Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

The US 2020 Presidential Election

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Fake Wisconsin Trump Electors, Already Under DOJ Investigation, Now Face Civil Suit, Too

    The fake Donald Trump electors who signed official documents falsely claiming that their candidate had won Wisconsin in 2020 and whose actions are already under review by federal prosecutors are now facing a state lawsuit that could cost each of them $200,000 in damages.

    The suit, prepared by the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection in Washington, D.C., and the Law Forward pro-democracy group in Wisconsin, was filed on behalf of two electors who cast their ballots for the state’s actual winner, Democrat Joe Biden, as well as a Wisconsin voter not involved in the Electoral College vote but who argues that the fraud adversely affected her as well.

    “The scheme to overturn the election nevertheless caused permanent and irreparable damage to the country’s political institutions generally, and to representative government in Wisconsin specifically,” the complaint states. “Defendants not only helped lay the groundwork for the events of January 6, 2021, but also inflicted lasting damage on Wisconsin’s civic fabric.”

    It was filed Tuesday in Dane County, Wisconsin, home of the state Capitol, where the false documents were signed on Dec. 14, 2020, the same day the real electors certified Biden’s narrow win in that state in the Nov. 3 election. It accuses the fake electors of engaging in fraud and conspiracy and asks the court to declare such conduct illegal and award punitive damages to the plaintiffs.

    “Without some accountability, there could be a repeat of this in the future,” said Mary McCord, a former top official at the Justice Department and now the director of the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection at Georgetown University’s law school.

    The 10 fraudulent Trump electors and two lawyers who worked for the former president’s efforts could not immediately be reached for comment.

    “The fraudulent electors tried to contradict the will of Wisconsin’s voters, and that’s dangerous for our democracy,”Khary Pennebaker, one of the two legitimate Wisconsin electors among the plaintiffs in the suit, said in a statement. “There must be consequences for their behavior and this suit gives our court system the chance to prevent this from happening again.”

    After losing his reelection bid, Trump launched a weeks-long battle to reverse the results through dozens of lawsuits in the six states where he had expected to win but lost. He lost every single suit.

    He and his campaign, however, then pushed ahead with a different strategy: having his supporters in those states meet as if they constituted the “duly elected” slates of Electoral College electors and cast “ballots” for Trump. The plan was for then-Vice President Mike Pence, seeing “competing” slates of electors from these states, to either choose the Trump slates or drop those contested states from the count entirely, leaving Trump with a majority when Pence presided over the congressional vote certification ceremony on Jan. 6, 2021.

    “It really was because Pence refused to capitulate that the scheme failed,” McCord said. “Even though it didn’t work, it came perilously close.”


    In addition to Wisconsin, the Trump campaign organized fake elector slates in Michigan, Georgia, Arizona and Nevada. They also pushed for them in Pennsylvania and New Mexico, but Trump “electors” in those states insisted on inserting language into their paperwork acknowledging that their attestations were only valid if a court or other legal proceeding ruled that Trump, and not Biden, had, in fact, won that state.

    Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel in January referred the fake elector activity in her state to the U.S. Department of Justice. Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul issued a concurring statement, and Deputy U.S. Attorney General Lisa Monaco confirmed in late January that the department was looking into the matter.

    Since that time, however, there have been no additional statements from the Justice Department regarding the status of the fake elector probe, and Trump supporters in several states, including Wisconsin, continue to push to “decertify” the 2020 election results ― even though there is no constitutional process for such an effort.

    And that is the reason, McCord said, that having a judge rule that what Trump supporters did in Wisconsin broke both state and federal criminal laws is important for future elections.

    If nothing else, the prospect of facing court-ordered punitive damages, which under Wisconsin law can be as much as $200,000 for each defendant, could dissuade those inclined to try the fake elector scheme again.


    “That could be a pretty heavy financial hit,” she said.

    Trump, despite losing the election by 7 million votes nationally and by 306 to 232 in the Electoral College, became the first president in more than two centuries of elections to refuse to hand over power peacefully. His incitement of the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol ― his last-ditch attempt to remain in office ― led to the deaths of five people, including one police officer, and the injuries of an additional140 officers and four police suicides.

    Nevertheless, Trump remains the dominant figure in the Republican Party and is openly speaking about running for the presidency again in 2024.
    ________
    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


    • Ginni Thomas' emails deepen her involvement in 2020 election

      WASHINGTON (AP) — Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and a conservative political activist, urged Republican lawmakers in Arizona after the 2020 presidential election to choose their own slate of electors, arguing that results giving Joe Biden a victory in the state were marred by fraud.

      The revelations first published by The Washington Post on Friday show that Thomas was more involved than previously known in efforts, based on unsubstantiated claims of fraud, to overturn Biden's victory and keep then-President Donald Trump in office.

      In the days after The Associated Press and other news organizations called the presidential election for Biden, Thomas emailed two lawmakers in Arizona to urge them to choose “a clean slate of Electors” and “stand strong in the face of political and media pressure.” The AP obtained the emails under the state's open records law.

      Thomas also had written to then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows in the weeks following the election encouraging him to work to overturn Biden's victory and keep Trump in office, according to text messages first reported by the Post and CBS News.

      Thomas was a staunch Trump supporter who acknowledged she attended the Jan. 6 “Stop the Steal” rally on the Ellipse but left before Trump spoke and his supporters later stormed the Capitol.

      She has been critical of the ongoing congressional investigation into the Jan. 6 violence, including signing onto a letter to House Republicans calling for the expulsion of Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois from the GOP conference for joining the Jan. 6 congressional committee.

      Justice Thomas, meanwhile, has taken part in the court's consideration of lawsuits challenging the election results. The court turned away every challenge without a hearing, though Thomas was among three conservative justices who said cases from Pennsylvania should be heard. In February 2021, Thomas called the cases an “ideal opportunity” to address an important question whether state lawmakers or state courts get the last word about the manner in which federal elections are carried out.

      In January, Thomas was the lone member of the court who supported a bid by Trump to withhold documents from the Jan 6. committee. The documents were held by the National Archives and Records Administration and included presidential diaries, visitor logs, speech drafts and handwritten notes dealing with Jan. 6 from Meadows' files.

      Thomas did not immediately respond to a request for comment, made to the court Friday.

      Democratic lawmakers have called on Thomas to step aside from election-related cases, but he has given no indication he intends to do so.

      The latest disclosure comes at a time when Chief Justice John Roberts has ordered an internal investigation into the leaking of a draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade, in one of the court’s most prominent cases in decades, and opinion polls have shown a loss of public confidence in the institution.

      Thomas was referencing the leaked opinion at a conference in Dallas last week when he talked about the damage to the court. "I wonder how long we’re going to have these institutions at the rate we’re undermining them.”

