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‘Pure Insanity’: Emails Show Trump Urging Justice Officials To Overturn 2020 Election

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Emails released on Tuesday reveal just how far former President Donald Trump went to pressure the Department of Justice to overturn his 2020 election loss to President Joe Biden, with everyone from Trump's personal assistant to Trump's chief of staff Mark Meadows contacting top Justice officials to ask them to back up Trump's wild lies about voter fraud and even file lawsuits to invalidate the results of multiple states.

The emails were part of a report from the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, which found that multiple top Trump aides and allies reached out to then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen asking him to file a lawsuit with the Supreme Court to overturn the results in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, and Nevada — all states Biden won.

Another email showed that Meadows tried to push Rosen to "look into" baseless and absurd allegations from an ally of Trump campaign lawyer Rudy Giuliani that Italy used military technology to switch votes from Trump to Biden. And yet another email revealed that Meadows sought to force Rosen to look into "allegations of signature match anomalies in Fulton County, Ga."

The emails show Rosen was aghast at the pressure campaign.

"Can you believe this? I am not going to respond to the message below," Rosen wrote in an email to acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue of Meadow's demand that Rosen "engage" with the signature mismatch lie.

Rosen also said he "flatly refused" to meet with the Giuliani ally who was pushing the absurd Italy conspiracy theory, stating he "would not be giving any special treatment to Giuliani or any of his 'witnesses,' and re-affirmed yet again that I will not talk to Giuliani about any of this."

Donoghue called the efforts from the White House and other Trump aides to get them to aid in the effort to overturn the election "pure insanity."

Ultimately, the Department of Justice never filed any lawsuits to overturn the election.

And the band of crackpot Trump supporters who did file lawsuits — such as Giuliani, Sidney Powell, and Lin Wood — all lost their lawsuits seeking to overturn the results. In fact, Giuliani and Powell now face libel lawsuits from voting machine companies that could put them in financial ruin. Powell also faces the possibility of court-ordered sanctions.

House Oversight Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney wrote in a news release that the emails provide proof that Trump engaged in "a brazen attempt to overturn an election that he lost."

"Those who aided or witnessed President Trump's unlawful actions must answer the Committee's questions about this attempted subversion of democracy," Maloney (D-NY) wrote.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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.

Tape Reveals Trump Pressured Georgia Official To 'Recalculate' Vote In His Favor

On Saturday Donald Trump urged Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to "find votes" and help him overturn the state's presidential election results in a stunning hour-long phone call that was taped. Unfortunately for Trump,The Washington Post. obtained and published the tape on Sunday.

The shocking development occured as Trump continues to seek avenues to block certification of the election by Congress so that he can somehow retain power.

The Post reports that Trump "alternately berated Raffensperger, tried to flatter him, begged him to act and threatened him with vague criminal consequences if the secretary of state refused to pursue his false claims."



With White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, Trump lawyer Cleta Mitchell, other Trump associates, and Georgia state attorney Ryan Germany on the line, Trump told the state official to announce publicly that he had "recalculated" the November vote -- a clear demand to commit election fraud. (Any such demand or "solicitation" is a felony in the state of Georgia.)

Supported by his counsel Germany, Raffensperger consistently rejected a series of outlandish claims by Trump about fraudulent ballots and tampered Dominion Voting Systems machines.

"The people of Georgia are angry, the people of the country are angry," Trump told him on the tape. "And there's nothing wrong with saying, you know, that you've recalculated."

Raffensperger retorted: "Well, Mr. President, the challenge that you have is, the data you have is wrong."

At another moment Trump said: "So look. All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state." Although Trump insistently blustered that he had won the state by "hundreds of thousands of votes," he later adopted a wheedling tone: "So what are we going to do here, folks? I only need 11,000 votes. Fellas, I need 11,000 votes. Give me a break."

But the president threatened Raffensperger more than once, warning that he and his counsel would be committing a "criminal offense"and taking "a big risk" if they failed to endorse Trump's false claims. Neither Meadows nor Mitchell uttered any objection to Trump's unlawful demands, and in fact Meadows chimed in with a suggestion that Raffensperger "cooperate" with the president.

"So what are we going to do here, folks? I only need 11,000 votes. Fellas, I need 11,000 votes. Give me a break."

Like Trump's infamous call to the Ukrainian president last year, this brazen attempt to force a public official to falsify election results is not just a crime -- actually a series of crimes -- but an impeachable act. There just isn't enough time left in Trump's term to impeach him again. But now every Republican who backs Trump's "election fraud" campaign knows exactly how hollow, fraudulent, and fascistic it is.