Calhoun: Wake-Up Call

Pillow Fight! Who Leaked Dominion Voting Systems Election Passwords in Mesa County?

Dominion Voting Systems headquarters in the Old Spaghetti Factory building in downtown Denver: Throw enough noodles, and will something stick?
Dominion Voting Systems headquarters in the Old Spaghetti Factory building in downtown Denver: Throw enough noodles, and will something stick? Patricia Calhoun
Mike Lindell's head should not be resting lightly on his pillow. The MyPillow CEO has promised that on August 13, Donald Trump will be reinstated to his rightful place as President of the United States. In the meantime, Lindell is hosting a "cyber symposium" in South Dakota devoted to showing (or, more accurately, shouting about) how election fraud cost Trump the least temporarily.

A number of intellectual featherweights have joined Lindell, including Tina Peters, the Mesa County Clerk and Recorder, who made the trip rather than respond to an order from the Colorado Secretary of State. Peters is a Trump supporter who survived a recall attempt last year inspired by some missing ballots from the 2019 election; these were ballots misplaced by her office, not deleted by Dominion Voting Systems, the Colorado-based technology company that provides election equipment for many states around the country, including this one, under a contract signed by a Republican secretary of state.

Even so, on January 5, Peters told off those who denied election fraud in the November 2020 vote with this tweet on her private account: “Shame on you! As one that administers elections in my county, you apparently have no idea how it is possible to 1) tabulate more than once ballots favoring a candidate 2) change algorithm in a voting machine (see Eric Coomer from Dominion’s Facebook ranks) UR Dirty or ignorant...You would be wise to learn the Constitution that you swore to uphold and to protect us from enemies ‘foreign and domestic.'"

Especially domestic. On August 10, while Peters was with Lindell in South Dakota, officials with the Colorado secretary of state were in her office in Mesa County, investigating how protected passwords related to Dominion equipment could have been leaked.
click to enlarge Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold. - JENA GRISWOLD
Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold.
Jena Griswold
“Yesterday I ordered the Mesa County Clerk and Recorder to comply with inspection of election equipment, video footage, and other documents in the county," Secretary of State Jena Griswold announced. "The Clerk’s Office must prove that chain of custody remains intact and that there has been no unauthorized access to voting equipment in the county. Failure to do so will result in decertification of the specific voting equipment in Mesa. Colorado has the best election system in the nation, with built in security redundancies. As Secretary of State, my number one priority is to ensure all election security protocols are followed and to safeguard Coloradans’ right to vote.”

After Peters failed to respond to that order, the secretary of state's crew had gone in, "accompanied at all times by officials from Mesa County," Griswold noted. "During their inspection, the Secretary’s staff were in contact with the District Attorney and his representatives, who were conducting their own separate, independent investigation."

In turn, Peters accused Griswold of “raiding her office.”

According to the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, passwords for the county’s Dominion election machines had been posted on the Gateway Pundit, an online blog “which allegedly got it from Ron Watkins, a conspiracy theorist who was the subject of an HBO documentary earlier this year that suggested he could be the original Q in the QAnon conspiracy theories.” On his social media platforms, Watkins claimed the information came from an “alleged” Dominion employee, the paper reported.

Peters has an August 12 deadline to comply with Griswold's order, though she told the Lindell crowd that she plans to stay in South Dakota. In the meantime, Mesa County District Attorney Daniel Rubinstein has confirmed his office's own investigation into the password leak, which apparently happened this spring — long after Trump's loss at the polls.

But to those who've led the campaign against Dominion — and not incidentally, the outcome of the November election — details don't matter. Nor does the truth, as was made clear in a judge's recent smackdown of two Denver attorneys who'd filed a class-action suit on behalf of 160 million voters, claiming election fraud and demanding $160 billion on their behalf. Now those attorneys must pay the price of filing a frivolous suit, filled with rumors that "are the stuff of which violent insurrections are made," according to the judge.

Insurrections like the one at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, the day after Peters tweeted about election fraud.
click to enlarge Mike Lindell will pay big bucks for proof that election fraud accusations aren't true. - HTTPS://MICHAELJLINDELL.COM/
Mike Lindell will pay big bucks for proof that election fraud accusations aren't true.
Meanwhile, Dominion is not hiding under the pillows. On August 10, the company filed suit against two right-wing television channels — Newsmax and One America News — claiming they'd spread baseless conspiracy theories about Dominion's role in the 2020 election (including those pushed by Mr. MyPillow) and demanding $1.6 billion from each defendant. Newsmax — which had earlier retracted some of its statements — “created an entire brand out of defaming” the company, the Dominion case charges. ”Facts did not matter" to OAN, that complaint case continues. “What mattered was feeding the audience the alternate reality OAN had helped create and its audience now expected — even if it was spreading false information. And the race to the bottom began in earnest, dragging Dominion down with it.”

And on August 11, a federal judge ruled that Dominion's defamation lawsuits can continue against former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, pro-Trump attorney Sidney Powell and, yes, Mike Lindell.

Pillow fight!
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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun