The January 6 Investigation Remains in an Early Stage

A lot of people are talking about this report comparing the demographics of the January 6 arrestees with those of past right wing extremist arrests. The report has interesting data — most notably showing that those arrested after January 6 were disproportionately from counties that Biden won.

That said, the methodology behind the comparison is flawed because what would get someone arrested at a normal white supremacist event and what would get them arrested in the wake of January 6 are totally different.

Partly as a way to explain why — and to answer some questions I keep getting — I’d like to talk about what we know of the investigation.


First, let’s review who is in the chain-of-command of the investigation.

The investigation is being conducted out of FBI’s Washington Field Office, overseen by Steven M. D’Antuono, and the DC US Attorney’s Office, led by Acting US Attorney Michael Sherwin. Sherwin was Jeffrey Rosen’s hand-selected replacement for Bill Barr flunky Timothy Shea (who in turn replaced Jesse Liu, who did a good job and so was ousted), but unlike Shea (and Barr and Rosen), Sherwin is a career prosecutor with a background on national security cases. And while Sherwin oversaw some politicized shit (notably the later parts of the Mike Flynn gambit), others were involved in the day-to-day, which means, in part, that Sherwin doesn’t necessarily know about the altered documents and whatnot.

In any case, Ken Kohl, a fairly problematic career prosecutor in DC who was personally involved in the Flynn corruption, hasn’t been seen in any of the statements or court filings since the first days of the investigation, when he claimed the investigation wouldn’t incorporate those who incited the attack.

There might have been a concern in the first weeks of investigation that Trump’s dead-enders would limit it. But at this point, such a move would be reported on. Moreover, the top political appointee in DOJ until Merrick Garland or Lisa Monaco are confirmed is John Carlin, who served as Obama’s National Security Division head for the last two years of his Administration. He was a long-time prosecutor himself and would be as comfortable overseeing a terrorism investigation like the DC one as Monaco will be.

It’s unclear when Biden will get around to replacing Trump’s US Attorneys, including Sherwin. But until that time, every single indictment of a Trump terrorist will be signed by a Trump appointee, which may undercut any claims of politicization. And the pace or focus of the investigation is unlikely to change when Garland is finally confirmed (which might be just days away in any case). The major thing he might approve would be the inclusion of Trump or any other political target, and possibly of a broader seditious conspiracy case — but the latter, at least, already seems likely under Sherwin’s supervision.

The prosecution teams are still falling into place right now. Among the prosecutors for the Zip-Tie guy, though, is one of the people who prosecuted Maria Butina. Among the prosecutors for the Oath Keeper conspiracy is one of the women brought into the Mueller team to deal with the Russian defendants.


I get asked a lot whether the investigation will pick up once Garland is confirmed.


One reason it won’t is because the investigation is already moving at a remarkable clip; even without certain bottlenecks due to COVID (such as limited grand jury time and the difficulties created by dial-in court hearings), it would be hard to investigate much more quickly.

I think people may misunderstand that because of the steady clip of arrests since the attack, with around 178 of around 800 people who were in the Capitol during the attack (181 have been charged so far, but that includes a few people who issued threats but didn’t make it into the Capitol).

DOJ has said that they’ve been mostly arresting the people who mugged on social media bragging about the insurrection. What DOJ did in these first weeks, then, is to focus on all the people whose Facebook friends tipped off the FBI or who did interviews or who otherwise came to easy attention. Many of those people (about half of all the people who’ve been arrested so far) have been charged with just the two trespassing statutes that everyone who stepped foot in the Capitol got charged with, 18 USC 1752 and 40 USC 5104. This is one reason why the study on demographics is not a sound comparison: because literally everyone who stepped in the Capitol committed that trespassing crime, and many of the people who did will never be charged with anything but misdemeanor trespassing charges.

Those people may have loathsome beliefs or be adherents to a cult (whether QAnon or Trump). But it seems that if people just rushed in with the crowds and didn’t damage anything and didn’t assault cops and weren’t privy to or instrumental in a plan to disrupt the vote, it’ll end there, with misdemeanor charges.

That said, as I laid out here, DOJ seems to be adding, at a minimum,  18 USC 1512(c)(2) charges for interfering with the certification of the vote to a subset of those initially charged with just the misdemeanors. They seem to be doing so with those who had a bigger role in delaying the vote count. If that’s all these people are charged with (a number are also charged with property damage or assault) and they don’t have a record, they might be facing 41 to 51 months in prison. I imagine there are some borderline people whom DOJ is suggesting should plead now to those misdemeanor charges to avoid the felony, and I imagine the felony charge(s) will be used to get some people to cooperate and to support keeping others in jail pre-trial.

Already for these defendants, we may not discover what DOJ saw that led them to believe the person merited more than a trespassing charge. In most cases, the FBI will be obtaining more legal process to understand better why a person showed up at the Capitol, what they did there, and what network got them to go to the riot in the first place, as well as any substantial ties to that network.

