DC Removing 103,000 Ineligible Names from Voter Rolls in Response to Judicial Watch
We’ve achieved another significant victory in our fight to clean up the nation’s voter rolls – this time in our nation’s capital.
We sent notice letters to election officials in the District of Columbia, California, and Illinois, notifying them of evident violations of the National Voter Registration Act(NVRA) of 1993, based on their failure to remove inactive voters from their registration rolls.
The letters point out that these jurisdictions publicly reported removing few or no ineligible voter registrations under a key provision of the NVRA. The letters threaten federal lawsuits unless the violations are corrected in a timely fashion.
In response to our inquiries, Washington, DC, officials admitted that they had not complied with the NVRA, promptly removed 65,544 outdated names from the voting rolls, promised to remove 37,962 more, and designated another 73,522 registrations as “inactive.”
The NVRA requires states to “conduct a general program that makes a reasonable effort to remove” from the official voter rolls “the names of ineligible voters” who have died or changed residence. The law requires registrations to be canceled when voters fail to respond to address confirmation notices and then fail to vote in the next two general federal elections. In 2018, the Supreme Court confirmed that such removals are mandatory (Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Inst., 138 S. Ct. 1833, 1841-42 (2018)).
Federal law directs the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) to submit a report to Congress every second year assessing how states are complying with the NVRA. Federal regulations require states to provide data to the EAC for use in this report. On June 29, 2023, the EAC posted data from the most recent surveys it sent to the states and the District of Columbia for the reporting period from November 2020 through November 2022.
Based on the data contained in this report, we contacted a number of states and Washington, DC, to inquire about their compliance with federal law and to request public records. After processing the responses to these communications, Judicial Watch sent notice of violation letters to Washington, DC, California, and Illinois, detailing their non-compliance with the NVRA.
The notice letter to the District of Columbia, sent on behalf of Judicial Watch and the District of Columbia Republican Party, reports:
DC reported removing zero voter registrations in the last two-year reporting period for failing to respond to an address confirmation notice and failing to vote for two consecutive general federal elections.
The notice letter to California, sent on behalf of Judicial Watch and the Libertarian Party of California, states:
- DC flatly admitted in correspondence with Judicial Watch that it was failing to remove registrations as required by the NVRA, citing data conversion, staffing, and other issues.
- DC’s total registration rate—its total number of registrations divided by the most recent census estimates of its citizen voting-age population—is greater than 131%.
In all, 46 California counties reported removing only a handful, or no registrations under the NVRA’s change of address rules, or else failed to report any data at all. These 46 counties contain more than 14 million registered voters.
- California’s survey responses to the EAC show that 27 California counties reported removing five or fewer—and, in most of those counties, zero—voter registrations in the last two-year period for failing to respond to an address confirmation notice and failing to vote in two consecutive general federal elections.
- Another 19 California counties simply did not report any data about such removals.
- Twenty-one California counties had more voter registrations than citizens over the age of 18, based on the most recent census estimates.
The notice letter to Illinois, sent on behalf of Judicial Watch, Illinois resident and voter Carol J. Davis and Illinois Family Action, states:
In total, 57 Illinois counties either reported removing 15 or fewer registrations or failed to report any data at all under the NVRA’s change of address removal procedures. These 57 counties contain over five million registered voters.
- In Illinois’ responses to the EAC’s survey, 23 Illinois counties reported removing fewer than 15—and, in almost half of those counties, zero—voter registrations from November 2020 to November 2022 for failing to respond to an address confirmation notice and failing to vote in two consecutive general federal elections.
- Thirty-four Illinois jurisdictions simply did not report any data about such removals.
- Fifteen Illinois jurisdictions have more voter registrations than citizens of voting age.
Last month, the District of Columbia admitted in correspondence to us that it removed 65,544 inactive voters, will soon remove an additional 37,962 inactive voters, and that it has designated another 73,522 inactive names for potential removal.
