Our Man in London: The Scandal of the 35-Page ‘Intelligence

Gathered together in one place, for easy access, an agglomeration of writings and images relevant to the Rapeutation phenomenon.

Re: Our Man in London: The Scandal of the 35-Page ‘Intellige

Postby admin » Sat Dec 05, 2020 9:12 am

Part 1 of 4

Transcript of Donald Trump Speech on Election Fraud Claims (46-Minute Speech)
by President Donald Trump
December 2, 2020

The mail-in voting scam is the latest part of their four year effort to overturn the results of the 2016 election, and it’s been like living in hell. Our opponents have proven many times, again and again, that they will say and do anything to get back into power. The corrupt forces who are registering dead voters and stuffing ballot boxes are the same people who have perpetrated one phony and fraudulent hoax after another. You’ve been watching it now for four years. These entrenched interests oppose our movement, because we put America first. They don’t put America first, and we’re returning power to you the American people. They don’t want America first, they only want power for themselves. They want to make money. That’s why they don’t want me as your president. I’ve been investigated from soon after I announced I was running for president. When I immediately went to number one in the Republican primary polls, the investigations never stopped. They went on for four years, and I won them all, I beat them all. Russia, Russia, Russia, the impeachment hoax, and so much more. Robert Mueller spent $48 million of taxpayer money investigating me for two and a half years, issued over 2,800 subpoenas, executed nearly 500 search warrants, issued 230 orders for communications records, and conducted 500 witness interviews, all looking to take me down. There was no collusion in the end, none whatsoever. Senator Marco Rubio, the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee stated, “The committee found no evidence that then candidate Donald Trump, or his campaign, colluded with the Russian government.” And, I thank Senator Rubio for that statement...And all it’s been is a big investigation in Washington and New York and any place else that can investigate, because that’s what they want to do. They want to take not me, but us down. Then we can never let them do that...

“Unless Bill Barr indicts these people for crimes — the greatest political crimes in the history of our country — then we’re going to get little satisfaction unless I win ... [These] people should be indicted, this was the greatest political crime in the history of our country. And that includes Obama and it includes Biden.”

-- TRUMP'S PREMEDITATED 2020 ELECTION COUP: REVENGE FOR RUSSIAGATE. (46-Minute Speech), by President Donald Trump

President Donald Trump: (00:00)
Thank you. This may be the most important speech I’ve ever made. I want to provide an update on our ongoing efforts to expose the tremendous voter fraud and irregularities which took place during the ridiculously long November 3rd elections. We used to have what was called "election day." Now we have election days, weeks, and months, and lots of bad things happened during this ridiculous period of time, especially when you have to prove almost nothing to exercise our greatest privilege, the right to vote. As President, I have no higher duty than to defend the laws and the Constitution of the United States. That is why I am determined to protect our election system, which is now under coordinated assault and siege.

President Donald Trump: (00:54)
For months leading up to the Presidential election we were warned that we should not declare a premature victory. We were told repeatedly that it would take weeks, if not months, to determine the winner, to count the absentee ballots, and to verify the results. My opponent was told to stay away from the election, don’t campaign. “We don’t need you. We’ve got it. This election is done.” In fact, they were acting like they already knew what the outcome was going to be. They had it covered, and perhaps they did, very sadly for our country. It was all very, very strange. Within days after the election, we witnessed an orchestrated effort to anoint the winner even while many key states were still being counted.

President Donald Trump: (01:44)
The constitutional process must be allowed to continue. We’re going to defend the honesty of the vote by ensuring that every legal ballot is counted and that no illegal ballot is counted. This is not just about honoring the votes of 74 million Americans who voted for me, it’s about ensuring that Americans can have faith in this election, and in all future elections.

President Donald Trump: (02:12)
Today I will detail some of the shocking irregularities, abuses and fraud that had been revealed in recent weeks, but before laying out just a small portion of the evidence we have uncovered -- and we have so much evidence -- I want to explain the corrupt mail-in balloting scheme that Democrats systematically put into place that allowed voting to be altered, especially in swing states, which they had to win. They just didn’t know that it was going to be that tough, because we were leading in every swing state by so much, far greater than they ever thought possible. While it has long been understood that the Democrat political machine engages in voter fraud, from Detroit, to Philadelphia, to Milwaukee, Atlanta -- so many other places. What changed this year was the Democrat party’s relentless push to print and mail out tens of millions of ballots sent to unknown recipients with virtually no safeguards of any kind. This allowed fraud and abuse to occur in a scale never seen before. Using the pandemic as a pretext, Democrat politicians and judges drastically changed election procedures just months, and in some cases, weeks before the election on the 3rd of November.

President Donald Trump: (03:45)
Very rarely were legislatures involved, and constitutionally they had to be involved. But very, very rarely. And you’ll see that as we continue to file our suits. It’s constitutionally, absolutely incorrect what took place, even from a legal standpoint. Many states, such as Nevada and California, sent millions of live ballots to every person on their voter rolls, whether those individuals had requested ballots or not. Whether they were dead or alive, they got ballots. Other states, such as Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin, instituted universal absentee balloting right in the middle of an election year, sending absentee ballot request forms to all voters on all rolls. It didn’t matter who they were. This colossal expansion of mail-in voting opened the flood gates to massive fraud. It’s a widely known fact that the voting rolls are packed with people who are not lawfully eligible to vote, including those who are deceased, have moved out of their state, and even our non-citizens of our country.

President Donald Trump: (05:05)
Beyond this, the records are riddled with errors, wrong addresses, duplicate entries, and many other issues. This is not disputed. It has never been disputed. Dozens of counties in the key swing states have more registered voters on the rolls than they have voting age citizens, including 67 counties in Michigan. All of this is evidence.

[T]he 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).

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

In Wisconsin, the state’s Board of Elections could not confirm the residency of more than 100,000 people, but repeatedly refused to remove those names from its voter rolls before the election. They knew why, nobody else did. I knew why. They were illegal voters. It is a travesty that in the year 2020, we do not have any means of verifying the eligibility of those who cast ballots in an election and such an important election it is, or determining who they are, whether they live in the state or whether they’re even American citizens. We have no idea.

A Florida lawyer is being investigated for trying to illegally register to vote in the Georgia runoff election and encouraging others to do the same, according to a local report.

Bill Price, of Panama City, allegedly filled out paperwork to vote in Paulding County, GA using his brother’s address there — and swore in an affidavit that he was a Peach State resident, election officials told WSB-TV.

“We clearly know that he is not [eligible to vote in Georgia],” Deidre Holden, Paulding County’s election supervisor, told the station.

The matter came to light after video emerged showing Price telling members of Florida’s Bay County Republican Party to temporarily change their addresses to Georgia in order to vote for the GOP Senate candidates there on Jan 5.

“We absolutely have to hold the Senate and we have to start fighting back, and we have to do whatever it takes,” Price said in the since-deleted Facebook Live video obtained by the outlet.

“And if that means changing your address for the next two months, so be it,” he said, before stating: “I’m doing that. I’m moving to Georgia and I’m gonna fight and I want you all to fight with me.”

According to the report, Price then read out his brother’s address in Hiram as the group wrote it down — and, when one woman asked, “We can truly register at that address?” he responded: “Sure.”

“It’s only for a couple months,” Price reportedly said. “We’ll have buses leaving right out here, going to Atlanta the day before Jan. 5 and I might need you guys to help me move back to Florida on Jan. 6.”

Moving to Georgia temporarily just to vote is a crime in the state, publishable by up to 10 years in jail or a fine of up $100,000.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on Thursday confirmed to the outlet that the video of Price is being investigated.

“Make no mistake, individuals who attempt to undermine the integrity of Georgia’s elections will be investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Raffensperger said in a statement.

Holden, the Paulding election supervisor, who is a Republican, told the station that investigators flagged Price’s registration attempt and shared the footage with her.

She said a meeting is slated for next week in order to stop Price’s alleged effort.

“What kind of message is this sending out to our children and our grandchildren and our neighbors that if you don’t win an election, that you can just go out and steal one?” Holden asked. “And that’s absolutely unacceptable here in the state of Georgia.”

Price, meanwhile, denied that he had attempted to register in Georgia and maintained that he was just kidding in the video in an email to the outlet.

“Thanks for reaching out. I did not change my voter registration…,” he told the station.

In a phone call with Fox News, Price admitted that he had filled out the registration online — but claimed he did it to expose Democrats he alleged were trying to vote illegally.

“I wanted to see how easy it was to do it,” he told the outlet. “I’m not actually moving to Georgia. I was joking.”

-- Florida man under investigation for registering to vote in Georgia, by Tamar Lapin, December 3, 2020

President Donald Trump: (06:21)
We have and in all swing states major infractions, or outright fraud, which is far more in numbers or votes than we need to overturn the results of a state. In other words, in Wisconsin, as an example, where we were way up on election night, they ultimately had us miraculously losing by 20,000 votes. I can show you right here that Wisconsin we’re leading by a lot, and then at 3:42 in the morning there was this, it was a massive dump of votes, mostly Biden, almost all Biden. To this day everyone’s trying to figure out, “Where did it come from?” But I went from leading by a lot, to losing by a little, and that’s right here. That’s at 3:42 in the morning. That’s Wisconsin. A terrible thing, terrible, terrible thing.


President Donald Trump: (07:33)
But we will have far more, many times more than the 20,000 votes needed to overturn the state. If we are right about the fraud, Joe Biden can’t be president. We’re talking about hundreds of thousands of votes. We’re talking about numbers like nobody has ever seen before. Just as an example, in certain states, we’ll be down by, let’s say, 7,000 votes, but we’ll find later on 20,000, 50,000, 100,00, 200,000 discrepancies or fraudulent votes, and that includes votes that went through when they were not allowed to be seen by Republican poll watchers, because the poll watchers were locked out of the building.

The Detroit Free Press reported that challengers from both sides were locked out because the limit on challengers had already been exceeded. Earlier in the day, 268 Democratic challengers, 227 Republican challengers and 75 nonpartisan challengers were on the floor. The Free Press reported roughly 400 challengers were “freely roaming the room.”

“We were well over the 134 maximum," said the city of Detroit’s lead attorney Lawrence Garcia. "In the haste of doing business, nobody noticed that until it was over 200 for each party, and at that point, we said, we better stop admitting people until some people leave, and we’re under the 134 number.”

-- Videos showing crowd locked out of Detroit TCF Center with windows obstructed are missing context, by Devon Link and Ashley Nerbovig, USA TODAY, 11/20/20

Or people that innocently came to vote on November 3rd, who were all excited about their vote. They were happy. They were proud to be citizens of the United States of America. And they went up and they said, “I’d like to vote.” They were told that they can’t vote. “I’m sorry,” they were told, “I’m sorry. You’ve already voted by mail-in ballot. Congratulations. We received a ballot, so you can no longer vote.”

President Donald Trump: (09:03)
They didn’t know what to do. They had no one to complain to. Most just left and said, “That’s strange.” But many people complained, and complained vehemently. And in a lot of cases, they filled out a provisional ballot, which was almost never used, but in virtually every case was a vote for Trump. In other words, they went in to vote and they were told that they voted, and they didn’t vote. They left and they felt horror and they lost respect for our system. This happened tens of thousands of times all over the country. That’s how desperate the Democrats were. They would fill out ballots of people not even knowing if these people were going to show up. When they did show up, they said, “Sorry, you’ve already voted.”

President Donald Trump: (10:07)
On top of everything else, we have a company that’s very suspect. It’s name is Dominion. With the turn of a dial, or the change of a chip, you could press a button for Trump and the vote goes to Biden. What kind of a system is this? We have to go to paper. Maybe it takes longer. But the only secure system is paper. Not these systems that nobody understands, including in many cases, the people that run them. Although, unfortunately, I think they understand them far too well.


[Scott Pelley] So back in 2017 as you’re looking ahead to the election in 2018 and then ultimately the election in 2020, you have a to-do list, and the to-do list includes what?


[Christopher Krebs] Paper ballots. Paper ballots give you the ability to audit, to go back and check the tape and make sure you got the count right. And that’s really one of the keys to success for a secure 2020 election. 95% of the ballots cast in the 2020 election had a paper record associated with it. Compared with 2016, about 82%.

[Scott Pelley] And with a paper record, you can go back and verify what the machine is saying by physically counting the paper.

[Christopher Krebs] That gives you the ability to prove that there was no malicious algorithm or hacked software that adjusted the tally of the vote. And just look at what happened in Georgia. Georgia has machines that tabulate the vote. They then held a hand recount, and the outcome was consistent with the machine vote.

[Scott Pelley] And that tells you what?

[Christopher Krebs] That tells you that there was no manipulation of the vote on the machine count outside. And so that pretty thoroughly, in my opinion, debunks some of these sensational claims out there that I’ve called “nonsense” and “a hoax,” that there was some hacking of these election vendors and their software in their systems across the country. It’s just “nonsense.”

-- Securing the Election, produced by Rachael Morehouse, 60 Minutes, 11/29/20

President Donald Trump: (10:46)
In one Michigan County, as an example, that used Dominion systems, they found that nearly 6,000 votes had been wrongly switched from Trump to Biden, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. This is what we caught. How many didn’t we catch? Are there hundreds of other examples throughout the country? Are there thousands? We just got lucky and they called it a glitch, but we found numerous glitches that evening.

The claim: Dominion Voting Systems deleted votes for Donald Trump, switched votes to Joe Biden

Multiple conservative news sources have claimed this week that vote counting software from Dominion Voting Systems deleted votes for President Donald Trump or switched votes to President-elect Joe Biden.

OAN’s Lilia Fifield made the claim on air earlier this week, per a clip on Mediaite.

"Election systems across the country are found to have deleted millions of votes cast for President Trump," she said. "According to an unaudited analysis of data obtained from Edison Research, states using Dominion Voting Systems may have switched as many as 435,000 votes from President Trump to Joe Biden, and the author also finds another 2.7 million Trump votes appear to have been deleted by Dominion including almost one million truckloads in Pennsylvania alone."

Similar claims appeared on Gateway Pundit, though it credits the findings to the website thedonald.win, whose author also cites Edison Research.

Trump himself then magnified the claim.

“Report: Dominion deleted 2.7 million Trump votes nationwide. Data analysis finds 221,000 Pennsylvania votes switched from President Trump to Biden. 941,000 Trump votes deleted. States using Dominion Voting Systems switched 435,000 votes from Trump to Biden," he wrote on Twitter.

His son Donald Trump Jr. also implied that Dominion Voting Systems had improperly tallied votes for Biden in a post on Instagram.

"What's the difference between a Dominion voting machine and Hunter Biden? Nothing. They both give 10% to the 'big guy,'" the post read.

OANN, The Gateway Pundit, the White House, and Trump Jr. have not responded to requests for comment from USA TODAY.

Government, experts agree: There were no deleted or changed votes, including by Dominion

A national coalition announced Thursday that there is no evidence that any voting software deleted or changed votes in last week's election, per USA TODAY.

In fact, the security group — which includes the Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the National Association of State Election Directors — described the election as "the most secure in American history."

"There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised," the coalition concluded.

It added that all states with close results have paper records of each vote that allow for a recount, if necessary.

"This is an added benefit for security and resilience," the coalition wrote. "This process allows for the identification and correction of any mistakes or errors."

CISA Director Chris Krebs also retweeted a message from election law expert David Becker that condemned "wild and baseless claims about voting machines," according to CBS News.

David Becker @beckerdavidj
Please don't retweet wild and baseless claims about voting machines, even if they're made by the president. These fantasies have been debunked many times, including by @DHSgov @CISAgov on this excellent site/resource, Rumor Control.
2:35 PM, Nov 12, 2020

Edward Perez, an election-technology expert at the OSET Institute, a nonprofit that studies voting infrastructure, told the New York Times that claims about Dominion voting machines are "misinformation at best and, in many cases, they’re outright disinformation."

“I’m not aware of any evidence of specific things or defects in Dominion software that would lead one to believe that votes had been recorded or counted incorrectly," Perez said.

Dominion itself 'categorically denies' claims

Dominion Voting Systems released a statement this week to deny the claims that its machines had deleted or changed votes.

"Dominion Voting Systems categorically denies false assertions about vote switching issues with our voting systems," the statement reads. "Vote deletion/switching assertions are completely false."

The statement also addresses some specific details of allegations from Trump and Gateway Pundit.

Dominion calls the claim from Trump that its machines deleted 941,000 votes for him in Pennsylvania alone "impossible."

That's because Dominion only serves 14 counties in the state, which produced a total of 1.3 million votes — 52%, or 676,000, of which went to Trump. That only leaves 624,000 other votes, fewer than what Trump claims were switched.

Edison Research created 'no such report' about switched votes

The statement from Dominion Voting Systems also noted that Edison Research — a firm that OANN and Gateway Pundit cited in their stories — has refuted claims that it produced any data to support allegations of vote switching.

Larry Rosin, the president of Edison Research, told The Dispatch Fact Check, that it never produced any data to that effect.

"Edison Research created no such report and we are not aware of any voter fraud," he said.

Isolated incidents in Michigan, Georgia not indicative of wider issues with Dominion

A few — though not all — of the counties in Michigan and Georgia that experienced minor issues on Election Day used voting systems made by Dominion.

But the errors were not glitches with the machine, and there's no indication that the software affected the vote counts.

In Michigan, inaccuracies in two counties were due to human errors, not software issues, per a statement from the Michigan Department of State. Just one county used software from Dominion.

"As with other isolated user errors that have occurred in the reporting of unofficial results both in this and previous elections, this is not the result of any intentional misconduct by an election official or because of software or equipment malfunctioning or failing to work properly," the statement read.

And in one Georgia county, an apparent problem with Dominion software delayed officials’ reporting of the vote tallies but did not affect the actual vote count, per the New York Times.

Our rating: False

Based on our research, the claim that Dominion Voting Systems deleted votes for Donald Trump or switched votes to Joe Biden is FALSE. A national election security coalition announced on Thursday that "there is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised." Other experts and Dominion itself also condemned the claims.

Our fact-check sources:

• USA TODAY, Nov. 12, Election security officials: 'No evidence voting systems compromised'
• CBS News, Nov. 13, Trump spreads baseless claim about Dominion Voting Systems after losing election
• New York Times, Nov. 11, No, Dominion voting machines did not delete Trump votes.
• Dominion Voting Systems, Nov. 13, SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT: FACTS & RUMORS
• The Dispatch Fact Check, Nov. 12, Did Edison Research Find That Dominion Deleted Trump Votes or Switched Votes to Biden?
• Michigan Department of State, Nov. 7, Isolated User Error in Antrim County Does Not Affect Election Results, Has no Impact on Other Counties or States

-- Fact check: Dominion voting machines didn't delete votes from Trump, switch them to Biden, by Camille Caldera, USA Today, 11/14/20

96% of the company’s political donations went to Democrats, not surprisingly. Frankly, when you look at who’s running the company, who’s in charge, who owns it -- which we don’t know -- where are the votes counted, which we think are counted in foreign countries, not in the United States, Dominion is a disaster. Election authorities in Texas have repeatedly blocked the deployment of Dominion systems due to concerns about security vulnerabilities and the potential for errors and outright fraud. Every district that uses Dominion systems must be carefully monitored and carefully investigated, but not only for the future.

[Scott Pelley] Let me ask for your reaction to some of the vote fraud that the President and his team have been alleging. “Votes tabulated in foreign countries.”

[Christopher Krebs] So, [expostulates] all votes in the United States of America are counted in the United States of America. I don’t, I don’t understand this claim; all votes in the United States of America are counted in the United States of America. Period.

-- Securing the Election, produced by Rachael Morehouse, 60 Minutes, 11/29/20
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Re: Our Man in London: The Scandal of the 35-Page ‘Intellige

Postby admin » Sun Dec 06, 2020 5:12 am

Part 2 of 4

President Donald Trump: (12:01)
Right now, we’re worried about the present, and what went on with an election that we won without question. Under my lead, the Republicans won almost every state house in the United States, which they weren’t expected to do. We went up to 16 seats in the house. The numbers are still being tabulated, because there are nine seats that nobody really knows. They don’t know. Two weeks later, it’s still under consideration, because it’s a mess. Republicans were supposed to lose many seats, and instead they won those seats in the house, and a very important election that’s coming up will determine whether, or not we hold the Senate.

President Donald Trump: (12:59)
David Perdue and Kelly Leffler are two tremendous people. Unfortunately, in Georgia, they’re using the same horrible Dominion system, and it’s already been out that -- think of it, hundreds of thousands of absentee ballots have been requested. You check it out who’s requesting those ballots. The difference is, it’s one state, and we will have our eyes on it like nobody’s ever watched anything before, because we have to win those two Senate seats. The tremendous success we had in the House of Representatives, and the tremendous success we’ve had so far in the Senate, unexpected success all over the country, and right here in Washington.

President Donald Trump: (13:55)
It is statistically impossible that the person, me, that led the charge, lost. The greatest pollsters, the real pollsters, not the ones that had us down 17 points in Wisconsin when we actually won, or the ones that had us down four or five points in Florida, and we won by many points, or had us even, and down in Texas, and we won by a lot, not those pollsters, but real pollsters. Pollsters that are fair and honest said, “We can’t understand a thing like this. It’s never happened before. You led the country to victory, and you were the only one that was lost. It’s not possible.”

President Donald Trump: (14:43)
The speaker of the house of a certain state said, “Sir, I expected to lose my seat, and instead, because of you, and because of that incredible charge, and all of those rallies, we had a tremendous victory, and everybody knows it. You are much more popular than me, sir, except I got many more votes than you did, and it’s impossible that that happened. There is something wrong.” I’ll tell you what’s wrong, voter fraud. Here’s an example. This is Michigan. At 6:31 in the morning, a vote dump of 149,772 votes came in unexpectedly. We were winning by a lot. That batch was received in horror.

This is a list of Republicans and conservatives who opposed the re-election of incumbent Donald Trump, the 2020 Republican Party nominee for President of the United States. Among them are former Republicans who left the party in 2016 or later due to their opposition to Trump, those who held office as a Republican, Republicans who endorsed a different candidate, and Republican presidential primary election candidates that announced opposition to Trump as the presumptive nominee. Over 70 former senior Republican national security officials and 60 additional senior officials have also signed onto a statement declaring, "We are profoundly concerned about our nation's security and standing in the world under the leadership of Donald Trump. The President has demonstrated that he is dangerously unfit to serve another term."

A group of former senior U.S. government officials and conservatives—including from the Reagan, Bush 41, Bush 43, and Trump administrations have formed The Republican Political Alliance for Integrity and Reform (REPAIR) to, "focus on a return to principles-based governing in the post-Trump era."

A third group of Republicans, Republican Voters Against Trump was launched in May 2020 has collected over 500 testimonials opposing Donald Trump.

