We Feel Like The Justice Department Might Need To Speak To Michael Flynn And Rudy Giuliani
There is too much news! The January 6 Select Committee is comin' in HOT, and we're going to have to hit this stuff round-up style, because these people did not come to play.
Buckle up, kids! We're heading for Treasontown.
Not Michael Flynn In An Alleged Extortion Plot? The Devil You Say!
The Guardian just broke a wild story about former National Security Advisor and current wingnut freak Michael Flynn trying to persuade members of Pennsylvania's congressional delegation to back an audit of the state's election, which President Joe Biden won by 80,000 votes. According to Everett Stern, a Republican running for Pennsylvania's open Senate seat, he was approached in April by members of Flynn's so-called Patriot Caucus, who hoped to dig up dirt on retiring Sen. Pat Toomey and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, both Republicans, in an effort to convince them to support the recount.
Yes, that would be April of 2021, five months after the election and three months after Biden was sworn in.
It's a long article, with lots of detail on people who should be calling their lawyers right this minute. But in short, allies of Flynn told Stern they hoped to recruit “former domestic and foreign intelligence officials" for their plan. Stern, a former whistleblower at HSBC who runs an intelligence firm called Tactical Rabbit, fit the bill. Stern, who kept texts and emails from the group, says they offered to "pay him" via campaign contributions, and that the group hoped to pressure judges in the same way.
He tipped off the FBI in June, and has had long chats about this unfortunate series of events with both federal law enforcement officials and the Select Committee.
And in case Michael Flynn is Googling it right now, no, pre-emptive pardons for criminal shit you might do in the future are not a thing.
Rudy Giuliani Into Some Crazy Illegal Shit? UNPOSSIBLE!
"It was Rudy and these misfit characters who started calling the shots," a former Trump campaign staffer told CNN. "The campaign was throwing enough shit at the wall to see what would stick."
Remember that those fakakta memos from John Eastman and Jenna Ellis explicitly relied on those slates of "alternate electors," as evidence that local officials had examined the votes and found evidence of fraud. Except for how the cosplay weirdos pretending to be electors didn't assemble as a response to facts on the ground, they were assembled by the Trump campaign. In essence, the campaign put the rabbit in the hat, pulled it out again, and then shouted THERE'S YOUR ELECTION-STEALING RABBIT.
Which leads to the obvious question whether any of this was illegal. And the answer is who the hell knows. But, as CNN points out, some of the bogus electoral certificates contain hedging language that suggests some concern about the legitimacy of the enterprise. Pennsylvania's document says, "if, as a result of a final non-appealable Court Order or other proceeding prescribed by law, we are ultimately recognized as being the duly elected and qualified Electors," and New Mexico's dress-up goons signed up "on the understanding that it might later be determined that we are the duly elected and qualified Electors."
There are also pages and pages of substitutions in the certificates, which were kicked loose last week by American Oversight, because the original nominees to the Electoral College refused to go along with the whole sordid business and had to be replaced with partisan hacks.
The Post notes that Michigan AG Dana Nessel and New Mexico AG Hector Balderas have both referred the cases to the Justice Department for potential prosecution.
Meanwhile At The White House ... HOLY COUP PLOT, BATMAN!
After the Supreme Court dropkicked Trump's effort to block the National Archives from releasing his papers to the Select Committee, the documents have started to come out, and they are YIKES.
Politico just published an executive order dated December 16, which was never signed, under which the military would seize all the voting machines and "audit" them for 60 days; a special counsel would be appointed to investigate the vote; and effectively the January 20 transition of power would be canceled.
"I, Donald J. Trump, President of the United States, find that the forensic report of the Antrim County, Michigan voting machines, released December 13, 2020, and other evidence submitted to me in support of this order, provide probable cause sufficient to require action under the authorities cited above because of evidence of international and foreign interference in the November 3, 2020, election," it reads, before launching into a fact-free recital of accusations of vote tampering by foreign governments.
Note that this bears out reporting at the time that Trump was huddled up with Sidney Powell, Michael Flynn, and Patrick Byrne at the White House plotting to declare martial law, confiscate the "crooked" machines, and make Powell Special Counsel to oversee an investigation into non-existent fraud. It also jibes with the recent disclosure of that wackass PowerPoint that was pinging around DC proposing roughly the same.
In summary and in conclusion, shit is fucked up, and the news avalanche is just getting started.
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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.