California provided some public records and promised a further, substantive response. Illinois provided some public records and promises a further, substantive response. Ultimately, however, if Judicial Watch is not satisfied with the jurisdictions’ responses to its notice letters, Judicial Watch plans to sue under the National Voter Registration Act to ensure the jurisdictions take certain reasonable steps to clean up their voter rolls as the law requires.
Dirty voter rolls increase the potential for voter fraud. As Washington, DC’s, quick cleanup of tens of thousands of names in response to us shows, there are potentially hundreds of thousands of names on the voter rolls that should be removed by California and Illinois. Indeed, our litigation resulted in the removal of four million names from voter rolls in various states recently.”
We are a national leader in voting integrity and voting rights. As part of our work, we assembled a team of highly experienced voting rights attorneys who stopped discriminatory elections in Hawaii, and cleaned up voter rolls in California, Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky, among other achievements. Robert Popper, a Judicial Watch senior attorney, leads our election law program. Popper was previously in the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department, where he managed voting rights investigations, litigations, consent decrees, and settlements in dozens of states.
In July 2023 we filed an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief, supporting the decision of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine, which struck down Maine’s policy restricting the use and distribution of the state’s voter registration list (Public Interest Legal Foundation v. Shenna Bellows (No. 23-1361). According to a national study conducted by Judicial Watch in 2020, Maine’s statewide registration rate was 101% of eligible voters.
In July 2023 we also settled a federal election integrity lawsuit on behalf of the Illinois Conservative Union against the state of Illinois, the Illinois State Board of Elections, and its director, which grants access to the current centralized statewide list of registered voters for the state for the past 15 elections.
In April 2023, Pennsylvania settled with us and admitted in court filings that it removed 178,258 ineligible registrations in response to communications from us. The settlement commits Pennsylvania and five of its counties to extensive public reporting of statistics regarding their ongoing voter roll clean-up efforts for the next five years.
In March 2023, Colorado agreed to settle a Judicial Watch NVRA lawsuit alleging that Colorado failed to remove ineligible voters from its rolls. The settlement agreement requires Colorado to provide Judicial Watch with the most recent voter roll data for each Colorado county each year for six years.
In February 2023, Los Angeles County confirmed the removal of 1,207,613 ineligible voters from its rolls since last year, under the terms of a settlement agreement in a federal lawsuit we filed in 2017.
We settled a federal election integrity lawsuit against New York City after the city removed 441,083 ineligible names from the voter rolls and promised to take reasonable steps going forward to clean its voter registration lists.
Kentucky also removed hundreds of thousands of old registrations after it entered into a consent decree to end another Judicial Watch lawsuit.
In February 2022, we settled a voter roll clean-up lawsuit against North Carolina and two of its counties after North Carolina removed over 430,000 inactive registrations from its voter rolls.
In March 2022, a Maryland court ruled in favor of our challenge to the Democratic state legislature’s “extreme” congressional districts gerrymander.
You can expect more federal lawsuits over the next few months as we increase our legal pressure to protect our elections!
Judicial Watch Questions Candidates at the Republican Presidential Debate
I was pleased to represent you at the Republican presidential debate aired on NewsNation and Rumble on Wednesday, December 6, from the University of Alabama.
I presented two powerful questions through prerecorded video. Former Amb. Nikki Haley, Gov Ron DeSantis, Mr. Vivek Ramaswamy, and former Gov. Chris Christie participated in the debate.
Moderators were Elizabeth Vargas, the Peabody award-winning anchor of NewsNation’s “Elizabeth Vargas Reports,” Megyn Kelly, host of “The Megyn Kelly Show” on SiriusXM and Eliana Johnson, editor-in-chief of The Washington Free Beacon.
You can watch my portion of the debate here. My first question was directed to Christie, the second to DeSantis.
Here is a transcript.
President Trump and many of his supporters claim federal law enforcement agencies have abused his civil rights for the last eight years by, among other things, spying on him and now prosecuting him while having treated Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden with kid gloves.
