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Special Counsel Smith & Fulton (Ga.) probes converge on PA fake elector Chair
This is the first report showing federal and state investigations on a new Trump 2020 campaign scheme
New evidence emerged that Special Counsel Jack Smith’s probe in Washington, D.C., and the Fulton County (Georgia) District Attorney’s probe are homing in on one man: the chairman of Pennsylvania’s fake electors, himself a major Trump supporter and confidant.
This is the first report showing both investigations converging and confirms CNN’s report about election equipment is a new focus of the Special Counsel’s office under Smith.
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Two sources say a senior investigator for Fulton County Georgia District Attorney Fani Willis’ office contacted them about William “Bill” Bachenberg, a former NRA Board Member and chairman of Pennsylvania’s Republican 2020 electors who submitted a conditional certificate. He also served the 2020 Trump campaign directly as the Sportsmen for Trump co-chair, working with Donald Trump Jr. and his girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle.
One of those sources requested personal anonymity to speak freely about contacts with prosecutors on behalf of a civil plaintiff’s counsel for fear of physical retribution.
The other spoke on the record.
A spokesperson for the lawyers representing cybersecurity firm XRVision, who is suing Bill Bachenberg and his Detroit-based attorney Stefanie Lambert (also known as Stefanie Jutilla or sometimes Stefanie Lambert Juttila).
The spokesperson said they had been contacted by a senior investigator from the Fulton County, Georgia, DA’s office by email in “hopes of locating attorneys representing Mr. Bachenberg.”
XRVision is trying to serve both parties, its spokesperson says, but is “likely to seek a motion for alternative service if they can’t be found.”
“Got a call from CNN today,” the spokesperson added.
Whistleblower Mike Ryan shared emailed messages he exchanged with Fulton County, Georgia, investigators who later verbally expressed interest in learning more about his time working for the former NRA board member.
Both he and the XRVision lawyers’ spokesperson named the same senior investigator for Fulton County as their contact.
Ryan also revealed FBI agents working with the Special Counsel’s investigation contacted him two weeks ago about the election intrusion in Pennsylvania and his former boss, Bachenberg, a retired cybersecurity executive.
“They were very interested in my former boss, Bill Bachenberg,” says Mr. Ryan, “and his involvement with Sidney Powell and the lawyer they shared, Stefanie Lambert.”
Agents asked him about the Allentown, Pennsylvania-based Republican’s role in the multi-state operations to intrude on voting machines in Fulton County, Pennsylvania, Antrim County, Michigan, Coffee County, Georga, and Maricopa County, Arizona, in that chronological order.
Bill Bachenberg is a co-defendant being sued in federal court for his role as Stephanie Lambert’s source of funds, as revealed in this website’s previous report on this scheme. Georgia prosecutors cited Lambert’s payments to Sidney Powell in their racketeering indictment but didn’t reveal the payments’ source.
Ryan believes there may be a not previously understood connection between Bachenberg, Lambert, and the Georgia payments.
For this report focusing on Pennsylvania, the below visual aid is to help visually explain the relationships between the numerous lawyers, different counties, and Bill Bachenberg.
The story continues below this relational chart:
A phone call for comment to Lehigh Valley Sports Clays, a shooting venue owned by Bachenberg, led to his Executive Assistant Lori Stroll responding: “We have no comment. Thank you.” He did not return a phone call or text message seeking comment.
Lambert and Sidney Powell both won a recent appeal overturning federal court sanctions against them (for being filed too late in the lower court), and the former defeated a Michigan bar disciplinary case.
Nevertheless, both women are under indictment for election intrusions in Michigan and Georgia, respectively.
Despite waiting until late in the evening before exchanging multiple text messages before publication, Stefanie Lambert refused to comment on her own behalf, even to answer the first question, which read: “Are you licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania?”
“My clients specifically requested that I give you a follow up statement,” she wrote. “I’m speaking on behalf of Fulton County, [Pennsylvania].”
Fulton County’s Commissioners told a story their “Special Counsel” didn’t want to answer.
That is why this reporter attended and video recorded a public County Commission meeting held in Fulton County’s office buildings on September 26th, 2023, a week before exchanging texts with Lambert.
A deep fog of steely grey skies and softly sprinkling rain descended upon the road for nearly the entirety of a two-day journey into the Appalachians over Tuscarora Mountain to the historically designated town of McConnellsburg, Pa., to obtain comment directly from Commissioners Ulsh and Bunch.
As of the time of writing, the County has not published the minutes of that meeting nearly one week later, but Commissioner Ulsh has demanded a copy of this reporter’s video recording without any legal authority.
“Is special counsel Stephanie Lambert,” this reporter asked, “licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania?”
“How. We, I’ve talked to,” stammered Commissioner Ulsh while spinning a pen in his hand, “I always deal with Tom Carroll, is who I deal with.”
Rocking back and forth in his chair, Commissioner Bunch only briefly removed his hand from his mouth, where he held a pen to quickly add, “Tom Carroll’s our contact.”
“But Stephanie was also,” explained Commissioner Paula J. Shives, “you guys did vote to have her as special counsel.” She had voted against hiring Lambert and Carroll, later saying she was against hiring any counsel to file suit on the County’s behalf over the 2020 election.
“She works for, works for Tom, yea,” shot back Commissioner Ulsh.
“Yeah. But my understanding was when I looked her up, she was under license in Michigan, I think?” explained Commissioner Shives, noting the two lawyers never contacted her.
Commissioner Ulsh said, “I’ve never seen any numbers” and did not know if either Lambert or Caroll had been paid for the last 18 months of their work for Fulton County when asked. He concluded, “It is, it’s pro bono is what the contract says. That’s what we signed.”
Having set down his pen, Commissioner Bunch replied, “Pro bono is us.”
Election breaches started in Fulton County, Pennsylvania, and its officials are still fighting to keep its Dominion Voting Machines at great cost.
A little background information is necessary to understand when Stephanie Lambert came to be hired as a Special Counsel, and the County landed in a spiral of losing court cases and mounting lawyer fees.
Initially, Sidney Powell directed a company named WakeTSI to inspect rural Fulton County, Pennsylvania’s voting machines on December 31st, 2020.
The two Commissioners Ulsh and Bunch worked at the initial behest of Republican Pennsylvania State Senators Judy Ward—who has offices in the county seat of McConnelsburg— and Doug Mastriano, who represents neighboring Gettysburg and Chambersburg.
At the time, the County’s commissioners served in a dual capacity as its Board of Elections.
Based 35 miles outside Philadelphia in West Chester, WakeTSI issued a report on February 19th, 2021, with a strange alteration reported by the Post.
Under the state’s Right To Know Law (RTKL), Fulton County produced an email two weeks ago from WakeTSI co-founder and Executive Vice President Gene Kern to Commissioners Ulsh and Bunch, which reads:
“Would you please share a personal email address with me? Gene Kern, EVP”
Last week, the County’s Chief Clerk Stacy Golden sent a 30-day legal review extension before production to a set of four follow-up RTKL requests but confirmed in writing the existence of private emails and private text messages between the commissioners and the voting vendor’s senior official.
By July 2021, WakeTSI’s inspection had already led the Pennsylvania Secretary of State to decertify Fulton County’s Dominion Voting Systems election machines.
In response, Fulton County switched to Hart InterCivic Voting systems and filed suit against the Secretary of State over its decision in late 2021.
During the suit’s early stages, the Secretary of State learned of a prospective election intrusion by a company called “Sage Envoy LLC” and obtained an injunctive order from the Pa. Supreme Court in early 2022.
Then, the two Fulton County Commissioners fired its previous lawyers in an emergency act on April 12th, 2022, and voted to hire both Pottstown, Pa. lawyer Thomas J. Carroll and the Detroit-based Stephanie Lambert. Carroll signed a 2020 Pennsylvania Republican conditional elector’s certificate alongside Bachenberg. He also filed a failed voting fraud lawsuit in Pennsylvania’s eastern Delaware County that suffered a stinging defeat last summer when it was dismissed by an elected judge who ran as a Republican.
When asked in person if the Commissioners knew about Carrol participating in signing a conditional Republican electoral college certificate, Bunch said, “I wasn’t aware of that,” and Ulsh claimed, “I didn’t even know he was even Republican; I’ve never talked anything politics to him.”
By July 13th and 14th of 2022, Commissioner Bunch admitted under oath at an evidentiary hearing in the case this August that he personally witnessed a new intrusion into the County’s voting machines by Speckin Forensics LLC.
Neither man answered when asked how Speckin Forensics came to be hired by the County, starting a chain of events leading to a nearly $500,000 and growing contempt of court bill coming due against the 14,000-person County.
A week later, their “counsel” Stefanie Lambert proffered this explanation on October 2nd: “Fulton County sued Dominion for breach of contract after engaging a world recognized forensic firm, Speckin Forensics. Speckin Forensics discovered on the election equipment a malicious python script with international communication to Canada.” (The latter statement about scripts and Canada is not considered credulous in light of other companies’ findings.)
Her entire rationale for hiring that firm is their use in the breach of contract lawsuit Lambert touted.
Yet, just last week, on September 28th, 2023, a federal Middle District of Pennsylvania judge issued a pair of orders that dismissed most of Fulton County’s federal claims against Dominion Voting Systems with prejudice, which is forever.
