Cyber Ninjas CEO was seen as doing 'God's work' by far-right extremists — and he encouraged it: reporter
On CNN Monday, Arizona Republic reporter Jen Fifield described how "Cyber Ninjas" CEO Doug Logan, who helped conduct the GOP-backed "audit" in Maricopa County, took on a theological significance among his far-right supporters.
"A longtime friend calls him a Christian conservative whose religion is fundamental to everything he does," said anchor Erin Burnett. "So how does that fit, his belief about religion, to his links to Team Trump? How does that all fit together?"
"It was really important to show the religious side of Doug Logan because since this audit began, there's been many religious connections," said Fifield. "On Telegram and other right-wing sites, there's many people talking about how this is a religious experience, how Doug Logan is doing the God's work. We found out that there is a prayer board inside the coliseum where Doug Logan would pray during times of stress. It was to show another side of him. It was to show that he really says and tells his longtime friends that he is committed to doing the right thing."
Fifield said that Logan was a complex figure who sincerely believes that doing the "audit" is a righteous cause -- and that he didn't seem like he would deliberately lie if the audit actually showed Biden won Arizona.
"When I met him that first day of the audit, he did come off as he was trying to do the audit accurately, which is in contrary to what you've heard in the news throughout the months," she said. "So I'm trying to show that this is a multi-layered — this is a multi-layered idea that Doug Logan is here running this audit, being paid and working with all of the Trump allies, but who is he really?"
Jen Fifield says far-right extremists believed Cyber Ninjas CEO was doing "the God's work" www.youtube.com
Former acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal noted that one of the things he learned about former President Donald Trump over the past several years of investigations is that the scams he ran for his businesses were similar to those he ran while leading the United States.
Dr. Jason Johnson on MSNBC explained that a recent report revealed additional evidence against the Trump Organization was discovered in a "co-conspirator's basement" recently. It only adds to the mountains of documents and information recovered about the president's former business.
"Today [CFO Allen] Weisselberg's lawyer said there would be further indictments, plural," said Katyal. "That's what he expects. There's a lot we don't know about that."
It also means that Weisselberg is also still talking to prosecutors if they know about these indictments.
"For example, Weisselberg was Trump's right-hand guy has been indicted for tax fraud, and that he's been indicted for fringe benefits," explained Katyal. "We know his defenses: 'Well, lots of people do it.' As any teenager can tell you, a lot of people doing it is no defense, certainly not a successful one. We also know the New York attorney general is working with the Manhattan D.A.'s office hand in glove to try to do this investigation together. We also know that the Trump Organization has been run less like an ordinary business, and much more like a criminal enterprise. That leaves you with some knowledge, but also some known unknowns."
He explained that finding evidence in a basement might sound "quaint" but that it underscores they have found a lot of information and they're still not finished. He also cited the case of Enron in which many people were ultimately indicted because other people handed over information in a deal with prosecutors.
While running for office in 2016, Trump told Americans that he owned a "very successful" business and he would run the country like he did his businesses. Katyal agreed that Trump has done exactly that, though not the way he promised.
"I think one important point here is that the allegations against him about the tax fraud, inflating assets, claiming charitable deductions that he never paid, and so on, that's not that different from the way the guy ran the country, inflating the valuable, trying to avoid paying taxes, overpaying his children to help him do it?" Katyal closed. "Say what you will, we kind of ran the country the way he ran his business."
See the video below:
Trump did run the country like his company -- into the ground www.youtube.com
Reuters legal reporter Jan Wolfe revealed Monday evening that two Republican Party operatives have been indicted after helping Russians donate to political campaigns in 2016.
The Justice Department revealed in a statement that Kentucky's Jesse Benton and Florida's Roy Douglas "Doug" Wead were "charged with one count of conspiracy to solicit and cause an illegal campaign contribution by a foreign national, effect a conduit contribution, and cause false records to be filed with the FEC, one count of contribution by a foreign national, one count of contribution in the name of another and three counts of making false entries in an official record."
Benton was just pardoned by former President Donald Trump for a bribery scandal while working for Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) in Iowa in 2012. In that scheme, Benton and colleague John Tate bribed state officials to change their endorsements to Paul for the Iowa Caucus.
After being pardoned for that, Benton is now being indicted again along with Wead for arranging for a Russian National who wanted to donate to a 2016 presidential campaign to be able to meet with the candidate.
Developing: Two longtime GOP operatives have been indicted. They allegedly helped a Russian make a campaign contrib… https://t.co/pWOcezMw9U— Jan Wolfe (@Jan Wolfe) 1632178809.0
"Benton reached out to individuals at Political Committee B, the national party committee for Political Candidate 1's political party," the indictment explains. "He then arranged for Foreign National 1 to attend a political fundraising event and get a photograph with Political Candidate 1, in exchange for a political contribution to Political Committee C, a joint fundraising committee comprised of the campaign committee for Political Candidate 1, Political Committee B, and related state committees. Foreign National 1 ultimately wired $100,000 to Company A, a political consulting firm owned by Benton."
He then tried to disguise the wire transfer by labeling it "consulting services" and crafted a "cover story."
Wead went to the fundraiser with the foreign national Sept. 22, 2016 with a translator (Foreign National 2). They all three had their photos taken with the candidate.
"Following the event, Benton repeatedly represented to a consultant working for Political Committee B and Political Committee C that he had already sent the promised contribution for the event, but in actuality he delayed sending the contribution," said the DOJ. "Benton ultimately filled out a contributor form, indicated that he was the contributor, and used a personal credit card to make a $25,000 contribution. Benton retained the remaining $75,000 of Foreign National 1's money. Because Benton falsely claimed to have given the contribution himself, three different political committees unwittingly filed reports with the FEC that inaccurately reported Benton, rather than Foreign National 1, as the source of the funds."
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