Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certification

Re: Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certificat

Postby admin » Sat Jan 22, 2022 1:42 am

Read the never-issued Trump order that would have seized voting machines: The Jan. 6 select panel has obtained the draft order and a document titled "Remarks on National Healing." Both are reported here in detail for the first time.
by Betsy Woodruff Swan
Politico.com
01/21/2022 12:21 PM EST
Updated: 01/21/2022 03:24 PM EST

Among the records that Donald Trump’s lawyers tried to shield from Jan. 6 investigators are a draft executive order that would have directed the defense secretary to seize voting machines and a document titled “Remarks on National Healing.”

POLITICO has reviewed both documents. The text of the draft executive order is published here for the first time.

The executive order — which also would have appointed a special counsel to probe the 2020 election — was never issued. The remarks are a draft of a speech Trump gave the next day. Together, the two documents point to the wildly divergent perspectives of White House advisers and allies during Trump’s frenetic final weeks in office.

It’s not clear who wrote either document. But the draft executive order is dated Dec. 16, 2020, and is consistent with proposals that lawyer Sidney Powell made to the then-president. On Dec. 18, 2020, Powell, former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn, former Trump administration lawyer Emily Newman, and former Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne met with Trump in the Oval Office.

In that meeting, Powell urged Trump to seize voting machines and to appoint her as a special counsel to investigate the election, according to Axios.

A spokesperson for the House’s Jan. 6 select committee confirmed earlier Friday that the panel had received the last of the documents that Trump’s lawyers tried to keep under wraps and later declined to comment for this story on these two documents.

The draft executive order

The draft executive order shows that the weeks between Election Day and the Capitol attack could have been even more chaotic than they were. It credulously cites conspiracy theories about election fraud in Georgia and Michigan, as well as debunked notions about Dominion voting machines.

The order empowers the defense secretary to “seize, collect, retain and analyze all machines, equipment, electronically stored information, and material records required for retention under” a U.S. law that relates to preservation of election records. It also cites a lawsuit filed in 2017 against Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.


Additionally, the draft order would have given the defense secretary 60 days to write an assessment of the 2020 election. That suggests it could have been a gambit to keep Trump in power until at least mid-February of 2021.

The full text of the never-issued executive order can be read here.
December 16, 2020

PRESIDENTIAL FINDINGS TO PRESERVE COLLECT AND ANALYZE NATIONAL SECURITY INFORMATION REGARDING THE 2020 GENERAL ELECTION

By the authority vested in me as President of the United States pursuant to the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, including Article 2 section 1 of the U.S. Constitution, Executive Orders 123 33, 138 48, National Security Presidential Memoranda 13 and 21, the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) (IEEPA) and all applicable Executive Orders derived therefrom, the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C.1601 et seq.) (NBA), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code:

I, Donald J. Trump, President of the United States, find that the forensic report of the Antrim County, Michigan voting machines, released December 13, 2020, and other evidence submitted to me in support of this order, provide probable cause sufficient to require action under the authorities cited above because of evidence of international and foreign interference in the November 3, 2020, election. Dominion Voting Systems and related companies are owned or heavily controlled and influenced by foreign agents, countries, and interests. The forensic report prepared by experts found that "the Dominion Voting System is intentionally and purposefully designed with inherent errors to create systemic fraud and influence election results. The system intentionally generates an enormously high number of ballot errors. The intentional errors lead to bulk adjudication of ballots with no oversight, no transparency, and no audit trail. This leads to voter or election fraud." The report found the election management system to be wrought with unacceptable and unlawful vulnerabilities––including access to the internet––probable cause to find evidence of fraud, and numerous malicious actions.

There is also probable cause to find that Dominion Voting Systems, Smartmatic, Electronic Systems & Software, and Hart Inter Civic, Clarity Election Night Reporting, Edison Research, Sequoia, Scytl, and similar or related entities, agents or assigns, have the same flaws and were subject to foreign interference in the 2020 election in the United States. There is probable cause to find these systems bear the same crucial code "features" and defects that allowed the same outside and foreign interference in our election, in which there is probable cause to find votes were in fact altered and manipulated contrary to the will of the voters.

Dominion Voting Systems is based in Toronto, Canada, and assigns its intellectual property including patents on its firmware and software to Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank Corporation (HSBC), a bank with its foundation in China and its current headquarters in London, United Kingdom. The Dominion Voting system is owned and controlled by foreign entities. Multiple expert witnesses and cyber experts identified acts of foreign interference in the election prior to November 3, 2020 and continued in the following weeks. In fact, there is probable cause to find a massive cyber-attack by foreign interests on our crucial national infrastructure surrounding our election––not the least of which was the hacking of the voter registration system by Iran. (B.O. 138 00 of May 11. 2017)

Just days prior to the election of November 3, 2020, federal Judge Totenberg found, after three days of testimony including by Dominion executive Eric Coomers:
There are "true risks posed by the new BMD [Ballot Marking Device of Georgia's Dominion Voting Systems] voting system as well as its manner implementation. These risks are neither hypothetical nor remote under the current circumstances. The insularity of the Defendants' and Dominion's stance here in evaluation and management of the security and vulnerability of the BMD system does not benefit the public or citizens' confident exercise of the franchise. The stealth vote alteration or operational interference risks posed by malware that can be effectively invisible to detection, whether intentionally seeded or not, are high once implanted, if equipment and software systems are not properly protected, implemented, and audited. The modality of the BMD systems' capacity to deprive voters of their cast votes without burden, long wait times, and insecurity regarding how their votes are actually cast and recorded in the unverified QR code makes the potential constitutional deprivation less transparently visible as well, at least until any portions of the system implode because of system breach, breakdown, or crashes. Any operational shortcuts now in setting up or running election equipment or software creates other risks that can adversely impact the voting process.

"The Plaintiffs' national cybersecurity experts convincingly present evidence that this is not a question of "right this actually ever happen?" -- but *when it will happen, especially if further protective measures are not taken. Given the masking nature of malware and the current systems described here, if the State and Dominion simply stand by and say, "we have never seen it," the future does not bode well.

"Still, this is year one for Georgia in implementation of this new BMD system as the first state in the nation to embrace statewide implementation of this QR barcode-based BMD system for its entire population. Electoral dysfunction -- cyber or otherwise -- should not be desired as a mode of proof. It may well land unfortunately on the State's doorstep. The Court certainly hopes not." [FOOTNOTE 1: Case 1:17-cv-029 89-AT Document 964 Filed 10/11/20 Page 146 of 147]

And, yet it did. Every defect and hazard of which Judge Totenberg warned happened in Georgia. Witnesses in Georgia have provided evidence of crashes, the replacement of a server, impermissible updates to the system, connections to the internet, and both Coffee and Ware counties have identified a significant percentage of votes being wrongly allocated contrary to the will of the voter. Coffee County Georgia has refused to certify its result.

Accordingly, I hereby order:

(1) Effective immediately, the Secretary of Defense shall seize, collect, retain and analyze all machines, equipment, electronically stored information, and material records required for retention under United States Code Title 42, Sections 1974-1974(e), including but not limited to those identified in footnote 1. The Secretary of Defense has discretion to determine the interdiction of national critical infrastructure supporting federal elections. Designated locations will be identified in the operation order.

(2) Within 7 days of commencement of operations, the initial assessment must be provided to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. The final assessment must be provided to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence no later than 60 days from commencement of operations.

(3) The Director of National Intelligence shall deliver this assessment and appropriate supporting information to the President, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Defense, the Attorney General, and the Secretary of Homeland Security.

(4) A direct liaison to be authorized to coordinate as required between the applicable U.S. Departments and Agencies.

(5) The Secretary of Defense may select by name or by unit federalization of appropriate National Guard support.

(6) The Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Security will coordinate support requirements as needed from the Department of Homeland Security.

(7) The appointment of a Special Counsel to oversee this operation and institute all criminal and civil proceedings as appropriate based on the evidence collected and provided all resources necessary to carry out her duties consistent with federal laws and the Constitution.

-------------------------------------------------------------
DONALD J. TRUMP
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

ATLANTA (AP) — A federal judge on Sunday expressed serious concerns about Georgia’s new election system but declined to order the state to abandon its touchscreen voting machines in favor of hand-marked paper ballots for the November election.

-- Judge won’t order immediate switch to hand-marked ballots, by Kate Brumback, AP News, October 11, 2020

It opens by citing a host of presidential authorities to permit the steps that Trump would take, including the Constitution and Executive Order 12333, a well-known order governing the intelligence community. But the draft executive order also cites two classified documents: National Security Presidential Memoranda 13 and 21.

The existence of the first of those memoranda is publicly known, but the existence of the second has not been previously reported. NSPM 13 governs the Pentagon’s offensive cyber operations. According to a person with knowledge of the memoranda, 21 makes small adjustments to 13, and the two documents are viewed within the executive branch as a pair.

The fact that the draft executive order’s author knew about the existence of Memorandum 21 suggests that they had access to information about sensitive government secrets, the person told POLITICO.

The draft order also greenlit “the appointment of a Special Counsel to oversee this operation and institute all criminal and civil proceedings as appropriate based on the evidence collected and provided all resources necessary to carry out her duties consistent with federal laws and the Constitution.”

To bolster its provisions, the draft order cites “the forensic report of the Antrim County, Michigan voting machines.” That report was produced by Russ Ramsland, who confused precincts in Minnesota for those in Michigan, according to the Washington Post.

An affidavit filed by President Trump’s legal team intended to prove voter fraud in Michigan apparently used data taken from counties in Minnesota, the latest in a series of embarrassing missteps that have made Mr. Trump’s uphill legal fight even steeper.

As part of the Trump campaign’s effort to discredit the results in battleground states, the lawyers Rudolph W. Giuliani and Sidney Powell have made a series of unsubstantiated and outlandish claims that Dominion Voting Systems, which sells voting software to states, electronically erased millions of Trump votes at the secret behest of liberal operatives.

To bolster that claim, they have pointed to areas that had abnormally high turnout rates compared to prior elections, most recently as part of a case filed in Georgia intended to show a nationwide pattern of fraud.

On Wednesday, L. Lin Wood, an Atlanta lawyer working with the team, filed an analysis from Russell Ramsland, a failed Republican congressional candidate and self-proclaimed election fraud expert, purporting to show suspiciously high turnout in blue areas of Michigan.

When the editors of Powerline, a conservative legal website whose contributors hail from Minnesota and other parts of the Upper Midwest, reviewed the nine-page document, they discovered a major problem: Many municipalities cited in the Michigan document — Monticello, Albertville, Lake Lillian, Houston, Brownsville, Runeberg, Wolf Lake, Height of Land, Detroit Lakes, Frazee, Kandiyohi — are located in an entirely different “M” state, Minnesota.

“This is a catastrophic error, the kind of thing that causes a legal position to crash and burn,” wrote John H. Hinderaker, a veteran litigator who believes any incidences of fraud are not on the scale Mr. Trump’s team is claiming.

Mr. Hinderaker surmised the error was the result of mixing up the abbreviations for the two states, “MI” for “MN.”


On Thursday, a federal judge in Georgia rejected Mr. Wood’s attempt to halt certification of Mr. Biden’s victory in the state. On Thursday, Mr. Giuliani said Mr. Trump’s team planned to plow on with its legal challenges in Georgia, even as it withdrew from cases in Michigan and Arizona.

Mr. Wood, Mr. Ramsland and Ms. Powell did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

-- Minnesota or Michigan? Trump lawyers mix up ‘M’ states in an affidavit intended to prove vote fraud, by Joshua Rashaad McFadden for the New York Times, 1/20/20

An affidavit President Donald Trump’s legal team has hailed as proving fraud in the 2020 presidential election has a problem—the fraud it claims to show in Michigan used precinct listings that were actually in the state of Minnesota, in the latest legal gaffe involving the continually failing effort by Trump and his allies to show rampant voter fraud in the presidential election.

KEY FACTS

• The affidavit claimed to use data from the Michigan Secretary of State to show “a statistical anomaly so far outside of every statistical norm as to be virtually impossible.”
• Directly below that claim came statistics showing that the Benville Township precinct had a 350% turnout compared with the number of registered voters.
• But Benville Township is not in Michigan—it is in Minnesota, and only has an estimated population of 82 people, meaning that if even a handful of voters registered on Election Day itself, which is allowed in Minnesota, that could easily result in a much higher turnout than what was previously on the voter rolls.
• The affidavit goes on to list several other tiny townships in Minnesota, some even smaller than Benville.
• Trump’s legal team, particularly Sidney Powell, had promoted the affidavit as showing major evidence of voter fraud.
• Details of the document were first widely reported Friday by the pro-Trump Powerline Blog, which called the mix-up a “catastrophic error.”

KEY BACKGROUND

The affidavit was filed as part of a lawsuit that was neither in Minnesota nor Michigan, but in federal court in Georgia. That suit, brought by pro-Trump attorney Lin Wood, sought to discredit the state’s election results by claiming there were problems with the voting system.
Like Michigan, Georgia uses the private company Dominion Voting Systems to tabulate election results—a system Trump and his supporters have continued to baselessly claim led to widespread fraud. The affidavit was filed Tuesday, and a judge threw out the case on Thursday, saying that the challenge came too late and “does not have merit.” Georgia also completed a hand recount and audit of its votes on Thursday, confirming President-elect Joe Biden won the state.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

Efforts challenging election results have been plagued by what seem to be sloppy errors. Wood’s lawsuit, for example, mentioned voting problems in Mercer County, Georgia, which does not exist. Another suit challenging vote counts in Wayne County, Michigan, was filed in a court that had no jurisdiction over the matter. Meanwhile, Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani has continued to go off on rants in front of the press, making unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud, and seeming to forget basic legal concepts during a Pennsylvania hearing.

-- Trump Ally Confuses Michigan And Minnesota In Affidavit Claiming Voter Fraud, by Nicholas Reimann, Forbes Staff, 11/20/20

WASHINGTON – An affidavit from President Donald Trump’s legal team that claimed to prove widespread voter fraud confused two "M" states: Michigan and Minnesota.

The affidavit was as part of a larger lawsuit actually filed in Georgia by pro-Trump and conservative attorney L. Lin Wood that sought to discredit that state's election results by pointing to alleged discrepancies and problems with Dominion Voting Systems.


Trump, his legal team, and his supporters have continued to tout unsubstantiated claims that Dominion Voting Systems has led to widespread fraud in several states.

To point out the supposed problems with Dominion Voting Systems in Georgia, the affidavit, filed as analysis from Texas resident and cybersecurity expert Russell Ramsland, was intended to show supposed errors in Michigan, as both states use Dominion Voting Systems to tabulate election results.

However, the Ramsland affidavit appeared to confuse townships in Minnesota for Michigan.

Ramsland highlighted a number of "statistical anomalies and red flags" he claimed proved "that election results have been manipulated within the Dominion/Premier system in Michigan."

He specifically highlighted several precincts in Michigan where the number of votes cast appeared to exceed the number of registered voters in the county.

Many of the municipalities cited in the Michigan (MI) document, such as Albertville, Houston, Monticello, Runeberg, Lake Lillian, Brownsville, Wolf Lake, Height of Land, Detroit Lakes, Frazee, and Kandiyohi, are located in Minnesota (MN).


The affidavit was filed Tuesday. A federal judge dismissed Wood's lawsuit on Thursday, which sought to halt the certification of Georgia's election, saying it came too late and lacked merit.

Georgia completed a hand recount and audit of votes on Thursday, confirming President-elect Joe Biden won the state.

The "risk-limiting audit" found Biden won Georgia by 12,284 votes, a narrower margin than the 14,196-vote lead he held immediately following the election. Local election administrators identified uncounted ballots in four counties. Each was the result of human error.

On Friday, saying "numbers don't lie," Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger certified those election results.

Trump’s legal team had promoted the affidavit as proof of widespread evidence of voter fraud.

Ramsland had claimed in the affidavit that "excess ballots" were allegedly processed, but it is unclear where the data listed came from.

According to actual data from the Minnesota Secretary of State, there were 4,202 registered voters in Monticello P-2, but only 3,776 votes were cast in the presidential election.

USA TODAY has reached out to Wood for comment.

This Georgia lawsuit that mixed-up Michigan and Minnesota is just one of several filed by Trump's legal team that have been dismissed.

-- Trump lawsuit confuses Michigan and Minnesota locations in affidavit claiming voter fraud, by Savannah Behrmann, USA TODAY, 11/20/20

Michigan’s secretary of state, meanwhile, released an exhaustive report rebutting election conspiracy theories and concluding that none of the “known anomalies” in Antrim County’s November 2020 election were the result of any security breach.

"This draft order represents not only an abuse of emergency powers, but a total misunderstanding of them," said Liza Goitein, co-director of the liberty and national security program at the nonprofit Brennan Center for Justice. "The order doesn’t even make the basic finding of an 'unusual and extraordinary threat' that would be necessary to trigger any action under [federal emergency powers law]. It’s the legal equivalent of a kid scrawling on the wall with crayons."

The draft remarks

The draft document labeled “Remarks on National Healing,” also now in the select panel’s possession, provides a first look at the remarks Trump would deliver the next day, which stand in jarring contrast to other rhetoric Trump employed at the time and continues to use when discussing the insurrection.

“I would like to begin today by addressing the heinous attack that took place yesterday at the United States Capitol,” it opens. “Like all Americans, I was outraged and sickened by the violence, lawlessness and mayhem. I immediately deployed the National Guard and federal law enforcement to secure the building and expel the intruders. America is, and must always be, a nation of law and order.”
Practically, the [79 Days to Inauguration] report is an instruction manual for how Trump partisans at all levels of government—aided by citizen “posses” of Proud Boys and Oath Keepers—could, quite literally, round up opposition activists, kill their leaders, and install Donald Trump for a second term in office.

The scenario begins late on Election Night. The networks have declared Joe Biden the winner, his campaign having upset Trump in the state of Texas. The call is withdrawn moments later, following reports of a cyberattack involving the state’s tabulation system.
As it becomes clear there will be no definitive winner on Election Night, attention shifts to a few battleground states with large numbers of outstanding ballots.
Riots break out in more than a dozen major cities . . . 14 law enforcement officers are known to have been shot, with one confirmed death. There are unconfirmed reports of a car bombing of a police precinct building in Philadelphia.

The violence, as imagined by Claremont and TPPF, overwhelms police and fire officials.
Police recede to a defensive posture around their precincts, it is unsafe to maneuver police vehicles down the streets and responding to calls for service, even emergency calls, is suspended. Fire departments are unable to approach buildings on fire without police escorts, which are not happening.

