Thursday, December 27, 2018

Stories of election meddling involving Jill Stein, Doug Jones, and Russia-style disinformation efforts might soon merge, leaving political ambitions on the brink

Doug Jones

Reporting on the Russia-style disinformation campaign that benefited Doug Jones in Alabama's 2017 special U.S. Senate election continues to evolve, with a billionaire financial backer issuing a public apology yesterday. Meanwhile, 2016 Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein has been unmasked as the recipient of a Russia-backed social-media blitz designed to help Donald Trump defeat Hillary Clinton.

Those two stories likely will soon merge, putting Jones' senatorial career at risk almost before it has begun, according to one of Alabama's most knowledgeable political insiders. It probably is too early to say where the Jones story is going, but here are some of the signs that could be alarming for Alabama's junior senator -- a Democrat in a red state, who pulled off a stunning victory last November over Republican Roy Moore:

(1) Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn and an early investor in Facebook, largely funded the effort (to the tune of $750,000) and now has issued an apology, acknowledging that he finds the actions taken with his money are "highly disturbing."

(2) Where did Hoffman's money go? Mostly it went to American Engagement Technologies (AET), a firm headed by former Obama administration official and Google engineer Mikey Dickerson.

(3) Hoffman's funds apparently trickled down to Jonathon Morgan, chief executive at the research firm New Knowledge, who said he "created a Facebook page under false pretenses to test his ability to appeal to conservative voters." Facebook has suspended Morgan's account, plus those of at least four unnamed individuals who worked with him on the project.

(4) Jones claims he wants a federal investigation into New Knowledge's actions on his behalf, but the senator seems slightly unhinged in his public statements on the matter. Jones cursed multiple times in his initial reaction after The New York Times broke the Morgan story? How many times have you heard a U.S. senator curse while cameras and microphones were running? I don't think I've ever seen it happen.

How could the Jill Stein and Doug Jones stories merge? Jill Simpson (retired attorney, opposition researcher, and whistle blower) provides insight in a recent post at Facebook. Writes Simpson:

Some of the Stein folks showed up in Alabama to help Doug Jones with election machinery, and they had told us it would be better if republican Trump won in Wisconsin. We knew then Russian bots were on the way to probably help Jones, and we reported this to old press friends to watch closely. We have one family in America that has been funding these folks, and we and the feds know who it is, and their ties to Mother Russia involve money being made back to the early 1990s. That said, this bunch funded Stein to beat Hillary and to beat Moore. This is not about political parties, this is about one of America's richest families being in bed with Russians and certain politicians on both sides. It is huge. Stein was owned by this bunch, and it became apparent to us when we were in Wisconsin. The greens would be well advised to cut Stein and her Russian butt-kissing ass loose from the party.

As for Hoffman's apology, The Washington Post says it left key questions unanswered:

Hoffman named a group he funded, American Engagement Technologies, or AET, as being involved in the effort to spread disinformation targeting Moore. Hoffman invested $750,000 in the organization, some of which covered its work in Alabama, according to a person close to the matter but not authorized to discuss Hoffman's spending.

But the statement left key facts unaddressed, including a full accounting of everyone who crafted and executed the campaign. The effort was the subject of a presentation in September to a group of progressive technology experts who met in downtown Washington to discuss electoral tactics, according to documents from that meeting obtained by The Washington Post and one of the attendees. This person spoke on the condition of anonymity because those at the gathering were required to sign nondisclosure agreements.

Does it sound like multiple individuals are trying to cover for actions taken under what became known as Project Birmingham? It sure sounds that way from here. The Post reports, for example, hat Mikey Dickerson has failed to respond to multiple interview requests.

Jill Stein and her campaign also have been less than forthcoming. Reports Think Progress:

Stein has long been a key figure in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing Russia investigation. The environmental activist and erstwhile presidential candidate was in frequent communication with individuals inside Russia, and she herself made a trip to Moscow in 2015 to attend, among other things, a dinner hosted by Russian propaganda network RT, where she sat alongside future Trump campaign aide Michael Flynn and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Jill Stein
Stein and her presidential campaign have largely refused to cooperate with the Senate’s own investigation into Russia’s efforts to interfere with the 2016 election. She refused to turn over any communication between her campaign and “Russian persons, or representatives of Russian government, media, or business interests” earlier this year.