In other words, it’s likely the 1512 charge is itself a midway point, perhaps a terminal charge for those who were conspiring with others to overturn democracy, perhaps a bookmark as DOJ conducts further investigation.

Sealed investigative steps

Meanwhile, the FBI is conducting further investigation of the right wing networks that planned this attack, steps we’re just seeing hints of, such as with this report on a search of the homes of two people who organized the January 5 rally (and I’ve heard of a few more that haven’t been publicly reported).

The FBI recently raided the homes of two men who sponsored an invective-laced rally near the US Capitol a day before the deadly insurrection, the first known search warrants involving people who organized and spoke at rallies preceding the attack.


FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller confirmed that federal agents executed search warrants last week at two properties in Orange County, California, which public records indicate belong to Russell Taylor and Alan Hostetter. The two men run the American Phoenix Project, which co-sponsored a pro-Donald Trump rally near the Supreme Court on January 5, one day before the attack.
Neither man has been charged with any crimes.
Footage of the rally shows the men spewing militant vitriol: Hostetter told the crowd to prepare for “war tomorrow” against “vipers” in Congress who refused to nullify President Joe Biden’s win. Taylor said, “We will not return to our peaceful way of life until this election is made right.”

With anyone who didn’t make it inside the Capitol, the government would need to do more to charge them. And for some networks (for example, we know there were around 40 Oath Keepers at the rally, yet only 3 have been charged), the government may want to wait before it starts charging one after another person. It may pick and choose which members of a known network — like the Proud Boys — it charges when.

The thing is, a lot of these people are going to have better operational security than the people who posed for selfies (or managed to destroy evidence). A lot of them are going to be somewhat more difficult to implicate in the insurrection. And a lot of the investigative work will take more time, potentially a lot more time (and require cooperators). You shouldn’t want DOJ to rush it because it’s the kind of thing that good lawyers will mount a First Amendment challenge to.

It will take some time. But that’s not because Billy Barr has come back from whatever corporate boardroom he’s sitting in and sabotaged things. It will take some time because it will take some time.

96 replies
  1. John Paul Jones says:

    I wonder if their opsec was good enough to make sure that they (and anybody with them) didn’t carry cell phones into the building. I’m not hugely technically sophisticated, but I wonder if it’s possible that pings from cell towers could establish their presence inside the building? And I would assume that some of the stuff that is sealed would be for searches of digital media they may have.

    • subtropolis says:

      It doesn’t seem that that had occurred to anybody. There are videos showing PBS, including Joe Biggs, and at least one of the Oath Keepers holding mobiles aloft to record the scene around them.

    • Leading Edge Boomer says:

      I’m sure cellphone locations are being mined for information. For better or worse, face recognition software is being used too. On dating sites, some of these morons boast about their exploits, and women call the FBI on them. There’s a reason the cult is not called IQAnon.

    • The Old Redneck says:

      Last time we used this data, it only showed which tower was being pinged. Generally, that just means you are closer to one tower than another (the closest one “grabs” the signal). So pinging may not help if that’s still true.
      What actually would help is GPS data from the phones themselves, which is much more precise.

      • Countee’s Lesser Cousin says:

        As Dark Avenger mentioned above, the Capitol complex has its own dedicated cell tower(s) / mobile network. This is necessary because the Capitol is a series of historic buildings, largely constructed of stone, replete with underground rooms and tunnels that connect to other buildings in the Capitol complex, and buildings nearby. Including the Lansberg Shakespeare center, and DC Metro. It’s truly a rabbit warren.

        Thus, any mobile / cellular traffic from within any of the buildings would first need to traverse the Capitol’s dedicated network before connecting with external carriers.

        Triangulation using mobile device IDs as they connect to the Capitol’s own network will be more accurate than GPS indoors or underground. Methinks many of the Y’All-Qaeda were foolish enough to leave their smartphones set to “connect over WiFi” for voice *and* data.

        Some of wannabe militia types used Zello’s (formerly LoudTalk) push-to-talk technology which emulates two-way radio across a cellular network— zero security offered. This traffic must also traverse the Capitol’s dedicated cellar network to reach outside carriers.

        Clearly, not a large operational security brain trust among Y’all-Qaeda, though they get supercalifragilisticexpialidocious bonus points for cosplay.

        • Countee’s Lesser Cousin says:

          The Capitol’s tunnels also connect to the Library of Congress, which has been closed to the public since March. Most staff working from home, skeletal staff on-site in rotation.

  2. SVFranklinS says:

    I can imagine several reasons to explain how people from “Biden counties” might be more represented among the Trumpist insurgency – if in fact that’s accurate.