A recent Gallup poll shows that Americans think more highly of the U.S. Postal Service than they do the FBI or Justice Department.
What would you do as president to restore the faith of the American people in these agencies?
Well, first off, I'm the only person on this stage who's actually done a job in the Department of Justice.
I was the U.S. Attorney in New Jersey and the 5th largest office in this country appointed by President Bush on September 10th, 2001.
And it was an extraordinary time in this country to be on the front lines of fighting the greatest attack against our country since Pearl Harbor.
And I’m proud of the seven years I spent in the Justice Department.
And one of the reasons I am is because I had an Attorney General when I came in, named John Ashcroft. And John Ashcroft stood up and told each and every one of us, our job was to do one thing, to make sure justice was done every day, regardless of partisanship, regardless of gender or race or any other consideration.
And that's what we did for seven years, and at a time when our country was at its greatest moment of danger. In the last 40 years, we did exactly that. There was not another domestic terrorist attack on this soil.
So what I would do as president, having had that experience, and the only one who's had that experience, is to pick an attorney general who will absolutely do the same thing that John Ashcroft did. To pick U.S. attorneys who will only care about making sure that justice is done without regard to any other consideration but the facts that are presented and whether someone is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and the government can prove it.
We have had attorneys general like Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch and Jeff Sessions and now our current attorney general who have not met that standard.
And the only way you restore people's faith in the justice system is to put someone like that in charge of the Justice Department and then as president to get the hell out of the way on anything that involves criminal investigations. If a president's involved in trying to do something and put their thumb on the scales Donald Trump says he will do, that makes people much less likely to believe our justice system can be fair.
Many Republicans are concerned about the legitimacy of elections.
A federal judge just ruled that Pennsylvania must count on dated mail in ballots.
And unlike Alabama, many states still don't require any identification to vote.
What should states do now to increase election integrity and voter confidence for the 2024 election?
Well, Tom, thanks for the question. Thanks for you guys doing Judicial Watch. It's really, really important. There's a lot of corruption in this government. You guys are doing a great job.
What you should do for election integrity is do what we did in Florida 20 years ago.
Florida and elections were a joke. Everybody would laugh at it.
I came in, I removed a couple supervisors from South Florida. We require voter ID. Universal No Zuckerbucks, no mass mail balloting and no ballot harvesting.
We even have an agency that prosecutes people for violating election laws. The result of that, in both 2020 and 2022, we counted millions and millions of votes on election night, produced the results. It was transparent and everybody was happy.
That is not happening throughout this country. But let me tell you this, as the nominee, I think it's important. Not every state where we need it to be.
There is ballot harvesting in places like Nevada, All these places I am not going to fight with one hand tied behind my back.
I'm going to have organizations in all the swing states.
If they're harvesting, we're harvesting. If there's Zuckerbucks, we're Zuckerbucks. We are going to exploit whatever the rules are. I favor changing the rules to be like Florida and some of the other states that have done a good job. But until then, we have to do that.
And then just on the Justice Department and FBI I mean, I remember being, you know, in Iraq, working with the FBI on the ground and being, and then I was a special assistant.
I used to have such a high regard for these agencies. What they did to Donald Trump with the Russia collusion was one of the biggest abuses of power in the history of our country.
These agencies need to be cleaned out. With me, you'll have a new FBI director on day one. We're going to clear out the DOJ, the IRS, all these places. Buckle your seatbelts. There's going to be a new sheriff in town.
My Judicial Watch questions educated countless Americans and smashed the media monopoly on candidate questions at presidential debates. Let’s hope it is the beginning of a new discussion about these important issues in the months ahead!
Judicial Watch Taxpayer Lawsuit over Racially Discriminatory Minneapolis Teachers’ Contract to Proceed
In another major victory for Judicial Watch, the Minnesota Court of Appeals reversed a trial court’s ruling and is allowing our historic lawsuit filed on behalf of a Minneapolis taxpayer over a teachers’ contract that provides discriminatory job protections to certain racial minorities to proceed (Clapp v. Cox et al. (No. 27-CV-22-12454)).
