A bevy of top conservatives is demanding action against foreign influencers who allegedly aim to hurt Republican President-elect Donald J. Trump in the wake of his landslide electoral victory in the 2016 presidential election.
A group of 39 conservative leaders wrote in an open letter made public on Monday night:
The orchestrated campaigns of intimidation, vandalism, and violence that we see gripping cities across the country are anathema to the peaceful, lawful and customary transition from one presidential administration to the next. Political discourse, and even expressions of anger and outrage, are protected forms of speech. However, violence and physical threats against the safety and well-being of citizens, including threats of assassination and harm against the President-elect and the next First Lady, have no place in American society, where we periodically settle our differences at the ballot box.
The top conservatives describe a “pernicious effort” by the institutional left to cast doubt on the results of the election, when it’s clear Trump won in a landslide over Clinton. In fact, his 306 electoral votes—and complete sweep of the Rust Belt from Pennsylvania to Ohio to Michigan to Wisconsin—is something no Republican has done since the 1980s. They also say data supports Trump’s recent points that many illegal votes were likely cast in this election, which he argues means that he would also have won the popular national vote.
The group writes:
Furthermore, there is a pernicious effort afoot to cast the presidential election outcome in doubt based on a knowing distortion of the popular vote margin of roughly one million votes enjoyed by Hillary Clinton. There are two points to made about this above and beyond the fact that the Constitution stipulates that election victories are won according to the rules of the Electoral College, not the popular vote. The first point is the likelihood to the point of certainty that a large number of Mrs. Clinton’s votes were cast by non-citizens exhorted to vote, shockingly, by President Obama himself.
They specifically point to credible analyses from previous elections that suggest illegal voting is a major factor in U.S. elections.
“Political scientists examining the 2008 presidential election estimated that 1.2 million non-citizens cast mainly Democratic votes,” they wrote. After eight years of rampant illegal immigration, it is only reasonable to expect that number to have increased.”
Secondly, they rightly point out that the popular vote technically has no constitutional bearing on who becomes president.
“Several U.S. presidents have come to office in Electoral College victories without winning the popular vote,” they write. “In the cases of Presidents Woodrow Wilson (1912) and Bill Clinton (1992), their presidential opponents together won popular vote victories over these Electoral College winners.”
Because of this misinformation, largely propagated by an establishment media apparatus that was demonstrated to be completely in the tank for Clinton during the course of the election, these conservative leaders note that foreign-funded influencers are financing operations designed to harm the country.
The open letter continues:
During the campaign, candidate Hillary Clinton denounced what she called ‘Russian subversion; of the American political system. There was much discussion of foreign influence on the 1.0. government through donations to the Clinton Foundation and speaking fees to former President Bill Clinton. The FBI briefed both the Clinton and Trump campaigns to be wary of foreign intelligence assets seeking contact. We share these concerns that foreign-funded subversion—from Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and elsewhere—is a grave matter that fundamentally threatens our Constitutional rule of law. Foreign powers and subversive domestic groups are funding influence operations to divide our country and foment chaos and disruption. These groups seeking to erode national sovereignty wish to prevent America from becoming great again.
They call for the outgoing administration of President Barack Obama to immediately, through the FBI and CIA, take action now. Specifically, they want the FBI and CIA to “issue unclassified reports on any and all ‘Russian subversion’ of the 2016 American presidential campaign” and to “issue unclassified assessments of any and all foreign-funded subversion of America’s political institutions.” They want the Justice Department to “issue an unclassified report on the nature and extent of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) behind the anti-police violence, and the post-election organized violence and threats of violence,” and to “issue an unclassified report that identifies all organizations operating in this country that seek the overthrow of the Constitution of the United States, and to describe the measures taken to stop them since 2009.”
Those are all things the Obama administration can do. As for the incoming Trump administration, the conservative leaders also have requests of his team:
We also call on the incoming Trump administration to assemble an interagency task force to investigate the above concerns, to develop comprehensive means to counter and neutralize them, and to issue annual classified reports to Congress and unclassified reports for the public. Furthermore, we urge both houses of the 115th Congress to establish and fund permanent standing committees to conduct hearings and investigations, take testimony, and issue reports on all foreign-funded influence operations inside the United States, and on organizations and movements and fraudulent tax-exempt foundations devoted to the overthrow of the Constitution of the United States.
The signers of the letter include retired Army Lt. General and Family Research Council vice president Jerry Boykin, former Ohio Secretary of State and Constitutional Congress, Inc., chairman Ken Blackwell, Secure America Now president Allen Roth, journalist and author Diana West, Center for Security policy’s J. Michael Waller and Frank Gaffney, author and consultant Tim Daughtry, American Family Association’s Sandy Rios, BlakPAC’s George Farrell, Americans for Limited Government’s Rick Manning, Kevin Kookogey of Advancing the Church, George Rasley of ConservativeHQ, CORE’s Niger Innis, Vanderbilt University professor Carol Swain, columnist C.S. Bennett, Republicans for Black Empowerment’s Donald Scoggins, author Stella Morabito, Wetumpka Alabama Tea Party’s Becky Gerritson, actress and film producer Sam Sorbo, Eunie Smith of Eagle Forum, Kelly Monroe Kullberg of the American Association of Evangelicals, Ann Eubank of Alabama Legislative Watchdogs, Walter Myers III of Biola University, Nick Adams of the Foundation for Liberty and American Greatness, the Rev. C.L. Bryant, Don Feder, Tea Party Nation’s Judson Phillips, C. Preston Noell III of Tradition, Family, Property, Inc., 60 Plus Association’s Jim Martin, Sherwood Barnette of Frontier Harvest Ministries of Pittsburgh, columnist Stacy Washington, Women for Democracy in America’s Gerrye Johnston, the Blue Ridge Forum’s Richard and Susan Falknor, Renew America’s Stephen Stone, National Tax Limitation Committee’s Lewis K. Uhler, Robert Oscar Lopez, and the Maryland Taxpayer Association’s Dee Hodges.