This is the shape of things to come, apparently. We’re used to gerrymandering and voter suppression but now add to that Republicans who lose elections challenging the fairness of the election and crooks getting involved in the elections process. Cleta Mitchell, who was the attorney from a white shoe law firm who got involved with Donald Trump and his mad quixotic quest to overturn the 2020 election is the latest recruit to this effort.
Breaking: Cleta Mitchell — an attorney who who was integral in helping Trump craft the false narrative he won the 2020 election — has been named to the board of advisors for the Election Assistance Commission. pic.twitter.com/aerONsu1tD
— Jessica Huseman (@JessicaHuseman) November 15, 2021
And Mitchell keeps some terrific company. She’s a member of the secretive and “shadowy” far right wing Christian nationalist and plutocratic Council for National Policy along with right-wingnuts Charlie Kirk, Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins, Liberty Counsel’s Matt Stavers, and American Family Association’s Tim Wildmon. They’re apparently ramping up their efforts to ensure victory in elections by undermining the election process at a grassroots level.
Last month, Mitchell was tapped by the libertarian FreedomWorks to spearhead a $10m drive in seven key states including Georgia, Arizona and Michigan to change voting laws to curb potential but unproven election fraud, which many Democrats and legal experts view as aimed at limiting minority votes.
According to a FreedomWorks spokesman, another key part of Mitchell’s mission leading its “National Election Protection Initiative”, is to rally opposition to a House-passed bill that in part would expand voting rights nationally which its sponsors see as necessary to counter the conservative assaults on voting rights in many states.
Georgia last month enacted a law that makes voting tougher with new curbs on absentee ballots and on voters in heavily Democratic urban and suburban areas, sparking lawsuits from civil rights and liberal groups, plus a sharp attack from Biden.
FreedomWorks’ president, Adam Brandon, has hailed Mitchell as “an outspoken advocate and voice of reason for improved election laws, especially during the chaotic 2020 election cycle”, and dubbed her “our guide”, chairing its election initiative, which will also include training and deploying activists in the states to monitor election procedures.
Likewise, the Trump-allied Conservative Partnership Institute last month recruited Mitchell as a “senior fellow” with a similar mission. Mitchell told the AP she is working to “coordinate” conservative views on voting to bolster opposition to the House passed voting rights legislation that is pending in the Senate.
Mitchell has her fingers in a lot of pies and none of them bode well for democracy or free and fair elections. She also hangs out with Patrick Byrne. Remember how he and Michael Flynn put together that “documentary” on the 2020 election and Mitchell was one of the people claiming it was impossible to know who won the 2020 election?
Dream City Church in Phoenix, Arizona, as an unintended comedy. One night in June, a few hundred people gathered for the première of “The Deep Rig,” a film financed by the multimillionaire founder of Overstock.com, Patrick Byrne, who is a vocal supporter of former President Donald Trump. Styled as a documentary, the movie asserts that the 2020 Presidential election was stolen by supporters of Joe Biden, including by Antifa members who chatted about their sinister plot on a conference call. The evening’s program featured live appearances by Byrne and a local QAnon conspiracist, BabyQ, who claimed to be receiving messages from his future self. They were joined by the film’s director, who had previously made an exposé contending that the real perpetrators of 9/11 were space aliens.
But the event, for all its absurdities, had a dark surprise: “The Deep Rig” repeatedly quotes Doug Logan, the C.E.O. of Cyber Ninjas, a Florida-based company that consults with clients on software security. In a voice-over, Logan warns, “If we don’t fix our election integrity now, we may no longer have a democracy.” He also suggests, without evidence, that members of the “deep state,” such as C.I.A. agents, have intentionally spread disinformation about the election. Although it wasn’t the first time that Logan had promoted what has come to be known as the Big Lie about the 2020 election—he had tweeted unsubstantiated claims that Trump had been victimized by voter fraud—the film offered stark confirmation of Logan’s entanglement in fringe conspiracies. Nevertheless, the president of the Arizona State Senate, Karen Fann, has put Logan’s company in charge of a “forensic audit”—an ongoing review of the state’s 2020 Presidential vote. It’s an unprecedented undertaking, with potentially explosive consequences for American democracy.
Approximately 2.1 million Presidential votes were cast in Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix and accounts for most of the state’s population. In recent years, younger voters and people of color have turned the county’s electorate increasingly Democratic—a shift that helped Biden win the traditionally conservative state, by 10,457 votes. Since the election, the county has become a focus of ire for Trump and his supporters. By March, when Logan’s company was hired, the county had already undergone four election audits, all of which upheld the outcome. Governor Doug Ducey, a Republican and a former Trump ally, had certified Biden’s victory. But Trump’s core supporters were not assuaged.
As soon as the Fox News Decision Desk called the state for Biden, at 11:20 p.m. on November 3rd, Trump demanded that the network “reverse this!” When Fox held firm, he declared, “This is a major fraud.” By the time of the “Deep Rig” première, the standoff had dragged on for more than half a year. The Cyber Ninjas audit was supposed to conclude in May, but at the company’s request Fann has repeatedly extended it. On July 28th, the auditors completed a hand recount, but they are still demanding access to the computer routers used by Maricopa County and also want to scrutinize images of mail-in-ballot envelopes. The U.S. Department of Justice has warned that “private actors who have neither experience nor expertise in handling” ballots could face prosecution for failing to follow federal audit rules. Trump, meanwhile, has fixated on Arizona’s audit, describing it as a step toward his “reinstatement.” On July 24th, he appeared in Phoenix for a “Rally to Protect Our Elections,” and said, “I am not the one trying to undermine American democracy—I’m the one trying to save American democracy.” Predicting that the audit would vindicate him, he rambled angrily for nearly two hours about having been cheated, calling the election “a scam—the greatest crime in history.”
Read the entire article. You will get a sense for who Cleta Mitchell is and who she’s involved with. This is all very dark material and Mitchell is a dark character.