Trump saw the scurrilous attacks on his presidency coming even before he was sworn and naturally planned accordingly for the assault on his US 2020 election campaign.
On 12 September 2018 Trump signed an executive order that largely flew under media radar until its significance recently became clear.
“I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, find that the ability of persons located, in whole or in substantial part, outside the United States to interfere in or undermine public confidence in United States elections, including through the unauthorized accessing of election and campaign infrastructure or the covert distribution of propaganda and disinformation, constitutes an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.
Although there has been no evidence of a foreign power altering the outcome or vote tabulation in any United States election, foreign powers have historically sought to exploit America’s free and open political system. In recent years, the proliferation of digital devices and internet-based communications has created significant vulnerabilities and magnified the scope and intensity of the threat of foreign interference, as illustrated in the 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment. I hereby declare a national emergency to deal with this threat.”
The national emergency that Trump declared in 2018 is still in effect meaning this EO kicks in and must be implemented within 45 days of the election.
Trump recognised the possibility of interference and signed the EO to provide a pathway to identify and resolve election interference if it occurred.
- An audit of the election process for foreign interference will be carried out and reported.
“Section 1. (a) Not later than 45 days after the conclusion of a United States election, the Director of National Intelligence, in consultation with the heads of any other appropriate executive departments and agencies (agencies), shall conduct an assessment of any information indicating that a foreign government, or any person acting as an agent of or on behalf of a foreign government, has acted with the intent or purpose of interfering in that election. The assessment shall identify, to the maximum extent ascertainable, the nature of any foreign interference and any methods employed to execute it, the persons involved, and the foreign government or governments that authorized, directed, sponsored, or supported it. The Director of National Intelligence shall deliver this assessment and appropriate supporting information to the President, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Defense, the Attorney General, and the Secretary of Homeland Security.
- US property and interests belonging to participants in foreign interference may be seized.
Sec. 2. (a) All property and interests in property that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of any United States person of the following persons are blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in: any foreign person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, and the Secretary of Homeland Security:
(i) to have directly or indirectly engaged in, sponsored, concealed, or otherwise been complicit in foreign interference in a United States election;
(ii) to have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, any activity described in subsection (a)(i) of this section or any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order; or
(iii) to be owned or controlled by, or to have acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, any person whose property or interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order.
- Recommendations made to the President on additional sanctions against foreign persons.
(a) the Secretary of the Treasury shall review the assessment mandated by section 1(a) and the report mandated by section 1(b), and, in consultation with the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, and the Secretary of Homeland Security, impose all appropriate sanctions pursuant to section 2(a) of this order and any appropriate sanctions described in section 2(b) of this order; and
(b) the Secretary of State and the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the heads of other appropriate agencies, shall jointly prepare a recommendation for the President as to whether additional sanctions against foreign persons may be appropriate in response to the identified foreign interference and in light of the evaluation in the report mandated by section 1(b) of this order
Trump has alleged widespread voter fraud in the 2020 US elections due to votes from dead, illegal and out of state residents, vote harvesting and hundreds of thousands of votes being electronically moved from Trump to Biden in the electronic tallying process.
The EO specifies that kind of election infrastructure threat.
“information and communications technology and systems used by or on behalf of the Federal Government or a State of a local government in managing the election process, including voter registration databases, voting machines, voting tabulation equipment, and equipment for the secure transmission of election results.”
Foreign interferences means “covert, fraudulent, deceptive, or unlawful actions or attempted actions of a foreign government, or of any person acting as an agent of or on behalf of a foreign government, undertaken with the purpose of influencing, undermining confidence in, or altering the result or reported result of, the election, or undermining public confidence in election processes or institutions.”
One overseas provider of voting services used by some US states is Scytl based in Barcelona, Spain. Scytl has been used in the US since 2008 although the company filed for bankruptcy in June 2020. The company filed for bankruptcy as part of a broader analysis of security vulnerabilities associated with digital voting. There is no evidence that Scytl is involved with vote rigging in the US.
Its online voting services employ end-to-end encryption, vote return cords, and a bulletin board audit service. Scytl’s customers include France’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the European Green Party, the Parliament of the European Union and the Swiss Canton of Fribourg. In January 2012, the company bought SOE Software. Scytl also holds more than 40 patents and patent applications. In 2008, the company became the first online voting company to receive certification from the Florida Department of State.
Another overseas provider is Dominion Voting Systems which was founded in 2002 in Toronto, Canada, by John Poulos and James Hoover. Its U.S. headquarters are in Denver, Colorado. The company carries out in-house software development for its customers in the United States, Canada, and Serbia.
“More than 30 states use these voting machines to scan ballots in US elections and tabulate votes.
It has been used in the states with razor-thin margins, including Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Nevada and Pennsylvania, and several elected officials have pinned specific glitches in Georgia and Michigan, even though the company has discarded any blame.
Dominion has put out a joint statement with the federal government agency that oversees US election Security, the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Agency that categorically denies assertions about vote switching issues within the voting system.
“There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes or was in any way compromised,” the statement said.”
Former federal prosecutor Sidney Powell, now a Trump campaign lawyer says that evidence is being prepared to back up the allegations of election software fraud. The Trump team will need to produce evidence that foreign individuals or companies were used to manipulate US voting results but Powell is confident.
“We’re getting ready to overturn election results in multiple states,” Powell said, saying that she has enough evidence of election fraud to launch a widespread criminal investigation.
“I don’t make comments without having the evidence to back it up,” she added, saying that elections software switched “millions of votes” from Trump to Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
Alongside Trump’s legal team the Director of National Intelligence, Texas conservative, John Lee Ratcliffe, is charged with an independent review of the US election for foreign interference. Watch this space for developments in the alleged voter fraud that if proved true will be bigger than Texas.
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