On Monday, US Marshalls took into custody Catherine Engelbrecht and Gregg Phillips of True the Vote, for refusing to identify a confidential informant.
Federal Judge Kenneth Hoyt delivered the order, holding the two in contempt of court for refusing to identify the informant, according to independent journalist Ivory Hecker.
Hoyt ordered that Engelbrcht and Phillips be held in custody for at least a day, until they divulge that information.
“Judge says he never got a straight answer on who was in the Dallas hotel room January, 2021, and he doesn’t know how many people were there. Judge says the way Phillips and Engelbrecht talked suggests True the Vote did have access to the hacked computer data, though they deny it,” Hecker wrote on Twitter.
According to the Houston Chronicle, Engelbrecht and Phillips testified that identifying the confidential informant would put his life at risk.
“Every name I give you gets doxxed and harassed,” Engelbrecht said.
The arrest of the pair is the latest in a civil suit filed in September by Konnech, a Michigan-based company that provides software to elections offices regarding poll worker management, according to Votebeat Texas.
Kenneth alleged that True the Vote made “baseless and racist” accusations against CEO Eugene Yu, which forced him and his family to flee their home.
Yu was arrested and charged by the Los Angeles district attorney for allegedly storing government data in China, which is in breach of the company’s contract. LA officials reportedly received their initial tip regarding Yu from Phillips.
At the center of the issue was the name and contact information of individuals that the pair have stated were present in a Dallas hotel meeting in January 2021. Hoyt had ordered that Phillips and Engelbrecht turn over this information weeks ago.
During this meeting, True the Vote was allegedly given proof that Konnech had been storing the personal data of “millions” of poll workers in a China-based server.
According to Votebeat, “True the Vote then used that information to fuel months of vaguely defined accusations about the company and Yu in podcasts and appearances.”
Phillips and Engelbrecht had claimed that Yu was an agent of the Chinese Communist Party, and that the country had been using poll worker data to influence the 2020 election.
“On behalf of my clients we don’t want to release the name of this individual,” True the Vote attorney Brock Akers told Judge Hoyt in an Oct. 6 hearing.
True the Vote’s legal team released a name in a hearing earlier this month, Mike Hasson, stating that the analyst is in “danger from forces of the Chinese Communist party.”
True the Vote only released the name, not adding contact information or more detailed information regarding his identity.
Phillips told the court that he had no way of contacting Hasson, and that Phillips had communicated with him only through messaging apps.
When shown a photo of a man that Konnech’s attorneys believe to be Hasson, Phillips said he didn’t recognize him.
After being shown the same photo, Engelbrecht said, “My general recollection is that he was younger than I, and Caucasian. But beyond that I really couldn’t tell you,”
Engelbrecht and Phillips told the court that a second unnamed person had been present, a “confidential informant” for the FBI.
In a post to Truth Social, Phillips said, Doing the right thing isn’t always easy but it’s always right. We were held in contempt of court because we refused to burn a confidential informant or our researchers. We go to jail Monday unless we comply.”