Greg Palast

Greg Palast is an investigative reporter, whose stories appear on BBC Television, The Guardian, Al Jazeera and Rolling Stone. You can read/watch his reports at GregPalast.com. He is the author of the NY Times bestsellers The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, Billionaires & Ballot Bandits, Armed Madhouse, and the highly acclaimed Vultures’ Picnic. His full-length feature, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, was released in 2016. His new film, Vigilantes: Georgia’s Vote Suppression Hitmen—from Academy Award winning producer Maria Florio and executive producer Martin Sheen—will be released Fall 2022.

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Episodes

3 days ago

On National Voter Registration Day, investigative journalist Greg Palast and Flashpoints host Dennis Bernstein ponder the big question: Why do we even have voter registration?  We didn't always have registration of voters in America. It started pretty much in Pennsylvania when they were trying to stop Black people who had been moving up from the South from voting. Registration was initially only in the cities for city dwellers. You had the Italian immigrants, the Black diaspora coming up from the South, and then in New York you had Jews. Registration was something that was meant for minorities, for working people, for immigrants to give them a hurdle. In fact, when New York City first started registrations, they only allowed you to register on Saturday, which was a way to stop Jews from registering to vote. It's a crime to vote if you're not American, a go to jail crime. There is no reason for these laws, except the value of registration is to stop people from voting. And the real value of registration is to remove people's registration, the so-called purge, like the enema of the voter rules. So, registration itself is the number one vote suppression horror show in America, and it hasn't been here forever. And by the way, North Dakota has no voter registration and you don't see a bunch of Canadians rushing in and picking their governor. You don't see moose or buffalo crowding the polling stations. Without voter registration, somehow they have fair and clean elections. So, why do we have registration? So we can remove registrations and stop people from voting. Stay informed in the run up to the midterms. Subscribe to our newsletter.  

6 days ago

It all comes down to Georgia. Fani Willis, the Fulton County District Attorney, just laid out her case against Donald Trump. Reverend Warnock is running for reelection in a race that will determine who controls the United States Senate. Stacey Abrams is having a rematch with Governor Brian Kemp, who's been attempting to tip the scales in his favor by bringing felony charges against Black election workers and enacting a new anti-voter law, SB202, which (among other things) has unleashed mass challenges to the votes of over a quarter million Georgians. And we're premiering our new film, Vigilante: Georgia's Voter Suppression Hitman, in Atlanta on October 5 to get the word out before the midterm elections about Kemp's most brazen, racist attack on voting rights yet. So, Georgia's where the battle for the future of the United States is being fought on multiple fronts!    

Tuesday Sep 13, 2022

If Donald Trump and Brian Kemp succeed in using electioneering as an excuse to wriggle out of indictments and grand jury subpoenas, then running for office will become the ultimate get out of jail free card, which will open up a whole new can of worms. 

Tuesday Sep 06, 2022

The idea of ERIC was to expand voter registration. If you moved, they would follow you and say, hey, would you like to register in your new state? That's very good. That's very progressive. In fact, a bunch of liberals from the Pew Trust and Brennan Center came up with it. But now a number of Republican Secretaries of State have taken it over and inverted it. Instead of asking people, would you like to register, they're using the ERIC lists, which are often wrong, to remove voters by the millions, basically creating a Crosscheck replacement. I did an investigation for Black Voters Matter in Wisconsin, where Joe Biden’s victory margin was only 20,000 votes in 2020. Before the election, they were going to remove 130,000 voters from the rolls. We went through the ERIC-generated lists and found just short of 40,000 people had never moved — a minimum 25.8% error rate. Almost every person at risk in Milwaukee was in a black census district, while those in Madison were mostly students — their only crime was either being a student or voting while Black. Biden would've lost Wisconsin if the ERIC purge was allowed to go through. In 2020, after presenting our evidence in a report with Black Voters Matter, we managed to get the Wisconsin Supreme Court to block the Wisconsin purge, but now ERIC’s back and active in more states than ever!

