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   PoliticsA Hard Look At Donald Trump


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From: Brumar8912/3/2021 7:49:14 AM
2 Recommendations   of 30382
 
Trump Lawyers Ordered to Cough Up $175,000 for ‘Frivolous’ Election-Fraud LawsuitWAS IT WORTH IT?

Jamie Ross News Correspondent
Published Dec. 03, 2021 5:10AM ET



Reuters/Elijah Nouvelage

A group of lawyers who took former President Donald Trump’s bogus claims of widespread election fraud to the courts have been ordered to pay $175,000 in sanctions fees for their troubles. Nine lawyers, including notorious ex-Trump reps Sidney Powell and Lin Wood, were ordered to pay the $21,964.75 in attorneys’ fees for Michigan state, and a further $153,285.62 in fees for the city of Detroit. The state and the city were named as defendants in a baseless election-fraud lawsuit filed by the pro-Trump lawyers last year. In an opinion released in August, U.S. District Judge Linda Parker wrote that the sanctions were needed “to deter the filing of future frivolous lawsuits designed primarily to spread the narrative that our election processes are rigged.” Wood told CNN he would appeal the sanctions, telling the network Thursday: “I undertook no act in Michigan and I had no involvement in the Michigan lawsuit filed by Sidney Powell.” Powell has not commented publicly on the ruling.

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To: Brumar89 who wrote (27902)12/3/2021 8:59:48 AM
From: Brumar89
5 Recommendations   of 30382
 
Great news from Liz Cheney that the Jan 6 committee will have multiple weeks of public hearings in 2022, detailing their findings. This will be bigger than the public Watergate hearings that held the nation spellbound. The story of the coup attempt will be laid out for all to see

@TomJChicago


@duty2warn

Liz Cheney says the Jan. 6 select committee is planning "multiple weeks" of public hearings in 2022 in which they will detail their findings to the public.

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From: Brumar8912/3/2021 1:25:41 PM
4 Recommendations   of 30382
 
Sidney Powell filed false incorporation papers for non-profit, grand jury finds

Trump’s lawyer falsely claimed two men as fellow directors of Defending the Republic in an apparent effort to attract donors


Sidney Powell, who spearheaded the former president’s quixotic legal campaign to overturn the result of the 2020 election, is being investigated by a grand jury. Photograph: Ben Margot/AP

Murray Waas

Fri 3 Dec 2021 02.00 EST

A federal grand jury investigating Donald Trump’s former attorney Sidney Powell has uncovered evidence that Powell filed false incorporation papers with the state of Texas for a non-profit she heads, Defending the Republic, according to sources close to the investigation.

In the incorporation papers, Powell – who filed lawsuits across the US questioning the 2020 election result which Trump lost to Joe Biden – listed two men whom she said served with her on the organization’s board of directors, even though neither one of them gave Powell permission to do so.

As a private attorney, Powell, in the service of Trump, has gained notoriety as she has increasingly embraced implausible conspiracy theories such as that the FBI had attempted to frame Trump to drive him from office, and that Joe Biden’s election as president of the United States was illegitimate. Her lawsuits to overturn the outcome of the 2020 presidential election have all failed, often met with scathing criticism from judges who have overseen them, one of whom sanctioned her for alleged ethical misconduct and referred her to the Texas state bar for investigation.

Powell did not respond to multiple requests for comment for this story.

The broader federal criminal inquiry into Powell, led by the United States attorney for the District of Columbia, has since last fall been examining allegations of fundraising and financial fraud by Powell in the running of the group, according to documents reviewed by the Guardian.

Incorporation papers Powell filed with the Texas secretary of state on 1 December 2020 for Defending the Republic (DTR), listed only three people as comprising the group’s initial board: Powell herself, the Georgia attorney Linn Wood; and Brannon Castleberry, a Beverly Hills-based businessman and consultant.

The federal grand jury has reviewed extensive documentation that neither Wood nor Castleberry ever consented to serve on DTR’s board. One of the two men has said he wasn’t notified, even after the fact, that Powell had named him as a board member. The grand jury is investigating whether Powell misrepresented the makeup of her board in an effort to attract more donors.

The federal investigators are also trying to determine whether Powell diverted money from DTR for her own personal use.

They are also looking into whether Powell defrauded donors by falsely claiming their donations to DTR were used to finance lawsuits Powell filed to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. Powell has said the mission of DTR has been to “protect the integrity of elections in the United States”, but to do so required that “millions of dollars must be raised”. But investigators have only found a single instance in which DTR funds were used to finance one of Powell’s numerous high-profile election cases.

In testimony given in a civil defamation lawsuit, Brandon Johnson, an attorney for DTR, confirmed that Wood and Castleberry were listed in the non-profit’s Texas incorporation records as the group’s only other two original board members besides Powell.

During a sworn deposition in the case, Johnson testified: “That’s an important area to clarify. Apparently, the paperwork was corrected. Neither Brannon Castleberry nor Linn Wood served as directors. This was subsequently corrected.” Johnson further testified that neither Wood nor Castleberry had ever served DTR in any other capacity.

Johnson’s testimony was given in a defamation lawsuit brought against Powell by Eric Coomer, a former Dominion Voting Systems employee, against whom Powell made baseless and since throroughly debunked allegations, claiming that Coomer had conspired with antifa, the amorphous and leaderless anti-fascist movement, to steal the 2020 presidential election from Trump.

Ironically, the federal investigation is also looking into whether Powell improperly used funds from DTR to defend herself in defamation cases brought against her by both Coomer and Dominion.

Powell’s misrepresentations regarding her board are strikingly similar to other incidents during that same period.

The Guardian disclosed on Thursday that Powell had also named several individuals as plaintiffs or co-counsel in her election-related cases without their permission. Several said that they only found out that Powell had named them once the cases were already filed.

During this same time-span, Powell also named several other lawyers – albeit, with their permission in those instances – as co-counsel in her election-related cases, despite the fact that they played little or no role in bringing or litigating those cases.

A former consultant to DTR told the Guardian that Powell’s actions in lying about who was on her board, who were co-counsel or plaintiffs in her cases, and also exaggerating the nominal role of others assisting her, was to convey the appearance to potential donors that she was at the helm of an “elite strike force” who would overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

theguardian.com

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From: Glenn Petersen12/3/2021 1:28:07 PM
3 Recommendations   of 30382
 
Lawyer who hatched a plan to throw the 2020 election to Trump pleads the 5th in Congress' Capitol riot probe

ssheth@businessinsider.com (Sonam Sheth) 40 mins ago

-- A Trump-aligned lawyer invoked his 5th Amendment rights in response to a Jan. 6 committee subpoena. John Eastman's attorney sent a letter to the committee saying he "hereby asserts his Fifth Amendment right not to be a witness against himself."

-- Eastman is the second witness who took or plans to take the 5th Amendment related to the Capitol riot probe.

-- A lawyer and former Supreme Court clerk who advised former President Donald Trump will invoke his 5th Amendment rights in response to a subpoena from the House select committee investigating the January 6 Capitol riot.

John Eastman's lawyer, Charles Burnham, sent a letter to committee chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson on December 1 saying, "Dr. Eastman hereby asserts his Fifth Amendment right not to be a witness against himself in response to your subpoena."

Politico first reported the news.

"Members of this very Committee have openly spoken of making criminal referrals to the Department of Justice and described the Committee's work in terms of determining 'guilt or innocence,'" the letter said. "Dr. Eastman has a more than reasonable fear that any statements he makes pursuant to this subpoena will be used in an attempt to mount a criminal investigation against him."

Eastman is the second witness who has invoked or plans to invoke their 5th Amendment privileges in response to a committee subpoena. Earlier this week, a lawyer representing the former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark informed the committee that his client will do the same. The panel said it expects Clark to come in on Saturday and formally assert his claim.

Eastman was a law professor at Chapman University and retired on January 13, a week after the deadly Capitol insurrection in which a mob of frenzied Trump supporters tried to stop Congress from certifying President Joe Biden's victory.

According to Bob Woodward and Robert Costa's book "Peril," Eastman sent Utah Sen. Mike Lee a memo on January 2 falsely claiming that "7 states have transmitted dual slates of electors to the President of the Senate," who at the time was Vice President Mike Pence.

Beyond claiming with zero evidence that multiple states had sent "alternate" slates of electors to Congress, Eastman's memo went a step further and "turned the standard counting process on its head," the book said.

In the memo, Eastman laid out six steps he said Pence could take to throw the election to Trump. One of them involved him unilaterally declaring that because of "ongoing disputes" in the seven states, "there are no electors that can be deemed validly appointed in those States."

Eastman's assertion caught the lawmaker by surprise, the book said: "Lee was shocked ... The possibility of alternate or dueling slates would be national news. Yet there had been no such news."

The idea of "dueling electors" was previously an obscure one but gained steam in GOP circles in the run-up to January 6, as Trump advisors, pundits, and legal scholars speculated about sending an "alternate" slate of pro-Trump electors from battleground states to tilt the electoral vote count in his favor.

Once the Electoral College has met and each state has certified its election results, there's no constitutional provision for a "duel slate" of electors.

According to The New York Times, an "alternate" slate of electors has only been sent to Congress once since the Electoral Count Act of 1887 was signed into law: in 1960, when Hawaii's Republican governor sent a Republican slate of electors amid a dispute over the state's election results. But once the recount was finished and showed that Democratic nominee John F. Kennedy had won the state's election, the governor sent a Democratic slate to Congress, which it accepted.

No such scenario existed after the 2020 election. Every US state had certified its election results, and the states that Trump and his allies wanted to send "alternate" pro-Trump electors had certified their results for Biden.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Lawyer who hatched a plan to throw the 2020 election to Trump pleads the 5th in Congress' Capitol riot probe (msn.com)

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To: Brumar89 who wrote (27904)12/3/2021 1:31:40 PM
From: Brumar89
2 Recommendations   of 30382
 
Trumper parents charged with involuntary manslaughter:


The Tennessee Holler

PROSECUTOR: “A teacher caught him searching AMMO on his cellphone during class, notified administrators, & contacted the parents, who ignored it… His mom wrote to him, ‘LOL. I'm not mad at you. You have to learn not to get caught.’”

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From: Brumar8912/3/2021 6:36:07 PM
3 Recommendations   of 30382
 
Court hears arguments in Trump rape accuser’s lawsuit
By JENNIFER PELTZ

NEW YORK (AP) — Lawyers for former President Donald Trump appeared before a federal appeals court Friday to argue that the U.S. government should take his place as the defendant in a defamation lawsuit filed by a writer who accused him of rape.

The Republican’s attorneys told the judges he isn’t trying to dodge personal liability in the lawsuit by the columnist E. Jean Carroll. He just wants to keep future presidents from being burdened by legal claims, they said.

“This is not political. This is not about being a Democrat or a Republican. It is solely to protect the presidency as an institution,” attorney Alina Habba said.

Carroll sued Trump in 2019, saying he slandered her by denying her allegation that he raped her in a New York City department store in the 1990s. Trump said she was “totally lying” and was “not my type,” among other remarks.

In the final months of the Republican’s presidency, the Justice Department sought to replace him as defendant in the case, saying he was acting within the scope of his office in responding to Carroll’s allegations. The Justice Department has maintained its position during Democratic President Joe Biden’s administration.

Federal law makes it difficult to sue U.S. government employees individually for actions related to their jobs.

If the government prevails in taking Trump’s place, the change could lead to the dismissal of the case. Federal courts historically haven’t permitted defamation claims against federal employees for actions taken in their official capacity.

Justice Department lawyer Mark Freeman told the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals of Friday he wasn’t out to “defend or justify” Trump’s comments, calling them “crude and offensive.”

“I’m here because any president facing a public accusation of this kind, with the media very interested, would feel obliged to answer questions from the public, answer questions from the media,” Freeman said.

“When somebody says he did a heinous crime 20 years ago, he needs to address it,” Habba added, saying that Carroll’s claims essentially assailed Trump’s fitness for office. Carroll’s lawyers, however, argue that Trump’s response went beyond any job obligation.

“A White House job is not a promise of an unlimited prerogative to brutalize someone who was a victim of a prior attack,” attorney Joshua Matz said.

It’s not clear how soon the appeals court will decide.

The Associated Press generally does not identify people who say they have been sexually assaulted unless they choose to tell their stories publicly, as Carroll has done.

apnews.com

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To: Brumar89 who wrote (27907)12/3/2021 6:45:11 PM
From: Brumar89
2 Recommendations   of 30382
 
Trump campaign demonized two Georgia election workers – and death threats followed

Many of former President Donald Trump's false claims of election fraud have focused on Fulton County, a heavily Democratic area that includes Atlanta. REUTERS/Brandon Bell/File Photo

Desperate to overturn his election loss, Donald Trump and his team spun a sprawling voter-fraud fiction, casting two rank-and-file election workers, a mother and her daughter, as the main villains. The women endured months of death threats and racist taunts – and one went into hiding.

By JASON SZEP and LINDA SO

Filed Dec. 1, 2021, 8 p.m. GMT

This story contains offensive language.

As Donald Trump’s campaign sought to overturn his shocking loss of the state of Georgia in the 2020 presidential election, it hatched a conspiracy theory.

At its center were two masterminds: a clerical worker in a county election office, and her mom, who had taken a temporary job to help count ballots. The alleged plot: Wandrea “Shaye” Moss and mother Ruby Freeman cheated Trump by pulling fake ballots from suitcases hidden under tables at a ballot-counting center. In early December, the campaign began raining down allegations on the two Black women.

Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, falsely claimed that video footage showed the women engaging in “surreptitious illegal activity” and acting suspiciously, like drug dealers “passing out dope.” In early January, Trump himself singled out Freeman, by name, 18 times in a now-famous call in which he pressed Georgia officials to alter the state’s results. He called the 62-year-old temp worker a “professional vote scammer,” a “hustler” and a “known political operative” who “stuffed the ballot boxes.”

Freeman made a series of 911 emergency calls in the days after she was publicly identified in early December by the president’s camp. In a Dec. 4 call, she told the dispatcher she’d gotten a flood of “threats and phone calls and racial slurs,” adding: “It’s scary because they’re saying stuff like, ‘We’re coming to get you. We are coming to get you.’”

Two days later, a panicked Freeman called 911 again, after hearing loud banging on her door just before 10 p.m. Strangers had come the night before, too. She begged the dispatcher for assistance. “Lord Jesus, where’s the police?” she asked, according to the recording, obtained by Reuters in a records request. “I don’t know who keeps coming to my door.”

“Please help me.”

“Lord Jesus, where’s the police?”

Ruby Freeman, in a Dec. 6 call to 911

Click to hear excerpts from Ruby Freeman’s Dec 6 call to 911

Click to hear excerpts from Ruby Freeman’s Dec 4 call to 911
Freeman quit her temporary election gig. Moss took time off amid the tumult. The 37-year-old election worker, known for her distinctive blonde braids, changed her appearance. Moss often avoided going out in public after her phone number was widely circulated online. Trump supporters threatened Moss’s teenage son by phone in tirades laced with racial slurs, said her supervisor, Fulton County Elections Director Richard Barron.

Freeman and Moss did not grant interviews for this report. This account of the campaign against them – including previously unreported details of their ordeal – is based on interviews with Barron, another colleague and a person with direct knowledge of their ordeal, along with an examination of police reports, state records, 911 call records, internal county emails and social media posts. Reuters also reviewed the video footage that Trump and his allies used to attack Freeman and Moss and hours of testimony by the former president’s surrogates at state hearings.

The threats hurled at Freeman and Moss are part of a broader campaign of fear against election administrators that has been chronicled by Reuters this year. Previous reports detailed how Trump supporters, inspired by his false stolen-election claims, have terrorized election officials and workers in battleground states. In all, Reuters has documented more than 800 intimidating messages to election officials in 14 states, including about 100 that could warrant prosecution, according to legal experts.

The story of Moss and Freeman shows how some of the top members of the Trump camp – including the incumbent president himself – conducted an intensive effort to publicly demonize individual election workers in the pursuit of overturning the election.



Ruby Freeman, a temporary election worker in the 2020 race, faced repeated death threats from Trump supporters after the then-president and his allies targeted her and her daughter with false allegations of fraud. Freeman went into hiding. REUTERS/Brandon BellSome of these targets – including the top election officials in Georgia, Pennsylvania and Arizona – are notable political figures in their states. Others, like Moss and Freeman, have been rank-and-file workers. Moss’s full-time job pays about $36,000 a year. Freeman’s temp gig paid $16 an hour.

Their modest incomes left the two women with little power to defend themselves against the billionaire president and his legions of backers. After Freeman went into hiding, she initially stayed with friends. They soon asked her to leave, fearing for their own security, so she moved from one Airbnb to another, never staying in one place for too long, said a person with direct knowledge of her movements. Freeman went to great lengths to conceal her identity and location, the person said. She stopped using credit cards and started using a system for electronic money transfers that caters to people wanting to keep a low profile, the person said.

