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August 8, 2020

2020 Interference: China Wants Biden, Russia Wants Trump

This Day in History | 1974

President Richard M. Nixon announces his resignation, becoming the first president in American history to do so. Congress was advancing with impeachment proceedings against the president for his involvement in the Watergate affair. Nixon eventually resigned under pressure from Congressional Republicans. 

Good morning Middle Americans, 

Well… well… well. Something you may have heard us talk about at least 100 times before is foreign interference in our elections system. It happened in 2016. (And basically every other election we’ve ever had in recent history.) Trumps doesn’t like to admit this because he likes to think that he won the election completely on his own merits. But that’s not entirely true. Yes. He did more than anyone else to win his own election based on his name ID and reputation alone. But he did get some help from the Russians. We understand this is controversial and counterintuitive to say, but you can clearly see from the way the FBI and the Obama administration fell all over themselves chasing something that didn’t exist. Direct Russian collusion between the Trump Campaign and the Kremlin. Think about what could have happened had they directed all that attention into the actual campaign and beating Trump fair and square. They didn’t. The end result of this is exactly what Russia wanted. More Americans are going to doubt the legitimacy of the 2020 election. And now the Chinese are getting in on the action. Don’t ever forget that Russian and China don’t really have a favorite candidate. They want the candidate, regardless of political party, who can help them with their objectives. And China and Russia have the same, but mutually exclusive objective – destroying the United States of America. 

Also today, The mail-in ballots of more than 84,000 New York City Democrats who sought to vote in the presidential primary have been disqualified. This according to new figures released by the New York Board of Elections. 

LIberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. has taken an indefinite leave of absence. Liberty University is one of the nation’s top evangelical Christian colleges. Falwell recently apologized for a social media post that caused an uproar even among fellow conservatives. 

A federal appeals court has decided to reconsider claims that Florida federal prosecutors violated the rights of Jeffrey Epstein’s sex abuse victims by not informing them about a secret plea deal. 

Finally, Joe Arpaio, the bellicose former Arizona sheriff whose harsh immigration tactics earned him international notoriety, narrowly lost his Republican primary as he tried to regain his old office in Maricopa County.

Read all about it. 

-Fraser Dixon

U.S. Counterspy Chief Warns Russia, China, Iran Trying to Meddle in 2020 Election

(Reuters) – The top U.S. counterintelligence official on Friday warned that Russia, China and Iran will all try to interfere in the 2020 presidential election, with Russia already trying to undercut Democratic candidate Joe Biden.

In an unusual public statement, William Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, said the three countries were using online disinformation and other means to try to influence voters, stir up disorder and undermine American voters’ confidence in the democratic process.

President Donald Trump, asked at a news conference in New Jersey how he would respond to interference in the Nov. 3 vote, said: “We’re going to watch all of them, we have to be very careful.”

He added that he believed Russia, China and Iran all wanted him to lose the election.

Foreign adversaries also may try to interfere with U.S. election systems by trying to sabotage the voting process, stealing election data, or calling into question the validity of election results.

“It would be difficult for our adversaries to interfere with or manipulate voting results at scale,” Evanina said.

Learn more here

80,000 Mail-In Ballots Disqualified in NYC Primary Mess

(Fox News) – The mail-in ballots of more than 84,000 New York City Democrats who sought to vote in the presidential primary were disqualified, according to new figures released by the Board of Elections.

The city BOE received 403,103 mail-in ballots for the June 23 Democratic presidential primary.

But the certified results released Wednesday revealed that only 318,995 mail-in ballots were counted.

That means 84,108 ballots were not counted or invalidated — 21 percent of the total.

One out of four mail-in ballots were disqualified for arriving late, lacking a postmark or failing to include a voter’s signature, or other defects. The New York Post reported Tuesday that roughly 30,000 mail-in ballots were invalidated in Brooklyn alone.

Get the latest here

Liberty University’s Jerry Falwell Jr. Taking Indefinite Leave of Absence

(Richmond Times Dispatch) – Jerry Falwell Jr. took an indefinite leave of absence Friday as the leader of Liberty University, one of the nation’s top evangelical Christian colleges, days after apologizing for a social media post that caused an uproar even among fellow conservatives.

In a one-sentence announcement Friday afternoon, the private university in Lynchburg said Falwell had agreed to step aside after the executive committee of Liberty’s board of trustees, acting on behalf of the full board, requested that he take a leave of absence.

The move, effective immediately, came after Falwell’s apology earlier this week for a since-deleted photo on Instagram showing him with his pants unzipped, stomach and underwear exposed, and his arm around a young woman in a similar pose.

In a statement late Friday, the chairman of the university’s board of trustees, Jerry Prevo, touted Liberty’s “unprecedented success” under Falwell.

Find out more here

US Court Will Rehear Epstein Victims’ Claims Over Plea Deal

(ABC News) – A federal appeals court decided Friday to reconsider claims that Florida federal prosecutors violated the rights of Jeffrey Epstein’s sex abuse victims by not informing them about a secret plea deal.

The Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a previous panel’s 2-1 decision rejecting an effort to undo an agreement federal prosecutors made with Epstein more than a decade ago. Instead of facing stiff federal charges, Epstein was allowed to plead guilty to lesser state crimes and served a relatively short jail sentence.

Some of the victims have long claimed the Miami U.S. attorney’s office violated their rights by not informing them of the plea deal. This decision by the appeals court will allow their argument to be heard by the full court.

“I had confidence this day would come,” one of the victims, Courtney Wild, said in a statement. “We have fought for 12 years, and as I’ve said before, no matter how many obstacles pile up, we will never give up fighting for what is right.”

Read more here

Joe Arpaio Loses Arizona Primary to Reclaim His Old Job as Sheriff

(NY Times) – Joe Arpaio, the bellicose former Arizona sheriff whose harsh immigration tactics earned him international notoriety, narrowly lost his Republican primary as he tried to regain his old office in Maricopa County.

Voters instead backed Jerry Sheridan, Mr. Arpaio’s former chief deputy, who promised to revive many of Mr. Arpaio’s policies but without the showmanship that defined the office under Mr. Arpaio’s 24-year reign. Mr. Sheridan will face Sheriff Paul Penzone, the Democrat who trounced Mr. Arpaio four years ago, in the November general election.

In the latest count from Tuesday’s primary, announced on Friday, Mr. Sheridan had secured about 37 percent of the vote in a three-way race, compared to Mr. Arpaio’s 36 percent — a difference of 6,280 votes out of more than 420,000 cast, with only 2,385 ballots remaining to be counted.

Most political observers say Mr. Penzone is the favorite in the general election.

For Mr. Arpaio, 88, the loss on Tuesday was his third electoral defeat in four years. After losing his 2016 re-election bid, he suffered a resounding drubbing in a three-way Republican primary for a U.S. Senate seat in 2018.

Read more here

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