January 6 Committee Details The Big Fraud Monetizing The Big Lie

The second hearing from the January 6 Committee was just as well choreographed as the first one, with an even greater reliance on Republican voices to make the case against Trump, including:

  • Bill Barr
  • Bill Stepien
  • Al Schmidt
  • Alex Cannon
  • Ivanka
  • Rudy Giuliani
  • Sidney Powell
  • Chris Stirewalt
  • Jason Miller
  • Ben Ginsberg

Here’s my live tweet of the hearing.

The presentation started by describing how Trump was told on election night that the news looked bad. The presentation ended by showing how those attacking the Capitol cited Trump’s lies to justify their actions.

Perhaps the most effective part of the hearing, however, was a video shown near the end that talked about how Trump monetized the Big Lie. He raised $250M telling lies about voter fraud.

Some of that money went to Mark Meadows’ “charity,” the Conservative Partnership Institute and even more went to Paul Manafort’s company, Event Strategies.

This is the kind of activity, fundraising making false claim, that got Steve Bannon charged with wire fraud and it’s the kind of scheme behind the investigation into Sidney Powell.

237 replies
  1. WilliamOckham says:

    I’m convinced that this is the tip of the iceberg with regards to the Trump campaign’s fraud. I hope this starts a real investigation.

    • Estragon says:

      I mean, how could it not be just the tip? These people were grifting back before they invented the word grifting. $250 mil chump change compared to Jared— Don must be jealous.

      Is being “detached from reality” a viable defense to wire fraud?

    • Rayne says:

      I don’t think we’ve seen everything fully researched and investigated wrt 2016 inauguration monies, have we? let’s hope more than just this grift will be investigated.

      • emptywheel says:

        Inauguration details are still being protected under b7A exemptions, so DOJ considers it open.

              • ducktree says:

                Not apt . . . Klaatu actually “came in peace”. These people came envisioning Whirled Peas.

              • Bruce Olsen says:

                Looks like he’s saying, “No questions, please”

                https: //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Day_the_Earth_Stood_Still

                • ThomasH says:

                  His gesture and demeanor reminds me of a scene from an obscure but beloved movie; Greaser’s Palace. The messiah character comes into the village filled with surely citizens who want hang him. The messiah holds his hand up and says something like “I’ve come to bring you a message. Six mile north of Skaggs mountain in the valley of pain there’s an evil devil monster and his name is ‘Bingo Gas Station Motel Cheeseburger with a side of aircraft noise and You’ll be Garry Indiana’…”

                  • vonHumbug says:

                    robert downey senior RIP

                    [Welcome back to emptywheel. Please use the same username each time you comment so that community members get to know you. This is your second user name; you’ve commented before as “Alexander von Humburg.” Thanks. /~Rayne]

    • Leoghann says:

      The fact that such a small percentage went to anything that could remotely be considered legal defense seems to be the most hopeful door into a fraud charge. Those donations are pretty clear, and surely there are others.

      Besides the relationship to Paul Manafort, Event Strategies was described this morning as being the company that organized the Ellipse rally on Jan 6.

    • Mountain Mama says:

      I signed up for a rally to protest Roy Moore back when I lived in Pensacola Florida several years back. While the Trump Campaign emails are a complete nuisance and not my politics, I decided a while back that I wanted to see how far they would take it. I think the way they shed light on this at the hearing was remarkable. I am also genuinely curious about what happens to all of the money raised if Trump is not a candidate for 2024.

      • Raven Eye says:

        Some years ago I joined the NRA so that I could get the member discount at their HQ building’s indoor range in Fairfax County. I let it expire but I still get their emails. They are a pretty reliable indicator of what NOT to support.

        I also noticed that when you let your membership expire — or even it YOU expire — you’re still considered a member.

        • Rayne says:

          The challenge now is that you’re harvested. They’ll make a point of buying all the personal data they can both to do a better job of targeting you and using your data to predict other target audience members who haven’t joined the NRA.

          They’ve already been doing this without joining the NRA depending on other purchased data; keep in mind this is what Karl Rove did for the GOP for years with mail data. Someone in this household makes purchases from sporting goods stores like Cabelas, Gander Mountain, does searches for hunting and fishing-related content. We get calls at home from pro-gun politicians and right-wing surveys because this purchasing and content consumption leaves data which has been bought by pols, initiatives, and PACs. If any of this data matches up with habits of someone like you who’ve also joined the NRA in the past, they know to continue to press on the likely gun owner here.

          Fortunately that supposed gun owner doesn’t screen the mail or the phone calls. * https://youtu.be/-nPl-qAkUO0 *

  2. Wajim says:

    May I suggest, after fair and open trials, that we should find several vacant Wal Marts in the Midwest and South (not in my PNW backyard, ‘course) for the long dreaded FEMA camps?

    • Spencer Dawkins says:

      Nice. And I’ll assume some of the empty Walmarts will be in Texas, with no air conditioning (current temp in Garland, TX is 95, heat index is 100).

  3. Al Ostello says:

    I always wondered why Mark Meadows went from “Trump must be held accountable” to Trump’s once again puppet.

    Now I know it was that $1 million donation from Trump’s fraudulent fund to Meadows charity.

    • Ryan W says:

      Remember what Bannon said after he left the WH in 2017? Follow the money. What did Michael Cohen say? Something to the same effect.

  4. viget says:

    Well, well, well. Manafort, again? Don’t tell me, is that how the coup was financed?

    Small money donors are perfect cover for money laundering operations. They camoflauge the big “whale donor” trees in the large small donor forest. Yet a substantial proportion of total money still comes from the whales.

    It was mentioned today that the average donation was $17. Wanna bet the median donation was quite a bit less?

    • Skyscraper says:

      The distinction between average and median is a necessary but not sufficient step towards warming my heart.

  5. Alda Earnest Goodpeople says:

    This bipartisan committee is doing a fantastic job laying out the facts with testimony from Trump’s inner circle, and when taken collectively with all other current and former investigations into Trump, contributes to a mountain of evidence for RICO and/or other organized crimes, regardless of what patsy and sleeper agent notsobmaz vomits. Take that crap somewhere else! ;0)

    GA and NY investigations have EACH employed RICO investigators, John Floyd and Mark Pomerantz, respectively, and Pomerantz has specified, “evidence sufficient to establish Mr. Trump’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt”.

    Accordingly, all of the “known” crimes of Trump and his orbit between at least 2006-2022 are the tip of the iceberg! The question isn’t whether or not there-there exists, it is whether or not the there-there police will do anything about the same, or instead overtly further more there-there. Garland would be a national hero if he connected all of the dots for the public, and there are so many dots as to blot white paper blue.

    • bmaz says:

      Hi there, you take “your” vomit elsewhere. You clearly would not know a real RICO case if it bit you in the ass. “…and Pomerantz has specified, “evidence sufficient to establish Mr. Trump’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt”. Georgia has their own state level analogue to RICO, but it is not the same. And if you think GA will prosecute Trump for even their analog, you are out of your mind. Lol, what a joke. And, by the way, as I often have to remind people getting all googly eyes at “RICO”, it does not apply to federal government agents and entities. Please do not spew that garbage here.

      • Douglas Erhard says:

        Just FYI………

        I skip all your posts now. Not because we disagree.

        But because your posts are not substantive. They are not polite. They are not informative.

        Try harder.

        • bmaz says:

          Thank you for your continued support! Frankly Scarlet, I don’t give a damn what you read. Try harder yourself.

        • evets says:

          I read all bmaz posts and twitter. sometimes i learn something sometimes i don’t. but i appreciate the BS meter he provides, and when he teaches something i know there is some truth, which is necessary.

    • Douglas Erhard says:

      1. Tell them what you’re going to tell them.
      2. Tell them.
      3. Tell them what you told them.

      The information gets to them x3. And it works.

  6. Rugger9 says:

    Questions had been asked for a long time about the money gap from the 2017 Inauguration and the various grifts (i.e. discussion about the fine print saying where the money could go) but what made this hearing different is that Faux News televised it as well as the other networks. I posted a link to an article from the Hill on an earlier thread, but my thinking is that some of the MAGA trolls will not like being duped one bit. Considering how many votes the GQP can count on in the general election, they really can’t afford to have too many of their base to stay home because people will think they’re fools.

    Doesn’t Trumpworld have a lot of debt servicing coming due this year? IIRC the sum was north of 440 M$ so not a nickel will be left on the sidewalk. As for Jared, what was his quid pro quo, really?

    I’d keep an eye on the yard signs. If those start coming down, the GQP is toast.

    • FLwolverine says:

      According to a report by CNN, the only debt coming due for Trump in 2022 was the mortgage on Trump Tower. He dealt with that by refinancing it with a $100 million loan from Axos Bank in San Diego, which is headed by a big Trump supporter and donor. The large Deutsche Bank loans on his golf courses come due next year.


      In related news, TFG personally netted $76 million from the sale of the Old Postoffice Building lease, according to a report in Forbes.


    • TooLoose LeTruck says:

      ‘but my thinking is that some of the MAGA TROLLS WILL NOT LIKE BEING DUPED ONE BIT.’

      This right here… hammer it home every chance you get…

      Over and over and over again…

      • Paulka says:

        If they haven’t realized by now that everything about trump is a scam this latest revelation is not going to move the needle

        • TooLoose LeTruck says:

          Keep hammering it home…

          Over and over and over again…

          there’s a reason Trump keeps repeating the same inane soundbites, like ‘Unselect Committee’…

          It’s because it works.

      • Knox says:

        I’m sure you know that the con in conman is short for “confidence.” Trump is a master, a frikkin’ Jedi master, at convincing these rubes that, yes, he is a con man, but he’s their conman and they are in on it with him. What amazes me even more is how he is able to corrupt and co-opt people with a bit of education and accomplishment, however dubious. I doubt the man has ever done a straight deal in his life. I think he is incapable of it. He MUST get over on the other party(s) in any deal. And by “get over” I mean cheat.

  7. Ginevra diBenci says:

    Has anyone heard Brad Parscale’s name so far? I’m waiting to see if/how the plotline involving Jared’s numerous forays into playing with government as a diversion (see Peter Navarro getting hired off a Google search; Covid; peace in the middle east) either dovetails with or vectors off from Trump’s amoeboid project to stay in office.

    Any investigative attempt to follow the money here must include whatever Jared was up to, at all times, including his apparent decision to start freelancing with MBS soon after the 2020 election. Just *when* he opted out of Trump’s plot might be instructive, especially since the combined departures of Parscale and (implicitly) Kushner seem to have created part of the Giuliani-seeking vacuum.

    • Rugger9 says:

      Another name for the Big Reveal Rayne was talking about last week. There are some so-far curious gaps but Parscale is a good one if for no other reason than he had his own ‘side hustle’ going (allegedly ripping off Trumpworld) and that he was campaign manager before Stepien moved into that role. His tenure included several of the earlier references by Individual-1 to rigged elections and similar dreck. He’s shown no scruples of any kind that I can see, but there is no real chance he would have testified without a subpoena and a legal fight.

  8. Out of Nowhere says:

    There’s a tax case to be made here. Without a bona fide political action committee there is no legislative exemption for the income received under IRC sec. 527. If Trump controlled the funds, then he benefitted from and received the income under IRC sec. 61. I am quite confident he didn’t report these amounts on his personal return. At a minimum this is a civil case, and turning this into a criminal matter is what Tax Justice does all day.

          • xbronx says:

            McQueen escaped from Devil’s Island in/as Papillon. Eastwood may have escaped from Alcatraz in his film but that has never been proved.

          • Peterr says:

            Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman (aka the Mythbusters) tested out the tale of an escape by attempting to replicate it in all its stages, with only the stuff available to the prisoners back in the day. They made it out of the prison and then to land, but called the myth merely “plausible” rather than “confirmed” as there is no evidence of the missing prisoners either surviving or dying.

    • Purple Martin says:

      Per WaPo summarization this morning:

      In a video played at the end of the hearing, committee investigator Amanda Wick detailed Trump’s fundraising practices. She said he raised $250 million after the election, while pushing for donors to support something called his “Official Election Defense Fund.”

      But she disclosed that Trump aides Hanna Allred and Gary Coby said no fund technically existed. She also noted that most of the money went to Trump’s Save America PAC, and very little was used for challenging the election results.


      Elsewhere, they note the distributions to McCarthy and Manafort came from this PAC.

      • emptywheel says:

        Yup. An example of how the Committee handed a criminal referral to DOJ without leaving their committee room. Those two are exposed in fraud and will now have the opportunity to explain all this.

  9. Bobby Gladd says:

    I read an interesting reader comment today at the New York Times. She argued that a significant Tell (that TFG knew he’d lost) was the lack of any serious Inauguration II festivities grifting-fundraising & planning by Jan 6th. Dunno. ‘eh?

    • Tom R. says:

      Continuing down that road: In 2020, after the election:
      — They were fundraising for his legal defense fund, not for his 2nd inaugural. Not even pretending. This was quite the tell, given the importance he attached to showmanship in general and the first inaugural in particular.
      — Nobody seeks to “overturn” an election that they won. TFG tweeted #overturn at 8:34 AM Dec. 9, 2020.
      — When asked about counterprogramming against “the” inauguration, the WH didn’t even bother to deny that’s what they’re planning.
      — They were rushing to grant pardons.
      — They were rushing to burrow minions into government jobs that they never cared about until now.
      — They said control of the senate hinged on the Georgia runoffs, which it wouldn’t if Pence were still VP.

      All this was obvious at the time. Conclusion: They knew they had lost. They totally knew.

    • bawiggans says:

      The biggest tell of all may be Trump’s pointed and emphatic lack of interest in promoting voting by mail to his base, even in a time of pandemic. This could have been a huge opportunity for him to garner more votes but it would also have neutered the grievance of fixed elections he had been feeding and grooming since the 2016 campaign, one that would be a super-motivator for his base to support a coup that would both keep him in power and through its shock and violence free him from all those annoying democratic encumbrances that were plaguing his first term, thwarting his freedom of action.

      • rqila says:

        Wow. You’re right. I’ve been wondering why on earth encourage the insanity of rejecting the VBMs that could have elected you.

  10. Zinsky says:

    I also loved the presentation of the Big Grift funding the Big Lie. Outstanding. It would be Shakespearean justice if Trump’s lust for easy money from the rubes ended up being his downfall, which he has pursued since Daddy Trump kicked the bucket. I wasn’t aware that Paul Manafort was behind this Event Strategies organization, but it isn’t surprising since this whole Trump/Manafort/Ukraine/Putin/January 6th mess that the world finds itself in now, is really just one big, incestuous, interconnected ball of corruption.

  11. joel fisher says:

    While I naturally hope this is finally the time he went too far and ends up behind bars, of all of Trump’s sins, this is one I actually approve of. I hope he keeps stealing from the scum who worship him. This has at least 3 benefits: 1) Might be an easy to prove crime; 2) Evil, degenerate religious institutions will have less money; 3) GOP candidates could have less money if it’s all going to tfg; and, 4) His drooling worshipers will suffer.

    • rip says:

      I keep thinking that all this money flowing in the RW/trump/evangelical/media world is just cycling over and over again. Not much is really being spent on real-world items like Lamborghinis, expensive meals, etc.

      Instead some entity funded the CNP (or Koch or Mercer or others) spends a ton of money on Murdoch or RW/xian media who donate millions back to the (r)epuglicons who give enormous tax breaks to everyone.

      The only poor losers are those that send part of their paltry paychecks to the MAGA crowd.

      (Wish I could say it is totally different for the opposite side of the aisle.)

  12. Doctor My Eyes says:

    I’m thinking about what could be a good cartoon: split screens one with “Republicans in Their Natural Habitat”, and the other “Republicans Under Oath”. Two candidates come to mind off the top of my head, for which I won’t bother to look up actual quotes. Giuliani saying all kinds of wild, definitive things about proven fraud, then saying in court in answer to a direct question, no your honor, I am not alleging voter fraud. Another is Sidney Powell’s inspired description of the Dominion fraud scheme, followed by saying no reasonable person would believe the things I said.

    Along those lines, I am surprised at how much I enjoyed watching Barr under oath pretending to be a reasonable person. Perhaps best of all is seeing clips of Trump, clips that would normally make my skin crawl, in the context of, “Here’s a clip of Trump saying something that we’ve just proven is a conscious lie.” Whatever else is true, there are rare joys to be found in these hearings, and I am embracing them fully. This may well be a once-in-a-lifetime experience of truth telling.

    • Doctor My Eyes says:

      Just a side note re Barr: if you are the AG of the US, and you come to believe that the POTUS has lost touch with reality, do you resign or do you take steps to protect the country you claim to love so much from the devastating results of having an insane person in the oval office?

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Bullshit Barr has earned that moniker over decades of dirty water-carrying for the GOP’s top politicians. Among his cups of dirty water are claims that the odd Republican might be errant, but all Democrats are evil incarnate and an existential threat to humanity. How convenient that doing God’s work should give him license to do pretty much anything that fits his politics.

        • Doctor My Eyes says:

          He’s been a curse for far too long. Incidentally, did I miss a PS to his resignation letter? Something like, “And by the way, stop doing that crazy shit you’ve been doing.” Of course, Barr claims that before the election, he could talk sense to Trump. Perhaps they’ll end up blaming it all on Covid dementia.

          • BrokenPromises says:

            I was struck by Barr claiming how *rump faced with losing the election lost touch with reality. Any politically aware grounded adult of Barr’s age has known *rump was out of touch with reality at least a decade before 2015 and if not it was immediately clear when he went gangbusters on Birtherism.

            • earlofhuntingdon says:

              Once a defense counsel, always a defense counsel. Ignorant conduct, for example, let alone conduct while insane, incurs less liability than intentional conduct.

              • skua says:

                A responsible public office bearer must have a sound basis for confidence in the fitness of those they have any authority to or over.
                contrast with R. Senators & Kavanaugh, Barr & Trump

                Using defense counsel ethics when in public office needs to be called out as highly irresponsible.

            • Tom says:

              Donald Trump (who turns 76 today) is basically a liar and a conman. I’m sure he knows full well that Obama was American-born, but he seized on the Birther Lie because he knew it would appeal to those who were rankled by the fact that there was a black man in the White House. It was also a sure-fire way of obtaining publicity for himself. Anyone out of touch with reality wouldn’t be so careful about avoiding emails and ripping up, flushing, or burning his correspondence if there’s a chance it might incriminate him.

              • Rayne says:

                It was more than a means to stoke racial tension or earning the attention of racist voters. It was a means to plant the seeds of questioning the legitimacy of the election process with the implication that only fraud would allow a Black man who might not be American become POTUS.

            • grennan says:

              What Barr said was more nuanced: “if he believes this, he’s…”

              May be a distinction without a difference.

  13. WilliamOckham says:

    No discussion of Trump’s 2020 campaign grift would be complete with mentioning American Made Media Consultants. The Trump campaign and the “Trump Make America Great Again” PAC paid that company over $750 million (yeah, 3/4 of a billion dollars). AMMC was started in 2019 with Lara Trump and Pence’s nephew John Pence as officer (both of them allegedly resigned a few months later to “focus on the campaign”).

    $750 million in spending leaves lots of opportunity for payoffs, etc.

    • Fraud Guy says:

      This was a story during the campaign, with questions on why Trump was not running as many ads as his “war chest” seemed capable of funding. I think a good chunk went straight to family controlled organizations.

      • Rayne says:

        One more reason why I’d like to know what internal polling showed in August-October. Trump was running around the country having super spreader campaign rallies but if he already was being told the numbers were difficult to overcome, then the reason for those rallies isn’t campaigning just as the campaign wasn’t spending on adverts.

        • skua says:

          “I don’t burn my beautiful $ on ads. I’ve got a better way to remain Pres, one that doesn’t rely on votes.”

          When did prep for TheBigSteal really begin?

        • skua says:

          Consistent with early planning for TheBigSteal are;
          underspend on 2020 election advertising,
          statements by 45 that 45 will continue as Pres past 2020,

          What else you good folk got?

          • Rayne says:

            Statement by his former attorney Cohen in Feb 2019 that he feared if Trump lost in 2020 there wouldn’t ever be a peaceful transition of power again. https://youtu.be/RmYxWTlVIpE

            I’m sure there’s more; Trump’s publicly expressed reluctance to accept losing since 2016.

