The Election Official Who Tried to Prove “Stop the Steal” (2022)

The event unravelled from there. The next day, files from the Mesa County election system were projected on a big screen. Watkins, who was broadcasting remotely, planned to analyze them in real time, with Frank, who was onstage. But there were technical problems with the live stream, and Watkins could not hear what was happening in the auditorium. Then, suddenly, Watkins interjected that he was being advised by his lawyer to say that the files had been taken from Peters’s office and the “data review” needed to shut down. He also told the crowd that his lawyer urged him to issue the following statement: “I just learned that Conan James Hayes may have taken, without authorization, the actual hard drives from the Mesa County—or the Mesa, Colorado, County Clerk—and he needs to produce those hard drives immediately and return them to the clerk.”

(Video) Hear the calls Trump made as he tried to steal the election

Frank called Peters up to the stage to address this unexpected turn of events. She denied that any hard drives had been taken from her office “unless it happened during the raid.” Frank put his arm around Peters and told her he’d just been informed that they were “not allowed legally” to let her take questions.

The Mesa County files did show that the trusted build erased the software that had been used during the 2020 election. But that is precisely what the update was designed to do. The purpose of a trusted build is to patch the system’s known vulnerabilities and add new functionalities for users. In the process, the prior election software gets overwritten, which is why the clerk is supposed to back up the voting records and the system’s access and activity logs beforehand. (The paper ballots are also saved for more than two years.) Robert Graham, a cybersecurity professional who was at Lindell’s symposium, described the scene in Sioux Falls as “all weird nonsense.” “They’re trying to argue this thing that their listeners or the Republican masses want to believe,” he said, “and so they keep structuring the reality to fit that conspiracy theory.”

(Video) US election: "Stop the Steal!" Trump supporters demonstrate in Nevada as ballot count continues

That August, both Jena Griswold, Colorado’s Democratic secretary of state, and Dan Rubinstein, the county’s Republican district attorney, announced that they had begun separate investigations into Peters and her deputy, Belinda Knisley. Griswold had much of the Mesa County voting equipment decommissioned; a district-court judge then barred Peters from overseeing Mesa County elections. The state’s ethics commission began receiving complaints alleging that Peters violated Colorado’s sixty-five-dollar gift limit for public officials when she accepted flights and lodging from Lindell, and that she operated a “criminal legal defense fund” to which Lindell once acknowledged contributing as much as eight hundred thousand dollars. (Lindell told me that he’d misspoken and, in fact, had not contributed a single dollar to Peters’s fund. “I thought I had put money,” he said. “But my lawyer and accountant told me, ‘No, Mike, you did not put any money.’”)

On November 16, 2021, F.B.I. agents searched the homes of Peters and Bishop. Bishop told me their digital devices were seized. In a video posted on her social-media channel, Bishop said that the federal agents were looking for evidence of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Three months later, Rubinstein announced that a grand jury had been impanelled to investigate the breach. That same day, Peters declared that she would be running for reëlection as county clerk. A month later, she scrapped that plan and announced on Steve Bannon’s “War Room” broadcast that she would instead be running for secretary of state. In so doing, she became one of at least twenty-two election deniers vying this year to take charge of elections in eighteen states, a move that is widely understood to be a coördinated bid to replace impartial election officials with Trump allies. At a 2021 QAnon-themed conference, Jim Marchant, who is now the Republican candidate for secretary of state in Nevada, said that Lindell and Byrne are part of a coalition behind this effort. (Both Lindell and Byrne denied this, but the America Project, an organization that Byrne co-runs, has donated tens of thousands of dollars to a political-action committee that supports the coalition.)

On March 8th, a few weeks after Peters announced her candidacy for Colorado secretary of state, the grand jury indicted her and Knisley for a mix of felonies and misdemeanors, including identity theft, conspiracy to commit criminal impersonation, and attempts to influence public officials. In the world of election deniers, it was a badge of honor. The next day, Bannon told his audience, “Tina Peters is now a national crusade.” Mike Flynn, Trump’s former national-security adviser, endorsed her candidacy. So far, the investigation into Peters has cost Mesa County more than a million dollars, a figure that does not include costs incurred by the district attorney’s office, local law enforcement, and the offices of Colorado’s attorney general and secretary of state. Though Peters was barred from entering the Clerk and Recorder’s Office, she continued to receive her ninety-three-thousand-dollar salary. She has denied any wrongdoing. (The Department of Justice declined to comment on whether it had opened an investigation into the case, but, so far, Bishop, Hayes, Lindell, Byrne, and Watkins have not faced legal action by the federal government for their involvement in the potential theft and distribution of the Dominion software.)

(Video) Plot to Overturn the Election (full documentary) | FRONTLINE

Peters’s campaign—with Bishop as its registered agent—got ugly, fast. At a rally in Denver that drew a few hundred participants, including Lindell, Peters said, “They are coming after me because I refuse to believe in their false religion of nationalized elections. So, to the left, I’m a heretic. I refuse to participate in the sin of looking the other way now that the forensic evidence has exposed their tainted voting machines.” Lindell, on his online show, displayed the names and phone numbers of the county commissioners and encouraged “everyone in Colorado” to call them. The commissioners then spent months fielding threats and hate mail. Peters accused Attorney General Merrick Garland of gunning for her and said that he promised Rubinstein “the world” in exchange for her head. She called the chair of the Colorado G.O.P. a RINO for asking her to suspend her campaign in light of the indictment. She continually tried to discredit Pam Anderson, her main rival for the G.O.P. nomination, for having served as a board member for the nonpartisan Center for Tech and Civic Life, which funnelled hundreds of millions of dollars in grants to local election offices around the country to facilitate voting during the pandemic. The group had received a considerable donation from Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan. “Pam and Jena are the wings of the same bird,” Peters said on a radio show two weeks before the Republican primary election. “We’ve Soros on one side, Zuckerberg on the other side.”

Her most vicious attack, perhaps, was levelled against Gerald Wood, the man whose identity she had allegedly stolen, who had been compelled to appear before the grand jury. Wood testified that he never worked for Mesa County and was not present when his I.D. was being used to procure the files. He later told an interviewer that he thought he’d been “set up from the beginning.” Peters claimed that Wood had perjured himself and said he would “have to deal with that.” Some in Wood’s social circle reportedly started referring to him as “Judas Jerry.” “These are people that call themselves Christians,” Wood’s wife, a pastor, said in a recent interview. “It’s been very devastating in a lot of ways.” (Wood could not be reached for comment.)

On June 28th, when the primary votes were tallied, Peters not only lost the election statewide by more than fourteen points, but she lost it in Mesa County, too. Perhaps not surprisingly, she took a page out of Trump’s playbook by refusing to concede, claiming that the election was fraudulent and demanding a recount. At first, she failed to come up with the more than two hundred thousand dollars it would cost to undertake a recount, and instead tried to enlist individual county clerks to do it. She continued to ask for donations to her recount effort, and received more than half a million dollars, most of it coming on a day when she appeared on Bannon’s show. “It’s not over,” she had told her supporters. But, when a recount was finally conducted, in early August, it confirmed the result: Peters lost to Anderson by nearly ninety thousand votes.

(Video) Stop the Steal Rallies Continue in Georgia

(Video) These Trump supporters think the election was stolen. We ask them why

FAQs

How many US elections have been interfered? ›

Intervention measurements

According to Dov H. Levin's 2020 book Meddling in the Ballot Box: The Causes and Effects of Partisan Electoral Interventions, the United States intervened in 81 foreign elections between 1946 and 2000, while the Soviet Union or Russia intervened in 36.

Who was Trump's campaign manager? ›

Kellyanne Conway
PresidentDonald Trump
Preceded byJohn Podesta (as Counselor, 2015)
Succeeded byHope Hicks Johnny DeStefano (as Counselors, 2020)
Personal details
12 more rows

Is Michigan a battleground state? ›

Areas considered battlegrounds in the 2020 election were Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Maine's 2nd congressional district, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska's 2nd congressional district, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin, with Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and ...

When was Trump elected? ›

Election and inauguration

On November 9, 2016, Republicans Donald Trump of New York and Governor Mike Pence of Indiana won the 2016 election, defeating Democrats former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of New York and Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia.

What countries did the US interfere with? ›

1945–1991: Cold War
  • 1945–1948: South Korea.
  • 1945–1949: China.
  • 1947–1949: Greece.
  • 1948: Costa Rica.
  • 1949–1953: Albania.
  • 1949: Syria.
  • 1950–1953: Burma and China.
  • 1952: Egypt.

What is political interference? ›

A CLASSIC DEFINITION OF POLITICAL. INTERFERENCE (Prewitt, 2010) « Political interference is the attempt to gain partisan or regional advantage by shaping the production of a statistical product against the judgment of a non-partisan and apolitical statistical agent.

Who is the president's top advisor? ›

Senior Advisor to the President of the United States
Senior Advisor
Incumbent Mike Donilon, Anita Dunn, Gene Sperling, Neera Tanden, Mitch Landrieu, Julie Rodriguez, Keisha Lance Bottoms, John Podesta
Executive Office of the President
WebsiteThe White House
1 more row

Who is Trump's lawyer? ›

Michael Cohen (lawyer)
Michael Cohen
Cohen in 2019
BornMichael Dean Cohen August 25, 1966 Lawrence, New York, U.S.
EducationAmerican University (BA) Cooley Law School (JD)
Political partyDemocratic (before 2002, 2004–2017, 2018–present) Republican (2002–2004, 2017–2018)
10 more rows

Who ran for president in 2016? ›

2016 United States presidential election
NomineeDonald TrumpHillary Clinton
PartyRepublicanDemocratic
Home stateNew YorkNew York
Running mateMike PenceTim Kaine
Electoral vote304227
4 more rows

Who is the 69th President of USA? ›

Benjamin Harrison - The White House.

