Ryan Grim’s “Gibberish” about Co-Conspirator Statements

Something remarkable happened the other day when I was debunking (again) Ryan Grim for (again) misrepresenting the Siggi Thordarson story that I debunked long ago.

Ryan twice claimed the Federal Rules on Evidence are “gibberish.”

To be sure, these legal rules are gibberish, especially for those, like Ryan, whose beat has nothing to do with reporting on legal cases and so might not recognize the reference to the hearsay exception.

But Ryan also, obviously, not only didn’t recognize that I was making a factual observation about the way the indictment against Assange was charged and the rules under which evidence against him would be introduced at trial (if one ever happens), but responded based on an apparent assumption I was denying that co-conspirators flip on each other (Siggi did that ten years ago, not this year).

There’s an apparent belief that there would be a dramatic moment at trial where Siggi would take the stand as the single witness testifying that Assange did certain things with LulzSec and Assange’s lawyer Barry Pollock will get Siggi to explain that everything he told first the FBI and then prosecutors about Assange’s knowledge of his efforts to solicit hacks against US targets was a lie at the time, that in fact, Siggi really masterminded all of that and (more importantly for Assange) that Assange knew nothing about it and actively opposed it.

That scenario simply doesn’t understand the significance of the way DOJ charged the hacking, especially, as a conspiracy.

I’ve written about the significance of the parallel conspiracy charges in the Assange indictment before, but for the purposes of explaining the hearsay exception and other reasons it’ll be harder to discredit Siggi (who I agree is a liar) than people think, I’ll try again. Elizabeth de la Vega once provided a succinct eight-point description of how conspiracies get prosecuted that cuts through a lot of the legal gibberish.


One: Co-conspirators don’t have to explicitly agree to conspire & there doesn’t need to be a written agreement; in fact, they almost never explicitly agree to conspire & it would be nuts to have a written agreement!

Two: Conspiracies can have more than one object- i.e. conspiracy to defraud U.S. and to obstruct justice. The object is the goal. Members could have completely different reasons (motives) for wanting to achieve that goal.

Three: All co-conspirators have to agree on at least one object of the conspiracy.

Four: Co-conspirators can use multiple means to carry out the conspiracy, i.e., releasing stolen emails, collaborating on fraudulent social media ops, laundering campaign contributions.

Five: Co-conspirators don’t have to know precisely what the others are doing, and, in large conspiracies, they rarely do.

Six: Once someone is found to have knowingly joined a conspiracy, he/she is responsible for all acts of other co-conspirators.

Seven: Statements of any co-conspirator made to further the conspiracy may be introduced into evidence against any other co-conspirator.

Eight: Overt Acts taken in furtherance of a conspiracy need not be illegal. A POTUS’ public statement that “Russia is a hoax,” e.g., might not be illegal (or even make any sense), but it could be an overt act in furtherance of a conspiracy to obstruct justice.

The bold rule, seven, is actually rule 801(d)(2)(E) in the Rules of Evidence describing out of court statements by co-conspirators that aren’t treated as hearsay.

(2) An Opposing Party’s Statement. The statement is offered against an opposing party and:


(E) was made by the party’s coconspirator during and in furtherance of the conspiracy.

That means, most basically, that anything Siggi said, “in furtherance of the conspiracy … during the course of the conspiracy” (for example, to recruit others to steal documents that WikiLeaks could publish) can be introduced at any hypothetical Assange trial without Siggi having to take the stand. Several of the statements about which (Assange boosters claim) Siggi has retracted his testimony might well come in as evidence against Assange without Siggi ever having to show up. And the way DOJ has constructed this indictment makes it less likely that he would show up to retract his testimony.

There are five kinds of Siggi statements relevant to the hacking charge against Assange. First, the statements he made online, largely in the chatlogs he provided to the FBI, as a member of WikiLeaks before he left WikiLeaks and sold them out to the FBI on August 23, 2011. Those are what would come in under a hearsay exception.

Then there are statements Siggi made in that initial period as an FBI informant in 2011, and then separately, the statements he made under an immunity agreement before DOJ charged this indictment. As I understand it the terms of those discussions are different, as a confidential human source in the first case but as a co-conspirator testifying with immunity in the second. Assange would undoubtedly point to the terms under which he cooperated with US prosecutors to impeach Siggi’s credibility, using them to say he said what he did only to avoid legal liability himself. But the most useful stories to tell about those two interactions conflict (for example, to undermine Siggi’s motive for sharing chatlogs with the FBI, it serves to claim that Siggi was trying to dodge his own prior crimes in Iceland, but to undermine the second, WikiLeaks is now claiming, Siggi never committed those crimes in Iceland).

Importantly, however, what Siggi told the FBI in 2011 and DOJ in 2019 (as distinct from the legal terms under which he did so) will only be introduced as evidence if he does testify, and in that case, to force him to hew to his earlier stories.

I fail to see any evidentiary basis for Siggi’s more recent comments to Stundin to come in unless he testifies; they’re hearsay. To present evidence that Siggi told FBI and DOJ what they wanted to hear and then went to two Icelandic journalists who hadn’t read the indictment to brag about doing so, you’d have to call Siggi as a witness and get him to say that under oath.

This brings me to what I presume is a prosecutorial strategy; it appears that DOJ gave the opportunity (and went to great lengths in an attempt to coerce, in the case of Chelsea Manning and Jeremy Hammond) for all people described as co-conspirators in the indictment to testify, with immunity, before trial. I suspect they attempted to do so to lock in their testimony in advance of any trial, exposing the witness to perjury charges if the testimony changed (as Assange boosters claim Siggi’s has). I assume that, if prosecutors had a choice, zero of these co-conspirators would be called as witnesses at trial, but instead their co-conspirator statements would be introduced under the hearsay exception (though I expect that Manning would get subpoenaed to appear at any hypothetical trial, but possibly not called, by both sides given that she didn’t testify).

But if Siggi shows up (or anyone else who already provided presumably sworn testimony) as an Assange witness, he would be on the hook for the earlier statements he made to investigators that deviated from his new statements. That is, if Siggi testified contrary to what he already told FBI and DOJ, that would normally entail him being present in the US and therefore readily available for prosecution for a crime — perjury, at least — committed as an adult.

To be fair, Siggi’s arrest by Iceland improves Assange’s chance of calling Siggi as a witness. That’s because he would be otherwise unavailable to Assange (because he’s in prison), so Assange could ask to take a Rule 15 pre-trial deposition of Siggi in jail. While that would still allow prosecutors to demonstrate that Siggi’s hypothetically changed sworn testimony conflicts with his past sworn testimony, his current arrest and the need for extradition would lessen the legal risk for Siggi of reversing his past statements. Still, that that would require Assange wanting to focus even more attention on why he chose to associate with a serial fraudster and convincing a judge his statements were material.

There’s one more rule that bears notice to that explains why not a lot of co-conspirator witnesses are going to want to show up and testify to help Julian Assange, if their truthful testimony would help him. De la Vega’s rule six explains that, “once someone is found to have knowingly joined a conspiracy, he/she is responsible for all acts of other co-conspirators.” That means early co-conspirators who did not take steps to leave the conspiracy are on the hook for any of the later overt acts currently charged or the ones DOJ might charge. It would be child’s play to extend the parallel conspiracies — which currently extend through 2015 — through Assange’s 2016 publication of files GRU stole and through Joshua Schulte’s alleged hacking of the CIA, just the SysAdmin hacking the CIA that Assange used Edward Snowden’s example to solicit in 2013. Because Schulte declared an “Information War” on the US and attempted to leak more classified information from jail, the conspiracy could credibly be claimed to have extended through October 2018, meaning statutes of limitation might not toll until 2023.

The sustained hoax that that Stundin article shows Siggi retracting his testimony which (the claim goes) undermines the CFAA charge against Assange depends on several assumptions: first, that he actually did reverse his testimony (he did, but only on one small issue, and he also reaffirmed the most important claim he made about Assange), second, that there aren’t a slew of more credible witnesses (like Edward Snowden, and even more credible people the indictment doesn’t name) against Assange. But most importantly, the Assange boosters believe that this article — or some other kind of proof that Siggi retracted (a small but not the most damning part of) his testimony against Assange — will be introduced as evidence at the trial.

It’s hard to imagine how this article would. It’s hearsay. The reason claims made by pathological liars (or even more credible witnesses) to journalists can’t be introduced at trial via the article a journalist writes is because those claims can’t be tested in court. Unless Assange wants to argue that he and Siggi remained in a conspiracy when Siggi made the claims to Stundin, and the claims made to Stundin were part of that conspiracy, but that’s probably not going to help Assange.

DOJ has built the indictment against Assange such that they won’t have to rely on many uncooperative witnesses who already pled guilty under oath to participating in the conspiracy. And if those uncooperative witnesses appear as witnesses for Assange, they face the risk of new legal jeopardy, whether perjury charges or renewed exposure to the conspiracy.

I’m not celebrating that fact. I’m observing it. Julian Assange is in no way unique on this front.

But virtually none of the people claiming Siggi’s purported retraction helps Assange are even familiar with the content of the indictment, and fewer still seem to understand that Siggi is highly unlikely to be the dramatic witness at trial they want him to be. If those details appear to be “gibberish” to you, it’s probably a caution against accepting claims you want to be true without first understanding the legal rules behind the gibberish.

118 replies
  1. zirc says:

    I’m a little slow, but I think you’re saying that someone who is charged with having taken part in a conspiracy can have the statements of alleged co-conspirators used against him/her in trial as proof of that conspiracy? How does Rule Six (“Once someone is found to have knowingly joined a conspiracy, the/she is responsible for all acts of other co-conspirators.”) work if the statements are being used to establish that a conspiracy has taken place? It seems circular. I am saying nothing about the guilt/innocence of Assange or anyone else involved in his case. I am just trying to wrap me head around the rules and what prosecutors are allowed to do.


    • emptywheel says:

      I left out the third rule of co-conspirator hearsay–it can’t be all co-conspirator hearsay. Here, it’s not. It includes Assange’s own speech (including about LulzSec), and the allocutions of the many people who’ve already pled guilty to these conspiracies.

      Put it another way. Someone — believed to be David House — took steps to leave this conspiracy and is not here being treated as such. He’s very likely to be called to testify. He’s credible, he will testify how closely Siggi worked with Assange and the things Siggi ordered him to do, and also explain why he left the conspiracy. Plus, the government surely hasn’t put everything he has said in testimony out there (they don’t have to until shortly before he testifies), so Assange likely doesn’t even know all that’s there. And House is in no way the only dissident former WikiLeaker who’d be willing to testify.

      • emptywheel says:

        I should add one other thing about these rules. The government has to provide all it has on a witness if they call the person as THEIR witness. Those rules change if the defendant calls the witness. So in addition to all the other problems with calling Siggi, if Assange really wanted to do that, he’d be doing it partially blind about the extent of what DOJ knows about him.

          • bmaz says:

            Yeah, whether you agree with It or not (I do not), it is right there in the black and white of Federal Rule of Evidence Rule 801(d)(2)(E).

            For what it is worth, said rule also contains this language:

            The statement must be considered but does not by itself establish the declarant’s authority under (C); the existence or scope of the relationship under (D); or the existence of the conspiracy or participation in it under (E).

            That does not usually slow down a trial court from accepting such co-conspirator hearsay, but does provide a real argument.

            • earlofhuntingdon says:

              Yes, it would seem necessary to establish the existence of a conspiracy before admitting evidence under an exception to the hearsay rule. But I suspect the chick vs. egg argument doesn’t always prevent it.

              • Silly but True says:

                These are rules for trial; at this point fundamental nature of defendants should all be settled. That is, is conspiracy being prosecuted or not, or were any successful in getting severed, etc.

                One of the more interesting situations was with the Iran-Contra conspiracy.

                Both Oliver North and John Poindexter’s convictions were vacated by Appeals court because their immunized testimony was used at trial and may have influenced witnesses. Their cases were then dismissed because excising the immunized testimony from prosecution’s evidence would have been insurmountable gutting of the case.

                Along with both North & Poindexter being given forms of immunity, so were Fawn Hall (North’s secretary) & North’s numbers guy Robert Earl who calculated the illegal markup on illegal prices of illegal arms sold to Iran and tracking the illegal profits to illegally go to the Contras.

                Additionally, CIA Station Chief Joseph Fernandez, the illegal conduit for illegal cash going to Contras had his case, including conspiracy charge, dismissed in DC because Attorney General refused to turn over evidence to Fernandez for his defense.

                Also, McFarlane, Clair George (CIA Deputy Dir.), Alan Fiers (CIA Central America Chief), Elliott Abrams (State Dept. Asst Sec.) were all pardoned.

                Duane Clarridge, CIA European Chief, responsible for at least one illegal missile sale to Iran, was preemptively pardoned after indictment but prior to trial.

                Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger was also preemptively pardoned after indictment and before trial.

  2. emptywheel says:

    I left out the third rule of co-conspirator hearsay–it can’t be all co-conspirator hearsay. Here, it’s not. It includes Assange’s own speech (including about LulzSec), and the allocutions of the many people who’ve already pled guilty to these conspiracies.

