Commentary on the House Committee's second presentation of their findings regarding Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
Here is Law and Politics’s summary of and commentary on the first hearing. And here is Chris Hedges’s take on the first hearing.
The Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol, whose first of six televised hearings began last Thursday, is spectacle replacing politics. There is nothing substantially new in the accusations. The committee lacks prosecutorial power. No charges have been filed by Attorney General Merrick Garland against former President Donald Trump and none are expected. The choreographed hearings, like the two impeachment trials of Trump, will have no effect on Trump voters, other than to make them feel persecuted, especially with more than 860 people already charged (including 306 guilty pleas) for their role in storming the Capitol.
There was no acknowledgement by committee members that the “will of the people” has been subverted by the three branches of government to serve the dictates of the billionaire class. No one brought up the armies of lobbyists who are daily permitted to storm the Capitol to fund the legalized bribery of our elections and write the pro-corporate legislation that it passes. No one spoke about the loss of constitutional rights, including the right to privacy, because of wholesale government surveillance. No one mentioned the disastrous trade deals that have deindustrialized the country and impoverished the working class. No one spoke of the military fiascos in the Middle East that cost taxpayers over $8 trillion, the for-profit health care system that gouges the public and prevents a rational response to the pandemic, already resulting in over a million deaths, or the privatization of institutions of government, including schools, prisons, water treatment, trash collection, parking meters, utilities and even intelligence gathering, to enrich the billionaire class at our expense.
The wider the gap becomes between the ideal and the real, the more the proto fascists, who look set to take back the Congress in the fall, will be empowered. If the rational, factual world does not work, why not try one of the many conspiracy theories? If this is what democracy means, why support democracy?
I disagree with Hedges in part. Our current system is not what “democracy means”; far from it, we live in a corporate oligarchy. The average American who wants freedom, peace, and prosperity has no influence over policy or lawmaking despite their right to vote.
This morning the Committee plans to tell the story of how Trump “knew he lost the election,” according to Chairman of the Committee Bennie Thompson. Thompson says the presentation will focus on the “conspiracy overseen and directed by Trump to overturn the 2020 election.” Trump “lit the fuse that led to the horrific violence” on Jan 6. A “mob” was “sent by Trump to stop the transfer of power” to then Vice-President elect Joe Biden, Thompson alleges.
“If something does not add up with numbers, you go to court to get a resolution,” Thompson observes. “That’s what it means to respect the rule of law.” “Because those numbers are not just numbers; they are votes, they are your votes.” “The courts upheld the will of the people,” Thompson says.
Vice-Chair of the Committee Liz Cheney repeats the claim Trump had a “seven-part plan.” Cheney points to an opinion from a federal judge that found, “In the months following the election, numerous credible sources, from the President’s inner circle, to agency leadership and statisticians, informed President Trump and Dr. Eastman that there was no evidence of election fraud.” Cheney qualifies the judge’s opinion by adding there was no evidence of election fraud “sufficient to overturn the 2020 Presidential election.” Cheney says multiple officials told Trump his claims of election fraud were “nonsense.” Cheney wants to focus on three points today:
“The President’s campaign advisors urged him to await the counting of votes and not to declare victory on election night.” According to Cheney, Trump ignored the advice of his own campaign staff, by telling his supporters to “only vote in person” on Election Day, not by mail. Cheney says Trump knew Biden would receive more votes by mail, which votes would be counted after Election Day. The accusation is Trump pushed his vote to show up on the day of the election and then used his early lead to prematurely claim victory.
“Pay attention to what Donald Trump and his legal team said repeatedly about Dominion Voting Machines. Far flung conspiracies with the deceased Venezuelan communist allegedly pulling the strings.” Cheney plays a clip of former White House attorney Eric Herschman who says, “I thought the Dominion stuff was . . . I never saw any evidence whatsoever to sustain those allegations.” (I debunked the straw man, that it is a “conspiracy theory” Chavez influenced the 2020 election, in anticipation the Committee would repeat establishmentarian propaganda. See my post “Election Insecurity: History of the election services market,” proving beyond all doubt a direct, material connection between Dominion and Smartmatic. In short, the same person, Ronald Morales, designed the software for the Smartmatic machines used to elect Chavez and for the Dominion machines in use in the U.S. today.)