How much is Donald Trump's net worth? ›

Can a President run again after 8 years? ›

Section 1. No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once.

Is Detroit blue or red? ›

Political geography

Areas of Democratic strength include the cities of Detroit, Ann Arbor, Lansing, Flint, Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids, and Muskegon, as well as many of those cities' inner ring suburbs.

Is Pennsylvania a red state? ›

Pennsylvania has swung from being a Republican-leaning state during much of the 20th century to being a notable battleground state in presidential elections. Pennsylvania backed the Democratic presidential candidate in every election since 1992 up until 2016, when it was won by Republican candidate Donald Trump.

Is Missouri a red state? ›

Missouri was historically viewed as a bellwether state, but the consecutive votes against the winning candidate in 2008 and 2012 introduced doubts about its continued status as a bellwether, and an 18.5-point Republican victory in 2016 indicated that it had become a safe red state. Winners of the state are in bold.

How many people are in the world? ›

There are 195 countries in the world today. This total comprises 193 countries that are member states of the United Nations and 2 countries that are non-member observer states: the Holy See and the State of Palestine.
...
List of countries.
#22
CountryHoly See
Population (2020)801
World Share0 %
Land Area (Km²)0
92 more columns

Which region depicts American intervention in foreign affairs because of the good neighborhood policy? ›

Good Neighbor Policy, 1933

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt took office determined to improve relations with the nations of Central and South America.

What aid did the US provide? ›

In fiscal year 2020 (October 1, 2019 - September 30, 2020), the US government allocated $51.05 billion US dollars in economic and military assistance to foreign countries. Of this total, $39.41 billion dollars was spent on economic assistance, $25.64 billion of which was dispersed by USAID.

What is the corruption? ›

Corruption is a form of dishonesty or a criminal offense which is undertaken by a person or an organization which is entrusted in a position of authority, in order to acquire illicit benefits or abuse power for one's personal gain.

How has politics affected educational planning in Kenya? ›

Kenya, like any other country of the world is controlled by politics. Kenya's education system is mostly influenced by the political factor. The political factor dictates the type of an education system a particular country can have. It is important in determining administration of education.

What is useful to reduce political interference in industry? ›

Solution. Privatisation is useful to reduce political interference in Industry.

Who is chief of staff now? ›

White House Chief of Staff
Incumbent Ron Klain since January 20, 2021
Executive Office of the President White House Office
Reports toPresident of the United States
AppointerPresident of the United States
4 more rows

What's the power of President? ›

The Constitution explicitly assigns the president the power to sign or veto legislation, command the armed forces, ask for the written opinion of their Cabinet, convene or adjourn Congress, grant reprieves and pardons, and receive ambassadors.

How many advisors does a President have? ›

The Office of the President shall have a maximum of 30 senior advisors (currently 28) serving in honorary positions. They shall be appointed by the president to provide opinions and render advice to the president, and their term of office shall not exceed that of the president.

Who are the president's lawyers? ›

List of White House counsel
OfficeholderTerm startPresident
Emmet Flood ActingOctober 18, 2018Donald Trump
Pat CipolloneDecember 10, 2018
Dana RemusJanuary 20, 2021Joe Biden
Stuart DeleryJuly 2022
43 more rows

What kind of lawyer is Drew Findling? ›

He's a self-described “trial lawyer representing clients with charges ranging from minor offenses to multimillion dollar federal conspiracy cases.” Previously, Findling served as president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and currently practices law out of his Atlanta-based boutique, Findling Law ...

What is Roy Cohn known for? ›

Cohn was born in The Bronx in New York City and educated at Columbia University. He rose to prominence as a U.S. Department of Justice prosecutor at the espionage trial of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, where he successfully prosecuted the Rosenbergs leading to their execution in 1953.

Who ran against Obama in his second election? ›

Obama sought re-election for a second term in 2012, running virtually unopposed in the Democratic primaries. His opponent in the general election was former governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney. Obama won 332 electoral votes, defeating Romney who gained 206.

Who was Obama's opponent in the first election? ›

The Democratic ticket of Barack Obama, the junior senator from Illinois, and Joe Biden, the senior senator from Delaware, defeated the Republican ticket of John McCain, the senior senator from Arizona, and Sarah Palin, the governor of Alaska.

Who ran for president in 2000? ›

The 2000 United States presidential election was the 54th quadrennial presidential election, held on Tuesday, November 7, 2000. Republican candidate George W. Bush, the governor of Texas and eldest son of the 41st president, George H. W. Bush, won the election, defeating incumbent Vice President Al Gore.

Who was Trump's chief of staff in 2016? ›

Days after Trump won the 2016 presidential election, he announced that Priebus would serve as his first Chief of Staff. Priebus held the position until he resigned on July 27 2017. He had the shortest tenure of any non-interim White House Chief of Staff in American history.

Who were all of Trump's press secretaries? ›

List of press secretaries
No.OfficeholderPresident
30Sean SpicerDonald Trump
31Sarah Huckabee Sanders
32Stephanie Grisham
33Kayleigh McEnany
37 more rows

Who was Trump's cabinet members? ›

Contents
  • 6.1 Secretary of State. 6.1.1 Thomas Shannon (acting) ...
  • 6.2 Secretary of the Treasury. 6.2.1 Adam Szubin (acting) ...
  • 6.3 Secretary of Defense. 6.3.1 Jim Mattis. ...
  • 6.4 Attorney General. 6.4.1 Sally Yates (acting) ...
  • 6.5 Secretary of the Interior. ...
  • 6.6 Secretary of Agriculture. ...
  • 6.7 Secretary of Commerce. ...
  • 6.8 Secretary of Labor.

What is Lewandowski doing now? ›

Days after Lewandowski left the Trump campaign, he was hired by the cable news network CNN as a political commentator.

How much does the White House chief of staff make? ›

Biden's Chief of Staff Ron Klain makes $180,000 per annum, while Mick Mulvaney, former chief of staff to Trump, made $203,500.

Who did Trump pardon? ›

Pardons
Date of pardonNameSentencing date
July 29, 2019Rodney Masaru TakumiFebruary 9, 1987
July 29, 2019Michael Anthony TedescoDecember 7, 1990
July 29, 2019Chalmer Lee WilliamsMay 25, 1995
October 10, 2019Zay JeffriesNovember 12, 1948
46 more rows

What is the first lady's job? ›

The role of the first lady has evolved over the centuries. She is, first and foremost, the hostess of the White House. She organizes and attends official ceremonies and functions of state either along with, or in place of, the president.

What happened Sean Spicer? ›

Since leaving the White House, Spicer has published the memoir The Briefing: Politics, the Press, and the President, appeared as a contestant on season 28 of Dancing with the Stars, and started hosting a political talk show on Newsmax TV.

What does Sarah Huckabee Sanders do now? ›

Sanders previously worked on the election campaigns of her father, Arkansas governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, and later served as a senior advisor on Trump's 2016 presidential campaign. Sanders is the Republican nominee in the 2022 Arkansas gubernatorial election.

How do you become a press secretary? ›

A bachelor's degree in journalism, public relations or a closely related field preferred, but not required, including strong academic credentials; and at least two years of congressional experience. Alternatively, a minimum two of years of related experience or training is required.

Who works closest to the president? ›

The Cabinet is an advisory body made up of the heads of the 15 executive departments. Appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate, the members of the Cabinet are often the President's closest confidants.

Is the 25th Amendment? ›

Twenty-Fifth Amendment, Section 1: In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.

Which US president appointed the most judges? ›

To date, Ronald Reagan has appointed the largest number of federal judges, with 383, followed closely by Bill Clinton with 378. William Henry Harrison, who died 31 days after his inauguration, is the only president to have appointed no federal judges.

Will Lewandowski leave Bayern? ›

After 384 games and 312 goals for Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich, 10 league titles and one Champions League title, Lewandowski now moves on from the Bundesliga to seek a new challenge at Barcelona, where he will surely continue to demonstrate his enduring class.

How much money does Lewandowski? ›

He makes $18 million a year while playing as a striker for FC Bayern München, earning $343,000 weekly. The last day of his current contract is June 30, 2023. At Bayern Munich, the forward receives a gross salary of about $23 million annually.

Is Lewandowski going to Barca? ›

Lewandowski is only the latest star to join Barcelona this summer, joining Raphinha, who came over in a transfer from Leeds United. The Blaugrana also signed Ousmane Dembele to an extension through 2024. Barcelona finished the 2021-22 season second in La Liga behind Real Madrid.

Videos

1. The roots of the 'Stop The Steal' movement
(KTNV Channel 13 Las Vegas)
2. Facebook bans pro-Trump "Stop the Steal" group after members call for violence
(CBS News)
3. 'Stop the count': Trump supporters converge at vote centres
(CTV News)
4. 'Stop the Steal' organizer says GOP lawmakers helped him with rally
(CNN)
5. "Stop the steal" rally held outside of PA state capitol
(PennLive.com)
6. GOP Candidate Denies Speaking at 'Stop the Steal' Rally
(NowThis News)

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