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Rand Paul: ‘The fraud happened. The election in many ways was stolen’



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Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) at Wednesday’s U.S. Senate hearing examining irregularities during 2020 presidential election claimed that “fraud happened” and that the election “in many ways was stolen.”

More from the hearing: Sen. Ron Johnson says hyper partisanship and media suppression affected the outcome of the 2020 presidential election

This Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing comes after the Electoral College on Monday voted, making President-elect Joe Biden‘s victory official, and after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and many other top Senate Republicans congratulated the president-elect following Monday’s vote. President Donald Trump refuses to concede the election and continues to claim that the election was stolen from him.

RELATED: McConnell congratulates Biden on election victory, draws criticism from some conservatives

The hearing’s top witness was Chris Krebs, who served as Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and oversaw the United States’ election security for the 2020 presidential election. President Trump controversially fired Krebs because he disagreed with the president on the prevalence of election fraud, even having created a CISA website for the purpose of debunking election disinformation.

“The fraud happened. The election in many ways was stolen,” the Kentucky Republican claimed. “And the only way it’ll be fixed is by, in the future, reinforcing the laws.”

“But I think [Kreb’s] job was keeping the foreigners out of the election. It was the most secure election based on the security of the internet and technology, but he has never voiced an opinion […] on whether or not dead people voted—I don’t think he examined that,” Paul said toward the end of his speaking time, then questioning if Krebs examined non-citizens’ voting.

Many Republicans, in alleging that widespread election fraud occurred in the 2020 election, have often cited claims that a lot of dead people and non-citizens voted. The over 50 lawsuits challenging the results of the election in certain swing states alleging election fraud have overwhelmingly failed in the courts.

“So to say it was the safest election—sure, I agree with your statement if you’re referring to foreign intervention,” Paul continued. “But if you’re saying it’s the safest election based on no dead people voted, no non-citizens voted, no people broke the absentee [ballot] rules, I think that’s false and I think that’s what’s upset a lot of people on our side is that they’re taking your statement to mean ‘Oh, there were no problems in the elections.'”

“I don’t think you examined any of the problems that we’ve heard here,” he added, “so really you’re just referring to something differently, the way I look at it.”

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Jim Jordan demands IRS explain unexpected visit to Matt Taibbi’s home during testimony



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Matt Taibbi, a journalist who has been the top of the headlines for exposing Twitter censorship at the direction of the Department of Justice, had a surprise visit from an IRS agent at his home.

This visit occurred the same day that he was testifying before the Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government about what he had discovered inside of the Twitter files. Now, Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, demands to know why the agency made the visit. also contacted the IRS media relations office Tuesday afternoon and was told by an IRS press officer to send an email for comment. As of Tuesday evening the IRS has yet to respond to the immediate inquiry.

Jordan sent a letter Tuesday to the IRS questioning the visit by the agent to Taibbi’s home in New Jersey. In the letter Jordan demanded that Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen turn over documents and provide all information requested by the committee.

“As the Committee continues to examine how to best protect Americans’ fundamental freedoms and to assist the Committee in its oversight, we ask that you please provide the following documents and information:

  1. All documents and communications referring or relating to the IRS’s field visit to the residence of Matthew Taibbi on March 9, 2023;
  2. All documents and communications between or among the IRS, Treasury Department, and any other Executive Branch entity referring or relating to Matthew Taibbi; and
  3. All documents and communications sent or received by Revenue Officer [James Nelson] referring or relating to Matthew Taibbi.” 

Jordan noted in the letter that his committee is committed to examining “the mounting evidence that the federal government pressured, coerced, and even directed technology companies to take certain actions related to digital content.”

The Republican lawmakers were astonished that “an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agent visited, unannounced and unprompted, the home of one of the hearing witnesses, Matthew Taibbi, an independent journalist who has reported extensively on government abuse. In light of the hostile reaction to Mr. Taibbi’s reporting among left-wing activists, and the IRS’s history as a tool of government abuse, the IRS’s action could be interpreted as an attempt to intimidate a witness before Congress. We expect your full cooperation with our inquiry.”

The letter went on to say that “Mr. Taibbi joined fellow journalist Michael Shellenberger in testifying before the Select Subcommittee during its March 9 hearing. During the hearing, Mr. Taibbi described the serious government abuse on which he had been reporting and on which he testified to the Select Subcommittee. As he explained:

The original promise of the internet was that it might democratize the exchange of information globally. . . . What we found is in the [Twitter] files was a sweeping effort to reverse that promise and use machine learning and other tools to turn the internet into an instrument of censorship and social control. Unfortunately, our own government appears to be playing a lead role.”

Jordan’s inquiry into the IRS is not the first time the Congress has questioned the actions of this private government contracted agency.

In 2013, the IRS admitted that it had been targeting conservative groups that were seeking tax-exempt status. Lois Lerner, who had then headed the IRS, stated that her agency had been scrutinizing groups that had “tea party” or “patriots” in their names. These were almost all conservative non-profit organizations.

Those inquiries by the IRS mainly took place in 2009 and 2010, and as reported in NPR “hundreds of groups affiliated with the party had sought tax-exempt status as 501(c)(4) “social welfare” organizations. IRS demands for documents left many of them in bureaucratic limbo for a year or more.”

Taibbi’s investigation into Twitter’s actions prior to Elon Musk’s takeover revealed major concerns expressed by former President Donald J. Trump and his supporters that the social media giant was censoring supporters.

The investigations by Taibbi proved that shadow-banning was occurring and it was targeting primarily Republican activists, journalists, and politicians using the platform. The evidence proved the the FBI had advised Twitter to not allow stories or posts that revealed the Hunter Biden laptop scandal that had first been reported by the New York Post. Those accurate stories were censored by Twitter and later it was revealed that the laptop did belong to Hunter Biden.

Senate Republicans are also deeply concerned about the actions taken Taibbi.  Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, tweeted Tuesday that the IRS visit to Taibbi “this absolutely stinks to high heaven” because the “IRS has a troubling history of targeting the political enemies of Democrats.”

Two Democrat lawmakers  at the hearing were attempting to get Taibbi to reveal his sources, which is unconstitutional. Taibbi refused to answer Representatives Sylvia Garcia, D-Texas, and Stacey Plaskett, D-Virgin Islands questions.

It was during his testimony that Taibbi’s house was being raided by the IRS.

You can follow Alexander Carter on Twitter @AlexCarterDC

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