“As Mike Pence’s staff started to get a sense of what Donald Trump had planned for January 6th, they called the campaign experts to give them a briefing on election fraud and all the other election claims.” General Counsel of the Trump Campaign Matthew Morgan briefed Pence that “none of the arguments about fraud or anything else could actually change the outcome of the election.” In a video clip, Morgan says the evidence of fraud and other irregularities was “not sufficient to be outcome determinative,” even viewing the evidence in a light most favorable to Trump. According to Cheney, Trump’s legal team “knew there was no legitimate legal argument” to overturn the election. (Courts rejected various plaintiffs’ standing to challenge the election with evidence of systematic fraud. The Trump Campaign did not raise systematic issues, such as voting machine insecurity, in any of their lawsuits, choosing instead to focus on narrow, state-specific constitutional challenges. As readers will learn in detail in Part V of my series on election insecurity, the Green Party successfully challenged the legality of the 2016 election on the basis voting machines can be hacked and a federal court reluctantly allowed the use of Dominion voting machines in Georgia in 2020 after finding “national cybersecurity experts convincingly present evidence that [hacking an election] is not a question of ‘might this actually ever happen?’ – but ‘when it will happen[.]’”)
Cheney observes many people are serving criminal sentences because they believed Trump’s claims about election fraud and acted on it by marching on and besieging the Capitol. Cheney quotes a conservative editorial board that wrote, “Donald Trump won’t stop insisting the 2020 election was stolen, even though he has offered no proof that is true.”
Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) speaks for the first time. Lofgren claims the “plot” to overturn the election results was “complex” and had “many parts.” Lofgren intends to “demonstrate the 2020 election was not stolen.” (No member of the Committee has access to the internet traffic data necessary to reach a firm conclusion about what happened in 2020.)
Lofgren says Trump used false claims about election fraud to raise “hundreds of millions of dollars from supporters who were told their donations were for legal fights in the courts.” Lofgren says the Trump Campaign “did not use the money for that.” “‘The Big Lie’ was also ‘The Big Ripoff,’” she quips.
Lofgren points out Trump laid the foundation for election fraud claims well in advance of the election. “As early as April 2020, Mr. Trump claimed the ‘only way’ he could lose an election was as a result of Fraud,” she says. The Committee plays a clip of Trump complaining about vote-by-mail.
In another clip, Trump says, “The only way we are going to lose this election is if the election is rigged, remember that.” In debate with Biden, Trump also said, “This is going to be a fraud like you have never seen. . . . This is not going to end well.” Lofgren argues, “Mr. Trump decided even before the election that regardless of the facts or the truth, if he lost the election, he would claim it was rigged.” (The argument presumes Trump was not using claims of vote-by-mail fraud as an election tool to motivate his base to turn out to vote. Also, Trump claimed the election was rigged months before he knew the outcome, not just in response to losing the election. Further, Trump’s comments throughout 2020 concerned vote-by-mail. He did not make any claims about voting machines until after Election Day and, only then, after the issue was raised by attorneys outside of government.)
Lofgren continues, “The election fraud claims were false. Mr. Trump’s closest advisors knew it. Mr. Trump knew it.” Lofgren notes, “Many of [Trump]s supporters believed him. Many still believe him today [that the election was stolen.]” (Establishmentarians refuse to recognize the obvious: the fact the courts did not reach the merits in cases claiming systematic fraud is a major contributing factor to why people still believe the election was stolen. Additionally, the fact mainstream media gas-lit people who questioned the election by framing them as “conspiracy theorists” reinforced peoples’ suspicions they were being lied to partisan officials.)
The first witness today is former Fox News politics editor Chris Stirewalt. Thompson opens the questioning by showing a video from various witness interviews with the Committee.