    Put it another way. Someone — believed to be David House — took steps to leave this conspiracy and is not here being treated as such. He’s very likely to be called to testify. He’s credible, he will testify how closely Siggi worked with Assange and the things Siggi ordered him to do, and also explain why he left the conspiracy. Plus, the government surely hasn’t put everything he has said in testimony out there (they don’t have to until shortly before he testifies), so Assange likely doesn’t even know all that’s there. And House is in no way the only dissident former WikiLeaker who’d be willing to testify.

  3. Mojo Risin' says:

    US High School should frame a semester of ‘civics’ as common law, where you learn the basic history and origin of common law concepts, their current application, and their difference from other systems.

  4. Silly but True says:

    Unfortunately, one of the likely outcomes of the Sept. 27 report that Pompeo had CIA review killing Assange, is that no foreign government will be inclined to extradite any Wikileaks defendants to the US for prosecution. I think the report, given Britain’s judicial skepticism of US justice system, all but ends any chance they were going to send Assange here.

    • bmaz says:

      Meh, the UK Home Secretary has already signed the US extradition request, so unless the High Court denies it, Assange is getting extradited.

      • Silly but True says:

        Well, I’m eying the court more than Home Sec’y now.

        The UK Home Sec’y extradition order is already blocked (in January) by UK judge; the US is appealing.

        If UK High Court does nothing, Judge Baraitser‘s ruling to block extradition stands. UK High Court has to overturn District Court ruling for extradition to proceed.

        So the “default” state currently is no extradition unless something affirmatively changes in High Court.

        Even if CIA never took offing Assange seriously, this news isn’t going to endear UK High Court to US’ side.

        • bmaz says:

          Well, I am saying Baraitser’s opinion is shit. If it stands up, it will be a travesty, and that stupid report has no bearing. Is the oh so pious Judge Baraitser going to spring every criminal from US reach? Who the hell is she to make the determination that US prisons are just too harsh? Does she understand the history of her own country’s actions? Are El Chapo and his wife Emma Coronel still alive in custody in the US? Of course they are. This is such stupid bunk it hurts.

          What a complete load of shit. It was a bogus determination in Lauri Love (even if easier to accept), and would be ludicrous as to Assange. As with everything Assange, his little cult is propagating a fraud. You should not.

          • Silly but True says:

            You should know UK courts aren’t playing into any cult of Assange nonsense.

            The sticking point is as it always recently has been — the use in US prisons of US legal “Special Administrative Measures” — which US has been unwilling to completely rule out. Essentially, UK courts have had problem with that part of US law, and specific have not agreed with US that Assange is essentially a “terrorist” (https://www.ecfr.gov/current/title-28/chapter-V/subchapter-A/part-501/section-501.3)

            What gives Baraitser the right? US Treaty with UK gives her that right. We, the People, through our elected officials and representative democracy have given her that power.

            • bmaz says:

              That is complete nonsense. For starters, SAMS, and segregation have been around forever, and do not constitute prohibitive policy for purposes of extradition.

              And, no, Assange has not been deemed a terrorist. That statement is you propagating the whiny Assange cult garbage.

              Also. too, thanks for citing the treaty. I am quite familiar with the 2003 US-UK treaty, which was, itself, designed to be more flexible in allowing extradition between the two countries. It does NOT give Baraister the unilateral power to determine that US prisons are just too harsh for her little conscience.

              You are misrepresenting the status of things. Frankly, the little cult of Assange has similarly whined about his confinement conditions at Bellmarsh, where he is in a maximum security facility under isolate protocols. Oh, you know, the conditions that would apply here should he be convicted. Sweet of the holy Judge Baraister to ignore that. I do not recall you or Judge Baraister whining about the extradition of El Chapo Guzman, just about your scumbag boy Assange. Funny how that is.

              You do a good job of consistently toeing the Assange line of garbage. But, hey, that is what the Assange cult specializes in. And it is relentlessly bullshit. Thanks for the attempted lecture though.

              • Silly but True says:

                Bullshit. The use of SAMs has increased dramatically since September 11, 2001, and a disproportionately high number of SAMs prisoners are Muslim.

                In November 2001, there were only sixteen individuals under SAMs; by 2009 there were thirty, and, as of June 8, 2017 there were fifty-one.

                In 20 years of global war on terror, SAMs exploded by nearly 6x and largely imposed due to terror charges.

                UK aren’t only ones worried; there’s similar conversation going on in US too by those concerned about civil rights implications of their greatly increased use.

                • bmaz says:

                  Lol, you are literally blowing poo out of your rear. I have actually been to Max facilities, both federal and state, have you? I have actually argued about the conditions in a case, have you? And not a lick of your spittle has anything to do with extradition.

                  • Silly but True says:

                    Lol. The whole reason why UK hasn’t been able to extradite Assange is entirely because of UK court’s concern for his prospective treatment in US prison if he were extradited. That concern is significantly, but not solely associated to application of SAM on Assange. You know this, already.

                    • bmaz says:

                      Yeah, Lol yourself. You are still completely full of shit and spewing the little Assanganista line of garbage. The fact that US correctional facilities have special measures and isolation sectors nis of no moment and is not even close to being a proper ground to refuse extradition. And quit telling me what I know, because you are straight up lying every time you do. And, with that, I am done with your nonsense. Quit whining like a little Assange baby.

  5. hbw says:

    Hey Marcy i don’t know if you are aware of this information but the Spanish newspaper El Pais reported last year that all the video and audio surveillance of Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy was given to the CIA. The surveillance was done by the Spanish company UC Global S. L. contracted by Ecuador. Somehow the company did not give the surveillance files directly to CIA but through the head of security of Sheldon Adelson.


  6. Troutwaxer says:

    Sorry to got off topic, but CNN just reported that, “The FBI is conducting “law enforcement activity” at the Washington, DC, home of Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to an FBI spokesman.”

  7. Eureka says:

    Hrm. Couple of interesting coincidences in recent ABC News coverage of Deripaska-linked figures with the search of Deripaska-linked homes in NY & DC today. ABC News of course did that exclusive with Christopher Steele (aired yesterday); then today they have on Elaine Chao of all people for a sort of reputation-puffing segment on problems with the supply chain. (Ostensibly this was to feature her expertise as former Transportation Secretary, with photos of backed-up container ships in background. Didn’t stick around past her laments that no one will take service jobs. I believe we’ve heard all of this biting analysis already.)

