Tag: fake electoral certificates
Committee Issues Fresh Subpoenas To Fake Trump Electors

Committee Issues Fresh Subpoenas To Fake Trump Electors

The House Select Committee on January 6 is pulling more “alternate electors” for former President Donald Trump into focus, this time issuing six subpoenas to a group that includes Trump campaign officials as well as state lawmakers—some of whom are currently running for powerful statewide offices.

The probe reviewing the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol has demanded records and depositions by the first week of March in subpoenas going to state Republican legislators and Trump campaign aides who were involved in alleged efforts to send the bogus certificates to Washington.

The subpoenas went to Arizona Republican Party chairwoman Kelli Ward, a longtime Trump supporter, as well as Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano, now running for governor there, and Arizona State House Rep. Mark Finchem, now running to be the next secretary of state in Arizona. Former Michigan Republican Party chair Laura Cox was subpoenaed too, along with Michael Roman, Trump’s director of election operations in 2020, and his deputy, Gary Michael Brown.

Committee Chair Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) wrote Tuesday that investigators had obtained correspondence and other “credible evidence” showing Trump campaign aides Brown and Roman “encouraged state legislators to alter the outcome of the 2020 election.”

The committee contends they helped appoint the so-called alternate slates for Trump in key battleground states by “directing Trump campaign staffers” to participate in the scheme.

Pro-Trump electors were not officially recognized by their respective states, but this did not deter them from affixing their signatures to the certificates anyway and remitting them to the National Archives just like the sanctioned electors for 2020 did that December.

Ultimately, the Archives rejected the alternate slates.

Exploring the gambit behind the bogus elector submissions in places like Arizona and Pennsylvania has led investigators to some of the former president’s most ardent supporters in high places.

Much of this scheme was reportedly spearheaded by Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani. He was subpoenaed by the select committee as well but as of Wednesday, he had openly dismissed the probe as illegitimate and overblown.

In the meantime, the committee continues zeroing in on the bunk electors, and Tuesday’s tranche expanded those efforts.

In a subpoena to Mastriano, investigators asked him to produce information about his conversations with Trump around “post election activities” and for him to testify about a plan to arrange an alternate slate in Pennsylvania.

Mastriano, who is now running for governor, should explain to the probe why he believed the assertions of voter fraud, Thompson wrote, or why he supported theories about other irregularities.

The committee also wants to know more about how Mastriano arrived at his conclusions, like this one from November 2020:

Mastriano was at the Capitol on January 6 and has said publicly that he witnessed “agitators … start pushing the police up the steps” of the complex.

He was also seen in photos on January 6 posing with former Pennsylvania state Rep. Rick Saccone, who took to social media to celebrate the storming of the Capitol.

Mastriano has denied having any illegal involvement in January 6, saying last May that he followed the directions of all police he encountered.

“Even disingenuous internet sleuths know that police lines did shift throughout the course of the day. I followed those lines as they existed,” Mastriano said.

Campaign finance records have also shown that Mastriano’s campaign spent thousands to send buses to D.C. on January 6. PBS reported last January that the state senator’s campaign paid $3,354 to Wolf Bus Lines over three installments six days before the attack.

Investigators are interested to speak with Finchem about his role in coordinating a Phoenix-based event with members of Trump’s legal team on November. 30, 2020.

The group met to discuss unproven allegations of voter fraud and Finchem, in particular, was heard saying during a break in the meeting that the voter systems had been hacked.

Like Mastriano, Finchem was in Washington on January 6. Finchem, however, said he was there to give an “evidence book and letter” to then-Vice President Mike Pence that he believed would confirm evidence of fraud in Arizona.

Finchem, investigators say, meant to ask Pence to delay the certification, making him yet another person who called on Trump’s second in command to consider subverting the election results.