Gone are allegations that include breach of contract and breach of express warranty claims.
The judge left a narrow window to amend Fulton County’s lawsuit and try again one last time for breach of the underlying agreement.
The judge ruled that “the shortcomings in its allegations are not overcome by the expert reports attached to and referenced in the complaint,” meaning that none of Speckin’s expert reports helped to get Fulton County through the dismissal proceeding.
Fulton County, Pennsylvania, uses an unlicensed attorney practicing illegally, which may be a crime in that state.
Her so-called clients are two Fulton County Commissioners, Randy Bunch and Stuart L. Ulsh, both Republicans, who hired Lambert as Special Counsel last year and facilitated inspections by WakeTSI that led to ongoing litigation in Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court, which found the County in contempt of court this past April.
These clients are so-called because searches of the Pennsylvania Bar have no record of Stephanie Lambert being a member under an alias.
Carolyn Kerlin attended the September 26th public meeting, giving the commissioners five minutes of sharp questions about the costs the County incurred and specific questions about court testimony, and afterward, she introduced us to her husband.
Stanley Kerlin, Esq. is the County’s former solicitor, to comment on the voting machine intrusions, its new Special Counsels, and what happened in his once politically peaceful small town.
He has 28 years of experience until he returned to full-time private practice in 2019, right across the street from the McConnelsburg County Courthouse, about 100 paces from his previous workplace.
Is Stephanie Lambert allowed to practice law in Fulton County, Pennsylvania?
“No,” was Kerlin’s staccato reply to the question, barely waiting for the end of the question. “She never even got admitted pro hac vice.”
Pennsylvania law makes it a 1st or 2nd-degree misdemeanor to impersonate the holder of an occupational or professional license. Sentences can last up to five years in prison. Federal Eastern District of Pennsylvania prosecutors have prosecuted outright fake lawyers under fraud statutes.
“What’s worse?” Kerlin asked, his blue eyes glistening in sharp contrast to the shock of gray hair on his head and the bland cardigan sweater he wore over a crisp business shirt. “Being the commissioner and knowing all of this and doing it anyway or being a dupe?”
A review of proceedings held by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to enforce its injunction order and issue contempt of court findings against her so-called clients shows Lambert was indeed denied pro hac vice (visiting) admission to practice multiple times.
The state bar of Pennsylvania does have reciprocity with Michigan. However, it is not automatic and requires the lawyer to meet educational and testing requirements and a bar evaluation before advising a municipal body.
One of the Bar admission requirements is “absence of prior conduct by the applicant which in the opinion of the Board indicates character and general qualifications (other than scholastic) incompatible with the standards expected to be observed by members of the bar of this Commonwealth;”
Stephanie Lambert got indicted on July 27th by a special prosecutor investigating her and failed Michigan GOP attorney general nominee Matt DePerno for a scheme to unlawfully obtain election tabulators in four small jurisdictions throughout the Wolverine State, including Antrim County. She maintains her innocence in a slickly produced video by a California political ad shop praised by former Trump White House Senior Advisor Steve Bannon.
When Mike Ryan asked the commissioners at the September 26th meeting if they knew of Lambert’s indictment, Commissioner Ulsh twice blatantly lied, “I don’t know anything about what’s going on in Michigan.”
Yet, a transcript from court proceedings 27 days earlier shows that counsel asked Commissioner Ulsh the same question under oath for the Pa. Secretary of State.
Commissioner Bunch remained silent.
“Stephanie Lambert is a crony of Sidney Powell, who is one of the conspirators indicted with Donald Trump in Georgia,” said Kerlin incredulously, his vibrant vocal inflections contrasting sharply against his tall but elderly frame. “Is she going to be magnanimous and pick up the tab? She probably has the money to do it.”
It gets expensive to violate Supreme Court orders.
The next chapter of this report explains former Solicitor Kerlin’s remarks about picking up the bill because just the act of bringing in Speckin Forensics to examine Fulton County’s voting systems will cost the County or its commissioners (or both; nobody is yet certain) a small fortune.
A recent report in Chambersberg’s newspaper, the Public Opinion, says the County’s bill from the state for legal fees stemming from sanctions incurred due to the Speckin Forensics breach and subsequent proceedings is $448,039.53 as of June 9th, 2023.
“The hole is so deep,” quipped Kerlin when he learned the figure, “they have to look up to see the bottom.”
The bill is likely far more after a litigious summer fighting over who should serve as escrow agent for their Dominion voting machines as a web of litigation is navigated by all parties.