Former Executive Branch officials

Cabinet-level officials

• Peter Allgeier, U.S. Trade Representative (2005, 2009) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• William Cohen, U.S Secretary of Defense (1997–2001), Chair of the Senate Aging Committee (1995–97), Chair of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee (1981–83), U.S. Senator from Maine (1979–97), U.S. Representative from ME-02 (1973–79) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Stuart M. Gerson, U.S. Attorney General (1993), Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division (1989–93) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Carlos Gutierrez, U.S. Secretary of Commerce (2005–09)(endorsed Joe Biden)
• Chuck Hagel, U.S. Secretary of Defense (2013–15), Chair of the President's Intelligence Advisory Board (2009–13), U.S. Senator from Nebraska (1997–2009) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Michael Hayden Director of the National Security Agency (NSA) (1999–2005), Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence (2005–06), Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (2006–09), 4 star general (April 22, 2005)(endorsed Joe Biden)
• Carla Hills, U.S. Trade Representative (1989–93), U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (1975–77) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Peter Keisler, U.S. Attorney General (2007), Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division (2003–07), Acting Associate Attorney General (2002–03) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Ray LaHood, U.S. Secretary of Transportation (2009–13), U.S. Representative from IL-18 (1995–2009)(endorsed Joe Biden)
• James Mattis, Secretary of Defense (2017–19)
• Bob McDonald, U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs (2014–17)(endorsed Joe Biden)
• John Negroponte, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State (2007–09), Director of National Intelligence (2005–07), U.S. Ambassador to Iraq (2004–05), U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (2001–04), U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines (1993–96), U.S. Ambassador to Mexico (1989–93), Deputy National Security Advisor (1987–89), Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (1985–87), U.S. Ambassador to Honduras (1981–85) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Mary Peters, U.S. Secretary of Transportation (2006–09) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Colin Powell, U.S. Secretary of State (2001–05), Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1989–93), National Security Advisor (1987–89) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• William Reilly, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (1989–93) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Tom Ridge, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security (2003–05), Governor of Pennsylvania (1995–2001), U.S. Representative from PA-21 (1983–95) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Thomas A. Shannon Jr., U.S. Secretary of State (2017) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Ann Veneman, Executive Director of UNICEF (2005–10), U.S. Secretary of Agriculture (2001–05) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• William H. Webster, Chair of the Homeland Security Advisory Council (2005–20), Director of Central Intelligence (1987–91), Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (1978–87), Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit (1973–78), Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri (1970–73), U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri (1960–61) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Christine Todd Whitman, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (2001–03), Governor of New Jersey (1994–2001) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Robert Zoellick, U.S. Trade Representative (2001–2005) (endorsed Joe Biden)

Defense Department officials

• Chuck Boyd, 4 star General United States Air Force (1959–95) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Torie Clark, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs (2001–03) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Michael Donley, U.S. Secretary of the Air Force (2008–13) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Raymond DuBois, Acting Under Secretary of the Army (2005–06) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• William McRaven, Admiral, Commander of U.S. Special Operations Command (2011–14)) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Sean O'Keefe, Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (2001–04), U.S. Secretary of the Navy (1992–93) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Richard V. Spencer, U.S. Secretary of the Navy (2017–19) (endorsed Michael Bloomberg)
• William Howard Taft IV, U.S. Ambassador to NATO (1989–92), U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense (1984–89) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Michael Vickers, Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence (2011–15) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Matthew Waxman, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Detainee Affairs (2004–05) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Dov Zakheim, Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) (2001–04) (endorsed Joe Biden)

Homeland Security Department officials

• Kenneth Adelman Fmr Director, Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (1983–87) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Parney Albright, Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for Science and Technology (2003–05) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Michael D. Brown, Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (2003–05) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• James Loy, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security (2003–05), Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration (2002–03), Commandant of the Coast Guard (1998–2002) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• John Mitnick, General Counsel of the Department of Homeland Security (2018–19) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Elizabeth Neumann, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Department of Homeland Security (2016–20) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Miles Taylor, Chief of Staff of the Department of Homeland Security (2017–19), author known as "Anonymous" (endorsed Joe Biden)

Intelligence Community officials

• Jon D. Glassman National Security Advisor to the Vice President, U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan (1983–86), United States Ambassador to Paraguay (1991–94)(endorsed Joe Biden)
• Michael Leiter, Director of the National Counterterrorism Center (2007–11) (endorsed Joe Biden)

Justice Department officials

• A. Brian Albritton, Middle District of Florida (2008–10)
• Donald B. Ayer, U.S. Deputy Attorney General (1989–90), U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California (1981–86)
• Daniel Bogden, U.S. Attorney for the District of Nevada (2009–17, 2001–06)(endorsed Joe Biden)
• Greg Brower, U.S. Attorney for the District of Nevada (2008–09), member of Nevada Senate (2011–16) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Wayne Budd, District of Massachusetts (1989–92) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Paul Charlton, U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona (2001–06) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• James Comey, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (2013–17), U.S. Deputy Attorney General (2003–05) (Independent since 2016, endorsed Joe Biden)
• Charles Fried, U.S. Solicitor General (1985–89) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Jonathan L. Goldstein, U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey (1974–77) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Thomas Heffelfinger, U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota (1991–93), (2001–06) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• David C. Iglesias, U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico (2001–06) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Marcos Jimenez, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida (2002–05) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• David Kelley, U.S. Attorney for the California Southern District of New York (2003–05) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• John McKay, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington (2001–06) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Jan Paul Miller, U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois (2002–05) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Matthew Orwig, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas (2001–07) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Paul Perez, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida (2002–07) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Stanley Twardy, U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut (1985–91) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Ken Wainstein, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia (2004–06) (endorsed Joe Biden)[35]
• William H. Webster, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri (1960–61) (endorsed Joe Biden)

State Department officials

• Richard Armitage, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State (2001–05) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Robert Blackwill, U.S. Ambassador to India (2001–03) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Richard Boucher, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs (2006–2009) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Charles R. Bowers, U.S. Ambassador to Bolivia (1991–1994) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Peter Bridges, U.S. Ambassador to Somalia (1984–1986) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Richard Burt, U.S. Ambassador to Germany (1985–89) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Jack Chow, former Special Representative of the U.S. Secretary of State on Global HIV/AIDS (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Eliot A. Cohen, Counselor of the Department of State (2007–09) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Chester Crocker, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs (1981–89) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Sada Cumber, Special Envoy to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (2008–09) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Eric S. Edelman, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy (2005–09), U.S. Ambassador to Turkey (2003–05), U.S. Ambassador to Finland (1998–2001) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Julie Finley, U.S. Ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (2005–2009) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Carl W. Ford Jr., Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research (2001–2003) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• James Glassman, Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy (2008–09) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Colleen Graffy, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy in Europe and Eurasia (2004–09) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Gordon Gray III, U.S. Ambassador to Tunisia (2009–12) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Richard Kauzlarich Fmr Dep Asst Secretary of State (1984–86) United States Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina (August 1, 1997 – August 20, 1999)(endorsed Joe Biden)
• James Kelly, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs (2001–05) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• David Kramer, Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (2008–09) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Stephen Krasner, Director of Policy Planning (2005–07) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Frank Lavin, U.S. Ambassador to Singapore (2001–05) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Winston Lord, U.S. Ambassador to China (1984–1989) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Brett McGurk, Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (2015–18)
• Alberto J. Mora, general counsel to the U.S. Information Agency (1989–1993) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Douglas H. Paal, former member of the U.S. State Department Policy Planning Staff (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Kori Schake, Deputy Director of Policy Planning (2007–08) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Gregory Schulte, U.S. Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (2005–2009) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Mark C. Storella, U.S. Ambassador to Zambia (2010–2013) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Shirin R. Tahir-Kheli, Alternate United States Representative to the United Nations for Special Political Affairs (1990–1993) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Robert Tuttle, U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom (2005–09) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• John Wolf, Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs (1989–1992), Ambassador to Malaysia (1992–1995) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Philip Zelikow, Counselor of the Department of State (2005–07) (endorsed Joe Biden)

Treasury Department officials

• Jimmy Gurulé, Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (2001–03) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Rosario Marin, Treasurer of the United States (2001–03) (endorsed Joe Biden)

White House officials

• Steve Abbot, Deputy Homeland Security Advisor (2001–03) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Bruce Bartlett, author, historian, domestic policy advisor to Ronald Reagan (former Republican, now Independent; previously endorsed Elizabeth Warren, then Joe Biden)
• Kenneth Bernard, Special Assistant to the President for Biodefense and Assistant Surgeon General (2002–05) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• John Bolton, National Security Advisor (2018–19), U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (2005–06)
• Victor Cha, Director for Asian Affairs of the National Security Council (2004–07) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Gary Edson, Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economic Affairs (2001–04) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Richard Falkenrath, Deputy Homeland Security Advisor (2003–04) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Aaron Friedberg, Director of Policy Planning and National Security Affairs to the Vice President (2003–05) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Stephen Harmelin, White House Aide (1964-1965) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Bill Kristol, Chief of Staff to the Vice President (1989–93), founder of The Weekly Standard, editor of The Bulwark (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Omarosa Manigault Newman, Communications Director of the Office of Public Liaison (2017–18), reality television star (Independent since 2019, endorsed Joe Biden)
• Peggy Noonan, Special Assistant to the President (1984–86), columnist for The Wall Street Journal.
• Anthony Scaramucci, White House Communications Director (2017) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Stephen Slick, Senior Director for Intelligence Programs and Reform of the National Security Council (2005–09) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Shirin Tahir-Kheli, Senior Director for Democracy, Human Rights and International Operations of the National Security Council (2003–05) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Olivia Troye, Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Advisor to Vice President Pence (2018–) and aide to the White House Coronavirus Task Force (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Ken Wainstein, Homeland Security Advisor (2008–09) (endorsed Joe Biden)

Other executive officials

• Linton Brooks, Administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration and Under Secretary of Energy for Nuclear Security (2003–07) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Josh Venable, U.S. Department of Education Chief of Staff for Betsy Devos (2016–18) chief of staff for the Michigan Republican Party (endorsed Joe Biden)

U.S. Senators


• Mitt Romney, U.S. Senator from Utah (2019–present), 2012 nominee for President, Chair of the Republican Governors Association (2005–06), Governor of Massachusetts (2003–07)[57][58]


• David Durenberger, Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee (1985–87), U.S. Senator from Minnesota (1978–95) (Independent since 2005, endorsed Joe Biden)
• Jeff Flake, U.S. Senator from Arizona (2013–19), U.S. Representative from AZ-06 (2003–13) and AZ-01 (2001–03) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Gordon Humphrey, U.S. Senator from New Hampshire (1979–90) (Independent since 2016, endorsed Joe Biden)
• Larry Pressler, U.S. Senator from South Dakota, U.S. Representative from SD-01 (endorsed Joe Biden, Independent since 2013)
• John Warner, Chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee (2003–07), Chair of the Senate Rules Committee (1995–99), U.S. Senator from Virginia (1979–2009), U.S. Secretary of the Navy (1972–74) (endorsed Joe Biden)

U.S. Representatives


• Justin Amash, U.S. Representative from MI-03 (2011–present) (Libertarian since 2020, endorsed Jo Jorgensen)
• Denver Riggleman, U.S. Representative from VA-05 (2019–present)
• Francis Rooney, U.S. Representative from FL-19 (2017–present)


• Steve Bartlett, Mayor of Dallas, TX (1991–95), U.S. Representative from TX-03 (1983–91) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Rod Chandler, 1992 nominee for Senate, U.S. Representative from WA-06 (1983–93) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Bill Clinger, Chair of the House Oversight Committee (1995–97), U.S. Representative from PA-05 (1979–97) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Tom Coleman, U.S. Representative from MO-06 (1976–93) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Charlie Dent, U.S. Representative from PA-15 (2005–18), Chair of the House Ethics Committee (2015–17), Co-Chair of the Tuesday Group (2007–18)[70] (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Charles Djou, U.S. Representative from HI-01 (2010–11) (Independent since 2018) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Chuck Douglas, U.S. Representative from NH-02 (1989–91) Associate Justice of the New Hampshire Supreme Court (1977–85, 1974–76) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Mickey Edwards, Chair of the House Republican Policy Committee (1989–93), U.S. Representative from OK-05 (1977–93) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• David F. Emery, U.S. Representative from ME-01 (1975–83)
• Wayne Gilchrest, U.S. Representative from MD-01 (1991–2009) (Democrat since 2019, endorsed Joe Biden)
• Jim Greenwood, U.S. Representative from PA-08 (1993–2005) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Richard L. Hanna, U.S. Representative from NY-22 (2013–17) and NY-24 (2011–13) (deceased)
• Amo Houghton, U.S. Representative from NY-29 (2003–05), NY-31 (1993–2003), and NY-34 (1987–93) (deceased)
• Bob Inglis, U.S. Representative from SC-04 (2005–11, 1993–99), 1998 nominee for Senate (endorsed Joe Biden)
• David Jolly, U.S. Representative from FL-13 (2014–17) (Independent since 2018)
• Jim Kolbe, U.S. Representative from AZ-08 (2003–07) and AZ-05 (1985–2003) (Independent since 2018, endorsed Joe Biden)
• Steven Kuykendall, U.S. Representative from CA-36 (1999–2001) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Jim Leach, Chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities (2009–13), Chair of the House Financial Services Committee (1995–2001), U.S. Representative from IA-02 (2003–07) and IA-01 (1977–2003) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• John LeBoutillier, U.S. Representative from NY-06 (1981–83) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Frank LoBiondo, U.S. Representative from NJ-02 (1995–2019)
• Susan Molinari, Vice Chair of the House Republican Conference (1995–97), U.S. Representative from NY-13 (1993–97) and NY-14 (1990–93)[33] (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Connie Morella, U.S. Ambassador to the OCED (2003–07), U.S. Representative from MD-08 (1987–2003) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Mike Parker, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works (2001–02), 1999 nominee for Governor of Mississippi, U.S. Representative from MS-04 (1989–99) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Jack Quinn, U.S. Representative from NY-30 (1993–2005) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Reid Ribble, U.S. Representative from WI-08 (2011–17)
• Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Chair (2011–13) and Ranking Member (2007–11) of House Foreign Affairs Committee, Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Conference (2003–07), U.S. Representative from FL-27 (1989–2019)
• Claudine Schneider, 1990 nominee for Senate, U.S. Representative from RI-02 (1981–91) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Joe Schwarz, U.S. Representative from MI-07 (2005–07) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Chris Shays, U.S. Representative from CT-04 (1987–2009) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Peter Smith, U.S. Representative from VT-AL (1989–91), 1986 nominee for Governor of Vermont (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Alan Steelman, 1976 nominee for Senate, U.S. Representative from TX-05 (1973–77) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Dave Trott, U.S. Representative from MI-11 (2015–19) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• James T. Walsh, U.S. Representative from NY-25 (1993–2009) and NY-27 (1989–93) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Joe Walsh, 2020 candidate for president, U.S. Representative from IL-08 (2011–13) (Independent since 2020, endorsed Joe Biden)
• G. William Whitehurst, U.S. Representative from VA-02 (1969–87) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Dick Zimmer, 2008 and 1996 nominee for Senate, U.S. Representative from NJ-12 (1991–97) (endorsed Joe Biden)

Statewide executive officials



• Charlie Baker, Governor of Massachusetts (2015–present)[85] (blanked ballot)
• Larry Hogan, Chair of the National Governors Association (2019–20), Governor of Maryland (2015–present) (wrote-in Ronald Reagan)
• Phil Scott, Governor of Vermont (2017–present), Lieutenant Governor of Vermont (2011–17) (endorsed Joe Biden)


• Arne Carlson, Governor of Minnesota (1991–99) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Lincoln Chafee, Governor of Rhode Island (2011–15), U.S. Senator from Rhode Island (1999–2007) (Libertarian since 2019)
• Jim Edgar, Governor of Illinois (1991–99) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• John Kasich, 2016 candidate for president, Governor of Ohio (2011–19), Chair of the House Budget Committee (1995–2001), U.S. Representative from OH-12 (1983–2001) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• George Pataki, 2016 candidate for president, Governor of New York (1995–2006) (declined to endorse)
• Marc Racicot, Governor of Montana (1993–2001), Attorney General of Montana (1989–93), Chair of the Republican National Committee (2001–03) (endorsed Joe Biden) (Republican)
• Mark Sanford, U.S. Representative from SC-01 (2013–19, 1995–2001), Chair of the Republican Governors Association (2008–09), Governor of South Carolina (2003–11)
• Arnold Schwarzenegger, actor and Governor of California (2003–11)
• Rick Snyder, Governor of Michigan (2011–19) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Jane Swift, Governor of Massachusetts (2001–03)
• Lowell Weicker, Governor of Connecticut (1991–95)
• Bill Weld, Governor of Massachusetts (1991–97), Libertarian 2016 nominee for Vice President (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Christie Todd Whitman, Governor of New Jersey (1994–2001) (endorsed Joe Biden)

Other statewide officials


• Karyn Polito, Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts (2013–present)


• Jeff Amestoy, Chief Justice of the Vermont Supreme Court (1997–2004), Attorney General of Vermont (1985–97) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Douglas Baily, Attorney General of Alaska (1989–90) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Walter Cohen, Acting Attorney General of Pennsylvania (1995) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Lisa Graham Keegan, Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction (1995–2001) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Richard Hodges, Director of the Ohio Department of Health (2014–17), Ohio House Representative (1993–99) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Jim Jones, Chief Justice (2015–17) and Justice (2005–17) of the Idaho Supreme Court, Attorney General of Idaho (1983–91) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• John Mutz, Lieutenant Governor of Indiana (1981–89), 1988 nominee for Governor of Indiana (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Jeffrey B. Pine, Attorney General of Rhode Island (1993–99) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Thomas D. Rath, Attorney General of New Hampshire (1978–80) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Mark Shurtleff, Attorney General of Utah (2001–13) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff, Treasurer of New Jersey (2010–15) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Gregory Smith, Attorney General of New Hampshire (1980–84) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• James C. Smith, Secretary of State of Florida (2002–03, 1987–95)Attorney General of Florida (1979–87) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Grant Woods, Attorney General of Arizona (1991–99), (Democrat since 2018) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Greg Zoeller, Attorney General of Indiana (2009–17) (Independent since 2016, endorsed Joe Biden)

Former judges

Federal judges

• John Paul Stevens, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States (1975-2010), Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (1970-1975) (Deceased)

State judges

• Rebecca White Berch, Chief Justice (2008–14) and Justice (2002–15) of the Arizona Supreme Court (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Janine P. Geske, Justice of Wisconsin Supreme Court (1993–98) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Robert F. Orr, Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court (1994–2004)[77] (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Kevin A. Ross, Judge on the Los Angeles County Superior Court (1999–2005) (endorsed Joe Biden)

State legislators

State senators


• Dawn Addiego, New Jersey State Senator from District 8 (2010–present) (Democrat since 2019, endorsed Joe Biden)
• John S. McCollister, Nebraska State Senator from District 20 (2015–present) (endorsed Joe Biden)


• Greg Brower, State Senator from District 15 (2011–16), U.S. Attorney for the District of Nevada (2008–09), Inspector General of the Government Publishing Office (2004–06)
• Paula Dockery, Florida State Senator from District 15 (2002–12), Florida State Representative from District 64 (1996–2002) (Independent since 2017, endorsed Joe Biden)
• Mike Fasano, State Senator (2002–12), President Pro Tempore of the Florida Senate (2008–10), House Majority Leader (2000–01), Florida State Representative from District 36 (2012–13) and District 45 (1994–2002) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Susan Gerard, Arizona State Senator from District 18 (2001–03) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Dawson Hodgson, Rhode Island State Senator from District 35 (2011–15) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Russ Potts, Virginia State Senator from District 27 (1992–2008) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Kevin Raye, President of the Maine Senate (2010–12), Maine State Senator from District 29 (2004–12) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Bob Worsley, Arizona State Senator from District 25 (2013–19) (endorsed Joe Biden)

State representatives


• Gary Clary, South Carolina State Representative from District 3 (2012–present) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Cheri Helt, Oregon State Representative from District 54 (2019–present)
• John Lyle, Rhode Island State Representative from District 46 (2019–present) (Independent since 2020)
• Chad Mayes, California State Assemblyman from District 42 (2014–present) (Independent since 2019)


• Jim Cunneen, California State Representative from District 24 (1994–2000) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Jim Dillard, Virginia State Delegate from District 41 (1983–2005), District 51 (1982–83), District 19 (1980–82) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Beth Fukumoto, Minority Leader of the Hawaii House of Representatives (2014–17), Hawaii State Representative from District 36 (2013–18), Acting Chair of the Hawaii Republican Party (2011) (Democrat since 2017)
• Deb Gullett, Arizona State Representative from District 11 (2003–05) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Doug Hart, Michigan State Representative from District 73 (1999–2005) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Charles Jeter, North Carolina State Representative from District 92 (2013–16) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Becky Jordan, Arizona State Representative from District 16 (1993–66) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Mickey Knight, Michigan State Representative from District 96 (1981–93) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• David Maturen, Michigan State Representative from District 63 (2015–19) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Steve May, Arizona State Representative from District 26 (1999–2003) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Dennis O'Brien, Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from (2007–08), Pennsylvania State Representative District 169 (1983–2012, 1977–80) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Juan-Carlos Planas, Florida State Representative from District 114 (2002–10) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Douglas Prescott, New York State Assemblyman from District 26 (1991–97) and District 25 (1985–91, 1981–83) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• John Ravitz, New York State Assemblyman from District 73 (1993–2002) and District 66 (1991–92) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Charles R. Saxbe, Ohio State Representative from District 75 (1975–82) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Todd Smith, Texas State Representative from District 92 (1997–2013) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Chris Vance, 2016 nominee for Senate, Chair of the Washington Republican Party (2001–06), Washington State Representative from District 31 (1991–94) (Independent since 2017, endorsed Joe Biden)
• Rich Vial, Oregon State Representative (2017–19) (Independent since 2020)
• Roberta Voss, Arizona State Representative from District 19 (1997–2003) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Katherine Waddell, Virginia State Delegate from District 68 (2006–08) (Independent, endorsed Joe Biden)
• Cole Wist, Colorado State Representative (2016–19) (endorsed Joe Biden)

Municipal and local officials


• Steve Chirico, Mayor of Naperville, Illinois (2015–present) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Mark Kersey, San Diego City Council (2012–present) (Independent since 2019, endorsed Michael Bloomberg, then Joe Biden)
• Ann Kobayashi, Honolulu City Councilor from District 5 (2009–present, 2002–08), Hawaii State Senator from District 10 (1981–94) (Democrat since 1988, endorsed Joe Biden)
• Kymberly Pine, Honolulu City Councilor from District 1 (2013–present), Hawaii State Representative from District 43 (2004–12) (Democrat since 2017, endorsed Joe Biden)
• David Tubiolo, member of the Westchester County Board of Legislators (Democrat since 2020)


• Phil Heimlich, member of Cincinnati City Council (1993–2001) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Joe Lhota, Chair of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (2017–18, 2012), 2013 nominee for Mayor of New York City (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Rick Romley, County Attorney for Maricopa County, AZ (2010) (endorsed Joe Biden)

Former Republican Party officials

Republican National Committee

• Stephen Duprey, member of the Republican National Committee, former chair of the New Hampshire Republican State Committee (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Trevor Francis, communications director for the Republican National Committee (2009) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Doug Heye, communications director for the Republican National Committee (2009–10) (wrote in Mitt Romney)
• Ryan Mahoney, communications director for the Republican National Committee (2017–19) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Lisa Miller, communications director for the Republican National Committee (2007) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Michael Steele, Chair of the Republican National Committee (2009–11), 2006 nominee for Senate, Lieutenant Governor of Maryland (2003–07), Chair of the Maryland Republican Party (2000–02) (endorsed Joe Biden)

State party chairs

• Matt Borges, Chair of the Ohio Republican Party (2013–17) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Pat Brady, Chair of the Illinois Republican Party (2009–13) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Ryan Call, Chair of the Colorado Republican Party (2011–15) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Jennifer Horn, Chair of the New Hampshire Republican Party (2013–17), 2008 nominee for NH-02, co-founder of The Lincoln Project (endorsed Joe Biden)

