What is Executive Order 13848, and How does it Pertain to the 2020 Presidential Election?

By Michael Todd

U.S. President Donald Trump signs an executive order with small business leaders in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 30, 2017.

   In September of 2018, President Donald Trump had the foresight to issue an executive order that would impose a state of emergency concerning foreign interference in our elections. At the time, the executive order didn’t get much attention because Democrats were fully committed to blaming the Russians for destroying our democracy and were not in a position to oppose such a directive. In their wild schizophrenic fervor to take down Trump at any cost using bogus claims of collusion, they didn’t realize that he was looking ahead to the 2020 election, trying to safeguard our elections from foreign and domestic fraud.

   People need to understand that President Trump recognizes how to use his opponent’s strengths against them. To the detriment of the Democrat’s political playbook, which includes a litany of dirty political tricks, they have continually underestimated his political brilliance and winning instincts. It’s also worth noting that many of the greedy politicians that falsely accused Trump of subversion are the ones that committed duplicitous acts that have endangered our countries national security. As recent news reports have begun to show, many Democrats, never-Trump Republicans, and crooked bureaucrats have a vested interest in seeking the president’s departure because of their lucrative ties to the Chinese communist party.

   While it would have been a welcomed development, the Supreme Courts’ refusal to hear the Texas legal case over the illegal changing of election rules in some states is in no way the last hope to protect against election fraud. First, many other election fraud cases will likely end up in the supreme court.  Second, The Constitution carefully lays many avenues and methods for rejecting an election rife with fraud that disenfranchises the American people. Executive Order 13848 is one such avenue, which can decimate the ranks of many corrupt politicians.  

   Executive Order 13848 creates a direct mechanism for the executive branch to take decisive action against anyone interfering in our elections. The document begins with the reasoning behind its inception and the offenses that it seeks to prevent. In its explanation, the executive order opens by explaining that a foreign persons’ ability to interfere in or undermine public confidence in U.S. elections constitutes an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the U.S.” Under this pretext, it will trigger the president’s authority under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), codified at 50 U.S.C. §1701.

   Section 1 also establishes an interagency process for determining whether election interference has occurred. The  D.N.I. would have no later than 45 days after the conclusion of the U.S election to decide in consultation with appropriate agencies, whether “a foreign government, or any person acting as an agent of or on behalf of a foreign government, has acted with the intent or purpose of interfering in any election for Federal office.” Then within 45 days of receiving the D.N.I.’s assessment, the attorney general and secretary of homeland security in consultation with appropriate agencies are to send the president and the secretaries of state, defense, and the treasury a report evaluating two questions:

(i) the extent to which any foreign interference that targeted election infrastructure materially affected the security or integrity of that infrastructure, the tabulation of votes, or the timely transmission of election results; and

(ii) if any foreign interference involved activities targeting the infrastructure of, or pertaining to, a political organization, campaign, or candidate, the extent to which such activities materially affected the security or integrity of that infrastructure, including by unauthorized access to, disclosure or threatened disclosure of, or alteration or falsification of, information or data.

   Election infrastructure as outlined in the order is the information, communications technology, and systems used by or on behalf of the Federal, State, or local governments in managing the election process, including voter registration databases, voting machines, voting tabulation equipment, and equipment for the secure transmission of election results. Foreign interference as detailed in the order is any covert, fraudulent, deceptive, or unlawful action or attempted action from a foreign government or any person acting as an agent of or on behalf of a foreign government. It also includes the undertaking to influence, undermine confidence in, or alter the result of the election, or undermine public confidence in election processes or institutions.

   While this order might seem to be yet another tool to help prevent election interference, it is much more than that. Among other things, it allows for property seizure within the United States, restrictions on access to financial institutions, and any other measures permitted by law. Any companies or persons that have “directly or indirectly engaged in sponsored, concealed, or otherwise been complicit in foreign interference in a United States election.” If acted upon, this executive order will carry far-reaching consequences for those that sought to manipulate the 2020 election illegally.

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