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  • Trump allies Giuliani, Powell and Lindell to face massive lawsuit from Dominion after court loss.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-08-...tion/100372536
    If you are emotionally invested in 'believing' something is true you have lost the ability to tell if it is true.

    Comment


    • Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw is heckled at a fundraiser for insisting the 2020 election was 'absolutely not' stolen from Trump

      Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw, an ally of former President Donald Trump, was harassed at a fundraiser for insisting that the 2020 presidential election wasn't "rigged," as Trump and many Republicans falsely claim.

      "There's certain states with problems, but don't kid yourself into believing that's why we lost," the Texas Republican told the crowd of supporters at a donor event in Illinois. "It's not. I'll tell you openly."

      "You're wrong," Bobby Piton, a GOP activist and Illinois-based financial planner, called out.

      "No, I'm not," Crenshaw replied.

      "I have plenty of proof. I have proof in Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Georgia," Piton went on, before claiming the controversial right-wing effort to "audit" Arizona's vote count would "flip" the state's presidential outcome. On Twitter, he took credit later for exposing "yet another corrupt politician."

      Crenshaw insisted that Arizona and the other states wouldn't flip.

      "I'm not going to argue with this. You gotta accept this," he said. "Was there a lot of voter fraud? Yeah, there probably is. Enough that Trump won? No, absolutely not," Crenshaw said. "Five different states? Hundreds of thousands of votes? You're kidding yourself."

      Arizona election officials have found just 182 cases of potential voter fraud out of more than 3 million ballots cast in a state Biden won by 10,000 votes.

      Crenshaw, who voted to certify the election in January, has argued that the country should "move on" from his party's election lies and has repeatedly downplayed the GOP's ongoing efforts to undermine democratic norms and institutions. In a heated exchange on "Meet the Press" earlier this year, Crenshaw accused the "largely liberal" press of insisting on relitigating the 2020 election.

      "We're five months into President Biden's presidency, and there is a time to move on," Crenshaw told host Chuck Todd in May. "And look, the - you guys in the press love doing this and I - and I get it, right? The press is largely liberal."
      __________


      Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

      Comment


      • Debunking Trump's 'Big Lie,' scholars and statistics show the facts don't add up

        In a recent survey of presidential scholars, President Trump finished a dismal third from the bottom, just ahead of perennial duds James Buchanan and Andrew Johnson.

        He tied Franklin Pierce, whose political timidity helped lead to the Civil War, and placed just behind two other presidential laggards, the pro-slavery John Tyler and William Henry Harrison, who served only 31 days before dropping dead.


        But in just seven months since leaving office, the petulant Trump — who always aims for the top — has already bested his 44 predecessors in one way, building a strong case for conducting the most malign post-presidency in history. (Tyler was buried with a Confederate flag but at least kept his mouth shut, being dead and all.)

        Trump has made it his singular mission to undermine the 2020 election he irrefutably lost, promoting a series of conspiracy theories and fact-free allegations used by Republicans nationwide to justify laws making it harder to vote and easier to overturn elections they don't like, starting in 2022.

        Justin Grimmer, a Stanford political science professor, and two fellow researchers have set about debunking many of the baseless assertions grounding those legislative efforts. Their hope, he said, is to explain the facts to those who may still have doubts about the 2020 election, whatever the origin, and to offer a road map for judges who may be presented similar phony claims in campaigns going forward.

        "The basic notions of legitimacy in our republic depend upon us recognizing that the president and other elected officials were duly elected," said Grimmer, who has one foot in the Stanford faculty as co-director of the Democracy and Polarization Lab and another at the conservative Hoover Institution, where he serves as a senior fellow. "It's extremely problematic if that's not the case."

        Grimmer and his colleagues, Stanford's Haritz Garro and Andrew C. Eggers of the University of Chicago, divided the bogus election fraud allegations into two categories: claims based on "facts that are not actually anomalous" and claims based on facts "that are not actually facts." (Which, put another way, can be described as "lies.")

        The scholars offered a point-by-point refutation of each, starting with those claims promoted by Trump and his enablers that make certain innocent facts out to be somehow nefarious:

        — Joe Biden won more votes than Trump even though he carried far fewer counties. (A meaningless statistic. Biden cleaned up in big cities while Trump carried more rural areas and, thus, more counties.)

        — Trump won more bellwether counties. (Another meaningless statistic. Bellwethers reflect past performance and don't determine election outcomes.)

        — There was a big difference between votes that were counted early and those that were counted late. (That doesn't indicate fraud. Republicans were more likely to vote on election day and more Democrats mailed in their ballots. So they were tabulated at different times.)

        — Differences between voting patterns in 2016 and 2020 suggest voting irregularities. (Election results aren't stamped out on an assembly line. Things invariably change from one campaign to the next.)

        The political scholars then move onto "facts" that aren't really facts at all.

        — More votes were cast in 2020 than there are voters. (It didn't happen. That falsehood grew out of a faulty analysis that took the turnout rate for eligible voters — those 18 and older — and applied it to the smaller number of registered voters.)

        — Machines run by Dominion Voting Systems switched votes from Trump to Biden. (A statistical analysis shows no significant difference in Biden's performance in counties using Dominion machines compared to those using other means to tabulate their ballots. The software and voting machine company has sued the right-wing propaganda networks Newsmax and One America News, among others, for defamation for widely promoting the misinformation.)

        — Fulton County, Georgia, which takes in the Atlanta area, and Allegheny County, home to Pittsburgh, were major centers of fraud involving absentee ballots. (Not so. Grimmer and his colleagues found there was nothing unusual about Biden's absentee ballot haul in those counties relative to his performance in neighboring counties.)

        — Turnout was unusually high in Democratic-leaning counties in a number of important battleground states where massive fraud is alleged. (There was no fraud and no unusual surge in turnout.)

