Why did Giuliani, Powell, and Fox News pick on Smartmatic?

Smartmatic is a software company that works with election systems. They became the target of a systematic campaign by Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Sydney Powell and Fox News personalities Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo, and Jeanine Pirro, who accused the company of rigging the votes in order to enable Joe Biden to win. The puzzling thing is Smartmatic’s only involvement in the election was in Los Angeles county where there was never any need to to fraudulently aid Biden to win since California was assured. So why pick on this company? The answer may be that its founder Antonio Mujica is originally from Venezuela. Aha! There was the smoking gun!

On that flimsy basis this bunch of loonies spun their fantastic yarn of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, George Soros, and the international Communist movement working to steal the election from Trump. Smartmatic has had enough and, like the Dominion Voting Systems company that manufactures voting machines who were also accused by this crew of stealing the election, they have initiated a massive $2.7 billion lawsuit against these five people as well as Fox News and its parent Fox Corporation.
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“Rudy come back!”

Just a couple of days ago I was reading how Trump had managed, after many, many top lawyers had refused his offers to become part of his legal team, to get a couple of reputedly competent lawyers to represent him during his impeachment trial where the oral arguments start on February 9th. Then news comes today that they too have bailed out.

The ability of Republican senators who plan to acquit Donald Trump at his upcoming impeachment trial to pretend to have weighed the case on the merits has been endangered by the mass resignation of Trump’s legal team at the weekend.

But the trial schedule, and its substance, have been thrown into doubt with the departure of five lawyers on Trump’s defense team – apparently the entire team. The resignations were first reported by CNN, which said the lawyers and Trump disagreed over strategy.

A Trump spokesperson told the New York Times that there had been a strategy disagreement but denied it was over Trump’s insistence that his defense center on the wild, false accusations of election fraud that he has been peddling for months.

The departure of Bowers and Deborah Barberi, two South Carolina lawyers, was described by a source familiar with the situation as a “mutual decision”.

Three other lawyers associated with the team, Josh Howard of North Carolina and Johnny Gasser and Greg Harris of South Carolina, also parted ways with Trump, another source said.

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Elections can make a difference, even in the US

As I have said so many times before, the US is a one-party state. The party is a pro-war, pro-oligarchy party with two factions that are labeled Democrat and Republican that differ on mostly social issues. But having said that, it would be a mistake to assume that there is no difference between the two and that elections do not matter. There is a world of difference from Trump being elected in November and Joe Biden winning, as we can see by what happened immediately after Biden was sworn in when he unveiled a whole raft of executive orders and legislative proposals that set in motion polices that all headed in a positive direction.
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Now the insurrectionists want pardons

After all the tough rhetoric about taking over the government, the insurrectionists are now whining that they deserve pardons from Trump because they did what he wanted them to. They seem to think that just being a Trump supporter means not having to face any consequences.

Jenna Ryan, a Texas real estate broker who took a private jet to Washington to join the attack on the US Capitol, has pleaded with Donald Trump to pardon her after she was arrested by federal authorities.

After surrendering to the FBI on Friday, Ryan said: “We all deserve a pardon.”

“I’m facing a prison sentence,” she told CBS11 at her home. “I think I do not deserve that.”

Turning to look into the camera, she said: “I would ask the president of the United States to give me a pardon.”
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Trump is a loser

Now that he has become the first president in history to impeached twice, he is slowly starting to lose his allies too.

Donald Trump has fallen out with his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and is refusing to pay the former New York mayor’s legal bills, it was reported, with the president feeling abandoned and frustrated during his last days in office.

According to the Washington Post, relations between Trump and Giuliani have dramatically cooled. Trump has instructed his aides not to pay Giuliani’s outstanding fees. The president is reportedly offended by Giuliani’s demand for $20,000 a day – a figure the lawyer denies, but which is apparently in writing. White House officials have even been told not to put through any of Giuliani’s calls.
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Dominion’s court filing against Sidney Powell is a doozy

The company that manufactures voting machines has followed through on its threat and filed a $1.3 billion lawsuit in the federal district court in DC against nutjob erstwhile Trump lawyer Sidney Powell. I was aware of some of the wild allegations she had made against the company as being part of a vast conspiracy to deny Trump victory but the filing contains much, much more. Pages 3, 4 and 5 contain all the outlandish assertions that Powell has made.

I do not like companies using their greater financial resources to seek massive damages against individuals, even those as recklessly idiotic as Powell. It is obvious that she does not have billions of dollars so this is just meant to scare the heebie-jeebies out of her. I hope she recants and apologizes and they drop their suit.

If that does not happen, that raises the questions: Will Trump pardon Powell? And does the presidential pardon power extend to civil cases?

As a sideshow it should be noted that congressperson Louie Gohmert and Sidney Powell had filed an appeal to the US Supreme Court no less arguing that Pence has the power to overturn the Electoral College votes. This was filed on January 6th, the day of the riot, after the certification process had started and Pence had issued a letter saying that he does not have that power. They seem to be taking the sentiment ‘better late than never’ a little too far.

Can the insurrectionists shift the blame to Trump?

Trevor Aaronson writes about those people who in the past have been inspired by Trump’s rhetoric to commit or plot to commit violent acts, and then tried to use Trump’s incitements as a defense when they were on trial. Judges didn’t seem to buy it.

James R. Pratt, a defense lawyer in Kansas, represented a man who was inspired to violence by Trump in 2016. Patrick Stein conspired with a couple of friends, as well as a pushy FBI informant, in a plot to bomb Somalis who lived in their community. “Number one, the cockroaches got to go, period,” Stein said of the Somalis. Stein had believed Trump’s rhetoric from the 2016 presidential campaign: that the Obama administration was allowing Muslims, and possibly terrorists, into the country without background checks.
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The morning after

After the extraordinary scenes of rioting by a Trump supporting mob that actually invaded the halls of Congress forcing all its members to evacuate until the mob was cleared out and the certification of Joe Biden was allowed to continue, the question is what comes next?

Here is a short video of the invasion

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Pence to Gohmert: Thanks but no thanks

You may recall my post about the crackpot lawsuit brought by crackpot Texas congressperson Louie Gohmert before a federal judge that the president of the senate has broad powers to decide which electoral slates should be counted on January 6th when the joint session of Congress meets to certify the results of the presidential election. The odd thing was that Gohmert was citing as the defendant vice-president Mike Pence, the very person whom, in his role as president of the senate, Gohmert was saying should have these vastly expanded powers.

But the justice department has filed a motion on Pence’s behalf saying that the lawsuit should not be directed at vice president Mike Pence.
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Get ready for fun and games on January 6th!

We know that January 6th is the day when Congress is scheduled to meet to ratify the Electoral College votes and declare Joe Biden the winner. At his first post-election news conference held just before Thanksgiving, when asked if he would leave the White House if the Electoral College declares Joe Biden the winner, Trump replied, “Of course I will. Of course I will. You know that.” However that was his only concession to reality and since then he has continued to deny the fact that he lost.
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