Overstock Weirdo Patrick Byrne Brings The Crazy To Jan. 6 Committee Testimony

On Friday, the January 6 Select Committee spent more than seven hours interviewing former Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne, according to CNN.

Poor bastards.

Byrne bankrolled much of the Stop the Steal goon squad, including funding the Arizona fraudit, and he showed up in the infamous December 18, 2020, Oval Office meeting where he, Sidney Powell, Mike Flynn, and Rudy Giuliani tried to get the president to seize the voting machines and possibly re-run the election.

Even as a CEO, Byrne was kind of a wacko, convinced that the company's woes were the result of hedge funds shorting its stock, rather than Amazon and Wayfair eating its lunch. During a 2005 conference call with shareholders, he referred to one accused short seller as a "Sith Lord" (likely SAC Capital founder Steve Cohen), a move that caused his own father to threaten to step down from the board if he didn't rein that shit in.

In the most predictable turn of events possible, he became obsessed with blockchain, convinced it would save the world. In a less predictable turn, he embarked on an affair with Russian agent Maria Butina, which he says he conducted at the behest of the FBI. As one does.


Right. Cool. So awesome that this fuckin' weirdo was able to sneak into the Oval Office. And BTW, he continued to send Butina cash "gifts" even after she returned to Russia and James Comey was out of power at the FBI, which just goes to show the power of the Deep State!

Details of the Oval Office conflagration appeared online within weeks. In what seemed like an attempt to scoop Axios, whose story appeared online on February 2, 2021, Byrne published an account on his own blog on February 1. (Hat tip to Marcy Wheeler, who flagged this batshit post.)

Axios depicts Byrne scarfing down plate after plate of cocktail meatballs, while shouting that the White House lawyers were "quitters."

"I know how this works. I bribed Hillary Clinton $18 million on behalf of the FBI for a sting operation," he blurted out, attempting to underline his own expertise in the face of lawyers insisting that their plan was entirely illegal and also batshit insane.

"What the hell are you talking about?" shot back Eric Herschmann. "Why would you say something like that?"

In contrast, Byrne describes the White House lawyers, particularly Pat Cipollone, losing their shit, while Donald Trump, the wise, old owl, "measured, gracious, and even soft-spoken," chuckled quietly to himself, and philosophically considered each point presented.

The points presented by Powell and her team of weirdos revolved around a pair of executive orders that supposedly empowered the president to sanction foreign governments for interfering in our elections. As Chris Krebs, who was fired as head of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) for saying there was no major electoral fraud, notes, these orders have nothing to do with the president seizing the apparatus of American elections.

And yet, here was Byrne's plan, in his own words:

In brief: there was a quick way to resolve this national crisis because he had power to act in ways he was not understanding. Under an Executive Order that he had signed in 2018, and another Executive Order that President [Barack] Obama had signed in 2015, he could “find” that there was adequate evidence of foreign interference with the election, and while doing so would give him authority to do a number of big things, all he had to do was one small thing: direct a federal force (we suggested US Marshall Service + National Guard) to go to the six counties in question (the Problematic 6), and re-count (on livestream TV) the paper ballots that were held as fail-safe back-up. It would only take a few days. Even more conclusive would be if they imaged the hard-drives and those images could be examined forensically (which would make the project last no more than a week, as we had already cracked the Antrim County machines and knew precisely what to do going forward). In either case, if there was no mischief found, then President Trump would concede the election. But if (as we suspected) evidence of hundreds of thousands of improper votes was found in each of the six counties in question, then he would have a wide variety of options. He might have those six states re-counted. Or he might have 50 states recounted on livestream TV by federal forces, and America would finally have its answer to, “How much election fraud does our nation suffer?” Or he might skip that and have the National Guard re-run the elections in those six states.

How the hell do you call for deploying the National Guard and claim you didn't advocate for martial law? And aside from that, if it was so easily done, why didn't the White House or campaign lawyers think of it themselves?

Well, our Pat has an answer for that:

"We think there is a much shorter route through all of this than your team is pursuing,” I closed saying, “But Sir, entrepreneur to entrepreneur, I feel I must mention something. As you may know, I have been swimming around the outside of your administration for a couple months now, and I must tell you, I do not think you are being well-served by many people in the White House. I can bring in young staffers who will tell you that some of your senior leadership don’t want you to win. They want you to concede.”

The President raised his eyebrows at my frankness. Then, like a man who knew the answer, he asked quietly, “Why?”

“I’m not sure,” I said, “but I hear people are getting signals that if they’re good boys and get you out the door, there will be jobs waiting for them. But if they don’t, they won’t be getting offers from the right law firms, they won’t be getting invitations from the right country clubs, they won’t be getting invited to the socialite parties on Manhattan…” Trump grimaced, and we moved on.

In the wake of his testimony, Byrne sat down with the Epoch Times to explain that, if only Rudy Giuliani hadn't talked Trump out of this cool and easy plan to send in the National Guard to seize the machines by insisting that they'd all wind up in jail if they went through with it, there would have been no Capitol riot.

"When we left Rudy had his time, and he convinced the president to back out of our plan. And that's why, after that was all done, an hour later, then president went on and [sent the infamous 'wild protest' tweet] — see, our plan, this would all have been over in a few days, it wasn't about J6 and there was no mention of J6 or anything about a rally," he tut-tuts.

See, it was all Rudy's fault. If only he'd let them implement NOT martial law and seize the voting machines, there would have been no violence. Bad Rudy!

Anyway, after Byrne leaves the SCIF, this dude can go right to a rubber room. Or he can continue to spend money destroying democracy.

Prolly gonna be that second one, TBH.

OPEN THREAD!

[CNN / Axios / That Nutter's Fuckbonkers Blog]

Follow Liz Dye on Twitter!

Click the widget to keep your Wonkette ad-free and feisty. And if you're ordering from Amazon, use this link, because reasons.

How often would you like to donate?

Select an amount (USD)

Liz Dye

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.

Donate

How often would you like to donate?

Select an amount (USD)

Newsletter

©2018 by Commie Girl Industries, Inc