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TX Supreme Court strikes down attempt to toss 127,000 drive-thru ballots

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The Texas Supreme Court has struck down Monday an effort led by Republicans to toss out 127,000 ballots in the Lone Star State’s largest county.

The court, comprised entirely of Republicans, according to The Hill, decided to strike down an attempt by GOP candidates and activists, who were the plaintiffs, to toss over 127,000 ballots cast at drive-thru early-voting sites from Harris County, which contains the city of Houston.

The county set up 10 of these drive-thru voting stations, where voters have the ability to remain in the comfort and safety of their vehicles while they vote to avoid coming into contact with many people inside of a traditional polling site and possibly contracting the novel coronavirus.

Fox News reported that, as of Friday, these 127,000 ballots amounted to 9% of all the votes cast so far in Harris County, with the county having 2.4 million eligible voters.

According to Popular Information journalist Judd Legum, the reason for why the court struck this down is because, in the judge’s view, the “plaintiffs didn’t articulate a specific injury, which is required for standing.”

It is important to note, however, that a federal judge on Monday will have an emergency meeting with the same group of GOP plaintiffs as part of a separate lawsuit about this same issue. Thus, this issue regarding drive-thru voting sites may not be an entirely closed-and-shut case.

The plaintiffs argue that these drive-thru sites defy the U.S. Constitution as well as Texas election laws. According to the state laws, per The Hill, curbside voting is permitted for those with disabilities in Harris County. However, all voters are allowed to vote at these drive-thru stations. The plaintiffs claim that this should be restricted only to those with disabilities.

The battle for Texas is hot this election, as demographic trends and increased Democratic voter-registration efforts in the state have pushed the crown jewel of the Republicans’ electoral wall toward swing-state status over the course of many elections.

Incumbent GOP President Donald Trump won the state by nine points in 2016. In the 2018 U.S. Senate election, Democratic challenger Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) lost to incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) by less than three points. As of Monday, FiveThirtyEight’s polling average places Trump at 48.5% and former Vice President Joe Biden at 47.5% in the state.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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BREAKING: Clinton herself ‘agreed’ to leak Trump-Russia allegations to press

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Remember this 2016 post from Hillary herself just days away from the election? During Friday’s trial of her former attorney Michael Sussmann, some juicy details behind this vey post have emerged.

“Robby Mook, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign manager, said that Clinton ‘agreed’ to leak allegations that the Trump Organization had a secret communications channel with Russia’s Alfa Bank to the media during his Friday testimony” reports National Review.

The media “report” Hillary tweeted about above, was spoon-fed to them with her blessing. Mook also revealed the “purpose” for the campaign to leak it to the press was to have a reporter “run it down” further and “vet it out.”

As for Mrs. Clinton’s involvement, Mook added that he “discussed it with Hillary as well” after which, “she agreed to” their decision to turn the loose gossip over to the press.

She was then able to use Slate’s “reporting” to discuss the fake collusion publicly. Clinton then tweeted the campaign’s press release on the “statement from Jake Sullivan on New Report Exposing Trump’s Secret Line of Communication to Russia.”

FBI agent James Baker, the then-agent who Sussmann took the Alfa Bank information to, testified in the trial Wednesday. He said he was “100 percent confident” that Sussmann said he wasn’t representing a client when they met.

A text message from Sussmann to Baker from the day prior reads: “Jim — it’s Michael Sussmann. I have something time-sensitive (and sensitive) I need to discuss. Do you have availability for a short meeting tomorrow? I’m coming on my own — not on behalf of a client or company — want to help the Bureau. Thanks.”

National Review reports of the case:

The former FBI general counsel said that he would have treated the meeting and subsequent investigation differently had he known Sussmann was coming forward on behalf of the Clinton campaign.

 The evidence that Sussmann delivered to Baker came in the form of Domain Name System (DNS) data that allegedly showed frequent communications between servers associated with the Trump Organization and Russia’s Alfa Bank. The data was provided to Sussmann by Joffe, an executive at the cybersecurity firm Neustar, which was also being represented by Sussmann as part of his role as a partner at the Perkins Coie law firm.

FBI agent Scott Hellman testified Tuesday that he was immediately skeptical of the data and accompanying analysis that suggested illicit communications between the Trump Organization and Alfa Bank. In fact, the quality of the analysis was so poor, that Hellman questioned whether its source had a “mental disability” in a private chat with FBI colleagues, obtained by prosecutors.

Opposition research firm Fusion GPS, which Perkins Coie hired to work on behalf of the Clinton campaign, translated the DNS data into laymen’s terms and pitched it to various reporters, including Franklin Foer, a writer for Slate.

 “We certainly hoped that he would publish an article,” former Fusion GPS employee Lauren Seago testified.

Foer obliged them, touting the claims in an article published on October 31, 2016, a little over a week before Election Day.

 

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