Here’s the audio to go along with the following Talking Points Memo story about an…uh, “interesting” call this Tuesday night with Chris Marston, assistant treasurer for the pro-Trump Super PAC Rebuilding America Now, owner of the business entity Election CFO — vendor to the aforementioned PAC and others — and current Election Day Operations Chair/General Counsel for the Republican Party of Virginia, in coordination with the Trump Campaign. First, here’s a snippet from the TPM story. Second, a transcript of Marston’s remarks…enjoy!
P.S. Josh Israel of ThinkProgress reminds me that Chris Marston is this guy (“Cuccinelli Campaign Treasurer Abruptly Departs Slap-Hillary Super PAC”).
In legal action claiming that the Republican National Committee was illegally engaged in ballot security activities, Democrats are pointing to a conference call in which a Republican operative mentioned that certain GOP ballot security initiatives in Virginia were being handled by the RNC, before quickly walking the comment back.
“I’ve got the folks RNC has hired on — um, to help them with…,” Virginia Republican Party General Counsel Chris Marston allegedly said, according to a transcript of a poll worker training conference call filed in court by the Democratic National Committee Thursday.
“I’m sorry. The RNC is not doing anything related to Election Day operations,” Marston went on to say with laughter, according to the transcript. The DNC, nonetheless, argued that the comment indicated “the RNC’s involvement and obfuscation.”
The transcript was filed in a case regarding a consent decree the RNC agreed to in the early 1980s that prohibited it from participating in certain “ballot security” initiatives. Democrats are claiming that the RNC has violated the decree, which is set to expire in December 2017, and that it should be extended for another eight years. Republicans have maintained that have followed the consent decree, which still allows for Republican state parties (with the exception of New Jersey’s) to engage in the sort of poll watching activities the RNC is barred from doing.
And now Chris Marston has a little, er, slip (see the parts I’ve bolded). Charming, eh?
CHRIS MARSTON (assistant treasurer for the pro-Trump Super PAC Rebuilding America Now, owner of the business entity Election CFO — vendor to the aforementioned PAC and others — and current Election Day Operations Chair/General Counsel for the Republican Party of Virginia, in coordination with the Trump Campaign.): … Kevin Wells, um, was asking about voting machines and SmartMatic. We actually don’t have SmartMatic either; there’s actually a whole bunch of different voting machines — um, but we do not have any that are sort of “Soros-y” machines, so thank you for raising that Kevin.
CALLER: How about Dominion?
MARSTON: We do have some Dominion machines. Um, I’m try – we don’t have a whole lot, but, um, I’ve actually, I’ve got the folks RNC has hired on, um, to help them with..
MARSTON [interrupting himself]: I’m sorry. The RNC is not doing anything related, heh heh, to election day operations. I have experts, uh, on election machines that I’ve been consulting with, um, and we’re working on that to make sure we know all the issues that might arise with any of the machines that are in use, and, uh, we’re gonna watch for them. Um, in particular, um, we’ll probably have some additional instructions for people who are in jurisdictions um, with the DRE and touch screen machines, ’cause that’s really the ones that are vulnerable — um, and we’ll get those out over the weekend as well.