Friday, May 13, 2022

Last Call For The Big Lie, Con't

Time and time again, in instance after instance, in state after state, the "widespread election fraud" of 2020 always turns out to be Republicans getting caught trying to rig the election for Donald Trump and the GOP.

A former elections supervisor in rural Coffee County, Ga., has told The Washington Post that she opened her offices to a businessman active in the election-denier movement to help investigate results she did not trust in the weeks after President Donald Trump’s 2020 defeat.

Trump had carried the conservative county by 40 points, but elections supervisor Misty Hampton said she remained suspicious of Joe Biden’s win in Georgia. Hampton made a video that went viral soon after the election, claiming to show that Dominion Voting System machines, the ones used in her county, could be manipulated. She said in interviews that she hoped the Georgia businessman who visited later, Scott Hall, and others who accompanied him could help identify vulnerabilities and prove “that this election was not done true and correct.”

Hampton said she could not remember when the visit occurred or what Hall and the others did when they were there. She said they did not enter a room that housed the county’s touch-screen voting machines, but she said she did not know whether they entered the room housing the election management system server, the central computer used to tally election results.

“I’m not a babysitter,” she told The Post.

Hall, who owns a bail bond business, did not respond to requests for comment.

Voting experts said that, whether they accessed sensitive areas or not, Hampton’s actions underscore a growing risk to election security.

In the year and a half since the 2020 election, there has been steady drumbeat of revelations about alleged security breaches in local elections offices — and a growing concern among experts that officials who are sympathetic to claims of vote-rigging might be persuaded to undermine election security in the name of protecting it.

“Insider threat, while always part of the threat matrix, is now a reality in elections,” said Matt Masterson, who previously served as a senior U.S. cybersecurity official tracking 2020 election integrity for the Department of Homeland Security.

Suspected or attempted breaches have spurred law enforcement investigations in Colorado, Michigan and Ohio. One such case has already led to criminal charges. Tina Peters, an elections official in Mesa County, Colo., was indicted in March on charges stemming from her alleged efforts to secretly copy a Dominion Voting Systems server last year.

Details continue to emerge from other places where outsiders may have sought access to voting machines. In Michigan, state police are investigating an alleged breach of voting equipment after the 2020 election in Roscommon County. A local NBC television affiliate in western Michigan reported last week that police had raided a township office in a different county as part of that investigation.

Meanwhile, some prominent election deniers have sought help from officials with access to protected voting systems, and others — including Peters in Colorado — are running to oversee elections as secretaries of state.

Voting systems are considered by the federal government to be “critical infrastructure,” vital to national security, and access to their software and other components is tightly regulated. In several instances since 2020, machines have been taken out of service after their chain of custody was interrupted.

Hampton told The Post she was unaware of guidance the Georgia secretary of state’s office had sent to county election administrators saying that voting equipment and software must not be released to the public absent a court order. And she questioned why access should be so restricted.

“I don’t see why anything that is dealing with elections is not open to the public,” Hampton said. “Why would you want to hide anything?"


Yes, because Republicans certainly would never use election data to defraud the public.

The same people screeching about "internet-connected voting machines" are the same people "opening their offices to random businessmen" and giving them direct voter data so it can be "used to investigate fraud". 

You know, committing election fraud so they can investigate election fraud.

They won't stop this year or especially in 2024.

Our Little White Supremacist Domestic Terrorism Problem, Con't

The House January 6th Committee is finally, finally, issuing subpoenas for sitting Republican lawmakers who were January 6th co-conspirators and terrorists.

The committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob has subpoenaed five Republican members of Congress, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), after they refused to cooperate with the panel’s inquiry.

Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.), who chairs the select committee, said Thursday that the panel has subpoenaed McCarthy and Reps. Mo Brooks (Ala.), Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Scott Perry (Pa.) and Jim Jordan (Ohio).

The move marks a significant escalation in the committee’s efforts to obtain information related to lawmakers’ communications with then-President Donald Trump and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows before, during and after the attack.

In a statement, Thompson said the committee “has learned that several of our colleagues have information relevant to our investigation into the attack on January 6th and the events leading up to it.”