        Grimmer and his coauthors acknowledged their scholarly paper won't change the mind of hard-core conspiracy theorists — the kind who promote nutty ideas such as Biden being replaced in the White House by a body double, or the election in Arizona being overturned by a slapstick "audit" and Trump being reinstated as president.

        Of greater concern, they suggest, is the substantial number of Republicans telling pollsters they believe "millions of fraudulent ballots were cast, voting machines were manipulated, and thousands of votes were recorded for dead people."

        "There's this real risk of delegitimization that goes along with people saying this election was conducted incorrectly," said Grimmer, who suggested the allegations shouldn't simply be dismissed out of hand. "We investigate ... and say, 'Look, the evidence just isn't there.'"

        Hopefully, the fair-minded will pay attention. All it takes to undermine democracy is for good people to be faced with a crock of lies and do nothing.
        ___________
        Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

        Comment


        • Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
          Debunking Trump's 'Big Lie,' scholars and statistics show the facts don't add up


          Hopefully, the fair-minded will pay attention. All it takes to undermine democracy is for good people to be faced with a crock of lies and do nothing.
          ___________
          Scholars and statistics will convince the open-minded literate and numerate.
          The ones who need convincing, however, are the bias base.
          Trust me?
          I'm an economist!

          Comment


          • Trump Rally-Goers Lose Their Minds When Rep. Mo Brooks Tells Them to Move Past 2020 Election
            Attendees of Trump’s rally were less than pleased when Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), whose remarks immediately preceded the former president’s, brought up the 2020 election and told the crowd to “put that behind you.”

            “There are some people who are despondent about the voter fraud and election theft in 2020,” Brooks said at the Saturday night event in Cullman, Ala. “Folks, put that behind you, put that behind you.”

            The crowd immediately broke into boos and chants of “no!” in response. It’s clear what Brooks is trying to do here. He is running for an Alabama senate seat in the upcoming 2022 election, and he needs Trump supporters to vote for him. But that’s not what Trump’s loyalists were focused on.


            “Yes,” Brooks told the booing crowd, who only intensified their cries of dissent. “Look forward, look forward, look forward. Beat them in 2022, beat them in 2024.”

            Sensing the crowd was not going to budge, Brooks shifted tactics. “All right,” he said. “Well, look back at it, but go forward and take advantage of it. We have got to win in 2022. We’ve got to win in 2024.”

            Brooks again mentioned the 2020 election later on in his speech. “Let’s do it,” he said. “The Arizona recount is coming. The Arizona audit is on the way.”

            The crowd responded with chants of “Fix it now! Fix it now!”

            Brooks is a close Trump ally who delivered a fiery speech at the rally that preceded the attack on the Capitol on January 6th, where he instructed the crowd to “start taking down names and kicking ass.”

            “Are you willing to do what it takes to fight for America!” Brooks yelled, adding that Trump’s supporters should “carry the message to Capitol Hill” because “the fight begins today.”


            Brooks’s remarks were so incendiary, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) included the congressman in a lawsuit this past June, but the suit was rejected by a judge.

            Following the rally, Brooks sent out a tweet clarifying that, of course, he believes the 2020 election was “fraught” with “fraud and election theft on a massive scale.”
            ________

            Welcome to the face of the Right...what a pathetic disgrace.
            Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

            Comment


            • Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
              Trump Rally-Goers Lose Their Minds When Rep. Mo Brooks Tells Them to Move Past 2020 Election
              Attendees of Trump’s rally were less than pleased when Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), whose remarks immediately preceded the former president’s, brought up the 2020 election and told the crowd to “put that behind you.”

              “There are some people who are despondent about the voter fraud and election theft in 2020,” Brooks said at the Saturday night event in Cullman, Ala. “Folks, put that behind you, put that behind you.”

              The crowd immediately broke into boos and chants of “no!” in response. It’s clear what Brooks is trying to do here. He is running for an Alabama senate seat in the upcoming 2022 election, and he needs Trump supporters to vote for him. But that’s not what Trump’s loyalists were focused on.


              “Yes,” Brooks told the booing crowd, who only intensified their cries of dissent. “Look forward, look forward, look forward. Beat them in 2022, beat them in 2024.”

              Sensing the crowd was not going to budge, Brooks shifted tactics. “All right,” he said. “Well, look back at it, but go forward and take advantage of it. We have got to win in 2022. We’ve got to win in 2024.”

              Brooks again mentioned the 2020 election later on in his speech. “Let’s do it,” he said. “The Arizona recount is coming. The Arizona audit is on the way.”

              The crowd responded with chants of “Fix it now! Fix it now!”

              Brooks is a close Trump ally who delivered a fiery speech at the rally that preceded the attack on the Capitol on January 6th, where he instructed the crowd to “start taking down names and kicking ass.”

              “Are you willing to do what it takes to fight for America!” Brooks yelled, adding that Trump’s supporters should “carry the message to Capitol Hill” because “the fight begins today.”


              Brooks’s remarks were so incendiary, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) included the congressman in a lawsuit this past June, but the suit was rejected by a judge.

              Following the rally, Brooks sent out a tweet clarifying that, of course, he believes the 2020 election was “fraught” with “fraud and election theft on a massive scale.”
              ________

              Welcome to the face of the Right...what a pathetic disgrace.
              In Mo Brooks defense, he knows Trump supporters will kill him if he admits he was lying about election fraud lol. As does every other Republican politician who has advocated and persisted the lie.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by statquo View Post

                In Mo Brooks defense, he knows Trump supporters will kill him if he admits he was lying about election fraud lol. As does every other Republican politician who has advocated and persisted the lie.
                Well, he has the option of not showing up there and speaking in the first place.

                He placed himself in this peril.

