Photo by Marc-Olivier Jodoin on Unsplash

Perry Named Worst of the Worst, Except for the High Court gods

There are many, many very, very evil and very, very stupid people in Congress and Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., wins this week’s prize of a 10 year, no expense paid, vacation in Mar-a-Lago, for being the stupidest and the most vile lawmaker in the land, narrowly edging out just about every other Republican although the Supreme Court majority will win every other week, hands down.
In the waning days of the stupid and evil trump administration, Perry gets the booby prize after he pressured the trump gang into spending much money and much time to check out the latest lamebrain conspiracy theory that an Italian computer company was using satellites to sabotage voting machines to aid Joe Biden in his bid for president. And make no mistake; Perry is not an outlier, he is part of the mainstream in the right wing GOP that is incrementally and successfully dismantling democracy, nothing less.
Among Perry’s squirrely Italygate sources was a fake heiress who lied about living in a $30 million mansion and fibbed when she claimed that she had negotiated with warlords and pirates in war-torn Somalia. There also was the Virginia-based commentator on intelligence matters who claimed, without proof, to be a retired senior CIA officer.
Rounding out this circus of salacious sources was a Republican operative from Georgia who is all in for the big lie conspiracy theory about a stolen presidential election. Nowhere in their CV will anyone find the word, “credible.” Rudy Giuliani was convinced, trump was convinced. So were former trump advisers, Michael Flynn and George Papadopoulos, both of whom trump pardoned for lying to the FBI during the inquiry into Russia’s 2016 election interference. Credibility just oozes.
Perry was one of the trumpers desperately seeking something, anything to verify the big lie. Perry swallowed it all, but like the rest, he gagged and came up empty. Yes, this is the wise Congressman who, as a member of the House Foreign Affairs and Transportation and Infrastructure committees, decides on how billions of dollars will be spent.
Perry’s fantasy was dubbed “Italygate” but after several reviews, consultations with Italian officials, by high level trump officials, no evidence was found of any conspiracy.
Perry got his information from a YouTube video by the shady ex-CIA agent and forwarded it to former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. On Dec. 31, 2020, Perry texted Meadows and said, “[w]hy can’t we just work with the Italian government?” That was titillating enough for Meadows to have Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen check out if an Italian defense contractor had conspired with U.S. intelligence to rig the 2020 presidential contest in Biden’s favor.
“Pure insanity,” was the way that Justice Department official Richard Donoghue explained the conspiracy claim.
Perry and fellow far right wing nut, Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano, relied on a septic tank full of conspiracy theories as they pressed top law enforcement officials to investigate the state’s 2020 election results. Mastriano won the recent GOP primary for Pennsylvania governor.
Perry also introduced trump to Jeffrey Clark, a low level government lawyer, who became a major figure in advising trump on his big lie. Trump wanted to fire Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, who did not support the big lie, and replace him with Clark but advisors said they would quit the government en masse if the unqualified Clark was named to lead the Justice Department.
Perry has defied a request to provide information to the House panel probing the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection by a pro-Trump mob.
The five-term congressman is the incoming chairman of the hard-right House Freedom Caucus, with fellow big liars, Rep. Paul A. Gosar, R-Ariz., Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala. and other unseemly characters.
Perry has made a cottage industry out of opposing anything good. He was among 18 House Republicans to vote against a resolution condemning QAnon; he voted against the Violence Against Women Act; he opposed the Covid-19 Hate Crimes act, which called for protecting Asian Americans amid a rise in hate crimes during the pandemic; he accused Rep. Ilhan Omar D-Minn., a Muslim, of sympathizing with terrorists; and he questioned the worth of masks and vaccines to fight COVID-19.
Before the big lie, Perry made a career out of conspiracy theories, from claims that a Pakistani American stole government secrets while a member of the staff of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla. The staff was later cleared of any shenanigans. Perry also said former CNN host Chris Cuomo exaggerated the lack of water and electricity in hurricane-devastated Puerto Rico. Hurricane Maria was later tied to nearly 3,000 deaths. In January 2018, Perry said he believed there was an Islamic State connection to the mass shooting in Las Vegas in 2017, even though law enforcement said the the accused gunman was working alone.
Here are the main wahoo players in Italygate.
Brad Johnson claims that he served as senior operations officer and chief of station with the Central Intelligence Agency’s Directorate of Operations and is now the president of a group called “Americans for Intelligence Reform,” according to his LinkedIn page. The rabidly pro-trump group says it is “actively working with U.S. policy makers & many others who are concerned with our National Security to make America safe, strong & free.”
In the YouTube that caught Perry’s and later, trump’s attention, Johnson said, without substantiation, “The U.S. elections were changed, the results were changed in those five or six key states, then all of those voting machines were hooked up to the internet. The internet then was used to download that information to these famous servers in Germany.”
“So from there, those were uploaded and sent to Rome, and this is where this took place. Once they created all the new data and manipulated all the data that was there, they sent these new numbers back up through this military satellite (…) and back down to all the machines here in the United States in those five or six states.” Voila Italygate.
Johnson referred to an Italian defense contractor who had allegedly provided the satellite hookups. Italian prosecutors are investigating if false claims were made against the defense contractor.
Another player in the cast of unscrupulous clowns is Kashyap Pramod “Kash” Patel, chief of staff to the Acting U.S. Secretary of Defense under trump. Acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue testified before the House panel looking into the Jan. 6 riot that he received a call from Patel. “and he brought up Italygate and I told him that the guy in the video had been arrested in Italy b/c of stealing computer data and the video was absurd and that the DOJ didn’t want to have anything to do with it.”
As an aide to former Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., Patel played a key role in helping Republican attempts to fight the investigations into Donald Trump and Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Maria Strollo Zack, 75, founder of the group “Nations in ACTION,” has been telling anyone who will listen about Italygate, claiming she forwarded information to the “top lawyer of Italy.” Zack claims she told trump about the conspiracy theory on Christmas Eve, 2020, at Mar-a-Lago. Zack formed a PAC in 2016 to back Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential bid and later she switched to support trump, totally.
On Jan. 6, 2021, the day of the attempted coup at the Capital, Zack’s nonprofit, “Nations in Action,” released a statement claiming that it had conducted an election-fraud investigation with the “Institute for Good Governance,” run by a Virginia woman, Michele Roosevelt Edwards, and that they found “the long awaited proof that a flawless plot to take down America was executed with extraordinary resources and global involvement.” Four days later, the Institute for Good Governance claimed in a statement that a “Senior IT Expert at Global Defense Contractor Testifies in Italian Federal Court; He and Others Switched Votes throughout America in the U.S. Presidential Race.” None of this could be verified.
Edwards is a former Republican congressional candidate who has claimed in the past to have negotiated with warlords and pirates in war-torn Somalia. Late last December, Meadows emailed acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen a letter from USAerospace Partners, an obscure Virginia aviation company also owned by Edwards. The letter claimed an Italian defense contractor had conspired with U.S. intelligence to rig the 2020 presidential contest. The Institute for Good Governance, and “Nations in ACTION” released a statement allegedly from an Italian attorney who claimed that a hacker had admitted involvement in the supposed conspiracy.
The Institute for Good Governance’s registered headquarters since late last year has been the North Wales Farm, a 22-bedroom mansion in Warrenton, Va., state records show. The property is owned by the widow of David B.Ford, a retired financier and is listed for sale at just under $30 million. Edwards had claimed that she owned the mansion but records showed otherwise.
In March, Zack testified before the Kansas state Legislature about Italygate and other alleged findings of alleged voter fraud nationally and in Kansas. She caught the interest of Kansas State Senator Dennis Pyle, a right wing, conservative grain and livestock farmer and graduate of Grace Bible College, a correspondence program “to prepare students for discipleship and for introductory training in the ministry of the Gospel.” Pyle has since switched from Republican to unaffiliated in his run for governor.
After hearing Zack’s testimony, Pyle claimed that various intelligence reports have indicated evidence of foreign election interference in the U.S. voting process, including infiltration by China. He did not cite the specific reports.
“Americans demand the truth about the depth of the interference and numbers of races impacted,” Pyle said. “Regardless of party, Democrats, Republicans, and Independents all agree that stealing votes and government concealing it is morally and ethically reprehensible. Politicians need to step up.”
Under pressure by Zack and Pyle, in April, the Kansas bipartisan Legislative Joint House & Senate Committee commissioned an election system audit. Pyle said the investigation is expected to take seven months with five major categories and will report back to the committee.
Contrary to Zack’s and Pyle’s claims, the Kansas State Board of Canvassers met in November 2020 and found that the record-breaking 2020 general election avoided any major issues or discrepancies despite unpredictable circumstances amid COVID-19.
Nations in ACTION is planning a “Solutions ad Strategy Summit” for July 4 in Atlanta, Ga. Zack will lead the program with speakers including Arizona State Rep. Mark Finchem, a far right wing Republican who is a member of the militia group Oath Keepers, has espoused the QAnon conspiracy theory and is a candidate in the 2022 race for Arizona Secretary of State. Other speakers include James Grundvig, conspiracist, anti vaxxer; Michelle Swinick, right wing blogger, conspiracist, anti vaxxer; Leigh Valentine: conservativre religious program host, faith healer; and Meri Couley, anti vaxxer, conservative evangelical.
Nations in ACTION Inc. is a non-profit based in Sarasota, Fla. One of its officers is Hans A. Von Spakovsky, listed as a “previous director for Nations in Action Globally Lifting up Fund Inc.” Spakovsky played an important role in making unfounded concern about voter fraud mainstream in the Republican Party. He has claimed that voting fraud is rampant, although experts have found it to be replete with misleading statistics.
On June 29, 2017, trump appointed Von Spakovsky to the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, formed to search into unfounded allegations of widespread fraud in the 2016 presidential election. The allegations and the investigation led to nothing. Spakovsky calls climate change “a contentious and unproven scientific theory.” He also praised trump’s executive order banning travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries.
An organization called “Trump Train News,” began publicizing claims about Italygate just two days after the Jan. 6 insurrection. A post on Rumble by Trump Train News referred to an interview with Zack and said that Italygate “may be the BIGGEST story of the year. President Trump was right, there was foreign interference in the election. Affidavits were submitted at 1:30 pm 1–7–2021. Here it is, the BOMBSHELL American’s have been waiting for…”
The website of Trump Train News, formed in 2016, says it is “dedicated to covering the latest news concerning politics, government, and all things Trump.”
Mediabias fact check said Trump Train News is a “a hyper-partisan conservative, Pro-Trump website.” The non-partisan fact check site rated Trump Train News “questionable due to extreme right-wing bias, promotion of propaganda through covering only one side, a complete lack of transparency, and failed fact checks.”
Other Trump Train News stories included one by Lin Wood, a trump lawyer who called for the imprisonment of Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, based on the conspiracy theory that the two Republican officials worked with the Chinese to help rig the vote for Biden. In August 2021, U.S. District Judge Linda Parker formally sanctioned Wood and eight other pro-Trump lawyers for their suit seeking to overturn Trump’s election loss. The court determined that the nine attorneys had participated in “a historic and profound abuse of the judicial process,” namely filing a baseless, frivolous lawsuit in order to undermine public confidence in the democratic process.
The Wood story in Trump Train News on April 18, 2021, was titled, “SAVE THE CHILDREN: Lin Wood Gives Fiery Speech About Child Sex Trafficking.” The disgraced lawyer published another column in Trump Train News on March 18, 2021, under the headline, “BOMBSHELL: Survivor of the Cabal’s Satanic Pedophile Ring Speaks Out.”
Wood spoke about his fealty to trump in a June 24, 2022, posting on Telegram. It said:
“President Trump has a history of doing his best to keep his promises.
He does not overpromise and under-deliver. He does his very best to keep his promises despite fierce opposition from the enemy.
I believe President Trump will do his very best to drain the swamp and end human trafficking.
I also believe he will do his very best to convince and motivate We The People to put America First in order to Make America Great Again. If We The People do so, We The People will Save America.
My support for President Trump is unwavering.
My trust in the LORD shall never waver.
Jesus Christ is our LORD and our SAVIOR.
President Trump is our President because We The People elected him to lead us.
Jesus Christ is the King of Kings because He created us and only He can save us and restore our nation. His will shall be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. Until He returns, His will on Earth is done through the Holy Spirit.
Almighty God, the Creator of everything, is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. He is the Alpha and the Omega. The beginning and the end.
With God, the best is always yet to come.
Rest well tonight.
God bless each of you.
And God bless the United States of America.”

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Phil Garber

Phil Garber

Journalist for 40 years and now a creative writer