That proceeding ended with a resounding thud for Fulton County after they selected Cerberus Dynamic Solutions, one of Lambert’s personal bodyguards, as a security company. In Greek mythology, the Cerberus is a vicious three-headed monster that guards the gates of hell.
The Florida-based company’s Cereberus’ head, Joseph Sabia, testified under oath that he wanted $442,500 for the first year of his company’s “escrow” services. (An escrow agent is supposed to be a neutral 3rd party, not a vendor to one of the parties.)
Indeed, the head of Cerberus later explained under oath that another one of his employees was protecting Fulton’s lawyer, Thomas Carroll, as a client at that very hearing.
The Secretary of State’s choice of an escrow agent, Pro V&V, asked for $16,840 to transport and store the machines for the first year and $850 a month thereafter, with climate controls, tampering seals, and using custom shipping materials to prevent physical injury at their Huntsville, Alabama-based NIST and EAC audited and certified laboratory.
When asked why he chose a vendor that charged 26 times what the Secretary of State proposed, Commissioner Ulsh softly answered, “Yeah, everything I was told it is cheaper.”
Sabia explained under oath how his work experience qualified him for the job. He spent nearly 20 years in the Navy, holding an interim secret clearance briefly before pulling his permanent application. After leaving military service as a runway air crewman & instructor, he began working as a safety officer for The Topps Company, Inc. in Scranton, Pa.
The company makes sports cards.
Next, the would-be election escrow agent became a truck driver, worked his way into a management role at a Pennslyvania company, and then founded a security company in tiny Callahan, Florida, just outside of Jacksonville in neighboring Nassau County with another military veteran. He was not registered as a foreign corporation when he testified to the Pa. Supreme Court’s Special Master Judge Renée Cohn Jubelirer.
At his business partner’s home in the tiny town, the Cerburus company proposed using a ground-floor efficiency apartment to store the County’s voting machines if it requested a full proposal, which Sabia firmly said it did not.
Further questioning by counsel for the Pa. Secretary of State revealed that they found Sabia posted extremely anti-Semitic tweets and videos (which he still has posted), published a meme about the “plandemic” and the 2020 election being a lie because of 60 Minutes host Leslie Stahl, called himself an “election denier,” and stated on social media that he harbored a personal social media grudge by name against the Secretary after testifying under oath earlier that he had no idea who held the seat. Republican Al Schmidt serves as Secretary of the Commonwealth after his appointment by Gov. Josh Shapiro (D).
Sabia confirmed all of the above under oath.
Even counsel for Fulton County blanched at the revelation of their proposed contractor’s horrific statement about Jewish people, the Biden Cabinet, and gas ovens (which he since deleted from his Twitter account), but while they expressed deep embarrassment, they did not withdraw him from consideration.
The next appointment was late at the end of the September 26th meeting’s public comment period. So the Commissioners both graciously and unexpectedly re-opened public comment when asked who would foot the bill for the County’s contempt of court penalties.
“We’re questioning whether our insurance, the Errors & Omissions Insurance, would cover any sanctions by the state,” explained Commissioner Shiver, but even Mrs. Kerlin found that prospect dubious.
Her husband concurred.
“Most of these bills relate to contempt,” the longtime former County solicitor patiently explained. “Those are intentional acts. Will the insurance cover an intentional act and having been found in contempt? I don’t know the answer to that, but I can’t imagine it will. Insurance usually won’t cover intentional acts.”
“So if that [insurance] doesn’t cover it,” this reporter asked the Commission, “then who is going to have to pay the bill?”
“I guess the County?” replied Commissioner Shives, “if that’s how the state says who has to pay it. Definitely not budgeted for.”
With the last moments of public comment, Mike Ryan asked one more question to the assembled Commissioners: “How did you guys get introduced to the commissioners and the County as being screened for Special Counsel? How did you guys get introduced?”
“Uh, I was doing some searching and just come [sic] across a name and made a phone call,” answered Commissioner Ulsh the first time, shaking his head and looking down while clicking his pen.
“Don’t know how I just was searching. I was searching for different things,” Ulsh answered the second time. “Different, different pages, different. I couldn’t tell you what I actually come [sic] across it on.”
“I didn’t talk to nobody,” he concluded.
Commissioner Bunch sat silently, shuffling papers, while Commissioner Shives shook her head and said, “There was no background discussion because I had to go home and Google him myself, both him [Carroll] and Stephanie Lambert, just to see who they were.”
Left unsaid was that both Commissioners Ulsh and Bunch entered their litigation against the Pa. Secretary of State’s office in both their official and their personal capacities according to the captions of the action, leaving open the possibility that the elected officials themselves could be left on the hook for the mounting bills for their frequently failing election litigation.
Here is a copy of the video from that meeting:
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