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Tag: dominion voting systems

Maricopa Republicans Defy State Senate’s Latest Audit Demands

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

The chair of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors has had enough with the Republican-led audit of Arizona's 2020 election results.

On Monday, he slammed the effort as an "adventure in never-never land" as he refused to comply with a subpoena for more records.

"It is now August of 2021. The election of November 2020 is over. If you haven't figured out that the election in Maricopa County was free, fair, and accurate yet, I'm not sure you ever will," Jack Sellers, a Republican and the chair of the Maricopa County Supervisors, wrote to Republican state senators.

The audit, which kicked off in April, has been panned as disorganized and chaotic, and election experts and public officials alike have expressed concern that it has not adhered to election law or procedures.

Still, last week, Republicans on the Arizona state Senate subpoenaed even more records as part of the audit.

But Sellers has defied the request, writing in a letter that, "The Board has real work to do and little time to entertain this adventure in never-never land."

"Please finish whatever it is that you are doing and release whatever it is you are going to release," he added. "I am confident that our staff and volunteers ran the election as prescribed by federal and state law. There was no fraud, there wasn't an injection of ballots from Asia nor was there a satellite that beamed votes into our election equipment."

Among the subpoenas was a call for testimony from a Dominion Voting Systems representative. The election technology company was also asked by GOP state senators to provide "all user names, passwords, pins and/or security keys or tokens required to access, or otherwise relating to any and all ballot tabulation devices."

Dominion's attorney argued that the request was a violation of the company's constitutional rights against unreasonable search and seizure.

The audit has been dragging on for months, far longer than the 60 days it was initially slated to take. And it's been plagued by reports of incompetence and mismanagement — so much so that the U.S. Department of Justice has warned that the entire endeavor may have run afoul of federal election law.

Congress' House Oversight Committee is now investigating whether the audit is legitimate or merely "an effort to promote baseless conspiracy theories."

The audit was launched in the wake of false ex-President Donald Trump's lie that the election was stolen. It's being run by Cyber Ninjas, a firm owned by a Trump-supporting conspiracy theorist, who was part of the effort to try to overturn Trump's loss with lies of voter fraud.

Doug Logan, the president of Cyber Ninjas, has even appeared in a movie promoting the audit, which was filled with baseless lies and conspiracy theories.

Even some GOP lawmakers in the state have condemned the effort — despite some initially supporting it. As far back as May, one Republican state senator who at first backed the audit said the effort made them "look like idiots."

Republican state Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita, who has pushed for voter suppression legislation, denounced the audit last week.

"I wanted to review our election processes and see what, if anything, could be improved," she tweeted on July 24. "Sadly, it's now become clear that the audit has been botched."

It's unclear when Cyber Ninjas will release a report from the review. To date, the counting process has been completed and the ballots and equipment — including millions of dollars worth of voting equipment that will now be scrapped due to the audit's lack of security — have been returned to Maricopa County.

Sellers urged the GOP state Senate to hurry up and release the report.

"It's time for all elected officials to tell the truth and stop encouraging conspiracies," Sellers wrote in his letter. "Please release your report and be prepared to defend any accusations of misdeeds in court. It's time to move on."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

MyPillow Conspiracy Guy Pulls Ads From Fox News

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters

MyPillow CEO and conspiracy theorist Mike Lindell is reportedly pulling his company's ads from Fox News after the network allegedly rejected an advertisement for his cyber symposium scheduled for mid-August. As The Wall Street Journal reported, Lindell "has said the symposium will prove the 2020 election was stolen from then-President Donald Trump through manipulation of election machines."

MyPillow is Fox News' single largest advertiser, after other companies have dropped ads over the years due to the network's bigotry and conspiracy theories.

Media Matters President Angelo Carusone laid out the details, including that MyPillow accounted for 18 percent of all ads on Fox News' Tucker Carlson Tonight in the first half of 2021. In 2020, there were periods when MyPillow accounted for 41 percent of that show's ad inventory.

As Carusone noted, the situation on Fox News prime time is so dire that Fox Corporation, the channel's parent company, is one of the largest paid advertisers. And now that situation goes from bad to worse, with MyPillow apparently dropping out.

