Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The Connection Between Ballot Subpoenas in North Carolina and DJT's Ego

Well, knock us over with a feather duster! A lengthy investigative piece posted last week on Salon proves that there was past substantial voting by "illegal aliens" in a North Carolina election, only it was done to benefit a Republican candidate for Fayetteville City Council.

We've written about Wesley Meredith before, because he's now an incumbent member of the NC Senate, and a powerful one, and he has a credible Democratic opponent this year in Kirk deViere.

But back more than a decade ago, according to Steven Rosenfeld, Meredith was trying awfully hard to get onto the Fayetteville City Council. He ran once and lost. Then he ran again in 2005 and won, but not without a lot of questions and evidence of illegal registrations by non-citizens who were supposedly taking a keen interest in seeing a landscape contractor elected to city council.

Marshall Tutor, who retired in March 2018 after many years as lead investigator for the North Carolina State Board of Elections, was deeply involved investigating Meredith's 2005 win. "There are a lot of problems with that case," Tutor told Rosenfeld. "I spent a lot of time on fraudulent absentee ballot requests and non-citizens requesting absentee ballots. And it was federal crimes involved because there were absentee ballot requests made for Fayetteville citizens who knew nothing about it, that were mailed over state lines into a drop box in Virginia.”

Tutor took his evidence to the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina -- "evidence showing that non-citizens tried to, and did, register and vote, and vote early. We had enough [evidence] that, had it been thoroughly investigated, there would have had to have been charges on somebody” -- but “the U.S. attorney’s office told us they would get back to us after they had time to go over the documentation. About 13 months later they sent an email saying they didn’t have enough evidence to go forward with any kind of investigation. Keep in mind Meredith was a huge fundraiser for state Republican candidates during this time.”

Robert J. Higdon Jr.,
U.S. Attorney
Eastern District of N.C.
Hmmm. Who was that Federal prosecutor who said no thanks to busting illegal voting? Why, Robert J. Higdon Jr., who is now, presently, the very U.S. Attorney who engineered the recent surprise subpoena for some 20 million ballots and voting records from 44 eastern counties of North Carolina ... 44 eastern counties where the proportion of Latinos just happens to be highest. That appears to be the point of the subpoenas and more evidence that the Trump administration is still pursuing its fraudulent claim that millions of "illegals" voted in 2016.

See, when Trump's bogus commission appointed to look into illegal voting crashed and burned -- it was led by Kris Kobach of Kansas (what's the matter with Kansas?), a sloppy partisan with no qualms who's now trying to move his conspiracy theories into the Kansas governor's mansion -- when that commission disbanded in disgrace, Kobach transferred the "hunt for illegals" to the Department of Homeland Security, which runs ICE, which made the requests to Robert J. Higdon Jr. to issue those blanket subpoenas at 5 p.m. on the Friday before Labor Day.

Threatening subpoenas delivered not only to the county boards of elections in 44 eastern North Carolina counties, but also to every DMV office, where many people register to vote, with the clear threat and implication that someone has broken the law and needs to be keel-hauled ... coming from a U.S. Attorney with a history of partisan decision-making ... well, ain't that just a kick in the pants?

We're thankful we have a State Board of Elections and an Attorney General willing and able to push back against the intimidation, the lingering penumbra of Kris Kobach, vampire hunter.

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