A Tale of Two Zip Tie Guys: The Different Fates of Eric Munchel and Larry Brock

I’ve been following the case against Zip Tie Guy, Eric Munchel, and his mother closely. Last week, they appealed their pre-trial detention to the DC Circuit, in which is likely to be one of the first Circuit challenges to DOJ’s interpretation of this case, and one that is definitely a close case.

Last week, there was a development in the case against the other Zip Tie Guy, retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Larry Brock. Like Munchel, Brock showed up in videos on the Senate floor kitted out, wielding zip ties. Like Munchel, Brock voiced radical views, including a willingness to sacrifice himself for Trump before the insurrection.

Two family members and a longtime friend said that Brock’s political views had grown increasingly radical in recent years. Bill Leake, who flew with Brock in the Air Force for a decade, said that he had distanced himself from Brock. “I don’t contact him anymore ’cause he’s gotten extreme,” Leake told me. In recent years, Brock had become an increasingly committed supporter of Donald Trump, frequently wearing a Make America Great Again hat. In the days leading up to the siege of the Capitol, Brock had posted to social media about his plans to travel to Washington, D.C., to participate in Trump’s “Save America” rally. Brock’s family members said that he called himself a patriot, and that his expressions of that identity had become increasingly strident. One recalled “weird rage talk, basically, saying he’s willing to get in trouble to defend what he thinks is right, which is Trump being the President, I guess.” Both family members said that Brock had made racist remarks in their presence and that they believed white-supremacist views may have contributed to his motivations.

His social media posts even mentioned the Oath Keepers and Three Percenters.

Unlike Munchel, Brock also made it to Pelosi’s office, though he denies entering it.

Another thing differentiates Brock from Munchel: when Brock won pre-trial release, the government didn’t appeal that decision. At the time, the government suggested Brock likely faced more charges.

But on Friday, DOJ filed an information against Brock. While the information adds trespassing charges — six in total — it didn’t add felony charges. That’s fairly remarkable, because those who, like Brock, evinced a willingness to do extreme things to keep Trump in power have typically been charged with obstructing the certification of the vote. The same is true of those who made it to the floor of the Senate.

It’s definitely too early to tell (indeed, fairly recently, prosecutors said they weren’t prepared to talk plea deals). But this has all the appearance of someone who is preparing to plead guilty, presumably with a cooperation deal.

The people prosecuting him — DC AUSA Ahmed Baset and NSD AUSA Justin Sher (who joined the case on February 11) — are also on the Oath Keepers conspiracy indictment is another reason to believe that might be true. Indeed, Sher just joined the team on February 11. Baset and Sher are also on the Munchel prosecution team.

I would hope all these tea leaves suggest that Brock is about to flip, and not just for investigative reasons. If a retired officer were to get special treatment this early in the investigation, it would bode poorly going forward. For now, we can say that the two Zip Tie Guys are facing different fates.

Update: Later in the day, April Ayers-Perez (who appears to be a detailee from another US Attorney’s office) replaced Baset on Brock’s case.

Update: Corrected Brock’s rank.

Update: Today Brock pled not guilty to the trespass charges against him, suggesting this is, in fact, just an apparently inexplicable preferential treatment of a privileged defendant.

130 replies
    • chicago_bunny says:

      My read is that it would bode poorly for a tough but fair investigation and prosecution of those involved. If former military officers involved in the insurrection are treated more favorably than other participants who did not hold rank, it suggests an investigation that is for show only and will let the “right” people coast by without the same consequences.

  1. Kathleen Galt says:

    Ew thanks for your important work .

    Has their mob boss said anything about these proceedings? I have not seen or read anything Trump has said about the very serious legal troubles his followers are facing

  2. Silly but True says:

    IIRC it was neither Munchel & Brock, both of whom brought their own zip ties to the occasion, but who was the one who stole the Capitol Police’s zip ties off a downed officer?

  3. Peterr says:

    There’s one more wrinkle here, Marcy. Imagine how Zip Tie Guy is going to react when he learns that Col Zip Tie is getting bail while he’s being detained . . .

    ZTG: WTF! What’s going on here? Why can he go home to his family and am being held?
    ZTG’s lawyer: Calm down. We’re gonna get you out of here. Just relax.
    ZTG: OK, but riddle me this. I’m just a guy and they’re making me out to be Osama bin Laden, while he’s a friggin’ retired Colonel in the Air Force of the U S of A and they’re slapping him on the wrist and saying “please remember to show up for your hearing, sir.” How exactly does that make sense.
    Lawyer: Well . . .
    ZTG: C’mon, man. Does he have some old Air Force pals pulling some strings for him?
    Lawyer: I doubt that.
    ZTG: Then what the hell is going on?
    Lawyer: Well, one possible — and I stress possible — explanation is that he’s preparing to flip on anyone he can, in order to get a good deal from the prosecutors, and the prosecutors are trying to show a little good faith that he can trust them enough to work with them.
    ZTG: The Colonel – flip on us? Ain’t gonna happen.
    Lawyer: OK, then I got nothing else to answer your question. You’re right – if that’s not it, then I’ll join your WTF.
    ZTG: Uh . . .
    Lawyer: Look, when prosecutors are investigating something with lots of people involved, they love to make deals with lower level people, so that they can take down the people calling the shots. But here’s the thing. As your lawyer, I feel compelled to advise you that the first guy to make a deal gets the best deal, and the last one to offer to spill what he knows gets laughed at and hung out to dry.
    ZTG: Uh . . .
    Lawyer: If I’m right, then him making a deal will not help you and may indeed make things tougher on you. If you want to deal, you better decide to do that damn fast.

    The beauty here is that even if Col ZT *hasn’t* make a deal, simply letting it *appear* that he’s made a deal puts pressure on ZTG and other smaller fry to deal now and not wait until later. And if Col ZT hasn’t made a deal but sees what the prosecutors are doing here, and he thinks that ZTG or others now have more incentive to spill their guts, it ramps up the pressure on him to deal and do it quickly before they rat him out first.

    • Spencer Dawkins says:

      The prisoner’s dilemma is, in fact, a dilemma, but watching the other prisoner stroll out on bail may help ZTG focus quite a lot.

    • timbo says:

      Yeah, there better be some sort of plea and cooperation agreement that is actually worthwhile in the ex-Air Force colonel’s case… otherwise, it’s a possible windfall for Munchel’s lawyers when their client goes to court.

  4. BobCon says:

    I’m not saying it happened here, but I’m curious how often in a large scale, fast paced investigation charges can’t be filed because of procedural errors, such as failure to provide a Miranda warning.

    Also, how often would we know? I assume at the local level charges are dropped all the time without explanation as soon as a defense attorney starts asking questions about procedures, but I don’t know how the feds operate as far as disclosure.

    (We need protections for defendants on procedural grounds, so I’m not bemoaning their existence.)

    • bmaz says:

      No, this is not a thing, and certainly never on important cases. There will almost never be a “defense attorney” until charges are filed, or substantial discussion with the putative defendant has occurred, and that is as to both state and federal charges.

  5. biff murphy says:

    IANAL, but.
    Imagine if you will…
    Good Ziptie guy is really the bad guy.
    Bad Ziptie guy is really the good guy.
    I deduce this on the fact that Bad Ziptie guy arrived with his Mom.
    Kind of an outing for them, a day to storm the capital together.
    What kind of bad guy would take his Mom?
    Where was Good Ziptie’s Mom?

  6. Fran of the North says:

    Correction: Brock retired as a Lieutenant (Lt.) Colonel, not a (full) Colonel. In the Air Force, there are about 70% fewer Colonels as compared to Lt. Colonels.

    • Norskeflamthrower says:

      “…there are about 70% fewer colonels as compared to Lt. Colonels.”

      It has been ever thus since way back in my day. “Light” Colonels would flock to civil service retirement if they didn’t make full Bird and couldn’t get a “free enterprise” landing spot. That was the late 1960’s and the US Army.

      • Fran of the North says:

        Norske: I too was running around in the US Army in the late 60’s, however as a brat. As Chico Esquela might have said:

        “The Army been berry berry good to me.”

        BTW, you ever had pie from Norske Nook? It’s “where pies go when they die.”

        • Norskeflamthrower says:

          ROFLMAIO! No I have not had the pleasure or privilege to experience the “Norske Nook” but my wife and I have been in “Betty’s Pies” on the North Shore Drive of Hwy 61 on Lake Superior. It’s one of the best kept secrets in the eighth wonder of the world.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Yep. Among officers, virtually every second lieutenant makes first lieutenant, and nearly every one of those makes captain, if they stay in. After that, the odds of promotion decline steeply at each level. There a plethora of devices to ensure it: up-or-out, maximum number of slots and time in grade, promotion priority for academy grads over others, etc.