Sunday Aug 28, 2022

It seems a mystery. Why is Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia playing hide and seek with the Atlanta grand jury investigating whether Trump and associates attempted to tamper with the 2020 election results? Why is the Governor resisting the subpoena? After all, the national press has played Kemp as some kind of hero for allegedly standing up to Trump, refusing to overturn Georgia’s majority for Joe Biden. But Kemp is no hero. The reality: Kemp and his elections chief played games with Georgia’s voting process — for Trump and for their own political careers. They only refused Trump’s post-election demands they knew would have put them at risk of hard time on a chain gang. Kemp’s resistance to testifying seems all the more odd because Fulton County (Atlanta) District Attorney Fani Willis has bent over backwards to accommodate the skittish pol. Because he was moaning about the time taken away from campaigning against Stacey Abrams, she agreed he could appear by video. And, surprisingly, Willis was going to let his attorney sit with him, something a grand jury witness is almost never permitted. Kemp has gone crying to a judge pleading he shouldn’t have to answer questions about calls made to him by Trump and cronies. Kemp claims “sovereign immunity” — the right of kings not to answer questions, reserved in the US for official state actions. He claims “executive privilege” as if being CEO of Georgia is grounds to conceal evidence of a crime. He claims it would take time from his campaign — that’s one I’ve never heard in court. If that succeeds, we’ll have even more crooks run for office. It’s always dangerous to speculate on what’s going on in Brian Kemp’s brain, but let me suggest that he knows his benign status as mere “witness” may quickly change to something far more serious. If Trump, as reported, demanded the Governor call a special session of the legislature to de-certify Joe Biden’s victory, and Kemp told him to go fly, then Kemp’s off the hook. So, why not tell that to the grand jury? Kemp reportedly told Trump that, as Governor, Kemp could not de-certify the presidential vote. Then was it Kemp who suggested Trump make those calls to the man who did have the power to reject the vote count? Question: Governor, did you suggest that Trump call the Secretary of State? Question: Governor, did you suggest to Mr. Trump that, while Georgia law does not allow you to interfere, you intended to change the law? Question: Governor, you have yet to turn over all notes and information about the Trump de-certification campaign.  What happened to those records? How could Kemp answer? Take the Fifth? Not wise for a sitting governor. Does he fudge it with, “I don’t recall”? Bad idea: Strategic forgetfulness is an indictable offence. The most dangerous question would be whether Trump told him about, or asked for help with, sending a slate of fake Georgia “electors” to the Electoral College. That’s the highly technical core of the DA’s potential racketeering case against Giuliani and friends: submitting names of Electors who were never elected, who never even appeared on the ballot. Some Trump Electors, the official ones who ran on the November ballot, refused to have their names sent to Congress — so the Trump gang just manufactured a phony Elector list. If Trump mentioned the scheme to create a fake set of Electors, and Kemp “forgot” to tell the DA, we could imagine Kemp listed as an unindicted co-conspirator. Not a winning campaign slogan: “Re-elect Kemp: Named but unindicted!”   Get the full story at GregPalast.com