Ward, currently suing the committee to stop them from reviewing her phone metadata, has valuable information as chair of the Arizona Republican Party, investigators said Tuesday,

Ward spoke to Trump multiple times about election certification and played a hugely public role in disseminating Trump’s election fraud falsehoods.

Just one day after the election, the committee noted in its subpoena, Ward sent text messages to then-Maricopa County Board Chairman Clint Hickman.

Hickman told reporters Trump called him twice in four days after he lost to Biden.

The Arizona official said he was aware when Trump called that the president had made other pressure calls to state election officials in Georgia.

Ward also sent several texts to Hickman a few days after Trump lost, The Arizona Republic first reported.

“We need you to stop the counting,” she wrote.

Other texts after the election “bombarded” Hickman’s phone. One message on Nov. 17 from Ward reportedly read: “Here is Sidney Powell’s number. Please call her.”

Three days later, Ward texted the state election official again.

“I know you don’t want to be remembered as the guy who led the charge to certify a fraudulent election,” she wrote.

A voicemail Ward left was more explicit about her contact with Trump.

“Hey, Clint. It's Kelli Ward. I just talked to President Trump and he would like me to talk to you and also see if he needs to give you a call to discuss what's happening on the ground in Maricopa. Give me a call back when you can,” she said.

Ward did not immediately return a request for comment on Wednesday.

Lastly, the committee seeks information from former Michigan Republican Party chairwoman Laura Cox.

Cox hosted a Zoom and Facebook Live event on December 2, 2020, where Giuliani was featured and told guests they had to “stand up for a free and fair election.”

In a statement Wednesday, Cox lashed out at the committee, saying that the probe’s senior investigative counsel called her in October and that she met with them without an attorney.

The meeting, Cox said, was not recorded because the senior counsel and those accompanying him were taking notes and when she asked to record, they refused.

“They then left the office,“ Cox said Wednesday.

Cox bristled at the subpoena, saying her concerns over voter irregularities stemmed from her own experience as chair of the Michigan GOP.

“I did not need President Trump or the Trump campaign to push me to question ballot irregularities in Michigan … my guy lost. President Biden won. But that does not make raising questions about irregularities a crime,” she said.

A January 6 committee spokesperson declined to comment on Cox’s statement Wednesday.

More than 550 interviews have been conducted by investigators and more than 80 subpoenas have been issued openly. That excludes an altogether separate raft of subpoenas that were issued to telecommunications companies and banks for metadata and financial records.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

Fake Trump Elector Tries To Defend Forged Document

Fake Trump Elector Tries To Defend Forged Document

When the Electoral College met in 2020 to certify votes in that year’s presidential election, Jim Lamon—now running for an Arizona seat in the U.S. Senate—signed his name to a document declaring himself an elector for President Donald Trump. But Lamon was not an official elector, and those documents were false. Now the political hopeful is on the defensive.

In an interview Sunday with Arizona’s KTVK-TV, Lamon defended the illegitimate record, saying that “Republican electors put forth a valid document” and that their certification as Republican electors was expressly made so that if the election certification were overturned, “there would be no excuse not to recognize those electors.”

But the problem with Lamon’s defense is that the document he and 10 other pro-Trump Arizona Republicans signed on December14, 2020—and then remitted to the U.S. Senate and National Archives as valid—is that there’s no language anywhere in it stating the record was merely a contingency or placeholder.

It was passed off as a legitimate representation of authentic electors despite the fact that election officials in Arizona and six other states had already submitted their official list of electors who voted for Biden. The bogus certifications stated Trump won. He did not.

The January 6 committee has made unsnarling this scheme a key element in its probe of the deadly Capitol attack.

Last March, public watchdog American Oversight obtained the bunk electoral certifications from Arizona, Michigan, Georgia, New Mexico, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Only two states wrote in contingencies.

Arizona did not.

Lamon told KTVK-TV this weekend the record he signed was “very straightforward” and “very simple,” according to AZ Central.