The constant threats so terrified the two women that they did not return calls from Fulton County District Attorney’s Office investigators who wanted to talk to them this summer as part of their probe into whether Trump illegally interfered with Georgia’s 2020 election, Barron said. “They wouldn’t even answer the phone,” he said.



Shaye Moss scanning ballots in Atlanta in June 2020 for that month’s primary vote. She and her mother, Ruby Freeman, were falsely accused of election-rigging by Donald Trump and his allies. Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/Handout via REUTERSNo arrests have been made in connection with the threats against the women, and almost no one has been held accountable for threatening election workers nationwide, as Reuters reported on Sept. 8. After the news organization reported the continuing harassment of election officials and their families in June, the U.S. Department of Justice launched a task force to investigate threats to election workers. It has said it takes all threats of violence seriously.

The threats against the mother and daughter followed a hearing of Georgia lawmakers on Dec. 3, 2020, where the Trump campaign falsely claimed that a surveillance video from a ballot-processing room at State Farm Arena in Atlanta amounted to “shocking” evidence of “fraud.” A volunteer Trump campaign attorney, Jacki Pick, said two unnamed Fulton County election workers had engaged in maneuvers involving "suitcases" of ballots pulled out from under a table and illegally counted through the night. She identified them as the “lady with the blonde braids” – Moss – and an “older” woman with the “name of Ruby” on her shirt – Freeman.

In a statement, Pick defended her presentation. “There was nothing normal about what the video showed,” she said.

Giuliani, who spearheaded Trump’s effort to overturn the election results, appeared at another hearing with Georgia lawmakers the next week, on Dec. 10. He showed snippets of the video and repeatedly identified Moss and Freeman by name, calling them “crooks” who “obviously” stole votes.

But the full video revealed the women were legally counting ballots, a state investigation found.

“I will go to my grave knowing that Rudy Giuliani looked the state senators in the eye and just flat-out lied,” said Gabriel Sterling, a senior Georgia election official and a Republican, in an interview with Reuters.

Trump and Giuliani did not respond to comment requests.

62-year-old election worker Ruby Freeman got a deluge of threatening messages after Trump’s allies publicly accused her of election-rigging. They included “300 emails, 75 text messages and a large amount of phone calls.” One message warned: ‘We’re coming to get you.’

Cobb County PoliceSome conservative media outlets covered the false story as fact, giving it credibility among millions of Trump supporters. The Gateway Pundit, a far-right website known for promoting conspiracy theories, cast Freeman and Moss as “crooked” operatives who counted “illegal ballots from a suitcase stashed under a table!” Other Republican officials reinforced the Trump team’s message.

“Caught on candid camera,” tweeted Congressman Jody Hice, a Georgia Republican. “Say it with me... F R A U D.”

Hice did not respond to requests for comment. The Gateway Pundit declined to comment.

As the Trump camp spread falsehoods about the two women, Freeman told police her phone wouldn’t stop ringing with menacing messages. By Dec. 4, she had received about “300 emails, 75 text messages, a large amount of phone calls and multiple Facebook posts,” according to a police incident report.

And people kept coming to her house, she told a 911 dispatcher on Dec. 6.

“Somebody was banging on my door, and now somebody is banging on the door again,” she said.



The Fulton County Elections and Administrative Divisions Office in Atlanta. REUTERS/Linda SoFacts and falsehoods

Before the Trump team upended her life, Moss had loved her job, colleagues say. She began working at the Fulton County Elections Office as a temporary worker. After several years, she was offered a full-time job in 2017. She cried when she got the promotion, Barron recalled. Four years later, the official county letter offering her the position remains pinned to her cubicle wall.

As a registration officer, Moss handles voter applications, including those for absentee ballots, and helps process the actual votes on election day, in addition to other clerical duties such as working in the mail room. Her data-entry work, Barron said, may be “the fastest in Georgia.”

Her mother, Freeman, had also worked in local government, as a staff member at a center that coordinated 911 emergency calls for Fulton, a county of one million people that includes Atlanta. After retiring, she started a small boutique business selling fashion accessories.

Heading into the election, Fulton County had been hit hard by COVID-19. Many election staff were sick. One died. The first big test, a June primary election, went off poorly, marred by long lines and malfunctioning voting machines. Moss asked her mother if she could help with November’s election. Freeman signed up as a temp.

Election Day – Nov. 3, 2020 – got off to a difficult start. Moss arrived at Atlanta’s State Farm Arena before dawn. The floors were drenched from a ceiling leak in the space where mail-in ballots were processed. The leak was fixed by about 8:30 a.m., causing a brief delay in the count.

Though minor, the mishap made national headlines. Georgia’s biggest and most heavily Democratic county was a crucial battleground for Democrats hoping to flip the traditionally red state. Before the vote, Trump had been insisting that a winner be declared on Election Day. He aimed to cast doubt on the validity of absentee ballots, which are often tallied late and were widely expected to favor Democrat Joe Biden. News of the leak-related delay added tension to the closely watched Georgia race.

By about 10 p.m. that night, workers had been on the job for nearly 18 hours. Ralph Jones, the voter-registration chief, told some staff they could go home to get rest, he said, halting the scanning of uncounted ballots for the night. Most packed up and left. Some news reporters and election observers, who monitor vote-counting for both political parties, did the same.

Just a few workers remained, including Moss and Freeman. The arena’s surveillance footage showed them sealing and packing the remaining absentee ballots in black plastic boxes for storage overnight, a standard security measure against tampering.

The close election and national spotlight added urgency to the counting. Brad Raffensperger, the Republican secretary of state, criticized Fulton County on TV for pausing the processing of ballots when many other counties had already finished. Chris Harvey, the state elections director at the time, called Barron, urging him to keep going, Sterling said.



Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger giving an update on ballot counting on Nov. 6, 2020, days after the election. Raffensperger, a Republican, would also receive death threats. REUTERS/Dustin ChambersAt about 11 p.m., Barron phoned registration chief Jones and told him to resume counting, Barron said. Moss walked over to a table draped with black cloth, leaned down and pulled out the containers of mail-in ballots her team had sealed up about an hour earlier. Workers unpacked them and counted votes into the night under the watch of an independent monitor and a state investigator, according to state and county officials and a Reuters review of the surveillance video.

For the next month, Trump and his supporters attacked the legitimacy of the state’s election, which Biden won by 11,779 votes.

On Dec 3, Georgia’s Republican lawmakers held their first hearings on “election integrity.” That morning, Trump went on Twitter to tout a live broadcast of the hearings by far-right news channel One America News Network. “Georgia hearings now on @OANN. Amazing!” he told his 88 million followers in a tweet at 11:09 a.m.

At a little past 1 p.m., Pick, the volunteer Trump campaign attorney, told the lawmakers she had “evidence” of “fraud” – excerpts of footage from the arena’s surveillance video, which she showed at the hearing. Pick, a Republican donor, said a “lady with the blonde braids,” referring to Moss, had told the media and Republican observers to leave. Once those people were “cleared out,” Pick said, the same woman pulled out “suitcases” of ballots hidden under a black table.

“So what are these ballots doing there separate from all the other ballots?” Pick asked. “And why are they only counting them whenever the place is cleared out with no witnesses?” She said the site’s “multiple” scanning machines could have allowed workers to process enough ballots to account for Biden’s margin of victory.

As Pick spoke, a Trump legal adviser, Jenna Ellis, tweeted about the “SHOCKING...VIDEO EVIDENCE” being presented at the hearing, declaring a “FRAUD!!!” Minutes later, the Trump campaign tweeted a One America News clip of Pick’s presentation.

She is a “professional vote scammer,” a “hustler” and a “known political operative” who “stuffed the ballot boxes.”

Donald Trump castigating Ruby Freeman, in his January call to top Georgia election officials“Wow! Blockbuster testimony,” Trump tweeted. “This alone leads to an easy win of the State!”

By evening, Pick’s excerpts of the State Farm Arena video had gone viral. Sean Hannity, the highest-rated host on conservative cable-news giant Fox News, called it a “bombshell” with “what appears to be extensive law violations.”

Ellis, Fox News and One America News did not respond to comment requests.

The Gateway Pundit identified one of the workers as Ruby Freeman. Other far-right outlets followed suit.

“What’s Up, Ruby? Crooked Operative Filmed Pulling Out Suitcases of Ballots in Georgia IS IDENTIFIED,” read a Gateway Pundit headline. It posted six photos of her, including one captioned, “CROOK GETS CAUGHT.” The story, shared by 38,000 people on Facebook, also identified Freeman’s business, LaRuby’s Unique Treasures. A follow-up Pundit story identified the woman in the blonde braids as Shaye Moss.

At about 10 p.m. that night, the threats began. Strangers rang, emailed and texted her with threats and racist taunts. They tagged her friends on Facebook and said “horrible” things about her, she later told police.

She read the 911 dispatcher the “What’s Up, Ruby?” headline, saying she believed the Gateway Pundit story might have triggered the harassment.



The Gateway Pundit, a far-right website that promoted Trump’s debunked voter-fraud allegations, identified Ruby Freeman in a false story accusing her of election-rigging. Over the next three days, local and state officials dismantled the Trump campaign’s claims. The so-called suitcases were standard ballot containers and the votes were valid and counted properly, they said. A Georgia secretary of state’s investigator concluded that observers and media hadn’t been asked to leave the arena and that “there were no mystery ballots that were brought in from an unknown location and hidden under tables.”

‘She should be shot’

Two Georgia election workers sue far-right website over false fraud allegations


Reuters unmasks Trump supporters who terrified U.S. election officials

U.S. election workers get little help from law enforcement as terror threats mount

Trump-inspired death threats are terrorizing election workers

How AT&T helped build far-right One America News

The tech entrepreneur who founded Trump’s go-to TV news network


On Dec. 4, the day after Pick’s presentation, Freeman told police she had received hundreds of threats at her home in neighboring Cobb County, according to a county police report.

The Trump campaign continued to portray Moss and Freeman as criminals. At a Dec. 5 rally in Valdosta, Georgia, Trump played excerpts of the State Farm Arena video on a giant screen, narrated by a host for far-right news channel One America News. The footage revealed a “crime” committed by “Democrat workers,” Trump said.

The next day, Dec. 6, a Gateway Pundit story described Freeman and Moss as “infamous in the annals of voter corruption.” That evening, Freeman called the police again.

She was scared, she said. Strangers had started to show up at her home, ordering pizzas for delivery to her address in an attempt to lure her out, according to a Cobb County Police incident report. She showed the officer 428 emails and text messages on her cell phone, almost all of them threats, the report said.

Cobb County Police said no one was arrested in response to the reported threats and declined further comment.

Freeman’s home address had been posted on Twitter and Parler, a social media platform popular among conservatives. Some Trump supporters publicly called for her and her daughter’s execution or hurled racial and misogynistic slurs at them on Facebook and other online forums.

“The coon c---s should be locked up for voter fraud!!!”

Commenter on Parler, a social media platform preferred by many right-wing users.“The coon c---s should be locked up for voter fraud!!!” wrote a Parler user. “She should be shot,” said a Facebook commenter under a Dec. 7 Gateway Pundit story. “YOU SHOULD BE HUNG OR SHOT FOR YOUR CRIMES,” wrote another Facebook commenter.

As the threats continued, Giuliani told the Dec. 10 hearing of Georgia lawmakers that he would “like to focus on the two people that are involved in this” – Freeman and Moss. In addition to “stealing votes,” he accused them of hacking into Georgia’s voting machines while passing USB thumb drives between them, “as if they’re vials of heroin and cocaine. I mean it’s obvious to anyone who is a criminal investigator or prosecutor, they’re engaged in surreptitious illegal activity.”

