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GA Opens Investigation Into Potential Systematic 2020 Election Ballot Harvesting: Subpoenas on the Table

Western Journal

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Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger confirmed Tuesday that his office is investigating allegations that large-scale illegal ballot harvesting took place during the 2020 general election.

Raffensperger’s office received a detailed complaint in November from the conservative voter integrity group True the Vote stating that it had “assembled evidence that scores of activists worked with nonprofit groups to collect and deliver thousands of absentee ballots, often during wee-hour operations, to temporary voting drop boxes distributed around the state during the pandemic,” Just the News reported.

That would be known as ballot harvesting, which happens when someone other than the voter delivers a ballot to be counted. This practice is illegal under Georgia law, which requires absentee ballots to be either mailed in or personally delivered unless the voter is disabled, in which case a family or household member can deliver the ballot.

“True the Vote’s complaint offered Raffensperger’s office access to what are characterized as detailed phone records and surveillance video it said would show as many as 242 people repeatedly made trips to the drop boxes to deliver ballots in what it described as a mass ‘ballot trafficking operation,'” Just the News reported.

“The group said it bought commercially available geospatial mobile device data showing the locations of suspected ballot harvesters’ cell phones in the vicinity of the ballot drop boxes at the times people appeared on the surveillance footage stuffing multiple ballots into a drop box,” the outlet added.

True the Vote alleged in its complaint that surveillance video evidence suggests that “242 people engaged in a total of 5,662 ballot drops, an average of 23 runs per alleged harvester.”

The footage shows numerous instances of large numbers of ballots being stuffed into ballot boxes, True the Vote stated, according to Just the News. Additionally, more than 40 percent of the alleged drop-offs occurred between midnight and 5 a.m., the group alleged, according to Just the News.

True the Vote said one man admitted he and others engaged in ballot harvesting.

“John Doe” stated that he was paid $10 for each ballot he collected and delivered during the November 2020 election and the Jan. 5, 2021, Senate runoffs, True the Vote alleged, according to Just the News.

“John Doe described a network of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that worked together to facilitate a ballot trafficking scheme in Georgia,” True the Vote stated, according to Just the News.

“John Doe’s assignment included collecting ballots, both from voters in targeted neighborhoods and from NGOs that had their own ballot collection processes, delivering those ballots to other NGOs, picking up designated ballot bundles from the same group of NGOs, and depositing ballots into drop boxes spanning six counties in the metro Atlanta area,” the group added.

To give some context, Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin are currently investigating the role an NGO called the Center for Tech and Civic Life, which reportedly received large financial contributions from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, may have played in the handling of absentee ballots in Wisconsin’s five biggest cities: Milwaukee, Green Bay, Madison, Racine and Kenosha.

On its website, True the Vote said Raffensperger launched a “statewide investigation into ballot trafficking” in Georgia on Monday.

Raffensperger confirmed to investigative journalist John Solomon, editor in chief of Just the News, that an active investigation into potential ballot harvesting is taking place in the Peach State.

“We do have some information and we’re going to investigate that,” Raffensperger said in an episode of Solomon’s podcast released Tuesday.

In a segment of the interview that starts about the 22:30 mark, he told Solomon the ballot boxes were under “24/7” video surveillance, as required by law.

He further noted that a “statewide ballot harvesting analysis” conducted by a private firm regarding the 2020 election revealed no irregularities.

“But, that said, if people give us credible allegations, we want to make sure that we [investigate], and we have that right now as an ongoing investigation,” Raffensperger said.

Solomon then asked if subpoenas from the Georgia State Election Board were possible in the investigation, and Raffensperger affirmed it.

“That will be one of the processes we’re looking at if we have people that don’t want to come forward for whatever concern,” Raffensperger said. “Because we really need to get to the bottom of it. We just can’t let it sit there … so if it comes to that then [that will] probably be the next step that we’d be looking at.”

An independent report contracted by the State Election Board and released in January 2021 identified many abnormalities in Fulton County’s handling of ballots in the 2020 general election.

“There were persistent chain of custody issues throughout the entire absentee ballot processing system,” the report stated.

