Tag: trump coup
Top GOP Lawyer Spearheads Secret Plot To Curtail College Student Voting (VIDEO)

Top GOP Lawyer Spearheads Secret Plot To Curtail College Student Voting (VIDEO)

A prominent Republican lawyer involved in efforts to overturn the outcome of the 2020 election is spearheading a sinister, clandestine campaign to limit voter access across key states, curtailing turnout among demographic groups that skew Democrats, including young voters.

The lawyer, 72-year-old Cleta Mitchell, a notorious election denier and ardent Trump supporter, urged GOP donors to “combat” measures that facilitate voting on college campuses, same-day voter registration, and automatic mailing of ballots to registered voters, according to the Washington Post.

Mitchell made the petition at a Republican National Committee donor retreat in Nashville on Saturday, giving a 50-slide PowerPoint slide presentation — titled “A Level Playing Field for 2024” — audio portions of which the Post obtained from journalist Lauren Windsor.

“What are these college campus locations? What is this young people effort that they do?’ Mitchell demanded, according to audio of the presentation reviewed by the Post. “They basically put the polling place next to the student dorm, so they just have to roll out of bed, vote, and go back to bed.”

Mitchell’s “special legal presentation” proposed limiting early voting and repudiated campus voting in five states with large public universities and in-state student populations: Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

“Forty-five days!” Mitchell fumed about Virginia’s early-voting period. “Do you know how hard it is to have observers be able to watch for that long a period?”

Mitchell told the conservative audience at the event that to eliminate any chance “for any candidate other than a leftist to have a chance to WIN in 2024,” the nation’s electoral system must be “saved,” per the Post.

“The Left has manipulated the electoral systems to favor one side … theirs,” Mitchell falsely stated in her presentation, driving a GOP-wide election disinformation campaign that fueled the January 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol by a mob of conservative voters.

“Our constitutional republic’s survival is at stake,” she added.

Unlike a large swathe of the new breed of fringe conservative agitators, Mitchell’s strong election denialism goes back a decade, pre-dating former President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign effort.

In a 2010 letter soliciting contributions for Tea Party-backed Nevada Republican Sharon Angle in the high-profile race against then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Mitchell alleged without evidence that Reid would steal the election.

“Reid intends to steal this election if he can’t win it outright… Understand, EVERYTHING we have worked for in the last year could be destroyed by dirty tricks and criminal acts,” Mitchell wrote.

Shortly after major news outlets projected Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential election, Mitchell, then a Trump legal adviser, appeared on Fox News to spread election fraud conspiracy theories, Media Matters reported at the time.

“We’re already double-checking and finding dead people having voted. We’re going to be finding people have voted across state lines, voted in two states, illegal voting, noncitizens and that sort of thing. So we are building that case,” Mitchell said.

Several Fox anchors, including Trace Gallagher, Maria Bartiromo, and Jon Scott, gave Mitchell a platform to air the sort of election lies that, in April 2023, cost Fox News to pay Dominion Voting Systems the largest known defamation settlement in U.S. history.

Mitchell also participated in the now-infamous hour-long phone call between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger, during which Trump pressured Raffensberger to “find 11,780 votes,” enough to overturn Biden’s 2020 victory in the state.

“All we have to do, Cleta, is find 11,000-plus votes,” Trump said on the call, which Fulton County’s district attorney, Fani T. Willis, is investigating as part of a probe into Trump’s efforts to subvert the state’s 2020 election results.

Facing criticism for her presence on the call, Mitchell tweeted, “Happy to be considered a nut job because I believe in the rule of law,” per the Post.

In the weeks before the call, Mitchell tweeted conspiracy theories targeting Raffensperger, alleging that the Georgia recount was a “total sham” and political “cover” for the secretary of state.

Fox News

New Tapes: Trump Campaign Directed Bartiromo To Push January 6 (VIDEO)

New audio revealed as part of Dominion Voting Systems’ $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News — which Fox allegedly failed to provide to Dominion in the discovery process — shows how Fox News and Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo took directives from the Trump campaign to promote the campaign’s plan to overturn the 2020 presidential election results on January 6, 2021.