The Nov. 3 ceiling leak at State Farm Arena was, according to Giuliani, a “phony excuse” to clear observers and media from the voting area so Freeman and Moss could go “about their dirty, crooked business.” The leak was real – a urinal had overflowed – but state investigators found there was nothing to his claims about the women.

On Jan. 2, Trump placed his call to Secretary of State Raffensperger and other Georgia election officials, urging them to find enough votes to swing the election his way. They refused. Trump later denounced Raffensperger, a fellow Republican, who along with his family was inundated with death threats from the president’s supporters.

A recording of that call was leaked to reporters and published the next day, drawing global attention. Trump is heard claiming Freeman pulled suitcases “stuffed with votes” from under a table and scanned each ballot “three times.” She was “a professional vote scammer and hustler,” he said.

Two days later, on Jan. 4, Freeman again called the police and reported that strangers had come to her home, threatening that it was “just a matter of time” before they come for her and her family, according to a recording of a 911 call obtained by Reuters.

Freeman was so frightened that she refused to give her number to the 911 operator. “I’m just afraid right now of giving my number to anybody, even the police,” she said.

‘Safe house’

Barron, the supervisor of the two women, had kept in close touch as tormentors hounded them through December. The harassment increased after Trump’s call with Georgia officials went public, he said, especially for Freeman.

“Once President Trump mentioned her in that call to Raffensperger, it got even worse,” Barron said. “And it just kept going.”



Fulton County Elections Director Richard Barron. “Once President Trump mentioned (Freeman) in that call to Raffensperger, it got even worse. And it just kept going.” REUTERS/Linda SoBy the end of January, dozens of stories in far-right and conservative publications had repeated Trump’s allegations against Moss and Freeman. On Parler, Freeman’s name featured in 1,512 comments and 204 posts, according to a Reuters review of archived posts on the social media platform.

“Only a matter of time before some vengeful person slips in through an open window of Ruby Freeman’s home and bludgeons her to death” with a voting machine, read a Parler comment on Jan. 4.

On Jan. 25, Barron emailed Fulton County police chief Wade Yates and other officials. The family needed protection, he said. “Can we do anything to help her and her family with security?” he asked, referring to Moss, in the email, reviewed by Reuters. Yates suggested hiring an armed guard at a cost of $22.50 per hour, according to an email. “We can work out funding details next week,” he said.

The women, however, never received funding for security, Barron said. And the cost was too high to pay for themselves, he said, exceeding Freeman’s $16 hourly wage.

Asked why Freeman and Moss didn’t receive a security detail, Fulton County Police said in a statement that it can’t approve budgeting in such a case and referred questions to the county government. The county government said it did not provide security for the women because the messages they received did not rise to the level of criminal threats that could be prosecuted. The decision was not financial in nature, it added.

“My mom is currently in a safe house.”

Election worker Shaye Moss, telling her supervisor about her mother Ruby Freeman.In February, Moss told NPR about some of the harassment aimed at her and her mother for a report about the Trump camp’s pressure on Fulton County. After that, she kept a low profile.

In the spring and summer, Moss worked remotely a few days at a time to avoid going out in public. She spoke of feeling like she was being followed, Barron said. Moss also took sick days when the stress became overwhelming. Threatening calls came to an old cell phone of hers, which her teenage son used for remote school learning during the pandemic, he added.

Freeman left her home and went into hiding in an undisclosed location after Trump’s Jan. 2 call triggered more threats, Barron said. Moss blamed herself for upending her mom’s life, Barron said, and expressed regret for asking her to help with the elections.

The threats continued through the summer. In a July 1 email, Moss told Fulton County’s senior election officials she was shaken. A few weeks earlier, someone had put photos of her car and license plate online, Barron said, and strangers were contacting her family and friends.

“They are impersonating people like reporters, journalists, etc. to get info on me from them saying they are attempting to make a citizen's arrest,” Moss wrote in the email. “My mom is currently in a safe house,” she added.

On Aug. 14, a fresh Gateway Pundit article repeated Trump’s old allegations against them. “These two election workers took ballots out from under a table on Election night and jammed thousands of ballots into the tabulators numerous times,” it said.

New threats ensued. One reader, posting a comment under the story, evoked the history of lynching Black people in the American South: “Those two should be strung up from the nearest lamppost and set on fire.”

‘Target on our back’

Trump’s conspiracy claims turned Fulton County, a Democratic stronghold containing most of Atlanta, a majority black city, into a hotbed of threats against other election workers.

Nearly 100 messages to election officials documented by Reuters this year targeted officials and workers in the county, whose fast-growing population is making Georgia more competitive for Democrats.

Between 2004 and 2020, the share of white voters in Georgia dropped from 70% to 60%, and Democrats made significant gains, winning last year in the counties around Atlanta and turning the once-reliably Republican state into an electoral battleground, with Fulton on the front line.

“We know we have a target on our back,” said Robb Pitts, 79, chairman of Fulton County’s Board of Commissioners and a two-decade veteran of Atlanta’s city council. Pitts, who is Black, reported receiving threats himself, including a racist email in his inbox calling for his execution. “Who would have thought that this kind of thing would be happening in this country?”



Fulton County Board of Commissioners chairman Robb Pitts. He says he, too, received death threats. “Who would have thought that this kind of thing would be happening in this country?” REUTERS/Linda SoThe threats are happening elsewhere, too. In a Reuters survey of 30 county election offices in six hotly contested states in the 2020 presidential race, 13 said they were aware of threats or harassment directed at local election officials and staff.

