Voter Fraud, Italian Satellites and…Marla Maples? – Jordan Klepper Fingers the Conspiracy

By | December 14, 2022

Stop the Steal: It’s the rallying cry of Trump supporters and election deniers who believe the 2020 election was stolen from them. In the final episode of Jordan Klepper Fingers the Conspiracy, Jordan dives into a theory about Italian satellites that led to a Biden win and the crack team that is working to set the record straight: an unidentified lawyer, a real estate agent, and Donald Trump’s second wife, Marla Maples.

Jordan breaks down the details with investigative journalist Eric Levai, Pennsylvania Attorney General and Governor-Elect Josh Shapiro, and Supreme Court expert Dahlia Lithwick, who explains the Supreme Court cases that are currently being heard about voting rights, and what’s at stake.

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In the days after the 2020 presidential Election CIA director Gina haspel flies To Frankfurt Germany on a secret mission To secure computer servers that contain Evidence that the election has been Manipulated these servers owned by a Bankrupt Spanish company called skidel Could prove that the election was rigged For Joe Biden haspel and a team of Special Forces troops to send on Frankfurt to destroy the evidence but in The raid five troops and the CIA Official are killed haspel herself is Injured flown to Guantanamo Bay and Given a Tribunal for Trees it in 2009 Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez creates a voting system that Could change votes in elections in any Country using this advanced technology One of the technology companies that Uses it is called smartmatic which Supplies voting equipment to a single U.S County in the 2020 election the Scheme between smart Manic and Hugo Chavez is a secret and successful effort To rig the election for Joe Biden even Though Chavez has been dead For seven years Pescara Italy a rogue employee at the Defense and Aerospace company Leonardo Spa hacks into military satellites to Change the margin of victory in U.S States where Trump has beaten Biden it's A variable coup d'etat and it would go

Down as the most extraordinary effort in History to overturn a presidential Election oh you know what That one actually sounds pretty fun Italian military satellite Mamma Mia These sound great Oh a pretty one how could I not mention The Hungarian Vector there's been so Many bizarre stories going on through The media you can have some pretty Far-fetched ideas on both sides and what We're doing is simply proving or Disproving as many of those as we can Speaking of somebody on the outside this Feels like it's just feeding into Conspiratorial thinking we're MythBusters great okay we're doing Things we think are foolish but people Believe it's real if we validate that Something they think might have happened Didn't happen then we're not throwing Fuel on the fire are you looking into The Hungarian Vector I didn't know about That one Hungarian it's a [ __ ] thing I just made up that sounds cool and a Little bit spooky This is Jordan clever figures the Conspiracy and yes those 2020 election Conspiracy theories do sound a lot more Exciting when we put public domain Suspenseful music underneath them you May have heard a few of those theories Partly because the White House and Republicans in Congress were publicizing

Them in the weeks after the election to Convince Americans that the election was Stolen and it worked to an extent 61 Percent of Republicans still believe the Election was stolen according to a Monmouth University poll from September Of this very year today we're going to Talk to someone who has had the most Legal success against Trump's efforts in Court to overturn the election and we're Also going to talk to a supreme court Expert about the cases in front of the Court now that could determine how Future elections here are conducted but Before we get there I really want to go Back to the Italian military satellites This is what became known as italygate And it's filled with more juicy content Than a piping hot calzone and the Craziest part of this conspiracy theory Is that Trump's Chief of Staff Mark Meadows was emailing details of it to The Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen to Try to get him to do something or Anything about it I can't unpack Italy Gate alone so let's introduce Eric levay He's a digital research analyst at The Institute for strategic dialogue and a Former investigative journalist who Wrote extensively about the Italy gate Conspiracy theory or as I like to call It lasagna Ghazi It's good there's just there's gonna be A lot of these Eric so I hope you're

Ready thank you for being here let's Start at the very beginning of this Conspiracy theory which comes from an Organization called nations in Action a Group apparently based in Sarasota Florida which published a press release Titled senior I.T expert at Global Defense contractor that testifies an Italian federal court he and others Switched votes throughout America in the U.S presidential race Can you explain some of this for us yeah Definitely so it emerged it sort of in Late 2020 and it's still a little bit Murky about where it came from the Washington Post did a really good Article on it but it possibly was it had Sort of origins in a uh an article in Italian media and then a um an ex-cia Station Chief uh named Bradley Johnson Uh put out a video but the ones who Really pushed it forward to answer your Question uh were Maria Zach from nations In action and a woman named Michelle Roosevelt Edwards let's start with let's Let's break down talk to me a little bit About Maria strolozak you've talked to Her correct I talked to uh I called her number and An identical voice answered the phone Um who said it wasn't her Uh so yeah theoretically talked to Somebody who may have been herself Pretending to be somebody else that's

Why I'm reporting like that's why I hate Phone calls and I like emails yeah so The air of Zoom works for you because You see what that person looks like as Opposed to distrusting but uh but who is This person who is Maria strollers at So she's um a conservative activist and An ex-ge Georgia lobbyist who I guess Was pretty successful and um I think she Ran for office a few times herself just On the local level just at some point Got very involved in this Italy gate Conspiracy and pushed it very far I feel Like if you're in this world you're Talking about Italian satellites those Things flipping you're probably a Character is she a character I'm Guessing it's interesting because when I Watched the videos like she's clearly Like a very intelligent person that's What's also like so there's a little bit Of a you know you have this conspiracy Theory obviously which is which is false But then you have a person who's like You know she's laying it out with Confidence tell us a little bit about Michelle Roosevelt Edwards so she um Runs another organization called The Institute of good governance and uh she Sort of worked closely with Maria Zach On on Italy gate so the Washington Post Had a big article that at some point in Icelandic film crew went to interview Michelle Roosevelt Edwards I don't know

What that was for But in the house Um I guess there was some remember the Movie the game where there's like there Was something weird in like the house And she really like Michael Douglas is Like no like this isn't a real house the The film crew was in there and they're Like is this your house because it's Something and she's like yeah it's my House anyway it turns out that it wasn't Her house it was some other woman's Mansion and she's just a realtor Like in the area And uh it's not our house and the poor Woman her husband died she didn't even Know she's like why is this woman in my House Um That woman in the house at the time She's like oh dear Lord oh dear lord She was somewhere else or something but It was like I felt I felt bad for her no It was like she was just using this House for like uh I don't know business You're telling me this person will put Up an entire false front to show that She's more successful than she is she Somehow connected to this whole Trump World I don't buy it I don't buy it it Just doesn't it doesn't sit well with me Yeah it's it's tough to believe that was Like a that was that just that killed me Okay and I want to dig into sort of

Their roles within this but this this Initial thought was sort of revolving Around an employee Arturo Delia correct Yeah there's um I was thinking about This last night this is the the hardest Thing about Italy gate is I mean to State the obvious is like explaining it The short version is Italian satellites Based in pescara Italy uh altered the Votes giving Joe Biden enough votes from Donald Trump to win that's the short Version Italian satellites they're the Bad guys well there's a lot of players In this uh the CIA uh former president Barack Obama A uh the hacker that you just referenced And a lawyer who put out an affidavit There's like those four those are the Four and so the hackard he worked for a Something called Leonardo Spa yeah he Worked there Um they said he left in 2017 which is Another problem because he when he was Indicted for a separate uh I think it Was like Data Theft uh he didn't even Work at Leonardo what is Leonardo's Spa I mean it sounds like a massage parlor And like a cheap one just outside Rome That like you you splurged because You're on vacation but you don't have Enough money so you're sort of like What's a cheaper one like come to Leonardo Spa it's right next to Michelangelo nails that was a very

Specific uh not this is a hypothetical I've not had that experience I I imagine If you're pouring in Italy and just had Had a hard time on a long plane because Those seats there's not a lot of space And you're a tall person hypothetically You're going to be looking for a Leonardo Spa this is not that kind of Spa exactly no it's a uh some more Boring military very you know like a Military they make military equipment And satellites uh stuff like that like Like a Boeing okay so a bow and this is This Arturo Delia Dalia does he actually Work for Leonardo Spa Uh my understanding is at some point he Did work there but he was gone by 2017. Okay and is there any information that Says that he had access to these Italian Satellites in a way that could alter an Election uh zero no zero okay okay but So walk us through this so the head of Uh nations in action this group it's a Person named Maria strollo Zack who You've spoken with in your reporting What she what's she like well and to be Clear I was telling your producer that Was that was a funny story because when I called uh Maria Zach for comment Um obviously being a phone I can't I don't know for a fact that I can say That the person who answered sounded Exactly like her uh but told me uh very Quickly it was not her

Um and actually said it was her Secretary and could she the phrase was Could she return And I I was I was telling Matt I was Like it's this is a cell phone but Anyway I was like you know sure of Course But so did you ever did that person then Pretend to hang up put on a Gruff voice And then attempt to then answer the Phone uh it was the same voice but they Were just like uh you know can she Return and I was like uh you know when You're a reporter like it's things like That happen so yeah sure of course no Comment And just to be if you're also like a Public figure and somebody calls you and You pretend to be your own assistant Just because you think it gives you Status that doesn't make you weird That's just a Savvy media person thing To do and if my parents or my friends Think that's a desperate attempt or that I'm uh not in a good place well that's More on them can you verify that yeah What jumped out I mean I'll always Remember about that was how quick it was It was very I mean you know you're a Comedian you're an improviser it was Real quick there was no pause Like like that had happened before maybe That's you know that's I mean that's an Interesting way of looking at it as

Opposed to just somebody who's quick on The on the go Um all right so you had a a quick Interaction with this Maria strolo Zach But again so what what what what is our Understanding of this story so she is Head of nations in action what is Nations in action if you go on their web Page there's a lot of sort of conspiracy Theories and um I think they say that Their statement is ex you know good Government uh bringing transparency Obviously uh whether that's true is up To to be determined and so but she was Able to get this conspiracy and this Idea in front of important people can You walk us through some of that yeah so She she used to be a lobbyist in Georgia So she's got like close relationships With um as I reported on Um Congressman Barry Loudermilk uh one Of the top five names in all of Congress Like if if you were going to you know if You're going to articulate what it feels Like to hear a southern Republican droll On Loudermilk feels right it feels feels Obnoxious and white which is kind of Spot up Yeah he's uh he's an interesting guy I Think I think they were he and his staff Uh uh I think we're getting pretty tired Of my emails after a while they stopped They didn't ever respond to me but then They added me to their mailing list

So that's how you shut somebody out but Just give them spam Um she got it to him she got it to Devin Nunez's staff I mean she you know this Thing about last night like the ordinary Person has so much trouble reaching Their elected officials and yet this Person pushing a complete uh you know Conspiracy theory that's not true is Able to reach very high up people yeah She claims she gave documents to Loudermilk do we know what was in those Documents yeah uh I don't know did you I Know you guys are probably always Working did you get a chance to see the Affidavit that this was all based around No tell us tell us about it so the whole Thing is that she delivered an affidavit Um basically what it is is it's a Photograph of an actual document which Right away is a little you know unusual It's not the document Um it's it's a lawyer stating that uh This hacker that you mentioned in the Beginning uh sat in front of him and Told his story that's what it is No one's been able there is a lawyer That matches this name but no one's been Able to actually show that Like Really that he uh that it was that Lawyer so it's not clear if this thing Is even real you can't even verify that That conversation took place no and the

Document you know I can't say I'm an Expert on court documents in Italy but There's no numbers on it like it's just It looks like someone like wrote it on Microsoft Word and she's also uh Maria Zach was doing an interview about a Italy gate from the back of a car in Washington DC on January 6. what's going On there this happened it's very real The president is Right foreign Interference did occur and people need To be prosecuted in our country who Actually participated that was the show Called America can we talk and that's a Very strange interview just because as You said it's taking place while our Capital is being attacked but there's no Mention of it till the end they're like I think Maria's accessed something like Well if they're able to you know get This under control we can you know get This affidavit to more people it's like Whoa like you know it's very strange Um So there's there's a lot of interesting Red flags and characters within this Yeah but after all these conversations Meetings talking to Congressman Loudermilk uh how high did this go like Who in government was actually taking This Theory seriously That's a great question seriously I mean In terms of of as you said yourself Meadows I guess would be the highest

Ranking person to get it But taking it seriously You know a lot of work with conspiracy Theorists who wonder who's an Opportunist who's not well I mean it's Interesting question you say like taking It seriously we we don't exactly know What people actually thought but I I Would argue that part of the whole game Plan here was to show doubt so the fact That there were different threads for People to hold on to to grasp clearly Donald Trump is somebody who was just Flooding the marketplace with any Thought out there so that it's getting In people's heads it's like who had Awareness of it we're talking Meadows Meadows knew about this which means Trump had awareness of this how did this Thing get into more of mainstream Culture yeah and Zach too Um she says she delivered or she told Trump about this at Mar-A-Lago in 2020. I I can't confirm that but she said that A number of times really Um so I guess to answer your question if That's true then that reached Donald Trump now what all this is happening is It fair to say that we didn't know how Much of the voter fraud conspiracy Theory would stick uh these stories were So outlandish that it didn't seem Possible that millions of people would Believe them and yet even today the

Majority of Republican say they don't Think the 2020 election was legitimate Does that encourage Republican lawmakers To push more conspiracy theories knowing There probably won't be consequences and That doing so probably will at least Help them in some way consequences are Like obviously incredibly important like When there are no consequences we're Given a wide latitude to speak and That's a good thing but as you know some Of these conspiracies are incredibly Harmful so Uh I don't know I in cases like I don't Know let's say in Alex Jones when people Are actually held accountable makes a Huge difference they some of them stop Tomorrow and you never hear from them Again What do you think it was about Italy Gate that made it so sticky and Interesting to people So there's a conference call I think it Was on January 4th 2021 it's between Maria Zach and supporters uh so it's Right before the attack on the capitol It's like 45 minutes long and it's just She lays out Italy gate and then It's weird like all these random people Are popping in like like I said like Marla Maples pops in and just like It's just she's the only everyone else Is just a first name so you don't even Know really who they are what's more of

The maples doing there I I I don't know Like uh a supporter I guess Uh Very strange And all of this was sort of to just hip Everybody to the Italy gate Theory so That they had it in their back pocket I Mean I don't want to say that she comes Right in and but there's some hints of To continue this work I we will need Funding Um like a private plane is talked about At one point so no she's she's she's Asking for a private plane I don't know It might have been Um one of the other people but there's Definitely more than one hint thereabout Like we need you know money this sounds Like a timeshare situation she gets Everybody on a conference call let me Tell you about this fascinating Italy Situation if you give me your attention And enough money for a private plan I Have something that is going to take Your breath away in pops Marla Maples There's like ooh tell me more it's like Thanks Marla Marla's been on this for Quite some time her and her family are Big Italy gate supporters and you too Could be in Italy gate supporter for Just a mere two thousand dollars we can Give you the correct mindset To keep you happy from this day forward This listen to the last seven years kind

Of feel like a Time shared like do you Ever feel like that like you're just Trapped yes I do feel like I've given Over a portion of my life to live in a Different reality every year and you Look at it you're like I think this is a Bad investment I think the timeshare is Giving in to all of this [ __ ] that We're talking about it just it sucks to Waste so much time that I could be using For something else it's not a time share Maybe that's maybe what we're describing Is a Time sock we've all invested in a Time suck that we will never get back we Can all agree is a really bad investment It's wild I mean this is the conspiracy Theory that like I think I was telling Your producer like even other conspiracy Theorists are like like that's how far This one is is out there like yeah what Is this Italy gay conspiracy rank in Terms of all the conspiracies related to The 2020 election I would say in terms Of the ones that are like the wildest This has to be at the top I I can't Think of I know you guys have been doing This for a while and on your podcast if There's another one I can't think of one You got Hugo Chavez so dead Hugo Chavez Is a fun one it's definitely takes a Stretch of imagination but there's Intrigue there's sexiness to this uh uh I I'd have to put it up there as well It's also like the little details that

