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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."

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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."

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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 Lies Spurred Wave Of Death Threats Against Georgia Official — And His Family

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

After the New York Times' Maggie Haberman reported, on June 1, that former President Donald Trump believes he will be "reinstated" as president by August, many Trump critics — from liberals and progressives to Never Trump conservatives — warned that his delusions could inspire more attacks like the January 6 insurrection as well as an increase in threats against officials. The death threats, harassment and intimidation that election workers have been receiving from Trump supporters is the focus of in-depth article published by Reuters this week, and reporter Linda So shows that the abuse continues months after Trump's departure from the White House.

In her report, So emphasizes that the election workers who have suffered ongoing abuse range from high-level officials such as Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (a conservative Republican) to low-level and mid-level election workers. Raffensperger, following the 2020 presidential election, infuriated Trump and his allies — including former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and far-right attorneys Sidney Powell and Lin Wood — by maintaining that now-President Joe Biden won Georgia fairly and that there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the state as Trump claimed. And Raffensperger, along with his wife Tricia Raffensperger, have been inundated with death threats ever since

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So reports that on April 5, Tricia Raffensperger received a text message saying that a family member was "going to have a very unfortunate incident" — and that message was followed by one in mid-April saying, "We plan for the death of you and your family every day." Then, on April 24,

she received a text message saying, "You and your family will be killed very slowly."

Tricia Raffensperger, who is 65, told Reuters that because of all the death threats, she decided it was no longer safe for her grandchildren to visit her home. The Georgia secretary of state's wife explained, "I couldn't have them come to my house anymore. You don't know if these people are actually going to act on this stuff."

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The 66-year-old Brad Raffensperger told Reuters, "Vitriol and threats are an unfortunate, but expected, part of public service. But my family should be left alone."

Georgia's secretary of state is hardly the only major election official who has been receiving death threats from Trump supporters. Others have ranged from Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, who is part of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's administration, to Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs.

So explains, "Trump's relentless false claims that the vote was 'rigged' against him sparked a campaign to terrorize election officials nationwide, from senior officials such as Raffensperger to the lowest-level local election workers. The intimidation has been particularly severe in Georgia, where Raffensperger and other Republican election officials refuted Trump's stolen-election claims. The ongoing harassment could have far-reaching implications for future elections by making the already difficult task of recruiting staff and poll workers much harder, election officials say."

In Georgia, So observes, the "intimidation" has "gone well beyond Raffensperger and his family." The Reuters reporter notes that in Georgia, "Election workers, from local volunteers to senior administrators, continue enduring regular harassing phone calls and e-mails, according to interviews with election workers and the Reuters review of texts, e-mails and audio files provided by Georgia officials."

Trump-inspired death threats are terrorizing election workers www.youtube.com

Richard Barron, elections director for Fulton County, Georgia, told Reuters that his predominantly African-American staff has received hundreds of threats along with racial slurs. Barron told Reuters, "The racial slurs were disturbing and sickening." And one of the targets was Ralph Jones, who is part of Barron's staff and oversaw mail-in ballot operations in Fulton County (which includes Atlanta) in 2020. Jones told Reuters, "It was unbelievable: your life being threatened just because you're doing your job."

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Carlos Nelson, elections supervisor for Ware County, Georgia, believes that the United States is facing a dire situation when poll workers are fearing for their safety.

Nelson told Reuters, "These are people who work for little or no money, 12 to 14 hours a day on Election Day. If we lose good poll workers, that's when we're going to lose democracy."

After Reuters published So's article, election law expert Richard L. Hasen quoted it extensively on his Election Law Blog and described it as a "must-read."

Here are some of the many reactions to the article on Twitter:

Emails Reveal Trump And Giuliani Pushed Arizona ‘Audit’

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Former President Donald Trump and his personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani personally contacted Arizona's Republican state Senate President Karen Fann to urge her to move forward with the state's controversial election audit despite having no substantial evidence of voter fraud, emails show.

According to The Washington Post, hundreds of pages of email correspondence regarding the Maricopa County, Arizona audit were obtained by the government watchdog group American Oversight under the Freedom of Information Act. The emails, which reportedly include conversations between Trump, Giuliani, and Fann, also reveal details about the former president's push for the audit along with his praise of the Arizona state official for adhering to his request.

In fact, one email sent by Fann highlights where she indicated that she'd spoken with Giuliani a total of "at least 6 times over the past two weeks." She also noted that she'd personally spoken with the former president.

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"I have been in numerous conversations with Rudy Guiliani [sic] over the past weeks trying to get this done," Fann wrote an email on December 28. "I have the full support of him and a personal call from President Trump thanking us for pushing to prove any fraud."

In one email, Fann had also asked the former president for evidence of "rampant fraud" so a lawsuit could be filed to halt the certification of election results, but it appears that evidence was never provided.

"No suit has been filed nor was a suit filed to contest the certification process," Fann wrote. "I also want to get to the bottom of all this."

The emails also suggest Fann has spent a lot of her time doing damage control to placate her disgruntled constituents. On April, a woman named Rachel Griffin emailed Fann with questions about the impending audit as she delivered a stern ultimatum to lawmakers.

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"We are not going to be treated like idiots. We will make sure none of you are ever re-elected again unless you prove there was fraud," Griffin wrote. "It is no longer acceptable for all of you to pay lip service. We want results and we want them now."

American Oversight executive director Austin Evers has weighed in on the newly-obtained emails. According to the publication, Evers said the emails are "clear evidence that the goal of the audit was to erode trust in the voting process and to further legitimize Trump's "Big Lie."

"The more we learn, the more it becomes clear that this is not an audit, it's a sham partisan crusade carried out by some of the most cynical actors our democracy has ever known," Evers said in a statement. "With each new email, the paper trail confirms that the true goal of this process is to perpetuate Donald Trump's big lie of a stolen election and to undermine faith in our democracy."

New Report Explores Details Of Giuliani Criminal Probe

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani was once a federal prosecutor for the Southern District of New York; now, he is facing a criminal investigation from the Southern District. And journalists Asawin Suebsaeng and William Bredderman, in an article published by the Daily Beast, note that federal investigators have "examined documents related to" his consulting firm Giuliani Security & Safety.

"Their interest comes at a time when the feds have ramped up their scrutiny of Giuliani's work, including his Ukraine-related efforts, to determine whether or not the former New York City mayor engaged in unregistered and illegal lobbying on behalf of foreign figures," Suebsaeng and Bredderman explain. "Giuliani has repeatedly denied engaging in any unregistered lobbying or committing any FARA violations, and so far, no charges have been brought against him in this matter."

According to Suebsaeng and Bredderman, it remains unclear "exactly why federal investigators have been taking a look at Giuliani's security and consulting business."

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However, the Beast reporters note that during former President Donald Trump's first year in office, Giuliani Security and Safety "was hired by the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv."

"The deal was reportedly the result of the local influence of the Ukrainian-Russian real estate developer Pavel Fuks, an ally of the town's Moscow-friendly mayor," Suebsaeng and Bredderman note. "Fuks was previously engaged in negotiations to construct the never-realized Trump Tower Moscow."

The 77-year-old Giuliani has maintained that none of his Ukraine-related activities fit the definition of foreign lobbying.

"Giuliani has insisted that the work in Ukraine was all done on behalf of his client, then-President Donald Trump, and therefore, could not have been part of a foreign lobbying effort," Suebsaeng and Bredderman observe. "The extension of the federal investigation into Giuliani Security & Safety, with its numerous foreign clients, could complicate that assertion."

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Giuliani launched Giuliani Partners in January 2002 not long after his second term as mayor of New York City had ended and Michael Bloomberg, elected in 2001, had taken over the position. And ten months later, Giuliani Security and Safety was launched as a Giuliani Partners subsidiary.

More recently, Giuliani has been a staunch ally of Trump. After Trump lost the 2020 election to now-President Joe Biden by more than seven million votes, Giuliani promoted Trump's false and debunked claim that he was the real winner of the election. But the widespread voter fraud that Giuliani, Sidney Powell, and other Trump attorneys alleged did not occur.

In late April, federal investigators raided Giuliani's home and office, seizing an abundance of electronic devices as part of their investigation.