    • Raven Eye says:

      In DoD, O-6 is a big deal. In the Pentagon, there are all sorts of “Council of Colonels” — and that is the grade that is expected to show up to the meeting. I spent a number of years at HQDA and there is a definite difference of expectation between O-5 and O-6.

  7. chum'sfriend says:

    I can see prosecutors offering leniency to Larry Brock. While other members of the mob were preparing to trash the Senate Chamber, Brock (green helmet) intervened and gave a short speech about how this was sacred ground and they were not there to deface or violate the sanctity of that space. His actions probably prevented serious damage.


    Note that at 2:49 there is a second individual (red knit cap, backpack with American flag) carrying flexcuffs.

    • John Paul Jones says:

      I went frame by frame and didn’t see any flexcuffs on Flag Backpack Guy. In some shots his left hand is holding a white blur, but when it momentarily stabilizes, you can see it’s a water bottle. But it’s hard to tell with the video being so poorly shot.

        • chum'sfriend says:

          My above reply doesn’t acknowledge the seriousness of my making a false claim here. I could have avoided this by choosing words more carefully to show the tentativeness of my assertion. I got out over my skis in a big way, that could have easily been avoided… in a way that doesn’t fit with this website. My apologies.

      • Raven Eye says:

        Flexcuffs are easy to carry around in a bag without attracting attention. They are just big Zip Ties with a double ratchet lock block in the center. They are about 27″ long and curl up nicely in a backpack or small duffel. Not seeing them doesn’t mean there weren’t many, many more carried into the Capitol. It’s only when the the tips are pre-set in the buckle (like seen in videos and photos) that they become more visible — although nothing prevents stashing a couple of them under a vest or inside a shirt.

        Some 5-11 tactical pants have a narrow secondary loop inside the bottom of the main belt loops that allow you to thread flexcuffs around your waist — you can carry two with no problem. Depending on how much other stuff you are carrying on your waist or pistol belt, it can be pretty easy to just grab one of the buckle blocks and and pull out the Flexcuff. At that point the ends are not in the buckle, so a single user would have their hands full. Even pre-threaded, it is a two handed operation and it’s best to clip off the ends of each strap.

        Some of these folks were certainly not shy about “repurposing” items from Capitol and Metropolitan Police officers. In one video showing the forced entry, you can see a guy coming inside with a PR-24 (side handle baton) — not likely something you’d walk around with during the “demonstration” phase.

    • mospeck says:

      great and terrible clip. love McCabe and so scary are his obs.

      You take a step back and it’s just such remarkable times we are in right now

  8. subtropolis says:

    I recall seeing Brock, in one of the videos, on either the Senate or House floor, imploring others not to damage anything. I don’t wish to suggest that such behaviour may have earned, or should earn, him a lighter touch by the authorities, mind! Rather, it might be indicative of an awareness of the gravity of the action that he’d joined, and a subsequent willingness to cooperate.

    • vvv says:

      As a creative writing major in college lo those decades ago, pretty sure Ferlinghetti spoke to one of my poetry classes, and I’m pretty sure he was great. I seem to recall speaking with him in a small group at the after-party, laughter, and much bad wine, the latter of which was a thing at poetry-lecture after-parties.

    • graham firchlis says:

      Thanks for mentioning this, earl. His passing should not go unnoticed.

      Shed a couple tears earlier and will a couple more. All so young and strong back then, sure if we were only clever and true and brave enough we could change the world. In some ways we did, in too many others we failed. Where did the time go?

      Cody’s (now closed) and Moe’s in Berkeley were with City Lights the safe places to meet and mingle with the best and brightest of the times. Life transforming for me and so many others.

      Ferllingetti’s poem Dog, from the collection A Coney Island of the Mind, is among his most famous. Covers a lot of ground, including a treatment of then Congressman Clyde Doyle, a fanatical member of HUAC from a dog’s POV:

      But he has his own free world to live in
      His own fleas to eat
      He will not be muzzled
      Congressman Doyle is just another
      fire hydrant
      to him

      Bill Murray recites it whole, set to Bach at SXSW:


      • John Paul Jones says:

        Wow. Thanks for posting that. Read that poem lo these many eons past in first year college and just laughed out loud at the brilliance of it. Murray does a great job. RIP Lawrence Ferlinghetti, poet, freedom fighter and friend of writers and readers everywhere.