  14. Tom says:

    There was also Trump’s 2020 campaign fundraising scheme which involved sending numerous emails asking supporters for money. Unless the recipients read the email carefully, they wouldn’t realize the default option was for monthly donations. Donors would have to uncheck the monthly donation box if they planned to make a one-time contribution. It was only when their financial statements came in that many people realized they had been tricked into donating far more to Trump’s campaign than they originally intended.

  15. Savage Librarian says:

    From a technical perspective, I think the 2nd hearing had more logical edits and a much smoother and more natural pace. Zoe Lofgren’s calm and professional demeanor did a lot to help me follow the narrative. Kudos to the focus on the Big Rip-off.

    By the end of all the hearings, I think there might be some people who will begin to see things as they really are rather than what they were tricked into believing. If the truth is shared as often as (or more than) the lies, then there is hope. At least, the following article supports this:

    “How liars create the ‘illusion of truth’ “- Tom Stafford, 26th October 2016


  16. tinao says:

    billy barr finally has to tell the truth, HAHAHA!!!!! No billy, you will never again be their fixer.

    • LeeNLP says:

      I’m not so sure of that. Barr’s witness came across- even to myself, who has known him for a millenarianist scoundrel long and well- as a reasonable, BS-intolerant “there are lines I will not cross” sort. I suspect part of the damage in the wake of TFG’s corruption is making bad people look like saints by comparison.

  17. Doctor My Eyes says:

    I want to fact check something here. I’m under the impression that, despite 62 lawsuits, the Trump campaign never once alleged election fraud in a court of law. I know of at least two occasions when Trump lawyers were invited by a judge to allege fraud explicitly, and they backed down. If this is so, I wish it would be pointed out.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        A problem with fraud as an offensive litigation strategy is that it must be pleaded with specificity: names, dates, times, conduct. Without actual facts, that’s hard to do. Making shit up can lead to a world of hurt. Moreover, there’s a good faith requirement that puts the lawyer in jeopardy, if the facts aren’t there.

      • P J Evans says:

        In a number of the election cases the lawyers were asked specifically if they were alleging fraud, and they all denied it.

    • LeeNLP says:

      It’s the smoke that matters, not the fire. As Gordon Sondland testified in the first TFG’s impeachment, all TFG cared about was that Zelensky announce an investigation into Biden and his son Hunter. He didn’t care about the actual investigation. I’m guessing the post-election lawsuits served a similar PR purpose.

    • Douglas Erhard says:

      Well, there’s election fraud, and there’s voter fraud.

      The Trump campaign was heavily involved in attempting election fraud, while lying about rampant voter fraud. Part of the election fraud would be what DeJoy was doing with the Post Office. Also lying to voters about voter fraud is election fraud.

  18. Ddub says:

    It is truly the icing, that TFG was actively fleecing his followers as they flocked to him and the cause.
    That is why his followers can never admit it. 50% are already wound up dopamine hate addicts anyway. They would never give up that hate hit. Roll it all together and it’s a nani nani boo-boo conga line. The heads of F News must be continuously amazed at how easy their work is.
    Can I hear a young people, black people, suburban women save our bacon again Please!

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Trump, like many of his peers and neoliberals in general, is a firm believer in the self-serving Robber Baron mantra, “If God did not want them sheared, he would not have made them sheep.”

      • Valerie Klyman-Clark says:

        Amazing. When Keith Ham died (Hare Krishna co-founder!?!), a commenter following the Post’s obituary wrote, “The cheated want to be cheated by the cheaters.” Stuck with me.

        • LeeNLP says:

          I recommend the film Kumare: True Story of a False Prophet as a study in how people practically beg to be misled.

        • Savage Librarian says:

          Me too. I hate that word. I think it has unintentional consequences that play right into a propagandistic trope.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          The usage is European. It does not mean progressive or new progressive, but the opposite.

          • Savage Librarian says:

            It comes across as sounding elitist by those who use it. That, in turn, can easily be used against them. That is why I think it is problematic.

            Defund is another word that creates unintended issues. I think we should try to rethink how some words might create issues.

    • Marinela says:

      Hate is a powerful emotion to exploit. Once is planted, the facts don’t matter. Noticed this with close family members. Unless they get deprogrammed, it is hard to argue hate. My mother is visiting for 6 months. So I just cut the TV. In few weeks I can see a big difference. She is more reasonable, more active, better mood. So much easier for the visit. I wish all the MAGA like people have a chance to unplug from Fox. My mother was exposed to some sensational news in Romania, not Fox, but they operate on the same concept, hate. Give people something to hate and they follow you to the end.

      • rip says:

        Wow! How did you cut access to the T.V.?

        I’m trying to think through if one of my “loved ones”/caretakers took away access to the internet because I was following EW.

  19. observiter says:

    I’m hoping there’s a RICO case somewhere in this and he loses all of his properties/assets. I think that would be worse for him than prison.

      • Troutwaxer says:

        Please bmaz, can we have just one RICO case? I only want one and I’ll be your friend forever!

      • I Never Lie and am Always Right says:

        An old client of mine was convicted under RICO, before I helped them with other issues.

      • Douglas Erhard says:

        SO emphatic, for offering no evidence, and not even an argument.

        You sound a bit like someone we all know………….

        • bmaz says:

          Listen jackass, you have been around here for about 18 comments, I have been here for about 16 years. Pretty much a quarter of my life has been poured into this blog and that which came before it. None of us, except Marcy, makes one red cent off of it all (and if she offered to pay me, I would not accept it). You have no idea of the crap Rayne and I have to deal with daily, if not sometimes hourly, 24 hours a day. And, no, you will never see most of it. If you do not like it here, get the hell out, because nobody cares about your opinion on how we do our job.

        • bmaz says:

          And, by the way, I owe you no duty to disprove idiocy as to RICO. If you have some magic pixie dust to prove otherwise, have at it, don’t bitch at me for not explaining it in full for the 939th time on this blog. Here is my friend Ken White’s explainer. When he says:

          “That’s not what RICO means. RICO is not a fucking frown emoji. It’s not an exclamation point. It’s not a rhetorical tool to convey you are upset about something. It’s not a petulant foot-stomp.

          RICO is a really complicated racketeering law that has elaborate requirements that are difficult to meet. It’s overused by idiot plaintiff lawyers, and it’s ludicrously overused by a hundred million jackasses on the internet with an opinion and a mood disorder.”

          He is apparently referring to you. Enjoy your remedial education. And the next time you feel like bitching at the people who actually keep this joint running, think twice about what is really “substantive” because it sure is not your comments in that regard.

  20. The Stuff says:

    Monetizing the Big Lie gives Trump et al. a possible out on the charges of sedition and attempt to defraud the US, as he can argue that he wasn’t pushing the Lie to attempt to stay in office, but rather to continue the $ gravy train. Still illegal, but a lesser charge.

  21. Charles Wolf says:

    I miss Stephen Miller.
    When is he going to be invited to the party?
    I’m almost certain he has earned a cell.

    • Rayne says:

      Stephen “Baby Goebbels” Miller was subpoenaed by the House J6 Committee on November 9, 2021.
      He was asked to supply documents by November 23, 2021.
      He was asked to testify on December 14, 2021.

      Here’s a copy of the subpoena. Apparently he’s complied because there’s no indication he’s relying on privilege to exempt him or any documents, and he’s filed no lawsuit.

      All of this is readily available online. I suggest next time you elevate your game and do your own legwork because you could have answered this question all by yourself instead of wasting my time.

      • Savage Librarian says:

        This does, however, give me the opportunity to mention that the clip of Jared in the 2nd hearing shows he has aged quite a bit. Or maybe all his evil is just making him uglier. Doesn’t he look more like Stephen Miller now?

      • Charles Wolf says:

        Oh, I know about all that.
        But I haven’t heard his name WRT the hearings or the DOJ recently, and am wondering if he is going to cooperate, of stonewall.
        I have seen no indication one way or another and do not believe that filing no lawsuit says much.

  22. SophiaB says:

    Just wondering WHEN anyone is going to get around to investigating Moscow Mitch Grifter’s grifter wife Elaine Ciao’s shenanigans.

    If anyone REALLY wanted to take down the PowerMonster, they could like, do THAT…

    I do believe there’s a WHOLE LOT of keeping the DOJ hounds at bay because it’s about SO MUCH MORE than the Big Lie.

    Investing based on secret intel might be just a FASCINATING subject.

    I for one am so sick of highly boastful (Schumer!) Demorats pussyfooting around, while our country absolutely crumples.

    I am not a one-is-as-bad-as-the-other proponent, but I see how surgically narrow the focus has been since Mueller was given such a narrow purview to no avail. LET’S GET THE BIG FISH-ALL OF THEM-NOT JUST THE GUPPIES.

    • Rayne says:

      Your caps lock key gets stuck a lot. Take a deep breath and then go do some digging into all these problems you want solved because if you’re hinting anybody here needs to do it we’re a bit busy and you’re off topic of this post.

      p.s. Your address says you’re in Canada. How about worrying about the fish on your side of the border, eh?

  23. cmarlowe says:

    It was easy to loose track of just how many Rs testified today. Marcy’s list at the top of the thread should also include:
    Charles Donaghue
    BJ Pak
    Eric Herschmann
    Derek Lyons
    Matt Morgan

  24. observiter says:

    I notice his friends are hinting he’s not been acting all there. Interestingly, they seemed to have avoided this topic in the past. Could they be setting the stage for an insanity defense, if needed?

  25. dadidoc1 says:

    Any guesses on whether Event Strategies picked up the tab for the buses and hotel rooms for the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers during their tourist visit to D.C.? It should be easy enough to follow the money.

  26. harpie says:

    TRUMP responds:
    [I KNOW he could NOT have written this.
    My guess would be POWELL or NAVARRO [or his aide ZIEGLER]

    6:33 PM · Jun 13, 2022

    In what could be his longest ever, Trump just released a 12-page statement on the “January 6th Unselect Committee,” and his case for voter fraud in the 2020 election. Link: […] [screenshot]

    Marc ELIAS:
    6:42 PM · Jun 13, 2022

    Someone should let him know that this statement is admissible in any future trial under Federal Rule of Evidence 801(d)(2).

    • harpie says:

      A taste, from page 2: [Roger STONE?]
      hahaha–he’s disowning the witness
      [Jim JORDAN?]

      […] Yet, the Unselect Pseudo-Committee has coordinated with their media puppets to broadcast their witnesses on national television without any opposition, cross-examination, or rebuttal evidence. The American public has a right to know the truth and see every witness, but these corrupt officials are trying to force-feed the public with their politically opportune sideshow.

      What are the members of this treasonous “Committee” afraid of? Why can’t they let the countervailing opinion be heard? Why are they hiding evidence from the public and only showing information that favors the Democrats’ tall tale? They’re afraid of losing the narrative, because their political opponents could easily show how the committee is lying to the nation and has stripped Americans of their rightful power.

      Democrats created the narrative of January 6th to detract from the much larger and more important truth that the 2020 Election was Rigged and Stolen. Politicians from both parties, but mostly the Democrats, worked in conjunction with corporate elitists to strip Americans of our right to elect our own leaders. To do so, corrupt officials violated their own state laws. […]

    • harpie says:

      Possibly related?
      wrt: Kenneth KLUKOWSI; Jeffrey CLARK’s 12/28/20 “Proof of Concept” letter.

      8:54 AM · Jun 14, 2022

      “Just say the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the Republican congressmen.” Trump knew where he could find people so greasy and corrupt that they would support his coup. [WaPo link]

      • harpie says:

        [approx] 12/20/20 [“two weeks before oval office mtg”] KLUKOWSKI joined DoJ as legal counsel for the Civil Division under Clark.

        Before that, he “served as special counsel to the WH Office of Management and Budget.”

        Before that, he had been a “senior analyst” for BREITBART.
        [Can’t say that without thinking: BANNON]

      • harpie says:

        12/28/20 4:20 PM KLUKOWSI email to CLARK [“obtained by the Post”]

        Subject: email to you
        Attachment: Draft Letter JBC 12 28 20.docx
        [message]: Attached

        The attached letter has been previously released, titled “Pre-Decisional & Deliberative / Attorney-Client or Legal Work Product – Georgia Proof of Concept

        12/28/20 4:40 PM CLARK emails ROSEN and DONOGHUE:
        Subject “Two Urgent Action Items.”

    • harpie says:

      7/25/19 TRUMP to ZELENSKY: “I would like you to do us a favor though”

      1:59 PM · Aug 27, 2019

      NEW: Ken Klukowski, a longtime senior legal analyst for Breitbart News, has been hired as a “special counsel” for the Office of Management and Budget. He will report to general counsel Mark Paoletta

      “Special Counsel” for the General Counsel of OMB

      • harpie says:

        Attorney With Ties to Anti-LGBT Groups Hired for Key Government Agency https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2019/09/20/attorney-ties-anti-lgbt-groups-hired-key-government-agency September 20, 2019

        […] Klukowski joins OMB staff with their own right-wing connections. OMB’s director is Mick Mulvaney, who is also acting White House chief of staff. Mulvaney has tea party ties and was a co-founder of the hard-right House Freedom Caucus. Acting OMB Director Russell Vought is an ally of Vice President Mike Pence and is a former vice president of Heritage Action, the lobbying arm of the anti-LGBT Heritage Foundation. As chief counsel and assistant to Pence, Paoletta was “very involved” in the nomination of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, according to CNN. […]

      • harpie says:

        1/24/19 Ginni [SCOTUS Spouse] THOMAS and a group of conservative activists meets in the WH with TRUMP and about 6 aides for about an hour, after months of delay, mainly about Administration appointments they wanted, but were [allegedly] being denied by the WH. THOMAS handed a memo of names [The GROUNDSWELL Memo] directly to the president.

