Special counsel Jack Smith on Saturday sharply rejected Donald Trump’s contention that foreign governments may have changed votes in the 2020 election, laying bare new details about his team’s extensive probe of the matter and its access to a vast array of senior intelligence officials in Trump’s administration.
In a 45-page filing, Smith’s team describes interviewing more than a dozen of the top intelligence officials in Trump’s administration — from his director of national intelligence to the administrator of the NSA to Trump’s personal intelligence briefer — about any evidence that foreign governments had penetrated systems that counted votes in 2020.
“The answer from every single official was no,” senior assistant special counsel Thomas Windom writes in the filing.
The filing was part of the special counsel’s opposition to a bid by Trump to access a broad swath of classified intelligence as part of his defense against charges that he conspired to subvert the 2020 election and disenfranchise millions of voters, culminating in the violent Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. Trump has argued that foreign governments fueled his supporters’ concerns about election integrity and that some classified evidence revealed potential meddling that justified his own professed fears about fraud.
But prosecutors say Trump’s new legal effort is just an extension of his election lies — and that, in fact, intelligence officials unanimously rejected the idea that foreign governments penetrated any systems that counted votes or could have altered the election tally itself. Rather, they said, intel officials documented some breaches of state voter registration databases that permitted various influence campaigns but were not capable of causing the vote-stealing scheme of which Trump has long sought to convince his followers.
Trump, Windom writes, tries to create a “false impression” and “manufacture confusion” by citing these “irrelevant network breaches” and conflating them with potential changes to the vote total.
To rebut these claims, Windom indicates that prosecutors asked Trump’s “former DNI, former acting secretary of DHS, former acting deputy secretary of DHS, former CISA director, former acting CISA director, former CISA senior cyber counsel, former national security adviser, former deputy NSA, former chief of staff to the National Security Council, former chairman of the Election Assistance Commission, presidential intelligence briefer, former secretary of Defense and former DOJ leadership” for any evidence of that foreign or domestic actors flipped a single vote from a voting machine in 2020.
They offered none, he says. [Continue reading…]