by Sharon Rondeau
(Nov. 11, 2020) — On Monday The Post & Email referenced an article at The American Report due to its claim that a computer built in 2009 dubbed “The Hammer” and its accompanying software, SCORECARD, were invoked to change a certain percentage of votes in last week’s elections, particularly in a half-dozen “battleground” states.
“This time, SCORECARD is stealing votes in Florida, Georgia, Texas, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Nevada, and Arizona, according to Montgomery,” the October 31,2020 article by Mary Fanning and Alan Jones claims, citing former NSA/CIA contractor Dennis Montgomery as its source, the article states.
The story has morphed into the widespread invocation of “The Hammer” and “SCORECARD” as responsible for the significant swings in ballot returns observed overnight from November 3 to November 4 from Donald Trump’s favor to Joe Biden’s in Michigan and four other key states.
The article does not present any independent corroboration of Montgomery’s reported claim or his troubled past, which includes extensive litigation beginning in 1982 and his having been termed, “The Man Who Conned the Pentagon” in a 2010 article by Playboy Magazine.
Montgomery has a lengthy history of litigation both as a plaintiff and defendant which remains ongoing. In the summer of 2018, Montgomery filed a false complaint against this writer for alleged “mental abuse.” It was determined the complaint had no validity and the case was closed.
In 2016, following Zullo’s oversight of Montgomery’s paid contractual work for the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) in 2014 stemming from Montgomery’s claim of illegal data-harvesting of county residents, Montgomery filed a frivolous, retaliatory complaint claiming Zullo “threatened” him in a text message which was not substantiated through an Internal Affairs (IA) investigation.
In 2008, Montgomery claimed that then-Nevada gubernatorial candidate Jim Gibbons accepted bribes from Montgomery’s estranged business partner, Warren Trepp, which the FBI found to be unsubstantiated.
In 2015, this publication covered the federal trial of then-Maricopa County Sheriff Joseph Arpaio which stemmed from a longstanding civil-rights case brought by plaintiffs claiming to have experienced discrimination during immigration patrol stops conducted by Arpaio’s office. Montgomery’s then-recent work as a confidential informant for the MCSO became a flashpoint in Judge G. Murray Snow’s courtroom as the media inaccurately reported that Montgomery was investigating Snow at Arpaio’s direction in what was termed “the Seattle Operation.” The project, which lasted approximately a year, came about after Montgomery approached Arpaio with the claim that he possessed evidence that more than 150,000 Maricopa County residents were victims of government-initiated bank-account intrusions, a claim for which he did provide evidence.
During interviews in late 2013 and early 2014, Zullo made recordings of Montgomery, then-Det. Brian Mackiewicz and Arpaio. Upon Snow’s order, the recordings became part of the court record. Dubbed “The Whistleblower Tapes” by Fanning and Jones, the recordings, all of which were sourced to Zullo’s phone, were leaked to The Phoenix New Times not by Snow, as Fanning and Jones claim, but by plaintiffs’ attorney Cecillia Wang, as confirmed by Zullo, who witnessed Wang admit as much during court proceedings.
After the initial interviews, Arpaio opened an identity-fraud investigation and decided to contract Montgomery as a confidential informant for which he was compensated $10,000 monthly, Zullo told The Post & Email. In early 2014, he and Mackiewicz were appointed to oversee Montgomery’s work as he reportedly gathered and organized the data he claimed to have. Without having received any hard evidence of the alleged government surveillance after nearly a year, with Arpaio’s approval Zullo and Mackiewicz drove to Maryland with the 47 hard drives of alleged evidence turned over by Montgomery to obtain an expert analysis from three former high-level NSA analysts.
An analysis and assessment of the drives’ contents were conducted by two of the three, J. Kirk Wiebe and Thomas Drake. Wiebe and a third analyst present during some of the examination but who did not sign the report, William Binney, left government service in 2001 and have since launched their own company focusing on election integrity. Both have conducted dozens of interviews alleging widespread, illegal government surveillance of American citizens and have been referred to as “whistleblowers.”
“We have found that he is a complete and total FRAUD,” Drake and Wiebe wrote of Montgomery in their three-page report to Arpaio dated November 14, 2014, writing that the information on the drives represented “an outright and fraudulent con perpetuated on the government for personal gain and cover.”
However, beginning last summer and on numerous subsequent occasions on Dr. Dave Janda’s “Operation Freedom,” Wiebe has expressed an altered view of Montgomery’s level of credibility as evidence mounted that the 2016 Trump campaign, the transition team, and the Trump administration were surveilled by certain sectors of the U.S. intelligence apparatus under what proved to be the unsubstantiated premise that the campaign and the Kremlin were “colluding” to affect the outcome of the election.
Last summer Wiebe explained to this publication his changed stance on Montgomery, in summation, as, “We now say it is possible that Montgomery has been truthful about the operations he carried out and that the only way to find out is to have the matter thoroughly investigated.”
In Chapter 7 of Arpaio’s recently-released memoir, “Sheriff Joe Arpaio: An American Legend,” Arpaio discusses Montgomery’s claims of government bank-account breaches while Zullo was in the midst of the Obama birth-certificate probe Arpaio authorized in late summer 2011. Stemming from more than 200 constituents’ concern that their votes would be disenfranchised in the 2012 presidential election should the birth-certificate image be proven fraudulent as some suspected, Arpaio handpicked Zullo to lead the probe which would ultimately last more than five years.
“Montgomery claimed he was the architect who developed the software to ‘unlock’ logins and passwords to cell phones, bank records, email, and credit card accounts of millions of Americans,” Arpaio wrote (Loc. 588 in Kindle version). “With Montgomery’s program (known as ‘Prism’ in intelligence circles), intelligence agencies had the ability, through a massive government supercomputer assembled in Ft. Washington, Maryland, to do the calculations necessary to apply 10 million password combinations per minute, thus using sheer brute force computing horsepower to unlock citizens’ private accounts at will. This massive supercomputer was known as ‘The Hammer’ and, allegedly, it is still in use today…”
“There were many times, to be perfectly frank, that he would string us along for as long as he could before giving us the information, then only to squeeze more money out of us,” Arpaio continued. “Zullo would frequently contact me, concerned by the self-described highly erratic computer genius that was Montgomery. Most law enforcement professionals know that paid informants are not always reliable. Montgomery would promise he was ‘days away’ from producing critical information, continuing to make sure his funding continued, but then would never deliver the goods. In my opinion, there were many indicators that Montgomery was potentially a con man, but there was enough truth in the evidence presented to Zullo and my detective Brian Mackiewicz that warranted us to keep paying him. He always promised the next set of deliverables days away, and it always cost the county more money than we expected.”
“I’ve never trusted Montgomery—and neither did Zullo, but we knew there was enough truth in his claims to continue to pursue the facts,” Arpaio continued (Loc. 598). “There’s no doubt Montgomery had ‘some’ credible information to allege ‘The Hammer’ was used on my office and my personal cell phone. In addition to those bombshell claims, Montgomery stated to us that he had collected sensitive information on 153,000 Maricopa County residents on behalf of the NSA, such as recorded telephone calls, emails, bank logins and passwords, and credit card information. Once again, I had a duty to protect my county residents.”
Both Arpaio and Zullo have said that “some” of the information Montgomery provided proved useful.
Of The American Report‘s most recent claim of Montgomery’s knowledge that The Hammer and SCORECARD were utilized to alter the outcome of the 2020 election, Zullo said, “I do not believe this to be true. Montgomery never, ever, ever used the word ‘SCORECARD’ and never discussed ‘SCORECARD.’ As a matter of fact, the only thing Montgomery divulged to us was that he was asked to surreptitiously download the voter rolls out of the state Florida computer system and weeks later was handed a hard drive which he reportedly was instructed to upload back into the same Florida computer. That’s very different from this purported SCORECARD vote-altering software claim.”
“So again we have Montgomery morphing his story into something else, something that only he would have direct knowledge of and that it is being used by the government,” Zullo said. “He has been out of government service for almost 12 years; how could he know? Mary Fanning is putting this out all over the internet without any hard, verifiable evidence. She is just taking Montgomery’s claims and running with it. I believe this Hammer/SCORECARD narrative is fabricated nonsense.”
“Montgomery is very convincing when you talk to him,” Zullo continued. “He was telling us all kinds of things. In turn, I would spend hours OSINT crawling the web and would find some information on the web of very things that he was conveying to us that he purported to be secret knowledge that only he possessed — not all of them, but many of them were discoverable in the public domain.
“OSINT is the acronym for Open Source Intelligence, which means the public has access to it, and that would include Montgomery,” Zullo said. “If you’re going to tell me something that’s purportedly super-secret, I shouldn’t be able to find it on the internet or the deep web. I believe in some instances he takes open-source information, betting on the fact that you won’t find it, morphs it into his narrative and he uses it to give himself the appearance of being creditable.”
After a year of investigation and Wiebe and Drake’s report detailing Montgomery as a fraud, Zullo said, “The sheriff decided, ‘We’re done with this’ and let Montgomery go.”
The conveying of inaccurate information by The American Report to media and high-profile figures, Zullo said, including President Trump, has been occurring since May 2019, given that Zullo himself was Fanning’s original source on Montgomery and The Hammer directly following his testimony in Arpaio’s trial. “The fact that Fanning omits that in her reporting and instead, makes every attempt to discredit me and erase Montgomery’s prior dealings with the sheriff’s office is very disconcerting,” Zullo said.
“If you’re using Montgomery as your source for information that only he claims to possess, you have no idea if any of what he’s telling you is true, and he is not able to produce any verifiable forensic evidence that supports his claims,” Zullo said. “So he appeals to your moral sense of ‘This must be the explanation…’ He tried to interject himself into the Flynn court fight and the Trump Tower wiretap, claiming The Hammer did it with no evidence. He’s the perfect poster child for ‘Let no crisis go to waste.’ If there’s a way for him to attach himself to whatever is happening in the news, he will.”
According to Atty. Larry Klayman, who represented Montgomery at the time, in late 2015 Montgomery interviewed twice with the FBI in a secure facility to allegedly provide the evidence of government surveillance he claimed to have. The interaction was confirmed by former FBI General Counsel James Baker in closed-door testimony to two House committees investigating the FBI’s Trump-Russia “collusion” probe.
In 2014, Klayman sued author James Risen on Montgomery’s behalf for alleged defamation, yet Montgomery was unable or unwilling to produce the software over which he alleged the ruining of his reputation by Risen, even after a federal judge ordered it. “After blaming the FBI for having his software, he later had to admit on the record that he never had it,” Zullo said.
Of the current claim, Zullo commented:
“The Hammer,” if true, is 12 years old. There’s no way Montgomery can know if it’s being used for anything today. He wants to be a national hero and he wants his credibility restored. Fanning and Janda are pushing this nonsense ‘Scorecard’ story because that’s what Montgomery wants pushed, and Mary Fanning is like a drug mule. She’s transporting this fantasy all over the place, surgically eradicating Montgomery’s interaction with law enforcement because it does not bode well for Montgomery and his credibility, and the fact that he was pronounced a fraud by the very people who now befriend him and sing his praises is of no consequence to her. It’s not about the truth for her. She turns a blind eye to all of it.
When push comes to shove, everyone now tries to divorce themselves from the fact that he was found to be a fraud by Wiebe. Now you have to ask the question, “Why?” If you go back in time, Bill Binney and Kirk Wiebe’s information is 20 years old. Their fight with the government happened in 2001. Their claim is real. Nobody’s disputing the fact that the government has the ability to spy on us. It’s not about the election at this point for Montgomery; it’s all about his own self-glorification.
Even Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney (Ret), who has a high degree of credibility, is promoting The Hammer narrative, but Montgomery has produced no evidence to back it up, and he never will. It’s possible McInerney has military connections who say The Hammer exists, but it could all be a distraction from the real culprit of last week’s election.
McInerney will make all the claims; others will promote his allegations to their detriment. The problem is going to come down to hard evidence which Montgomery does not have. He will tell you the government has it, to get it from them. The government will say they don’t have it. Maybe they do, maybe they don’t. At that point it is he said-she said. That goes nowhere in court. Montgomery hides behind this scenario. He will continue to adjust his story as new evidence unfolds.
But what is fact is Montgomery attaches to cerditable people: Sheriff Arpaio, Gen. McInerney, Kirk Wiebe, Gen. Flynn and Sidney Powell. But in the end he will not be able to prove any of it. Kirk Wiebe in an email to you states in writing that he has seen nothing and is only going on what Montgomery is telling him. That is not evidence.
The simple questions need to be asked: “Mr. Montgomery, how do you know, how do you have any direct knowledge of what The Hammer was doing or not doing at any time since 2010 up to and including the night of the presidential election, since you have not been in government service for 12 years?” The answer is, “He doesn’t,” and that is where it all falls apart.
Zullo’s requests last summer to Janda to appear on his radio show to share his experiences with Montgomery received no response. Although Janda quoted from The Post & Email’s reportage on the subject, he did not respond to our requests to provide supplemental and contextual information.
On Sunday The Post & Email contacted Wiebe with several questions about his promotion of Montgomery’s claim regarding the 2020 presidential election. Our communications read, with Wiebe’s responses in bold type:
From: Sharon Rondeau
Sent: Sunday, November 8, 2020 10:05 AM
To: Kirk Wiebe
Subject: “SCORECARD”/VOTE ALTERATIONS
Hello, Mr. Wiebe, we communicated last year when you responded to my questions about former CIA/NSA contractor Dennis Montgomery and data he said he had on government surveillance. I just viewed a video in which you are depicted saying that Montgomery has “forensic evidence” that a software program named “SCORECARD” was utilized in the 2020 election to change votes, which Atty. Sidney Powell also spoke about to Lou Dobbs on Friday night. I have viewed that video as well.
My questions are these:
1. Have you seen the forensic evidence?
No. Montgomery awaits government authorization that will allow him to produce that evidence (data).
2. Where and how did Dennis Montgomery obtain the evidence?
I have not been privy to those kinds of details. Again, he needs government authorization to act.
3. Has the evidence been corroborated by anyone else?
Not that I know of. See the responses above.
4. Were votes allegedly altered in every state? Do we know which states?
My understanding is that they were altered in two ways, involving many states, but I do not know them. The first way, is the HAMMER/SCORECARD capability that access the vote counts. The other is the pre-loading of bogus logons for system administration privileges that could be invoked to remotely access the tally computers and change votes.
Those of us aware of Mr. Montgomery’s whistleblowing activities are anxious for the Trump Administration to place Dennis Montgomery under authorized status within the government ASAP so that all evidence of altered votes and the clandestine operation of these illegal capabilities can be properly placed before a court of law.
In the meantime, people should be aware that the state of the voting process is abysmal. The various States in this country have not taken the measures necessary to provide a secure voting and counting process that is protected from these rather arcane kinds of attacks on our elections. The entire process from voter registration through reporting of validated counts needs to be re-invented.
Thank you very much.
Sharon Rondeau, Editor
The Post & Email
As a follow-up, we asked, “Without having seen the evidence yourself, what makes you believe Montgomery has it and why he was entrusted with it over anyone else?” to which we received no response.
Wiebe’s responses were not a shock to Zullo, Zullo told us. He told this reporter before the email was sent that Wiebe would not have seen any evidence or have any direct information other than what Montgomery told him. “That is the way Montgomery plays the game,” Zullo said, adding that he does not believe the Hammer or Scorecard were used at all. He may be right.
From a two-year investigation encompassing last week’s election, an expert election-data analyst interviewed by L. Todd Wood of CD Media asserted that voter fraud is a significant problem in U.S. elections and that the alteration of votes can be accomplished by anyone with the knowledge to breach the computer system, including from a cellular phone.
The video interview with cybersecurity analyst Russell Ramsland, co-founder of Allied Security Operations, has been widely disseminated on the internet but barely touched by the mainstream media. During the interview, Ramsland demonstrated his company’s tracking of Michigan election returns from November 3 to November 4, which he said showed a three-hour window of time in which Michigan and five other “swing” states in which Trump initially held a substantial lead, stopped counting votes. Upon their resumption of counting, Ramsland said, 138,339 “new ballots” in Biden’s favor appeared in Michigan (45:28).
“This is a problem,” Ramsland remarked. “Unsurprisingly in Michigan, it’s now known that the votes were a bogus file upload,” he later observed.
On November 4, it was reported that Biden had overtaken Trump in the Michigan, with the state “called” for Biden by the media later that day. Biden then allegedly “won” all four of the other swing states, although reports of fraud in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Nevada, which is not one of the five, are now the subject of lawsuits brought by the Trump campaign.
Ramsland has shared his research with the FBI and Texas attorney general, secretary of state and governor’s offices without meaningful response, he reported.
“The biggest takeaway from this,” Zullo told us on Tuesday, referring to the Ramsland video, “is they were able to go ‘open source’ and hack into it with relative ease without The Hammer, or a supercomputer, or a SCORECARD program or Dennis Montgomery. It was all there for the taking, and based on this, The Hammer and Scorecard are not even necessary.
