May 19, 2022
WASHINGTON – Committee on House Administration Ranking Member Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) and Committee Member Congressman Barry Loudermilk (R-GA) issued the following statement on the partisan 1/6 Select Committee falsely accusing Mr. Loudermilk of leading a tour through the Capitol on January 5, 2021:
“A constituent family with young children meeting with their Member of Congress in the House Office Buildings is not a suspicious group or ‘reconnaissance tour.’ The family never entered the Capitol building.
“The 1/6 political circus released the letter to the press before even notifying Mr. Loudermilk, who has still not received a copy. The Select Committee is once again pushing a verifiably false narrative that Republicans conducted ‘reconnaissance tours’ on January 5th. The facts speak for themselves; no place that the family went on the 5th was breached on the 6th, the family did not enter the Capitol grounds on the 6th, and no one in that family has been investigated or charged in connection to January 6th.
“We stand by our previous Ethics complaint against Representative Mikie Sherrill and 33 other Democratic Members of the House who made unsubstantiated claims that Republican members gave ‘reconnaissance tours’ of the Capitol. Any member who pushes false allegations against another member should be held accountable.
“We call on Capitol Police to release the tapes.”
Ethics Complaint Against Rep. Mikie Sherrill et al. for Violations of House Standards of Official Conduct and House Rules
ATLANTA — A liberal nonprofit that accused President Donald Trump of unleashing a “surge in white supremacy and hate” donated $85,000 last fall to election administrators in Georgia’s largest county as part of a campaign to turn out black votes in the 2020 election, says a report published Wednesday by Just the News . Auditors now want some of that money returned.
The Fulton County Auditor declared this month that county election officials failed to spend all of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s grant for buying absentee ballot drop boxes and did not comply with one of the grant’s primary requirements to publicly disclose how many ballots were collected in the boxes.
“The grant specified that any unused funds were to be returned to the SPLC by December 31, 2020. During our review, we identified that (21) ballot drop boxes were purchased on September 10, 2020 for a total cost of $40,614,” the auditor reported. “We also noted that as of the date of our review, the remaining $44,386 had not been returned to the SPLC and the funds remain in the Registration and Election Department’s budget.”
Officials in the county elections office, which includes Atlanta and has suffered from documented mismanagement, told the auditors they were in touch with the county’s grant division about returning money. But the report noted the deadline for doing so was already eight months past.
“Failure to return grant funds by the agreed upon deadline may lead to misuse of funds, restriction of future funding, as well as inaccurate record-keeping and financial reporting,” the auditors noted.
The audit findings are the latest to shine a light on private funds from prominent liberals that bypassed political parties, candidates and campaigns during the 2020 election and went instead to the independent judges and administrators of local elections, all in the name of pandemic safety.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg stirred controversy by donating a stunning $350 million in 2020 to another group, the Center for Tech and Civic Life, to provide grants to election administrators. Much of that money was targeted to large blue, urban areas and made requests to increase voter access for minority groups that typically lean Democrat.
After the election, when the impact of Zuckerberg’s funding became more clear, conservatives complained his funding was really Democratic get-out-the-vote money disguised as COVID aid so it could enlist local governments in the effort. At least eight states, including Arizona, have banned such private funding to election administrators since the November 2020 election.
SPLC’s role in Fulton County is likely to increase scrutiny of such private funding. Founded in the 1970s by the civil rights lawyer Morris Dees, SPLC earned a bipartisan reputation as a source of research on hate groups and racist groups. But in recent years, especially during the Trump administration, it became relentlessly critical of conservatives and aligned more with liberal doctrine.
The audit sharply criticized Fulton County’s election division for failing to comply with a requirement of the SPLC grant to provide a “direct link” on the county website “displaying the amount of absentee ballots that were returned to the Registration and Elections Board, for the 2020 general election, using the absentee ballot drop boxes.” The auditors found no such disclosure.
“We were informed by management that the request for this information to be placed on the County’s website was made verbally, but not in writing,” the auditors wrote. “Failure to adhere to agreed upon grant requirement could lead to revocation of grant funds or prohibition of future funds.”
The episode is noteworthy as much for its noncompliance as the actual source of funds.
Though a 501c3 nonprofit that is supposed to avoid direct politics, the SPLC was vocally opposed to Trump and his policies from the start of his tenure to his very last days in office. Its position was overtly stated in one campaign it ran to get Americans to sign an online petition demanding America’s 45th president accept responsibility for white supremacy.
“President Trump’s campaign and presidency have energized the white supremacist movement in unprecedented ways,” the petition read. “We saw it in the support he received from the likes of David Duke during his campaign. We saw it in the surge in hate crimes committed in his name after his election. And we saw it in the deadly gathering of white supremacists in Charlottesville.”
It added: “At this point, it’s not enough for Trump simply to condemn bigotry. He must take responsibility for the surge in white supremacy and hate that he has unleashed.”
