How the FBI Missed Alleged January 6 Leader Joe Biggs

Let’s talk about how central Joe Biggs is to what we know of the implementation of January 6.

It explains a lot that — at least according to a claim Biggs himself made — two FBI agents were relying on him for information against Antifa in the lead-up to the terrorist attack.

By late 2018, Biggs also started to get “cautionary” phone calls from FBI agents located in Jacksonville and Daytona Beach inquiring about what Biggs meant by something politically or culturally provocative he had said on the air or on social media concerning a national issue, political parties, the Proud Boys, Antifa or other groups. Biggs regularly satisfied FBI personnel with his answers. He also stayed in touch with a number of FBI agents in and out of Florida. In late July 2020, an FBI Special Agent out of the Daytona Beach area telephoned Biggs and asked Biggs to meet with him and another FBI agent at a local restaurant. Biggs agreed. Biggs learned after he travelled to the restaurant that the purpose of the meeting was to determine if Biggs could share information about Antifa networks operating in Florida and elsewhere. They wanted to know what Biggs was “seeing on the ground.” Biggs did have information about Antifa in Florida and Antifa networks in other parts of the United States. He agreed to share the information. The three met for approximately two hours. After the meeting, Biggs stayed in touch with the agent who had called him originally to set up the meeting. He answered follow-up questions in a series of several phone calls over the next few weeks. They spoke often.

I don’t mean they were complicit. Rather, that they weren’t even aware that he was in the middle of plans to conduct a terrorist attack on the nation’s Capitol is a testament to and perhaps an explanation for how the FBI missed all this.

Joe Biggs is a former Army Staff Sergeant who did tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan before he left with a medical discharge and PTSD. After some troubled years, he started contributing to InfoWars, serving as a key proponent of the PizzaGate scandal that turned John Podesta emails stolen by Russia into an attack on a pizza restaurant in DC; he was formally ousted from InfoWars shortly after the Comet Ping Pong attack, but remained in the InfoWars orbit. Alex Jones claims he gave Biggs a big severance when he left. After that, Biggs was a key proponent of the Seth Rich conspiracy, posting the manufactured FBI Report that served as a basis for the Fox News story that had to be retracted.

According to one of Biggs’ own court filings, after he moved to Florida to take care of his mother in 2018, he contributed the same propaganda skills that fostered an attack on Comet Ping Pong and falsely impugned a murdered DNC staffer to the Proud Boys, ginning up events to sow violence in the name of Antifa.

The same year, 2018, after the move to Florida, Biggs became active as an organizer, event planner and thought leader in the Proud Boys. He used his platform as a radio and social media personality to promote Proud Boy events and ideas. In particular, he personally planned two major events: rallies in Portland, Oregon in both 2019 and 2020 designed as counterdemonstrations against Antifa, which had been active in and around Portland for over two decades.

His presence in Florida put him in close proximity to Enrique Tarrio and (as if his ties to InfoWars didn’t already do so) through him Roger Stone.

When Trump called out the Proud Boys in his first debate against Joe Biden, Biggs responded, “President Trump told the proud boys to stand by because someone needs to deal with ANTIFA . . . well sir! we’re ready!!” (Note, this hasn’t shown up in DOJ filings.)

Immediately after and in the weeks after the election, Biggs kept declaring war. “It’s time for fucking War if they steal this shit.” “No bitch. This is war.” ““This is a war on Americanism. This is only the beginning.”

On December 11, the Proud Boys (at least Enrique Tarrio and Ethan Nordean) appeared prominently at a Stop the Steal event with InfoWars personality Owen Shroyer. There was coordination between the militias at a march the following day, after which Enrique Tarrio destroyed a Black Lives Matter banner from the Asbury United Methodist Church in DC.

In the days after both the DC even and an event involving Stone in Florida, Oath Keeper Kelly Meggs claimed he organized a Florida-based “alliance” between the Oath Keepers, Proud Boys, and 3%ers.

On Christmas Eve, Meggs specifically tied protection at the January rally, probably of Stone, and coordination with a Proud Boy, almost certainly Tarrio, in the same text.

In the days after, both Tarrio and Biggs posted plans to dress like Antifa rather than in their signature yellow and black.

9. For example, on December 29, 2020, Tarrio posted a message on the social media site Parler1 about the demonstration planned for January 6, 2021. Among other things, Tarrio announced that the Proud Boys would “turn out in record numbers on Jan 6th but this time with a twist… We will not be wearing our traditional Black and Yellow. We will be incognito and we will be spread across downtown DC in smaller teams. And who knows….we might dress in all BLACK for the occasion.” I believe the statement about dressing in “all BLACK” is a reference to dressing like the group known as “Antifa,” who the Proud Boys have identified as an enemy of their movement and are often depicted in the media wearing all black to demonstrations.

10. On or around the same day, BIGGS posted a similar message to his followers on Parler in which he stated, among other things, “we will not be attending DC in colors. We will be blending in as one of you. You won’t see us. You’ll even think we are you . . .We are going to smell like you, move like you, and look like you. The only thing we’ll do that’s us is think like us! Jan 6th is gonna be epic.” I understand that BIGGS was directing these statements at “Antifa.”

On December 30, Southern California 3%er Russell Taylor described a plan to meet at the Capitol and — in conjunction with Stop the Steal — surround the Capitol.

Spread the word to other CALIFORNIA Patriots to join us as we March into the Capitol Jan 6. The Plan right now is to meet up at two occasions and locations: 1. Jan 5th 2pm at the Supreme Court steps for a rally. (Myself, Alan, [and others] will be speaking) 2. Jan 6th early 7am meet in front of the Kimpton George Hotel…we will leave at 7:30am sharp and March (15 mins) to the Capital [sic] to meet up with the stop the steal organization and surround the capital. [sic] There will be speakers there and we will be part of the large effort for the “Wild Rally” that Trump has asked us all to be part of. [my emphasis]

This plan — surrounding the Capitol — was what Stop the Steal figures partially carried out on January 6.

On January 4, when Tarrio arrived in DC for the riot, he was arrested for his attack on the Black Church in December, whereupon he was found with weapons that are unlawful in DC. In the wake of Tarrio’s arrest, Ethan Nordean was supposed to be in charge of the operation. But around 9:08PM the day before the riot (these texts reflect Nordean’s Washington state time zone, so add three hours), someone said he had not heard from Nordean in hours.

Minutes later, Biggs explained that “we just had a meeting w[i]th a lot of guys” and “info should be coming out.” While redacted in these texts, the superseding indictment describes that he also notes he had just spoken with Tarrio.


He further explained that he was with Nordean and “we have a plan.”

Biggs then says he gave Tarrio a plan.

Ethan Nordean may have been in charge on January 6. But Biggs seems to have been the one working most closely with Tarrio, through whom at least some of the inter-militia coordination worked.

After all that, the Proud Boy leaders agree to meet at 10AM the next day.

As captured by the WSJ, the next day, after the Proud Boys met at the Washington Monument, they then marched the East side of the Capitol first, but then later approach it from the Northwest. Just before Trump started speaking and before a broader call to assembly tied to 1PM, at 12:52 Biggs said something to Ryan Samsel, who then kicked off the assault on a series of barricades, giving a police officer a brain injury in the process.

Proud Boys Dominic Pezzola and Billy Chrestman were among the leaders of the next confrontation. After a series of fights, at 2:13, Dominic Pezzola broke through a window in the Capitol. Biggs followed him, with some other Proud Boys (in this picture, Paul Rae) in tow, a minute later.

Meanwhile, even as Biggs was leading a mob of people in a violent attack on the Capitol, Alex Jones — Biggs’ former employer — was leading a larger mob of people from the Ellipse, where they had just been instructed by their President that “we’re going to the Capitol, and we’re going to try and give…we’re going to try and give our Republicans, the weak ones because the strong ones don’t need any of our help. We’re going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country.” Jones stopped when he got to the Capitol and gave a speech.

According to Stacie Getsinger, a woman from South Carolina who was arrested for trespassing in June who was listening to Jones at that first speech, Jones told his audience to go to the other side of the building (which would be the East side), because that’s where Trump’s next speech would be.

She and her husband did. Trump gave no speech, but they were among the first wave of people to breach the East entrance.

Alex Jones went to the other side of the Capitol, too. Even before he did, though, Oath Keeper Jason Dolan was on the stairs, waiting.

As Dolan waited, Jones and his entourage (including Ali Alexander and the recently arrested Owen Shroyer) pushed up the stairs stack-style.

Meanwhile, at some point, former InfoWars employee and Florida militia member reportedly joined in an alliance with the Oath Keepers by fellow Floridian Meggs, Biggs left the Capitol from one of the West entrances, walked around it, and assembled on the East Steps with Arthur Jackman, Rae, and two others (probably Kevin and Nathan Tuck, and possibly Edward George; the Tucks are both — now former — cops, and Jackman’s and one of the Tucks’ spouses still are cops).

At 2:39, Rae and Jackman can be seen approaching the East Door with Biggs.

At around 2:40, they entered the East door.

At almost exactly the same time, Jason Dolan and Kenneth Harrelson entered the door along with the Oath Keeper stack led by Kelly Meggs (this is believed to be a picture Harrelson took of Dolan filming the entry; if you watch the video you can see both signs visible in the Biggs photo, making it clear that the people kitted out with helmets in that picture are the Stack).

People like the Getsingers — who were brought there by Alex Jones — pushed through around the same time.

Something brought Joe Biggs, Florida Oath Keepers Kenneth Harrelson and Jason Dolan, along with former Biggs employer Alex Jones to the top of the East steps, along with the mob that Jones brought on false pretenses. Shortly thereafter, Florida Oath Keeper head Kelly Meggs would bring a stack of Oath Keepers through the same door and — evidence suggests — in search of Nancy Pelosi, whom Meggs had talked about killing on election day.

Joe Biggs kicked off the riot on the West side of the building.

Then he went over to the East side to join his former employer Alex Jones and a bunch of Oath Keepers, led by fellow Floridians, to lead a mob back into the Capitol.