Stein long has been of interest to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and we now know her operatives were in touch with the Doug Jones campaign? Perhaps that explains Jones' recent public statements, which might best be described as bizarre. Consider this account from Politico:

Even though the effort was minor and was not used against him, Jones said he is “outraged” and that congressional hearings wouldn’t be enough: “It needs to not just be a congressional inquiry. People get called in front of Congress all the damn time. There needs to be a look to see if there were any laws that were broke.”

“What is obvious now is that we have focused so much on Russia that we haven’t focused on the fact that people in this country could take the same playbook and do the same damn thing,” Jones said. “I’d like to see the FEC and the Justice Department look at this and see if any laws are being violated or were violated. And if there were, do it. Go after them.”

Then, we have this from Yellowhammer News:

Jones expressed that he was “outraged” and called for the Federal Elections Commission and the Department of Justice to investigate the allegations and prosecute if necessary.

Hell, I’m as outraged as everybody else about it,” Jones said. “I have railed against Russian interference in our election process ever since I started campaigning and during this first year in the Senate. I think we have all focused too much on just the Russians and not picked up on the fact that you know what? Some nefarious groups, whether they’re right or left, can take those same playbooks and interfere with the electors for their own damn benefit. I got to tell you, I’m not happy about it.”

Doug Jones can't discuss this subject without sprinkling in words like "damn" and "hell" -- for public consumption? Does he even have the class or dignity to serve in the U.S. Senate?

This kind of language from Jones was not a surprise to us. We've tried to interview him several times on serious matters and were treated to the smart-alecky, classless, dismissive, and duplicitous tone that represents the real Doug Jones. We invite you to check it out in the videos below:


Anonymous said...

Something tells me this Doug Jones story is going to get bigger before it begins to get smaller.

Anonymous said...

What about Bernie and Russia bots?

Anonymous said...

No one can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory like Democrats.

F.T. Payne said...

Jill Simpson has been warning people about Doug Jones -- and his alliances with Jeff Sessions, Rob Riley, and Bill Canary -- for some time. Maybe now, folks will start paying attention.

Chuckles said...

Hell, I've been wondering what Doug Jones thought of all this damn Russian meddling. WTF, now I know. Thank you, Schnauzer . . . pissant.

legalschnauzer said...

Speaking of Jill Simpson, I thought readers might be interested in her Facebook commentary about seeing the Dick Cheney biopic "Vice." Some fascinating background for those thinking about seeing the movie:

I went to the Cinema today and saw Vice. At the end of the movie they talked about the emails found on the RNC servers. So you all know I had a small real life experience helping the press when I came forward locating those RNC Smartech Servers . As some of you know when I came forward I told the reporters who helped tell the Siegelman story exactly where to locate them and how to recover the emails. One of the reporters helped see pictures were taken for me and another worked with folks on the lawsuit. It was quite an adventure. Those emails are at the Library of Congress but due to deal with Crew will not be accessible until 2021. Most folks when I came forward under estimated my abilities to see the whole story of this bunch of corrupt cats was told and it took me 12 plus years to get it all out there but I did it. David Addington who played a big role in the film I explained to Horton and them when I came forward was very close to Sessions, Canary and Riley bunch and had worked as an American Trucking Lobbyist in Alabama during the Tort Hell years with Billy Canary and Karl Rove. I also explained how he and Cheney were watching live feed of torture from black sites and next thing I know Cheney's office was burning down where the equipment happen to be located. I additionally told Craig Unger what to do when he got to Chattanooga to investigate Smartech and how to get invited in to talk to the Smartech People when he was doing his book on Karl. I coached him for Cliff on how to meet their chief election thief and man in the middle and get him to tell all. It was fun tonight seeing mention of the emails recovered from where I located them. I might add when I provided 60 Minutes the location of those emails plus pictures they were in shock they still existed behind an electric wired fence in the basement of the Pioneer Bank Building in Chattanooga. Also when you all see Creepy DOJ guy Yoo in the movie allowing torture know it was I who got all the Torture lawyers bar locations and also their addresses and ask Kevin Zeese and Brett Kimberlin to help file bar complaints against each of the torture lawyers which we did . Including Addington and Yoo. It is one reason Sessions and Rob Riley and their creepy buddies at the Alabama Bar got after me when I broke my neck and missed a hearing the Judge refused to continue while I was awaiting surgery for a neck surgery that required three inches nearly of titanium neck parts . But some one had to see these folks had complaints filed against them to wake their ass up that they were violating the law as the US does not allow torture . Oh well as you all know I am not ashamed of my activist work I still to this day stand by my decision to help doing the research to file bar complaints against all the toture lawyerswhich is one of the reasons they attacked me back when I had neck surgery. When I did that is when Ali Akbar and Breitbart Bannon bunch really got after me and went nuts.