                His actions are firmly within the boundaries of not being ableto put th etoothpaste back in the tube...
                “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                Mark Twain

                Comment


                • 'Profound abuse': Judge disciplines pro-Trump lawyers over election lawsuit

                  WASHINGTON, Aug 25 (Reuters) - A U.S. judge on Wednesday sanctioned Sidney Powell and other lawyers who sued in Michigan to overturn Democratic President Joe Biden's election victory over Donald Trump, and suggested they might deserve to lose their law licenses.

                  In a highly anticipated written ruling, U.S. District Judge Linda Parker in Detroit said the pro-Trump lawyers, including Powell and prominent litigator Lin Wood, should have investigated the Republican former president's voter fraud claims more carefully before filing what Parker called a "frivolous" lawsuit.

                  Parker, who dismissed the Michigan suit last December, formally requested that disciplinary bodies investigate whether the pro-Trump lawyers should have their law licenses revoked. The judge also ordered the lawyers to attend classes on the ethical and legal requirements for filing legal claims.

                  "This lawsuit represents a historic and profound abuse of the judicial process," Parker said in her decision, adding that the case "was never about fraud - it was about undermining the People's faith in our democracy and debasing the judicial process to do so."

                  The judge said Powell, Wood, and other lawyers who worked with them "have scorned their oath, flouted the rules, and attempted to undermine the integrity of the judiciary along the way."


                  Powell did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

                  Wood said on the social media platform Telegram that he "had nothing to do with" the lawsuit and would appeal.

                  Powell represented Trump's campaign when he tried to overturn last Nov. 3's presidential election in the courts. His campaign distanced itself from Powell after she claimed without evidence at a Nov. 19 news conference that electronic voting systems had switched millions of ballots to Biden.

                  In a written decision last December, Parker said Powell's voter fraud claims were "nothing but speculation and conjecture" and that, in any event, the Texas lawyer waited too long to file her lawsuit.

                  Powell asserted in a court hearing last month that she had carefully vetted her election fraud claims before suing, and that the only way to test them would have been at trial or a hearing on evidence gathered. Her co-counsel repeatedly called for such an evidentiary hearing.

                  Starting in January, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and other government lawyers asked the judge to discipline the pro-Trump lawyers, saying they had filed a frivolous lawsuit full of typos and factual errors and should be held accountable.

                  "I'm pleased to see that the Court has ensured there is accountability for the attorneys who perpetuated meritless arguments in court," Nessel said in a statement on Wednesday.

                  "I appreciate the unmistakable message (the judge) sends with this ruling - those who vow to uphold the Constitution must answer for abandoning that oath."

                  Parker on Thursday also ordered the pro-Trump lawyers to reimburse election officials for the cost of defending the lawsuit. The amount will be determined by the judge in the coming months, said David Fink, a lawyer for the City of Detroit who requested sanctions, in an interview.
                  ___________
                  Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

                  Comment


                  • Former House Speaker Paul Ryan says it's 'really clear' Joe Biden won fairly in 2020 as Wisconsin GOP leaders pursue $680k election audit

                    Former House Speaker Paul Ryan reiterated this week that it's "clear" former President Donald Trump lost the 2020 election while GOP leaders in Wisconsin, a state he represented in Congress for 20 years, pursue an investigation and audit of the results.

                    "It was not rigged. It was not stolen. Donald Trump lost the election. Joe Biden won the election. It's really clear," Ryan told Wisconsin-based ABC affiliate WISN 12 in an interview that was published on Tuesday.

                    Nearly 10 months after the presidential race, Wisconsin's Assembly Speaker Robin Vos is still overseeing an audit and investigation of the 2020 election led by former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gabelman, who has traveled both to the site of a GOP-backed election review in Arizona and to election conspiracist and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell's cyber symposium.

                    The election investigation could cost Wisconsin taxpayers to the tune of $680,000.

                    "He exhausted his cases. He exhausted the court challenges. None of them went his way, so he legitimately lost," Ryan further told WISN 12 of Trump's election loss. "Is there mischief, organized shenanigans in elections? Sure. Is there fraud? Yes. Was it organized to the extent that it would have swung the Electoral College and the presidential election? Absolutely not."

                    The effort to audit Wisconsin's election results won't be a full recount and ballot examination like the one the Arizona state Senate greenlit for the firm Cyber Ninjas in Maricopa County, according to Vos. Arizona's audit has been widely criticized for sloppy practices and partisanship.

                    Vos has described his initiative as a "forensic" and "cyberforensic" audit, which aren't types of audits defined or carried out by professional election officials. Investigators "can refer things to a prosecutor. It doesn't mean a hand recount, or that computers will be used," he said, according to the Kenosha News.

                    "If we need to have subpoenas, I have no problem at all issuing those. If Justice Gableman asks for them, I will issue them without hesitation." Vos told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel of the investigation.

                    The Journal Sentinel reported that while the full scope of the Wisconsin audit is so far unclear, it's likely to include examinations of absentee voting in nursing homes and compliance with the state's voter ID requirement for absentee ballots, with the goal of informing future legislation.

                    Biden won Wisconsin by over 20,000 votes in 2020, a victory affirmed by two machine recounts the Trump campaign requested - and paid $3 million for - in heavily Democratic Dane and Milwaukee counties.

                    Last week, Vos traveled on a private plane with Trump himself to one of the former president's rallies in Alabama, saying on Twitter that he "provided him details about our robust efforts to restore full integrity & trust in elections."

                    "He wants to make sure at the end of the day that what happened in Wisconsin was honest and above board," Vos told the Journal Sentinel.

                    Ryan, for his part, sees folly in state and local GOP officials continuing to cater to Trump's whims and election falsehoods.

                    "I think it's a big mistake for the Republican Party to be a party about a person or personality,"Ryan told WISN 12. "And I think we'll just keep losing if we wrap ourselves around one person. We have not lost this much this fast in a long, long time."

