Italygate Election Conspiracy Theory Takes Kansas By Storm!
Italygate is back, baby! And it's taking Kansas by storm!
If none of those words mean anything to you, congratulations, your brain has unfucked itself from the Trump administration. But the mommybloggers at Your Wonkette are not so lucky. And so we are thrilled to visit one of the more hilariously batcrap episodes of 2020 electoral fuckery, wherein chief of staff Mark Meadows told the DOJ to look into a theory that Barack Obama used $40 million to bribe Italy's former prime minister Giuseppe Conti to use Italian space lasers to hack Dominion voting machines.
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Sounds coco loco, right? Yeah, that's what the DOJ thought, with Deputy Attorney General Rich Donoghue writing to his boss Jeff Rosen "Pure insanity." And yet this thing lit up like a Jewish space laser, with #ItalyDidIt trending for a hot second.
Behind the scenes, the conspiracy theory was being flogged by some weirdo named Brad Johnson, who claims to be former CIA. But two other women, Michele Roosevelt Edwards and Maria Zack, played a more forward-facing role in spreading this lunacy.
Michele Roosevelt Edwards, AKA Michele Ballarin, AKA Michele Golden, AKA Amira Ballarin, also styled herself a covert CIA operative, as well as the Great White Hope of the Somali people.
They call me the 'Mother of Somalia,'" she told the Washington Post in 2013, adding later that the entire country clamored for her. "It's like when you leave your 2-year-old in the day-care center, and he wants you to come back. I have 9 million children."
Edwards/Ballarin/Golden gave us this, the most wonderful image of 2021, when she appears to have used her real estate license to gain access to an unoccupied Virginia mansion, where her "private chef" unwrapped a box of coffee from CVS in a disastrous attempt to convince an Icelandic reporter that she was the secret owner of Icelandair.
How bountiful art thy blessings, o Lord!
SPICY MEATBALLS! Remember Italygate? Turns Out People Behind It About As Authentic As Pasta With Ketchup
Princess Amira of Somalia was joined by a woman named Maria Zack in peddling the Italian drivel, if not the Icelandic variant.
Let's let USA Today describe Zack's theories, shall we?
"The theft of the election was orchestrated in the Rome Embassy, on the second floor of Via Veneto, by an employee, Stefano Serafini, foreign service officer of over 20 years," she said. "Stefano Serafini coordinated with a General Claudio Graziano."
"General Graziano is on the board of Leonardo — the defense contractor, Leonardo SPA," Strollo Zack continued. "Leonardo used their military satellite uplink to load the software and transfer it over to change the votes from Trump to Biden."
She also alleged that recent arrests of employees at Leonardo were related to the incident, and that the plan was orchestrated by former President Barack Obama, with help from former Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and the CIA.
Renzi? Conte? Honestly, that discrepancy is the least of the problems here.
Anyway, as TPM pointed out this morning, Zack is still screeching incoherently about this whole Italian space laser thing. And in March, she showed up to brief Kansas legislators on it. Yes, Kansas, where Trump beat Biden by 15 points.
“Why Kansas? Because Kansas was a pro-Trump victor of electors,” Zack said. “But, I would argue, you don’t know. You do not know the real result of your election. You also probably have not been made aware of what was occurring in Italy.”
She then made them aware of "what was occurring in Italy" in excruciating detail. You can watch the whole thing on Rumble if you've got an hour to spare. Or you could spend that hour huffing glue — the result will be the same.
“I may not make it much longer,” she said, implying that she might be assassinated for telling her theories to Special Counsel John Durham. “So this is my way of telling the world exactly what is happening; I will die for my country and I hope everyone in this room will as well, because we owe it to every military person around the world who has sacrificed the same, and today we are faced with that same challenge.”
But the GOP's appetite for that shit is insatiable, and the more bugfuck, the better. So instead of asking if Zack needed to be put on a 72-hour hold, they got to work.
On April 22, the Kansas Legislative Post Audit Committee published this proposal to pay four people to spend seven months, or however long it may take, to figure out how to make sure Italy doesn't poke its space lasers into Kansas's elections going forward. Well, to be fair, it doesn't mention Italy specifically. But they are going to expend an enormous amount of taxpayer money to audit Kansas's election procedures, despite zero credible allegations of widespread fraud.
TL, DR? We live in a country full of crazy people. And this Italy shit is hilarious, and also, not funny at all.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.