by Sharon Rondeau
(Feb. 11, 2021) – [Editor’s Note: The following represents several weeks’ worth of round-the-clock intensive research, collaboration and verification of the evolution of the “Hammer/Scorecard” narrative which has preoccupied an untold number of Americans since the November 3, 2020 presidential election wherein what appeared to be an easy victory for incumbent Donald J. Trump was transformed overnight into a reversal in every “swing” state in favor of Democratic candidate Joe Biden, who now occupies the Oval Office.
Arising from the confusion of the election aftermath were writers Mary Fanning and Alan Jones, who purported to know how the “steal” from Trump was effected. As this publication has reported over a number of years, the “Hammer/Scorecard” narrative is yet another iteration of a tale emerging more than seven years ago, with different claims, by Dennis L. Montgomery, a self-described software designer whose relationship with the U.S. intelligence community cost American taxpayers millions but reportedly yielded nothing except unsubstantiated claims.
All of the evidence presented here is gleaned from publicly-available documentation.]
[To listen to this article, in Microsoft Edge, click here, right-click on article header and click “Read aloud”]
In November 2013, at the direction of former Maricopa County, AZ Sheriff Joseph Arpaio, two investigators, Michael Zullo and Det. Brian Mackiewicz, were dispatched to Seattle, WA to interview former government subcontractor Dennis L. Montgomery pursuant to his allegations of illegal U.S. government surveillance of residents of Arizona and the nation using a secret super-computer of his design and creation he dubbed “The Hammer.” The initial interview, which eventually extended to Arpaio, would launch a yearlong investigation that ultimately showed Montgomery to have produced none of the evidence he purported to have and defrauded the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office of $120,000.
Dennis Montgomery rose to notoriety as the former CIA subcontractor deemed “The Man Who Conned the Pentagon” and has now thrust himself into the presidential election circus through the efforts of Mary Fanning and Alan Jones at The American Report.
Montgomery’s infamous past has been the subject of many articles at The Post & Email. However, Fanning and Jones have deliberately failed to disclose any of Montgomery’s dubious past dealings to their readers, including findings by two federal judges, respectively, of “perjury” and “fraud.” In one breathtaking example, Fanning and Jones neglected to inform their audience of Montgomery’s six-count felony indictment from Clark County, NV for allegedly passing a check with insufficient funds in the amount of $1.8 million in a Las Vegas casino, a case which remains open after more than a dozen years.
Despite caution having been advised to Fanning and Jones years ago, Montgomery, who has a lengthy, well-documented history of fraudulent and unsubstantiated claims, appears to have mesmerized the two “investigative journalists” with fantastical stories of his time working sporadically as a subcontractor for the CIA dating back over two decades.
Montgomery has claimed for nearly four years, through Fanning and Jones, to have “built” The Hammer. More recently, Montgomery added an alleged vote-altering software, “Scorecard,” to his narrative as to how the 2020 presidential election outcome was allegedly changed from Trump to Biden but has provided no proof to support any of his claims.
Worked his way into documentary
Since March 17, 2017, Fanning and Jones have identified Montgomery as their sole source of information on “The Hammer,” including during their appearances on Dave Janda’s “Operation Freedom” and, more recently, Brannon Howse’s WVW-TV shows.
Fanning colleagues Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney (Ret) and former NSA program developer J. Kirk Wiebe accordingly hailed Montgomery as “a world-class American statesman” and “an American hero,” respectively, and Howse established a page on his website opining that all Americans should hold Montgomery in the highest regard.
Fanning’s strategy changed, however, when on January 3, 2021, she reported in an article and on January 13 claimed to Howse to have in her possession evidence of foreign interference which allegedly changed the outcome of the U.S. presidential election. To Howse’s audience, she noticeably omitted any reference to The Hammer, Scorecard, or Dennis Montgomery. At that point, Fanning referenced only an unnamed “source” of the evidence and an unidentified “whistleblower” who allegedly brought evidence of election-tampering to then-FBI Director James Comey in 2015. While the individual can be none other than Montgomery based on Fanning’s own reporting over the years, to those not having followed the story, that detail would not have been evident.
Fanning’s new claim was incorporated into Lindell’s “documentary” on alleged election fraud, “Absolute Proof,” released last Friday, on which Lindell appeared to rely as not only credible evidence of vote-tampering, but also hand-down proof of same.
As has been noted by at least one software expert, the information is inconsistent with established facts and is therefore highly questionable.
The “cybersecurity analysts” Fanning invoked to Howse remain unidentified and unvetted.