Hennepin County District Court had dismissed the lawsuit, ruling that our taxpayer client lacked standing and that her claims were not ripe. We appealed and, on December 4, the Minnesota Court of Appeals overturned the lower court’s decision, ruling that our client does have standing as a taxpayer who helps fund Minneapolis Public Schools through property taxes and her claims are ripe because the lawsuit alleges an actual future controversy using public funds.
Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit in August of 2022 against the superintendent of the Minneapolis Public Schools, the Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS), and the Minneapolis Board of Education for violating the Equal Protection Guarantee of the Minnesota Constitution.
The controversial contract was agreed to in March 2022 to end a 14-day teacher strike. The Minneapolis Federation of Teachers ratified the contract shortly after the agreement was reached. The Minneapolis Board of Education ratified it in May of this year.
Our lawsuit states:
Among other things, the contract provides preferences, protections, and privileges for MPS teachers of certain races and ethnicities under a section entitled “ARTICLE 15. PROTECTIONS FOR EDUCATORS OF COLOR.” There is no similar provision covering educators who are not “of color.”
Under the contract, teachers of color are exempt from Defendant MPS’s seniority-based layoffs and reassignments, which means, when layoffs or reassignments occur, the next senior teacher who is not “of color” would be laid off or reassigned. In addition, the contract mandates that Defendants reinstate teachers of color over more senior teachers who are not “of color.”
Upon information and belief, prior to the contract, teachers were laid off or reassigned in order of seniority, with the least senior teachers laid off or reassigned first, without regard to race or ethnicity. Similarly, teachers were reinstated in order of seniority, with the more senior teachers reinstated first, without regard to race or ethnicity.
In its December 4 ruling, the Minnesota Court of Appeals states:
Article 15’s preferences, protections, and privileges for certain public-school teachers on the basis of race and ethnicity violates Minnesota’s Equal Protection Guarantee, which states that “no member of this state shall be disenfranchised or deprived of any of the rights or privileges secured to any citizen thereof, unless by the law of the land or the judgment of his peers.” Minn. Const. art. 1, § 2. The Equal Protection Guarantee is analyzed under the same principles and mandate as the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
[The] complaint states that, before the adoption of Article 15, “teachers were laid off or reassigned in order of seniority . . . , without regard to race or ethnicity.” Teachers were also “reinstated in order of seniority, with the more senior teachers reinstated first, without regard to race or ethnicity.” But the complaint alleges that Article 15 of the March 2022 agreement altered this practice, such that “teachers of color are exempt from [the] seniority-based layoffs and reassignments, which means, when layoffs or reassignments occur, the next senior teacher who is not ‘of color’ would be laid off or reassigned.” Article 15 states:
Starting with the Spring 2023 Budget Tie-Out Cycle, if excessing a teacher who is a member of a population underrepresented among licensed teachers in the site, the [school district] shall excess the next least senior teacher, who is not a member of an underrepresented population, for the reasons provided in Article 15.1.2.i.
Reinstatement must be in the inverse order of placement on lay off. The [school district] shall prioritize the recall of a teacher who is a member of a population underrepresented among licensed teachers in the [school district], per the definition provided in Article 15.1.2.i. To do this, the [school district] shall deprioritize the more senior teacher, who is not a member of an underrepresented population, in order to recall a teacher who is a member of an underrepresented population among licensed teachers, for the reasons provided in Article 15.1.2.i.
Article 15.1.2.i provides that the anticipated outcome of the policy is to:
remedy the continuing effects of past discrimination by the [school district]. Past discrimination by the [school district] disproportionately impacted the hiring of underrepresented teachers in the [school district], as compared to the relevant labor market and the community, and resulted in a lack of diversity of teachers. Language which refers to this Article will no longer be in effect once the teachers in the [school district] reflect the diversity of the labor market and the community served by the [school district].
The lawsuit will go back to Hennepin County District Court for further proceedings.