    • foggycoast says:

      lived a good life. been in S.F. for 45 years and spent many, many hours in City Lights. The times he was there he was always nice and helpful to me. havent been there in a while. probably should go down, have a drink at Vesuvio and hang at the bookstore one more time.

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        “The dog trots freely down the street.” First line of the first poem I fell in love with, at age 7 or 8. Mom had the slim paperback on one of our shelves, and I pulled it out, curious at such a skinny book. My folks did me the solid of playing the jazz recording–among my first exposures to the music I would conceive such a passion for–and I was hooked.
        Trot freely, my man. Sir.

  9. earlofhuntingdon says:

    When Republican and Republican-Democrat Senators say they are “concerned” that a Biden nominee might be too “divisive,” odds are that the nominee is a woman determined to do a good job in public service.

    More basically, divisive here means the nominee is not a Republican and refuses to advance their profit-and-resource-extraction-at-any-price agenda. Dems need to stop playing slow-pitch and start playing hardball, ’cause Republicans ain’t never gonna cooperate.

    • John Paul Jones says:

      Rachel Maddow had a short segment Monday night pointing out that Collins and Manchin apparently didn’t have any problem approving Rick Grenell as Ambassador to Germany even though his tweets were disgusting. She pointed out that the “divisive” trope is often applied to nominees of colour, so the word seems to have evolved into dogwhistle code.

  10. joel fisher says:

    Seven weeks out and how many Trump thugs have been arrested? 800+ entered the capital. At what point do we start to wonder? I’m already wondering why they weren’t rounded up and cited on 1/6.

    • bmaz says:

      Good grief, six weeks in to what is effectively an organized crime investigation, and you are carping that it has all gone on too long?? What, did you want them all kettled up and arrested on the spot by authorities nowhere near prepared for that? Chill a little, the FBI are actually doing pretty well. Not everything happens on internet comment time.

      • CHETAN R MURTHY says:

        “all kettled up and arrested on the spot”

        As much as we all would have liked that, it wasn’t going to happen: the “former guy” wasn’t *about* to let that happen, and his underlings aren’t stupid enough to do it against him. So that’s a *given*. No point in wishing for things you were never, ever, ever going to get.

        • bmaz says:

          Exactly. But, still, there was a lot missed and unprepared for. Even if better prepared for, would it have been enough? That strikes me as a better question. Obviously better, but by how much?

        • Earthworm says:

          Was going with “gone goon,” but “former guy”is even better. so neutered and anonymous — thank you.

          • Justlp says:

            I think Joe Biden gets credit for ‘former guy’. He said it during one of his appearances over the last few days. I think its perfect! Neutered & anonymous is right.

    • P J Evans says:

      In case you missed it, there was a change of administration two weeks into that, and the new guy is still getting people into office, because the old lot don’t want honest and competent people running the government.

      • joel fisher says:

        TBH, that’s part of my concern: to what extent are former guys’s guys burrowed into the nether parts of the FBI/Justice Department where they can keep the light of deplorability going?

    • Robert Sexton says:

      The Capitol Police got their butts kicked by the seditionists. If the CP had kettled and arrested them inside the Capitol things could have gotten violent all over again. They simply didn’t have the manpower to round them up at the time.

      • Chris.EL says:

        One of the participants in the riot, Thomas Webster (perhaps known as “eye gouger” — though that may be misnomer — maybe he was just trying to yank off helmets and gas masks!!) turned self in to FBI.

        Webster apparently is former NYPD and Marine!!

        Webster was ready to rumble! Yikes!

      • Neil says:

        Are water cannon used in the US ?
        Asking because I’m not sure if yes or no, but they’re common in Europe for riot control.
        While the “event” was ongoing, I was rooting for a couple water cannon trucks to roll up and hose down the mob. Dyed water can be used also. Perfect for January weather, too. Truly a missed opportunity.
        If they are used in the US, and some were available in DC, the question is why they weren’t used?

        • ceebee says:

          Guessing that historical memory of how firehoses were used in Birmingham in 1963 played a role in setting that technique aside.

