do not register by political party, so there is no way of knowing how many of those charged are Republicans or Democrats.

              President Joe Biden won Wisconsin by just under 21,000 votes out of more than 3.2 million cast. The outcome has withstood recounts, lawsuits and multiple reviews. An Associated Press review in battleground states also found no widespread fraud.

              The issue of voters listing post office boxes when registering to vote, rather than where they live, was also raised in La Crosse County following the 2020 election. However, the district attorney there decided not to press charges after determining the voters did not intend to break the law.

              But Toney, when explaining why he decided to bring charges, said ignorance of the law is no excuse.

              “This is an important opportunity for education on this issue,” Toney said. He said he hoped filing charges would lead to fewer criminal referrals that take time and resources away from police and district attorneys who should instead be focused on fighting violent crime.

              One of the people charged was homeless but should have listed any kind of address, like the location of a park bench, rather than a post office box number, Toney said. A married couple who were charged were traveling around the state in an RV and could have listed the address of a campground where they stay, he said.

              The five people were each charged with a Class I felony, which is punishable by up to 3 ˝ years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

              Toney is running for attorney general and faces former state Rep. Adam Jarchow in the Aug. 9 Republican primary. The winner will advance to face Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul in November.
              _________
              See?
              See?

              Proof that the election was rigged!
              Trust me?
              I'm an economist!

              Comment


              • Originally posted by DOR View Post

                See?
                See?

                Proof that the election was rigged!
                "Yeah Biden won but it was stolen"
                “He was the most prodigious personification of all human inferiorities. He was an utterly incapable, unadapted, irresponsible, psychopathic personality, full of empty, infantile fantasies, but cursed with the keen intuition of a rat or a guttersnipe. He represented the shadow, the inferior part of everybody’s personality, in an overwhelming degree, and this was another reason why they fell for him.”

                Comment


                • Former AG Barr said Trump became enraged after being told election fraud claims were nonsense
                  Former U.S. Attorney General William Barr said then-President Donald Trump became furious after Barr told him there was no evidence that the 2020 election was fraudulent.

                  "I told him that all this stuff was bulls---... about election fraud. And, you know, it was wrong to be shoveling it out the way his team was," Barr said in an interview with NBC News's Lester Holt that's scheduled to air Sunday night. First highlights of the interview aired Thursday on MSNBC's "Andrea Mitchell Reports."

                  The sit-down with Holt is Barr's first televised interview since he stepped down as attorney general in late Dec. 2020. Barr is publishing a new book about his time in the Trump administration, which has prompted criticism from some that he remained silent about the former president until he could profit from book sales.

                  Barr told Holt his last day almost came on Dec. 1, after Trump summoned him to a meeting in the White House. The call came after the Associated Press published an interview with Barr where he said there was no evidence of any widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election, despite Trump's claims to the contrary.

                  "To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election,” Barr told the AP.

                  Barr said Trump called him into a meeting that day in his private dining room, and questioned him about his comments.

                  Barr said he told Trump the Department of Justice had investigated and found no evidence to support the various conspiracy theories that Trump and his legal team were pushing.

                  "He was asking about different theories, and I had the answers. I was able to tell him, 'This was wrong because of this,'" Barr recounted.

                  Trump listened, but "he was obviously getting very angry about this."

                  Barr said he told Trump, "I understand you're upset with me. And I'm perfectly happy to tender my resignation."

                  Barr said Trump then slapped his desk and said, "Accepted. Accepted," Barr recalled. "And then - boom. He slapped it again. 'Accepted. Go home. Don't go back to your office. Go home. You're done.'"


                  In a letter to NBC responding to Barr's interview, Trump said he was the one who asked Barr to resign that day and called his former attorney general's account a fabrication.

                  Trump had White House lawyers stop Barr before he left the premises to tell him he wasn't fired, but the president continued to take shots at Barr publicly.

                  “He hasn’t done anything. He hasn’t looked” for voter fraud, Trump complained at an event at the White House on Dec. 3. "This is criminal stuff. This is very bad, criminal stuff.”

                  Barr submitted his formal resignation on Dec. 14th.

                  "I am proud to have played a role in the many successes and unprecedented achievements you have delivered for the American people,” Barr told Trump in his resignation letter.

                  Trump then tweeted praising Barr. "Our relationship has been a very good one, he has done an outstanding job!" Trump wrote.
                  _______

                  Imagine this childish little sociopath still sitting in the White House during the current international crisis....
                  “He was the most prodigious personification of all human inferiorities. He was an utterly incapable, unadapted, irresponsible, psychopathic personality, full of empty, infantile fantasies, but cursed with the keen intuition of a rat or a guttersnipe. He represented the shadow, the inferior part of everybody’s personality, in an overwhelming degree, and this was another reason why they fell for him.”

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by TopHatter View Post

                    Imagine this childish little sociopath still sitting in the White House during the current international crisis....
                    Please no as that is the stuff of nightmares. I'm going to imagine I am on the beach in Hawaii right now, instead. Do Not Disturb.

                    Comment


                    • Ex-Rand Paul aide pardoned by Trump is charged with funneling Russian money into 2016 election
                      A former campaign staffer and the grandson-in-law of US Senator Rand Paul who received a presidential pardon from former President Donald Trump has been charged with directing Russian money into the 2016 presidential election, according to the US Department of Justice.

                      The announcement came on Monday via an unseal indictment from 9 September.

                      Business Insider reports that Jesse Benton, Mr Paul's former aide, "conspired to illegally funnel thousands of dollars of foreign money from a Russian foreign national" into the 2016 campaign.

                      He also managed Senator Mitch McConnell's 2014 campaign.

                      Mr Benton received a $100,000 wire transfer from an unnamed Russian national in October of 2016, according to the indictment. He was allegedly promised that he would get to "meet a celebrity" at a Philadelphia fundraiser a month earlier.


                      Though prosecutors did not name the candidate involved in the memo, Insider confirmed that Mr Trump was hosting a fundraiser in Philadelphia the night of the fundraiser mentioned by the Russian national.

                      That individual was present at the fundraiser, according to prosecutors. His travel to the US was allegedly made possible by a co-conspirator in the case, conservative author Roy Douglas Wead. According to prosecutors, all three had taken officials with "Political Candidate 1," who is believed to be Mr Trump.

                      Both men are accused of passing off the donations as payments for "consulting work." Mr Benton reportedly kept $75,000 of the donation, while the rest was given to the candidate.

                      Mr Benton was previously convicted of campaign finance fraud relating to Mr Paul's 2012 presidential campaign. He was sentenced just days before the Philadelphia fundraiser and was sentenced to two years of probation and a $10,000 fine.

                      After his conviction, Mr Trump pardoned Mr Benton.


                      Prior to the Iowa caucus in 2011, three of Mr Paul's top staffers - including Mr Benton - arranged for a $73,000 payout to the then-Iowa state Senator Kent Sorenson, according to The Daily Beast.

                      Mr Sorenson then immediately quit as the state chair for former Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachman's presidential campaign and switched to work on Mr Paul's campaign.

                      Ultimately Mr Benton, along with senior aides John Tate and Demetri Kesari, were all convicted on campaign finance charges. Mr Kesari was the only one to serve prison time, and the only one not to receive a presidential pardon from Mr Trump.

                      His current charges are much more serious, and could land him and Mr Wead in prison for between five and 20 years.
                      ____________

                      Russia Russia Russia....
                      “He was the most prodigious personification of all human inferiorities. He was an utterly incapable, unadapted, irresponsible, psychopathic personality, full of empty, infantile fantasies, but cursed with the keen intuition of a rat or a guttersnipe. He represented the shadow, the inferior part of everybody’s personality, in an overwhelming degree, and this was another reason why they fell for him.”

                      Comment


                      • Mark Meadows faces electoral fraud question over voter registration address

                        Mark Meadows played a key role in supporting and advancing Donald Trump’s lie about widespread electoral fraud in his defeat by Joe Biden, but the former White House chief of staff may have committed such fraud himself.

                        According to the New Yorker, Meadows registered to vote at a property in North Carolina at which he appears never to have lived.

                        Related: Mark Meadows was at the center of the storm on 6 January. But only Trump could call it off

                        Meadows resigned from the US House and became Trump’s fourth and last chief of staff in March 2020. He registered to vote in September, the New Yorker said.

                        Asked for the address “where you physically live”, the magazine said, Meadows “wrote down the address of a 14ft-by-62ft mobile home in Scaly Mountain”, North Carolina, and “listed his move-in date for this address as the following day, 20 September”.

                        “Meadows does not own this property and never has,” the New Yorker said. “It is not clear that he has ever spent a single night there.”


                        Meadows did not comment to the magazine. The New Yorker spoke to the home’s former and current owners and neighbors and said that while members of Meadows’ family may have spent time in the property, it was not clear he ever slept there.

                        The current owner said: “I’ve made a lot of improvements. But when I got it, it was not the kind of place you’d think the chief of staff of the president would be staying.”

                        Told of Meadows using the address to register to vote, the owner said: “That’s weird that he would do that. Really weird.”

                        Were Meadows to be found to have committed voter fraud, it would not be the first time he had embarrassed the president he served.

                        In December, the Guardian was first to report that in his memoir, Meadows describes how Trump tested positive for Covid-19 but covered up the result (and a second negative) and went ahead with his first debate against Joe Biden.

                        The memoir repeats Trump’s claims about voter fraud, lies which stoked the deadly attack on Congress on 6 January 2021.

                        Meadows initially cooperated with the House committee investigating the attack, then withdrew. The committee recommended a charge of criminal contempt of Congress. None has been forthcoming from the Department of Justice.

                        As the New Yorker pointed out, it is a federal crime to provide false information to register to vote in a federal election.

                        Melanie D Thibault, director of the board of elections in Macon county, North Carolina, told the New Yorker she was “kind of dumbfounded” by Meadows’ registration.

                        She also said he had voted absentee, by mail, in the 2020 election.

                        Meadows’ old boss has repeatedly attacked voting by mail – despite doing it himself.
                        ___________

                        Yet more voter fraud....what a shock.
                        “He was the most prodigious personification of all human inferiorities. He was an utterly incapable, unadapted, irresponsible, psychopathic personality, full of empty, infantile fantasies, but cursed with the keen intuition of a rat or a guttersnipe. He represented the shadow, the inferior part of everybody’s personality, in an overwhelming degree, and this was another reason why they fell for him.”

                        Comment


                        • Lawsuit seeks to stop group's door-to-door voter fraud hunt
                          DENVER (AP) — A coalition of civil and voting rights organizations invoked the 19th-century Ku Klux Klan Act in a lawsuit filed Wednesday seeking to stop a group of Donald Trump supporters from going door-to-door in Colorado in a search for already-debunked voter fraud.

                          The suit against the U.S. Election Integrity Plan alleges that the group's activities include photographing voters' homes and “door-to-door voter intimidation” in areas where a high number of minorities live. The group was founded after Trump lost the 2020 election to Democrat Joe Biden and made false claims of mass voter fraud.

                          Shawn Smith, a retired Air Force colonel who runs the group, did not immediately respond to a request for comment sent to Cause for America, a separate “election integrity” group he runs. USEIP has no listed phone number or email.

                          The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado on behalf of the state chapter of the NAACP, the League of Women Voters and Mi Familia Vota.

                          The move represents a high-profile push against a new method that election deniers have used to try to advance claims of voter fraud that have been roundly dismissed. Repeated audits and investigations — including by Trump’s own Department of Justice — found no significant fraud in the 2020 election, and Trump backers lost more than 50 lawsuits trying to overturn the vote.

                          The lawsuit relies in part on the KKK Act, which was passed after the Civil War to prevent white vigilantes from using violence and terror to stop Black people from voting. The law has recently been cited in a lawsuit over the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection. Rep. Bennie Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat, accused Trump of conspiring with far-right extremist groups that were involved in storming the U.S. Capitol.

                          The civil and voting rights groups allege that USEIP members sometimes carry firearms and badges during visits to voters’ homes, even though they do not work for the government. It cites no specific examples.

                          “They’re sending a very clear message that if you vote in the future in Colorado, you can expect an armed agent showing up at your door,” said Courtney Hostetler, an attorney at the legal nonprofit Free Speech For People, which filed the case.

                          USEIP thanks Mike Lindell, the chief executive of MyPillow and a major supporter of election deniers, in its organizing manual. Smith attended a meeting that Lindell organized on election conspiracy theories last August along with Tina Peters, a clerk in Colorado’s western Mesa County who was indicted by a grand jury Wednesday for her role in copying confidential election data that appeared on conspiracy websites after the event.

                          The Colorado secretary of state’s office says Smith was on the telephone with a clerk in a second county as he made copies of information from his own election system and gave it to two people not authorized to view it. Last month, at a gathering of election conspiracy theorists, during a discussion of Colorado’s Democratic secretary of state, Smith said, “If you’re involved in election fraud, then you deserve to hang.”

                          In late November, Lindell hired Smith to run Cause of America. In an interview on former Trump adviser Steve Bannon's podcast, Smith said the new organization would “help coordinate the election integrity efforts of citizens across the country.”

                          Lindell did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

                          The lawsuit alleges that the U.S. Election Integrity Plan targets high-density housing that often is full of minority voters who are more likely to vote Democratic.

                          “Sometimes armed and donning badges to present an appearance of government officiality, USEIP agents interrogate voters about their addresses, whether they participated in the 2020 election, and — if so — how they cast their vote,” the lawsuit said. “It is reported that multiple agents have claimed to be from ‘the county,’ and have, without any evidence, falsely accused the residents of casting fraudulent ballots.”

                          The group says on its website that it plans to expand to other states like Arizona, Georgia and New Hampshire. Its materials have been used by conspiracy theorists going door-to-door in Utah, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

                          “It's extremely scary,” said Portia Prescott, president of the NAACP of Colorado, Wyoming and Montana. If the group knocks on someone's door, she contended, “you feel like a target, they know how you vote. Will you vote the next time? Probably not.”
                          _________

                          Cult45 and their enablers will never give up, ever.
                          “He was the most prodigious personification of all human inferiorities. He was an utterly incapable, unadapted, irresponsible, psychopathic personality, full of empty, infantile fantasies, but cursed with the keen intuition of a rat or a guttersnipe. He represented the shadow, the inferior part of everybody’s personality, in an overwhelming degree, and this was another reason why they fell for him.”

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                          • Colorado clerk is indicted for election tampering and misconduct

                            A grand jury has indicted a Colorado county clerk, Tina Peters, and her deputy on a laundry list of charges related to an election security breach in her office last summer that was influenced by former President Donald Trump's false claims that he won the 2020 election.

                            The charges against Peters come as election workers around the U.S. face death threats amid a national disinformation campaign that has falsely alleged wide-scale election tampering in 2020. Peters' case is particularly worrisome to many who run elections as a sign that insiders might act upon those conspiracy theories, further undermining confidence in the voting process.


                            Peters, who's the county clerk and recorder in Mesa County, in western Colorado, faces 10 counts, including seven felony charges and three misdemeanors. The felony charges include attempting to influence a public servant, identity theft, criminal impersonation and conspiracy to commit criminal impersonation. The misdemeanors include first-degree official misconduct, violation of duty and failure to comply with the requirements of the secretary of state.

                            Her deputy, Belinda Knisley, has been indicted on six counts, including attempt to influence a public servant, conspiracy to commit criminal impersonation, violation of duty and failure to comply with the requirements of the secretary of state.

                            The pair is accused of helping an unauthorized person make copies of sensitive voting-machine hard drives and attend an annual software update. Information from the machines and secure passwords were later shared with election conspiracy theorists online. Shortly after the data was leaked, Peters appeared at an event put on by MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, one of the leading promoters of the conspiracy theory that the 2020 election was rigged.

                            "Something didn't seem right in our county from years ago to the 2020 election. And they wanted answers. And I said, 'You know what? If there's a there there, we'll find it.' And I've made that pledge to the citizens of Mesa County and all over Colorado," said Peters during the 2021 event.

