People weren’t paying much attention to the hearing scheduled by Republicans of the Pennsylvania state Senate on the vote irregularities President Trump’s legal team is pursuing in court.
They weren’t paying a lot of attention when it was announced, just a day or so ago.
They’re paying attention now.
I caught about two thirds of the livestream while it was in progress. The video of the whole event is below. It’s long (over three hours), but worthwhile if you can make the time.
Democrats were of course invited to participate, but they declined to do so. The hearing was held in a venue at Gettysburg, rather than in the state capitol chambers in Harrisburg. Given the gravity of the situation facing America in 2020, with so much evidence of fraud attending the 3 November vote, that was a good call. The import for America’s future of failing to address the vote irregularities, most of which can only be explained by fraud, is on the level of the outcome of the Civil War.
It was fitting to marshal the ghosts of Gettysburg for the great task of 2020: deciding whether government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall perish from the earth.
Gathered at Gettysburg were the Trump legal team, led by Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis and including an array of subject-matter experts; some of the witnesses from Pennsylvania who have reported what they saw and signed affidavits; and a panel of the state senators and representatives, headed by Sen. David Argall, chair of the Senate Majority Policy Committee, and organized for this hearing by Sen. Doug Mastriano, a retired Army colonel. President Trump called in to provide his own comments during the hearing.
The information and the atmosphere speak for themselves. If you like, push the start marker to where Team Trump begins its testimony, as that’s where the “bombshells” start falling. But it is worthwhile hearing from the senators. They don’t seem to be looking for excuses or reasons to downplay what they’re being told. It doesn’t seem naïve to hope they will, in fact, follow through on the concerns they expressed.
I doubt they needed to be told that the Pennsylvania legislature has the authority to decline to certify the state vote for the purposes of the Electoral College vote, and that it can pursue its own remedies without waiting on the Trump team lawsuit now making its way through the federal courts. (The latest on that was the Third Circuit Court of Appeals granting an expedited review of the initial ruling by Judge Brann on Friday 20 November.)
But Giuliani and Ellis several times made that point with the senators anyway. I really don’t have a feel for how that might go or what the state legislature will have the will and urgency to do.
That said, I think a hearing like this one — something the statehouse Republicans are also planning in Michigan and Wisconsin — is a supporting effort rather than the main effort.
I don’t actually think the main effort is the slate of lawsuits being brought in various states either (by Sidney Powell as well as the Trump team), although I think they’re important. Supporting efforts always are important; that’s why you undertake them in the first place. The lawsuits are to put down markers, and, where possible, to force action.
The legislative hearings are to get information out to the people. In that sense, the Pennsylvania hearing on Wednesday functioned like a trumpet call, heralding the outpouring of information to a glazed-eyed public. The right venue for that is the “people’s house”: the legislature, where the people’s representatives meet and address the greatest concerns that the public seeks to deal with.
A flavor of what was disclosed in the testimony on Wednesday is being summarized all over social media, and will no doubt soon appear in more comprehensive form in articles at conservative websites. Who knows, some of the Fox News programs may even run video clips this evening.
One data point, for example, is that Pennsylvania has a record of mailing out about 1.8 million vote-by-mail ballots for the 3 November general election. Of those, about 1.4 million are accounted for as having been returned and voted. Yet during the vote tabulation, some 2.5 million vote-by-mail ballots were recorded.
Common Core math?
Curiously, about 672,000 mail-in ballots, which were counted in the vote, were never inspected by anyone for accountability. (Giuliani cited an exact number of these.)
There are numerous affidavits affirming that accredited vote inspectors were not accorded the opportunity to actually inspect the ballots or their processing. Inspectors were required to remain eight to ten feet away from the ballot tabulators, effectively preventing them from making any assessment at all as to the integrity of the process.
Poll-watchers were denied entry to polling places, with intimidation and threats. There are video recordings of at least some of these encounters.
An expert on data processing described how votes were entered in batches, for electronic tabulation in the tabulation machines. This was evident from time-stamped events in the vote tabulation timeline. There were repeated instances of 60,000-vote batches being entered for Biden with no votes or only a tiny handful entered for Trump. This pattern did not match any reasonable supposition about how the votes would be aggregated for batch entry. Ultimately, nearly 600,000 votes were entered for Biden this way, while only about 3,200 were entered for Trump. (Cue laughter from the hearing room.)
There was a lot more, which can be gleaned from viewing the video.
The senators (and representatives, invited to be there and participate) also brought information. One, Senator Kim Ward, said she had confirmed with the Pennsylvania secretary of state, Kathy Boockvar [corrected], that his office had taken down a previously available data set showing the timeline of the vote from initial tabulation to the final update. That’s the data set Team Trump’s experts used to try to analyze what had happened with the unaccountable surges in the vote and their bias toward Biden (many readers will probably have seen Internet sleuths offering similar analyses).
Senator Ward said this unprecedented move looked to her like the SOS office was trying to hide something.
A representative recounted that when the state chamber wanted to mandate bar-coding for mail-in ballots to ensure accountability (presumably for the envelopes that are signed by the voter anyway), the governor told representatives that he would automatically veto any legislation that included this requirement. That seemed to be news to quite a few people.
Another senator discussed the point that the legislature didn’t vote to use the new machines introduced for the 2020 voting cycle. It was the governor — the executive branch — mandating the use of Dominion Voting Systems for the counties (see here as well for information on use of Dominion systems in the state. There were previous “fact-checks” claiming that Dominion systems were not used in Pennsylvania). That also was apparently news for the people present.
The senators’ questions were good ones. At the end of the session, Sen. Argall asked Sen. Mastriano, COL, USA (Ret.), to make a few remarks. Mastriano gave a troop-rallying rant that is melting down social media. “I don’t even know,” he expostulated, “how this happened in America!”
But he assured his audience, in the spirit of Todd Beemer and United 93, which crashed in the Pennsylvania field on 9/11/2001, that “This is our time to roll.”
You’ll find it at the 3:40:45 mark in this tweet of the video from RSBN.
LIVE: Pennsylvania State Legislature Holds Public Hearing on 2020 Election https://t.co/kgKZ0MduQr
— RSBN 🇺🇸 (@RSBNetwork) November 25, 2020
As a supporting effort, the hearing at Gettysburg is superb. It puts the American people in the fight. The people aren’t just passively waiting for judges and nosebleed-level politicians who never really think about average Americans to make arcane decisions behind a curtain. The people are in it. Their closest-to-the-deckplates representatives can engage, or not. At Gettysburg, on 25 November 2020, the Republican senators and representatives of Pennsylvania decided to engage. Here’s hoping, for their sake and ours, that they follow through.