A Texas congresswoman has suggested that Russians were responsible for the problems with the Democratic Party’s Iowa caucus app and suggested the party call in the FBI to investigate. How did this take so long?
Rep. Sheila Jackson (D) called on Iowa Democrats to bring the FBI in to investigate Russian involvement in the malfunctioning of the vote-reporting app that threw the first vote of the 2020 election season into disarray. She made the comment during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on FBI oversight on Wednesday, but shrewd observers of Democratic behavior had predicted it almost immediately after the extent of the botched caucus vote count came to light.
“I hope that the Iowa democrats will ask for an FBI investigation on the app,” Jackson Lee said, adding, somewhat confusingly, “I believe that Russia has been engaged in and interfering with a number of our elections dealing with the 2016 election.”
While Wray’s prepared testimony for the hearing, which covered an array of issues from encryption to organized crime, did not include the “R-word,” he did refer to “foreign influence operations” designed to “spread disinformation, sow discord, push foreign nations’ policy agendas, and ultimately undermine confidence in our democratic institutions and values.”
Certainly, the Iowa fiasco has undermined confidence in Americans’ “democratic institutions,” but it has also made clear that no foreign actor is necessary to accomplish this. Shadow Inc., the company behind the app whose failure has held up the vote count for two days as of Wednesday evening, is positively bristling with all-American conflicts of interest, including shadowy links to South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg, the candidate who just happens to have come out on top, and several employees hailing from the doomed 2016 Hillary Clinton campaign. Iowa Democrats have repeatedly insisted the voting issues were unrelated to any hack, but instead concerned “inconsistencies” in vote totals.
Buttigieg declared himself the winner before any numbers were released, and current results as of Wednesday afternoon – with about three quarters of precincts counted – have him narrowly leading Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Mainstream media have largely lost interest, except to call for the cancellation of the “archaic” caucus system – which as some have noted is much more difficult to rig than a typical primary.
Among the commentators who had predicted the Democrats would blame Russia for the app’s catastrophic failure were no less than President Donald Trump himself, along with several other prominent Republicans. With various degrees of tongue-in-cheek, all predicted Democrats would be unable to detach from the “Russian meddling” allegations to which they’ve been clinging, limpetlike, since 2016 despite the absence of evidence.
When will the Democrats start blaming RUSSIA, RUSSIA, RUSSIA, instead of their own incompetence for the voting disaster that just happened in the Great State of Iowa?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 4, 2020
There’s no way the Democrats actually take responsibility for this Iowa caucus disaster right? So… Which country will they blame it on and accuse Trump of colluding with? Do they go with Russia, Ukraine or try a new one?
— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) February 4, 2020
what are the chances that by morning ‘TRUMP WORKED WITH RUSSIA AND ZUCKERBERG TO HACK THE IOWA DEM COMPUTERS AND THROW THE ELECTION IN HIS FAVOR”?
— Michael Savage (@ASavageNation) February 4, 2020
Jackson Lee was merely the first elected Democrat to make the claim on the congressional record – prominent #Resistance figures had, of course, floated it in the immediate aftermath of the announcement that caucus results would be delayed.
Morons! #MayorCheat is trending because Russia is manipulating you idiots. Fuck all this! How are Americans this fucking stupid?
— Edan Clay 🇺🇸 (@EdanClay) February 4, 2020
No results from Iowa yet.Have we just had our first example of what Russia plans for our 2020 election?
— Woman In The Moon (@SassyKadiK) February 4, 2020
Despite a special counsel investigation that took over two years and cost the American taxpayer millions of dollars, no evidence that the Russian government had colluded with the Trump campaign was found, though hand-picked individuals from several US intelligence agencies were trotted out to accuse Russia of “meddling” regardless. This has not stopped US politicians – particularly of the virulently anti-Trump breed – of blaming Moscow every time a vote fails to produce their desired result.