SPLC relentlessly attacked Trump and Republicans throughout the 2020 election, from its Twitter feed to official statements. For instance, in June 2020 it decried Trump’s announcement he was listing the anarchist group Antifa as a terrorist organization as “further criminalization as a response to mourners and protesters demonstrating against abuses of police power. It is dangerous and unjust.”
It also described Antifa this way: “Individuals loosely affiliated with antifa are typically involved in skirmishes and property crimes at demonstrations across the country, but the threat of lethal violence pales in comparison to that posed by far-right extremists.”
In another infamous attack in December 2019, the group alleged that Trump had “weaponized the immigration courts into a deportation machine.”
The SPLC did not respond to an email seeking comment Monday. But when it provided the grant in October 2020, SPLC claimed it was part of a broader initiative to increase the African-American vote in Georgia, which also included multiple mailers to encourage blacks to vote by absentee ballot.
“Because lower propensity voters of color are less likely to be aware that they do not need an excuse, such as being out of town, to vote absentee, the SPLC is targeting many of them with official absentee ballot applications and instructions,” the group said at the time. “Included in the over one million eligible voters to be sent mailings are also new registrants of color since 2016, as well as more high propensity older voters of color who, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, may feel safer voting from home but are not tech-savvy enough to effectively use the state’s online absentee ballot request system.”
Phill Kline, a former Kansas attorney general and current head of the Amistad Project voter integrity initiative, said the overt anti-Trump posture of SPLC as well as its racial targeting could open the door for legal challenges.
“The SPLC joins dozens of left-leaning nonprofits funneling hundreds of millions of dollars into government election offices dictating policies which turned those offices into partisan campaign centers,” Kline said. “We have circumstantial evidence this effort was multistate and coordinated thereby implicating federal and state law concerns.”
The office announced the audit last week but declined to provide more details until Sept. 28.
Phase one of the review is underway, the office says. This phase involves verifying the accuracy of voting machines, assessing cybersecurity, and pinpointing and removing any people who cast votes illegally in 2020 from voter rolls.
State officials have received reports from the Electronic Registration Information Center regarding voters who may have voted twice or who illegally voted in Texas, despite living in another state. In addition, officials have identified votes they say were potentially cast by non-U.S. citizens and alerted counties to review each case. Once that’s done, any instances of possible illegal voting will be referred to the state Attorney General’s Office for investigation.
Phase two of the audit, estimated to take place in the spring of next year, is centered on examining election records from the counties, which also include Tarrant and Collins counties.
The Secretary of State’s office plans to examine include all chain-of-custody forms concerning equipment and all logic and accuracy testing records for voting machines.
Depending on the results of the examination, there could be a full manual recount in the affected precincts or polling locations.
“The purpose of this audit is to ensure all Texas voters can have confidence in the elections systems in our state, and to address any outstanding issues county election officials may face that undermines the integrity of our elections,” the office said in a statement.
A spokesman said in an email that the office won’t be hiring or contracting with any outside firms to conduct the audits. The position of Texas secretary of state is currently vacant.
Election offices in the four counties didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, a Democrat, told reporters last week that “the sensational announcement of an audit by the state is nothing more than a political ploy by a former president and someone who’s trying to curry favor.”
“I’m working to do everything in my power to stop this not only because complying with a sham audit will take us away from serious work we have to do but also, and most importantly, because it will take trust away from our election systems here in Harris County and here in Texas,” she added.
The review was announced shortly after former President Donald Trump called on Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, to carry out a forensic audit of the 2020 election, and shortly before an audit in Arizona was announced to have uncovered multiple inconsistencies.
Trump won Texas in the 2020 election by about 630,000 votes but said in a letter to Abbott that he heard Texans want an audit.
“Your citizens don’t trust the election system,” he wrote, adding that “Texans know voting fraud occurred in some of their counties.”
Abbott defended the audit over the weekend.
“There are audits of every aspect of government. We have a state auditor. There’s a federal auditor for the way that government operations work. Businesses that are public companies are subject to an annual audit,” he said on “Fox News Sunday.” “Why do we audit everything in this world, but people raised their hands in concern when we audit elections, which is fundamental to our democracy?”
He also said the audit was underway months ago, although that hadn’t been previously disclosed.
The Epoch Times’ Zachary Stieber contributed to the contents of this report.
PHOENIX — The forensic audit of the 2020 election in Maricopa County, Arizona, initiated by the Republican-controlled Arizona state Senate, has ruled in favor of Joe Biden despite Republican claims of mass voter fraud.
A draft report that leaked ahead of the release of the official audit report reaffirmed Biden as the winner of the presidential election in Maricopa County where President Donald Trump claimed a majority of the fraud in Arizona occured.
The report, which is already being challenged by Republicans, claims Joe Biden won 99 more votes than he did in the certified ballot count last year while Trump came up 261 votes short of last year’s official results.
Trump was quick to criticize the report’s findings, slamming the media for what he called a “rush to judgment” on the report which he said “has uncovered significant and undeniable evidence of fraud.”
“Huge findings in Arizona! However, the Fake News Media is already trying to ‘call it’ again for Biden before actually looking at the facts—just like they did in November!” Trump said in a statement released through his leadership PAC, “Save America.”
“This is a major criminal event and should be investigated by the Attorney General immediately,” he added. “The Senate’s final report will be released today at 4:00PM ET. I have heard it is far different than that being reported by the Fake News Media.”
“This is not even the whole state of Arizona, but only Maricopa County. It would only get worse!” Trump said in a subsequent statement. “There is fraud and cheating in Arizona and it must be criminally investigated! More is coming out in the hearing today.”
Randy Pullen, a spokesman for the election review, confirmed the validity of the leaked draft.
“It’s not the final report, but it’s close,” he told Phoenix’s KJZZ.
A formal presentation is scheduled before the Arizona Senate, where President Karen Fann and Sen. Warren Petersen, the Republicans who issued subpoenas that obtained the ballots and voting materials needed for the investigation, will present contractors they hired to conduct the review an opportunity to state their findings.
PHOENIX — A bombshell report out of Maricopa County, Arizona Thursday identified 299,493 lost, ghost, and inaccurate votes relating to the 2020 presidential election.
After conducting interviews with voters in Arizona’s most contested county, the Maricopa County Canvass report authored by Liz Harris detailed “major” findings pertaining to the scale that voter fraud was committed.
At least 270 votes cast in Maricopa County for the 2020 presidential election were either manipulated or missing, Harris told Right Side Broadcasting. Further, Harris found that more than a third of Arizonans interviewed indicated that they did vote, despite there being no record of them doing so.
“34.23 percent of people that we had a record of not having voted said ‘What do you mean? I voted. Yes, I did.’ And that is one of our greatest findings,” Harris told RSB. “Where did these votes go? And that’s why we’re calling these lost votes.”
The number of “lost” votes the report identified is 173,104, or the equivalent of nearly three Sun Devil stadiums, she added. “2.5 times that stadium is the number of people in Maricopa County whose votes were lost,” Harris said.
“Nine out of ten people actually thanked us for coming to their door,” Harris told Steve Bannon’s “War Room.”
“These are American citizens living in Maricopa County who cast a vote, primarily by mail, in the election and yet there is no record of their vote with the county and it was not counted in the reported vote totals for the election.”
“The results in the report are from the last two months of canvassing,” Harris told Bannon. “Our questions, they were really simple. What method did you use to vote. Did you receive extra ballots? What did you do with those extra ballots? How many registered voters are supposed to be here, and how many actually voted? Not once do we ask who the person voted for.”
PHOENIX– Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich has announced he will back Georgia’s effort to challenge a Department of Justice (DOJ) lawsuit which challenges the state’s election reform law.
“As the Attorney General of Arizona, another state where the DOJ is attempting to intimidate local officials, please know that we stand with you in this fight and will do whatever we can to push back against this blatantly political and unmerited attack,” Brnovich wrote to Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr in a letter dated June 25.
Referring to Georgia’s voting law as “common sense,” Brnovich said that, in filing its lawsuit, “the DOJ seems more concerned with appeasing far-leftist pundits and radical activists than upholding the rule of law.”
“All states have the authority, and a duty, to ensure public confidence in the integrity of our electoral process,” Brnovich wrote.
While supporters of the new law say that it’s a measure to enhance election integrity, opponents claim that the legislation is an effort to promote “voter suppression.”
Announcing the lawsuit on June 25, Attorney General Merrick Garland alleged that the law unfairly targets minority voters and is a violation of the federal Voting Rights Act.
“Our complaint alleges that recent changes to Georgia’s election laws were enacted with the purpose of denying or abridging the right of black Georgians to vote on account of their race or color,” Garland said. “Where we believe the civil rights of Americans have been violated, we will not hesitate to act.”
In a statement to the Epoch Times, Gov. Brian Kemp, who signed the bill into law on March 25, said the DOJ lawsuit is an effort by Democrats to prevent a fair election.
“Now, they are weaponizing the U.S. Department of Justice to carry out their far-left agenda that undermines election integrity and empowers federal government overreach in our democracy,” said Kemp.
“This blatantly political action taken by the United States Department of Justice is factually, legally, and constitutionally wrong,” Georgia attorney general Christopher Carr told Fox News June 28. “Anybody who will actually read the Georgia law sees it strengthens security, it expands access, and it improves transparency.”
The new law requires state issued photo identification to vote absentee by mail and mandates that secure drop boxes placed inside early voting locations require constant surveillance. Democrats claim the new measures make it more difficult to vote and disproportionately impacts minority voters.