          • cavenewt says:

            It might at least partly matter that some people brought their children and even toddlers, though presumably those folks would not have been as close to the Capitol building.

        • mlipow says:

          On May 14, 1960 demonstrators against the HUAC hearings at the San Francisco city hall were subject to fire hoses and the flooding destroyed a huge amount of city records.

    • graham firchlis says:

      Joel Fisher: …wondering why they weren’t rounded up…

      Searched but can’t find a news cite, swear I read it someplace, so this is just what I’ve heard. Reportedly, top congressional leadership all insisted the Capitol be cleared of insurrectionists and swept for bombs as quickly as possible, so Congress could reassemble and demonstrate to Americans and the world that government continuity was preserved. Arrests were tertiary. All members concurred, everyone staying until the Electoral College vote was certified. Thier courage turned a shameful travesty into a triumph of democracy.

      The choice is arguable, but I think Congress got it right. I am in complete agreement with bmaz

      [Ach, sorry, need a moment, that hurt a bit]

      that the full power of the unleashed DOJ is being brought to bear, and a great many insurrectionists will be charged. Hopefully enough will be squeezed to reveal collaborators up the power structure. Grinding slow while grinding fine is fine with me.

      • joel fisher says:

        All good points, especially about BMAZ. Still, I feel some roster of deplorables/rioters/seditionists–what is the correct word?–could have been made at the time without compromising the count. Can one say with certainty that the “let’s just let everybody go” attitude would have prevailed had the racial component been different?

      • skua says:

        Yeah, IF the choice was “continuity of government action” or “spend time processing insurgents” then I’m all in favour of “continuity”. There is currently an IF though. Maybe one day we’ll know.

        I’m also thinking that getting the mob dispersed ASAP would have had some priority – if fools with guns or explosives had turned up late then the lower the level of “mob”, the better.

      • timbo says:

        Yes, they got it right under the circumstances. It was more important to demonstrate continuity of Constitutional government and the transition to a new, legally empowered Presidency during those hours than it was to get involved in an occupied and violent conflict inside the Capitol Building itself. Clearing the Capitol as fast as possible, determining that there was not much chance of their being any bombs planted there, and then re-occupying the Congressional physical seat of power was the main point on the evening of Jan 6.

        That having been said, you can bet that the issue of being able to hold rioters and seditionists, as they might appear in future at the Capitol Building, will almost certainly be an issue for police policy makers in the Capitol going forward. Also expect that the police response to protesters during critical junctures in power transition will be slightly tougher than what we saw this past Jan 6?

  11. graham firchlis says:

    Perhaps I’m missing something. Press reports uniformly state that the government opposed pretrial release for Brock, putting an FBI agent on the stand to read out his many threatening statements only to have good old boy magistrate rule in good old boy Brock’s favor.


    If the feds are cutting a deal with Brock, why did they oppose his release in court? Just for show?

    Or is this case similar to that of Munchel and Mom, granted bail over government objection in Tennessee? The feds moved those cases to DC and got pretrial detentions, but IIRC it took a few days to get the jurisdictional change.

    I’m confused.

      • graham firchlis says:

        Just honest, as always.

        In return for lobbing you a softball, I’d hoped for a straight lawyerly answer. Nothing, eh?

  12. bmaz says:

    Again, and I simply do not know how to emphasize this enough. This is the finest blog on the internet. And you the finest commenters. But this is not the criminal justice system, nor you the FBI, DOJ nor seasoned courts. Graham Firchlis above is confused. Sure, feature, not bug. But take a chill pill.

    • Duke says:

      Niceness and politeness does not equal good. I appreciate the directness.

      I used to read this site religiously for fun and learning. Very often, EMPTYWHEEL served as a place to decompress following long days dealing backend infrastructure and executive luddite support.

      I am grateful for the work, knowledge, the community, and the time everyone puts into this endeavor.

  13. Payne says:

    For those of us that believe all men should be weighed against the same measure where matters of liberty and justice are at play.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Many here would say, “all people.”

      Words matter is an unofficial subtitle for this site. They are the difference between an open door and a locked one, where someone else has taken away the key.