      Ginni Thomas has said she and the justice keep their work separate. “Like so many married couples, we share many of the same ideals, principles, and aspirations for America. But we have our own separate careers, and our own ideas and opinions too. Clarence doesn’t discuss his work with me, and I don’t involve him in my work,” Thomas told the Washington Free Beacon in an interview published in March.

      Thomas sent emails to Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers and Rep. Shawnna Bolick, who this year is running for Arizona secretary of state. That would make her the top elections administrator in Arizona.

      She wrote them again on Dec. 13, the day before electors met in state capitols around the country to formally cast their votes for president.

      “As state lawmakers, you have the Constitutional power and authority to protect the integrity of our elections — and we need you to exercise that power now!” the email said. “Never before in our nation’s history have our elections been so threatened by fraud and unconstitutional procedures.”

      Bowers dismissed the idea of replacing Arizona's electors shortly after the election. The following year, Bolick introduced a bill that would have allowed the Legislature to overturn any presidential election results for any reason, and replace the electors.

      Bolick has said her legislation would have made the process more bipartisan by requiring a two-thirds vote, but the text of the proposal calls for a simple majority. In any event, Bowers essentially killed the legislation before it ever came to a vote.
      ___
      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


      • Surveillance Footage Debunks MAGA Clerk’s Voter Fraud Claims

        A conspiracy-peddling county clerk claimed sinister election malfeasance in her home district. But surveillance footage reveals it was her own staff bumbling with computers.

        Tina Peters, clerk of Mesa County, Colorado is currently facing 10 charges related to allegations that she and a colleague stole a local man’s identity and used it to break into voting equipment in the clerk’s office. Peters allegedly leaked voting data to conspiracy theorists, catapulting her to stardom in the Stop The Steal movement. Peters says the data reveals election tampering in the 2020 presidential election—claims that elections experts have repeatedly dismissed. In a Thursday hearing, Mesa County’s district attorney dismantled Peters’ core claims, with help from surveillance footage from inside her own office.

        The Thursday hearing came in response to a March report, prepared on behalf of Peters’ legal team. The report claims that several actions on Mesa County election machines could only have been performed by nefarious outside actors manipulating the county’s voting machines from afar.

        That’s not true, District Attorney Dan Rubinstein showed during the hearing.

        The report took issue with an election database logging 10 batches of ballots within 47 seconds (“physically impossible,” the document reads). The document claims that “Mesa County election clerks were unaware of these batch timestamps, or any issue that could explain them.” The supposed issue “demonstrates this manipulation of ballots,” by outside forces, the report alleges.

        But surveillance footage, revealed during the hearing, shows Mesa County staffers easily logging those same batches of ballots within 47 seconds. None appear to blink at what the report described as a physically impossible stunt of data-entry.

        And rather than a shadowy cabal of hackers manipulating the data from outside the clerk’s office, the surveillance footage shows one of Peters’ close associates uploading the ballots in question. The colleague, Sandra Brown, was later fired from the clerk's office for allegedly helping Peters breach voting machines. (Brown denies those allegations.)


        Other claims in Peters’ latest election report were similarly debunked by surveillance footage. At one point, elections officials experienced a computer error and attempted to restart their software. The report claims that election staffers called a helpline for Dominion Voting Systems, the company that manufactured the voting machines, and that the error was mysteriously resolved after the call. (Some conspiracy theorists falsely accuse Dominion staffers of a plot to tamper with votes.)

        “According to several Mesa County election officials, DVS support was contacted at approximately 4PM on the 21st of October, and while the support representative claimed to not have a solution for the issue Mesa County was seeing, that issue ceased soon afterwards,” the report reads.

        In actuality, surveillance footage and phone logs show, election staffers made no effort to contact Dominion. Instead, Brown performed a hard restart of the election equipment and resumed working.

        The report’s authors claimed to have spoken at length to Mesa County elections staffers, who had “a strong recollection” of the ballot-counting. “Extensive questioning of Mesa County election clerks has ruled out human error,” the report concludes.

        Actual Mesa County elections staff claim differently. Rubinstein’s staff questioned the 11 election workers in the room at the time of the alleged issues, he said at the hearing. All of them said the report’s authors had not even contacted them, let alone performed “extensive questioning.”

        Rubinstein said Brown and the report’s authors were similarly AWOL when the District Attorney’s office reached out. One of the report’s two authors, a data analyst who goes by the moniker “MAGA Raccoon,” confirmed on his website that the DA’s office had contacted him, but said he referred investigators to Peters’ legal team.

        Peters’ office has been accused of bungling previous elections, although never enough to affect their outcome. In 2019, Peters’ office left a box of more than 570 uncounted ballots outdoors for months. During the 2020 primaries, Peters’ office installed a dropbox that spilled ballots into a parking lot. When questioned about the box, Peters suggested the incident had been staged by a local couple, who denied the allegation.

        Ultimately, Rubinstein said, the issues flagged in the report had no bearing on the election results—and that those hiccups were the result of human error within the clerk’s office.

        “Sandra Brown did it and we find no evidence that it affected the election at all,” he said.

        _____________
        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


        • The Tangle of Trumpian Conspiracy Theories
          How the “Big Lie” about the 2020 election, the “Great Replacement” theory, and other fringe ideas are entwined.

          Conspiracy theories rarely grow alone. They are like vines: when placed next to one another, they entwine and mature together—the worldviews and communities where they thrive are trellises they climb to the heights of absurdity. Which is why Donald Trump’s “Big Lie”—the belief that the 2020 election was illegitimate and that he was its real winner—cannot be understood on its own. It is tangled up with the conspiratorial Great Replacement theory and with the anti-democratic notion that state legislatures have the sole authority to elect presidents.

          These three ideas are distinct enough that they can be discussed separately—but people who embrace one of them are more likely to embrace the others. That is, a person who believes that the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump is more likely than not to reject, at least tacitly, the idea of a multiracial United States and to repudiate the intrinsically American principle that government derives its just powers from the consent of the governed.

          This realization is especially troubling given recent reporting from the New York Times showing that 44 percent of Republican lawmakers in nine swing states—that’s 357 sitting legislators—“took concrete steps to discredit or overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.” And in Pennsylvania, where Big Lie enthusiast and Jan. 6th insurrectionist Doug Mastriano won the Republican gubernatorial primary last week, the overwhelming majority of the party’s state legislators sought to reverse the election outcome or delay the vote count.

          The easy explanation is that Republican incumbents and candidates, in the name of political expedience, have gone all in on the Big Lie merely as a show of loyalty to the former president in hopes of winning over his supporters and securing election victories.