    Trumpists in Biden counties would more acutely feel day-to-day they are not in the majority, and may be more moved to action.
    Biden counties (usually more urban = more prosperous) would also have more disposable income to fly to DC to protest (Joe Qrazy in an rural backwater isn’t going anywhere).
    Finally, since this data is about arrests, Biden counties might also be more fairly administered, whereas law enforcement in Trumpist GOB (Good-Ole-Boy) country might look the other way, leading to fewer arrests.

    If the point is that this is widespread, I don’t think that’s news. But it’s widespread because the bigger story is those who kept feeding the “stop the steal” Big Lie. Figuring out how to counter that disinformation path is important, or we’re looking at running against Tucker Carlson 2024.

    I’ve heard several times that Fox gets most of its income not from advertisers, but from cable subscription fees – in other words, I’m subsidizing Fox through my Comcast subscription. I’m thinking about cable cutting this year for just this reason – any thoughts on how to do this effectively?
    I don’t think calling Comcast and demanding a no-Fox channel lineup is going to get me anywhere.

  3. pdaly says:

    replying to @John Paul Jones (12:51pm) above: If circumstantial evidence is allowed, then either evidence the phone was in the building at the specified time or evidence that the phone stopped pinging any cell network in DC entirely for the duration of the event (because of strict op sec of removing the battery from the phone) might be helpful.

  4. Bobster33 says:

    Is the DoJ using any of the evidence downloaded from the website parler? I seem to remember that one person downloaded a ton of “incriminating” content from the site. Is that content being used by DoJ yet or is there an issue with chain of custody? or is it just too much info for now?

  5. BobCon says:

    “If that’s all these people are charged with (a number are also charged with property damage or assault) and they don’t have a record, they might be facing 41 to 51 months in prison.”

    If I understand what lawyers here said in an earlier post, any crime with a potential sentence over 12 months results in a ban on firearms posession, even if the actual time served is less. Which I’m sure isn’t the primary motivation for charges, but it would certainly be a useful result. I think there is a lot to be said for disarming this segment as much as any prison time. Sending the message that lawbreaking means being cut off from much of gun culture may help change the calculus of a lot of people in the future before they get in too deep.

    • drouse says:

      These sort of people do not consider a mere felony conviction as a true bar to bearing arms. It does mean that a bunch of them will be repeat “customers” of the justice system. Because they just won’t be able to help themselves.

      • timbo says:

        Maybe a year or two in the clink will cure them of their obsession? I mean, if you could go back for possession then it would have to be a big ask to possess firearms again. It really depends on how effective rehabilitation is and how well Biden and the DP manage the current crisises I think.

      • BobCon says:

        Gun dealers take it seriously, and I’m not going to jump to any conclusions about what effect the aftermath is going to have on the larger group, even if the hardcore Kyle Rittenhouse types may not stop. Arrests, firings, FBI agents knocking on neighbor’s doors and calling up employers — these things start making what had been a lot of online posturing seem a lot more real.

        I think it’s important to avoid throwing up hands and calling defeat at any opportunity, and starving the movement of more casual membership matters.

  6. subtropolis says:

    I’ve no doubt that more of the PBs will be arrested before too long. The fact that they were already at the east side of the Capitol well before noon is awfully suspicious. Who had they been coordinating with?

    I’d bet that somebody is working diligently to make a case for prosecuting Gavin McInnes. I think that his arrest might be fruitful because he might give up someone closer to 45. Both he and Tarrio. We already know that the latter is open to ratting out others to avoid a lengthy sentence. I’m pretty sure that McInnes would do likewise, given his cowardly pretend departure from the group to avoid public scrutiny.

  7. BroD says:

    Oh, Boy! Here we go–RICO!
    “The Justice Department is considering whether to charge members of far-right groups involved in the deadly Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol under a federal law usually used against organized crime,” Reuters reports.

    Have fun folks!

      • Chris.EL says:

        our bmaz is pretty much in theoretical alignment with @popehat — today’s popehat name track has morphed to UnitesStatesofPopehat “… mostly Ken White” … and Ken does “the RICO…”

        This is a little off topic — relevant to our concerns here, true?

        … “Prosecutors don’t know Kyle Rittenhouse’s whereabouts, seek arrest warrant
        A judge allowed Rittenhouse, now 18, of Antioch, Illinois, to be released in November on $2 million cash bail.

        WISN Updated: 4:15 PM CST Feb 3, 2021
        Brad Evans
        Digital Media Manager
        KENOSHA, Wis. —
        Prosecutors said accused Kenosha protest shooter Kyle Rittenhouse has violated the conditions of his release.

        A judge allowed Rittenhouse, now 18, of Antioch, Illinois, to be released in November on $2 million cash bail.” …

        • P J Evans says:

          He apparently moved early in December and didn’t tell his probation officer or the court, as required by law. So now they don’t know where he is, and they don’t want him held or a tracker added, just his bail increased (it was paid by others). Recipe for it happening again.

          • John Paul Jones says:

            The screwy thing about Rittenhouse’s case is that if he really was police, rather than a teen wannabe, his actions would have been instantly labelled as justifiable homicide. I would guess that in the moment, he really thought he was within his rights to not let people disarm him.

          • Rugger9 says:

            Add to that the one who was allowed to go on a “preplanned” vacation to Mexico by a federal judge while out on bail for storming the Capitol and it’s no wonder we talk about white privilege.

            Both of these jamokes need to be in jail.

            • Rugger9 says:

              I see our Ms. Cudd in TX got five more federal charges added to her docket, so I would hope the judge re-thinks letting her go on vacation.

              • bmaz says:

                No. Who cares whether she goes on a stupid Covid vacation? Irrespective of the charges, she is on pre-trial release. That is NOT a prison sentence, its purpose is solely to insure future court appearance and, when necessary, to protect public safety.

                That is still the case as to these defendants. People are simply engaging in apoplectic silliness. The court had not yet even entered the order for out of jurisdiction travel, what most of the nation freaked out over was a proposed order lodged, as entirely appropriate and customary in such a request. These orders are routinely granted every day, and this one should be signed.

                • Norskeflamthrower says:

                  Sigh, bmaz the voice of reason. A lotta folks like me are not ready to trust any part of especially local justice on matters like this. But you are of course correct.

  8. Ginevra diBenci says:

    I’m fine with letting investigations play out. That allows the parallel process in which the seditionistas have sundered into two factions, both now rushing to hurl each other under the bus: the rioters whose defense has become “Trump ordered me to do it,” and Trump (through his defense attorney) claiming that he had nothing to do with those terrible criminals.

  9. gulageten says:

    Does Canada’s designation of PBs as a terrorist organization make it easier (in terms of what their LE can legally do) to surveil and expel the handful that are probably sheltering there?

    • Concerned Canuck says:

      Under current FVEY intelligence sharing & border management powers, Canada provides information gathered for designated terrorism groups to member countries. Canada has been collecting evidence/intelligence on the PB for many months, as there is a lengthy legal process requiring evidence for the application of the terrorist designation. However, McInnes has lived and operated in the US for over a decade & I’d assume most of the activities related to Jan 6 took place on US soil, so doubtful shared intel would be useful in the context of the riots. Canada also wouldn’t expel domestic PB’s unless the US charged an individual & requested extradition, which wouldn’t require a terrorism designation in any event.

  10. graham firchlis says:

    Canada has just designated the ProudBoys as a terrorist organization.

    Laws are a bit different North of the border, and this designation is quite a lot harsher than our domestic laws allow wrt limits on speech and association. For instance, just buying PB paraphernalia is now a Canadian crime.

    [See gulagentin got here first. The designation limits speech and association for members, and otherwise simple criminal acts now carry harsher penalties. These are Canadians, so no expulsion.]

    • gulageten says:

      I was thinking of US citizens who slipped in after 1/6 and are now (presumably) a very different sort of fugitive given the new designation.

      • graham firchlis says:

        Frying pan, fire.

        Estimated 1500 Canadian PB members. Our northern border is mostly porous, especially in winter. Who knows how much back and forth there is.

  11. ducktree says:

    The wheels of government grind slow, but to a fine powder.

    My view is that the predominant demographic of the insurrectionists around the steal stopping effort was “white privilege” regardless of the melanin content of any one individual. But that’s just me…

  12. Zinsky says:

    I hope the FBI and DOJ are very thoughtful, careful and selective in their arrests and prosecutions of these criminals. Its one thing to arrest someone living in urban Pittsburgh or Rochester, NY and serving a warrant on some heavily armed prepper living in a cabin on a secluded road in rural Idaho or the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. There are some of these thugs that live in these circumstances and they represent dangerous threats to law enforcement. They need to be taken down carefully and forcefully but with an eye on stealth and safety. The names Randy Weaver and David Koresh are good ones to recall to not make the same mistakes twice.

  13. Hopeful says:

    I remember BMAZ posting that these types of crimes have a statute of limitations of 5 years.

    I can’t see any reason in rushing the arrest of any insurrectionist below the level of organizer, person who killed or injured others, threatened the lives of public officials or police force, or caused property damage.

    Yes, get the ringleaders ASAP.

    Let the rest wait, let them know that their turn will come in due course; that they will not be forgotten.

    Maybe their crimes are misdemeanor (maybe they thought it was a game), but they should experience many anxious moments for the foreseeable future.

    They need to be held accountable, otherwise this white supremacy stuff keeps growing.

  14. Geoguy says:

    Replying to comments started by pdaly at 1:12 pm: In another post, Rayne noted that many people used Zello which produces lots of metadata as it’s a cellphone app. I suspect the smarter bad guys were using radios which wouldn’t leave evidence unless someone was recording conversations on the same frequencies. This from the Wikipedia entry for Zello: “In 2020, there were concerns about Zello’s growing popularity in the U.S. as a recruitment and organizing tool for the far right.[13] In January 2021, The Guardian reported that Zello was utilized by certain groups and individuals to organize the 2021 storming of the United States Capitol.[14] Zello confirmed this reporting and issued a statement saying it would begin to ban all channels related to militia movements.[15]” Sounds like Zello has lots of information about their users. ( I’m a low tech guy and hadn’t heard of Zello until Rayne noted it.)

