“Justice Dept. asking about 2020 fraud claims as well as fake electors”: “The campaign’s own legal team and data experts cannot verify the bullshit being beamed down from the mothership”


The Justice Department’s investigation of efforts by Donald Trump and his advisers to overturn the 2020 election results is barreling forward on multiple tracks, according to people familiar with the matter, with prosecutors focused on ads andfundraising pitches claiming election fraud as well as plans for “fake electors” that would swing the election to the incumbent president.

Each track poses potential legal peril for those under scrutiny, but also raises tricky questions about where the line should be drawn between political activity, legal advocacy and criminal conspiracy.

A key area of interest is the conduct of a handful of lawyers who sought to turn Trump’s defeat into victory by trying to convince state, local, federal and judicial authorities that Joe Biden’s 2020 election win was illegitimate or tainted by fraud.

Investigators have sought to determine to what degree these lawyers — particularly Rudy Giuliani, Jenna Ellis, John Eastman, Kurt Olsen and Kenneth Chesebro, as well as then-Justice Department lawyer Jeffrey Clark — were following specific instructions from Trump or others, and what those instructions were, according to the people familiar with the matter, who like others interviewed for this articlespoke on the condition of anonymity to describe an ongoing investigation.

Special counsel Jack Smith’s team has extensively questioned multiple witnesses about the lawyers’ actions related to fake electors — pro-Trump substitutes offered up as potential replacements for electors in swing states that Biden won….

In the weeks after the election, an advertising firm created three ominously namedspots for Trump’s fundraising effort:“Overwhelming,” “Stop the Steal” and “On Tape.” But when lawyers for the campaign reviewed the advertisements, they raised concerns that the spots contained false information and might not meetnetwork standards, according to people familiar with the matter.

The campaign was facing a repeated problem, Trump adviser Jason Miller wrote to Larry Weitzner, an executive at the firm producing campaign ads for Trump.

“The campaign’s own legal team and data experts cannot verify the bullshit being beamed down from the mothership,” he wrote, according to four people familiar with the email. That was why Giuliani and his lawyers were “0 for 32,” Miller added, an apparent reference to the number of times Trump’s legal team had challenged the election results in court and lost.

The email is one of many pieces of evidence prosecutors have obtained indicating that Trump advisers privately didn’t believe or were at least skeptical of voter fraud claims. Some of those messages came as top campaign officials continued to approve advertisements raising money off the claims and as Trump falsely continued to say the election was “rigged.”

When Trump wanted to release a press statement saying a single report of fraud was the “tip of the iceberg,” campaign advisers argued internally against using that language, because they believed there was no evidence for such a claim. The claim went into the news release anyway, according to people familiar with the matter. Prosecutors have homed in on the phrase — and the discussion of whether to use it — with multiple witnesses, according to people familiar with the investigation.

Interestingly, the “tip of the iceberg” language was very prominent among members of the Fraudulent Fraud Squad including Kris Kobach in the Kansas voter fraud trial, as I detail at the beginning of Election Meltdown.

Share this: