Trump Election Witnesses Somehow Even LESS Credible Than They First Appeared
She's baaaaaaaaack! You all remember Rudy Giuliani's wackass Michigan witness Mellissa Carone, right? That nutbag who just got off double super secret probation for sending harassing videos of herself bumping bits to her boyfriend's ex and somehow wound up witnessing all the "fraud" taking place at the TCF center during vote counting in Detroit?
Sure, 2020 was fucking crazy, but this was a highlight.
VIRAL MOMENT: Melissa Carone being laughed at during a hearing with the Michigan House Oversight Committee.… https://t.co/lZE4QBxTfN— The Hill (@The Hill)1607106660.0
"That poll book? Is completely off! Completely off! I'd say that poll book is off by over 100,000. That poll book? Why don't you look at the registered voters on there? How many registered voters are on there? Do you know the answer to that? Zero. Zero. There's zero," Carone blurbled, to the great amusement of everyone in the hall.
Well! Turns out something else might have been "completely off," and it is Carone's account of her crucial role in the vote counting. In her affidavit, she describes herself as having been "contracted by Dominion Voting Systems to do IT work at the TCF Center." But Dominion's defamation lawyer Thomas Clare describes the matter somewhat differently.
"We write to you now because you have positioned yourself as a prominent leader of the ongoing misinformation campaign by pretending to have some sort of 'insider's knowledge' regarding Dominion's business activities, when in reality you were hired through a staffing agency for one day to clean glass on machines and complete other menial tasks," Clare wrote. Which jibes with Carone's rather checkered work history, despite her claim to having "two degrees."
As in the spate of preservation letters sent last week to the Trump campaign, Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, Newsmax, Fox, and One America News, Clare demanded that Carone keep records of all communications regarding Dominion and her testimony in anticipation of imminent litigation. Between Thomas Clare and Mellissa Carone, well, our money's on the scaryass libel lawyer.
But, wait, there's more! On Christmas Eve the Washington Post reported that one of Sidney Powell's star Kraken witnesses whose identity had to be kept secret from opposing counsel to protect her "reputation, professional career and personal safety" is also rather less than first described. In her affidavit detailing purported vote rigging by Dominion, the witness describes herself as a "trained Cryptolinguist" with "a completed degree in Molecular and Cellular Physiology" and "over two decades of mathematical modeling and pattern analysis." In fact, the affiant is Terpsichore Maras-Lindeman, a pro-Trump podcaster and conspiracy theorist whose only formal educational attainment appears to be a bachelor's degree in biology and who has her own rather checkered work and criminal history.
After an extremely successful military career lasting all of eight months in 1997, Maras-Lindeman's reports in her affidavit that she went to work for a super secret military contractor. In a documentary shot by Infowars reporter Millie Weaver, Maras-Lindeman claims to have hacked into the State Department at the behest of former CIA Director John Brennan. When asked to verify her employment, Maras-Lindeman told the Post, "People like me don't exist. You just have to trust."
Be that as it may, her next formal employment appears to have been a position teaching Greek at a private school in Oregon. The school was under the impression that their teacher possessed a PhD. In fact many people of Maras-Lindeman's acquaintance seem to have suffered confusion as to her academic credentials, perhaps due to a since-deleted LinkedIn profile which described her as having attained eight degrees between 1997 and 2014. Or Twitter and email handles in which she described herself as "Dr. Lindeman." Or maybe it was the multiple appearance in North Dakota small claims court in which Maras-Lindeman allegedly held herself out as a pediatric oncologist.
Or maybe it was this:
North Dakota's assertions about her credentials came in a civil case brought by the state's attorney general in 2018 over a purported charitable event she tried to organize in Minot, N.D., where she and her family resided. Attorneys for the state said she used money she collected — ostensibly to fund homeless shelters and wreaths for veterans' graves — on purchases for herself at McDonald's, QVC and elsewhere.
A judge ultimately found that Maras-Lindeman violated consumer protection laws by, among other things, misspending money she raised and soliciting donations while misrepresenting her experience and education. He ordered her to pay more than $25,000.
Maras-Lindeman has appealed to the state Supreme Court. In court filings and in her interview with The Post, she denied mishandling the funds or misleading donors. She blamed identity theft and bureaucratic failings for a proliferation of variations on her name and social security numbers associated with her.
"Powell's reliance on Maras-Lindeman's testimony may raise further questions about her judgment and the strength of her arguments at a time when she is becoming an increasingly influential adviser to the president," wrote the Post's Jon Swaine. Which is one way of putting it.
Interestingly, Maras-Lindeman told the Post that she'd never spoken to Sidney Powell or anyone on her team, but had simply passed around the affidavit and later discovered it being used in the pleading. Far be it from Your Wonkette to call Sidney Powell "competent," but it seems unlikely that she'd stake her credibility on an affidavit she downloaded randomly from the ether. Also, too, as the Post notes, Maras-Lindeman told her listeners on December 7 that she'd hooked up with a group of "really good people — patriots — gathered, working hard to ensure that they not only get to the bottom of what happened during this election . . . but they're also seeking to prosecute."
Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who's the credible-est of them all ...
In fact, as between these two witnesses, it's difficult to know which possesses the most unimpeachable character and curriculum vitae. Let's go with NEITHER.
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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.