(Also, for the record: MyPillow is not the only Fox News prime-time advertiser steeped in controversy. The Federal Trade Commission has charged that Balance of Nature, another top advertiser on Fox, made bogus claims that its products could ward off the coronavirus. As Media Matters has reported, such ads featured prominent right-wing media personalities, including current California gubernatorial candidate Larry Elder.)

Fox Welcomed Lindell's Deranged Conspiracy Theories — Until Now

As Media Matters and others have documented since his rise to prominence in right-wing circles during the Trump years, Lindell is a major backer of extremist conspiracy theories, ranging from calling COVID-19 vaccines the "mark of the beast" to claiming that Trump won the 2020 presidential election in a landslide (including in California).

Lindell is now trying to "prove" that the election was stolen from Trump by hosting what he calls a "cyber symposium" in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, in mid-August. He's been lashing out at Fox News recently for not promoting the event, telling Salon's Zachary Petrizzo a week ago that he was going to force the issue by placing ads on the network.

One such ad that Petrizzo highlights:

Lindell Ad, Fox News - SALON.COM www.youtube.com

Ironically, Lindell has been welcome on Fox News until recently. Even after Tucker Carlson derided Sidney Powell's "Kraken" conspiracy theories about the election (and even after the January 6 attack), the Fox host still welcomed Lindell on his show to push the very same conspiracy theories.

As my colleague Matt Gertz wrote in February:

Since Lindell lost access to Twitter, Fox, Newsmax, and OAN have all eagerly provided him with access to their audiences. Fox star Tucker Carlson hosted him on the evening of his banning, giving the MyPillow CEO a sympathetic platform to push his Dominion conspiracy theories. In fact, Carlson, whose show's commercial blocks are a barren wasteland overwhelmingly reliant on the pillow company's advertisements, has repeatedly given Lindell pathetically sycophantic treatment.

Right-wing media have certainly welcomed the pillowman's money, and many of them are apparently still going to do the same when it comes to this ad. Just look anywhere and you'll see the sycophantic treatment, from Steve Bannon to Infowars to One America News Network to Newsmax to many others. But it's Fox News that has given Lindell his biggest perch -- and now it is reaping what it has sowed.

Fox news can't get enough of pillow czar Mike Lindell www.youtube.com

Trump Aide Meadows Pushed Election Conspiracies On Justice Department

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters

A new report provides more detail on how top officials in then-President Donald Trump's administration relied on the lowest dregs of the internet fever swamps following Trump's 2020 defeat, as they tried to use the federal government to leverage false conspiracy theories about voter fraud to nullify the results.

Trump himself had long consumed far-right media content, and after the election he promoted a bevy of fantastical lies from Fox News, OAN, Newsmax, and others purportedly providing evidence that the election had been stolen from him. His paranoid rants put American democracy at risk, and ultimately helped spur the January 6 riot aimed at preventing the certification of Joe Biden's victory at the U.S. Capitol.

Trump had help, as a Saturday New York Times report based on emails reviewed by the paper makes clear. In a January 1 email, Mark Meadows, Trump's chief of staff, asked Jeffrey A. Rosen, then the acting attorney general, to examine "Italygate," the conspiracy theory that "people in Italy had used military technology and satellites to remotely tamper with voting machines in the United States and switch votes for Mr. Trump to votes for Joseph R. Biden Jr.," according to the account.

The Times reported that Meadows' request "violated longstanding guidelines that essentially forbid almost all White House personnel, including the chief of staff, from contacting the Justice Department about investigations or other enforcement actions."

On what basis was Meadows willing to breach those restrictions? The Times further reported:

Mr. Meadows sent Mr. Rosen a YouTube link to a video of Brad Johnson, a former C.I.A. employee who had been pushing the theory in videos and statements that he posted online. After receiving the video, Mr. Rosen said in an email to another Justice Department official that he had been asked to set up a meeting between Mr. Johnson and the F.B.I., had refused, and had then been asked to reconsider.

Election Day ended with a "red mirage" showing Trump in the lead, only for there to be a "blue shift" afterward as key states counted ballots that heavily favored Biden, just as election experts had long predicted. But Johnson's theory, as detailed in a 13-minute video available online, is that Trump's early lead actually evaporated because nefarious forces changed the vote totals to swing the election to Biden.