          But that superficial explanation for the GOP’s direction is belied by the fact that many of these Republicans endorse not just the narrow Big Lie about the election but also two other un-American theories—the Great Replacement and the independent state legislature.

          Recall that the Trump-induced myth of election fraud was grounded in the bogus idea that areas with high concentrations of black and Hispanic voters were the source of the illegitimacy. Trump lost Michigan, Wisconsin, and Georgia thanks in no small part to lopsided margins in the Detroit, Milwaukee, and Atlanta metro areas in a high-turnout election. The subtext of the Big Lie could not be more clear: Trump and his acolytes were accusing black and Hispanic voters of being foot soldiers in the Democratic plot to steal the election. And, should one need more information to connect the dots, we can turn again to Pennsylvania: During the first presidential debate, Trump previewed his election denialism by suggesting that “tens of thousands of ballots” could be manipulated there because “bad things happen in Philadelphia,” a plurality-black city. And sure enough, just over a month later, Philadelphia was the first city Trump targeted in the Big Lie.

          The fingerprints of the Great Replacement theory, which suggests that there’s an intentional political strategy being implemented to have racial and ethnic minorities take the place of white people and culture in America, are all over this framing. Replacement theorists accuse the Democratic party of using black and Hispanic voters to displace the electoral voice of real Americans. As replacement evangelist Tucker Carlson proclaimed last year, “This is a voting rights question. I have less political power because [Democrats] are importing a brand-new electorate. Why should I sit back and take that?” Indeed, Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik declared Democrats, who have received the lion’s share of the black vote for decades, are attempting a “permanent election insurrection” by exploring pathways to citizenship for immigrants—an odd proposition given that a year ago many pundits and GOP officials couldn’t stop pointing out the party’s gains among Hispanic and black voters.

          Through this lens, the very participation of people of color is viewed as a threat to American democracy and a distortion of the social order that replacement theorists believe the Constitution established. The Big Lie is a product of the belief that the Americans these theorists deem undesirable have too much influence on election outcomes.

          If the Big Liars and replacement theorists feel political losses are imminent and enduring, they suddenly become more accepting of anti-democratic actions to rig the game by weighting the areas where they hold power. Enter the independent state legislature theory—a fanatical interpretation of the Constitution’s Elections and Electors Clauses suggesting that, among other things, state legislatures are authorized to act independently of the popular vote when selecting presidential electors. In practice, this means that a state assembly can ignore the votes of their constituents and unilaterally determine which presidential candidate should receive its Electoral College votes.

          This theory is linked to some Republicans’ longstanding mantra “America is a republic, not a democracy”—the idea being that the representative nature of a republic is the true means by which the governed provide consent, not through casting their votes directly for candidates for a particular office like the presidency. Rather, the republic serves to moderate the voice of the people, who, as Alexander Hamilton put it, “seldom judge or determine right.” This was part of the reason for which the Framers devised the Electoral College: to dilute the democratically expressed will of the populace. Better to empower the enlightened men of principle—“the rich and well born,” in Hamilton’s words—than to permit an obtuse public to decide who should lead. In this construction, the best and truest Americans are the proper caretakers of the country and its people. (It is worth noting just as a historical footnote that the idea of the Electoral College originated with a Pennsylvanian—James Wilson, also one of the creators of the Three-Fifths Compromise.)

          The independent state legislature theory gaining steam in Republican circles not only self-designates whose voices matter most, but also undercuts the ability of the governed to provide consent and dismisses the participation of those Americans who experience the world differently on account of race or ethnicity.

          Considering the three together—the Big Lie, replacement theory, and the independent state legislature doctrine—demonstrates how they work to assert one undeniably un-American view: It is not only permissible to prevent a democracy governed by an increasingly racially and ethnically diverse cohort, it is imperative because of the existential threat multiracial politics poses to “real Americans.” The Big Lie not only insists the election was stolen but names the groups it believes are culpable and endorses anti-democratic means to exclude them from the electoral process.

          It is said that Pennsylvania Avenue—the boulevard that connects the White House and the U.S. Capitol where Congress and the early Supreme Court convened—was given its name as a concession for moving the nation’s capital from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C. It is perhaps the most symbolically democratic street in America.

          Centuries later, Pennsylvania remains a centerpiece. Republican gubernatorial candidate and Big Lie proponent Mastriano has said that he will appoint a secretary of state who will carry out his desire to rescind every Pennsylvanians voter registration and “start all over again.” Meanwhile, in Pennsylvania’s extremely tight Republican senatorial race, now heading into a recount, a dispute has arisen around whether the commonwealth should count undated mail-in ballots, which have been considered both a vehicle for voter fraud by the right and voter suppression by the left. Pennsylvanian Republicans submitted an alternate slate of electors for the 2020 presidential election—and the state is the site of the replacement theory–motivated May 2018 shooting at a synagogue.

          When Ben Franklin, Pennsylvania’s favorite son, emerged from the Constitutional Convention, he is famously quoted as saying the delegates had created “a republic, if you can keep it.” Whether we can “keep it” remains a live question. We are on the cusp of answering his charge, and our answer hinges on the nation’s willingness to be governed by a multiracial cohort or its insistence that the current slate of leaders can let the promise of America wither on the vine.
          _____
          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


          • Group behind slew of Washington election fraud lawsuits ordered to pay $28,000 in sanctions

            A group behind a series of election fraud lawsuits and its attorney have been ordered to pay thousands for filing a frivolous legal challenge of the 2020 election, according to Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s office.

            Part of Washington Election Integrity Coalition United’s (WEICU) lawsuit against Washington state claimed that people who were not U.S. citizens were illegally registered to vote. The court found the group “offers no competent evidence of voter fraud based on noncitizen voter registration.”

            The lawsuit filed in Washington State Supreme Court also alleged hundreds of thousands of ballots cast in the 2020 general election were altered, but the group had no evidence supporting the claim, and the lawsuit was dismissed “due to multiple legal deficiencies.”

            Because of the “frivolous nature” of the case, Ferguson asked the Washington Supreme Court to impose sanctions against WEICU and its attorney, Virginia Shogren.

            The court agreed and ordered WEICU to pay $9,588.80 and Shogren to pay $18,795.90 — the state’s costs in defending the case.

            WEICU also filed lawsuits in eight counties: Whatcom, Clark, Snohomish, King, Thurston, Pierce, Lincoln and Franklin counties.

            “Misinformation and disinformation is a threat to the functioning of our democracy,” said Gov. Jay Inslee. “Those who intentionally spread lies and undermine our elections must be held accountable. I appreciate the attorney general’s efforts to ensure truth prevails.”
            ___________

            Stupid gullible bastards
            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


            • Appeals court upholds dismissal of US election fraud case

              DENVER (AP) — A Denver-based federal appeals court has agreed with a lower court's dismissal of a lawsuit that claimed the 2020 presidential election was stolen from President Donald Trump and had been rigged by Dominion Voting Systems, Facebook (now Meta) and others.