                    _________

                    Another godless Lefty heard from...
                    Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

                    Comment


                    • Trump’s Long Campaign to Steal the Presidency: A Timeline

                      The insurrection was a complex, yearslong plot, not a one-day event. And it isn’t over.

                      The House select committee’s investigation into the Capitol Riot and the various media ticktocks explaining what Donald Trump and his allies were doing in the days immediately leading up to it are casting new light on an important threat to American democracy. But the intense focus on a few wild days in Washington can be misleading as well. Trump’s campaign to steal the 2020 presidential election began shortly after the 2016 election, and arguably the moment of peak peril for Joe Biden’s inauguration had already passed by the time Trump addressed the Stop the Steal rally on January 6.

                      A full timeline of the attempted insurrection is helpful in putting Trump’s frantic, last-minute schemes into the proper context and countering the false impression that January 6 was an improvised, impossible-to-replicate event, rather than one part of an ongoing campaign. If Congress fails to seize its brief opportunity to reform our electoral system, the danger could recur in future elections — perhaps with a different, catastrophic outcome.

                      NOVEMBER 27, 2016 – NOVEMBER 3, 2020
                      LAYING THE GROUNDWORK


                      Trump claims “millions” voted illegally in 2016
                      Epitomizing the rare phenomenon of the sore winner, Trump insisted in late November 2016 that he would have won the popular vote as well as the Electoral College “if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.” He repeated the lie for years and even claimed falsely in a June 2019 interview with Meet the Press that California “admitted” it had counted “a million” illegal votes.

                      This wasn’t just a tossed-off random Trumpian fabrication. His insistence that Democrats had deployed ineligible (and probably noncitizen) voters led to his appointment of a Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity in May 2017. The commission was ostensibly led by Vice-President Mike Pence but was more closely identified with its co-chairman Kris Kobach, the immigrant-bashing, vote-suppressing secretary of State of Kansas. As David Daley explains, it was a wide-ranging fishing expedition that caught exactly zero fish:

                      Kobach’s plan was easy to discern: The commission was to be the front through which a cabal of shadowy Republican activists and oft-debunked academics, backed by misleading studies, laundered their phony voting-fraud theories into a justification for real-world suppression tactics such as national voter ID and massive coast-to-coast electoral-roll purges.

                      The commission was soon disbanded empty-handed, with Kobach & Co. blaming its failure on noncooperation from states that refused to turn over voters’ personal information. But in MAGA Land, wild voter-fraud claims become more credible each time they are repeated, so the commission was a sound investment in future lies.

                      Republicans raise bogus concerns about ballot counting in the 2018 midterms
                      In an effort to spin Republican losses in the 2018 midterm elections, House GOP leaders Paul Ryan and Kevin McCarthy seized on four contests in California in which Republicans led in early vote counting but lost when late mail ballots came in. Without alleging (much less proving) anything in particular, congressional Republicans suggested skullduggery in what was a normal trend in the counting of entirely legal ballots signed and mailed before Election Day but received afterward. I dismissed this GOP spin, which McCarthy was still pushing a year later, but warned that “all this ex post facto delegitimization of elections that [Republicans] lost sounds like a dress rehearsal for how they’ll behave if they do poorly again next year.”

                      The president himself made similar allegations after the 2018 midterms, though he focused on two races the GOP eventually won. On Veterans Day, Trump declared that Florida’s Senate and governor’s race should be called in favor of the Republicans who were ahead on Election Night, though legally cast overseas military and civilian mail ballots had yet to be counted. He tweeted, falsely, that these “massively infected” ballots had shown up “out of nowhere” and thus must be ignored:

                      The Florida Election should be called in favor of Rick Scott and Ron DeSantis in that large numbers of new ballots showed up out of nowhere, and many ballots are missing or forged. An honest vote count is no longer possible-ballots massively infected. Must go with Election Night!

                      This did, indeed, turn out to be a dress rehearsal. Trump went on to make almost identical charges about late-arriving (or just late-counted) mail ballots on Election Night 2020.

                      Trump suggests that voting by mail is inherently fraudulent
                      As the COVID-19 pandemic spread in 2020, states holding primaries and special elections naturally began liberalizing opportunities to vote by mail. Trump went bananas on Twitter in May, threatening to withhold federal funding from Michigan because its secretary of State had sent absentee-ballot applications to all registered voters.

                      Twitter, in what was then an unprecedented action, took down two Trump tweets in which he mendaciously attacked California for “sending Ballots to millions of people, anyone … no matter who they are or how they got there.” Actually, of course, the ballots went only to registered voters.

                      Trump’s goal seemed clear: By asserting that voting by mail is tantamount to voter fraud, he was setting up a bogus justification for contesting election results in any state he lost.

                      Trump prepares to exploit the “Red Mirage”
                      Team Trump’s parallel strategy was to get Republicans to eschew voting by mail to ensure that the votes most often counted first (in-person Election Day ballots) would skew red as forcefully as possible (which is why one analyst dubbed the scheme the “Red Mirage”). As Election Day approached, there were many signs that, simply by attacking voting by mail as illegitimate, Trump was succeeding in discouraging his supporters from voting that way, thus producing the desired Election Night “skew” in his favor.

                      In September, Trump’s hostility to mail ballots and threats to just claim victory became more intense and regular. In his first debate with Biden, on September 30, the plan to contest any election loss was made plain. Following an incoherent diatribe recapping his unfounded claims of rampant voter fraud, Trump was pressed on whether he would urge his supporters to “stay calm” and “not engage in any civil unrest” during the ballot-counting process, which would likely be drawn out due to unprecedented levels of voting by mail. “Will you pledge tonight that you will not declare victory until the election has been independently certified?” moderator Chris Wallace asked.

                      “I’m urging my supporters to go into the polls and watch very carefully,” Trump replied. “If it’s a fair election, I am 100 percent onboard. But if I see tens of thousands of ballots being manipulated, I can’t go along with that.”