Activists and public figures

Celebrities and activists

• Charles Barkley, former professional basketball player (endorsed Pete Buttigieg)
• Max Boot, author, consultant, military historian, columnist for The Washington Post (Independent since 2016, endorsed Joe Biden)
• Niki Christoff, lawyer, operative for the John McCain 2008 presidential campaign (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Michael Cohen, attorney to Donald Trump (2006–18) (Democrat since 2018)
• George Conway, attorney, co-founder of The Lincoln Project (Independent since 2018, endorsed Joe Biden)
• Mindy Finn, political consultant, strategist, and activist, Independent 2016 candidate for Vice President (Independent since 2016)
• Mary Fisher, HIV/AIDS activist (endorsed Joe Biden)
• David French, senior editor of The Dispatch, attorney, political commentator (Independent since 2018, endorsed Joe Biden)
• David Frum, columnist and speechwriter for George W. Bush
• Carey Hart, off-road truck racer (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Jill Hazelbaker, communications executive, political campaign spokesperson
• Margaret Hoover, conservative political commentator, political strategist, author (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Caitlyn Jenner, television personality and retired Olympic gold medalist decathlete
• Dwayne Johnson, actor, producer, businessman, retired professional wrestler, former American football and Canadian football player (Independent since 2017, endorsed Joe Biden)
• Robert Kagan, historian (Independent since 2016)
• Jennifer Lawrence, actress (currently Democrat, endorsed Joe Biden)
• Matt Lewis, political writer
• Sarah Longwell, publisher of The Bulwark, former board chair of the Log Cabin Republicans (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Liz Mair, political and communications consultant
• Evan McMullin, former CIA officer, Independent 2016 candidate for President (Independent since 2016, endorsed Joe Biden)
• Mike Murphy, political consultant (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Tom Nichols, national security affairs scholar (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Howard Opinsky, national press secretary of the 2000 McCain presidential campaign (endorsed Joe Biden)
• John Piper, theologian
• Jennifer Rubin, political commentator (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Mark Salter, speechwriter of the 2008 McCain presidential campaign (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Andrea Saul, press secretary of the 2012 Romney presidential campaign (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Rob Schenck, Evangelical minister (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Steve Schmidt, chief strategist for the John McCain 2008 presidential campaign, co-founder of The Lincoln Project (Independent since 2018, endorsed Joe Biden)
• Tara Setmayer, CNN Political Commentator, Contributor to ABC News and former GOP Communications Director[
• Bret Stephens, journalist, editor, and columnist (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Stuart Stevens, writer and senior political strategist for Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign (endorsed Joe Biden
• Mac Stipanovich, political activist and strategist (Democrat since 2019, endorsed Joe Biden)
• Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, former U.S. Air Force captain and commercial airline pilot during the water landing of US Airways Flight 1549 (former Republican, endorsed Joe Biden)
• Steven R. Timmermans, former executive director of the Christian Reformed Church in North America (2014–) (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Dane Waters, campaign strategist (endorsed Joe Biden)
• John Weaver, political consultant, chief strategist for the John Kasich 2016 presidential campaign, co-founder of The Lincoln Project (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Peter Wehner, writer for The New York Times, former speechwriter (endorsed Joe Biden)
• George Will, journalist, columnist for The Washington Post (Independent since 2016, endorsed Joe Biden)
• Rick Wilson, political strategist, media consultant, author, co-founder of The Lincoln Project (endorsed Joe Biden)

Media personalities

• Amanda Carpenter, author, political advisor, speechwriter (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Mona Charen, columnist, journalist, political commentator, writer (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Ann Coulter, media pundit, author, columnist, lawyer
• S. E. Cupp, political commentator and writer (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Susan Del Percio, political strategist, media analyst (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Mark Galli, American minister, author, editor
• Jonah Goldberg, conservative syndicated columnist, author, political analyst, commentator
• Seth Mandel, conservative author and editor of the Washington Examiner
• Meghan McCain, co-host of The View, daughter of John McCain (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Ana Navarro, political commentator and Republican strategist (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Ramesh Ponnuru, conservative political pundit, journalist, senior editor for National Review
• Charlie Sykes, conservative talk show radio host, founder of The Bulwark (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Kevin D. Williamson, conservative political commentator, roving correspondent for National Review

Business executives and leaders

• Mike Fernandez, founder of MBF Healthcare Partners
• Carly Fiorina, 2016 candidate for president, California 2010 nominee for Senate, Chair (2000–05), President and CEO (1999–2005) of Hewlett-Packard (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Cindy McCain, businesswoman and philanthropist, widow of the late Senator John McCain (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Les Otten, CEO of the American Skiing Company, candidate for Governor of Maine in 2010 (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Barry Sternlicht, CEO of Starwood Capital Group (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Christy Walton, heiress of Walmart
• Meg Whitman, CEO of Quibi, CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise (2011–18), 2010 nominee for Governor of California, CEO of eBay (1998–2008) (endorsed Joe Biden)


National organizations

• 43 Alumni for Biden (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Defending Democracy Together (endorsed Joe Biden)
• The Lincoln Project (endorsed Joe Biden)
• National Committee of Asian American Republicans (endorsed Joe Biden)
• REPAIR (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Republican Voters Against Trump (endorsed Joe Biden)
• Right Side PAC (endorsed Joe Biden)

Republican-related organizations

• Bowdoin College Republicans
• University of Vermont College Republicans


• The Bulwark

See also

• Endorsements in the 2020 Republican Party presidential primaries
• List of Donald Trump 2020 presidential campaign endorsements
• List of former Trump administration officials who endorsed Joe Biden
• List of Joe Biden 2020 presidential campaign endorsements
• List of Republicans who opposed the Donald Trump 2016 presidential campaign
• Republican reactions to Donald Trump's claims of 2020 election fraud
• Never Trump movement

-- List of Republicans who opposed the Donald Trump 2020 presidential campaign, by Wikipedia

Lincoln Project’s Steve Schmidt: American Democracy Was Deliberately Poisoned
by Amanpour and Company

One survey says maybe 8 million of Biden's 81 million votes came from self-described Conservatives, and maybe 3 million from Republicans. So that's not small.

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Re: Our Man in London: The Scandal of the 35-Page ‘Intellige

Postby admin » Sun Dec 06, 2020 5:12 am

Part 3 of 4

"This is normal"

President Donald Trump: (15:44)
Nobody knows anything about it. By the way, there’s your line. This is one of many. Here’s what is normal, and all of a sudden, look at that. This is normal, normal. Look even here, normal. And then boom, all of a sudden, I go from winning by a lot to losing a tight race. It’s corrupt. Detroit is corrupt. I have a lot of friends in Detroit. They know it, but Detroit is totally corrupt. Look at this, look at this. That’s at 6:31 in the morning, unexpectedly came in. In the recent recount in Georgia, which means nothing because they don’t want to check signatures, and if you’re not going to check signatures in Georgia, it doesn’t work, but we have a secretary of state and a governor who made it very difficult to check signatures.

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump
Do something@BrianKempGA. You allowed your state to be scammed. We must check signatures and count signed envelopes against ballots. Then call of election. It won't be needed. We will all WIN!

President Donald Trump: (16:41)
Why? You’ll have to ask them, but without a signature match, or a check, it doesn’t matter. They found thousands and thousands of votes that were out of whack, all against me. This was during a recount that I didn’t even think mattered. They found many thousands of votes, and that recount didn’t matter. The one that matters is the one that’s going on now, that because of the fact it’s so close, they had to by law give another recount. But the recount has to be a recount where they check the signatures. Otherwise, they’re just checking the same dishonest thing. It won’t matter.

President Donald Trump: (17:22)
In this case, the signatures on envelopes are the only thing that is relevant. We will compare the signature on the envelope to the signatures from past elections, and we will find that many thousands of people signed these ballots illegally. The Democrats had this election rigged right from the beginning. They used the pandemic, sometimes referred to as the China virus, where it originated as an excuse to mail out tens of millions of ballots, which ultimately led to a big part of the fraud, a fraud that the whole world is watching. And there is no one happier right now than China.

When performed by professionals in criminal cases or legal proceedings, signature verification can take hours. But election employees in many states must do the job in as little as five seconds...

But experts say mail voters are far more likely to be disenfranchised than those who vote in person.

That’s particularly true for young people, who are more likely to experiment with various handwriting styles; the elderly, whose signatures sometimes change with age; people with disabilities; and those voting by mail for the first time — a category that this year includes millions of Americans.

People tasked with verifying signatures often receive little or no instruction. According to one study, those without formal training are more likely to flag a genuine signature as a fake rather than identify false signatures as real.

“It is just ripe for error,” said Linton Mohammed, a forensic document examiner in California who has been an expert witness in lawsuits over ballot signature rules...

A forensic-level analysis isn’t the goal, many election officials said. Instead, workers check to see if signatures look similar enough to be counted, and don’t reflect the wrong name or diverge drastically from the one in the voter’s file.

“We are not real picky as long as it looks similar,” said Jennie Aines, elections director for Franklin County, Pa. She said her staff does not receive any type of instruction in signature analysis.

“There’s no training,” she said. “We are all just office workers trying to get stuff done in here.”...

Without a cure process, rejecting ballots for handwriting issues isn’t fair to voters, said Thomas Vastrick, a forensic document examiner who has taught signature verification classes for Florida election workers...

“We always err on the side of the voter,” said Robert Rodriguez, a spokesman for the Miami-Dade County Elections Department...

Signatures that don’t match do not always signal fraud.

In addition to the young and the elderly, voters whose first language is written right to left — such as Arabic or Urdu — are less likely to have a consistent signature in English, experts say.

Medication can also affect one’s handwriting, as can fine motor skills issues, disabilities and injuries.

North Dakota resident Maria Romo didn’t learn until this year that her vote in the 2018 midterm election had been rejected due to a perceived signature mismatch.

Romo said her already messy handwriting has gotten worse since she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Her hands sometimes go numb and she struggles to grip a pen. Sitting down, standing up or resting her arm on a chair can change the look of her writing — all of which she would have told elections officials, she said, had they asked...

Emily Will, a forensic document examiner in North Carolina, said she’s troubled by the idea that workers may be comparing ballot signatures to just one, or even a few, samples from the voter’s file. She said she likes to have at least 20 examples of a voter’s past signature when she performs a verification, with several having been written recently.

“Think about signing a credit card receipt as opposed to your will or your mortgage papers,” she said. “Some people might consider their ballot signature very important, but some might think this is just nothing and they just scrawl it out.”

Amy Campbell of Philadelphia said she thinks she signed her ballot correctly in the June primary but election officials canceled her vote, claiming they “could not obtain” her signature.

The 26-year-old, who voted by mail due to concerns of COVID-19, said she was angry that she was not given the chance to cure her ballot.

“I thought I had done what I was supposed to do to vote and make sure I was doing my part to keep my city safe,” Campbell said. “It was frustrating that some minor clerical issue disqualified my vote.”

-- ‘Ripe for error’: Ballot signature verification is flawed — and a big factor in the election, by Maya Lau, Laura J. Nelson, L.A. Times, 10/28/20

President Donald Trump: (18:10)
Many people received two, three and four ballots. They were sent to dead people by the thousands. In fact, dead people -- and we have many examples, filled out ballots -- made applications, and then, voted, which is even worse. In other words, dead people went through a process. Some have been dead for 25 years.

To hear some people tell it -- including a handful of prominent Republicans, such as members of President Trump's family and supporters like former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell -- you might think that Democrats were using dead people to steal Michigan's Electoral College votes from Trump.

But, like much of the misinformation circulated online this week by some Trump supporters, the claim falls apart under scrutiny. A CNN analysis of the claim and the purported backing for it did not find a single instance of that happening.

One of the supposed pieces of evidence was a list that circulated on Twitter Thursday evening allegedly containing names, birth dates, and zip codes for registered voters in Michigan. The origin of the list and the identity of the person who first made it public are not known.

CNN examined 50 of the more than 14,000 names on the list by taking the first 25 names on the list and then 25 more picked at random. We ran the names through Michigan's Voter Information database to see if they requested or returned a ballot. We then checked the names against publicly available records to see if they were indeed dead.

Of the 50, 37 were indeed dead and had not voted, according to the voter information database. Five people out of the 50 had voted -- and they are all still alive, according to public records accessed by CNN. The remaining eight are also alive but didn't vote.

The sample CNN reviewed is not representative, but the trend was clear -- not a single one of the names examined was of a dead person voting.

The version of the list CNN found has since been removed from the site hosting it.

-- Claims that dead people voted went viral. These are the facts, By Konstantin Toropin, Holmes Lybrand and Annie Grayer, CNN, Updated 10:47 AM ET, Sun November 8, 2020

Millions of votes were cast illegally in the swing states alone, and if that’s the case, the results of the individual swing states must be overturned, and overturned immediately. Some people say that’s too far out, that’s too harsh. Well, does that mean we take a president, and we’ve just elected a president where the votes were fraudulent?

President Donald Trump: (19:01)
No, it means you have to turn over the election. And everybody knows without going much further, and they’ve seen the evidence, but they don’t want to talk about it, what a disaster this election was, a total catastrophe. But we’re going to show it, and hopefully, the courts in particular. The Supreme Court of the United States will see it, and respectfully, hopefully, they will do what’s right for our country, because our country cannot live with this kind of an election. We could say, "let’s go on to the next one," but no, we have to look also at our past. We can’t let this happen.

President Donald Trump: (19:43)
Maybe you’ll have a revote, but I don’t think that’s appropriate. When those votes are corrupt, when they’re irregular, when they get caught, they’re terminated, and I very easily win. In all states, I very easily win the swing states, just like I won them at 10 o’clock in the evening, the evening of the election. We’re not looking to show you 25 faulty or fraudulent votes, which don’t mean anything, because it doesn’t overturn the state, or a fifty, or a hundred. We’re showing you hundreds of thousands far more than we need, far more than the margin, far more than the law requires. We can show many times what is necessary to win the state.


As President Donald Trump continues to contest the election results, one of the most common questions I get is, "Are you investigating his allegations of voter fraud?" The short answer is yes, we will always look into credible accusations of serious wrongdoing.

The issue here is that many of these allegations are unfounded, overblown or have little or unreliable evidence.

"Reporters on my team have reviewed about 10 lawsuits alleging problems with voting and counting in several states," said enterprise editor Steve Myers. "What many people may not realize is how far the lawsuits fall short of what people claim."

For example, Myers said, in Nevada the Trump campaign announced it and the state Republican Party were preparing to file a lawsuit alleging that up to 10,000 people who no longer lived in Nevada had voted there.

"When the suit was filed, it contained just one vague reference to 'over 3,000 instances of ineligible individuals casting ballots,' and it cited no evidence," he said. The head of elections in Clark County said he would look into the allegation but that out-of-state voters are common, and often include members of the military and college students. Judges declined to stop vote counting.

The lack of evidence appears to be why judges have tossed these cases so quickly – in Georgia, it took just one day.

The Trump campaign went to court the day after the election, alleging Chatham County had improperly intermingled ineligible ballots with valid ones, our journalists reported. A judge dismissed the case after the county elections head said he reviewed the 53 ballots in question and found they had been received before the deadline.

Investigative editor Matt Doig points out that voting irregularities happen every election but, as our reporting has shown, are extremely rare and don't amount to negating a national election.

"A poll worker will accidentally mark the book to show that John Smith Sr. voted instead of John Smith Jr., and the Sr. is dead," he said. "Somebody who lives in Michigan will cast an absentee ballot there, and then vote in person at the precinct near his vacation house in Arizona. Someone will cast a vote for a spouse who died between the time the ballot was mailed and the election deadline."

The conservative Heritage Foundation, which keeps records of voting fraud, found about 1,200 cases dating back to the 1980s. The Heritage database does not include any examples of a concerted effort to use absentee ballot fraud to influence a major election...

-- Backstory: We investigated claims of voter fraud in the election. Here's what we found., by Nicole Carroll, USA TODAY, 11/13/20

President Donald Trump: (20:34)
The media knows this, but they don’t want to report it. In fact, they outright refuse to even cover it, because they know the result if they do. Even what I’m saying now will be demeaned and disparaged, but that’s okay. I just keep on going forward, because I’m representing 74 million people. And in fact, I’m also representing all of the people that didn’t vote for me. The mail-in voting scam is the latest part of their four year effort to overturn the results of the 2016 election, and it’s been like living in hell. Our opponents have proven many times, again and again, that they will say and do anything to get back into power.

President Donald Trump: (21:28)
The corrupt forces who are registering dead voters and stuffing ballot boxes are the same people who have perpetrated one phony and fraudulent hoax after another. You’ve been watching it now for four years. These entrenched interests oppose our movement, because we put America first. They don’t put America first, and we’re returning power to you the American people. They don’t want America first, they only want power for themselves. They want to make money. That’s why they don’t want me as your president. I’ve been investigated from soon after I announced I was running for president. When I immediately went to number one in the Republican primary polls, the investigations never stopped. They went on for four years, and I won them all, I beat them all. Russia, Russia, Russia, the impeachment hoax, and so much more. Robert Mueller spent $48 million of taxpayer money investigating me for two and a half years, issued over 2,800 subpoenas, executed nearly 500 search warrants, issued 230 orders for communications records, and conducted 500 witness interviews, all looking to take me down. There was no collusion in the end, none whatsoever. Senator Marco Rubio, the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee stated, “The committee found no evidence that then candidate Donald Trump, or his campaign, colluded with the Russian government.” And, I thank Senator Rubio for that statement.

President Donald Trump: (23:22)
Now, I hear that these same people that failed to get me in Washington have sent every piece of information to New York, so that they can try to get me there. It’s all been gone over, over and over again. For $48 million you go through tax returns, you go through everything. The New York attorney general, who recently ran for office, campaigned without knowing me, stating, “We will join with law enforcement and other attorneys general across this nation in removing this president from office.” I never met her.

President Donald Trump: (24:03)
“It’s important that everybody understands”, she said, “that the days of Donald Trump are coming to an end.” And all it’s been is a big investigation in Washington and New York and any place else that can investigate, because that’s what they want to do. They want to take not me, but us down. Then we can never let them do that. Everything has been looked at. A friend of mine, who’s very smart, said, “You’ve probably seen more than anybody else. You’ve probably been investigated more than anybody else. And for you to come out with a clean bill of health makes you probably the cleanest person in this country.”

President Donald Trump: (24:48)
Some people in this administration, but fortunately not all, have been beaten down and disparaged. They just disappeared. Nobody knows what happened to them. Why aren’t they active? Why aren’t they involved? There’s so much to be involved in. The corruption is so rampant. They just couldn’t take it anymore. They were threatened by Democrats with impeachment, and horrible things were said about them. And they’re good people. Even recently, the head of the GSA was hounded and harassed as she reported, like she has never been before. What can I say? We caught Comey cold, we caught McCabe cold. We caught them all. We’re still waiting for a report from a man named Durham, who I have never spoken to, and I have never met. They can go after me before the election as much as they want, but unfortunately Mr. Durham didn’t want to go after these people, or have anything to do with going after them before the election. So who knows if he is ever going to even do a report.

On September 10, Nora Dannehy resigned as the deputy to John Durham, the federal prosecutor investigating the government’s probe into the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election. Dannehy left her post and the Justice Department in part because of Attorney General William Barr’s pressure on Durham to release a report on his investigation’s findings before Election Day, according to a person familiar with her thinking. Trump had long been hoping a report out this fall would damage Democrats, including Joe Biden, and help him win reelection. In Trump’s terminology, Durham’s report would reveal an “attempted overthrow” of his administration by Democratic insiders. But Justice Department guidelines restrict prosecutors from taking such actions within 60 days of an election because they might affect the outcome of the election. Both Durham and Dannehy believed that if they complied with Barr’s demands they would be violating this doctrine, according to two people familiar with their thinking.

Durham, who is the U.S. Attorney for Connecticut, and Dannehy were also troubled that Barr had purposely misrepresented their work in numerous public comments, the two people said. According to two sources familiar with the probe, there has been no evidence found, after 18 months of investigation, to support Barr’s claims that Trump was targeted by politically biased Obama officials to prevent his election. (The probe remains ongoing.)
In fact, the sources said, the Durham investigation has so far uncovered no evidence of any wrongdoing by Biden or Barack Obama, or that they were even involved with the Russia investigation. There “was no evidence … not even remotely … indicating Obama or Biden did anything wrong,” as one person put it.

Shortly after the resignation of his prized deputy and with the election looming on the horizon, Durham phoned Barr. He forcefully told the attorney general that his office would not be releasing a report or taking any other significant public actions before Election Day, according to a person with knowledge of the phone call. Dannehy’s resignation constituted an implied but unspoken threat to Barr that Durham or others on his team might resign if the attorney general attempted to force the issue, according to a person familiar with Durham’s thinking.

After hearing from Durham in September, Barr informed the president and allies that there would be no October surprise, causing Trump to lash out. “Unless Bill Barr indicts these people for crimes — the greatest political crimes in the history of our country — then we’re going to get little satisfaction unless I win,” he told Fox Business last month. “[These] people should be indicted, this was the greatest political crime in the history of our country. And that includes Obama and it includes Biden.”

The president had been hoping for a repeat of what happened during the 2016 election, when, with just 11 days left, then-FBI director James Comey announced the reopening of the bureau’s Hillary Clinton email investigation. Comey’s decision is widely seen to have hurt Clinton at a crucial moment and helped Trump pull off a come-from-behind victory. For more than a year and a half, Trump believed that Durham’s investigation would confirm the conspiracy theory that the “deep state” — senior officials of the Justice Department, FBI, and intelligence community — had worked to sabotage his presidency with false accusations that he had colluded with Russia. The Justice Department’s inspector general last year reported finding no “evidence that political bias or improper motivation influenced the decisions” of the Russia investigators, and so far, the only charge brought by Durham’s office has been against an ex-FBI lawyer who pleaded guilty to falsifying an email used to obtain a warrant for electronic surveillance on former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.

For his part, Barr was hyping what the Durham investigation would find since at least the spring and suggested it would be bad for Democrats. “There is a difference between an abuse of power and a federal crime. Not every abuse of power, no matter how outrageous, is a federal crime,” Barr told reporters in May. “As to President Obama and Vice-President Biden, whatever their level of involvement, based on the information I have today, I don’t expect Mr. Durham’s work will lead to a criminal investigation of either man. Our concern over potential criminality is focused on others.” One person familiar with the Durham investigation called Barr’s comments a backhanded attempt to insinuate that Obama and Biden had abused their powers. Barr’s ongoing commentary regarding Durham’s investigation appears to have violated Justice Department policy that officials should “not confirm the existence or otherwise comment about ongoing investigations.”

While discussing Durham’s investigation, Barr’s rhetoric also increasingly paralleled Trump’s. In contrast to the president, Barr delivered his comments in a measured and restrained manner, while Trump’s claims have been coarse and hyperbolic. Barr has suggested that the DOJ and FBI’s investigations of the president was “one of the greatest travesties” in American history and a “bogus scandal,” whereas Trump simply called the investigations a “hoax.” Barr has said the “greatest danger to our free system” is when law enforcement and intelligence agencies try to “affect the outcome of an election.” Trump accused them of an attempted “coup” against him. Barr has said that the “completely bogus narrative” caused by the investigations “was largely fanned and hyped by a completely irresponsible press.” Trump blamed the “fake media,” period.

After hearing there would be no October surprise, Trump excoriated Barr, telling Rush Limbaugh: “I think it’s a terrible thing, and I’ll say it to his face.”

-- How Trump and Barr’s October Surprise Went Bust, by Murray Waas, Intelligencer, Nov 2, 2020

President Donald Trump: (26:11)
But if you look at the lies, and the leaks, and the illegal acts of behavior done by so many people, and their desire to hurt the president of the United States, something should happen. The hardest thing I have to do is explain why nothing is happening with all of these people that got caught spying on my campaign. It’s never happened before and it should never happen again to a president of the United States. All you have to do is watch the hearings and see for yourself. The evidence is overwhelming. The fraud that we’ve collected in recent weeks is overwhelming, having to do with our election. Everyone is saying, ”Wow, the evidence is overwhelming”, when they get to see it. But really, it’s too late to change the course of an election. It’s too late to change the outcome.