“What is more disturbing to me is Kirk Wiebe making a passionate plea vouching for Montgomery when Wiebe has no information or has seen anything Montgomery says he has. Wiebe knows nothing, yet he reports this with such conviction. It was Kirk Wiebe who was instrumental in exposing Montgomery’s fraud to the sheriff’s office; you can’t separate the man from the event. He exposed Montgomery’s fraud after he did the analysis of Montgomery’s own information, and now he’s saying Montgomery is trustworthy and honest. How do you reconcile that? He is a fraud on Monday but he is an honest broker on Tuesday because we will just pretend Monday never happened?
“Based on my dealings with Montgomery, the modus operandi is always the same. Montgomery has no credibility; he seeks to attach himself to people of good reputation and interject himself in a crisis: the Sheriff Arpaio civil trial, the Gen. Flynn case, and now the presidential election and Sidney Powell, all with claims of government tampering and surveillance using his creation but never having evidence as proof. At some point he will try to monetize his efforts and string you along. The story is always the same, and at the center of it all is Dennis Montgomery and the tale of a 12-year-old computer, The Hammer, that Montgomery only operated for less than a year. The Hammer was created in 2009 and Montgomery was out of government contracting in 2010.
“Montgomery positions himself to be the only one in the universe who has the proof of the existence of The Hammer and all that it does and what it did to you. However, as his long history will show, when it comes time to put up, he chokes and can’t produce any verifiable evidence of his claim. That is what Wiebe and Drake discovered.
“Montgomery is always trying to piggy-back on the credibility of other people, and what he ends up doing is jeopardizing or destroying their credibility in the process to serve his own purpose. Because he can never deliver, he creates bag-holders for his shortcomings,” Zullo said. “I believe that when this is all said and done we are going to find out that The Hammer and Scorecard thing is a farce and if any computer intervention happens it will be found in the voting machines’ software vulnerabilities themselves.”
On Sunday, DHS Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Director Christopher Krebs tweeted that “The Hammer” and SCORECARD are “nonsense.”
On Tuesday afternoon, The Post & Email contacted CISA through its media address to confirm that the email was sent through Krebs’s official government account but received no response by press time.
“Fanning and Janda have been watching too many ‘007’ movies,” Zullo said. “This isn’t a game; this is real. This is about the country, the state of affairs of our nation going forward. I want to be really clear; I would want this to be true. I would want this to be the simple answer: ‘It’s the government, it’s The Hammer, it’s Scorecard.’ But it is not true; I don’t believe any of it, and I’m not coming against Montgomery or Fanning for any other reason than I don’t believe them to be purveyors of truth, and none of what he says can be corroborated or verified to any comfortable level. Stop the propaganda; the country has enough on its plate.
“Yes, the three-letter agencies have done some terrible things, but you can’t look at every law-enforcement official as being untrustworthy, yet that is the atmosphere this kind of tabloid journalism creates.
“In going over Montgomery’s investigation related materials, I noted that he never made mention of any of this; no Scorecard, no altered vote tabulation programs. Everything is about the harvesting software, which Bill Binney created for the NSA in 2001. Montgomery only worked for the CIA between 2003 and 2005 and 2009 and 2010. The way he talks, you would think he had a 50-year career there. If you put it all together, he doesn’t even have five years with them, and you don’t do all of this work that he claims in such a short, segmented time frame.
“Now Montgomery, Fanning and Janda want you to believe that he created Scorecard to change election results. He wants you to believe it was used in 2012 to rig the Obama vote. Here is a glaring problem for Montgomery: In 2013 he put in a whistleblower complaint directly to President Obama. Just start to think, if you are the guy who now says he made the program to rig the votes for Obama, would you submit a whistleblower complaint to the very guy you believe your software rigged the vote for? I don’t think so. In all of Montgomery’s whistleblower complaints he never mentions Scorcard or vote-tabulation rigging; it was about illegal harvesting and spying. It also should be noted that Montgomery only became a self-described whistleblower in late 2013, some months after Edward Snowden can forward.”
A comprehensive list of sources can be found here.
Update, November 12, 12:15 p.m. EST: This story has been updated with the addition of four paragraphs in which Zullo referred to Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney’s dissemination of the “Hammer” narrative and, following that, the lack of evidence to support Montgomery’s assertions.