                      NOVEMBER 4, 2020 – JANUARY 5, 2021
                      THE POSTELECTION SCRAMBLE


                      Trump declares victory on Election Night
                      With Trump ahead but giving up ground in a number of states he would ultimately lose, he made his long-awaited play. At around 3 a.m. on November 4, he concluded his remarks to his supporters by saying:
                      This is a fraud on the American public. This is an embarrassment to our country. We were getting ready to win this election. Frankly, we did win this election. We did win this election. So our goal now is to ensure the integrity for the good of this nation. This is a very big moment. This is a major fraud in our nation. We want the law to be used in a proper manner. So we’ll be going to the U.S. Supreme Court. We want all voting to stop. We don’t want them to find any ballots at four o’clock in the morning and add them to the list. Okay? It’s a very sad moment. To me, this is a very sad moment, and we will win this. And as far as I’m concerned, we already have won it.

                      It seems plausible that Trump delayed his premature victory claim by a few hours because it initially appeared that he might win legitimately. An “insider” account of Trump’s Election Night activities recently published in the Washington Post aired the theory that his declaration might have been spurred by a spontaneous suggestion from an inebriated Rudy Giuliani. But the many times Trump himself predicted he would do exactly this would indicate otherwise.

                      Trump’s “clown show” legal team challenges the election in court
                      A steadily changing cast of Trump campaign lawyers, eventually featuring histrionic extremists Giuliani and Sidney Powell, fired off 62 federal and state lawsuits challenging many aspects of the election results. Most were laughably frivolous, and 61 were rejected on widely varying grounds. The one that succeeded, in Pennsylvania, involved a small number of ballots with technical errors that a local judge had allowed voters to “cure” after a statutory deadline.

                      There were two big opportunities for a Hail Mary from the Supreme Court, but Trump lost both times. On December 8, the Court refused without comment to hear a claim by Republican congressman Mike Kelly that Pennsylvania’s expansion of voting by mail was invalid because it was not enacted by a constitutional amendment. And on December 11, another shot at the claim that state legislatures cannot delegate their election powers was rejected by the Court on grounds that the state bringing the suit had no standing to challenge procedures in the targeted states (Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin).

                      By then, the Trump campaign’s legal effort had descended into full farce, as became obvious on November 19 when Giuliani and Powell held a wild press conference featuring outlandish conspiracy theories, including communist manipulation of voting machines. Both Attorney General William Barr and White House adviser Jared Kushner reportedly dismissed the Trump legal team’s efforts as a “clown show.”

                      Trump tries to enlist Republican state legislators
                      Arguably the most serious Trump attempt to steal the election involved pleas to Republican legislators in key states won by Biden to dispute the results before they could be certified (the step before the formal award of electoral votes). As of November 21, Trump was publicly making arguments for this extreme remedy, but as Politico observed, it was a long shot from the get-go: “Republican-led legislatures in states Biden won would need to move to overturn their state’s popular vote and appoint a slate of Trump electors when the Electoral College meets on Dec. 14.” The opposition of Democratic governors in Michigan and Pennsylvania would have stopped such maneuvers absent an unlikely court finding that legislatures have sole power to appoint electors. And legislators in those two states didn’t respond to Trump’s requests for assistance.

                      All 50 states and the District of Columbia certified their election returns by December 9, and on December 14, presidential electors cast their ballots to make Biden the president-elect.

                      Trump pressures Georgia officials to “find” 11,000 votes
                      Trump continued his attempt to find state politicians willing to help him reverse the election results even after passing every deadline established by Congress over more than a century to cut off presidential-election disputes.

                      On December 5, he called Georgia governor Brian Kemp, who had backed the certification of Biden’s win, to ask him to convene the state legislature to overturn the results and appoint pro-Trump electors (Kemp declined to do so). On December 23, Trump called Bonnie Watson, a lowly election investigator for Georgia secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, urging her to find fault with mail ballots since “I won [Georgia] by hundreds of thousands of votes. It wasn’t close.”

                      On January 2, 2021, he concluded this particular line of election tampering by appealing directly to Raffensperger to find him some more votes. “So look. All I want to do is this,” the president said in a recorded conversation. “I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state.”

                      Trump urges Justice Department to declare the election “corrupt”
                      Trump was also working the state angle from the other direction, conspiring in particular with Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Clark to push Republican legislatures to investigate and possibly overturn Biden’s victory.

                      Clark drafted a letter to Republican officials in Georgia, claiming falsely that the DOJ was “investigating various irregularities” in the 2020 election. The letter urged them to convene a special legislative session to investigate these voter-fraud claims and consider “issues pertaining to the appointment of Presidential Electors.” Clark reportedly prepared similar letters addressed to GOP legislators in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

                      None of these letters was ever sent out because Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and Acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue refused to go along. “There is no chance that I would sign this letter or anything remotely like this,” Donoghue told Clark in an email obtained by ABC News.

                      In recent closed-door testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Rosen said his monthlong tenure as acting attorney general was marked by Trump’s “persistent” efforts to have the Justice Department discredit the election results. For instance, during a December 27 phone call, Rosen told Trump that he needed to “understand that the DOJ can’t + won’t snap its fingers + change the outcome of the election, doesn’t work that way,” according to Donoghue’s notes on the call.

                      “[I] don’t expect you to do that,” Trump reportedly answered, “just say that the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me and the R. Congressmen.”

                      Only a wholesale revolt by senior DOJ staff prevented Trump from carrying out the plan. On January 3, the president met with top Justice Department officials to discuss his desire to oust Rosen in favor of Clark, who could then advance bogus voter-fraud claims and pressure state officials as acting attorney general. Trump was informed that DOJ leaders had agreed to resign en masse if he fired Rosen, and the president eventually accepted that the move “would trigger not only chaos at the Justice Department but also congressional investigations and possibly recriminations from other Republicans and distract attention from his efforts to overturn the election results,” according to the New York Times.

