The Supreme Court on Monday rejected an appeal from Facebook that requested the court intervene in a $15 billion class-action lawsuit alleging the firm illegally tracked the online activities of its users when they are not on the platform, thereby violating the federal Wiretap Act law.
“Facebook’s user profiles would allegedly reveal an individual’s likes, dislikes, interests, and habits over a significant amount of time, without affording users a meaningful opportunity to control or prevent the unauthorized exploration of their private lives,” the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said in a ruling (pdf) last year, saying that Facebook users suffered a clear invasion of privacy.
The “Plaintiffs have sufficiently alleged a clear invasion of the historically recognized right to privacy,” the court ruled at the time. “Therefore, Plaintiffs have standing to pursue their privacy claims under the Wiretap Act, [the Stored Communications Act], and [the Children’s Internet Protection Act], as well as their claims for breach of contract and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.”
On Monday, the Supreme Court denied Facebook’s appeal, meaning the suit can go forward.
The lawsuit alleged that the Menlo Park, California-based tech giant had secretly tracked users’ visits to websites that use Facebook’s features such as the “like” or “share” buttons, even if the users did not click on either of the two buttons.
The litigation also accuses the company of violating the privacy rights of its users under California law, but Facebook’s appeal to the Supreme Court involved only the Wiretap Act. The 1968 law has also been invoked in lawsuits against Google and Microsoft.
Four individuals filed the proposed lawsuit in California federal court seeking $15 billion in damages for Facebook’s actions between April 2010 and September 2011. The company stopped its nonconsensual tracking after it was exposed by a researcher in 2011, court papers said. They further argued that Facebook unjustly collected the data and sold it to advertisers for a profit.
Facebook, in response, said it maintained privacy standards and should not be penalized for communications that users partake in, saying that the data was collected to show users better content and more targeted ads on its platform. It has further said the data was not collected in an unfair manner.
“Facebook was not an uninvited interloper to a communication between two separate parties; it was a direct participant,” the company said in a legal filing.
Facebook now discloses that it collects data when people visit websites with the firm’s plug-ins. It reached a settlement over its practices with the Federal Trade Commission about a decade ago.
The claim often repeated by the mainstream media, social-media content moderators, and fact-checkers that lawsuits filed by President Donald Trump’s campaign and Republicans were universally dismissed by the courts is untrue, according to a new analysis.
The findings do not necessarily suggest that if the lawsuits had all been decided before Joe Biden was certified as the official winner of the presidential election by Congress on Jan. 7 that former President Trump would have won the hotly contested election.
Nor would they necessarily have affected many of the Electoral College votes won by Biden in the disputed battleground states. Some of the legal victories took place in states like Colorado and Iowa where the popular vote counts for the respective winners of those states –Biden in Colorado and Trump in Iowa— were not close.
Of the 22 cases that have been heard by the courts and decided on their merits, Trump and Republicans have prevailed in 15, according to citizen journalist John Droz Jr., a physicist and environmental advocate in Morehead City, N.C.
This means Trump has won two-thirds of the cases fully adjudicated by the courts.
Droz and a team of volunteers dug through court filings and legal minutiae to track down 81 lawsuits that were filed in connection with the Nov. 3, 2020 presidential election. The lawsuits were tracked on Droz’s publicly available spreadsheet that was current as of Feb. 6.
Of the 81 cases, 11 were withdrawn or consolidated and 23 were dismissed for lack of standing or on other grounds. Both the cohort of 11 and of 23 should not be considered “wins or losses for either side,” Droz says, because they “have nothing to do with the merits of the case.”
This leaves 47 cases. Of those 47, 22 have been finalized after the court heard arguments, considered evidence, and then issued a ruling.
Of those 22, Trump or Republicans won 15 and lost 7, according to the analysis.
This leaves 25 lawsuits that have yet to be finally disposed of.
This means Trump and Republicans “have WON the majority of 2020 election cases fully heard, and then decided on the merits!” Droz said in a statement. “Is that what the mainstream media is reporting?”
