Straw Puppy’s POTUS Polls: Legal blowback edition

With the electoral college having sat and the Supreme Court essentially closing the main legal avenues, the election-denial is mainly focused on shouting and fantasies of a military coup. Those fantasies are both dangerous and ridiculous.

A development in a different direction is the degree of legal pushback against the clownish-coup.

“Today, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), a non-partisan civil and human rights organization, filed an amended complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia a lawsuit challenging President Trump and the Trump Campaign’s ongoing efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election by disenfranchising Black voters.”

https://www.naacpldf.org/press-release/ldf-files-amended-complaint-in-its-lawsuit-against-president-trump-and-his-campaigns-attempts-to-overturn-the-election-by-disenfranchising-black-voters/

I don’t know if this complaint has any legs legally but it is good to see some pushback.

One legal threat that has already gained some results outside of court, the electoral-IT companies Smartmatic and Dominion have begun pressing defamation claims against news outlets pushing the wild conspiracy claims that they have been switching votes or are in league with Hugo Chavez. Fox News and right-wing outlet Newsmax have been offering semi-retractions as a result:

“Fox News has engaged in a concerted disinformation campaign against Smartmatic,” charged the company in its 20-page demand letter sent to Fox News Media. “Fox News told its millions of viewers and readers that Smartmatic was founded by [the late Venezuelan President] Hugo Chávez, that its software was designed to fix elections, and that Smartmatic conspired with others to defraud the American people and fix the 2020 U.S. election by changing, inflating, and deleting votes.”

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jemimamcevoy/2020/12/21/fox-news-newsmax-walk-back-election-fraud-claims-after-voting-machine-manufacturer-threatens-legal-action/?sh=7c78046acfd2

The legal action is not just confined to news outlets:

‘Dominion Voting Systems has hired another high-powered libel lawyer, Tom Clare, who has threatened legal action against Ms. Powell and the Trump campaign. Mr. Clare said in an emailed statement that “we are moving forward on the basis that she will not retract those false statements and that it will be necessary for Dominion to take aggressive legal action, both against Ms. Powell and the many others who have enabled and amplified her campaign of defamation by spreading damaging falsehoods about Dominion.”’

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/20/business/media/smartmatic-lawsuit-fox-news-newsmax-oan.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

As well as these defamation claims, electoral-fraud claiming lawyer Lin Wood is facing other legal problems:

“Attorney Lin Wood’s lawsuits aimed to topple the 2020 election may have violated Delaware’s rules of professional conduct, preventing him from representing President Donald Trump’s ex-campaign advisor Carter Page in a defamation suit there, a judge found. In a detailed order to show cause, Delaware Superior Court Judge Craig Karsnitz itemized defects and alleged unprofessional behavior in Wood’s lawsuits in Wisconsin and Georgia, including filing suit without a plaintiff’s authorization, submitting a false affidavit, and making a series of gaffes that the judge said call his competence into question.”

https://lawandcrime.com/2020-election/judge-says-lin-woods-post-election-lawsuits-may-have-violated-several-professional-rules-orders-him-to-respond/

Meanwhile, there is speculation that Rudy Guiliani may face perjury charges but this appears to be speculative currently https://www.motherjones.com/2020-elections/2020/12/could-rudy-giuliani-face-a-perjury-charge/

Amid all this there is a growing gulf amid the election-denialists online. On the one hand, there is a camp (let’s call them the ‘Rabids’) who are claiming that all the prior legal action was just a smokescreen while the wheels were put in motion for a coup sometime in January aka “Trump crossing the Rubicon”. Meanwhile, still in the land of banana-pants fantasies the other camp (let’s call them ‘Sads’) are confused and sad that none of the legal strategies worked. The Sad camp have been pointing at a summary report of ‘all the fraud’ compiled by Republican politician Peter Navarro.

The Navarro report (entitled ‘The Immaculate Deception’) has been described by the Washington Post as ‘this might be the most embarrassing document created by a Whitehouse staffer’. You can read it here https://bannonswarroom.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/The-Immaculate-Deception-12.15.20-1.pdf but you really don’t need to bother. It contains nothing new (which is fair enough) but it is also not even particularly comprehensive. I was kind of hoping that at least it would be a handy round-up of all the nonsense in one handy document (an Encyclopedia Bananapantia) but it’s not even that. Arguably, it is a more curated list that avoids some of the more ridiculous claims and yet it also repeats some of the potentially defamatory claims about Dominion and Smartmatic (although phrased with a cautious degree of deniability):

‘Much has been made about the shadowy genesis of a company called Dominion which provides voting machines and equipment to 28 states.110According to critics, Dominion’s roots may be traced to an effort by the Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez to rig his sham elections.111Dominion is also alleged to have ties to the Clinton Foundation,112while the Smartmatic software used in the Dominion machines is alleged to have links to the shadowy anti-Trump globalist financier George Soros.113

The section I was most interested in was “VIII. Statistical Anomalies in the Six Battleground States” which neatly exemplifies the grab-bag approach to the document. Notably two claims of “anomalies” that have been pushed by Sad-camp sci-fi author Larry Correia are missing. One is the ‘statistical model’ that I covered last week https://camestrosfelapton.wordpress.com/2020/12/16/bonus-straw-pup-poll-more-crimes-against-statistics/ and fair enough, it actually shows that most of the marginal states aren’t anomalous even by the standards of the dubious model but then again the whole report contains claims that are just as unsupported (if not more so).