The new evidence was revealed by former Fox producer Abby Grossberg as part of her separate lawsuit against the network for allegedly setting her and Bartiromo up as scapegoats for Fox’s clear pattern of spreading lies and conspiracy theories about the 2020 election. While the paper trail released so far in the case shows that Grossberg herself promoted conspiracy theories in the pursuit of ratings, she has also brought forward additional evidence that has already produced big legal results in the Dominion case. The judge in the case reportedly sanctioned Fox on Wednesday for failing to turn over Grossberg’s audio recordings in a move that will give Dominion an opportunity to conduct further legal discovery at Fox’s expense.

On Wednesday night, MSNBC host Alex Wagner played exclusive audio excerpts from the key pieces of evidence that Grossberg had preserved and Fox had allegedly withheld from Dominion, including a phone call on November 8, 2020, in which then-Trump campaign attorney Rudy Giuliani admitted that he did not have evidence for his outlandish claims about Dominion. (Bartiromo and other Fox hosts continued to host Giuliani, anyway.) In another phone call, from December 5, 2020, an unnamed Trump campaign official admitted that Georgia’s statewide recount of ballots was “pretty darn close to what the machine count was,” and that the secretary of state’s office found that “that there weren’t any physical issues” with the voting machines. In a key piece of audio that Wagner played Wednesday night, the Trump campaign official also gave one of the earliest signals that the campaign intended to use the January 6, 2021, joint session of Congress in an attempt to overturn the election results, and that then-Vice President Mike Pence would supposedly “have to decide” which votes to count.

In another key section from the December 5, 2020, phone call that Grossberg’s lawyer provided to Wagner, the unnamed Trump campaign official suggested that media outlets should cover this date as a supposed milestone for determining the election — indeed, this had been his entire purpose for getting on this phone call.

Bartiromo immediately picked up on the Trump campaign’s instruction. On both her weekday morning Fox Business show, as well as her Sunday show on Fox News that Grossberg regularly produced, Bartiromo pushed the January 6 date many, many times, furthering the Trump campaign’s efforts to move the goal posts from its many legal and electoral defeats. These examples included instances in which Bartiromo either mentioned the date first, or she was clearly teeing up the guest to talk about the date, which Bartiromo depicted as an alleged point in time when Congress or Pence could realistically overturn the election.

  • On December 8, 2020, which was known as the “safe harbor” date against any legal challenges for the election results, Bartiromo hosted then-Trump campaign attorney Jenna Ellis, asking her, “So what do you see as, you know, today's date in terms of the safe harbor date? How does that complicate your challenges?” Ellis responded that “the ultimate date of significance is January 6,” which she said justified the campaign’s continued litigation. This was three days after Bartiromo’s call with the Trump campaign official. [Fox Business, Mornings with Maria Bartiromo, 12/8/20]
  • On the December 13 edition of her Sunday show, Bartiromo hosted Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), asking him, “I want you to walk us through what happens on January 6,” which she described as “another date, as we approach a potential transition” of the presidency. Jordan then described the efforts that congressional Republicans would make to object to the election results, in order to prevent the “potential transition” that Bartiromo had described. [Fox News, Sunday Morning Futures, 12/13/20]
  • On December 14, the date when the Electoral College delegates voted across the country, Bartiromo hosted then-House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. “What's your take on where we are?” she asked. “Is it the end of the line now for the president's campaign to stop and overturn this election as the Electoral College will meet, or are you looking at January 6 as a pivotal date or what?” [Fox Business, Mornings with Maria Bartiromo, 12/14/20]
  • The next day, December 15, Bartiromo read a news headline about the Electoral College results. Following a video clip of President-elect Joe Biden calling for the country “to unite, to heal,” Bartiromo said in a seeming rebuttal: “The next major step in the election process is on January 6. This is the date we are looking forward to, when Vice President Mike Pence is going to preside over the joint session of Congress while they officially tabulate the electoral votes.” [Fox Business, Mornings with Maria Bartiromo, 12/15/20]
  • On December 18, Bartiromo hosted former pro football player and future Republican U.S. Senate candidate Herschel Walker and his son, right-wing social media personality Christian Walker. Bartiromo played a video clip that Christian Walker had posted in which he declared, “The electors might have cast their votes today. They're not counted until January 6, when Congress meets. … This isn’t over yet.” Bartiromo responded: “I just love that.” [Fox Business, Mornings with Maria Bartiromo, 12/18/20]
  • On December 20, Bartiromo hosted Herschel and Christian Walker again on her Sunday show, once again praising Christian Walker’s online video and telling him, “You were basically underlining Section 1, Article 2 in the Constitution.” After Christian declared on “January 6, the vice president will count the votes,” Bartiromo did not challenge the apparent contention that Pence could determine the election results, but instead just praised Christian further: “Yes, and that's pretty much what you said on Instagram, which was great. It went viral.” [Fox News, Sunday Morning Futures, 12/20/20]
  • On the January 3, 2021, edition of her Sunday show — the weekend prior to the joint session of Congress — Bartiromo hosted multiple Republican members of Congress who were planning to challenge the election results. At the conclusion of one segment, she remarked to Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL): “If you're going to object to six states, and then you’ve got a two-hour debate, we’re not going to learn the results here until — well, we're not going to learn on January 6, that’s for sure. This goes into January 7.” (The electoral votes were indeed certified after midnight, under what had become truly unprecedented circumstances.) [Fox News, Sunday Morning Futures, 1/3/21]