President Donald Trump: (27:11)
In fact, there is still plenty of time to certify the correct winner of the election, and that’s what we’re fighting to do. But no matter when it happens, when they see fraud, when they see false votes, and when those votes number far more than is necessary, you can’t let another person steal that election from you. All over the country, people are together in holding up signs, “Stop the steal.” To understand how we will challenge this fraud, it is important to know the problems with mail-in balloting. Pennsylvania, Michigan, Nevada, Georgia, Arizona, and most other states allowed anyone to get an absentee ballot and cast their vote without showing any ID. The voting took place entirely on the honor system. No identification of any kind was required.

President Donald Trump: (28:11)
Most Americans would also be shocked to learn that no state in the country verifies United States citizenship as a condition for voting in federal elections. This is a national disgrace. No other advanced country conducts elections this way. Many European countries have instituted major restrictions on mail-in voting specifically, because they recognize the nearly unlimited potential for fraud. Out of 42 European nations, all but two prohibit absentee ballots entirely for people who reside inside the country, or else they require those who need absentee ballots to show a very, very powerful ID.

President Donald Trump: (28:54)
Throughout the Democrat effort to dramatically expand mail-in voting, the Democrat party leaders were also feverishly working to block measures designed to protect against fraud such as signature verification, residency verification, or voter ID. And citizenship confirmation was almost unthought of that we should ask for it. Can you believe this? These are not the actions of people who want fair elections. These are the actions of people who want to steal elections, who are willing to create fraud. The only conceivable reason why you would block common sense measures to verify legal eligibility for voting is you are trying to encourage, enable, solicit, or carry out fraud.

President Donald Trump: (29:47)
It is important for Americans to understand that these destructive changes to our election laws were not a necessary response to the pandemic. The pandemic simply gave the Democrats an excuse to do what they have been trying to do for many, many years. In fact, the very first bill that house Democrats introduced when Nancy Pelosi became speaker, was an attempt to mandate universal mail-in voting, and eliminate measures such as voter ID, which is so necessary. Dramatically eroding the integrity of our elections was the Democrats number one priority for a simple reason: they wanted to steal the 2020 presidential election. All of the Democrat efforts to expand mail-in balloting laid the groundwork for the systematic and pervasive fraud that occurred in this election.

President Donald Trump: (30:41)
In Pennsylvania, large amounts of mail-in and absentee ballots were processed illegally and in secret, in Philadelphia, in Allegheny counties, without our observers present -- they were not allowed to be present. In fact, they weren’t even allowed in the same room. They were thrown out of the building, and they looked from outside in, but they had no way of even seeing because there were no windows. And the windows that were there were boarded up. Democrats even went to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to block observers from receiving access. There is only one possible reason that the corrupt Democrat political machine would oppose transparency during the vote counting. It’s because they know they are hiding illegal activity. It’s very simple.

President Donald Trump: (31:32)
This is an egregious, inexcusable, and irreversible harm that stains the entire election. Yet this unprecedented practice of excluding our observers, our vote watchers, as some people call them, occurred in Democrat run cities, and key states all across the nation. Here are just some of the additional facts that we’ve uncovered. Many voters all across Pennsylvania received two ballots in the mail, and many others received mail-in ballots for which they never applied. So many get ballots, they didn’t even know what they were for. And again, so many received more than one ballot. In some cases, more than two ballots. And they happened to be, for the most part, Democrats.

President Donald Trump: (32:22)
In Fayette County, Pennsylvania, multiple voters received ballots that were already filled out. They didn’t know what happened.

Quick Take

A false claim circulating on social media alleges that mail-in ballots already filled out with votes for Democrats, including Joe Biden, were sent to voters in a New York City borough. A spokesperson for the New York City Board of Elections told us the ballot that triggered the allegation was the result of a voter’s error.

Full Story

The contretemps began on Oct. 29 with a tweet by Jake Novak, who describes himself on Twitter as a freelance editorial columnist for CNBC.com. Novak said residents of Queens Village, a section of Queens Borough in New York City, “are receiving pre-filled out ballots for Joe Biden and being told to just send them back to the Board of Elections. This is blatantly ILLEGAL.” Twitter tagged the claim as “disputed.”

Novak later posted a video on Twitter in which he displays a ballot that he claims arrived entirely filled-in and another in which he elaborates on what he believes took place. The latter tweet is no longer available.

Among other things, Novak said the circles in the ballot are filled in so perfectly that no human being could have done them and they could only have been done by a machine.

Novak’s original tweet was retweeted on Oct. 30 by Eric Trump, one of President Donald Trump’s sons. The president has repeatedly and falsely claimed that vote fraud is widespread because of mail-in ballots.

The false claim also found its way onto Facebook.

The New York City Board of Elections disputed Novak’s allegation in a pair of tweets on Oct. 30. In one tweet, the board challenged the notion that the ballot brandished by Novak had not been filled out by hand. In the other, the board said it had tracked down the voter who had received the mail-in ballot and the voter had in fact received a blank ballot.

In one of his videos, Novak said he had been in touch with a Queens Village resident who had received the filled-in ballot. He said the ballot had been addressed to someone who hadn’t lived at the address for eight months. Novak said his tipster didn’t want to be identified because he had voted for past Democratic presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton but this time planned to vote for Trump, rather than Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

In his original tweet, Novak said “residents” had been receiving filled-in ballots but he backed away from the plural in the video. While saying the way the ballot he had seen was filled in suggested it was “mass produced,” he said he did not know for sure that others had received filled-in ballots.

Novak said he suspected Democrats were behind the pre-marked ballot but didn’t know for sure and was continuing to investigate.

Novak, who also lists himself on Twitter as the “creator of @Varneyco on @FOXBusiness” and a former “Executive Producer of the #KudlowReport,” said he wouldn’t provide the identity of his tipster to other news outlets because he didn’t want to give away his story. (“The Kudlow Report” was a CNBC program hosted by Larry Kudlow, now director of Trump’s National Economic Council.)

We asked Novak to put us in touch with the person or persons who had received filled-in ballots and for elaboration on why he thought the ballot could not have been filled in by a person. He did not do so.

But according to the New York City Board of Elections, there is a simple explanation for what happened, and it doesn’t involve anything nefarious. We reached Valerie Vazquez-Diaz, the board’s director of communications and public affairs, and she described what had happened in a telephone interview.

In Novak’s video of the ballot, the voter ID number is clear. According to Vazquez-Diaz, election officials tracked down the voter who had requested the absentee ballot in California. The voter reported receiving a blank ballot, filling it out and depositing it at a mail box in the Golden State.

The problem arose because the voter put the ballot into the oath envelope, which is supposed to go inside an outer envelope to be mailed to election officials. But the voter instead placed the oath envelope into the mail box. The only address on the oath envelope is the voter’s, so that’s where it was returned.

Vazquez-Diaz said officials had no idea how the envelope made its way into the hands of Novak’s tipster.

But as for Novak’s tweets, she said they were “inaccurate.”

-- False Claim About ‘Pre-Filled Out Ballots’ in Queens, by Rem Rieder and Angelo Fichera, 10/31/20

In Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, a poll watcher overheard unregistered voters being told to return later to try to vote under a different name. Tens of thousands of voters across Pennsylvania were treated differently based on whether they were Republicans or Democrats. Voters who submitted floored ballots in some Democrat precincts were notified and asked to fix their ballots, while Republican precincts, and in particular Republican voters, were not so notified, which plainly violates the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution. ”If you are a Democrat, we’re going to fix up your ballot, make sure it’s perfect. If you are Republican, don’t even talk about it.”

President Donald Trump: (33:16)
In Michigan, a career employee of the city of Detroit with the city workers, coaching voters to vote straight Democrat while accompanying them to watch who they were voting for, violating the law and the sanctity of the secret ballot. You can’t do that. The same workers say she was instructed not to ask for any ID, and not to attempt to validate any signatures. She was also told to illegally backdate ballots, many, many ballots, received after the deadline. This is something that is so unconstitutional, and she estimates that thousands and thousands of ballots were improperly backdated by her and many others.

The Postal Service’s inspector general informed Congress on Tuesday that a worker who had made unfounded allegations of ballot corruption inside a facility in Erie, Pa., had disavowed his claims, which Republicans had amplified to suggest there was widespread fraud in Pennsylvania’s voting.

Richard Hopkins, a post office employee in Erie, “completely” recanted allegations that a supervisor was “tampering with mail-in ballots” after investigators questioned him, the inspector general’s office said, according to the Democratic leadership of the House Oversight and Reform Committee.

Not long after the Democrats’ announcement, Project Veritas — a conservative group that researchers say has engaged in a coordinated disinformation campaign to delegitimize the voting process — released a video in which Mr. Hopkins said that he had not actually recanted his statements.

Mr. Hopkins had claimed in a sworn affidavit given to President Trump’s campaign that he overheard what he believed to be a discussion about the backdating of postmarks on ballots that arrived at the postal facility after Election Day.

Ballots must have been postmarked by Election Day, Nov. 3, to count. The implication of Mr. Hopkins’s claim was that postal workers had backdated ballots that should have been disqualified.

Under Pennsylvania procedures put in place during the coronavirus pandemic, mail-in ballots that arrived at election offices after Election Day have been separated from those that arrived by Nov. 3. They have not been added to the vote tallies for any candidate, and President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. has won Pennsylvania without them.

Only about 130 mail-in ballots arrived after Election Day out of about 135,000 ballots cast in Erie County, according to Carl Anderson III, the chairman of the county’s board of elections. The post office’s processes “will stand as legitimate under scrutiny,” he said in a statement.

Republicans, eager to find evidence of wrongdoing to bolster Mr. Trump’s fiction that the election was stolen from him, circulated Mr. Hopkins’s affidavit and amplified it.

Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, who has urged Mr. Trump to continue to fight the results of the election, sent Mr. Hopkins’s affidavit to reporters along with a statement that read in part: “I will not allow credible allegations of voting irregularities or misconduct to be swept under the rug.” He later acknowledged in a television interview on Sunday that the claims he circulated were unverified...

-- Postal worker withdraws claim that ballots were backdated in Pennsylvania, officials say, by Luke Broadwater, NYT, 11/10/20

President Donald Trump: (34:05)
Other witnesses in Detroit also saw our election officials counting batches of the same ballots many times, as well as illegally duplicating ballots. One observer testified to seeing boxes and boxes of ballots, all bearing the same signature. Another observer in Detroit gave sworn testimony that he saw countless invalid ballots that did not belong to properly registered voters, and then witnessed election workers in Wayne County entering fake birth dates into the system in order to illegally count them. Witnesses of signed sworn affidavits, so in other words, you go to jail if you lie, testifying that after election officials announced the last absentee votes had been received, a batch of tens of thousands of ballots arrived, many without envelopes, all voting for Democrats.

President Donald Trump: (35:02)
In Wisconsin, a record number of voters were categorized as indefinitely confined, a status reserved for severely disabled individuals, also for the elderly, that allow them to vote without showing ID. Last year approximately 70,000 people claimed this status statewide. This year the number miraculously was nearly 250,000 voters, after election officials in Milwaukee and Dane County, a couple of the most corrupt political places in our country, urged citizens to improperly register under this status. And register they did in levels that don’t exist. In Wisconsin there are approximately 70,000 absentee ballots that do not have matching ballot applications as required by law. In Georgia, nine observers have testified to seeing countless irregular ballots without the creases or typical markings. indicating that the ballots did not arrive in envelopes as required.

President Donald Trump: (36:03)
A poll watcher in Fulton County estimated that approximately 98% of the large number of unusually pristine ballots that she witnessed were for Biden. A highly unusual number. In addition, thousands of uncounted ballots were discovered in Floyd, Fayette, and Walton counties weeks after the election, and these ballots were mostly from Trump voters. They weren’t counted. They were from Trump voters.

Floyd County election officials are acknowledging that 2,500 ballots went uncounted during the 2020 general election.

The additional ballots were determined during a statewide audit of the election results. On Monday the Secretary of State's Office initially reported upwards of 2,600 ballots were discovered.

County election officials released the following statement Tuesday:

We are thankful for the opportunity to perform a hand recount as directed by the Secretary of State. The audit worked exactly as it should have. We determined that there were approximately 2500 additional ballots that had not been counted. On investigation we determined that the discrepancy was caused by a malfunctioning scanner used during early in-person voting at the Administration Building in Rome. That scanner jammed on October 24 and was rendered inoperable. A new scanner was quickly brought in to replace it.

After an unsuccessful attempt to read damaged memory cards it was determined, based upon advice of Dominion IT assistants on site and in accordance with Secretary of State guidance, to rescan all of the ballots cast prior to the scanner malfunctioning.

For reasons we do not yet fully understand, some of those ballots either were not scanned or the scanned ballots were not migrated into the ballots included in the original tally.

All ballots from the Administrative Office early voting box are now being rescanned and tallied in order to verify the audit number. In addition, the voter affidavits of all voters who voted early at the administration office were counted today in order to provide yet another method of verifying the proper total vote count for that box.

Please remember that number may not match the total audit tally exactly. For instance, there would have been votes for unqualified write-in candidates or some who simply did not vote in a particular race.

No one, least of all the Floyd County Board of Elections, is happy with this situation nor satisfied. We intend to review all processes and procedures to understand how the incident with the scanner led to this voting discrepancy. However, we want you to understand: There is no evidence of fraud. There is no evidence of intentional misconduct.

Going forward, it is our job to correct the problem, learn from it and put in redundant processes which will prevent it from happening again. Maintaining electoral integrity, making voting fair and accessible, and doing right by the citizens of Floyd County are paramount concerns for the Board of Elections.

-- Election officials clarify how 2,500 ballots went uncounted in Floyd County, by Angelina Velasquez, 11/17/20
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Re: Our Man in London: The Scandal of the 35-Page ‘Intellige

Postby admin » Sun Dec 06, 2020 7:34 am

Part 4 of 4

President Donald Trump: (36:43)
In Detroit, everybody saw the tremendous conflict and the horrible way that the two Republican canvassers were treated so horribly because they wouldn’t vote when they saw that 71% of the precincts didn’t balance. Also, there were more votes than there were voters. Think of that. You had more votes than you had voters. That’s an easy one to figure, and it’s by the thousands.

Weeks after major news outlets called the 2020 presidential race for Joe Biden, posts circulating on social media allege that more votes were cast than there are residents in Milwaukee, Wis., Detroit, Mich., Lansing, Mich. and Pittsburgh, Pa. – four blue cities in battleground states that ultimately went to Biden. Offering accurate population estimates but erroneous vote counts, the posts falsely claim extensive voting irregularities despite the Justice Department finding no evidence of widespread fraud in last month’s election...


The posts claim that the city of Milwaukee has 590,157 residents versus 640,768 votes cast there in the 2020 general election, meaning that more than 108% of the population voted. The city is in Milwaukee County, where Biden won 69.1% of the vote (here).

Though the population count is the same as the July 2019 estimate provided here by the U.S. Census Bureau, the 640,768 vote count is not accurate.

As reported here by the City of Milwaukee’s Election Commission, 247,695 voters cast ballots in the Nov. 3 general election. With 315,483 registered voters in the city, the turnout was 78.5%.

Contrary to what the posts claim, 42% of Milwaukee residents voted in the election.


The posts suggest that Detroit, with 672,662 residents and 850,441 votes, had a 126% voter turnout rate. The city of Detroit is located in Wayne County, where Biden won 68.4% of the vote (here).

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s July 2019 estimate, the population of Detroit is 670,031 (here). It is possible that the post’s estimate comes from Data Commons, an online open data repository, which says here that Detroit’s 2018 population was 672,662.

As for Detroit’s vote count, the 850,441 is wrong. Official election results provided here by the Detroit Department of Elections state that 257,619 out of 506,305 registered voters cast ballots, making voter turnout 50.9%.

Accordingly, 38% of Detroit’s population voted in the 2020 general election.


The posts falsely claim that votes in Lansing exceeded the city’s population by nearly 38,000. Lansing is mostly located in Ingham County, where Biden won 65.2% of the vote (here).

The U.S. Census Bureau estimated Lansing’s population to be 118,210 in July 2019 (here), on par with the posts’ 118,427 population figure that likely comes from Data Commons (here).

The vote count of 156,295, however, is nearly triple the real number.

Robin Stites, Election Supervisor at the Lansing City Clerk’s Office, told Reuters via email that voter turnout in the City of Lansing for the Nov. 3 election was 54,045 out of 88,873 registered voters, equivalent to a 60.81% voter turnout rate.

Thus 46% of Lansing’s population voted in the 2020 general election.


Lastly, the post claims that Pittsburgh had 691,434 votes cast, which is more than double its population. The city of Pittsburgh is in Allegheny County, where Biden won 59.4% of the vote (here).

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s July 2019 estimate (here), the population of Pittsburgh is 300,286. The posts’ similar figure of 301,048 matches that of Data Commons (here).

There were 162,719 votes cast in Pittsburgh, not 691,434.

This information can be found on Allegheny County’s official election results page (here) by scrolling down to the “Reports” box on the page’s righthand column and downloading the Excel file “Detail XLS.” In the first tab, labeled “Registered Voters,” you can filter Column A to show only Pittsburgh voting districts (rows 587 through 988), and then find the sum of the cells in Column F.

Similarly, the number of registered voters can be found by filtering to Pittsburgh voting districts and finding the sum of the cells in Column A, which equals 239,845. Accordingly, Pittsburgh experienced 67.84% voter turnout.

About 54% of Pittsburgh’s total population participated in the 2020 general election.


False. Though the posts provide accurate population estimates for Milwaukee, Detroit, Lansing and Pittsburgh, the vote counts are incorrect and several times higher than the actual numbers.

-- Fact check: Posts claiming more votes than residents in Milwaukee, Detroit, Lansing and Pittsburgh give incorrect numbers, by Reuters Staff, 12/4/20

In Arizona, in-person voters whose ballots produced error messages from tabulation machines were told to press a button that resulted in their votes not being counted. Also in Arizona, the attorney general announced that mail-in ballots had been stolen from mailboxes and hidden under a rock.


Eighteen mail-in ballots were found “hidden under a rock” in Arizona, according to a Nov. 3 press release from the state’s attorney general’s office. But those ballots had not yet been cast.

Katie Conner, a spokesperson for the office, told USA TODAY that the ballots were in their original envelopes and were removed from voters’ mailboxes before they had the chance to fill them out. The ballots were sealed, according to the release.

The ballots were found by a man named Brayan Ruiz, who was working in the area on Oct. 30, according to a video on the Glendale Police Department’s Facebook. Ruiz said in the video that when he found the ballots, he took a picture before returning them to Glendale Police. That picture is included in the press release and is the same image in the Instagram post.

Officer Tiffany Ngalula, a spokesperson for the Glendale Police Department, told USA TODAY that it appears all the ballots were mailed to voters on the same day and the thief went mailbox to mailbox, grabbing all available ballots over the span of a few blocks. She added that none of the voters appeared to be missing any mail other than their ballots.

The next day, Oct. 31, all 18 of the ballots were “hand-delivered” to the voters from whom they were stolen, Conner said. The video shows two special agents from the attorney general's office and a Glendale police officer delivering the ballots to residents.

“Our agents and Glendale PD officers spent a significant amount of time speaking with residents and delivering the ballots to ensure they could still vote,” she said...

-- Fact check: Post about stolen – and returned – Arizona ballots lacks context, by Ella Lee, USA TODAY, 11/11/20

Invited error is a mistake that the appellant was responsible for. "Under the invited-error doctrine, a party may not make or invite error at trial and then take advantage of the error on appeal." Goodwin v. State, 751 So. 2d 537, 544 n.8 (Fla. 1999). "If the error is 'invited,' or the [appellant] 'opens the door' to the error, the appellate court will not consider the error a basis for reverals .... Indeed, our case law is filled with procedural pitfalls that may preclude an error from being considered on appeal." Id. at 544.

-- Invited Error: An Argument for Appellees, by Robin Bresky, Attorney at Law Magazine, 1/5/17

Trump on ‘counterfeit ballots’

And if foreign countries want to, this is an easy system to break into because they’ll do counterfeit ballots. They’ll do counterfeit ballots by the millions. – Sept. 23, White House meeting with state attorneys general

And, you know, when they talk about Russia, China, and all these others, they will be able to do something here because paper ballots are very simple — whether they counterfeit them, forge them, do whatever you want. It’s a very serious problem. — Sept. 22, remarks to reporters

But Chris, you don’t see any activity from China, even though it is a FAR greater threat than Russia, Russia, Russia. They will both, plus others, be able to interfere in our 2020 Election with our totally vulnerable Unsolicited (Counterfeit?) Ballot Scam. Check it out! – Sept. 17 tweet, in response to Wray’s testimony that day about Russian interference in the 2020 election and resulting in a Twitter warning label (“Learn how voting by mail is safe and secure”)

Unsolicited Ballots are uncontrollable, totally open to ELECTION INTERFERENCE by foreign countries, and will lead to massive chaos and confusion! – Sept. 17 tweet, resulting in a Twitter warning label

The biggest problem we have right now are the ballots. Millions of ballots going out; that’s the biggest problem. When you talk about other countries, whether it’s China, Russia, or many others that get mentioned, they’re in a much better position with these paper ballots to do something than they would ever be under the old system. And that’s our biggest problem.” — Sept. 16, White House briefing...

Trump on ‘unsolicited ballots’

Yeah, I think it’s a better name, Josh, because they said “universal ballots” and they had 15 different names. Didn’t mean — people said, “How does that have to do with being universal?” Unsolicited. Eighty million unsolicited ballots being sent all over the place. — Sept. 23, White House meeting with state attorneys general

We need nine [Supreme Court] justices. You need that. With the unsolicited millions of ballots that they’re sending, it’s a scam; it’s a hoax. … Because what they’re doing is a hoax, with the ballots. They’re sending out tens of millions of ballots, unsolicited — not where they’re being asked, but unsolicited. And that’s a hoax, and you’re going to need to have nine justices. – Sept. 22, speaking to reporters on South Lawn of White House

And when you see them cheating on the other side, I don’t say if, when. When you see them cheating with those ballots, all those unsolicited ballots, those millions of ballots, you see them. Anytime you do, report them to the authorities. – Sept. 21, at a rally in Swanton, Ohio

You have ballots that you go out and you can get, you could request as you know, you can request them and that’s fine. But if you’re not requesting them, when you get millions, about 80 million, they say, all over the United States, where the hell are they going? – Sept. 21, at a rally in Dayton, Ohio

They used to say universal, but nobody knows what that means. Unsolicited, meaning people didn’t solicit these ballots. People are saying, hey, what’s going on? I just got a whole batch of ballots. They have no idea who they’re sending them to. You know they’re sending them to the wrong people. – Sept. 20, “Life, Liberty & Levin” on Fox News

But, uh, so I, I think that, uh, yeah, they’re gonna do something, Dan. Something’s gonna happen, but you know what they’re doing? They’re trying to screw it all up with the ballots. So they have — I guess I’ve heard numbers from 50 to 80 million unsolicited ballots. That’s unsolicited. People aren’t asking for ’em. – Sept. 20, “The Dan Bongino Show”

When you solicit, when you go out — it’s called “absentee” or “solicit.” When you go out and you request a ballot — you want to say, “I want to vote because I can’t be in Florida or I can’t be someplace.” You request. So you’re sending something in, it’s handled professionally, they send it back — it’s a whole thing. That’s much different than “unsolicited,” when you get millions of ballots. I heard numbers like 80 million ballots. – Sept. 18, White House briefing

The big Unsolicited Ballot States should give it up NOW, before it is too late, and ask people to go to the Polling Booths and, like always before, VOTE. Otherwise, MAYHEM!!! Solicited Ballots (absentee) are OK. @foxandfriends — Sept. 17 tweet, resulting in a Twitter warning label

The worst campaign, most dishonest campaign I’ve ever seen, and the ballots, and well you see were that these unsolicited ballots. — Sept. 17, Clay Travis interview

Take a look at what’s happened over the last year with this same kind of thing, except in a very small setting with very few ballots going out, so that’s much easier; not 53 to 80 million going out. — Sept. 16, White House press briefing

The Unsolicited Mail In Ballot Scam is a major threat to our Democracy, & the Democrats know it. Almost all recent elections using this system, even though much smaller & with far fewer Ballots to count, have ended up being a disaster. Large numbers of missing Ballots & Fraud. — Sept. 12 tweet

In the country they’re going to send out 80 million unsolicited, in other words people that don’t even know what a ballot is, all of a sudden here comes the ballot. … A lot of people use the word absentee. Get an absentee ballot where you request it, it comes to you, you vote and you send it back. That’s different. But they’re just sending out — all over they’re sending out 80 million ballots. — Sept. 12, Jeanine Pirro interview on Fox News

They send 80 million ballots out. Where are they going? Who are they sending them to? Are they sending them to certain areas and not other areas? Are they sending them to Democrat areas? These are all controlled by Democrat governors, like your politically motivated governor. … They should make people — if you register, if you want a solicited ballot, that’s where you ask for it. You have to sign papers. You get it ’cause you can’t be there. That’s one thing. When they sent 80 million ballots to people, they have no idea where they’re going. – Sept. 12, at a rally in Minden, Nevada

Sending out 80 MILLION BALLOTS to people who aren’t even asking for a Ballot is unfair and a total fraud in the making. Look at what’s going on right now! — Sept. 10 tweet...

