Where Were They Radicalized? Two Mike Flynn Supporters Guilty of Threatening Assassination

Yesterday, two Trump supporters were held accountable for threats of violence against Trump’s perceived opponents.

In DC, QAnoner Frank Caporusso pled guilty to threatening Emmet Sullivan because of his decisions in the Mike Flynn case. His statement of facts admitted that he called Sullivan’s chamber and warned,

We are professionals. We are trained military people. We will be on rooftops. You will not be safe. A hot piece of lead will cut through your skull. You bastard. You will be killed, and I don’t give a fuck who you are. Back out of this bullshit before it’s too late, or we’ll start cutting down your staff. This is not a threat. This is a promise.

Caporusso faces an 18-24 month sentence, though will get credit for time served since August.

In New York, a jury found Trump supporter Brendan Hunt guilty of making death threats against government officials, including calling for the execution of AOC, Chuck Schumer, and Nancy Pelosi on December 6. On January 8, he called to return to DC with guns to “slaughter these motherfuckers.” On January 12, in response to a General Flynn Parler text calling on people to act responsibly, Hunt responded, “enough with the ‘trust the plan’ bullshit. lets go, jan 20, bring your guns.”

Hunt’s sentence will likely be longer given that he went to trial, not to mention some violent behavior committed while detained pre-trial.

This is one day. One day, and two Trump and Flynn supporters found guilty of the same crime for threatening political violence.

42 replies
    • JVO says:

      It already did on Jan 6 but it’s not just “sycophancy” for many – it’s that they know it’s a crime and they don’t care because their guy will pardon them if they’re successful.

    • Overshire says:

      My long-suffering Mrs, while cussing and discussing Matt Gaetz recently, offered up the term “psycophants” for precisely this ilk. I predict we’ll get a lot of use out of it.

  1. Peterr says:

    The question in the title is a good one, and anyone charged like this who could help answer it might get a little extra consideration from the court by sharing that answer with prosecutors.

    And anyone who might have been part of the radicalization process should be very worried about that question even being asked. You know, someone who might have been a trusted advisor of the former president. Someone who might have been spreading disinformation and lies on Trump’s behalf. Someone who might have been very visible on television and other media, day after day, beating the drums of war. Someone like . . . Rudy?

    It makes me wonder what information investigators laid before a judge to get the warrants to search Rudy’s home and seize his electronic devices.

    • Tom says:

      I don’t think anything an advisor might say would be nearly as effective and motivating as hearing the President himself tell his mob that their election was stolen and that they have to ‘fight like hell’ if they want ‘to get your country back’. And in the aftermath of the attack on the Capitol hearing that same President say that he loves you and thinks you’re ‘very special’. And hearing that sort of rhetoric not only on January 6th but in the weeks and months leading up to that date. Whether he feels it or not, President 45 bears a heavy burden of guilt.

    • subtropolis says:

      Most reporting on the Giuliani raid claims that it was about his Ukraine escapade. And, one report stated that the FBI had previously been speaking with several Ukrainian figures, one of them having been debriefed for ten hours in his NYC hotel room. I’d think that such interviews may have already provided enough to secure access to telecom provider / cloud storage info even before yesterday. I doubt that they felt it necessary to get into his public commentary about anything other than the Ukraine bullshit.

  2. Zirc says:

    The question IS a good one, but I believe many were radicalized long before Trump. He just helped them realize how many of them there were. Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols were of the same ilk. Eric Rudolf was. During the great Tea Party craze of 2010, the slogan, “Ballot box or bullet box” was common, even among people who worked for me. Granted, my employee acted as though he was kidding, but I am certain that while he may not have ever been tempted to engage in violence, he sympathized and still sympathizes with those who did engage.

    As for where he became radical enough to embrace this kind of ideology: Rush, talk radio in general, various websites.


    [Welcome back to emptywheel. Please use the same username each time you comment so that community members get to know you. You used “Zircon” when posting this comment; you’ve commented 30 times before as “Zirc.” I’ve reverted this comment to your original name but please remember to use the same one in the future. Thanks. /~Rayne]

    • Rayne says:

      For Americans who aren’t white, it looks less like radicalization and more like a consolidation of the same white supremacist/white nationalist animus which has always driven most smaller hate groups apart from those which were Black supremacist or separatist (ex. Israelite Church of God in Jesus Christ, Nation of Islam). They sound and appear anti-government, but there’s little separation between their belief that government restricts their rights and government gives things to “those people” which are theirs.

    • Leoghann says:

      Whether you choose to call it “radicalization,” “consolidation of animus,” or applesauce, the fact remains that when Rush Limbaugh hit the waves, with Newt Gingrich singing backup, expressing it loudly and vehemently went from unseemly to acceptable to widespread. Those who once might have felt some shame in having such thoughts now have a large, public group that encourages such vituperation.

      • Fran of the North says:

        Perhaps ‘Confluence of Anuses’ is apt??

        I’ll add another rogue to your gallery of names. I think much of this is the evil spawn of Grover Norquist’s quixotic and almost successful attempt to gut government by using the tax code as proxy.

  3. John Paul Jones says:

    What’s more worrying is the continued pushing of the “stolen election” lie, and the attempts to give it legs and lungs via the “audit” of the votes in Arizona, and (according to Maddow) the attempt by the CyberNinjas to gain more contracts to “audit” votes in Michigan. (Apparently, this involves the use of ultraviolet light to examine ballots to “prove” some kind of nefarious interference with the votes. My guess is that they will announce that the light reveals some sort of signal to the vote counting machines.) It’s worrying because it seems to bid fair to become the same sort of myth that did for the Weimar Republic in Germany, the myth of the “stab-in-the-back-just-as-we-were-about-to-win-the-War” which was one of the things which ultimately undermined public trust in democracy. This is exactly the same sort of myth/lie: we were betrayed by enemies within. And the fact that it’s not going away, that it’s being built up and pushed by Republicans, is what I find very worrying.

    • Tom says:

      Interestingly, the Nazis referred to the German politicians who negotiated the Armistice in November 1918 ending the Great War as “the November criminals”. As far as I can tell, the Ever-Trumpers haven’t yet borrowed the term to apply it to those who accept that Biden won the November 2020 election fair & square.

  4. JVO says:

    We know that they were radicalized right here in America! And we know who did it: Presidunce, Flynn and the rest of the #RICO team – ratfuckers Stone and Manafort et al, Mercers et al, FoxNews’ Fvcker Calrson, Sean Insanity et al; OANN, Newsmax et al., Stop The Steal org and leaders; Giulianni, DeGenova, Toensing, Wood et al., Proud Boys, OathKeepers et al., etc., etc. They are all literally in on overthrowing America’s Constitution and INSTALLING Trump as Presidunce again, IMHO. Prove me wrong!

  5. Alan says:

    I am waiting for Dominion to sue the CyberNinjas. Bet you that Dominion has a complaint prepared already. Delicious.

    • Rugger9 says:

      If Maricopa County, AZ used Dominion and/or Smartmatic the shoddy documentation and lack of transparency (plus the blue pens, AZ Central has an interesting take on it) basically guarantees that the companies have plenty to complain about.

      • bmaz says:

        Naw, the process here in Maricopa County was just fine. And all non-quack audits have confirmed the same. What is going on as a result of Trumpalos in the AZ State Senate is insane.

  6. Austin says:

    The Fed Ex shooter was radicalized because Nazi’s infiltrated the My Little Pony subculture. The person who showed up at the house of a federal judge recently assigned a case involving Deutsche Bank and assassinated one of her family members was a member of the incel community. It’s looking like the FBI or a group of enterprising journalists needs to do a deep dive and see if people who are on the edge are being identified via the almighty algorithm and then specifically targeted to push them off the deep end. Anyone really think Stone, Flynn, Trump etc wouldn’t greenlight something like that?

    [Welcome to emptywheel. Please use a more differentiated username when you comment next as we have several community members named “Austin” or a variant of that name. Thanks. /~Rayne]

    • Rayne says:

      Interesting angle, but which platform and which algorithm? And would it need to be any of Stone/Flynn/Trump doing this versus repeated exposure across a group of likeminded individuals of which one or several self select to pop off?

    • John Paul Jones says:

      That’s pretty much the plot of one of my favourite 1970s paranoia films, The Parallax View. Under the radar corporation identifies and recruits disaffected loners, then uses a form of operant conditioning to get them to assassinate selected liberal politicians.