    ETA: Here Steele explains why he doesn’t think the Russians played him, for ex:

    ABC News: “EXCLUSIVE: @GStephanopoulos presses ex-British spy Christopher Steele on claims in his disputed dossier: “Do you think there’s a chance that the Russians played you?” ‘Out of the Shadows: The Man Behind the Steele Dossier’ is NOW STREAMING only on @Hulu: [link; embedded clip]”
    11:45 AM · Oct 18, 2021

    • P J Evans says:

      maybe if they’d done something last year, like prioritizing transportation workers instead of rich guys in Florida….

    • Eureka says:

      His answer sounds shockingly ill-informed; it’s possible that some of the transitions were edited, spliced:

      Stephanopoulos: “Do you think there’s a chance that the Russians played you, fed you disinformation?”

      Steele: “I think there is a chance, I think it’s very unlikely and I’ll tell you why.

      Ultimately, any disinformation operation has an objective.

      and it would have been disinformation about Hillary Clinton.

      Why would they run a disinformation campaign about the person they preferred to be elected?”

      • Ken Muldrew says:

        “But it’s so simple! All I have to do is divine from what I know of the Russians. Are they the sort of men who would put disinformation into their own goblet, or their enemy’s? Now, a clever man would put the disinformation into his own goblet, because he would know that only a great fool would reach for what he was given. I am not a great fool, so I can clearly not choose the goblet in front of them. But they must have known I was not a great fool; they would have counted on it, so I can clearly not choose the goblet in front of me…”

  8. Molly Pitcher says:

    Interesting coincidence (?) regarding Deripaska. According to MSNBC, Deripaska’s across the street neighbor in New York is none other than Randy Credico.

    And his next door neighbors in DC are George and Kellyanne Conway.

    Such a small world.

  9. Molly Pitcher says:

    Regarding Deripaska, an interesting coincidence. In New York, his across the street neighbor is Randy Credico. And in DC his next door neighbors are George and Kellyanne Conway.

    Such a small world.

    • Savage Librarian says:

      Aluminum Mask

      Thank Goddess for that trenchant task,
      A blow to a man in an aluminum mask,
      A guy with a mindset like Baked Alaska,
      Hey, Moscow Mitch, how’s Deripaska?

    • Leoghann says:

      You mean the Conway’s are the next door neighbors to Deripaska’s distant and rarely-seen relatives.

  10. Rugger9 says:

    OT but should make for an interesting week:

    DJT decided to weigh in about Colin Powell who while better than most GOP types was OK with all of the antics until January 6th because he never said a peep until then. DJT of course called Powell a RINO, but DJT is lower than whale dung in my view.

    When one looks at Powell’s actual record he’s not as heroic as his reputation, but neither did he sell out like Petraeus and Flynn. It does serve as a lesson in why generals, especially at that level, are quite politically engaged and should remain under civilian supervision. For Powell, it worked, and for Milley, it did not. LGM (Erik Loomis) has quite a bit more on Powell, it’s worth reading.

    Megan McCain has a book to sell, the excerpts are dropping in Variety this week with lots of dish on The View and DJT. I think Whoopi should invite Megan on in what should be a ratings bonanza, but the book itself is (so far as I’ve seen from the excerpts) not worth buying unless one really likes entitled snowflake conservative brat whining.

    Bannon’s claim of executive privilege is complete crap, as there can be no privilege if he’s not in the administration (and he hadn’t been since August 2017) during the time in question. Even though DJT defenestrated Bannon with his usual charm, I also recall that Bannon remained on the Rolodex for advice along with Roger Stone. So, to the surprise of no one paying attention, the Select Committee voted unanimously for a contempt citation. Naturally DJT went nuts and threatened to sue (and may have filed by now) but as Liz Cheney observed, such actions point to someone having something important to hide (‘he doth protest too much’ principle from Shakespeare).

    My question is whether the Select Committee already rounded up the National Archive documents since the Biden WH said they weren’t going to be protected from subpoena. If that’s the case, DJT’s suit could very well be moot as well as ill-founded.

  11. WilliamOckham says:

    Sorry for the somewhat off-topic comment. Elizabeth de la Vega’s Twitter thread (linked to in the post) really got me thinking about how bad the situation really is with respect to the January 6th insurrection. There was a conspiracy, led by Donald Trump, to obstruct the counting of the electoral college votes on January 6th as part of a larger effort to subvert the presidential election results. By January 2, at the very latest, the conspiracy involved an overt illegal act (the call to Raffensperger). Everyone on the DC end of that call was knowingly involved in an illegal conspiracy to overturn the election. The other calls that Trump participated in that day pulled about 300 state legislators and dozens of members of Congress into the conspiracy. There were many other people communicating directly with Trump who became enmeshed in the conspiracy. Ken Paxton, the Texas Attorney General and Jeffrey Bossert Clark are two obvious examples.
    On January 6th, Trump was clearly coordinating with his allies in Congress and it’s fair to assume he was coordinating with the rioters.
    What’s going to happen when evidence comes to light that proves Trump was coordinating the activities of some of the rioters?
    I think the answer is pretty obvious: Absolutely nothing. Our criminal justice system was never designed to prosecute hundreds of members of the political class for a conspiracy to overturn an election. And our political system has already demonstrated that the malefactors remain in control of enough of the machinery of government to prevent any sort of political accountability.
    And I think that means that we’ve entered a liminal state of authoritarianism. Authoritarian rule isn’t quite here and yet, the transition is inevitable, a matter of time. Of course, if we transition into authoritarianism, we can transition out of it. I just doubt that’s going to happen in my lifetime.

    • emptywheel says:

      I think there is a genuine effort to hold him accountable. But it won’t happen before the mid-terms.

      • punaise says:

        If Dems lose the House (all too likely) then it comes crashing to a halt, no? I’d hate to pin hopes on the small window of the subsequent lame duck period.

        • timbo says:

          Not entirely? For instance, if the current Congress forwards criminal and civil complaints to the Biden DOJ, those still might be prosecuted? Even now, there are Contempt of Congress articles being prepared against some of the first group of scowfflaws who have openly taunted the Jan 6 Select Committee…

      • RWood says:

        And there’s the rub. Our system may be “working”, but it lacks the speed to counter such a campaign.

        It’s clear that the goal is now one of delay in the hopes that 2022 will install enough trumpers to nullify whatever action may be on the distant horizon. Our system is “working” and “failing” at the same time.

        As long as the DOJ and Congress act as if they have all the time in the world they play right into trumps hands.

      • Rugger9 says:

        The revelations from committee testimony would be quite interesting, I would think. Like our Rules Committee hearing in the House today, every D candidate should pound on the GQP candidate to say those 5 words: “the election was not stolen”. None will do so, but by next year it will be extremely clear that every conspiracy theory put forth is at best GQP projection.

        These revelations may or may not be enough to get past the gerrymandering, but it ought to get the Ds out in force to vote.

