A team of computer experts directed by lawyers allied with President Donald Trump copied sensitive data from election systems in Georgia as part of a secretive, multistate effort to access voting equipment that was broader, more organized and more successful than previously reported, according to emails and other records obtained by The Washington Post.
As they worked to overturn Trump’s 2020 election defeat, the lawyers asked a forensic data firm to access county election systems in at least three battleground states, according to the documents and interviews. The firm charged an upfront retainer fee for each job, which in one case was $26,000.
Attorney Sidney Powell sent the team to Michigan to copy a rural county’s election data and later helped arrange for it to do the same in the Detroit area, according to the records. A Trump campaign attorney engaged the team to travel to Nevada. And the day after the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol the team was in southern Georgia, copying data from a Dominion voting system in rural Coffee County.
The emails and other records were collected through a subpoena issued to the forensics firm, Atlanta-based SullivanStrickler, by plaintiffs in a long-running lawsuit in federal court over the security of Georgia’s voting systems. The documents provide the first confirmation that data from Georgia’s election system was copied. Indications of a breach there were first raised by plaintiffs in the case in February, and state officials have said they are investigating.
“The breach is way beyond what we thought,” said David D. Cross, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, who include voting-security activists and Georgia voters. “The scope of it is mind-blowing.”
We also found out yesterday that the DOJ doesn’t want to reveal the information in the affidavit they used to convince a judge to approve a search warrant for Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property because that could interfere with active criminal investigations: Hugo Lowell at The Guardian: Justice department asks not to disclose affidavit behind Mar-a-Lago search.
The US Department of Justice has asked a judge not to release the affidavit that gave the FBI probable cause to search Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, worsening distrust among top Trump aides casting about for any insight into the intensifying criminal investigation surrounding the former president.
The affidavit should not be unsealed because that could reveal the scope of the investigation into Trump’s unauthorized retention of government secrets, the justice department argued, days after the Mar-a-Lago search warrant showed it referenced potential violations of three criminal statutes….
“The affidavit would serve as a roadmap to the government’s ongoing investigation, providing specific details about its direction and likely course,” the justice department said, adding that it did not oppose unsealing both a cover page and a sealing order that wouldn’t harm the criminal investigation.
In arguing against unsealing the affidavit, the justice department also said that the disclosure could harm its ability to gain cooperation from witnesses not only in the Mar-a-Lago investigation but also additional ones that would appear to touch on the former president.
“Disclosure of the government’s affidavit at this stage would also likely chill future cooperation by witnesses whose assistance may be sought as this investigation progresses, as well as in other high-profile investigations,” prosecutors added.
On the threats of violence, this is from Rolling Stone’s Adam Rawnsley and Asawin Suebsaeng: Trump’s Site Is Being Weaponized Against the FBI — and Their Families.
Former President Donald Trump claims that he “will do whatever” he can to bring down “the temperature” following last week’s FBI’s raid of his Florida home and club, Mar-a-Lago. But even a glimpse of Truth Social — Trump’s social media company — shows that the MAGA website has been a haven for private, doxxed information not only about authorities involved in the federal raid, but also of their families.
A review of Truth Social postings by Rolling Stone shows Trump supporters have spent the past week doxxing both Judge Bruce Reinhart, the magistrate judge who approved the Mar-a-Lago warrant, and an FBI agent involved in preparing the request, as well as their families. The information includes their purported home addresses, phone numbers, places of worship, private offices, and similar information about the men’s families and junior employees….
Former Trump White House aide Garrett Ziegler posted the name of an FBI agent involved in the preparation of the warrant on Truth Social, as well as the names of his wife and child, their social media accounts, and the school the child attends. Truth Social removed the post by Ziegeler but the verbatim text of the post, complete with contact information for the agent and his family, have spread across Trump’s social media in a series of posts with no apparent attempts at moderation by the company.
When a federal court unsealed the search warrant, the court redacted the names of FBI agents involved. But the names became public when the pro-Trump outlet Breitbart obtained a leaked copy of the warrant and posted an article highlighting the agents’ names. In a move that added fuel to the MAGA doxxing push, Truth Social subsequently issued a push notification to its users that linked out to a third-party news article listing the agents’ names, according to CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan.