-- Trump’s Repeated False Attacks on Mail-In Ballots, by Eugene Kiely and Rem Rieder, Factcheck.org, 9/25/20

President Donald Trump: (37:37)
In Clark County, Nevada, where most of the state’s voters reside, the standards for matching a signature using the signature verification machine were intentionally lowered to allow large numbers of ballots to be counted that otherwise would never have passed muster. This machine was set at the lowest level. According to one report, in order to test the process, nine voters in Clark County cast ballots with intentionally incorrect signatures, and eight of the nine ballots were accepted and counted. They said you could sign your name as Santa Claus, and it would be accepted. Last week, the Clark County Commission threw out the results of a local election after the registrar reported finding, “discrepancies that we can’t explain.”

Clark County commissioners have certified all the results of the general election — except in the race for the commission seat representing District C, where ballot discrepancies outnumber Democrat Ross Miller’s 10-vote victory and a special election will be held.

Clark County Registrar of Voters Joe Gloria reported to the commission on Monday that there were 139 ballot discrepancies in District C, and Miller defeated Republican opponent Stavros Anthony by only 10 votes out of 153,162 cast. As a result of the discrepancies, the commission voted not to certify the District C results and instead call Gloria back to its first December meeting to present a plan for a special election....

Discrepancies in ballot counts can occur when the number of voter check-ins at a voting site does not match the number of ballots cast at that site, when voters attempt to vote twice, and because of assorted mail ballot issues.

President Donald Trump tweeted about the decision Monday afternoon, saying that “large scale voter discrepancy” showed that officials “do not have confidence” in election security. However, Joe Gloria stated at Monday’s meeting that discrepancies occur in every election.

“There’s no election that goes without discrepancies that are identified,” Gloria said. “In particular, this time, with such a large mail ballot number, that number that I’ve identified is in the thousandths of percent.”

The 936 discrepancies make up .096 percent of total ballots cast in Clark County in this year’s election.

Anthony has been vocally supportive of Trump in the past, but Anthony’s campaign manager, Lisa Mayo-DeRiso, distanced the campaign from the president’s comments on Monday evening, telling The Nevada Independent that Anthony’s campaign “has never subscribed to the conspiracy side of that” with regard to the discrepancies.

“What we’ve consistently talked about is human error,” she said. “I don’t care if you’re counting ballots or making pizzas, there’s going to be errors.”...

-- Clark County calls for re-vote in commission race decided by 10 ballots; discrepancies outnumber victory margin, by Kristyn Leonard, thenevadaindependent, 11/16/20

Also in Nevada, some voters were entered into a raffle for more than a dozen gift cards worth as much as $250 if they could prove they had voted. This took place on Indian reservations.

The Nevada Native Vote Project posted photos on Facebook on Election Day of smiling voters holding $25 gift cards after handing over their ballots.

The posts have since been deleted but not before they were archived. The removal may have had something to do with the U.S. criminal code, two distinct sections of which impose fines and prison sentences for “whoever makes or offers to make an expenditure to any person, either to vote or withhold his vote.”

Offering gift cards for ballots was not the only way the Nevada Native Vote Project enticed people to vote. In a video that still appeared on Facebook on Nov. 24, Bethany Sam, the public relations officer for the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony, urged people to come out and vote by offering “some extra swag that we can give out.”

“We have twenty-five $25 dollar gift cards to raffle off so that’s a lot of money in cash here. We have also four $100 gift cards to give away, so again you want to make sure to get out here and vote. And then, we have four $250 gift cards to raffle. And our grand prize is going to be a $500 Visa gift card to the person or native voters who came out early this week early voting,” Sam said, adding that voters need only send a photo of themselves at the polling place to enter....

Sam noted that the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony endorsed the Biden-Harris ticket. She then turned the camera to Arlan Melendez, chairman of the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony that describes itself as a “sovereign Indian nation” with a Tribal Council that “carries the same unique powers and duties as any city council, county commission, or legislative government across the United States.”

“I think the Biden-Harris campaign is supporting tribal sovereignty,” Melendez said before urging people to come out to vote.

There are an estimated 60,000 registered Native Indian voters in Nevada. In a video filmed on Election Day, Sam encouraged natives to vote because Nevada is a swing state.

“I also want you to know that we do have a raffle going on whether you’re early voting or you vote today during the Election Day,” Sam said, instructing people to enter the draw by sending her a screenshot of their cast ballot from a ballot-tracking website or a photo of themselves with an “I Voted” sticker.

The prizes included cash gift cards valued at $250, $100, and $25 as well as T-shirts and beaded items, Sam said. At the end of the video, Sam told viewers to visit the tribe’s voting recommendations page, which advises people to vote for former Vice President Joe Biden...

Sam and her boss, Melendez, did not respond to emailed questions. The office of the Nevada secretary of state, which is charged with supervising state and local elections, did not respond to emailed questions....

Martinez did not respond to a request for comment sent to her Facebook account.

NCAI stands for the National Congress of American Indians. NCAI counts Native Vote as one of its initiatives. According to its website, NCAI is funded in part by taxpayer dollars from the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Defense, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of the Interior, the Department of Justice, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Small Business Administration.
The NCAI’s list of supporters also includes the Open Society Foundations, which is headed by George Soros, a liberal power donor.

NCAI did not respond to an emailed request for comment. Matt Johnson, who is listed as the NCAI contact for Native Vote, did not respond to a request for comment...

The Department of Justice did not respond to a request for comment. The Federal Elections Commission declined to comment. The Election Assistance Commission did not respond to a request for comment.

-- Illegal Money-for-Votes Raffles Conducted in Several States in 2020 Election, by Ivan Pentchoukov, epochtimes.today

Inherent Sovereign Authority: Indian tribes - as sovereign nations - historically have inherent jurisdictional power over everything occurring within their territory. Tribal courts are courts of general jurisdiction which continue to have broad criminal jurisdiction. Any analysis of tribal criminal jurisdiction should begin with this sovereign authority and determine whether there has been any way in which this broad sovereign authority had been reduced (see below).

Federal or State Concurrent Jurisdiction: Congress has granted limited jurisdictional authority to the federal courts (under the General Crimes Act and the Major Crimes Act) and to state courts (under Public Law 280). It is important, however, to note that tribal courts maintain concurrent (or joint) criminal jurisdiction.

-- General Guide to Criminal Jurisdiction in Indian Country, by Tribal Court Clearinghouse, a project of the tribal Law and Policy Institute

President Donald Trump: (38:42)
One of the most significant indications of widespread fraud is the extraordinarily low rejection rates for mail-in ballots in many key states. These are the states that I had to win. In swing state after swing state, the number of ballots rejected has been dramatically lower than what would have been expected based on prior experience. That means years and years of voting. In Georgia, just 0.2%, that’s substantially less than 1%, of mail-in ballots have been rejected. In other words, almost none have been rejected. They took everything. Nothing was rejected, practically, compared to 6.4% in 2016. There are those that think that 6.4 was a low number.

President Donald Trump: (39:36)
Think of it. Almost none were rejected. The previous election, 6.4% were rejected. We have seen similar declines in Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Michigan. Ballots weren’t rejected, especially if they happen to be in Democrat areas. These irregularities are inexplicable unless there is a deliberate effort to accept ineligible ballots or fraudulent ballots.

President Donald Trump: (40:06)
In Pennsylvania, the secretary of state and the state supreme court in essence abolished signature verification requirements just weeks prior to the election, in violation of state law. You’re not allowed to do that. It has to be approved by the legislature. A judge can’t do it. A state can’t do it. An official can’t do it. The only one that can do it is the legislature.

With concerns rising in Pennsylvania that tens of thousands of mail-in ballots will be discarded in the presidential election over technicalities, officials in the presidential battleground told counties they aren’t allowed to reject a ballot solely because an election official believes a signature doesn’t match the one in the voter’s file.

The new guidance from Pennsylvania’s Department of State — that state law does not allow counties to set aside mail-in ballots based on their signature analysis — prompted the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania and the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh to drop a lawsuit in federal court Monday.

The groups had cited the lack of guidance on the subject and sought to ensure that voters have the chance to fix ballots that are flagged for a perceived signature mismatch.

“As a result of this case, Pennsylvania voters can cast their vote without fear that their ballot could be rejected solely because an election official — who isn’t trained in handwriting analysis — thinks their signatures don’t match,” said Mark Gaber, a Campaign Legal Center lawyer who represented the groups in court.

In Pennsylvania’s June 2 primary election alone, when 1.5 million voted by mail, more than 26,000 ballots were rejected, including for “signature-related errors or matters of penmanship,” the lawsuit had said.

One county election director, L. Edward Allison Jr. of Lawrence County, said that the state’s guidance is in line with his county’s practices and that he doubts it will be controversial with counties. One way of fixing it is to contact voters to come in to verify their signature, he said.

“We recognize the fact that, as people age, their signature changes, I know mine has,” Allison said in an interview. “Different medical conditions, strokes, all that kind of stuff enters into it.”

Meanwhile, with seven weeks until the Nov. 3 election, a partisan stalemate in Pennsylvania’s Capitol is holding up legislation to fix glitches and gray areas in the state’s mail-in voting law.

To a great extent, Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, and the Legislature’s Republican majorities are clashing over how to prevent vast numbers of ballots from being discarded because of technicalities and how to head off the specter of a presidential election result hanging in limbo on a drawn-out vote count and legal fight in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court may rule in lawsuits on some of the outstanding issues, but Wolf, at a news conference on Tuesday in York, pressed lawmakers anew to act on changes he is seeking.

Republicans have said any changes must ensure the election is secure. Democrats accuse Republicans of pursuing voter suppression tactics, including trying to outlaw drop boxes and satellite election offices that Democrat-heavy counties in southeastern Pennsylvania, including Philadelphia, are planning to use.

To help count mail-in ballots quickly after polls close, Wolf wants to give counties up to three weeks before Election Day to start processing them, instead of the three days favored by Republicans.

To ensure fewer mail-in ballots are discarded, Wolf wants to require counties to count mail-in ballots that arrive up to three days after Election Day, provided they are postmarked before polls close. Republicans oppose that and would rather move the deadline by which voters can request a mail-in ballot, from a week before the election to 15 days before, to leave more time for voters to return it.

Without an agreement on legislation, “we really do risk becoming Florida in 2000,” state Rep. Kevin Boyle, D-Philadelphia, said.

A 2019 state law greatly expanded access to mail-in balloting in Pennsylvania and, fueled by concerns over the pandemic, more than 3 million voters are expected to cast ballots by mail in the Nov. 3 election.

That’s more than 10 times the number who voted by mail in Pennsylvania in 2016′s election when President Donald Trump’s 44,000-vote victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton in Pennsylvania helped propel him to the White House.

So far, nearly 1.9 million people have applied for a mail-in or absentee ballot, Wolf’s top elections official, Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar, said Tuesday.

For now, counties are still awaiting one court decision before they can get ballots printed and send them to voters who applied for a mail-in ballot.

In that case before the state Supreme Court, Democrats are trying to keep the Green Party’s presidential candidate off the Nov. 3 ballot.

-- Pennsylvania: Mail ballots can’t be discarded over signature, by Marc Levy, 9/15/20

Mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania can't be challenged or thrown out based on whether the voter's signature on the outer envelope matches what's on their voter registration, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled Friday.

The high court said in its unanimous ruling that the state Election Code had no specific language directing county election officials to compare signatures when verifying a voter's eligibility, and noted that revisions to the code over the years had actually cut out a signature comparison requirement back when mail-in ballots only applied to military members serving away from their homes.

"We draw two inferences from this early history. First, the Legislature understands how to craft language requiring signature comparisons at canvassing when it chooses to do so, as it did in 1937. Second, in the 1937 code, the Legislature drew a clear distinction between assessing the sufficiency of the ballot affidavit … and a comparison of the ballot signature," Justice Debra Todd wrote for the court. "The Legislature having subsequently stripped out the signature comparison language from the code, we ought not to construe, as intervenors suggest, the remaining sufficiency determination as incorporating a signature comparison."

The court granted a request from Secretary of the Commonwealth Kathy Boockvar for a declaration that signature comparisons were not necessary, over arguments from intervenors, including President Donald Trump's reelection campaign, that signature comparison was a necessary part of determining if a voter was who they said they were.

A federal lawsuit from the League of Women Voters had sought to bar counties from doing signature comparisons, arguing that signatures can naturally change over time and therefore the comparisons posed a risk that legitimate votes could be thrown out based on a mismatch. That suit was dropped after Boockvar issued guidelines in September that said counties couldn't toss ballots based on signatures.

In its own federal suit, the Trump campaign wanted the court to make signature comparisons a requirement for the precanvassing process, when election officers look at voters' declarations on the outer envelope of their mail-in ballots to verify the voters' identities and eligibility to vote, before opening the outer envelope and sending the inner envelope and the ballot within it to be counted.

Boockvar asked the justices to weigh in on the state Election Code, and the federal judge tossed the campaign's lawsuit Oct. 10.

The justices said Friday that in other areas of the Election Code not pertaining to mail-in ballots, the state Legislature had clearly indicated when signatures should be compared to state records and when they could be challenged based on those signatures, including when someone signs in to vote in person, or when they submit a provisional ballot.

But the Legislature removed the signature requirement for military voters' mail-in ballots in 1945, expanded mail-in voting in 2019 by eliminating the requirement that voters swear they are unable to vote in person, and made further accommodations in 2020 for the COVID-19 pandemic and eliminated all time-of-canvassing challenges.

"Presumably, in expanding voting by mail, the Legislature sought to streamline the process for canvassing such ballots, perhaps to avoid undermining the expansion effort by eliminating the prospect that voters — including a potentially large number of new mail-in voters — would be brought before the board or the courts to answer third-party challenges," the opinion said.

"Intervenors would have us interpret the Election Code, which now does not provide for time-of-canvassing ballot challenges, and which never allowed for signature challenges, as both requiring signature comparisons at canvassing, and allowing for challenges on that basis," the justices said. "We reject this invitation."

The justices also noted that the recent changes to the law had affected what went into the "registered absentee and mail-in voters file," which the intervenors had alleged that election officials were supposed to compare to the ballot signatures. The Legislature had cut out the requirement that the file contain copies of voter registration records with the voters' earlier signatures, the opinion said.

"It seems this file, previously utilized, is now a virtually empty relic," the opinion said. "The only informational remnant in the file, if it is still being maintained, is … a voter's absentee and mail-in ballot application number to be entered in the file. Manifestly, there is no present requirement that the file contain the type of signature information necessary to perform the signature comparison intervenors contend is mandatory."

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, whose office helped represent the state, hailed the ruling as a win for voters.

"Voters who use a mail-in ballot have their identity verified in the initial application, often using a drivers' license number," he said in a statement. "Pennsylvania's voter identification system is safe and secure. We are protecting every eligible vote and ensuring each is counted."

Boockvar also lauded the ruling, sending a tweet that said it was a "Huge victory for free and fair elections in Pennsylvania! And on my birthday no less!"

Representatives for the Trump campaign did not immediately respond to requests for comment Friday.

"Secretary Boockvar's work to undermine the security features embedded in our Election Code is ongoing. People voting in person are now being held to a higher standard than those who mail in their ballots," said state Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman, a Republican who had filed an amicus brief in the case siding with the Trump campaign, in a statement. "Never did we contemplate that Secretary Boockvar would interpret the statute in a way which would result in signatures required on the mail-in ballots being meaningless."

The Pennsylvania Department of State and Boockvar are represented by Daniel T. Donovan, Susan Davies, Michael Glick, Sara Shaw Tatum, Madelyn Morris and Kristen Bokhan of Kirkland & Ellis LLP; Daniel T. Brier, Donna A. Walsh and John B. Dempsey of Myers Brier & Kelly LLP; Timothy E. Gates and Kathleen M. Kotula of the State Department's Office of Chief Counsel; Kenneth L. Joel and M. Abbegael Giunta of the Governor's Office of General Counsel; and Josh Shapiro, Karen M. Romano, Keli M. Neary, Howard G. Hopkirk, Nicole Boland and Stephen Moniak of the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office.

The Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee are represented by Ronald L. Hicks Jr., Jeremy A. Mercer and Russell D. Giancola of Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP and Matthew Morgan and Justin R. Clark of Elections LLC.

The case is In re: November 3, 2020 General Election, case number 149 MM 2020, before the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

-- Pa. Justices Say Signatures Alone Can't Disqualify Ballots, by Matthew Santoni, Law360, 10/23/20

President Donald Trump: (40:33)
The reason for this is clear. They were not verifying signatures because they know the ballots have not been filled out by the voters in whose names they were cast. In other words, people filled them out that had nothing to do with the names on the ballot. A simple recount of the ballots under these circumstances only compounds the fraud. The only way to determine whether there was an honest vote is to conduct a full review of the envelopes in the relevant states. You will find that many of them, tens of thousands, have fraudulent signatures. A full forensic audit is required to ensure that only legal ballots from lawfully registered voters that were properly cast are included in the final count.

President Donald Trump: (41:25)
This election is about great voter fraud, fraud that has never been seen like this before. It’s about poll watchers who were not allowed to watch. So illegal. It’s about ballots that poured in, and nobody but a few knew where they came from. They were counted, and they weren’t for me. It’s about big leads on election night, tremendous leads, leads where I was being congratulated for a decisive easy victory. All of a sudden by morning, or a couple of days later, those leads rapidly evaporated. It’s about numbers of ballots that were sent that nobody knows where they came from. It’s about machinery that was defective, machinery that was stopped during certain parts of the evening, miraculously to open with more votes.

President Donald Trump: (42:24)
It was about many other things, but above all, it was about fraud. This election was rigged. Everybody knows it. I don’t mind if I lose an election, but I want to lose an election fair and square. What I don’t want to do is have it stolen from the American people. That’s what we’re fighting for. We have no choice to be doing that. We already have the proof. We already have the evidence, and it’s very clear. Many people in the media and even judges so far have refused to accept it. They know it’s true. They know it’s there. They know who won the election, but they refuse to say, “You’re right.” Our country needs somebody to say, “You’re right.”

President Donald Trump: (43:12)
Ultimately, I am prepared to accept any accurate election result, and I hope that Joe Biden is as well. We already have the proof. We already have tens of thousands of ballots more than we need to overturn all of these states that we’re talking about. This is an election for the highest office in the greatest country in the history of the world. Every reasonable American should be able to agree, based on what we have already documented, that we need a systematic analysis of the mail-in ballots to review the envelopes. It’s about the signature. If they’re on the envelopes, we can only review the envelopes, and that will tell us everything.

President Donald Trump: (44:01)
This is the absolute minimum we should expect. This is not just about my campaign, although it has a lot to do with who’s going to be your next president. This is about restoring faith and confidence in American elections. This is about our democracy and the sacred rights that generations of Americans have fought, bled, and died to secure. Nothing is more urgent or more important. The only ballots that should count in this election are those cast by eligible voters who are citizens of our country, residents of the states in which they voted, and who cast their ballots in a lawful manner before the legal deadline.

President Donald Trump: (44:43)
Moreover, we must never again have an election in which there is not a reliable and transparent system to verify the eligibility, identity, and residency of every single person who casts a ballot, a very, very cherished ballot. Many very smart people have congratulated me on all we’ve done: the biggest tax cuts in history, regulation cuts, the biggest in history. We rebuilt our military. We took care of our vets like never before, Space Force, and so much more. Then they went on to say, as big and as important as these events were, the single greatest achievement in your presidency will be exactly what you’re doing right now: voter integrity for our nation. It’s more important than any of the things that we discussed.

President Donald Trump: (45:40)
If we don’t root out the fraud, the tremendous and horrible fraud that’s taken place in our 2020 election, we don’t have a country anymore. With the resolve and support of the American people, we will restore honesty and integrity to our elections. We will restore trust in our system of government. Thank you. God bless you. God bless America.
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Re: Our Man in London: The Scandal of the 35-Page ‘Intellige

Postby admin » Tue Dec 22, 2020 1:54 am

Trump downplays government hack after Pompeo blames it on Russia: Secretary of state is first in administration to point to Russia but Trump attacks media over reports
What we know – and still don’t – about the cyber-attack
by Martin Pengelly in New York and agencies @MartinPengelly
Sat 19 Dec 2020 13.35 EST First published on Sat 19 Dec 2020 09.20 EST

Not long after Mike Pompeo became the first member of the Trump administration to blame Russia for wide-ranging hacks of US government agencies and private companies which have sent Washington scrambling to fill the breach, the president sought to play the hack down.

In response, one senior congressional Democrat accused Trump of “another scandalous betrayal of our national security”.

“The Cyber Hack is far greater in the Fake News Media than in actuality,” Trump tweeted on Saturday morning. “I have been fully briefed and everything is well under control. Russia, Russia, Russia is the priority chant when anything happens because [US media] is, for mostly financial reasons, petrified of discussing the possibility that it may be China (it may!)”

The hack targeted widely used software made by SolarWinds, an Austin, Texas-based company. On Friday night, speaking to the rightwing talk radio host Mark Levin, Pompeo placed blame squarely on Russia.

“This was a very significant effort,” he said. “I think it’s the case that now we can say pretty clearly that it was the Russians that engaged in this activity.”

Regardless, Trump chose to tag his secretary of state and director of national intelligence John Ratcliffe in another tweet that contained another baseless claim of electoral fraud in the presidential contest he lost to Joe Biden, but which he has not conceded.

“There could also have been a hit on our ridiculous voting machines during the election,” Trump wrote, “which is now obvious that I won big, making it an even more corrupted embarrassment for the USA.”

At the same time, the New York Times reported that at the White House on Friday, Trump suggested installing the attorney and conspiracy theorist Sidney Powell as a special counsel investigating voter fraud. Citing two anonymous sources, the Times said aides including Rudy Giuliani, who has led attempts to overturn the election result, pushed back on the idea.

Regarding the SolarWinds hack and Trump’s attempt to play down links to Russia, Adam Schiff, the California Democrat who chairs the House intelligence committee and led impeachment proceedings against Trump, said: “Another day, another scandalous betrayal of our national security by this president.

“Another dishonest tweet that sounds like it could have been written in the Kremlin. Another obsequious display towards Putin.
And yet another reason that Trump can’t leave office fast enough.”

Pompeo did not immediately respond to being undercut by his boss. But in speaking to Levin, he said: “I’m sure some of it will remain classified. But suffice it to say there was a significant effort to use a piece of third-party software to essentially embed code inside of US government systems and it now appears systems of private companies and companies and governments across the world as well.”

The Kremlin denies involvement.

On Saturday, a security research blog by Microsoft said a second hacking group, different from the suspected Russian team, also targeted SolarWinds products.

“The investigation of the whole SolarWinds compromise led to the discovery of an additional malware that also affects the SolarWinds Orion product but has been determined to be likely unrelated to this compromise and used by a different threat actor,” the blog said.

A SolarWinds spokesman told Reuters: “It remains early days of the investigation.”

Earlier this week, as security teams attempted to limit damage from the hacks, critics pressed for Trump to speak out.

Speaking to SiriusXM radio, the Utah Republican senator and former presidential candidate Mitt Romney said: “What I find most astonishing is that a cyber hack of this nature is really the modern equivalent of, almost, Russian bombers reportedly flying undetected over the entire country.

“In this setting, not to have the White House aggressively speaking out and protesting and taking punitive action is really, really quite extraordinary.”

Asked about Romney’s remarks, Pompeo said: “I saw this in my time running the world’s premier espionage service at the CIA. There are many things that you’d very much love to say, ‘Boy, I’m going to call that out,’ but a wiser course of action to protect the American people is to calmly go about your business and defend freedom.”

US-Russia ties have been strained by issues ranging from conflicts in Syria and Ukraine to allegations of interference in US politics, specifically the 2016 election and in favour of Trump, which Moscow also denies. At a news conference on Thursday, Vladimir Putin said he hoped Biden would help resolve some issues in relations between Moscow and Washington.

The state department said on Saturday the US was halting work at consulates in Vladivostock and Yekaterinburg, citing safety and security issues at facilities where operations had been curtailed because of Covid-19. The decision did not affect Russian consulates in the US, the department said, but the closures will leave the embassy in Moscow as the last US diplomatic mission in Russia. It is unclear if the closures will happen before 20 January, when Biden takes office.

Speaking to Levin, Pompeo said: “We have lots of folks that want to undermine our way of life, our republic, our basic democratic principles. Russia is certainly on that list … You see the news of the day with respect to their efforts in the cyber space. We’ve seen this for an awfully long time, using asymmetric capabilities to try and put themselves in a place where they can impose costs on the United States.

“So yes, Vladimir Putin remains a real risk to those of us who love freedom.”
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Re: Our Man in London: The Scandal of the 35-Page ‘Intellige

Postby admin » Thu Dec 24, 2020 7:02 am

With Biden's New Threats, the Russia Discourse is More Reckless and Dangerous Than Ever: The U.S. media demands inflammatory claims be accepted with no evidence, while hacking behavior routinely engaged in by the U.S. is depicted as aberrational.
by Glenn Greenwald
Dec 23, 2020

Then-Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the Brookings Institute May 27, 2015 in Washington, DC spoke about the Russia-Ukraine conflict (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

To justify Hillary Clinton’s 2016 loss to Donald Trump, leading Democrats and their key media allies for years competed with one another to depict what they called “Russia’s interference in our elections” in the most apocalyptic terms possible. They fanatically rejected the view of the Russian Federation repeatedly expressed by President Obama — that it is a weak regional power with an economy smaller than Italy’s capable of only threatening its neighbors but not the U.S. — and instead cast Moscow as a grave, even existential, threat to U.S. democracy, with its actions tantamount to the worst security breaches in U.S. history.

This post-2016 mania culminated with prominent liberal politicians and journalists (as well as John McCain) declaring Russia’s activities surrounding the 2016 to be an “act of war” which, many of them insisted, was comparable to Pearl Harbor and the 9/11 attack
— the two most traumatic attacks in modern U.S. history which both spawned years of savage and destructive war, among other things.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) repeatedly demanded that Russia’s 2016 “interference” be treated as “an act of war.” Hillary Clinton described Russian hacking as “a cyber 9/11.” And here is Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) on MSNBC in early February, 2018, pronouncing Russia “a hostile foreign power” whose 2016 meddling was the “equivalent” of Pearl Harbor, “very much on par” with the “seriousness” of the 1941 attack in Hawaii that helped prompt four years of U.S. involvement in a world war.


Breaking News: Mueller Indicts 13 Russians for Election Interference, MSNBC Live

With the Democrats, under Joe Biden, just weeks away from assuming control of the White House and the U.S. military and foreign policy that goes along with it, the discourse from them and their media allies about Russia is becoming even more unhinged and dangerous. Moscow’s alleged responsibility for the recently revealed, multi-pronged hack of U.S. Government agencies and various corporate servers is asserted — despite not a shred of evidence, literally, having yet been presented — as not merely proven fact, but as so obviously true that it is off-limits from doubt or questioning.

Any questioning of this claim will be instantly vilified by the Democrats’ extremely militaristic media spokespeople as virtual treason. “Now the president is not just silent on Russia and the hack. He is deliberately running defense for the Kremlin by contradicting his own Secretary of State on Russian responsibility,” pronounced CNN’s national security reporter Jim Sciutto
, who last week depicted Trump’s attempted troop withdrawal from Syria and Germany as “ceding territory” and furnishing “gifts” to Putin. More alarmingly, both the rhetoric to describe the hack and the retaliation being threatened are rapidly spiraling out of control.

Democrats (along with some Republicans long obsessed with The Russian Threat, such as Mitt Romney) are casting the latest alleged hack by Moscow in the most melodramatic terms possible, ensuring that Biden will enter the White House with tensions sky-high with Russia and facing heavy pressure to retaliate aggressively. Biden’s top national security advisers and now Biden himself have, with no evidence shown to the public, repeatedly threatened aggressive retaliation against the country with the world’s second-largest nuclear stockpile.

Congressman Jason Crow (D-CO) — one of the pro-war Democrats on the House Armed Services Committee who earlier this year joined with Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) to block Trump’s plan to withdraw troops from Afghanistan — announced: “this could be our modern day, cyber equivalent of Pearl Harbor,” adding: “Our nation is under assault.” The second-ranking Senate Democrat, Dick Durbin (D-IL), pronounced: “This is virtually a declaration of war by Russia."

Meanwhile, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), who has for years been casting Russia as a grave threat to the U.S. while Democrats mocked him as a relic of the Cold War (before they copied and then surpassed him), described the latest hack as “the equivalent of Russian bombers flying undetected over the entire country.” The GOP’s 2012 presidential nominee also blasted Trump for his failure to be “aggressively speaking out and protesting and taking punitive action,” though — like virtually every prominent figure demanding tough “retaliation” — Romney failed to specify what he had in mind that would be sufficient retaliation for “the equivalent of Russian bombers flying undetected over the entire country.”

For those keeping track at home: that’s two separate “Pearl Harbors” in less than four years from Moscow (or, if you prefer, one Pearl Harbor and one 9/11). If Democrats actually believe that, it stands to reason that they will be eager to embrace a policy of belligerence and aggression toward Russia. Many of them are demanding this outright, mocking Trump for failing to attack Russia — despite no evidence that they were responsible — while their well-trained liberal flock is suggesting that the non-response constitutes some form of “high treason.”

Indeed, the Biden team has been signalling that they intend to quickly fulfill demands for aggressive retaliation. The New York Times reported on Tuesday that Biden “accused President Trump [] of ‘irrational downplaying’” of the hack while “warning Russia that he would not allow the intrusion to ‘go unanswered’ after he takes office.” Biden emphasized that once the intelligence assessment is complete, “we will respond, and probably respond in kind.”

Threats and retaliation between the U.S. and Russia are always dangerous, but particularly so now. One of the key nuclear arms agreements between the two nuclear-armed nations, the New START treaty, will expire in February unless Putin and Biden can successfully negotiate a renewal: sixteen days after Biden is scheduled to take office. “That will force Mr. Biden to strike a deal to prevent one threat — a nuclear arms race — while simultaneously threatening retaliation on another,” observed the Times.

This escalating rhetoric from Washington about Russia, and the resulting climate of heightened tensions, are dangerous in the extreme. They are also based in numerous myths, deceits and falsehoods:

First, absolutely no evidence of any kind has been presented to suggest, let alone prove, that Russia is responsible for these hacks. It goes without saying that it is perfectly plausible that Russia could have done this: it’s the sort of thing that every large power from China and Iran to the U.S. and Russia have the capability to do and wield against virtually every other country including one another.

But if we learned nothing else over the last several decades, we should know that accepting claims that emanate from the U.S. intelligence community about adversaries without a shred of evidence is madness of the highest order. We just had a glaring reminder of the importance of this rule: just weeks before the election, countless mainstream media outlets laundered and endorsed the utterly false claim that the documents from Hunter Biden’s laptop were “Russian disinformation,” only for officials to acknowledge once the harm was done that there was no evidence — zero — of Russian involvement.

National Security:
Hunter Biden story is Russian disinfo, dozens of former intel officials say
More than 50 former intelligence officials signed a letter casting doubt on the provenance of a New York Post story on the former vice president's son
More than 50 former senior intelligence officials have signed on to a letter outlining their belief that the recent disclosure of emails allegedly belonging to Hunter Biden, pictured here, "has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation."
by Natasha Bertrand
10/19/20 10:30 PM EDT

Yet that is exactly what the overwhelming bulk of media outlets are doing again: asserting that Russia is behind these hacks despite having no evidence of its truth. The New York Times’ Michael Barbaro, host of the paper’s popular The Daily podcast, asked his colleague, national security reporter David Sanger, what evidence exists to assert that Russia did this. As Barbaro put it, even Sanger is “allowing that early conclusions could all be wrong, but that it's doubtful.” Indeed, Sanger acknowledged to Barbaro that they have no proof, asserting instead that the basis on which he is relying is that Russia possesses the sophistication to carry out such a hack (as do several other nation-states), along with claiming that the hack has what he calls the “markings” of Russian hackers.

But this tactic was exactly the same one used by former intelligence officials, echoed by these same media outlets, to circulate the false pre-election claim that the documents from Hunter Biden’s laptop were “Russian disinformation”: namely, they pronounced in lockstep, the material from Hunter’s laptop “has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information.” This was also exactly the same tactic used by the U.S. intelligence community in 2001 to falsely blame Iraq for the anthrax attacks, claiming that their chemical analysis revealed a substance that was “a trademark of the Iraqi biological weapons program.”

These media outlets will, if pressed, acknowledge their lack of proof that Russia did this. Despite this admitted lack of proof, media outlets are repeatedly stating Russian responsibility as proven fact.

“Scope of Russian Hacking Becomes Clear: Multiple U.S. Agencies Were Hit,” one New York Times headline proclaimed, and the first line of that article, co-written by Sanger, stated definitively: “The scope of a hacking engineered by one of Russia’s premier intelligence agencies became clearer on Monday.” The Washington Post deluged the public with identically certain headlines:

The Washington Post
Russian hack was 'classic espionage' with stealthy, targeted tactics
Some malware used in the attack had never been seen before by investigators.
by Craig Timberg and Ellen Nakashima
Dec. 14, 2020 at 1:11 p.m. MST

Nobody in the government has been as definitive in asserting Russian responsibility as corporate media outlets. Even Trump’s hawkish Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, crafted his accusation against Moscow with caveats and uncertainty: “I think it’s the case that now we can say pretty clearly that it was the Russians that engaged in this activity.”

If actual evidence ultimately emerges demonstrating Russian responsibility, it would not alter how dangerous it is that — less than twenty years after the Iraq WMD debacle and less than a couple of years after media endorsement of endless Russiagate falsehoods — the most influential media outlets continue to mindlessly peddle as Truth whatever the intelligence community feeds them, without the need to see any evidence that what they’re claiming is actually true. Even more alarmingly, large sectors of the public that venerate these outlets continue to believe that what they hear from them must be true, no matter how many times they betray that trust. The ease with which the CIA can disseminate whatever messaging it wants through friendly media outlets is stunning.

Second, the very idea that this hack could be compared to rogue and wildly aberrational events such as Pearl Harbor or the 9/11 attack is utterly laughable on its face. One has to be drowning in endless amounts of jingoistic self-delusion to believe that this hack — or, for that matter, the 2016 “election interference” — is a radical departure from international norms as opposed to a perfect reflection of them.

Just as was true of 2016 fake Facebook pages and Twitter bots, it is not an exaggeration to say that the U.S. Government engages in hacking attacks of this sort, and ones far more invasive, against virtually every country on the planet, including Russia, on a weekly basis. That does not mean that this kind of hacking is either justified or unjustified. It does mean, however, that depicting it as some particularly dastardly and incomparably immoral act that requires massive retaliation requires a degree of irrationality and gullibility that is bewildering to behold.

The NSA reporting enabled by Edward Snowden by itself proved that the NSA spies on virtually anyone it can. Indeed, after reviewing the archive back in 2013, I made the decision that I would not report on U.S. hacks of large adversary countries such as China and Russia because it was so commonplace for all of these countries to hack one another as aggressively and intrusively as they could that it was hardly newsworthy to report on this (the only exception was when there was a substantial reason to view such spying as independently newsworthy, such as Sweden’s partnering with NSA to spy on Russia in direct violation of the denials Swedish officials voiced to their public).

Other news outlets who had access to Snowden documents, particularly The New York Times, were not nearly as circumspect in exposing U.S. spying on large nation-state adversaries. As a result, there is ample proof published by those outlets (sometimes provoking Snowden’s strong objections) that the U.S. does exactly what Russia is alleged to have done here — and far worse.

“Even as the United States made a public case about the dangers of buying from [China’s] Huawei, classified documents show that the National Security Agency was creating its own back doors — directly into Huawei’s networks,” reported The New York Times’ David Sanger and Nicole Perlroth in 2013, adding that “the agency pried its way into the servers in Huawei’s sealed headquarters in Shenzhen, China’s industrial heart.”

In 2013, the Guardian revealed “an NSA attempt to eavesdrop on the Russian leader, Dmitry Medvedev, as his phone calls passed through satellite links to Moscow,” and added: “foreign politicians and officials who took part in two G20 summit meetings in London in 2009 had their computers monitored and their phone calls intercepted on the instructions of their British government hosts.” Meanwhile, “Sweden has been a key partner for the United States in spying on Russia and its leadership, Swedish television said on Thursday,”
noted Reuters, citing what one NSA document described as “a unique collection on high-priority Russian targets, such as leadership, internal politics.”

Sweden key partner for U.S. spying on Russia: TV
by Reuters Staff
December 5, 2019
Sweden has been a key partner for the United States in spying on Russia and its leadership, Swedish television said on Thursday, citing leaked documents from the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA).

Other reports revealed that the U.S. had hacked into the Brazilian telecommunications system to collect data on the whole population, and was spying on Brazil’s key leaders (including then-President Dilma Rousseff) as well as its most important companies such as its oil giant Petrobras and its Ministry of Mines and Energy. The Washington Post reported: “The National Security Agency is gathering nearly 5 billion records a day on the whereabouts of cellphones around the world, according to top-secret documents and interviews with U.S. intelligence officials, enabling the agency to track the movements of individuals — and map their relationships — in ways that would have been previously unimaginable.” And on and on.

[One amazing though under-appreciated episode related to all this: the same New York Times reporter who revealed the details about massive NSA hacking of Chinese government and industry, Nicole Perlroth, subsequently urged (in tweets she has now deleted) that Snowden not be pardoned on the ground that, according to her, he revealed legitimate NSA spying on U.S. adversaries. In reality, it was actually she, Perlorth, not Snowden, who chose to expose NSA spying on China, provoking Snowden’s angry objections when she did so based on his view this was a violation of the framework he created for what should and should not be revealed; in other words, not only did Perlroth urge the criminal prosecution of a source on which she herself relied, an absolutely astonishing thing for any reporter to do, but so much worse, she did so by falsely accusing that source of doing something that she, Perlroth, had done herself: namely, reveal extensive U.S. hacking of China].

What all of this makes demonstrably clear is that only the most deluded and uninformed person could believe that Russian hacking of U.S. agencies and corporations — if it happened — is anything other than totally normal and common behavior between these countries. Harvard Law Professor and former Bush DOJ official Jack Goldsmith, reviewing growing demands for retaliation, wrote in an excellent article last week entitled “Self-Delusion on the Russia Hack: The U.S. regularly hacks foreign governmental computer systems on a massive scale”:

The lack of self-awareness in these and similar reactions to the Russia breach is astounding. The U.S. government has no principled basis to complain about the Russia hack, much less retaliate for it with military means, since the U.S. government hacks foreign government networks on a huge scale every day. Indeed, a military response to the Russian hack would violate international law . . . .

As the revelations from leaks of information from Edward Snowden made plain, the United States regularly penetrates foreign governmental computer systems on a massive scale, often (as in the Russia hack) with the unwitting assistance of the private sector, for purposes of spying. It is almost certainly the world’s leader in this practice, probably by a lot. The Snowden documents suggested as much, as does the NSA’s probable budget. In 2016, after noting “problems with cyber intrusions from Russia,” Obama boasted that the United States has “more capacity than anybody … offensively” . . . .

Because of its own practices, the U.S. government has traditionally accepted the legitimacy of foreign governmental electronic spying in U.S. government networks. After the notorious Chinese hack of the Office of Personnel Management database, then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said: “You have to kind of salute the Chinese for what they did. If we had the opportunity to do that, I don't think we'd hesitate for a minute.” The same Russian agency that appears to have carried out the hack revealed this week also hacked into unclassified emails in the White House and Defense and State Departments in 2014-2015. The Obama administration deemed it traditional espionage and did not retaliate. “It was information collection, which is what nation states—including the United States—do,” said Obama administration cybersecurity coordinator Michael Daniel this week.

But over the last four years, Americans, particularly those who feed on liberal media outlets, have been drowned in so much mythology about the U.S. and Russia that they have no capacity to critically assess the claims being made, and — just as they were led to believe about “Russia’s 2016 interference in Our Sacred Elections” — are easily convinced that what Russia did is some shocking and extreme crime the likes of which are rarely seen in international relations. In reality, their own government is the undisputed world champion in perpetrating these acts, and has been for years if not decades.

Third, these demands for “retaliation” are so reckless because they are almost always unaccompanied by any specifics. Even if Moscow’s responsibility is demonstrated, what is the U.S. supposed to do in response? If your answer is that they should hack Russia back, rest assured the NSA and CIA are always trying to hack Russia as much as it possibly can, long before this event.

If the answer is more sanctions, that would be just performative and pointless, aside from wildly hypocritical. Any reprisals more severe than that would be beyond reckless, particularly with the need to renew nuclear arms control agreements looming. And if you are someone demanding retaliation, do you believe that Russia, China, Brazil and all the other countries invaded by NSA hackers have the same right of retaliation against the U.S., or does the U.S. occupy a special place with special entitlements that all other countries lack?

What we have here, yet again, is the classic operation of the intelligence community feeding serious accusations about a nuclear-armed power to an eagerly gullible corporate media, with the media mindlessly disseminating it without evidence, all toward ratcheting up tensions between these two nuclear-armed powers and fortifying a mythology of the U.S. as grand victim but never perpetrator.

If you ever find yourself wondering how massive military budgets and a posture of Endless War are seemingly invulnerable to challenge, this pathological behavior — from a now-enduring union of the intelligence community, corporate media outlets, and the Democratic Party — provides one key piece of the puzzle.
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Re: Our Man in London: The Scandal of the 35-Page ‘Intellige

Postby admin » Fri May 14, 2021 9:46 pm

Liz Cheney Lied About Her Role in Spreading the Discredited CIA "Russian Bounty" Story
As part of her ideological war to reclaim the GOP for neocons, the now-deposed House leader falsely denied her role in a tale designed to block withdrawal from Afghanistan.
by Glenn Greenwald
May 14, 2021

In an interview on Tuesday with Fox News’ Bret Baier, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) denied that she spread the discredited CIA "Russian bounty” story. That CIA tale, claiming Russia was paying Taliban fighters to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan, was cooked up and published by The New York Times on June 27 of last year, right as former President Trump announced his plans to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. The Times story, citing anonymous intelligence officials, was then continually invoked by pro-war Republicans and Democrats — led by Cheney — to justify their blocking of that troop withdrawal. The story was discredited when the U.S. intelligence community admitted last month that it had only “low to moderate confidence” that any of this even happened.

When Baier asked Cheney about her role in spreading this debunked CIA story, Cheney blatantly lied to him, claiming “if you go back and look at what I said — every single thing I said: I said if those stories are true, we need to know why the President and Vice President were not briefed on them.” After Baier pressed her on the fact that she vested this story with credibility, Cheney insisted a second time that she never endorsed the claim but merely spoke conditionally, always using the “if these reports are true” formulation. Watch Cheney deny her role in spreading that story.

Liz Cheney, as she so often does, blatantly lied. That she merely spoke of the Russian bounty story in the conditional — “every single thing I said: I said if those stories are true” — is completely and demonstrably false. Indeed, other than Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), there are few if any members of Congress who did more to spread this Russian bounty story as proven truth, all in order to block troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. In so doing, she borrowed from a pro-war playbook pioneered by her dad, to whom she owes her career: the former Vice President would leak CIA claims to The New York Times to justify war, then go on Meet the Press with Tim Russert, as he did on September 8, 2002, and cite those New York Times reports as though they were independent confirmation of his views coming from that paper rather than from him:

MR. RUSSERT: What, specifically, has [Saddam] obtained that you believe would enhance his nuclear development program? …..

VICE PRES. CHENEY: Now, in the case of a nuclear weapon, that means either plutonium or highly enriched uranium. And what we’ve seen recently that has raised our level of concern to the current state of unrest, if you will, if I can put it in those terms, is that he now is trying, through his illicit procurement network, to acquire the equipment he needs to be able to enrich uranium to make the bombs.

MR. RUSSERT: Aluminum tubes.

VICE PRES. CHENEY: Specifically aluminum tubes. There’s a story in The New York Times this morning this is — I don’t — and I want to attribute The Times. I don’t want to talk about, obviously, specific intelligence sources, but it’s now public that, in fact, [Saddam] has been seeking to acquire, and we have been able to intercept and prevent him from acquiring through this particular channel, the kinds of tubes that are necessary to build a centrifuge. And the centrifuge is required to take low-grade uranium and enhance it into highly enriched uranium, which is what you have to have in order to build a bomb.

So having CIA stories leak to the press that fuel the pro-war case, then having pro-war politicians cite those to justify their pro-war position, is a Cheney Family speciality.

On July 1, the House Armed Services Committee, of which Rep. Cheney is a member, debated amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act, the bill that authorized $740.5 billion in military spending. One of Cheney's top priorities was to align with the Committee's pro-war Democrats, funded by weapons manufacturers, to block Trump's plan to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2020 and to withdraw roughly 1/3 of the 34,000 U.S. troops in Germany.

To justify her opposition, Cheney — contrary to what she repeatedly insisted to Baier — cited the CIA's Russian bounty story without skepticism. In a joint statement with Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX), ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, that Cheney published on her website on June 27 — the same day that The New York Times published its first story about the CIA tale — Cheney pronounced herself "concerned about Russian activity in Afghanistan, including reports that they have targeted U.S. forces.” There was nothing conditional about the statement: they were preparing to block troop withdrawal from Afghanistan and cited this story as proof that “Russia does not wish us well in Afghanistan.”

After today’s briefing with senior White House officials, we remain concerned about Russian activity in Afghanistan, including reports that they have targeted U.S. forces. It has been clear for some time that Russia does not wish us well in Afghanistan. We believe it is important to vigorously pursue any information related to Russia or any other country targeting our forces. Congress has no more important obligation than providing for the security of our nation and ensuring our forces have the resources they need.

An even more definitive use of this Russia bounty story came when Cheney held a press conference to explain her opposition to Trump's plans to withdraw troops. In this statement, she proclaimed that she "remains concerned about Russian activities in Afghanistan.” She then explicitly threatened Russia over the CIA's “bounty” story, warning them that “any targeting of U.S. forces by Russians, by anyone else, will face a very swift and deadly response.” She then gloated about the U.S. bombing of Russia-linked troops in Syria in 2018 using what she called “overwhelming and lethal force,” and warned that this would happen again if they target U.S. forces in Afghanistan:

Does this sound even remotely like what Cheney claimed to Baier? She denied having played a key role in spreading the Russia bounty story because, as she put it, “every single thing I said, I said: if those stories are true.” She also told him that she never referred to that CIA claim except by saying: “if these reports are true.” That is false.

The issue is not merely that Cheney lied: that would hardly be news. It is that the entire media narrative about Cheney's removal from her House leadership role is a fraud. Her attacks on Trump and her party leadership were not confined to criticisms of the role played by the former president in contesting the validity of the 2020 election outcome or inciting the January 6 Capitol riot — because Liz Cheney is such a stalwart defender of the need for truth and adherence to the rule of law in politics.

Cheney played the key role in forming an alliance with pro-war Democrats on the House Armed Services Committee to repeatedly defeat the bipartisan anti-war minority [led by Ro Khanna (D-CA), Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) and Rep. Matt Gatez (R-FL)] to prevent any meaningful changes promised by Trump during the 2016 campaign to put an end to the U.S. posture of Endless War. As I reported about the House Armed Services Committee hearing last July, the CIA tale was repeatedly cited by Cheney and her allies to justify ongoing U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan.

Cheney is motivated by power, not ethics. In 2016, Trump ran — and won — by explicitly inveighing against the Bush/Cheney foreign policy of endless war, militarism and imperialism that Liz Cheney, above all else, still vehemently supports. What she is attempting to do is reclaim the Republican Party and deliver it back to the neocons and warmongers who dominated it under her father's reign. She is waging an ideological battle, not an ethical one, for control of the Republican Party.

That will be a debate for Republican voters to resolve. In the meantime, Liz Cheney cannot be allowed to distance herself from the CIA's fairy tale about Russians in Afghanistan. Along with pro-war Democrats, she used this conveniently leaked CIA story repeatedly to block troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. And just as her father taught her to do — by example if not expressly — she is now lying to distance herself from a pro-war CIA script that she, in fact, explicitly promoted.

For those who have not seen it, I produced a one-hour video report last July on how and why the House Armed Services Committee succeeded in enacting virtually every pro-war amendment they considered and how this was accomplished through an alliance between Liz Cheney and her neocon GOP allies on the one hand, and pro-war, Raytheon-funded Democrats on the other:

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Re: Our Man in London: The Scandal of the 35-Page ‘Intellige

Postby admin » Fri May 14, 2021 9:50 pm

U.S. Intel Walks Back Claim Russians Put Bounties on American Troops
It was a huge election-time story that prompted cries of treason. But according to a newly disclosed assessment, Donald Trump might have been right to call it a “hoax.”
by Adam Rawnsley, Spencer Ackerman, and Asawin Suebsaeng
Updated Apr. 15, 2021 8:54PM ET / Published Apr. 15, 2021 11:11AM ET

It was a blockbuster story about Russia’s return to the imperial “Great Game” in Afghanistan. The Kremlin had spread money around the longtime central Asian battlefield for militants to kill remaining U.S. forces. It sparked a massive outcry from Democrats and their #resistance amplifiers about the treasonous Russian puppet in the White House whose admiration for Vladimir Putin had endangered American troops.

But on Thursday, the Biden administration announced that U.S. intelligence only had “low to moderate” confidence in the story after all. Translated from the jargon of spyworld, that means the intelligence agencies have found the story is, at best, unproven—and possibly untrue.

“The United States intelligence community assesses with low to moderate confidence that Russian intelligence officers sought to encourage Taliban attacks on U.S. and coalition personnel in Afghanistan in 2019 and perhaps earlier,” a senior administration official said.

U.S. intelligence only had ‘low to moderate’ confidence in the story. Translated from the jargon of spyworld, that means the intelligence agencies have found the story is, at best, unproven—and possibly untrue.

“This information puts a burden on the Russian government to explain its actions and take steps to address this disturbing pattern of behavior,” the official said, indicating that Biden is unprepared to walk the story back fully.

Significantly, the Biden team announced a raft of sanctions on Thursday. But those sanctions, targeting Russia’s sovereign debt market, are prompted only by Russia’s interference in the 2020 election and its alleged role in the SolarWinds cyber espionage. (In contrast, Biden administration officials said that their assessment attributing the breach of technology company SolarWinds to hackers from Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service was “high confidence.”)

“We have noted our conclusion of the review that we conducted on the bounties issue and we have conveyed through diplomatic, intelligence, and military channels strong, direct messages on this issue, but we are not specifically tying the actions we are taking today to that matter,” a senior administration official told reporters in reference to the bounty claims.

According to the officials on Thursday’s call, the reporting about the alleged “bounties” came from “detainee reporting”–raising the specter that someone told their U.S.-aligned Afghan jailers what they thought was necessary to get out of a cage. Specifically, the official cited “information and evidence of connections to criminal agents in Afghanistan and elements of the Russian government” as sources for the intelligence community’s assessment.

Without additional corroboration, such reporting is notoriously unreliable. Detainee reporting from a man known as Ibn Shaikh al-Libi, extracted from torture, infamously and bogusly fueled a Bush administration claim, used to invade Iraq, about Saddam Hussein training al Qaeda to make poison gas.

The senior Biden official added on Thursday that the “difficult operating environment in Afghanistan” complicated U.S. efforts to confirm what amounts to a rumor.

When asked whether Moscow put bounties on American forces in Afghanistan, press secretary Jen Psaki said at a press briefing on Thursday that the Biden administration “felt the reports were enough of a cause for concern that we wanted our intelligence community to look into this report as a part of this overall assessment.”

Psaki reiterated the intelligence community’s low-to-moderate confidence in its assessment about possible Russian bounties but said that U.S. intelligence had “high confidence” in a separate assessment that Russian military intelligence officers “manage interaction with individuals in Afghan criminal networks” and that the “involvement of this... unit is consistent with Russia’s encouraging attacks against U.S. and coalition personnel in Afghanistan.”

“I am unsurprised that the review led to a murky determination of low to moderate confidence. While it is clear that Russia and other adversaries have been providing assistance to their proxies in Afghanistan, identifying type and amount of such assistance with great specificity has been the persistent challenge,” Jason Campbell, an Afghanistan policy official in the Obama Pentagon, told The Daily Beast.

There were reasons to doubt the story from the start. Not only did the initial stories emphasize its basis on detainee reporting, but the bounties represented a qualitative shift in recent Russian engagements with Afghan insurgents. Russian operatives have long been suspected of moving money to various Afghan militants: an out-of-favor former Taliban official told The Daily Beast on the record that Russia gave them cash for years. But the Russians had not been suspected of sponsoring attacks on U.S. forces outright–an escalation that risked confrontation with the U.S., and occurring long after it could have made a difference in the war.

As well, there seemed to be no “causative link” to any actual U.S. deaths, in the judgment of Gen. Frank McKenzie, the senior U.S. general for the Middle East and South Asia. Former U.S. diplomats and intelligence officers told The Daily Beast last summer that they viewed the bounties account skeptically. One retired diplomat suspected “someone leaked this to slow down the troop withdrawal.”

Former U.S. diplomats and intelligence officers told The Daily Beast last summer that they viewed the bounties account skeptically. One suspected, ‘someone leaked this to slow down the troop withdrawal.’

Rarely discussed was the main reason to believe the story: the CIA actually did fund Afghan guerillas to kill Russian forces during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan of the 1980s.

The Pentagon said at the time that its massive intelligence apparatus, which includes both battlefield intelligence and the world’s most sophisticated surveillance network, did not generate the bounties story. In September, McKenzie said that the intelligence remained uncorroborated. “It just has not been proved to a level of certainty that satisfies me,” he told NBC News.

In the weeks following the existence of the uncorroborated Russian-bounty intel first breaking in The New York Times last summer, then-President Trump would repeatedly demand in closed-door meetings that whoever leaked the information be found, punished, or even “locked up,” according to sources and former administration officials with knowledge of what transpired at the time.

The initial set of Times bounty articles caught a number of senior White House staffers off-guard at first, who scrambled to figure out what was going on. One of the then-president's initial instincts was, naturally, that this was relayed to the press to make him look bad, and he would tell five individuals close to him that it further convinced him that the United States should pull its forces out of Afghanistan.

But in various meetings at the White House and in private conversations that followed that summer, Trump would continue to speculate on how or why this could have ended up in the media, three people familiar with the matter said. At times, he said he believed it was done by officials who wanted Joe Biden to win the 2020 election, or who wanted to stay and fight in Afghanistan “forever.” He demanded to know who in the CIA or intelligence community could have possibly done this to him.

Trump mentioned that he’d heard that the intel could have been ‘totally phony’ because it could have been drawn from intel sources who were saying anything after someone had ‘kicked the crap out of them.’

At at least one point that summer, Trump mentioned that he'd heard that the intel could have been “totally phony” or manufactured because it could have been drawn from intel sources who didn't know what they were talking about, making up wild tales, or saying anything after someone had “kicked the crap out of them.”

That last speculation surprised, or somewhat confused, two of the sources who were familiar with the comment at the time, if only because Trump had repeatedly said for years that torture “absolutely works” and that the United States should revive waterboarding and other brutal measures against terror suspects. “It really sounded like the [then-]president was just grabbing for anything he could say,” one of these people recalled. “He was told by administration officials that the reporting was based on unverified claims, and he spun from that, I think.”

Regardless of whether the intelligence was fully corroborated or not, this didn't stop top officials in the Trump administration from sending notice to Russian counterparts. As The Daily Beast first reported in July, the U.S. State Department issued warnings to the Russian government that there would be a response if Moscow were then indeed caught paying bounties to Taliban fighters for the slayings of American troops in Afghanistan. Then-President Trump, for his part, publicly claimed that month that he did not raise the topic Russian leader Vladimir Putin. “That was a phone call to discuss other things, and frankly that’s an issue that many people said was fake news,” Trump said in an interview with Axios.

Meanwhile, Democrats ran with the election-time story. Then-candidate Biden called it a “horrifying revelation” if true. The senior Democrat on the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, Robert Menendez (D-NJ), introduced a measure to sanction Russia for the alleged bounties. Congressional Democrats claimed to have been insufficiently briefed on the account, which the Trump White House called a “hoax,” and suggested there was a cover-up underway. When Trump himself denied being briefed on the story, House intelligence committee chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) remarked, “Is this an issue where they cannot tell the president things he doesn't want to hear when it comes to Vladimir Putin and Russia?”

Added House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) in June, “I think we knew the White House perspective, what we need to know is the intelligence perspective.” Now he knows.
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Re: Our Man in London: The Scandal of the 35-Page ‘Intellige

Postby admin » Wed Sep 22, 2021 11:14 pm

The Indictment of Hillary Clinton's Lawyer is an Indictment of the Russiagate Wing of U.S. Media
The DOJ's new charging document, approved by Biden's Attorney General, sheds bright light onto the Russiagate fraud and how journalistic corruption was key.

by Glenn Greenwald
Sep 19, 2021

MSNBC host Chris Hayes gives credence to the fraudulent Trump/Afla-Bank story on Oct. 9, 2018, along with the two reporters who must aggressively pushed the hoax: The Atlantic's Franklin Foer (then at Slate) and Natasha Bertrand (now at CNN).

A lawyer for Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign was indicted on Wednesday with one felony count of lying to the FBI about a fraudulent Russiagate story he helped propagate. Michael Sussman was charged with the crime by Special Counsel John Durham, who was appointed by former President Trump to investigate possible crimes committed as part of the Russiagate investigation and whose work is now overseen and approved by Biden Attorney General Merrick Garland.

Sussman's indictment, approved by Garland, is the second allegation of criminal impropriety regarding Russiagate's origins. In January, Durham secured a guilty plea from an FBI agent, Kevin Clinesmith, for lying to the FISA court and submitting an altered email in order to spy on former Trump campaign official Carter Page.

The law firm where Sussman is a partner, Perkins Coie, is a major player in Democratic Party politics. One of its partners at the time of the alleged crime, Marc Elias, has become a liberal social media star after having served as General Counsel to the Clinton 2016 campaign. Elias abruptly announced that he was leaving the firm three weeks ago, and thus far no charges have been filed against him.

The lie that Sussman allegedly told the FBI occurred in the context of his mid-2016 attempt to spread a completely fictitious story: that there was a "secret server” discovered by unnamed internet experts that allowed the Trump organization to communicate with Russia-based Alfa Bank. In the context of the 2016 election, in which the Clinton campaign had elevated Trump's alleged ties to the Kremlin to center stage, this secret communication channel was peddled by Sussman — both to the FBI and to Clinton-friendly journalists — as smoking-gun proof of nefarious activities between Trump and the Russians. Less than two months prior to the 2016 election, Sussman secured a meeting at the FBI's headquarters with the Bureau's top lawyer, James Baker, and provided him data which he claimed proved this communication channel.

It was in the course of trying to lure the FBI into investigating this scam conspiracy theory when Sussman allegedly lied to Baker, by concealing the fact — outright denying — that he was peddling the story in his role as lawyer for the Hillary Clinton campaign as well as a lawyer for a "tech executive” hoping to be appointed as the top cybersecurity official in the soon-to-be-inaugurated Clinton administration. Sussman's claims that he was just acting as a concerned private citizen were negated by numerous documents obtained by Durham's investigation, including billing records where he charged the Clinton campaign for his work in trying to disseminate this story, including his meeting with Baker at FBI's headquarters.

The FBI went on a wild goose chase to investigate Sussman's conspiracy theory. But the Bureau quickly concluded that there was no evidentiary basis to believe any of it, as the indictment explains:

7. The FBI's investigation of these allegations nevertheless concluded that there was insufficient evidence to support the allegations of a secret communications channel with Russian Bank-1. In particular, and among other things, the FBI's investigation revealed that the email server at issue was not owned or operated by the Trump Organization but, rather, had been administered by a mass marketing email company that sent advertisements for Trump hotels and hundreds of other clients.

It has long been known that the Trump/Alfa-Bank story was a fraud. A report issued in December, 2019 by the DOJ's Inspector General revealed that “the FBI investigated whether there were cyber links between the Trump Organization and Alfa Bank, but concluded by early February, 2017 that there were no such links.” Special Counsel Robert Mueller thought so little of this alleged plot that he did not even bother to mention it in his comprehensive final report, which admitted that "the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.” Even the more anti-Trump Senate Intelligence Committee report acknowledged that, while unable to explain the data, “the Committee did not find the DNS activity reflected the existence of covert communication between Alfa Bank and Trump Organization personnel."

Despite all this, this fraud — one of so many that formed the Russiagate scandal — played a significant role in shaping media coverage of the 2016 election. Spurred on by Hillary Clinton herself, the liberal sector of the corporate media used this fake claim to bolster their narrative that Trump and the Russians were secretly in cahoots. And the story of how they spread this disinformation involves not just the potential criminality outlined in this indictment of Hillary's lawyer but, even more seriously, a rotted and deeply corrupted media.

The indictment reveals for the first time that the data used as the basis for this fraud was obtained by another one of Sussman's concealed clients, an "unnamed tech executive” who “exploited his access to non-public data at multiple internet companies to conduct opposition research concerning Trump.” There will, presumably, be more disclosures shortly about who this tech executive was, which internet companies had private data that he accessed, and how that was used to spin the web of this Alfa Bank fraud. But the picture that emerges is already very damning — particularly of the Russiagate sector of the corporate press.

The central role played by the U.S. media in perpetuating this scam on the public — all with the goal of manipulating the election outcome — is hard to overstate. The fictitious story was first published on October 31, 2016, by Slate, in an article by Franklin Foer (who, like so many Russiagate fraudsters, has since been promoted to The Atlantic by the magazine's Iraq War fraudster/editor-in-chief Jeffrey Goldberg). Published just over a week before the election, the article posed this question in its headline: “Was a Trump Server Communicating With Russia?" Slate left no doubt about the answer by splashing this claim across the top of the page:


Donald Trump gives a fist-pump to the ground crew as he arrives on his plane in St. Augustine, Florida, on Oct. 24.
Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Read Ranklin Foer's follow-up story for new statements from the Trump campaign and Alfa Bank and analysis of the competing theories about the server and its activity.

The greatest miracle of the internet is that it exists -- the second greatest is that it persists. Every so often we're reminded that bad actors wield great skill and have little conscience about the harm they inflict on the world's ...

Franklin Foer is a Slate contributing editor and the author of World Without Mind.

Slate, Oct. 31, 2016

There was, needless to say, no disclosure from Slate that it was Hillary's own lawyer — the now-indicted Michael Sussman — who was pushing this story and providing the data to support it, including by meeting with the FBI twelve days earlier. Foer instead credited this discovery to a group of scholarly digital researchers who discovered the incriminating data through, in Foer's words, “pure happenstance.”

There were, from the start, all sorts of reasons to doubt the veracity of this article. Shortly after publication of the Slate article, several media outlets published stories explaining why. One of those was the outlet where I worked at the time, The Intercept, which used four experts in digital security and other tools of journalistic investigation to publish an article, two days after Foer's, headlined: “Here's the Problem With the Story Connecting Russia to Donald Trump's Email Server.” The team of journalists and data experts had reviewed the same data as Slate and concluded that “the information we reviewed was filled with inconsistencies and vagaries,” and said of key findings on which Slate relied: “This is simply untrue and easy to disprove using publicly available information.” Beyond that, The New York Times published a story the day after Foer's which reported about the Alfa Bank claims: “the F.B.I. ultimately concluded that there could be an innocuous explanation, like a marketing email or spam, for the computer contacts.”

Indeed, according to internal emails obtained by Durham's investigators, the researchers with whom Sussman was working warned him that the information was woefully inadequate to justify the claim that Trump was secretly communicating with the Russian bank, and that only animus against Trump would lead someone to believe that this evidence supported such a claim (see paragraphs 23j and k of the indictment).

But by then, the media's Russiagate fraud was in full force, and could not be stopped by anyone. This particular hoax got a major boost when the candidate herself, Hillary Clinton, posted a tweet on the same day that the Slate story was published in which she claimed: “Computer scientists have apparently uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian-based bank.” Appended to that tweet was a statement from her campaign's national security advisor, Jake Sullivan — now President Biden's National Security Advisor — insisting that "this could be the most direct link yet between Donald Trump and Moscow,” adding: "Computer scientists have apparently uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization and a Russian bank.” A second tweet from Hillary the same day just flatly asserted: “Donald Trump has a secret server” that “was set up to communicate privately with a Putin-tied Russian bank called Alfa bank.”

Hillary Clinton
Computer scientists have apparently uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian-based bank.

Statement from Jake Sullivan on New Report Exposing Trump's Secret Line of Communications to Russia

In response to a new report from Slate showing that the Trump Organization has a secret server registered to Trump Tower that has been covertly communicating with Russia, Hillary for America Senior Policy Adviser Jake Sullivan released the following statement Monday:

"This could be the most direct link yet between Donald Trump and Moscow. Computer scientists have apparently uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian-based bank.

"This secret hotline may be the key to unlocking the mystery of Trump's ties to Russia. It certainly seems the Trump Organization felt it had something to hide, given that it apparently took steps to conceal the link when it was discovered by journalists.

"This line of communication may help explain Trump's bizarre adoration of Vladimir Putin and endorsement of so many pro-Kremlin positions throughout this campaign. It raises even more troubling questions in light of Russia's masterminding of hacking efforts that are clearly intended to hurt Hillary Clinton's campaign. We can only assume that federal authorities will now explore this direct connection between Trump and Russia as part of their existing probe into Russia's meddling in our elections."

November 1st 2016

11,870 Retweets15,592 Likes

Hillary Clinton

It's time for Trump to answer serious questions about his ties to Russia. slate.me/2dWggCd

Four things you need to know about the Trump Organization's secret server to communication with Russian Alfa Bank.

1. Donald Trump has a secret server. (Yes, Donald Trump.)

2. It was set up to communicate privately with a Putin-tied Russian bank called Alfa Bank.

3. When a reporter asked about it, they shut it down.

4. One week later, they created a new server with a different name for the same purpose.

9:32 PM - Oct 31, 2016 TweetDeck

Look at the blatant scam that happened here. Both Hillary and Jake Sullivan were pretending that they had just learned about this shocking story from Slate when, in fact, it was Hillary's own lawyers and researchers who had spent weeks pushing the story to both the FBI and friendly journalists like Foer. In other words, it was Hillary and her team who had manufactured the hoax, then pretended that — like everyone else — they were just learning about it, and believing it to be true, because a media outlet to which they had fed the false story had just published it.

That the Clinton campaign would try to perpetrate a fraud on the American public of this magnitude in the days leading up to the 2016 vote is obviously significant. The now-discredited Steele Dossier also ended up including this Alfa Bank hoax because Hillary's now-indicted lawyer peddled it to the British intelligence operative, too, and as we know, the once-heralded Steele would publish anything without the slightest regard for truth or falsity. “Steele testified in a British court that Sussman provided him with other claims about Alfa Bank’s purported ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin during a late July 2016 meeting,” reported Jerry Dunleavy this week. But the role played by the U.S. media is nothing short of scandalous. And the indictment provides all new insight into just how severe this journalistic corruption was.

It is often assumed that the two journalists most responsible for injecting Russiagate fervor generally, and specifically the fraudulent Steele Dossier, into the media bloodstream were Mother Jones’ David Corn and Michael Isikoff (Isikoff, to his credit, has repeatedly admitted that much of what they "reported” — in partnership with MSNBC and much of the rest of the liberal media — was false, though Corn never has and almost certainly never will). But in many ways, it was Franklin Foer who deserves the shame of that distinction. He was the first to link Trump to Putin in a major media outlet and the first to insinuate that Trump's candidacy was a Kremlin plot, in this fever dream of an article from early July, 2016:


Putin's Puppet

If the Russian president could design a candidate to undermine American interests -- and advance his own -- he's look a lot like Donald Trump.

By Franklin Foer

Slate, July 4, 2016

It was less than a month later that the Clinton campaign released its first McCarthyite video using dark insinuations to tie Trump to the Kremlin, under the ominous headline: “What is Donald Trump's connection to Vladimir Putin?” And with that, the fraud of Russiagate was off and running, fueled by a combination of the inner Clinton circle, their corporate media allies, and friendly state security services secretly endorsing the narrative for their media partners.

But this new indictment reveals a whole new level of this media fraud. In paragraph 35, it describes how Fusion GPS — the Hillary-hired firm who contracted Christopher Steele — forwarded to Foer a tweet which claimed that the FBI Director "had explosive information about Trump's ties to Russia.” That happened on October 30, the day before Slate published Foer's fraudulent article on Trump and Alfa Bank. GPS Fusion gave its marching orders to the Hillary-friendly journalist: “time to hurry.” The indictment then describes that in response, Foer forwarded a draft of his Trump/Alfa-Bank article to Fusion GPS that day with this message: “first 2,500 words.”

