Patrick Byrne: How Trump Lost the White House: The real operation, the spies, and the money. The second excerpt from Patrick Byrne’s fascinating account of what was happening on the inside of the effort to appeal the 2020 election. The first excerpt is here, and the third here.
A bit more on Rudy Giuliani:
Over the next month and a half, a number of my colleagues interacted with Rudy from time to time, afternoons and evenings, and weekends. Nearly all mentioned two things: the inordinate amount of attention he was paying to his daily podcast, and his drinking. His own staffers were bringing it up to us. Something was clear to all who were around him: almost every evening, and many early afternoons, Rudy was shit-faced. That, and his podcasts, were the only guarantees in Rudy’s life. …
Over in competence world, things were going well:
In the days after the election people were getting in contact from all over the country. Often, there were networks of people in various states, self-organizing and diving in on various aspects of the rig: what people had experienced in polling stations, what they had been told, what polling observers had experienced.
These people sent delegations to find me. Soon there were witnesses to various events flying in, along with the “leaders” of networks who had found me. I was deluged with offers of assistance: volunteers from all over the country, many with backgrounds in law enforcement and military, were getting in touch through the grapevine and asking to be allowed to help in any way.
It felt like anyone with half a brain could see the Rig, the telling patterns. None wanted to be paid, though at the expense of DeepCapture I would fly people to see other people and put them up in hotels to get debriefed.
So in that first week after the election, I was fashioning … exactly what I expected to find in Rudy’s office. An “operation,” of some kind. We had the cyber-guys already, and quants, before November 3. But by a few days after the election, we had so many witnesses and whistleblowers and people with relevant stories seeking us out, and so many were flying to DC to find me, that we had to set up operations in hotels scattered around the city. …
Somewhere in the months before the election General (ret.) Michael Flynn and I had met telephonically. We had known of each other for many years, as there is a strange connection between us, a deceased man who had played a role in both of our lives decades past. Conversing with Mike was like meeting and speaking with another entrepreneur: we finished each other’s sentences and saw what needed to be done almost without conversing….
Everywhere in Washington is bugged:
I received a request from [Flynn] to relocate the top of that structure to a location far away from DC, far away from any city, in fact. …
Then there were the spies:
I moved the structure to the location he requested. There was a team of lawyers in place there. However, around them, there were a variety of people with no discernible roles and who gave me the creeps.
One ex-Agency female, a large, loud woman, and not a lawyer, suddenly became quite the unbidden organizer. Another participant, a cocky English man with a military background, suddenly announced that he was the gatekeeper between this room and that. It all began giving me quite a nasty feeling.
But after only two days I got word from Flynn … he wanted to fly in and take over, and have me go back to DC to start speaking to the public. We agreed we would cross paths for 30 minutes in a certain location as we switched places
I got ready to leave. I told the cocky British man that I needed him to pass on three key messages to someone I was not going to have a chance to see before leaving. He agreed. I said each one simply, and he nodded curtly after each. When I was done I asked him if he understood. He said casually, “Yep. Got ’em all.”
“OK, repeat them back to me,” I told him. He stared at me, unblinking. “You say you got them, so repeat them to me.” He could come up with nothing. He had not actually listened to a word. I told him to get a pen and paper and make three notes. He did so begrudgingly.
For some reason, I was supposed to take the ex-Agency woman back to DC with me. We drove to the location at which Mike Flynn was arriving. Once there, the female slipped off to the side and told someone that she had learned something that meant she had to stay behind. Flynn arrived, and we had 30 minutes on a tarmac together. We caught up, synched up. I told him that I had misgivings about a British guy who was at the camp, and about the ex-Agency woman who was hovering around me. Then I left.
The next day, back in DC, I received the word: the ex-Agency woman had made up a lie to get permission to stay, but it had all unraveled on her. It had something to do with something I had asked her to do or had asked her not to do, or some research, or something: whatever it was, it was a fabrication (barely a word had passed between us), designed to get herself turned around and reassigned to stay in that operation in the countryside. She was confronted, blubbered, and spilled the beans: she was actually working for someone else, and was supposed to stay down in that operation in the countryside, spying and reporting back.
They also confronted the cocky British guy, and though I think he never broke, I am told he was definitely implicated in the minds of everyone there.
Security walked both characters off of the premises. After their departure, a device of some kind was found wired in one of the key rooms on the premises.
But Trump never got the info:
Soon [our operation] was spitting out refined analyses that began informing and filling up the briefs Sidney Powell was writing. We made sure that everything that was provided was also provided to Rudy. …
Still, back in DC, rejoined with my cyber-colleagues, we became aware of a disconnect we could not seem to fix. The Mediocrity had evolved into our point of contact with Rudy’s team, and nothing seemed to flow well. …
[At late Thanksgiving Dinner. …] we saw that Mediocrity had, in fact, been part of a larger party, and walking out with that party was none other than Mayor Giuliani. I quickly sidled up to him. It was about 10:30 PM, his step seemed unsteady, and I went to his elbow like one would escorting an unsteady Grandpa to his taxi. We tried speaking, but he was indistinct. Finally I told him, “Sir, this is not working out well with your colleagues. May I respectfully request a way that I might contact you directly, so we can keep things on better track?” The Mayor pulled out his cell phone and had me take his number.
In that weeks that followed I called and texted that number on at least a half-a-dozen occasions. Not once did Mayor Giuliani ever respond to me. …
Chaos at the White House, as usual:
Over these weeks I got to know a number of excellent White House staffers. Smart young men and women in their late twenties, generally. Some (but not all) were Trump enthusiasts. They filled me in on details here and there, snippets of what was happening behind the scenes among the campaign, Rudy, and the White House.
One evening, once we were close enough, I let down my hair and said, “This is a shit-show. Is this …. normal?” One of the staffers (and mind you, a pro-Trump one) said, “This is it. This is the Trump White House. This is how everything has run for four years.” …
Meanwhile, back in DC, I was hearing odd things out of Rudy-World. I was hearing that he was getting paid $20,000/week, and there were those claiming he was just mailing things in for that paycheck. However, later it was claimed that he was working for free, and the $20,000/day bill had been a billing error from an uninformed assistant.
More importantly, from others in Rudy-world I began hearing the number “$207 million”. The claim was that the Republican Party had raised $207 million to “stop the steal”. In one version it grew past $300 million. In one version of the staff rumor, the finger on the button for those millions was a high-level woman at the Republican National Committee. In another version, it was all jointly managed by that RNC woman and the Commish, and they were keeping an eye to the future. In almost everyone’s version of the story, $100 million had been set aside for future legal defense. But whoever was in charge, they were sitting on all the money, and I can promise, I never saw one penny of it being spent in any way to “stop the steal”.
So whatever Republican loyalists around the country coughed up those hundreds of millions, in donations of $10 and $20…. They were all fleeced. It was a big joke: there was a pot of hundreds of millions of dollars given by Republican rank-and-file to Republican Bigshots to help reverse-engineer and unscramble whatever had happened on November 3, and not a penny was going to any activity related to doing so. It was all being held by people at the top licking their lips.
All so believable. The Democrats couldn’t have reasonably hoped for better.