Tag: election fraud
Tearful Jenna Ellis Pleads Guilty, Apologizes, And Dumps Trump (VIDEO)

Tearful Jenna Ellis Pleads Guilty, Apologizes, And Dumps Trump (VIDEO)

On Tuesday, former Trump attorney Jenna Ellis became the latest Trump associate to cut a plea deal with prosecutors in Georgia regarding her role in the racketeering case to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

The bluster Ellis has been known for was gone on Tuesday as she semi-sobbed through a brief statement to the court during which she sort of took responsibility for trying to help reverse the decision of millions of Georgians while squarely blaming others for misleading her.

I endeavored to represent my client to the best of my ability. I relied on others, including lawyers with many more years of experience than I, to provide me with true and reliable information, especially since my role involved speaking to the media and to legislators in various states. What I did not do, but should have done, your Honor, was to make sure that the facts the other lawyers alleged to be true were in fact true.[...] If I knew then what I know now, I would have declined to represent Donald Trump in these post election challenges.”

Ellis finished by claiming some responsibility: “I have taken responsibility already before the Colorado Bar who censured me, and I now take responsibility before this court and apologize to the people of Georgia.”

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos


Murdochs May Scapegoat Top Executives But Texts Show Guilt In Fox Scandal

Two recently released filings from Dominion Voting Systems’ lawsuit against Fox News reveal that Fox Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch and CEO Lachlan Murdoch were both actively involved in the network’s coverage during the 2020 presidential cycle and held sway in Fox’s guests and staff decisions — revelations that shine a more intense spotlight on the father-son duo as their network faces lawsuits for knowingly pushing lies about election fraud.

The filings, released to the public in February, are part of a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit Dominion filed against Fox in March 2021 after the network spent months pushing the lie that there were irregularities in its voting machines, which rigged the 2020 election in favor of now-President Joe Biden. Dominion’s lawyers started deposing Fox News figures around August 2022, and these filings contain the biggest disclosure of evidence in the case so far, including texts, emails, and statements. They show Fox employees and executives knew there was no evidence of election fraud and Fox personalities and guests were lying about Dominion; that Rupert Murdoch provided then-President Donald Trump’s adviser Jared Kushner with “confidential information” about the Biden campaign’s political ads and strategies; and that Fox executives and prime-time hosts attacked Fox reporters who tried to fact-check the 2020 election lies.

These revelations can put Fox in even more legal jeopardy than it is already in, and there’s speculation that Rupert Murdoch may scapegoat Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott, who oversees both Fox News and Fox Business, though Fox later “put out word that she was not in danger.” As CNN’s Oliver Darcy pointed out, multiple scandals in the Murdoch media empire over the past decade have ended with Rupert deciding “to sever ties with top personnel,” and the Dominion revelations could bring a similar outcome. From Darcy’s article:

There is no shortage of evidence to support the notion Scott is on the chopping block. Most notably, during his deposition, Murdoch sought to distance himself from decision making at Fox News. Instead, he pointed to Scott: “I appointed Ms. Scott to the job … and I delegate everything to her,” he said. In doing so, Murdoch made the case that Scott is in charge of the network — and if there was wrongdoing, it rests on her shoulders. Of course, astute media observers know that Murdoch is the person actually calling the shots. But it’s not hard to see how the company could advance this narrative.

As Darcy suggests and the filings clearly show, the responsibility of Fox’s coverage pushing baseless allegations of election fraud should ultimately lie with the Murdochs, as they were both actively involved in how Fox was covering the 2020 election. Both Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch were in regular contact with Scott (with Lachlan conversing with her daily), had strategic discussions about the direction of Fox’s coverage, and gave her feedback about what was airing on the networks and guidance on the tone and focus of the reporting — especially that in favor of the Republican Party and Trump. They also influenced which guests would appear on the air and weighed in on personnel decisions at the network. In fact, during his deposition, Lachlan Murdoch couldn’t remember a single time when the network did not follow his suggestions. The filings also reveal there were multiple instances where the Murdochs could have intervened to set the record straight on the election, but chose not to:

The Murdochs’ involvement in strategy decisions on Fox’s coverage, including its focus and tone

  • Around November 8, 2020, when Fox was facing mounting criticism from mainstream media over its election coverage, Scott had a “long talk” with the Murdochs about “mounting viewer backlash to Fox, how to win back viewers (including by not booking Democratic guests), and ‘the direction that Fox should take.’” In his deposition, “Rupert conceded that in that conversation, they also spoke about ‘the future of Fox going forward.’”
  • Rupert Murdoch also confirmed in his deposition that in the same conversation with Scott and Lachlan, “they discussed how Fox should react to the fact that Trump was not conceding” and made the decision “to allow these ‘wild claims’ on air.”
  • Lachlan Murdoch admitted that between November 2020 and January 2021, he weighed in on the “specific direction on both the tone and narrative of Fox’s news coverage.”
  • Lachlan Murdoch also admitted in his testimony that “he can and did share his views on what guests should or should not” appear on Fox. According to the second filing, Fox’s on-air talent and executives “affirmatively reached out to Lachlan to take his temperature on whether or not to have a particular guest on their program. … [He] even provided suggestions of specific questions to ask a particular guest.”
  • On November 14, 2020, Lachlan Murdoch texted Scott while watching the network’s coverage of a rally in support of Trump, giving her notes on how that coverage should be. “Lachlan even communicated with Scott about what was being said in the ‘ticker’ at the bottom of the FNN screen,” writing, “Just FYI to discuss tomorrow, the ticker at bottom of screen is all wrong. Way too wordy and long. And anti trump whenever possible.”
  • After then-Fox anchor Shepard Smith debunked the “Trump administration’s ‘lies’ on air,” Rupert Murdoch emailed Scott and Fox News Media President Jay Wallace saying it was “over the top” and writing, “Need to chat to him.”

Coverage directives to support Trump and the GOP, especially during the election cycle

  • The second filing shows Rupert Murdoch had conversations with Scott “about the ‘importance of giving exposure to Republicans in close Senate races.’”
  • In October 2020, then-Fox Business host Lou Dobbs attacked Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who was running for reelection, saying that he didn’t know “why anyone in the great state of South Carolina would ever vote for Lindsey Graham” and that Graham had “betrayed President Trump at almost every turn.” Rupert Murdoch wrote to Scott suggesting the network have some positive coverage for Graham: “You probably know about the Lou Dobbs outburst against Lindsey Graham. Could Sean [Hannity] say something supportive? … We cannot lose the Senate if at all possible.” Scott followed-up to note that she “addressed the Dobbs outburst.”
  • In mid-November 2020, Rupert Murdoch emailed Scott, “We should concentrate on Georgia, helping any way we can. … Everything at stake here.” At the time, the closely contested Senate race in Georgia had gone into runoff.
  • When the Trump administration presented a new tax bill, according to the filing, “Rupert told Scott ‘we must tell our viewers again and again what they will get.’”
  • During the 2020 campaign, “when New York Post editor Col Allan told Rupert that Biden’s only hope for election was ‘to stay in his basement and not face serious questions,’ Rupert responded, ‘Just made sure Fox banging on about these issues. If the audience talks the theme will spread.’”
  • In November 2020, Lachlan Murdoch was watching Fox cover a rally in support of Trump and told Scott that “news guys have to be careful how they cover” it, adding, “So far some of the side comments are slightly anti, and they shouldn’t be. The narrative should be this is a huge celebration of the president.” Scott replied, “Yes thanks.”
  • Lachlan Murdoch also criticized then-Fox reporter Leland Vittert who was covering the rally for coming across as “[s]mug and obnoxious.” Scott said “she was ‘calling now’ to direct Vittert’s producer to fix the issue.” The filing shows that Fox executive David Clark got that feedback and texted Vittert to tell him to cut it out. Vittert stopped appearing on the network in January 2021 and in April that year Fox announced it had “parted ways” with him.
  • Around the same time, Lachlan Murdoch also told Scott that Fox “should do a ton of pro-Trump legacy specials on Fox Nation.”
  • Rupert Murdoch directed Scott and Wallace to get network figures to attack coal mogul Don Blankenship during a GOP primary after Trump asked for help. From the second filing: “He told Scott and Wallace when Donald Trump appealed for help defeating Don Blankenship in the West Virginia Senate race, ‘Anything during day helpful but Sean [Hannity] and Laura [Ingraham] dumping on him hard might save the day.’”