  14. Zinsky says:

    Once again, thanks emptywheel for the best place on the Web for national intelligence coverage and analysis, particularly of the January 6th insurrection. Even if Munchel simply found the ziptie cuffs in the Capitol, the question of what he intended to do with them remains. The same applies to Brock. Who were they planning to cuff? To what end? Ransom? Had they really planned on a long-term hostage situation? It will be interesting to learn exactly what this ragtag bunch of dysfunctional misfits thought they were going to accomplish. The more we learn about their personal lives, many seem to just be violent substance abusers and spouse abusers and people with really checkered financial histories and seem to harbor free-floating feelings of grievance with the world. I suspect the truth is that the vast majority of this dirtbag army were like the proverbial dog who always chases cars and had no idea what to do when they finally caught it on January 6, 2021.

    • John Paul Jones says:

      Exactly right. The question was never really whether they showed up with cuffs, but what purpose they had in mind in carrying them into the Senate Chamber. If the cuffs were easily reachable, still, only a few insurrectionists picked them up and walked off with them, so: why did they imagine they might need them at some point later in the day?

    • PeterS says:

      I don’t think there’s any question about why they picked up the ziptie cuffs: to cuff people like Nancy Pelosi.

      Whether it was a serious plan or was just living out a dumb fantasy we’ll never know. I’m sure some of the thugs inside the Capitol would have acted violently against their perceived enemies if they had found them, and it’s too late for these people to say, “oh, I didn’t really mean it”.

      (For me it is partly relevant if they brought in the cuffs or not as it goes to what they were thinking ahead of time.)

      • timbo says:

        Re: “Whether it was a serious plan or was just living out a dumb fantasy we’ll never know.”

        Or maybe there’s a purpose to getting cooperation from those charged, making plea agreements, etc, that involve testifying against others involved in occupying the Capitol building, etc.

        • PeterS says:

          Tell me the testimony which would actually reveal that unknown.

          W1: “That guy Munchel didn’t bring flex cuffs, he picked them up in the Capitol, and ….”

          • timbo says:

            1) Someone saying he brought them with him.

            2) A receipt showing they were purchased by someone known to the defendant.

            3+) Use your noggin to think of some more.

            The issue is not about someone’s fantasy(s) but about intention and actions taken. All of that is knowable and investigators can figure these things out as long as they don’t throw up their hand to start with…

      • chum'sfriend says:

        A whole heck of a lot of people posted their thoughts on social media, before, during, and after the siege. It will be interesting what comes out in the coming trials. The FBI say they’ve already identified over 500 people from the mob.

      • cavenewt says:

        Not that much, it’s pretty rickety. The entire top section holding the rope is just two 4x4s with a 2×4 taped on top.

        Sorry, I’m currently building a house so I kind of notice these things.

        • P J Evans says:

          It looked rickety – but usable, at least once) to me. It appeared that the idea was to kick their feet out from under so they’d hang over the side and strangle; there didn’t seem to be enough drop for a neck-breaking hanging.

          (My father would have Had Things To Say. He was a mechanical engineer, and built a grape arbor that stood for 50 years, held together by pegs. I think the supports were either 4×6 or 4×8, and they got down to 2×2 for the top level. All pecky cedar.)

        • TooLoose LeTruck says:

          I’d say the gallows was there strictly for the photo ops… and whoever put it up that day got what they wanted… the pictures are pretty shocking…

          Just looked at different pictures of it again, and it is indeed a rickety piece of crap… I did construction off and on for decades and that thing wasn’t built for any serious work…

        • cavenewt says:

          Of course we can’t know intent for sure based simply on observation, but I thought it was mostly symbolic – which is still terrifying.

          A real gallows would need to be very sturdy and this wasn’t.

        • Rayne says:

          I’ve built a house, too. Your logic is weak. The gallows weren’t the operative part. The rope was, and it didn’t even have to be tied in a hangman’s noose.

          One could argue the person(s) who fabricated, shipped, and assembled the gallows were only creating art. Sure — could have made a poster or a banner, but they made something more operative with the addition of a rope.

      • PeterS says:

        My open mind tells me the gallows were either erected for the specific purpose of hanging someone, or were symbolic. That someone outside the Capitol was chanting “hang Mike Pence” isn’t proof for me that that person would actually hang him.

        (Again, I’m not defending these thugs)

        • graham firchlis says:

          Intent is often difficult to diiscern. Consider an alternative POV:

          Suppose it is your House surrounded by a mob tens of thousands strong, battering your doors and breaking your windows. As you sneak a peek around an upstairs curtain, over the sounds of shattering glass and splintering wood you clearly hear a chant of

          HANG PETER S !!!!!