The complaint alleges that MPS will lay off or reassign approximately 220 teachers between 2022 and 2027.
According to [the] complaint, Article 15 violates equal protection under the state constitution because it “provides preferences, protections, and privileges for MPS teachers of certain races and ethnicities” for layoffs and recalls. The complaint further asserts that Article 15 requires MPS to spend public money to implement this allegedly unlawful practice.
The lawsuit asks the court to enter a judgment declaring all actions taken to implement the racial and ethnic preference provisions of Article 15 of the contract to be illegal. The lawsuit also asks that the court declare illegal the use of any taxpayer dollars to implement these provisions of the contract and that MPS be prohibited from taking any actions to implement these racial and ethnic provisions.
This is a big victory for taxpayers who are outraged that Minneapolis’ school system would engage in blatant racial discrimination in employing teachers. We will move with all due speed to gather evidence in discovery. This lawsuit aims to shut down this extreme leftist attack on the bedrock constitutional principle that no one can be denied equal treatment under the law on account of race.
We are being assisted in the lawsuit by Daniel N. Rosen of Rosen LLC in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The City of Asheville, NC, in January 2022 settled our federal civil rights lawsuit after agreeing to remove all racially discriminatory provisions in a city-funded scholarship program. Additionally, the city also agreed to remove racially discriminatory eligibility provisions in a related program that provides grants to educators.
In May 2022, we won a court battle against California’s gender quota law for corporate boards. The verdict came after a 28-day trial. The verdict followed a similar ruling in our favor in April finding California’s diversity mandate for corporate boards unconstitutional.
More Evidence of Government Censorship During 2020 Election
We received 44 pages of records in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that show a close collaboration between DHS’s Cybersecurity and Information Security Agency (CISA) and the leftist Election Integrity Partnership (EIP) to engage in “real-time narrative tracking” on all major social media platforms in the days leading up to the 2020 election.
The records discuss “takedowns” of social media posts and the avoidance of creating public records subject to FOIA.
These records show the lengths to which a ‘Homeland Security’ Deep State agency went in its effort to censor and suppress Americans during and after the 2020 election. That it took a federal lawsuit to extract these disturbing records should raise additional worries about what else this Biden administration is up to.
The records also show that the EIP, which was initially called the Election Misinformation Partnership in the days leading up to the November 3, 2020, election, tasked staffers with monitoring online election content 24 hours a day with a priority being “disinfo that is going viral.”
We obtained the records thanks to our FOIA lawsuit after DHS failed to respond to our October 5, 2022, request (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (No. 1:22-cv-03560)). We are asking for:
The Election Integrity Partnership was created in July 2020, just before the presidential election. According to Just the News:
- All records of communication between the CISA and the EIP. This includes all “tickets” or notifications to the Partnership regarding election-related disinformation on any social media platform.
- All records regarding the July 9, 2020, meeting between DHS officials and representatives of the EIP.
- All records of communication between the CISA and the University of Washington’s Center for an Informed Public and/or Stanford University’s Internet Observatory regarding any of the following:
- The Election Integrity Partnership
- The 2020 U.S. election
- Online misinformation and disinformation
- Any social media platform
The newly obtained records include an undated PowerPoint presentation titled “Election Misinformation Partnership.”
The consortium is comprised of four member organizations: Stanford Internet Observatory (SIO), the University of Washington’s Center for an Informed Public, the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, and social media analytics firm Graphika. It set up a concierge-like service in 2020 that allowed federal agencies like Homeland’s Cybersecurity Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and State’s Global Engagement Center to file “tickets” requesting that online story links and social media posts be censored or flagged by Big Tech.
Three liberal groups — the Democratic National Committee, Common Cause and the NAACP — were also empowered like the federal agencies to file tickets seeking censorship of content. A Homeland-funded collaboration, the Elections Infrastructure Information Sharing and Analysis Center, also had access.
