After visiting the sham audit of votes cast in Maricopa County, Ariz., this week, Pennsylvania Republican lawmakers have called for their state to conduct a similar partisan review.
It likely wasn’t the incompetent management of the Arizona “audit” that impressed them, as the process has been marred by embarrassing errors, software issues, and alarming security breaches. Nor would it have been the lack of evidence to back up the conspiracy theories that have informed the review, or the lack of transparency and experience of those running the operation.
Rather, the Arizona Senate’s illegitimate ballot review provides a blueprint for other partisan majorities, like Pennsylvania’s, to adopt their own official processes that serve to undermine faith in the integrity of the 2020 presidential election. Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos has taken the same cue, announcing last week his own bogus investigation.
One of the Pennsylvania Republicans to get a tour of the operation was state Sen. Doug Mastriano. Mastriano had spent thousands to bus people to the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, the day of the deadly insurrection. And this week, video footage emerged that appears to show Arizona Rep. Mark Finchem — a supporter of the Arizona recount — having been closer to the Capitol that day than he had previously said.
Meanwhile, the same seditionist beliefs that motivated people to storm the Capitol to prevent the certification of President Biden’s election are alive among those who believe former President Trump will still be reinstated. This past weekend, at a Dallas conference with ties to QAnon, Trump supporters downplayed the Jan. 6 attack, with former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn even voicing support for a military coup to reinstate Trump.
The drive for accountability for the insurrection was dealt a blow late last week, when a Senate vote on a bipartisan commission to study the events of Jan. 6 did not garner enough support to overcome a Republican filibuster. Here’s why the next best option is a congressional select committee.
While many of the officials behind these illegitimate and anti-democratic recounts claim they’re not trying to change the 2020 election’s results, the mere existence of those recounts provides pretext for the myriad new voting restrictions across the country.
In Texas on Sunday night, the final night of the state legislature’s 2021 session, Democratic lawmakers staged a walkout to prevent the passage of a bill containing harsh new voting restrictions. Gov. Greg Abbott’s threats to block those legislators’ pay and his characterization of the walkout as an abandonment of responsibility does not, of course, address the fact that there is no widespread fraud in Texas or elsewhere to justify the legislation. Here are some other recent headlines:
Controversial Trump Immigration Office Lives On
Last month, Time magazine reported that the Biden administration plans to keep the Trump-era Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement office, which was created to advance the Trump administration’s anti-immigration agenda. The office helped promote the narrative that immigration was linked with crime — a narrative frequently pushed by Trump immigration adviser Stephen Miller. Here is more about records we obtained that shed light on many of those anti-immigration PR efforts.
The Early Days of Pandemic Response
We recently published records from the Department of Veterans Affairs that contain a number of emails from last spring about efforts to repatriate Americans who were abroad at the beginning of the pandemic. The communications largely center on protocols for quarantining those Americans, including passengers from the Diamond Princess cruise ship. Details are here.
Part of Investigation: