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    Former U.S. Attorney General Eric HolderPaul Morigi | WireImage | Getty Images Former President Donald Trump "probably" will be indicted on criminal charges along with officials in his White House as part of a Justice Department investigation of efforts to reverse the 2020 election results nationally, ex-Attorney General Eric Holder said in an interview Thursday. But Holder suggested that before that happens, Trump is more likely to first face possible criminal charges from the Georgia state prosecutor who is investigating attempts by Trump and his allies to undo the win there by President Joe Biden in 2020. Holder, who led the Justice Department during the Obama administration, made those predictions during an interview with the SiriusXM Urban View satellite radio show Joe Madison The Black Eagle. Madison asked whether he would seek to indict Trump if he still were attorney general. Holder demurred, saying he did not have access to all the material that the Justice Department currently has regarding Trump.Former U.S. President Donald Trump looks on during the pro-am prior to the LIV Golf Invitational - Bedminster at Trump...
    PHOENIX (AP) — The Trump-endorsed state lawmaker who won the GOP nomination for Arizona secretary of state is the latest candidate to advance to the November ballot for a post overseeing state elections while denying the results of the last one. The early success of such candidates is raising concerns about what happens if those who lack faith in elections are put in charge of running them. State Rep. Mark Finchem easily cleared a crowded field in Tuesday’s Arizona primary. He has embraced former President Donald Trump’s false claims that the 2020 election was stolen and has promised to upend election administration in the politically pivotal state if elected. “The focus of the election is going to be on restoring the rule of law. It’s that simple,” Finchem said in an interview Wednesday. “Right now, we have lawlessness.” Finchem, who earned an early endorsement from Trump, was among those seeking to have the Legislature overturn Democrat Joe Biden’s win in Arizona. He joins Republican nominees for secretary of state in Alabama, Indiana, Michigan, Nevada and New Mexico and the Republican...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican Sen. Susan Collins and Democrat Joe Manchin made the case on Wednesday for overhauling the 1800s-era Electoral Count Act, pushing for quick passage of a bipartisan compromise that would make it harder for a losing candidate to overturn legitimate results of a presidential election. Proposals from their group of 16 senators — nine Republicans and seven Democrats — are a response to former President Donald Trump and his allies pushing courts, state legislatures and Congress to somehow overturn his 2020 loss to President Joe Biden. Trump’s efforts culminated in the violence of Jan. 6, 2021, when hundreds of his supporters pushed past police and broke into the Capitol as Congress was certifying the results. An update to the electoral law is “something our country desperately needs,” Manchin said Wednesday, testifying at a Senate hearing on the bill. “The time for Congress to act is now.” Manchin and Collins, who introduced a series of proposals to reform the law last month along with 14 other senators, are pushing for passage of the legislation before the...
    (CNN)The FBI's process for receiving reports of violent threats or harassment against election officials is not built to handle the volume of reports, leaving the Justice Department with an incomplete picture of the problem's scope as the midterms approach, the executive director of a national election officials' group is set to tell Congress Wednesday."A common refrain I hear from my members is that nobody is going to take this seriously until something bad happens, and we are all braced for the worst," Amy Cohen, the executive director of the National Association of State Election Directors (NASED), will tell the Senate Judiciary Committee, according to a copy of her prepared testimony obtained by CNN.Some senior election officials have struggled to get security details from state police, Cohen will testify, in an environment that has only grown more tense amid false conspiracy theories about fraud in the 2020 presidential election. More broadly, election officials lack a clear definition of what constitutes a threat or harassment at the federal level, according to Cohen's written remarks.CNN has requested comment from the FBI and the...
    (CNN)For several hours on a recent Thursday afternoon, a former college professor and his wife unspooled a string of alleged election "vulnerabilities" for officials in a rural New Mexico county to consider: "Digital manipulation" of the voter rolls. Voting machines that were not properly certified. "Ink anomalies" on ballots. "Conspiracy to violate the election code imputes liability to you," David Clements told the three members of the Otero County Commission, before adding, "Unless you do something about it." Four days later, they did -- refusing to certify the June 7 primary results and setting off a high-profile confrontation between the all-Republican commission and New Mexico's Democratic Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver before two commissioners relented in the face of a state Supreme Court order. The showdown offers an illustration of how election skepticism has gone hyper-local in the 20 months since the 2020 presidential election and former President Donald Trump's first efforts to promote the false claim that widespread fraud contributed to his defeat. And as adherents of election skepticism have pushed their theories into more obscure corners of...
    Republican election officials in at least three states have refused to certify primary votes, in a sign of things to come amid the party's baseless election fraud crusade. Numerous allies of former President Donald Trump have echoed his lies about voter fraud on the campaign trail. Trump-backed Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake and Nevada U.S. Senate candidate Adam Laxalt both claimed evidence of "election stealing" before any votes were cast. Colorado secretary of state candidate Tina Peters has twice demanded recounts of her Republican primary race after losing by double digits. Nevada gubernatorial candidate Joey Gilbert filed a lawsuit alleging that his GOP primary loss was a "mathematical impossibility," even after a recount he requested confirmed the results. While candidates are free to challenge the results of their elections under various state guidelines, Trump-allied election officials pose a more insidious threat. Echoing the same false narratives as Trump and his endorsed candidates, county officials in New Mexico, Nevada and Pennsylvania have tried to circumvent state laws and refused to sign off on primary results. Republican commissioners in Otero County, New...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States Postal Service is creating a division to handle election mail issues as part of an effort to ensure swift and secure delivery of ballots for the midterm election, officials said Wednesday. The idea behind the creation of the Election and Government Mail Services is to have a permanent division dedicated to dealing with election matters instead of handling issues one at a time as in the past. Adrienne Marshall, executive director of the division, said Wednesday that the services will oversee “election mail strike teams” in every local and district community to address any problems that might arise. “We are fully committed to the secure and timely delivery of the nation’s election mail,” she said. The Postal Service is moving forward after being dogged by backlogs and questions ahead of the 2020 presidential election, in which more than 135 million ballots were delivered to and from voters. The Postal Service is sending guidance letters to election officials in each state and territory this week. Postal workers are already hard at work delivering...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — Former President Donald Trump will return to Washington on Tuesday for the first time since leaving office, delivering a policy speech before an allied think tank that has been crafting an agenda for a possible second term. Trump will address the America First Policy Institute’s two-day America First Agenda Summit as some advisers urge him to spend more time talking about his vision for the future and less time relitigating the 2020 election as he prepares to announce an expected 2024 White House campaign. “I believe it will be a very policy-focused, forward-leaning speech, very much like a State of the Union 5.0,” said Brooke Rollins, AFPI’s president. Composed of former Trump administration officials and allies, the nonprofit is widely seen as an “administration in waiting” that could quickly move to the West Wing if Trump were to run again and win. Trump’s appearance in Washington — his first trip back since Jan. 20, 2021, when President Joe Biden was sworn into office — comes as his potential 2024 rivals have been taking increasingly overt steps to...
    Republican Senator Chuck Grassley is hold the FBI and Justice Department's feet to the fire on Hunter Biden, demanding the agencies answer claims from a whistleblower they downplayed negative information on Hunter Biden in the lead up to the 2020 election. Grassley revealed on Monday that 'highly credible' whistleblowers have come forward alleging a widespread effort within the FBI to discredit negative information about President Joe Biden's son. 'The information provided to my office involves concerns about the FBI's receipt and use of derogatory information relating to Hunter Biden, and the FBI's false portrayal of acquired evidence as disinformation,' Grassley wrote FBI Director Christopher Wray and Attorney General Merrick Garland, according to a letter obtained by CBS News.  'The volume and consistency of these allegations substantiate their credibility and necessitate this letter,' he noted.  Grassley, the ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee which oversees the agencies, says the whistleblower alleges that was a 'scheme' among some FBI officials to 'undermine derogatory information connected to Hunter' by falsely flagging it as disinformation. And, he claims, this all happened in the lead...
    MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Elections officials from across the country meeting under heightened security in swing state Wisconsin were urged Tuesday to prepare for supply chain issues that could lead to shortages in paper used for everything from ballots to “I voted” stickers for years to come. The summer meeting of the National Association of State Election Directors brought together nearly 200 people, including elections directors from 33 states, experts in election security, interest groups that work with elections, vendors and others. Election security experts told elections directors to be prepared for possibly years of supply chain issues affecting paper, computer hardware and other things. The supply chain as it affects elections may not return to normal until 2026, said Ed Smith, a longtime election technology and administration veteran who chairs a federal government-industry coordinating council that works on election security issues. The lead time to obtain election hardware is two- to three-times longer than the norm, a delay not seen since 1999 or 2000, Smith said. Costs are also higher and elections officials should be prepared for spotty...
    LOS ANGELES (CNS) -- Los Angeles County election officials will have to verify the validity of all 715,833 signatures submitted in the effort to recall District Attorney George Gascón, Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean Logan announced Thursday.
    A preliminary count of signatures submitted in a petition to recall Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. George Gascón total 715,833, L.A. County elections officials reported Saturday. L.A. County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean Logan said his office has completed the first step in the review of the petitions submitted Wednesday and is now working on verifying signatures. The process must be completed no later than Aug. 17. At least 566,857 valid signatures are required before voters can decide whether to recall Gascón from office. Fueled in part by rising crime and homelessness, Gascón and his progressive policies have been the subject of intense criticism since he was elected in 2020. Although the recall campaign said it turned in more than 715,000 signatures, some of those will be disqualified during the verification process conducted by the county registrar. Election officials plan to use the random sampling technique for the verification of petition signatures, which is allowed under the California Elections Code. The random sample is 5% of the total number of signatures submitted. If the petition meets the sufficiency requirement, it must be...
    BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — After polls closed in New Mexico’s primary last month, a worker returning ballots and other election materials to the clerk’s office in Santa Fe was followed by a partisan election observer driving so close that mere inches separated their bumpers. The poll worker was so rattled by the ordeal that she said she may not return for the upcoming November election, according to Santa Fe County Clerk Katharine Clark. The incident is just one of many in which election officials and workers have felt threatened since the 2020 presidential election and the false claims that it was stolen from former President Donald Trump. A federal effort to investigate these threats has so far yielded three prosecutions since it was launched a year ago. In the meantime, the harassment and death threats haven’t stopped against those who have pushed back against the false claims. The threats have contributed to an exodus of election officials across the country, particularly at the local level, and made recruiting poll workers even harder — adding to the challenges...
