Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons, a novel and a memoir. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.
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Over the past year, we have had to deal with Donald Trump shouting baseless claims that Joe Biden only denied him a second term because of massive fraud. He continues to promote the "Big Lies" despite his claims being debunked many times over in court, in Congress, in the press – and even by a three-month "audit" that his fervent supporters sponsored and conducted.
Believe it or not, Trump's attack on democracy is even worse than it seems. What's worse than repeatedly making "Four-Pinocchio" and "Pants on Fire" claims? Worse is repeating those allegations when you knew all along that they were false. And there is ample evidence in the published record that shows Trump was bleating and screeching about fraud when he knew full well that he had lost fairly and honestly.
This fundamental fact is important for several reasons. If you can put a firm date on the moment that Trump was well aware that he had lost, then every action taken to further those claims was in furtherance of an insurrection—one that began long before January 6. It means that we're no longer merely talking about the fine line between protected and unprotected speech. We're talking about seditious action.
If Trump always knew he had lost, then every one of those hair-on-fire emails urging people to donate to the effort to keep him in office was fraudulent. And if he knew he had lost when, for example, he tried to shake down Georgia secretary of state Brad Raffensperger, then it should be easier for Fulton County (Atlanta) District Attorney Fami Ellis to prove that effort was a racketeering offense. And if it can be proved that Trump's lawyers knew their arguments in court were false, it will be far easier to sanction them for doing so.
November 7, 2020: According to Axios, within hours of most major media outlets declaring Biden president-elect, Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien and deputy campaign manager Justin Clark tell Trump that his chances of staying in office are slim at best. He needs to win the outstanding absentee ballots in Arizona and Georgia by landslide margins, and also needs to win a legal challenge to Wisconsin's vote count. Clark tells Trump that even then, his chances were no better than five to ten percent. The Washington Post reports that Trump "signaled that he understood" the import of what Stepien and Clark were telling him.
November 10-13, 2020: Trump campaign lawyer Steffan Passantino tells The New York Times that the Trump legal team knew "within a week" of the election that there was no evidence Dominion Voting Systems-manufactured voting machines were switching votes in Georgia. Passantino tells the Times that his team conducted "a literal physical hand count" of all five million ballots cast in Georgia, and the votes "matched almost identically." Without Georgia, there was virtually no realistic path for Trump to stay in office.
November 12, 2020: Axios reports that when all remaining media outlets called Arizona for Biden, Trump's core campaign team told him that "his pathway is dead," since there was no politically viable path for Trump to win without Arizona. The Times reports that Trump's legal team was making plans to withdraw a legal challenge to Arizona's count because the 191 ballots they'd red flagged weren't even a fraction of Biden's 10,000-vote lead in the state. However, Trump was very receptive to Rudy Giuliani's claims that Dominion software was switching votes.
November 13, 2020: According to Axios, the Post and the Times, Giuliani suggests filing a lawsuit in Georgia alleging that the use of Dominion software allowed Biden to flip the state. Justin Clark replies that such a suit would be thrown out on procedural grounds, since Georgia hadn't certified its results yet. Giuliani calls Clark a liar, prompting Clark to call Giuliani "a fucking asshole." Trump sides with Giuliani, beginning what the Times calls "an extralegal campaign to subvert the election." On that same day, the Times reports that deputy campaign communications chief Sam Parkinson asked his legal team to "substantiate or debunk" claims percolating about Dominion in conservative circles.
November 14, 2020: On the same day Giuliani, Sidney Powell, and Jenna Ellis assume leadership of Trump's legal campaign to overturn the election results, Parkinson's team compiles a memo that thoroughly debunks the most outlandish claims about Dominion. Among other things, the memo states that there is no evidence Dominion and another voting systems maker, Smartmatic, presently have a relationship. Nor is there any evidence that Dominion has ties with George Soros, Venezuela, or antifa.
November 19, 2020: Giuliani, Powell, and Ellis hold a press conference alleging Dominion is at the center of a wide-ranging conspiracy to steal victory from Trump — repeating the same claims that were debunked by Trump's own communications team five days earlier. Later that night, Fox News' Tucker Carlson tears Powell to shreds for not offering any actual evidence of fraud. According to the Post, Trump is equally disappointed in Powell, and Carlson's takedown of Powell plays a major role in Trump's decision to cut formal ties with her.
