Multiple sources with knowledge of the investigation into Russia's hacking say the US intelligence community is increasingly confident that Russian meddling in the US election was intended to steer the election toward Trump, rather than simply to undermine or in other ways disrupt the political process. The sources say there is some new information but would not specify due to the classified nature of the intelligence.
The call to release the information came in a short letter to the president released by seven Democratic senators that said "there is additional information concerning the Russian Government and the U.S. election" and called for the details to be declassified and released to the public. The public letter was signed by all the Democrats on the Senate intelligence community except the ranking member, Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Feinstein did sign the second, classified message sent conveying more information about the request.
Sen. Angus King of Maine said he supports declassifying information on Russian attempts to intervene in November’s presidential election, not to revisit the outcome but to shed light on a “national security issue of the gravest consequence.”
“This is an arrow aimed at the heart of democracy by a foreign government and I think we need to take it very seriously,” King said Thursday in an interview.
The senators’ letter to Obama was as succinct as it was unusual.
“We believe there is additional information concerning the Russian government and the U.S. election that should be declassified and released to the public. We are conveying specifics through classified channels. Thank you for your attention to this important matter,” reads the text of the three-sentence letter.
A team of Trump attorneys filed a lawsuit in Pennsylvania late Thursday requesting a dismissal of Green Party nominee Jill Stein’s recount effort, arguing that she lacks a valid claim and merely “alleges speculative illegality.”
On Friday morning, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette filed a lawsuit to stop the recount there, a move that came hours after Trump attorneys had filed a complaint to block the proceedings.
And soon after, a pro-Trump super PAC filed suit in Wisconsin, insisting Stein’s recount push could “unjustifiably cast doubt upon the legitimacy of President-Elect Donald J. Trump’s victory.”
That's quite correct, if by "unjustifiably" the PAC means "justifiably." After all, there can be no shadow on the legitimacy of the election unless the recount/audit effort finds actual evidence. So what are the Trumpers afraid of? (And yes, I'd say the exact same thing if the party positions were reversed. Principle before party.)
The Trumper response reminds me of what the cop said in L.A. Confidential: "You've got a big guilty sign around your neck."
Some Trump supporters have said that the recount is a waste of taxpayer dollars. How can this be so, if the money is coming from individual donations? Both Republicans and Democrats have intimated that Stein is engaging in a money-making scheme. Balderdash. The money is going to the recounts! And the price increases certainly are not the fault of Jill Stein, Hillary Clinton or any other recount supporter. The state of Wisconsin has suddenly jacked up the amount of money that they're asking for to $3.5 million (up from around $1 million). Don't blame Stein: Blame Wisconsin.
As all fans of Life of Brian know, Jesus did not say "Blessed are the cheesemakers." If Wisconsin keeps raising the price of democracy, he'll probably be very cross with those cheesemakers.
The best source of election integrity news is, as always, BradBlog:
Over the past 24 hours, Donald Trump or his surrogates have filed multiple legal complaints in three different states in an effort to stop the "recounts" (hand-counts, machine counts and/or forensic analyses of computerized voting and tabulation systems) as lawfully sought by Green Party Presidential nominee Dr. Jill Stein. As the Stein camp noted today, the sudden interest by Team Trump comes as Trump's margin over Hillary Clinton has dropped from about almost 70,000 votes to about 46,000 votes (out of some 6 million tallied) as PA counties finally complete their initial tallies. The Stein camp notes today: "With his margin of victory in the state nearly halved as of last night, and now within 0.2% of triggering an automatic statewide recount, Donald Trump is desperately fighting to stop the recount in Pennsylvania." His attorneys filed a suit [PDF] late Thursday to dismiss her filings in the Keystone State.
He is also attempting, somewhat successfully, to stop hand-counting from moving forward in MI, where he reportedly leads Clinton by just over 10,000 votes out of about 5 million tallied, including more than 75,000 ballots with no vote reported for President at all, many of those cast in or near Detroit. That figure, Stein charges, "is double the number [of undervotes] from 2012."
In Wisconsin, pro-Trump outfits calling themselves the Great America PAC and the Stop Hillary PAC filed a complaint [PDF] in federal court to immediately stop the counting of ballots, which is now in its second day in the Badger State. That complaint, citing Bush v. Gore from 2000, argues that counting ballots violates the Equal Protection and Due Process clauses of the U.S. Constitution and "may cast an unjustified pall over the election of President-Elect Trump, undermining public confidence in the integrity of the electoral process." Sounds familiar, ironic and, yes, hypocritical.
