Welcome to Day +53…
From what we have seen in legal filings and media appearances, it appears that much of what attorneys Sidney Powell, Lin Wood, and to a lesser extent, Rudy Giuliani have claimed in the media may be harmful to any plea to Members of Congress for a successful case for a change of electors on January 6, 2021, when Congress meets in joint session to count elector votes and announce the President-elect of the United States.
Putting aside the fantastical claims of voting systems developed on the orders of Hugo Chavez to subvert Venezuelan elections and the use of derivative voting machines in our domestic U.S. elections, it is the dodgy nature of those who are filing declarations and sworn affidavits that appears problematical.
Sidney Powell’s secret ‘military intelligence expert,’ key to fraud claims in election lawsuits, never worked in military intelligence
The witness is code-named “Spyder.” Or sometimes “Spider.” His identity is so closely guarded that lawyer Sidney Powell has sought to keep it even from opposing counsel. And his account of vulnerability to international sabotage is a key part of Powell’s failing multistate effort to invalidate President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
Powell describes Spyder in court filings as a former “Military Intelligence expert,” and his testimony is offered to support one of her central claims. In a declaration filed in four states, Spyder alleges that publicly available data about server traffic shows that voting systems in the United States were “certainly compromised by rogue actors, such as Iran and China.”
Spyder, it turns out, is Joshua Merritt, a 43-year-old information technology consultant in the Dallas area. Merritt confirmed his role as Powell’s secret witness in phone interviews this week with The Washington Post.
Records show that Merritt is an Army veteran and that he enrolled in a training program at the 305th Military Intelligence Battalion, the unit he cites in his declaration. But he never completed the entry-level training course, according to Meredith Mingledorff, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence, which includes the battalion.
“He kept washing out of courses,” said Mingledorff, citing his education records. “He’s not an intelligence analyst.”
In an interview, Merritt maintained that he graduated from the intelligence training program. But even by his own account, he was only a trainee with the 305th, at Fort Huachuca in Arizona, and for just seven months more than 15 years ago.
His separation papers, which he provided to The Post, make no mention of intelligence training. They show that he spent the bulk of his decade in the Army as a wheeled vehicle mechanic. He deployed to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, where he said he worked in security and route clearance. He held the rank of specialist when he was honorably discharged in 2013, having received several commendations.
Merritt acknowledged that the declaration’s description of his work as an “electronic intelligence analyst under 305th Military Intelligence” is misleading. He said it should have made clear that his time in the 305th was as a student, not as a working intelligence expert.
He blamed “clerks” for Powell’s legal team, who he said wrote the sentence. Merritt said he had not read it carefully before he signed his name swearing it was true.
On Friday afternoon, as his name increasingly circulated on social media, Merritt said he had decided to remove himself from the legal effort altogether. He said he plans to close his business and relocate with his family.
Asked about Merritt’s limited experience in military intelligence, Powell said in a text to The Post: “I cannot confirm that Joshua Merritt is even Spider. Strongly encourage you not to print.”
Of her description of him as a military intelligence expert, she said, “If we made a mistake, we will correct it.” <Source>
[OCS: One might assume that a competent attorney with a reputation to protect would vet any witness prior to accepting their written statement and using it as one of the prime facets of their case presentation.
And, one might assume that a competent attorney would not continue to hide behind obfuscation and false security once a source was compromised. Offering to correct errors of this magnitude is not acceptable – because the error should have never occurred in the first place.]
Déjà vu all over again…
Sidney Powell’s secret intelligence contractor witness is a pro-Trump podcaster
As she asked the U.S. Supreme Court this month to overturn President Trump’s election loss, the attorney Sidney Powell cited testimony from a secret witness presented as a former intelligence contractor with insights on a foreign conspiracy to subvert democracy.
Powell told courts that the witness is an expert who could show that overseas corporations helped shift votes to President-elect Joe Biden. The witness’s identity must be concealed from the public, Powell has said, to protect her “reputation, professional career and personal safety.”
The Washington Post identified the witness by determining that portions of her affidavit match, sometimes verbatim, a blog post that the pro-Trump podcaster Terpsichore Maras-Lindeman published in November 2019.
In an interview, Maras-Lindeman confirmed that she wrote the affidavit and said she viewed it as her contribution to a fight against the theft of the election.
[OCS: Even a cursory $19.95 internet records check may have revealed the type of previous behavior and deception that would make an individual unsuitable as a witness in a court trial.]
In a recent civil fraud case, attorneys for the state of North Dakota said that Maras-Lindeman falsely claimed to be a medical doctor and to have both a PhD and an MBA. They said she used multiple aliases and social security numbers and created exaggerated online résumés as part of what they called “a persistent effort . . . to deceive others.”
Powell’s reliance on Maras-Lindeman’s testimony may raise further questions about her judgment and the strength of her arguments at a time when she is becoming an increasingly influential adviser to the president. Trump’s legal team distanced itself from Powell last month after she falsely claimed Republican state officials took bribes to rig the election. But she has visited the White House three times in the past week, once to participate in an Oval Office meeting. Trump has weighed naming Powell a special counsel to investigate the election, according to previous reports.
Maras-Lindeman also claimed that she was targeted by the state for political reasons, noting that around that time she was exploring running for mayor of Minot — under the slogan “Make Minot Great Again.” She said that in 2018 she assisted the campaign of David C. Thompson, the Democratic challenger to longtime Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem (R). Thompson is now Maras-Lindeman’s defense attorney.
[OCS: Could she be a democrat operative used to exploit Sidney Powell’s gullibility, or is Sidney Powell becoming increasingly incompetent? Is it possible that Powell is simply amassing a trove of documents to throw at the court, much like the document dumps that were provided at the Flynn case?]
Maras-Lindeman’s 37-page affidavit outlines a purported conspiracy by the Canadian company Dominion Voting Systems, which sells voting machines used in some states, and Scytl, a Spain-based firm that provides election software. She claims that votes cast on Dominion machines in key states were hacked as they passed through Scytl tallying systems and rigged in favor of Biden.
[OCS: This claim of hacking appears to be little more than speculative fiction created by cobbling together disparate sources and throwing them against the wall to see what sticks.
The sheer magnitude of gathering domestic and foreign witnesses, deposing them, and cross-examining them in a court of competent jurisdiction – even if they are willing to participate – is a monumental task that could take years to accomplish. Not in time to affect court actions to assist the Trump campaign. Therefore, I suspect this effort is little more than a media sideshow to condition public opinion.
This affidavit is really a declaration and appears to contain a crap-box of the same allegations that appear elsewhere in other court filings.
That the declarant states:
“In my professional opinion, this affidavit presents unambiguous evidence that there was Foreign interference, complicit behavior by the previous administrations from 1999 up until today to hinder the voice of the people and US persons knowingly and willingly colluding with foreign powers to steer our 2020 elections that can be named in a classified setting.” and signs... “I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct to the best of my knowledge.” appears to be meaningless]
Maras-Lindeman told the Post that she has never spoken to Powell and that she distributed the affidavit to several individuals. She was not immediately made aware that the claims had reached Powell. <Source>
I have little or no faith in the Powell-related cases and suggest that something may be radically wrong with her judgment. The idea that the president “reportedly discussed the idea of naming Powell to the position of special counsel for an investigation into alleged voter fraud” is almost unbelievable.
Most of the claims of "voter fraud" appear only in the media while claims of unconstitutional or illegal procedures appear in the court filings.
I hope you are enjoying your holiday.
“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!
“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw
“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS "The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius “A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell “Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar “Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius
“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell
“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar
“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS