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Reprinted with permission from Aternet
A memo obtained by The New York Times makes clear that the Trump campaign not only spread propaganda and misinformation about the results of the 2020 election, they did so with full knowledge that what they were telling the American people was simply a lie.
Long before Jan. 6, in the days immediately following the election, Trump's team was aware that claims about voting machines made by Dominion and Smartmatic were utterly false. The interal memo, prepared by Trump's communication team, includes a thorough debunking of claims about the software, hardware, origins, and political connections of each company, One by one, everything circulating in the fever swamp of right-wing claims about the election was stood up, and just as quickly shot down.
Despite this, Trump's legal team would step forward six days after that memo was circulated and make exactly the claims they already knew not to be true. That included false claims about how the companies were connected to antifa. False claims about how the software had originated in Venezuela. False claims about the connections between the two companies. False claims about connections to George Soros. And false claims about votes being counted overseas.
Now that memo has surfaced in court papers as part of a defamation lawsuit against Trump's campaign. And a quick look at the information suggests that another, very brief, memo could be written. The title of that memo: Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell are f***ked.
On Nov. 19, 2020, Rudy Giuliani stepped out to deliver another round of nonsense claims, random non sequiturs, and outright lies concerning the 2020 presidential election. It was on this occasion that Giuliani explained the legal basis of his claims about voter fraud. "I know crimes," said the former prosecutor. "I can smell them. You don't have to smell this one, I can prove it to you 18 different ways. I can prove to you that Trump won Pennsylvania by 300,000 votes. I can prove to you that he won Michigan, probably by 50,000 votes." Needless to say, he provided no such proof.
But other than Giuliani's crime-sniffing nose, that press event is mostly remembered for two things.
First, that a steady stream of dark hair dye trickled down Giuliani's face as he spoke, lending his overt lies about how Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito had blocked votes in Pennsylvania or how Michigan's most populous county had decertified its vote total an extra air of comic desperation. Again and again, Giuliani threw out numbers along with a claim that he could "prove" some level of malfeasance on the part of election officials and voting machine companies. Again and again, he offered absolutely no proof.
Second, it was at that event that Powell, until then best known for her judge-infuriating defense of disgraced general Michael Flynn, stepped forward to present a jaw-dropping collection of claims that included how Democrats had engaged in a multistate conspiracy to "inject" hundreds of thousands of Biden votes by using voting machines built to appease Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez with the help of wealthy Jew George Soros and sent American votes overseas to servers in Germany, where they could be altered according to orders from antifa.
Powell was detailed, if little short of deranged, in her claims about connections between Dominion and Smartmatic, the origins of their systems as a means of ensuring the election of long-dead dictator Hugo Chavez, the control of mysterious figures from antifa, and a connection to this Biden-Venezuelan-Jewish-Cuban-antifa conspiracy and the Clinton Foundation.
The simple amount of hogwash, hooey, and absurdity in the statements from Giuliani and Powell would have been amusing had all that propaganda not been in service of a lie that led directly to the January 6 insurgency and fueled ongoing claims of election fraud now supported by a majority of Republicans. In the course of the morning, Giuliani and Powell managed to hit Every. Single. One. Of the claims that the Trump team had already investigated and found to be false.
It was if they had taken the internal memo and used it as a checklist to be sure they punched every button on the defamation elevator.
Clearly, someone on Trump's team was listening well enough to hear all the alarms that the claims—particularly those made by Powell—were setting off. Just three days later, Giuliani issued a statement in which he made another false claim: "Sidney Powell is practicing law on her own," wrote Giuliani. "She is not a member of the Trump Legal Team. She is also not a lawyer for the President in his personal capacity."
Unfortunately for them, not only had Giuliani introduced Powell and appeared with her in front of the nation's cameras while she went on her everything-but-the-kitchen sink rant; Powell had been introduced by Trump attorney Jenna Ellis as part of "an elite strike team that is working on behalf of the president and the campaign to make sure that our Constitution is protected."
And there was some other fellow. Some guy on Twitter. What did he say?