Anonymous said...

Jones' cussing, which is pretty extraordinary for a U.S. senator in a public forum, tells me that he's feeling heat because of hhese revelations about New Knowledge.

Anonymous said...

Jones is blowing smoke about wanting an investigation on this. I don't think he would be pleased with the results if the feds did a real probe.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Schnauzer,

I know you are still looking for a lot of answers to things that have happened to you over the years. I would suggest you reach out to the old wise man in Smuteye, he may have the answers...

legalschnauzer said...

@1:54 --

Thanks for the suggestion. I would be glad to reach out to the old wise man in Smuteye. Can you tell me how to contact him? Of course, you (or the wise man) are welcome to contact me via email at

legalschnauzer said...

Interesting report today from about Reid Hoffman's funding of Project Birmingham:

legalschnauzer said...

The Hill reports that Alabama AG Steve Marshall, who is really bad at his job, is looking into the Doug Jones disinformation campaign. I doubt that is going to cause any bad guys to lose a second of sleep:

Anonymous said...

I called Doug Jones to get a comment about this post, and he said, "I think that post is an utter piece of dog s--t, and I wouldn't f-----g piss on Legal Schnauzer if he was on fire. For good measure, Mr. Schnauzer can suck by senatorial d--k."

"Anything you care to add, Senator Jones?"

"No. That's all I have to f-----g say. Have one hell of a good damn day!"

legalschnauzer said...

New report at UK Independent indicates Dmitri Mehlhorn will be a name to watch in the Doug Jones scandal:

Mr Hoffman coordinated many of his investments with Investing in US, a group led by Dmitri Mehlhorn, Mr Hoffman’s long-time top political adviser. Mr Mehlhorn said on Wednesday he was “not aware of Project Birmingham”.

Mr Mehlhorn previously acknowledged a willingness to experiment with some tactics honed by the Internet Research Agency, the Russian disinformation operation charged with US officials with several crimes for meddling in the US election.

“The Internet Research Agency engaged in many, many tactics, some of which I think it is appropriate for us to mirror and some of which I think we should disavow,” Mr Melhorn said last week. “The tactics they engaged in [that] we need to disavow [include] misinformation and promoting racial hatred. The tactics we need to mirror are really good social micro-targeting.”

Anonymous said...

The Doug Jones/Project Birmingham scandal hits the news in Australia:

Anonymous said...

Noticed this in story on Project Birmingham:

"Dmitri Mehlhorn, a political advisor for Hoffman, declined to comment. Moore, contacted through his former spokeswoman, did not immediately respond. A spokeswoman for Jones did not immediately respond to requests, either."

Sounds like folks are scrambling like crazy to be unavailable for press queries.

legalschnauzer said...