In the video, Ivanka says she was in between the White House’s Residence and a room just off the Residence on election night. Kushner says he was on the first floor below the Residence with Ivanka and her brothers. Senior Advisor to the Trump Campaign Jason Miller and former Trump Campaign Manager Bill Stepien told the Committee they were “surprised” by Fox News’s early call Biden had won Arizona. Miller agreed Trump loyalists at the White House were angry Fox News made the call and disappointed the campaign lost the state. Stepien recalls Rudy Giuliani was upstairs in the reception area outside the Residence trying to speak to Trump. Someone directed Giuliani to speak with Stepien, Miller, Director of the White House Office of Public Liaison Justin Clark, and Chief of Staff Mark Meadows instead.
According to Miller, Giuliani had had too much to drink. “The mayor was definitely intoxicated but I did not know his level of intoxication when he spoke with the President,” Miller said. The video cuts to Giuliani’s interview who confirms he spoke with Trump several times that night. Miller told the Committee, “There were suggestions by I believe it was Mayor Giuliani to go and declare victory and say that we’d won it outright.” Stepien said it was “far too early to be making any calls like that. Ballots were still being counted. Ballots were still going to be counted for days. And it was far too early to make any proclamation like that.” Miller agreed Trump should not declare victory until they had a better sense of the results. Miller paraphrases Giuliani as saying, “We won it. They’re stealing it from us. Where did all the votes come from? We need to go say that we won. And that essentially anyone who didn’t agree with that position was being weak.” Ivanka says she did not have a “firm view” of what Trump should say and that “it was becoming clear that the race would not be called on election night.” Stepien says he thought it was “too early to call the race” because votes were still being counted. Stepien says the President disagreed with his advice. “He though it was wrong. . . . He was going to go in a different direction.”
The video then cuts to Trump’s speech on election night. Trump said, “This is a fraud on the American public. This is an embarrassment to our country. We were getting ready to win this election and, frankly, we did win this election.”
Thompson’s first question to Stirewalt is whether Trump had any basis for declaring victory on election night. Sitrewalt’s microphone is off but it appears as if he answers in the negative.
Thompson’s second question is, “After the votes were counted, who won the Presidential election of 2020?” Sitrewalt dutifully answers it was “Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr., of the great state of Delaware.” Thompson then says, “That is the bottom line. We had an election. Mr. Trump lost but he refused to accept the results of the democratic process.”
Lofgren asks the next question, wanting to know what the term “red mirage” means. Stirewalt answers Americans have increasingly voted by mail over the last several decades, which favors Democrats. “Basically, in every election, Republicans win Election Day and Democrats win the early [sic.] vote.” Stirewalt explains Election Day votes are usually counted first, resulting in an illusory skew effect towards Republicans on Election Day that is known as the “red mirage.” Stirewalt knew the effect would be larger in the 2020 election due to the pandemic, so Fox News tried to prepare their viewers for the red mirage. “We wanted to keep telling viewers, hey look, the number that you see here is sort of irrelevant because it is only a small percentage of [ ] votes.”
Lofgren plays a clip of former Attorney General Bill Barr. “Right out the box on election night, the President claimed there was major fraud underway. This happened, as far as I could tell, before there was any actual potential for looking at evidence,” Barr said. Barr thought Trump’s claim of fraud was based on a lot of votes coming in for Democrats on the evening of the election, which changed the winner in some states. “I didn’t think much of that because people had been talking for weeks, and people had understood for weeks, that that is what was going to happen on election night.”
Lofgren then goes back to the video of Trump’s speech on election night. “We want all voting to stop. We don’t want them to find any ballots at 4:00 a.m. in the morning and add them to the list.” Lofgren says, “So when former President Trump said that, it contradicted what his advisors had warned would happen.”
