There is a reason why lawyer jokes like to conflate the sound of the word “lawyer” with the pronunciation of the word “liar.” It is hard to imagine how any human being could give voice to some of the things they say in service to their clients. Any honest person would choke in the attempt. This, a lawyer might argue, is expressly permitted so that they may zealously defend or promote their client’s interest. If a bank robber tells his lawyer, “I didn’t rob the bank,” then the lawyer has to go forward with a defense of innocence. It is up to the prosecution to prove otherwise.
The point is that the law (conditionally) allows lawyers to lie, and they know it.
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Today, March 30th, 2023, Republican representative Jim Jordan (OH) chaired a meeting titled “Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government.” In previous weeks, hearings have focused on testimony from Reporters Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger and politicians Charles Grassley, Ron Johnson, and Tulsi Gabbard. A month earlier, Twitter executives Yoel Roth, Vijaya Gadde, Jim Baker, and Anika Navaroli were deposed in hearings related to censorship of the Hunter Biden laptop story. Today, Senator Eric Schmitt of Missouri, Louisiana attorney general Jeff Landry, and attorneys John Sauer and Matthew Seligman gave testimony to the committee.
The context of today’s hearing is a lawsuit filed by the states of Missouri and Louisiana against the Biden administration (Missouri v. Biden) and over four dozen named individuals from multiple federal agencies. The lawsuit claims that the Biden administration cooperated in a scheme to deprive American citizens of their civil rights by utilizing social media to censor speech. Its first line quotes George Washington from an address given to Army officers in 1783, “[if] the freedom of speech be taken away, then ‘dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep, to the Slaughter.'”
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After Schmitt and Landry gave their opening statements, they were excused and left the room. This incensed representative Stephen Lynch (D-MA) and other Democrats, who complained that they had no opportunity to cross-examine the witnesses. According to them, Schmitt and Landry had lied before the committee. The implication was that the federal government had not been weaponized against its citizens, or if it was, it was for good reason. Lynch started shouting, “you couldn’t find two people to defend their statements! That’s pretty disgraceful!” He may as well have saved his vitriol. Attorney Matthew Seligman was about to testify on their behalf. Seligman is a lawyer.
Seligman presents himself as neat and professional, even deferential. He looks almost trustworthy. And then, like all other lawyers, he spoke. I was so surprised by what he said that I stopped what I was doing and started taking notes. Based on my knowledge of the subjects addressed by Seligman, my impression is that none of his statements were true.
This is what he said today:
[In reference to the 2020 Texas lawsuit to prevent counting electors until after an investigation], “…Texas’s complaint included the fantastical claim that the statistical likelihood that President Biden fairly won the 2020 election was less than one in [a] quadrillion. That is false.”
- The statistical improbability of Biden’s “victory” in four battleground states is based on research conducted by Charles J. Cichetti. Cichetti’s declaration isn’t easy to find in the SCOTUS complaint, but it is helpfully excerpted here. If anything, the “one in a quadrillion improbability” referenced by Seligman is a serious understatement. A quadrillion has 15 zeroes after the first digit. Some of Cichetti’s calculations showed an improbability value that had over a thousand zeroes.
- The basis of the SCOTUS claim is that the population of people who voted for Biden in 2020 was improbably different from people who voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. In addition, the population who voted for Biden up to about three in the morning on November 4th is improbably different from the population whose votes were counted after that time.
- In other words, without a significant demographic change that dramatically favored Biden over Clinton, the vote count is likely illegitimate. Similarly, without a significant difference between the groups whose votes were counted before and after 3 AM on the morning of the fourth of November, the vote count is likely illegitimate. Collectively, the same thing happening in four different states simultaneously exponentially increases the odds against this ever occurring naturally.
- Conclusion: the claim made by Cichetti is “fantastical,” but not because it is untrue. It is fantastical because the statistical improbability of the 2020 Biden vote counts is astronomically high. Seligman’s claim appears to concern the election rather than the research because the complaint correctly describes Cichetti’s conclusions. Therefore, the statement, “That is false,” in reference to Cichetti’s declaration, is false.
“Members of this committee have claimed that Dominion voting machines fraudulently flipped votes from Trump to Biden. That is false.”
- One of the earliest cases related to this claim, possibly the first, is case #357838, Bailey v. Antrim County. The case seeks an audit of the election in Antrim County, Michigan. The reason is that, among other things, votes for Trump were found to have been allocated to Biden by the Dominion-branded tabulator. A forensic analysis of the Dominion tabulator provides ample justification for the claim that the machines can flip votes and did so in Antrim County.