Late November 2020: Axios reports that Trump is losing patience with Powell by this time. Before picking up a call from Powell in the Oval Office, Trump tells staffers that he thinks Powell is "crazy," and muses that "no one believes this stuff."
November 20,2020: Michigan state house speaker Lee Chatfield and state senate majority leader Mike Shirkey meet with Trump at the White House. According to Reuters, they tell Trump that they know of no information that would overturn Biden's 154,000-vote lead in Michigan. Chatfield and Shirkey tell the Post that they traveled to Washington in order to give Trump information that "he wasn't hearing in his own echo chamber," and they left believing that "his blinders had fallen off." In other words, it appeared to Chatfield and Shirkey that Trump knew he'd lost Michigan — and with it, any politically realistic path to reelection.
December 1, 2020: Attorney General Bill Barr, with the support of White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, meets with Trump and dismisses Trump's claims of fraud as "bullshit" (per Axios) and "ridiculously false" (per the Times). When Barr pans the Trump legal team's performance, Trump concedes that "maybe" their arguments don't add up. According to the Times, before Barr even leaves the room, Trump tweets out a claim that a truck driver delivered thousands of pre-filled ballots to Pennsylvania—even though federal investigators had already concluded the driver had serious credibility problems.
December 14, 2020: Trump policy adviser Stephen Miller announces that the Trump campaign has organized alternate slates of electors in every battleground state won by Biden, ostensibly to keep Trump's legal options open. This includes Arizona, Georgia and Michigan—states that the Trump campaign likely knew for a month or more that it had lost.
December 18, 2020: According to Axios, Powell barrels into the White House along with Overstock.com founder Patrick Byrne to meet with Trump and peddle more claims that the election was stolen -- even though White House advisers who tried to vet these allegations found they didn't withstand serious analysis. At this meeting, Powell is grilled by White House senior adviser Eric Herschmann and staff secretary Derek Lyons, who note that Powell has repeatedly failed to deliver on promises to back up her arguments. Trump himself expresses doubt about Powell and Byrne's claims, but notes that unlike Herschmann and Lyons, they were at least offering him a shot at winning. As we now know, h
January 2, 2020: Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger's general counsel tells Trump during the now-infamous shakedown attempt that both the FBI and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation have been unable to find any evidence to back up Trump's claims of fraud. However, Trump keeps pressing Raffensperger to "do me a favor."
- Trump knew as early as November 7 that he was shooting his last legal bolt to stay in office, and likely knew as early as November 12 that bolt had missed.
- Trump knew at various points in November that he had lost at least three states that he needed to hold if he had any hope of winning a second term.
- Giuliani, Powell, and Ellis' press conference aired arguments that the Trump campaign had known were baseless for at least five days.
- Trump promoted baseless claims even after being told categorically by his own aides that they were false.
- Trump himself expressed doubt about Sidney Powell's conspiratorial assertions, but had no qualms about using them to support his claims about fraud.
Former mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani is in the hot seat after insisting he "didn't have the time" to investigate election fraud claims pertaining to his client and friend Donald J. Trump before making baseless public statements.
In a new video obtained by CNN, the 77-year-old further deflected his involvement with election interference, saying that "sometimes I go and look myself when stuff comes up. This time I didn't have the time to do it."
He added, "It's not my job, in a fast-moving case, to go out and investigate every piece of evidence that was given to me. Otherwise, you're never going to write a story. You'll never come to a conclusion."
The video is from Giuliani's deposition in a defamation lawsuit filed by former Dominion Voting Systems executive Eric Coomer.
Giuliani continued in the damning deposition, "We had a report that the heads of Dominion and Smartmatic, somewhere in the mid-tweens, you know 2013, 2014, whatever, went down to Venezuela for a get-to-know meeting with [President Nicolás] Maduro so they could demonstrate to Maduro the kind of vote fixing they did for [former President Hugo] Chavez."
According to court records reviewed by CNN last month, Giuliani spent less than an hour reviewing allegations that Coomer was part of a plot to rig the election before publicly making those claims at a November news conference.
"Rudy's justification for spreading sputum is that everybody does it," CNN anchor Chris Cuomo shared on his show Thursday night. "So what we have here is a battle to the bottom. What does that mean for where we're all headed?"
Watch the video below.
CNN obtained exclusive video that shows Trump adviser Rudy Giuliani, attorney Sidney Powell and others being deposed about their election lies.pic.twitter.com/RhK7CtMfZN— Cuomo Prime Time (@Cuomo Prime Time) 1636078751
Reprinted with permission from AlterNet
Rudy Giuliani, former President Donald Trump's embattled former personal attorney, has admitted under oath that his so-called evidence of voter fraud was based on Facebook posts, reports confirm.
According to Business Insider, Giuliani's remarks were part of a deposition that he completed on August 14 as part of a defamation lawsuit filed by Eric Coomer, a former Dominion Voting Systems employee.
Coomer filed his lawsuit against the Trump campaign and other allies of the former president for circulating unfounded voter fraud conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election. One theory even accused him of conspiring to "rig" the election in President Joe Biden's favor.
The deposition included a statement where Giuliani "admitted that he got some of his information about Coomer's alleged role in the election fraud from his social media posts but couldn't be sure if it was Facebook or another platform."
"Those social media posts get all one to me," Giuliani said.
When asked if he'd personally seen any other information connecting Coomer to fraud, Giuliani said, "Right now, I can't recall anything else that I laid eyes on."
The New York Times reported that the conspiracy theory about Coomer originated from baseless claims made by a right-wing podcast host named Joe Oltmann. He claimed to have listened in on an Antifa conference call where Coomer's name was mentioned. During that discussion, "Eric from Dominion" reportedly boasted about interfering with the election. Oltmann then claimed Coomer's Facebook page included anti-Trump messages; a claim that tied into his alleged efforts to rig the election.
Although Oltmann provided no evidence to support his claim, Trump's legal team ran with it. On November 19, they held a press conference and offered details about the basis of their legal pushback which was motivated by Otlmann's baseless claims.
"One of the Smartmatic patent holders, Eric Coomer, I believe his name is, is on the web as being recorded in a conversation with ANTIFA members saying that he had the election rigged for Mr. Biden," Giuliani said.
However, Coomer's lawyers argue that Giuliani "spent 'virtually no time' investigating the claims."
When asked why he regurgitated the claims without conducting proper research, Giuliani simply said he was too busy.
"It's not my job in a fast-moving case to go out and investigate every piece of evidence that's given to me," Giuliani said in the deposition, according to MSNBC.
Giuliani also made a futile attempt to defend his actions saying, "Why wouldn't I believe him? I would have to have been a terrible lawyer… gee, let's go find out it's untrue. I didn't have the time to do that."
Reprinted with permission from The Chief-Leader
The chairs of both the House Oversight Committee and the House Judiciary Committee have written to New York Mayor Bill de Blasio requesting that he release any documents in the city's possession pertaining to what officials knew about the air quality in and around lower Manhattan in the days and weeks following the September 11, 2001 destruction of the World Trade Center by terrorists.
The Congressional inquiry comes as the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund reported it had received 3,900 death claims related to WTC health conditions and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that 3,311 people enrolled in its WTC Health Program have died.
In their September 20 letter, Oversight Committee chair Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) and Judiciary Committee chair Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), who co-sponsored the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, wrote that disclosure was critical to "help provide injured and ill 9/11 responders, survivors, and their families a better understanding of what the City knew at the time about the likely scope of the health crisis and when they knew it."
The de Blasio administration responded with a statement: "As we continue to remember both those that died on 9/11 and those that passed away years later from toxic dust, we will not forget the lessons we learned that day. We will review the letter."
Three days after the 9/11 attack, Christine Todd Whitman, then-head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, told reporters that "the good news continues to be that air samples we have taken have all been at levels that cause us no concern." Two years later, an investigation by the EPA Inspector General found that the agency "did not have sufficient data and analyses to make such a blanket statement" when it did.
Bush Doctored Releases
"Air-monitoring data was lacking for several pollutants of concern," the inspector general concluded. The report stated that President George W. Bush's White House Council on Environmental Quality heavily edited the EPA press releases "to add reassuring statements and delete cautionary ones."