The manner in which Grossberg has sought to substantiate the main claim in her lawsuit against Fox — that the network was allegedly setting up her and Bartiromo to take a fall in the Dominion lawsuit — is turning out to be a very strange thing indeed. Fox executives must bear ultimate responsibility for the lies the network helped to spread, but at the same time the new evidence that Grossberg has brought to bear in this case makes Bartiromo look worse and worse by revealing more of her reckless on-air behavior and coordination with the Trump campaign’s effort to subvert a national election result.

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.

Scott Perry

Judge Issues 'Scathing' Opinion Authorizing Search Of Scott Perry's Phone

Late Friday, Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell of the U.S. District Court in D.C. swatted aside the protestations of Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) who was trying to keep the Justice Department from reviewing over 2,000 documents on his phone related to the January 6 insurrection.

Perry, who continues to support Donald Trump's assertion that the election was stolen and is reportedly under investigation, claimed that the 2,219 documents on his phone were protected by the "speech or debate" clause in the Constitution which shields members of Congress from a criminal investigation into fulfilling their duties.

However, Judge Howell bluntly disagreed on Friday.

"Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell of the U.S. District Court in D.C. released a number of previously sealed opinions after finding that the 'powerful public interest'outweighed the need for secrecy in the constitutional battle over Perry’s claims and the historic investigation," the Washington Post is reporting.

In the ruling, Howell wrote, "What is plain is that the Clause does not shield Rep. Perry’s random musings with private individuals touting an expertise in cybersecurity or political discussions with attorneys from a presidential campaign, or with state legislators concerning hearings before them about possible local election fraud or actions they could take to challenge election results in Pennsylvania."

According to the Post's Spencer Hsu, "Perry is a key figure who sought to help Trump replace the attorney general after the 2020 election with former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark and get the Justice Department to reverse its finding that Joe Biden had been elected fairly, according to the House committee that investigated the January 6, 2021, attack by Trump supporters on the U.S. Capitol."

The report adds, "The Justice Department has separately prioritized and obtained access to 37 emails between Perry and Trump-connected lawyers John Eastman, who pushed false claims of mass electoral fraud in 2020, Clark and aide Ken Klukowski, as well as 331 documents from Clark about his January 6 role, according to the filings."

You can read more here.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Proud Boys Seek To Subpoena Trump's Testimony At Sedition Trial

Proud Boys Seek To Subpoena Trump's Testimony At Sedition Trial

Attorneys for leaders of the Proud Boys — the violent extremist group accused of conspiring to hinder the transfer of presidential power in January 2021 — said they plan to subpoena former President Donald Trump to appear as a witness in their ongoing sedition trial.

