Fired election security expert defends 2020 election before the Senate

Christopher Krebs Chris Krebs
Posted at 4:51 PM, Dec 16, 2020

Chris Krebs, the now fired Homeland Security cybersecurity expert who debunked claims of a rigged election, testified before a Senate panel on Wednesday, reiterating that the 2020 election was fair and that there was no credible evidence of widespread fraud.

Krebs, who was assigned to head Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency by the Trump administration in 2018, was fired last month after his agency co-signed a statement defending the 2020 election process. President Donald Trump and Republican allies have continued to claim that the election was rigged and that President-elect Joe Biden was not the rightful winner, despite dozens of court rulings by both Democratic and Republican-appointed judges that repudiate these claims.

Krebs conceded that the election system has vulnerabilities, but added that voters should have faith that election canvassing and auditing measures confirm that the election was fair.

Krebs went on to say that allegations that voting machines were rigged are baseless, a claim backed up in recent court rulings.

“The allegations being thrown around about manipulation of the equipment used in the election are baseless,” Krebs said. “These claims are not only inaccurate and ‘technically incoherent,’ according to 59 election security experts, but they are also dangerous and only serve to confuse, scare, and ultimately undermine confidence in the election. All authorities and elected officials in positions of power or influence have a duty to reinforce to the American people that these claims are false.”

Donald Palmer, the vice chairman of the US Election Assistance Commission, expressed confidence that the integrity of the 2020 election system was not compromised.

“Let me be clear, the EAC has confidence in the voting systems we certify and in the state and local election administrators who ran the 2020 election; first and foremost, due to the process voting system manufacturers must undergo to receive federal certification,” Palmer said.

Meanwhile, several backers of the president were also invited to deliver testimony to the Republican-led Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. One of whom was attorney Jesse Binnall, who has defended the Trump campaign in court, and provided frequent contributions to Trump and Republicans during the 2020 campaign. Binnall claimed that 42,000 Nevada voters submitted more than one ballot, and that 1,500 dead people voted in the election.

But last week, Nevada’s Supreme Court rejected those findings with prejudice, adding that the claims were not backed with facts.

“To prevail on this appeal, appellants must demonstrate error of law, findings of fact not supported by substantial evidence or an abuse of discretion in the admission or rejection of evidence by the district court,” court order said. “We are not convinced they have done so.”

Biden’s victory in the 2020 election was locked up on Monday when he picked up 306 Electoral College votes, 36 more than needed to become the president on January 20.

Last month, Krebs' agency issued a joint statement that described the presidential election as the “most secure in American history.”

The letter was signed by leaders of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission and the National Association of State Election Directors, among others. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency was established two years ago as a branch of Homeland Security during the Trump administration.

In bold, the authors of the statement wrote, “There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.” This statement matches those from secretaries of state and boards of election throughout the US.

While a number of Trump allies have backed Trump's baseless claims of election fraud, Republican leaders in Georgia have blasted the president for making such allegations. Gabriel Sterling, the Georgia voting system implementation manager who works under the state’s Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, said earlier this month that election officials were the target of threats from Trump supporters.

Sterling said that Trump has the right to contest the election in court, but added, “You need to step up and say this, is stop inspiring people to commit potential acts of violence. Someone's going to get hurt. Someone's going to get shot. Someone's going to get killed, and it's not right."