Personnel and guest decisions

  • Rupert Murdoch was involved in firing Dobbs, as he said in his deposition, “I suggested, or urged, and we were in recognition that we had a problem, that he would be fired” because Dobbs “was an extremist.”
  • Rupert Murdoch was also involved in the firing of Bill Sammon, Fox’s senior vice president who had editorial oversight of the network’s Decision Desk when it became the first outlet to call Arizona for Biden. The filings suggest that Rupert pushed Sammon’s firing to send a message to the Trump campaign that Fox was still aligned with it: “Thus, despite the call’s accuracy, Rupert suggested, ‘Maybe best to let Bill go right away,’ which would ‘be a big message with Trump people.’ … Sammon was indeed ‘told the inevitable’ that day (November 20, 2020).”
  • In October 2020, Rupert Murdoch suggested the network bring on Victor Davis Hanson, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute, “and two days later Hanson appeared on Fox News.”
  • Next month, Rupert Murdoch mentioned to Scott that the network should hire Michael Flynn, a QAnon influencer and Trump’s first national security adviser, as a contributor. The filing shows that Flynn appeared as a contributor on Fox host Maria Bartiromo’s show just “a week later.”
  • In December that year, Rupert Murdoch told Scott that “people are trying to steal” the New York Post’s Miranda Devine, saying, “It would be great if you signed her as a contributor.” Scott replied, “ok will work on this.” By the next month, Devine was listed as a Fox News contributor on the channel’s site.
  • Rupert Murdoch also pulled sway on which guests Fox shouldn’t host, including former Trump adviser Steve Bannon and former Fox host Megyn Kelly.
  • Rupert Murdoch apparently also sent emails to Scott about the ratings of Fox’s show The Five, suggesting writers and hosts.

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.

Federal Judge Finds Trump Knowingly Signed False 'Election Fraud' Documents

Federal Judge Finds Trump Knowingly Signed False 'Election Fraud' Documents

A federal district court judge says Donald Trump, the former president, signed court documents that he knew contained false information on voter fraud. The judge says emails former Trump attorney John Eastman is refusing to hand over to the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack “are sufficiently related to and in furtherance of a conspiracy to defraud the United States.”

Under certain circumstances it can be a federal crime to make false statements to the federal government.

In his 18-page opinion on Wednesday Judge David O. Carter, ordered the “coup memo” author, disgraced former law professor John Eastman, to hand over emails to the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack.

Politico reports Judge Carter wrote that the emails “show that President Trump knew that the specific numbers of voter fraud were wrong but continued to tout those numbers, both in court and to the public.”

Eastman, citing attorney-client privilege, has refused to hand over the emails. But on Wednesday Judge Carter pointed to the crime-fraud exception which, according to the ACLU states the can be no privilege “if you are using the attorney-client relationship to perpetrate a crime.”

According to Politico, in one of the emails Eastman admitted Trump had already signed a statement that contained false information, and warned Trump’s other attorneys it “would not be accurate” for him to do so again, as “he has since been made aware that some of the allegations (and evidence proffered by the experts) has been inaccurate.”

“However,” Politico adds, “Trump and his lawyers opted to file the federal complaint using the same numbers that Eastman conceded were inaccurate.”

Judge Carter said that Trump “signed a verification swearing under oath that the incorporated, inaccurate numbers ‘are true and correct’ or ‘believed to be true and correct’ to the best of his knowledge and belief.”