                            The maker of the equipment, Dominion Voting Systems, has been the focus of false conspiracy theories claiming it helped steal the 2020 election for President Biden. Dominion is suing a number of the most prominent proponents of those claims for defamation.

                            In a joint statement announcing the indictment, Mesa County District Attorney Dan Rubinstein and Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser said, "This investigation is ongoing, and other defendants may be charged as we learn more information. We remind everyone that these are allegations at this point and that they are presumed innocent until proven guilty."

                            The indictment argues that Peters and Knisley together lied to other Mesa County staff, as well as workers in the secretary of state's office. It also alleges that the two committed identity theft against a local man, Gerald "Jerry" Wood, in order to give someone — the indictment doesn't say who — access to the hard drives and the software update in his name.

                            It states that the women "devised and executed a deceptive scheme which was designed to influence public servants, breach security protocols, exceed permissible access to voting equipment, and set in motion the eventual distribution of confidential information to unauthorized people."

                            Peters said the indictment was another in a series of politically motivated accusations by Rubenstein, who she called a "self-identified never-Trumper," and Democratic Secretary of State Jena Griswold, who she said had "ties to George Soros funding."

                            "Using a grand jury to formalize politically-motivated accusations against candidates is tactic long employed by the Democrat Party," Peters said in a statement. "Using legal muscle to indict political opponents during an election isn't new strategy, but it's easier to execute when you have a district attorney who despises President Trump and any constitutional conservative like myself who continues to demand all election evidence be made available to the public."


                            Peters has long maintained that she has every right to look into potential election fraud and was simply responding to the concerns of her constituents.

                            "I have attempted to investigate the results of the elections, a duty that I have to my constituents," she told Colorado Public Radio. "They were coming to me."

                            Peters recently announced she is running for secretary of state against Griswold, who has been a driving force in the investigation against her. She said the indictment is an attempt "influence voters enough with indictments and arrests and media drama during the primaries, to elect a weaker general election opponent" against Griswold.

                            Griswold first said her office would look into a possible security breach last August.

                            "Every eligible Coloradan – Republican, Democrat, and Unaffiliated alike – has the right to make their voice heard in safe, accessible, and secure elections," said Griswold in a statement after the indictment was announced.

                            "To do that, we need election administrators who are committed to following the law and election rules. Officials tasked with carrying out elections do so in public trust and must be held accountable when they abuse their power or position."

                            Republican Party leaders in Colorado urged Peters to suspend her campaign.

                            "It is our belief, as leaders of the Colorado Republican Party, that any Republican candidate who is indicted with felonies by a grand jury and who will be charged by a Republican District Attorney should suspend their campaign while they undergo the legal challenges associated with those indictments," said a joint statement from the party's top leaders.

                            A judge banned Peters from overseeing Mesa County's 2021 election, and the county had to turn to outside help to manage the office's staff. A current lawsuit requests that Peters be removed from playing any role in managing the 2022 vote.

                            The county was also required to replace the Dominion Voting machines after the state decertified them last fall, just weeks before the election.

                            The bipartisan Colorado County Clerks Association called the "breach of trust" devastating and said from the beginning that it was unified in its desire to see the situation in Mesa County investigated fully and that if there was wrongdoing, the association wanted it exposed and prosecuted.

                            "From the initial public reports of Clerk Peters' actions, it was clear she violated her oath of office and likely broke the law. Since that time, she has repeated in sworn court filings that she carried out acts that violated her oath. Now, a grand jury of her peers seated by her own district attorney has determined she allegedly committed several crimes, including official misconduct."

                            The investigation has divided Republican elected officials in the deeply conservative part of Colorado who have spoken out against her actions.

                            Mesa County Commissioner Scott McInnis, a Republican, has described the months-long investigation into Peters as a cascading series of mini-crises with so many legal questions, public hearings and fights with Peter and her supporters.

                            He said if Peters really believed her county's voting machines were hacked, she should have called the proper authorities to look into it.

                            "There's a right way to do it, and there's a wrong way she chose intentionally, because I think she wanted the attention. And she wanted to show the country that she had discovered why Trump lost the election. This is my opinion."

                            Colorado lawmakers will be considering legislation this session to try to prevent similar types of possible security breaches in the future.
                            _________

                            Still more right-wing election fraud....it just never ends.
                            “He was the most prodigious personification of all human inferiorities. He was an utterly incapable, unadapted, irresponsible, psychopathic personality, full of empty, infantile fantasies, but cursed with the keen intuition of a rat or a guttersnipe. He represented the shadow, the inferior part of everybody’s personality, in an overwhelming degree, and this was another reason why they fell for him.”

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
                              Colorado clerk is indicted for election tampering and misconduct

                              Still more right-wing election fraud....it just never ends.
                              I just love these stories of justice winning in the end, and the shysters and cheats being exposed for the lying fraudsters they are.
                              Trust me?
                              I'm an economist!

                              Comment


                              • Wisconsin GOP leader rejects election decertification call
                                MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin's Republican speaker of the Assembly again rejected calls to decertify President Joe Biden's win in the battleground state after meeting privately Wednesday with advocates for making that move that attorneys across the political spectrum have said can't be done.

                                Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, who called the meeting, emerged to say he believed there was widespread fraud in the 2020 election but the focus should not be on relitigating that but instead on electing Republicans as governor and attorney general this fall.

                                “We don’t have the ability to unilaterally overturn the election," Vos said of 2020, repeating his long-held position. “It can’t happen.”

                                Vos said the oath he took as an elected official and the constitution "doesn’t allow me to decertify any of the elections, whether I want to or not. That’s not going to happen.”

                                Decertification advocates, including Republican candidate for governor and current state Rep. Timothy Ramthun, had hoped to convince Vos to change his stance. They didn't succeed.

                                Vos kicked Ramthun out of the meeting before it even began.

                                “More obstruction,” Ramthun said as he exited the room. “This is what I have been dealing with now for 17 months.”


                                Ramthun and Vos have butted heads over the election and its aftermath.

                                Vos and other Republican leaders have refused to take up Ramthun’s resolutions seeking to decertify the election. And in January, Vos removed Ramthun’s only full-time staff member as punishment after Vos said he falsely accused Vos of signing a deal with attorneys for former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton to authorize absentee ballot drop boxes.

                                Vos said the meeting was a chance for those who believe the 2020 election cannot be decertified to discuss it along with advocates for decertification. Nonpartisan attorneys who advise lawmakers were at the meeting. They have previously said it is illegal to decertify the election, as has the head of the conservative Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty.

                                Another meeting attendee, Jefferson Davis, presented evidence of what he said was widespread fraud. Statewide, 24 people have been charged with voter fraud, a miniscule percentage of the nearly 3.3 million people who cast ballots that is on par with past elections.

                                Vos has come under pressure from former President Donald Trump and other Republicans, including Ramthun, who support his false claims that the election was stolen and say Vos is not doing enough, including decertifying Biden’s win.

                                The meeting came after the investigator hired by Vos, former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman, this month urged lawmakers to consider decertifying Biden’s win.

                                Biden’s win in Wisconsin by just under 21,000 votes over Trump has withstood lawsuits, recounts and reviews by the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty and the nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau.

                                Vos, Senate Republican Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu and state GOP chairman Paul Farrow were scheduled to meet with county Republican chairs on Wednesday night to discuss election fraud and other issues.

                                Ramthun told reporters after he was kicked out of the meeting that it should have been open to the public. He also urged the filing of criminal charges against anyone who broke the law related to the 2020 election, including members of the bipartisan Wisconsin Elections Commission.

                                Three county district attorneys have declined to file charges against commission members, citing a lack of evidence.

                                Ramthun has emerged as one of the most vocal election conspiracy theory advocates in Wisconsin, using it as the primary issue for his run for governor. MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, also a purveyor of false claims that Trump won the 2020 election, endorsed Ramthun.
                                _________
                                “He was the most prodigious personification of all human inferiorities. He was an utterly incapable, unadapted, irresponsible, psychopathic personality, full of empty, infantile fantasies, but cursed with the keen intuition of a rat or a guttersnipe. He represented the shadow, the inferior part of everybody’s personality, in an overwhelming degree, and this was another reason why they fell for him.”

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