Among the legal victories for Republicans were:
RNC v. Miller, in the Iowa courts, a lawsuit in which the Republican National Committee won an injunction over absentee ballot applications.
RNC v. Gill, in the Iowa courts, in which the Trump campaign won an injunction preventing a county official from distributing and accepting signed forms containing preprinted information.
Trump for President v. Boockvar, in the Pennsylvania courts, in which the Trump campaign was granted an injunction against the counting of mail-in and absentee ballots where voters were allowed to provide proof of identity days after Election Day.
Droz noted that only three lawsuits addressed voting machine inaccuracies.
“One of these was dismissed (due to jurisdiction), one was ruled against (although no discovery was granted), and one is still open (discovery was granted).”
“The likely explanation for so few cases in these two areas is that legally proving fraud or voting machine manipulations are very time-consuming processes, that require substantial investigative work and documentation. There simply wasn’t enough time to do this prior to key points in the process (like the Electoral College).”
“Our view is that the public needs to be much better educated regarding the election integrity issue—and having a more accurate understanding of the lawsuit component is a key part of that,” Droz wrote, explaining the purpose of his report
Vice President Mike Pence said he welcomes efforts by lawmakers to challenge Electoral College results in the upcoming congressional joint session on Jan. 6, when the votes are formally counted, according to a statement sent by his chief of staff to reporters.
Vice President Chief of Staff Marc Short issued the statement on Saturday saying that Pence, who will be presiding over the Jan. 6 session as president of the senate, is open to considering planned objections by Republican House members and senators to Electoral College votes cast for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
Short added that the vice president also welcomes efforts by lawmakers to present evidence of election irregularities and alleged voter fraud before Congress during that session.
“Vice President Pence shares the concerns of millions of Americans about voter fraud and irregularities in the last election,” Short said in the statement sent to media outlets.
This comes after a group of 11 Republican senators announced their intention to challenge the electoral college votes from contested states earlier on Saturday. The group, led by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), said the 2020 election “featured unprecedented allegations of voter fraud, violations, and lax enforcement of election law, and other voting irregularities.”
The allegations of fraud and irregularities in the 2020 election “exceed any in our lifetimes,” they said, adding that this “deep distrust” of U.S. democratic processes “will not magically disappear” and “should concern us all,” whether or not elected officials or journalist believe the allegations.
“It poses an ongoing threat to the legitimacy of any subsequent administrations,” the senators wrote in their statement, while calling on Congress to appoint an electoral commission to conduct an emergency 10-day audit of the election results.
They added that they intend to object to the votes unless and until the emergency 10-day audit is completed.
The group includes Sens. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), and Mike Braun (R-Ind.). Meanwhile, Sens.-elect Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), and Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) also plan on joining. They’ll be sworn in on Sunday, several days before the joint session.
Their announcement means 12 senators intend to object to the contested electoral votes on Jan. 6.
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) was the first senator to announce his plans to object earlier this week. Forty House members plan on objecting to electoral votes, according to a tally by The Epoch Times.
Objections during the joint session must be made in writing by at least one House member and one senator. If the objection for any state meets this requirements, the joint session pauses and each house withdraws to its own chamber to debate the question for a maximum of two hours. The House and the Senate then vote separately to accept or reject the objection, which requires a majority vote from both chambers.
If both candidates receive less than 270 electoral votes on Jan. 6, then a contingent election is triggered in which each state’s delegation in the U.S. House of Representatives casts one en bloc vote to determine the president, while the vice president is decided by a vote in the U.S. Senate.
Democrats and several Republican senators have opposed the plans to challenge the electoral college results. Republican Sens. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) issued statements on Saturday to reaffirm their support that they would back the electoral college votes that were cast for Biden.
Similarly, Senate Democrats rebuked efforts by their Republican colleagues.
“Joe Biden will be inaugurated on January 20th, and no publicity stunt will change that,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) said in a statement.