Lofgren then asks Stirewalt how Fox News’s election desk made the Arizona call and where he thought the election stood the next day. Stirewalt says the decision was “really controversial to our competitors who we beat so badly by making the correct call first. Our decision desk was the best in the business and I was very proud to be a part of it.” Stirewalt explains Fox News partnered with the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, which gave Fox access to a different data set than their competition, which Fox fed into their proprietary election prediction model.
Lofgren then asks, “After the election, as of November 7th, in your judgment, what were the chances of President Trump winning the election?” Stirewalt quickly responds, “None.” He then adds, “I mean, I guess, it’s always possible that you could have a truckload of ballots found somewhere, I suppose.” Stirewalt explains historical margins for successful recounts were one or two hundred votes up to a maximum of 1,500 votes.
Lofgren then turns to how Trump replaced his campaign legal team following their analysis of the results in Arizona, which showed votes by suspected undocumented persons were in fact cast by eligible overseas voters. According to Stepien, as a result of Trump’s disappointment in the analysis, Trump turned his campaign’s legal strategy over to Giuliani, who replaced Miller.
Lofgren plays a clip of Giuliani on Fox News claiming someone saw 100,000 ballots — all for Joe Biden — being brought to the polls in garbage cans and waste paper baskets. In the interview, Giuliani claimed Smartmatic’s office in Frankfurt notified the polling place that Biden was losing badly, which prompted 100,000 fraudulent ballots to be “dumped” in Biden’s favor. “We can prove every single thing I just said,” Giuliani claimed. (For starters, the unfounded Frankfurt accusations concerned a company called Scytl not Smartmatic.) In the next clip, Giuliani tells the Committee, “If you gave me the paper ballots, I could probably turn around each of one of these states.”
The video cuts to one of Trump’s newly-appointed attorneys, Sidney Powell, speaking at a press conference at the White House. “It can set and run an algorithm, that probably ran all over the country, to take a certain percentage of votes from President Trump and flip them to President Biden.” In testimony to the Committee, Powell says Meadows told her, “You can’t show an actual vote was flipped.” Powell said she found the assertion “remarkable.”
The next clip is of Herschmann telling the Committee that Powell and Giuliani’s claim were “nuts.” “It was a combination of the Italians, the Germans . . . Hugo Chavez and the Venezuelans . . . something with the Philippines. Just all over the radar.” (See background on the false #ItalyGate and Frankfurt claims. Part III of my series on election security will examine the 2000 and 2004 elections in Venezuela, which State Department records and sworn testimony to Congress by CIA cybersecurity expert Steve Stigall, suggest were fraudulent results, as well as the 2010 Philippines election, where Dominion voting machines suffered “glitches” on the even of the election.)
Then the video cuts to Kushner. Kuschner told the Committee he shared his view of Giuliani’s strategy with Trump. “Not the approach I would take if I was you.” Trump responded by telling Kushner he had confidence in Giuliani.
In another clip, Morgan says, “The general consensus was that law firms were not comfortable making the arguments that Rudy Giuliani was making publicly. I seem to recall having a similar conversation with most all of them.”
Lofgren points out Powell defended herself against a defamation suit by Dominion by arguing “no reasonable person” would believe her claims about systematic election fraud were true. (Powell’s attorneys covered their bases by making every conceivable argument in her defense. Further, attorneys regularly argue diametrically opposed points of view depending on the exigencies of each case. As such, the statement should not be construed as an accurate representation of Powell’s true beliefs.)
The video returns to Barr’s testimony to the Committee. “There was an avalanche of all these allegations of fraud that built up over a number of days. It was like playing whack-a-mole because something would come out one day, and the next day it would be another issue.” Barr says he was “influenced” (viz. biased) “by the fact all the early claims, that I understood, were completely bogus and silly and usually based on complete misinformation.” As a result of bogus early claims, like #ItalyGate and the nonexistent raid by U.S. special forces on Scytl’s Frankfurt offices, Barr thought there was nothing of “real substance” to later claims, which predominantly focused on voting machine vulnerabilities.