Kill me like the the data it wasn't Enough that it was the Italian Satellites they routed it through Germany it's like like why like That's what I don't understand like but It's just fascinating there's somebody On the ground or in the air in Germany That was getting this information or or Or working through the satellites Through Germany yeah they're saying like At some point they never got into the um Sort of like how the the stuff was Transmitted but it was from the Satellites and went through I think some Servers in Germany and then I guess back To the US So they're theoretically If This Were Real not only are there folks in Italy Who are culpable but there are folks in Germany as well which is what always Kind of blows my mind with a lot of These conspiracy theories because they They hype the idea behind it involves so Many people that even afterwards you'd Expect one thing we're really bad at is Keeping secrets especially if it's Multinational uh effort to overturn Results in very specific States And then it just disappears into the Void which is sort of uh I think people Should consider a major I don't know if red flag is the right Word but if if you believe so strongly In something you believe has happened

And then 30 seconds later when it Doesn't you know when it's gone you're Just on to the next thing It kind of questions like credibility You know I think we lost that a long Time ago Well Eric levay thank you for unfolding This conspiracy theory like carefully Needing a perfect pizza pie Thanks so much for having me uh we're Gonna take a short break when we come Back we're going to talk to Pennsylvania Attorney General and governor-elect Josh Shapiro we'll be right back In the days after the 2020 election Pennsylvania became the focus of Republican efforts to overturn the Results they ramped up their attacks on The legitimacy of mail-in ballots and Claimed that ballots would arrive after Election day and be mixed with ballots That arrived before election day Anticipating a possible Supreme Court Showdown Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro began separating those Post-election day ballots and became a High profile example of a Democrat Fighting back against the voter fraud Conspiracy theater and as the Trump team Became litigious before and after Election day Shapiro beat Trump more Than 40 times in court in last month's Midterm Shapiro won the race for Governor of Pennsylvania defeating one

Of the country's most prominent voter Fraud conspiracy theorists Doug Mastriano and Josh Shapiro is with us Today to talk about the exciting world Of voter fraud welcome to the show Good To Be With You Jordan thanks for having Me of course we were debating a current Governor-elect soon to be gov Governor Josh Shapiro that's that's most of it Right yeah and look I I only require our Four children to use all of the titles When they address me you can call me Whatever you want and well not whatever You want but you can call me one of Those titles I was gonna say Do you also throw in the beat Trump 40 Times in court moniker or there's Probably a lot of people also have that In their their name as well the guy's Been to court many many times I don't I Don't know about that but listen we went To court 43 times against the former President his enablers and we beat him Every time we protected the right to Vote we had a free and fair safe and Secure election here in Pennsylvania Back in 2020 again in 2021 and most Recently in 2022 the will the people was Respected each time when you've been at The center of these claims over voter Fraud for over two years now even though You did win the race for governor uh it Appears as if the state is moving Forward does it still alarm you how many

Voters obviously many of them Republican Appear to have bought into these Conspiracy theories It does but you know Jordan I don't Blame the voters and and hear me on this I I blame the leaders who've been lying To them for the better part of the last Two and a half years about voting by Mail about this phony election fraud Um when you have leaders who you trust Who you put into positions of authority And then they lie to you over and over And over again it's hard to blame the Public I blame the leaders and the good News is we're defeating those leaders Who push the big lie from the former President uh to his chief enabler here In Pennsylvania who I just beat in the Governor's race and hopefully now what We can do is continue to speak truth to The good people of Pennsylvania to the American people and help them understand Reality from the fiction that the former President pushed and get us back to Having a healthier democracy well I went To one of the rallies your opponent held Right there at the state capitol and Talked to some of the tens of people who Showed up I think about 12 people people Showed up that day yeah and after a Minimal amount of fanfare mastriano Appeared and he was freaking hilarious Going after the pillow guy are you Serious

Give me a break beat Scotty beam me up No sign of intelligent life anywhere Boom but even with the coveted Trump Endorsement the crowd was Tiny was it Small because of mastriano's far-right Policies and election denialism nope Facebook The reason there aren't people here Because Facebook is silencing these Silencing yep it was a low turnout I Felt like it it seemed as if you had a Good shot of winning that race yeah I Want to talk a little bit about Mastriano though because he uh may have Spread more election related conspiracy Theories than any other uh candidate Let's go through a couple of these he uh He was claiming that voting machines Glitched in Michigan and switched 6 000 Biden votes who were also responsible For a hundred thousand vote dumps that Were all for Biden in the middle of the Night uh sharing a Gateway pundit post Of suspected fraud issues that included A way for people to search for dead People who voted using something called The Social Security death Master file Pretty catchy he was claiming Dominion Voting machines were built intentionally To rig the election for Democrats and Claiming that acts 77 a Pennsylvania law That allows no excuse voting by mail was Illegally passed and was responsible for Biden's win can you walk us through some

Of these and tell us how how you push Back against them well by calling them What they were complete and utter [ __ ] that's what they were he was Lying to the good people of Pennsylvania And his conduct to try to overthrow the Last election remember he was part of The violent mob that stormed up to the Capitol on January 6 and he went there That day and it's real important Jordan He went there that day not just to hear A speech from the former president or be Part of some peaceful protest he went There that day with a singular purpose That's why they were all there and that Was to deny people's votes from Counting Because remember when you vote here in Pennsylvania it's true in other states But let me focus on Pennsylvania you Vote for the presidential race in Pennsylvania in 2020. your vote gets Tallied by your local County Board of Elections gets certified by the governor And the Secretary of State in Pennsylvania but then in order for your Vote to finally count it has to be read Across the desk and the U.S House of Representatives that's what they were There to do on January 6th and he was There as part of the violent mob to stop Them from doing then he comes back home To Pennsylvania launches a campaign for Governor and Jordan he says in his Campaign that he was going to use his