  15. cavenewt says:

    Refreshing news about records. Congress Now Has More Power to Shed Light on Trump’s Abuses of Power

    Under the Presidential Records Act (PRA), as soon as a president leaves office, that president’s records (except those deemed to be personal records) are transferred to the control of the Archivist of the United States at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Although former presidents are permitted to restrict access to their records for up to 12 years after they leave office, the PRA creates a specific exception to these restrictions that permits release of the records to either house of Congress or “to any committee or subcommittee thereof if such records contain information that is needed for the conduct of its business and that is not otherwise available.”

    …Congress could also request recent records to help examine the entirety of the violent January 6th attempted insurrection, such as by requesting White House visitor logs and the president’s phone logs from January 5th and 6th. With less than two weeks before the impeachment trial, the PRA’s procedures may be Congress’s best tool for obtaining primary evidence of Trump’s culpability. Though the PRA and its implementing regulations generally require a months-long consultation period before releasing records, the law also says the Archivist must adjust the time period to comply with the return date of a congressional subpoena. Given Congress’s urgent need for records, NARA would be required to respond promptly. For the first time, Trump isn’t in charge of the evidence against him.

    • bmaz says:

      Eh, I would not hold breath over that occurring. The House Dems are not that competent to do so that quickly. And both the House Dems and Senate Dems are determined to streamline this stuff and get it over with. It will be mostly speecifying and a video presentation by all appearances to date. And then the GOP Senators vote to protect Trump.

      Now, if the Dems wanted to do this right, there would be no full Senate trial, a specialized Senate committee would be assigned to request and review all evidence over a longer time period to where PRA material really could be acquired and considered, along with more witnesses etc. Th provision for doing so is Rule XI of the Senate impeachment rules. But instead this is going to be yet another show trial farce.

      • skua says:

        A committee investigating could be better managed to be lower emotion – whereas the full Senate offers many opportunities for engaging and priming Trump’s base. I hope Americans don’t pay a high price for this decision.

      • cavenewt says:

        Ah well, we get used to disappointment.

        At least the rest of the article talked about other kinds of records also, not specifically in the context of 1/6. All kinds of other stuff that the previous administration refused to give up. It might take a while, but more stuff will come out.

        • bmaz says:

          Yes. And the authors are pretty good about that. It is important, even if maybe not for the instant impeachment. And I hope I am wrong even as to that.

  16. bmaz says:

    Back to the main post, and I know people are out for criminal justice blood on the 1/6 cases, but that is simply not going to happen, nor, arguably, should it. Marcy set forth most of the reasons why.

    But I will be stunned if more than a handful or two of defendants do anywhere near 41-51 months unless they can be definitively tied to the officer death or other serious officer assault. And keep in mind that there were some serious officer injuries above and beyond the death of CP Officer Snicknick.

    • timbo says:

      Do prior convictions in state courts matter in Federal sentencing at all? Thinking some of these folks have convictions on their records already at at least the state level, particularly the most radical folks arrested.

      • John Colvin says:

        Yes. The federal sentencing guidelines take most prior federal or state convictions into account. While the guidelines are not mandatory, the court has to calculate a guideline range. If the court elects to depart or vary the sentence it imposes on a defendant, it is required to explain its reasoning.

    • Eureka says:

      Follow-up on that: one of the OKs with Stone 1/6 am was guarding Flynn 12/12 and Alex Jones 11/14:

      This Far-Right Militia Member Provided Muscle for Roger Stone, Alex Jones and Former Trump Aide Michael Flynn

      Oath Keeper Rob Minuta’s apparent security role shows a troubling network of connections between members of the militia and some of Trump’s closest advisers and supporters.
      Adam Rawnsley
      Senior Researcher
      Updated Feb. 06, 2021 9:04PM ET / Published Feb. 06, 2021 8:22PM ET

      When Oath Keeper Rob Minuta provided security for Roger Stone on the day of the Capitol riot, it wasn’t his first time providing muscle for a top Trump aide. Imagery obtained by The Daily Beast shows Minuta marched alongside former Trump National Security Adviser Mike Flynn when he attended a similar march in Washington, D.C. in December [12th] which sought to overturn the 2020 election.

      His appearance in similar roles for Flynn and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones at pro-Trump rallies after the election highlights the troubling network of connections between members of the far-right militia and some of Trump’s closest advisers and supporters.

      ABC News first reported that Minuta was one of the Oath Keepers seen providing security for Roger Stone on the day of the riot. [..]

