Judge jails '2000 Mules' investigators Catherine Engelbrecht, Gregg Phillips
U.S. Marshals in Houston, Texas, on Monday arrested True the Vote founder Catherine Engelbrecht and board member Gregg Phillips for contempt of court in a defamation case against them after they refused a federal judge's order to release the name of a confidential source.
The civil lawsuit was filed in September by Eugene Yu, the CEO of the Michigan-based, election software company Konnech. Yu alleges 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.
At the center of Yu's complaint is True the Vote's claim that Konnech was storing U.S. election information on serves in China through its software app PollChief, posing a national security risk. 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."
The defamation suit has continued, nevertheless, and the jailing of Engelbrecht and Phillips came after a hearing Thursday in which federal Judge Kenneth Hoyt, a Ronald Reagan appointee, found them in contempt of court for refusing to hand over the name and contact information of a key source who was at a Dallas hotel meeting in January 2021. True the Vote says that at that meeting it received evidence Konnech was improperly storing the personal data of U.S. poll workers on servers in China.
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."