GOP Chair Elise Stefanik: Justice Department Is ‘Trying to Block’ Maricopa County Audit

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), who was recently elected as the House Republican Conference chair, said the Department of Justice’s questions about the Maricopa County, Arizona, audit of the 2020 election may be unconstitutional.

On May 5, the Justice Department sent a letter to Arizona Senate leader Karen Fann, a Republican, inquiring about the custody of the ballots under review by a group of private contractors, alleging that the group’s other processes—including the canvassing of addresses—could be considered “voter intimidation.”

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R.-NY)

“I support that audit,” Stefanik said after being asked about it in a Fox Business interview on May 16. “Transparency is good for the American people. And again, this should be a nonpartisan issue, whether you are Republican, Democrat, independent, or conservative, transparency is important, and the audit was passed by the Arizona state Senate.”

Stefanik later said that the “Biden Department of Justice is trying to block that audit,” which, she said, “is unconstitutional from my perspective.”

“Our states, constitutionally, are responsible for writing states’ constitution law,” she said.

Pamela Karlan, principal deputy assistant attorney general with the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, wrote to Fann that “the proposed work of the audit raises concerns regarding potential intimidation of voters.”

Fann replied that the plan by election auditors to verify the validity of certain voters had been placed on hold.

“If and to the extent the Senate subsequently decides that canvassing is necessary to the successful completion of the audit, its vendor will implement detailed requirements to ensure that the canvassing is conducted in a manner that complies fully with the commands of the United States Constitution and federal and state civil rights laws,” Fann wrote earlier this month.

The Epoch Times reports that Stefanik’s comments on May 16 came just days after Dominion Voting Systems and Maricopa County officials said they wouldn’t provide passwords for election machines in Maricopa County. Dominion said it would comply with the audit, but that Cyber Ninjas—the company hired by the Arizona state Senate—isn’t accredited by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.

Stefanik was approved last week in a vote by House Republicans to become the Republican Conference chair—the party’s No. 3 position in the House. She took over after GOP lawmakers voted to remove Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), a frequent critic of former President Donald Trump and other Republicans, from the position.

Posted May 17, 2021

AOC Berated, Falsely Accused Border Patrol Agent of Taking Selfies of Her, Memos Say

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) sobs at a fence supposedly caging illegal immigrant children, but actually next to an empty parking lot.

In this ‘photo op’ from June 24, 2019, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) sobs in front of a fence supposedly caging immigrant children ‘stolen’ from their parents. In reality, the other side of the fence is a parking lot (shown at bottom of this page). Photo: TheGatewayPundit.com

An “agitated and animated” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., began “pointing and screaming” at a female agent during a 2019 visit to a Border Patrol station in El Paso, Texas, according to government documents.

“I as a woman of color do not feel safe here,” Ocasio-Cortez told the female agent, according to an official memorandum that summarizes her comments, sometimes using quotation marks.

Ocasio-Cortez said the Border Patrol agent—whose name is redacted in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection documents—used her cellphone to take a photograph of herself with the New York congresswoman in the background.

Ocasio-Cortez went on “to personally admonish and berate” the agent and to insist that “that woman cannot work with children,” according to CBP memos resulting from a Border Patrol investigation of the incident.

Details of the episode are contained in nine pages of documents regarding the July 1, 2019, visit by Ocasio-Cortez and 13 other House Democrats to the Processing Command Center of the federal government’s El Paso station. At the time, Ocasio-Cortez had been in Congress just over six months.

The Daily Signal obtained the documents through a Freedom of Information Act request to Customs and Border Protection, which operates the facility and other stations along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Ocasio-Cortez tweeted later that day that a Border Patrol officer “attacked” her.

The female agent denied Ocasio-Cortez’s accusations, first to her supervisor and later in a written memo the same day. The agent’s supervisor reviewed the agent’s cellphone and found no photos that included Ocasio-Cortez, according to one memo.

Two other Border Patrol agents also said they didn’t see their colleague take any selfies, according to the documents.