Truth Social fans have similarly targeted Judge Reinhart. Immediately after news of the warrant broke, Truth Social filled with calls to doxx the judge. “I bet he didn’t think anybody would leak his name, be nice if we had his address and phone number,” one user wrote. “BRUCE REINHART MAKE HOM [sic] FAMOUS WHATS HIS ADDRESS AND PHONE NUMBER?” bayed another.
Within a day, Truth Social users had already arrived at and posted what they believed to be personal information of both Reinhart and his wife, including posts with addresses and a personal phone number for him. “Office maybe or home,” one Truth Social user wrote next to a south Florida address, adding “GO GET HIM, FLORIDA.”
From Tom Nichols at The Atlantic: The New Era of Political Violence Is Here. The danger is not organized civil war but individual Americans with deep resentments and delusions.
Civil war is among the many terms we now use too easily. The American Civil War was a bloodbath driven by the inevitable confrontation between the Union and the organized forces of sedition and slavery. But at least the Civil War, as I said Friday on Morning Joe during a panel on political violence in America, was about something. Compared with the bizarre ideas and half-baked wackiness that now infest American political life, the arguments between the North and the South look like a deep treatise on government.
The United States now faces a different kind of violence, from people who believe in nothing—or at least, in nothing real. We do not risk the creation of organized armies and militias in Virginia or Louisiana or Alabama marching on federal institutions. Instead, all of us face random threats and unpredictable dangers from people among us who spend too much time watching television and plunging down internet rabbit holes. These people, acting individually or in small groups, will be led not by rebel generals but by narcissistic wannabe heroes, and they will be egged on by cowards and instigators who will inflame them from the safety of a television or radio studio—or from behind the shield of elected office. Occasionally, they will congeal into a mob, as they did on January 6, 2021.
There is no single principle that unites these Americans in their violence against their fellow citizens. They will tell you that they are for “liberty” and “freedom,” but these are merely code words for personal grudges, racial and class resentments, and a generalized paranoia that dark forces are manipulating their lives. These are not people who are going to take up the flag of a state or of a deeper cause; they have already taken up the flag of a failed president, and their causes are a farrago of conspiracy theories and pulpy science-fiction plots.
More stories to check out:
Defense One: You Don’t Have to Be a Spy to Violate the Espionage Act.
Charlie Sykes at The Bulwark: Would the GOP Nominate An Indicted Trump? Of course they would.
So that’s yesterday’s news. Today most of the talk is about the primaries in Wyoming and Alaska, where two women who have opposed Trump are up for reelection and another woman who supports Trump is running for the House.
ABC News: In Alaska and Wyoming primaries, 2 Trump critics could meet different fates as Palin eyes a comeback.
Tuesday’s primaries in Alaska and Wyoming will spotlight two big Republican detractors of former President Donald Trump — and now two big targets of his revenge tour this election cycle.
The incumbents, Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Rep. Liz Cheney, may also see two diverging results at the ballot box.
Polls close in Alaska at 1 a.m. ET on Wednesday and in Wyoming at 9 p.m. ET on Tuesday….
Cheney, Wyoming’s lone member of the House, has…cemented herself as the one of the most vocal anti-Trump members of Congress.
She earned the ire of Trump, his ardent supporters and many of her fellow Republican lawmakers after she crossed party lines — with nine other House Republicans — to impeach him after the attack on the U.S. Capitol last year.
She was censured one month later by the Wyoming Republican Party and, though she initially survived a leadership vote among the House GOP caucus, she was subsequently booted from her position as the No. 3 House Republican.
Legislatively, Cheney and Trump were not political foes: As noted by FiveThirtyEight, Cheney voted with him on the issues 92.9% of the time.
But she has broken with Trump on what she calls the greatest issue of all: His continued, baseless attacks on elections. As vice chair of the House Jan. 6 committee, she has taken a major role in a year-long investigation into Trump’s conduct before, during and after the Jan. 6 insurrection.
Here’s something I never expected to see–Robert Reich defending Liz Cheney. The Guardian: In praise of Liz Cheney. May we have more politicians like her.
On Tuesday, Wyoming Republicans determine the fate of Representative Liz Cheney, the putative leader of the anti-Trump forces in the Republican party.
Six days after the 6 January 2021 attack on the Capitol – when no other Republican in the House or Senate was willing to rebuke Trump – Cheney charged on the House floor that “the president of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack. Everything that followed was his doing.”
