Trump was the closest thing to a Mafia president we ever had and he surrounded himself with the worst and least ethical people he could find-- a real crew of scumbags. Take like right-wing mercenary Erik Prince, a close Trump operative. Tuesday, NY Times reporters Mark Mazzetti and Adam Goldman wrote that in 2018 British-spy-turned-freelancer Richard Seddon was trying to launch a new venture to use undercover agents to infiltrate progressive groups, Democratic campaigns and anyone who might be opposing Trump, including Republicans. He turned to Prince to act as the go-between with Trump. Wealthy Wyoming Nazi Susan Gore financed the plot that Prince and Seddon envisioned a slimy shop to gather dirt on politicians and activists.
Prince’s role in the effort, which has not been previously disclosed, sheds further light on how a group of ultraconservative Republicans employed spycraft to try to manipulate the American political landscape. Prince-- a former C.I.A. contractor who is best known as the founder of the private military firm Blackwater and whose sister, Betsy DeVos, was Trump’s education secretary-- has drawn scrutiny over the years for Blackwater’s record of violence around the world and his subsequent ventures training and arming foreign forces.
His willingness to support Seddon’s operation is fresh evidence of his engagement in political espionage projects at home during a period when he was an informal adviser to Trump administration officials.
Seddon’s recruitment of Prince to help him secure funding is just one of the new details about Seddon’s operation revealed in documents obtained by The Times and interviews with people familiar with his plans. They provide additional insight into the ambition of the operation to use undercover operatives to target Republicans seen as insufficiently conservative, as well as to, as one document describes it, “research, penetrate and infiltrate the radical left networks.”
The Times previously reported that, in 2016 and 2017, Prince recruited Seddon to join the conservative group Project Veritas to teach espionage skills to its operatives and manage its undercover operations. Prince also allowed Project Veritas to use his family’s Wyoming ranch for training. Seddon launched his privately funded spying effort after leaving Project Veritas in 2018.
...During the 2018 meeting with Gore, according to one person familiar with it, Prince and Seddon said the goal of the private spying operation was to gather dirt both on Democrats and “RINOs”-- slang in conservative circles for “Republicans in name only.” The plan was to begin in Wyoming, they said, and expand operations from there.
Over two years, Seddon’s undercover operatives also developed networks in Colorado and Arizona, and made thousands of dollars in campaign donations posing as Democrats, both to the Democratic National Committee and individual campaigns. Funneling money surreptitiously to campaigns through other donors-- known as straw man donations-- would violate federal campaign finance laws.
...The documents give new details about efforts to manipulate the politics of Wyoming. While the state is currently solidly Republican, Seddon and Gore believed it was in danger of turning toward the Democrats, as Colorado has.
One target in particular was Gov. Mark Gordon, who was viewed as a RINO in some Wyoming conservative circles.
After Gordon won a close Republican primary battle against [another crooked Nazi, Foster] Friess, the billionaire, in August 2018, Friess blamed his loss on Democrats switching parties on Election Day to vote for Gordon.
...According to the documents, Seddon’s operatives also aimed to dig up information on Steve Harshman, the Republican speaker of the House in Wyoming at the time, who was also seen by some conservatives as not sufficiently supportive of Trump. One February 2019 report said that a “new undercover will be joining the team” and tasked with targeting Harshman.
Months later, in June 2019, a report said “we are expecting a big haul, including new lines of intelligence on the Republican side of the house.”
The documents also show that, beyond Gore, other prominent Republicans in Wyoming were involved in Seddon’s spying operation.
One of the documents indicates that Marti Halverson, a former Wyoming state lawmaker, provided a list of people for the operatives to target. The list included John Cox, then the director of the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services, and Scott Talbott, then the director of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. The document is dated December 2018 and said that Talbott was “another of the names of corrupt individuals from Marti.”
...Prince has previously been involved in trying to find dirt on Democratic politicians. In 2016, Republican operatives believed they had obtained deleted Hillary Clinton emails from the dark web, and sought Prince’s assistance to authenticate them, an episode investigated by Robert Mueller III, the special counsel in the Trump-era Russia inquiry.
The special counsel’s report said that Prince “provided funding to hire a tech adviser to ascertain the authenticity of the emails. According to Prince, the tech adviser determined that the emails were not authentic.”
Later that year, Prince turned to Seddon to help train the Project Veritas operatives. The two men had known each other since Prince’s days running Blackwater, and shared an affinity for guns and the American West. Seddon owns a cabin that he keeps stocked with guns, food and other supplies as preparation for a cataclysmic event in the United States.
During a meeting in a Las Vegas suburb last April of employees of Gore’s organization, the Wyoming Liberty Group, Seddon pitched a proposal to build a website where other so-called preppers could buy their own supplies and communicate with each other in the event of what he called a “Black Swan” moment-- a major terrorist attack, another pandemic or a civil war.
Gore ended up rejecting the proposal because it was too expensive-- people with knowledge of the plan said it would start in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Isn't that colorful! But it's just an example of the kind of crap Trump and his criminal band hasn't faced any accountability for at all. One is about to become a household name, as the select committee investigating Trump's coup and the insurrection, compels fringe economist, Hillary Clinton supporter and former Trump trade advisor Peter Navarro to testify. Navarro is widely consider insane and unable to keep himself from blurting out whatever nonsense is on his mind. Yesterday, ABC News reported that Navarro was subpoenaed because he supported the coup attempt and has spoken recklessly about it in public.
"In addition to producing multiple reports of unproven voter fraud claims for Trump," wrote Benjamin Siegel, "Navarro, in his memoir, claimed to have come up with a plan with Trump ally Steve Bannon to contest the election results by delaying the Jan. 6 certification of the Electoral College vote in order to keep Trump in office."
"Mr. Navarro appears to have information directly relevant to the Select Committee's investigation into the causes of the January 6th attack on the Capitol," said committee chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS). "He hasn't been shy about his role in efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election and has even discussed the former President's support for those plans."
Under Navarro's plan, dubbed the "Green Bay Sweep," former Vice President Mike Pence was to send disputed election results back to the states, thereby forcing hours of debate on Capitol Hill.
"It was a perfect plan," Navarro said in an interview late last year with the Daily Beast. "And it all predicated on peace and calm on Capitol Hill. We didn't even need any protesters, because we had over 100 congressmen committed to it."
But rioters disrupted the official count, and when the proceedings resumed, Pence certified the vote count over the objections of Trump and his allies who claimed he could have challenged the results.
"More than 500 witnesses have provided information in our investigation, and we expect Mr. Navarro to do so as well," said Thompson.