      • WilliamOckham says:

        Holding Trump accountable is necessary. It’s not sufficient. Maybe Mark Meadows and Rudy Giuliani would be in trouble. There’s no way that someone like Ted Cruz (to use a local to me example) will ever be held accountable for his participation in the attempted autogolpe. And yet, Cruz was a knowing participant who took a very clear overt act (remember the “emergency electoral commission” he proposed) in furtherance of the conspiracy.
        By letting sleazebags like Cruz off the hook, we guarantee that they will try again, Trump or no Trump.

        • Rugger9 says:

          This is one of the areas where McCarthy bamboozled himself (I won’t use “outsmarted” since he doesn’t have any) when he rejected Pelosi’s proposal for a committee that would sunset with the calendar year. This committee can keep digging until next November, and since we did see Matt Gaetz testify in front of the HRC today I would expect Cruz will get his opportunity as well in front of the Select committee among others. After the circus of the Benghazi-Benghazi-Benghazi committee, the GQP richly deserves their fate here.

          The comment Cruz made, like many others of the GQP regarding the election and sedition plot, indicated inside knowledge of what was going down.

        • RWood says:

          Step One is understanding that “public shaming” = nothing.

          I don’t think the Dems have that figured out yet.

  12. Savage Librarian says:

    Manchin on the Hill

    Byrds & Bees ask what’s the to do
    with that old Manchin on the Hill?
    Did some big biz butts get to woo
    a ruddy mule to shaft a bill?

    What Hampshire County
    might say to Mingo:
    Watch your card around the
    Manchin bingo.

    From wee Hancock
    to roomy Randolph,
    Manchin’s roadblock,
    Is it a greedy standoff?

    What Hampshire County
    might say to Mingo:
    Blanch expansion & bounty,
    That’s Manchin lingo.

    From wee Hancock
    to roomy Randolph,
    Manchin’s preferred stock,
    Is it an oily handoff?

    What Hampshire County
    might say to Mingo:
    What’s Manchin’s amount of
    a tranche in cha-ching flow?

    Is it our bad luck or his bad play,
    with his cons greedy to get their fill?
    In gambling for a big payday,
    it seems Manchin’s odds are on ill will.

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      SL, It is not my imagination. You are getting sharper and sharper with each venture. Here, your local knowledge reminded me of great XTC songs from (Dear God) the 1980s, and The Good, The Bad and The Queen (the eponymous one-off from Blur members).

      I should add that those are very, very positive associations. Once again, thank you.

  13. Eureka says:

    harpie today opened a topic/help request bolding Ann Vandersteel (of Steel Truth; Pizzagate/Qanon promoter) and the Flynn (et al.)-associated Italygate conspiracy theory but the page has closed:


    See old thread here re Vandersteel and other (lead-up-to and post-) 1/6 players/events:


    (scroll up into prior comment for addl info, down for rest)

    About that thread, and update:

    First, disregard the sleepy stuff about the Steel Truth 12/11 filmer and someone walking with the PBs on 1/6 being the same: I corrected it there, the 12/11 filmer with Tarrio, Stone, et al. is a woman (with Vandersteel’s branded “Steel Truth” ballcap on).

    I have not since reviewed adequate video to see if that is Vandersteel _herself_ on 12/11 doing the on-stage filming, but it could be (blondes, adjacent to big names, etc.).

    Elsewhere in that thread: the 1/6 livestream Vandersteel did with Patrick Byrne (and Kevin Freeman) is now gone from yt due to “account terminated”.

    Recall Byrne was with Flynn, Powell, et al. at the contentious December 18th White House meeting (where they were trying to get Trump to declare Insurrection Act over the election, appoint Powell as some type of Special Counsel; spilled into private quarters — Salt Lake Trib linked therein, see also Axios).

    [See also how she, like others, was “disavowed” by Trump campaign mid-2019]

    I have more, not sure how much time I’ll have to add what —

    • Eureka says:

      This thread is in reply to a deleted tweet by a journalist; note second item is re 1/8 (recall Marcy’s post / our discussions re the after-efforts):

      M. Mendoza Ferrer: “@andrewmarantz So, the FBI arrests John Sullivan but not Ann Vandersteel (of SteelTruth[]com) who also participated (or as she says “reported” on the Capitol insurrection). She handed out fake press passes before the breach. That night she streamed footage taken inside hunting 4 Pence. [1/6 video clip embedded]” [thread]
      5:32 PM · Feb 3, 2021

      “@andrewmarantz Ann Vandersteel regularly interviews Michael Flynn, Patrick Byrne. She was invited to the White House by Lt. Gen. Mcinerney two days after the Capitol Insurrection to film him talking about Pelosi’s laptop. Why hasn’t SHE been arrested? Why was she in the WH? [clip]”


      • Eureka says:

        re McInerney:

        Dave Troy 🇺🇸: “18/TOM MCINERNEY former USAF Lt. Gen., has appeared on multiple Q-promoting content channels including Ann Vandersteel and Michael Scheuer’s podcast. He claims Democrats coordinated with the Chinese government to create COVID-19. [politifact link]”
        11:39 AM · Feb 14, 2021

        See also his wiki, incl “Views” section/ links re pre-/post-election activity concordant with what one might expect (Pro-Insurrection Act-er/mysterious CIA activity promulgator)*:

        *harpie, I just quickly looked at that visionsurreal mega-thread so as to not duplicate, but VS brings up all the Hammer and Scorecard stuff and that’s the milieu from which this all whiffs

      • Eureka says:

        Note re: the M. Mendoza Ferrer tweet threading: you have to click the third tweet (unquoted) in that thread to get to two more tweets w/videos: (1) Vandersteel 1/6 pm showing film that she or her producer took (she states she doesn’t remember which of them took it) inside the Capitol 1/6 where, she says, people are looking for Pence because they are “upset”; (2) Vandersteel with Byrne 12/25 where he references the 12/18 White House meeting but mostly talks about how even “today” Trump is “cut off” from Mike Lindell and “everyone like him”, blaming Pat Cipollone and Mark Meadows for interfering in their ability to get info to Trump/ to get Trump to act, asking people to tweet Trump. [At outset, Vandersteel cites comments, people wondering if there’s a “Q plan”; “How serious is a problem that the fact [garbled overtalk not exact] that the president is being cut off”.]