    Judicial Watch has filed a lawsuit against New York election officials, accusing them of failing to remove ineligible voters from the state’s voter rolls. The watchdog group filed the lawsuit on Wednesday after they claim that New York election officials have violated the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) by removing just 22 individuals from New York City’s voter rolls in the last six years. “Dirty voting rolls can mean dirty elections, and New York City’s rolls are some of the dirtiest in the country,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement. Specifically, the lawsuit questions how New York election officials are maintaining their voter rolls in regards to “NVRA removals” which refers to cases where an individual was registered to vote but moved out of the jurisdiction or where an individual has failed to respond to an official address confirmation and has not voted in two subsequent federal elections. As the lawsuit notes, despite having more than 5.5 million registered voters on New York City’s voter rolls, election officials made only one NVRA removal from the voter rolls from...
    South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) vowed on Wednesday to fight a subpoena from the special grand jury in Fulton County, Georgia investigating then-President Donald Trump’s pressure campaign to overturn the 2020 presidential election. “I have been informed Senator Graham is neither a subject nor target of the investigation, simply a witness,” said a statement on behalf of Graham from his lawyers. “This is all politics. Fulton County is engaged in a fishing expedition and working in concert with the January 6 Committee in Washington.” The Atlanta Consitution-Journal reported on Tuesday that the grand jury had subpoenaed several Trump campaign lawyers and officials alongside Graham over their alleged roles in helping Trump pressure state officials to overturn the election results. Trump’s personal lawyer at the time Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman, Cleta Mitchell, Kenneth Chesebro, and Jenna Ellis were also issued subpoenas, “all of whom advised Trump on strategies for overturning Democrat Joe Biden’s wins in Georgia and other swing states,” reported the Journal. Sen. Graham was subpoenaed due to his role in reportedly calling Georgia Secretary of State Brad...
    CAIRO (AP) — After two days of U.N.-mediated talks in Geneva, two senior Libyan officials from the country’s rival camps failed to reach an agreement on a constitutional framework for national elections, the United Nations envoy to Libya said Thursday. According to Stephanie Williams, the U.N. special adviser on Libya, the influential speaker of the country’s east-based parliament, Aguila Saleh, and Khaled al-Meshri, head of the government’s Supreme Council of State, based in the west in the capital of Tripoli, could not reach an agreement on the eligibility criteria for presidential nominees. The talks in Geneva were the latest in U.N.-led efforts to bridge the gaps between the factions after the last round of talks in the Egyptian capital of Cairo failed to make headway. “Despite the progress in this week’s negotiations between the heads of the respective chambers, disagreement persists on the eligibility requirements for the candidates in the first presidential elections,” said Williams. Reports in local media in Libya have said that requirements for a presidential candidacy have been the most contentious point in all previous...
    During a recess of Thursday’s Jan. 6 committee hearing, Fox News anchor Bret Baier stated the country wasn’t as close to losing its democracy as members would have us believe. Fellow anchor Neil Cavuto responded by saying all it would have taken was for one person to cave. The committee heard testimony from former White House lawyers and officials in the Department of Justice, where an obscure environmental lawyer named Jeffrey Clark told then-lame duck President Donald Trump in 2020 he had a plan to overturn the election that Trump had lost. Then-Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen refused to go along with it and Trump reportedly considered replacing him with Clark. Reacting to this testimony, as well as testimony from state officials this week about the pressure campaigns they faced from Trump to change the election results in their respective states, Baier said the republic didn’t appear to be in imminent danger: The premise here from the chairman, Bennie Thompson and Liz Cheney is that we were on the brink of losing our democracy. If anything, I think this testimony shows...
    President Donald Trump's White House counsel warned officials against a plan for the Department of Justice to tell states it had concerns about election fraud, describing a draft letter as a 'murder-suicide pact,' according to testimony presented by the House January 6 committee on Thursday. The fifth public hearing of the panel is hearing from former Justice Department officials who were pressured by Trump to help him reverse the 2020 election result.  At its heart, was a plan for Justice officials to tell key states that they had evidence of election fraud. In video testimony, Richard Donoghue, a top official at the Department of Justice, described a key White House meeting in which a more junior figure, Jeffrey Clark, appealed directly to Trump to be appointed acting attorney general so that he could launch fraud investigations. The meeting was heated, as official after official said Clark and his plan were dangerous, including White House counsel. 'And Pat Cipollone weighed in at one point I remember saying, you know, that letter that this guy wants to send that letter is a murder...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Jan. 6 committee will hear from former Justice Department officials who faced down a relentless pressure campaign from Donald Trump over the 2020 presidential election results while suppressing a bizarre challenge from within their own ranks. The hearing Thursday will bring attention to a memorably turbulent stretch at the department as Trump in his final days in office sought to bend to his will a law enforcement agency that has long cherished its independence from the White House. The testimony is aimed at showing how Trump not only relied on outside advisers to press his election fraud claims, but also tried to leverage the powers of federal executive branch agencies. The witnesses will include Jeffrey Rosen, who was acting attorney general during the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol. Three days earlier, Rosen was part of a tense Oval Office showdown in which Trump contemplated replacing him with a lower-level official, Jeffrey Clark, who wanted to champion Trump’s claims of election fraud. Two other former department officials, Rosen’s top deputy, Richard Donoghue, and...