It added that “the fact that ballots were delivered to State Farm Arena in unsecured mail carts is very concerning. … Protocol for securing ballots exists not only to protect the ballots themselves but also to ensure that no ballot box stuffing occurred.”

On election night, party observers and media at State Farm Arena, the Fulton County venue where votes were counted, were told counting had stopped, only for it to resume for nearly two more hours soon thereafter.

The election review concluded that “the truth about what happened on the night of November 3rd between 10:30PM and 11:52PM [at State Farm Arena] continues to be elusive … but if the [GOP] poll watchers are correct, then there is a serious problem.”

Fulton County registration chief Ralph Jones, who was present at State Farm Arena that night, resigned in August after coming under intense criticism for the county’s handling of the 2020 election. Raffensperger had called for his firing the previous month.

Rick Barron, Fulton County’s elections director for the 2020 election, also announced his resignation in November, which took effect at the end of the year, the Georgia Recorder reported.

Raffensperger and the state election board have taken steps to put Fulton County elections in state receivership, meaning the state, and not local officials, would oversee the county’s elections in 2022, according to Just the News.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported in September that then-DeKalb County Elections Director Erica Hamilton was placed on leave without explanation, and she later resigned after facing scrutiny over her handling of the 2020 election.

It is a matter of record that strange things happened in Georgia during the 2020 election cycle. Whether they could have altered the outcome of the presidential contest, which Joe Biden won by 12,670 votes, is a matter of dispute.

Raffensperger’s office, as Just the News reported, has concluded “the problems were not widespread enough to overcome Biden’s 12,000-vote margin of victory,” though Trump supporters are not convinced.

What is indisputable is that further investigation and, if need be, change is the order of the day so Georgians can have confidence in their election results going forward.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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Op-Ed: Xi Jinping Is Watching Putin to Decide When to Attack Taiwan

Western Journal

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Chinese President Xi Jinping is watching Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine to decide when to attack Taiwan. At this point that decision is made, but the timing won’t be settled until this fall and before President Joe Biden leaves the White House.

Let me untangle some issues that will dictate Beijing’s timing for its assault on Taiwan: Xi’s enemies and economic challenges, Biden’s green light indicators for Putin’s war, a growing list of battlefield lessons, and Biden’s broken foreign policy.

Beijing regards Taiwan as a breakaway province, and Xi stakes his future on returning it to Chinese rule.

Last fall, he declared the Chinese people have a “glorious tradition of opposing separatism” and that “complete reunification of the motherland must be fulfilled, and will definitely be fulfilled.” The communist chairman added, “The Taiwan question is purely an internal matter for China, one which brooks no external interference,” and he warned last year, “Anyone who would attempt to [interfere] will have their heads bashed bloody.”

Yes, Mr. Xi is committed to reunification, but the timing is bound by two realities.

The first is the possible confirmation of his third term in office, an unprecedented eventuality since Mao Zedong’s death in 1976. Xi’s third term would begin this November.

Xi’s hold on power, however, isn’t assured. Feng Chongyi, a professor at the University of Technology Sydney, said last year that some officials are “in strong opposition and are trying their best to prevent Xi’s next possible term.”

Those enemies know Xi’s Achilles heel: a sagging economy. According to the Communist Party’s “Shanghai Gang” faction, Xi is ruining the Chinese economy and must be ousted.

So, if Xi is to gain a third term, he must balance his domestic opposition and his economic vulnerability before assaulting Taiwan. After all, he learned from the Ukraine war that an attack on the democratic island nation will earn him severe economic sanctions, further threatening China’s economy. Thus, he intends to delay any invasion until after he is assured another term.

The other reality for Xi’s anticipated assault is identified by Andrei Illarionov, Putin’s economic adviser for almost six years in the early 2000s.

Illarionov, now a senior fellow at the Center for Security Policy, said the Chinese are learning from Putin’s war. He explained that Putin’s “decision to invade Ukraine is based on his absolutely correct understanding of President Biden. Without Biden in the White House, Putin would never invade Ukraine.”

Xi learned from Putin that Biden is weak and broadcasts what he will and won’t do — a predictable enemy.