“This pathetic, opportunistic stunt is an attack on our democracy. It’s un-American & unconscionable. Votes have been counted, recounted, certified, & all challenges totally discredited. Time to govern & get things done,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said in a separate statement.
The Republican senators acknowledged in their statement on Saturday that they expect Democrats and a few Republicans to vote against them but they added that “support for election integrity should not be a partisan issue.”
“A fair and credible audit-conducted expeditiously and completed well before January 20 would dramatically improve Americans’ faith in our electoral process and would significantly enhance the legitimacy of whoever becomes our next President. We owe that to the People,” the Republican senators said.
This comes after many President Donald Trump allies called on Pence to reject electoral votes from disputed states. A judge on Friday rejected a lawsuit filed by Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) and other Republicans against Pence requesting that the court grant the vice president “the exclusive authority and sole discretion in determining which electoral votes to count for a given State” on Jan. 6.
President Donald Trump’s campaign adviser said the team is aiming to present evidence during a potential congressional debate on Jan. 6 if lawmakers in the House and Senate object to states’ Electoral College votes.
As of Wednesday, it appears that at least one member of the Senate, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), and a number of House lawmakers will object to the electoral votes during the Joint Session of Congress. Hawley announced he would object to the electoral vote, pointing to previous Democratic efforts to do so during the 2004 and 2016 presidential elections. After the objection, an hours-long debate will occur.
Miller said that evidence could be presented in Congress, which would differ from what the Trump campaign presented in courts over the past several weeks.
“We will have a chance in front of the American people, next week to present these cases, all these evidences of fraud,” Miller told Newsmax, pointing to a lawsuit filed by Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) against Vice President Mike Pence earlier this week to prevent him from confirming Joe Biden’s electoral victory. Miller told the outlet that the 1887 Electoral Count Act allows the vice president, who is the president of the Senate, to preside over the Joint Session of Congress.
Then, Miller told Newsmax that he hopes at least one senator and representative join together to object to the Electoral College vote, allowing for two hours of debate.
Should that happen, Miller said President Donald Trump’s team is seeking to present alleged evidence of voter fraud or irregularities in the Nov. 3 election, including law changes regarding mail-in ballots in Wisconsin, “suitcases of ballots” in Georgia being wheeled out late at night on Nov. 3 in Atlanta’s State Farm Center, and being blocked in Arizona and Michigan from inspecting voting systems, alleging that ballots were counted several times.
“These are the specific types of evidence we want to present to the American people on the national stage and not allow local politicians to sweep it under the rug,” Miller said.
Weeks ago, Trump’s team led by Rudy Giuliani presented a surveillance video from the State Farm Center that showed suitcase-like boxes being wheeled from under a table. It came after election officials allegedly told other workers and poll observers that counting was done for the night.
The Georgia GOP said they received conflicting and incorrect answers and statements from Fulton County officials about what happened on Election Night, and officials later acknowledged that vote-counting went on until the early-morning hours. State election officials, in response to the video, said nothing unusual occurred with the ballot boxes and vote-tabulation process in Fulton County.
Elaborating on Wisconsin, he said, “Article II of the Constitution makes it very clear, the state legislatures, and state legislatures alone, set up the voting systems for each state, the codes and the way they are conducted.” He said, “And what we have here is we have over 20,000 ballots that were cast without actually having an application on file, the mail ballots. Wisconsin’s very clear, very specific you got to have an application on file.”
At 1 p.m. local time on Jan. 6, members of Congress will gather in the chamber of the House of Representatives to observe the formal certification of Electoral College votes for president of the United States.
While it’s usually a formality, nothing has been usual so far about this year’s election amid numerous allegations of voter fraud in key swing states.
The situation is complicated by a lack of clarity on the legal and constitutional guardrails for the process. The joint session of Congress may well result in gridlock, in which a clear winner of the race isn’t announced at all.
Based on current election results, former Vice President Joe Biden has received 306 electoral votes to Trump’s 232 votes. Meanwhile, Republicans in seven states where Biden claimed victory have sent their own sets of electoral votes to Washington, and some members of the House have indicated that they will object to Biden electors in some states. Any objection would require support from one House member and one senator to be considered, and at least one senator has has left open the possibility he would join the effort.