              Friday's opinion from the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, first reported by Colorado Politics, found that eight plaintiffs from across the U.S. had no standing to assert that the outcome of the election “violated the constitutional rights of every registered voter in the United States.”

              The lawsuit relied on baseless conspiracy theories spread by Trump and his supporters that the election was stolen in favor of Joe Biden. Among others, it named Facebook and Denver-based Dominion Voting Systems, whose election machines remain the focus of some of the most fevered — and continuing — unfounded speculation about voting fraud.

              U.S. Magistrate Judge N. Reid Neureiter dismissed the lawsuit in April 2021, finding the plaintiffs failed to show they had suffered specific injuries due to the election result and thus had no standing to bring the lawsuit.

              The appeals court agreed and dismissed the plaintiffs' request to make the lawsuit a class action on behalf of all registered U.S. voters.

              Neureiter in November ordered two lawyers who filed the lawsuit to pay more than $180,000 in attorney’s fees for the defendants — but delayed the order pending the appeal.

              Telephone messages seeking comment from the lawyers, Gary D. Fielder and Ernest J. Walker, on Tuesday were not immediately returned.

              The penalties included $62,930 payable to Dominion and $50,000 to Facebook, which the lawsuit alleged censored conservative voices leading up to the election.

              Repeated audits and recounts found no significant fraud in the presidential election. Trump’s own administration said the election was clean.
              _______

              But but 2000 Mules!!

              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


              • Exclusive: Michigan widens probe into voting system breaches by Trump allies

                LANSING, Michigan (Reuters) - State police in Michigan have obtained warrants to seize voting equipment and election-related records in at least three towns and one county in the past six weeks, police records show, widening the largest known investigation into unauthorized attempts by allies of former President Donald Trump to access voting systems.

                The previously unreported records include search warrants and investigators' memos obtained by Reuters through public records requests. The documents reveal a flurry of efforts by state authorities to secure voting machines, poll books, data-storage devices and phone records as evidence in a probe launched in mid-February.

                The state’s investigation follows breaches of local election systems in Michigan by Republican officials and pro-Trump activists trying to prove his baseless claims of widespread fraud in the 2020 election.

                The police documents reveal, among other things, that the state is investigating a potential breach of voting equipment in Lake Township, a small, largely conservative community in northern Michigan's Missaukee County. The previously unreported case is one of at least 17 incidents nationwide, including 11 in Michigan, in which Trump supporters gained or attempted to gain unauthorized access to voting equipment.

                Many of the breaches have been inspired in part by the false assertion that state-ordered voting-system upgrades or maintenance would erase evidence of alleged voting fraud in 2020. State election officials, including those in Michigan, say those processes have no impact on the preservation of data from past elections.

                The search warrants also authorized state police to seize election equipment in Barry County’s Irving Township and have it examined. Local officials acknowledged publicly last month that state police raided the township office on April 29, a day after the warrant was issued.

                Additionally, the records shed new light on election-equipment breaches in Roscommon County. One official in the county’s Richfield Township told investigators that he gave two vote-counting tabulators to an unauthorized and unidentified "third party," who kept them for several weeks in early 2021. The county’s clerk acknowledged that she, too, handed over her equipment to unauthorized people.

                Taken together, these documents depict a statewide push by pro-Trump activists to access election machinery in search of evidence for debunked theories that equipment was rigged in a crucial swing state that voted for Trump in 2016 and for Democrat Joe Biden in 2020.

                Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson told Reuters that the state is investigating whether the election-system breaches are coordinated.

                “If there is coordination, whether it's among those in our state or reaching up to a national level, we can determine that and then we can seek accountability for all involved," Benson, a Democrat, said in an interview.

                On Feb. 10, Benson announced that she had asked Michigan's attorney general, Democrat Dana Nessel, to begin a criminal investigation, citing information that state authorities had received about unauthorized access to voting machines and data in Roscommon County. In separate inquiries, state or local law enforcement officials have investigated security breaches involving voting equipment in Cross Village Township in Emmet County and Adams Township in Hillsdale County last year.

                Representatives of the state police and attorney general’s office declined to comment on the investigations detailed in this story.

                Trump won all of the counties where breaches or attempted breaches in Michigan have been alleged. The results in those jurisdictions were affirmed by multiple audits and an investigation by the Republican-controlled state senate, which found no evidence of widespread fraud. But some activists and officials pushing election-fraud conspiracy theories claim that Trump’s margin should have been larger in these areas, and their efforts are roiling communities across the state.

                In rural Barry County, Republican Sheriff Dar Leaf has teamed with proponents of the debunked claim that voting machines were rigged against Trump. Leaf is pursuing his own investigation, despite being urged last year by the Republican county prosecutor to suspend it for lack of evidence. Trump won the county by a 2-1 margin.

                In recent weeks, Leaf’s office has sent expansive public records requests to the county's township and city clerks, seeking an array of election-related records. The requests were condemned by clerks and local officials in Reuters interviews and public statements as baseless and burdensome. An editorial in the local newspaper, The Hastings Banner, called Leaf’s probe “a waste of time and an affront to our citizens.”

                Leaf did not respond to requests for comment. In an interview with Reuters in February, he defended his investigation. He said he was “concerned” by theories that voting machines nationwide were rigged to favor Biden, and “we need to know if that happened in Barry County.”

                ‘INAPPROPRIATE ACCESS’

                The records obtained by Reuters show that in Lake Township, a community of about 2,800 people in Missaukee County, state police obtained a warrant on April 22 to search the clerk's office for evidence of potential violations of election law.

                Township Clerk Korrinda Winkelmann, an elected Republican who oversees local voting, declined to comment.

                Missaukee County, where Trump won in 2020 with 76% of the vote, is home to Daire Rendon, a Republican state lawmaker who has embraced the bogus claim that widespread fraud robbed Trump of victory in 2020. Rendon approached multiple clerks in her district, which includes Missaukee, Roscommon and other counties, asking them to give people seeking fraud evidence access to their voting equipment, Reuters previously reported https://www.reuters.com/world/us/mic...nes-2022-05-20.

                In December 2020, Rendon was one of two Republican members of Michigan's House of Representatives who joined an unsuccessful federal lawsuit seeking to overturn Biden’s victory in five battleground states.

                Rendon did not respond to requests for comment. In a May 25 interview with the Cadillac News, a local newspaper, she acknowledged contacting clerks but said she "never touched a voting machine" and did nothing wrong.