Barr continues Trump complained to him that the Department of Justice was not investigating claims of election fraud. Barr told Trump, “[It] has to be the campaign that raises that with the state. The department doesn’t take sides in elections and the department is not an extension of your legal team.” Barr told Trump he would investigate fraud if it was “specific, credible, and could have affected the outcome of the election.” Lofgren points out Barr told Trump his claims of election fraud were “false.”
After leaving office, Trump went on Fox News and claimed, “We had glitches were they moved thousands of votes from my account to Biden’s account. And these are ‘glitches.’ So they’re not glitches; they’re theft, they’re fraud. Absolute fraud.” Trump continued, “How the FBI and Department of Justice — I don’t know, maybe they’re involved — but how people are allowed to get away with this stuff is unbelievable.”
Lofgren repeats Barr told Trump there was “no evidence” of election fraud. Barr told the Committee he talked to Trump about Dominion.
I reiterated that they’d wasted a whole month on these claims of Dominion voting machines, and they were idiotic claims. I specifically raised the Dominion voting machines, which I found to be among the most disturbing allegations; distributing in the sense that I saw absolutely zero basis for the allegations. But they were made in such a sensational way that they were obviously influencing a lot of members of the public that there was this systemic corruption in the system and that their votes didn’t count, and that these machines controlled by somebody else was actually determining [the election], which was complete nonsense and it was being laid out there. And I told him that it was crazy stuff and they were wasting their time on that. And it was doing a great, great disservice to the country.
The Committee then plays a clip of Trump saying in televised address from the White House on December 2nd, “We have a company that is very suspect. Its name is ‘Dominion.’ With the turn of the dial or the change of a chip, you can press a button for Trump and the vote goes to Biden. What kind of a system is this?”
Barr’s testimony continues regarding his December 14th meeting with Trump.
When I walked in and sat down, [Trump] went off on a monologue, saying there was now definitive evidence, involving fraud through the Dominion machines. And a report had been prepared by a very reputable cybersecurity firm, which he identified as Allied Security Operations Group, and he held up the report and then he asked for a copy to be made for me. And while a copy was being made, he said, ‘This is absolute proof that the Dominion machines were rigged. The report means that I am going to have a second term.’ And then he gave me a copy of the report. And as he talked more and more about it, I sat there flipping through the report and looking through it. And, to be frank, it looked very amateurish to me. It didn’t have the credentials of the people involved. I didn’t see any real qualifications. And the statements were made conclusory (sic.), like, “These machines were designed to engage in fraud.” But I didn't see any supporting information for it. And I was somewhat demoralized because I thought, “Boy, if he really believes this stuff, you know, he’s lost contact with — he’s become detached from reality, if he really believes this stuff.” On the other hand, when I went into this, and would, you know, tell him how crazy these allegations where, there was never an indication of interest in what the actual facts were. In my opinion then and my opinion now, the election was not stolen by fraud and I haven’t seen anything since the election that changes my mind on that, including the 2000 Mules movie.
(Barr’s early bias from false claims conditioned him to find claims of systematic fraud unbelievable. In truth, it is Barr who is doing a disservice to the United States by spreading mis- or disinformation regarding the real and unparalleled risks to democracy caused by voting machines. District Court Judge Amy Totenberg, the only judge to reach the merits of a case concerning Dominion machines in 2020, described experts’ concerns over Dominion’s machines, which were used in Georgia during the election, as “vital issues [that] will not disappear or be appropriately addressed without focused State attention, resources, ongoing serious evaluation by independent cybersecurity experts, and open-mindedness.” (Emphases added.) Barr’s testimony reveals he is intellectually and emotionally unfit for the office he held, precisely because of his closed-mindedness regarding a systematic risk to U.S. democracy, despite the fact there is overwhelming evidence voting machines can be hacked, as will be detailed at length in the forthcoming Part II on election insecurity. Ironically, it is the people who deny the reality voting machines can be hacked to perpetuate election fraud whose connection to reality should be questioned.)
The next clip is of acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, who also told the Committee he informed Trump he was “getting bad information[.]” Former Trump Campaign attorney Alex Cannon also spoke with Assistant to the President Peter Navarro about Dominion.