“Mr. Putin is a very good psychologist,” Illarionov said. “He studied [security agency] files for Mr. Biden. He understood that’s a person who would never do anything against his invasion against Ukraine.” In fact, Biden showed his hand long before the war began.

Last year, Biden removed sanctions on Nord Stream 2, renewed the U.S.-Russian nuclear arms agreement without negotiations, did nothing about the buildup of Russian troops on Ukraine’s border and ordered U.S. warships out of the Black Sea after a Russian-Dutch naval confrontation. Putin perceived these moves as weaknesses, an effort on Biden’s part to avoid confrontation.

Biden’s representatives weren’t any better.

He sent William Burns, the CIA director, to Moscow, where, according to Illarionov, he offered guarantees “on issues of security, even when Russian troops [were] on the Ukrainian border and ready to attack Ukraine. That can be understood only in one way: Biden administration is giving green light for Putin to attack Ukraine.”

Then, in December, Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with his Russian counterpart to discuss the Ukraine crisis. However, Illarionov said, “90 percent” of the discussions were about the Iran nuclear deal, yet again “giving a green light to Mr. Putin to attack Ukraine.”

On other fronts, according to Illarionov, Biden recalled American citizens and military personnel from Ukraine. He even offered to help President Volodymyr Zelenskyy leave Ukraine. Once again, Illarionov said, “Mr.  Putin understood these signs in the exactly right way”: as weakness and a go-ahead to invade.

Xi understands that Biden was never serious about stopping Putin’s war. In fact, Illarionov said Xi, like Putin, “understands very well that there is a unique window of opportunity … when Mr. Biden is the president. With any other U.S. president … [an invasion of Ukraine or Taiwan] would be impossible.”

The Russian concluded, “This dangerous moment will last at least until January 2025, until hopefully another president will be in the White House.”

Of course, there are numerous other lessons from Russia’s war for the Chinese dictator. His invasion of Taiwan will be tougher than Putin’s assault on Ukraine because the Chinese are attacking a well-fortified island nation 160 miles from the mainland, a true logistics nightmare. Further, unlike the go-it-alone fight forced on Kyiv, the government in Taipei expects the U.S. and other Western powers to directly intervene.

The most important lesson for Xi is that Biden is a predictable, weak enemy who broadcasts his intentions. So unless the Biden team finds better foreign policy acumen, we could as soon as late fall see the skies reflect green lights signaling Xi to assault Taiwan.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is watching Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine to decide when to attack Taiwan. At this point that decision is made, but the timing won’t be settled until this fall and before President Joe Biden leaves the White House. Let me untangle some issues that will dictate Beijing’s timing for its assault on Taiwan: Xi’s enemies and economic challenges, Biden’s green light indicators for Putin’s war, a growing list of battlefield lessons, and Biden’s broken foreign policy. Beijing regards Taiwan as a breakaway province, and Xi stakes his future on returning it to Chinese rule. Last fall, he declared the Chinese people have a “glorious tradition of opposing separatism” and that “complete reunification of the motherland must be fulfilled, and will definitely be fulfilled.” The communist chairman added, “The Taiwan question is purely an internal matter for China, one which brooks no external interference,” and he warned last year, “Anyone who would attempt to [interfere] will have their heads bashed bloody.” Yes, Mr. Xi is committed to reunification, but the timing is bound by two realities. The first is the possible confirmation of his third term in office, an unprecedented eventuality since Mao Zedong’s death in 1976. Xi’s third term would begin this November. Xi’s hold on power, however, isn’t assured. Feng Chongyi, a professor at the University of Technology Sydney, said last year that some officials are “in strong opposition and are trying their best to prevent Xi’s next possible term.” Those enemies know Xi’s Achilles heel: a sagging economy. According to the Communist Party’s “Shanghai Gang” faction, Xi is ruining the Chinese economy and must be ousted. So, if Xi is to gain a third term, he must balance his domestic opposition and his economic vulnerability before assaulting Taiwan. After all, he learned…

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Americans’ Summer Vacations on Chopping Block Thanks to Biden

Western Journal

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For many families in Joe Biden’s America, going on vacation this summer means going for broke — literally.