                      Trump attempts to bully Pence into rejecting Biden’s electoral votes
                      Trump still had an even more dangerous trick up his sleeve: getting his faithful vice-president, Pence, to steal the election for him when Congress convened on January 6 to perform the routine task of confirming the December 14 Electoral College vote.

                      This potentially revolutionary maneuver had two prongs. First, Congressman Louie Gohmert of Texas filed a lawsuit contending that the Electoral Count Act of 1887, which governs the rubber-stamping of the electoral vote count, was an unconstitutional abrogation of the vice-president’s power to recognize and count electors however he wanted. Gohmert’s claim was quickly rejected by the federal courts.

                      At the same time, Trump lobbied Pence publicly and privately to do whatever he could in announcing electors to deny Biden the 270 electoral votes he needed to become president-elect. Perhaps the sycophant-in-chief would give Trump an outright victory, or maybe he would simply create a dispute that would throw the contest to the U.S. House, where Republicans controlled a majority of delegations.

                      But Pence famously refused to claim “unilateral authority to determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not,” earning him the enmity of both the Boss and the January 6 mob.

                      Trump calls on congressional allies to block confirmation of Biden’s win
                      The fallback strategy for interfering with Biden’s accession to the presidency was to utilize the procedures in the Electoral Count Act enabling challenges in Congress to individual state certifications. Alabama congressman Mo Brooks announced in early December that he would challenge selected Biden electors.

                      Trump promptly thanked Brooks publicly and encouraged others to join him, particularly in the Senate since every challenge requires the support of at least one member from each chamber. Mitch McConnell discouraged his troops from joining the rebellion, but soon enough, hard-core Trump supporters like Tommy Tuberville, Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz, and others climbed aboard the Insurrection Express.

                      This set the stage for the Capitol Riot.

                      JANUARY 6, 2021 – PRESENT
                      THE INSURRECTION GOES LIVE

                      Trump rallies supporters to “stop the steal” on January 6

                      For weeks, Trump called on his supporters to descend on Washington on January 6 to protest Biden’s election (and back whatever play he could manage in Congress). On December 20, he tweeted, “Statistically impossible to have lost the 2020 Election…. Big protest in DC on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!”

                      By December 30, multiple groups, some of them known for armed extremism, were planning to converge on D.C. in response to Trump’s summons. “Stop the Steal,” a rubric invented by Roger Stone in 2016 in anticipation of a Hillary Clinton victory, became the protesters’ organizing slogan.

                      As a joint session of Congress was convening to confirm the Biden victory, Trump addressed the faithful gathered on the National Mall. Much of the debate over his subsequent impeachment and Senate trial revolved around exactly what he said to the demonstrators who subsequently broke into the Capitol and temporarily shut down the confirmation of Biden’s victory. Was this the smoking gun from his address?
                      All of us here today do not want to see our election victory stolen by emboldened radical-left Democrats, which is what they’re doing. And stolen by the fake news media. That’s what they’ve done and what they’re doing. We will never give up, we will never concede. It doesn’t happen. You don’t concede when there’s theft involved.

                      Or maybe this?
                      We’re going to walk down to the Capitol, and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women, and we’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them. Because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong.

                      Equally significant from a broader perspective was Trump’s language echoing the lies he told about Democrats “finding” votes during the wee hours on Election Night, which he would continue to use as a rallying cry long afterward:
                      Our election was over at ten o’clock in the evening. We’re leading Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia, by hundreds of thousands of votes.

                      And then late in the evening, or early in the morning — boom — these explosions of bullshit. And all of a sudden. All of a sudden it started to happen.

                      Arizona conducts an endless election “audit”
                      Even after the failure of the January 6 insurrection, and then Biden’s inauguration, cut off even the most remote possibility of an election coup, Trump claimed vindication when Republican senators saved him from being convicted and banned from holding office again after his second impeachment. Then he and his supporters devised another way to keep pointlessly challenging the 2020 results. In Arizona (with sporadic efforts to repeat the tactic in other states, so far unsuccessfully), hard-core Trump activists in the state senate ordered an election “audit” (a legally meaningless term) of votes in Maricopa County, which went solidly for Biden after Trump carried it in 2016.

                      This strange exercise, conducted by an unqualified consulting firm led by a pro-Trump conspiracy theorist, was supposed to last 60 days but has now gone on for more than five months without producing any evidence of the kind of irregularities that might call Biden’s Arizona win into question. The idea seems to be to muddy the waters just enough that those who already believe in a Biden “steal” can nourish their grievances right up until the next presidential cycle.

                      Trump keeps the Big Lie alive
                      There’s been a lot of media derision about Trump’s postpresidential efforts to wave the bloody shirt of the stolen election. It’s easy to assume the 45th president is just trying to stay in the news or stay relevant or give vent to his natural mood of narcissistic grievance and vengeance. However, the damage he is doing to the credibility of democratic institutions among Republican rank-and-file voters and conservative activists is not fading but is being compounded daily.

                      It’s entirely plausible that Trump or some authorized successor will build on the lies he deployed so regularly during the 2020 election cycle and plan a heads-I-win, tails-you-lose response to whatever happens on November 5, 2024, as I argued in April 2021:
                      If you begin not with the assumption that Trump’s entire effort to steal the election was absurd but regard it as an audacious plan that wasn’t executed with the necessary precision, then reverse engineering it to fix the broken parts makes sense …

                      And the really heady thing for Trump is knowing how easy it was to convince the GOP rank-and-file base that his lies were the gospel truth.