Several pages in the presentation discuss “takedowns,” including:
Example Flow 5: Sourced from Platform [formatting in original]
Days after 11/03, Facebook notifies EMP of an impending takedown of a group of pages exhibiting coordinated inauthentic behavior. Since the election, these pages have consistently pushed a narrative encouraging Americans in key states to call for invalidation of election results. Facebook will take these pages down in one hour, and is already briefing relevant state and local election officials.
The presentation discusses the avoidance of creating public records subject to FOIA:
Notes: Given that information is platform-verified, and Facebook has a direct relationship with local election officials, EMP's involvement can be smaller with the initial dump. EMP should follow up with election officials and the platform in case either stakeholder wants for further research.
Best way to collaborate
What's the best way to collaborate?
A slide in the presentation titled “Stanford Internet Observatory Calendar” details its monitoring plan: “November: Full Time, Election: 24/7 monitoring in shifts. Heightened monitoring during voting times. Emphasis on voter suppression tactics. Election November 3, 2020. December: Full Time, Post-Election: Full time monitoring continues, but not 24/7. Emphasis on narratives around election legitimacy (EX: mail in ballot theories). Release brief post-mortem.”
- CISA can't create their own Slack channels, but can participate in others'.
- Listservs are bad (public records requirements).
- Jira is fine.
- CISA has privacy concerns: can't monitor people's individual accounts; ensure CISA doesn't participate in discussions or notes concerning U.S. persons.
- SIO will have dedicated Slack, something like Jira or Salesforce (will ask for donation), separate from Stanford and destroyed once over.
- We'll intake info by email, but direct people to private forms SIO and CISA have distributed.
- Info from there will go into queue -> be triaged, assigned SLA.
A portion of the presentation labeled “Summarized notes” states:
Overview: CISA has limited capabilities to identify, track disinfo narratives + attempts to undermine confidence in elections
- SIO does = good partnership
- Major goal: prevent a crisis of confidence in 2020 elections
- E.g., where Russia doesn't change any votes (or changes just a few), but claims they changed many more and hysteria is blown out of proportion
Scope: Keep scope narrow: focus on election-related disinfo that has the potential to impact the public's voting patterns
Partnerships and Relationships SIO [Stanford Internet Observatory] would be the coordinators, working w/ Graphika [https://graphika.com], DFRLab [Digital Forensic Research Lab], and [redacted’s] team at UW [University of Washington].
- Mutual trust is key: don't want to need NDAs, legal red tape.
- Need to build out workflow management system: JIRA/Slack/other communications channels, shared processes and definitions, etc.
- [Redacted] envisions Tier 1 and Tier 2 partners:
- Tier 1 is intake (of tips, disinfo reports, etc.): consisting of people either digging for narratives, or processing info received from other partners.
- Think students, election officials, etc. who are looking for disinfo.
- Workflow: check that info against protocols, do some initial data aggregation, triage it into the workflow management system.
- Tier 2 is the 4 orgs [redacted] I team at Stanford, Graphika, etc.
- Workflow: take stuff off the workflow management queue, process it.
- Need to sketch that out.
- SLA for different times of the calendar based on the level of severity obtained by triage.
- E.g., a report from the general public will have less priority than a report from an on-the-ground election official; a report for disinfo that is not popular will have less priority than disinfo that is going viral.
- General public = more turnaround time, but election officials = less turnaround time: need to get back to them fast.
- SIO has good relationship w/ platforms who already care.
- See the Secondary Infektion (Russian disinfo op) report.
- Think through all the platforms that might have been useful there (e.g., communicating with Twitter at stage x would have stopped the spread).
- Meanwhile, CISA has strong relationships w/ election officials.
- CISA is happy to introduce SIO to them, do outreach.
- Just keep CISA in the info-sharing pipeline.
CISA’s concern starts 45 days out operationally, when military/overseas voters start mailing.
A July 10, 2020, email sent from a redacted sender to CISA officials Allison Snell, Brian Scully, Matthew Masterson, Geoffrey Hale, and several other persons whose names are redacted, states:
- Start hunting, messaging at beginning of September.