So what will happen?
The counting of votes is primarily governed by the 12th Amendment of the Constitution and the amended Electoral Count Act.
The Constitution simply states that electors of each state have to meet, make a list of their votes, “which they shall sign and certify,” and send those to the president of the Senate, meaning Vice President Mike Pence.
“The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted,” the 1804 amendment says.
The Electoral Count Act of 1887, currently known as 3 U.S. Code Section 15, establishes a procedure for how the votes are counted, how to raise objections, and how to resolve disputes. First, it says that the vice president indeed presides over the proceedings. Then, it says the House and Senate leaders each designate two tellers. The VP opens the envelopes with the vote certificates and hands them to the tellers for counting. The tellers then read them out loud, count them, and hand them back to the VP to announce the results.
Then, in rather convoluted language, the law says that Congress members can object. At least one objection from each chamber is needed to trigger a separate vote by both House and Senate on the objections. If both chambers agree, the objected voters are rejected. That’s virtually out of the question given the Democrats’ majority in the House.
If two sets of electors are presented for counting, the House and Senate need to separately vote on which set is legitimate and which should be rejected. If each chamber votes differently, the set certified by the state’s governor should count. That would hand the victory to Biden.
The problem is, there’s a voluminous body of legal analysis arguing that the Electoral Count Act is unconstitutional. Congress has no business granting itself the authority to decide which slate of electors is the correct one and which votes should be rejected. Nor does Congress have the power to designate state governors as the final arbiters, a lineup of legislators and legal scholars have argued.
There are two arguments for who has the constitutional power to decide which electors to choose.
Some jurists say it’s the VP who has the sole discretion to decide which votes to count. The argument is that the framers intended for the VP to be the sole authority over the counting of the votes because the unanimous resolution attached to the Constitution said that the Senate should appoint its President “for the sole Purpose of receiving, opening, and counting the Votes for President.”
Moreover, before the adoption of the Electoral Count Act, it was always the VP counting the votes, sometimes despite major objections from Congress. Thomas Jefferson did so as the VP in the 1800 election, counting Georgia’s constitutionally deficient votes and de facto securing his own presidency.
Arizona state lawmakers and GOP electors, together with Rep. Louie Gohmert, have filed a federal suit asking for the court to clarify the law to the effect that the Electoral Count Act is unconstitutional and the VP’s power is paramount.
Not everybody agrees, though.
University of Virginia professsor John Harrison, an expert on constitutional history, says the VP doesn’t have “any constitutional power to make decisions” over which votes to count.
He argued that the law is deficient to the effect that “Congress doesn’t have the power to make the announcement [of its decisions regarding the vote count] conclusive.” But that doesn’t mean it can’t prescribe any rules at all.
“The Constitution does call for counting the votes with both houses present, so I think that setting up procedures for a count is within Congress’s power,” he told The Epoch Times via email.
The second argument is that the Constitution grants the authority to determine how electors are picked to state legislatures. As such, any disputes over which votes should be counted should be resolved by state legislatures.
The problem is, state legislatures aren’t in session and they can’t assemble in a special session without a call from the governors, who have refused to do so. Meanwhile, the legislatures have usually delegated the power to certify electors to the Governors and Secretaries of State, undermining their own authority on the matter.
The conservative Amistad Project of the Thomas More Society has filed a federal lawsuit arguing that the power of the legislatures is both “exclusive and non-delegable,” and thus any state and federal statutes to the contrary are unconstitutional and void.
That would not only knock down some provisions of the Electoral Count Act, but also render electoral votes that haven’t been certified post-election by state legislatures illegitimate.
Regardless of what the courts will say, the core question is what will take place in the House chambers on Jan. 6? Will Pence refuse to follow the Electoral Count Act? Will some of the tellers dissent? If things go wrong for the Democrats, will House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) try to end the session prematurely?