                      Put together shrewd vote suppressors, audacious state legislators, emboldened conservative media, a better slate of lawyers, a new generation of compliant judges, and quite possibly a Republican-controlled Congress, and the insurrection plot could finally succeed.
                      _____________

                      And people wonder why I've been yelling "TRRRRUMMMPPP"! for the past five years....

                      Yeah, it's a total fucking mystery...
                      Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

                      Comment


                      • Maricopa County Republicans rebut pro-Trump activist's false claim of 'ghost votes' in Arizona's 2020 election

                        Local Republican officials in Arizona issued a joint statement on Friday rebutting false claims from a pro-Trump activist that ballots had been cast from vacant lots in Maricopa County.

                        Earlier in the week, Liz Harris, a failed GOP candidate for state legislature, issued a document that purported to show "ghost votes" were cast from properties that were unoccupied. The cover of the report - which listed a total of two properties to support its extrapolated claim that there were more than 100,000 such votes - illustrated this by way of showing a barren lot.

                        But that photo was deceptive, only showing one corner of the property. On another corner sits a "single-family home," built in 2005, according to the Maricopa County Assessor's Office, led by Republican Eddie Cook.

                        Further, the Maricopa County Recorder's Office, led by Republican Stephen Richer, determined that four registered voters live at that home, "three of whom voted by mail" in the 2020 election, according to Friday's statement.

                        Richer pointed out the error earlier in the week on Twitter, leading Harris' team to issue a second edition of their document with a new cover image.

                        But the new photo did not survive a fact check, either. In their statement, the two Republicans labeled Harris' claim as "again, false," explaining:

                        "This property was a mobile home property through 2020. The 'ghost vote' in question by this report turned out to be a former resident of the mobile home park and requested their ballot at a temporary address. When this voter registered in 2016, the address in question was a functional mobile home."

                        This is not the first time Harris has issued false claims to support the debunked narrative of a "rigged" election in Maricopa County. Home to Phoenix, President Joe Biden won the county by more than 45,000 votes, a victory certified by local Republicans who have opposed an ongoing, partisan "audit" commissioned by the state Senate.

                        In June, Harris asserted that hundreds of votes were cast from the same address, failing to recognize that voters who reside in apartment buildings and college dorms would all list the same residence.

                        The unsubstantiated claims have left the local GOP officials exasperated.

                        "The Maricopa County Recorder's Office and the Maricopa County Assessor's Office have repeatedly asked Ms. Harris to provide details that support the findings of her report," Richer and Cook said Friday. "While we investigate any and all allegations of wrongdoing made, we cannot do so without credible evidence being provided."


                        Harris did not respond to a request for comment.
                        _____

                        Still waiting for that evidence of overwhelming election fraud....
                        Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

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                        • Arizona Republican says false claims of voter fraud have led to violent threats and a 'front row seat to many disturbing sides of humanity'
                          Stephen Richer ran on a pledge to make things boring again. And he thought he ran for the best position to do that: as head of the Maricopa County Recorder's Office, best known for processing documents, like deeds to a property, in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area.

                          But the Arizona Republican - a 30-something attorney who worked at conservative and libertarian think tanks - inherited a responsibility that has made the position of Recorder far more interesting than he would have liked: maintaining the county's list of registered voters. That has put him and his staff right at the center of allegations over the 2020 election.

                          "This position has given me a front-row seat to many disturbing sides of humanity, really disturbing sides," Richer said on a press call Wednesday. "Our latent herd mentality; our willingness to lie for personal gain; our predilection for violent rhetoric or even physical violence; and our extreme aggression toward contradicting facts and people. It's been eye-opening."

                          Earlier this month, Richer and a fellow Republican with a normally boring job, Eddie Cook of the Maricopa County Assessor's Office, issued a joint statement rebutting claims from a right-wing activist that "ghost votes" had been cast from vacant lots in the November 2020 election. Meanwhile, for the past several months Cyber Ninjas, a private firm with no experience auditing elections, has been purporting to do just that, searching Maricopa County's 2.1 million ballots for evidence of massive fraud that would discredit President Joe Biden's victory there.

                          Led by a conspiracy theorist who has made clear that they believe the election was stolen, Cyber Ninjas has accused Maricopa County Republicans of trying to cover up the alleged crime - saying, for example, that they had destroyed key election data, a claim amplified by former President Donald Trump that the company's amateur sleuths later retracted, admitting the information in question had been found on one of their own hard drives.

                          The particulars aside, the broader, sprawling conspiracy makes no sense, Richer said. In Maricopa County itself, he noted, "Republicans won the majority of down-ticket races, including mine, in which I unseated the incumbent Democrat chief county elections official - yes, in a race that was supposedly rigged for Democrats."

                          But we now live in an age of "declining respect for professionals in the public space," Richer said. The knowledge that enables one to counter accusations of voter fraud is itself suspect. It's not enough for local election officials to hand count some 47,000 votes and finding "zero variances," as happened in Maricopa County last year - to be trusted, one has to have already concluded that fraud was there, as the founder of Cyber Ninjas did before being awarded a $150,000 contract from Arizona's Republican-led Senate, supplemented by another $5.7 million in private donations.

                          We live in an age, Richer argued, where authority is based on the number of followers on Twitter and views on YouTube, at the cost of faith in institutions and the reliability of election results. It's a lucrative hustle for a few, but "it also has a real human cost," he said. "I can't tell you the number of people on my staff who have been targeted, who have been denigrated, [and] who have been harassed."

                          In the field of politics, and now with vaccines and COVID-19, too many trust the demagogue and grifter - the likes of Cyber Ninjas and their "horror show" of an audit, Richer said - over the boring and competent.

                          "Oddly, we still know the importance of professionals in our personal lives," he said. "We still send our cars to the mechanic, our taxes to the accountant, and our teeth to the dentist ... And yet, in the public arena, many now seem to favor the loudmouth astrologists over actual experts and professionals."