More from Jill Simpson about her experiences with Doug Jones and his slimy comrade, Republican Rob Riley:

Hats off to Craig for outing this was not just a little experiment when in fact it was a broad scale attack that was ran on Mr Moore for months on end by Jones bunch the whole report needs released by buzz feed. Doug Jones is the King of dirty tricksters in Alabama all folks have to do on the Progressive side is talk to me and Roger Shuler and oh my we can give you a long list of all we have caught him on. As well as all the others who have contacted us which have been many. Doug has been pulling dirty tricks to get ahead for years and after being a victim to some of his dirty deals and having complained about him for years in articles by Shuler we are hoping he is caught but he is a wiggling squirming slimy yellowbellies rattlesnake so we are going to watch real close to see if Roy Moore can catch the joker once and for all. I might addI tried to warn Democrats this guy is no good. My first trick I believe he pulled on me was when I talked to Don after he hung up he talked to Doug who I believe called his partner in the Scrushy case . Five days later my house exploded. Next trick I believe is my visit to Scrushy office that afternoon I was followed my car exploded. Then Don and Doug talked about lawyer to get me and they together came up with Greg Craig whose firm just happen to represent Karl Rove but called me anyway and got my whole story and immediately started lying about me in press. Next trick was acting like he was helping us then bad mouthing us until Conyer's female lawyer contacted me as she knew Craig and Doug we're crooks and criminals. Next experience with the asshole was him acting like I missed appearing in DC t before cameras when no one invited me. Ever since I showed up and told my story I have beenmudwrestling with Doug and Rob on the other side. I could go on and on as there is tons of mean shit they did and on occassionally I would be offered a chance to get everything back I lost if I would help them and I always refused. I am also pretty certain Doug was the snitch in Don's campaign to Rob and Bob.

legalschnauzer said...

NY Times reporter spoke to group that orchestrated Project Birmingham:

Scott Shane, a Pulitzer-winning Times national security reporter, was one of a handful of speakers at a meeting held in Washington in early September by American Engagement Technologies, according to an agenda obtained by BuzzFeed News. AET is run by Mikey Dickerson, who previously served in the Obama administration. The organization received $750,000 in funding that originated with Hoffman and spent approximately $100,000 of that on what was dubbed “Project Birmingham.”

During the meeting, Dickerson and Sara Hudson, a former Justice Department employee who now works for a company partly funded by Hoffman, detailed the results of their attempt to use social media and online ads to suppress Republican votes, “enrage” Democratic voters to help with turnout, and execute a “false flag” to hurt the campaign of Republican Roy Moore.

Shane told BuzzFeed News he did not know anything about Project Birmingham prior to accepting an invitation to speak about Russian disinformation at the AET event.

“It was basically a bunch of people getting together to talk about disinformation,” he said. “Part of the reason I agreed to speak, and somewhat reluctantly sign the NDA, is I was told by the organizer that I could follow up with any of the people on any of the projects after the meeting. . . .”

The report provided to Shane and others at the meeting boasts of the campaign’s effectiveness and positions itself as a serious effort to influence 650,000 Alabama voters. It does not use the word “experiment” to describe the effort. . . .

The Birmingham Project report states that between September and December of 2017 the group “ran a digital messaging operation to influence the outcome of the AL senate race.” It claims the effort contributed to high Democratic turnout, a drop in Republican turnout, and says that it “drove write-in votes to a number of candidates.” On one page it says its “sustained targeting” of Republican voters “had enormous effect” on turnout, though it does not back this up with relevant data.

The report also takes credit for what it calls a “false flag” operation that involved drawing attention to the fact that Roy Moore’s Twitter account was followed and amplified by thousands of Russian bots. Project Birmingham “tied that botnet to the Moore campaign digital director, making it appear as if he had purchased the accounts,” according to the report. It’s unclear who bought the Russian bot accounts for Moore Twitter profile and what role Project Birmingham played.

Robby Scott Hill said...

May the Force be with you, Legal Schnauzer!

It is up to us to finish what my 16th Great Grandfather, John Baker, Speaker of the House of Commons, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Lord Privy Councilor & founding member of the Court of the Star Chamber started.

We can’t pepper spray them without a court order or arrest warrant & put them on trial without a jury or due process of law, even though they can do that shit to us. And we certainly can’t burn them at the stake like Sir John Baker would have done, but you “can fu@k this election up” for them & their candidates of choice.

Your continuing mission is to root out all of the corruption & Godlessness in the Kingdom of England, of which the United States & United Kingdom are a continuation of His Majesty, King Arthur’s, creation.