The Post & Email can now report that in a devastating 2013 audio recording, Fanning and Jones’s star witness, the self-professed inventor of a government supercomputer named “The Hammer,” can be heard remarkably telling Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office investigators that he actually never invented, built or was consulted in the creation of the alleged CIA spying computer,“The Hammer”!
The newly-released recordings of voluntary statements Montgomery gave to MCSO investigators contains the astonishing revelation that he in fact did not create or invent “The Hammer” and stands in direct contradiction to his reported claims made to Fanning and Jones over the last nearly-four years, calling into question the validity and credibility of Fanning and Jones’s only uncorroborated source.
Zullo told The P&E that during interviews with the MCSO alleging illegal government surveillance, Montgomery never mentioned vote-altering software, “Scorecard” nor having played a part in creating any such product. “Neither did he tell this tale to Federal Judge Royce Lamberth in 2014,” Zullo said, referring to a 2014 interview Zullo arranged so that Montgomery’s information could be evaluated by a federal authority.
1. Montgomery: “Ft. Washington…a very secretive place…you’re guarded at the gates…”
2. Montgomery: “So, basically, I did not see The Hammer yet; I didn’t know anything about it…”
3. Montgomery: “They had already purchased it…”
Mackiewicz: “Did they consult you?”
Montgomery: “No, because they knew…”
“The recording of Montgomery’s voluntary 2013 interview absolutely devastates the foundation of Fanning’s already challenged body of work and calls into question the validity and credibility of her only uncorroborated source, Dennis Montgomery,” Zullo said. “This is just one example of a long list of Montgomery’s inconsistent statements, manufactured claims and continued embellishments of his ever-morphing narrative.”
Zullo told The P&E that this was not the only time Montgomery had represented to them that he did not build or have anything to do with the procurement of the government supercomputer which Montgomery described as Top Secret. And this was not the only time investigators would find Montgomery’s “glaring contradictions, embellishments and outright lies,” Zullo said. Zullo stated that Montgomery made similar admissions in his formal interview with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office in December 2013, a transcript of which The Post & Email has sought through a public-records request. Zullo said that Montgomery would later change his story from his original interview and credit himself with building The Hammer, albeit without any proof.
During the “free talk” that same year with Zullo and Mackiewicz and attorneys from the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, Montgomery described The Hammer as capable of accessing hundreds of proxy servers throughout the world and surreptitiously retrieving information without detection and in encrypted fashion. Montgomery claimed to have “invented” the software programs responsible to accomplish this highly sophisticated task. He also claimed the ability to retrieve the packet internet information traveling over internet highways, store it and later reconstruct the information from stored drives in order to put the gathered intelligence in a readable fashion. Montgomery called this process “Packet Reconstruction,” Zullo said, and claimed to have all types of information stored on 425 one-terabyte hard drives and to have liberated it from The Hammer’s purported location in Ft. Washington, Maryland.
However, the exact programs and operations described by Montgomery were actually disclosed by Edward Snowden some months before Montgomery decided to emerge as a “whistleblower” and divulge his purported secrets.
“The NSA already had and was utilizing a number of clandestine surveillance tools similar to those Montgomery described, and they were now public knowledge,” Zullo told The Post & Email. “Snowden’s revelations came months before Montgomery surfaced. The government software programs such as Narus, Verint, Xkeyscore, ThinTread and Trailblazer were already operational and had been for a number of years and not of Montgomery’s creation. All of them did exactly what Montgomery described to investigators and claimed his ‘invention’ could do. There is a very strong possibility Montgomery pored over the Snowden documents and created his spy story out of whole cloth. It all sounds good, but he just can’t prove any of it. What was becoming apparent to us in our dealings with him was he was always coming up with information after the fact. If it was in the news, out of the blue he had some type of information about it; he was always late to the party.”
Zullo said that Montgomery in 2013 made no claim of “Scorecard” or having any knowledge of vote-altering software in either his free talk or his testimony before Lamberth, at which Zullo was present. It was a question that Zullo himself point-blank asked Montgomery, with Montgomery’s response being he had no knowledge of any vote count-altering capability. This is well-documented and preserved on video and was turned over in federal court.
Zullo has also told The P&E that Montgomery’s claim of being at Ft. Washington has not been corroborated on any level. “Montgomery would have you believe he was working at Ft. Washington from early 2009 to late 2010, but documentation reveals that the Blxware contract where Montgomery was purportedly dispatched to Ft. Washington as a subcontractor was short-lived,” Zullo said. Signed in January 2009 and remaining in effect only until March of 2009, the Air Force terminated the contract because the software “failed to meet its expectations.”