                State police are also stepping up an examination of alleged breaches in Roscommon County. In February, Secretary of State Benson said unauthorized people "gained inappropriate access to tabulation machines and data drives” used in the county and in one of its townships, Richfield. Benson, however, didn’t name any suspects or provide other details.

                The state police records show that investigators are probing allegations that the Richfield Township supervisor allowed a “third party” to take possession of the town's two ballot tabulators for several weeks in early 2021. The records identify the supervisor only by title, not by name, but the county only has one person in that position, Republican John Bawol.

                The records detail an interview with a "suspect." The name and title is redacted but the suspect is described as an elected township official. The official told investigators he believed the tabulators were taken to "the northern suburbs of Detroit" in early February by an unidentified group of people driving a small SUV. The tabulators were not returned until March, the official added. The official said at one point he checked in with a woman, whose name is redacted, about when the machines would be returned, and “she advised they were almost done.”

                State police found that both security seals on one machine indicated that it had been tampered with, the records show. The seals were intact on the other machine.

                Greg Watt, the township clerk, whose job includes safeguarding election equipment, told investigators that he did not know the identity of the third party who accessed the voting machines, according to the records. Police documents identify Watt by name and call him a witness in the case.

                Watt and Bawol did not respond to requests for comment.

                The breaches are costing taxpayers money. The Richfield Township Board voted on May 25 to purchase two new vote tabulators and three memory devices at a cost of $8,763. The move was necessary to "ensure election integrity," Watt said at the board meeting, according to an audio recording reviewed by Reuters.

                State police have also sought to question the Roscommon county clerk in connection with a separate alleged voting system breach, the police records reveal. The county clerk, whose name is redacted in the documents, is Michelle Stevenson, a Republican.

                In February, the county clerk acknowledged to a state election official that she had provided a data storage drive containing election information “for one or both” of Richfield Township's vote tabulators to an unidentified third party, according to an email from the official to police, in which the name of the clerk was also redacted. She also gave the person access to one of Roscommon County’s vote-tabulating machines, according to the email.

                When state investigators attempted to interview the county clerk on Feb. 17, she indicated a willingness to speak with police but declined to discuss the matter at that time, the police records show.

                Two weeks later, on March 2, investigators executed a search warrant on Stevenson's office, accompanied by representatives of Election Systems & Software LLC, the Nebraska-based manufacturer of voting machines used in Roscommon County, the records show.

                Stevenson declined to comment. Election Systems & Software did not respond to requests for comment.
                ______________

                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


                • Wisconsin judge finds GOP election investigator in contempt

                  MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin judge on Friday found the investigator hired by Republicans to look into former President Donald Trump's 2020 loss in the battleground state in contempt because of how his office responded to open records requests related to the probe.

                  The ruling against the office led by Michael Gableman, a former Wisconsin Supreme Court justice who briefly worked for Trump, came after Gableman berated the judge and refused to answer any questions on the witness stand. Gableman had not wanted to testify, but Dane County Circuit Judge Frank Remington ordered him to appear.

                  Remington did not immediately announce a penalty in court on Friday, saying he would provide that in a written decision.

                  Gableman was hired a year ago by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, under pressure from Trump to investigate the former president's loss to President Joe Biden by just under 21,000 votes in Wisconsin. The investigation has cost taxpayers about $900,000 so far.

                  Biden's victory has survived two recounts, multiple lawsuits, a nonpartisan audit and a review by a conservative law firm. Only a couple of dozen people out of nearly 3.3 million voters have been charged with fraud, numbers on par with past elections.

                  Gableman has issued two interim reports, but his work has faced a barrage of bipartisan criticism and Vos put his work on hold this spring pending the outcome of lawsuits challenging his ability to subpoena elected officials and others who worked on elections.

                  American Oversight, a liberal watchdog group, filed three open records lawsuits against Gableman, Vos and the Wisconsin Assembly. The group has won a series of victories before Remington and another Dane County judge after Gableman and Vos failed to produce the requested records in a timely manner.

                  Gableman has argued that his staff member, Zakory Niemierowicz, was the legal custodian responsible for responding to American Oversight’s requests. Gableman's attorneys had argued that because of that, Gableman's testimony was not needed.

                  That prompted Remington on Wednesday to caution Niemierowicz that he may want to hire his own attorney if Gableman's plan was to blame him for failing to comply with court orders.

                  An attorney for Gableman's office tried to delay Friday's hearing but Gableman was forced to take the stand. Gableman refused to answer questions from the attorney representing American Oversight and testily said Remington had “abandoned his role as a neutral magistrate and is acting as an advocate.”

                  Remington admonished Gableman and said he shouldn't have to instruct the former state Supreme Court justice “on the behavior I expect of you as a witness on this stand.” Gableman then demanded a personal attorney and said he wouldn't answer further questions.

                  “I'm not going to be railroaded,” he said.

                  Gableman has publicly released, and provided to American Oversight, hundreds of pages of documents related to the investigation. His attorneys have insisted that everything requested has been provided. Gableman has also said that he is exempt from retaining records and his office regularly destroys documents deemed “irrelevant or useless.”

                  That is contrary to an analysis by the nonpartisan Legislative Council that found deleting such records, even by a state contractor such as Gableman, violates Wisconsin law. Gableman’s attorney, James Bopp, has argued in court filings that the record retention law does not pertain to contractors.


                  Remington in April, and Dane County Circuit Judge Valerie Bailey-Rihn in May, both ordered Gableman to stop deleting records that may be responsive to American's Oversight's requests.
                  ___

                  Soooo much winning
                  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


                  • My brother is a retired judge in Buffalo, NY. I asked him today what he thought would happen in this case. He said based on his 35 years clerking and serving on the bench he saw 2 former judges be held in contempt...and they got nuked from low Earth orbit by the presiding judge.

                    Different state and different court but...stay tuned to this station.
                    “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                    Mark Twain

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post
                      My brother is a retired judge in Buffalo, NY. I asked him today what he thought would happen in this case. He said based on his 35 years clerking and serving on the bench he saw 2 former judges be held in contempt...and they got nuked from low Earth orbit by the presiding judge.

                      Different state and different court but...stay tuned to this station.
                      lol yeah, lot of that going around these days....


                      Giuliani hit with ethics charges by Washington D.C. authorities over false election claims

                      WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The District of Columbia office that polices attorneys for ethical misconduct filed charges on Friday against President Donald Trump's former attorney, Rudy Giuliani, over baseless claims he made in federal court alleging the 2020 presidential election was stolen.

                      The D.C. Office of Disciplinary Counsel alleges that Giuliani, who is a member of the D.C. bar, made baseless claims in federal court filings about the results of the 2020 presidential election in Pennsylvania.

                      A lawyer for Giuliani did not have an immediate comment.

                      The charges come a day after the U.S. House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol had its first prime-time hearing in which it outlined evidence that Trump and his allies sought to overturn the 2020 election and incite throngs of his supporters to block Congress from certifying President Joe Biden's victory.

                      Giuliani, a former U.S. Attorney in Manhattan and New York City mayor, has been among Trump's most fervent supporters, and repeatedly claimed without evidence that the election had been stolen.

                      The new ethics charges center on a series of legal challenges Giuliani made in Pennsylvania federal court in 2020. The charges were filed with the District of Columbia Court of Appeals Board on Professional Responsibility.

                      The complaint says Giuliani sought an emergency order to prohibit the certification of the presidential election, an order to invalidate ballots cast by certain voters in seven counties, and other orders that would have permitted the state's assembly to choose its electors and declare Trump the winner in Pennsylvania.

                      The charges say his conduct violated two professional conduct rules in Pennsylvania that bar attorneys from bringing frivolous proceedings without a basis in law or fact and prohibit conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice.


                      Charges can lead to the suspension of a license to practice law or disbarment.

                      The charges mark the second time that a bar office has taken action against Giuliani.

                      His New York law license was suspended in June 2021 after a state appeals court found that he made "demonstrably false and misleading" statements that widespread voter fraud undermined the election.

                      Apart from having two of his law licenses suspended, Giuliani's reputation has been stained by his dealings with Ukraine and he is being probed by Manhattan federal prosecutors over those business ties.


                      He began representing Trump, a fellow Republican and New Yorker, in April 2018 in connection with then-Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation that documented Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

                      Giuliani has not been charged with criminal wrongdoing. His lawyer has said the federal probe is politically motivated.
                      _________
                      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


                      • Bill Barr scoffs at election fraud flick 2000 Mules

                        Attorney General William Barr laughed off the movie 2000 Mules duringrecorded testimony played by the House select committee investigating the Capitol riot Monday.

                        Barr chuckled when asked about the documentary, which had been put together by Dinesh D'Souza and other conservative activists contending that a plethora of ballot-harvesting “mules” funded by Democrats engaged in nefarious activity near election boxes on Election Day.

                        "I haven't seen anything since the election that changes my mind on that, including the 2000 Mules movie," he said, laughing. "The premise that, you know, if you go buy a box, five boxes or whatever it was, you know that that's a mule is just indefensible."

                        The movie made a number of provocative claims, including that there was cellphone data showing evidence of the purported "mules" near drop boxes on Election Day. Barr was unimpressed and pointed to the claim about cellphone data specifically.

                        “The cellphone data is singularly unimpressive. If you take 2 million cellphones and figure out where they are, physically, in a big city like Atlanta or whatever, just by definition, you’re going to find many hundreds of them have passed by and spent time in the vicinity of these boxes," he explained. "The premise that that’s a mule is indefensible.”

                        2000 Mules was released last month and is still playing in some theaters across the country, having earned roughly $1.5 million worldwide, per Box Office Mojo. In addition to the underlying premise about election fraud being wrong, Barr also emphasized that Trump supporters also lacked evidence the supposed fraud favored him.

                        "The other thing is, people don't understand is, that it's not clear that even if you can show harvesting, that that changes the results of the election," he added. "The courts are not going to throw out votes and then figure out what votes were harvested and throw them out. It's still the burden on the challenging party to show that illegal votes were cast."

                        During the video of his closed-door deposition, Barr stressed he has not changed his mind on 2020 election fraud claims and had used blunt language to dismiss the claims Trump and his allies peddled, referring to fraud assertions as "bullshit," "idiotic," "complete nonsense," and "detached from reality" throughout his testimony.

                        Barr was one of several close Trump confidants to contradict the former president's claims about election fraud during the second public Jan. 6 hearing of the year.
                        ______________

                        You know something is bullshit when the Washington Examiner is willing to run a story like this...
                        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


                        • Ron Johnson tried to hand fake elector info to Mike Pence on Jan. 6, panel reveals
                          A top aide to the Wisconsin Republican said the senator wanted to give the former vice president the list of pro-Trump electors as part of the electoral counting process that certified Joe Biden's win.

                          A top aide to Sen. Ron Johnson attempted to arrange a handoff of false, pro-Trump electors from the senator to Mike Pence just minutes before the then-vice president began to count electoral votes on Jan. 6, 2021.

                          The aide, Sean Riley, told Pence’s legislative director Chris Hodgson that Johnson wanted to hand Pence lists of the fake electors from Michigan and Wisconsin for Pence to introduce during the counting of electoral votes that certified Joe Biden’s win.
                          The attempt was revealed in text messages obtained by the Jan. 6 select committee during its fourth public hearing on Tuesday.

                          “Do not give that to him,” Hodgson replied.
                          The attempted handoff shows just how much former President Donald Trump and his allies tried to lean on Pence to introduce false slates of electors that could have thrown the 2020 election from Biden to Donald Trump. The committee laid out an intense pressure campaign, led primarily by Trump and his attorney Rudy Giuliani, to push state legislatures to appoint pro-Trump electors and override the will of voters in their states.

                          In video and live testimony, state legislative leaders in Pennsylvania, Arizona and Michigan — all Republicans — described repeated, sometimes daily pressure from Trump and his allies in the aftermath of the 2020 election. Michigan State Senate leader Mike Shirkey recalled in video testimony how, after Trump tweeted out his phone number, he received thousands of messages from Trump supporters asking him to appoint Michigan’s electors through the legislature.

                          Arizona State House speaker Rusty Bowers rejected similar pressure from Trump.

                          “You are asking me to do something that is counter to my oath,” he recalled saying.

                          The panel drew a direct connection between the events of Jan. 6 and the months-long effort by Trump and Giuliani to browbeat state legislative leaders. Even without the compliance of those lawmakers, Trump pushed the Republican National Committee to help identify and coordinate false slates of electors in the states.

                          In fact, Trump had called RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel and handed the phone to attorney John Eastman, an architect of Trump’s plan to remain in power, according to newly revealed video of her testimony to the committee. Eastman urged her to help identify false electors to meet and cast votes for Trump on Dec. 14, 2020, when the legitimate members of the Electoral College were required to meet and vote.
                          “He turned the call over to Mr. Eastman, who then proceeded to talk about the importance of the RNC helping the campaign gather contingent electors in case legal challenges that were ongoing change the result,” McDaniel said in video testimony.

                          Under Trump’s plan, Pence would be presented with competing slates of electors — the official results certified by the governors and those certified by state legislators — and he would assert the extraordinary power to choose which slates to count. But no state legislature responded to Trump’s demand, and Pence, without any genuine controversy, rejected the scheme as illegal.

                          The legality of the plan was at the heart of Tuesday afternoon’s hearing, led in part by panel member Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.).