Barron, Fulton County’s elections director for eight and a half years, said he was sickened by the racial slurs and threats against his Black staff members. “This is the best group of people I’ve ever worked with,” said Barron, who is white.

The son of a retired state judge, Barron began his career in elections in 1999 recruiting and training poll workers in Travis County, Texas. He served in other election roles before landing the top job in Fulton County’s elections office in 2013. After the intense scrutiny of the 2020 vote and the barrage of threats against him and his staff, Barron says he’s had enough.

He plans to leave his job at the end of the year. He said he’s disgusted by the vilification of election workers like those on his staff.

“It’s not worth it anymore,” he said.

But Moss is staying, Barron said. He says he understands why. As a single mom, she needs the paycheck and the health insurance.



Employees of the Fulton County Board of Registration and Elections, processing ballots in Atlanta on November 4, 2020. REUTERS/Brandon Bell
reuters.com

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To: Brumar89 who wrote (27908)12/3/2021 6:48:34 PM
From: Brumar89
3 Recommendations   of 30382
 
Man sentenced for threatening to hang 6 members of Congress if they didn't 'get behind' Trump
Ryder Winegar, 34, sent a separate threat to a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, prosecutors said. He got 33 months in federal prison.

Dec. 2, 2021, 10:57 AM CST / Updated Dec. 2, 2021, 10:59 AM CST
By Marlene Lenthang

A New Hampshire man who threatened to hang six members of Congress if they did not "get behind Donald Trump" will spend 33 months in federal prison, according to officials.

Ryder Winegar, 34, of Amherst, was sentenced for six counts of threatening members of Congress and one count of transmitting interstate threatening communications, acting U.S. Attorney John J. Farley for the District of New Hampshire announced Wednesday in a news release.

Winegar left voicemails at the offices of three U.S. senators and three representatives in the early morning hours of Dec. 16, 2020, according to court documents and court statements.

That was two days after the electoral college confirmed President Joe Biden won the election.

He identified himself by name or by his telephone number in some of the messages, according to the news release. Prosecutors said Winegar threatened to hang the officials and included specific threats of violence.

"I got some advice for you," he said in one voicemail, according to prosecutors. "Here’s the advice: 'Donald Trump is your president. If you don’t get behind him, we’re going to hang you until you die.'"

In another, Winegar said: “It really, really, it boils down to two camps. You either support our president, support liberty ... or you’re not." The messages included profane language that threatened to kill the lawmaker and criticized vaccinations.

Winegar refused to speak with U.S. Capitol Police officers who attempted to interview him on Dec. 20. 2020, according to the release.

The next day, before investigators could to return to Winegar with search and arrest warrants, he flew to Brazil, prosecutors said.

He was finally taken into custody when he returned to the U.S. on Jan. 11.

After he was arrested, investigators learned he sent a separate threat via e-mail to a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives on Dec. 14, 2020. In that message he threatened to “pull the representative from his bed and hang him,” the news release on the sentencing stated.

Officials did not name the lawmakers Winegar threatened.

Winegar pleaded guilty on Aug. 6. In addition to jail time, he was ordered to pay a $15,000 fine.

He’s been in custody since his January arrest. A lawyer for Winegar did not immediately respond to NBC News' request for comment.

Farley said the sentencing "sends a clear message that threats of violence have no place in our political discourse" and "those who threaten to commit acts of violence against duly-elected legislators will be held accountable for their unlawful conduct."

Winegar's threats came weeks before the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, where a pro-Trump mob sought to stop the certification of Biden’s presidential win. So far, hundreds have been charged for their role in the chaos.

nbcnews.com

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From: Brumar8912/4/2021 7:56:04 AM
1 Recommendation   of 30382
 
Crumbley's captured near Canadian border:


@NeverTrumpTexan

Watching the defense attorney argue they aren't a flight risk at their bail hearing is gonna be hilarious.

@BrianEntin

US Marshals are now offering a $10,000 reward for information about where James and Jennifer Crumbley are -- fugitive parents of accused Oxford High School shooter.





Captured on the east side of Detroit, close to an international border.


Yeah, they were trying to figure out how to get across the river to Canada.

@shannonrwatts

According to police scanners, the Crumbleys are now running away from police on foot after ditching their car. Even though a sheriff said earlier that he “intuitively” felt the couple wasn’t dangerous, police are now saying they may be heavily armed and considering suicide.





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From: Glenn Petersen12/4/2021 11:53:10 AM
4 Recommendations   of 30382
 
Fearing a Repeat of Jan. 6, Congress Eyes Changes to Electoral Count Law

Members of the special House committee investigating the Capitol riot are among those arguing for an overhaul of a more than century-old statute enacted to address disputed elections.

By Luke Broadwater and Nick Corasaniti
New York Times
Dec. 4, 2021
Updated 10:03 a.m. ET



Former President Donald J. Trump and his allies sought to exploit provisions in the Electoral Count Act of 1887 to cling to power. Credit...Erin Schaff/The New York Times
-----------------------

WASHINGTON — Members of the select congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack at the Capitol are pressing to overhaul the complex and little-known law that former President Donald J. Trump and his allies tried to use to overturn the 2020 election, arguing that the ambiguity of the statute puts democracy itself at risk.

The push to rewrite the Electoral Count Act of 1887 — enacted more than a century ago in the wake of another bitterly disputed presidential election — has taken on new urgency in recent weeks as more details have emerged about the extent of Mr. Trump’s plot to exploit its provisions to cling to power.

Mr. Trump and his allies, using a warped interpretation of the law, sought to persuade Vice President Mike Pence to throw out legitimate results when Congress met in a joint session on Jan. 6 to conduct its official count of electoral votes.

It was Mr. Pence’s refusal to do so that led a mob of Mr. Trump’s supporters to chant “Hang Mike Pence,” as they stormed the Capitol, delaying the proceedings as lawmakers fled for their lives. Members of Congress and the vice president ultimately returned and completed the count, rejecting challenges made by loyalists to Mr. Trump and formalizing President Biden’s victory.