What other “anomaly” is absent without leave? Remember Benford’s Law https://camestrosfelapton.wordpress.com/2020/11/10/and-another-right-wingers-talking-nonsense-about-benfords-law-update/ ? It has been a busy set of weeks in psychic-trauma but of all the multiple kinds of nonsensical claims, the one that seems to have had a very short shelf life has been the first-digit analysis known as Benford’s Law. Not only does Navarro’s report not mention it among the ‘statistical anomalies’, it has not been prominent (that I can see) in the many court cases. So what happened? Did all the deboonking work? Did, at least in this one instance, we all manage to convince right-wingers to listen to sense?

No or at least the collective “we” didn’t. Sidney “release the Kraken” Powell made major use of statistician William Briggs in multiple legal claims (you can read his account here https://wmbriggs.com/post/33710/ and yes, it is also another flavour of banana pants). However, Briggs was an early sceptic of claims about Benford’s Law showing anomalies in the 2020 election:

Update Benford’s law is only useful in uncovering multiple and on-going instances of cheating. As in somebody consistently cooking financial books. As I showed above, assuming the curiosities are cheats, it only took two instances to tip the balance. Benford’s law will never pick this up: never. I’m skeptical of what I’m seeing in other analyses, because if somebody turns something up with Benford, it implies that many, many vote totals were tampered with, which increases the possibilities of getting caught. And you don’t need to tamper with many. Only a few.”

https://wmbriggs.com/post/33377/

Consequently, Benford’s Law drifted out of favour as other wild claims and analyses caught the attention of the right.

ETA: William Briggs shouldn’t be confused with Rex Briggs https://thenevadaindependent.com/article/trump-supporters-asked-me-to-look-into-voter-fraud-in-nevada-what-i-found-debunked-what-they-were-alleging

38 thoughts on “Straw Puppy’s POTUS Polls: Legal blowback edition

  1. here is a camp (let’s call them the ‘Rabids’) who are claiming that all the prior legal action was just a smokescreen while the wheels were put in motion for a coup sometime in January aka “Trump crossing the Rubicon”. Meanwhile, still in the land of banana-pants fantasies the other camp (let’s call them ‘Sads’)

    Hahaha. I saw what you did there

    Liked by 2 people

  2. JCW is still telling his followers to believe! that Trump is going to be inaugurated as president in 2021. It’s quite something.

    Liked by 5 people

      1. Lisa: (whispering) Dad, don’t act like Mussolini.
        Homer: Ooh, I thought I was doing Donald Trump.

        More accurate than Nostradamus.

        Liked by 3 people

    1. You ask who the heck would care about this? Who else but our old pal Vox “President Trump has been the only President to champion the Good, the Beautiful, and the True over the course of my lifetime. Whether he succeeds or fails – and I believe he will succeed – in his war with the Swamp, he has been the greatest U.S. President since Andrew Jackson defeated the Bank.”
      All because he wants buildings to look like Croydon Airport

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Beale can convince himself that he is impressed by anything Trump does, something he’s proven many times. It honestly rather sad.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. What I meant was, who would care enough to put the idea in Trump’s head? Is there some evangelical faction that’s that passionate about art or is Big Architecture paying for this?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Basically the handlers who wanted it are in the movement of “Western civilization” is the bestest (whitest) civilization and must prevail against the East and Islam (brown) and go on a new (old) world order imperial control spearheaded by the Brits, the U.S., some Germans, etc. That movement incorporates some evangelicals and the right wing Catholics but then also encompasses the skinheads, Norse worshippers, alt right atheists, cosplaying KKK militias, right wing Jews who want Israel to take over the Middle East, etc., all connected to rich white billionaires who subscribe to a LARP fantasy version of the Roman Empire and the Greeks that of course incorporates a lot of former Aryan philosophy and heavy doses of objectivism in the western industrialists are gods sort of vein.