I recall [Navarro] asking me questions about Dominion and maybe some other categories of allegations of voter fraud. I remember telling him that I didn’t believe the Dominion allegations because I thought the hand-recount in Georgia would resolve any issues with the technology problem and with Dominion, or Dominion flipping votes. And I mentioned at that that time that the CISA [Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency director] Chris Krebs had recently released a report saying the election was secure. And I believe Mr. Navarro accused me of being an agent of the deep state working with Chris Krebs against the President. And I never took another phone call from Mr. Navarro.
(The CISA statement described the 2020 election as “the most secure in American history.” The foremost election security expert in the United States, University of Michigan’s Prof. J. Alex Halderman, criticized the CISA statement as “preposterous,” labelling the claim as “not even close” to the truth. Further, there are ways to defeat a hand recount. For example, if voting machines print ballots that are not the product of real people casting their vote, the paper trail will match the total number of votes tallied in the election, despite the tally being manipulated. The inventor of the “risk-limiting audit,” Philip Stark, Associate Dean of Mathematical and Physical Sciences and a Professor in the Department of Statistics at the University of California, Berkeley, criticized the Georgia recount, saying there was a “fundamental flaw in what Georgia is doing: they’re relying on the voting system to tell them how many ballots there are, rather than relying on other procedures and cross-checks to tell them how many ballots there are.” Cannon took unsworn statements by officials as authoritative evidence, rather than relying on expert opinion to make up for his ignorance of the technical details of voting machine systems.)
Next, Lofgren plays a portion of former acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue’s testimony to the Committee. In a conversation with Trump, Donoghue told the President, “Sir, we’ve done dozens of investigations, hundreds of interviews. The major allegations are not supported by the evidence developed. We’ve looked in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Nevada. We’re doing our job. Much of the info you’re getting false.” (Donoghue is talking about other various other fraud claims here, not the voting machine issue. According to Barr’s testimony, the Department of Justice did not investigate the voting machine issue because, in Barr’s ignorant and prejudiced opinion, the allegations were not credible.)
The next witness is former U.S. Attorney Byung J. Pak who investigated allegations of fraud at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. Pak says the so-called “suitcase” full of ballots was actually an official lock-box for ballots. Pak explains poll watchers were accidentally sent home before the Georgia Secretary of State ordered poll workers to restart counting ballots late that night. According to Pak, the FBI interviewed poll workers, whom Giuliani accused of counting the same batch of ballots multiple times, and determined that “nothing irregular happened in the counting.”
The next witness is former City Commissioner of Philadelphia Al Schmidt to discuss allegations of voter fraud in the city where Trump claimed there were more votes than voters and 8,000 “dead people” voting. Schmidt says there was not evidence of eight votes cast by deceased people, let alone 8,000 fraudulent votes. “We took seriously every case that was referred to us — no matter fantastical, no matter how absurd — and took every one of those seriously, including these [claims],” Schmidt says.
Lofgren notes Schmidt was the subject of a tweet from Trump, which accused Schmidt of not investigating claims of fraud. Lofgren asks Schmidt about threats he received after Trump’s tweet. “Prior to that [tweet] the threats were pretty general in nature,” Schmidt responds, “‘Corrupt election officials in Philadelphia are going to get what’s going to them.’ ‘You’re what the Second Amendment is for.’ ‘You’re walking into the lion’s den.’ All sorts of things like that.” Schmidt continues, “After the President tweeted at me by name, calling me out the way that he did, the threats became much more specific, much more graphic, and included not just me by name, but included members of my family by name, their ages, their address, pictures of our home. Just every bit of detail that you could image. That is what changed with that tweet.” Lofgren shows screenshots of texts and emails from MAGA threatening to kill Schmidt and his children.
Lofgren switch subjects. “The courts in our country provide a legitimate venue for campaigns to challenge what they view as irregular election practices. Now, courts have the final say in how the law applies to those challenges.”
