New information is coming to light on one of the most ridiculous of the conspiracy theories Trump supporters pushed as part of the "Big Lie" that sought to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
"Late last December, as President Donald Trump pressed senior officials to find proof of election fraud, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows emailed acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen a letter detailing an outlandish theory of how an Italian defense contractor had conspired with U.S. intelligence to rig the 2020 presidential contest. The letter, which was among records released by Congress this past week, was printed under the letterhead of USAerospace Partners, a little-known Virginia aviation company. In early January, a second Virginia firm, the Institute for Good Governance, and a partner organization released a statement from an Italian attorney who claimed that a hacker had admitted involvement in the supposed conspiracy theory," The Washington Postreported Saturday.
"According to the conspiracy theory known as 'Italygate,' people working for the Italian defense contractor, in coordination with senior CIA officials, used military satellites to switch votes from Trump to Joe Biden and swing the result of the election," the newspaper explained. "Though her name was not mentioned in either document, both Virginia organizations are led by Michele Roosevelt Edwards, according to state corporate filings reviewed by The Washington Post. Edwards is a former Republican congressional candidate who built a reputation as an advocate for the Somali people and as someone who could negotiate with warlords and pirates in the war-torn region. Edwards was formerly known as Michele Ballarin but changed her name last year, court records show. In 2013, The Post's magazine explored how Edwards, once a struggling single mom, had reinvented herself as a business executive and then as a well-connected horse-country socialite who cultivated ties with senior Somali officials."
The newspaper explained how she sat for an interview with Icelandic National Broadcasting Service the day after the election at a $30 million mansion and claimed it was hers.
"This is my bedroom," she said.
"But [the mansion] was then — and is now — owned by a company formed by David B. Ford, a retired financier who died in September. Ford's widow said in an interview that she did not know Edwards. The Post showed her the footage of Edwards inside the property," the newspaper noted.
"She's in my house," the widow said. "How is she in my house?"
Edwards declined to comment.
"I am not giving media interviews at this time," she said.