The Daily Signal emailed Ocasio-Cortez’s Capitol Hill office for comment May 10, sending messages to two spokespersons as well as the main address for press inquiries. No one from the office had responded by the end of the day. The news website also asked Customs and Border Protection for any updated information on the matter, such as personnel hearings or disciplinary actions. CBP also did not respond immediately.

Most of the House members who visited the El Paso station were, like Ocasio-Cortez, part of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. The lawmakers’ visit came during the emotionally charged period in which border officials separated children from adults, including their own family, after they unlawfully crossed the border from Mexico.

Ocasio-Cortez chose to skip much of the lawmakers’ tour of the facility and instead visited with female illegal immigrants in a separate area, according to the documents.

“During the briefing, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez began loudly knocking on the window of the processing area and alleged that a Border Patrol Agent (BPA) was taking a ‘selfie’ photo of her,” says one memo, dated July 2, 2019.

The Border Patrol agent in charge at the time sent this memo describing the 11:45 a.m. incident the day before to Aaron A. Hull, chief Border Patrol agent for the El Paso sector. CBP redacted the names of the accused Border Patrol agent and the agent in charge, as well as other agents mentioned in the memos.

“Rep. Ocasio-Cortez abruptly voiced an allegation that a female agent outside of the REDACTED had just taken a selfie with Rep. Ocasio-Cortez in the background,” the agent in charge said in another memo dated July 2 and sent to the acting agent in charge. “Rep. Ocasio-Cortez not only verbally voiced this concern, she became agitated and animated as she began to bang on the glass, pointing and screaming at the agent.”

“I excused myself from the briefing and addressed the female agent,” explaining what Ocasio-Cortez alleged, the agent in charge wrote. According to the memo, the accused agent “immediately denied taking any photo.”

The accused agent “did admit to having her cell phone in her hand and showed me the current image on the screen,” the agent in charge wrote. “The image appeared to me to be web-based and had nothing to do with interior photos of the detention area.”

According to the memo, the confrontation heated up after the agent in charge spoke with the accused agent. Ocasio-Cortez emerged “to personally admonish and berate” the female agent, “accusing her of unprofessional conduct and asking if she will have future contact with children,” the agent in charge wrote the next day.

“Rep. Ocasio-Cortez voiced that BPA REDACTED should have no contact with children, suggesting her unprofessional conduct (alleged photo) as the reason why,” the memo says.

Ocasio-Cortez tweeted about the incident after it was leaked the same day to the Washington Examiner and the newspaper published a story. Until now, though, details and documents about the altercation have been scarce.

“And to these CBP officers saying they felt ‘threatened’ by me— They were literally discussing making a GoFundMe for an officer who attacked my [sic] on my tour,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter. “They confiscated my phone, and they were all armed. I’m 5’4”. They’re just upset I exposed their inhumane behavior.”

It’s not clear whether Ocasio-Cortez, in mentioning the “officer who attacked,” was referring to the female Border Patrol agent whom she accused of taking a selfie with her in the background.

Besides spreading her allegations on Twitter personally, AOC’s staff got in the act. Her spokesman at the time, Corbin Trent, told The Washington Post for a story published the next day, that a Border Patrol agent was trying to take a “stealth selfie” and did so “in a mocking manner.”

The whole story is worth reading at The Daily Signal.

The real view on the other side of the fence AOC is sobbing against.

Shown above is the other side of the fence AOC is depicted at the top of the page sobbing against. Yes, it is a parking lot.

Posted May 11, 2021

Arizona Senate Threatens Subpoenas: Az. GOP Chairman Kelli Ward Offers Update on Maricopa County Election Audit

Arizona GOP Chairwoman Kelli Ward provides an update on the Maricopa County audit, including the legal battles, in the video below.  Chairwoman Ward outlines how the county board of supervisors has been discovered to have withheld material evidence from the audit despite a court order demanding compliance.

Officials in Maricopa County are refusing to comply with subpoenas from the state Senate that require them to turn over routers or router images to auditors reviewing the November 2020 election. There are certain to be more legal battles ahead as the auditors demand access to all the equipment, including the passwords the county is withholding. Stay tuned.

Posted May 10, 2021