September 16, 2022

Media Matters described the “extraordinary and blatant collaboration” between True the Vote and QAnon as “the election denial movement taken to a new level.”

Keep in mind as you read the rest of this post that True the Vote’s founder, Catherine Engelbrecht, is a long-time pal of election subverter Ginni Thomas.

True the Vote was founded in 2009, after Barack Obama was elected president, to push for “election integrity,” which is a euphemism for voter suppression. But since then, Engelbrecht has expanded her mission and her collaborators.

From Media Matters:

Both Engelbrecht and [business partner Gregg] Phillips are also listed as executive producers for and starred in 2000 Mules, a widely debunked film claiming evidence of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election. Despite 2000 Mules’ false claims (and True the Vote’s dubious record with its finances), right-wing figures have widely embraced the film, which was screened at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property in May. True the Vote has since announced partnerships with right-wing sheriffs groups.

As 2000 Mules catapulted True the Vote into fame within the right, Engelbrecht and Phillips also began to cultivate a relationship with another particular group: supporters of QAnon, a categorically false conspiracy theory that has been tied to multiple acts of violence, including the January 6 insurrection. The conspiracy theory has also spurred internal warnings of domestic terrorism from multiple government agencies.

Phillips and Engelbrecht also see QAnon figures as tools to support their agenda. Phillips in recent months said he wanted to use supposed research from QAnon figures to give to law enforcement and the sheriffs groups that partner with True the Vote. Phillips has praised the QAnon community’s research effortssaying that its “open source intelligence” is “spectacularly good” — and said that he wants to involve its “citizen researchers.”

One of the joint targets of this unholy alliance was election software company Konnech. When the FBI failed to follow up on Engelbrecht's and Phillips' “rigged election” conspiracy theories, they essentially crowd-sourced their “research” to the QAnon community.

More from Media Matters:

And the QAnon community responded, saying after the event that it was now “focusing on” and “digging in to” Konnech. Figures also spread nefarious allegations about the company, such as calling it one of the “front companies here in the United States … owned by the CCP” and saying it was tied to efforts to “manipulate our elections.” They also claimed its owner had questionable connections.

One QAnon influencer’s blog targeting Konnech has since been shared by former national security advisor Michael Flynn and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, both QAnon-connected and election denialist figures.

Phillips and Engelbrecht also say they have shared the QAnon “information” with sheriffs, attorneys general, districts attorneys, governors, United States senators, a secretary of state and federal elected officials.

Konnech has sued True the Vote, Engelbrecht and Phillips, accusing them of defamation and causing such death threats to the founder that he and his family had to flee their home, Media Matters notes. A federal judge has granted Konnech’s motion for a temporary restraining order against True the Vote.

But how much more damage to our elections will these people do and with how much help from Mrs. Clarence Thomas?

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