The next witness is Republican campaign attorney Ben Ginsberg, whom Lofgren describes as “the most prominent Republican lawyer who has litigated in the election field.” Lofgren asks what is the normal process to challenge elections results and how the Trump campaign’s 2020 challenges differed from established legal strategy. Ginsberg explains how campaigns normally challenge election results.
In the normal course of thing, any campaign, on the night the election and the days after, will do a couple of different things. One is that they will analyze precinct results to look for abnormalities in the results, and they will send people to those precincts to ask more questions. Secondly, all campaigns will have poll watchers and poll workers and observers in the polling place, so campaigns will talk to those people, if they saw any irregularities that could cause problems in the election. Now, the Trump Campaign talked pre-election about having 50,000 poll workers, so presumably they did have eyes on the ground in all these places. So, in the normal course of things, a campaign will analyze the reports that came in.
The Trump Campaign had a couple of basic problems. Number one, the 2020 election was not close. In 2000, that was 537 [votes] and close. In this election, the most narrow margin was 10,000 something in Arizona, and you just don’t make up those sorts of numbers in recounts. And when the claims of fraud and irregularities were made, you’ve heard very compelling testimony from Mr. Stepian, from Matt Morgan, from Alex Cannon, about those claims and how they didn’t believe them. So that put the Trump Campaign on sort of a process of bringing cases without the actual evidence that you have to have and which the process is designed to bring out.
Lofgren then asks if Ginsberg is aware of any instances where a court found Trump’s fraud claims to be credible. Ginsberg says, “No. There was never that instance. In all the cases that were brought — and I’ve looked at the more than 60 that include more than 180 counts — and no, the simple fact is the Trump Campaign did not make their case.” Lofgren asks whether the Trump Campaign “had their day in court,” and Ginsberg says they did. (Again, none of the Trump Campaign lawsuits argued systematic fraud based on manipulated voting machines. Third-parties, not the Trump Campaign, filed lawsuits arguing systematic fraud caused by voting machines, which suits were dismissed for lack of standing. By talking about the Trump Campaign’s failed lawsuits shortly after discussing voting machines at length, and given the Committee failed to clarify for viewers Trump’s lawsuits made only constitutional arguments and routine challenges to isolated results in some states, it appears the Committee is intentionally attempting to mislead viewers by linking the Dominion issue with the failed lawsuits, despite the fact the Trump Campaign never raised the issue of systematic voter fraud, via manipulated voting machines, in court.)
Lofgren reminds us Giuliani had his license to practice law suspended in New York and is facing a hearing to have his license in D.C. permanently suspended. Lofgren concludes by quoting District Court Judge David Carter, “This was a coup in search of a legal theory.”
The second hearing closes with House Senior Investigative Counsel Amanda Wicks’s summary of Trump’s fundraising tactics following his defeat at election. Wick says the Trump Campaign sent “millions” of fundraising emails to supporters between Election Day and January 6th, sometimes up to 25 emails in one day. Wicks argues the Trump Campaign knowingly used false election fraud allegations to trick supporters into making donations to Trump’s legal challenges to the election. However, the “Election Defense Fund” touted in the campaign emails did not even exist, according to former Trump Campaign staffer Hanna Allred. Former Trump Campaign Digital Director Gary Coby agreed the Election Defense Fund was a “marketing tactic.” Using these tactics, the Trump Campaign raised $250 million, including $100 million in the first week after Election Day. Wicks alleges most of the money went to a new entity called the “Save America Political Action Committee,” not to election-related litigation. The Save America PAC made millions of contributions to Trump allies, such as:
$1 million to Meadows’s charitable foundation, the Conserative Partnerhip Institute;
$1 million to the America First Policy Institute, a conservative organization that employs former Trump officials;
$204,857 to the Trump Hotel Collection; and
More than $5 million to Event Strategies Inc., the company responsible for organizing Trump’s rally at the Ellipse on January 6th.
This is Law and Politics. Until next time . . . .