Former Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne left behind a cloud of confusion when he resigned in 2019 from the internet retailer he created after he panicked investors with his strange claims that he had romanticized a Russian agent on orders of Men in Black for the United States Government.
He has now returned, with what he described as his personal “army,” citing what he said was evidence that Democrats had stolen the election from Donald Trump.
“I funded a team of hackers and cyber people, other people with strange skills,” Byrne said in an interview with One America News on Tuesday, where OAN personality Chanel Rion praised Byrne as head of an “elite shadow cybersecurity team.”
As Trump’s chances of securing a second term dwindle to zero, Byrne embarks on a media tour to promote his mysterious hacking team, emerging from an “undisclosed location” at OAN, Newsmax and a series of remote YouTube reviews related to Movement for Theory of the QAnon conspiracy. On Friday, a guest host on Rush Limbau’s popular radio show praised Byrne’s allegations of voter fraud and offered to invite Byrne to the show.
With Trump’s allies on his legal team and in the conservative media fighting for any evidence that Trump did not legally lose the presidential race, Byrne has become a hero to the MAGA crowd, despite his story of claims outside the wall.
Byrne claims to be funding teams of “hackers and biscuits” who realized back in August that Dominion voting machines could be used to steal Trump’s election. After the election, these voting machines appeared prominently in Trump supporters’ allegations of fraud, despite the company’s repeated refusals and any factual evidence that the voting amounts had changed.
However, the actual details of Byrne’s alleged hacking super-team are just as subtle.
“I am a free agent and I am self-financing and funding this army from various strange people,” Byrne said in a November 23 podcast with a QAnon promoter using the name InTheMatrixxx. “He really will make a great movie one day.”
Asked for more details about his hacking team, Byrne directed The Daily Beast to his blog, DeepCapture. But the 40,000-word explanation on Byrne’s website focuses on his longstanding feud with Wall Street short sellers and Byrne’s conversations with a mysterious informant called the Easter Bunny, not on any election investigation team.
Byrne stopped responding to emails from The Daily Beast when asked if any members of his hacking team would be available for interviews.
“I am a free agent and I am self-financing and financing this army from various strange people.”
– Former Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne
Despite his vague allegations, Byrne says he has been fueling allegations of elections to the White House and one-time Trump lawyer Sidney Powell for weeks. Byrne’s claims are similar to those made by Powell in public, including the claim that the late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez somehow interfered in the election seven years after his death.
“Sydney was the first to really get it and get what we say is so huge that you need a very open-minded person to get it,” Byrne said in the InTheMatrixxx podcast.
After the election, Byrne became the latest with extensive “technological” experience to rediscover himself as an expert in voting machines. In this niche, Byrne is joined by former 8kun administrator Ron Watkins, who left his position managing the site for his QAnon posts on election day and has since appeared at OAN as a so-called election researcher.
During his post-election media tour, Byrne made a number of other strange claims, including that he may have been the incarnation of an ancient Chinese monk.
“I love the Chinese, I speak Chinese, I think I’m the incarnation of a Shaolin monk, maybe,” Byrne said in the InTheMatrixxx podcast.
Byrne has also encountered some other strange allegations on his media tour. While participating in a QAnon YouTube show hosted by a woman named Cirsten W, Byrne heard his host claim that Bill Clinton and the late pedophile Jeffrey Epstein had been cloned.
Byrne’s habit of making strange claims made headlines in 2019, when he was still CEO of Overstock. Using letterhead, Byrne issued a statement claiming that figures in the Federal Government’s “Men in Black” had called on him to romanticize Russian agent Maria Butina, who at the time was trying to infiltrate conservative circles as a human rights activist. weapons. Overstock’s stock price fell and eventually Byrne resigned after Overstock’s insurer refused to insure the company, led by Byrne.
A report by the Senate Intelligence Committee, published in August, sets out a different view of Byrne’s interactions with Butina. In the report, Butina sees Byrne as a potential way to reach Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), then a presidential candidate. In a July 2016 email published in the committee’s report, Butina’s friend Paul Erickson wrote that Byrne was “stalking” Butina after meeting her at a libertarian conference and claimed that Byrne had offered her $ 1 million. dollars associated with the birth of his child.
“Byrne is a bachelor by choice and the consequences of his intellectual gifts and limitations, but now he is concerned about mortality and his family heritage,” Erickson wrote. “Since he met Maria, he has found more and more creative ways to offer her a permanent $ 1 million offer to have a baby with him.” He is completely in love with her imaginary gene pool and believes that the baby will strengthen not only his family line, but also the relationship between our two nations. “
Byrne did not respond to The Daily Beast about the allegations made in Erickson’s email.
Byrne’s other claims also do not always work. In 2018, he lost a significant defamation lawsuit filed against him by a Canadian businessman who was described on Byrne’s blog as a terrorist financier and drug and arms dealer, with the plaintiff awarding $ 1.2 million in damages.