          HANG PETER S !!!!!!!!!

          HANG PETER S !!!!!!!!!!!!!

          Clearly visible is a gallows, noose and all.

          What does your open mind intuit, regarding the mob’s intent?

          • PeterS says:

            And let’s say I’m not caucasian. So you want to compare a large white mob with gallows, outside my private home, with a planned political “protest” at the Capitol addressing the Vice President. Pah.

            • P J Evans says:

              How about answering the question, instead of deflecting it? A number of congresspeople aren’t white males: what do you think their view was?

              • PeterS says:

                There’s no comparison between me at home and Mike Pence at the Capitol. That’s my answer to gf. If you don’t like it, tough.

                Nobody has said that non-white non-male congresspeople didn’t feel threatened.

                (I don’t know if you’re arguing that Mike Pence’s feelings would prove intent.)

            • graham firchlis says:

              I didn’t mention race. Odd you introduced it.

              Let’s say you’re from another planet, and the mob is composed of flying monkeys. Doesn’t alter the construct of my thought experiment one whit, nor the obvious conclusion.

              So in your view the violent threatening seditious insurrectionist attack of Jan 6 was a political “protest”? Alrighty then, nothing to see here people, move along.

              Pah, yourself.

        • Rayne says:

          The gallows and noose were evidence that the fabricator/shipper/assembler took seriously the escalating language of violence on the part of Trump, persons associated with Trump, and co-conspirators on the internet. That it’s not a sign or banner, that someone could have been killed with the rope, says that the intent to terrorize members of Congress and the VP was real, not just First Amendment expression.

          This ceased to be a First Amendment protest once they began to trespass in violation of the event’s permit, and once they did more than express anger. Inciting chants calling for acts of violence while carrying and assembling implements of violence aren’t what the First Amendment refers to as “the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

          As to the interpretation of events by those targeted: if Pence and the Secret Service thought the unauthorized crowd was merely a First Amendment protest, they would have stayed put and met them.

          Fortunately these cases won’t have to meet your level of proof.

    • cavenewt says:

      I’ve read in several places that both of them found the flexcuffs in the building and picked them up. While both of these guys do seem to be military-trained, it looks more to me like cosplayers that found some cool additions to their costume and opportunistically appropriated them. Sure, no doubt they were thinking they could be handy to cuff Nancy et al, but it’s quite different from them having brought their own.

      Of course, most of us only know what we read in the media (aside from the legal experts like Dr. EW scrutinizing court docs), so all of this should be taken with a grain of salt.

        • PeterS says:

          Heavy duty zip ties would work fine as plastic handcuffs. So unless Munchel et al knew they’d be able to pick up flex cuffs in the Capitol…

            • Raven Eye says:

              I was referring specifically to a “baton”, which would include both collapsible (ASP, S&W, etc) and fixed length (traditional, PR-24 type, or truncheon). The problem with ordering “batons” is that some jurisdictions classify “batons” as weapons – in some cases specifically collapsible “batons”. One state I’m familiar with has the same restrictions for “batons” as for firearms; “open carry” is allowed, but they can be carried concealed only by a permit holder (non-LEO), and subject to the same detailed conditions as may be set by local, state, or federal entities. Legitimate retailers might not ship to individuals in some jurisdictions unless some kind of documentation is provided. Hypothetically, Midway might ship an ASP 4130 collapsible (the budget model — $65 – $75) to an individual that Gall’s would require documentation from.

              The “batons” from an Amazon search – the imported ones with the generated product names – are usually called anything but “baton” in the actual product description. If a person looks at the construction, dimensions, and weights of those items they might get a little concerned about effectiveness. Current or former LEOs wouldn’t touch those, and those are the people who are advising members of the more organized groups with regard to equipment and tactics. Collapsible “batons” are preferred by many LEOs for daily carry. The short version of the ASP 4130 above (6 1/4” collapsed and 15 3/4” extended, 13 oz.) can be carried in a pocket if necessary, or in a short scabbard. They require maintenance similar to a firearm’s. It’s difficult to say how many insurrectionist “batons” made the trip to the 06 JAN events – maybe as far as the hotel rooms – probably fewer into D.C.

