Briefly, here's what I maintained regarding the purported "raid" in Germany in which servers said to be relevant to the 2020 US election were seized from a Scytl facility in or near Frankfurt. My view was that such an operation--in which private property on German soil was seized--would have had to have been handled through legal channels between the US government and the German government. Since the private property would have been seized for use as evidence in a criminal investigation, proper US warrants would have had to have been obtained and those warrants would have had to conform to German law, as well. To me, that meant that DoJ/FBI--both of which have considerable expertise in such matters--would have taken the lead, which possible assists from DoS.
The question remaining, of course, was: Did any of this actually happen in the real world? The persons supporting the narrative that this did happen--including Sidney Powell--appeared to me to be credible, yet one would have expected some further confirmation. So far there really hasn't been any.
This morning Larry Johnson, former CIA analyst, has weighed in with a thought provoking account in which he claims he was "reliably informed" of what he says--presumably by former colleagues: Unraveling the Deep State Coup. (h/t "j") I refer you to the full blog for all details, but here's the short version.
The core of Johnson's account is that the servers in question were not owned by private companies: Dominion or Scytl, or anyone else. Rather, they were owned by CIA. That, of course, would put an entirely different light on the legalities that would have been in play. If the Scytl facility were US government property, and if the personnel effecting the seizure of the servers were proceeding in accordance with valid orders, there would have been no need for German government involvement. Here's how Johnson puts that:
I am reliably informed that a unit under the command of USEUCOM (i.e., United States European Command) did in fact conduct an operation to take control of computer servers. But these servers belong to the CIA, not Dominion or Sctyl. The U.S. military has full authority to do this because any CIA activity in the European theater is being conducted using military cover. In other words, CIA officers would be identified to the German government (and anyone else asking) as military employees or consultants.
This is, in concept, absolutely true. Again, the question remains, did this actually happen in the real world? Johnson says he has been "reliably informed" that it did.
If this did happen, like me, Johnson maintains that US law enforcement would have been involved to take custody--in order to maintain the chain of custody of the evidence for possible use in a US court:
Such an operation would have been carried out with U.S. law enforcement present to take custody of the evidence. That means that the evidence will be under the control of the Department of Justice through US Attorneys and can be used in court or other judicial proceedings.
So far, so good. All bases are covered from a legal standpoint. However, Johnson goes further. Much further:
I also have confirmed what Jim Hoft reported the other night–the CIA’s Gina Haspel was not informed in advance of this operation. Based on this fact, I think it is correct that action was taken in Germany on territory under U.S. control and that a CIA facility was targeted.
I also have learned that FBI Director Christopher Wray was excluded from this operation. Wray, more than Haspel, has been working aggressively to undermine and sabotage Donald Trump. This means that some other U.S. law enforcement agency (e.g., US Marshals, DEA, Secret Service, etc) had the lead in collecting the evidence.
Quite frankly, I don't have knowledge of what legal issues would be involved here when it came to circumventing the normal chain of command. I assume that there are provisions for doing so. If I'm correct, that would mean that there would not necessarily be a need to use other law enforcement agencies than the FBI. The shorter chain of operational command and custody is always preferable.
Be that as it may be, the real bombshell in all this would be the exclusion of the Directors of the CIA and FBI from advance knowledge of the operation.
Having gone this far, Johnson then appeals to the credibility of Sidney Powell--as I have done. It is a fact that Powell told Maria Bartiromo yesterday: "I never say anything I can't prove." Moreover, both Powell and Giuliani have repeatedly hinted that they know something about actions taken by components of the US Intel Community which they are not at liberty to discuss. That stance by the two Trump lawyers has been consistent, and in a sense Powell doubled down yesterday when she called for Haspel's immediate firing--for unspecified reasons, although one assumes those reasons relate to the election. Which would fit perfectly with Johnson's reports. So, Johnson adds:
Sidney Powell is a serious lawyer. She is not going to make a false claim. Period. She embodies honesty and integrity. Given her recent statements on Maria Bartoromo and Lou Dobbs and Eric Bolling, she clearly knows that evidence is being collected that will prove beyond reasonable doubt (i.e., the type of evidence required to obtain a criminal conviction) that the CIA had some sort of nefarious relationship with Dominion Software and that Dominion Software was being used abroad and in the United States to conduct voter fraud.
It's also worth noting that Powell yesterday stated that the evidence the Trump team will assemble is "going to blow the mind of everyone in this country." The blowing of minds is a relative concept. Learning that election fraud takes place in the United States would not blow my mind. Learning that it took place on the scale alleged would certainly shock me deeply. Mind blowing? That's hard to say. Learning that the top leadership of the Intel agencies may have been complicit ... beyond doubt that gets me, at any rate, into the realm of the mind blowing.
Final question: Did this happen in the real world? That's what we're all waiting to find out. It remains difficult for me to believe that Giuliani and Powell would be making reckless suggestions that would certainly come back to bite them in court. The shuffling of management at key agencies, the consultations that have taken place, all point to something far out of the ordinary taking place behind the scenes. So, too, does Trump's calm demeanor.
ADDENDUM: From a comment at the link:
Germany, along with most other countries around the world prohibit or severely limit "electronic voting" Declared it was too vulnerable to fraud and hacking after trying this method - now paper ballots only.
So why for 2020, suddenly the big push in the US to get everyone to vote electronically, after decades of failed practices elsewhere in the world? Purveyed by many of the same player foisted on the US election systems.
This voting process was rejected elsewhere because it undermined trust in these country's election integrity:
We got sold a pig in a poke this year. Or a donkey's rear end.