“Montgomery wanted investigators to believe that he actually stole 425 hard drives containing evidence of illegal government surveillance over a short period of time, by his own description, from an ultra-secure government facility, without getting caught,” Zullo said. “Think about this: he wants you to believe he stuck 425 hard drives down his pants and just walked out of a super-secret secure facility that by his description rivals that of a James Bond movie.”
“Fanning has been feverishly trying to find anyone of credibility to validate Montgomery and his Hammer/Scorecard claims,” Zullo added. “Unsuccessful in her quest, she points to the Declaration of Dr. Navid Keshavarz-Nia, which Sidney Powell used in her Michigan election lawsuit.”
In his affidavit, Keshavarz-Nia makes reference to Hammer and Scorecard, which Fanning declared as proof of the existence and validity of Hammer/Scorecard. However, upon closer examination, Keshavarz-Nia based his reference solely on the confirmation of Lt. Gen. McInerney, Kirk Wiebe, and Dennis Montgomery.
Fanning and Jones’s iterations of their claim to possess the answer to the means by which the election was allegedly “stolen” have drawn in such well-known figures as MyPillow CEO Michael J. Lindell; Gen. McInerney; Attys. Lin Wood and Sidney Powell; and Wiebe, once a strong Montgomery critic.
“Gen. McInerney has stated publicly he received all his information from Fanning with no independent confirmation,” Zullo said. “Kirk Wiebe, who has already declared Montgomery committed fraud against the MCSO, publicly claims he hasn’t seen any of Montgomery’s information but relies solely on Montgomery’s representations and Dennis Montgomery himself. This is hardly independent proof being it all originates with Montgomery. It proves nothing.”
“The USIC has developed the Hammer and Scorecard tools, which were released by Wikileaks and independently confirmed by Lt. Gen Thomas McInerney (USAF, retired), Kirk Wiebe, former NSA of icial and Dennis Montgomery, former CIA analyst),” Keshavarz-Nia wrote in his affidavit.
On October 31, 2020, Fanning and Jones shocked the world when they reported that Montgomery had determined that an alleged government supercomputer dubbed “The Hammer” was switching votes en masse from Donald Trump to Joe Biden. Their article, issued three days before Election Day, claimed that “The Hammer,” along with software Montgomery called “Scorecard” which he said he invented, targeted eight states in a vote-switching scheme aimed at stealing the election for Biden.
Offering yet an even more salacious allegation, Montgomery claims, without a shred of evidence, that former FBI Director James Comey demanded that Montgomery turn over his purported Scorecard software source code to the FBI as part of a 2015 immunity agreement with the DOJ. The January 3, 2021 American Report article claims that the DOJ and the CIA have the Scorecard source code and Comey was the last person to acquire it. Also according to the article, Montgomery did not give the software’s source code to either China or the United Kingdom, which Montgomery recently claimed possess clones of the original “Hammer.”
To this Zullo cautioned:
I would be very leery of the claim that Comey ordered Montgomery to turn over the only copy of “Scorecard.” It is Montgomery removing the liability of having to ever produce the software that can be the only verification of his claims.
This in my opinion is a setup, Montgomery has shielded himself from having to produce the program because he says the FBI has it; go ask them. This is a tactic he has used in the past and failed, only this time he has set the stage with the excuse prior to being asked to produce it. He avoids producing evidence to verify his claim. When the FBI says they don’t have it, Montgomery will tell you they are lying. So once again he does not have the software.
It appears Montgomery wants by inference to leave the reader with the notion that Comey and other government officials gave the vote-stealing software to aid foreign governments in their evil endeavors. Again, this is out of the mind of Montgomery with zero proof of the allegation and Fanning just prints it. There is no proof that this Scorecard thing ever existed and no proof that this was the focal point of the immunity agreement. This is just what Montgomery is saying today.
Montgomery had threatened a number of times to sell his information to the Russians during the investigation. He would point out homes of what he described as Russian Mafia figures and tell us he could sell it to them. He was always angling for money. He would try to use the threat of selling the info as leverage against us. This is illustrated in 2014 real-time emails that were turned over in federal court. Montgomery is always trying to sell “The Hammer” and his information to anyone who will pay him.
