Action of the campaign
Dar Leaf, the sheriff of Barry County, Michigan, plays a prominent role in the unfolding saga. It recently emerged that Leaf has not only insisted that his dubious “investigation” of election results in his county — based almost entirely on a fraudulent Dinesh D’Souza pseudo-documentary — is legitimate, but That he continues to seek warrants to seize voting tabulators. Election officials in townships throughout his county.
Leaf sought warrants to seize the Barry County Clerk’s machines and search offices, as well as Woodland Township and Irving Township, Bridges found through a Michigan Freedom of Information Act request. His affidavits did not cite any evidence justifying the searches, saying only that Leaf sought “evidence of a violation of the election law.”
The report found that Leaf wanted to seize “parts of voting and election equipment” — tabulation machines, poll books, election reporting modules, as well as 2020 election paper ballots. He also demanded keys to unlock the devices.
Leaf’s intent, the affidavits showed, was to “forensically examine” the voting equipment by someone “who is certified and trained to perform data extraction.”
His involvement in the seizure of one such tabulator in 2021—which resulted in it being disassembled and examined, then returned with its seals broken—is part of a state investigation involving not only Leaf, but Michigan. including the Republican nominee for Attorney General, Matthew DePerno.
Last month, the current Democratic attorney general, Dana Nesso, filed a petition for a special counsel to handle that investigation because it involves his likely Republican opponent in the fall election. The petition indicated that state police investigators believe DiPerno was “one of the main instigators” of a conspiracy to persuade Michigan clerks to allow unauthorized access to voting machines, along with Leaf and a state legislator.
DePerno’s campaign released a statement deriding Nessel’s petition as “an incoherent liberal fever dream of lies.”
Barry County Prosecutor Julie Nakfur Pratt’s office declined to sign the warrant requests because Leaf had not established “probable cause” to conduct the searches.
“There was nothing that amounted to a fraud that I could see,” he told Bridge Michigan.
Leaf’s efforts on Trump’s behalf began in December 2020, when he filed a lawsuit seeking to have Barry County’s voting machines confiscated—which was promptly laughed out of court. He then began “investigating” the machines by sending a deputy and a private investigator to township officials to learn about their intricacies.
It was during one of these interrogations that the Irving Township Clerk surrendered one of the town’s Dominion machines to Leaf’s team. “I’m told they took it (to the Detroit area) and tore it up,” he told a local TV station, noting that when the machine was returned to a meeting in a parking lot, its The security seal was broken.
Dominion’s machines were the focus of a conspiracy theory that circulated on the Trumpist right after the election, claiming that vote counts were secretly manipulated to favor President Joe Biden. The theory was widely circulated on right-wing media such as Fox News, OAN, and Newsmax, all of which are now facing multibillion-dollar defamation lawsuits from the company.
Through his attorney, Carson Tucker, Leaf was connected to several prominent Trump-loving conspirators hired by the former president, including former Trump attorneys Sidney Powell and Lynn Wood. “My client would like the Barry County Sheriff and several other county sheriffs in Michigan to consider issuing probable cause warrants to seize Dominion voting machines if there is evidence of criminal tampering,” Tucker wrote in an email to them.
His claims made little sense in Barry County, where Trump won by a nearly 2-to-1 margin. Rutland Charter Township Clerk Ruth Hawthorne observed sharply: “They think our tabulators had some kind of microchip that was casting votes for Biden. But Trump won Barry County. He won with 65 percent of the vote, so I don’t know where they are thinking that any of our machines had some kind of chips or thinking that something happened to them. The whole thing is dirty. It’s nuts, absolutely nuts. “
Patta’s extremism was well established before the 2020 elections. He appeared on stage at an anti-masking rally berating Gov. Gretchen Whitmer along with three “patriots” who were later accused of plotting to kidnap and kill her. He previously suggested to reporters that perhaps the plotters were just trying to make a “citizens arrest”. Leaf and other Michigan “constitutional sheriffs” also later refused to implement a statewide ban on guns in Michigan polling places.
His “election integrity” campaign in Michigan caught the attention of Constitutional Sheriffs and Peacekeepers Association (CSPOA) founder Richard Mack, who then announced a nationwide campaign involving all “constitutional sheriffs” in the country.
In May, Mack called on sheriffs and police around the US to “come together in search of the truth regarding the 2020 election.” A CSPOA press release clarified that the basis of their “investigations” was D’Souza’s widely debunked pseudodocumentary, 2000 mules:
Given the continued allegations of election fraud even before the 2020 election began, and in response to its lasting polarizing effect on the American people, the CSPOA would like to put this issue to rest. Our peaceful future as a constitutional republic and a free people depends entirely on it.
In CSPOA’s opinion, the film “2000 Mules” by Dinesh D’Souza contains the most compelling physical evidence presented by truethevote.org. “Law enforcement has to step in at this point, and we wholeheartedly agree with that,” D’Souza asserted. Therefore, we are asking all local law enforcement agencies to work together to further investigate the veracity of the “2000 Mules” information.
In fact, D’Souza’s documentary has repeatedly been shown to be unsubstantiated rubbish. It has been debunked by Reuters, Associated Press, The New York Times, The Washington Post, FactCheck.org, PoliticsAnd NPRJust to name a few shops where its bogus “facts” and false premises have been exposed.
In the short term, CSPOA teamed up with Trump’s most ardent election denier, True the Vote, which receives substantial funding from notorious pro-Trump conspiracy theorist Mike Lindell. “Constitutional sheriffs” in other counties — including one in Kansas and another in Wisconsin — attempted similar “investigations” but came up empty-handed.
At a Las Vegas gathering organized by Mack and True the Vote in July, Leaf called the county attorney’s refusal to hand over search warrants “ridiculous,” saying, “We think we have enough for search warrants and everything else. “Yes,” said Leif. conference, which also featured speeches from Trump loyalists like Lindell. “We’ll keep moving, folks. We’re not done with this.”
Leaf responded to the “constitutionalist’s” claim that county sheriffs are the supreme lawmen of the land, saying: “What it does, it gives you power — and I don’t know if you’re going to appreciate me saying that. – If we can’t get anywhere, we’re trying to get a grand jury at common law.
One of True Vote’s partners in the “election integrity” campaign is another “constitutional sheriff” organization called Protect America Now, run by Arizona’s Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb. Lamb was a featured speaker at a Trump rally in Prescott in July, where he regaled the crowd with promises that the nation’s sheriffs would intervene on his behalf in future elections.
“We’re going to make sure we have electoral integrity this year,” Lamb announced. “The sheriffs are going to enforce the law. It is about the rule of law. Violating election laws is against the law—and it’s a new idea, and we’re going to hold you accountable for it. We will not let what happened in 2020 happen.
Lamb has many local critics in Pinal County. At a recent meeting of the county’s Board of Supervisors, he was accused by longtime residents of engaging in baseless scaremongering over election results.
Roberto Revels, a longtime Arizona civil rights activist, told commissioners that Lamb engaged in blatant partisan threats: “I was recently threatened by the previous speaker. Sheriff Mark Lamb came up to me and pointed at me … and said, ‘You and your fellow Democrats are destroying our country.’
Lamb defended himself shortly afterwards during an appearance on Newsmax. “At the board meeting last week I had maybe 8 to 10 Democrats show up and totally blast me because I believe in the ‘Big Lie,'” Lamb said.
“This clearly shows that these people do not care about electoral integrity,” he added. “They’re happy that their guy is in power, and right now they should care more than ever because this guy in office, Joe Biden and his administration, is absolutely destroying America and freedom and he’s doing it. are turning into a country where we just don’t recognize.”
Local Democrats such as Ralph Atchu, a former Arizona Senate candidate, said Lamb and his deputies would begin patrolling polling places. “I hear from everybody that the line is being crossed,” Achu told Jessica Pischko of the Bolts. “Totally blurry.”
Right-wing election denial in Seattle’s King County Placed signs during the July primary Alerting people at ballot drop boxes that their actions are being recorded on camera. Ironically, the King County Sheriff’s Office is Now those actions are being investigated At the behest of the county election office.
“The specter of election law enforcement is already enough to discourage people from going to the polls,” said Devin Berghat of the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights. The threat of surveillance of locations and drop boxes is meant to intimidate voters, especially people of color, and prevent them from voting.”
Donald Trump and his mega allies came close to overthrowing our democracy on January 6th, and will try again if he wins in 2022. The best thing you can do is help get the Democratic vote out for the midterms, and we need everyone. Do what they can. Click here to find all available volunteer opportunities.