Power as governor to be able to review All the voting machines make corrections As he calls them and then he would pick The winner that's not how our democracy Works that is not how our Republic has Survived over the last 246 years and so It was important for us to beat him to Just obviously win the election but also To protect our democracy to protect the Will of the people and to make it clear To folks that spewing conspiracy Theories being part of a violent mob Pledging to overturn the next election Is not the way things work in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or in this Country well I I was surprised many of The people I talked to that day were Also there at January 6. it was almost a Mini reunion uh you have been aggressive At pushing back and it made headlines For that do you think that your Victory Is a sign that voters are energized by Candidates who push back aggressively Against election deniers you gotta fight Back against it and and look we've done It in big ways and small I mean I've I've been to the hunt clubs in rural Communities in Pennsylvania and Confronted folks directly and they'll Say to me Um here they were saying to me uh you Know the election 2020 was stolen so I Said what what evidence do you have of That let's just have a conversation well

There was massive voter fraud and I say You know I'm I'm the Attorney General It's my job to prosecute election fraud Along with some District Attorneys as Well and we had about a handful of cases Of election fraud in 2020. by the way Where each of those individuals who were Prosecuted we're trying to cast one Extra single vote for their candidate uh For president by the way for Donald Trump not for Joe Biden but even if they Were trying to do that for Joe Biden it Wasn't going to affect the outcome of The election it was not this uh Widespread voter fraud and they were Prosecuted for it and so I confront Folks with truth and and try to force Them to think about the reality of what They are saying in addition to that it Was critically important for us here in Pennsylvania in Arizona in Michigan in Other places to defeat those people who Continue to spread the lies now I said On Election night when I won Jordan that This is the beginning of our work just Because we beat these election deniers Doesn't mean that it's rid from our System we have to now do the hard work That folks have been doing for the last 246 years in this nation right our Ancestors and their ancestors to perfect Our Union to speak truth to make sure That the will of the people is respected So I think we've done step one defeating

Those extremists but now we got to do The hard work of perfecting our Union And that test now Falls to me as the Next governor of Pennsylvania how Complete do you think step one truly is Because I do look looking at those the Major election deniers the races and Arizona Michigan Pennsylvania here's Swing states where the people in control Of verifying uh those ballots uh could Have very well gone to election deniers Those big places they were defeated but But there's still a lot of people who Are election deniers who are in position Of power in America a lot of very close Races uh where perhaps election deniers Were defeated but it didn't when I Looked at this I didn't exactly see the Idea of election denialism expunging From the American narrative but perhaps Stepping back for a little bit is there Is there a fear that Democrats are a Little too confident in the pushback of Election denialism after this election Well let me say I'm not confident that It's over at all so don't you know Certainly don't put me in that category I'm in the category where we we had a Good day on Tuesday November 8th in Defeating those extremists those Election deniers but we have so much More work to do now I believe believe That these election deniers are Mastriano in particular just profoundly

And pathetically weak people and let me Explain what I mean by that they know It's [ __ ] but yet they say it over And over again because they're willing To sell out our democracy and our Country for some short-term political Gain for some short-term attention maybe Some love from the former president That's why they do it that's the Definition of weak if you're willing to Sell out your nation and our values on Behalf of your own short-term goals well Now we've denied many of them that Short-term goal and hopefully in Defeating them the way we have it forces That next batch of candidates to go Along and say geez is that really the Path I want to take to be successful it Doesn't make them any stronger it just Speaks to how again how can a spineless So many of these folks are letting them Know they're not going to be rewarded For the lie and so I think hopefully This will have an effect on the Politics As we go forward we also need to work on Ridding our system of these weak folks And getting some people with backbones Back in it and by the way Jordan even Folks who might disagree with me on some Policy that's okay but we got to get Back to the point where we have strong Capable people in positions of public Trust who argue about tax policy and Health Care policy and educational

Policy all the things that we should be Arguing about the healthy fights we're Supposed to have but we've got to Continue the battle against these weak People in defeating them in their Elections and defeating them in their in Their political aims did you have any Democrats from other states reach out to You uh to ask advice on confronting the Selection denialism I did a lot of them Folks running uh for governor and other Offices and you know I suppose obviously I'll keep those conversations private But I did speak to them about the need To take the fight on directly to not Give an inch on this you know when they Say that something was stolen challenge Them on it put the facts out there make Sure that you're going directly to the Good people in my case of Pennsylvania With the facts do not let any of that Nonsense stand okay looking forward well Where we are right now Trump is running Again Elon Musk is green lighting Misinformation all over Twitter we know That voter fraud conspiracies are going To get worse in 2024 what are tangible Steps the Democratic party can take to Fight and to push back knowing the world They're in right now You know try to meet people where they Are um that's why I'm talking to you Today I mean you've been out front on

The importance of combating election Denialism you have exposed a lot of These folks and and the lies they tell By you know mocking them and and showing Not the humor in it because obviously This is incredibly serious but but Showing people this in in a way that They can comprehend it uh if they don't Read you know from page of the Wall Street Journal the New York Times not to Say that your listeners don't read the The New York Times but the point at Least read the headlines good at reading The headlines but like you know you got To meet people where they are you got to Communicate uh to them you got to show Them the difference between fiction and Reality and then I have responsibility Now as a governor Um to hold myself up to that high Standard and to continue to speak truth And continue uh you know to communicate Meet people where they are whether we're Talking to them on tick tock on your Podcast anywhere we've got to meet People where they are and continue to Share the truth you say you you went to Hunt clubs you went to places where People had questions about the election Yeah I get the question all the time do You ever change people's minds boy that Is that's a unicorn I can't say I'm Watching people change their minds about Information when you're at those places