              With regard to non-“baton” club-like objects: Whatever. Anything capable of extending reach, and accelerating and more precisely delivering mass, will do. I understand “sticks” for field sports made it to the incident scene. Listing every potential stick/device would be a rabbit hole.

              (Those Amazon-listed Flex Cuffs are a little longer than some and would be easier to pre-set and still get around larger hands.)

              “Look before popping off”, in this case, is good advice.

    • Richieboy says:

      I can’t believe I’m the first one to have the answer to this, which seems obvious to me: they were holding them so they could turn them into Lost and Found on their way out. Duh.

  15. Chris.EL says:

    Evidently some of the invaders of the Capitol had maps of “the complex”!
    From Scott MacFarlane on twitter:
    … ” @MacFarlaneNews
    “Responding to reports that US Capitol Insurrectionists had floor plans of complex on Jan. 6.”

    “Architect of Capitol acknowledges floor plans are kept on secured server, but hard copies are distributed to House members who request or need it” …


    So it follows, it would be interesting how those floor plans were acquired; perhaps tied into removal of panic buttons?

    Dr. Birx also maintains Trump held depictions of Covid analyses that were not prepared by her. So it’s possible someone was producing altered copies. (It is the kind of thing that’s difficult to follow or pin down?)

      • P J Evans says:

        The official plans on the secure server are most likely far more detailed than the tourist-level, and include places where tourists shouldn’t be.

          • P J Evans says:

            The Capitol Architect said all his maps are on a secure server. But apparently people had maps that marked unmarked offices.

    • cavenewt says:

      “Dr. Birx also maintains Trump held depictions of Covid analyses that were not prepared by her. So it’s possible someone was producing altered copies.”

      Take a breath. Use of “altered copies” implies someone was nefariously using a sharpie or something to edit Dr. Birx’s analysis. Much more likely that some doofus was giving T**** “information” that he would find more palatable.

    • Fran of the North says:

      Thanks for this, it had completely slipped under the radar.

      My daughter got Eragon for Xmas from her cousin, which led to the rest of the series. I read the first three, then read them again when Inheritance finally came out.

      While I wouldn’t call Eragon great fantasy, it certainly was a powerhouse for a 16 year old writer. Paolini’s skills developed throughout the series, and I’m sure Sleep is very good.

  16. joel fisher says:

    It would be helpful to me if those in the know could say a little something about the relation–if any; god knows I could have it wrong–between the initial charges in Federal Court and where a defendant ends up on the Federal Guidelines. Do the guidelines result in the same sentence for defendants who are convicted of identical misdemeanor charges if one of them was originally charged with a felony? This could make some difference between the 2 zip tie guys. Apologies if this is something that everyone but me knows as a result of an earlier EW post.

    • timbo says:

      Well, from what I could gather above, Lt Colonel Brock’s lawyers and the FBI have gathered some sort of evidence that the LC Brock was trying to prevent vandalizing of the Congressional Chambers or some such. Naturally, he had to get into the building to stop all the vandalization from happening…because the Capitol Police, being busy elsewhere trying to keep the Congess itself safe from folks like Lt Colonel Brock, were just not capable of stopping the vandals at the time…

  17. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Joe Biden, former long-time Senator from CreditCardCentral (DE), has the power to cancel federal student debt. Congress gave the president that power decades ago, via the Higher Education Act.

    When campaigning for president, he promised to cancel $10,000 of every student’s debt, “as a form of Covid relief,” which it manifestly would be. Presumably as part of backroom strategizing for support, Biden also promised, “the cancellation of all undergraduate student loans for debt-holders who attended public universities and HBCUs and who earn up to $125,000 a year.”

    Early in his administration, Joe has not fulfilled either promise. Instead, he signaled he would move in the opposite direction – back toward the FIRE sector, which would abhor any form of debt relief for any purpose. At a recent press conference, he sounded like an ill-informed senior – unaware of his promises, his power, and the vast amountof good he could do during a pandemic recession by cancelling that debt. He mumbled absurdities about kids who went to Ivy League schools, instead of his alma maters, Syracuse and the University of Delaware, and told them to stay off his lawn and way from his Gran Torino.

    Despite his decades of “carrying water” for predatory credit card companies, Joe Biden is better than that. His advisers – Wall Street clones excepted – are better than that. And the country deserves better than that.


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