by Sharon Rondeau
(Dec. 19, 2020) — At approximately 9:42 AM PT on Saturday, President Donald Trump tweeted, in response to a New York Post opinion column and photo depicting an interview Democratic challenger Joe Biden conducted with late-night comedian Stephen Colbert on Thursday night, “Biden didn’t win. He lost all six swing states, by a lot.”
The tweet continued with, “They then dumped hundreds of thousands of votes in each one, and got caught. Now Republican politicians have to fight so that their great victory is not stolen. Don’t be weak fools!”
Since November 4, the day after the election, Trump and his surrogates have claimed Trump won the general election “by a landslide” despite Biden’s reported wins in the “swing” states of Arizona, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and later, Georgia.
The Trump campaign legal team has attempted to present oral argument in courts throughout the “swing” states with what Trump personal attorney Rudy Giuliani said “a thousand” sworn affidavits describing various forms of fraud. While some cases gained an initial hearing, virtually all were dismissed in the early stages.
In a ruling Monday to a case brought by the Wisconsin Republican Party, however, that state’s supreme court wrote that voters should not have been able to automatically claim they were “indefinitely confined” without showing identification, which occurred with a reported 243,000 ballots.
Biden reportedly won Wisconsin by approximately 20,000 votes.
On December 11, the U.S. Supreme Court, too, declined to hear a case arising in Texas against four of the “swing” states alleging that their illegitimate actions on Election Day and afterward affected Texas voters and the rest of the country.
On December 14, the six “swing” states in question plus New Mexico sent Republican electors to cast Electoral-College votes for Trump, resulting in two slates of electors from those states.
On Thursday Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) and 17 other House Republicans wrote a letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and key committee heads requesting “immediate” hearings into thousands of allegations of voter fraud in the presidential contest prior to the constitutionally-mandated joint session of Congress on January 6 to approve or disapprove the electoral votes cast for president.
As for the Supreme Court, Attorney Lin Wood, a Trump supporter who has filed his own election lawsuits and more recent evidenceas well as jointly with attorney Sidney Powell in Georgia, contended on Twitter Thursday that Chief Justice John G. Roberts is compromised based on the allegation that he engaged in a conversation with Associate Justice Stephen Breyer this past August in which he pledged to work toward Trump’s defeat on November 3.
Neither the court nor Wood’s office responded to a request for comment.
Both Wood and Powell have urged Trump to invoke Executive Order 13484, which he signed September 12, 2018 and is titled, “Executive Order on Imposing Certain Sanctions in the Event of Foreign Interference in a United States Election” and mandates that:
Section 1. (a) Not later than 45 days after the conclusion of a United States election, the Director of National Intelligence, in consultation with the heads of any other appropriate executive departments and agencies (agencies), shall conduct an assessment of any information indicating that a foreign government, or any person acting as an agent of or on behalf of a foreign government, has acted with the intent or purpose of interfering in that election. The assessment shall identify, to the maximum extent ascertainable, the nature of any foreign interference and any methods employed to execute it, the persons involved, and the foreign government or governments that authorized, directed, sponsored, or supported it. The Director of National Intelligence shall deliver this assessment and appropriate supporting information to the President, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Defense, the Attorney General, and the Secretary of Homeland Security.
On Wednesday, it was announced that the expected report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) would not be presented on Friday, December 18, which marked 45 days from the date of the election. However, CBS News’s Catherine Herridge reported that day that DNI John Ratcliffe told her that there was “foreign election interference by China, Iran, and Russia.”
Recent headlines report that Eric Swalwell, a member of the U.S. House of Representative from California, is “compromised” by his former relationship with a “Chinese spy” and that Pelosi has not yet moved to remove Swalwell from the House Permanent Select Subcommittee on Intelligence. On Friday night, House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy stated he is concerned by Pelosi’s slowness to act, particularly after an FBI briefing he and Pelosi received Friday in which he became convinced Swalwell should not be serving on the committee.
On Sunday night, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), an agency of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), issued “Emergency Directive 21-01“:
in response to a known compromise involving SolarWinds Orion products that are currently being exploited by malicious actors. This Emergency Directive calls on all federal civilian agencies to review their networks for indicators of compromise and disconnect or power down SolarWinds Orion products immediately.
The compromise of SolarWinds’ Orion Network Management Products poses unacceptable risks to the security of federal networks,” said CISA Acting Director Brandon Wales. “Tonight’s directive is intended to mitigate potential compromises within federal civilian networks, and we urge all our partners—in the public and private sectors—to assess their exposure to this compromise and to secure their networks against any exploitation.”
A second bulletin issued Thursday and updated Friday begins, “The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is aware of compromises of U.S. government agencies, critical infrastructure entities, and private sector organizations by an advanced persistent threat (APT) actor beginning in at least March 2020. This APT actor has demonstrated patience, operational security, and complex tradecraft in these intrusions. CISA expects that removing this threat actor from compromised environments will be highly complex and challenging for organizations.”
The agency’s former head, Chris Krebs, who Trump fired after CISA, in conjunction with other groups, issued a November 12 statement contending that “The November 3rd election was the most secure in American history. Right now, across the country, election officials are reviewing and double checking the entire election process prior to finalizing the result.”
In sworn testimony Wednesday to the Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee chaired by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), Krebs stood by his initial assessment while admitting that some voting machines on Election Day may have been briefly connected to the Internet.
Krebs, who told lawmakers he is a Republican, urged the nation to accept “president-elect” Biden.
When he fired Krebs on November 17, however, Trump tweeted that “The only thing secure about our 2020 Election was that it was virtually impenetrable by foreign powers. On that, the Trump Administration takes great credit. Unfortunately, the Radical Left Democrats, Dominion, and others, were perhaps more successful!”
On Friday Wood tweeted, “Our Country is undergoing a massive cyberattack of its computer systems. A foreign entity or entities can hack into our most protected national security computer systems but no way they played games with our 11/3 election & its computer systems. Right.”
Update, 6:24 p.m. ET: Twitter has censored Trump’s tweet with, “Election officials have certified Joe Biden as the winner of the U.S. Presidential election.”