West side. Joe Biggs. East side. Joe Biggs.

This is the guy a couple of FBI Agents in Daytona believed was a credible informant against Antifa.

[Thanks to Benny Bryant for continuing to help me sort through the Oath Keeper side of this, and thanks to gal_suburban for sharing the video of Jones on the East side.]

79 replies
  1. P J Evans says:

    I wonder how much of the information Biggs gave the FBI was invented to suit their idea of Antifa.

    • subtropolis says:

      I wonder whether those contacts were what they appear to have been. It’s not improbable that certain FBI agents were taken in by, or even were sympathetic to these dumbasses. A high-ranking Secret Service agent even joined Humpty Dumpty’s so-called administration, after all. Plenty of people who we’d once thought should know better proved to be susceptible to the dark side.

      However, most FBI agents are no dummies. I can’t help but wonder whether it was Biggs who was being told what he’d wanted to hear. In fact, I’ve pondered this since I first read about these contacts. Stroke his ego by pretending that he’s being sought out for help against a shared enemy. Put him at ease by convincing him that they are playing on the same side. The Antifa info isn’t the goal; insight into the higher echelons of the PBs is. Being a bit of a showboat (see InfoWars) he’s a prime candidate for just that sort of elicitation.

      Now, I have no insight, whatsoever, about the agents involved. It could be that it was as grim as it seems. But it’s clear that the FBI was looking hard at various of these violent right-wing groups despite That Shitbag’s wishes. And the Florida PBs do have a close connection with a particular bête noir of the Bureau’s in Roger Stone. I’m keeping an open mind for now.

      • Katherine M Williams says:

        Sigh. It would be so nice to think the FBI was playing “11-dimensional” chess with the mobster-traitors. But I quit thinking that in 2011.

      • emptywheel says:

        These FBI agents were, in fact, taken in. That’s just not my story to tell.

        That said, it’s easy to understand why. Billy Barr had told them Antifa was the top priority, and they saw what happened to people like Strzok and McCabe if one chased America’s enemies rather than Trump’s.

        • Manwen says:

          I remain reluctant to conclude these agents viewed Biggs as an “informant” even if Biggs claims that to be the case. I have several reasons for doubting this.
          1. If they are monitoring Biggs enough to know he is in communication with Antifa groups, then they probably do not need him to provide them with information about Antifa.
          2. They knew in talking to Biggs, that they were gathering information about one radical group from an enemy of another radical group. This practice should give them insight into some of the risks of conflict between the two, but they should also know that the information from Biggs is destined to be tainted.
          3. Wray has always been in a difficult position, but he has consistently stated in Congressional hearings that the danger from right wing extremists was greater than that from Antifa.
          He tried to lower the temperature surrounding Antifa hysteria, despite Barr’s statements. Whatever his faults, Wray has been consistent about this.
          4. The only information about this relationship thus far is from Biggs’ attorneys who obviously have an incentive to cast his role in the most favorable light.
          It is certainly possible that some FBI agents have sympathy with people like Biggs, but I have doubts that it was general FBI policy to downplay threats from the neo-fascists. I remain skeptical of Biggs’ role as Antifa informant because it seems like an unreliable source of information. But if the FBI could earn his confidence, Biggs could be a useful source of information to help gauge the risk of violent clashes between the two. Obviously, I could be wrong about this, but it seems more consistent with other information we have.
          I am hopeful that we will learn over the next few months a lot more about how the FBI assessed risks and communicated threats regarding early January activities of these violent extremists.
          Another curiosity about this day. The communications that are often discussed here make it clear that the insurrectionists anticipated a violent clash with counter-protestors. At this most important rally for Trump supporters, there appear to have been NO counter-protesters. No Antifa. No BLM. Despite all of their planning for using a violent clash with counter-protesters to justify their behavior that day, it never materialized. Law enforcement was their only violent target left for them that day. Antifa absence left them exposed, without any credible justification for their violent assault on democracy. As a result, their hopes for Trump to use the Guard to “protect his people,” to invoke the Insurrection Act, or to declare martial law fizzled. The knee-jerk, post-hoc blaming on Antifa quickly fell apart. And, the militia groups are now dangling in the wind.
          And, I appreciate greatly all of the analysis you provide here to help us understand what is happening in the legal filings. Thank you.

        • bmaz says:

          1) There are no real “antifa groups”. There are only black bloc assholes and BLM etc protesters that are not “antifa”, but get glibly lumped into that nonsense bin of finger pointing by the right wing nutters.
          2) Yeah, that is almost “always” the case when the Bureau is running informants. Drug cases, mafia, organized crime…informants are never the pure kids next door. No, information is not always “tainted”, but to any extent it is, that is accepted and allowed for in collection and use.
          3) You are biting on the “antifa” nonsense again eh? Good to see commenters at EW pumping up the right wing framing.
          4) Lol, his attorneys are doing their job. Shocker! But DOJ knows a lot more, and it is their discretion how and when to play their cards, they are not on an internet timeline.
          5) The rest of your comment plays off of the above, so I will stop here.