        • harpie says:

          This meeting came after Ginni [SCOTUS Spouse] THOMAS and her
          “best friend” Clarence [“impartiality might reasonably be questioned”] THOMAS had dinner with TRUMP and Melania at the White House.

      • harpie says:

        1/16/20 Press statement regarding GAO Decision B-331564, Office of Management and Budget–Withholding of Ukraine Security Assistance https://www.gao.gov/about/press-center/press-releases/press-statement-b-331564-omb-ukraine.htm

        “Today, GAO issued a legal decision concluding that the Office of Management and Budget violated the law when it withheld approximately $214 million appropriated to DOD for security assistance to Ukraine. The President has narrow, limited authority to withhold appropriations under the Impoundment Control Act of 1974. OMB told GAO that it withheld the funds to ensure that they were not spent “in a manner that could conflict with the President’s foreign policy.” The law does not permit OMB to withhold funds for policy reasons.” […]

    • MB says:

      Just heard that the postponement was due to not being ready with the video segments for the hearing. Their video editing crew must be working double-overtime already. Thursday hearing is still about Pence, so the Wednesday hearing about DOJ shenanigans will happen later…

    • Badger Robert says:

      A witness may had a scheduling conflict they could not resolve, but the three attorneys wanted to appear and appear together.

  27. Bears74 says:

    Remember when the GQP’er made a huge stink (bullshit and false, naturally) about BLM donations going directly to the DNC?

    Pepperidge Farms remembers.

  28. buford2k10 says:

    My question is, what happens to the Mueller Report…? Can it be revisited? Can it be used in the future prosecutions of the trump crime family and friends? Is there an un-redacted copy available to the committee? Is the Mueller Report still relevant? My confidence in our justice system is flagging…I feel like we really are living on the “knife’s edge”…

    [Welcome back to emptywheel. Please use the same username each time you comment so that community members get to know you. This is your second user name; your previous 67 comments were published as “Buford.” Thanks. /~Rayne]

  29. Rattlemullet says:

    The aliens came in business suits and said “Business is our business”. I believe that is the lyrics to that song bouncing in my head.

  30. Frank Anon says:

    I don’t know, but it feels like these hearings have the potential to result in a GOP decision to jettison Trump, especially after the Murdoch op-eds in the Post and the WSJ. It would make sense, as it is pretty clear that the thing standing between a GOP victory this fall is the power of the anti-Trump vote. They must understand at some level that they have retained the enthusiasm at their base without the man himself, so why hold on to the baggage. A plus might be the martyrdom aspect – vote for a de Santis pardon! Its risky, but they probably lose Arizona, Georgia, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania senate races with Trump on board, and maybe but not likely Ohio. I’d watch the tells in the next few days, I thought Stepian separating out the “good” Trumpers and the “bad” Trumpers was particularly telling, as was Barr’s parsing of what Trump himself did with the generalized “bullshit” of the Big Lie. No public good with this lot, so they may be the leading edge of something.

    • Bobby Gladd says:

      I tweeted yesterday:

      Dear @GOP: you now have the unenviable task of helping foment the most massive jury nullification effort in US history. He is simply not worth it. Think about it. Seriously. After merely 2 days of @January6thCmte public hearings, the incriminating evidence is dispositive.

    • skua says:

      “… retained the enthusiasm at their base without the man himself, …”
      Hi Frank Anon.
      What evidence do you see that the base is the GOP’s and no longer Trump’s?

  31. Tom says:

    When people talk about Trump being detached from reality, I think what they really mean is that he’s detached from morality and hence, is utterly shameless. For most people, being caught out in a lie is a call to repent and reform. For Trump, it just means he has to tell a better lie.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Yes. And it doesn’t mean he can’t tell the difference between his lies and reality. Like a tobacco salesman, he prefers his lies because they are much more profitable than the truth.

      • rip says:

        And at this point he couldn’t tell the truth about anything, not even his parents or his spawn.

        And the real personal joy is in the telling of a con.

  32. gmoke says:

    It was heartening to see the J6 Com make it clear that the “Big Lie” was actually the “Big Grift,” something that many of us suspected from the beginning. I look forward to David Farenthold’s reporting on all this as he’s been bird-dogging Trmp’s “charity” grifts for years now and probably has all the strings to pull at his fingertips.

    What’s been disheartening is how obvious a grifter Trmp has been since the first story about him in the NYTimes back in the early 1970s, a story that the Times didn’t do due diligence on then and a practice that has continued since then, at least for the favored few.

  33. Chris Perkins says:

    I also noted that in the screenshots of the donation solicitations, that they were touting 1000% matching. 10x matching? Wow. Maybe there was an asterisk I didn’t see, but that claim struck me as fairly fraudulent. Just more grift.

    • harpie says:

      1/7/21 HERSHMANN re: conversation with EASTMAN

      [1:29] HERSHMANN: It was the day after. EASTMAN, I don’t remember why he called me…texted me or called me, wanted to talk with me and said he couldn’t reach others. And he started to ask me about something dealing with Georgia, preserving something potentially for appeal. Uh, and – – I said to him, are you out of your f’ing mind? Right? I said I only want to hear two words coming out of your mouth from now on: orderly transition. I said, I don’t want to hear any other f’ing words coming out of your mouth, no matter what, other than “orderly transition”. Repeat those words to me. [Q: What did he say?] Eventually, he said “orderly transition.” I said, “Good, John.” Now I’m going to give you the best free legal advice you’re ever getting in your life.
      Get a great f’ing criminal defense lawyer. You’re going to need it. Then I hung up on him.

      I said, “Good, John.” LOL!

      • Legonaut says:

        As powerful as Hershmann’s deposition is, I’m struck by his very specific recollections about a conversation from 2.5 years ago, and the vagueness about why Eastman called him (or was it a text?), or “something dealing with Georgia”. Vagaries of human memory, or elision of damning details? (All these R’s seem to be trying to rehab themselves, probably for job prospects in wingnut welfare.)

        I’m not nearly smart enough to be a WH lawyer — hell, I can barely remember what I said last week — but I’d expect these interactions to be contemporaneously documented as a CYA for just such an eventuality as these investigations.

        • Rayne says:

          The followup question by investigators should have been whether Herschmann had notes and if not, how he recalled this. IMO, this was big enough that I would have recalled it if I’d been on the receiving end and felt compelled to make a recommendation to get legal counsel.

          We may have been spared that detail work for the purposes of brevity. You’ll notice there hasn’t been any public rebuttal of Herschmann’s statement.

    • harpie says:

      Marcy retweeted this, earlier:

      5:01 PM · Jun 14, 2022

      John Eastman persuaded Judge Carter to reclassify 10 documents ordered disclosed to @January6thCmte. They were protected in a weekend ruling, dropping the number Eastman is to disclose from 159 to 149. My explanation of a largely overlooked development:

      Meanwhile, the #J6 Committee released excerpts of an interview in which former Trump counsel Eric Herschmann says he told Eastman on the Jan. 7, 2021, “Are you out of your f’ing mind?” [] “Get a great f’ing criminal defense lawyer. You’re going to need it.”