But had Mr. Pence done as Mr. Trump wanted — or had enough members of Congress voted to sustain the challenges lodged by Mr. Trump’s supporters — the outcome could have been different.

“We know that we came precariously close to a constitutional crisis, because of the confusion in many people’s minds that was obviously planted by the former president as to what the Congress’s role actually was,” said Zach Wamp, a former Republican congressman from Tennessee who is a co-chairman of the Reformers Caucus at Issue One, a bipartisan group that is pressing for changes to the election process.

Republicans in Congress have repeatedly blocked efforts by Democrats to alter election laws in the wake of the 2020 crisis, and it is not clear whether a bid to revamp the Electoral Count Act will fare any better. But experts have described the law as “almost unintelligible,” and an overhaul has the support of several leading conservative groups.

“There are a few of us on the committee who are working to identify proposed reforms that could earn support across the spectrum of liberal to conservative constitutional scholars,” said Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California and a member of the Jan. 6 committee. “We could very well have a problem in a future election that comes down to an interpretation of a very poorly written, ambiguous and confusing statute.”

Representative Liz Cheney, Republican of Wyoming and the vice chairwoman of the committee, said on Thursday that “the 1887 Electoral Count Act is directly at issue” and that the panel would recommend changes to it.

The Constitution leaves it up to Congress to finalize the results of presidential elections shortly before Inauguration Day. Article II, Section 1 says, “The president of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates, and the votes shall then be counted.”



Vice President Mike Pence presided over a joint session of Congress in January convened to formalize the Electoral College tally. Credit... Erin Schaff/The New York Times
-----------------------------

But the process is further detailed in the Electoral Count Act, which says that as lawmakers read through the electoral results of each state during a joint session of Congress, members of the House and Senate may submit objections in writing, which can be sustained if a majority of both chambers approves. In the event that a state submitted multiple slates to Congress, the governor’s certified electors would hold, the law says, unless a majority in both chambers voted to reject them.

The statute was written in the aftermath of the disputed election of 1876 between Republican Rutherford B. Hayes and Democrat Samuel J. Tilden, and has dictated how Congress formalizes elections, mostly without incident, ever since.

But what unfolded on Jan. 6 tested its limits.

Both of the objections by Mr. Trump’s allies — who sought to invalidate the electoral votes of Pennsylvania and Arizona — failed in the House, although the vast majority of Republicans supported them. Yet in the months since, it has become clear those challenges were part of a broader strategy. John Eastman, a lawyer advising Mr. Trump, drafted a plan that included sending to Mr. Pence, who presided over the joint session in his role as president of the Senate, a slate of Trump electors from seven states won by Mr. Biden.

Mr. Eastman and other allies of Mr. Trump suggested pressuring the vice president to accept the alternate slate of Trump electors, throwing out legitimate votes for Mr. Biden. Under such a scenario, Mr. Eastman argued, a vote of those states’ delegations in the House, favoring Republicans, could keep Mr. Trump in power. (Mr. Eastman this week informed the committee he planned to invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination to avoid answering the committee’s questions.)

“The antiquated law governing the Electoral College vote count is too vague and ripe for abuse, and it resulted in baseless objections that delayed the democratic process,” said Senator Amy Klobuchar, Democrat of Minnesota and the chairwoman of the Senate Rules Committee. “It’s time to update this law to safeguard our democracy.”

Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the majority leader, has indicated an openness to revising the statute, and a small group of senators, including Senator Angus King, independent of Maine, has been working on potential solutions.

A bipartisan coalition of state and local lawmakers is also on board, as are some organizations that study election issues, including Issue One and the National Task Force on Election Crises.



A mob at the Capitol as they breached the doors on Jan. 6. Credit...Jason Andrew for The New York Times
-------------------------------------

In documents circulated on Capitol Hill, the task force — which calls the Electoral Count Act “severely flawed” — proposes several broad changes. The suggestions include limiting the grounds for a lawmaker to object to counting a state’s votes and clarifying that the vice president’s role in the process is merely ministerial, and thus lacking the authority to unilaterally throw out a state’s votes. It has also recommended setting clearer time limits for states to choose electors.

The effort could be the focus of Congress’s next attempt to change election law, after Republicans blocked legislation to establish nationwide standards for ballot access in response to voting restrictions being enacted at the state level, and a narrower measure to restore parts of the landmark Voting Rights Act weakened by Supreme Court rulings.

Unlike those bills, there is significant support among Republicans outside of Congress for overhauling the Electoral Count Act, though few Republicans in Congress have publicly endorsed a rewrite. Prominent conservative writers such as Dan McLaughlin of National Review, Walter Olson at the Cato Institute, Kevin R. Kosar of the American Enterprise Institute and Ramesh Ponnuru of Bloomberg have argued for changing the law.

Trey Grayson, a former Republican secretary of state of Kentucky, said in an interview that he was concerned that, without changes to the law, there would be future attempts to exploit it by both parties.

“I worry that this is going to become routine, because the incentive structure is there,” he said. “It’s really easy for somebody to play to the base, object, know they’re going to lose, but reap the rewards of appealing to the base. Those actions hurt our democracy.”

Luke Broadwater covers Congress. He was the lead reporter on a series of investigative articles at the Baltimore Sun that won a Pulitzer Prize and a George Polk Award in 2020. @lukebroadwater

Nick Corasaniti covers national politics. He was one of the lead reporters covering Donald Trump's campaign for president in 2016 and has been writing about presidential, congressional, gubernatorial and mayoral campaigns for The Times since 2011.


Fearing a Repeat of Jan. 6, Congress Eyes Changes to Electoral Count Law - The New York Times (nytimes.com)

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