      Minuta, clad in black and wearing an Oath Keepers New Jersey [*see note] hat, is visible escorting Flynn earlier in the day in an apparent security cordon seen in imagery taken as the former national security adviser walked towards the Supreme Court. In one video, Minuta is visible alongside other apparent members of the cordon pushing bystanders out of Flynn’s way as he heads up the steps of the court.

      Citizen Lab researcher John Scott Railton and a Discord group of volunteers known as the “Capitol Terrorists Exposers” first identified Minuta in imagery escorting Flynn..

      Minuta appears to have performed a similar escort role for InfoWars conspiracy theorist Alex Jones at a Nov. 14 “Million MAGA March” Trump rally in Washington.

      [*Note: Minuta is identified in other coverage as a Newburgh, NY tattoo parlor owner who reopened in defiance of shutdown orders]

      • Eureka says:

        Perhaps an important detail:

        Minuta’s relationship with the extremist Oath Keepers militia dates back at least to May 2020, when [Oath Keepers founder Stewart] Rhodes supported an anti-lockdown protest at Minuta’s tattoo shop […]

        since some of these defiant reopenings/business-based rallies seem to have functioned as WN/militia/misc. anti-gov. recruiting events (with generalized coalescing at the least).

        Compare Atilis Gym in Bellmawr, NJ — which got a springtime boost from Fox News, and one of whose protest ‘regulars’ became a Capitol arrestee. At least two WN groups frequented their events:

        Atilis Gym in Bellmawr reopened against state orders. A member was arrested and the owners were cited again.

        White supremacists and other extremist groups are using protests and a pandemic to amplify their message

        N.J. anti-vax activist Stephanie Hazelton at U.S. Capitol directed crowd during riot

        N.J. anti-vax activist Stephanie Hazelton, correctional officer charged in Capitol riot

      • harpie says:

        See Rawnsley’s THREAD about that with more info/photos and links to other info/photos:
        9:06 PM · Feb 6, 2021

        New from me: Rob Minuta, the Oath Keeper ABC identified as doing security for Roger Stone on Jan. 6, was also seen escorting Michael Flynn at the 12/12 Trump rally and Alex Jones at the 11/14 rally. […]

        In May, [Saturday 5/29] Minuta received a visit from Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes, who traveled to Minuta’s [Newburgh] New York tattoo shop to join his anti-COVID lockdown protest. Rhodes got a tattoo from Minuta with the “We the people” script from the constitution [Mid-Hudson News 5/31] […]

        He is also with the group of known and self-identified Oath Keepers around Stewart Rhodes on Jan. 6. Many of them had just exited the Capitol. [link] […]

        Links to:
        6:41 PM · Jan 29, 2021

        At 3:48 p.m., as police are finally clearing the Capitol’s east entrance, the 10 Oath Keepers we tracked gather around with Stewart Rhodes, the group’s founder, alongside many more apparent militia members. They’d be there for about 30 minutes. […]

        The alleged conspirators Watkins and Crowl are [at 3:48 PM] standing just a few hundred meters away, seemingly watching incoming National Guards, we know from a Parler video. Both have been spotted alongside Rhodes at protests before, as this photo of the Nov. 14 “Million MAGA March” shows. [PHOTO]

        Feb 3, 2021 Minor update for those following the Oath Keepers story closely: Stewart Rhodes was on the Capitol’s northeast steps between 3:35-3:41 p.m., these previously unpublished photos by @Er_Woods show. Around him already several of those that entered the Capitol.

        • harpie says:

          9:09 PM · Feb 6, 2021

          The Daily Beast’s @arawnsley followed up on this story, highlighting the connections between the Oath Keeper and his apparent security role to Trump’s advisors and supporters, like Mike Flynn and Alex Jones: [DB link]

          An interesting snippet is that this Oath Keeper was photographed during the Nov. 14 ‘Million MAGA March’ with the now infamous Proud Boy Dominic “Spazzo” Pezzola.

          Enrique Tarrio, the Proud Boys’ leader, posted that pic on Parler, under which Minuta replied, “See you Jan 6.” [screenshot]

          From the screenshot:

          Enrique Tarrio @NobleLead
          I week ago [eye?symbol] 103588
          Lords of War.
          #J6 #J20
          [PHOTO of [PB] Pezzola and [OK] Minuta on 11/14]

          Roberto Minuta @Robertominuta [responding]
          1 week ago [eye?symbol] 79
          Bad ass! Thanks @NobleLead for the picture! Honor to stand with you guys. See you Jan 6

    • harpie says:

      It looks like John EASTMAN is with GIULIANI in that video leaving the WILLARD Hotel [where STONE is also hanging out] just after 10:00 AM on 1/6/21. The man wearing the camel color coat seems to be the same one walking toward the rally venue with Rudy at 10:42AM in this Aaron Rupar clip:

      10:42 AM
      10:44 AM · Jan 6, 2021

      Rudy GUILIANI arrives with “Macho Man” as his entry music [VIDEO]