      Links to:
      John Eastman Persuades Judge Carter to Reclassify 10 Emails as Protected From Jan. 6 Committee Saturday’s order reduces from 159 to 149 the number of Chapman University emails Eastman was to disclose to the committee, but it does not change the judge’s central findings about the crime-fraud exception.
      https://www.law.com/therecorder/2022/06/14/john-eastman-persuades-judge-carter-to-reclassify-10-emails-as-protected-from-jan-6-committee/?slreturn=20220514193623 Meghann M. Cuniff June 14, 2022 at 04:47 PM

      • harpie says:

        From the article:

        […] Amid this, though, the aspect of Carter’s ruling that’s drawn the most attention remains unchanged, which is his determination that two otherwise privileged documents should be released under the crime-fraud exception, with his March analysis of Trump and Eastman’s likely criminal activity central to that finding. […]

    • harpie says:

      Here’s the transcript of CHENEY’s bit:

      CHENEY: Yesterday, the Select Committee’s Hearing showed all Americans that President TRUMP’s claims of a stolen 2020 election were, to use former Attorney General BARR’s words, “complete nonsense.” We heard this from Donald TRUMP’s own campaign experts, his own campaign lawyers, his own campaign manager, his Attorney General and OTHERS Donald TRUMP appointed to leadership positions in the US Department of Justice. President TRUMP’s advisors knew what he was saying was false, and they told him so, directly and repeatedly. The testimony from our first two hearings is available on the Select Committee’s website, so all Americans can easily view it.

      In our next Hearing on Thursday, the Select Committee will examine President TRUMP’s relentless effort – on January 6th and in the days beforehand – to pressure Vice President Pence to refuse to count lawful electoral votes. As a federal judge has indicated, this likely violated two federal criminal statutes. President TRUMP had no factual basis for what he was doing and he had been told it was illegal. Despite this, President TRUMP plotted with a lawyer named John EASTMAN and OTHERS to overturn the outcome of the election on January 6th.

      To give you a sense of the gravity of these issues, here is a clip of one of President TRUMP’s own White House lawyers, Eric HERSCHMANN, who talked to Mr. EASTMAN the day after January 6th. [1:29]

      Every time I hear: “to use former Attorney General BARR’s words”,
      I think she’s going to say “BULLSHIT!”

      • Savage Librarian says:

        Every time Barr starts to say Bullshit, I imagine he is going to say, “Bull Durham!”

    • Fran of the North says:

      In my line of work, I get to read all sorts of people.

      When you watch Herschmann talk about Eastman’s need for a good lawyer, notice how his face contorts. His language is fairly civil, but he is so angry he is about to spit tacks.

      • Savage Librarian says:

        Yes, it was so striking compared to all the wishy washy responses from everyone else. He clearly knows right from wrong. Other people who responded, who knows?!

      • Rayne says:

        Herschmann looks like he’s restraining himself, but I can’t tell to what degree because he may have had either Botox or some training about body language; note how his forehead facial muscles don’t move at all. If he’s had body language training, he slips when he scratches his face with his left hand communicating discomfort with what he’s discussing.

        (I’d really like a body language expert to evaluate Barr’s in his interview. IMO he expresses some arrogance with his slouching, but also discomfort because he’s leaning away from the interviewer.)

        • harpie says:

          I think ALL of these supposedly “reasonable” CACA Party people
          wanted to USE the Crazies to keep their own power,
          …letting them go just so far…keeping them on a leash.
          But, then, the Crazies got loose.
          [IF Herschmann is angry, I think this is why.]

  34. punaise says:

    Pretty good (paywalled?) WaPo interview with Rick Perlstein – a historical expert on the matter – on The ugly truth about the right-wing grift machine.

    This phenomenon of conservative Republican leaders seeing their constituencies as a pool of marks to squeeze money out of really does go back to the beginnings of the conservative takeover of the Republican Party in the 1960s.As is so often the case in the Republican Party under the Trumpist reign, it takes normal historical patterns of behavior and turns them up to 11.

    Sargent: The “big lie” actually was the “big grift.”

    Perlstein: It’s partially an opportunity to raise money. It’s also partially an opportunity to keep power. The important thing to understand about how grifting works in conservative culture is that the two things work together.

    It’s impossible to understand where the ideological con ends and the money con begins. They work together.

    • rip says:

      As is well documented back in 2019 in Anne Nelson’s “Shadow Network”. It is rife with the coordination of RW/libertarians, money, evangelicals, and media networks.

      They’ve taken a long-term view on how to subvert democracy, liberalism, progressive policies. They couch it in religious/anti-abortion terms, but it is all about power.

  35. punaise says:

    I would posit that fellow Boomer bmaz and I can agree on this sentiment:

    The Gerontocracy of the Democratic Party Doesn’t Understand That We’re at the Brink

    What’s missing from party leaders, an absence that is endlessly frustrating to younger liberals, is any sense of urgency and crisis — any sense that our system is on the brink. Despite mounting threats to the right to vote, the right to an abortion and the ability of the federal government to act proactively in the public interest, senior Democrats continue to act as if American politics is back to business as usual.

    • Molly Pitcher says:

      While I agree with you gentlemen, punaise, bmaz and earl of h, what do you think could actually be accomplished now, in this particular climate, that isn’t being done ?

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s let me count the ways comes to mind. But let me put it in two words: public leadership, articulating what so many see and feel rather than a false sense of camaraderie.

        Compare DiFi and Katie Porter at any oversight hearing. Compare Joe B channeling Anne Frank, describing that, “In spite everything I still believe Moscow Mitch is really good at heart,” vs. AOC saying, in effect, “I’ll endorse Joe B. based on what he does, not what he says.”

        • GonzoDon says:

          Katie Porter is my hero.

          She knows how to effectively use a white board and a marker to make her points. She knows how to effectively embarrass and belittle self-important, self-aggrandizing corporate swine. She knows how to speak Truth to power. She gives Wall Street CEOs and corporate monopolists nightmares, I am sure. She is, in short, one badass congresswoman.

      • bmaz says:

        And Pelosi. Get rid of them all. Katie Porter for Speaker and Chris Murphy in Senate. Sherrod Brown would be fine too, but rather prefer Murphy.

          • punaise says:

            Katie Porter would be great as Speaker. Not sure how much more she could accomplish, but she would take names and run a tight ship.

            Senate? Warren would get my support, but she’s not on the younger side.

            Oh, I know: Sinema! (LOL, JK!)

  36. Sue 'em Queequeg says:

    In a way I can see where bmaz is coming from, as least to the extent that these hearings are a) not “real” hearings, b) overproduced, and as a result, c) might strike some as canned/fake and perhaps even futile. (Ultimately I find them fascinating, for many reasons, but among other things IANAL.)