The IG also found that the Council described the readings as just "slightly above" the limit, despite the fact that samples taken indicated asbestos levels in lower Manhattan were double or even triple the EPA's limit.
When the agency watchdog tried to determine who had written the press releases, investigators "were unable to identify any EPA official who claimed ownership," because they were told by the EPA chief of staff that there was "joint ownership between EPA and the White House," which gave final approval.
Reps. Maloney and Nadler cited those findings in their recent letter to the mayor. "This report outlined what the federal government knew about the extent of the problem and the clear health threat, after the EPA Administrator Christie Todd Whitman had repeatedly said that the 'air was safe to breathe,'" they wrote. "However, we have yet to see a full accounting of what then-Mayor Giuliani and his administration knew at the time."
The Congressional leaders linked their inquiry to "President Biden's ongoing review and declassification of documents related to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's possible involvement in the 9/11 attacks" and the need for "full transparency" about just "what the government knew about the health risks at Ground Zero" and whether it "potentially covered up that information."
"While previous reports have hinted at what the Giuliani administration knew about the health risks, it is time for a complete accounting of this history," Ms. Maloney and Mr. Nadler wrote. "If it is true that they knew that thousands of responders and community members would face tremendous long-term health impacts, the administration unnecessarily delayed the effort to provide health care to the thousands of responders and survivors exposed in the aftermath on the pile and in schools, offices, and homes around the area."
Health advocates from first-responder unions and the lower Manhattan neighborhood supported the call for the city to disclose all documents it has related to what it knew about the air quality in and around the site.Ultimately, Federal officials defined the WTC health impact zone to encompass all of lower Manhattan south of Houston Street and portions of western Brooklyn.
'Can't Repeat Mistakes'
Kimberly Flynn, the executive director of 9/11 Environmental Action, and Rob Spencer, director of media services for the Organization of Staff Analysts, who co-chair the WTC Health Program Survivor Steering Committee, wrote: "In the earliest days after the collapse of the towers, the City rather than the federal government led the initial disaster response. In addition, the City Department of Health issued hazardous guidance to those who lived or worked in Lower Manhattan below Canal Street, such as a recommendation to clean up potentially asbestos-contaminated dust in interior spaces using a wet rag and a mop. Respiratory protection was not mentioned."
They continued, "For these reasons and many more, Representatives Maloney and Nadler's request for full disclosure by the City of information about its decision-making and the origins of its guidance is welcome and the release of the information long overdue. We need to understand the failures of decision-making after 9/11 that led to decades of suffering and illness. Going forward, we cannot afford to repeat these mistakes."
Lila Nordstrom, who attended Stuyvesant High School adjacent to the WTC site and is a WTC Health Program participant, wrote, "This was not just a critical issue in the immediate aftermath but was an ongoing failure that continued into Mayor Bloomberg's tenure."
During a September 21 phone interview, former Uniformed Firefighters Association President Stephen Cassidy said he welcomed full disclosure of what the city knew about the air quality following the Trade Center's destruction.
'Knew It Wasn't Safe'
"In my view there wasn't a single Firefighter who thought the air was safe to breathe, but in those first eight to nine days, we thought we would still find people alive," Mr. Cassidy said. "But when it shifted from an actual rescue to [the months of] recovery, there is a legitimate argument that the city agencies did not provide the proper adequate protective gear. You had guys wearing cloth bandannas and those flimsy masks."
"We all know now the air in Lower Manhattan on 9/11 and in the months that followed was poison to breathe—but it is imperative that it is made clear what was known then," said Detectives' Endowment Association President Paul DiGiacomo. "We owe it to the detectives, their fellow first-responders, and every person who has died of a related illness or continues to battle for their life today."
Transport Workers Union Local 100 President Tony Utano stated, "Nothing should be left in the shadows. Thousands of us worked the pile at Ground Zero, helped evacuate people from lower Manhattan, or shuttled other first-responders to the site. They were told the air was safe and many have the paid the price of that lie. Hundreds have become seriously ill and dozens have died."
Vincent Variale, president of AFSCME Local 3621, which represents Emergency Medical Service Officers, said, "It seems they might be doing this for political reasons, particularly because it involves former Mayor Giuliani. But that said, they should investigate this and hold people responsible."
Nadler recalled at a recent 9/11 memorial that he "immediately" pushed back on the EPA's assurance about air quality at the time, explaining, "I knew immediately that this was ridiculous—you could just take one look and there was zero evidence that this was true."
Rudolph Giuliani was always somewhat off-center, even in his glory days as New York City mayor. But people who recall him then were stunned by his decline into a conspiracy-mongering swamp creature of Trump world. The 20th anniversary of Sept. 11 lets us remember that on that day of horror, Giuliani was on the chaotic scene, passing out courage and hope.
At 10 a.m. on 9/11, I was in New York on a train being kept underground in Penn Station. The two planes had just hit the World Trade Center.
The conductor came on the loudspeaker telling us repeatedly that "this is the safest place you can be right now." We didn't all have cellphones then, but a guy in the back of the car did and informed us that the Pentagon had been hit and the first tower, and then the second, had come down. The conductor asked us to pray for the people in the World Trade Center.
We were scared and shuddered imagining the terror downtown. We didn't know at that point who did it, why or whether they had stopped. We wanted to get out of town, but the train wasn't going anywhere because the tunnels were being searched for bombs.
The conductor came on one last time and told us to stay calm, take our bags and leave the train. We ascended into the light and a totally transformed city, country and world.
A public filled with dread needed consoling. President George W. Bush was incommunicado most of the day. But Giuliani was there among the smoking debris, the only visible political figure offering solace and, even more importantly, reassurance that life would go on.
He spoke eloquently about the collective grief. Asked how many had died, he said, "The number of casualties will be more than any of us can bear."
But he also pleaded with New Yorkers to keep faith in the future. "Tomorrow, New York is going to be here," he said.
The most calming thing he said that afternoon, though, was that two of the subway lines were again operating and named which ones. Yes, it was going to be OK.
Giuliani became "America's Mayor," hailed as the ash-covered leader of 9/11. Time magazine made him "Person of the Year," and Queen Elizabeth gave him an honorary knighthood.
The backstory of Giuliani's role in 9/11 was less inspiring. One reason he became the hero of the streets was that he had pushed to place the Office of Emergency Management headquarters in the worst possible location, on the 23rd floor inside the 7 World Trade Center building. The office was created in response to the World Trade Center bombing in 1993, and the site was considered among the top targets for terrorists.
Giuliani has long had a strained relationship with the truth but went over the deep end in 2019 by peddling a theory that Ukraine tried to interfere in the 2016 U.S. election. He forever disgraced himself by pushing lies that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump — culminating in his speech on Jan. 6, calling on Trump supporters to engage in "trial by combat" right before they ravaged the capital.
Giuliani had already fallen far. In 2018, he attended a game at Yankee Stadium, and when the announcer said, "The New York Yankees wish a very happy birthday to Mayor Giuliani," the crowd burst out with boos.
There's been much speculation about what happened to him. In New York City, he could have had bridges, roads and schools named for him. All that's left is a memory of Giuliani's finest hour urging battle against fear in the darkness of 9/11.
Follow Froma Harrop on Twitter @FromaHarrop. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. To find out more about Froma Harrop and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators webpage at www.creators.com
(Reuters) - Igor Fruman, a former associate of Rudolph Giuliani, told a New York court hearing on Friday he will plead guilty to one criminal count in a campaign finance case.
Fruman worked to collect damaging information about Joe Biden before he became president. Giuliani, a one-time lawyer for former President Donald Trump, has not been charged with criminal wrongdoing although he is under federal investigation in the Southern District of New York.
(Reporting by Jon Stempel in New York and writing by Tom Hals in Wilmington, Delaware)
Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows may face "significant criminal exposure" for his prominent role in pressuring the Justice Department (DOJ) to overturn the free and fair 2020 election, according to a timeline published by Just Security and a criminal complaint filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW).
CREW filed their complaint against both Meadows and Trump last week, claiming the two violated a "criminal civil rights law" and "criminal provisions of the Hatch Act" in their attempt to effort to overturn the election.
"Government officials who try to subvert our republic and undermine democratic rule must be held accountable to the full extent of the criminal law," said CREW President Noah Bookbinder.
