Now that the Senate Intelligence Committee has revealed that Jill Stein is cooperating with the Trump-Russia investigation, it’s bringing Stein’s own connections to Russia back into the spotlight. Various Palmer Report readers have begun asking me if Stein’s recounts, which were funded by donations but ultimately never were properly completed, were legitimate. I can give you a rather definitive answer.
Let me preface this by saying that I don’t like, respect, or trust Jill Stein in general. She makes consistently dishonest and misleading remarks about the Democratic Party in an attempt at dividing the left against itself for her own political gain. For all of these reasons, I was closely watching Stein’s every move during the recounts. She initially asked for enough donations for what the states of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania told her would be the total cost of the recounts. But after she began paying the fees, Republican politicians at the state and local levels in those states began arbitrarily and in some cases retroactively raising the fees on her, in an attempt at shutting her down.
That was when Stein began asking for far more money than she had initially stated she needed. She raised the additional money and kept paying the fees, so the recounts continued. That’s when Donald Trump and various Republican office holders in those states began going to court to try to get judges to shut down the recounts. As a result the Wisconsin recount was neutered when counties were told they could skip the hand recount if they so chose, the Michigan recount was halted entirely, and the Pennsylvania recount was also crippled. The states naturally kept the filing fees anyway. If you’ve been reading Palmer Report from the start, you’ll recall when I was covering all of this at the time.
So while the recounts were sabotaged, it was by Trump and the Republicans, not by Jill Stein. Whatever you think of her, and I think very little of her, she did everything right in the recounts. Now that the Trump-Russia investigation is focusing on her, and she’s turning over documents and evidence, maybe we’ll get answers on why she was really sitting next Vladimir Putin and Michael Flynn at a dinner banquet in Moscow just before the 2016 election cycle began. But her recounts were legitimate, whether or not anything else she did was on the up-and-up.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report