      EASTMAN spoke at the rally in Giuliani’s segment:
      10:58 AM · Jan 6, 2021

      10:55 AM [EASTMAN]: They were unloading the ballots from that secret folder, matching them. Matching them to the unvoted voter, and voila!, we have enough votes to barely get over the finish line. We saw it happen in real time last night, and it happened on November third as well. And all we are demanding of Vice President Pence is this afternoon at one o’clock, he let the legislatures of the state look into this so we get to the bottom of it, and the American people know whether we have control over the direction of our government, or not. (loud cheering) We no longer live in a self-governing republic if we can’t get the answer to this question. This is bigger than President Trump. It is the very essence of our republican form of government, and it HAS to be done. And anybody that is not willing to stand up to do it, does NOT deserve to be in the office. It is THAT simple. (loud cheering)]


  17. harpie says:

    Former Capitol Police chief’s letter to Congress on delays and failures leading up to Capitol riot 2/5/21

    The former chief of the US Capitol Police [SUND] provided Congress the clearest timeline yet of the events leading up to and including the January 6 insurrection, casting blame on four federal agencies and a slow bureaucracy that harmed the department’s ability to secure the building that day. // Read the letter: [imbedded]

    • timbo says:

      An interesting letter. Certainly the National Guard shouldn’t have taken that many hours to get there, given that they’d already been given a heads up. And also, yeah, how did intelligence resources miss that this was going to be so “wild!”? But what is really irksome is Sund’s decision to start moving his own people around the city looking for bombs elsewhere rather than defending the Capitol Building itself. Definitely intelligence failures here all over the place, but also how come this exact type of scenario hadn’t been gamed out earlier in mock training sessions by the Capitol Police force itself? What really is shocking is how easy it was for these rioters to actually get through the police lines, how little training in stopping a mob of this type the CP had. They weren’t armed with guns, yep, but they certainly were determined to get into that building. It’s hard to believe that the CP have never considered this dilemma before, that no command officers of the CP had effectively ever studied just this scenario before boggles the mind.

      Finally, it seems that Sund’s letter does not go into the active engagement policy in place by CP during this riot and insurrection. I’d be curious to see at what point police were authorized to use deadly force to clear the Capitol. As I watched things on TV on Jan 6, I was actually gratified at the amount of restraint that these officers showed considering the pressure they were under by this mob. But, at what point will deadly force be authorized here—it’s sort of like that folks who coordinated this riot, the storming of the Capitol, had inside knowledge in exactly how not to cross whatever the actual line was for police to be authorized to use deadly force… until they actually reached the House and Senate Chambers.

      Finally, the letter glosses over how quickly the Capitol Building appeared to be cleared so that the Congress could get back to work doing certification once help had arrived from other jurisdictions. The police and other forces that managed that and got the Congress back in business in only six hours should be commended. That was amazing considering how high the risk of there being bombs, etc, planted in the building itself. So it does appear that the police pre-gamed that sort of scenario… or were able to manpower it through in some fashion on the fly?

      Finally, the letter does not explain why rioters were not rounded up ASAP at the building site itself. I’m sure that’ll be an interesting note in whatever commission(s) report(s) there are later on down the road on the matter. The decision seems to have been to release the riotous mob back into the city under curfew, and from there the rest of the country, rather than arrest them peacemeal. What was the thinking on that one exactly? That if there were dangerous folks in that crowd… or foreign intelligence assets in that crowd, etc… that it was better to just not bother with holding them and documenting all the folks that could be caught immediately? Anyways, plenty of arguments about why that might have been a good or bad idea but I’d love to see what policies changes come from looking closely into that decision.

  18. Eureka says:


    Charlie Warzel: [embedded clip: map of smartphone locations in DC 1/6, shows migration (~ 40% from Ellipse) to Capitol]

    ^ tweet QT’s Warzel’s thread about the article.
    related article:

    Opinion | They Stormed the Capitol. Their Apps Tracked Them. – The New York Times

    cont. from collating maps:

    • harpie says:

      That NYT’s article is great [AND DISTURBING] and the graphics[!] are pretty amazing.
      SO MUCH information, from TRACKING SO MANY people!!

      • Eureka says:

        Yes, it’s long on _disturbing_ and so frustrating that some of the most important issues we face as a society are just *not being addressed* w legislation (arguably one of the spaces most deserving of toothsome legislation), no solutions in sight. There’s a lot going on today, but I am hard pressed to come up with anything more antithetical to American values than rampant surveillance.

    • Eureka says:

      ^ that 40% figure applies to those “near the rally stage” at the Ellipse (whatever that exactly means)

  19. Eureka says:

    The guy walking ahead of/in lead of the PBs 1/6 in the WSJ video 4:35-4:36 that I was “mesmerized with” (see*) also appears in the new 12/11 Stone/ PBs video Ryan Goodman and Justin Hendrix just posted today. (IMO they are the same unnamed person.)

