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PROMISES: My Pillow guy said Kari Lake’s lawsuit would be explosive. It was.

PROMISES: My Pillow guy said Kari Lake’s lawsuit would be explosive. It was.

PROMISES: My Pillow guy promised Kari Lake's lawsuit would be explosive. It was

A new filing in the United States Supreme Court by Arizona’s failed 2022 Republican gubernatorial candidate just exposed new election breaches sparking new state-level Department of State investigations in two different states.

The election-denying CEO of My Pillow Mike Lindell promised “explosive” new evidence in a lawsuit intended to overturn the 2022 election results in Arizona.

Little did he know that he would be right.

But not how he thought he would be.

Republican politician Kari Lake submitted the filing containing a sworn declaration from a purported cyber security expert in the last ditch petition for certiorari contesting the use of electronic voting machines in her 2022 election loss, alongside the losing 2022 Arizona GOP Secretary of State candidate Mark Finchem.

Newly obtained public records from the Pennsylvania Secretary of State (PaDOS) indicate they’re taking action based on her revelations to the U.S. Supreme Court (document linked below). This story is part one of three about those records.

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Officials from Georgia’s Secretary of State confirmed the existence of their investigation in Macon-Bibb County earlier this month in response to a complaint filed by a nonprofit election security organization.

Buried inside Lake’s 48th page in a 178-page document innocuously titled “APPENDIX TO PETITIONERS’ MOTION TO EXPEDITE” there is a statement from Benjamin Cotton of the cybersecurity firm CyFIR LLC. (image below)

Under penalty of perjury, Cotton declares that he had inspected election systems in a lengthy list of counties. It reads:

“In the course of my duties, I have forensically examined Dominion Voting Systems (DVS) components in Maricopa County Arizona, Antrim County Michigan, Fulton County Pennsylvania, Coffee County Georgia, Mesa County Colorado, and Bibb County Georgia, hereinafter referred to as the “Analyzed Election County Components.”

“What Ben Cotton finally admitted to in the Supreme Court filing, I’ve been saying for over a year,” says Mike Ryan who blew the whistle on his former NRA Board Member’ boss’ role in Pennsylvania’s election breaches.

Indeed, Benjamin Cotton did participate in the 2020 Arizona election audit led by election deniers with a company called Cyber Ninjas as a subcontractor.

That audit forced Arizona’s Maricopa County to spend $3 million replacing its tainted election machines. In mid-2021, he absconded in a car from the Phoenix audit with possession of the County’s hard drives with voter data, which he brought to a cabin in Montana, that property records show he owned. (Correction: This story originally inaccurately said Cotton took voting tabulators, he did not.)

Neither the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Secretary or Department of State nor their attorney responded to written or phone requests for comment sent a week before the public records request or before this story’s publication while investigating Lake’s court filing.

It was the new records PaDOS produced after failing to respond for comment which revealed a pair of never-before reported motions filed on the Secretary’s behalf to the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court—its intermediate appeals court for civil matters—which is the original venue Fulton County used to file a petition challenging their decision to decertify its Dominion Voting Systems machines.

The state agency is using the Cotton declaration in Lake’s appendix to supplement a recent, exhaustively documented 86-page motion against Fulton County filed on February 16th, 2024 with 572 pages of exhibits.

In its newly revealed April 3rd, 2024 motion to the Commonwealth Court from the state’s public records production it includes the state’s 9-page supplemental motion with 76 new pages of exhibits focusing partly on Cotton’s revelations.

That is where Attorney Robert Wiygul on behalf of PaDOStold the Commonwealth Court that CyFIR’s Cotton made admissions which mean it is newly possible the County again breached the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court’s injunctive orders and rulings holding the local officials in contempt of court.

The estimated 14,382 residents of Fulton County, Pennsylvania are already on the hook for over $700,000 in contempt of court fees imposed by the state Supreme Court related to decisions by the two Republican members of their County Commission serving in their capacity as members of its County Election Board.

Fulton County Commissioner Randy Bunch (R) and former Commissioner Stuart Ulsh (R) permitted the initial breach of their election systems and a second intrusion which took place in April 2022, openly defying the state Supreme Court’s injunctive order against such an inspection.

“Mr. Cotton’s Declaration does not identify when his forensic examination occurred. Based on a previous declaration by Mr. Cotton, however, it appears clear that the examination took place at some point after June 8, 2022, i.e., after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court had issued its January 2022 injunction,” wrote Wiygul in the motion.