                          After weeks of delay, Cyber Ninjas is believed to be on the verge of releasing a report on its findings. In the meantime, legislators from Wisconsin to Pennsylvania, inspired by the example and eager to please a base that still supports the losing candidate, are engaging in their own efforts to relitigate the results of 2020.

                          It's a trend, Richer said, of undermining faith in elections and experts "will soon cause irrevocable damage - if it hasn't already."

                          __________

                          Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

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                          • McConnell's final remark to Trump was 'you lost the election' as the defeated president railed at him for not embracing the Big Lie: book

                            On December 15, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell congratulated President-elect Joe Biden from the Senate floor after the Electoral College solidified his victory.

                            President Donald Trump, who was actively vying to overturn the election results at the time, called McConnell immediately and "spewed expletives," according to a new book, "Peril," by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa.

                            "Mr. President," the Kentucky Republican said, "the Electoral College has spoken. That's the way we pick a president in this country."

                            Trump lambasted McConnell as disloyal and weak, the book said. The president seemingly wanted McConnell to embrace the Big Lie, or the false notion that the election was stolen from him.


                            McConnell's final remark to Trump on the call was, "You lost the election, the Electoral College has spoken," according to the book.

                            Woodward and Costa wrote that McConnell hoped it would "be the final time he and Trump would ever speak to each other." Since the January 6 insurrection, it's been reported multiple times that McConnell never wanted to speak to Trump again. The Washington Post in April reported Trump and McConnell hadn't spoken in months.

                            Trump has lashed out at McConnell on a number of occasions since leaving the White House, particularly after the Republican leader criticized the former president for sparking the deadly January 6 riot at the US Capitol.

                            "Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day," McConnell said in February, though he ultimately voted to acquit Trump after the former president was impeached in the House over the insurrection. "The people that stormed this building believed they were acting on the wishes and instructions of their president."

                            In a subsequent statement, Trump said, "Mitch is a dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack, and if Republican Senators are going to stay with him, they will not win again."

                            During a speech in April, Trump called McConnell a "dumb son of a bitch" and a "stone cold loser."

                            Trump has still not acknowledged that he fairly lost the election to Biden.
                            __________
                            Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

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                            • How Trump Planned to Overthrow the Election

                              Lordy, there was a memo.

                              Simultaneously audacious and absurd, the document laid out a scheme to have Donald Trump declared the winner of the presidential election on January 6.

                              And the former president loved it.

                              Here’s the six-point plan that prominent conservative lawyer John Eastman sketched out for the Trumpian coup:

                              Click image for larger version  Name:	https%3A%2F%2Fbucketeer-e05bbc84-baa3-437e-9518-adb32be77984.s3.amazonaws.com%2Fpublic%2Fimages%2Fac916bbb-ac41-4480-9147-023b75731c46_646x900.png Views:	0 Size:	108.1 KB ID:	1576746


                              In today’s Bulwark, Philip Rotner describes the scenario by which Mike Pence and the GOP would overturn the 2020 election. It was, he writes, “an exquisitely Trumpian plan.”
                              • [*=1]Pence should lie.
                              • [*=1]Then he should leverage his lie in order to take the election out of the hands of American voters through the exercise of an authority he doesn’t have under the Constitution.
                              • [*=1]Eastman’s alleged plan is laid out in a two-page memo marked “PRIVILEGED AND CONFIDENTIAL.” According to CNN and the Washington Post, which published it on Monday, the memo was sent on January 2 to Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, who was “shocked” by what he saw.
                              “Shocked,” but evidently not shocked enough to actually say anything in public.

                              **
                              All of this is beyond parody. But it was no joke.

                              “This ‘plan’ is laughable, but we shouldn't laugh,” notes David French. “If carried out, it would have led to the country's greatest political crisis since April 1861. And Eastman was no mere internet crank. He was a law professor and close to POTUS in the final days.”

                              In case this hasn’t sunk in quite yet, the former president was all-in on the attempt to overthrow the election.
                              The plan was first proposed to Pence when Eastman was with Trump in the Oval Office on January 4, during one of Trump's attempts to convince Pence that he had the authority to stop the certification of the election.

                              "You really need to listen to John. He's a respected constitutional scholar. Hear him out," Trump said to Pence at that meeting, Woodward and Costa write in "Peril."


                              **

                              Here are several things to keep in mind:
                              • First, Eastman’s plan to overturn the presidential election involved throwing out the electoral votes of seven states, effectively disenfranchising tens of millions of voters.
                              • Those votes would have been nullified on January 6 — without any evidence at all that that the results were bogus in any way. In Eastman’s scenario, there was no need to wait for more court cases, or “forensic audits.”
                              • Pence would either use his (non-existent) power to gavel Trump’s re-election, or a lockstep GOP House would muscle him back into office. A third option was to have state legislatures nullify their state’s popular votes.
                              • But it all turned on Mike Pence, who refused to play along. Trump’s rage was transferred to the mob. It was not a random coincidence that protesters chanted “Hang Mike Pence” as they stormed the Capitol.
                              Some quick takes:
                              • It is always risky to delve into the mind of the Orange God King, but it seems increasingly likely that the former president woke up on the morning of January 6 believing that he would, in fact, be reinstated as president.
                              • Trump green-lit the coup as he hectored Pence to execute an Eastman-like maneuver, and thought that he and his mob might pressure both the VP and congressional Republicans into going along.
                              • The violent attack on the Capitol was both (1) part of Trump’s conspiracy to hold onto power, and (2) a spasm of anger at his failure to get Pence to go along with the scheme.
                              • To Trump’s intense disappointment, congressional Republicans did not fully embrace the plot.
                              • But…
                              • Trump is in the process of creating and reshaping a GOP that just might go along in the future.
                              ______________
                              Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

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                              • Sucks when there are receipts.
                                “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                                Mark Twain

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