The Just Security timeline depicts those offenses in vivid detail.
Meadows And Giuliani
Throughout the course of the extraordinary effort to overturn the election Meadows worked with Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.
First contact reportedly started on or around November 12, 2020. According to Washington Post reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker's book I Alone Can Fix It, Giuliani asked Meadows to investigate claims that allege tens of thousands of "illegal aliens" may have voted in Arizona. Of course, this was debunked— in reality, it was U.S. citizens living abroad who voted legally.
Giuliani and Meadows also created a “parallel track" while Trump's campaign set up a team in Georgia -- a state Biden won despite its history of being a red state, according to Wall Street Journal reporter Michael Bender.
“A parallel track was underway from the Oval Office where Giuliani and Meadows, who was just returning to work after being sidelined by Covid, started bringing in their own people," writes Bender in his book Frankly, We Did Win This Election.
CREW alleges that in those first few weeks after the election Meadows, Giuliani, and other Trump aides “began a coordinated multi-state campaign to prevent states from counting legal ballots (or to throw out already- counted legal ballots)."
Not 'Sufficiently Loyal'Meadows also played a significant role in the firing or discrediting of federal officials who pushed back against the administration's outlandish claims of voter fraud— Former Defense Secretary Mark Esper was the first to fall victim. On November 9, 2020, Meadows called Esper to say "the president's not happy… And we don't think you're sufficiently loyal. You're going to be replaced. He's going to announce it this afternoon," according to Leonnig and Rucker.
Lo and behold, four minutes later, Trump tweets: "I am pleased to announce that Christopher C. Miller, the highly respected Director of the National Counterterrorism Center (unanimously confirmed by the Senate), will be Acting Secretary of Defense, effective immediately."
In mid-November or December, Meadows introduced Trump to Jeffrey Clark, whom DOJ officials say “was putting together a secret plan to oust Rosen, the acting attorney general, and force Georgia to overturn its results," according to Bender's book. Meadows denies involvement. He also connected Trump and former North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Mark Martin, who came up with the theory that former Vice President Mike Pence could stop the certification of Biden, according to the New York Times.
Leonnig and Rucker's book quoted one senior official saying, Meadows facilitated the president's being "exposed to crazy people spouting lunatic theories about the election and his ability to overturn it. That is all Meadows."
'We're Going To Get The President There'
It was around this time that Meadows acknowledged to the White House Communications Director Alyssa Farah that he knows Trump lost the election.
"We need to give a graceful exit and acknowledge that Biden won," Farah tells Meadows.
"I know, I know," Meadows responded. "We're going to get the president there."
But not only could Meadows never "get the president there," according to Leonnig and Rucker, "There wasn't any indication that he had even tried."
In fact, it was mere days after this that Meadows expressed his displeasure with former Attorney General William Barr for telling the Associated Press, "to date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election."
Leonnig and Rucker report that Barr was surprised Meadows "hated" the news story.
"Meadows sat silently on the opposite side of the dining room, with his arms crossed, a posture that seemed to say, This is DOJ's problem," the two write.
At this point, Meadows and Trump were laser focused on Georgia. On December 22, 2020, Meadows took a trip to observe an absentee ballot audit and met with Frances Watson, the lead elections investigator in the Georgia Secretary of State's office.
A day later, Trump gets on the phone with Watson, urging her to find "dishonesty" to overturn the election and says she will be "praised" for doing so, according to the Wall Street Journal. Trump also said it was Meadows who told him to contact her.
"Well you have a big fan in our great chief, right? Chief of staff, Mark," said Trump.
Shortly after this, Meadows "began a separate element of the pressure campaign on DOJ," telling acting Attorney General Rosen to focus on "wrongdoing" in Georgia, according to CREW's complaint.
On January 1, Meadows followed up on allegations "of signature match anomalies" in Fulton County, Georgia.
"Get [Assistant Attorney General] Jeffrey Clark to engage on this issue immediately," he wrote in an email to Rosen.
The next morning, Assistant Attorney General Clark confirmed to Rosen that he "spoke to the source and [was] on [a call] with the guy who took the video," adding that he was "[w]orking on it" and that there was "[m]ore due diligence to do."
"The pressure campaign appeared to have some immediate impact," says the complaint.
Hours later, Trump, Meadows, and other associates made the infamous phone call pressuring Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to overturn the election
In their complaint, CREW first alleges that Trump and Meadows committed civil rights violations, specifically breaking Conspiracy against rights, or Section 241.
Section 241 makes it illegal for two or more persons to "conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States."
"The right to vote for federal offices and the right to have one's vote fairly counted are among the rights secured by Article I, Sections 2 and 4, of the Constitution, and hence protected by Section 241," reads the complaint.
They violated Section 241 by:
Conducting a coordinated campaign to prevent states from counting legal ballots.
Firing or publicly discrediting federal officials who refuted the narrative of purported voter fraud and a stolen election.
Threatening and attempting to intimidate state officials, including Georgia Secretary of State Raffensperger, to take steps to overturn the results of the election in their states.
Pressuring DOJ officials to file the lawsuit in the Supreme Court that, if successful, would have overturned the election results in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
Pressuring Attorney General Barr and Acting Attorney General Rosen to use DOJ resources to help investigate false allegations of fraud in Michigan and Georgia.
Attempting to fire Acting Attorney General Rosen for refusing to direct the DOJ to support the election fraud claims.
"The ultimate object of the conspiracy was to deprive citizens of their constitutional rights by changing the legal result of the 2020 election," states the complaint.
The Hatch Act protects federal funds, employees, and programs from political manipulation, according to the CREW.
The complaint notes that criminal prosecutions under the Hatch Act are rare, but not unprecedented. CREW believes that the "egregious" conduct of Trump and Meadows warrants charges under Coercion of political activity – 18 U.S.C. § 610 and Interference in Election by Employees of Federal or State Governments – 18 U.S.C. § 595.
Violations of 18 U.S.C. § 610:
President Trump's verbal abuse of Attorney General Barr for publicly renouncing his election fraud allegations as meritless, causing him to resign, firing CISA Director Krebs, and causing U.S. Attorney Pak to resign, all of which sent the message to others to pursue the allegations or get out.
President Trump's pressure on DOJ officials, including Acting Attorney General Rosen, to support lawsuits seeking to overturn his election loss and to appoint a special counsel to investigate Dominion Voting Systems.
President Trump's pressure on DOJ officials to file the Supreme Court complaint that sought to throw out election results in six states.
Using Mr. Olsen to further apply pressure on Acting Attorney General Rosen and DOJ officials to file the Supreme Court lawsuit through repeated emails and phone calls.
Mr. Meadows' pressure on DOJ officials to investigate various dubious claims of voter fraud in Georgia and elsewhere, including through multiple emails sent to Mr. Rosen.
President Trump's attempt to fire Acting Attorney General Rosen and replace him with Assistant Attorney General Clark, including at the January 3 "high- stakes meeting" at the White House.
President Trump's pressure to fire U.S. Attorney Pak, which resulted in his resignation.
President Trump's use of his official authority as President to verbally abuse Attorney General Barr, causing him to resign, fire CISA Director Krebs, and cause U.S. Attorney Pak to resign, all for not having more vigorously pursued or supported President Trump's meritless claims of election fraud.
President Trump's use of his official authority as President to pressure Acting Attorney General Rosen to pursue meritless election fraud claims and baseless lawsuits in a White House meeting.
President Trump's use of his White House personal assistant and her official White House email account to send DOJ officials materials alleging election fraud in Michigan, and the draft Supreme Court complaint.
Mr. Meadows' use of his official authority as the White House chief of staff to pressure Acting Attorney General Rosen to authorize DOJ investigations into allegations of election fraud in multiple states, including the request that he assign Mr. Clark to investigate the Georgia election fraud allegations.
Mr. Meadows' use of his official White House email account to convey various baseless allegations of election fraud to DOJ officials.
"Democracy is a precious thing," CREW concludes, adding, "It is your duty, as servants of our Constitution and protectors of our unique experiment in self-governance, to ensure that this perversion of our institutions of government never happens again. The only way to do so is to hold the perpetrators, regardless of their former positions, accountable under the laws they swore to uphold and sought to subvert."
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