The next day, the federal government announces Operation Spearfish, targeting
Leaders and agitators within the groups associated with BLM, Antifa, Boogaloo, and NFAC . . . with over one thousand arrest warrants issued using federal and state statutes from RICO to disorderly conduct… The decision to obtain arrest warrants even for the barest minimum of probable cause on the lowest of charges is meant to remove the players from the picture, at least temporarily. Social media sources and other intelligence sources were used to find any instances of incitement to violence, threats, or other criminal activity that met federal or local statutes and act on them.

Remember, this narrative is the result of a role-playing exercise in which the participants imagined themselves as key decision-makers in the federal government. The actions described, therefore, might be best understood as a combination of group therapy and suggestions for how they believe the federal government and law enforcement should behave in a moment of constitutional crisis.

Some of the report is revealing. Some of it is sad. Some of it is darkly funny. For instance, the authors’ recommendation for mass, politically motivated arrests “to remove the players from the picture” sits oddly next to the right’s outraged reaction to the prosecution of Trump supporters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6.

There’s more irony in how the task force imagines right-wing gangs would operate during such a period: with quiet discipline and in cooperation with law enforcement.

A lack of social media activity and overt action by the rioting by members of the Proud Boys draws the attention of law enforcement officials suspecting they may be operating covertly on the ground in several major urban rioting areas, but their exact involvement is unknown. Reports of militias moving into suburban areas is being monitored. Several groups affiliated with the Three Percenters and Oath Keepers have openly offered to assist law enforcement in putting down the violence via social media, touting significant current and retired law enforcement and military membership....

In reading the report, it becomes clear that task force participants see law enforcement as a critical adjunct to the more traditional political actors and that they believe law enforcement could act with greater impunity and force, independent from—and at times in defiance of—elected leaders.
There are rumors that several sheriffs in conservative counties throughout the country are hinting that they may deputize regular citizens into posses should the lawlessness come to their counties. Social media is ablaze with volunteers from Proud Boys, Three Percenters, and Oath Keepers and other Posse Comitatus groups to form posses.

This isn’t an innocent game of “what if?”

Earlier this year the Claremont Institute created a Sheriffs Fellowship program. Claremont claims that this program will offer “training of unparalleled depth and excellence in American political thought and institutions.” But then, this is the same group that produced a report hoping that “several sheriffs in conservative counties” would give groups like the Proud Boys actual legal authority.


Which is it?

Law enforcement plays an openly insurrectionist role throughout the “79 Days” exercise, defying civilian leaders, refusing to offer them protection, and threatening them with arrest.

For example, the report imagines Chicago police (with vocal backing from their union) abandoning Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s residential block, permitting protesters to set up camp on her front lawn.

In imagined dialogue, the wargame quotes the city’s Fraternal Order of Police president as saying “We have officers risking their lives by not shooting people they should be shooting, or waiting too long because Lightfoot and her Soros-funded prosecutor Kim Foxx seem more interested in arresting cops than criminals.”

The union leader goes on to defend a police sickout (“Foxx and Lightfoot use this department and its officers as political scapegoats all the time, maybe they will enjoy not having us around”) and “excessive force” against rioters (“Take a look out the window there, you tell me, what the hell is excessive right now?”).

The authors use an imaginary appearance by former Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke on Fox News to issue an open threat to elected leaders of the political opposition, which is imagined as going “viral”:

“The police are here to protect people and preserve the peace. They will do that. Politicians might get in the way for a while like they’re doing right now, but at some point, cops will remember their oath and will take back their communities for the good, law-abiding people in those communities. You won’t want to be on the other side of that once they have had enough of this nonsense.”

The National Fraternal Order of Police issues a partisan statement attacking Joe Biden’s “irresponsible” call for peaceful protests, “calling on President Trump to assist our men and women in blue in putting an end to the violence and anarchy and to restore law and order.”

At which point the “79 Days” report moves into truly authoritarian wishcasting:

• Federal and local law enforcement officials “entered into meetings with Google, Facebook, and Twitter to discuss tracking phones and electronic communication devices that have been traveling together to various cities” to track various “agitator groups.”
• Checkpoints are established “along major corridors entering Michigan, Texas, and Florida [to] stop and detain any suspicious caravans or large transport vehicles and to identify passengers for verification in the state fusion centers as members of Antifa and BLM are expected to descend on the capitol buildings in those states.”
• The FBI’s elite counterterrorist Hostage Rescue Team is sent to “execute search warrants for weapons in and around Washington, DC… Seven Antifa members are killed by gunfire” during the simultaneous raids with “no injuries to the agents.”

A barely concealed bloodlust runs through the report. During a battle with rioters at a Portland police precinct building, a:

SWAT sniper conducting overwatch shot and killed one of the arsonists as he drew his arm back to throw his device (captured on police surveillance video and released immediately: warning graphic). The Molotov Cocktail exploded when he dropped the bottle and covered several rioters in flames, three injured severely and one dead at the scene.

At a confrontation near the White House, a non-lethal directed-energy weapon called the “Active Denial System” is used against protesters “to great effect with limited, precise application to specific threats. Social media erupts with claims of abuse through military weaponry.”

The body count grows with “officer-involved shootings” related to the RICO-authorized Operation Spearfish, resulting in “at least three suspects dead.” However, “none of the agencies is releasing information on the circumstances or identities of the officers or suspects involved, citing the ongoing investigation.”

These raids, which operate with all the impunity of a death squad, “are executed in middle to upper class neighborhoods where the Antifa and BLM activists/leadership tend to reside.”

The exercise ends with crude myth-making: the noble and sacrificial decision by a “Republican member from an at-large delegation” suffering from “life-threatening wounds” who, “understanding what is at stake, demands to be transported to the House for the state delegation vote and arrives in a heavily guarded convoy.”

This isn’t a serious wargame or a policy study so much as a bowdlerized retelling of The Turner Diaries.
The Turner Diaries is a 1978 novel by William Luther Pierce, published under the pseudonym Andrew Macdonald. It depicts a violent revolution in the United States which leads to the overthrow of the federal government, a nuclear war, and, ultimately, a race war which leads to the systematic extermination of non-whites. All groups opposed by the novel's protagonist, Earl Turner—including Jews, non-whites, "liberal actors", and politicians—are exterminated.

-- The Turner Diaries, by Wikipedia

-- The Trump Coup: Notes on an Authoritarian Conspiracy: Inside the Claremont Institute’s “79 Days to Inauguration” Report. Claremont’s post-election war game provides a window into the group’s ambitions, by Christian Vanderbrouk

That claim that Trump immediately ordered the National Guard to head to the Capitol may be false. The Jan. 6 select committee sent a letter Thursday saying that Trump’s defense secretary at the time of the riot, Chris Miller, “has testified under oath that the President never contacted him at any time on January 6th, and never, at any time, issued him any order to deploy the National Guard.”

The “national healing” document continued with sharp criticism of the attack.

“The Demonstrators who infiltrated the Capitol have defiled the seat of American Democracy,” the remarks state. “I am directing the Department of Justice to ensure all lawbreakers are prosecuted to the fullest extent” of the law.”

The document follows with a direct communication to the rioters: “We must send a message - not with mercy but with justice. To those who engaged in acts of violence and destruction, I want to be very clear: you do not represent me. You do not represent our movement. You do not represent our country. And if you broke the law, you belong in jail.”


The remarks departed significantly from the way he described the rioters in other contexts. In a video released during the attack, Trump struck a tone of empathy with the mob.

“We have to have peace,” Trump said then. “So go home. We love you. You’re very special. You’ve seen what happens, you see the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil. I know how you feel.”

The day after the attack, facing a torrent of criticism and public discussion about invoking the 25th Amendment in order to remove him from office, Trump delivered an Oval Office address similar to the draft remarks. In that address, Trump also condemned the violence at the Capitol and called for perpetrators to be held accountable.

A Trump spokesperson declined to comment for this story.

Draft vs. reality

The draft remarks go on to describe emotions running high after an intense election. “But now, tempers must be cooled and calm restored.”

Trump “vigorously pursued every legal avenue to contest the election results,” the remarks add, and still urges election “reform” so voters could be confident about future contests.

“But as for THIS election, Congress has now certified the results,” the remarks say. “The election fight is over. A new administration will be inaugurated on January 20th. My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly and seamless transition of power. This moment calls for healing and reconciliation.”

In the year since the riot, Trump’s recent characterization of the attack has veered wildly from that sentiment in the draft remarks. The former president has described the 2020 election as “the insurrection” and Jan. 6, 2021, as “the Protest.” He has also praised Ashli Babbitt, a rioter who entered the Capitol and was shot and killed there by a police officer.

The remarks go on to strike a unifying tone in discussing the coronavirus.

“The pandemic isolated millions in their homes, damaged the economy, and claimed countless victims,” the document continues. “Ending the pandemic and rebuilding the economy,” it adds, “will require all of us working together,” along with renewed emphasis on patriotism, faith and community.

“We must renew the sacred bonds of love and loyalty that bind us together as one national family,” it adds.

While Trump has courted the disapproval of some in his own base by publicly sharing that he’s received a booster shot against Covid, he has chiefly emphasized the success of vaccines against the virus as his own personal victory.

“I came up with a vaccine, with three vaccines,” Trump told conservative pundit Candace Owens last month. “All are very, very good.”

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this report misstated how the draft remarks were used. Former President Donald Trump delivered a speech the day following the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection that was substantially similar to the document obtained by the select committee.
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Re: Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certificat

Postby admin » Sat Jan 22, 2022 4:44 am

Election Fraud, Foreign Interference & Options for 6 JAN
January 5, 2021





Talking Points

• The Chinese systematically gained control over our election system constituting a national security emergency

• The electronic voting machines were compromised and cannot be trusted to provide an accurate vote count

• To restore confidence the “failsafe” of counting the paper ballots must be used to determine who won the election for President, Senators, Congressional Representatives
• Hand counts reported by the media are not really hand counts and easily subverted


Summary of Domestic Voter Fraud

Occured in 8 contested States: Michigan; Pennsylvania; Wisconsin; Minnesota; Georgia; Nevada; Arizona; New Mexico


• Double Voters
• Deceased Voters
• Out of State & Out of County Voters
• Non-Citizen or Felon Voters
• Fake Ballots/Ballot Stuffing
• Other Illegal Ballots (violation of state law)


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It’s Been Happening For Awhile -- CNN Video From Kentucky


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When The Vote Counting Paused…

Irregularities in 2020 Election

• Donald J. Trump was winning by a significant margin across all key states Nov 3 evening.
• Vote counting stopped in key states where Smartmatic software and either ES&S or Dominion machines were used.
• When reporting resumed a massive spike occurred that favored Joe Biden and exceeded the counting capabilities that were on hand in many cases.


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Vote Injections – MICHIGAN
"FIXING" THE VOTE


• Trump wins on election night / Polling locations in Detroit shut down at 2am
• Ballot counters told to go home / Voting station windows covered
• Dominion Exec shows up in Detroit polling station after midnight
• Trump's election night lead disappears / Biden "INJECTION" appears


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Vote Injections – PENNSYLVANIA
"FIXING" THE VOTE


• The spike on the morning of Nov. 4th resulted in a net increase of 337,019 to Biden's total
• A spike means that a large number of votes were injected into the totals
• A normal vote pattern would look like a natural progression -- smooth without


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Vote Injections – ARIZONA
"FIXING" THE VOTE


• Mathematical evidence of the seeding "injection" of votes at the beginning
• A spike means that a large number of votes were injected into the totals
• A normal vote pattern would look like a natural progression -- smooth without extreme jumps


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Vote Injections – GEORGIA
"FIXING" THE VOTE


• The spike on the morning of Nov. 4 resulted in a net increase of 107,040 to Biden's total
• A spike means that a large number of votes were injected into the totals
• A normal vote pattern would look like a natural progression -- smooth without


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The Algorithm –Georgia


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Where and How It's Done
High Level View of Voting System & Networks


Changes in Cloud can be uploaded backwards Because a harvester called QSnatchgrabs all Counties’ credentials
Bad Sigs, Bad Formats, Bad QR Codes → Voting Place → Central Counting → Air Gap Myth → Sec. of State
• Pollbooks/Voter Roles
• Databases
• Tabulation SW
• Reporting SW
• “Unofficial” Database
• “Official” Database
↑ Regular Adjudication: Adjudicated Ballots are totally at the whim of the operator or malicious actor. Massive numbers of ballots were routed here. They can be sent offsite, downloaded to excel spreadsheets, manipulated and then re-uploaded into the system. Audit logs in Antrim, MI. for this had been deleted, as had audit logs for any files sent or received by the system.
Vote Co’s
• ES&S
• Hart
• SGO Smartmatic
• Dominion
• Premier (Diebold)
• Tenex
↑ Little or no actual security here with old, published passwords, etc.
Mid-level Co’s
• Harp
• approx 30 others
↑ Little or no actual security here with old, published passwords, etc.
↓ • Clarity/SCYTL (28 States) → AWS Cloud (ScytlServer in Frankfurt) ← Other Malicious Actors Access this
• GCR → Edison Res → Associated Press → Decision Desk HQ → MEDIA
• VR Systems
• Arikkan
 

The Issue: NATIONAL SECURITY

• Election Fraud and Foreign Interference:

• One Tactic that is part of a larger Strategic Plan

• Other tactics include riots, threats, censorship, looting, etc.


KEY Issue: China has leveraged financial, non-governmental and foreign allies including Venezuela to acquire INFLUENCE and CONTROL US Voting Infrastructure in at least 28 States.


KEY Issue in 2020: Critical Infrastructure control utilized as part of ongoing globalist/socialist operation to subvert the will of United States Voters and install a China ally.


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TIMELINE

2003: President of Venezuela Chavez creates Smartmatic; Vice President of Venezuela is Jorge Rodriguez
2004: Smartmatic used in Venezuela election fraud to avoid recall vote on Chavez
2005: Smartmatic buys US-based Sequoia Voting Systems (SVS)
2007: In order to avoid CFIUS review, Smartmatic sells Sequoia(software shared, IP shared, non-compete)
2009: Smartmatic creates SVS Holdings to avoid CFIUS -front company; "Re-purchases" Sequoia; later buys Dominion and ESS; Obama administration stops DOD review of Smartmatic and electronic voting
2010: Smartmatic involved in Philippines election interference
2010-2020: Dominion buys/merges with ESS, SVS Holdings, Smartmatic (launches SGO Holding 2014); Democrats (Warren, Sanders) expressed concerns repeatedly; Questions linger over numerous elections 2016, 2018 (Bevin KY Gov)
2014, Dec 19: China puts $200M into Staple Street
2018, July 18: Staple Street buys Dominion (former SVS Holdings)
2020, Sept 17: Ric Grennell meets with Jorge Rodriguez to discuss Maduro depart. Rodriguez is likely mastermind of this operation. Sister is current Vice President of Venezuela. Their father killed by US-backed police in 1976.
2020, Oct 8: China puts $400M into Staple Street weeks before 2020 election, taking an assignment of the IP as “collateral”.
Staple Street Capital


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Some of the following is an abstract from the larger report Project Foot Patrol and includes relevant slides on the following:

Chinese Communist Party (CCP) FINANCIAL CONTROL of Dominion Voting Machines

CCP CONTROL OF TESTING for Smartmatic Software Operating Dominion Voting Machines

3-Jan-21


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CCP Financial Control of Dominion Voting Machines

UBS Securities, LLC –New York is linked to UBS Securities Co LTD Beijing

UBS Securities, LLC, historically, a Swiss investment bank, shares the following Chinese Board members (Deleted 9 Dec 20)

▪ Ye Xiang –Board Chairman of UBS Beijing for > 10 Years (resigned1 Dec 20to hide relationship)
▪ Secretary, People’s Bank of China, Executive Director Bank of China International
▪ Mu Lina –Director of Fund Management and Head of Fund Operations, USB Beijing
▪ Luo Qiang (French Citizen) –On both NY and Beijing Board
▪ owns 24.99%of UBS Securities Co LTD, a Chinese Investment Bank
▪ UBS Securities Co. LTDIs owned 75% by the Chinese government
▪ The overall owners of UBS Securities Co Ltd include:
▪ Beijing Guoxiang(33%, and is a State-owned asset)
▪ UBS (24.99%)
▪ Guangdong Comm. Group [zh] (14.01%, and is the Guangdong Provincial Government)
▪ China Guodian(14%, is a State-owned enterprise administered for the SASAC for the State Council)
▪ COFCO Group (14%, is a state-wide enterprise under the direct supervision of the SASAC)

UBS


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Money Trails

SVS Holdings
Smartmatic US: Biden Transition Personnel Employed Here
Smartmatic Panama, Venezuela, US
ESS
Dominion
Sequoia
Harris business association
“Front Org” 
SGO Holding UK
$400M, October 8, 2020
Purchase July 2018

NOTE: Venezuelan Government, Technical and Intel Officials as well as UK, Italy, Spain, Cuba


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CCP Control of Testing for Smartmatic Software Operation on Dominion Voting Machines

▪ This firm was involved in significant litigation in the Chancery Court of the State of Delaware because they share the same software and testing through licensing.
▪ The case: Smartmatic International Corporation et al. Plaintiffs vs. Dominion Voting Systems International Corporation, et al., Case Number C.A. No. 7844-VCP
▪ Involved a dispute over worldwide licensing rights regarding their voting machines software 3-Jan-21


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CCP Control of Testing for Smartmatic Software Operation on Dominion Voting Machines

Later, analysts found that Smartmatic International Corp. formed a relationship with a Chinese-based technology firm to conduct in-depth studies and certifications over the hardware and software of its machines.

The Chinese firm is known as:
Shenzhen Zhongjian Nanfang Testing Co., Ltd.
No.110~116, Building B,
Jinyuan Business Building
Xixiang Road, Bao’an District
Shenzhen, Guangdong, China
Telephone: +86 (0) 755 23118282
Fax: +86 (0) 755 23116366

▪ Published numerous studies and published reports on every aspect of the devices

3 Jan, 21


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CCP Control of Testing for Smartmatic Software Operation on Dominion Voting Machines, ergo, they embedded anything they wanted!

Shenzhen Zhongjian Nanfang Testing Co., Ltd
This firm had COMPLETE ACCESS over every aspect of the devices and software that they examined to execute the certification.

These studies and certifications were done just a few months BEFORE the November 3, 2020 elections.