This summer, with lockdowns in tatters and everything open that opens, vacation planning has been going on at a record pace, according to Bloomberg.

“Summer 2022 will be the busiest travel season ever,” Expedia Group CEO Peter Kern told the outlet.

Getting there is no longer half the fun; in fact, it is a substantial portion of the pain.

The average price for a gallon of regular gas in the U.S. hit a new record high of $4.483 on Monday, according to AAA. A year ago, it was $3.042 on average. That is an increase of 47 percent.

And that’s not all.

The travel site Hopper.com says airfare is up 3 percent over last year and hotel rates are 20 percent higher than a year ago, according to WFMY-TV.

And for anyone thinking of sending the kids off for a dose of the outdoors, plan to pay more when you can find a vacancy.

Rates for summer camps are up 10 percent to 15 percent from a year ago amid strong demand, said Tom Rosenberg, president and CEO of the American Camp Association, according to CNN.

“Demand is extremely strong for camps as parents are desperate for their kids to be out in nature with their peers and away from tech devices after two years of social distancing,” he said.

So did the Grinch decide to steal summer? Not quite, but inflation has been at work for months, hitting 8.3 percent in April after an ugly 8.5 percent in March — the biggest month-over-month increase since December 1981.

As a result, about seven in 10 Americans are adjusting their vacation plans to address fiscal realities, according to Bankrate.

Motorist Ibrahim Khokhar said he’s not waiting until vacation season to start scrimping, according to The National Desk.

“I’m seeing almost a 25 percent increase in my fill-up price. So, like, before it used to cost me $45. Now it’s like $60, $65,” he said.

Like so many others, Khokhar said he’s now changing some daily habits because of rising prices.

“I’ve started kind of doing the math and how much each mile basically costs me. So it’s like $0.10, $0.15, so it’s like, is it really worth going to hang out with my friends?” he said.

In an Op-Ed for the New York Post, Kevin Williamson said President Biden has found a way to make a bad situation worse.

“When you don’t have any fresh ideas or real principles — and when your long-term goals are limited by the fact that the president, who was born during the Roosevelt administration, isn’t exactly buying any green bananas — then the easiest thing to do is to throw money at every problem,” he wrote. “Throwing money at things is how you make inflation worse.”

“Biden, who was in the Senate in the 1970s, is old enough to remember the word ‘stagflation,’ which is what you get when you have a stagnant economy and inflation at the same time,” Williamson said.

“And it is what you get when you combine the wrong monetary policy with the wrong fiscal policy, the wrong trade policy, the wrong regulatory policy, and the wrong energy policy.

“And that’s how you make inflation worse.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

For many families in Joe Biden’s America, going on vacation this summer means going for broke — literally. This summer, with lockdowns in tatters and everything open that opens, vacation planning has been going on at a record pace, according to Bloomberg. “Summer 2022 will be the busiest travel season ever,” Expedia Group CEO Peter Kern told the outlet. Getting there is no longer half the fun; in fact, it is a substantial portion of the pain. The average price for a gallon of regular gas in the U.S. hit a new record high of $4.483 on Monday, according to AAA. A year ago, it was $3.042 on average. That is an increase of 47 percent. And that’s not all. The travel site Hopper.com says airfare is up 3 percent over last year and hotel rates are 20 percent higher than a year ago, according to WFMY-TV. And for anyone thinking of sending the kids off for a dose of the outdoors, plan to pay more when you can find a vacancy. Rates for summer camps are up 10 percent to 15 percent from a year ago amid strong demand, said Tom Rosenberg, president and CEO of the American Camp Association, according to CNN. “Demand is extremely strong for camps as parents are desperate for their kids to be out in nature with their peers and away from tech devices after two years of social distancing,” he said. So did the Grinch decide to steal summer? Not quite, but inflation has been at work for months, hitting 8.3 percent in April after an ugly 8.5 percent in March — the biggest month-over-month increase since December 1981. As a result, about seven in 10 Americans are adjusting their vacation plans to address fiscal realities, according to Bankrate. Motorist Ibrahim Khokhar said…

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