Sunday Aug 21, 2022

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp is resisting a grand jury subpoena from Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who is investigating criminal interference in Georgia’s 2020 election by Donald Trump and his cronies. The question is why? Indeed, we wouldn’t even have known that Kemp had been subpoenaed for the closed-door hearing if wasn’t for the 121-page motion his legal team filed with the Fulton County Superior Court. After refusing to provide sworn testimony by video in July, Willis’ office emailed Kemp’s lawyer Brian McEvoy on August 9, compelling Kemp to testify this past Thursday, August 18. However, his legal team filed a motion to quash the subpoena, which raises some real questions given that Willis had described Kemp as a “mere witness”. What questions is Kemp trying to avoid answering under oath? What’s he trying to hide? TRANSCRIPT Dennis Bernstein Greg, you are honed in like a laser beam in Atlanta, and that lady there ain’t messing around — that is for damn sure. The District Attorney there ain’t taken no junk from no one. We’re gonna see some interesting things unfolding. Let’s just start with the new developments around Trump’s attempt to overturn the election…What does Brian Kemp’s name have to do with this? Why is he suddenly in the middle? Greg Palast Well, very big news, and he’s put himself in the middle. Fani Willis is the District Attorney of Fulton County, which is the big hunk of Atlanta, and she is investigating whether Trump illegally tried to overturn the election in Georgia. She hasn’t named him yet, or even subpoenaed him — named him as a target — but she has named Lindsay Graham and others, including Rudy Giuliani. Rudy Giuliani was forced to testify yesterday before her grand jury. Now, understand that the complaint against her, by Trump and Kemp and everyone else, is that this is political, these subpoenas, this whole investigation…And they keep saying, “Atlanta Democrat” — that’s code word for Black. She’s a Black woman, but all of her actions have been approved and ordered by Republican justices. Now she’s subpoenaed Brian Kemp, this is interesting. Brian Kemp is the Governor of Georgia, he’s running for reelection against Stacey Abrams, and he’s also the star of my film Vigilantes: George’s Vote Suppression Hitman. And so why is Kemp involved in this? Because, here’s the interesting thing: Kemp was the guy who did say he thought the election was probably correct. Understand that Trump had called him several times, as well as the Secretary of State, to say overturn the election, that is don’t call a special session of the legislature and don’t certify the results. In other words, don’t send anyone to the electoral college for Georgia. Kemp said that’s against the Georgia constitution, I have no authority to call a special session, I have no authority to overturn and decertify this election. You have to understand it’s not like Kemp doesn’t love Trump. Trump endorsed him, they were hand in hand, cheek to cheek when Kemp was running for governor against Stacey Abrams. They were very close. Kemp was a massive supporter of Trump’s reelection in Georgia. But, apparently, he wasn’t willing to go to prison for Agent Orange. Now, the question is, what’s going on here with the subpoena? Bernstein Well, let’s, let’s talk about the subpoena, but first just say a little bit more about who Fannie Willis is… She really demonstrated when she dismissed Kemp’s attorney… Kemp’s attorney was saying this is a political investigation, I’m not gonna show up. She says, not only are you gonna show up, but I was gonna give you a little extra privilege and let you come into the grand jury room, but now you’re gonna sit outside. And she is an expert on the RICO statute, so she is coming in through that organized crime door — tough woman! Palast Yes, tough woman. She’s very tough. In fact, a lot of African American officials thinks that she’s way too tough, she goes for the handcuffs right away, but no one doubts that she knows exactly what she’s doing as a prosecutor. So, understand, when you’re called before a grand jury, you don’t get the right to a lawyer. If you’re the target, like Giuliani was, you can keep taking the Fifth Amendment, and I imagine that he basically did nothing but take the Fifth Amendment. ‘Cause Rudy blabs too much, he would’ve told us all the wonderful things he said. Bernstein Well, his attitude changed a little bit on the way in there, ‘cause he knows who he’s going before. Palast Well, remember, he was a federal prosecutor. He knows he’s facing hard time breaking rocks on a chain gang in Georgia… He saw HUD and those other those other films with Paul Newman, I don’t think he’s looking forward to that, so I’m sure he took the Fifth. But, again, I have to speculate ‘cause it is a secret grand jury proceeding. In addition, like I said, you don’t get a lawyer. But Kemp was claiming executive privilege as governor — that’s kind of like monarchic privilege. I am too important as governor of Georgia to answer questions about a crime in which I’m a witness. And, as Fannie Willis, the prosecutor said to the court, and said to his lawyer, he is merely a witness — what is the problem here? Well, of course, it raises real questions. Because she not only was gonna let his lawyer hold his hand, she was gonna allow him to actually just do a remote hearing, go on a kind of a closed Skype system the court has, give the grand jury 20 minutes, say what happened on the phone calls with Trump and, you know, you’re on you way sir. In fact, they never made it public. It was Brian Kemp who made it public, that he was being called in. Now, who the heck is going to announce that they’ve been called before a grand jury? But he did. He made it public and then said, oh, she’s doing this politically to harm me. Well, wait, she kept it completely silent. The other thing is, she was gonna let him have a lawyer, just come in by remote. No, no, no, he kept dragging his feet, until now he’s in the middle of his campaign for reelection. He says, she is forcing me to take time out of my campaign when it’s at its “crescendo” — that’s the word that they used, the crescendo of his campaign. Well, this is brand new. I’ve heard of diplomatic immunity, I’ve heard of executive privilege, but I’ve never heard of I’m-on-a-campaign privilege to be a witness in a criminal case. I don’t think you and I could do that, Dennis. Oh, I’m kind of busy, you know, we’ve got the Election