Technically, those would be apt descriptors since the document plainly—but only—describes the signees as “duly elected and qualified electors from Arizona.”

“This is a lot to do about not much,” Lamon said, brushing off suggestions of fraud.

The conduct from the “alternate electors” has also garnered scrutiny by the January 6 House Select Committee, because the committee contends the phony slates were part and parcel of a larger coordinated effort to keep Trump in power well after his defeat by Biden.

“The existence of these purported alternate-elector votes was used as a justification to delay or block the certification of the election during the Joint Session of Congress on January 6, 2021,” Thompson said as he unleashed a bevy of subpoenas last week.

In his Sunday interview, Lamon said he believed the records he signed would have only gone into effect after a certain sequence of events unfolded; namely, after an audit of ballots in Maricopa County was ordered and after the official election results were overturned.

Biden won Maricopa County. The official results, as well as a hand-recount, confirmed Biden’s vote exceeded Trump’s in Arizona by more than 45,000 ballots.

Lamon said questions over the records were a distraction from “real issues” like immigration, a cornerstone of his campaign platform. Lamon has received endorsements from the National Border Patrol Council, as well as the Conservative Political Action Coalition. Ric Grenell, Trump’s onetime acting director of national intelligence, has also endorsed Lamon’s run for the U.S. Senate seat.

Lamon did not immediately respond to request for comment Monday.

In an interview with The New York Times last week, Rep. Jamie Raskin, a Maryland Democrat and member of the select committee, said the “alternate electors” left no doubt that they were “engaged in a constitutional fraud on the public and on democracy.”

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has asked federal prosecutors to review information her office has massed about the fake pro-Trump certificates issued out of Michigan. Others have followed suit, including New Mexico’s Attorney General Hector Balderas. And according to the Associated Press,a complaint lodged in Wisconsin with the Wisconsin Elections Commission and the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office about the fake slates is also receiving renewed attention.

Lamon was not specifically summoned by the select committee, but the chairperson and secretary for the Arizona Republican Party, Nancy Cottle and Loraine Pellegrino respectively, were subpoenaed.

Pellegrino has publicly defended the paperwork before, saying last January in an interview with The Arizona Republic that they signed the paperwork “to be ready in the event that something was overturned.”

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

Sidney Powell's Fingerprints Are All Over Fake Slates Of Trump Electors

Sidney Powell's Fingerprints Are All Over Fake Slates Of Trump Electors

On January 21, Politicopublished a December 2020 draft executive order under which Donald Trump authorized a number of chilling actions, beginning with this military seizure of voting machines:

“Effective immediately, the Secretary of Defense shall seize, collect, retain, and analyze all machines, equipment, electronically stored information, and material records … “

The draft order, which would have then also called for “federalization of appropriate National Guard support,” would have placed a series of Trump officials in charge of these machines, which would have remained under the supervision of the assistant secretary of defense, with a Trump-appointed “Special Counsel” to bring criminal charges against those deemed to have been involved in election fraud.

This unvarnished attempt at employing the military in his coup d'etat—like all the other features of Trump’s attempted destruction of American democracy—has not received one one-thousandth the media attention it deserves. But in particular, there’s been a tendency to overlook the order’s opening paragraph; the one that makes it clear that all of this was based on false claims from Trump attorney Sidney Powell, and that the whole cause for overthrowing the government was a completely debunked claim created by his own legal team.

Rather than predicating the order on some kind of broad claim of electoral issues, Trump’s military takeover directly references one specific instance of supposed fraud.

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

The problem with this “forensic report” was that it was a lie. In fact, it was a lie easily disproven weeks before the events of January 6.

Antrim County, Michigan first entered the national limelight because results immediately following poll closing showed Joe Biden ahead in this reliably Republican county. However, within an hour of the initially reported numbers, county officials — all of them Republican — determined that an error had been made, not in total numbers, but in reporting those numbers to the state. The totals were corrected and Trump won the county by 3,700 votes. A hand recount of ballots showed that the machine-generated results were accurate.

But almost immediately Trump supporters built this incident into “proof” of problems with voting machines in the county—even though those machines had always reported the correct values. To support this they seized on a 23-page “Antrim County report” filed as part of a lawsuit that—and this is real—was filed as a challenge against the successful attempt to allow retail sales of marijuana in the county.

Even though the challenge to the vote on marijuana actually turned on whether to count three partially mangled ballots, Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, and Lin Wood directed attention to this “forensic audit” (spoiler: it wasn’t a forensic audit) because it made assertions about the reliability of Dominion voting machines.

When the contents of the report were made public, as The Detroit News reported at the time, the state attorney general labeled efforts to turn this report into some kind of broad proof of voting fraud “another in a long stream of misguided, vague and dubious assertions designed to erode public confidence in the November presidential election." The authors of the section of the report cited by Powell and Wood in their court filings turned out to be an organization called Allied Security Operations Group. That organization also claimed that a number of districts in Michigan had “over 100 percent turnout”—a claim that turned out to be provably false.

“According to the document, there was a precinct in North Muskegon with 781% turnout and a precinct in Muskegon with 205% turnout. The certified and publicly posted results in Muskegon County clearly refute [this claim].”

On November 25, Wood and Powell brought the case to the Sixth District Court in Michigan, with the Antrim County report acting as “Exhibit A.” On December 7, the court ruled against them, stating that both the county and the state had already certified the results before Trump’s team bothered to file an objection and that—since actual analysis failed to find any difference between machine and hand-counted results—“plaintiffs failed to establish an injury sufficient to meet standing requirements.” In other words, none of the evidence they brought actually showed the fraud they claimed. The next day they appealed.

A week after that, this same report was before the Supreme Court of the United States as “Exhibit A” in a filing represented by Powell and Wood that sought to annul the results in six states, allowing Republican state legislators to select the slate of electors. The Detroit Free Press reminded readers that the exaggerated claims in the report had already been disproven.

That same report was then again used as the main supporting document for Trump’s executive order. And all the time everything in it that suggested problems with Dominion Voting Systems had already been explained as human error and disproven by a hand count of votes. The reference here to this debunked, never-serious report, shows just how close all of the efforts going on in Trump’s coup really were. It was not a series of uncoordinated flailings, but a single unified effort to justify overturning the election.

Currently, that same report is a key element in a “Strategic Communications Plan” created by Giuliani and his team as a defense for Trump officials subpoenaed by the Jan. 6 commission. Republicans are still treating it as if it contains actual information.

In the months following the coup attempt, the Michigan attorney general has taken action to sanction the attorneys who pressed on with this report, despite knowing that it had no evidentiary value. The former elections commissioner issued a 10-point rebuttal of the claims in the report. And a federal judge has taken Powell and others to task before eventually issuing sanctions.

As Judge Parker stated, Trump’s attorneys “filed this lawsuit in bad faith and for improper purpose.”

But there’s another part of the original filing from Powell and Wood that the Detroit Free Press picked up in Dec. 2020.

At one point, the filing states: "On Dec. 14, 2020, the Republican majority State legislatures of Arizona, Georgia, Michigan and Wisconsin exercised their plenary authority under the U.S. Constitution’s Electors Clause by permitting the full slate of Republican nominees to cast their electoral votes for President Donald J. Trump on a contingent basis."
In another portion, the filing states: "Republican slates of electors have received the endorsement of the Republican-majority legislatures in each of these States, as reflected in the decision for them to cast (or attempting to cast) their slate of electoral votes."
None of this is true.

Powell’s lawsuit encapsulates two cornerstones of Trump’s attempted coup: the effort to create the impression that there was some reason to suspect election fraud, and the effort to make it seem as if the slates of electoral candidates were in dispute. And what may be most amazing is how thin and easily debunked their supposed evidence really was.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

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