    Reacting as someone who works in communications, I can only say a) readers of this (amazing) site, or really any folks who’ve been paying attention, are not the primary target viewers and b) this well exceeds anything the DNC has done so far (mostly a comment on the subterranean position of the bar in this case).

    Yes, the hearings are both overproduced and, based on what TV has conditioned us to expect today, dramatically underwhelming. Also way, way too long for the target audience. But there are already plenty of clips that a competent editor could fashion into something really compelling. Yes — dare I say it — even 6-second YT ads. Unfortunately, in the real world, for some percentage of voters in the middle, that may be about the only thing that can get through.

      • Sue 'em Queequeg says:

        Punaise, thanks for the Salon link, many important points there.

        The main issue here is engagement. Those of us who read this site, most of our friends, etc. are already engaged. Our thoughts are mostly reactions to substance.

        For anyone who’s not already engaged, there’s only one thought: show me why I should even give this a try. (Getting any of this content into a space where the unengaged might encounter it in the first place it is obviously at least as much of a challenge, but that’s a whole other discussion.)

        Personally, as far as thinking about the hearings as entertainment, I’m not just loath, I find it horrifying and depressing, as I imagine many of us do. But strategically, I’m thrilled and relieved to see somebody outside the hatersphere finally thinking that way, and I can only hope there will be more efforts, and better.

        • Ddub says:

          This is so important!
          There is a gravitas vs frivolity argument that completely misses the point. In an existential period for US democracy the information space must be fought for for all conceivable demographics.
          Cheney’s tweet video last night was a great start. Name and shame, a mugshot who’s who.
          It appears the Committee doesn’t control graphics on any feeds and this is an error IMO. Computer animations, flow charts, organization charts, like any quality Youtube video, would have increased interest. Not too late to ramp up dedicated content with serious audience investment, and delays are perfect, do more. Stretch this out to dominate the slow Summer news cycle.

  37. harpie says:

    Building the “Big Lie”: Inside the Creation of Trump’s Stolen Election Myth
    Doug Bock Clark, Alexandra Berzon and Kirsten Berg April 26, 2022

    Internal emails and interviews with key participants reveal for the first time the extent to which leading advocates of the rigged election theory touted evidence they knew to be disproven, disputed or dismissed as dubious. […]

    • harpie says:

      […] Byrne, Powell and other coalition members weren’t just relying on witness statements in their effort to prove the election was rigged. Some of them also pointed to multiple mathematical analyses. One that Powell and Byrne advanced came from a man named Edward Solomon. In the weeks after Nov. 3, 2020, Solomon produced a series of online videos purporting to demonstrate how algorithms adjusted the vote total in Biden’s favor.

      Before Byrne and Powell highlighted Solomon’s voting analysis, he came to public attention briefly in 2016, after authorities seized 240 bags of heroin, 25 grams of cocaine and weapons from his home; he later pleaded guilty to selling drugs. (Solomon did not respond to requests for comment.)

      One person who coalition members entrusted to vet Solomon’s analysis was Seth Keshel, a former Army intelligence officer who was brought into the group by Flynn and who acknowledged to ProPublica that his mathematical expertise drew from “a long track record of baseball statistics.” In the end, his level of expertise didn’t matter; because of a server error, the emailed request to vet Solomon never reached Keshel, who said he had no memory of checking Solomon’s claims.

      Byrne used Solomon’s analysis in his book, “The Deep Rig,” to make the case that the election was fraudulent. In February 2021, a month after the book was published, the University of Pennsylvania’s FactCheck.org reported that officials at the college Solomon had attended said that, though he had been a math major, he had never received a degree. The article quoted experts who pointed to flaws in Solomon’s analysis, especially that the “vote shares” he suggested were suspicious were “not at all surprising,” and a Georgia elections official who said that Solomon “shows a basic misunderstanding of how vote counts work.” […]

      • Rayne says:

        LMAO they used the work of a statistical whiz who couldn’t calculate the odds of getting nailed by the feds for possession and distribution of controlled substances like heroin, coke, and guns?

        I can’t believe we’re losing our democracy to these morons. We’re not trying hard enough.

      • Eureka says:

        There’s Seth Keshel again. I was commenting on Rayne’s post (previous page) about him as possibly one of the “statistical analysis” emailers in the docs Eastman has to produce. [And had not gotten down here to see this comment until now.]

        I really hope we get these names from J6 (unless some of this info has to be secreted for a minute towards e.g. a DOJ purpose). Very curious.

    • harpie says:

      The ProPublica article begins with this story:

      11/13/20 [AM] Beginning of the Smartmatic / Dominion Conspiracy theory.
      >> Leamsy SALAZAR claims to know that the 2020 U.S. presidential election had been rigged — and how, and gives sworn testimony to lawyer Lewis SESSIONS, brother of newly re-elected TEXAS representative Pete SESSIONS. [SALAZAR worked formerly for Venezuelan special operations and as chief of security for Hugo Chavez, and had been for years an informer about drug trafficking to American law enforcement agencies, which helped him defect.]

      “I want to take a moment to get off the track,” said Sessions, the brother of [former and soon to be re-elected] Republican Rep. PETE SESSIONS of Texas. “Why are you here? What has motivated you to come forward?”
      “I feel that the world should know — they should know the truth,” Salazar answered. “The truth about the corruption. About the manipulation. About the lies.”

      “The truth about what?” Sessions asked.
      “In this case, it’s the manipulation of votes,” Salazar said. “And the lies being told to a country.”

      [Pete Sessons TX-17, after serving 11? terms,
      defeated by Colin Alered D in 2018;
      reelected to TX-17 on 11/3/20]

  38. P J Evans says:

    For some reason, “The Golden Vanity” has earwormed me. (False promises of rewards, said rewards being based on performance of certain actions.) The Rs apparently didn’t hear any of the folksongs about what happens to people who make false promises, or any of the operas either (“Don Juan”).

    • rip says:

      Is that the same as the Golden Throne? Or perhaps a combo unit: “The Golden Bidet”

      Not sure either will accept triple-budger bricks.

    • Eureka says:

      This one’s really funny and seems to relate to a much bigger story. They say she was paid by the Publix heiress Julie Fancelli. That’s the same woman who actually paid the vast bulk of money that Alex Jones had bragged about raising for the rally (initially making it sound like he had paid it himself). Then we found out that it wasn’t only Fancelli who primarily paid (as opposed to Jones), but that Jones had supposedly leaned on Caroline Wren to get this donation. ProPublica at some point had characterized Wren as a former “deputy” of Guilfoyle. Then there’s texts (ProPublica) that came out where Guilfoyle was bragging about having raised a ton of the rally money.

      So are (were) Jones and Guilfoyle trying to out-wag each other, and/or was Jones covering for Guilfoyle at the outset while claiming some clout in exchange for his “duties”?

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