It’s been a frequent refrain from Donald Trump ever since it became clear that Russia did indeed attack the 2016 election on his behalf: No big deal; no votes were changed. As Trump declared as recently as March of last year:
“(Russia had) no impact on our votes. Certainly there was meddling. Probably there was meddling from other countries.”
But as we’ve learned just this week thanks to a court filing in the case of Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, all the evidence points to the undeniable fact that votes were indeed changed, rigged, and suppressed, especially in three key states: Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, which Trump won by the slimmest of margins. Michigan went to Trump by 0.2 percentage points. Pennsylvania was won by 0.7 percent. Wisconsin, 0.8 percent. In other words, fewer than 80,000 votes made Trump president.
Back to that court filing, which proves that Manafort gave sensitive polling data to a Russian with deep ties to Russian intelligence. That information was used to manipulate media buys in key states. But it served another purpose: Rigging votes.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller has already spoken with the man who was running the polling operation for the 2016 Trump campaign, Tony Fabrizio. Not surprisingly Fabrizio also has connections to Russia, CNN reports:
“A veteran pollster and political strategist, Fabrizio worked on Ukrainian elections with Manafort and went on to serve as the Trump campaign’s chief pollster beginning in the spring of 2016.”
As Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, noted this week when the Manafort filing was made public:
“This appears as the closest we’ve seen yet to real live actual collusion. Did the Russians end up using this information in their efforts that took place later in the fall where they tried using the Internet Research Agency and other bots and other automated tools on social media to suppress, for example, the African-American vote? Was that something that was driven by this campaign data that was turned over to the Russians?”
If so, then that means votes were rigged. There’s even a possibility that the data was used to invalidate voter registrations in several key districts that favored Hillary Clinton. Not millions of voter files, but enough for a person to win three states by 80,000 ballots
The 2016 election was stolen. Plain and simple. Donald Trump is an illegitimate president.