3-Jan-21


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Prevalence of Dominion & ES&S

Over 90% of votes in the USA are cast on these machines
Legend: Dominion; ES&S


Recommendations

• Brief Senators and Congressmen on foreign interference
• Declare National Security Emergency
• Foreign influence and control of electronic voting systems
• Declare electronic voting in all states invalid
• LEGAL & Genuine Paper ballot counts or Constitutional remedy delegated to Congress


Perpetrators

• Local Zealots –illegal ballot harvesting, illegal voter roles, counterfeit mail-in and absentee ballots, and illegal adjudication changes
• Electronic Voting machines that shift votes from one candidate to another either through an algorithm or adjudications'
• Foreign Actors that shift votes and/or add votes all across the country either through adjudications or outright database overwrites
• In this election, all 3 demonstrably occurred, but not necessarily in a coordinated fashion


Next Step –Count the Paper Ballots
▪ When you first disqualify all the counterfeit ballots and then count all the remaining legal paper ballots nationwide, you restore confidence in the Election Outcome
▪ Regardless of the cheating and stuffing of the ballot box, by eliminating the counterfeit mail-in and absentee ballots-> Trump Almost Certainly Wins
▪ Additionally, US Senators, US House Races, State, and Local races now turn to Republican
▪ This remedies the problem quickly and easily by:
▪ Eliminating counterfeit ballots and subtracting them from current totals to see if races change, or
▪ Recounting remaining, legal ballots by hand to see who wins races.
▪ Either way, we quickly and easily find out who the elected leaders REALLY ARE and restore confidence in the outcome!
▪ The electronic voting machines are shifting votes from Trump to Biden
▪ The election fraud perpetrated used the major brands of machines Dominion and ES&S
▪ The foreign actors had to shift votes across the country in all areas in order to achieve their objectives (Biden Victory)
▪They had to shift votes in traditionally Republican strongholds in order to deliver a Biden win because they could jam no more into the major cities (fraud votes)


Evidence of Election Fraud, Antrim County, Michigan

On Dec 5, the ASOG forensics team examined the electronic voting systems in Antrim and observed overlapping subversions which led to their exposure.

▪ Antrim Election Night Vote Percentages: Trump 36% and Biden 63%
Some votes removed, some shifted, some under voted; must cover the lie:
▪ Nov 3: Trump ballots, 2,012 votes withheld and vote shifting Trump to Biden, extreme under voting (16,047 total votes)
▪ Nov 5: Trump ballots, 2,012 votes added in and vote shifting Trump to Biden, moderate under voting (18,059 total votes)
▪ Nov 21: Vote shifting & under voting removed, 2,015 Trump ballots destroyed (16,044 total votes)
▪ Certified Result Trump wins: 61% to 37% (Real Result: 65%/33% when include destroyed ballots)
▪ If You Count the Paper Ballots In Each State Trump Wins Overwhelmingly


Evidence of Election Fraud: Dominion Voting Systems

▪ Bernalillo County, New Mexico: Vote Swapping Confirmed
▪ 5 votes flipped from Trump to Biden & 6 votes from CD1 Rep. to Dem on a single machine (380 votes total)
▪ 9 ballots extra found on a separate (different) machine
▪ 8 for Biden, 1 Trump, accidentally put the additional votes to the Republican CD-1 candidate not the Democrat
▪ On Dec 15, 6 people (double blind: two teams of 3) confirmed the vote flip
▪ The next day the same counting team was directed to review the same paper ballots from the same machines and all of the evidence of extra ballots and vote flipping had been removed
▪ The counting team was not permitted cameras or any recording device to save the proof
▪ Ware County, Georgia shows 37% vote swing for single jammed tabulator
▪ 37 votes in Ware County were flipped from Trump to Biden (net of 74 votes out of 200 votes)
▪ Affidavit by Garland Favorito explains it
▪ Ware County Elections Director Carlos Nelson confirmed the vote differential


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Independent Review #1 of Total Paper Ballot Count

▪ The Table Below Contains Projected Vote Totals - Counting All Paper Ballots
• All the votes were counted already, but they were counted using electronic voting machines that swapped the votes in favor of Biden.
• The truth is in the ballot box right now, we just need to count each legal paper ballot without using any Dominion or ES&S machines.
TRUMP WINS!!


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Independent Review #2 of Total Paper Ballot Count

TRUMP WINS!!
TOP 6 CONTESTED STATES
2020 PRESIDENTIAL

Every Legal Vote - Reconciling the 2020 Election


Modification of Voting History to Cover Vote Swapping

• Clear evidence that the voter history in NM has been purposely shifting who voted since 1992.
• Prior to 2014, NM used ES&S voting machines & since 2014 has used Dominion machines. The registered voter database has not changed through that time frame.
• NM uses Dominion, Montana uses ES&S, both websites are using the exact same interactive results displaying web application.
• In multiple states we see the rise of “independent voters” to very high levels.
• Then we see reduced Republican turnout and increased Independent turnout.
• Data suggests that the vote swapping in the voting machines is then covered after the election by a computer algorithm that modifies who voted to reflect the swapping.
• This explains why a number of credible pollsters get the numbers wrong by double digits. The pollsters use who voted in the last election to sample the “correct” percentages of people. They are using vote shifted numbers from the last election and thus are predicting the wrong numbers for the current election.
•Widespread vote shifting also explains why there have been reported cases of “surprise” results in elections from Michigan, to Nevada, to New Mexico in “out of the way” counties.


Restoring Confidence in the 2020 General Election

▪ “Clear the air –count and compare"
▪ The tabulators cannot be trusted nationwide, and many counterfeit ballots have been inserted, therefore:
▪ A fullcheck to weed out counterfeit paper ballots and then acount of the remaining legal ones across the nation must be done for all races in all states and will accurately determine who the people of America actually elected as our leaders.
▪ All ballots must remain locked and physically protected until directed by the federal government.
▪ A task force led by a trustworthy individual (we recommend Sid Gutierrez: NASA Astronaut, retired Air Force Colonel, Center Director at a National Laboratory) produce a standard procedure that will be required and will include full accountability so that counterfeit ballots are excluded and legal ballots are not lost, modified, substituted, or added in.
▪ We estimate counting can be done in each state in 5 to 10 days time with support from identified national assets.
▪ It must be done in full public view (via web broadcast) where each person has the chance to do the count themselves if they so desire. No more hiding behind barriers, distances, secrecy, and gag orders.
▪ We have the technology to do this.
▪ The paper ballots are secret ballots which means you cannot tell who voted it.
▪ Counterfeit ballots can easily and quickly be identified using technology similar to that used by Treasury to find counterfeit currency. Illegal paper stock, ballots filled out by a machine, mail-in ballots that never went through the mail, ballots printed and marked with the same ink can all be identified and rejected.
▪Every legal paper ballot will have a camera pointed at it and will be captured for a few seconds.
▪ It will be recorded and be broadcast in real time on the Internet.


Count-the-Ballots Top Level Plan

▪ A Trusted Lead Counter will be appointed with authority from the POTUS to direct the actions of select federalized National Guard units and support from DOJ, DHS and other US government agencies as needed to complete a recount of the legal paper ballots for the federal elections in all 50 states.
▪ US Marshals will immediately secure all ballots and provide a protective perimeter around the locations in all 50 states.
▪ DHS will use their emergency response logistic capabilities to support the effort. They will integrate the IT support that will include separating out the legal from the counterfeit ballots and communications with all supporting the effort and cameras (Possibly cell phones) imaging each and every ballot. These images will be distributed to the Internet.
▪ The federalized National Guard in each state will be supplied detailed processes and be responsible for counting each legitimate paper ballot. Teams made up of three (first couple counties will be five) National Guard members will do the counting. As the counting occurs each ballot will be imaged and the images placed on the Internet so any US citizen can view them and count the ballots themselves. The process will be completely transparent.


Ballot Adjudication

▪ All legitimate paper ballots will be counted.
▪ The legality of each ballot will be determined based on the Constitution and therefore the laws enacted by the state legislatures and in effect at time of the election. Exceptions will require an affirmative vote by the SCOTUS stating that Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 has been suspended. Otherwise all officials will follow the Constitution.
▪ Ballots that are suspect will be sequestered, separately secured, and turned over to the FBI to verify the forensic analysis. EXAMPLES: they are from a different material than real ballots, are of a different color, different format, photo copies, marked by the same commercial ink that printed them, filled out by a machine, have no creases in the case of mail-in ballots, etc.
▪ All challenged ballots are either resolved or sequestered until the counting is complete. When the counting is complete, if the sequestrated ballots are required to determine the winner, then they will be resolved based on the law and precedent in past elections.
▪ The entire challenge process must be on video and broadcast. Complete transparency will be maintained.


Options for 6 JAN

VP Pence seats Republican Electors over the objections of Democrats in states where fraud occurred
▪ VP Pence rejects the electors from States where fraud occurred causing the election to be decided by remaining electoral votes  
▪ VP Pence delays the decision in order to allow for a vetting and subsequent counting of the all the legal paper ballots


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THE 2020 US ELECTION
MADE IN CHINA?
THE END
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Re: Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certificat

Postby admin » Sat Jan 22, 2022 6:07 am

The Turner Diaries
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 1/21/22


Practically, the [79 Days to Inauguration] report is an instruction manual for how Trump partisans at all levels of government—aided by citizen “posses” of Proud Boys and Oath Keepers—could, quite literally, round up opposition activists, kill their leaders, and install Donald Trump for a second term in office.

The scenario begins late on Election Night. The networks have declared Joe Biden the winner, his campaign having upset Trump in the state of Texas. The call is withdrawn moments later, following reports of a cyberattack involving the state’s tabulation system.
As it becomes clear there will be no definitive winner on Election Night, attention shifts to a few battleground states with large numbers of outstanding ballots.
Riots break out in more than a dozen major cities . . . 14 law enforcement officers are known to have been shot, with one confirmed death. There are unconfirmed reports of a car bombing of a police precinct building in Philadelphia.

The violence, as imagined by Claremont and TPPF, overwhelms police and fire officials.
Police recede to a defensive posture around their precincts, it is unsafe to maneuver police vehicles down the streets and responding to calls for service, even emergency calls, is suspended. Fire departments are unable to approach buildings on fire without police escorts, which are not happening.

The next day, the federal government announces Operation Spearfish, targeting
Leaders and agitators within the groups associated with BLM, Antifa, Boogaloo, and NFAC . . . with over one thousand arrest warrants issued using federal and state statutes from RICO to disorderly conduct… The decision to obtain arrest warrants even for the barest minimum of probable cause on the lowest of charges is meant to remove the players from the picture, at least temporarily. Social media sources and other intelligence sources were used to find any instances of incitement to violence, threats, or other criminal activity that met federal or local statutes and act on them.

Remember, this narrative is the result of a role-playing exercise in which the participants imagined themselves as key decision-makers in the federal government. The actions described, therefore, might be best understood as a combination of group therapy and suggestions for how they believe the federal government and law enforcement should behave in a moment of constitutional crisis.

Some of the report is revealing. Some of it is sad. Some of it is darkly funny. For instance, the authors’ recommendation for mass, politically motivated arrests “to remove the players from the picture” sits oddly next to the right’s outraged reaction to the prosecution of Trump supporters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6.

There’s more irony in how the task force imagines right-wing gangs would operate during such a period: with quiet discipline and in cooperation with law enforcement.

A lack of social media activity and overt action by the rioting by members of the Proud Boys draws the attention of law enforcement officials suspecting they may be operating covertly on the ground in several major urban rioting areas, but their exact involvement is unknown. Reports of militias moving into suburban areas is being monitored. Several groups affiliated with the Three Percenters and Oath Keepers have openly offered to assist law enforcement in putting down the violence via social media, touting significant current and retired law enforcement and military membership....

In reading the report, it becomes clear that task force participants see law enforcement as a critical adjunct to the more traditional political actors and that they believe law enforcement could act with greater impunity and force, independent from—and at times in defiance of—elected leaders.
There are rumors that several sheriffs in conservative counties throughout the country are hinting that they may deputize regular citizens into posses should the lawlessness come to their counties. Social media is ablaze with volunteers from Proud Boys, Three Percenters, and Oath Keepers and other Posse Comitatus groups to form posses.

This isn’t an innocent game of “what if?”

Earlier this year the Claremont Institute created a Sheriffs Fellowship program. Claremont claims that this program will offer “training of unparalleled depth and excellence in American political thought and institutions.” But then, this is the same group that produced a report hoping that “several sheriffs in conservative counties” would give groups like the Proud Boys actual legal authority.


Which is it?

Law enforcement plays an openly insurrectionist role throughout the “79 Days” exercise, defying civilian leaders, refusing to offer them protection, and threatening them with arrest.

For example, the report imagines Chicago police (with vocal backing from their union) abandoning Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s residential block, permitting protesters to set up camp on her front lawn.

In imagined dialogue, the wargame quotes the city’s Fraternal Order of Police president as saying “We have officers risking their lives by not shooting people they should be shooting, or waiting too long because Lightfoot and her Soros-funded prosecutor Kim Foxx seem more interested in arresting cops than criminals.”

The union leader goes on to defend a police sickout (“Foxx and Lightfoot use this department and its officers as political scapegoats all the time, maybe they will enjoy not having us around”) and “excessive force” against rioters (“Take a look out the window there, you tell me, what the hell is excessive right now?”).

The authors use an imaginary appearance by former Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke on Fox News to issue an open threat to elected leaders of the political opposition, which is imagined as going “viral”:

“The police are here to protect people and preserve the peace. They will do that. Politicians might get in the way for a while like they’re doing right now, but at some point, cops will remember their oath and will take back their communities for the good, law-abiding people in those communities. You won’t want to be on the other side of that once they have had enough of this nonsense.”

The National Fraternal Order of Police issues a partisan statement attacking Joe Biden’s “irresponsible” call for peaceful protests, “calling on President Trump to assist our men and women in blue in putting an end to the violence and anarchy and to restore law and order.”

At which point the “79 Days” report moves into truly authoritarian wishcasting:

• Federal and local law enforcement officials “entered into meetings with Google, Facebook, and Twitter to discuss tracking phones and electronic communication devices that have been traveling together to various cities” to track various “agitator groups.”
• Checkpoints are established “along major corridors entering Michigan, Texas, and Florida [to] stop and detain any suspicious caravans or large transport vehicles and to identify passengers for verification in the state fusion centers as members of Antifa and BLM are expected to descend on the capitol buildings in those states.”
• The FBI’s elite counterterrorist Hostage Rescue Team is sent to “execute search warrants for weapons in and around Washington, DC… Seven Antifa members are killed by gunfire” during the simultaneous raids with “no injuries to the agents.”

A barely concealed bloodlust runs through the report. During a battle with rioters at a Portland police precinct building, a:

SWAT sniper conducting overwatch shot and killed one of the arsonists as he drew his arm back to throw his device (captured on police surveillance video and released immediately: warning graphic). The Molotov Cocktail exploded when he dropped the bottle and covered several rioters in flames, three injured severely and one dead at the scene.

At a confrontation near the White House, a non-lethal directed-energy weapon called the “Active Denial System” is used against protesters “to great effect with limited, precise application to specific threats. Social media erupts with claims of abuse through military weaponry.”

The body count grows with “officer-involved shootings” related to the RICO-authorized Operation Spearfish, resulting in “at least three suspects dead.” However, “none of the agencies is releasing information on the circumstances or identities of the officers or suspects involved, citing the ongoing investigation.”

These raids, which operate with all the impunity of a death squad, “are executed in middle to upper class neighborhoods where the Antifa and BLM activists/leadership tend to reside.”

The exercise ends with crude myth-making: the noble and sacrificial decision by a “Republican member from an at-large delegation” suffering from “life-threatening wounds” who, “understanding what is at stake, demands to be transported to the House for the state delegation vote and arrives in a heavily guarded convoy.”

This isn’t a serious wargame or a policy study so much as a bowdlerized retelling of The Turner Diaries.

-- The Trump Coup: Notes on an Authoritarian Conspiracy: Inside the Claremont Institute’s “79 Days to Inauguration” Report. Claremont’s post-election war game provides a window into the group’s ambitions, by Christian Vanderbrouk


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The Turner Diaries
Cover of The Turner Diaries (1st ed.)
Author: William Luther Pierce (as Andrew Macdonald)
Illustrator: Dennis Nix
Country: United States
Language: English
Genre: Political novel
Publisher: National Vanguard Books
Publication date: 1978
Media type: Print
Pages: 211 (2nd ed.)
ISBN: 0-937-94402-5 2nd edition, paperback
LC Class: PS3563.A2747
Followed by: Hunter

The Turner Diaries is a 1978 novel by William Luther Pierce, published under the pseudonym Andrew Macdonald.[1] It depicts a violent revolution in the United States which leads to the overthrow of the federal government, a nuclear war, and, ultimately, a race war which leads to the systematic extermination of non-whites.[2][3] All groups opposed by the novel's protagonist, Earl Turner—including Jews, non-whites, "liberal actors", and politicians—are exterminated.[4]

The Turner Diaries was described as being "explicitly racist and anti-Semitic" by The New York Times and has been labeled the "bible of the racist right" by the FBI.[5][6] The book was greatly influential in shaping white nationalism and the later development of the white genocide conspiracy theory. It has also inspired numerous hate crimes and acts of terrorism, including the 1984 assassination of Alan Berg, the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, and the 1999 London nail bombings.[7][8][9]

Synopsis

The protagonist, Earl Turner, takes part in the apocalyptic overthrow of the United States federal government (referred to as "the System" throughout the novel). Turner and his fellow insurgents wage a race war which begins in North America and spreads to the rest of the world.

Plot

A framing device which takes place in 2099 (100 years after the events depicted) gives the novel's main text a historical context, which is presented as the journal of Earl Turner, an active member of a white revolutionary movement. As the story begins, the federal government has confiscated all civilian firearms in the country under the Cohen Act. Turner and his cohorts take their organization underground in order to wage a guerrilla war against the System, which is depicted as being under Jewish control.[4] The "System" begins by implementing numerous repressive laws against various forms of prejudice, by making it a hate crime for white people to defend themselves when crimes are committed against them by people who are not white even after all weapons have been confiscated, and pushing for new surveillance measures in order to monitor its citizens, such as requiring them to possess a special passport at all times and in all places in order to permanently monitor where individuals are. The "Organization" starts its campaigns by committing acts such as the bombing of the FBI headquarters, then carrying on a relentless, low-level campaign of resistance, assassination, and economic sabotage throughout the United States.