Crimes Bulletin tonight, sorry, we can’t show up in court. Yeah, I think that the judge will have to hide his laughter. He’s gonna have to turn around from laughing Kemp out of court. But the question is why. Why in the world, when the guy had basically a free ride – you can have your lawyer, you can call it in. What’s the problem? And I think the problem is he knows that if he has to talk… I think he also wanted to control… He wanted to know all the questions in advance and control the scope. They said you can’t do that. What are you talking about? That cannot be done. You’re an officer of the court, she told this lawyer, and you keep saying this is political, you’re gonna end up… He’s gonna end up with sanctions, believe me, you don’t play games like this with a grand jury. And what I think is going on here is, and what I want to know as a journalist who’s been hunting down Brian Kemp for 9 years — since he was the renegade Secretary of State of Georgia, really America’s Vote Suppressor in Chief with his really close friend Kris Kobach of Kansas — is what was [said] on those calls with Trump? I suspect that while the big public story that he said, nah, I’m not gonna overturn the election, he was probably spending a lot of time trying to figure out how he could actually in fact overturn the election — that’s one. And the second thing is that he signed a bill right after the election, a month after the January 6th riot, he signed this bill SB 202, which basically sets up to give him the power to do exactly what Trump wants. I was just talking to Helen Butler. She’s considered Miss Vote in Georgia. She’s head of the late Reverend Lowery’s organization for voting rights [Georgia Coalition for the Peoples’ Agenda]. She was also, because of her expertise in voting, on the Morgan County board of elections. And the first thing Kemp did after that law was passed was remove her. He’s removed 10 members of local boards of elections. I asked her, what’s going on here, for my film, I wanted to get it on camera. Why did Kemp remove you, immediately, as soon as he had the power? She said, because Trump called and said you have to de-certify the election. And the only way to do that in Georgia… Kemp, can’t do it. Kemp has to get local boards of election to not certify, refuse to certify their county’s vote. So, if he can pressure boards of election to de-certify in 2024, he can hand Trump what he wants in 2024. And I think that there may have been some discussion about what they’re gonna do in the future to change the law. I could see Kemp — ‘cause I’ve followed him for a long time — telling Trump, you know, Mr. President, well, I can’t do it now. It’s not in the law, but I’m gonna make it the law. And then, when you run again in 2024, I’ll make you president. I think that if he’s done that, then he’s in real trouble, not only with his reelection. Bernstein So he’s worried about going from witness to target. You said that Graham was a target. He’s not a target, he’s just a witness. Palast Excuse me, he’s a witness. But I think that he’s really on the unicycle going down that circus line to become named, and I’ll tell you why. As we mentioned in the last Election Crimes Bulletin, the real crime here is putting together a slate of fake electors and mailing them to National Archives to hand over to Congress, to hand over to the Vice President, Mr. Pence and say these are the electors who were voted by the people of Georgia to represent us at the electoral college. These are people who never were on the ballot. They never ran for electoral college. You can’t just take names out of the phone book who will swear that they’ll vote for you for president and declare that they’ve been made electors by the people of any state — that’s mail fraud. It’s a crime. It’s racketeering, especially under Georgia law, because it’s an easier case to make under Georgia law. Because under Georgia law, you don’t have to have enterprise. This is a little technical about racketeering law. To bring a racketeering case, which I’ve done for the Justice Department, you have to show usually a year’s long operation of an enterprise, like you’re the mob. But in Georgia, you don’t, you can have one instance. So, this one project of trying to jam through fake electors, that itself, that combined operation, if it’s Giuliani and the fake electors, Lindsay Graham and Trump, that’s absolutely a slam-dunk racketeering case under Georgia law — I can tell you that right now. Bernstein Greg, you’ve been spending a lot of time in Georgia doing this investigation. And, obviously, the landscape for this is the fact that there are key elections in Georgia that could change the history of this country. Palast Oh, yeah. Bernstein Could you talk about how this plays as a backdrop to those elections? How does this interweave? What impact will this DA investigation have on those crucial elections? Palast Well, I think, if Kemp is outed as having tried to fix the elections in Georgia, this is insulting to the people of Georgia. You have to understand that Giuliani came down to Georgia and said that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, their G-Men, are a joke now. Yes, they used to be like almost an arm of the Klan, but they’ve been cleaned up and they’re run by real professionals. And they did an investigation of Cobb County, the absentee ballots and whether [they were tainted]. If you remember, this whole game of “mules”, Black people stuffing the ballot dropboxes. They went through every single ballot, physically, and determined that not one was fraudulent out of tens of thousands. And Giuliani said that was a joke. This is a big problem in Georgia. Georgians are very proud of Georgia — you have to understand that. And they’re not too crazy about some guy with red stuff flowing down his face, this guy from New York, telling Georgians that they are a joke. Okay. So you got Rudy Giuliani telling people that they’re a joke. This doesn’t help Kemp, you have to understand. So, he has to protect Georgia from what is seen down there by many as an attack on the integrity of Georgia. And don’t forget, when he said that the race in Cobb County was fixed, it was controlled by Republicans. So, Kemp is trying to play both ways against the middle. He still cuddles up to Trump. He says Trump has a problem with me, I don’t have a problem with Trump. After all, Kemp is ultra right wing. He just signed a law, basically, outlawing abortion in Georgia, because of the new Supreme Court