        • Manwen says:

          I am really sorry if my comment hypes Antifa hysteria. I was obviously unclear. I do not believe any of the Antifa nonsense and I don’t think Wray does either. I sure hope that I did not imply anything different. I agree with your description of Antifa.
          I don’t mean to “lump” BLM with them in this comment either. I know better than that. I only mean to point out that a key part of RW planning anticipated a violent clash with counter-protesters that never materialized. I think it is significant and important that counter-protesters (of any affiliation) never showed up on the sixth. I expected some. There are almost always some at such events, especially in D.C. Among possible explanations:
          1. Organizers of such events realized their presence would be a catalyst and stayed away. I think this is most likely.
          2. I have been told, but I never read it myself, that Mayor Bowser publicly discouraged attendance.
          3. It is also possible that counter-protesters were discouraged by what they read online, by perhaps communications with people like Biggs (though that seems odd), or perhaps by communications from law enforcement.
          4. Or perhaps, another likely possibility, is those who would be counter-protesters saw little value to being there.
          My overall point was simply that I am not comfortable concluding that the FBI was working with Biggs to get reliable information on “Antifa” actors with whom Biggs professes he was in communicating. That may prove to be the case, but I am more inclined to believe that the FBI was “running informants”, as you say, than it was that the informants (Biggs) were running the FBI.
          I agree with everything you said here. I was obviously unclear in my presentation and I will try to avoid getting caught up in that right wing finger pointing. Don’t want to do that!

        • PieIsDamnGood says:

          1 is exactly what happened. Counter-protestors/antifa/resistance decided to stay away because of the threat of violence.

          Don’t know why the simplest explanation is so hard to believe. A couple of FBI agents got duped, believed, or were incentivized to believe right wing bullshit.

        • Manwen says:

          I agree the most likely reason counter- protestors stayed away is because they were smart enough to know better than to become a catalyst for right wing violence. It is significant that they did so because the insurrectionists lost their excuse for violence. I am extremely grateful they did. I did not mean to conflate the absence of counter-protesters with the discussion of Biggs and the FBI agents.
          It is possible that two rogue agents were played by Biggs. But, the only information we have about this relationship comes from Biggs. I am simply withholding judgment on whether or not what Biggs says is true, pending further investigation going forward. To me the the most parsimonious explanation is that Biggs thought he was informing on Antifa, but was actually informing on himself and his associates. That is what the FBI does when they run informants, as bmaz says. Marcy’s detailed exposition of Biggs’ situation raises questions for me: What information did the FBI obtain from Biggs? And, what was the FBI doing with that information? I am hoping that the answers will arise from the Congressional investigation if not from the judicial proceedings against Biggs. It is possible that Biggs was dealing with rogues, but I find it difficult to believe that the FBI was dependent on Biggs for info on “antifa.” The simplest explanation to me is that this was an excuse to get info on Biggs and company more than it was to get info form Biggs on his perceived enemies.

        • bmaz says:

          Fine. Nobody need agree with me at any point in time. On the other hand, I have spent a lot of time practicing in this area of criminal law, as opposed to commenting on the internet.

        • Manwen says:

          I believe you. Your reporting holds a lot of credibility with me. I do look forward to learning more about the communications between these agents and Biggs. I assume that at some point that information has to show up in court if DOJ pursues the case against Biggs with vigor and he uses this meeting as part of his defense.

        • Burt Berman says:

          Terrific piece. Surely Mr. Wray conducted more than one all hands on deck/come to Jesus post mortems following “the event”. He really has not been forthcoming AT ALL with Congressional interrogation other than to plead ignorance and that FBI not familiar with and does not monitor open source via the internet. Something stinks.

        • Ravenclaw says:

          Of course they did. You make that clear. And the FBI has nearly always magnified the threat from left-wing extremists while downplaying the (greater) threat from right-wing extremists – and, I think, included agents who were really sympathetic to the right-wing cause. We’re talking ever since the agency was created.

  2. BobCon says:

    I’d hope investigators and leadership with a bit more perspective start pushing the FBI to start thinking harder about how much violence attributed to Antifa is actually due to guys like Tarrio and Biggs.

  3. earlofhuntingdon says:

    I’m amazed that so many people – some with demonstrably criminal intent – gathered at one of the most surveilled buildings in the country, and chose not to disguise themselves, but rather did so openly, the way Donald Trump commits so many of his crimes.

    • dadidoc1 says:

      It’s almost as if they were invited to be there by the President or someone in the President’s inner circle.

  4. subtropolis says:

    “Ethan Nordean may have been in charge on January 6. But Biggs seems to have been the one working most closely with Tarrio, through whom at least some of the inter-militia coordination worked.”

    I suspect that Biggs’s role was as a liaison to the “managerial” component of the plot: the InfoWars crowd, Stone, etc. Tarrio, too, because he’d been taken off the field, so to speak.

  5. Leoghann says:

    Joe Biggs certainly isn’t the first manipulative criminal to make a complete fool out of an overly ambitious and underly intelligent FBI agent. Confirmation bias is alive and well in law enforcement.

  6. Desider says:

    Just how hard is it to figure out with Biggs’ background that he might not be a trusted source, but instead quite biased and part of radical group organizing? Infowars, Pizza gate, Comet attack, Seth Rich? Doesn’t the FBI keep a database of anything? And that’s 2018 – then to ignore the Proud Boys connection 2 years later? It’s not like this guy is subtle in any way.
    Whatever Barr might have told these FBI agents, it seems more likely they were whackadoo themselves with a ton of confirmation bias or some agenda – would be good to see more.
    Or sure, the FBI could just be extremely incompetent and gullible.
    Which one does Occam’s Razor point to?

    • emptywheel says:

      Yeah, I think that’s the especially inexcusable part of this. This man had clearly, twice before, demonstrated himself to be a skilled and dangerous propagandist.

      • MissyDC says:

        Will there be any accountability for FBIs incompetence? I do think Wray should resign, very weak leadership. If not him, something drastic needs to happen over there. Anybody with a smart phone knew violence was eminent. I live in DC. We all knew. I’d say SMH but it more screaming into the void.

        • FiestyBlueBird says:

          “1 (800) We Are Antifa”

          Good one, bmaz!

          I love this place of smarter than the average bear types, with comedy thrown in around very serious and unfunny topics.

          Thanks for that.

        • YancyFaith says:

          I’m pretty sure the Mayor of DC warned/asked all counter-protesters, (if not literal antifa, which like you, I don’t really believe exist, except in fevered right wing minds,) to stay home & indoors.
          I think there was one officially permitted group of counter-protesters who did show up, but they were either GOP posing as Dems, or real Dems who got bored & just went home.

        • Rugger9 says:

          There is no such thing as “ANTIFA” as an organized group. It’s the boogeyman created by the RWNM to scare all of their rubes into getting violent. No group, no organizing a boycott of the proceedings.

          With that said, I’m sure that the counter protestors that would otherwise oppose the January 6 seditionists were well aware they would become the patsy have been alerted by AG Barr’s comments about PDX (among other events) earlier. It was also clear that many of this MAGA mob would be armed so why show up to be killed and then blamed? Please use your head better.

        • subtropolis says:

          “The Secret History of the Shadow Campaign That Saved the 2020 Election”

          Mike Podhorzer, a senior advisor with AFL-CIO, put together a network early last year that worked to safeguard all aspects of the election. On election night, they had tens of thousands of people across the country on standby should Humpty Dumpty have tried something. In the end, the word went out to stand down. The article discusses this, but also mentions in passing that the same network worked to keep counter-protestors away on Jan. 6. Another article I’ve read, which I can no longer recall, went into more detail about quiet efforts to keep people away on Jan. 5-6.

          I urge everyone to read the article. The work that was done, by so many, last year is commendable.

        • matt fischer says:

          Thanks for sharing that article, subtropolis. I had missed it.

          See, bmaz? There was a 1 (800) We Are Antifa! after all. ;)

          I’m counting my lucky stars.

    • WilliamOckham says:

      Well… now that you mention the whole razor thing, the simplest explanation for organizational behavior is an organization’s previous behavior. Behavior is the interaction of organizational culture and its environment (the external forces that it reacts to). Even the most cursory examination of the FBI’s past behavior would indicate that it will chase after the most ridiculous made-up left wing “plots” while doing everything it can to ignore right wing extremists. Let me give you one example. When the Reagan administration came to power in 1981, the FBI went chasing after CISPES (the Committee In Solidarity with the People of El Salvador). A con artist with connections to the right wing government in El Salvador spun out a ludicrous story about CISPES being a KGB front and involved in a plot to kill Reagan. That blew up into a wide ranging investigation involving almost every FBI field office and a couple of black bag break-ins of the CISPES office in Dallas, Texas.

      This sort of thing has played out over and over in the course of the FBI’s existence. It’s a political organization in a political environment. The FBI falling for Biggs’ bullshit is the least surprising thing ever.

      • bmaz says:

        Excellent. A response from the razor! This is what makes this blog what it is, and long has been. Thank you.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        As unsurprising as J. Edgar Hoover pretending there was no such thing as the Mafia in America, while managing not to pay a tab year after year for his annual vacations with Clyde in La Jolla, and seemingly never to bet on a losing horse at the track in nearby Del Mar.

  7. harpie says:

    Two recent data points about BIGGS:

    8:44 AM · Aug 27, 2021

    The unemployed #FlagGaiterCopHater [David DEMPSEY] seems not just a thug, instead has deep connections to wealthy right-wing organizers whose funds fuel extremism. His patron #IamGenevievePeters gave a speech from the West lawn on Jan 6, during her protegee’s assaults. 7/ [LINK]

    That links to a Chad Loder thread which includes:

    1. Genevieve Peters w/ Proud Boys leader Joe Biggs.
    2. Genevieve Peters coup attempt leader Roger Stone.
    3. Genevieve Peters and Elsa Aldeguer with Proud Boys David Dempsey and Joseph Krongchana.
    4. Genevieve Peters, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Elsa Aldeguer, and Leonor Ferris. [PHOTOS]

    8:50 PM · Aug 28, 2021

    […] On Jan 4 AM in DC, [Jonathan] Hughes & [Matt] Couch [America First Media Group] met up with other rightwing figures. Couch then got a call from Proud Boy leader Joe Biggs about the arrest of Enrique Tarrio, meant to have had ‘war powers’ on Jan 6. By evening, Couch & Hughes were in a hotel room working on damage control 37/ [screenshots]

  8. Eureka says:

    This is at once beautifully clear — like the twenty-years-on sky of that September morning — and a crying shame.