There’s no way to tell. Pence hasn’t let his intentions be known.
President Donald Trump in a message to the nation late Tuesday sought to explain why he is determined to pursue all legal and constitutional avenues to “stop the theft of the presidential election,” and called on the American people to “raise their voices” and demand to correct the injustice.
“Americans must be able to have complete faith in the confidence of their elections. The fate of our democracy depends upon it,” he said in a video statement. “Now is the time for the American people to raise their voices and demand that this injustice be immediately corrected. Our elections must be fair, they must be honest, they must be transparent, and they must be 100 percent free of fraud.
“We won this election by a magnificent landslide, and the people of the United States know it. All over, they’re demonstrating, they’re angry, they’re fearful. We cannot allow a completely fraudulent election to stand.”
Trump said that one of his most solemn duties as president is to protect the integrity of Americans’ “sacred right to vote.”
He accused Democratic officials in key swing states of having used the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, which causes the disease COVID-19, as a pretext to allegedly illegally violate state laws to “to enable, encourage, and facilitate fraud” on an unprecedented scale in the country.
Trump has previously alleged that there was widespread voting irregularity and fraud across the nation, however, this is the first time he has made a lengthy address about the election urging Americans to be vocal about the situation.
It comes after he recently called for his supporters to join a planned protest in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, 2021. “Be there, will be wild!” the president wrote. Jan. 6 is when members of Congress are set to convene in a joint session to count electoral votes.
Hundreds of thousands of Trump supporters have held multiple protests across the nation since the election, calling for a free and fair election and for leaders to take action.
Democrat Joe Biden has declared victory in the election. Trump and other Republicans are contesting election results in courts in key states. The Epoch Times is not calling the race at this time.
‘Facts Every American Needs to Know’
The president spent the majority of his White House address Tuesday night explaining why he believes there was widespread fraud while repeatedly asserting that he was the true winner of the election.
“The truth is we won the election by a landslide. We won it big,” Trump said. “Today I’m going to give you the facts that every American, needs to know.”
On the night of Nov. 3, swing states including Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia, and Pennsylvania saw a lead for Trump. However, vote counting stopped abruptly in the early hours of the next day and a series of “massive and statistically inconceivable vote dumps” in the middle of the night overturned the results, Trump noted.
“These gigantically ridiculous one-sided spikes were miraculously just enough to push Joe Biden into the lead in all of the key swing states. These glaring anomalies are just the tip of the iceberg,” he said.
The president also shared how he had won Ohio, Florida, and Iowa “by historic margins,” and won 18 of 19 “bellwether counties” that have for the past 40 years correctly predicted the winner of the presidential election.
“[This means] Biden would be the first candidate since 1960 and only the second candidate in American history to win the White House while losing all three of those major states, and it wasn’t even close,” Trump said.
He pointed out that Democrats had lost 25 out of 46 toss-up House seats, and noted that Democrats ended up having a net loss of 14 seats even though they were projected to gain 15 seats, which was, according to Trump, due to his success and the down-ballot effect.
Trump said that his presidential campaign earned about 75 million votes, which is about 12 million more votes compared to the 2016 election—the largest vote increase recorded for an incumbent president. Despite this, opponent Joe Biden “somehow received 11.7 million more votes than Barack Obama, and he beat Barack Obama all over the country,” Trump said.
“It is historically, mathematically, politically, and logically impossible. It did not happen. He did not win. We won by a landslide.” he said.
The Trump campaign has over the past seven weeks provided evidence alleging voting irregularities and fraud. The president told Americans that the campaign has shown that Democrats violated their own state laws by changing procedures ahead of the election without having gone through the state legislatures.
Such changes included suspending all signature verification requirements, flooding a given state with absentee ballot applications, and deploying hundreds of unmanned ballot drop boxes. These changes were allegedly done to “illegally benefit” Biden, Trump said.
He also alleged that the incredibly low absentee ballot rejection rates “prove that hundreds of thousands of illegitimate ballots were counted in the key states,” and that there were no “meaningful attempt to verify citizenship, residency, identity, or eligibility for mail-in ballots.”