As King Arthur would have said, “The invading Saxon Hordes are many in number & should they win, their bankers will keep those of us who are left alive, chained in debt to their ambitious Saxon Lords.”

We Englishmen no doubt didn’t kick the Romans out to be enslaved to a bunch of Saxons, now did we?

Nor did we Americans tell King George III to FU@K OFF, only to give up our cherished rights of free speech, freedom of the press & to confront our accusers in open court only to pay taxes to officials who are unelected & unaccountable like Governor Bush, Representative Riley & Chairman Trump?

Be extremely watchful Sir Schnauzer, for there be dragons and stuff in these corrupt courts & executive offices.

Robby Scott Hill said...

This post reinforces my view that despite the recent success of the “Republican” label in Alabama, there was & still is only one political party in Alabama, the KKK. The Republicans & Democrats are just advertising agencies, while the Klan is the real organization behind their ad agencies.

And don’t go telling me how Jones prosecuted the Klan or how Shelby got the funding and brought people together to fight the Klan. They went after some rival Klan members to get them out of the way, so other Klan members could become even more powerful & consolidate power. As President Obama, would say, “I’ve been keeping score, Brother.”

Several very important Klansmen were never prosecuted & never had Civil judgments entered against them & the lawyers took over their Invisible Empire.

Keep fighting them. They put their pants on one leg at a time, just like we do. Hell, Jeff Sessions was suing Richard Shelby for defamation back in the 1980s, before they figured out it would be better to work together to screw everybody else so they could afford to pay the fines in case their kids got into trouble.

I’m sure when I go to vote in the next primary, all the churchers & values voters will still be whispering:

“Look over there! It’s the damn Devil getting the only Democratic ballot in the building & he’s not voting for Jones like we want him to, so he’s totally useless. Robby Hill, don’t you fuck this election up for Doug Jones & your cousin Mitch McConnell, you sorry Libtard Son of a Bitch! You know Roy Moore won’t work with your cousin Mitch & will try to replace him as Senate Majority Leader. You are lost & are a godless race traitor. Son, you need to get right with Jesus, before you burn!”


Robby Scott Hill said...

Wake up Sheeple! Big Brother Klansmen at the Knights of the Golden Circle & their Russian Jewish Mafia allies have gots you.

Doesn’t matter if they call themselves Republicans, Democrats or Greens like Jill Stein, the Knights are riding in your community & only you, using your First Amendment Rights to Freedom of Speech and Press and Assembly can stop it.

If you don’t use your First Amendment Rights, they’ll eventually take your Second Amendment Rights, like the Nazis did in Germany, so you can’t stop them.

Robby Scott Hill said...

Folks, help control the lawyer population. Get your attorney spayed or neutered. Use arbitration & prenuptual agreements.

Robby Scott Hill said...

They say I’m not important & I never took myself too seriously, but The Force is strong with my family. My great grandfather, Roland Burgess married Emma Elizabeth Parker from the family of Justice Tom Parker. Roland’s Mother was Parthenia Rich of the Rich Family which produced State Representative Kerry Rich. Our ancestor was Sir Richard Rich who prosecuted Sir Thomas More for King Henry VIII whose Privy Councilor was my aforementioned 16th Great Grandfather, Sir John Baker, who was also Attorney General for the Duchy of Lancaster or the Crown’s real estate holdings. Sir John oversaw the acquisition of former Catholic Church properties & took the title to them on behalf of the King. My family destroyed the power of the Catholic Church in England & burned many dissenters at the stake. We are the Dark Side on Planet Earth. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is also a cousin. I watch the careers of my cousins with great interest because all throughout English & American History, our family has always been at the center of change. Let me introduce a few of ourselves: Washington, Lee, Lincoln, Davis. We are the Children of England & King Arthur himself was probably a Scythian mercenary in the Roman Army during the waning days of the Empire. That makes the Russians & maybe Vladimir Putin a part of the family too. Forget about party labels, get to know the people. I have to wonder just how much money my family is going to make off the American Taxpayer?