Turner plays a large part in activities in the Washington, D.C. area. When the President of the United States delivers a speech denouncing racists and demanding that all members of the Organization be brought to justice, Turner and other Organization members launch mortars into the streets of Washington from far away, forcing the president and other government officials to be evacuated. In another scene, Turner watches an anti-racism parade on television in which whites who are not part of the parade are pulled aside and beaten (sometimes to death) by non-white marchers; the march eventually turns into a full-scale riot. Turner's exploits lead to his initiation into the "Order", a secret rebel group that consists of an elite group of masterminds of the revolution, who are secretly leading the Organization and whose existence remains unknown both to ordinary Organization members and the System.[4] Later, Turner's hideout is raided by law enforcement. During an ensuing gun battle with authorities, everyone in the unit manages to escape but Turner is captured after nearly being killed. He is arrested and sent to a military base for interrogation by the FBI and an Israeli intelligence officer. He is tortured in an effort to coerce the release of information, but resists. The interrogators fail to extract the most valuable pieces of information from him, lacking awareness of the existence of the Order. However, he does reveal some information to them. Months later, other members of the Order rescue him from the prison. They inform him that he will be punished sometime in the future for failing to resist while in captivity. He acknowledges the authority of the Order and pledges to accept whatever punishment they impose, whenever they impose it.

Eventually, the Organization seizes physical control of the nuclear weapons at Vandenberg Air Force Base in Southern California and targets missiles at New York City and Tel Aviv.[10] While in control of California, the Organization ethnically cleanses the area of all non-Aryans by forcing them into the East, which is still controlled by the System. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of African Americans are forced into the desert to cause an economic crisis on the System's welfare system and all Jews are beaten, lynched or shot.[10] The resulting racial conflict in the east causes many whites to "wake up" and begin fleeing to Southern California which now becomes a white sanctuary. Deliberately fomenting racial conflict is referred to as "demographic warfare" which begins bringing in new recruits to both the Organization and the Order.[11] During this time, the Organization raids a black sanctuary and discovers a cannibalism operation where blacks kidnap, butcher, and eat whites.

The Organization raids the houses of all individuals who have been reported to be race traitors in some way (such as judges, professors, lawyers, politicians, clergy, journalists, entertainers, etc.), and white people who defiled their race by living with or being married to non-whites. It drags these individuals from their homes and publicly hangs them in the streets in Los Angeles in an event which comes to be known as the "Day of the Rope" (August 1, 1993). Most of these public executions are filmed for propaganda purposes.[10][4] The Organization has little use for most white "mainstream" Americans. Those on the left are seen as dupes or willing agents of the Jews, while conservatives and libertarians are regarded as mere businessmen out for themselves or misguided fools, because, the Organization states, the Jews "took over according to the Constitution, fair and square." Turner and his comrades save their special contempt for the ordinary people, who are seen to care about nothing beyond being kept comfortable and entertained. Once daily life is completely disrupted by the nuclear war it instigated, the Organization opens compounds where food and shelter are available - but those seeking admittance are given a bayonet and told to come back with "the freshly cut head of a non-white person"; those unable or unwilling to pay such an "admittance price" are left to starve, as their death would "improve the race".

The Organization then uses both its southern Californian base of operations and its nuclear weapons to open a wider war in which it launches nuclear strikes against New York City and Israel, initiates a nuclear exchange between the US and the Soviet Union, and plants nuclear weapons and new combat units throughout North America. Many major U.S. cities are destroyed, including Baltimore and Detroit. While the United States is being engulfed in a nuclear civil war, governments all over the world begin to fall one by one, and violent anti-Jewish riots break out in the streets. After the nuclear weapons are launched against Israel and Tel Aviv is destroyed, the Arabs take advantage of the opportunity and proceed to swarm into Israel, mostly armed with clubs and knives, and kill all of the Israelis. The governments of France and the Netherlands collapse, and the Soviet Union falls apart while it is seeing a surge in anti-Semitic violence. Meanwhile, the United States is put in a state of absolute martial law and transformed into a military dictatorship. The United States government decides to launch an invasion of the Organization's stronghold in Southern California. The leaders of the Order now inform Earl Turner of his punishment for having failed to resist his Jewish interrogators during his captivity: he must pilot a crop duster equipped with a nuclear warhead and destroy the Pentagon in a kamikaze-type suicide-strike, before the invasion can be ordered.

The epilogue summarizes how the Organization went on to conquer the rest of the world and how all non-white races were eliminated. Africa was invaded; all of its black inhabitants were killed. Puerto Ricans (described as a "repulsive mongrel race") were killed and Puerto Rico was recolonized. After China attempts to invade European Russia, the Organization attacks with nuclear, chemical, radiological and biological weapons which render the entire continent of Asia uninhabitable and rife with "mutants". In the United States, the last remaining non-whites are hunted down, along with all of the individuals who are involved in organized crime (such as the Mafia).

One of the last steps in the Organization's victory is its truce with the remainder of the American military's generals, who agree to surrender if the former swears not to harm them or their immediate families. The Organization gladly accepts. The epilogue concludes with the statement that "just 110 years after the birth of the 'Great One', the dream of a white world finally became a certainty... and the Order would spread its wise and benevolent rule over the earth for all time to come."[4]


Publication history

The Turner Diaries was originally published in a serial form in the National Alliance publication Attack! between 1975 and 1978,[12] with one chapter released per issue during this period.[13] Enthusiastic reactions among racist sympathizers led Pierce to self-publish the story as a paperback in 1978.[14] Artist Dennis Nix contributed to the illustrations.[15] The main story was originally set in the 1980s; Pierce changed it to the 1990s when the series was compiled to be published as a book in 1978.[13]

The Turner Diaries was initially only sold via mail order from the National Alliance headquarters in West Virginia.[16] It had sold 200,000 copies by the late 1990s according to self-estimates generally considered reliable by scholars.[17][18] Other estimates have gone higher, giving a figure of 500,000 copies sold as of 2000.[16][1]

Commentary

John Sutherland, in a 1996 essay for the London Review of Books, wrote that The Turner Diaries is "not the work of a Holocaust-denier (although Pierce gives us plenty of that) so much as a would-be Holocaust-repeater."[10]

The Simon Wiesenthal Center calls it a "hate book".[19] The book has received criticism from The New York Times which noted its influence on white supremacists.[20]

Kathleen Belew has pointed out links between the book's "day of the rope" theme and elements of the 2021 United States Capitol attack.[21]

Political influence

Analysis


Image

The Anti-Defamation League identified The Turner Diaries as "probably the most widely-read book among far-right extremists; many [of them] have cited it as the inspiration behind their terrorist organizing and activities."[4] The Policy on the Classification of Hate Propaganda, Sedition and Treason of the Canada Border Services Agency has classified The Turner Diaries as hate-propaganda literature that cannot be imported to Canada.[22][23]

The phrase "day of the rope" has also become common in white nationalist and alt-right Internet circles, referring to an event in the novel where all "race traitors" are publicly hanged.[24][25][26][27][28][29][30]

White supremacist terrorism

The following terrorist attacks have been linked to The Turner Diaries:

• The Order (1983–84) was a white supremacist, terrorist organization which named itself after the political organization which is discussed in The Turner Diaries (1978). The Order murdered three people, including the talk radio host Alan Berg, and committed numerous robberies, counterfeiting operations, and acts of violence in an effort to provoke a race war in the United States.[31]
• Timothy McVeigh, who was convicted for his role in the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, was found with pages from The Turner Diaries after the attack. His attack closely resembled the bombing of the FBI's headquarters in the novel.[32]
• John William King was convicted of dragging James Byrd, an African American, to his death in Jasper, Texas in 1998. As King shackled Byrd's legs to his truck, he was reported to have said, "We're going to start The Turner Diaries early."[33]
• David Copeland, a British neo-Nazi who killed three people in a bombing campaign against London's black, Asian, and gay communities in April 1999, quoted from The Turner Diaries while being interviewed by police.[34]
• A copy of The Turner Diaries and other neo-Nazi propaganda were found in the home of Jacob D. Robida, who attacked three men at a gay bar in New Bedford, Massachusetts in 2006. Robida fled, killing a hostage and a police officer before committing suicide.[35]
• A copy of The Turner Diaries and neo-Nazi propaganda and items which are associated with white supremacy and Nazism were found in the house of Zack Davies, who was convicted of a racist murder attempt in Mold, Flintshire, UK, in September 2015.[36]
• The National Socialist Underground used the Turner Tagebücher in forming at least part of their ideological basis.[37] Members Uwe Böhnhardt, Uwe Mundlos, and Beate Zschäpe murdered nine immigrants between September 9, 2000 and April 25, 2007. A copy of the Turner Tagebücher was found on the trio's scorched hard drive after Böhnhardt and Mundlos committed suicide and set fire to their van on November 4, 2011.[38][39] The Turner Tagebücher has been banned in Germany since April 2006.[40]

Censorship and banning

In late 2020, online bookstore Amazon removed all new and used print and digital copies of The Turner Diaries from its bookselling platform, including all subsidiaries (AbeBooks, The Book Depository), effectively censoring sales of the title from the digital bookselling market. Amazon listed the title's connection with the QAnon movement as the reason behind this, having already purged a number of self-published and small-press titles connected with QAnon from its platform.[41] Social cataloguing and book review website Goodreads, another subsidiary of Amazon, also purged the metadata from its record for all editions of The Turner Diaries, replacing the author and title field with "NOT A BOOK" (capitalization intended), a designated moniker normally used by the platform to weed non-book items with ISBN numbers, as well as plagiarized titles, from its catalogue. Goodreads volunteers who attempted to restore the title's metadata were stripped of their "Librarian" status and unable to make any further edits on the platform.[42]

In Canada, The Turner Diaries is one of many titles considered by the Government of Canada to be "obscene" and "hate propaganda" under The Canadian Criminal Code.[43] The title is one of numerous titles to be confiscated when discovered in postal deliveries within Canada's extensive Quarterly List of Prohibited Publications, although print copies of the book still arrive to Canadian buyers without confiscation, generally by being marked simply as "Used Book" on shipping labels rather than listing The Turner Diaries by specific title. According to Ryerson University, "Today, officials of the Canada Border Services Agency prohibit publications that they regard as obscene or as hate propaganda.
Officials derive their power from Tariff Item 9899.00.00. Most of their decisions are never appealed to an open court."[44]

See also

• Novels portal
• Speculative fiction portal
• Hunter (1989), another novel by William Luther Pierce
• The Iron Heel (1908) by Jack London
• The Camp of the Saints (1973) by Jean Raspail
• Judeo-Masonic conspiracy theory
• Talk Radio (1988), directed by Oliver Stone (the main character, who is based on Alan Berg, mentions the book)
• Imperium (2016), directed by Daniel Ragussis (the book is mentioned as the inspiration for white supremacists)

References

1. Salamon, Julie (October 23, 2000). "Television Review; The Web as Home for Racism and Hate". The New York Times. Retrieved September 5, 2007.
2. Harkavy, Ward (November 15, 2000). "The Nazi on the Bestseller List". The Village Voice. Retrieved September 5, 2007.
3. Shinbaum, Myrna (May 16, 1996), Q & A on The Turner Diaries, Anti-Defamation League, archived from the original on December 1, 2001, retrieved July 20, 2018
4. "Extremism in America: The Turner Diaries". ADL.org. Anti-Defamation League. 2007. Retrieved December 26, 2018.
5. Applebome, Peter (April 26, 1995). "TERROR IN OKLAHOMA: THE BACKGROUND; A Bombing Foretold, In Extreme-Right 'Bible'". The New York Times.
6. Jackson, Camille (October 14, 2004). "Turner Diaries, Other Racist Novels Inspire Extremist Violence". Splcenter.org. Retrieved December 26, 2018.
7. Berger 2016, p. 40.
8. Barkun 2014, p. 228.
9. Ross, Kaz (March 16, 2019). "How believers in 'white genocide' spread their hate campaign in Australia". Business Standard. Retrieved March 19, 2019.
10. Sutherland, John (May 22, 1997). "Higher Man". London Review of Books. 19 (10). Retrieved December 24, 2018.
11. "The Turner Diaries - Race Baiting at its Finest". Paul Robinson. December 12, 2009. Retrieved May 2, 2010.
12. Barkun 2014, p. 226.
13. Berger 2016, p. 6.
14. Goehring & Dionisopoulos 2013, p. 369.
15. Zeskind, Leonard (2009). Blood and Politics: The History of the White Nationalist Movement from the Margins to the Mainstream. New York City: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. p. 41. ISBN 978-1-4299-5933-9.
16. Sutherland, John (April 3, 2000). "Gospels of hate that slip through the net". The Guardian. Retrieved September 5, 2007.
17. Whitsel 1998, p. 184.
18. Cullick 2002, p. 88.
19. "Jewish group complains over sale of hate books online". CNN. August 10, 1999. Retrieved October 16, 2009.
20. Alter, Alexandra (January 12, 2021). "How 'The Turner Diaries' Incites White Supremacists". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 19, 2021.
21. Dorany Pineda (January 8, 2021). "'The Turner Diaries' didn't just inspire the Capitol attack. It warns us what might be next". LA Times. Retrieved August 23, 2021.
22. "Global News - Latest & Current News - Weather, Sports & Health News". Global News.
23. "Memorandum D9-1-15 - Canada Border Services Agency's Policy on the Classification of Hate Propaganda, Sedition and Treason". Canada Border Services Agency. February 14, 2008.
24. Ward, Justin (April 19, 2018). "Day of the trope: White nationalist memes thrive on Reddit's r/The_Donald". Southern Poverty Law Centre. Retrieved December 26, 2018.
25. Walton, Frank Vyan (August 12, 2018). "Here's How to Win the Civil Rights Social Justice War". AlterNet. Retrieved December 26, 2018.
26. Wilson, Jason (June 15, 2018). "Doxxing, assault, death threats: the new dangers facing US journalists covering extremism". The Guardian. Retrieved December 26, 2018.
27. Fassler, Jeremy (June 29, 2018). "Night of the Rope: The White Nationalist Celebration of Lynching Journalists". The Daily Banter. Retrieved December 26, 2018.
28. "Weekend Read: When calling yourself a fascist is "edgy"". Southern Poverty Law Centre. Authored by SPLC Editors. May 11, 2018. Retrieved December 26, 2018.
29. Margolin, Emma (March 12, 2018). "How a New Wave of Female Candidates Is Training to Fight the Trolls". Politico Magazine. Retrieved December 26, 2018.
30. Tenold, Vegas (July 26, 2018). "To Doxx a Racist". The New Republic. Retrieved December 26, 2018.
31. Bosworth, Charles, Jr. (March 15, 1998). "Illinois Man Sought Start of Race War, Source Says". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. St. Louis, Missouri: Louis Post-Dispatch, Inc. p. A1.
32. Collins, James (April 28, 1997). "OKLAHOMA CITY: THE WEIGHT OF EVIDENCE". Time.
33. Miller, Phil (February 23, 2000). "Black Man's Killer Said: 'We're Starting the Turner Diaries Early'". The Scotsman. Edinburgh, Scotland: The Scotsman Publications. p. 3.
34. "The Nailbomber". BBC Panoroma. June 30, 2000. Missing or empty |url= (help)
35. Caywood, Thomas (February 8, 2006). "Infamous neo-Nazi literature found in killer's room". The Boston Herald. Boston, Massachusetts: Boston Herald Inc. p. 5.
36. "Life term for Rigby revenge attacker". BBC News. September 11, 2015.
37. "Der NSU war nur die Spitze des rechten Terror-Netzwerks - VICE". Vice (in German). Retrieved February 12, 2017.
38. Rundfunk, Ernst Eisenbichler, Bayerischer (November 4, 2013). "4. November 2011: Eine Neonazi-Terrorzelle fliegt auf | BR.de" (in German). Retrieved February 12, 2017.
39. Rundfunk, Christoph Arnowski, Bayerischer (February 4, 2016). "259. Verhandlungstag, 4.2.2016: Die Turner-Tagebücher und der NSU | BR.de" [The Turner Diaries and the NSU (National Socialist Underground)] (in German). Retrieved February 12, 2017.
40. Friedrichson, Gisela (November 6, 2014). "NSU-Prozess: Die Rolle der "Combat-18"-Zelle" [The role of the "Combat-18" cell]. Der Spiegel (in German). Munich. Retrieved December 26, 2018.
41. Statt, Nick (January 12, 2021). "Amazon pulls white supremacist novel The Turner Diaries alongside QAnon purge". http://www.theverge.com. The Verge. Retrieved November 24, 2021.
42. "NOT A BOOK by NOT A BOOK". http://www.goodreads.com.
43. Canada Border Services Agency (June 29, 2012). "Canada Border Services Agency's Policy on the Classification of Obscene Material: Memorandum D9-1-1". http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca. Government of Canada. Retrieved November 24, 2021.
44. Ryerson University (August 9, 2019). "Canada Border Services Agency Quarterly Lists of Prohibited Publications". cfe.ryerson.ca. Centre For Free Expression. Retrieved November 24, 2021.

Bibliography

• Barkun, Michael (2014). Religion and the Racist Right: The Origins of the Christian Identity Movement. University of Northern Carolina Press. ISBN 978-1-4696-1111-2.
• Berger, J.M. (2016). "The Turner Legacy: The Storied Origins and Enduring Impact of White Nationalism's Deadly Bible". Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism Studies. 7 (8). doi:10.19165/2016.1.11.
• Cullick, Jonathan S. (2002). "The Literary Offenses of a Neo-Nazi: Narrative Voice in "The Turner Diaries"". Studies in Popular Culture. 24 (3): 87–99. ISSN 0888-5753.
• Goehring, Charles; Dionisopoulos, George N. (2013). "Identification by Antithesis: The Turner Diaries as Constitutive Rhetoric". Southern Communication Journal. 78 (5): 369–386. doi:10.1080/1041794X.2013.823456. ISSN 1041-794X. S2CID 147644930.
• Whitsel, Brad (1998). "The Turner Diaries and Cosmotheism: William Pierce's Theology". Nova Religio. 1 (2): 183–197. doi:10.1525/nr.1998.1.2.183. ISSN 1092-6690.

External links

• "The Turner Legacy" (PDF, 50 pages), International Centre for Counter-Terrorism, The Hague, Netherlands
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Re: Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certificat

Postby admin » Sat Jan 22, 2022 11:37 am

Elie Mystal: Justice Thomas Is Lone Dissenter On Issues That May Implicate His Wife In Jan. 6
by Joy Reid
The ReidOut
Jan 21, 2022



With the Supreme Court's approval rating at a new low, Justice Clarence Thomas last fall defended the court against the growing criticism that it has become too politicized. Meanwhile, Thomas is married to someone who is extremely politically active on the far right--Virginia ‘Ginni’ Thomas, an American attorney and conservative activist. Legal expert Elie Mystal joins Joy Reid with his analysis.

****************************

Is Ginni Thomas a Threat to the Supreme Court?: Behind closed doors, Justice Clarence Thomas’s wife is working with many groups directly involved in controversial cases before the Court.
by Jane Mayer
The New Yorker
January 21, 2022

In December, Chief Justice John Roberts released his year-end report on the federal judiciary. According to a recent Gallup poll, the Supreme Court has its lowest public-approval rating in history—in part because it is viewed as being overly politicized. President Joe Biden recently established a bipartisan commission to consider reforms to the Court, and members of Congress have introduced legislation that would require Justices to adhere to the same types of ethics standards as other judges. Roberts’s report, however, defiantly warned everyone to back off. “The Judiciary’s power to manage its internal affairs insulates courts from inappropriate political influence,” he wrote. His statement followed a series of defensive speeches from members of the Court’s conservative wing, which now holds a super-majority of 6–3. Last fall, Justice Clarence Thomas, in an address at Notre Dame, accused the media of spreading the false notion that the Justices are merely politicians in robes. Such criticism, he said, “makes it sound as though you are just always going right to your personal preference,” adding, “They think you become like a politician!”

The claim that the Justices’ opinions are politically neutral is becoming increasingly hard to accept, especially from Thomas, whose wife, Virginia (Ginni) Thomas, is a vocal right-wing activist. She has declared that America is in existential danger because of the “deep state” and the “fascist left,” which includes “transsexual fascists.” Thomas, a lawyer who runs a small political-lobbying firm, Liberty Consulting, has become a prominent member of various hard-line groups. Her political activism has caused controversy for years. For the most part, it has been dismissed as the harmless action of an independent spouse. But now the Court appears likely to secure victories for her allies in a number of highly polarizing cases—on abortion, affirmative action, and gun rights.

Many Americans first became aware of Ginni Thomas’s activism on January 6, 2021. That morning, before the Stop the Steal rally in Washington, D.C., turned into an assault on the Capitol resulting in the deaths of at least five people, she cheered on the supporters of President Donald Trump who had gathered to overturn Biden’s election. In a Facebook post that went viral, she linked to a news item about the protest, writing, “love maga people!!!!” Shortly afterward, she posted about Ronald Reagan’s famous “A Time for Choosing” speech. Her next status update said, “god bless each of you standing up or praying.” Two days after the insurrection, she added a disclaimer to her feed, noting that she’d written the posts “before violence in US Capitol.” (The posts are no longer public.)

Later that January, the Washington Post revealed that she had also been agitating about Trump’s loss on a private Listserv, Thomas Clerk World, which includes former law clerks of Justice Thomas’s. The online discussion had been contentious. John Eastman, a former Thomas clerk and a key instigator of the lie that Trump actually won in 2020, was on the same side as Ginni Thomas, and he drew rebukes. According to the Post, Thomas eventually apologized to the group for causing internal rancor. Artemus Ward, a political scientist at Northern Illinois University and a co-author of “Sorcerers’ Apprentices,” a history of Supreme Court clerks, believes that the incident confirmed her outsized role. “Virginia Thomas has direct access to Thomas’s clerks,” Ward said. Clarence Thomas is now the Court’s senior member, having served for thirty years, and Ward estimates that there are “something like a hundred and twenty people on that Listserv.” In Ward’s view, they comprise “an élite right-wing commando movement.” Justice Thomas, he says, doesn’t post on the Listserv, but his wife “is advocating for things directly.” Ward added, “It’s unprecedented. I have never seen a Justice’s wife as involved.”


Clarence and Ginni Thomas declined to be interviewed for this article. In recent years, Justice Thomas, long one of the Court’s most reticent members, has been speaking up more in oral arguments. His wife, meanwhile, has become less publicly visible, but she has remained busy, aligning herself with many activists who have brought issues in front of the Court. She has been one of the directors of C.N.P. Action, a dark-money wing of the conservative pressure group the Council for National Policy. C.N.P. Action, behind closed doors, connects wealthy donors with some of the most radical right-wing figures in America. Ginni Thomas has also been on the advisory board of Turning Point USA, a pro-Trump student group, whose founder, Charlie Kirk, boasted of sending busloads of protesters to Washington on January 6th.

Stephen Gillers, a law professor at N.Y.U. and a prominent judicial ethicist, told me, “I think Ginni Thomas is behaving horribly, and she’s hurt the Supreme Court and the administration of justice. It’s reprehensible. If you could take a secret poll of the other eight Justices, I have no doubt that they are appalled by Virginia Thomas’s behavior. But what can they do?” Gillers thinks that the Supreme Court should be bound by a code of conduct, just as all lower-court judges in the federal system are. That code requires a judge to recuse himself from hearing any case in which personal entanglements could lead a fair-minded member of the public to question his impartiality. Gillers stressed that “it’s an appearance test,” adding, “It doesn’t require an actual conflict. The reason we use an appearance test is because we say the appearance of justice is as important as the fact of justice itself.”

The Constitution offers only one remedy for misconduct on the Supreme Court: impeachment. This was attempted once, in 1804, but it resulted in an acquittal, underscoring the independence of the judicial branch. Since then, only one Justice, Abe Fortas, has been forced to step down; he resigned in 1969, after members of Congress threatened to impeach him over alleged financial conflicts of interest. Another Justice, William O. Douglas, an environmental activist, pushed the limits of propriety by serving on the board of the Sierra Club. In 1962, he resigned from the board, acknowledging that there was a chance the group would engage in litigation that could reach the Court. The historian Douglas Brinkley, who is writing a book about the environmental movement, told me, “I think Bobby and Jack Kennedy told Douglas to cool his jets.”

In recent years, Democrats have been trying to impose stronger ethics standards on the Justices—a response, in part, to what Justice Sonia Sotomayor has described as the “stench” of partisanship on the Court. In 2016, Republicans in Congress, in an unprecedented act, refused to let President Barack Obama fill a vacancy on the Court. Trump subsequently pushed through the appointment of three hard-line conservative Justices. Last summer, Democrats in Congress introduced a bill that would require the Judicial Conference of the United States to create a binding code of conduct for members of the Supreme Court. They also proposed legislation that would require more disclosures about the financial backers behind amicus briefs—arguments submitted by “friends of the court” who are supporting one side in a case.

So far, these proposals haven’t gone anywhere, but Gillers notes that there are extant laws circumscribing the ethical behavior of all federal judges, including the Justices. Arguably, Clarence Thomas has edged unusually close to testing them. All judges, even those on the Court, are required to recuse themselves from any case in which their spouse is “a party to the proceeding” or is “an officer, director, or trustee” of an organization that is a party to a case. Ginni Thomas has not been a named party in any case on the Court’s docket; nor is she litigating in any such case. But she has held leadership positions at conservative pressure groups that have either been involved in cases before the Court or have had members engaged in such cases. In 2019, she announced a political project called Crowdsourcers, and said that one of her four partners would be the founder of Project Veritas, James O’Keefe. Project Veritas tries to embarrass progressives by making secret videos of them, and last year petitioned the Court to enjoin Massachusetts from enforcing a state law that bans the surreptitious taping of public officials. Another partner in Crowdsourcers, Ginni Thomas said in her announcement, was Cleta Mitchell, the chairman of the Public Interest Legal Foundation, a conservative election-law nonprofit. It, too, has had business before the Court, filing amicus briefs in cases centering on the democratic process. Thomas also currently serves on the advisory board of the National Association of Scholars, a group promoting conservative values in academia, which has filed an amicus brief before the Court in a potentially groundbreaking affirmative-action lawsuit against Harvard. And, though nobody knew it at the time, Ginni Thomas was an undisclosed paid consultant at the conservative pressure group the Center for Security Policy, when its founder, Frank Gaffney, submitted an amicus brief to the Court supporting Trump’s Muslim travel ban.

Bruce Green, a professor at Fordham specializing in legal ethics, notes, “In the twenty-first century, there’s a feeling that spouses are not joined at the hip.” He concedes, though, that “the appearance” created by Ginni Thomas’s political pursuits “is awful—they look like a mom-and-pop political-hack group, where she does the political stuff and he does the judging.” It’s hard to imagine, he told me, that the couple doesn’t discuss Court cases: “She’s got the ear of a Justice, and surely they talk about their work.” But, from the technical standpoint of judicial ethics, “she’s slightly removed from all these cases—she’s not actually the legal director.” Green feels that the conflict of interest is “close, but not close enough” to require that Thomas recuse himself.

David Luban, a professor of law and philosophy at Georgetown, who specializes in legal ethics, is more concerned. He told me, “If Ginni Thomas is intimately involved—financially or ideologically tied to the litigant—that strikes me as slicing the baloney a little thin.”

When Clarence Thomas met Ginni Lamp, in 1986, he was an ambitious Black conservative in charge of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission—and she was even more conservative and better connected than he was. Her father ran a firm that developed housing in and around Omaha, and her parents were Party activists who had formed the backbone of Barry Goldwater’s campaign in Nebraska. The writer Kurt Andersen, who grew up across the street from the family, recalls, “Her parents were the roots of the modern, crazy Republican Party. My parents were Goldwater Republicans, but even they thought the Lamp family was nuts.” Ginni graduated from Creighton University, in Omaha, and then attended law school there. Her parents helped get her a job with a local Republican candidate for Congress, and when he won she followed him to Washington. But, after reportedly flunking the bar exam, she fell in with a cultish self-help group, Lifespring, whose members were encouraged to strip naked and mock one another’s body fat. She eventually broke away, and began working for the Chamber of Commerce, opposing “comparable worth” pay for women. She and Thomas began dating, and in 1987 they married. As a woman clashing with the women’s movement, she had found much in common with Thomas, who opposed causes supported by many Black Americans. At Thomas’s extraordinarily contentious Supreme Court confirmation hearings, in 1991, Anita Hill credibly accused him of having sexually harassed her when she was working at the E.E.O.C. Ginni Thomas later likened the experience to being stuck inside a scalding furnace. Even before then, a friend told the Washington Post, the couple was so bonded that “the one person [Clarence] really listens to is Virginia.”

Ginni Thomas had wanted to run for Congress, but once her husband was on the Supreme Court she reportedly felt professionally stuck. She moved through various jobs, including one at the Heritage Foundation, the conservative think tank. In 2010, she launched her lobbying firm, Liberty Consulting. Her Web site quotes a client saying that she is able to “give access to any door in Washington.”

Four years ago, Ginni Thomas inaugurated the Impact Awards—an annual ceremony to honor “courageous cultural warriors” battling the “radical ideologues on the left” who use “manipulation, mobs and deceit for their ends.” She presented the awards at luncheons paid for by United in Purpose, a nonprofit that mobilizes conservative evangelical voters. Many of the recipients have served on boards or committees with Ginni Thomas, and quite a few have had business in front of the Supreme Court, either filing amicus briefs or submitting petitions asking that the Justices hear cases. At the 2019 event, Ginni Thomas praised one of that year’s recipients, Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood employee who became an anti-abortion activist, for her “riveting indictment of Planned Parenthood’s propagation of lies.” That year, Thomas also gave a prize to Mark Meadows, then a hard-line Republican in Congress, describing him as the leader “in the House right now that we were waiting for.” Meadows, in accepting the award, said, “Ginni was talking about how we ‘team up,’ and we actually have teamed up. And I’m going to give you something you won’t hear anywhere else—we worked through the first five days of the impeachment hearings.”

Thomas’s decision to bestow prizes on Johnson and Meadows underscores the complicated overlaps between her work and her husband’s. In 2020, Johnson, a year after receiving an Impact Award, filed with the Court an amicus brief supporting restrictions on abortion in Louisiana. Last year, Johnson participated in the January 6th protests, and the insurrection has since become the object of much litigation, some of which will likely end up before the Court. Last month, she went on Fox News and said that “a couple of the liberal Justices”—she singled out Justice Sotomayor by name—had been “idiotic” during oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Mississippi abortion case now under consideration by the Supreme Court. (Johnson didn’t respond to requests for comment.)

Soon after Ginni Thomas gave Mark Meadows an Impact Award, he became Trump’s chief of staff. This past December, he refused to comply with a subpoena from the House select committee that is investigating the Capitol attack. Cleta Mitchell, who advised Trump on how to contest Biden’s electoral victory, received an Impact Award in 2018. She has moved to block a committee subpoena of her phone records. The House of Representatives recently voted to send the Justice Department a referral recommending that it charge Meadows with criminal contempt of Congress. The same thing may well happen to Mitchell. It seems increasingly likely that some of Ginni Thomas’s Impact Award recipients will end up as parties before the Supreme Court.

The Justice Department has so far charged more than seven hundred people in connection with the insurrection, and Attorney General Merrick Garland has said that the federal government will prosecute people “at any level” who may have instigated the riots—perhaps even Trump. On January 19th, the Supreme Court rejected the former President’s request that it intervene to stop the congressional committee from accessing his records. Justice Thomas was the lone Justice to dissent. (Meadows had filed an amicus brief in support of Trump.) Ginni Thomas, meanwhile, has denounced the very legitimacy of the congressional committee. On December 15th, she and sixty-two other prominent conservatives signed an open letter to Kevin McCarthy, the House Minority Leader, demanding that the House Republican Conference excommunicate Representatives Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger for their “egregious” willingness to serve on the committee. The statement was issued by an advocacy group called the Conservative Action Project, of which Ginni Thomas has described herself as an “active” member. The group’s statement excoriated the congressional investigation as a “partisan political persecution” of “private citizens who have done nothing wrong,” and accused the committee of serving “improperly issued subpoenas.”

A current member of the Conservative Action Project told me that Ginni Thomas is part of the group not because of her qualifications but “because she’s married to Clarence.” The member asked to have his name withheld because, he said, Ginni is “volatile” and becomes “edgy” when challenged. He added, “The best word to describe her is ‘tribal.’ You’re either part of her group or you’re the enemy.”

Ginni Thomas has her own links to the January 6th insurrection. Her Web site, which touts her consulting acumen, features a glowing testimonial from Kimberly Fletcher, the president of a group called Moms for America: “Ginni’s ability to make connections and communicate with folks on the ground as well as on Capitol Hill is most impressive.” Fletcher spoke at two protests in Washington on January 5, 2021, promoting the falsehood that the 2020 election was fraudulent. At the first, which she planned, Fletcher praised the previous speaker, Representative Mary Miller, a freshman Republican from Illinois, saying, “Amen!” Other people who heard Miller’s speech called for her resignation: she’d declared, “Hitler was right on one thing—he said, ‘Whoever has the youth has the future.’ ” At the second protest, not far from the Trump International Hotel, Fletcher declared that, when her children and grandchildren one day asked her, “Where were you when the Republic was on the verge of collapse?,” she would answer, “I was right here, fighting to my last breath to save it!”

Vivian Brown, who returned a call to Moms for America, said that she would not discuss Fletcher’s testimonial for Ginni Thomas or clarify whether Fletcher had been Thomas’s business client. But the record suggests that the two have been political associates for more than a decade. A program from Liberty xpo & Symposium, a 2010 convention that has been described as the “largest conservative training event in history,” indicates that Fletcher and Thomas co-hosted a Remember the Ladies Banquet. A list of other speakers at the symposium includes Stewart Rhodes, the founder of the Oath Keepers, an extremist militia group. Rhodes was arrested earlier this month and charged, along with ten associates, with seditious conspiracy for allegedly plotting to halt the congressional certification of Biden’s electoral win by storming the Capitol.
(Rhodes has pleaded not guilty.)

Another organizer of the January 6th uprising who has been subpoenaed by the congressional committee, Ali Alexander, also has long-standing ties to Ginni Thomas. Like Fletcher, Alexander spoke at a rally in Washington the night before the riot, leading a chant of “Victory or death!” A decade ago, Alexander was a participant in Groundswell, a secretive, invitation-only network that, among other things, coördinated with hard-right congressional aides, journalists, and pressure groups to launch attacks against Obama and against less conservative Republicans. As recently as 2019, Ginni Thomas described herself as the chairman of Groundswell, which, according to documents first published by Mother Jones, sees itself as waging “a 30 front war seeking to fundamentally transform the nation.” As Karoli Kuns, of the media watchdog Crooks and Liars, has noted, several Groundswell members—including Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka, the fringe foreign-policy analyst—went on to form the far-right flank of the Trump Administration. (Both Bannon and Gorka were eventually pushed out.) According to Ginni Thomas’s biography in the Council for National Policy’s membership book, she remains active in Groundswell. A former participant told me that Thomas chairs weekly meetings.

Norman Eisen, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who, between 2009 and 2011, served as the special counsel and special assistant to the President for ethics and government reform, told me that “it is hard to understand how Justice Thomas can be impartial when hearing cases related to the upheaval on January 6th, in light of his wife’s documented affiliation with January 6th instigators and Stop the Steal organizers.” He argues that “Justice Thomas should recuse himself, given his wife’s interests in the outcome of these cases.”


Gillers, of N.Y.U., and other legal scholars say that there is little chance of such a recusal. Justice Thomas has recused himself at least once before, from a 1996 case involving a military academy that his son was attending. But, as Eisen observed, though Ginni Thomas’s activism has attracted criticism for years, Clarence Thomas has never acknowledged it as a conflict of interest.

Recusals on the Supreme Court are extremely rare, in part because substitutes are not permitted, as they are for judges on lower courts. Yet several other Justices have stepped aside from cases to avoid even the appearance of misconduct. Justice Stephen Breyer recuses himself from any case that has been heard by his brother, Charles Breyer, a federal judge in the Northern District of California. “It’s about the appearance of impropriety,” Charles Breyer told me. “Laypeople would think you would favor your brother over the merits of the case. It’s [done] to make people believe that the Supreme Court is not influenced by relationships.” Justice Breyer also recused himself from a case involving the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, because his wife had previously worked there.

Charles Breyer told me that, although Justices sometimes “might have a right not to recuse, that doesn’t change the question, which is: How does that affect the appearance of impropriety?” When I asked him whether the Justices confront one another about potential conflicts of interest, he said, “My guess is that they don’t discuss it. They leave it entirely up to the independent judgment. They wouldn’t dare suggest recusal—it’s part of the way they get along with one another.”

In 2021, Justice Brett Kavanaugh recused himself, without explanation, from a case apparently related to a family member. According to Gabe Roth, the executive director of Fix the Court, a nonprofit advocating for reforms to the federal judiciary, an amicus brief had been filed by a cosmetics trade association that Kavanaugh’s father used to run.

The spouses of other Justices have taken steps to avoid creating conflicts of interest in the first place. When Ruth Bader Ginsburg joined the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, her husband, Martin Ginsburg—then one of the country’s most successful tax lawyers—left his law firm and turned to teaching. After John Roberts was nominated to be a Justice, his wife, Jane Sullivan Roberts, retired from practicing law and resigned from a leadership role in Feminists for Life, an anti-abortion group.

In 2004, Justice Antonin Scalia famously defended his decision to continue presiding over a case that involved former Vice-President Dick Cheney after it was revealed that the two men had gone duck hunting together while the case was in the Court’s docket. Scalia argued, in essence, that Washington is a small town where important people tend to socialize. But in 2003 Scalia recused himself in a case addressing whether the mention of God in the Pledge of Allegiance violated the Constitution’s separation of church and state—because, several months before oral arguments began, he’d given a speech belittling the litigant’s arguments.

Ginni Thomas has complained that she and her husband have received more criticism than have two well-known liberal jurists with politically active spouses: Marjorie O. Rendell continued to serve on the appeals court in Pennsylvania while her husband at the time, Ed Rendell, served as the state’s governor; Stephen Reinhardt, an appeals-court judge in California, declined to recuse himself from cases in which the American Civil Liberties Union was involved, even though his wife, Ramona Ripston, led a branch of the group in Southern California.

Ethics standards may be changing, however. Cornelia T. L. Pillard, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, currently handles a spousal conflict of interest more rigorously. She is married to David Cole, the national legal director for the A.C.L.U., and recuses herself from any case in which the A.C.L.U. has been involved, whether at a national or local level—and regardless of whether her husband worked on the case.

Roth, of Fix the Court, told me that there is an evident need “for a clearer and more exacting recusal standard at the Supreme Court—especially now, as it’s constantly being thrust into partisan battles, and as the public’s faith in its impartiality is waning.”

Traditionally, judges have not been particularly fastidious about potential conflicts of interest connected to amicus briefs. But that standard may be changing, too. As the number of partisan political issues facing the judicial branch has grown, so has the number of these briefs. Many of them are being filed by opaquely funded dark-money groups, whose true financial sponsors are concealed, thus enabling invisible thumbs to press on the scales of justice. Paul Collins, a political scientist at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, who has studied the use of amicus briefs, told me, “There’s been an almost linear increase in the number of them since the World War Two era. Now it’s the rare case that doesn’t have one.” The reason, he said, is that, “more and more, the courts are seen as a venue for social change.” He explained that political groups, many with secret donors, are “using the courts the way they used to use Congress—basically, amicus briefs are a means of lobbying.”

The problem has become so widespread that in 2018 the rules for appellate-court judges were amended to make it possible for judges to strike any amicus brief that might force them to recuse themselves. There has been no such reckoning at the Supreme Court—not even when close political associates of Ginni Thomas’s have filed amicus briefs. One such associate is Frank Gaffney, a defense hawk best known for having made feverish claims suggesting that Obama is a Muslim and that Saddam Hussein’s regime was involved in the Oklahoma City bombings. Leaked documents show that Gaffney was a colleague of Ginni Thomas’s at Groundswell as far back as 2013. Gaffney was a proponent of Trump’s reactionary immigration policies, including, most vociferously, of the Administration’s Muslim travel ban. As these restrictions were hit by lawsuits, Gaffney’s nonprofit, the Center for Security Policy, signed the first of two big contracts with Liberty Consulting. According to documents that Gaffney’s group filed with the I.R.S., in 2017 and 2018 it paid Ginni Thomas a total of more than two hundred thousand dollars.

It’s not entirely clear where Gaffney’s nonprofit got the funds to hire Liberty Consulting. (Gaffney didn’t respond to interview requests.) But, according to David Armiak—the research director at the Center for Media and Democracy, which tracks nonprofit political spending—one of the biggest donors to Gaffney’s group in 2017 was a pro-Trump political organization, Making America Great, whose chairman, the heiress Rebekah Mercer, was among Trump’s biggest backers. While two hundred thousand dollars was being passed from Trump backers to Gaffney to Ginni Thomas, the Supreme Court agreed to hear legal challenges to Trump’s travel restrictions. In August, 2017, Gaffney and six other advocates submitted an amicus brief to the Court in support of the restrictions, arguing that “the challenge of Islam must be confronted.”

That December, as the case was still playing out, Ginni Thomas bestowed one of her Impact Awards on Gaffney, introducing him “as an encourager to me and a great friend” but giving no hint that his group was paying her firm. The Impact ceremony was held at the Trump International Hotel, and, according to another guest, Jerry Johnson, Justice Thomas was in attendance. Johnson later recalled that the Justice sat in front of him and was a “happy warrior,” pleased to be watching his wife “running the meeting.” Throughout the 2017 and 2018 sessions, as various challenges to the travel restrictions were considered by the Court, Justice Thomas consistently took a hard pro-Trump line. Finally, in June, 2018, Thomas and four other Justices narrowly upheld the final version of the restrictions.

It’s impossible to know whether Thomas was influenced by his wife’s lucrative contract with Gaffney, by Gaffney’s amicus brief, or by her celebration of Gaffney at the awards ceremony. Given the Justice’s voting history, it’s reasonable to surmise that he would have supported the travel restrictions no matter what. Nevertheless, the lawyers on the losing side of the case surely would have wanted to know about Ginni Thomas’s financial contract with Gaffney. Judges, in their annual financial disclosures, are required to report the source of their spouses’ incomes. But Justice Thomas, in his disclosures in 2017 and 2018, failed to mention the payments from Gaffney’s group. Instead, he put down a curiously low book value for his wife’s lobbying firm, claiming in both years that her company was worth only between fifteen and fifty thousand dollars.

Roth, of Fix the Court, told me that, at the very least, Justice Thomas should be asked to amend his financial statements from those years—as he did in 2011, after it became public that he hadn’t disclosed the six hundred and eighty-six thousand dollars that his wife had earned at the Heritage Foundation between 2003 and 2007.
Beyond that, Roth said, “the Justices should, as a rule, disqualify themselves from cases in which a family member or the family member’s employer has filed an amicus brief.” In Congress, the Democratic senator Sheldon Whitehouse, of Rhode Island, is pushing for reform. Amicus briefs, he told me, are “a form of lobbying that has two terrible aspects—the interests behind them are hidden, and they are astonishingly effective in terms of the win rate.” He added, “They open up real avenues for secret mischief.”

In January, 2019, Ginni Thomas secured for Gaffney the access that her Web site promises. As Maggie Haberman, of the Times, and Jonathan Swan, of Axios, have reported, not long after Clarence and Ginni Thomas had a private dinner at the White House with Donald and Melania Trump, the President’s staff gave in to a months-long campaign by Ginni to bring her, Gaffney, and several other associates to the White House to press the President on policy and personnel issues. The White House was not informed that Gaffney’s group had been paying Liberty Consulting for the previous two years. (Gaffney’s group did not report signing a contract with Liberty Consulting for 2019.)

The White House meeting was held in the Roosevelt Room, and by all accounts it was uncomfortable. Thomas opened by saying that she didn’t trust everyone in the room, then pressed Trump to purge his Administration of disloyal members of the “deep state,” handing him an enemies list that she and Groundswell had compiled. Some of the participants prayed, warning that gay marriage, which the Supreme Court legalized in 2015, was undermining morals in America.

One participant told me he’d heard that Trump had wanted to humor Ginni Thomas because he was hoping to talk her husband into retiring, thus opening up another Court seat. Trump, given his manifold legal problems, also saw Justice Thomas as a potentially important ally—and genuinely liked him. But the participant told me that the President considered Ginni Thomas “a wacko,” adding, “She never would have been there if not for Clarence. She had access because her last name was Thomas.”

Ginni Thomas rarely speaks to mainstream reporters, but she often gives speeches in private forums. The Web site of the watchdog Documented has posted a video of her speaking with striking candor. In October, 2018, she led a panel discussion during a confidential session of the Council for National Policy. At the time, the Senate was caught up in the fight over the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh, who had been accused of sexual assault. “I’m feeling the pain—Clarence is feeling the pain—of going through false charges against a good man,” she said. “I thought it couldn’t get worse than Clarence’s, but it did.” America, she said, “is in a vicious battle for its founding principles,” adding, “The deep state is serious, and it’s resisting President Trump.” She declared twice that her adversaries were trying “to kill people,” and drew applause by saying, “May we all have guns and concealed carry to handle what’s coming!”

This warlike mentality is shared by Groundswell, the political group that Thomas has chaired. In a 2020 session of the Council for National Policy, Rachel Bovard, the senior director of policy at the Conservative Partnership Institute, described meeting weekly with Groundswell members to “vet” officials for disloyalty, saying, “Ginni has been very instrumental in working with the White House. . . . She really is the tip of the spear in these efforts.” Bovard lamented Groundswell’s failure to weed out the whistle-blower Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman before he gave testimony at Trump’s first impeachment trial. “We see what happens when we don’t vet these people,” Bovard said. “That’s how we got Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, O.K.?” Vindman, then the director for European affairs on Trump’s National Security Council, testified that the President had tried to pressure Ukraine’s leaders into producing dirt on Joe Biden’s family. In retaliation, a smear campaign was mounted against Vindman. He suddenly found himself fending off false claims that he had created a hostile work environment at the N.S.C., and fighting insinuations that, because he was born in Ukraine and had been invited to serve in its government, he had “dual loyalty.” (Vindman had self-reported Ukraine’s offer, which he had rejected.) The Defense Department conducted an internal investigation of the accusations and exonerated him. But, Vindman told me, the attacks “harmed my career.” He went on, “It’s un-American, frankly, that a sitting Justice of the Supreme Court, who is supposed to be apolitical, would have a wife who is part of a political vendetta to retaliate against officials who were dutifully serving the public interest. It’s chilling, and probably has already had an effect on silencing other whistle-blowers.”

Another target of Groundswell members was Trump’s former national-security adviser H. R. McMaster, who was deemed insufficiently supportive of the President. According to the Times, in 2018 Barbara Ledeen, a Republican Senate aide who had reportedly developed Groundswell’s enemies list with Ginni Thomas, participated in a plot to oust McMaster by secretly taping him bad-mouthing Trump. Ledeen, who is a close friend of Ginni Thomas’s, told the Times that she’d merely acted as a messenger in the scheme. The plan was to send an undercover female operative to snare McMaster at a fancy restaurant. But McMaster quit before the sting was executed. The Times also reported that another undercover operation—which targeted government employees, including F.B.I. agents, suspected of trying to thwart Trump’s agenda—involved operatives from Project Veritas, the undercover-video group led by James O’Keefe. Ginni Thomas has given O’Keefe an Impact Award, too.


It’s unclear whether the Crowdsourcers project that Thomas said she was launching with O’Keefe’s help ever got off the ground. There’s little public trace of Crowdsourcers, other than a tax filing from 2019, showing that it was developed under the oversight of the Capital Research Center, a right-wing nonprofit that does opposition research. Project Veritas’s chief legal officer sent The New Yorker a statement saying that O’Keefe’s “schedule does not permit such extracurricular activities” as Crowdsourcers. But, in a PowerPoint presentation on the effort, in 2019, Thomas said that “James O’Keefe wanted to head up” a part of the group aimed at “protecting our heroes.” The purpose of Crowdsourcers, she said, was nothing less than saving America. “Our house is on fire!” she went on. “And we are stomping ants in the driveway. We’re not really focussed on the arsonists who are right around us!”

Last year, Project Veritas asked the Supreme Court to hear its challenge to the Massachusetts ban on surreptitiously taping public officials. The Court turned down Project Veritas’s petition, as it does with most such requests. Nevertheless, David Dinielli, a visiting clinical lecturer at Yale Law School, told me that Ginni Thomas’s proclaimed political partnership with O’Keefe, and her awarding of a prize to him, appeared to be unethical. “That’s what the code of conduct is supposed to control,” he said.

Ginni Thomas has held so many leadership or advisory positions at conservative pressure groups that it’s hard to keep track of them. And many, if not all, of these groups have been involved in cases that have come before her husband. Her Web site lists the National Association of Scholars—the group that has filed an amicus brief in the lawsuit against Harvard—among her “endorsed charities.” The group’s brief claims that the affirmative-action policies used by the Harvard admissions department are discriminatory. Though the plaintiffs have already lost in two lower courts, they are counting on the Supreme Court’s new conservative super-majority to side with them, even though doing so would reverse decades of precedent. Peter Wood, the president of the N.A.S., is another Impact Award recipient. So, too, is Robert George, a legal scholar at Princeton who, according to the N.A.S.’s Web site, serves with Ginni Thomas on its advisory board. (He says that he has “not been active” on the board.) He received a “Lifetime” Impact Award from Ginni Thomas in 2019, and recently filed an amicus brief before the Supreme Court, in support of Mississippi’s ban on nearly all abortions after fifteen weeks of pregnancy.

In April, 2020, when Ginni Thomas was serving as one of eight members on the C.N.P. Action board, it was chaired by Kelly Shackelford, the president and C.E.O. of First Liberty, a faith-based litigation group that is currently involved in several major cases before the Court. Last week, to the surprise of many observers, the Court agreed to hear a case in which First Liberty is defending a football coach at a public high school in Washington State who was fired for kneeling and praying on the fifty-yard line immediately after games. Richard Katskee, the legal director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, who is defending the school board, told me that the case was “huge,” and could overturn fifty years of settled law. Shackelford’s group is also the co-initiator of another case before the Court: a challenge to a Maine law prohibiting the state from using public funds to pay parochial-school tuition for students living in areas far from public schools. In addition to these cases, First Liberty has filed lawsuits that challenge covid-19 restrictions on religious grounds—an issue that has come before the Court—and Ginni Thomas and Shackelford have served together on the steering committee of the Save Our Country Coalition, which has called covid-19 health mandates “unconstitutional power grabs.” In a phone interview, Shackelford told me that he couldn’t see why Ginni Thomas’s work with him posed a conflict of interest for Justice Thomas. “It’s no big deal, if you look at the law on this,” he said. It would be different, he argued, if there were a financial interest involved, or if she were arguing First Liberty’s cases before the Court herself—but, he said, “almost everyone in America is connected through six degrees of separation.”

Another of Ginni Thomas’s fellow-directors on the C.N.P. Action board in 2020 was J. Kenneth Blackwell, a former Ohio secretary of state who is tied to one of the most consequential gun cases currently under consideration by the Supreme Court. In 2020, he was on the National Rifle Association’s board of directors, and at the time the gun group’s official affiliate in New York was challenging the state’s restrictions on carrying firearms in public spaces. Earlier this term, the Court heard a related challenge, and a decision is expected later this year. (Blackwell didn’t respond to an interview request.) Meanwhile, the Web site friendsofnra.org currently boasts that a winner of its youth competition had the opportunity to meet with “the wife of current Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.”

For lawyers involved in cases before the Supreme Court, it can be deeply disturbing to know that Ginni Thomas is an additional opponent. In 2019, David Dinielli, the visiting lecturer at Yale Law School, was a deputy legal director of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which had submitted an amicus brief in a gay-rights case before the Court. He told me he was acutely aware that Ginni Thomas and other members of the Council for National Policy loathed the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks right-wing hate groups. In 2017, C.N.P. Action directed its members to “commit to issuing one new post on Facebook and Twitter each week about the Southern Poverty Law Center to discredit them.” In Thomas’s leaked 2018 speech to the Council for National Policy, she denounced the S.P.L.C. for calling the Family Research Council—which is militantly opposed to L.G.B.T.Q. rights—a hate group.

For Dinielli, the idea that a Justice’s spouse belonged to a group that had urged its members to repeatedly attack his organization was “counter to everything you’d expect if you want to get a fair shake” before the Court. He explained, “These activities aren’t just political. They’re aimed at raising up or denigrating actors specifically in front of the Supreme Court. She’s one step away from holding up a sign in front of her husband saying ‘This person is a pedophile.’ ”

Dinielli went on, “The Justices sit literally above where the lawyers are. For these people to do the job they were tasked with, they have to maintain that level. But this degrades it, mocks it, and threatens it.” He warned, “Since the Court doesn’t have an army, it relies on how it behaves to command respect. Once the veneer cracks, it’s very hard to get it back.”

Published in the print edition of the January 31, 2022, issue, with the headline “Ginni Thomas’s Crusades.”
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Re: Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certificat

Postby admin » Sun Jan 23, 2022 11:28 am

Donald Trump’s rationale for seizing voting machines was worse than you might have assumed
by Philip Bump
National correspondent
The Washington Post
January 21, 2022 at 2:49 p.m. EST

The main predicate President Donald Trump cited as his rationale for having federal officials seize every voting machine in the nation as part of his doomed effort to prove that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him was that Sheryl Guy had forgotten to update something on her computer.

Not directly, of course. In a draft executive order obtained by Politico, her mistake is framed as part of a sweeping international conspiracy to hijack the election to Trump’s detriment. Dated Dec. 16, 2020, here’s how it articulates the mistake in Michigan’s Antrim County, where Guy served as county clerk.

“I, Donald J. Trump, President of the United States, find that the forensic report of the Antrim County, Michigan voting machines, released December 13, 2020, and other evidence submitted to me in support of this order, provide probable cause sufficient to require action under the authorities cited above because of evidence of international and foreign interference in the November 3, 2020, election.”


The document goes on to order that voting machines be collected and that an assessment of the devices be completed by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence — at the time, John Ratcliffe, a fervent Trump ally whose credentials for the gig were not robust. (Ratcliffe had already helped amplify another conspiracy theory, that Hillary Clinton had originated the Russia probe.) Ratcliffe’s office was given 60 days to issue its report — a period that would extend well past the Jan. 20 date when Trump would be out of office. Should he still be planning on leaving.

But, again, it’s worth picking out that specific assertion about Antrim County, about what — we later learned — Sheryl Guy had accidentally done.

On the morning of Nov. 4, 2020 — that is, the morning after the election — it was obvious that something was goofy with the results of the presidential contest in Antrim County. Trump had won the county by nearly 2 to 1 in 2016, 4,000 votes in total. Yet, this time, it appeared that Trump had lost to Joe Biden by about 3,000.

Time’s Mark Bowden and Matthew Teague told the story of what happened next in a report published last month. Guy was in the McDonald’s drive-through when someone texted her to point out that the results were hard to believe. She hustled back to the office and worked with her team to recheck the figures, quickly discovering that Trump had, in fact, won.

So what had happened? Well, at the last minute, she had needed to add a candidate to the ballots. That’s where the mistake occurred.

“When she added that last-minute candidate for village trustee to the ballots,” Bowden and Teague write, “she should have updated the counting machines with the new parameters. But she hadn’t. So when the numbers started rolling in, they dropped into the wrong columns. A little over two thousand Trump votes had been shifted to Biden’s column. Her error.”

In their rush to fix their mistake, her office had inadvertently made another one, double counting some votes. The result was that a final tally wasn’t confirmed until Nov. 6, three days after the election. Not that it really mattered. The Associated Press had called Michigan for Biden two days prior, given that he won by more than 300,000 votes. Even if Antrim County had needed to pull all of its votes away from Biden, he still would have won easily. It was a mistake that was caught, explained and fixed in short order, one that didn’t affect the final results.

The Michigan secretary of state released a public statement explaining what had occurred. But it was too late.

A right-wing media ecosystem primed by Trump to look for evidence of “fraud” decided that fraud was precisely what had happened in Antrim County. Despite the fact that the results didn’t effect the state outcome. Despite the fact that the error was explained. Despite the fact that it was a Republican county that Trump had won. Antrim County became a shorthand for “fraud committed via electronic voting machines.”

That’s in part because of the “forensic report” mentioned in Trump’s executive order. It was published by an ad hoc organization called Allied Security Operations Group, tied closely to an activist named Russell J. Ramsland. Even by the beginning of December, Ramsland had not covered himself with glory, at one point that November mistaking data on voting in Minnesota with information from Michigan. But he was undeterred. Last May, The Washington Post documented Ramsland’s sweeping efforts to dig up evidence of fraud, including his group’s ultimately successful legal effort to obtain the voting machines used in Antrim County.

Over 23 pages, the report scraped together every nefarious-sounding allegation it could. It alleged, for example, that, while federal standards meant that only 1 in 250,000 ballots could return errors — articulated incorrectly as 0.0008 percent in the report — the figure in Antrim County was 68.05 percent. (Adding the hundredths place proves how precise the analysis was, obviously.) It also rejected Guy’s explanation of human error with a wave of the hand: Actually, it asserted, the problem was the voting machines.

The state responded to these allegations quickly. A joint statement from the Michigan attorney general and secretary of state asserted that the report “demonstrates lack of credible evidence of widespread fraud or wrongdoing.” The “qualifications of those who authored the report are suspect, with no evidence or credentials provided to back up their ‘expertise,’ ” the statement reads. It points to an affidavit submitted by Michigan Bureau of Elections Director Jonathan Brater, who stated that “the report makes a series of unsupported conclusions, ascribes motives of fraud and obfuscation to processes that are easily explained as routine election procedures or error corrections, and suggests without explanation that elements of election software not used in Michigan are somehow responsible for tabulation or reporting.”

This was public two days prior to Dec. 16, the date on the draft executive order. As were various fact checks of Trump’s efforts to elevate ASOG’s claims. The Detroit Free Press debunked the argument about those error percentages, which were not error percentages, on Dec. 15.

And yet there’s Antrim County, kicking off Trump’s soberly considered decision to leverage the weight of the federal government to cobble together a reason he should get to remain president. The Michigan secretary of state’s Dec. 7 news release had stated flatly that what occurred in Antrim County was “an isolated error” and that “there is no evidence this user error occurred elsewhere in the state.” But here it was at the front of Trump’s line of dominoes running from Sheryl Guy to an international criminal conspiracy.

The review of the vote in Antrim County was completed Dec. 18. It found that Antrim’s final tally was, in fact, incorrect: It undercounted Trump’s margin by 12 votes.

Last June, a legislative committee run by Michigan Republicans released a lengthy report examining the state’s election processes in 2020. It found no evidence that anything suspect had occurred. But it took special pains to address the situation in Antrim County.

“The strongest conclusion comes in regard to Antrim County,” it read. “All compelling theories that sprang forth from the rumors surrounding Antrim County are diminished so significantly as for it to be a complete waste of time to consider them further.”

A remarkable summary of an incident that nearly upended American politics.
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Re: Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certificat

Postby admin » Tue Jan 25, 2022 7:49 am

Former Trump campaign adviser acknowledges being part of 2020 'alternate electors' plot
by Sonnet Swire
CNN
Updated 8:59 PM ET, Sat January 22, 2022

(CNN) Boris Epshteyn, an adviser for former President Donald Trump's 2020 presidential campaign, acknowledged Friday that he was part of the effort to prop up so-called "alternate electors" to support Trump in key states.

"Is that something you ever worked on or would support, for example, in Michigan?" MSNBC's Ari Melber asked him Friday night.

"Yes, I was part of the process to make sure there were alternate electors for when, as we hoped, the challenges to the seated electors would be heard, and would be successful," replied Epshteyn, who is a lawyer, after insisting that the electors were indeed "alternate" and not "fraudulent electors."

Then-Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani supervised the effort, CNN reported earlier this week, according to three sources with direct knowledge of the scheme. It involved helping pro-Trump electors access state Capitol buildings, drafting language for fake electoral certificates to send to the federal government, and finding replacements for electors who refused to go along with the plot. Epshteyn was among those working with Giuliani at the post-election Willard Hotel "command center" that sought to prevent Congress from certifying Biden's election win on January 6, 2021. They were both among multiple people subpoenaed Tuesday by the House select committee investigating the January 6 attack.

Throughout the interview Friday, Epshteyn repeated false claims about election fraud.

He also said that everything he did was legal and cited the 1960 presidential election in Hawaii as a precedent for "alternate" electors. In the 1960 presidential election, Richard Nixon initially led John F. Kennedy by 141 votes in the state, a much narrower margin than any of the contested states in the 2020 election, but Nixon ended up losing the state after a legal recount. While there were multiple panels of electors, it was because the results in the state changed after the recount showed a different result.

"So, Ari, everything that was done was done
legally by the Trump legal team, according to the rules, and under the leadership of Rudy Giuliani," he added.

Trump and some of his top advisers publicly encouraged the "alternate electors" scheme in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, Arizona, Wisconsin, Nevada and New Mexico.

Last week, Michigan's attorney general asked federal prosecutors to open a criminal investigation into more than a dozen Republicans who submitted false certificates stating they were the state's presidential electors, despite Biden's win in the state.

Dana Nessel, a Democrat, said of the case on MSNBC: "Under state law, I think clearly you have forgery of a public record, which is a 14-year offense, and election law forgery, which is a five-year offense."


When asked Friday by Melber how soon he'll testify before the House committee, Epshteyn replied, "Well, Ari, as they say, we'll see what happens."
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Re: Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certificat

Postby admin » Mon Jan 31, 2022 9:06 am

Trump Pushes Protests, Promises Pardons During Texas Rally: Reveals his Fear Indictments are Near
Glenn Kirschner
Jan 30, 2022



In a campaign pledge that is stranger than fiction, former President Donald Trump tells attendees at his Texas rally that, if he's indicted, he wants his supporters to hold massive protests in New York, Georgia and anywhere else he's criminally charged. Trump also indicated that the defendants who are being prosecuted for their participation in the January 6 insurrection are being treated "unfairly" and pledging to pardon them if necessary.

This unhinged and potentially obstructionist rant is a clear tell that Trump believes he is close to being indicted.

**************************

Trump Calls On Massive Protests If Prosecutors Go After Him And Offers Pardons To Jan. 6ers
by S.V. Date
Sat, January 29, 2022, 9:11 PM·

Former President Donald Trump Saturday night called on his followers to stage massive protests in multiple cities should prosecutors act against him. He also said he would offer pardons to those charged in the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the Capitol that he incited in a last-gasp attempt to remain in power.

“If these radical, vicious, racist prosecutors do anything wrong or illegal, I hope we are going to have in this country the biggest protests we have ever had in Washington, D.C., in New York, in Atlanta and elsewhere, because our country and our elections are corrupt,” he said to a rally audience in Conroe, Texas, reading from teleprompters set up on either side of his lectern.

A few minutes later, he claimed his followers who stormed the Capitol, assaulting police as they entered, were not being treated “fairly” and that should he run for the White House again and win: “If it requires pardons, we will give them pardons.”


The 80-minute performance, while riddled with Trump’s familiar lies about having had his reelection “stolen” from him in November 2020, was notable for the numerous references to the various investigations into him.

“They’re trying to put me in jail,” he said. “These prosecutors are vicious, horrible people. They’re racists and they’re very sick. They’re mentally sick. They’re going after me without any protection of my rights by the Supreme Court or most other courts.”

New York State Attorney General Letitia James has been conducting a civil probe of his family business, while the district attorney in Manhattan has been running a criminal investigation.

Meanwhile, the district attorney in Fulton County, Georgia, has impaneled a special grand jury just to focus on Trump’s attempt to coerce state officials to “find” enough votes to overturn his loss of that state to Democrat Joe Biden in 2020.

And the House select committee investigating Jan. 6 has been subpoenaing more and more former and current Trump aides to determine his precise role in that day’s events, while the Department of Justice this past week confirmed that it is investigating at least one element of Trump’s scheme to remain in power: the submission of fake Trump “electors” in states that Biden won.

Trump White House and campaign advisers at the time openly pushed for the fraudulent slates so as to give Vice President Mike Pence the ability to cite the competing slates as reason to declare Trump the winner and award him a second term.


Pence, though, refused to go along with the plan, and instead actively sabotaged the false elector scheme by crafting new language to make sure the fake slates were excluded.

A year ago, Trump became the first U.S. president to refuse to turn over power peacefully to his successor. He spent weeks attacking the legitimacy of the November 2020 contest that he lost. Hours after polls closed and it appeared that Biden would be the winner, Trump stated that he had really won in a “landslide” and that his victory was being “stolen” from him. Those falsehoods continued with a string of failed lawsuits challenging the results in a handful of states.

After the Electoral College voted on Dec. 14, making Biden’s win official, Trump instead turned to a last-ditch scheme to pressure his own vice president into handing Trump the election during the pro forma congressional certification of the election results on Jan. 6.

Trump asked his followers to come to Washington that day and told the thousands who showed up that they should march to the Capitol to intimidate Pence into doing what Trump wanted. “When you catch somebody in a fraud, you’re allowed to go by very different rules,” Trump said.

The mob of supporters stormed the building and chanted “Hang Mike Pence” when the vice president did not do Trump’s bidding. The riot left five people dead, including a Capitol Police officer, and four other officers took their own lives in the following weeks and months.

Though the House impeached Trump for inciting the attack, all but seven Senate Republicans, led by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, chose not to convict him ― thereby letting Trump continue his political career even as he is the subject of several investigations.
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Re: Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certificat

Postby admin » Tue Feb 01, 2022 8:38 am

Will Trump's Written Confession Regarding Pence "Overturning" Election Prod DOJ into Action?
by Glenn Kirschner
Justice Matters
Jan 31, 2022



In yet another display of overt criminality, former President Donald Trump issued a written statement acknowledging that he wanted Vice President Mike Pence to "overturn" the presidential election.

This video discusses:

1. Why Trump likely made this admission
2. Why his claim that Pence had the authority to "overturn" the election's
result is unconvincing and
3. What the Department of Justice should do as a result of Trump's
admission

Here is the link to my MSNBC Daily article I discuss in the video:
https://www.msnbc.com/opinion/will-tr...

**************

Will Trump run in 2024? How the DOJ could boost his bid: If the Justice Department doesn’t prosecute Trump and he runs for re-election in 2024, we can expect him to talk about his “confirmed innocence” at every rally.
by Glenn Kirschner
MSNBC Opinion Columnist
Jan. 31, 2022, 8:14 AM MST

In the nearly 13 months since the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, hundreds of Americans — the foot soldiers of the insurrection — have been criminally indicted. However, not a single member of the insurrection’s suspected command structure, the planners and plotters, the organizers and funders, the orchestrators and inciters, has been charged. And it’s still unclear whether any ever will be. This inaction from our very own Department of Justice could enable future attacks on our democracy.

Donald Trump is famous for, and adept at, taking a loss and spinning it as a win.


Donald Trump is famous for, and adept at, taking a loss and spinning it as a win. When phone logs heavily suggested he had extorted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, he told Americans his conversation with Zelenskyy was “perfect.” When he was impeached after that perfect call, he claimed he was the victim of a politically motivated “witch hunt.” When Robert Mueller’s report was released, he crowed about his “complete and total exoneration.”

Trump said his recorded phone call urging Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” enough votes to (fraudulently) declare him the winner of the election in Georgia may have been “even more perfect” than his call with Zelenskyy.

On Saturday, Trump continued to hint that he may run again in 2024, saying at a Texas rally that if he wins, he would consider pardons for convicted Jan. 6 rioters. And given Trump’s obvious patterns and proclivities, there is little doubt how a Trump campaign would spin things in the event the Justice Department declines to indict him.

To be clear, the Justice Department is criminally investigating the insurrection, having indicted more than 700 people. Most recently, the Justice Department upped the criminal ante by indicting 11 alleged members of the Oath Keepers organization on seditious conspiracy charges. On Jan. 5, Attorney General Merrick Garland addressed the nation, saying the Justice Department would hold perpetrators accountable “at any level ... whether they were present that day or were otherwise criminally responsible for the assault on democracy.” Notably, he also referred to Watergate in what seemed to be a not-so-subtle reminder that high-level government officials were held accountable for the series of crimes that unfolded in the aftermath of the break-in at the Watergate Hotel.

But while Garland’s lofty words and vague promises provide some atmospheric reassurances, we have yet to see any accountability at that top level.

I hasten to add that criminal investigations are supposed to be conducted in secret, shielded from public view unless and until indictments are issued. But the reality is once federal prosecutors dig into a criminal investigation in earnest, particularly when they begin issuing grand jury subpoenas, it is nearly impossible to keep the investigation from seeping into the public square.

This merits a short discussion of why not all subpoenas are created equal. We have seen much reporting recently about all kinds of subpoenas: congressional subpoenas like those being issued by the House’s Jan. 6 committee; civil subpoenas issued for Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump by New York Attorney General Letitia James as part of her civil fraud investigation; the possibility of subpoenas’ being issued by a Georgia special grand jury investigating Trump’s possible violations of Georgia state election laws; etc.

Unfortunately, and alarmingly, we have seen some Trump loyalists disregard, defy and even mock congressional subpoenas. Former Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis, upon being subpoenaed by the House select committee, actually tweeted, “The committee is just mad they can’t date me.” Worse than the juvenile response of Ellis, other Trump associates, like Steve Bannon and Mark Meadows, have simply refused to appear, resulting in Bannon’s and Meadows’ being referred by Congress to the Justice Department for criminal prosecution for contempt of Congress.

It has become painfully obvious that congressional subpoenas are largely toothless. (Although arguably Congress extracted its own teeth by refusing to use its lawful power of inherent contempt, as I wrote about in an earlier piece.)

Civil subpoenas present their own challenges on the accountability front, not to mention opportunities for nefarious litigants to delay the enforcement process. For example, New York’s attorney general and the Trumps are battling in court over the legitimacy and enforceability of those subpoenas. These court cases can drag on for months or more, making timely accountability a significant challenge.

And how about the subpoena power being sought by the district attorney in Fulton County, Georgia? Fani Willis had to ask a co-equal branch of the Georgia government, the judiciary, for permission to impanel a special grand jury just so she would have the ability to subpoena witnesses who refuse to cooperate voluntarily. Brad Raffensperger apparently is one of them.

The mother of all subpoenas is the federal grand jury subpoena. As a former career federal prosecutor, I issued more subpoenas than I can count. Witnesses generally don’t ignore, defy or mock federal grand jury subpoenas, because ignoring them can result in bench warrants and arrest by the U.S. Marshals. If a witness asserts a privilege, we head straight to the chief judge’s courtroom to litigate the privilege in real time and resolve the matter. Compare that timeline (days, or occasionally weeks) to former White House counsel Don McGahn’s congressional subpoena battle, which took over two years.

But the reality of the federal criminal justice system is that, once witnesses are subpoenaed for the grand jury, the investigation is very likely to become public, because of media investigations, lawyers or the witnesses themselves. (Grand jury secrecy rules prohibit prosecutors from publicly disclosing grand jury matters, but the witnesses aren’t subject to any such prohibition.) And, of course, there can also be (inappropriate) leaks from FBI agents, federal prosecutors or Justice Department staff members.

All of which is to say the lack of even whispers of a federal criminal investigation into Trump or other high-ranking government officials or political figures is dangerous.


All of which is to say the lack of even whispers of a federal criminal investigation into Trump or other high-ranking government officials or political figures is dangerous and damaging. As we saw in Texas over the weekend, it enables Trump and his associates to continue to push their big lie with impunity.

And it enables some segments of the population to confirm Trump and Co.’s conclusion that they truly did nothing wrong. After all, we’ve now known about their conduct for more than a year, and no charges have been forthcoming.

Ultimately, if the Justice Department doesn’t prosecute Trump and he runs for re-election in 2024, we can expect him to talk about his “confirmed innocence” at every rally. Trump will say the DOJ has had no problems with his actions since 2016. He will boast that the DOJ's considered decision not to bring a single criminal charge against him is proof positive that he did absolutely nothing wrong. And if the need ever arises, he may have no qualms about trying it all again.
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Re: Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certificat

Postby admin » Wed Feb 02, 2022 10:05 am

Trump Had Role in Weighing Proposals to Seize Voting Machines: New accounts show that the former president was more directly involved than previously known in plans developed by outside advisers to use national security agencies to seek evidence of fraud.
by Alan Feuer, Maggie Haberman, Michael S. Schmidt and Luke Broadwater
New York Times
Jan. 31, 2022

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Six weeks after Election Day, with his hold on power slipping, President Donald J. Trump directed his lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, to make a remarkable call. Mr. Trump wanted him to ask the Department of Homeland Security if it could legally take control of voting machines in key swing states, three people familiar with the matter said.

Mr. Giuliani did so, calling the department’s acting deputy secretary, who said he lacked the authority to audit or impound the machines.

Mr. Trump pressed Mr. Giuliani to make that inquiry after rejecting a separate effort by his outside advisers to have the Pentagon take control of the machines. And the outreach to the Department of Homeland Security came not long after Mr. Trump, in an Oval Office meeting with Attorney General William P. Barr, raised the possibility of whether the Justice Department could seize the machines, a previously undisclosed suggestion that Mr. Barr immediately shot down.

The new accounts show that Mr. Trump was more directly involved than previously known in exploring proposals to use his national security agencies to seize voting machines as he grasped unsuccessfully for evidence of fraud that would help him reverse his defeat in the 2020 election, according to people familiar with the episodes.

The existence of proposals to use at least three federal departments to assist Mr. Trump’s attempt to stay in power has been publicly known. The proposals involving the Defense Department and the Department of Homeland Security were codified by advisers in the form of draft executive orders.

But the new accounts provide fresh insight into how the former president considered and to some degree pushed the plans, which would have taken the United States into uncharted territory by using federal authority to seize control of the voting systems run by states on baseless grounds of widespread voting fraud.


The people familiar with the matter were briefed on the events by participants or had firsthand knowledge of them.

The accounts about the voting machines emerged after a weekend when Mr. Trump declared at a rally in Texas that he might pardon people charged in connection with the storming of the Capitol last Jan. 6 if he were re-elected. In a statement issued after the rally, Mr. Trump also suggested that his vice president, Mike Pence, could have personally “overturned the election” by refusing to count delegates to the Electoral College who had vowed to cast their votes for Joseph R. Biden Jr.

The new information helps to flesh out how the draft executive orders to seize voting machines came into existence and points in particular to the key role played by a retired Army colonel named Phil Waldron.

According to people familiar with the accounts, Mr. Waldron, shortly after the election, began telling associates that he had found irregularities in vote results that he felt were suggestive of fraud. He then came up with the idea of having a federal agency like the military or the Department of Homeland Security confiscate the machines to preserve evidence.

Mr. Waldron first proposed the notion of the Pentagon’s involvement to Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, whom he says he served with in the Defense Intelligence Agency.


The plans were among an array of options that were placed before Mr. Trump in the tumultuous days and weeks that followed the election, developed by an ad hoc group of lawyers like Sidney Powell and other allies including Mr. Flynn and Mr. Waldron. That group often found itself at odds with Mr. Giuliani and his longtime associate Bernard Kerik, as well as with Mr. Trump’s White House counsel, Pat A. Cipollone, and his team.

Around the same time that Mr. Trump brought up the possibility of having the Justice Department seize the voting machines, for example, he also tried to persuade state lawmakers in contested states like Michigan and Pennsylvania to use local law enforcement agencies to take control of them, people familiar with the matter said. The state lawmakers refused to go along with the plan.

The meeting with Mr. Barr took place in mid- to late November when Mr. Trump raised the idea of whether the Justice Department could be used to seize machines, according to two people familiar with the matter. Mr. Trump told Mr. Barr that his lawyers had told him that the department had the power to seize machines as evidence of fraud.

Mr. Trump mentioned a specific state that had used machines built by Dominion Voting Systems, where his lawyers believed there had been fraud, although it is unclear which state Mr. Trump was referring to. Mr. Barr, who had been briefed extensively at that point by federal law enforcement officials about how the theories being pushed by Mr. Trump’s legal team about the Dominion machines were unfounded, told Mr. Trump that the Justice Department had no basis for seizing the machines because there was no probable cause to believe a crime had been committed.

It was only after several early options were exhausted that Mr. Waldron pitched the idea of using other parts of the federal government to seize the machines to both Mr. Giuliani and members of the Trump legal team, and to Mr. Flynn and his own associates, including Ms. Powell and Patrick Byrne, a wealthy business executive who funded many of the efforts to challenge the election.

Mr. Waldron, who owns a bar and distillery outside Austin, Texas, was previously best known for having circulated a 38-page PowerPoint presentation to lawmakers and White House aides that was filled with extreme plans to overturn the election.

Mr. Giuliani was vehemently opposed to the idea of the military taking part in the seizure of machines, according to two people familiar with the matter. The conflict between him and his legal team, and Mr. Flynn, Ms. Powell and Mr. Byrne came to a dramatic head on Dec. 18, 2020, during a meeting with Mr. Trump in the Oval Office.

At the meeting, Mr. Flynn and Ms. Powell presented Mr. Trump with a copy of the draft executive order authorizing the military to oversee the seizure of machines. After reading it, Mr. Trump summoned Mr. Giuliani to the Oval Office, according to one person familiar with the matter. When Mr. Giuliani read the draft order, he told Mr. Trump that the military could be used only if there was clear-cut evidence of foreign interference in the election.

Ms. Powell, who had spent the past month filing lawsuits claiming that China and other countries had hacked into voting machines, said she had such evidence, the person said. But Mr. Giuliani was adamant that the military should not be mobilized, the person said, and Mr. Trump ultimately heeded his advice.

Shortly after the Oval Office meeting, Mr. Waldron amended the draft executive order, suggesting that if the Defense Department could not oversee the seizure of machines then the Department of Homeland Security could, the person said.

Around that time, Mr. Trump asked Mr. Giuliani to call Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II, the acting deputy secretary at the Department of Homeland Security, to ask about the viability of the proposal, according to two people familiar with the matter. Mr. Cuccinelli said that homeland security officials could not take part in the plan.


All of this was playing out amid open acrimony among White House aides and outside advisers about how best — and how far — to proceed with efforts to pursue Mr. Trump’s claims of fraud in the election. That same month, during a meeting on another matter, Mr. Trump asked Mr. Cuccinelli what he thought of appointing a special counsel to investigate election fraud. Mr. Cuccinelli, according to two people briefed on the conversation, said it was not a good idea for a variety of reasons.

When Mr. Flynn, Ms. Powell and Mr. Byrne arrived at the White House to discuss their plan to use the military to seize voting machines, they were not let into the Oval Office by a typical gatekeeper, like Mark Meadows, Mr. Trump’s chief of staff. Rather, they were escorted in by Garrett Ziegler, a young aide to another Trump adviser, Peter Navarro, according to Mr. Ziegler’s account.

“I waved in General Flynn and Sidney Powell on the Friday night of the 18th — for which Mark Meadows’s office revoked my guest privileges,” Mr. Ziegler said on a podcast, adding that he had done so because he was “frustrated with the current counsel” Mr. Trump was getting.

Even Mr. Giuliani, who had spent weeks peddling some of the most outrageous claims about election fraud, felt that the idea of bringing in the military was beyond the pale.

After Mr. Flynn and Ms. Powell left the Oval Office, according to a person familiar with the matter, Mr. Giuliani predicted that the plans they were proposing were going to get Mr. Trump impeached.

Alan Feuer covers courts and criminal justice for the Metro desk. He has written about mobsters, jails, police misconduct, wrongful convictions, government corruption and El Chapo, the jailed chief of the Sinaloa drug cartel. He joined The Times in 1999. @alanfeuer

Maggie Haberman is a White House correspondent. She joined The Times in 2015 as a campaign correspondent and was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2018 for reporting on President Trump’s advisers and their connections to Russia. @maggieNYT

Michael S. Schmidt is a Washington correspondent covering national security and federal investigations. He was part of two teams that won Pulitzer Prizes in 2018 — one for reporting on workplace sexual harassment and the other for coverage of President Trump and his campaign’s ties to Russia. @NYTMike

Luke Broadwater covers Congress. He was the lead reporter on a series of investigative articles at The Baltimore Sun that won a Pulitzer Prize and a George Polk Award in 2020. @lukebroadwater


*********************

Trump's Incriminating Outburst: "Pence Should be Investigated for NOT Overturning the Election"
by Glenn Kirschner
Justice Matters
Feb 1, 2022



Former President Donald Trump's desperation is showing. As the investigative circle tightens around him, he continues to issue statements that are directly and deeply incriminating. First, he finally admits that he wanted Mike Pence to "overturn" the results of the presidential election and corruptly declare him the winner. Then, upon learning that Pence's Chief of Staff, Marc Short, is cooperating with the House select committee investigating the Capitol attack, Trump issues another statement demanding that Mike Pence be investigated for NOT overturning the election's results.
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Re: Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certificat

Postby admin » Mon Feb 07, 2022 2:22 am

Proposed law would allow Arizona Legislature to overturn presidential election results. Not clear if or how election law proposed by Arizona Rep. Shawnna Bolick would work in practice
by Howard Fischer
Capitol Media Services
Jan 30, 2021 Updated Feb 13, 2021

Image
Rep. Shawnna Bolick, R-Phoenix, did not respond to requests to discuss her measure or answer questions.

PHOENIX — A Republican lawmaker wants to allow the Arizona Legislature to overturn the results of a presidential election, even after the count is formally certified by the governor and secretary of state — and even after Congress counts the state’s electors.

The proposal by Rep. Shawnna Bolick of Phoenix contains a series of provisions designed to make it easier for those unhappy with elections to go to court.

Included would be allowing challengers to demand a jury trial and, more to the point, barring a trial judge or an appellate court from throwing out the case, even for lack of evidence, before the jurors get to rule.

That would affect the rules of court procedures that are set up and overseen by the Arizona Supreme Court, on which her husband, Clint Bolick, serves.

But the most sweeping provision would say that, regardless of any other law, the Legislature retains ultimate authority in deciding who the state’s presidential electors are.

And it would spell out that lawmakers, by a simple majority, could revoke the formal certification of the election results and substitute their own decision at any time right up to the day a new president is inaugurated.


LEGAL, PRACTICAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL ISSUES

It’s not clear exactly how that would work.

Congress counts each state’s electoral votes and announces two weeks before Inauguration Day who was elected, which is Shawnna Bolick’s proposed deadline for state lawmakers to make a final decision whether to change the electoral tally.

Absent Congress reconvening to recount the tally — something that may not be legal under federal law — there is no way to recount or change the vote.

Potentially more problematic, Bolick’s House Bill 2720 says lawmakers could take that action “without regard to whether the legislature is in regular or special session or has held committee or other hearings on the matter.”

That by itself would appear to violate the Arizona Constitution, which spells out when the Legislature is, in fact, in session and when it can act.

More practically, Bolick’s proposal does not explain how there even could be a majority vote if there is no formal, on-the-record vote at a nonexistent legislative session.

REACTION IS SWIFT

Bolick did not respond to multiple requests to discuss her measure or answer questions.

But Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs wasted no time in reacting, calling the proposal “breathtaking.”

“So really, we should just get rid of the presidential election altogether?” Hobbs said in a Twitter message. “In reality, that’s what this bill would do.”

Julie Erfle, a Democratic political consultant, was a bit more succinct, saying that Bolick “gives AZ voters the middle finger.”


NOT THE FIRST EFFORT

Bolick is not the first Republican to advance the argument that lawmakers can trump voter decisions.

Rep. Mark Finchem, R-Oro Valley, has repeatedly argued that the U.S. Constitution gives Arizona lawmakers “plenary authority” to determine who gets the state’s electoral votes.

But the Legislature was not in session and House Speaker Russell Bowers rebuffed his efforts to call a hearing of the House Federal Relations Committee, which Finchem chaired last year, to look at ways the 2020 election could have been tainted. Bowers said state law is clear that the electors are selected based on the certified voter count.

So Finchem and others decided to conduct their own unofficial hearing away from the state Capitol in late November to hear allegations from Donald Trump’s legal team that the election was rigged. That event had all the legal authority and effect of a political rally.


Bolick seeks to get around that with her proposed law specifically authorizing a legislative override.

MORE MONITORING WOULD BE REQUIRED

Aside from legislative veto of election results, Bolick’s HB 2720 seeks to put into statute other ways that election results can be monitored.

For example, it would require counties to create digitized images of all ballots, which would be available to the public to review.

She also wants the public to be able to monitor what happens when a ballot cannot be read by tallying equipment, perhaps because of stray marks or because the individual voted for more than one candidate for an office.

That normally involves election workers from both parties reviewing the ballot, attempting to determine the voter’s intent, and creating a new ballot that could be fed through the machine. Bolick wants the images of these duplicated ballots posted on a county website within 24 hours.

BARRING JUDGES FROM RULING WITHOUT JURIES

She also wants to expand an existing law that now allows for up to three observers representing candidates or political parties at the counting center. HB 2720 would require there also be at least 10 individuals from the general public who are registered voters in the county.

Then there’s the issue of how courts have to handle election challenges.

There were a series of lawsuits following now President Biden’s victory over then-President Donald Trump in Arizona. Those included one by Kelli Ward, who chairs the Arizona Republican Party, who contended there were mistakes made in the process of duplicating ballots.

A trial judge agreed to have a review of a random sample of 1,626 of these duplicated ballots, which did turn up errors.

But the Arizona Supreme Court, reviewing that case, said the error rate was no more than 0.55%.

Chief Justice Robert Brutinel said extrapolating that out over the 27,869 ballots that had been duplicated would have gained Trump no more than 153 votes, which would not have affected the outcome of the Arizona election that Biden won by more than 10,000 votes.

The Arizona Supreme Court unanimously affirmed Biden’s win in the state.

Bolick’s bill would have required the case to go to a jury regardless of merits and precluded the trial judge — and, ultimately the Supreme Court — from concluding ahead of a jury trial that the case had no legal merit or practical chance to succeed.

The same would apply to challenges to future election returns if her bill becomes law.

*********************

Proposed law would allow Arizona Legislature to overturn presidential election results. Not clear if or how election law proposed by Arizona Rep. Shawnna Bolick would work in practice
by Howard Fischer
Capitol Media Services
Jan 30, 2021 Updated Feb 13, 2021

Image
Image
Rep. Shawnna Bolick, R-Phoenix, did not respond to requests to discuss her measure or answer questions.

PHOENIX — A Republican lawmaker wants to allow the Arizona Legislature to overturn the results of a presidential election, even after the count is formally certified by the governor and secretary of state — and even after Congress counts the state’s electors.

The proposal by Rep. Shawnna Bolick of Phoenix contains a series of provisions designed to make it easier for those unhappy with elections to go to court.

Included would be allowing challengers to demand a jury trial and, more to the point, barring a trial judge or an appellate court from throwing out the case, even for lack of evidence, before the jurors get to rule.

That would affect the rules of court procedures that are set up and overseen by the Arizona Supreme Court, on which her husband, Clint Bolick, serves.

But the most sweeping provision would say that, regardless of any other law, the Legislature retains ultimate authority in deciding who the state’s presidential electors are.

And it would spell out that lawmakers, by a simple majority, could revoke the formal certification of the election results and substitute their own decision at any time right up to the day a new president is inaugurated.


LEGAL, PRACTICAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL ISSUES

It’s not clear exactly how that would work.

Congress counts each state’s electoral votes and announces two weeks before Inauguration Day who was elected, which is Shawnna Bolick’s proposed deadline for state lawmakers to make a final decision whether to change the electoral tally.

Absent Congress reconvening to recount the tally — something that may not be legal under federal law — there is no way to recount or change the vote.

Potentially more problematic, Bolick’s House Bill 2720 says lawmakers could take that action “without regard to whether the legislature is in regular or special session or has held committee or other hearings on the matter.”

That by itself would appear to violate the Arizona Constitution, which spells out when the Legislature is, in fact, in session and when it can act.

More practically, Bolick’s proposal does not explain how there even could be a majority vote if there is no formal, on-the-record vote at a nonexistent legislative session.

REACTION IS SWIFT

Bolick did not respond to multiple requests to discuss her measure or answer questions.

But Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs wasted no time in reacting, calling the proposal “breathtaking.”

“So really, we should just get rid of the presidential election altogether?” Hobbs said in a Twitter message. “In reality, that’s what this bill would do.”

Julie Erfle, a Democratic political consultant, was a bit more succinct, saying that Bolick “gives AZ voters the middle finger.”


NOT THE FIRST EFFORT

Bolick is not the first Republican to advance the argument that lawmakers can trump voter decisions.

Rep. Mark Finchem, R-Oro Valley, has repeatedly argued that the U.S. Constitution gives Arizona lawmakers “plenary authority” to determine who gets the state’s electoral votes.

But the Legislature was not in session and House Speaker Russell Bowers rebuffed his efforts to call a hearing of the House Federal Relations Committee, which Finchem chaired last year, to look at ways the 2020 election could have been tainted. Bowers said state law is clear that the electors are selected based on the certified voter count.

So Finchem and others decided to conduct their own unofficial hearing away from the state Capitol in late November to hear allegations from Donald Trump’s legal team that the election was rigged. That event had all the legal authority and effect of a political rally.


Bolick seeks to get around that with her proposed law specifically authorizing a legislative override.

MORE MONITORING WOULD BE REQUIRED

Aside from legislative veto of election results, Bolick’s HB 2720 seeks to put into statute other ways that election results can be monitored.

For example, it would require counties to create digitized images of all ballots, which would be available to the public to review.

She also wants the public to be able to monitor what happens when a ballot cannot be read by tallying equipment, perhaps because of stray marks or because the individual voted for more than one candidate for an office.

That normally involves election workers from both parties reviewing the ballot, attempting to determine the voter’s intent, and creating a new ballot that could be fed through the machine. Bolick wants the images of these duplicated ballots posted on a county website within 24 hours.

BARRING JUDGES FROM RULING WITHOUT JURIES

She also wants to expand an existing law that now allows for up to three observers representing candidates or political parties at the counting center. HB 2720 would require there also be at least 10 individuals from the general public who are registered voters in the county.

Then there’s the issue of how courts have to handle election challenges.

There were a series of lawsuits following now President Biden’s victory over then-President Donald Trump in Arizona. Those included one by Kelli Ward, who chairs the Arizona Republican Party, who contended there were mistakes made in the process of duplicating ballots.

A trial judge agreed to have a review of a random sample of 1,626 of these duplicated ballots, which did turn up errors.

But the Arizona Supreme Court, reviewing that case, said the error rate was no more than 0.55%.

Chief Justice Robert Brutinel said extrapolating that out over the 27,869 ballots that had been duplicated would have gained Trump no more than 153 votes, which would not have affected the outcome of the Arizona election that Biden won by more than 10,000 votes.

The Arizona Supreme Court unanimously affirmed Biden’s win in the state.

Bolick’s bill would have required the case to go to a jury regardless of merits and precluded the trial judge — and, ultimately the Supreme Court — from concluding ahead of a jury trial that the case had no legal merit or practical chance to succeed.

The same would apply to challenges to future election returns if her bill becomes law.
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