Remember, the "Brooks Brothers riot" in 2000 was largely the work of Trump's best friend, Roger Stone. (Which is ironic, since Stone would never wear Brooks Brothers.)
And now please scroll down to read Dave Morris' piece. It's damned good.
Why? Never tell anyone outside the family what you think. After two terms, Obama can trust his sources because they can trust him. It's good to be Commander-In-Chief.
The recounts are essentially trivial matters to him, but they might be cited when the time comes. First, the Electoral College has to meet and cast votes. Second, the new Congress has to be sworn. Third, Obama has to decide if he'll allow a new president (you know who) to take the oath.
We have to wonder if martial law would serve the United States better under Obama or under Trump. I will not be upset watching Obama on TV explaining the new rules of order and providing his legal brief for the extraordinary action. As a footnote, I suppose that Hillary had access in 1973 (while she served the House Committee during its impeachment proceedings) to the Nixon White House contingency plans (from VP Agnew's staff) to cancel the 1972 election, suspend the Constitution, declare martial law, and round up enemies. It's also likely that she, for one, had read the secret Lewis Powell Memo that circulated and established the momentum for what became the far-right success story.
Congress will not be able to meet, the Supreme Court is still 4-4 and three Justices are women.
I predict that Chief Justice Roberts will administer the oath of office to Trump in a tweet and trump will take the oath in a tweet.
posted by Amelie D'bunquerre : 11:46 PM
No less than Roger Stone, himself, (and he should know!) has been quoted in The Hill as saying Scott Walker and Reince Priebus know how to rig an election, and in fact have done so five times in Wisconsin. http://www.wpr.org/former-trump-advisor-scott-walker-has-rigged-5-elections
posted by Anonymous : 2:05 AM
In an ideal world, Tim Kaine would now officially respond to team Trump's court filings. As VP candidate with a chance to win if the results are overturned, this would destroy their major argument while perhaps sparing Hillary from the full force of Trump's vindictiveness if (as is likely) the whole thing still goes south.
Dream on, David.....
posted by David Jay Morris : 2:45 AM
If a volunteer grabs a hundred ballots and fills them out prior to the voting stations opening, or simply does the voting where no one will see them, those votes will look normal during a recount. What won't look normal is if the signature book each voter signs has 300 total signatures but that voting station delivered 400 votes, which apparently happened in 3 or 4 precincts in Wisconsin.
Also, what if 100 Clinton votes were replaced with 100 manufacture Trump votes so the totals match the signatures in the book? I presume the unused ballots are returned and counted to make sure that all ballots are accounted for.
Simply recounting ballots is very, very dumb if no other investigation is simultaneously going on.
I would like to know if NRA members were permitted within one hundred feet of a voting station other than to vote once and then leave. The NRA makes up 5% of all Trump voters and since the NRA had the largest anti Clinton PAC they should not have been allowed to volunteer at any voting station. Of course the FBI is on this to the degree that OJ Simpson was searching for his murdered estranged wife's killers.
I have come around to all legal recounts being done.
Wisconsin AND Michigan should have full recounts because it is within the rules for both.
There will be end to this uprest unless they do them.
Pennsylvania will only get a full recount if the margin gets down to .5-where it seems it is headed. Otherwise they should follow their laws with a partial.
Trump should get out of the way. Not allowing recounts in wisconsin and Michigan will just delegitimize his Presidency.
If Pennsylvania gets to .5 he should get out of the way for that
posted by gerry : 8:22 AM
also -in wisconsin nearly 60 percent of Trump winning counties are doing hand recounts.
some others are using combinations.
the big urban areas that were heavy Clinton are doing machine recounts.
Also on a daily basis Wisconsin is posting spreadsheets on the counts that are done.
these are excel sheets i cannot access though. However they are telling you if any candidate picks up or loses 10 or more seperatly.
so far after 2 days mostly one's or 2's or no changes. No big changes yet
posted by gerry : 8:35 AM
anonymous-the broken seals have been shown to be the original warranty seals from when the machines were bought. these machines are very old and most manufacturers no longer exist.
I'm sure most of them have had warranty seals broken and repairs done on these machines over the years
posted by gerry : 1:26 PM
I saw an interesting tweet from a NYT "reporter" that said something to the effect that as the election drew closer Trump had been advised to focus campaign efforts in Michigan and Wisconsin. The NYT "reporter" wondered why that advice was given and who was behind it. Well, NYT "reporter", if you all hadn't been so obsessed with all Hillary emails all the time someone may have investigated that.