Norm Pattis, an attorney for 37-year-old Proud Boys member Joseph Biggs, announced Thursday that the defendants — Enrique Tarrio, Ethan Nordean, Zachary Rehl, Dominic Pezzola, and Biggs, all of whom were charged with seditious conspiracy — will contact “the government for assistance in serving Mr. Trump."

Prosecutors in the trial, which began last month, have accused the defendants of leading the charge on the U.S. Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters on January 6, 2021, to keep the defated president in power, an unprecedented breach that left seven dead and about 150 law enforcement officers injured.

Defense attorneys have argued that it was not the Proud Boys but Trump who claimed that the 2020 election was stolen, asked supporters to gather at the Capitol on January 6, and “unleashed the mob” on lawmakers certifying Electoral College votes that day.

“At all times relevant, Trump was President of the United States, and it’s the government’s obligation to produce him,” Pattis said in court Thursday, according to the Washington Post.

It remains unclear what the defendants hope to learn from Trump, who has continued to insist that the 2020 election was rigged against him despite the availability of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Multiple outlets have noted that the move to compel Trump’s testimony is a long shot, as the ex-president — who fought a subpoena for testimony from the House’s January 6 committee — will almost certainly try to derail the Proud Boys' demand with executive privilege claims or, if that fails, assertjons of his Fifth Amendment right.

The defense attorneys drafted the subpoena over the weekend, but U.S. District Court Judge Timothy J. Kelly, the jurist overseeing the case, would have to rule Trump’s testimony admissible before the former president could be served.

“We’re not going to be seeing testimony from the former president,” Lisa Kern Griffin, a law professor at Duke University, told the Post.

Other January 6 defendants have sought to compel Trump to appear in court, but none has succeeded. Such an effort would be time-consuming and bogged down by extensive litigation.

Last year, a federal court judge denied a January 6 defendant’s request to force Trump and his allies to the witness stand to testify.

Judge Reggie B. Walton told the defendant, Ohio exterminator Dustin Thompson, who testified he stormed the Capitol on Trump’s orders, to make do with publicly accessible video and audio recordings of Trump speaking on or before January 6, as opposed to subpoenaing him, reported the Times.

Unlike the others, however, “the Proud Boys may have the clearest case, given Trump’s explicit reference to the group during the debate and the group’s centrality to the riot that unfolded on January 6,” Politico’s Kyle Cheney wrote Thursday.

Trump has made direct references to the group. During the September 2020 presidential debate, Trump, responding to Biden and debate moderator Chris Wallace, told the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by.”

In an opening statement last month, Sabino Jauregui, an attorney for Tarrio, blasted the U.S. government for making Tarrio its scapegoat because it was “too hard to blame Trump, too hard to bring him to the witness stand with his army of lawyers.”

“Instead, they go for the easy target. They go for Enrique Tarrio, leader of the Proud Boys,” Jauregui said. “If the government takes down Enrique Tarrio, the government takes down the whole Proud Boys organization.”

Prosecutors have since disagreed, arguing — and presenting reams of evidence to the jury they said showed — that the Proud Boys “directed, mobilized and led” the January 6 rioters into the Capitol, breaching Capitol law enforcement barricades to facilitate the unauthorized entry.

Tarrio, a longtime national chairman of the male-only group, was the leader of over 100 Proud Boys, including Biggs, Nordean, and Rehl, who converged on the Washington Monument on January 6. From there they traveled to the Capitol, prosecutors alleged, according to USA Today.

Investigations have revealed deep ties between Tarrio, other right-wing extremist groups, and several Trump allies, including convicted pro-Trump Republican strategist Roger Stone, for whom the Proud Boys have acted as bodyguards.

On Wednesday, prosecutors presented to jurors a string of messages that showed Tarrio receiving internal law enforcement information — including a heads-up of his impending arrest — from a Metropolitan Police lieutenant, Shane Lammond, for weeks before January 6, the Guardianreported Thursday.