    In the new Just Security video, he is standing on stage roughly in line w/PBs and Stone (tho because the line of them is arc’d, he appears to be in near-background at times). He’s visible in profile a lot in the beginning of the new video, see esp. :12-:16; :29; etc. Facial views also available. [He has stick-straight light brown/darker than dirty blond hair, longer than “traditional-length” male hair.]

    He is filming the crowd and wears a jet-black ballcap hat with an image of a cross-hairs/ target icon (depending on how you perceive it) and the words “Steel Truth” below the image. (Good view ~: 52)


    IN WSJ video, his right arm is seen raised at 4:36, I had wondered then if he was also filming but cannot make that out.

    EXCLUSIVE: New Video of Roger Stone with Proud Boys Leaders Who May Have Planned for Capitol Attack
    February 6, 2021

    • Eureka says:

      About Steel Truth:

      Amy Vandersteel, “host?” of Steel Truth, has been suspended from twitter.

      Earlier this year [note: wasn’t this right around the time Parscale was fired?]:

      Disavowed By Team Trump, Ann Vandersteel Continues to Fake It | Right Wing Watch
      By Jared Holt | June 25, 2019 1:17 pm

      Ann Vandersteel, a YourVoice America host and a Pizzagate conspiracy theorist, was disavowed by Team Trump earlier this year after she repeatedly claimed she was a member of President Trump’s 2020 campaign advisory board. Since that disavowal, she appears to have joined a group reportedly accused of posing as an arm of the Trump campaign in Florida. Vandersteel’s Twitter profile now identifies her as being a member of the “Trump Team 2020 FL Media Advisory Board.”

      The title is mostly meaningless.

      Trump campaign attorney Lawrence Rosen was reported to have sent a cease-and-desist letter to Vandersteel’s new roost, called “Trump Team 2020,” which was created by pro-Trump activist Annie Marie Delgado last year. Rosen’s letter accused the group of misrepresenting itself as a booster for the national Trump 2020 campaign. […]

      Nonetheless, Vandersteel announced that she would be joining the group to protest tomorrow’s debate between Democrats vying for the Party’s 2020 nomination for president in Miami, Florida.

      Right Wing Watch contacted the Republican Party of Florida, which was reported last year to have sanctioned and chartered the group. A representative of the Republican Party of Florida told Right Wing Watch that the group is no longer chartered by the state party.

      Vandersteel is a conspiracy theorist on all counts. [examples…]

      (internal links removed)

      • Eureka says:

        On youtube (spelling this out because of the different names):

        •User page:

        Ann Vandersteel
        Ann Vandersteel
        79.3K subscribers

        •Click “Videos” tab of user ^, get this channel:

        Ann Vandersteel
        Ann Vandersteel
        79.3K subscribers

        •On both pages, a 1/6 livestream (location not stated):

        Is this the Next American Revolution? Kevin Freeman and Patrick Byrne weigh in.
        Streamed live on Jan 6, 2021

        •top comment on this video page (18 upvotes, no downvotes):

        Trump has to invoke the Insurrection Act and bring these traitors to justice. And it’s now or never. Lincoln didn’t hesitate to use his powers, nor should our current President.

        To be clear, this is the top comment on the yt page comments section, not the chat replay to the right (which is also a delight)

        • Eureka says:

          Re an unknown youtube channel featuring “Steel Truth” content []:

          This account has been terminated due to multiple or severe violations of YouTube’s policy prohibiting content designed to harass, bully or threaten.

          Very fine people, on both sides.

      • Eureka says:

        UGH: giant NEVERMIND and apologies: that 12/11 video is not of a man (belatedly able to see video in better resolution/size). However, all the rest of the stuff about the hat, etc. stands.

  20. Ada says:

    I found accidentally this interview given by General Michael Flynn to Doug Billings from “The right side with Doug Billings”:
    The reason the interview attracted my attention is the sequence between minute 20 and minute 22. This is the transcript of the dialog between Michael Flynn and Doug Billings in the mentioned sequence.

    Question [DB]: Did President Trump ever sign into action the Insurrection Act?
    Answer [MF]: (long pause) No. Nonsense.
    Question [DB]: Is the United States military running the country or just doing is that nonsense as well?
    Answer [MF]: More nonsense.
    Comment [DB]: Good, good to hear.
    Answer [MF]: More nonsense. There is no plan. There is no people. There’s so many people out there is the plan happening. There is no … I mean have what we have and we have to accept the situation as it is, but now we have something about it. So I will stick it to get into more questions.

    I am confused by MF’s second answer. It doesn’t make sense to me: neither grammatically (I am not a native English speaker) nor politically. Admitting that there was no plan (note: for the insurrection from January 6) is political suicide for MF. Is he so desperate or there is something else going on? Please share your thoughts.

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