  9. earthworm says:

    speaking of missing things —
    as the 20th anniversary of sept 11 approaches, one wonders what are the parallels between what was missed then, and now, and complicity within FBI.
    anyone here remember this? (extensive piece in The New Yorker) FBI’s John O’Neill, who died in WTC attack, was stymied trying to alert powers about intelligence predicting it.

  10. harpie says:

    In a thread about the recently arrested Owen SHROYER [also: Info Wars], Capitol Hunters posted a diagram of his route [with Alex JONES] around the Capitol:
    5:45 PM · Aug 21, 2021

    Shroyer’s agreement gives him a bigger no-go zone than other perps on Jan 6, but he and Alex Jones went well within even the ordinary restricted ground. Here is their path from speech 1 (NW corner) to speech 2 (E steps), in close-up (L) and with restricted zone shown (R). 10/ [maps]

  11. CD54 says:

    Like Yogi said, “You can see a lot by just looking.”.

    This WAS the Trump FBI/Barr DOJ still at the time — remember they gutted the FBI right-wing investigation capability down to something like three persons (if I recall correctly).

  12. Krisy Gosney says:

    It’s clear the three major militia leadership/members along with the Right Wing convinced the police, FBI, etc that they were purely pro law enforcement. Now, it’s obvious they are not. But does law enforcement accept that fact yet?

  13. gmoke says:

    I’m wondering what is up with Ali Alexander. He seems to have been all over the place before January 6 and now seems to be nowhere visible. Is he being looked for by the authorities? What was his place in the scheme of things (and I do mean scheme)? Did he enter the Capitol building?

    At some point, I’d appreciate a run-down on this fraudster felon and what he was doing from Election Day until now. Might be useful.

  14. Savage Librarian says:

    I’ve been duped myself, probably more often than I realize. It took me years to piece together the who, what, why and how of my own disturbing experience with white supremacists and intransigent government officials. I had all the data I needed. But I couldn’t plug in one particularly important piece. Then, one day, it came in a flash. And it was so obvious. But, apparently, my mind had its reasons for holding out so long. Maybe it thinks that’s what its job is. A kind of protection. Or maybe it was just making do, the best it could at the time.

    If I can’t even count on my own brain to be forthright all the time, I can at least try to understand how that situation may apply to others, as well. Certainly FBI agents have these same foibles to contend with, right? And, now that they are under the microscope, there is more motivation for them to “build back better,” so to speak.

    So far, I have confidence in the House select committee investigating 1/6. We are also very fortunate to have so many other people volunteering their time and effort to help brace democracy and the rule of law.

  15. punaise says:

    wildly OT to bmaz: I saw in the news that they are doing away with peremptory challenges in jury selection at the AZ Supreme Court. That’s kind of a big deal, no?

    • rosalind says:

      bmaz tweeted yesterday: “This is an outrageous and unnecessary change. Jeebus.” and then earlier today: “I tagged this last night, when I saw the first report of it. This is an outrageous and unnecessary change in AZ, and not one that I heard any real clamoring for. Courts have been closed though.”

        • punaise says:

          I wasn’t sure how to read it. It was framed as a gesture against discrimination.

          OT to an OT: punaisette started her (federal) clerkship!

        • bmaz says:

          Punaise – I have a pretty good bead on courts in AZ, especially in Maricopa and Pima counties, though have appeared at one time or another in pretty much all of the 13, now 15, counties. I have only done jury trials in four of them, but have never seen a “discrimination” problem in any of them. The Batson precedent came out of Kentucky. There may still be a Batson problem in some southern and Bible Belt states, I don’t know, but my guess is not nearly as much as there once was.

          But I know of no issue whatsoever in AZ courts, and can easily say discrimination is not a cognizable problem here. So this change is pretty much gratuitous and, frankly, wrongheaded.

          Peremptory challenges were in the modern day, far more about getting a fair jury than about discrimination. When you do voir dire in a trial, you are given a background bio on each potential juror. Name, age, what they do for a living, have you ever served on a jury before and, if so, what was verdict, and some other parameters. It used to come on odd sized slips of paper, but is now electronic. and, from there, you question them.

          I never cared what race, or color, potential jurists were, I was more concerned about where I perceived their heads were as to my case and client. As Scott posted to, it is often easy to see a black person you just don’t want on a jury for a black defendant. It is not color it is who will be fair.

          Peremptory challenges are not unfair, in fact, they are a big factor in getting a truly fair jury panel. Both sides get them, and it almost always works fine. The new AZ rule, installed by a now right wing fueled AZ Supreme Court, is a solution in search of a problem, at least here. We are, once again, leading the nation in idiocy.