- Lower SLA (higher turnaround time/less priority), but start looking for search terms and taking tips.
- The days leading up to/right after Election Day will be much more intense.
- It'll be an effective SOC, maybe a physical one, but in a much larger space.
July will be big to get things going on both the CISA and SIO front, so we will be sure to keep open lines of communication. Thank you again for everyone's help in getting this going, looking forward to getting to work here!
CISA (@ who I will be reaching out to).
The presentation includes a slide regarding the Stanford Internet Observatory (SIO):
- El-ISAC [https://www.cisa.gov/resources-tools/groups/join-ei-isac] connection: introduction to (redacted) heading social media reporting (@Masterson, Matthew)
- CFI plug-in: discussions how to best integrate reporting into CISA/CFI's ops center and send tips back to SIO (@Scully, Brian).
- Legal: get an initial proposal for OCC (@ Snel, Allison).”
The Stanford Internet Observatory (SIO) is a cross-disciplinary program of research, teaching, and policy engagement for the study and abuse in current information technologies, with a focus on social media.
The presentation gives an example of a scenario the CISA-EIP collaborators could be faced with:
- Experienced disinformation research team of analytical and technical talent.
- Real-time narrative tracking capabilities for all major platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, potential for TikTok).
- Additional API or historical access to ‘fringe’ platforms (Gab, Parler, 4Chan).
- Established and collaborative node within the third-party misinformation research ecosystem.”
Example Flow 3: Stickier [formatting in original]
#BidenStoleMichigan is trending on Twitter on election day. Groups of seemingly-local accounts tweet @MISecofState to demand the Michigan election results be declared invalid, citing a fresh Epoch Times article alleging shady connections between Michigan's SoS, Bill Gates, and Joe Biden. Their tweets are relatively few, but see high engagement shortly after posting and spread around right-leaning Twitter. Researchers trace the origin of the article to posts on 4chan and Parler encouraging Michiganders to confront @MlSecOfState on Twitter over the story and calling for the Michigan results to be declared invalid.
In a June 26, 2023 report, the Committee on the Judiciary and the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government writes about CISA:
Notes: This scenario has a geographical component, but seems targeted to ideological groups online. While particular election officials are targeted, the political nature of the content makes counter-messaging difficult. A government-only response would be even stickier however.
Separately, in August 2023, we filed two FOIA lawsuits against the U.S. Department of Justice and other federal agencies for communications between the agencies and Facebook and Twitter regarding the government’s involvement in content moderation and censorship on the social media platforms.
Founded in 2018, CISA was originally intended to be an ancillary agency designed to protect “critical infrastructure” and guard against cybersecurity threats. In the years since its creation, however, CISA metastasized into the nerve center of the federal government’s domestic surveillance and censorship operations on social media. By 2020, CISA routinely reported social media posts that allegedly spread “disinformation” to social media platforms. By 2021, CISA had a formal “Mis-, Dis-, and Malinformation” (MDM) team. In 2022 and 2023, in response to growing public and private criticism of CISA’s unconstitutional behavior, CISA attempted to camouflage its activities, duplicitously claiming it serves a purely “informational” role.
In June 2023, we sued DHS for all records of communications tied to the Election Integrity Partnership. Based on representations from the EIP (see here and here), the federal government, social media companies, the EIP, the Center for Internet Security (a non-profit organization funded partly by DHS and the Defense Department) and numerous other leftist groups communicated privately via the Jira software platform developed by Atlassian.
In February 2023, we sued the U.S. Department Homeland Security (DHS) for records showing cooperation between the Cybersecurity and Information Security Agency (CISA) and social media platforms to censor and suppress free speech.
In January 2023 we sued the DOJ for records of communications between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and social media sites regarding foreign influence in elections, as well as the Hunter Biden laptop story.
In September 2022, we sued the Secretary of State of the State of California for having YouTube censor a Judicial Watch election integrity video.
