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Trump aide asked DoJ to investigate bizarre ‘Italygate’ claim votes were changed by satellite | Donald Trump

Donald Trump’s final White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, pressured the acting attorney general to help push the lie of electoral fraud in Trump’s defeat by Joe Biden – even asking him to investigate a conspiracy theory which said people in Italy used military satellites to make US voting machines switch votes for Biden.

So reported the New York Times on Saturday night, even as Trump made a return to the public stage with a speech to Republicans in North Carolina.

In Greenville, Trump repeated his lies about his clear defeat by Biden, which he called “the crime of the century”.

Before he became Trump’s fourth and final chief of staff, Meadows was a hard-right congressman from North Carolina and a loyal Trump supporter. The Times said he emailed acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen five times in December and January.

One email dealt with the “Italygate” conspiracy theory, the Times said, adding that Rosen refused to set up a meeting with a former CIA agent pushing the claims online.

Another email reportedly echoed claims by Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer who led a legal challenge to election results largely laughed out of court, that results in New Mexico were affected by fraud. There is no evidence that was the case.

Rosen resisted Meadows and also rebuffed Trump directly, citing former attorney general William Barr’s view that there was no large-scale fraud in the 2020 election, the Times said.

Trump reportedly considered replacing Rosen with an official more amenable to attempts to overturn the election. But Rosen stayed in place through the deadly attack on the US Capitol on 6 January, when Trump supporters sought to disrupt the certification of election results.

W Neil Eggleston, White House counsel under Barack Obama, told the Times DoJ “enforcement mechanisms should not be used for political purpose or for the personal benefit of the president … if the White House is involved in an investigation, there is at least a sense that there is a political angle to it.”

Asha Rangappa, a former FBI agent turned CNN analyst and editor for Just Security, tweeted: “We are at a place where Republican voters can more easily be convinced that Italy (?) secretly altered ballots using remote technology than that simply more people voted for a normal candidate from the opposing party.”

The academic and author Norman Ornstein said pushing the Italygate conspiracy theory made Meadows an “unAmerican traitor to our fundamental values [who] does not belong in a civil and democratic society or political system.”

The emails were discovered by the Senate judiciary committee.

In a statement, the Democratic committee chairman, Dick Durbin of Illinois, said: “This new evidence underscores the depths of the White House’s efforts to co-opt the department and influence the electoral vote certification.

“I will demand all evidence of Trump’s efforts to weaponise the justice department in his election subversion scheme.”


By Ashik

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