“The potential for illegal activity is unlimited and that’s what we just experienced,” he said.
Trump also pointed to witnesses who have testified that they personally witnessed different instances of cheating and fraud. This included witnesses having seen poll workers backdating thousands of ballots and counting batches of the same ballots many times. Other witnesses said they saw thousands of pristine ballots that had no creases or folds and that were all for Biden.
The president also questioned the involvement of Dominion Voting Systems, a supplier of voting hardware and software, including voting machines and tabulators. He said that Arizona state senators recently issued a subpoena for a forensic audit of the voting machines and that other states using Dominion’s equipment and software should also carry out similar investigations.
“As I have just laid out, we have unveiled overwhelming evidence of election fraud. None of this should ever have been allowed in the United States of America. It is a travesty of democracy, it’s a shame upon our republic,” Trump said.
Trump also accused the Democrat Party, the media, and Big Tech giants of “openly colluding” to deceive the country. Prior to the election, media and Big Tech companies censored stories about how Biden’s family had “received millions of dollars from the Chinese Communist Party.”
“Our country no longer has a free press. It is a press of suppression. It is a press where the truth will never come out. It is the greatest and most shocking scandal involving a presidential candidate in modern history,” Trump said, later adding, “The media and the Democrat Party lied to the American people to try to steal the election.”
“If this egregious fraud is not fully investigated and addressed, the 2020 election will forever be regarded as illegitimate and the most corrupt election in the history of our country,” Trump said.
Peter Navarro, who serves as an advisor to President Donald Trump, on Thursday released a report, in his private capacity, on the integrity of the 2020 election, concluding that the allegations of irregularities are serious enough to warrant an urgent probe and substantial enough to overturn the results.
The findings of the report (pdf), titled “The Immaculate Deception,” support the claim that the election “may well have been stolen” from President Donald Trump.
“If these election irregularities are not fully investigated prior to Inauguration Day and thereby effectively allowed to stand, this nation runs the very real risk of never being able to have a fair presidential election again,” Navarro said in the report.
On a call with reporters explaining his findings, Navarro said his role in putting the report together is to say that, “the emperor, in the election, has no clothes.”
Fielding questions about what, at this stage, can be done, given that numerous legal challenges brought by the Trump campaign have been dismissed and the Electoral College has already voted, Navarro said, “with every day that goes by, it becomes more complicated” and “options narrow.”
Trump campaign attorney Jenna Ellis, in a recent interview with The Epoch Times, said there’s still time for state legislatures to convene in special sessions and authorize alternate slates of electors.
While Navarro declined to specify a proposed remedy in light of his findings aside from a thorough investigation, he said, “the last thing this country needs is an Inauguration Day where we have what is perceived to be an illegal and illegitimate president of the United States.”
In making an urgent call for a probe of the allegations, Navarro argued that “if, in fact, compelling evidence comes to light proving the election was indeed stolen after a fait accompli Biden inauguration, we as a country run the very real risk that the very center of our great American union will not hold.”
In the report, Navarro examines six types of irregularities in the six battleground states of Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin—states in which certified results show Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s holding a lead and where the vote continues to be hotly contested.
Navarro said that the pattern of irregularities across the six states suggests “a coordinated strategy to, if not steal the election outright, strategically game the election process in such a way as to ‘stuff the ballot box’ and unfairly tilt the playing field in favor of the Biden-Harris ticket.”
He argues that the weight of the evidence, which comes from sources that include over 50 lawsuits and judicial rulings, thousands of affidavits and declarations, testimony in a variety of settings, think tank analyses, and press reports, is “more than sufficient to swing the outcome in favor of President Trump.”
Biden’s margin of victory in all the battleground states except Michigan is less than the number of ballots that Navarro flags as possibly illegal.
Rather than any single “silver bullet” of election irregularity responsible for an unfavorable outcome for Trump, Navarro argues that “this was theft by a thousand cuts across six dimensions and six battleground states.”
The list of actions that Navarro classifies as outright voter fraud include large-scale manufacturing of fake ballots, bribery, along with ballots cast by dead voters or ineligible voters like felons and illegal aliens. Others include ballots counted multiple times and those cast by illegal, out-of state voters.
Another major dimension of alleged irregularities in the 2020 presidential election, which Navarro calls a “multifaceted problem” that featured in five out of six of the battleground states, includes such factors as no voter ID checks, signature match check abuses, “naked ballots” that lack an outer envelope, and broken chain-of-custody records.
Contestable Process Fouls
The third dimension of election irregularities includes abuses regarding poll watchers and observers, such as denial of access or lack of meaningful access, as well as violations of state law in the area of mail-in and absentee ballots. It also includes illegal ballot curing by poll workers, and violations in voter registration procedures.
Equal Protection Clause Violations
The 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution features the Equal Protection Clause, which mandates that no state may deny its citizens equal protection under the law. Questionable practices in this regard identified by Navarro include applying higher standards of certification and ID verification applied to in-person voters compared to mail-in and absentee balloting, and different standards of ballot curing for different counties.
Voting Machine Irregularities
There were two major types of voting machine irregularities Navarro noted in the report: large-scale voting machine inaccuracies, as well as vote switching from one candidate to another and vote surges in favor of one candidate.
Significant Statistical Anomalies
The final category of irregularities detailed in Navarro’s report are statistical anomalies, which include such phenomena as significant changes in absentee ballot rejection rates compared to prior elections, and unusual vote surges.
In concluding his report, Navarro argues that “the failure to aggressively and fully investigate” the irregularities he has flagged “signal a failure not just of our anti-Trump mainstream media and censoring social media but also of both our legislative and judicial branches.”
Since Election Day, Trump and third-party groups have pursued legal challenges to the outcome of the election in the six battleground states. None of the efforts have so far borne fruit, including an interstate Supreme Court challenge brought by Texas and backed by 19 Republican attorneys general.
Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe confirmed that there was foreign interference in the 2020 election, according to CBS correspondent Catherine Herridge.
“Well DNI Ratcliffe leads the 17 intelligence agencies and he has access to the most highly classified information that is held by the US government. And he told CBS News that there was foreign interference by China, Iran, and Russia in November of this year and he is anticipating a public report on those findings in January,” Herridge said.
Ratcliffe’s office did not immediately respond to The Epoch Times’ request for confirmation of the report.
Ratcliffe’s statement contradicts others made by national security officials.
Christopher Krebs, the recently-fired top cybersecurity official during the presidential election, testified before the Senate’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Wednesday.
“While elections are sometimes messy, this was a secure election,” Krebs said.
On a Nov. 27 “60 minutes” interview, Krebs was asked what he thought of the Trump legal team’s allegations that votes were tabulated in foreign countries and were manipulated.
“So, all votes in the United States of America are counted in the United States of America,” Krebs said. “I don’t understand this claim. All votes in the United States of America are counted in the United States of America. Period.”
Adding, “So, again, there’s no evidence that any machine that I’m aware of, has been manipulated by a foreign power. Period.”
Sidney Powell a former federal prosecutor who has been seen working alongside President Donald Trump’s legal team pushing election challenges, filed a letterwith the Supreme Court on Dec. 13 to notify them of two batches of recently obtained evidence about Dominion Voting Systems voting equipment.
Her letter outlines new affidavits from two forensic experts who allege that international interference took place in the 2020 election and that Dominion systems were connected to foreign systems around the globe.
Powell said that two military intelligence analysts have signed sworn affidavits stating that the SSL certificates from dominionvoting.com were used multiple times from Canada, Serbia, and the United States.
Meanwhile, the office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) confirmed that their upcoming report includes information about “relevant” foreign threats from the recent election.
“The IC has received relevant reporting since the election and a number of agencies have not finished coordinating on the product,” said Amanda Schoch, a spokeswoman for the office, adding that Ratcliffe remains committed to an expeditious release of the report.
