January 18, 2024
-To Open An Investigation Into Parties For Allegedly Subverting Voters’ Rights, Intimidating Candidates, Supporters and Donors
Wherever your politics stand today, no American should be denied the right to choose who they want to vote for, and in the past year, there have been unprecedented attempts by political party operatives on all sides to prevent 2024 presidential candidates from getting on ballots, and now, No Labels, a 501(C) 4 organization, based in Washington, D.C., is pushing with a formal complaint to the U.S. Department of Justice.
No Labels announced their efforts at a press conference on Thursday.
The attacks against No Labels have increased over time, culminating in a secret December 19, 2023, meeting in which political operatives signaled their intent to destroy the reputations of No Labels supporters and intimidate candidates who may consider running on a No Labels presidential ticket in 2024.
These are very serious allegations, and DOJ's filing of this formal complaint is needed because what is happening to shutdown presidential campaigns this year has reached a level not seen in U.S. history since this journalist first covered presidential campaigns in 1980.
The brazen boldness of what operatives are willing to discuss and do is well beyond the political norm.
Both democrats and republicans have gone to great strides to keep former President Donald Trump off state ballots. There are lawsuits all over the country to keep Trump off the ballots based upon “insurrection,” when he has not even been convicted of insurrection.
The efforts to destroy Trump are unprecedented and did not begin this season, but during the 2016 campaign over the fake Steele dossier. And, when that did not succeed, it continued through Trump’s presidency and up to the present day. If operatives cannot destroy him, they will work effortlessly to keep him off the 2024 ballot.
Alternatively, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and their operatives first changed their party’s rules to ignore the Iowa caucus and first-in-the nation primary in New Hampshire’ results in order to begin the democratic presidential election season in South Carolina to give a leg up to Joe Biden. South Carolina is where Biden’s 2020 campaign was saved.
The DNC’s efforts to keep other presidential democratic candidates off state ballots even included telling them that if they campaigned in Iowa or New Hampshire and beat Joe Biden, the winner would not be assigned their delegates.
Those actions forced Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. to run as an independent in October 2023 after announcing his democratic presidential candidacy in earlier in April in Boston.
It has been a train wreck of political and legal maneuvering not seen in decades. And, it is dirty - well beyond the typical political shenanigans to the point of destroying people’s reputations, threatening and intimidating them and even threatening their donors.
The 2024 political season is mired in thugs akin taking to mafia tactics.
There are those in the uni-party consisting of both national political parties that have now pulled out the stops to deny opposition and to deny the voters’ the right to choose.
No Label’s compelling formal complaint is asking DOJ to investigate an alleged unlawful conspiracy to subvert Americans’ voting rights, intimidate potential candidates and investigate those who are trying to shut down their organization’s effort to secure ballot access for their 2024 presidential election.
The evidence No Labels presented to DOJ establishes an expansive conspiracy against No Labels that began in early 2023, featuring dozens of political operatives and party officials, as well as nonprofit and activist groups including Third Way, The Lincoln Project and MoveOn Political Action.
In the detailed eight-page letter – addressed to Kristen Clarke, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, and Nicole M. Argentieri, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division, cites substantial evidence to support No Labels allegations.
No Labels alleges a group of activists, operatives and party officials of violating federal criminal law, “including the RICO statute and a number of criminal civil rights provisions, not to mention the freedom of association rights that No Labels and all Americans enjoy under the U.S. Constitution.”
Matt Bennett, co-founder of Third Way, a left-of-center think tank, met with a group of activists groups across the board and the timbre of their conversation is vile. The conversation was taped and later reported on publicly.
According to No Labels letter Bennett had a lot to say during the so-called private meeting.
“What we want to do with [No Labels’] donors is continue to build the idea in the minds of the political elites and the people that they talk to . . . [is] that if you get involved with this, you are throwing, you’re really risking your entire reputation and your legacy,” allegedly stated Bennett according to No Labels’ letter to DOJ.
“The intended actions agreed to during the meeting – which included harassment of No Labels staff, donors, vendors, and potential candidates, and the filing of baseless IRS complaints with the intention of inflicting “a huge hit to [No Labels] entire operation,” – crossed all lines of acceptable conduct into a conspiracy to commit extortion, voter intimidation, and other criminal behavior. As the article quoted one attendee in explaining how they would dissuade candidates from running on the No Labels Unity ticket: “Through every channel we have, to their donors, their friends, the press, everyone — everyone — should send the message: If you have one fingernail clipping of a skeleton in your closet, we will find it. If you think you were vetted when you ran for governor, you’re insane. That was nothing. We are going to come at you with every gun we can possibly find,” further reads, No Labels’ letter to DOJ.
“Based on the evidence No Labels has presented to the Department of Justice, No Labels is alleging these groups are participating in a racketeering conspiracy to use fear and threats of force to intimidate and harass representatives of No Labels, potential No Labels political candidates and No Labels supporters nationwide. Unfortunately, based on this evidence, the people behind this conspiracy seem to have convinced themselves they need to undermine our democracy to save it. Based on this evidence, it is shameful that this alleged conspiracy against No Labels and the millions of voters we represent has gone on this long. No Labels is asking the Department of Justice to do a thorough investigation, and based on the evidence presented to the DOJ, determine if any criminal violations have occurred,” says Dan Webb, a No Labels leader who has served as the U.S. Attorney in Chicago, leading major criminal investigations, and as a special prosecutor in six different state and federal investigations. He is the current co-executive chairman of the international law firm of Winston & Strawn.
Another No Labels leader is Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. He is No Labels National Co-Chair, an icon in the civil rights movement as a leading voting rights’ advocate, who is also the former executive director and CEO of the NAACP, as well as a noted author, journalist, organic chemist, entrepreneur and ordained minister in the United Church of Christ.
“In six decades working on the frontlines of the civil rights movement, I have unfortunately become very familiar with nefarious efforts to suppress the rights of American voters. This latest alleged conspiracy is based on evidence presented to the Department of Justice that shows a plan to deny millions of American voters a choice they so clearly want in 2024 is one of the most brazen suppression efforts I have ever seen. Based on this evidence presented to DOJ, I have concluded that this represents a moral, ethical and legal assault on America’s sacred right to vote,” said Dr. Chavis.
Webb and Chavis are signatories of the No Labels complaint letter to the Department of Justice, along with No Labels National Founding Chairman former Senator Joseph I. Lieberman and National Co-Chair Governor Pat McCrory, as well as No Labels cofounder and legal board member Admiral Dennis Blair. All five leaders are volunteers.
The evidence submitted to the Department of Justice also shows these activities go far beyond those protected by the First Amendment and instead seek to extinguish the First Amendment rights of both No Labels and anyone who would seek to utilize the ballot access being facilitated by No Labels.
In its letter, No Labels asks the Department of Justice, based on the evidence submitted, to investigate the operatives behind this anti-democratic conspiracy of intimidation and harassment for violations of various federal laws including:
The letter can be read in full formal complaint to DOJ here.
No Labels is now on the ballot in 14 states. A total of 32 states allows ballot access without naming a candidate, and No Labels is in the process of securing access in those states. No Labels will ultimately decide in the coming months whether to offer its ballot line to a Unity presidential ticket. If it does, the Unity ticket presidential campaign will be responsible for securing ballot access in the final 18 states plus the District of Columbia.
The full video of today’s press conference can be found here.
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Christine Dolan is a seasoned Investigative Journalist, television producer, author, and photographer. She is Co-Founder of American Conversations whose format focuses on in-depth analysis of critical issues about “the story behind the headlines.”