Patrick Byrne, the founder and former CEO of Overstock.com, has been leading efforts by a team of researchers to reverse-engineer a “slow coup” by China’s communist regime to take down America’s constitutional system without having “to fight at all.”
Byrne, who holds a degree in China Studies from Dartmouth College, believes that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) interfered in the 2020 U.S. presidential election as part of a multi-faceted strategy aimed at subverting and grinding down American political and social institutions.
The Party has “corrupted exactly the institutions that they needed to corrupt in order to allow what’s going on now to happen,” Byrne said.
Controversy over alleged large-scale fraud in the Nov. 3 race between incumbent President Donald Trump and challenger Joe Biden has persisted for weeks.
Byrne said that tampering with election results in just six U.S. counties would be enough for Beijing to successfully rig the presidential race.
“The greatest way to fight a war, in the Chinese way of thinking, is not to have to fight at all. That’s what they’ve done here,” Byrne said in a Dec. 28 interview with political commentator Dr. Jerome Corsi.
The Mandarin-speaking entrepreneur, who also studied Chinese history at Beijing Normal University in 1983 and 1984, has stressed that he loves the Chinese people and their history, but draws a distinction between them and the totalitarian CCP.
“I say this as a guy who loves China,” he told Jan Jekielek of The Epoch Times on Dec. 15. “I speak Chinese, I have a great affection for China and the Chinese people — but I’m not such a big fan of the CCP.”
Four steps to ‘normalizing’ America
According to Byrne in his Dec. 28 interview, Communist China’s “slow coup” against the United States takes a four-phased approach:
“It’s a revolution. The stages of such a revolution are very well mapped out. We understand this. It’s demoralization, disorientation, crisis, then normalization: those four steps,” he said.
U.S. officials and China experts have called out the various ways in which the CCP infiltrates and seeks to influence American society.
During remarks given in early December, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo decried the Communist Chinese presence on U.S. campuses. He spoke of how Party-controlled organizations intimate Chinese international students and visiting faculty into refraining from expressing their viewpoints on the one hand, while on the other shifting the academic environment in Beijing’s favor.
Pompeo and others have given multiple other speeches and issued statements highlighting the CCP’s reach in other fields of U.S. society, from Wall Street and regional politics to Big Tech and the media.
The four stages described by Bryne closely resemble the agenda that the Soviet Union pursued during the Cold War to knock out its American adversary, as alleged by KGB defector Yuri Bezmenov in 1984.
“We are basically reverse-engineering this coup,” said Byrne, referring to his dozens-strong research team.
In the Soviet and Chinese calculus, the stage of “demoralization” is undertaken over a longer period, with the intent of making Americans doubt the foundational principles of the country and subscribe to Marxist-inspired ideological movements.
Meanwhile, the CCP has been using its economic clout to clandestinely ally itself with or silence U.S. officials and business elites on both ends of the political spectrum.
Lucas Kunce of the American Economic Liberties Project told The Hill that Beijing has “strategically captured our entire supply chain” in past years, taking advantage of the market economy’s pursuit of profit and “self-interest above everything else.”
After the stage of demoralization comes disorientation, which “is this kookiness we’ve been seeing for about six months,” Byrne said, giving examples such as the violent rioting and intimidation committed by far-left groups such as Antifa and Black Lives Matter.
‘Assassin’s mace’ for the crisis stage
The 2020 election and its aftermath, which is fraught with thousands of sworn witness claims of fraud, fits what Byrne and Bezmenov called the “crisis” stage — a relatively short period lasting several weeks in which the communist regime’s plan to seize power comes to fruition.
In late November, Chinese professor of international relations Di Dongsheng gave an internal speech in Shanghai in which he welcomed the return of “old friends” in U.S. elite circles following Biden’s apparent victory.
In the speech, which was leaked to the public but subsequently removed by YouTube following a Chinese copyright claim, Di described the Trump administration’s confrontation with the CCP as having cancelled out China’s influence over America via Wall Street.
“Political scientists can tell you, to steal the United States you don’t need to cheat in elections everywhere. You need six counties where you cheat the heck out of those counties. And you can flip the six states that they are in and thereby flip the Electoral College and steal the country,” Byrne said.
“Clearly an imposter president has been stood up” with Chinese help, he alleged, citing election irregularities in Georgia and other states.
Byrne’s investigations began in August, as he had anticipated that the November election would be marred by fraud. His team, which includes online security experts, believes that Chinese developers worked “under the hood” of voting software used in the U.S. election.
The claim matches other allegations of connections between the CCP and the companies providing voting infrastructure in dozens of U.S. states.
Byrne also described what he claims are extreme statistical outliers in the outcomes of key swing states. ”Having 123,000 votes in a row going to one candidate; or in Pennsylvania, I believe it was 580,000 votes got processed that were 99.4 percent for Biden… and they came through exactly when all the Republicans had been told they had to leave.”
“They’re on the order of you winning the Powerball lottery this week, and next week and the week after — and that happening in dozens of places around America at the same time,” he said in his interview with Jekielek.
Byrne identified electoral fraud as the CCP’s “assassin’s mace,” a term used in Chinese intelligence and military circles in reference to weapons that can play a decisive role in defeating the United States.
“For 10 years or more, there have been references to a coming ‘assassin’s mace’ in the Chinese literature — where they take out the United States with one stroke,” Byrne said. “The national security community in the United States has been trying to figure this out: Is it their new aircraft carrier? Is that the hypersonic missile? Is it this, that, is it an EMP?”
“I don’t think so,” Byrne said. “The one stroke that takes the United States out is what we’re experiencing right now.”
Jan. 6 the ‘last chance’
On Jan. 6, Congress is set to count the Electoral College votes and determine the outcome of the presidential election, after which the president will be inaugurated on Jan. 20.
Courts, legislatures, and other governing bodies across the country have largely declined to look into the fraud allegations, while most major media outlets roundly dismiss the claims as “baseless.”
Byrne believes that Jan. 6 is the “last chance” for the American people to make their voices heard and challenge the results of the election as Congress meets.
“If you bend the knee to this rigged election, they have corrupted the most elementary concept of our tradition, consent of the governed, and you never will get another chance,” he said.
More than 1 million people are expected to take part in a rally in Washington D.C. on Jan. 6, according to event organizers.
The last stage in the “slow coup,” Byrne said, is “normalization,” during which the “media is just beating it into your head” that the results of the election were fair and legitimate.
He criticized major outlets for refusing to address the fraud evidence, accusing them of “violating every precept of journalistic integrity.”
On Dec. 28, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) said he would object during the counting of the Electoral College votes. He is the first U.S. senator to do so, as part of an effort launched by House Republicans.
“I cannot vote to certify the electoral college results on Jan. 6 without raising the fact that some states, particularly Pennsylvania, failed to follow their own state election laws,” he said, referring to unconstitutional decisions by the state’s supreme court to relax the rules regarding the electoral process.