    (CNN)If you're among the millions of Americans who are still waiting on your tax refund from 2021, we have good news for you. The IRS announced it will finally finish processing last year's tax return backlog this week -- meaning your refund will soon make its way to your mailbox or bank account.Here's what you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day. (You can get "5 Things You Need to Know Today" delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)1. PrimariesThe primary season continued Tuesday with more elections in Alabama, Georgia, Virginia and Washington, DC. In Alabama, Katie Britt, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, became the state's Republican candidate for Senate, CNN projected. Trump had initially endorsed Rep. Mo Brooks but withdrew that support in March after Brooks made comments urging Trump supporters to move past the 2020 election. In Georgia, though, two Trump-endorsed GOP House candidates lost their respective primary runoffs. Tuesday's elections also set the matchups for several key House races in Virginia and Georgia. And in Washington, DC,...
    (CNN)Tuesday's January 6 select committee hearing featured election administration officials who were berated by former President Donald Trump and his cluster of election denying confederates for refusing to abet in his attempt to steal the 2020 presidential election. Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, his deputy Gabriel Sterling and Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers became famous to varying degrees for simply upholding their oaths of office and doing their jobs without fear or favor. Charlie DentAll three witnesses told their stories and acquitted themselves well during the hearing. They deserve special commendation for their devotion to duty, placing country above mindless partisanship in defense of democracy.My experience with state and county election officials of either party, and throughout the 13 successful elections in which I participated as a candidate, was very positive. Election administrators typically conduct themselves as both clerks and referees. As clerks, these administrators attempt to run a fair mail-in and Election Day operation, tally the votes, announce a winner and certify the results. As referees, in the event of a very close or contested outcome, they conduct...
    Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers.Mother Jones illustration; Patrick Semansky/AP Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.Donald Trump badgered and bullied Republican state officials, threatened them, lied to them, and lied to others about them. He had his chief of staff, Mark Meadows, and personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, blow up their phones trying to coerce those officials into nullifying Joe Biden’s wins in their states. When they refused, he demonized them and sic’ed his supporters on them, which led to death threats, protests at people’s homes, instances of physical intimidation and vile verbal and written attacks on them and their families. That’s according to witness testimony and other evidence presented on Tuesday by the Select Committee investigating attempts by Trump and his cronies to subvert a legitimate election.  To their credit, none of those officials—Arizona’s House Speaker Rusty Bowers, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and his deputy, Gabriel Sterling, and other officials from closely contested states, including Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Nevada—ceded to the president’s demands. “You are asking me...
    The House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol focused its inquiry Tuesday on the pressure campaign by former President Donald Trump and his allies urging local officials to help overturn the 2020 election. During the course of several testimonies, top Republican election officials and a Georgia election worker recalled the various threats they received in connection to Trump’s debunked allegations that the 2020 election was stolen. First to testify was GOP state Rep. Rusty Bowers, the Arizona state House Speaker who voted for Trump in 2020. Bowers offered moving testimony explaining why he refused to go along with Trump’s requests to help him overturn the result of the 2020 election in Arizona. At the end of his testimony, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) asked Bowers about the threats he faced after refusing to help Trump. “Mr. Speaker, those are powerful words. I understand that taking the courageous positions that you did following the 2020 election and defense of the rule of law and protecting the voters of Arizona resulted in you and your family being subjected...
    Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and his top deputy, Gabriel Sterling, told the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot on Tuesday that former President Donald Trump’s claims about the 2020 election being stolen from him are unfounded and defended their state’s election process in 2020 as accurate. Raffensperger, a Republican running for reelection who recently defeated a Trump-endorsed primary challenger for the GOP nomination, told the committee that President Joe Biden won Georgia by about 12,000 votes, which was confirmed in recounts. JAN. 6 COMMITTEE CONFIRMS TUESDAY LINEUP THAT INCLUDES GEORGIA'S RAFFENSPERGER Telling the committee that prior to the election, he wanted to see Trump reelected, Raffensperger said Trump "came up short" on Election Day in Georgia. Raffensperger, as the state’s top elections official, defended Georgia’s election process as Trump and his allies pushed unfounded claims that the election was stolen from the former president. Sterling told the committee that he chose to address Trump directly at a December 2020 press conference after death threats were made against a Dominion...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — A House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection is turning to former President Donald Trump’s pressure campaign on state and local officials to overturn his 2020 election loss. In its fourth hearing this month, the panel is examining how Trump focused on a few swing states, directly urging officials to decertify President Joe Biden’s victory or find additional votes for himself. It was part of a larger scheme that also involved dozens of lawsuits, pressure on Department of Justice officials and, eventually, lobbying Vice President Mike Pence to reject Biden’s win at the congressional electoral count on Jan. 6. “Pressuring public servants into betraying their oaths was a fundamental part of the playbook,” the committee’s chairman, Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson, said of Trump and his allies. “And a handful of election officials in several key states stood between Donald Trump and the upending of American democracy.” ‘THEY DID THEIR JOBS’ The panel is keeping to a tight narrative as it makes its case to the American public that Trump’s efforts to...
    Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) opened the Jan. 6 Select Committee hearing on Tuesday by warning the American public that former President Donald Trump’s 2020 election fraud “lie has not gone away — it’s corrupting our democratic institutions.” Thompson laid out the focus of the day’s hearing, noting that at the last hearing the committee focused on the pressure campaign urging then Vice President Mike Pence to refuse to certify the 2020 presidential election on Jan. 6. He went on to explain that Tuesday’s hearing would focus on similar pressure campaigns that Trump and his allies waged against local officials. Thompson argued that the aftereffects of those campaigns are still reverberating through American democracy today and cited a recent case in New Mexico where a local election official refused to certify a county primary vote based on “gut feelings.” “At our last hearing we told the story of a scheme driven by Donald Trump to pressure former Vice president Mike Pence to illegally overturn the election results,” Thompson began, adding: We showed that when the pressure campaign failed and Mike Pence...
