‘2000 Mules’ investigator jailed for refusing to disclose confidential source
True the Vote founder Catherine Engelbrecht – who was jailed with colleague Gregg Phillips for refusing to disclose a confidential source in a probe of alleged foreign interference in U.S. elections – says she was put in solitary confinement for four days in a cinder block cell, with a light always on and a “glass partition” allowing her to be watched while she showered and used the bathroom.
Engelbrecht and Phillips were ordered jailed without bond in Houston, Texas, by U.S. District Judge Kenneth Hoyt. The two were released one week later after a panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals overruled the order.
“It was a very eye-opening experience, how prisoners are treated,” Engelbrecht said in an interview with Gateway Pundit founder Jim Hoft.
Hoyt, in a defamation case against them, had ruled the two in contempt of court for refusing to name a confidential source who was at a meeting in which they said they received evidence a Michigan-based, election software company, Konnech, was improperly storing the personal data of U.S. poll workers on servers in China. The defamation case was filed in September by the CEO of Michigan-based Konnech, Eugene Yu, who charged that True the Vote made baseless and racist accusations that forced him and his family to flee their home in fear for their lives and damaged his company’s business. However, only weeks after the defamation suit was filed, Yu was arrested and charged by Los Angeles County prosecutors for allegedly storing election worker data on servers in China. The prosecutors called it “probably the largest data breach in United States history.” Shortly after Phillips and Engelbrecht were released, the controversial Soros-financed L.A. district attorney, George Gascón, dropped the felony charges against Yu, saying the office was concerned about both the pace of the investigation and “the potential bias in the presentation and investigation of the evidence.”
The statement said the D.A.’s office hasn’t ruled out refiling the charges after reviewing the evidence, however, saying it would “assemble a new team, with significant cyber security experience to determine whether any criminal activity occurred.”
After her release Nov. 7, Engelbrecht said that what is publicly known about Konnech “is just the tip of the iceberg.”
“Please stay connected. We’re all in this together,” she said. “Hold the line. Keep the faith. God is good.”
In the interview with Hoft, she said that the Los Angeles D.A.’s office reached out to True the Vote asking, based on the disclosures in the “2000 Mules” ballot-harvesting probe, if they had any cellphone location data information from the Los Angeles area.
Engelbrecht said they didn’t, but that contact led True the Vote to disclose evidence it had found in the group’s investigation of Konnech. The D.A.’s office then launched an investigation of its own that led to criminal charges.
She said it’s her understanding that the charges were dropped because California compliance standards that require the trial to take place within a certain amount of time after charges are filed.
“Because there was so much information that was taken in the raid in Michigan (of Konnech’s offices), they have not been able to work through all of that and want to make sure that when they do go to trial they are fully prepared,” Engelbrecht said.
“So, it is our understanding that the investigation is still moving forward – they are not backing away from any of it, but [the dropping of charges] was really more procedural.”
See Jim Hoft’s interview with Catherine Engelbrecht and Gregg Phillips:
Protecting a confidential source
At an Oct. 6 hearing, True the Vote attorney Brock Akers told Judge Hoyt his clients “don’t want to release the name of this individual.” The attorney described the source as an “analyst” who was in “danger from forces of the Chinese Communist party.”
True the Vote – whose investigation of ballot trafficking was featured in the film “2000 Mules” – has characterized the lawsuit as an effort to try to silence the organization. Konnech obtained an ex-parte temporary restraining order in secret, True the Vote said, so the election integrity group would have no opportunity to contest it.
In the criminal case against Yu by Los Angeles County prosecutors, the complaint cited as evidence a message from a Konnech project manager through a Chinese-owned messaging app that said “any employee for Chinese contractors working on PollChief software had ‘superadministration’ privileges for all PollChief clients.”
Sam Faddis, former CIA officer, put that statement in perspective in a Substack post: “An individual with super administration access to a system can do effectively anything inside that system. He or she can delete data, steal data, alter data, change programming, etc.”
In August, True the Vote disclosed its Konnech investigation at an invitation-only event in the Phoenix area. Engelbrecht and Phillips said their team had notified the FBI, and the agents with whom they communicated were alarmed by the potential national security implications.
Later, however, after working together on a “counter-intelligence operation,” Engelbrecht and Phillips said the FBI turned against them, and the bureau’s Washington bureau took over the probe. It was then that the True the Vote investigators decided to make their findings public and seek the help of independent researchers.
Yu’s arrest, Oct. 4, came one day after the New York Times published a story mocking True the Vote as “election deniers” for claiming Konnech was storing personal information about poll workers on servers in China, posing a serious security risk.
Alluding to the New York Times, among others, True the Vote said in a statement after Yu’s arrest that Konnech “was assisted by many reporters who unblinkingly accepted their now discredited claims as fact, and simply repeated them.”