This is a variation on repeated, baseless lies from pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell and her right-wing media allies. But while Powell and company attributed the supposed switched votes first to a U.S. government computer system called "Hammer" and a software program known as "Scorecard," and later to the election technology companies Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic (which she hinted may have been working on behalf of Venezuela), Johnson instead points to an operation revolving around a military satellite controlled by the Italian defense contractor Leonardo SPA, overseen by an anti-Trump State Department official in the U.S. Eembassy in Rome with the help of British and U.S. intelligence services.

"The U.S. elections were changed, the results were changed in those five or six key states," Johnson claimed, after initial results were "uploaded and sent to Rome" through the Leonardo military satellite. In Rome, that "raw data" was scrutinized by the conspirators, who are "the ones who said, 'shut down all those five states or six states,' at the exact same time, and the problem was that the algorithms were overloaded, that what they had planned on didn't work because Trump got so many votes."

"So they upload all of the stuff — it gives them time to analyze all of this and create new analogues that then would allow the vote to come out in favor of Biden," he continued. "And that, then, once they created all the new data and manipulated all the data that was there, they sent these new numbers back up through this military satellite, Italian military satellite, run and operated by none other than Leonardo."

"That blast of information is what everybody sees on those number charts where it shows all the votes, and it shows the red line and the blue line going up like this, and Trump's ahead, Trump's ahead, and then all of a sudden, boom, and up above goes all of those votes for Biden," Johnson concluded. "That blip is that data being retransmitted back down through this military satellite back down into these machines that were all hooked up to the Internet."

In reality, the "blip" Johnson describes in which the tallying of large numbers of Biden votes changed the leader in several states was the expected result of largely Democratic counties reporting their totals at once and states adding mail-in ballots, which skewed Democratic, to their counts.

Johnson's video circulated on right-wing conspiracy theory sites, and as my colleague Parker Molloy documented, variants of "Italygate" spread on far-right message boards and social media platforms. It doesn't seem to have broken through on Fox, or even lesser right-wing outlets like OAN or Newsmax -- but it somehow made its way into an official communication, from the White House chief of staff to the head of the Justice Department, seeking an official investigation.

This level of dangerous absurdity did not end with Trump's administration. The former president himself continues to lie about the election result, echoing what he sees on his television. But what is even more concerning is that his party and propagandists are turning the falsehood that the election was stolen into the GOP's core precept -- and driving out those, like Rosen, who won't play along.

Michigan Authorities Cite Sidney Powell’s Own Arguments In Disbarment Action

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Sidney Powell's defense against a $1.3 billion lawsuit over her lies about voter fraud in the 2020 election could come back to bite her.

Powell, a lawyer who supported Donald Trump's claims of election fraud and filed multiple failed lawsuits across the country seeking to overturn the 2020 election, is being sued by Dominion Voting Systems for defamation after she falsely accused the company of conspiring with a dead Venezuelan dictator to rig the election against Trump.

Back in March, Powell argued that Dominion's lawsuit should be dismissed because "no reasonable person" would believe her lies about voting machine rigging.

Now, however, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is using Powell's defense in the Dominion lawsuit to support filings on February 1 made by Nessel, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson with the Attorney Grievance Commission in Michigan and the State Bar of Texas calling for Powell's disbarment.

Nessel is seeking sanctions against Powell and three other attorneys for filing frivolous lawsuits to overturn the results of the 2020 election in the Wolverine State, asking that they be stripped of their licenses to practice law and forced to repay legal fees incurred as a result of their suits.

"Faced with the specter of more than $1.3 billion in damages in the Dominion Action, Ms. Powell has adopted a new litigation strategy to evade Dominion's defamation claim: the truth. Whether that strategy will be advantageous in the Dominion Action remains to be seen, but it strongly underscores why sanctions and attorneys' fees are appropriate here," reads the brief Nessel filed in the sanctions cases, according to the website Law & Crime.

The brief continues, "If there were any doubts about counsel's mindset when filing this action, Ms. Powell has put them to rest. She and her co-counsel knew there was no reasonable basis for the statements they made in this litigation, but they made them anyway."

In seeking to defend herself against the sanctions Michigan is seeking, Powell had said in February that she shouldn't be disbarred because her allegations of fraud could be proved, the Detroit Free Press reported.