Journalist Marcy Wheeler posted a screenshot from Judge Carter’s ruling.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

In Debate, Greene Lies About Capitol Riot And Claims She Was A 'Victim'

In Debate, Greene Lies About Capitol Riot And Claims She Was A 'Victim'

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), a propagator of extreme right-wing bombast and QAnon conspiracies, has once again denied involvement in last year’s attack on the U.S. Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters, insisting that she was a “victim,” despite her insistence that widespread election fraud in 2020 election had denied then-President Donald Trump a second term in office.

In a televised debate Sunday night, Greene, a first-term congresswoman running for another stint representing Georgia’s congressional 14th district, flew into a rage after her Democratic challenger, Marcus Flowers, accused her of participating in the horrific events of January 6, 2021.

“You cannot accuse me of insurrection,” Greene fumed. “I was a victim of the January 6 riot just as much as any other member of Congress. That was the third day I had on the job. I had nothing to do with what happened there that day, and I will not have you accuse me of that. That is wrong of you to do. You are lying about me, and you will not defame my character in that manner.”

Her assertion is unhinged from reality, though, as she had repeatedly peddled the Big Lie — that Trump won, not Biden; referred to the January 6 rally as “our 1776 moment”; and challenged Michigan’s electoral votes, citing a “forensic audit” of voting machines in Antrim County.

Astute netizens on Twitter were quick to eviscerate Greene for her fake claims of innocence on the podium, pointing out numerous videos of her spreading the Big Lie and vaunting the January 6 rally that would later become a failed insurrection attempt.

“Did Joe Biden win the election, Congresswoman Greene?” Flowers asked — a question Republican election deniers up and down the ballot have refused to answer — and Greene replied, “Joe Biden is the President of the United States, Marcus.”

“Absolutely,” Flowers responded. “But you pushed a big lie that said he did not win the election. And you drove those people over the Capitol on January 6 with your lie.”

Greene tried to interrupt Flowers with baseless allegations of fraud in the previous elections, despite denying any involvement in the riot only moments before. “There was election fraud proven. There was election fraud in the [SIC] 2020 election, and my husband has the proof of it.”

When Greene tried labeling Flowers a member of the “Defund the Police” party, the Democrat quickly fired back, telling the American people that Greene was, in fact, selling “Defund the FBI” merchandise on her website.

“I have said it over and over again, I am completely against what happened on January 6,” Greene continued, attempting yet again to rewrite history. “But I will not stand by and watch Merrick Garland [the U.S. attorney general] turn the Department of Justice into a political weapon and the FBI sending it after parents that are addressing their school boards.”

She added, “People that walked in the Capitol and have been held in jail for nearly two years while Antifa and BLM [Black Lives Matter] rioters go free and are never held accountable.”

Seemingly confident that spreading divisive right-wing rhetoric would only consolidate her base in the extremist sphere of the Republican party, Greene advocated for the rioters unfazed, saying, “[The BLM protests] was an attack on innocent American people whereas January 6 was just a riot at the Capitol. If you think about what our declaration of independence says it says to overthrow tyrants.”

“So there is a clear difference between January 6 and the Marxist communist revolution that Antifa, BLM, Democrat ground troops waged on the American people in 2020,” Greene said.

Her insistence on blaming Democrats and Antifa for the violence wrought by a mob that she, Trump, and other prominent members of the GOP incited with lies of a stolen election has been covered by multiple publications, most recently the New York Times, which referenced Greene’s interview with Katie Hopkins, a British white nationalist, the day after the Capitol riot.

“Last night and into the early-morning hours was probably one of the saddest days of my life,” Greene told Hopkins, according to the Times. “It was extremely lonely in there, watching, basically, the certification of the Electoral College votes for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, even though we know the election was stolen, and the Democrats were working so hard on it, but Republicans too, there were Republicans also.”

Speaking of the riot, Greene said, I know there were bad actors involved and investigations are underway — and it’s Antifa.”