- A court dismissed William Bailey’s lawsuit against Antrim County on the basis that he had already been granted his requested relief, a forensic examination of tabulators, and lacked standing for any further relief. The problem, according to the judge’s ruling, is that the number of flipped votes in Antrim County was insufficient to affect the statewide outcome of the presidential election in Michigan. The ruling does not address whether the forensic findings were incorrect.
- Conclusion: The forensic analysis of Dominion tabulators in Antrim, Michigan, showed that the tabulators did flip votes from Trump to Biden. One claim is that it was due to clerical error (not the machine), but the forensic analysis indicates otherwise. Seligman’s claim that Dominion machines did not flip votes is inexplicable in the context of the Bailey lawsuit.
“Members of this committee have claimed that thousands of ballots were cast on behalf of dead and unqualified voters. That is false.”
- New York Citizen’s Audit (NYCA), an elections watchdog group in New York, has discovered hundreds of thousands of votes cast by unqualified voters, some of whom were dead at the time of the election. Research conducted by Verity Vote in Arizona found similarly large numbers of votes that should not have been counted.
- Conclusion: To be generous, Seligman is mistaken.
“Members of this committee have claimed that election workers around the country counted fake or fraudulent votes. That is false.”
- Any fake or fraudulent votes counted had to be counted by someone with an official connection to the election. It is known that fraudulent votes were counted in multiple states. It is also known that election workers engaged in unusual behavior that appeared designed to prevent observation of vote counting.
- Conclusion: There is enough data available to know with virtual certainty that fraudulent votes were counted. How many and by whom exactly are unknown. There is not enough evidence to credibly provide an innocent explanation for the inclusion of fraudulent votes in official tallies. Again, Seligman is mistaken.
“On October 19th, 2020, chairman Jordan tweeted that democrats are trying to steal the election after the election. That is false.”
- This is chairman Jordan’s opinion, making it difficult to argue it is false. The idea, however, is that the election was “stolen” in the sense that Biden achieved a victory by fraudulent means. There is enough evidence related to True The Vote’s 2000 Mules investigation to support a finding that fraud occurred on a broad scale and that it was coordinated by Democrat organizations.
- Conclusion: Seligman cannot credibly argue that the election wasn’t stolen. At best, he can argue that some of the illegally-cast votes were innocently counted by incompetent officials or were cast by small numbers of lone-wolf voters.
“Lies like these erode Americans’ faith in the integrity of our elections and our democracy. Those elections are, without question, fundamentally sound.”
- A “lie” is a statement that does not agree with the belief of the speaker. Whether or not the belief is true is immaterial. This is why it is not perjury to make a false statement in court if a witness believes the statement to be true. In this situation, the worst that can be said is that the statements described by Seligman as “lies” represent the honestly-held beliefs of the people who utter them. He cannot, with reasonable justification, describe them as lies without evidence that goes beyond his own belief that the claims are false.
- Too many legitimate evidence-based questions have been raised about the 2020 election to accurately describe it as “fundamentally sound.”
“These falsehoods form the foundation of an unprecedented effort to reverse the results of the 2020 presidential election.”
The last line I’ve quoted here is heard often from liberals. It is their talking point, designed, or so it seems, to reduce the fraud discovered in the 2020 election to an example of sour grapes. The key problem with the talking point is that no one is trying to “reverse the results” of the election or, as others have stated, to “overturn” the election. The real issue is that the results cannot be legally certified because there are so many violations of election law.
The correct remedy in this case, and the remedy usually sought by those who have contested the 2020 election results, is to decertify the election and do it over. Unfortunately, the amount of fraud is so great that it totally obscures who the legitimate winner might have been. The evidence suggests that Trump won by a large margin, but there is no way to know that for sure because the election was so tainted with fraud, illegalities, and incompetence.
Another point worth noting is that if the election was stolen by fraud, then the results aren’t legitimate. You can’t “overturn the results” when the result we have does not reflect the legitimate vote count because there never was a legitimate vote count. It would be like saying, “if you catch that bank robber, you are trying to overthrow depositor’s rights to depositor’s rights to withdraw money.” No, it isn’t. The bank robber stole the money. He did not “withdraw” it, nor was it taken from an account in his name. You can’t overturn a result that isn’t the real result. If anything, evidence suggests that Trump won the election. Therefore, Biden and his supporters “overturned” the legitimate result by committing widespread fraud.
Seligman’s point was that the “lies” he described are so dangerous that they had to be suppressed. If that was done, how would anyone learn of election malfeasance? Likely, they wouldn’t. Like sheep, they could then be led to slaughter, exactly as George Washington warned his troops in 1783. That, it seems, is what the Democrats want.
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