          Again, back to Greenfield, and I agree, this:

          “You want more blacks on juries? Great. You want prosecutors to stop striking blacks based on race? Really great. But undermining one of the few safeguards for a defendant that gives him half a chance to get that juror who he’s certain wants to see him hang off the jury? Eliminating peremptory strikes is a dangerous and terrible idea, no matter how wonderful it may seem in the minds of people who don’t pick juries and aren’t responsible for the life of the defendant sitting next to him. Don’t try new tricks on other people’s lives.”

          As to Punaisette…Outstanding! And congratulations! Any federal clerkship is a good thing, and a sign he/she has done very well. I would very much love to hear more about that, but probably not publicly for Punaisette’s sake. There is a contact for Emptywheel in our header.

        • punaise says:

          bmaz, thanks for the in-depth perspective. “A solution in search of a problem” captures it nicely. The default assumption is that there must be some nefarious intent here.

          Yes, with discretion in mind I will try back channels – stay tuned…

  16. Rapier says:

    Let’s take this to its theoretical absurd conclusion. Trump approves of a march on Washington and it soon becomes apparent that many will come armed. Several thousand or tens of thousands show up. Gunfire erupts somewhere or several somewheres. What percent of FBI agents would fire back at the patriots?

  17. harpie says:

    From Marcy’s quote of the BIGGS filing:

    […] In late July 2020, an FBI Special Agent out of the Daytona Beach area telephoned Biggs and asked Biggs to meet with him and another FBI agent at a local restaurant. Biggs agreed. Biggs learned after he travelled to the restaurant that the purpose of the meeting was to determine if Biggs could share information about Antifa networks operating in Florida and elsewhere. They wanted to know what Biggs was “seeing on the ground.” Biggs did have information about Antifa in Florida and Antifa networks in other parts of the United States. […]

    Marcy’s thread on something that was happening in late July 2020:
    10:17 AM · Jul 28, 2020

    A surefire sign your AG is a whiny snowflake if the Republicans on the committee have to write a prebuttal before he’ll show up.

    The prebuttal appears to be page after page of “I’m rubber and you’re glue,” which means one of the adults on the GOP side wrote the doc.

    GOP prebuttal: DiFi said Barr would have an easy time getting confirmed but didn’t vote for him bc he made it clear he’d politicize things. [THREAD]

    • harpie says:

      Mentions of ANTIFA:

      12:37 PM Buck just called Antifa “fascist.” // Because up is down.
      1:04 PM Gaetz: You said Stone prosecution was righteous. I would say prosecution of McCabe would be righteous. Telling people to destablize election would be more righteous. I’d like to focus effort on most acute need. Antifa, terrorist.
      1:04 PM Barr: Not sure I said terrorist org. Said we were investigating it in terrorism investigation.
      Barr now lying about Antifa‘s role in violence.
      1:05 PM Barr: Antifa can be best thought of umbrella. term for movement comprised of loosely organized groups, number of groups, centers of activity. Loosely organized but it is organized.
      [He’s playing with language to justify the networking investigation]
      1:06 PM [MMineiro] Barr says he isn’t suggesting that Antifa is a national organization, adds they organize right before an event and are involved in mob violence during the present protests.
      1:06 PM Just an observation.
      Matt Gaetz led a mob into a SCIF to interrupt an investigation.
      Now he’s complaining about Antifa as an organization.
      1:08 PM [MMineiro] Barr says DOJ is concerned about Antifa-led violence spreading across the country and that in places like Portland he has to step in even if local officials oppose federal agents.
      “There is no doubt in my mind that it would spread,” the AG adds.
      1:51 PM [LRozen] Rep. Lesko (R-Arizona), picking up on the Trump/Fox news campaign that black lives matter/Antifa protesters are coming for you: my constituents are scared. find disturbing Chairman Nadler denies Antifa exists. Rep. Jayapal corrects Rep. Lesko mispronunciation of her name.
      2:39 PM [DGoldman] Barr: I think that there are violent far left groups (including Antifa) in Portland.
      Follow-up: you “think”? What EVIDENCE do you have?
      2:44 PM [MMiller] We should never get used to an AG being this partisan: the line on Captain DeMarco being a Democrat, the attacks on the Obama admin over CDC policies (which is totally outside Barr’s remit), his claim there were two forms of justice under Obama, the Antifa BS. Way over the line.

      [These are Marcy tweets, except where noted]:

    • harpie says:

      Two months earlier:
      1] 5/31/20 NPR: Trump lays blame for clashes on radical left anarchists.

      […] In one tweet on Sunday, Trump said the U.S. “will be designating ANTIFA as a Terrorist Organization.” It’s something he has previously floated, and last year [7/18/19] two Republican senators [Cassidy, Cruz] introduced a resolution that sought to designate the group as a domestic terrorist organization. […]

      2] 6/8/20 Jim Sciutto [CNN]:

      New: Man accused of driving car through protestors in Virginia Sunday [6/7/20] is “admitted leader of Ku Klux Klan & a propagandist for Confederate ideology,” according to County Attorney. Harry Rogers is charged with attempted malicious wounding, felony vandalism & assault & battery.

      To which Marcy replies:
      1:59 PM · Jun 8, 2020

      A white supremacist here, a white supremacist there. You’d almost think Trump and Billy Barr blamed Antifa to avoid calling out their supporters?

      3] 6/9/20 TRUMP tweets:

      Buffalo protester shoved by Police could be an ANTIFA provocateur. 75 year old Martin Gugino was pushed away after appearing to scan police communications in order to black out the equipment. @OANN I watched, he fell harder than was pushed. Was aiming scanner. Could be a set up?

      JJMacNab responds:
      [link in next comment]
      10:59 AM · Jun 9, 2020

      The man is still in the hospital in serious condition. The police who pushed him were suspended without pay and charged with assault. [Read this THREAD for more info]

      4] 6/9/20 NPR: No Sign Of Antifa So Far In Justice Department Cases Brought Over Unrest
      [link in next comment]

      […] In his Fox interview, Barr repeated his assertion that an array of extremist groups has been instigating the violence, although he did — as he has repeatedly since the unrest over Floyd’s death began — single out antifa as the primary culprit.

      The attorney general isn’t the only one. President Trump, too, has pointed the finger at antifa. He went so far as to threaten to designate it a terrorist organization — despite lacking the legal authority to do so. […]

  18. harpie says:

    Another section of Marcy’s quote of the BIGGS filing:

    By late 2018, Biggs also started to get “cautionary” phone calls from FBI agents located in Jacksonville and Daytona Beach inquiring about what Biggs meant by something politically or culturally provocative he had said on the air or on social media concerning a national issue, political parties, the Proud Boys, Antifa or other groups. Biggs regularly satisfied FBI personnel with his answers. […]

    Some things that were happening in late 2018:

    10/27/18 TRUMP to Evangelical leaders at the WH [CNN]:

    I think we’re popular, but there’s a real question if people are going to vote if I’m not on the ballot. And I’m not on the ballot. A lot of people think I don’t like Congress. People say I’m not voting because the President doesn’t like Congress. It’s not a question of like or dislike, it’s a question that they will overturn everything that we’ve done, and they will do it quickly and violently. And violently. There is violence, when you look at Antifa. These are violent people. You have tremendous power. You were saying in this room, you have people who preach to almost 200 million people depending on which Sunday we’re talking about.

    • harpie says:

      10/30/18 [Retweeted by Marcy]:
      Double standard emerges as activists see special airline boarding pass designation

      […] Furthermore, movements, such as Antifa and Black Lives Matter, both of which call out police violence and the far-right, have been targeted by law enforcement and even the U.S. Army. […] Simultaneously, far-right rallies have turned deadly, and anti-government groups like the Bundy family occupied government property and held a standoff with federal authorities, but “there isn’t that same sort of attention [from the FBI],” [Michael] German said. […]

      10/30/18 Motherboard: Pentagon Wants to Predict Anti-Trump Protests Using Social Media Surveillance

    • harpie says:

      11/2/18 Journalist and NYU Professor Charles Seife replying to Jacob WOHL:

      Happy to explain. I’m a journalism prof interested in, among other things, misinformation. On July 11, I was running a program to monitor a fake news site to see if I could figure out what was responsible for spreading its falsehoods. In this particular case, you were. 1/

      The misinformation in question was the statement that joining Antifa had just been outlawed and punishable by imprisonment — an obviously and provably false claim. And in this case, it turns out that you bore the prime responsibility for spreading this lie. 2/

      So… tl;dr version: in the land of the BS artists, you’re a star. Congrats! 5/5

    • harpie says:

      11/3/18 NYT: U.S. Law Enforcement Failed to See the Threat of White Nationalism. Now They Don’t Know How to Stop It.
      One response:
      5:55 AM – 4 Nov 2018

      I’m about halfway through this @NYTmag story, and hoo boy do I have thoughts. […] But what jumped out at me are the threads that were briefly mentioned but not explored.

      Like, small-town cops in Wisconsin defending a suspect’s white supremacist literature. And Portland cops *allying* with the Proud Boys against Antifa. […]

      I’m shocked — shocked! — that law enforcement institutions that routinely inflict violence on vulnerable people — particularly people of color — could see far-right extremists not as threats, but potential allies. […]

      11/4/18 [Daniel Dale]:
      1:24 PM – 4 Nov 2018

      Trump says that members of Antifa have “little arms,” not strong arms, and have to resort to using clubs. He says, “Where are the Bikers for Trump? Where are the police? Where are the military? Where are – ICE? Where are the Border Patrol?”

  19. skua says:

    Way off topic:
    Chinese gov appears so confident of their control of the internet in China that they’ve banned under 18’s playing online computer games except between 8 pm – 9pm on Fri, Sat, Sun & public hols.
    “Protecting the physical and mental health of minors is related to the people’s vital interests, and relates to the cultivation of the younger generation in the era of national rejuvenation.”
    Setting themselves up against massed teen ingenuity and teen tech-smarts has them either deluded, masterful or window-dressing.
    Placing themselves between teen gamers and their fix … the beginning of the end?

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