The next day, Cheney joined nine other House Republicans and 222 Democrats in voting to impeach Trump.
So far, three of these 10 principled Republican lawmakers have lost their primaries. Two have won them. The remaining four are retiring.
As vice-chair of the House of Representatives’ January 6 committee investigating the causes of that attack, Cheney has ceaselessly and tirelessly helped lay out the case against Trump during eight public hearings held in June and July, with more to come.
In response, Trump has done everything possible to end Cheney’s career. He made sure House Republicans revoked her status as the third highest-ranking leader of the Republican caucus, and that Wyoming Republicans censured her.
Trump also selected Cheney’s opponent in Tuesday’s Republican primary, Harriet Hageman – who has rallied behind Trump and amplified his false claims that the 2020 election was stolen.
Read more at The Guardian.
More election stories:
The New York Times: What to Watch in Tuesday’s Primaries.
The Washington Post: Election deniers march toward power in key 2024 battlegrounds.
The New York Times Editorial Board: Why Political Bravery Is in Such Short Supply in America.
NBC News: Liz Cheney is the last stop on Trump’s impeachment revenge tour. But he is the key to her future.
The New York Times: Senate G.O.P. Campaign Arm Slashes TV Ad Buys in Three States.
So that’s what’s happening as I see it. No wonder I feel overwhelmed. What are your thoughts? Is anyone else having a sense of unreality?
I saw this insane story, and just … no words … .
Not mature enough to have an abortion, but mature enough to have a child. How can they not have any idea how illogical this is? Crazy-making!
My biggest fear, among many that involve Trump, is the outcome in November which could see the election of Trump supported lunatics that will decide the balance in congress. State elections are as crucial but those in the House and Senate could bring back the majority GOP that will spell the end of democracy as we know it.
It is doubtful that this “new political uprising” will protect the majority as their rhetoric so far has been nothing but filled with revenge against those who oppose the Nutjob Trump and have promised as much.
Without the Democratic majority, which is slim at best, the criminal complaints against Trump will disappear. This is what keeps me up at night.
Imagining Trump beating back those investigations while solidly holding onto a government rife with Trump allies should frighten every US citizen from coast to coast.
We can only urge every law abiding American who can will VOTE BLUE IN 2022.
Otherwise we have sealed our doom.
I have the same fear. My only hope is that the behavior of Trump and his GOP minions will turn off independents and sane Republicans. The fact that the NRSC is having trouble raising money and has cut advertising buys in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Arizona is a good sign. Meanwhile, Democrats are rolling in money.
Scarier than ever. Damn the Electoral College system.
And the Lunatic Fringe is more than willing to oblige.
There is no finality to the evil of this man,
This article is a must read. It’s not long, but mindblowing–to me at least.
The mindblowing part:
Drake says Trump probably started collecting this stuff as keepsakes, because there were things that only he could have access to.
Thanks. Now I feel I’m in good company.
Here’s a different example of what triggers a sense of unreality in me.
Yeah. This is so far beyond ridiculous it’s even hard to laugh. Do these people not know one single 14 year-old? Or remember themselves at that age??
(I mean, I was, of course, a paragon of sense and rationality at that age and I know what I would have been doing when Mr. Former Account Manager for Imperial Tobacco started talking about tampons. Giggling madly at the floor and passing notes to my friends.)
The morning after the Nov 2016 election I had a sense of being in a different reality. Not unreality, but more like we’ve crossed into a timeline that wasn’t where we were before.
I can’t say it ever went away. I think I just got used to the feeling.
Same here. I think I was in shock for a long time. I had trouble sleeping and would wake up at 3AM and check Twitter. It felt like there were constant shocks and they just kept coming with no time to recover before the next one hit.
Same here too.
On CDC deciding that because people were tired of doing the right, science-based things, they’d just give up.
I love Alexandra Petri.
Petri is the best. “This is good because it is freedom.” Seriously. The only difference here in New Zealand is that the population is quietly nodding along and stiff-upper-lipping it. Talking about long covid is Not Done. Fatalities, inequities, or anything else that’s not cheerleading is not mentioned other than in lists of statistics. The Ministry of Health is obviously reading some of the medical literature because I have seen them mention long covid. They have a recommendation buried in the hinterlands of their web pages to avoid it by getting lots of rest. I am not making this up.