If the Clinton Campaign Engaged in Illegal Conduct in '16, What Did Democrats Do in 2020?
A natural question that follows from special counsel John Durham’s Friday court filing detailing serious allegations of misconduct by the Clinton campaign in 2016 is what did the Democrats do in 2020?
Durham is investigating the origins of the Russia probe directed against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
In the summer of 2016, the Clinton campaign hatched a plot to infiltrate computer servers at Trump Tower and later the White House in order to establish an “inference” and “narrative” linking Trump to Russia, according to Durham’s court filing.
This fake information was then passed on to the FBI by Perkins Coie law firm attorney Michael Sussmann, the special counsel said.
It was done as a means to distract from Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s email scandal, Fox News reported.
A tech executive brought in to carry out the server infiltration “indicated that he was seeking to please certain ‘VIPs,’ referring to individuals at Law Firm-1 and the Clinton campaign.”
One of those individuals at Law Firm-1, Perkins Coie, was Marc Elias, who was general counsel for the Clinton campaign in 2016 and very active in Democratic litigation during the 2020 election cycle.
Elias might be another person Durham is investigating.
The special counsel’s indictment of Sussmann last fall said an unnamed Clinton campaign lawyer (reportedly Elias) exchanged emails in mid-September 2016 with the candidate’s campaign manager, its communications director and Sullivan, explaining that Sussmann had shared the Russian bank allegations with a reporter.
The Friday filing by Durham further revealed that Sussmann and a tech executive met in 2016 and communicated with another law partner at Perkins Coie. Sources told Fox News that lawyer was Elias.
So the attorney appears to be knee-deep in the plot — or at least fully apprised of it.
Fast forward to 2020 when The New Republic reported in September that Elias was engaged in 32 election-related cases in 19 states.
“Most of those battles revolve around what Elias calls the ‘four pillars’ of protecting voting by mail: providing prepaid postage from states, so that voters can return ballots for free; counting mail-in ballots as long as they’re postmarked on or before Election Day; making it harder for election officials to toss out ballots if the signature doesn’t exactly match the one on file; and letting local groups gather sealed absentee ballots to submit on voters’ behalf,” according to the outlet.
For example in Pennsylvania, the Democratic-controlled state Supreme Court ruled in Elias’ favor, allowing drop boxes to be deployed and ruling that absentee ballots did not require signature verification and could arrive up to three days after the election.
Groups gathering ballots to submit on behalf of voters is known as ballot harvesting, and it’s illegal in many states, including the swing states of Pennsylvania, Arizona, Georgia, Michigan and Wisconsin — states that helped turn the election in favor of Democrat Joe Biden.
According to conservative filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza and the election integrity group True the Vote, these are the very states where an elaborate ballot harvesting scheme took place.
This is the subject of D’Souza’s upcoming documentary “2,000 Mules.”
“There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud.”
Oh, yeah? pic.twitter.com/Zurq2hSO0P
— Liz Harrington (@realLizUSA) January 30, 2022
The election integrity group True the Vote has alleged illegal ballot harvesting took place in areas dominated by Democrats.
Based on the trailer released last month, the movie makes the case that contrary to media reports and congressional testimony, the 2020 general election was not “the most secure in U.S. history.”
The premise of “2,000 Mules” is that many of the ballots cast in the contest should not have been counted because they were allegedly submitted illegally.
“We tracked 2,000 mules making multiple ballot drops, leaving no fingerprints, snapping photos to get paid, a coordinated ring of illegal vote harvesting in all the key states where the election was decided,” D’Souza says in the film.
A map in the trailer highlights the states of Arizona, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Georgia.
The trailer also includes footage of drop boxes, allegedly used during the 2020 election, in which it appears people dropped multiple ballots at a time.
“Game over,” D’Souza says.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger confirmed in January that his office is investigating allegations that large-scale illegal ballot harvesting took place during the 2020 general election in his state.
The investigation came in response to complaints filed by True the Vote in November.
The group said it had “assembled evidence that scores of activists worked with nonprofit groups to collect and deliver thousands of absentee ballots, often during wee-hour operations, to temporary voting drop boxes distributed around the state during the pandemic,” Just the News reported.
“The group said it bought commercially available geospatial mobile device data showing the locations of suspected ballot harvesters’ cell phones in the vicinity of the ballot drop boxes at the times people appeared on the surveillance footage stuffing multiple ballots into a drop box,” the outlet added.
Georgia law required ballot drop boxes to be under 24-hour video surveillance, according to Raffensperger.
True the Vote reportedly obtained access to some of the video footage through an open records request when it began its investigation.
More than 40 percent of the alleged drop-offs occurred between midnight and 5 a.m., the group said.
True the Votes says on its website it will be releasing “shockingly similar findings” in five additional states.
Elias and the Democratic Party are clearly pro-ballot harvesting.
Whether he or any other Democratic operatives coordinated illegal ballot harvesting, hopefully, we will learn.
Clinton campaign operatives were allegedly willing to break the law, so maybe Democrats did the same in 2020.
Based on what we know about 2016, it would not be surprising if they did.
UPDATE, May 4, 2022: Politifact published an article citing several academics and reported experts who dispute some of the claims made by True the Vote and “2,000 Mules.” Readers interested in this additional information can find that article here.
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