In May 2022, YouTube censored a Judicial Watch video about Biden corruption and election integrity issues in the 2020 election. The video, titled “Impeach? Biden Corruption Threatens National Security,” was falsely determined to be “election misinformation” and removed by YouTube, and Judicial Watch’s YouTube account was suspended for a week. Judicial Watch continues to post its video content on its Rumble channel (https://rumble.com/vz7aof-fitton-impeach-biden-corruption-threatens-national-security.html).
In July 2021, we uncovered records from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which revealed that Facebook coordinated closely with the CDC to control the COVID narrative and “misinformation” and that over $3.5 million in free advertising given to the CDC by social media companies.
In May 2021, we revealed documents showing that Iowa state officials pressured social media companies Twitter and Facebook to censor posts about the 2020 election.
In April 2021, we published documents revealing how California state officials pressured social media companies (Twitter, Facebook, Google (YouTube)) to censor posts about the 2020 election.
More is coming on this important topic, so stay tuned!
FBI Director Concerned About Terrorists’ Ability to Exploit Southwest Border
The Biden administration was forced to admit the obvious national security threat caused by Joe Biden’s border crisis. Our Corruption Chronicles blog reports:
Foreign terrorist organizations can exploit the southwest border as the United States faces the highest risk of an attack following the Hamas onslaught in Israel, according to Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Christopher Wray. The FBI chief revealed that terrorist threats to the nation have skyrocketed since October during testimony this week before the Senate Judiciary Committee. In his prepared statement Wray failed to include the dire security threats created by the Biden administration’s disastrous open border policies. The crucial information only surfaced and became part of the official record because a Republican lawmaker grilled Wray about it.
The hearing, called “Oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” touched on the agency’s mission to tackle grave threats and ensure the safety and security of communities throughout the nation. Wray’s prepared statement covered what the FBI is doing to address the threats while adhering to the highest of standards. “As we saw in early October with the devastating attack in Israel, terrorist actors are still very intent on using violence and brutality to spread their ideologies,” Wray told the committee. “Protecting the American people from terrorism remains the FBI’s number one priority. The threat from terrorism is as persistent and complex as ever. We are in an environment where the threats from international terrorism, domestic terrorism, and state-sponsored terrorism are all simultaneously elevated.” The FBI director identified “lone actors or small cells of individuals who typically radicalize to violence online” as the greatest terrorism threat to the homeland.
He mentioned the FBI’s concern about the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan and the intent of groups such as ISIS and al-Qa’ida to carry out or inspire large-scale attacks in the U.S. Wray also spoke about cybercriminal syndicates that compromise our networks and foreign intelligence threats such as China, Russia and Iran, which are more aggressive and capable than ever. Violent crimes and gang activities—including robbery, human trafficking, drug and gun trafficking, fraud, extortion and prostitution rings—also made the list as did Transnational Organized Crime (TOC) characterized by families that exert influence over criminal activities in neighborhoods, cities or states. The FBI chief also delved into crimes against children, revealing that every year thousands of kids are kidnapped, violently attacked, sexually abused or trafficked. He closed by asking Congress to reauthorize a section of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) created after 9/11 that allows the U.S. government to collect the communications of foreigners outside the country without a warrant. Wray thanked the committee and took questions.
If not for the question-and-answer portion of the hearing the FBI director would have completely omitted the illegal immigration crisis along the southwest border as a security threat to the country. The information surfaced during an exchange with Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, a ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Graham said: “One of my concerns is after [the withdrawal from] Afghanistan, we put international terrorism on steroids. Are you concerned that international terrorism threats to the homeland are rising as the [southern] border continues to be broken?” Wray responded: “I am concerned that we are in… a heightened threat environment from foreign terrorist organizations for a whole host of reasons and obviously their ability to exploit any port of entry, including our southwest border… We have seen an increase in so-called KSTs, ‘known or suspected terrorists’, attempting to cross over the last five years.” Wray added that the “threat level has gone to a whole other level since October 7.”
Until next week,