It is also my understanding that Fanning has been trying to peddle Montgomery and his purported Hammer capabilities by approaching people with claims he has a back door into the government machine and can get information that would garner national attention. I think this information may be true; I turned over a recording of Montgomery telling us that he has a back door into the government computer and can access it at will,again without proof. My personal opinion is Montgomery uses the Hammer story to cover up for his own misdeeds. “Blame the government” is his central theme. Montgomery is going to position himself as the man who has or can get the info you need: pay him and he will get it, and he will do his best to make it all look real. Fanning is playing with fire.
In an even more astonishing allegation, Montgomery claims that there are now three Hammer systems operating in different countries, alleging someone other than him transferred the technology.
Despite a lack of evidence or corroboration, the “Hammer/Scorecard” narrative has been replicated on countless blogs and alternative media sites, while becoming front-and-center at Howse’s website and WVW-TV broadcasts. All the while Fanning and Jones have been concealing Montgomery’s lengthy history of unsubstantiated claims; false accusations made against others, including a sitting governor; and role in a 2003 international incident in which the U.S. asked France to ground a number of airliners for fear of a terrorist attack. Rather, the duo has relied solely on Montgomery’s word and the very minimal documentation he has provided against the backdrop of accusations, at least one of which was made under oath, of his falsifying an email provided in court as evidence.
The result of the naivete and lack of due diligence or perhaps outright omission on the part of the two self-declared “investigative journalists” is that some of America’s most prominent people are now ensnared in an unsubstantiated story which continues to evolve, jeopardizing their good reputations, credibility, and potentially their livelihoods.
Zullo has had much to say and testified to his time overseeing Montgomery’s purported production of evidence to the Sheriff’s Office over the course of 2014. As The Post & Email has carefully documented since late 2015, when Zullo first spoke about the assignment, an initial compilation of thousands of data records Montgomery proffered to the MCSO led Arpaio to believe that Montgomery’s claim of government-initiated bank-account breaches victimizing Maricopa County residents required investigation. However, when Zullo and Mackiewicz brought 47 hard drives provided by Montgomery as evidence to three former high-level NSA employees, one of whom was Wiebe, and were told in a scathing report they contained nothing of value or even of government origin, the investigation was concluded, along with Montgomery’s remuneration of $10,000 monthly.
In a 2019 interview between former NSA official Bill Binney, another of the three analysts to whom Zullo and Mackiewicz delivered the hard drives, and Jason Goodman of “Crowdsource the Truth,” Binney can be heard describing his interaction with the detectives and the information proffered by Montgomery.
Tellingly, Binney states that while he believes Montgomery’s claims require investigation, he also speculates that Montgomery could be engaged in “nefarious activity for the CIA.” He stated that the information they viewed from Montgomery’s hard drives did not originate with any NSA Tap, but rather, came from Montgomery’s own Tap. He went on to say Montgomery was doing something but it was not the NSA from what they could determine.
In a December 23, 2020 interview with The New American, Wiebe stated he “has a friend who is operating The Hammer on his computer,” with the video having been removed from YouTube’s servers. “If true, by his account it would appear that anyone can get access to the ‘Hammer’ from their basement,” Zullo observed.
It was Zullo who created all of the recordings of Montgomery’s MCSO interviews on his iPhone in a law-enforcement capacity with Montgomery’s consent, a detail Fanning and Jones have failed to disclose, instead echoing Montgomery’s more recent claim that he was “illicitly recorded.”
Fanning and Jones dubbed Zullo’s recordings “The Whistleblower Tapes” after they were played during Arpaio’s federal trial in November 2015 and leaked to The Phoenix New Times without disclosing that PNT published them first. Zullo has said over the years that Fanning did not have all the recordings of all the information or knowledge the Sheriff’s Office had gleaned as a result of the investigation.
Rather than doing the necessary due diligence and background on Montgomery as well as acknowledging Zullo was responsible for uncovering Montgomery’s fraud perpetrated on the sheriff’s office and their original source on the story, Fanning and Jones instead have dedicated time and effort in attempting to whitewash Montgomery and discredit Zullo in some of the most blatant defamatory ways, particularly in their book published last August titled, “THE HAMMER is the Key to the Coup: The Political Crime of the Century.”
Zullo is The Post & Email’s source of information on the Montgomery investigation and the recording in which Montgomery states he did not construct The Hammer. Zullo is a firsthand witness who interacted with Montgomery for over 16 months in an official capacity. Zullo has always brought documentation to substantiate his claims, most of which was testified to and supporting documentation turned over in federal court, as The Post & Email reported in November 2015 as it unfolded.
See Part 2 here.