                          “The system held, but barely,” Schiff said in his opening remarks.

                          During the hearing, another theme emerged: State legislative leaders pleaded with Trump and Giuliani for any evidence to support their sweeping claims of fraud and irregularities. But Giuliani, while insisting the evidence existed, never provided it. Trump attorneys Cleta Mitchell and Eastman discussed the absence of such evidence in emails on Jan. 2 and Jan. 3.

                          Notably, Johnson held his own hearing on purported election fraud in mid-December 2020 and was accused by Democrats of spreading misinformation.

                          Trump-aligned lawyers concocted the effort, leaning on fringe constitutional theory and the guidance of Eastman. He acknowledged in emails obtained by the select committee that the Pence plan would be “dead on arrival” without the backing of state legislatures — yet he pushed ahead anyway, suggesting that the confusion around alternate electors would give Pence enough cover to act.

                          Trump’s own White House counsel’s office also raised doubts about the plan, according to testimony released by the select panel in court filings. And in the days before Jan. 6, Pence’s chief counsel Greg Jacob engaged in an intense debate with Eastman, contending that not a single justice of the Supreme Court would back his plan — a point he said Eastman reluctantly conceded.

                          Other witnesses testified about Trump’s pressure on Tuesday, including Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, whom Trump famously told on Jan. 2, 2021, to help him “find” the 11,000 votes he needed to win the state. Neither Raffensperger nor GOP legislators in Georgia complied with Trump’s push, and his effort in Georgia triggered an ongoing investigation by the Fulton County district attorney.

                          Members of Trump’s inner circle began contemplating the notion of turning to state legislatures even before the election was called for Biden. On Nov. 5, 2020, Mitchell — who had been leading preelection preparations for Trump’s legal team — reached out to Eastman with a request.

                          “John — what would you think of producing a legal memo outlining the constitutional role of state legislators in designating electors?” Mitchell wondered. “Rather than governors, the US Constitution vests that responsibility with state legislators. … why couldn’t legislatures reclaim that constitutional duty, and designate the electors — rather than delegating to governors.”

                          Eastman wrote a memo later that month, which was then forwarded to the Oval Office by Trump campaign attorney Jenna Ellis, according to documents obtained by the Jan. 6 select committee. As Trump’s legal challenges to the election began to fail and states began certifying Biden’s victory, Eastman began consulting directly with state legislators, encouraging some to simply retabulate their popular votes in order to show Trump in the lead.

                          The goal was ultimately to present Pence with an apparent controversy: competing slates of electors certified by different government bodies — governors and legislators. Jacob, Pence’s chief counsel, told the vice president at the time that had any state legislatures certified an alternative slate the outcome might’ve been different.

                          “A reasonable argument might further be made that when resolving a dispute between competing electoral slates, Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution places a firm thumb on the scale on the side of the State legislature,” he wrote in a memo obtained by POLITICO.

                          Even as rioters swarmed the Capitol on Jan. 6 and sent Pence, Jacob and lawmakers into hiding, Eastman leaned on Pence to single-handedly delay the count of electoral votes, citing the possibility that the Pennsylvania legislature would reconvene and adopt an alternative slate. But Pence and his team came to view the delay as a violation of the Electoral Count Act, the law that governs the transfer of power and the counting of electoral votes.

                          Eastman’s correspondence throughout the post-election period, including with another pro-Trump lawyer Kenneth Chesebro, shows the two grappling with the challenge of convincing state legislatures to adopt Trump slates of electors and building it into their plans. The two men helped contemplate the Trump campaign’s effort to assemble pro-Trump electors to meet on Dec. 14, 2020, and cast ballots as though they were the true electors from their states. Those false certificates have drawn scrutiny from federal prosecutors. Eastman and other Republicans have contended that those meetings were necessary in case any courts sided with Trump and tipped the outcome in his favor.
                          _____________

                          How 'bout them mules, eh?
                          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


                          • Georgia election officials dismantle bogus Trump claim about secret suitcase of ballots

                            In her opening statement on Tuesday, Jan. 6 select committee Vice Chair Liz Cheney said that “we cannot let America become a nation of conspiracy theories.” The committee later heard testimony from Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and Georgia election official Gabriel Sterling that debunked one of former President Donald Trump’s most pervasive election claims — that a suitcase of fraudulent ballots cost him victory in the state in 2020.

                            Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who played a central role in Trump’s impeachment hearings and also sits on the committee, handled the questioning of Raffensperger and Sterling, and laid out the essence of Trump’s conspiracy theory about the suitcase.

                            “This story falsely alleges that sometime during election night, election workers at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Ga., kicked out poll observers. After the observers left, the story goes, these workers pulled out so-called suitcases of ballots from under a table and ran those ballots through counting machines multiple times,” Schiff said. “Completely without evidence, President Trump and his allies claimed that these suitcases contained as many as 18,000 ballots, all for Joe Biden. None of this was true.”

                            Asserting that video of the counting of votes at State Farm Arena revealed the fraudulent processing of ballots, Trump and his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani pressured Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, Raffensperger, Sterling and state lawmakers to declare the results invalid in that must-win swing state.

                            “What did the tape actually show?” Schiff asked Sterling.

                            “This conspiracy theory took on a life of its own, where they conflated a water main break that wasn’t a water main break and throwing observers out and a series of other things, when it actually showed was Fulton County election observers engaging in normal ballot processing,” Sterling responded. “One of the specific things, one of the things that was very frustrating, was the so-called suitcases of ballots from under the table.”

                            Sterling testified that, in fact, there was no suitcase shown on the video.

                            “They’re standard ballot carriers that allow for seals to be put on them so that they are tamper-proof,” he testified.

                            Raffensperger began his testimony by noting that “President Biden carried the state of Georgia by approximately 12,000 votes,” and that digital and hand recounts, as well as a forensic audit of the election, had confirmed that result.

                            “Three counts, all remarkably close, which showed that President Trump did come up short,” Raffensperger said.

                            In a December 2020 phone call played during Monday’s hearing, Raffensperger told the president that his theory about the suitcase of ballots was not true.

                            “We did an audit of that and proved conclusively that they were not scanned three times,” Raffensperger can be heard telling the president.

                            Schiff played video testimony about the so-called suitcase given to the committee that began with statements by former U.S. Attorney B.J. Pak, whom former Attorney General William Barr had instructed to investigate the claims.

                            “I listened to the tapes and reviewed the videotapes myself [and found] that there was nothing there. Giuliani was wrong,” Pak said of the suitcase theory.

                            “The Fulton County allegations had no merit,” Barr testified before the committee.

                            Acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue also testified about a phone conversation he had with Trump about the suitcases.

