KLINE: Zuck’s Bucks were ILLEGAL.

Mark Zuckerberg's unprecedented intervention in 2020's election was not legal, argues former Attorney General Phil Kline.


Recent reporting on the influence of private funding of public elections by Mark Zuckerberg is long overdue and greatly appreciated by those of us who have been sounding the alarm about this for over a year. There’s more to the story, however, and the American people need to know the full truth.

The New York Post‘s front-page package of articles and op-eds did an admirable job of covering the scandal, bringing much-needed attention to an issue that many Americans knew little about, even though it was arguably the decisive factor in the 2020 presidential election.

The Amistad Project filed the first litigation seeking to block private funding of elections in September 2020, based on investigations that began months earlier. We have continued and expanded our investigate-and-litigate strategy ever since, with a particular focus on the swing states that ultimately decided the outcome of the election.

What we have uncovered through litigation, discovery, open records requests, and witness interviews is deeply disturbing. In addition to over $400 million from Zuckerberg, The Amistad Project has identified hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of additional contributions in the form of talent, information, and monies from leftist individuals and nonprofits. All told, the real total easily exceeds $1 billion.

As numerous reports have correctly pointed out, there were not explicit laws on the books forbidding the infusion of private monies into public election offices, primarily because such a scheme had never been attempted or anticipated prior to 2020. There are, however, longstanding laws that apply to the broader contours of the left’s election meddling operation, because efforts to interfere with free and fair elections to produce a desired outcome are as old as democracy itself.

For instance, if it can be proven that leftist organizations gave money to public officials with the intent of achieving a partisan electoral advantage, then those contributions are a direct violation of campaign finance law.

In addition, conspiracy to deprive “any person or any class of persons of the equal protection of the laws” is a violation of longstanding civil rights laws. Zuckerberg-funded grants from the Center for Tech and Civic Life heavily favored Democrat-leaning cities and counties, resulting in massive discrepancies in per-capita election funding between the urban core of major battleground states and the rest of those states. The conditions imposed as part of those grants further disadvantaged voters in less urban areas, for example by making it easier for urban voters to have flawed ballots “cured” by officials paid with Zuckerberg money. Moreover, as reported by Mollie Hemingway, these private interests actively worked to eviscerate state election integrity laws allowing for massive breaches in the chain of custody of the ballots in the urban core.

Voters in Zuckerberg-funded jurisdictions also benefited disproportionately from access to conveniences such as absentee ballot drop boxes – in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, one drop box was placed every four square miles and for every 4,000 voters; in the 59 counties carried by Trump in 2016, there was one drop box for every 1,100 square miles and every 72,000 voters.

And this disparate impact was the result of a conspiracy.

The plan was outlined months in advance by David Plouffe, Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign manager who later served as a senior political advisor to the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative. In his book,A Citizen’s Guide to Beating Donald Trump, Plouffe predicted that the 2020 general election would come down to a “block by block street fight” to turn out the vote in the urban core, especially cities such as Detroit, Milwaukee, and Philadelphia. Not long after that book came out, Plouffe’s previous employer, the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, began pouring staggering amounts of money – $350 million – into CTCL, which proceeded to use it to turn out left-leaning voters in cities such as Detroit, Milwaukee, and Philadelphia.

Prior to 2020, CTCL’s annual revenues never exceeded $1.2 million. But it had all the right connections – leaders such as Tiana Epps-Johnson and Whitney May, who are veterans of the George Soros-funded New Organizing Institute. And CTCL represents just one of scores of leftist nonprofits interfering with the 2020 election.

The Amistad Project is still fighting to hold Mark Zuckerberg, CTCL, and the other key players in this conspiracy accountable. In the coming days, for instance, we will be issuing demands as part of our civil litigation, and will continue consulting those with subpoena power, to demand the production of communications Zuckerberg and other substantial players and billionaires had with leftist nonprofits pertaining to the 2020 election.

Leftist election officials in the urban core of the swing states kicked America out of the counting room and invited billionaires in during the 2020 election. Elections must be transparent to be fair, and America deserves to see the records reflecting how these private interests funded by left-leaning billionaires managed the election.

When those communications are public, it will be clear that the left did far more than just corrupt our elections – they were actively working to turn government offices, which must act objectively, into campaign turn-out-the-vote centers for the Biden campaign.

Phil Kline

Phill Kline is the former Kansas attorney general. He is now a law school professor and director of the Amistad Project.

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