ODNI announced late Wednesday that the Intelligence Community (IC) has notified Ratcliffe that they will not meet the Dec. 18 deadline set by President Trump’s executive order to submit the report on foreign threats during the November election as “agencies have not finished coordinating on the product.”
“This afternoon the DNI was notified by career intelligence officials that the Intelligence Community (IC) will not meet the Dec. 18 deadline, set by executive order and Congress to submit the IC’s classified assessment on foreign threats to the 2020 U.S. elections,” said Schoch.
Dec. 18 marks 45 days after the Nov. 3 general election, when, according to Trump’s executive order from 2018, the DNI was expected to deliver a report regarding “to the maximum extent ascertainable” whether any interference attempts took place, and the nature of such interference, methods used, and who was involved and authorized such efforts.
Let’s get this straight, according to a 5-4 one-sentence U.S. Supreme Court ruling Friday, if a Nevada church were to hold a bingo night in its 500-seat auditorium, under Gov. Steve Sisolak’s diktat, 250 people could attend, since the governor’s orders allow 50 percent capacity for casinos, but, if someone were to say a prayer, 200 would have to leave, since the governor says only 50 people may attend church services.
This is a simple case. Under the Governor’s edict, a 10-screen “multiplex” may host 500 moviegoers at any time. A casino, too, may cater to hundreds at once, with perhaps six people huddled at each craps table here and a similar number gathered around every roulette wheel there. Large numbers and close quarters are fine in such places. But churches, synagogues, and mosques are banned from admitting more than 50 worshippers — no matter how large the building, how distant the individuals, how many wear face masks, no matter the precautions at all. In Nevada, it seems, it is better to be in entertainment than religion. Maybe that is nothing new. But the First Amendment prohibits such obvious discrimination against the exercise of religion. The world we inhabit today, with a pandemic upon us, poses unusual challenges. But there is no world in which the Constitution permits Nevada to favor Caesars Palace over Calvary Chapel.
Justice Samuel Alito, joined by Justices Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh, was equally incensed at the disparate treatment, writing:
The Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion. It says nothing about the freedom to play craps or blackjack, to feed tokens into a slot machine, or to engage in any other game of chance. But the Governor of Nevada apparently has different priorities. Claiming virtually unbounded power to restrict constitutional rights during the COVID–19 pandemic, he has issued a directive that severely limits attendance at religious services. A church, synagogue, or mosque, regardless of its size, may not admit more than 50 persons, but casinos and certain other favored facilities may admit 50% of their maximum occupancy — and in the case of gigantic Las Vegas casinos, this means that thousands of patrons are allowed.
That Nevada would discriminate in favor of the powerful gaming industry and its employees may not come as a surprise, but this Court’s willingness to allow such discrimination is disappointing. We have a duty to defend the Constitution, and even a public health emergency does not absolve us of that responsibility.
The suit was brought by Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley, a church in Lyon County east of Reno. It wanted to conduct services for 90 congregants, about 50 percent of its fire-code capacity. According to Alito, it planned to ask attendees to adhere to proper social distancing of six feet separation, would cut the length of services in half, prohibit items being passed among the congregation, guide congregants to designated doorways along one-way paths, and to leave time between services so the church could be sanitized.
Do casinos require as much?
Justice Kavanaugh wrote in a separate dissent:
But COVID–19 is not a blank check for a State to discriminate against religious people, religious organizations, and religious services. There are certain constitutional red lines that a State may not cross even in a crisis. Those red lines include racial discrimination, religious discrimination, and content-based suppression of speech. This Court’s history is littered with unfortunate examples of overly broad judicial deference to the government when the government has invoked emergency powers and asserted crisis circumstances to override equal-treatment and free-speech principles. The court of history has rejected those jurisprudential mistakes and cautions us against an unduly deferential judicial approach, especially when questions of racial discrimination, religious discrimination, or free speech are at stake.
But Chief Justice John Roberts — joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan — denied the church’s appeal without deigning to comment on such a significant constitutional matter.