        [These two are dated February 5, 2021]

    • Eureka says:

      More recently, Vandersteel front-and-center re the fraudits:

      Flynn with Vandersteel and others:

      PatriotTakes 🇺🇸: “Michael Flynn states that if a sufficient number of electoral votes are reversed due to audits, Trump should be reinstated and that this is constitutional. [video]”
      9:14 PM · Jun 24, 2021

      Clips compilation incl. Vandersteel on September 24, 2021:

      Paola Poot: “Joe Oltmann leaked the fake draft Maricopa audit report that was disavowed by Doug Logan. Joe lied on his Telegram when he said that he’d released it as a draft. In fact, he and Ann Vandersteel (a close associate of Patrick Byrne) widely shared it as the “real” audit report. [video]” [thread]
      5:18 PM · Oct 20, 2021

    • Eureka says:

      Your Italygate adventure starts here with Dennis Montgomery* (long hoaxer history; also a Larry Klayman client), CISA’s debunking of Hammer & Scorecard (Chris Krebs’ 11-7-2020 tweets, e.g., among others, are linked in Will Somers’ linked article); Krebs’ then-impending firing:


      [if you ctrl-f scorecard on this page you’ll find another thread where this is raised in context of a Barr statement]

      A couple other discussions here & linked:


      I don’t know where is that relatively recent page where harpie gathered some related info into a timeline, but it includes Sidney Powell’s Saturday, November 21, 2020 Newsmax interview — the same one where she said Barr doesn’t have control of DOJ — where she previewed the krakens (then using keyword “biblical” suit). Flynn was pardoned that Thursday. [NOTE to harpie: while I don’t recall the page you added these items into, I do recall that the order of listing needs to be changed: Flynn was pardoned 25th pm and _after_ the pardon Powell released the krakens on her site.] [Also I would add the line item re Powell’s comment about Barr.]

      *Recall it was later revealed that Montgomery also provided the “data” (forget which hoaxy keyword they called it by) to Mike Lindell for his Cyber Symposium this summer

      • Eureka says:

        The earth IS round! [flatearther + circles humor]:

        MyPillow Guy Mike Lindell’s ‘Cyber Expert’ Admits They Have No Proof of Election Hack
        The $5 million that Mike Lindell offered to any symposium attendee who could disprove his theory that China stole the election is now off the table.
        Justin Baragona Updated Aug. 12, 2021 11:29AM ET / Published Aug. 11, 2021 11:04PM ET

        The original source of the data, Dennis L. Montgomery, had supposedly suffered a stroke as the symposium began and was not in attendance nor made available for contact throughout the first two days of the event. Montgomery initially came forward with the supposed packet captures after he spun a conspiracy theory that tools used by the CIA were being used to influence U.S. elections.


        EXCLUSIVE: Mike Lindell paid millions to “cyber experts”; allegedly bought luxury home for accused fraudster
        MyPillow CEO may have bought $1.5 million home for supposed expert — who didn’t even show up at “cyber symposium”
        By Zachary Petrizzo Published September 3, 2021 6:00AM (EDT)

        [Former Lindell “red team” member Josh] Merritt* said that in the “red team room” he heard Lindell and an employee discuss “that being the house that Dennis Montgomery lived in. Lindell had stated many times he had paid Montgomery and others over $3 million, and he had spent a total of over $15 million” on his claims of election fraud.

        “Lindell is who has been funding Dennis Montgomery since Nov. 3, 2020,” Merritt said, adding that the mysterious home was a key point of Lindell’s operation leading up to the South Dakota symposium, which Lindell claims only failed because it was hijacked by antifa insurgents.


        The $1.5 million luxury home in Naples, which has four bedrooms, a large swimming pool and palm trees, was reportedly where four hard drives that Lindell claimed were full of 2020 election “data” — specifically, the “Scorecard and Hammer” data much coveted by election truthers — were being stored ahead of the August cyber symposium. It was also where Dennis Montgomery had set up housekeeping.

        *Merritt was also Powell’s super-secret “military intelligence expert” in the krakens (see DB/first link).

    • Eureka says:

      On the Italygate big lielet, this has the nitty-gritty details you want as to WH players (I think they also get into the DOJ emails IIRC but that might be elsewhere):

      ‘Italygate’ election conspiracy theory was pushed by two firms led by woman who also falsely claimed $30 million mansion was hers – The Washington Post

      This is a great overview which includes how Trump dog-whistled Italygate in his speech at the Ellipse (their claim that things changed in the middle of the night):

      ‘ItalyGate’ Scam Goes Deeper Than One Mere GOP Squatter | Crooks and Liars

      • Eureka says:

        Despite the conspiracy sub-theories’ use of different nouns here and there — countries named/loci of interest (Italy, Germany/ misc. US states & counties) and purported agents (communists, China, CIA) — it’s all of the same piece.

        One big lielet and attendant set of personalities shift to prominence as another wanes or outright dies, but they are all commingled in related efforts, whether superficially “distinct” or subsurface. In general, their “working groups” move like pop-up whack-a-moles: sometimes visibly appearing together to support, say, the same 2022 candidates, or to turn those baited by Qanon leanings towards a more pure “Christian” zealotry. (That’s a whole nother thread and IMO relates to the recent Flynn-Watkins dispute — Flynn/Stone/relateds may be peeling off too many of his Q-audience to their own control.)

      • harpie says:

        That Crooks and Liars piece is something.

        ‘ItalyGate’ Scam Goes Deeper Than One Mere GOP Squatter
        With the willing assistance of Facebook and the Judicial Crisis Network, a scam was born to hold people hostage to the Big Lie.
        https://crooksandliars.com/2021/06/italygate-scam-goes-deeper-one-lying 6/22/21

        ‘ItalyGate’ is just one of the components of The Big Lie, but it’s one that made its way to Trump via Mark Meadows via a woman named Maria Zack, and all of it flows right back to Florida, the state Donald Trump has poisoned with lies and bile. […]

        Rachel [Maddow] rightly dismisses Maria Zack and Republican squatter Michele Roosevelt Edwards as crackpots promoting crackpot theories. But closer examination suggests that while they are indeed crackpots, Zack is serving a specific purpose within the larger right-wing universe that was planned and funded by right-wing donors, and has been advanced by the same gang of miscreants who use astroturf and groundswell messaging to specifically undermine democracy and hold citizens hostage to their nonsense. […]

        • harpie says:

          The end of the article:

          There was no grassroots uprising on January 6th. It was plotted and paid for by billionaires intending to destabilize the country in a cynical effort to poison the well for President Joe Biden. *** Perhaps if Trump had won re-election this group would have spent their time and money agitating abroad, or making nice with Vladimir Putin or Somali pirates, something Michele Ballarin/Roosevelt Edwards has some experience with. But he didn’t win, and so they used their Billionaire Bucks to destabilize this country and fuel an insurrection with the assistance of Facebook, who has still not removed the pages with the lies Maria Zack and her associates have spread.