    By FARNOUSH AMIRI and LISA MASCARO | Associated Press WASHINGTON — The House January 6 committee is set to hear today — Tuesday, June 21 — from the caretakers of American democracy — elections workers and local officials — who fended off Donald Trump’s pressure to overturn the 2020 presidential election, at times despite frightening personal attacks. The January 6 Select Committee hearing begins at 10 a.m. Pacific time (1 p.m. Eastern) today — Tuesday, June 21 — and will air on all of the major broadcast networks and most of the cable news networks. Here is a live stream of Tuesday’s upcoming hearing: (The next scheduled hearing from the January 6 committee will be at 10 a.m. Pacific time (1 p.m. Eastern) Thursday, June 23.) The hearings investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack at the U.S. Capitol resume with a focus on Trump’s relentless effort to undo Joe Biden’s victory in the most local way — by leaning on officials in key battleground states to reject ballots outright or to submit alternative electors for the final tally in...
    (CNN)Today is the first official day of summer and the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. As expected, maximum sunshine and intense heat are forecast across much of the drought-stricken US for the foreseeable future. Meteorologists also say power grid failures could impact vast portions of the country this season. Here's what you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day. (You can get "5 Things You Need to Know Today" delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)1. Gas PricesPresident Joe Biden is considering backing a plan to send Americans gas rebate cards to help fight soaring prices at the pump. Although the White House has previously downplayed the prospect of such a program because it would be difficult to administer, Biden told reporters on Monday the plan has not been ruled out. He also said he plans to decide whether to support a temporary suspension of the federal gasoline tax. Such a pause in the 18.3-cent-per-gallon federal tax would require Congress to act, and there has been little traction among...
    (CNN)The House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol turns its attention Tuesday to the campaign to pressure state-level officials to overturn the 2020 election results.The hearing will focus in particular on then-President Donald Trump's efforts to overturn the results in Arizona and in Georgia -- where Trump infamously asked Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to "find" the votes he needed to win.Committee aides said the hearing will also demonstrate how Trump and his allies concocted a scheme to submit fake slates of electors.Trump's pressure campaign against state officials played out in numerous key states where he had lost to Joe Biden. The committee plans to focus on the actions Trump took to try to overturn the election as well as the roles that his attorney Rudy Giuliani and then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows played.CNN has previously reported on text messages that Meadows exchanged between the election and Biden's inauguration where he worked to coordinate Trump's efforts to overturn the election.Read MoreThe aides said the committee intended to show that the then-President...
    Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA) said Monday on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” that the January 6 House Select Committee would be showing evidence of former President Donald Trump’s role in “pressuring state legislators to overturn the election.” Maddow said, “Am I correct in telling our audience tonight that the focus tomorrow will largely be the pressure in individual states to overthrow their election results, including that bizarre set of forgeries and those fake Trump electors?” Schiff said, “Yes, it is exactly right. I think that you set out the sequence in its right order. We heard the pressure campaign and that campaign put his life in jeopardy, how it was premised on a completely unconstitutional theory and argument. And now you hear the pressure campaign directed at state legislators, state officials and even local electoral workers putting their lives very much at risk. And this was really unprecedented in U.S. history, this broad effort to overturn a presidential election. You will see just with the weight to the presidency brought down on these officials. He added, “Tomorrow, we will be...
    (CNN)The House select committee investigating the January 6 riot is set to hear live testimony from four witnesses during Tuesday's hearing that will focus on how former President Donald Trump and his allies pressured state-level officials to overturn the 2020 election results.The committee will also show evidence that Trump was involved in a scheme to submit fake slates of electors in the 2020 presidential election, US Rep. Adam Schiff, a California Democrat and member of the panel who is expected to play a leading role in the presentation, said Sunday.The witness list for Tuesday's hearing includes three individuals from Georgia: Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, his deputy Gabe Sterling and former election worker Wandrea ArShaye "Shaye" Moss.Rusty Bowers, a Republican who is the Arizona House speaker, is also scheduled to testify, the committee formally announced Monday.Tuesday's hearing will also detail how Trump, his former attorney Rudy Giuliani and then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows pressured officials, as well as, how false election claims fueled death threats for those at the state level.Read MoreBowers, Raffensperger and Sterling will be part...
    (CNN)Homeland and national security officials are worried about how Russia could significantly exploit US divisions over the November midterms, considering scenarios like Russia staging smaller hacks of local election authorities -- done with the deliberate purpose of being noticed -- and then using that to seed more conspiracies about the integrity of American elections. These efforts, the officials said, would be designed to dovetail with the false doubts about the 2020 presidential election spread by former President Donald Trump and many of his allies. The five current and former US officials who spoke to CNN stressed that such a scenario remains hypothetical. Although US elections have become more secure in recent years, officials say that an atmosphere of distrust in America's elections, coupled with the sheer number of local election systems, means there's no way to truly be ready for such a convergence of Russian asymmetric warfare techniques. Administration officials agree with local election officials that the problem goes beyond inevitable security shortfalls. Current and former officials say little has been done to inform, let alone convince, American voters that...