    • Savage Librarian says:

      I’ll take all of the above comments and commenters plus some. Don’t forget Joel Zamel, too. Not only did he have connections to Israelis and George Nader (and thus, Erik Prince, the UAE, and DonJr.), he also had connections to Michael Flynn. And he attended the 2016 SPIEF in St. Petersburg, Russia.

      Zamel’s attorney, Marc Mukasey, once worked in the same law firm as Rudy Giuliani.

      “Inside Wikistrat, the Mysterious Intelligence Firm Now in Mueller’s Sights” – Ken Klippenstein, Updated 3/4/19; Published 6/4/18


    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      Austin, you noted that the assassin who targeted the NJ judge (killing her son) was affiliated with misogynist groups. I think the answer to Marcy’s question often lies in that direction: misogyny, tapped into by extremist–mainly white supremacist–organizations for recruiting purposes. I’ve been swimming in research on this world, and one phrase stands out; a violent extremist described it as “trivial” to lure incels into the more targeted violence of white supremacy.

  7. rip says:

    About all the problems with people using different names when commenting…

    I have never been able to establish a login with this site after several years of trying and even donating (as if that would change something.)

    Rayne – has anybody looked into problems with mere mortals trying to register a new account and using it?

    Since I can’t log in I never get any notifications if anyone has posted a response to my very infrequent messages. And I’ll not see a response to this unless I refresh this thread.

    I’ve been hesitant to bring this up since so many talented respondents appear to use the site without problems. It must just be me.

    • bmaz says:

      rip – I honestly do not know the answer to this, but will make sure it is forwarded to get an answer.

      The donation is more than greatly appreciated, but ability to register has never been a prerequisite. In the meantime, thank you for the advisory.

    • Rayne says:

      I’m afraid the comment system doesn’t work that way. You’ll have to type in the same info each time unless it’s saved as autofill in your browser. I can only suggest you refresh the tab and do a search for “rip” — might actually consider a username which is more than just “rip” so that a search doesn’t offer “trip” or other hits which include “rip.”

      While donations are appreciated and help pay for bandwidth, hosting, security, maintenance, and occasional developer tweaks, we don’t have another comment system in the wings to which we can migrate which generates individual accounts and yet does not increase expense, tracking of users, and additional security risks. I’ll point to Disqus as an example — absolutely hell to the no.

    • rip says:

      Thanks, all. I was worried that it was just me… as usual.

      I appreciate the suggestion that I have a more creative username. I’ve had several over the years and this one seemed untaken.

      Wonder why the suggestion to “login”? Might be time for someone to write a script to get new comments based on postings, etc. I’m sure that the various IC and other players are already mining this site!

      Love you all.

  8. Intone says:

    Where weren’t they? Take a look around you, increasingly the message is that violence solves problems.

    Also it may be time to retire that term for this type of behaviour, being, as you point out, more and more common.

  9. MossyBanks says:

    The Insurrection to nullify the 2020 election shocked and angered me. Emptywheel has been a great help in expanding my knowledge of it. I’ve studied a lot of first-hand video and put together one of my own – focusing on the assault on the Lower West Terrace tunnel leading into the Capitol building. Various rioters are identified with footage that isolate and show some of their specific violent actions. If you haven’t put names/faces of rioters to their real-time attacks, then you might find my 17-minute video of interest. January 6 was a day of infamy and shouldn’t be forgotten. Here’s a link to my YouTube video: https://youtu.be/2eMVSc3k29U
    Thanks (first-time post).

  10. e.a.f. says:

    What type of nut bars go around threatening to kill a judge and others on staff because they don’t like his decision? How did they get this crazy? They may have been sentenced to jail but perhaps it might have been better if they had been sent to a facility for those who are bad shit crazy, like a forensic unit, to find out how they got that way. Every one pretty much knows its against the law to threaten to shoot others, especially judges.

    Once these people are out of jail, will they try it for real this time and not issue a threat, simply do it. What made these people think a judge would change their minds just because they were threatened?

    I think the question at the top is appropriate. “Where were they radicalized”.

    If this were not so serious, it actually would be funny. Adults threatening to shoot people because they don’t like judicial decisions. omg, what is next shooting chefs because you don’t like the dessert.

Comments are closed.