                            “He kept fixating on the suitcase that supposedly had fraudulent ballots and that the suitcase was rolled out from under the table, and I said, ‘No, sir, there is no suitcase. You can watch that video over and over. There is no suitcase. There is a wheeled bin...”

                            During his call with Raffensperger, Trump proposed other conspiracy theories that he said explained his election loss to Biden, including a rumor that 5,000 dead people had voted in Georgia. Like the suitcase, the accusation about dead people turned out to be more fiction than fact.

                            “We had many allegations, and we investigated every single one of them,” Raffensperger told the committee.

                            _____

                            Wait, was this before or after the 2000 mules did their thing? I'm having trouble keeping up with all these idiot conspiracy theories....
                            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
                              Georgia election officials dismantle bogus Trump claim about secret suitcase of ballots

                              In her opening statement on Tuesday, Jan. 6 select committee Vice Chair Liz Cheney said that “we cannot let America become a nation of conspiracy theories.” The committee later heard testimony from Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and Georgia election official Gabriel Sterling that debunked one of former President Donald Trump’s most pervasive election claims — that a suitcase of fraudulent ballots cost him victory in the state in 2020.

                              Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who played a central role in Trump’s impeachment hearings and also sits on the committee, handled the questioning of Raffensperger and Sterling, and laid out the essence of Trump’s conspiracy theory about the suitcase.

                              “This story falsely alleges that sometime during election night, election workers at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Ga., kicked out poll observers. After the observers left, the story goes, these workers pulled out so-called suitcases of ballots from under a table and ran those ballots through counting machines multiple times,” Schiff said. “Completely without evidence, President Trump and his allies claimed that these suitcases contained as many as 18,000 ballots, all for Joe Biden. None of this was true.”

                              Asserting that video of the counting of votes at State Farm Arena revealed the fraudulent processing of ballots, Trump and his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani pressured Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, Raffensperger, Sterling and state lawmakers to declare the results invalid in that must-win swing state.

                              “What did the tape actually show?” Schiff asked Sterling.

                              “This conspiracy theory took on a life of its own, where they conflated a water main break that wasn’t a water main break and throwing observers out and a series of other things, when it actually showed was Fulton County election observers engaging in normal ballot processing,” Sterling responded. “One of the specific things, one of the things that was very frustrating, was the so-called suitcases of ballots from under the table.”

                              Sterling testified that, in fact, there was no suitcase shown on the video.

                              “They’re standard ballot carriers that allow for seals to be put on them so that they are tamper-proof,” he testified.

                              Raffensperger began his testimony by noting that “President Biden carried the state of Georgia by approximately 12,000 votes,” and that digital and hand recounts, as well as a forensic audit of the election, had confirmed that result.

                              “Three counts, all remarkably close, which showed that President Trump did come up short,” Raffensperger said.

                              In a December 2020 phone call played during Monday’s hearing, Raffensperger told the president that his theory about the suitcase of ballots was not true.

                              “We did an audit of that and proved conclusively that they were not scanned three times,” Raffensperger can be heard telling the president.

                              Schiff played video testimony about the so-called suitcase given to the committee that began with statements by former U.S. Attorney B.J. Pak, whom former Attorney General William Barr had instructed to investigate the claims.

                              “I listened to the tapes and reviewed the videotapes myself [and found] that there was nothing there. Giuliani was wrong,” Pak said of the suitcase theory.

                              “The Fulton County allegations had no merit,” Barr testified before the committee.

                              Acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue also testified about a phone conversation he had with Trump about the suitcases.

                              “He kept fixating on the suitcase that supposedly had fraudulent ballots and that the suitcase was rolled out from under the table, and I said, ‘No, sir, there is no suitcase. You can watch that video over and over. There is no suitcase. There is a wheeled bin...”

                              During his call with Raffensperger, Trump proposed other conspiracy theories that he said explained his election loss to Biden, including a rumor that 5,000 dead people had voted in Georgia. Like the suitcase, the accusation about dead people turned out to be more fiction than fact.

                              “We had many allegations, and we investigated every single one of them,” Raffensperger told the committee.

                              _____

                              Wait, was this before or after the 2000 mules did their thing? I'm having trouble keeping up with all these idiot conspiracy theories....
                              It was before the Kraken went to 4 Seasons Landscaping to pick up mulch.
                              “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                              Mark Twain

                              Comment


                              • Jan. 6 hearing: Trump wanted DOJ to 'just say the election was corrupt,' former officials say

                                In testimony before the Jan. 6 committee Thursday, former Justice Department officials described a 90-minute phone call in late December 2020 with then-President Donald Trump during which Trump pleaded with them to declare that the election was "corrupt" despite being told his claims of fraud were false.

                                During the Dec. 27, 2020, phone call with then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue, Trump raised a litany of false allegations about voter fraud. The former officials told the panel that they had investigated every claim and found they had no merit, but that Trump continued to peddle them.

                                Donoghue said he tried in vain to "educate" Trump.

                                "I felt in that conversation it was incumbent to make it clear to the president what our investigations had revealed," Donoghue recalled. "I wanted to try to cut through the noise, because it was clear to us that there were a lot of people whispering in his ear feeding him these conspiracy theories and I felt that being very blunt in that conversation might help make it clear to the president that these allegations were simply not true."

                                Donoghue said that as Trump went through an "arsenal of allegations," he told the president, "No, that is false," one by one, in "a serial fashion as he moved from one theory to another."

                                Among the allegations Donoghue said Trump was "so fixated on" was a report that claimed there was a 68% error rate in one Michigan county's ballot-counting machines. Donoghue said that a hand recount showed there was one error in more than 15,000 votes cast.

                                Donoghue said he informed the president of the 0.0063% error rate.

                                "So that, Mr. President, is an example of what people are telling you that is not true," Donoghue recalled telling Trump.

                                The committee displayed handwritten notes Donoghue took during the conversation with Trump.

                                At one point, according to the notes, Rosen told Trump that "the DOJ can't and won't snap its fingers and change the outcome of the election."

                                "That's not what I'm asking you to do," Trump replied. "What I'm asking you to do is just say that the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the Republican congressmen."



                                Slides showing Donoghue's notes are displayed during Thursday's select committee hearing. (House TV)

                                "We have an obligation to tell people that this was an illegal, corrupt election," Trump continued, according to Donoghue's notes.

                                Donoghue said that while there were "isolated" instances of voter fraud, "none of them came close" to affecting the outcome of the election.

                                The hearing was the fifth in a series of presentations by the House select committee of findings stemming from its 11-month investigation of the events surrounding the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.

                                Thursday’s panel specifically focused on Trump’s efforts to pressure the Justice Department to help him subvert his election loss in the weeks leading up to the insurrection.
                                _____

                                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

                                Working...
                                X