        So it comes from Bannon, who is still involved with various Trump agents (and the Chinese apparently,) his old backers the Mercers who still are tied to half of Trump’s people, Stephen Miller, etc., all who desire to see that the classical “Western” pretend-white aesthetic that they think makes a distinct and superior civilization of values prevails against the progressives who keep seeing brown people as, like, equal people and not threatening hordes to be exploited or killed. It’s a “West is best” sop that then, if Biden undoes it, they can rally the non-progressive into a froth about the destruction of Western civilization in favor of Islam, multiculturalism, the Chinese and so forth. Just another flavor of white supremacy and attempts to re-write history in favor of the myths of whiteness and white supremacy. Not that hard to get Trump to agree to it, assuming they even bothered to ask him about it.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. ” ” [Vox]’s the sort of person for whom any scenario will be seen as a victory condition; if he were to be set on fire and pushed in front of a speeding train, he would cackle about how this was exactly what he had planned right up until the moment of impact turned him into flaming bits of kibble.”

        Just so and as with the Hugos so with everything.”

        Oh, yes. This goes way back to his days on WorldNetDaily, where he could be counted to declare himself the winner of any argument. And where he acquired his habit of sockpuppetting his own columns.

        Like

      5. Beale got tossed from WorldNetDaily after Daddy stopped funding it, because at that moment putting up with his antics no longer became worth it.

        Liked by 2 people

      6. Speaking from memory here:

        1) As we all know Beale was backed by his father and we all know what happened to Robert Beale.

        2) Beale was already as rabidly anti-immigrant as he’s now while this wasn’t the party line then and he severely criticized Bush whom he called “Jorge”.

        3) He was eclipsed by Ben Shapiro who always had more talent to appear as less extreme.

        Might be only one these factors, might be all three, my personal guess would be 1) and 2)

        Liked by 2 people

      7. I’ve BEEN to Croydon and had no idea they used to have an airport. The terminal looks neo-Classical to me in the photos I’ve seen.

        You’ve got to admit neo-Classical is a much more pleasing style than Tr*ump’s neo-Russian-Mafioso style.

        Like

      8. Now that I think about it, John Wright once had a long rant about how liberals hate beauty and classic art because it gives people an inner strength to withstand big government and b)appreciating beauty would force them to admit that European cultures and races have superior aesthetics. I wrote a response at my own blog (https://frasersherman.com/2014/07/20/john-c-wright-attempts-to-explain-beauty/) pointing out that after visiting Boston’s Museum of Fine Art, the idea of innate European superiority in this area looks even dumber than it would normally.

        Liked by 1 person

      9. Of course Teddy likes Andrew Jackson — a racist slave-owning genocidal warmonger.

        And his glorious defeat of “the Bank” directly caused the Panic of 1837 (a depression), brought on by unfettered capital speculation.

        And the place you see ol’ Andy most nowadays is on something called a Federal Reserve Note. You know, issued by the central bank of the United States, which also announces the interest rate for the country, which means his taking out “the Bank” didn’t work after all.

        It’ll be great if he’s replaced on the $20 bill by Harriet Tubman, as has been mentioned.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Given how awful Trump’s own buildings look and that he has repeatedly torn down genuinely beautiful buildings to make room for those monstrosities, I shudder to imagine what his definition of “beautiful” look like.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. The article says classical architecture is the default setting for federal projects. But it’s executive order, so Biden can reverse it if he wants.

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  3. Giuliani is apparently trying one last desperate Supreme Court legal filing, because getting tossed for lack of standing twice hasn’t taught him anything. And then there is the desperate attempt to do something at the Jan 6th Congressional certification which is largely based on not understanding how that works, and is doomed to failure. But yes, reality is catching up to the bullshit. (Though Beale and the Rabids are already starting to play wordgames to produce a way to declare victory when the coup doesn’t happen.)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “Giuliani is apparently trying one last desperate Supreme Court legal filing, because getting tossed for lack of standing twice hasn’t taught him anything.”

      Nono — Because the longer they can keep the charade going, the more money they can raise from the rubes — and the more money they can raise, the more easily they will be able to pay their own legal expenses that will be falling upon them after their inevitable fall from power.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Exactly. They’re paying whatever the basic filing fee is — which isn’t that much — and getting many times that donated from the rubes and marks, plus free airtime and online coverage that gins up even more money. All of which goes into their accounts to pay for their travel, runny hair dye, and is socked away for their own defense and future living expenses.

        It’s always about the grift.

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  4. They seem to be ignoring that when Caesar crossed the Rubicon, he was committing the most highest treason possible, along with armed insurrection. More proof that they don’t give a damn about actual law. And a lot of people on both sides died. And Caesar was actually very smart. As the song says, they “don’t know much about history”, as we saw with their ignoring the little fact that Hannibal lost, bigly, and committed suicide in ignominious exile thousands of miles away from home.

    I’m glad to see the forces of reality pushing back against banana-pants lawyering. If the whole lot can’t be thrown in jail, it’d be nice to at least get a few of them disbarred.

    ‘this might be the most embarrassing document created by a Whitehouse staffer’ is quite a limb to go out on, WaPo. I think that should have at least ended with “so far”.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. It is reported that complaints, alleging professional malfeaseance, have been entered with the Arizona bar association in respect of 21 Trump lawyers.

    Liked by 1 person

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