“Before we hold our hearings next month, we wished to provide members the opportunity to discuss these matters with the committee voluntarily,” Thompson said. “Regrettably, the individuals receiving subpoenas today have refused and we’re forced to take this step to help ensure the committee uncovers facts concerning January 6th. We urge our colleagues to comply with the law, do their patriotic duty, and cooperate with our investigation as hundreds of other witnesses have done.”

Until Thursday, the committee had been reluctant to subpoena GOP lawmakers because of a variety of issues, including time constraints — a complex and lengthy legal fight could last beyond the November midterm elections — along with fears of retribution in the likely case that Republicans win back the House majority.

All five of the Republican lawmakers subpoenaed Thursday have declined to voluntarily provide information to the committee

Democrats have stopped being scared of doing their job. Will there be enough time left to actually enforce these subpoenas? Of course not, these will get tied up in court for years at best, well after the Committee's mandate is up. But since everyone knows that, issuing the subpoenas makes it clear we have January 6th co-conspirators as sitting Republican members of the House.

That's going to make the hearings next month very spicy, and gives you a baseline when all five of these assholes state that they were never given a chance to defend themselves.

Stay tuned.

Orange Meltdown, Con't

So the answer to "Will anyone at the Justice Department prosecute Donald Trump for keeping thousands of documents, many classified material, at Mar-a-Lago in direct violation of the Presidential Records Act?" is "Actually yes, we have a federal grand jury looking into possible charges now."

Federal prosecutors have begun a grand jury investigation into whether classified White House documents that ended up at former President Donald J. Trump’s Florida home were mishandled, according to two people briefed on the matter.

The intensifying inquiry suggests that the Justice Department is examining the role of Mr. Trump and other officials in his White House in their handling of sensitive materials during the final stages of his administration.

In recent days, the Justice Department has taken a series of steps showing that its investigation has progressed beyond the preliminary stages. Prosecutors issued a subpoena to the National Archives and Records Administration to obtain the boxes of classified documents, according to the two people familiar with the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation.

The authorities have also made interview requests to people who worked in the White House in the final days of Mr. Trump’s presidency, according to one of the people.

The investigation is focused on the discovery by the National Archives in January that at the end of Mr. Trump’s term he had taken to his home at the Mar-a-Lago resort 15 boxes from the White House that contained government documents, mementos, gifts and letters.

After the boxes were returned to the National Archives, its archivists found documents containing “items marked as classified national security information,” the agency told Congress in February. In April, it was reported that federal authorities were in the preliminary stages of investigating the handling of the classified documents.

The subpoena that was sent to the National Archives in recent days for the classified documents is one of a series of requests that the Justice Department has made to the agency for records from the Trump administration in recent months, according to the two people.

A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment. The public affairs office at the National Archives did not return an email message seeking comment. A spokesman for Mr. Trump, Taylor Budowich, said: “President Trump consistently handled all documents in accordance with applicable law and regulations. Belated attempts to second-guess that clear fact are politically motivated and misguided.
It's funny that Trump's people are immediately calling this a "politically motivated witch hunt" except the with in this case was sitting in Trump's basement unsecured where several people had access to classified material that Trump kept after he left office. 

This is pretty much an open and shut case. The Presidential Records Act clearly says Trump can't remove presidential records and take them home with him, even if he declassifies it. He certainly can't keep them in his place of residence after he left office. 

If this is how Trump gets prosecuted, great, but once again there's no jurors that won't be hunted, doxxed, and attacked as MAGA public enemy #1 in order to force a mistrial, and even if you believe the feds can keep a trial jury safe without multiple people in the process being Trump voters who will gladly intimidate jurors, there's no way no jury that won't include at least one Trump voter who will make sure he's never convicted.

Bringing charges against Trump will absolutely generate deadly mob violence, and I don't believe our federal trial system and federal law enforcement agencies are ready to deal with that. It failed miserably at January 6th and people died as a result.

Imagine violent January 6th protests all across the country.

That's the starting point.
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