As the 2020 U.S. presidential election approaches its end, the incumbent president, Donald Trump, is fiercely contesting the result and refusing to concede. His lawyers have identified an individual they consider to be “patient zero” for this election’s denials – Russian interference.
Trump’s lawyers allege that agents working on behalf of the Russian government were responsible for planting false information about the election through social media, online forums, and other digital outlets. Reports from U.S. intelligence agencies, such as the FBI and CIA, have corroborated those claims.
The alleged “patient zero” individual was involved in activities including creating a fake news site with content that was later found to be linked to Russia. The same person is also alleged to have created false Twitter accounts that spread misinformation regarding the U.S. election processes.
Trump’s lawyers say they have evidence to prove that the individual in question was actively involved in what they describe as “election interference efforts by the Russian government”.
This isn’t the first time Russia has been linked to election interference. In 2016, the Russian government was alleged to have meddled in the U.S. presidential election. An investigation by U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that the Russian government had indeed attempted to influence the results of that election.
This has prompted the Trump administration to take a tougher stance on Russian interference in U.S. elections. The president himself has condemned the interference and promised to not allow it to happen again in 2020.
It is unclear if the evidence against the person Trump’s lawyers have identified can stand up in court. Regardless, the fact that the president’s team has identified a potential culprit for election denials should add to the discussion surrounding foreign interference in U.S. elections. It also provides additional fuel for ongoing political debates.