ruling. He’s ultra, ultra right. Very close with the evangelicals. So, on one hand, he’s trying to sell himself, Kemp, as Trump’s buddy. On the other hand, he’s trying to take some of those independents who like the fact that he appeared to be standing up to Trump. He wants it both ways. And if the truth comes out, it’s gonna fall one way or the other. If he really did push back against Trump, I think he would’ve already just done that 20 minute quiet appearance before the grand jury. No one would’ve known about it, because if he doesn’t make it public, Fani Willis was not gonna make it public. He could have literally come in and out. So, why this crazy he’s resistance? He’s afraid of what will come out, because it’s amazing what happens, how your stories change when you’re under oath, as opposed to under a TV camera. You can say anything on a TV camera. Under oath, it’s what’s called a perjury trap. If he starts prevaricating, they’ll be reading him his rights. So, I think he knows that nothing he will say is gonna get him any votes and could be a real, real problem if any of it comes out. Bernstein Wow, this is huge. I am interested… You called it from the beginning. You’ve been saying that this is the prosecution that could make all the trouble. And, obviously, a lot of people are frightened and you’ve got a prosecutor who’s not messing around, who’s got a special grand jury, but other things are happening. [Trump Organization CFO] Alan Weisberg was convicted on 15 felonies. They gave him five months, but he’s gotta say something or he’ll die on Rikers Island. And believe me, I can testify, having taught there five years, that ain’t no place to die. I can’t imagine him surviving a couple of weeks there anyway. Do you still think that this prosecution is gonna lead. Palast Yes, well, Georgia’s central. I keep going back to Georgia. Here I am in Los Angeles, every year for nine years I end up in Georgia, ‘cause it’s always the center of the schemes to bend elections. Brian Kemp is no hero. Somehow, he got played as a hero just ‘cause he got in a fight with Donald Trump. We’re so crazy about Trump that we make heroes of anyone who gets in a fight with him. But, remember, he’s fighting him from the right. So, be very careful about that. In addition, if Stacey Abrams gets elected governor, this will be the first Black woman in American history ever elected governor in Georgia — deep, redneck Georgia. In addition, you have Reverend Raphael Warnock running for reelection — he was elected in the special election a year and a half ago, but to finish out a short term — and that’s a very close race. I know that that the liberal coastal press says, oh, he can’t lose to Herschel Walker, because there’s all these ads that Herschel Walker put a gun to his ex-wife’s head, all that type of stuff. Well, there’s a lot of gun owners in Georgia who have done the same thing. I’m not sure that’s gonna harm him. It’s not harming him in the polls. I mean, the fact that he was a wife beater doesn’t overcome the fact that he was a football hero. And this is Georgia, okay. He’s not a cricket star, he is a football hero. That’s a very big thing. Whereas Reverend Warnock is merely a minister, a man of God, not a man of football, so it’s gonna be a tight race. And if Kemp is in trouble, if he gets indicted or he runs into other problems with the courts here, basically those races are up for grabs. So, they’re central in terms of the races, but, again, Fani Willis also has the advantage that she can tell a grand jury, make a decision on whether Trump or any of these other characters, Giuliani, et cetera, should be indicted. All she needs, ultimately, is to get a final approval from a judge. She does not have to ask the Justice Department, there’s no politicians. You just saw all the hell that broke loose because Merrick Garland personally approved the raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property. In the Justice Department, you can’t bring a racketeering case without the personal approval of the Attorney General, which makes it political. They even have policy papers that indictments should be timed to avoid any influence on elections. No such restrictions in Georgia. If Fani Willis has the evidence, she’s got the indictments, and she’s clearly circling in on Agent Orange. Bernstein Right. And she’s not gonna be distracted. You’re listening to the Election Crimes Bulletin on Flashpoints on Pacifica Radio. Greg Palast is our co-host for this weekly presentation. He is the fighter for your vote. He’s working on a new film, Vigilantes: Georgia’s Vote Suppression Hitman. Palast The “vigilante” refers to Brian Kemp and his new law, which allows vigilante voter challenges. Anyone can challenge anyone. And so far 88 Republicans have challenged over a quarter million voters. By the way, not one Democrat has challenged one voter. Bernstein Well, let me come back to that grand jury, because the other thing about it, we were talking about the fact that the DA is an expert in dealing with in RICO statutes and stuff like that. Palast Yes. Bernstein And it does seem like she’s going RICO, because the amount of people that she’s interested in, that she’s planning to subpoena, doesn’t that give us an indication that she’s going big? Palast Oh, absolutely. I think that she’s going where the evidence is. You know, you can’t be submitting fake electors and not expect the cops to show up at your door. You can’t say the crime is too big to investigate. And she’s doing the right thing by doing a very systematic, careful grand jury review, witness by witness. Including, by the way, we haven’t mentioned the lesser known character, but very important on the right wing, Cleta Mitchell, who is an attorney who specializes in figuring out vote suppression schemes. She was actually on the call with Donald Trump to the state. And I wanna know if she was on the call with Brian Kemp. Because Brian Kemp’s vote suppression tactics looked like they were written by Cleta Mitchell and her organization, the Bradley Foundation, and True the Vote, these ultra right wing, basically anti-voter organizations. So, I don’t think we can get away from the issue of vote suppression and the attempt to overturn the election in Georgia. And I would like to see, I was hoping at some point that Fani Willis will open up the investigation even wider into the vote suppression tactics in general. Catch the Election Crimes Bulletin each week on KPFA’s FlashPoints News or via our PodCast.