Just think about that: Foer knew that it was the Hillary campaign planting the story, but did not bother to disclose that in his story. It was Hillary's own campaign and its operatives who concocted the story at the time she and Jake Sullivan pretended that it was Slate which uncovered it. And Hillary's own lawyer was trying to convince the FBI to investigate the fake connection while concealing from them that he was doing so on behalf of Hillary's campaign. Though the indictment does not identify the specific reporter or “Investigative Firm,” The Washington Post's Erik Wemple confirmed with Foer that he forwarded his article to Fusion GPS and that this damning paragraph describes him and Hillary's Fusion researchers:

35. On or about October 30, 2016, an employee of the U.S. Investigative Firm (the "Investigative Firm Employee") forwarded another reporter ("Reporter-2") a tweet, which indicated that the FBI Director indicated that the FBI Director had "explosive information about Trump's ties to Russia." The Investigative Firm Employee's email stated, "time to hurry," suggesting that Reporter-2 should hurry to publish an article regarding the Russian Bank-1 allegations. In response, Reporter-2 emailed to the Investigative Firm Employee a draft article regarding the Russian Bank-1
allegations, along with the cover message: "Here's the first 2500 words."

36. On or about the following day, October 31, 2016, both Reporter-I and Reporter-2
published articles regarding the Russian Bank-I allegations.

This is a perfect microcosm of the Russiagate fraud that the country endured for four years. Hoaxes were repeatedly cooked up by private intelligence operatives working for the DNC or anti-Trump factions within the CIA and FBI, and then fed to friendly reporters, who laundered the falsehoods by publishing whatever they were given, without the slightest concern for whether they were true. As Isaac Schorr wrote in National Review on Friday:

It’s just a small sampling of the journalists who were swept up in just one botched story on the Trump–Russia relationship, but it’s nevertheless frightening how easily a campaign’s political, and a few well-placed personal, interests set wheels in motion at the FBI and in most major American newsrooms — wheels that stayed in motion for the better part of a half decade.

That is the rotted formula that ensured we drowned in one false Russiagate story after the next, all courtesy of the same corporate media outlets that insist their mission in life is to combat disinformation and are eager to censor the internet in the name of accomplishing it.

The indictment of Hillary's lawyer, Michael Sussman, attempts to depict the FBI as Sussman's victim. According to the indictment, had the Bureau known of the fact that Sussman was working for the Clinton campaign when feeding them this tale about Trump and Alfa Bank, its agents would have known of the "political motives” behind the report and more quickly concluded that it was false.

This claim is dubious for two reasons: 1) it is inconceivable that a high-level FBI operative like Baker would have been unaware that this Perkins Coie partner was deeply enmeshed in the Clinton campaign and DNC politics, and 2) the FBI concluded very quickly that there was nothing to the story, yet never said anything, allowing #Resistance journalists to continue telling the public that this fraudulent story was true. Indeed, Sussman's own Twitter account reveals an obviously close relationship with that FBI official, James Baker, throughout the summer of 2016.

But the FBI, still under the command of former director Jim Comey, chose to say nothing about its findings which debunked the Trump/Alfa-Bank fraud. This, in turn, allowed the same army of liberal employees of media corporations that perpetrated most of the Russiagate frauds to continue to deceive the public into believing that it was true, long after it was clear that it was a fiction.

On October 9, 2018 — almost eighteen months after the FBI concluded the story was fictitious — MSNBC host Chris Hayes welcomed the two reporters who had most aggressively pushed the fraudulent Trump/Alfa-Bank story: The Atlantic's Franklin Foer and Natasha Bertrand, the latter of whom was responsible for so many of the worst Russiagate hoaxes and received a CNN contract as a reward (Bertrand, for instance, "reported” in March, 2017 that the FBI was still seriously investigating the story even though they had concluded the month before that it was a hoax). Watch as Bertrand declares the Trump/Alfa-Bank fraud to be clearly true ("what more evidence do you need? It's very, very obvious"), as Hayes and Foer giggle with her and provide a knowing smirk:

Amazingly — or at least revealingly — none of these three media figures has even mentioned or acknowledged, let alone tried to reckon with, the indictment issued by Durham and the Biden DOJ that declares the story they pushed to be a fraud, at least not on their social media accounts. That is because they know that they will never face accountability for disseminating and ratifying fraudulent stories as long as it is done to please the right audience and advance a liberal political agenda. Indeed, their jobs not only permit such lying but basically demand it.

One of the few Russiagate scam artists in the media who pushed the Trump/Afla-Bank story and then tried to grapple with this indictment was Hayes’ colleague Rachel Maddow. She did so by trying to debunk the indictment. On Thursday, Maddow called on one of the countless #Resistance prosecutors in the MSNBC stable, Barb McQuade, to impugn the charges against Hillary's lawyer. The duo implied that the case was brought only to beat the expiring statute of limitations, insisted that the indictment should not have been brought because the lie was not "material” to the FBI's investigation, and implied that it is merely an attempt to appease angry Trump supporters demanding indictments from Durham (it was left unexplained why Merrick Garland would go along with such a scheme).

We have, yet again, convincing evidence of the axis of power — the DNC, their corporate media allies, and the security state services — that again and again conspired with one another to disseminate false Russiagate stories to the public. While all claims in an indictment should be viewed skeptically until proven in a court, the documentary evidence amassed by this new document tells a powerful story, as do the admissions of the key journalist at the heart of the story, such as Foer, that he conspired with Clinton operatives.

There was indeed criminality and fraud at the heart of Russiagate. Once again we see that it came not from those accused of conspiring with Russia (a grand total of zero Americans were indicted on charges of criminally conspiring with Russia to interfere in the 2016 election: the accusation that launched the Mueller probe) but, instead, by those who injected this fraudulent conspiracy theory into the political and media bloodstream of the U.S.
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Re: Our Man in London: The Scandal of the 35-Page ‘Intellige

Postby admin » Sat Sep 02, 2023 3:40 am

The Rise and Fall of the ‘Steele Dossier’: A case study in mass hysteria and media credulity.
by Aaron Mate
The Nation
JANUARY 11, 2021
https://www.thenation.com/article/polit ... e-dossier/

Christopher Steele, a former British spy who wrote a 2016 dossier about alleged links between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, leaves the High Court in London in July 2020. (Aaron Chown / PA Images via Getty Images)

Donald Trump’s journey into and out of the Oval Office was shaped by xenophobia, conspiracy theories—and xenophobic conspiracy theories. Trump launched his political career by spreading the “birther” lie about President Obama, and then became Obama’s improbable successor with an anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim presidential campaign. Upon losing the White House four years later, Trump, true to form, blamed his ouster on a vast election fraud conspiracy aided—according to flunkies Rudy Giuliani and Sydney Powell—by “communist money,” “Venezuelan” voting machines, as well as Chinese and Iranian hackers. The right-wing mob that attacked the Capitol to thwart the certification of Joe Biden’s victory last week was the apotheosis of Trump’s unhinged bigotry.

Trump’s deranged coda was fitting for another reason: During his time in office, Democratic Party operatives and their allies in the media challenged the legitimacy of Trump’s 2016 victory with a xenophobic conspiracy theory of their own. Russia, it was claimed, not only installed Trump in the White House, but did so as part of an elaborate plot with his campaign. While Russiagate did not incite the hatred, violence, and harm of Trump’s MAGA and “Stop the Steal” movement, it was not without its own dangerous consequences.

A “well-developed conspiracy of cooperation”

The first Manchurian Candidate rumblings about Trump surfaced in the summer of 2016. But the pivotal incident, which morphed into all-consuming Russia mania, came exactly four years ago this month, just days before Trump’s inauguration. On January 10, 2017, BuzzFeed News published the “Steele dossier,” the collection of DNC-funded reports alleging a high-level conspiracy between Trump and Moscow. The catalyst had come four days earlier, when then–FBI Director Jim Comey personally briefed Trump on the dossier’s existence. Their meeting was then promptly leaked to the media, giving BuzzFeed the news hook to publish the Steele material in full.

Despite its outlandish assertions and partisan provenance, Steele’s work product somehow became a road map for Democratic leaders, media outlets, and, most egregiously, intelligence officials carrying out the Russia investigation.

According to Steele, Trump and the Kremlin engaged in a “well-developed conspiracy of cooperation.” Russia had, Steele alleged, been “cultivating, supporting and assisting Trump for at least five years,” dating back to the time when Trump was merely the host of The Apprentice. Russia, Steele claimed, handed Trump “a regular flow of intelligence,” including on “political rivals.” The conspiracy supposedly escalated during the 2016 campaign, when then–Trump lawyer Michael Cohen slipped into Prague for “secret discussions with Kremlin representatives and associated operators/hackers.”

This purported plot was not just based on mutual nefarious interests but, worse, outright coercion. To keep their asset in line, Steele alleged, the Russians had videotaped Trump hiring and watching prostitutes “perform a ‘golden showers’ (urination) show,” in a Moscow Ritz-Carlton hotel room. This “kompromat” meant that the leader of the free world was not only a traitor but also a blackmail victim of his Kremlin handlers.

If the Steele dossier’s far-fetched claims were not enough reason to dismiss it with ridicule, another obvious marker should have set off alarms. Reading the Steele dossier chronologically, a glaring pattern emerges: Steele has no advance knowledge of anything that later proved to be true, and, just as tellingly, many of his most explosive claims appear only after some approximate predication has come out in public form.

Despite his supposed high-level sources inside the Kremlin, it was only after Wikileaks published the DNC e-mails in July 2016 that Steele first mentioned them. When Steele made the headline-consuming claim that “the TRUMP team had agreed to sideline Russian intervention in Ukraine as a campaign issue” in exchange for Russian help, he did so only after a meaningless Ukraine-related platform change at the RNC was reported (and mischaracterized) in The Washington Post. When Steele claimed that former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page was offered up to a 19 percent stake in the state-owned Russian oil company Rosneft if he could get Trump to lift Western sanctions, it was only after the media had reported Page’s visit to Moscow.

In short, far from having access to high-level intelligence, Steele and his “sources” only had access to news outlets and their own imaginations. It is for this reason that Russiagate’s key figures and incidents make no appearance in Steele’s dossier. Absent are George Papadapolous and Joseph Mifsud, whose conversations triggered the FBI’s collusion probe. Also MIA is the infamous Trump Tower meeting with Russian nationals about potential “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. The reason is obvious: These events did not get publicly reported until after Steele wrote his final, secret “intelligence report.”

“A Real-Life James Bond”

All of this was lost on the many credulous media outlets who served as de facto stenographers for Steele, his clients, and a series of unknown intelligence officials who, behind the safe mask of anonymity, assured the public of his credibility.

David Corn, the veteran Mother Jones reporter who broke the Steele story in October 2016, approvingly cited an official’s assurance that Steele “has been a credible source with a proven record of providing reliable, sensitive, and important information to the US government.” In addition to making the dossier publicly known, Corn, it later emerged, even personally provided the FBI with a copy.

“Former C.I.A. officials described [Steele] as an expert on Russia who is well respected in the spy world,” The New York Times wrote on the day of the dossier’s release in January 2017. Steele, the Times added, is “considered a competent and reliable operative with extensive experience in Russia.” Steele, an NBC News headline declared, “Is a Real-Life James Bond.”

As they vouched for Steele’s tradecraft, anonymous officials also fed media contacts a false picture that Steele’s dossier had been factually checked out. “US investigators corroborate some aspects of the Russia dossier,” a CNN headline proclaimed in February 2017, weeks after the dossier’s publication. The FBI is “continuing to chase down stuff from the dossier, and, at its core, a lot of it is bearing out,” an unidentified “intelligence official” told The New Yorker later that month.

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow was an early and particularly fervent believer in Steele’s sleuthing powers. Days before Trump’s inauguration, Maddow speculated that Putin might use the pee tape to blackmail Trump into withdrawing US forces near Russia’s border. Weeks later, after no such withdrawal materialized, and no underlying Trump-Russia conspiracy had been unearthed, Maddow assured her audience that “all the supporting details” in Steele’s reports “are checking out, even the really outrageous ones. A lot of them are starting to bear out under scrutiny. It seems like a new one each passing day.”

Guardian reporter Luke Harding, who served as Steele’s unofficial media spokesperson, repackaged the former spy’s assertions for his best-selling book, Collusion. “One associate described him as sober, cautious, highly regarded, professional and conservative,” Harding wrote. “‘He’s not the sort of person who will pass on gossip. If he puts something in a report, he believes there is sufficient credibility in it.’”

Even the revelation, in October 2017, that Steele’s “intelligence” had been paid for by the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign did nothing to stop the media adulation.

In a glowing March 2018 profile of “the ex-spy [who] tried to warn the world about Trump’s ties to Russia,” Jane Mayer of The New Yorker assured readers that “a number of Steele’s major claims have been backed up by subsequent disclosures.”

The media’s faith in Steele became so profound that even his most outlandish assertion was not just indulged but actively embraced. During the April 2018 rollout for the first of his two Trump-era books, former FBI director Jim Comey told ABC News that it’s “possible” that the pee tape exists. Comey’s innuendo was enough for New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait to declare himself a “Peeliever.” Urging his readers to join the club, Chait wrote, “I used to doubt that this episode really happened. I now believe it probably did.” Comey, New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg declared, “has started a long overdue national conversation about whether the pee tape is real.”

This overdue national conversation received its warmest reception in news media boardrooms, where editors devoted precious journalistic resources to the Pee-Tape Pied Piper. Shortly before setting off the Steele saga with its publication of his dossier, BuzzFeed sent a reporter to Prague in a bid to verify it. After it faced a defamation lawsuit from Russians named in the document, BuzzFeed reportedly paid a private firm $4.1 million to verify portions of its contents.

Racing to find a window in which the pee tape could have occurred, Bloomberg News pored over flight logs, while The Daily Beast scrutinized Trump’s time in Moscow. Their efforts, if not dispositive, were apparently persuasive. “Trump’s Pee-Tape Alibi Is Falling Apart,” Vanity Fair proclaimed. “It is another piece of evidence for the Peelievers,” an increasingly confident Jonathan Chait declared.

According to Greg Miller of The Washington Post, colleagues at the newspaper “literally spent weeks and months trying to run down” material in the dossier, including Cohen’s alleged visit to Prague to pay off Russian hackers. “We sent reporters through every hotel in Prague, through all over the place, just to try to figure out if he was ever there, and came away empty.”

Other reporters claimed to have more success. In April 2018, McClatchy reported that Mueller’s team “has evidence” that Cohen visited Prague in 2016, just as Steele alleged. In December of the same year, McClatchy doubled down by reporting that Cohen’s cell phone sent signals that connected with phone towers in Prague. Cohen ultimately denied the claim under oath, and the Mueller report concurred by noting that Cohen “never traveled to Prague.” More than two years later, McClatchy has since added a tepid editor’s note, rather than a retraction.

In conjunction with the near-uniform journalistic credulity, top Democrats and former intelligence officials used their positions of authority and media stardom to burnish Steele’s public image. Representative Adam Schiff went so far as to read some of Steele’s claims into the Congressional Record. Schiff and his colleagues also invoked a standard of evidence that would not survive a court hearing but was widely embraced in the prolonged media campaign to promote Steele’s claim. Capturing prevailing Steele dossier epistemology, former director of the CIA John Brennan told Meet the Press, “Just because they were unverified does not mean they were not true.”

“Not a single revelation in the Steele dossier has been refuted,” Senator Dianne Feinstein likewise declared. Democratic Senator Mark Warner was more circumspect, explaining that none of the dossier’s allegations has been “proven nor, conversely, disproven.” Speaking to Maddow in May 2018, James Clapper shared his view “that more of it has been corroborated with ensuing developments and what we’ve learned.” Asked by Maddow if there is “anything in the dossier that has been disproven,” Clapper answered confidently—despite being out of office for more than a year, “No.”

“Source #1”

While the media and political promotion of the Steele dossier was contemptible, its embrace by the FBI is an even bigger scandal. Rather than dismiss Steele’s work as a political hit job, the FBI used it as source material.

The FBI’s interest in Steele’s dossier was extensive. The bureau maintained a lengthy spreadsheet to document its efforts to corroborate Steele’s fanciful claims. And when agents first sought the now-infamous surveillance warrant on Carter Page in October 2016, they took their cues right from Steele’s pages.

The FBI told the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) that it “believes that [Russia’s] efforts are being coordinated with Page and perhaps other individuals associated with” the Trump campaign. Its source for this absurd “belief” was Steele, whom it described as “Source #1” and “credible.” In an act of circular reporting, the FBI also cited a Yahoo News article by journalist Michael Isikoff—who had also relied on Steele as a source. Although the FBI disclosed to the court that Steele was being paid to do opposition research, it did not disclose that Trump’s Democratic political opponents were footing the bill.

Remarkably, the FBI did not just rely on Steele’s information, but even shared its own information with him. At an October 2016 meeting in Rome, FBI officials disclosed to Steele highly sensitive and even classified material. A damning Justice Department investigation, overseen by Inspector General Michael Horowitz and released in December 2019, found that FBI agents gave Steele a “general overview” of Crossfire Hurricane, including its specific—and, at the time, secret—probes of Paul Manafort, Carter Page, and Michael Flynn. The Washington Post reported in February 2018 that Steele “would later tell associates” that he gleaned from the meeting that that the FBI “was particularly interested in” George Papadopoulos, the Trump campaign adviser who served as the predicate for the entire investigation. The Post noted that “Papadopoulos had not surfaced in Steele’s research”—unsurprisingly, because media outlets like the Post hadn’t written stories about him when Steele’s “research” was being invented.

According to the Horowitz report, the FBI was so eager to enlist Steele that it offered to pay him $15,000 “just for attending the October meeting” in Rome. It also pledged a “significantly” greater amount if he could collect information for the investigation.

This arrangement was canceled just a month later, after the FBI discovered that Steele was still speaking to the media. But that did not end the FBI’s reliance on him. The FBI continued to collect information from Steele via an intermediary, former DOJ official Bruce Ohr. Worse, it continued to cite the Steele dossier in subsequent applications to renew the surveillance of Carter Page, never informing the FISC about Steele’s conflicts of interest.

Even worse, the FBI continued to cite Steele even after establishing that his claims were baseless. According to the Horowitz report, Steele’s so-called “Primary Sub-source,” Igor Danchenko, personally informed the FBI in January 2017 that “corroboration” for the Steele dossier’s claims was “zero.”

When Danchenko’s identity was revealed this July, it was clear why he rated his own information so poorly. Rather than being inside Russia with access to Kremlin sources, Danchenko was in fact a DC-based Russian expat with better access to Capitol Hill. Danchenko had formerly worked at the Brookings Institution, a prominent Beltway think tank. According to an investigation by The Wall Street Journal, one of Danchenko’s key sources turned out to be another Russian expat, public-relations executive Olga Galkina. Based in Cyprus, Galkina was credited with coming up with the claim about Cohen in Prague. A dispute with her employer, a web services company, apparently inspired Steele’s claim that one of its properties, Webzilla, was implicated in the alleged Russian hacking of the DNC.

Even after learning all of this, the FBI went back to the FISC and obtained two more renewals of Foreign Intelligence Investigation Act authorizations to spy on Page. In its submissions, the FBI mentioned that it had spoken to Danchenko but left out the inconvenient discovery that his corroboration was “zero.”

The April 2019 release of the Mueller report, which found no Trump-Russia conspiracy, dealt a major blow to Steele’s credibility. It also put an end to the breathless media promotion of his fanciful claims. The release of the Horowitz report in December 2019 was even more damaging. The revelation that the FBI misled the FISC about Steele’s claims has triggered high-level calls for reform and a $75 million lawsuit from Carter Page. The Justice Department has also invalidated the final two Page warrants, citing “material misstatements” by the FBI.

While the Steele affair has triggered at least some government-level contrition and nominal reforms, the same cannot be said about the prominent media and political figures who promoted his ludicrous claims with equal credulity. A small number of corporate media voices, notably Erik Wemple of The Washington Post, have criticized the journalists who served as Steele’s stenographers. But Wemple’s columns are one of the few signs of accountability emanating from the media outlets who misled audiences into believing in the fictitious Trump-Russia plot.

Lessons From the Farce

If there is no honest self-reflection to be had from the elite figures who spread Steele’s inventions, perhaps there can still be some lessons drawn for those subjected to the farce. For many liberals, Russiagate offered a comforting explanation for Trump’s improbable, painful victory. If Steele’s spy thriller could be proven true, then the Trumpian nightmare would surely come to an end. This was not only a welcome belief for anyone opposed to Trump but almost a requirement: Day after day, anti-Trump audiences were flooded with constant innuendo about Trump’s treasonous behavior and the false hope that Mueller was a step closer to proving it. To question Steele’s claims and other tenets of Russiagate orthodoxy was, for a long period, an act of heresy to the “Resistance.”

Much like a riveting novel or television show, the Steele story also gave many liberals relief from the daily pain of having such a buffoonish, hateful figure in the Oval Office. But even with Trump now nearly gone, the conditions that gave rise to him, and the dangerous tendencies he represented, remain very present. As do the corporate apologists within the Democratic Party that created an opening for his rise. To ultimately defeat Trumpism, at least some of those who embraced him as a rebuff to the “swamp” will have to be reached.

One place to begin might be by recognizing in ourselves similar qualities to those we’ve deplored in our political opponents. As dismaying as it has been to see MAGA supporters latch on to Trump’s election fraud lies, even to the point of violently attacking the Capitol, perhaps we can develop some insight into their mindset when we consider our own malleability. Trump voters heard liberals incessantly claim that Russia had duped the country into electing their candidate—a Kremlin asset compromised by a salacious videotape, financial leverage, and other unknown kompromat. Even in response to the Trump-fueled assault on Congress, a number of liberal voices, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, immediately brought it back to Putin.

Steele himself personally believed that the aim of his work was to help undo the election. Fusion GPS, Steele told a London court in August 2018, was hired “to obtain information necessary” on “the potential impact of Russian involvement on the legal validity of the outcome of the 2016 U.S. Presidential election.” Based on this, Steele explained, the Clinton campaign “could consider steps they would be legally entitled to take to challenge the validity of the outcome of that election.”

Ultimately, Steele’s absurdities, and the overall Russiagate campaign that it fueled, did nothing to undermine Trump. If anything, Trump was handed the enduring gift of a conspiracy-crazed opposition—and, on the core collusion allegation that Steele fueled, his own ultimate exoneration. Just as dangerously, the widespread belief that Trump was a Russian puppet had major geopolitical implications: it helped stigmatize diplomacy with the world’s other top nuclear power, and incentivized liberal adherents to ignore the multiple, hawkish real-world Trump policies that escalated tensions with it. Far more Americans heard of Trump’s fictitious conspiracy with the Kremlin than they did, for example, of him undermining two crucial nuclear weapons treaties, the INF and New START, over Russian objections.

When we now see MAGA followers consumed by their own election conspiracy theories, it behooves us to remember that, while there is no equivalence to the “Stop the Steal” mob violence, many liberals were misled in their own way for Trump’s entire four years. Beyond our mutual proclivity for embracing comforting delusions, we might acknowledge that we share something else with Trump supporters: party elites, Democrats and Republicans alike, who have turned to deranged, xenophobic fantasies rather than taking responsibility for their own election failures. For both party leaderships and their allied media outlets, Russiagate and its “stop the steal” successor have been highly profitable. On top of the immediate financial rewards and ratings boost, both “scandals” offer an even deeper institutional payoff: They distract the public from systemic dysfunctions in favor of fantastical conspiracy theories.

If the Steele dossier has any lasting role in defeating what Trump represents, it would be to trigger some honest reflection about whose interests it served. And whose it hurt.
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