Being confronted with outside facts Doesn't always is often met with Resistance and a doubling down of the Things they they think they believe they Feel challenged in a way that I have not Found conducive to reaching a new Understanding did you actually see that In those moments in those those hunt Clubs with people who were confronting You and you're pushing back so sometimes I did directly but what I was really Going after was was not to embarrass Anyone in front of their peers Or Force someone to have to look at me In front of their peers and say you're Right I'm wrong what I've thought for The last year You know is incorrect what I really Wanted was when they left there to be Thinking about it and to process it and To maybe make a change in their thinking Or their politics or the way they might Vote and Jordan I got some pretty good Evidence that we we made a whole lot of People think because I won this Governor's race By a big margin I think we won by about 15 points but I got more votes than Anyone in the history of Pennsylvania Running for governor and the reason I'm Telling you that is not to Pat myself on The back but because it would be Impossible to win with the number of Votes we did in the margin we did with

Only Democrats we got a whole lot of Republicans and independents cross-party Lines to support us a whole lot of People who clearly rethought their Politics after 2016 and even 2020 and Said you know what we're going to go With this guy we're gonna we're gonna go Against the election denier we're gonna Believe this truth and and hopefully We're going to all be able to continue To come together to repair our politics Well after such a a clear humble brag Such as that it I thought it was kind of Chill about that no you did a pretty Good job that's that's what I I could You're a Savvy politician even even the Bragging does come across somehow as as Humble and informative that's good That's well played uh well you're high Profile your success here has upped some Of the speculation where people have Have seen you in the light of somebody Who could be a democratic nominee for President do you want to use the Jordan Klepper fingers the conspiracy podcast As a platform that you confirm Loving hearing that speculation Yeah no man look I I'm just so excited To be Governor I haven't even been sworn In yet I got a lot of work to do that's All I want to do that's all my wife and Kids want me to do and that's all I am Going to do awesome well well thank you For talking to me governor-elect Josh

Shapiro we'll be right back We're back and we're talking election Fraud it's obviously something I hear Over and over on the campaign Trail but Unlike some of the other conspiracy Theories we've covered on this podcast This one has some serious implications On the future of our democracy this Month the Supreme Court is hearing Arguments in a case called more versus Harper and it could fundamentally change How elections are conducted to break This down with me I have Supreme Court Expert author of Lady Justice women of The law and the battle to save America And host of the Slate podcast Amicus Dahlia lithwick welcome to the podcast Hi Jordan Dahlia I have to call out the Fact and you're well aware that you are Wearing not one but two headphones today Is there a conspiracy in this do you Want me to do a secondary podcast on Your hyper attention or are you just a Super big Jordan Clepper fingers the Conspiracy fan Said that if Rudy Giuliani can wear two Watches I can wear uh two headphones but I I you know I'm a belt and suspenders Guy I went to law school and we learned To be very very very compulsive so That's my story I'm sticking to it You're a belted suspenders guy what does That mean that means it's it's it's it's Is that an overabundance of caution or

Fear that your pants could at any moment Fall like what is okay this is what we Do on this podcast we really get into The nitty-gritty but is this is a move Out of fear uh respect True Story I Heard the expression at one point very Early in my career covering oral Arguments at the court and I was like What the hell does this mean and all These lawyers were like it just means Being careful idiot so I think not to Suggest that you're not knowing this Term implies anything but it was I I Learned the hard way that apparently Everyone but me knew that Belton Suspenders is just kind of uh Shorthand for lawyerly over cautiousness Maybe but also fear that your pants will Fall down I was going to say it's Interesting is it like you it's it's all About spin it's either caution or it's Fear but But I see how the attorneys do it it's a It's a turducken of sound and I Appreciate you Taking that shirt and suspenders action To listen to this I want to talk about You know the potential collapse of Democracy it's a it's a hobby of mine And I want to discuss this more V Harper Can we talk about that case itself and What that might mean for elections Uh sure uh it is it's hard to say this Crisply Jordan but it's both the most

Serious and least serious case of my Career it's serious because the Implications are vast which we're going To talk about it's also rooted in so Much nothing that it's almost painful Like when they call it the independent State legislature Doctrine or the Independent state legislature Theory Almost everybody puts Doctrine and Theory in air quotes because there's no There there it's not something that is Rooted in constitutional history it's Not something that's rooted in Tradition It's something that was almost entirely Plucked from a chunk of a rehnquist Opinion uh in Bush Vigor that only got Three votes it's not a majority opinion Where he was kind of spitballing you may Recall Bush figure also not a serious Decision so this is like a redquest Fever dream that we're in the midst of Right now it's a rehnquist fever dream Where he's sort of spitballing hey maybe State legislatures have you know kind of Plenary unreviewable power and state Courts can't come in and Bigfoot on them It gets two votes that should be the end Of the story but instead it's being Lifted up as this important piece of Doctrine and not to get to in the weeds But the real the reason it's serious is Because if the claim in this case in This case comes from a North Carolina Gerrymander

Uh the North Carolina Supreme Court says Oh hell no do do your Maps again and the North Carolina Republican legislature Takes this to the Supreme Court and says We're here proffering this completely Asinine rootless theory that when a Legislature does election stuff no court Can review it end of story is that it we Are in a nutshell if you're to explain It to our audience or even our host Pretend there's somebody who read the Headline of a Vox article but maybe Didn't get all the way through because They're busy Is that basically it it's something That's looking at the power of State Legislatures uh over Federal elections And questioning whether or not they have Ultimate power is that is that there's Ballpark there's ish but there's there's One clarification there's one section of This that has to do with the electors Clause in the Constitution that's the Federal elections there's one that is The elections Clause that has to do with State elections so this particular case Actually doesn't implicate some of the Stuff we talked about Brad raffensberger And you know State electors and sending Over fake State electors this is not Scooping up that this is about State Processes but it does mean that if a red State and let's remember 30 of the 50 States have read state legislatures if

They decide they want to make up new Rules about ballot initiatives they want To do new vote suppression they want to Um Uh uh closed polling plate whatever they Want to do they are saying nobody can Take this to a state supreme court not Even a federal court a state supreme Court and complain because basically Nobody is the boss of me so this this Particular one is about the state uh how State election procedures are handled But one tiny wrinkle there Jordan that's Worth saying one consequence of that is That if they win on that claim you're Going to have on the same ballot that Used to have state and federal elections Complete chaos because one set of them Can't be reviewed and one presumably can So one of the things that this is going To inject into the system is totally Different lanes for state and federal Office okay so you're looking perplexed I'm worried that I've I mean it sounds It sounds like there maybe should be a Check or a balance in there that these State legislatures shouldn't be able to Be the final say what are the justices Stand on this like what is the actual Likelihood that state legislators will Gain control of federal election Procedures I mean here's the tricky part We already have four justices on the Current Supreme Court who've events real

Enthusiasm for this Theory so we have Justices Alito Gorsuch and Thomas that Are kind of like pedal to the metal this Is cool uh and in some of the pre-2020 Election cases we saw them sort of Effusing about how cool this was and Then we have a fourth Justice Kavanaugh Who's done some like chin stroking e Like oh this is kind of I think this is Pretty compelling but isn't necessarily All in let's remember it takes four Votes to Grant a case so that might be It we don't know where Amy Coney berries Barrett sits on this we do know that Chief Justice John Roberts doesn't think This is necessarily a fantastic idea we Also know he's irrelevant so there might Be five votes already going in so this Is cool it's probably coming down to Amy Coney Barrett is going to uh decide this Case that's that's your best guess right Now my guess is that John Roberts thinks This thinks it's too extreme and he's Lots of Prior cases Leah an Arizona case where he has said Time and time again no no no we're not Taking State just judges Powers away uh Over state legislatures so I think he's Pretty much going to adhere to some Version of that this is Wackadoo right We have we made that point enough this Is insane and John Roberts has many Things insane he is not so yes I think It comes down to what Justice Barrett

Thinks and we have no idea on this Doctrine what she thinks well this issue Has popped up over the last hundred Years Supreme Court has batted it down Over and over again why is it cropping Back up now It's cropping back up uh as part of this Kind of larger larger and I think this Goes to your sort of vote suppression Frame what do you do when you can't win Majorities anymore in America right what You do is you capture State houses and Then you gerrymander the heck out of uh Uh your State uh voting systems to make Sure that tiny minorities stay in charge And so I think this is of a piece with a Whole subset of things whether it's Voter suppression bills like you know The stuff that Stacey Abrams has been Fighting or whether it is ridiculous you Know malapportionment that means that You know the Alabama case that that the Court heard earlier this year Merrell Where you have a third of Alabama of Alabama is African-American almost a Third 27 they're all smashed into one of Seven districts so they can't Um elect the candidate of their choice So I think there's all all sorts of ways That you suppress majorities and I put This in the bucket of why do it small if You can do it huge right if you can just Do whatever you want as a state Legislature and it's unreviewable by any

Court and by the way just one other Parenthetical there's a maximalist crazy Version of this not at issue in more V Harper that would also say that Governors like you talked about checks And balances also have no power to do Anything they can't veto this so I think One way to sort of lock in minority rule For time and Memorial is to just make it Impossible for majority will to be Represented at The Ballot Box go big or Go home and while you're at home just Stay there because there's no reason to Go out to vote Or that you can have an entire orderly Election and this is where folks should Think about what happened in Georgia in 2020 where you have a completely orderly Non-chaotic election and then you have The legislature be like hmm No we don't like those electors let's go For this slate of it which is what John Eastman and Donald Trump were asking Brad raffensberger to do so I want to be Super clear that issue is not I think in The four corners of what this appeal is But I think it's of uh like you have to Draw a straight line between this and The kind of election denialism we're Seeing in 2020 where you had States and State legislatures being lobbied by Donald Trump by Jenny Thomas by John Eastman to be like and never mind what The voters say let's do it this way well

Let's let's draw that line so we do have Conspiracy theorists at election deniers In pretty prominent positions Granted quite a few of them did lose in The midterms including Kerry Lake in Arizona who is now contesting her loss For governor even though the results Have already been certified is it crazy To think that whole states that have Election deniers in their legislatures Could just choose to throw out the Results in federal elections I don't think it's crazy and I think in Fact one of the things this Doctrine is Setting up is the stepping stone toward That right I mean the reason it didn't Happen in 2020 When Donald Trump called Georgia and said you know give me a Fresh Ballad of fake electors is that There was no architecture in place to Support that right this case would be Part of building the architecture that Says State legislatures can do whatever They want it is unreviewable nothing can Go to a state supreme court and one Other Point again on this is in in There's an easy way to solve this Particular North Carolina case which is The actual legislature in North Carolina Has already said that the State Judiciary can review these questions so This is an easy case it shouldn't even Be a question because the legislature Has taken this power away from itself

But I do think you're exactly right to Say this is really a building block Toward a future where state legislatures Power are so utterly unreviewable or Even creepily reviewable only by the U.S Supreme Court that uh you should just Stay home what you you say this Shouldn't be a question and I guess I'm Curious what that says about our Country's political ideology and also The ideology of the justices there are a Number of conservative legal figures who Are coming out against the Supreme Court Even hearing this case The fact that they are what what does That say about the ideology of the Justices So so this is without a doubt for me the Most Mike Ludwig A guy who only John Roberts seat at the court right he Was on the short list this is a stalwart Conservative legal movement giant he's Also the guy by the way who you may Recall Mike Pence was like dude can I do This thing that Donald Trump is asking Me to do and not certify the election it Was Mike ludig you know conservative Legal giant who was like no Mike you Can't do that so he's wildly come out uh Opposed to this and in fact I think he's One of the people at least he said on my Podcast like this would signal the

Demise of orderly elections and checks And bounces so he's come out against it Uh Ben Ginsburg famous Republican Election lawyers against it every Chief Justice of every state supreme court is On a brief in this case saying like this Is insane Stephen calabresi co-founder of the Federalist Society has come out again Like there's very few Sane conservative figures who are for This so then your operative question is Why the hell is the court flirting with This like why are they playing footsie With a theory Advanced principally by John Eastman the guy who was the Architect of the January 6 legal coup And I think the reason is because There's no breaks at the U.S Supreme Court because they have a six Justice Super majority everything in the world They wanted last term abortion guns you Know kneecapping the EPA Kneecapping the CDC everything they Wanted they got everything they didn't Get last year they're getting this year So this is just a my friendly allitment At Michigan calls it the hashtag Yolo Court you know they used to have some Solicitude and sensitivity for what the Public could tolerate and I think now They're like directly in opposition to What the public can tolerate they're Like oh 80 of Americans hate this let's

Do it Great this is what what an uplifting Conversation it's so good to hear about The people who are pulling the levers Here okay so let's if States choose to Do this if this is a situation that does Come into fruition what happens next is That it for democracy uh is there Anything people in these states could do To prevent that well I think that you're Gonna see very much what you're sort of Seeing post Dobbs which is blue States Will rush to bolster Blue State super Majorities and we'll create you know Super majority districts and we'll do All the things that New York tried to do And failed to do uh in the midterms but You'll see red States uh rushing to Bolster uh you know the power of uh Republican Uh super majorities in all the ways that They do that and so I think in a weird Way maybe it's a sort of second Iteration of the red state blue State Patchwork we're seeing around guns Around Environmental Protection around Abortions we're just gonna see uh both Sides further you know push whatever it Is that they can do to make sure they Have Unusable power and that's pretty scary The important question I think we're all Thinking about what does this mean for Me in the short term am I going to go

Out into the world and just hear stop This deal forever or at least until Rogue Reds dates decide to reinstall President Trump again That is what we call a Stephen Breyer Four-part hypothetical question Start with there's so many pieces of That I I mean I think uh Uh what it really means is that first of All this is an incredibly abstract case Nobody understands this case this should Be bigger than Bush V Gore the Implications as I said are vast and yet I think folks are just like flummoxed Right On the stop the steel folks I have to Say just looping back to where you Started Jordan I'm pretty Happy about the fact that the stop the Steelers got absolutely shellacked in The midterms because it tells me It was not as Salient as they thought it Was and more urgently and I think the Polling really showed this people kind Of like democracy I mean it was one of The issues that people showed up you Know in addition to Reproductive Rights People were really anxious that the Machinery of crushing democracy had kind Of gotten a toe hold and so I actually Think It's not to say this isn't a worry it's A huge worry because the Supreme Court As we have both stipulated does not care

What you and I think but I do think that The appetite for crazy Lawless vote Suppression democracy Uh shattering initiatives is not what I Think Donald Trump and Carrie Lake thought it Was and so I'm Like I was like eight Bourbons in this time Before the you know but before the Midterms I think maybe this isn't Terrible because I think As much as it sucks that the U.S Supreme Court is an unchecked juristocracy that Is going around doing whatever the hell It wants with life tenured people one of Whom has a wife who is involved in January 6. that's bad let's agree I Think that folks recognize that after Dobbs in a way they didn't and I think That the ability to just sit there and Like take it on the chin because the Supreme Court says so is much I think the taste for that is in Decline Right now I think people are sort of Angry and so I'm not as hopeless as you Sound Well I will drink to that that looks Like a a good place to end Dalia Lithwick thank you for coming out of the Podcast Well that's it the end of our sixth Episode limited edition miniseries Something like that it's a limited

Series it's a podcast whatever it is we Did six episodes it's what we said we're Gonna do and now we've wrapped it up and There's a chance we'll come back because There's always a world in which Americans believe dumb [ __ ] and we want To talk about all of that thanks for Listening this has been a blast Listen to Jordan Clopper fingers the Conspiracy from The Daily Show on Apple Podcast the iHeartRadio app or wherever You get your podcasts [Music]