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Raymond A. Hult: Sen. Mike Lee should stand against Trump’s ‘Big Lie’

There is no evidence that the election was stolen from Trump.

(AP Photo | Rick Bowmer, File) President Donald Trump stands with Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, on Dec. 4, 2017, at the Utah State Capitol, after Trump traveled to Salt Lake City to announce plans to shrink two sprawling national monuments in Utah.

The House Select Committee presentation concerning the January 6 insurrection has proved the “Big Lie” was an autocratic-devised falsehood concocted by Donald Trump to thwart the democratic voting process. Trump and his closest advisors knew it. Over 60 failed Trump-promoted court cases proved the ridiculous notion of any fraud sufficient to support Trump’s bogus assertion.

A self-insinuated constitutional law expert, Utah Sen. Mike Lee knew it too. And yet, not to aggravate Trump, he failed to categorically denounce the obvious falsehood from the get-go.

Although trying to deny it, Lee was an obvious player in an attempt to unconstitutionally replace authorized electors in key states with phony alternate ones intended to illegally install Trump as the winner. Stating he was simply trying to find out what was going on with the alternate elector effort, his text messages to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows paint quite a different picture.

On Jan. 3, Lee warned Meadows that “the attempt to reject electoral college votes was doomed to fail unless states sent alternate slates of electors.” The next day, he told Meadows he’d been working “14 hours a day for the last week” on the alternate elector effort.

Lee claimed his subsequent vote, against the election being rigged, proved his indifference. The problem is it didn’t automatically erase his former efforts to make the alternate elector scheme work. More likely, it was meant to divert attention from his failed plotting.

Lee praised attorney Sidney Powell, renowned for her constant harangue of rigged election machines and widespread Democratic-initiated voter fraud.

Recently interviewed on CSPAN about the movie “2000 Mules,” the latest right-wing effort intended to prove the election was rigged, Lee responded, it raised, “significant questions that needed to be answered.” He was aware, or certainly should have been aware, that it deserved nothing of the sort.

The 90-minute film, directed by conservative commentator Dinesh D’Souza, purports to show illegally counterfeited drop box ballot stuffing by 2000 hired accomplices (mules), resulting in 380,000 fraudulent ballots. Enough, according to the film, to prove the election was rigged and Trump was the winner.

The mules were allegedly paid $10 for each fake ballot they stuffed. The film alleges that, by tracking cell phone locations, it could be proven the mules could be identified as moving between “stash houses” (locations of stored falsified ballots) to drop boxes. There were 242 mules in Atlanta, 200-plus in Arizona, 100 in Milwaukee, 500 in Michigan and 1,000 in Philadelphia (total 2000).

Subsequent fact-checking by Reuters and others disclosed insufficient confirming credible evidence to validate the claim; a few of the more compelling inadequacies are set forth as follows:

  • Creating 380,000 faked ballots is highly unlikely. It would require fraudulently obtaining ballots with unique bar codes, specially printed paper/envelopes and forged signatures. Evading the detection by election officials stretches credulity to the limit.

  • No faked ballots were produced, no proof actual cell phone owners were stuffing ballot boxes, and no evidence of stored falsified ballots.

  • The average number of visits by a mule to stuff a box was alleged to be 38. Video coverage of the boxes showed no more than once by the same person.

  • The allegation failed to acknowledge that most drop boxes are located in high-traffic areas where a cell phone owner might logically be expected pass by “20-30 times a day.” Some of those passing by might have actually been election workers checking on or emptying the boxes.

  • The cell phone locating data itself fails to prove anyone was actually stuffing ballots. They could have just as easily been walking or driving by. Claiming the tracking was accurate within 12 to 18 inches from the drop boxes, experts respond, in the best of conditions, 5G networks would result in being no closer than two to 10 meters

Trump hangers-on, still buying into the phony vote-rigging scam, will continuing backing legislators like Lee. Hopefully, for any who no longer do, they might seriously consider withholding their support for those who knew better, but failed to promptly and decisively refute any claim of a flawed election.

Raymond A. Hult, Bountiful, is a retired FBI special agent

Raymond A. Hult, Bountiful, is a former FBI special agent tasked with investigating violations of 18 U.S. Code 371, Conspiracy to Defraud the United States.