"I look forward to Mayor Giuliani spearheading the legal effort to defend OUR RIGHT to FREE and FAIR ELECTIONS! Rudy Giuliani, Joseph diGenova, Victoria Toensing, Sidney Powell, and Jenna Ellis, a truly great team, added to our other wonderful lawyers and representatives!"
Within days of Trump's "distancing" from Powell, she was right back at the center of his representation, acting as the lead attorney on lawsuits filed in December and January. Any claim that she was not connected to the Trump campaign is less believable than Hugo Chavez and George Soros counting votes in Spain using an antifa-branded server.
What's absolutely clear is that both Giuliani and Powell were members of Donald Trump's legal team, who not only stepped forward on November 19—and on many other occasions—to make false claims about the 2020 president election, they did so knowingly. In particular, despite having investigated and found the claims about Dominion and Smartmatic absolutely false, Trump's team went on to file at least four lawsuits against the company and publicly accuse it of crimes in statements they were well aware did not reflect reality. Those accusations generated threats of violence about the companies and their employees, as well as interfering in the ability of the companies to do business.
The only real question should be, will Dominion get the pleasure of taking Giuliani's last dime before the FBI finally completes their actions?
And just in case someone thought either of these two was being more sensible these days …
- Bizarre Trump Letter Demands Georgia Officials Name 'True Winner ... ›
- Dominion Voting Systems Files $1.3B Lawsuit Against MyPillow Guy ... ›
- Trump's Election Lies Will Spur More Extremist Terror, Intelligence ... ›
Reprinted with permission from Alternet
Republicans and Democrats in the federal government still haven't reached an agreement on the United States' debt ceiling. But Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, according to Washington Post sources, recently met with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and two former Treasury secretaries — Steve Mnuchin and Henry Paulson — to discuss the matter.
Meanwhile, former President Donald Trump is encouraging Republicans to use the debt ceiling as a "powerful tool" against Democrats.
The Post's Jeff Stein reports this week that according to "four people aware of the conversations," McConnell's discussion with Yellen, Mnuchin and Paulson "did not resolve the matter" — which means that "the United States is now racing toward a massive fiscal cliff with no clear resolution at hand." Mnuchin served under Trump, while Paulson served under President George W. Bush.
Stein explains, "Paulson and Mnuchin have, in recent weeks, spoken with both McConnell and Yellen as the Biden administration tries to ensure the country does not default on its debt obligations and spark a global financial crisis. The backchanneling by Mnuchin and Paulson — who had previously worked together at Goldman Sachs — reflects the widespread alarm among economists and U.S. business interests about the consequences of an unprecedented default on the federal debt…. Yellen has recently warned that the debt ceiling must be raised or suspended by some time in October, or the country's fiscal situation will be severe."
Paulson, Stein notes, has "told the Biden Administration that McConnell is serious that Democrats must approve the debt ceiling hike on their own through the budget reconciliation process" — although "Democrats have said the debt ceiling must be approved on a bipartisan basis."
Trump, meanwhile, is urging Republicans in Congress to weaponize debt ceiling talks as much as possible.
In an official statement, the former president said, "The only powerful tool that Republicans have to negotiate with is the Debt Ceiling, and they would be both foolish and unpatriotic not to use it now…. The way I look at it, what the Democrats are proposing, on so many different levels, will destroy our Country. Therefore, Republicans have no choice but to do what they have to do, and the Democrats will have no choice but to concede all of the horror they are trying to inflict upon the future of the United States."
Although Trump's Twitter account has been suspended indefinitely, his statement was tweeted via ally Liz Harrington.
The Hill's Tal Axelrod notes, "The statement from Trump…. is the latest instance of Trump exerting his influence on Republicans in Washington while out of office…. The high stakes back-and-forth has increased the chances of a government shutdown and a default on the nation's debts, both of which could trigger significant economic downturns."
- Fed Chairman Warns Of 'Severe Damage' If Republicans Force Debt ... ›
- Democrats Reveal Plan To Suspend Debt Limit, Avert ... ›
- In Debt-Limit Impasse, Federal Reserve Will 'Come Out Swinging ... ›