by Sharon Rondeau
(Aug. 4, 2021) — On August 10, 11, and 12, MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell plans to host a “cyber symposium” to reveal what he alleges was “hacking” by China which changed the outcome of the November 3, 2020 presidential election.
As The Post & Email has reported, Lindell’s basis for the claim is what appears to be hundreds of pages of data provided to him by Mary Fanning, who publishes at The American Report. Fanning’s sole source of the “digital forensic evidence” is former government subcontractor Dennis L. Montgomery, who she has touted as a “whistleblower” since March 17, 2017.
Fanning, who sources say may be a former CIA operative, did not reveal to Lindell Montgomery’s lengthy litigation history, 2007 criminal referral for “perjury” by a federal magistrate, a second federal judge’s finding that Montgomery committed “fraud” against a sheriff’s office; a 13-year open criminal case in Nevada, or his well-established pattern of failing to produce verifiable evidence, identify his sources, and of making false claims against individuals, both public and private.
Montgomery has also been known to make claims relating to the emergence of major events in the news such as the NSA’s surveillance of American citizens exposed by Edward Snowden in June 2013; the trial of Trump’s first national-security adviser, Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn (Ret); the Colonial Pipeline “hack” and SolarWinds breach, through Fanning and The American Report.
Lindell has been impervious to attempts to draw his attention to the unverified nature of the “evidence” upon which he has staked his reputation and possibly his fortune, The Post & Email has been told, and has gone as far as to offer $5 million to anyone attending the symposium who can prove his information about the alleged election-hacking is inaccurate.
During recent appearances on Stephen K. Bannon’s “War Room,” which Lindell financially supports, Lindell has claimed to have obtained corroboration of the data independent of “Mary Fanning and Dennis Montgomery” when Bannon has raised the question.
The public is not invited to the symposium, which is taking place in Sioux Falls, SD, but Lindell has urged the media, members of Congress, governors, and other elected officials to attend. Further, he has predicted that as of August 13, White House occupants Joe Biden and Kamala Harris could “resign” as a result of the symposium’s revelations.
Lindell has previously claimed that a case he said he would file at the U.S. Supreme Court will result in the election being “pulled down” by unanimous vote (“9-0“) and that Donald Trump could be reinstated as president in August or September.
In handwritten notes from late December released by the Justice Department to the House Oversight Committee, then-Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen indicated that then-President Trump related claims of election fraud which included large numbers of illegally-cast ballots.
According to the notes, during the conversation Trump did not raise the specter of foreign influence in the election, but rather, focused on what he said was fraud in the “swing” states of Georgia, Arizona, Pennsylvania and Michigan. According to the documentation, Rosen and then-Acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue rejected most of Trump’s claims as “false.” Next to Trump’s apparent claim that there were 5 million registered voters in Pennsylvania but that “5.25M votes” were tabulated, however, Rosen appears to have written, “Possibly true?”
In December and January, former White House Trade Adviser Dr. Peter Navarro, in his personal capacity, published a three-part report containing what he said was evidence of “six dimensions of election irregularities” leading him to conclude that, “Yes, President Trump won.”
Foreign interference was not mentioned in Navarro’s report. Biden’s “win,” Navarro wrote, was due to “theft by a thousand cuts across six dimensions and six battleground states rather than any one single ‘silver bullet’ election irregularity” (p. 3). “Battleground states” in the 2020 election are generally understood to encompass Arizona, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia and Nevada, all of which Trump appeared to have won on Election Night but “lost” the following day after a sudden infusion of votes in each state during the early-morning hours.
On February 2, Navarro combined the three reports into one with the intention of providing exculpatory evidence to the U.S. Senate in the wake of Trump’s second impeachment by the House of Representatives, this time on the grounds that he uttered false claims about having won the election while addressing a large crowd of supporters on January 6, 2021. Trump’s claims, a majority of the U.S. House voted, constituted “inciting insurrection” as Congress was assembling to open and count the electoral votes from each state.
On February 13, Trump was acquitted of the charge in the Senate, although had he been convicted, the Constitution’s provision of removal from office would have been moot since the trial took place after January 20, when Trump left office. It might, however, have affected his ability to seek public office again should he choose to do so.
In Maricopa County, AZ, a two-month-long forensic audit of the 2020 election concluded late last month with what was reported as a third counting of all ballots. While no formal report has been released as of this writing, a hearing on July 15 revealed that as of that time, auditors found approximately 74,000 ballots mailed to county elections officials and tabulated which have no corresponding record of having been sent out.
Trump’s internal polling had said he would win Arizona as he did in 2016, and on election night, with approximately 600,000 votes yet to be counted, Fox News inexplicably called the state for Biden.
Last August, then-Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe warned that “China poses a greater national security challenge to the United States than any other country, including when it comes to possible election interference,” as reported by The Washington Examiner.
“China poses a greater national security threat to the U.S. than any other nation — economically, militarily and technologically. That includes threats of election influence and interference,” Ratcliffe was quoted as having told the outlet at the time.
On October 30 with an update November 3, the FBI and cybersecurity watchdog agency CISA.gov reported Iranian attempts at electronic election interference. The statement, titled “Iranian Advanced Persistent Threat Actor Identified Obtaining Voter Registration Data,” reads:
This joint cybersecurity advisory was coauthored by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). CISA and the FBI are aware of an Iranian advanced persistent threat (APT) actor targeting U.S. state websites—to include election websites. CISA and the FBI assess this actor is responsible for the mass dissemination of voter intimidation emails to U.S. citizens and the dissemination of U.S. election-related disinformation in mid-October 2020. 1 (Reference FBI FLASH message ME-000138-TT, disseminated October 29, 2020). Further evaluation by CISA and the FBI has identified the targeting of U.S. state election websites was an intentional effort to influence and interfere with the 2020 U.S. presidential election.
Conversely, Ratcliffe asserted in a letter to Congress dated January 7, 2021 that China exerted “efforts to influence the 2020 U.S. federal elections” and that the “majority view” of the U.S. intelligence community downplayed those efforts, possibly for political reasons.
The Post & Email has repeatedly raised the question as to why someone with claimed but questionable “national security” experience would seek out a wealthy and prominent businessman with access to Trump such as Lindell to impart to a sitting president “evidence” which remained unproved and its origin obscured.
On October 31, 2020, Fanning and her co-author, Alan Jones, launched what became a series of articles furthering a repurposed Montgomery narrative: that “The Hammer,” an alleged government supercomputer which Montgomery claimed he constructed, was deployed against the presidential election by unnamed government operatives to alter the results from Trump to Democrat Joe Biden. The story gained a substantial amount of coverage through blogs, secondary news sources and even Bannon’s show but has never been corroborated.
In early January, Fanning and Jones altered their election narrative to claim that “cyberattacks” from China, Iran, Pakistan, Russia and other countries were responsible for changing the outcome of the election. The claim was later refined to focus on China as the main perpetrator.
Lindell, too, has changed his assertions as to the “fraud” he claims robbed Trump of a second consecutive term.
Some with intelligence and analysis backgrounds have publicly refuted the accuracy of the data Fanning presented, sourced to Montgomery, or claimed Montgomery would not have had the equipment outside of a government agency to capture it all at once.
Fanning and her co-author, Alan Jones, have responded by accusing Montgomery’s critics of having “CIA connections.”
Montgomery left government service permanently in 2009 after spending several months as a subcontractor earlier that year. At the time, he was employed at Blxware, which shortly thereafter went defunct. Montgomery now claims on his website that Blxware was engaged in illegal activity on behalf of the government and, as with Fanning and Jones, that he is a “whistleblower” on that and other claims.
Montgomery’s more recent history includes his having approached the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) in 2013 claiming to possess evidence that more than 150,000 county residents were victims of government intrusions into their bank accounts, with “The Hammer” the tool allegedly utilized to accomplish it.
Montgomery’s claim was made approximately four months after former NSA/CIA contractor Edward Snowden revealed to The Guardian that the NSA routinely collected virtually all of Americans’ communications without a warrant.
As Montgomery was speaking with MCSO law enforcers, he was also interviewing with then-Fox News journalist Carl Cameron, who spent hours videotaping Montgomery reciting his claims. However, as evidenced by emails released in a federal court case, Cameron declined to run the story because Montgomery failed to produce the evidence he claimed to have.
During 2014, former New Jersey detective Mike Zullo supervised Montgomery in his role as a compensated confidential informant for the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) wherein he was to produce the “evidence” he claimed to have of government breaches into personal bank accounts. After several months and suspecting Montgomery would fail to produce anything of value, Zullo obtained then Sheriff Arpaio’s permission to obtain an analysis of Montgomery’s proffered information by three former NSA officials: Thomas Drake, William Binney and J. Kirk Wiebe.
In November 2014, Zullo and MCSO Det. Brian Mackiewicz delivered 47 hard drives of data Montgomery provided to the three, after which Wiebe and Drake wrote in an excoriating report that the information on the drives consisted of “faked and made up documents and analysis.” They wrote bluntly of Montgomery, “We have found that he is a complete and total FRAUD.”
In their writing, Fanning and Jones make no mention of Cameron’s or Zullo’s experiences with Montgomery nor of his reputation, as published in 2010 in Playboy Magazine, as “The Man Who Conned the Pentagon.”
Wiebe, who two years ago publicly endorsed Montgomery’s claims and often appears with Fanning on WVW-TV to further them, admitted to this writer he had seen no actual evidence to support Montgomery’s claims of interference in the 2020 election.