“…Petitioners’ decision to allow Mr. Cotton to conduct a forensic examination of the voting system was, if not a willful, bad-faith violation of the Supreme Court’s January 2022 injunction,” attorneys for PaDOS wrote, “then a willful, bad-faith violation of the Supreme Court’s April 2023 decision providing that any party seeking to obtain evidence from the voting system must file an application with the Commonwealth Court.”

Legally, the Secretary is asking the court to admit Cotton’s statement as more evidence of the County’s unclean hands in their motion to end the recalcitrant county’s suit in the Commonwealth Court with a Summary Judgment ruling.

“What do you win in this case if you win? If you win, what do you get?” says longtime former Fulton County solicitor Stanley Kerlin, who is also the county Republican Party’s state committeeman. “Anyone who thinks the U.S. Supreme Court is going to do anything about this county’s 2020 election lawsuits is delusional.”

He says that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court does have the inherent power of criminal contempt which it could use to punish violations of its orders if it so chooses.

“Could they change or modify their contempt citation with this new information?” says Kerlin, “They’re the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, they can if they wish.”

Fulton Commissioner Bunch did not reply to an email seeking comment on this story. A voicemail message seeking comment for this story left at former Commissioner Ulsh’s excavation business listed on his public LinkedIn profile went unreturned.

Pennsylvania isn’t the only state where Lake’s declaration made ripples.

Non-profit activists at Free Speech for People and the Coalition for Good Government saw Lake’s filing in March.

They used it to file a complaint with Georiga’s State Election Board which consists of five members picked by the state’s Governor, each of its two major political parties, and each of its two legislative houses.

Because of that complaint, earlier this month Georgia’s Secretary of State publicly confirmed it is investigating the matter to the Georgia Recorder:

State Election Board Chairman John Fervier said members will not comment on the allegation while the Secretary of State’s office investigation is underway.

“Once the investigation has been completed, then the SEB will be in a position to hear the facts of the case and make a determination as to what actions, if any, might be necessary,” said Fervier, who was appointed by Gov. Brian Kemp in January as election board chairman.

“One of the early indicators that there was a breach in Coffee County, Georgia was Cotton’s testimony in various declarations,” says Free Speech For People’s senior advisor on election security Susan Greenhalgh, “which let investigators get discovery, and which is why we don’t take this declaration lightly.”

Both Cotton and Macon-Bibb County denied any wrongdoing in response to the Recorder’s report.

Events in small, rural Coffee County 200 miles south of Atlanta have already led to multiple charges and convictions in Fulton County, Georgia DA Fani Willis’ sprawling RICO case.

“We obtained text messages involving an attorney who serves as counsel to both Coffee County and neighboring Ware County on behalf of Hall Booth Smith, a firm whose roster has included other attorneys implicated in the effort to overturn Georgia’s elections,” says Greenhalgh. “The texts suggest that allegations the Trump campaign obtained a voting system from Ware County, GA may be true, prompting us to send an additional complaint and request for an investigation of the alleged breach to the Georgia State Election Board.”

Free Speech For People recently filed a new complaint with Georgia’s State Election Board about Ware County’s activities. Just last week, Georgia’s Secretary of State had to sever its link to Coffee County after it was hit by a cyberattack.

Notably, it wasn’t a local prosecutor who discovered the illegal activity in Coffee County, but the Fulton County, Georgia District Attorney whose RICO charges led to a guilty plea and written apology by pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell in late 2023.

Powell’s plea in Georgia implicates one of her co-conspirators, identified by her acts in the RICO indictment as Michigan lawyer Stephanie Lambert.

Perhaps not coincidentally, Lambert became the Special Counsel to Fulton County, Pennsylvania on April 12th, 2022 right before the start of a new breach of its election systems, despite not holding a license to practice law in the state.

The Georgia indictment is also part of the 500+ pages of exhibits submitted by Pennsylvania’s Secretary of State in its court filings.

Last week, former TV newscaster Kari Lake received a final decision on her petition to the United States Supreme Court challenging the accuracy of Arizona’s voting machines, whose motion to expedite was supported by a sworn declaration from CyFIR’s Benjamin Cotton.

It was denied.

Lake continues to run for public office in Arizona where she is currently the establishment choice for the GOP nomination for US Senate with the full support of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

My Pillow guy Mike Lindell is facing eviction from his warehouse and owes a $5 million civil judgment to a man who won a contest to disprove his claims of election fraud, whom he refused to pay.

Here is Cotton’s sworn declaration:

Here is the PaDOS motion including Cotton’s declaration:

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Grant Stern
is the Executive Editor of Occupy Democrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report, and an unpaid senior advisor to the Democratic Coalition and a Director of Sunshine Agenda Inc. a government transparency nonprofit organization. Get all of his stories sent directly to your inbox here:

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