Saturday Aug 13, 2022

In this week’s edition of the Election Crimes Bulletin, host Dennis Bernstein and investigative reporter Greg Palast discuss the recent FBI raid on Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home. Separate from the investigation being undertaken by the January 6th Committee, the raid on Trump’s Florida home was done at the request of the National Archives, who were seeking official documents Trump had illegally removed from the White House. And there’s a certain amount of schadenfreude to be had, knowing Trump’s home was raided, in part, because of a law he signed to ensnare Hillary Clinton — and to prevent her from running for office. But though this National Archives-instigated raid puts the former president in significant legal jeopardy, it’s a case out of Georgia that might be more likely to deprive Trump of his liberty — and his infamous comb-over!   TRANSCRIPT Dennis Bernstein: I just wanna start off with a couple of quick headlines here. Here’s one about the Attorney General. He had a press conference with no conference part. Attorney General Merrick Garland said Thursday that the Justice Department had filed the motion to unseal a search warrant and property receipt from the FBI’s recent search of former president Donald Trump’s MAGA-Largo estate. It looks like the folks who helped to take care of him are trying to take care of him in a different way. But let me just add this into the mix, and then I want you to comment. This is coming out of Ohio, the armed man [Ricky Walter Shiffer] who tried to storm the FBI’s Cincinnati office on Thursday, before getting into a shootout with cops that left him dead in an Ohio cornfield, appeared to be a conspiracy-addled Trump-superfan, who told his followers on Truth Social that he was ready for combat after the FBI raided Mar-a-Lago. He, by the way, was also guess where on in January? Yeah, at the insurrection. Greg, we’ve talked about the situation growing more and more violent, and we’re seeing that happen — attacking the FBI, that’s pretty amazing. Greg Palast: Well, in fact, yes, actually the amount of violence, having just come back from Georgia, it ain’t pretend. There were guys in a film that I’m working on right now…there was a so-called reenactment by the Civil War aficionados of the one single battle that the rebel won outside of Atlanta, they redid that battle. But it was interesting talking to the spectators and re-enactors. I said, why are you here? They said, to support the Confederate history. I said, well, isn’t that war over? And he said, nope, the Confederacy’s not over and the South will rise again. And then they started talking about how they’d already picked out the high points at the peach tree hotels in downtown Atlanta, waiting for that moment. Remember Trump’s statement to the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by”. Well, they’re still standing back and they’re still standing by — and they are armed to the teeth. And this ain’t no joke. So, yes, obviously the armed reaction to the FBI raid [is worrying], but, let’s get into that FBI raid, ‘cause most of the media has just simply covered it as, well, you know, the FBI, how dare they break into… Even Pence was saying, how dare they break it to a former president’s residence? This is unprecedented. Well, you know, a lot of things about Trump are unprecedented. If you take government property that isn’t yours, and he took many boxes…they aren’t his, they belong to you and me. They are the public’s documents. In fact, it was a guy named Donald Trump who signed a law when he was president saying that it is a crime for a president, or anyone who would control presidential papers, to illegally remove those papers. And that was because, if you remember, they were all berserko about Hillary Clinton’s emails. And so, Trump himself, he’s being raided based on the law that he himself signed and pushed that said, if you grab presidential documents, if you grab official documents and bury them or eliminate them, you go to prison. And by the way, that law has one other piece of punishment that Trump came up with, which is that if you get caught removing presidential papers illegally, you can’t run for federal public office. So, this is real, real serious for Mr. Trump. And this, again, is the law he crafted to try to hopefully ensnare and imprison Hillary Clinton, or get her barred from running for office again. But now it may be that he’s the man who’s gonna get literally hoisted on his own petard — legally. By the way, this presidential records issue goes back to Richard Nixon, who was very good at creating false papers, as we know. So, before we get too excited about the wonderful FBI, they are at the center of the fake creation of documents, the COINTELPRO program, misused by Nixon, and that led to the 1978 Presidential Records Act. So, what we’re talking about is a series of laws based on abuses. And, by the way, I do think that Hillary Clinton did abuse the law. Come on, she didn’t know that public papers are public and not private? Also, when they said that this has never happened before, in fact, Hillary Clinton’s servers were seized, ultimately by the FBI. They did check in her home in Chappaqua, which is also the home of former president Bill Clinton. So, no, this is not unprecedented. But, again, in that case, they were technically looking, not for the presidential papers, but for a potential future president and the Secretary of State. But this is not that unusual, except that Trump is unusual. By the way, this is nothing to do with the January 6th hearings. This is a very separate federal grand jury that was impaneled at the request of the National Archives, which said papers are missing. You could tell that, ’cause I know when I work with these federal agencies, these things are numbered and stamped. And also, when I do investigations, you have a letter responding to a letter, but you didn’t see the original letter? It’s very hard to run off with the documents and bury them. There’s real questions. because these were documents which included national security material, which would not have anything to do with the January 6th hearings. My curiosity has to do with…you know, why would Trump grab the stuff? The answer might be, and again, I’m always afraid to speculate, but I have done these investigations…Remember, Trump was impeached over threatening Ukraine with disarming Ukraine. Imagine if he’d gotten away with that today. Can you imagine? Trump tried to disarm Ukraine… and it’s quite consequential. So, that might be in that information, because, why would he be taking national security documents and hiding them away? And, and let me add a few other things… We know from an informer who got to Newsweek that it was someone very close to Trump. One of the people close to Trump, running Mar-a-Lago, who happened to know where all these papers were hidden. And what caused the raid was that the FBI had actually a very positive relationship with Trump. They had asked his lawyers, they said, listen, we understand from the National Archives that you have boxes of presidential documents. You can’t have those. But, before we determine whether they are public or private documents, just lock them up. They actually went to Mar-a-Lago in June, so this is not new. They went to Mar-a-Lago in June, but it was very friendly and they just said, listen, just lock those things away and have heavier locks than