Category Archives: fraudulent fraud squad

The Latest on the Arizona “Audit”

Arizona Republic:

Arizona Senate President Karen Fann said Thursday that the Legislature needs more materials and data from Maricopa County for an unprecedented and controversial review of 2020 election results that is deep into its third month….

Also during the hearing, the Senate’s top contractor on the review recommended reviving plans to go door to door to inquire about some residents’ participation in last year’s general election.

The Senate had put an effort to dispatch canvassers on hold after the U.S. Department of Justice raised concerns that it could amount to voter intimidation and violate federal civil rights protections.

In related news, the NYT reports that a state court ruled that “Republican state senators overseeing a review of the 2020 election in Arizona’s most populous county must make public the records of private companies hired to conduct the audit….”

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“The stampede away from Trump’s voting-machine claims continues apace, as legal liability looms for allies”

WaPo:

Among the many wild conspiracy theories about the 2020 election, few rank as high when it comes to both baselessness and reach as those involving voting machines. The theory that voting machines were programmed to steal the election from incumbent President Donald Trump had the benefit, while being utterly without merit, of at least being simple and easy for people to grasp.

Unfortunately for their proponents, these theories carry one very significant drawback: legal liability. …

The result: Many if not most of the high-profile purveyors of such claims have since backed off.

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Sanctions Hearing in 2020 Michigan Election Case

The Detroit News reports:

Sidney Powell, one of the most vocal figures in the push to overturn the 2020 election, stood by her efforts Monday during a contentious and unusual six-hour hearing in which a Detroit federal judge repeatedly poked holes in her team’s claims.

U.S. District Judge Linda Parker labeled elements of the unsuccessful lawsuit to have Donald Trump named Michigan’s winner “fantastical,” “obviously questionable” and “layers of hearsay.” Parker also said lawyers have a responsibility to investigate assertions they present…

Facing potential financial sanctions, Powell refused to relent. She said “the duty of lawyers” was to raise “difficult and even unpopular issues.”

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“The Republican Party’s top lawyer called election fraud arguments by Trump’s lawyers a ‘joke’ that could mislead millions”

WaPo:

The Republican Party’s top lawyer warned in November against continuing to push false claims that the presidential election was stolen, calling efforts by some of the former president’s lawyers a “joke” that could mislead millions of people, according to an email obtained by The Washington Post.

Justin Riemer, the Republican National Committee’s chief counsel, sought to discourage a Republican Party staffer from posting claims about ballot fraud on RNC accounts, the email shows, as attempts by Donald Trump and his associates to challenge results in a number of states, such as Arizona and Pennsylvania, intensified.

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“Texas Republicans renew efforts to pass voting restrictions in special session”

WaPo:

[Governor] Abbott has made clear that “election integrity” is a top priority, and Republicans filed bills in the House and Senate that include many of the same voting provisions they sought to enact earlier in the year.

The new election proposals include a number of restrictions championed by former president Donald Trump. The measures would ban several election programs implemented last year to help people vote during the coronavirus pandemic, including drive-through voting and 24-hour and late-night voting. Voting rights advocates noted that voters of color used these programs disproportionately, meaning they could disproportionately feel the impact of the restrictions.

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Brennan Center: “Partisan Election Review Efforts in Five States”

From the new report’s intro:

More than seven months after Arizona officials certified the 2020 presidential election results, the state senate’s ongoing partisan review of Maricopa County’s results has received national attention. But what’s happening in Arizona is not an isolated incident. Just last week, the Associated Press reported that Senate Republicans in Pennsylvania are considering a similar review there. In fact, there are similar efforts by partisan, political actors to conduct these reviews in jurisdictions around the country. In this report we look at five states — Arizona, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Georgia — where these efforts have made significant progress.

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“Trump’s Election Lies Are Taking Over Republican Senate Races”

Vice News:

Most of the GOP front-runners in key Senate races are clinging to the lie that Trump actually won the 2020 election, seeking to out-Trump one another to win the GOP base. In the process, they run the risk of alienating swing voters in purple states. But as the national Republican Party pledges to stay neutral in open-seat GOP primaries, Trump is barreling in like a wrecking ball, elevating his most sycophantic and conspiracy-minded allies while wounding some of the candidates Republican leaders and strategists think would be the strongest in the general election. 

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“Pennsylvania Prepares Arizona-Style Election Audit As Lawmaker Demands Counties Turn Over Voting Equipment”

Forbes:

Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano, a Republican who chairs the Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee, said Wednesday he had sent letters to Philadelphia, York and Tioga counties asking them to turn over election materials by July 31…

If the counties do not provide the materials as Mastriano requested, the lawmaker said … he would convene a committee meeting to vote on whether subpoenas can be issued to force the counties to comply, which he believes they would.

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“Why New York’s Election Debacle Is Likely to Fuel Conspiracy Theories”

NYT:

It has been one week since the New York City Board of Elections botched the release of preliminary ranked-choice tabulations from the city’s mayoral race, counting 135,000 dummy ballots that employees had used to test a computer system and then failed to delete.

It was a stunning display of carelessness even from an agency long known for its dysfunction, and the reverberations will continue long after Tuesday evening, when Eric Adams was declared the winner of the Democratic primary race by The Associated Press… That’s because, while the mistake was discovered within hours and corrected by the next day, it provided purveyors of right-wing disinformation with ammunition as powerful as anything they could have invented.

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“In ramp-up to 2022 midterms, Republican candidates center pitches on Trump’s false election claims”

Washington Post:

Across the country, as campaigns gear up for a handful of key races this year and the pivotal 2022 midterms, Republican candidates for state and federal offices are increasingly focused on the last election — running on the falsehood spread by Trump and his allies that the 2020 race was stolen from him….

Dozens of candidates promoting the baseless notion that the election was rigged are seeking powerful statewide offices — such as governor, attorney general and secretary of state, which would give them authority over the administration of elections — in several of the decisive states where Trump and his allies sought to overturn the outcome and engineer his return to the White House….

Of the nearly 700 Republicans who have filed initial paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to run next year for either the U.S. Senate or the House of Representatives, at least a third have embraced Trump’s false claims about his defeat.

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“The real risk to America’s democracy: Partisan election administration is a greater worry than voter suppression”

The Economist:

Across the country, the officials who administer elections in states where Republicans hold sway have been attacked for upholding the election results. Many are at risk of being replaced.

These might seem like distant, bureaucratic changes. In fact they raise the chances of a contested election that the courts cannot sort out. They weaken America’s voting system in ways that will outlast the hysteria over the 2020 result.

The Economist also has this related story on what the Arizona audit portends.

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“Trump Is Said to Have Called Arizona Official After Election Loss”

NYT:

President Donald J. Trump twice sought to talk on the phone with the Republican leader of Arizona’s most populous county last winter as the Trump campaign and its allies tried unsuccessfully to reverse Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s narrow victory in the state’s presidential contest, according to the Republican official and records obtained by The Arizona Republic, a Phoenix newspaper.

But the leader, Clint Hickman, then the chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, said in an interview on Friday that he let the calls — made in late December and early January — go to voice mail and did not return them. “I told people, ‘Please don’t have the president call me,’” he said.

At the time, Mr. Hickman was being pressed by the state Republican Party chairwoman and Mr. Trump’s lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani to investigate claims of fraud in the county’s election, which Mr. Biden had won by about 45,000 votes.

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