    (CNN)Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and his deputy Gabe Sterling will testify publicly at the next hearing held by the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, riot at the US Capitol, multiple sources familiar with the plans tells CNN.The hearing, scheduled for Tuesday will focus on how former President Donald Trump and his allies pressured officials in key battleground states as they sought to overturn the 2020 presidential election, multiple sources said. Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California, a member of the committee, is expected to play a leading role in Tuesday's hearing. CNN previously reported that Raffensperger and Sterling were expected to testify publicly at one of the committee's hearings this month. Raffensperger's profile grew after the 2020 election when he resisted Trump's efforts to pressure him to "find" the votes necessary for the then-President to win Georgia in an infamous January 2021 phone call.Read MoreThe Georgia Republican has already spoken privately with the committee about his experience in addition to testifying before a special grand jury in a criminal probe into Trump's efforts to overturn...
    A Nebraska man pleaded guilty Thursday to issuing threats against an election official via Instagram. Travis Ford, 42, who wrote the official, "You feel safe? You shouldn’t," among other hostile messages, is facing up to two years in prison for the threats and is scheduled for sentencing Oct. 6, the Justice Department announced. EX-PENCE LEGAL COUNSEL GREG JACOB HIGHLIGHTS PAST DEMOCRATIC ELECTION CHALLENGES “The Justice Department will not tolerate illegal threats of violence against public officials,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement. “Threats of violence against election officials are dangerous for people’s safety and dangerous for our democracy, and we will use every resource at our disposal to disrupt and investigate those threats and hold perpetrators accountable.” Ford's guilty plea marks one of the first convictions by the department's Election Threats Task Force, which was established in July of last year, the Washington Post reported. In his Instagram messages, Ford warned that the official's safety could not be guaranteed. "Your security detail is far too thin and incompetent to protect you. This world...
    Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images In a poll taken after last week’s Jan. 6 hearing, a  whopping 69 percent of Americans it is a “crime” to try and overturn election results, and similar numbers say the Justice Department should prosecute. A new poll taken after Thursday’s hearings of the House Select Committee Investigating the Jan. 6 Attack on the Capitol began last Thursday shows Americans overwhelmingly view elected officials’ involvement in promoting Trump’s election lies as a “crime,” and support the Justice Department taking action against them. Respondents to a new Politico/Morning Consult poll taken June 10-12 were asked “Do you believe each of the following is a crime?” The results for each choice were overwhelming: “Elected officials misleading Americans about the outcome of an election” — “Yes, definitely” or “Yes, probably” — 69 percent of all respondents “Elected officials attempting to overturn the results of an American election” — “Yes, definitely” or “Yes, probably” — 69 percent of all respondents “Elected officials claiming that presidential elections are fraudulent without evidence” — “Yes, definitely” or “Yes, probably” — 55 percent of all respondents...
    Civil rights groups and Democrats in the Keystone State have said the bill could lead to 'an increased risk of voter intimidation.' The Republican-controlled Pennsylvania Senate passed a bill Monday that would empower poll watchers across the state. The bill, S.B. 573, is sponsored by Republican gubernatorial nominee state Sen. Doug Mastriano. It would increase the fines and criminal penalties for interfering with a poll watcher, mandate that poll watchers be able to stand "six feet or less" from election officials performing their duties, allow poll watchers inside the polling place to observe ballot counting, increase the number of poll watchers each candidate may appoint per precinct, and remove the county residency requirement for poll watchers. The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania previously urged lawmakers to vote against an earlier version of the bill, which they said "needlessly invites opportunities for confrontation, unfounded challenges to voters' eligibility by out-of-county watchers, and, in some cases, an increased risk of voter intimidation." The Pennsylvania bill is part of a broader national effort. In the wake of their failed attempt to overturn...
    (CNN)Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and his deputy Gabe Sterling are expected to testify at a hearing later this month before the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection, according to a person familiar with the situation.The public hearings are set to spotlight the work of the committee's 10-month investigation and reveal new details on how efforts to overturn the 2020 election culminated in an attack on the US Capitol. The slate of Georgia witnesses could offer a glimpse into the blowback state officials faced as they rebuffed attempts to overturn the election results. Raffensperger's profile grew after the 2020 election when he resisted former President Donald Trump's efforts to pressure him to "find" the votes necessary for Trump to win Georgia in an infamous January 2021 phone call.The Georgia Republican has already spoken privately with the committee about his experience in addition to testifying before a special grand jury in a criminal probe into Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election results in the Peach State.This story is breaking and will be updated.
    (CNN)A version of this story appeared in the CITIZEN BY CNN newsletter. To get it in your inbox, sign up for free here.State and local election officials in Michigan and other political battlegrounds are gearing up to deal with a new element in this year's elections: a large influx of Republicans seeking to become poll workers, recruited by the Republican National Committee and other conservative organizations to play an active role in administering the midterm elections.The development -- and a recent story in Politico detailing GOP recruitment sessions and how some of these would-be poll workers cling to debunked claims about fraud in the 2020 election -- have raised alarms that Republican election deniers could infiltrate official election operations and undermine the process.The surge in interest also comes against the backdrop of efforts by former President Donald Trump's allies, such as Steve Bannon, to carry out what he calls a "precinct committee strategy," with the goal of installing Trump loyalists in local Republican Party positions and election posts."It is jarring to know that there is a political party, or a...