you have right now. We need to keep those secure. But it was only when they got an informer to say they jacked the FBI, they told you about the 15 boxes in that room, but there are other boxes in two other rooms — in his bedroom and in another room. When you lie to the FBI, that creates a bit of a problem. And that’s when they decided that they couldn’t tip him off, ’cause obviously the sentiment was that he was telling them there’s only 15 boxes, when, in fact, he had a lot more that he was hiding — and why. So, that’s why they had to do the raid. Though, I will say, unusually for the FBI, they did not wear any FBI identification and they carried no weapons. Wouldn’t you like to have that kind of nice kid glove treatment, Dennis? Bernstein: Yes, well…I’m gonna guess that people of color that make up the FBI is probably about less than 1%. The FBI has a reputation for being a racist organization. I’m sorry, I’m not gonna feel bad about them either. And everybody knows that if it was Black and brown people who were carrying forth with an insurrection, there would’ve been blood everywhere and it would’ve been the blood of Black and brown people. So we know that there’s another story here, and it has to do with the inability of the white FBI to deal with terrorism at the roots, which they’ve known for decades…that it’s white. Palast: Well, what’s interesting here is that the FBI seemed to have been dragged into this. It’s not like the FBI were aggressively trying to go after Trump. In fact, it was the National Archives, which you just think of as kind of like a fancy library. It was the National Archives which is very upset. It’s their job to keep control of those papers. You can’t just take off with papers. They are not yours. It’s a government of, by and for the people. It’s not of, by, and for Donald Trump or the Trump Organization. And that’s very, very important. These are our documents. He stole them from us. It is a form of theft. And it is very dangerous stuff, because we also need to know what our government is doing. That’s why the law was passed originally in 1978, because Richard Nixon, Tricky Dick, was very good at either creating documents or burying them. So, again, this was not the FBI. You can almost see when you watched our Attorney General, Merick Garland, at his press conference today. He almost seemed like…I wish I weren’t here. But, again, it’s not the FBI, it was the National Archives. They required justice to impanel a grand jury, and the grand jury made the decision, and a Florida judge granted the warrant for the raid. So, it’s not really even about the FBI getting tough, or taking on Trump, or any of that. It’s, literally, that they were forced to make this move by the courts and the National Archives. So, bless the National Archives. You never usually think of them as the tough guys on the street. Bernstein: Everybody knows, still at this point in terms of Trump, it’s what’s happening in Georgia, it’s what’s happening through the DA which is most precise in terms of the ability to go after Trump. Is that case proceeding a pace? Palast: Well, interestingly, I think this National Archives problem is a big one for Trump. Bernstein: Oh, that’s a big one for Trump too. Absolutely. Palast: Because he signed the law saying that if you are found guilty, you can’t run for federal office. And so this could actually be the killer one for him. But, in terms of actually serving on a chain gang, that’s gonna be the Georgia District Attorney. Bernstein: The Georgia chain gang. Palast: It’d be like Paul Newman in Hudor whatever film that was, right? Bernstein: Give that guy a sledgehammer. Make him break rocks. Palast: What I want to know is will he be allowed to wear his red tie? And he won’t be allowed the comb-over either. Bernstein: Will he be allowed McDonald’s in federal prison? McDonald’s big burger? I know you can get those at Rikers Island. Palast: I do know that guys like Trump, if they ever do serve, they serve in places with tennis courts. I’ve seen them. Bernstein: Exactly. Palast: Like there’s a so-called prison in La Jolla that I would love. I’d be willing to pay a fair amount of money to spend a weekend there. It has tennis courts, views the ocean. This is for the white collar criminals, basically, to take a break. I know one who actually, literally, signed in for the weekend. Bernstein: [laughs] Can we have a 60 second version of what’s happening in Atlanta? Palast: Okay. The key thing is that you have a tough District Attorney who is slowly building a case and it looks like it could take down, if not Trump, a lot of people around him. Like Cleta Mitchell, who is one of the key people behind groups like True the Vote. You can’t remove this from the vote suppression activity. So, she’s involved in convincing Trump, and others were involved in convincing Trump, to have an alternative slate of electors for the presidential vote — and that ain’t in the Constitution. We have had Constitutional crises, there are fights over elector slates, but he literally just pulled a bunch of names of his cronies and said that they were voted in by the people of Georgia. Well, I’m sorry, their names weren’t even on the ballot. And that involves, when you do transmit that, interestingly, again, it’s once again to the National Archives. When you transmit your list of electors to the National Archives, and it’s a false list, it’s made up of people who’ve never even been on a ballot, that’s wire fraud. That’s a federal crime. You do two, three federal crimes like that… And they’re also state crimes, because under Georgia’s racketeering law, which is tougher than the federal law. That is, when I say tougher, it’s easier to prove your case. And I’ve done racketeering cases for the Justice Department as chief investigator, and… I don’t know how Trump’s gonna wiggle out of indictment in Georgia at this moment. You know, I’m not saying I’m for or against it, I’m just gonna say that if there’s one danger here of his indictment, that’s it. But the National Archives thing is now serious and it’s in the hands of a grand jury. So, Trump has now, really, a very serious…he’s got a problem by the law he signed. Bernstein: And I think he was outmaneuvered by the Attorney General here. This was a beautiful way to go at Trump. You know, he didn’t make it public, it was up to Trump. But, since Trump made a big deal of it, they went public. Palast: They made a big deal that they wanted to do the raid when Trump was not there. They knew he was at his golf course in Bedminster in Jersey. That’s why they did the raid at the time that they did it. Because in June, when they did show up and it was friendly, they were let in…Trump even came in and shook hands with the FBI agents and said whatever we can do for you, whatever we can get for you, just ask. And I hate to say it, that bit of friendliness is defrauding the FBI. You’re misleading the FBI by saying, look, we’re being open, we’re giving you everything, here I am in the room, what questions do you have? The question will be whether Donald Trump knew that he had some extra goodies in his bedroom…. besides eating cookies in bed? Bernstein: [laughs] Palast: I do have to add…it was Hillary Clinton’s logs for the Rose Law Firm which could have put her in prison, which were in fact kept, those time logs were kept under her bed at the White House. So, we’ve been here before. Bernstein: Stranger things have happened — maybe?!?

Saturday Aug 06, 2022

In this week’s edition of the Election Crimes Bulletin we reveal how the contents of Alex Jones’ cellphone — which were accidentally handed over to the prosecution in their entirety by the shock jock’s own lawyers during the Sandy Hook defamation trial, and will now likely end up in the hands of the January 6 Committee — could provide proof that Trump and members of his administration were directly involved in the planning of the illegal march to Capitol which ended in violence.   "If I were in the Trump crew — Mark Meadows, Chief of Staff, etc. — I would probably be having to change my underpants right now."   Dennis J. Bernstein: Today seems to be Alex Jones day… Given the fact that his attorneys, apparently, made a mistake… I don’t know what happened there with all those emails ending up on the wrong side of the bench, but it doesn’t seem to be helping Mr. Jones. Your thoughts on where we are now and where it’s going. Greg Palast: Okay. A couple things… Number one, we’re talking about the trial of Alex Jones, which he’s already defaulted on. He’s lost a liable suit, because he basically gave out the addresses of parents of children who were murdered in the killings in Connecticut. He said that it never happened, it was crisis actors, and these people are all fake. Imagine you lose a six year old kid, a seven year old, your child, and then you find you’re up on television with your picture saying you’re a fake, you’re a liar, you’re just out to take away Second Amendment rights — and here’s your home address! People had to move, go into hiding after losing their children. So, Jones, oddly, instead of being charged, which he should have been criminally with threatening people’s lives — ‘cause their lives are in danger — he just simply lost a civil action for liable… But now, one of his lawyers accidentally, apparently — I mean, I’m sure they asked for it — accidentally sent over his entire cell phone contents. That means years of emails, that means all his text messages. If I were in the Trump crew — Mark Meadows, Chief of Staff, etc. — I would probably be having to change my underpants right now… Mark, I do know, from speaking to insiders at Women for America First, that they were sending panic messages to Alex Jones, and to his partner, Ali Alexander. That’s the guy who said, “We’ll light this whole sh*t on fire.” Remember, he is threatening to burn down the State House and the State Capitol in Georgia days before he goes to Washington and leads the march to the Capitol to burn that down. He said, we’re gonna burn this down. This is not like, oh my God, this crowd is out of control. That was the plan. That was announced. We have it on camera. And by the way, thank you to Zach D Roberts for getting that film and basically taking his life in his hands to get that Ali Alexander threat. And that guy that was screaming his head off before Ali, that was Alex Jones saying, you know, this is the globalist plan to take over America, blah, blah… But we do know that Ali Alexander and Alex Jones were sent several panicked texts saying do not announce a march at the January 6th rally. They sent messages to Mark Meadows saying don’t do the march. Now, Ali Alexander and Alex Jones both claimed that the White House called them, contacted them, and then had people show up and say, you stand at the corner of this parking lot, Trump’s gonna call for a march and you lead the march. So, they knew in advance that Trump was gonna call for the march — even though he was told it was illegal and dangerous. Illegal and dangerous, he was warned, but he said it anyway. So, what I’m very interested in is how many texts went back and forth from the White House, and Mark Meadows in particular, to Ali Alexander and Alex Jones, and probably the texting between Jones and Alexander and their planning for the illegal march. You know, find the messages saying we know this march is illegal. So, it’s not just that Alex Jones is in deep trouble, it’s Mark Meadows. Donald Trump, and whoever else from the White House that was involved in actually planning a march they knew was illegal and dangerous. This is real bad news for Donald Trump. Learn more at GregPalast.com  

Monday Aug 01, 2022

About a month ago, I would’ve said there’s no chance Donald Trump will be indicted, and I still think that you’re not gonna see that on a federal level. But Trump may yet see the inside of a prison cell, thanks to the efforts of Fani Willis, the first woman to hold the office of District Attorney in Fulton County, Georgia. Because of the Georgia Republicans’ zeal to put Democrats like Stacey Abrams behind bars — Democrats who are guilty of registering hundreds of thousands of voters in Georgia — the state created its own racketeering laws, which make it a lot easier to prosecute people than under the federal RICO statute. Specifically, Georgia made interference in the election process count as a “predicate act”, which is a prerequisite for RICO prosecutions. Ironically, this now leaves Trump open to a racketeering prosecution in Georgia, and a grand jury has been impaneled in Atlanta, which is looking into whether the former president and his cronies interfered with and tried to overturn the legal vote count in Georgia. Beyond the attempt to use a slate of phony electors to overturn Joe Biden’s win, the grand jury may also be investigating Trump’s role in instigating and organizing the violence that took place not only at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., but also before the January 6th insurrection at the Georgia State Capitol and Governor’s Mansion. In the latest Election Crimes Bulletin, first broadcast on Pacifica Radio’s FlashPoints News on July 28, 2022, host Dennis Bernstein and I discuss the political and technical reasons why it’ll be easier to indict Trump for a racketeering crime in Georgia. To learn more, and for a transcript of this program, visit: https://www.gregpalast.com/why-georgia-da-fani-willis-is-the-biggest-threat-to-donald-trump/

Monday Jun 20, 2022

Nullification, as Martin Luther king called it, is a continuing theme in the fight against the right to vote. And it wasn't just the January 6, 2021 insurrection. In 1877 you had a successful overturning, a nullification of the vote, so it can happen again.

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GREG PALAST

Greg Palast is an investigative reporter, whose stories appear on BBC Television, The Guardian, Al Jazeera and Rolling Stone. You can read/watch his reports at GregPalast.com. He is the author of the NY Times bestsellers The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, Billionaires & Ballot Bandits, Armed Madhouse, and the highly acclaimed Vultures' Picnic. His full-length feature, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, was released in 2016. His new film, Vigilantes: Georgia’s Vote Suppression Hitmen—from Academy Award winning producer Maria Florio and executive producer Martin Sheen—will be released Fall 2022.

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