But that doesn't jibe with Powell's defense in the Dominion lawsuit, which claimed that "reasonable" people would not have believed her claims.

Nessel tweeted on Wednesday, "As lawyers, fidelity to the law is paramount and these attorneys seemingly made statements they knew were misleading in an effort to further conspiracy theories in an effort to erode public trust in government and dismantle our systems of democracy. Their actions are inexcusable."

Powell is one of a number of people Dominion has sued for the lie that the voting machine company rigged the election against Trump — a lie that was officially debunked in a joint Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security report in March. Dominion has also sued Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, Fox News, and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Dominion Voting Systems Files $1.6 Billion Defamation Lawsuit Against Fox News

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Fox News has been hit with yet another massive lawsuit for peddling lies about fraud in the 2020 election.

Dominion Voting Systems on Friday sued the right-wing cable channel for $1.6 billion, alleging that Fox News knew the voting machine company did not engage in any fraud, yet peddled those lies because it was losing viewers to other far-right cable channels that were also telling those lies.

"Fox set out to lure viewers back — including President Trump himself — by intentionally and falsely blaming Dominion for President Trump's loss by rigging the election," Dominion said in the lawsuit.

The company's complaint said, "Fox News took a small flame and turned it into a forest fire" by airing "fictions" and giving them "a prominence they otherwise never would have achieved."

The lawsuit added, "The truth matters. Lies have consequences. Fox sold a false story of election fraud in order to serve its own commercial purposes, severely injuring Dominion in the process."

This is now the second lawsuit Fox News faces for its lies about voter fraud in the 2020 election.

In February, Smartmatic USA sued Fox News and three of its hosts — Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo, and Jeanine Pirro — for $2.7 billion. Dobbs' show was taken off the air by the network the day after the lawsuit was filed.

Ultimately, multiple recounts, audits, and reviews of the election found there was no fraud, and that voting machine companies like Dominion did not switch votes — as Trump and his GOP allies have alleged.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency said the 2020 election was the "most secure in American history." Meanwhile, the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security released a joint report specifically debunking the claims that voting machine companies like Dominion switched votes from Trump to President Joe Biden.

After Dominion filed the lawsuit, Fox News issued a statement saying the outlet is "proud of our 2020 election coverage, which stands in the highest tradition of American journalism, and will vigorously defend against this baseless lawsuit in court."

However, Fox News in February aired a segment specifically fact-checking lies its own hosts had made about voter fraud.

The lies spread by Fox News hosts and contributors, as well as from Trump and other Republican lawmakers about voter fraud, have contributed to a massive GOP effort to suppress the vote in future elections.

Georgia's Republican Gov. Brian Kemp on Thursday signed a voter suppression law that requires ID to vote by mail, limits the use of drop boxes to hand in absentee ballots, allows Republican state election officials to take over county election boards run by Democrats, and even makes it a crime to hand out food and drink to voters waiting in line to vote. That law is already being challenged in court.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Sidney Powell Admits It Was All A (Very Big) Lie

The Big Lie is starting to unravel. One of Donald Trump's disinformation stars, Sidney Powell, is backing down. But while we're considering the matter of truth and lies, let's recall when conservatives cared about truth (or seemed to).

In the 1990s, Guatemalan activist Rigoberta Menchu was a phenomenon. Of Mayan descent, she offered harrowing testimony about the conduct of the Guatemalan military during that country's civil war. Her 1983 as-told-to memoir, I, Rigoberta Menchu was a sensation. In 1992, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

When it came to light that Menchu had distorted key aspects of her autobiography, right and left responded very differently. David Stoll, an anthropologist, learned through archival research and interviews with more than 120 people that some of her tales were false. A younger brother she said had died of starvation never existed. Another brother, whom she claimed had been tortured to death in front of her parents, died in completely different circumstances. A New York Times investigation confirmed Stoll's findings.

Liberals tended to excuse Menchu, on the grounds that her story revealed a "larger truth." Some argued that while details of her story might not have been strictly true, the overall narrative remained valid because it "raised our collective consciousness" about the Maya people.

Conservatives were appalled that Menchu's Nobel Prize was not rescinded, and galled that some liberals defended Menchu's invocation of "my truth." There was no "my truth" or "your truth" they countered. There was only the truth.

The Menchu story comes to mind because this week we've witnessed further evidence of just how corrupted the right has become. The assault on truth is Donald Trump's most damaging legacy.

It's not good for Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic that allies of the president grossly defamed them, but it may turn out to be good for the country that they are availing themselves of legal remedies.

Powell, a key propagandist in Trump's big lie about the 2020 election, has issued a response to Dominion Voting Systems defamation lawsuit. Let's review some of the statements Powell made after the election:

Appearing on Newsmax on Nov. 17, Powell said she had a video showing Dominion founder John Poulos bragging, "I can change a million votes, no problem at all." The video did not exist.

At a press conference with Rudy Giuliani and others, Powell said Dominion had been "created in Venezuela by Hugo Chavez to make sure he never lost an election." She said the machines had an algorithm that automatically flipped votes, and that George Soros' "No. 2 person" was "one of the leaders of the Dominion project." Also false.

Her tone has changed.

The reply Powell's lawyers issued to Dominion's complaint is a climb down. After challenging the court's jurisdiction and venue (standard lawyer maneuvers) and adding the claim that her comments were First Amendment-protected political speech, they get to the substance and things get truly mind-bending.

Sure, Powell's reply acknowledges, she made a series of claims about the election being stolen, but because she was clearly speaking in a political context, her comments must be construed as standard political exaggeration.

The election truther's argument, then, is that any factual claim, no matter how false, is insulated from consequences under defamation law if it is connected to politics. This is worse than "my truth." This is the claim that any politically motivated lie is fine.

But Powell takes it to another level. She next argues that the very outlandishness of her false statements is a defense. Sure, her reply acknowledges, Powell had said, "Democrats were attempting to steal the election and had developed a computer system to alter votes electronically." But "no reasonable person would conclude that the statements were truly statements of fact."

So, that's it. The great lie that has poisoned our politics and inspired an attack on the Capitol and bids to become the incubus of future extremism and violence was such absurd bilge that "no reasonable person would believe it."

Of course, millions of Americans did and do believe it. The crazed mob that stormed the Capitol believed every word. Polls have found that between two-thirds and three-quarters of Republicans believe the election was fraudulent.

This is not about Powell or even about Trump anymore. It's about the complete abdication of integrity by leaders on the right — Republican officeholders, conservative opinion leaders, right-wing TV and so forth. At first they countered Trump's lies. Soon after, they began to avoid them. Next, they pretended to find them amusing. Then they shrugged. Finally, they joined. When enough people in authority tell lies, they cripple their audience's capacity for reason. A few meritorious lawsuits cannot repair that.

Mona Charen is policy editor of The Bulwark and host of the Beg to Differ podcast. Her most recent book is Sex Matters: How Modern Feminism Lost Touch with Science, Love, and Common Sense. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.

Sidney Powell Now Claims 'No Reasonable Person' Would Believe Her Election Lies

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

It's been amply established that Sidney Powell bears a large measure of moral responsibility—at the very least—for creating the poisonous environment that led to the January 6 insurrection. Powell was one of the main legal lowlights behind Trump's misbegotten legal effort to steal another term.

Powell's claims to fame were a series of lawsuits that alleged Dominion Voting Systems was in cahoots with Venezuela to steal victory from Trump—the infamous "Kraken" lawsuits. All four of them crashed and burned—but not before her claims led to Dominion and its employees facing vicious harassment and trolling. At least one Dominion employee, Eric Coomer, was driven into hiding.

Partly due to this, Dominion filed a whopping $1.3 billion defamation suit against Powell, her law firm, and her nonprofit organization, Defend the Republic. Well, earlier today, Powell sought to throw out the suit. Her reasoning? Wait for it—she now says "no reasonable person" would believe her claims.

No, this isn't really snark. She actually said this in a legal filing.

In her motion to dismiss, Powell does not argue that the statements were true. She claims they are not actionable because they are protected statements of political opinion.
"Reasonable people understand that the 'language of the political arena, like the language used in labor disputes … is often vituperative, abusive and inexact,'" her motion to dismiss argues. "It is likewise a 'well recognized principle that political statements are inherently prone to exaggeration and hyperbole.'"

Powell goes on to say that Dominion called her theories "wild" and "outlandish," and in so doing support the notion that "no reasonable person" would take them seriously. Rather, she would have us believe her statements were merely "claims that await testing by the courts."

So in other words, Powell is tacitly admitting that when she made her much ballyhooed vow to "release the Kraken," she knew it was based on hokum. And she also knew when she was filing these statements that they were baloney. I'm not a lawyer, but even I know that when you make court filings, you're asserting that your arguments are based on fact.

Buzzfeed's Zoe Tillman got her hands on part of the filing.

Read the whole thing here. Twitter has been having a field day with this. Here are some samples.

Some of them have even gone as far as to call for her disbarment.

Considering that Powell is already facing at least two calls for her disbarment—from both the state of Michigan and the city of Detroit—you would think she would know to stop digging. Hard to believe this woman was once a federal prosecutor.

If this is Powell's new version of the truth, she ought to do us a favor and apologize to Dominion, as well as to the lawmakers and police officers who had to endure the horror that she unleashed. If not, then it's long past time to disbar the Kraken.


How Trump Lawyers Tried To Bully Michigan Election Officials

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Michigan is one of the states where former President Donald Trump and his lawyers, including former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, unsuccessfully tried to overturn Joe Biden's victory in the 2020 presidential election. Reporter Mardi Link, in an article published by the Traverse City Record Eagle this week, discusses events in Michigan in late November — when some pro-Trump GOP operatives showed up to examine election data.

The operatives, according to Link, went to Antrim County, where they "identified themselves to township officials as representing Rudy Giuliani's legal team" and "accessed official election data in at least one township, according to local officials." On Nov. 27, Link notes, they examined "two separate paper totals tape" from a precinct tabulator.

Antrim County Clerk Sheryl Guy told the Record Eagle, "They made calls to township people on Thanksgiving Day to set all this up. They were strong-arming local clerks to get in and see those machines. Some clerks said 'no' or didn't answer their phones. And as soon as we could, we sent out an e-mail telling the clerks not to let them in. Then, we learn after the fact, they'd already been in three different locations."

One of the Republican operatives who showed up in Antrim County on Nov. 27, according to Link, was Katherine Friess — a Washington, D.C.-based attorney known for her connection to Trump allies Roger Stone and Paul Manafort (both of whom were prosecuted on multiple criminal charges and sentenced to prison during Trump's presidency but received presidential pardons from him).

Link reports that according to local Antrim County officials, Friess "bragged" about dining with Trump and Giuliani. The attorney serves as CEO of the lobbying firm, Global Policy Partners, and she previously worked for BKSH & Associates — a Washington-based lobbying firm that was created when, in 1996, two firms merged: Black, Manafort, Stone and Kelly (abbreviated as BMSK) and attorney Martin B. Gold's Gold & Liebengood. Long before Trump's presidency, Manafort and Stone worked together at BMSK during the 1980s.

Link explains, "The operatives who visited Antrim County on Nov. 27 included some of the same people who performed a court-sanctioned forensic exam of the county's voting equipment on Dec. 6, as part of a lawsuit filed by Central Lake Township resident Bill Bailey against the county, citing its use of Dominion Voting Machines equipment."

A debunked conspiracy theory that Trump's allies promoted following the 2020 election involved Dominion, whose equipment they falsely claimed was used to help Biden steal the election. Pro-Trump attorney Sidney Powell falsely claimed that Dominion's equipment was also used to help the late President Hugo Chávez commit election fraud in Venezuela — which, according to Dominion, would have been impossible because its equipment has never even been used in that South American country.

In February, Dominion filed a $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit against MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, a far-right Trump supporter, for falsely claiming that its machines rigged the 2020 election in Biden's favor — a claim for which there is zero evidence. And Dominion, in January, filed a separate $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit against Giuliani.

The Traverse City Record Eagle interviewed Saginaw, Michigan-based attorney Greg Schmid to discuss the GOP operatives who showed up in Antrim County on November 27. According to Schmid, those visits weren't illegal but probably required a Freedom of Information Act request.

"Guy confirmed no FOIA had been filed requesting access, which Schmid said he found troubling — adding that without such a request, the clerks were well within their rights to simply refuse entry," Link reports.

Schmid told the Record Eagle, "The township clerk had the voting record lawfully, and anybody can knock on the door and ask for anything, but the clerk also could have refused — and without a FOIA, no one could have forced it."