    In a report published by Politico on June 1, Washington, D.C.-based journalist Heidi Przybyla described a plan by GOP operatives to “install” an “army” of “trained recruits” as “regular poll workers” in Democratic precincts — recruits who would be “in direct contact with” Republican Party attorneys. Never Trump conservative Jennifer Rubin, in a June 2 column for the Washington Post, describes this scheme as a recipe for “election subversion” and argues that it merits a comprehensive investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice and Attorney General Merrick Garland. “In case you thought President Donald Trump’s defeat in 2020, the ensuing investigations of armed insurrectionists and the work of the House January 6 select committee had deterred future attempts to sabotage democracy,” Rubin writes, “think again…. This self-described ‘army’ of 2020 election deniers, coupled with lawyers ready to throw the election into chaos, should set off alarm bells at the Justice Department. While this evidence comes from Michigan, it is a scheme that former Trump adviser Stephen K. Bannon, among others, has been pushing nationwide.” \u201cThey are going to steal the...
    Jessica McGowan/Getty Images A new report Wednesday published Wednesday by Politico details the Republican Party’s “multi-pronged strategy” to try and overturn results in heavily Democratic precincts by gaining influence over election workers. The report by Heidi Przybyla is based on a series of recordings from GOP meetings from the summer of 2021 to this month regarding the training of election workers and “establishing a network of party-friendly district attorneys who could intervene to block vote counts at certain precincts.” “The plan, as outlined by a Republican National Committee staffer in Michigan, includes utilizing rules designed to provide political balance among poll workers to install party-trained volunteers prepared to challenge voters at Democratic-majority polling places,” writes Przybyla – outlining the thrust of the strategy. The Republican National Committee’s election integrity director for Michigan, Matthew Seifried, is heard on one recording saying, “it’s going to be an army.” “We’re going to have more lawyers than we’ve ever recruited, because let’s be honest, that’s where it’s going to be fought, right?” he adds, according to Politico’s review of the recordings. “Being a poll...
    by J.D. Davidson   Confusion for some Ohio boards of election forced a new bill that walks back at least part of a law stopping election officials from working with nongovernmental entities. The Ohio General Assembly tacked the legislation onto its budget last year. Despite assurances from lawmakers and Secretary of State Frank LaRose the ban would not create an issue for local election officials, Attorney General Dave Yost issued an opinion in January that said the new law criminalizes partnerships with private groups, but most routine work is OK. Recently, however, the House passed House Bill 564 – which deals with full- or part-time designations for township employees – with an addition that allows election officials to work with private groups to use a building to train election officials. Critics of the original law say if the new law does not pass the Senate and is signed by Gov. Mike DeWine, local officials could not use places like churches for training poll workers. “Our democracy relies on trusted community partners to instill confidence in our elections, educate voters, and alleviate confusion....
    Win McNamee/Getty Images Former President Donald Trump’s four turbulent years in office produced the biggest boom in political publishing in decades. Castaways of the administration, from cabinet members to lowly staffers lept from the White House straight onto the bestseller list. While journalists like Michael Wolff, Jonathan Karl and Bob Woodward (just to name a few) uncovered their fair share of dirt, books from previous Trump officials offered explosive first-hand accounts from inside Trump’s White House. From a former national security adviser to a press secretary to an attorney general and, most recently, a former secretary of defense, these books paint a bleak picture of what it was like to hold some of the most important positions in the country while in the service of Donald Trump. Here is a list of some of the wildest details from the four highest-ranking Trump officials to write books – and Omarosa: Mark Esper: A Sacred Oath: Memoirs of a Defense Secretary in Extraordinary Times Esper, who served as Trump’s secretary of defense until he was fired after the 2020 election, is the...
    Maricopa County officials held a press conference and issued a response Wednesday to Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s first Interim Report on the 2020 Maricopa County independent ballot audit, prompting a sharp reaction from Brnovich. He said in a letter to supporters, “[T]he Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and County Recorder continue to throw stones at Attorney General Brnovich instead of working to address the serious issues identified in the interim report.” Jen Wright, head of his Elections Integrity Unit, who has lengthy experience investigating voter fraud for the Arizona Republican Party, sent a response back to their attorney with “serious concerns.” Brnovich also released a video response, calling the county officials out for attacking him over the findings instead of addressing them. He asked why they ignored his finding that “up to 200,000 ballots did not have the proper chain of custody.” Second, “[A]s far as ballot signature authentication, you know, whether it took six seconds, eight seconds, or 10 seconds, why doesn’t the Board of Supervisors tell us exactly what they did, how long it took, and whether...
    DENVER (AP) — A Colorado county clerk who made copies of voting system hard drives has turned over two copies to state officials under a judge’s order. Court records show that Elbert County Clerk Dallas Schroeder provided the copies in separate, sealed metal containers before Wednesday’s deadline along with information in response to questions from Democratic Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold, including about who had custody of them. The filings are not available to the public. Schroeder also submitted a protest letter, according to a list of the items received. In a statement Thursday, the Secretary of State’s Office said officials were reviewing the copies. Schroeder’s lawyer declined to comment. It’s one of a handful of cases across the United States in which authorities are investigating whether local officials directed or aided in suspected security breaches at their own election offices. Some of them have expressed doubt about the results of the 2020 presidential election. Schroeder, a Republican, is part of a separate lawsuit trying to compel an audit of Colorado’s elections system following the 2020 presidential election....
    In this article TWTRU.S. President Joe Biden gestures as he boards Air Force One at Delaware Air National Guard Base, in New Castle, Delaware, U.S., April 25, 2022. Tasos Katopodis | ReutersWhite House officials and Democratic strategists are privately worrying how Elon Musk's $44 billion hostile takeover of Twitter will affect the 2024 presidential election — especially whether the billionaire will allow former President Donald Trump return to the platform. Officials within President Joe Biden's administration are closely watching the deal, according to more than half a dozen advisors to Biden, including two administration officials. Some on Biden's team are growing increasingly concerned the Tesla CEO will allow Trump and other Republican operatives who were banned from Twitter to return to the platform, these people said, asking on to be identified to speak freely about internal discussions among senior Democratic advisors. Twitter's board accepted Musk's offer to take the social media company private, the company confirmed Monday. The deal is subject to shareholder and regulatory approval. "Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square...
    This content was republished with permission from WTOP’s news partners at Maryland Matters. Sign up for Maryland Matters’ free email subscription today. With the delayed July 19 primary just 12 weeks away and redistricting challenges settled, Maryland election officials are working overtime to get ready for the fast-approaching election. Implementing redistricting plans is “meticulous and time-consuming work,” said Baltimore County Elections Director Ruie Lavoie. Creating precincts using new redistricting plans is a street-by-street process, and election officials couldn’t finish that work until state, local and congressional maps were final. There is much left to do to ensure every Maryland voter casts the correct ballot, Lavoie said. “We have about 700,000 addresses to look at in Baltimore County,” Lavoie said, adding that election officials are “working long hours” to prepare for the election. Earlier this year — amid challenges to local, state and federal maps — election officials warned that the workload would be heavy. The Court of Appeals postponed the primary from June 28 to July 19 as those challenges worked their way through the courts. Challenges to local maps...
    by Kevin Vallier   The 2020 U.S. election was unique in many respects, but its chief distinguishing feature is that it occurred during a full-scale pandemic. One consequence was that the election operated under regulations that changed how Americans vote. Some states bent voting rules to expand access. Some resorted to mail-in voting to ensure that everyone who wanted to vote could do so. These actions were, to some extent, understandable, but the resulting conditions were extraordinary, and the dramatic increase in mail-in voting created a major political phenomenon: the blue shift, in which late-counted ballots turn voting outcomes toward the Democrats. On election night, vote totals initially looked good for President Donald Trump. But as mail-in votes rolled in, central swing states moved into Joe Biden’s column, and Biden won the election. The phenomenon disrupted expectations – and sowed distrust. Many of my Republican family members said, “It didn’t seem right. I knew something was wrong.” Trump, attuned to the emotions of his base, made use of this sentiment. He stoked suspicion that Democrats stole the election. The nightmarish result was...
    Believers of Trump’s big lie about the 2020 election continue to ignore national media and election experts. Will they be convinced by poll workers and local leaders to trust the democratic process again? As 2022’s primaries approach, an unprecedented wave of public and private efforts are underway to foster trust in election operations and election officials in response to ongoing claims by Donald Trump and his supporters, including many officeholders and candidates, that President Joe Biden was not legitimately elected. This article was produced by Voting Booth, a project of the Independent Media Institute. Public-facing efforts include creating an election official appreciation day on April 12, a newly launched Election Official Legal Defense Network to counter new Republican-drafted laws that criminalize mistakes in administering elections, and federal lobbying to protect election officials and their families from threats. There also are behind-the-scenes efforts to educate local civic, business and faith leaders so that trusted voices can help to respond to election deniers. The efforts come as scores of candidates for statewide and local office, including many seeking reelection, have made the...
    Former President Donald Trump told Republican Leader Mitch McConnell that if he could get Georgia's Gov. Brian Kemp to overturn now President Joe Biden's 2020 win in his state officials in Michigan and Pennsylvania would follow.  CNN obtained an excerpt Wednesday of the forthcoming book This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden, and the Battle for America's Future by New York Times reporters Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns - which details some of the conversations the ex-president had following his November 2020 election loss.   'I've been calling folks in those states and they're with us,' Trump reportedly told McConnell and other Senate GOP leaders during a phone call in December 2020 about Pennsylvania and Michigan.   After the call, McConnell told his colleagues, 'We've got to stay focused on Georgia,' the book said.  McConnell was referencing the two run-off Senate races slated for January 5 that would determine which party held the majority - races the Democrats won.  Former President Donald Trump (pictured) told Republican Leader Mitch McConnell that if he could get Georgia's Gov. Brian Kemp to overturn now President Joe Biden's...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin may use the Biden administration’s support for Ukraine as a pretext to order a new campaign to interfere in American politics, U.S. intelligence officials have assessed. Intelligence agencies have so far not found any evidence that Putin has authorized measures like the ones Russia is believed to have undertaken in the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections in support of former President Donald Trump, according to several people familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive findings. But given Putin’s antipathy toward the West and his repeated denunciations of Ukraine, officials believe he may see the U.S. backing of Ukraine’s resistance as a direct affront to him, giving him further incentive to target another U.S. election, the people said. It is not yet clear which candidates Russia might try to promote or what methods it might use. The assessment comes with the U.S. electoral system already under pressure. The American public remains sharply divided over the last presidential election and the insurrection that followed at the U.S. Capitol, when...