          *** See Bannon’s 12/30/20 call with Trump

        • harpie says:

          A possible answer to the question “WHY ITALY”?

          1] 6/1/19
          Italy revokes Steve Bannon’s right to use a monastery for his political “gladiator” school Bannon planned to teach the art of his brand of politics at the school. [Vox]
          2] 5/27/20
          Steve Bannon wins battle to set up right-wing political academy in Italy “We stood by the monastery, the community and Italy during this pandemic when it would have been easy to walk way,” Bannon said in a statement. [NBC News]
          3] 3/15/21
          Steve Bannon loses battle to set up rightwing political academy in Italy Dignitatis Humanae Institute, which the former Trump adviser backs, wanted to start the school in an 800-year-old monastery [Reuters]
          4] 5/24 21
          The Last Stand at Steve Bannon’s “Gladiator School” The Academy for the Judeo-Christian West is trying to stave off eviction from Trisulti, an eight-hundred-year-old monastery outside Rome, where its founder hopes to offer courses like “Cultural Marxism, Radical Jihad, and the C.C.P.’s Global Information Warfare.”

          • Eureka says:

            Another “reason” for “Italy” would be Barr and Durham’s field trip there fall 2019 (tickling the audience’s conspiracy mind). e.g. (citing this snippet for the muh deepstate elements):

            On His Way Out the Door, Barr Drops a Bombshell About the Durham Investigation
            In the fall of 2019, Barr and Durham gave credence to the conspiracy theories by traveling to the UK and Italy to investigate claims that the CIA fabricated the “Russian hoax.”. It became …

            • Eureka says:

              In other words Barr stoked all this shit right up until he didn’t, or did so differently or diminutively (as Marcy has written extensively).

              Rayne has posited multiple times that Barr might have been running a protective op (not putting this context into her words — she can chime in re however broad or specific the sense she meant).

        • harpie says:

          The following comes from the Maddow segment on this that C and L links to:
          MADDOW 6/21/21:
          [3:42] how did that [letter] make it into the White House? According to reporting from both the Washington Post and Talking points Memo, it may have been this woman, [Maria Zack] who you see doing multiple right wing radio show interviews here. She runs a conspiracy web-site whose url is, I kid you not, the web address of her firm is, Italydiditdotcom. […]

          She claims to have gone to a Christmas Eve party at Mara Lago last year after the election, whereupon she had the opportunity to tell Donald Trump personally and directly about the Italygate conspiracy. […]
          [END QUOTE]

    • harpie says:

      That is an amazing amount of information you gathered together, EUREKA!

      There are so many convoluted threads in this tangled mess that it’s sometimes difficult to keep from feeling utterly overwhelmed by it all.

      THANKS for the note about the order of FLYNN pardon and KRAKEN release.
      I’m bummed I got that wrong in the attempted consolidation TL.

      In a recent comment, you mentioned when BARR said they hadn’t found significant voter fraud…that’s on the TL for 12/1/20

      There area a few newer relevant additions around 11/25 I’ll try to post here today.

      • Eureka says:

        Further on the krakens — I would still call them Wednesday night* though Powell’s tweet was 12:05am (about GA released and IIRC MI to come later in the wee hours). I don’t have the article in front of me but there’s a Daily Mail dated 2am+ EDT (and updated later in early hours) that had a screenshot of her tweet and updates with the rest.

        *late Wednesday night after midnight > Thursday (or something — I think it’s important to retain the sequence of events that these were “Wednesday” things, if technically occurring into the 26th. Tomato tomahto, tho. on phrasing.)

        Also on her comments about Barr (not having control of DOJ) on Newsmax the prior Saturday, I mean to pull that link back up — will try to find it later. It matters because they thought they’d have this con job all wrapped up from the inside and her excited utterance to the contrary is part of the fuzzy shift to more extra-(federal)-gov partners (in the litigation … then the insurrection).

        And the volume of info you’re tracking — omg, harpie, no reason to be bummed!

        • Eureka says:

          re: Powell Newsmax 11/21/2020 and remarks about DOJ:

          There are two (I call them “hosts”) at the Newsmax desk: 1 = left, 2 = right (as appearing onscreen). Host 2 = Mark Halperin. Unlabeled = didn’t go back to label or Host not shown.

          0:11 mark: Host 1 introduces Powell who’s on the phone, headshot labeled as “Sidney Powell | Attorney, President Trump’s Legal Team”. They start w/ the news that night of Judge Brann’s (MDPA) ruling.

          4:30 mark: Newmax Host 2 starts to read from Toomey’s statement re Trump out of all plausible legal options with Judge Brann’s decision. This is what leads into the DOJ talk:

          Host 2: Is that true? [4:37]

          Powell: No that’s not true at all.

          Host: Can you explain why the senator’s wrong? [overtalking]

          Powell: We’ve hardly begun to fight [**WE, note the WE**]

          Host: Can you explain though, why is the senator wrong?

          Powell: […blah blah PA hotbed of many varieties of fraud and criminal acts]

          “that the DOJ should be in there prosecuting”

          […will be filing suit in PA … ]

          Host 2: Why do you think the justice dept isn’t being more aggressive in following up on what you see? [5:08 @ end of this statement]

          Powell: I think the justice dept has known about this for a long time and turned a blind eye to it

          Host: Why though — why though — wh- why- [overtalk]

          Powell: I wonder how much the CIA actually had a role in, in starting this kind of program to begin with [5:23 @ end]

          Host: Why would — [interrupted]

          Powell: they use on other countries.

          Host: Why would Donald Trump’s justice dept not be interested in this.

          Powell: Well, uh you know I wish Donald Trump had as much control over the justice dept as people think he does.

          And I it’s, it’s taken on a life of its own

          I don’t think even Bill Barr has the control over the justice dept that he would like to have [5:42 end]

          because there are so many lawyers in so many different places

          doing whatever it is they want to do

          and ignoring the standards and practices

          that historically created the justice dept

          to seek justice and not convictions. [this may count as the end of a sentence!]

          You know I wrote a book about that back in 2014. [5:59 end]

          Next, Powell talks about how voters saw it themselves with votes being subtracted from Trump and added to Biden overnight. That part of the story as “evidence” originated when they were still on Hammer and Scorecard (and all pre-dating the election). Host 1 then brings up Dominion…

          Video length is 21:02.

          Sidney Powell Newsmax Interview November 21, 2020. “Biblical” Proportions of Voter Fraud

          • Eureka says:

            ^ As to Powell’s general complaints about DOJ’s lack of illicit-DOJ-ing (which later gets into the Jeffrey Bossert Clark via Scott Perry stuff, and Donoghue (etc.) shutting the ish down):

            harpie, in one of your bouts of timelining the events closer to the new year, I inserted an “unknown date” item for something else Donoghue braked in 2020: William aka Bill McSwain (then-USA EDPA) trying to float some already-debunked fraud claims up the chain.

            This convoluted story didn’t emerge until early this summer when McSwain was looking for Trump’s endorsement for 2022 and Trump blabbed about it, then Barr publicly accused McSwain of being disingenuous and described McSwain as having wanted to “flap his gums” about unsubstantiated (debunked) fraud, etc., “fraud” which McSwain never referred to the PA AG’s office as Donoghue had directed.

            At any rate, while Powell here could be referring to any number of things re DOJ attys doing whatever they want (and it seems/ed to me that she had mentally shifted the topic from the election to, e.g., Flynn case), she could also be referring to this instance where McSwain was shut down:


            Clarification of that comment: McSwain had called it “Philadelphia” but the purported events took place in a ring suburb (Delco IIRC)

    • harpie says:

      [Continuing from my comment above, on 10/22 at 9:48 am]
      More on BANNON :

      1] https://twitter.com/RepLizCheney/status/1451229856407113733
      12:52 PM · Oct 21, 2021

      Listen to Steve Bannon talking about #January6th. [on “War Room”] The American people deserve to hear his testimony. [VIDEO]

      Steve BANNON on The War Room podcast [1/5/21]:

      All hell is going to break loose tomorrow. Just understand this, all hell is going to break loose tomorrow. It’s going to be moving, it’s going to be quick. This is not a day for fantasy, this is a day for maniacal focus. Focus, focus, focus. We’re coming in right over the target, okay? Exactly. This is the point of attack we’ve always wanted.

      2] [via Marcy]: https://twitter.com/ruthbenghiat/status/1451182218978672644
      9:42 AM · Oct 21, 2021

      Keep this frame in mind: Since Jan. 6 failed, they are now activating right-wing playbook on how to destabilize a government. Create a sense of crisis and impending Socialism so that authoritarian action is accepted as restoring “order” and “freedom.” [link]

      That links to her article:
      Bannon Wants to Destroy Our Democracy. He Must Be Prosecuted.
      Ruth Ben-Ghiat 10/19/21

      […] Bannon had big dreams to become a little Duce in Italy, training Europe’s next right-wing “gladiators” in an Italian monastery, but that project failed. Now he’s back in America, which in his mind is the new frontier of autocracy. He already feels empowered to discard the rule of law and respect for judicial process. “We control the country. We’ve got to start acting like it,” he said recently on his War Room podcast about his plan to prepare tens of thousands of “shock troops” for an anti-democratic takeover of government once the Republicans return to the White House by legal or other means. […]

    • Eureka says:

      An important distinction in weight to note while calling different strands big lielets:

      Their first*-pass try (with Hammer and Scorecard) was to have the big lie all taken care of within federal governmental institutions (DOJ, etc.) while blowing up the CIA/”deep state” in the process. Klepto-/autocratic delusions of grandeur. Over time it shifted more to a variety of extra-governmental and state-gov players as continues today with Italygate, fraudits. (How very “Federalist”!) (I cannot entertain an unwinding of their hypocrisies beyond scarequotes rn.)

      Had it succeeded, their initial plan would have all but entirely devastated US government but for in name only.**

      *the first “e-version”: recall Barr, Trump, et al. floating the notion that e.g. China would flood the US with fake paper ballots, before they reverted to hacked/altered voting machine data.

      **(Hmm, leaving us almost like so many post-Soviet states.) Recall, too, the “accelerationist” strand within WS circles — sharing Bannon’s / Putin’s goals for destruction of the United States — represented at the Capitol 1/6.

  14. Eureka says:

    Another topic harpie re-raised: foreign influence on 1/6. I’m taking a different door in here, one that sets up Russian interference in the 2016 election and in days to come.

    Marcy on Deripaska(‘s antisemitic) yelling* about the FBI raids evokes the course of one Charles Bausman. Originally of CT, Bausman spent some boyhood years in Moscow while his father worked there as AP Bureau Chief.

    In 2014 Bausman started up “Russia Insider” — to give Americans news about Russia’s activities from the RU pov. See this completely credulous (possibly placed PR) March 2015 piece in the Greenwich (home of Paulie Rugs tailor!) Time, and cry tears of retrospect:


    In early 2018 he got in some “trouble” for antisemitic content on Russia Insider — RT put out a ridiculous-sounding notice and “blacklisted” him from future appearances (see Daily Beast). [It is a confusing line to toe, some of the evangelicals or other WS-curious with whom Putinists seek to recombine fetishize Jewish people in such a way as to be offended by overt antisemitism.] [Also, Bausman’s got plenty of RU State-TV airtime, worry not for him — see SPLC.]

    For the 2020 election cycle, Bausman set up shop in Lancaster, PA with a local-sounding fake-news site (partnered with fine person Norman Asa “Trey” Garrison from The Right Stuff, aka TRS, among other far-right enclaves) of the type we’ve come to know well.

    See Marcy’s 9/1/21 thread on why that might be interesting for 1/6 purposes; she QTs Michael Edison Hayden’s SPLC reporting for a deep dive (click around):

    emptywheel: “Several reasons why this is interesting. First, Riley Williams, who is accused of being involved in the theft of a Pelosi laptop that (an unreliable ex claimed) was being shared with Russia, lives in Harrisburg, < 1 hour away." [Thread; QT Hayden]

    (cont., next)

    *The RU and now American far-right are obsessed with (tarring) Bolshevik Jews. Watch it recur… it is most definitely an export.

    • Eureka says:

      Then 9/23/21, MEH reported that Bausman was ID’ed inside the Capitol 1/6 (he’s long gone now):

      Michael Edison Hayden: “NEW — Six people including his sister identified an image of a man inside the Capitol as Charles Bausman. Bausman is a Pro-Kremlin propagandist and extreme far-right activist who reappeared in Moscow after Jan 6: [link; extensive thread links prior reporting]”

    • Eureka says:

      Bausman’s role appears to be key to the RU long game.

      His oligarch, Konstantin Malofeev, shares a Russian Orthodox spiritual guru with Putin (among other commonalities; he allegedly funded the Crimea invasion) and is a booster to events uniting religious radicals in Russia and the US via the US-based World Congress of Families (see SPLC and Mother Jones).

      Separately, his partner in the Lancaster operation features throughout far-right circles, including, as noted, TRS. You might recall TRS as the group of which that now-former State Department employee (Matthew Q. Gebert) was a chapter leader (Gebert did study abroad in Moscow, where he met his future extreme-right-activist wife).

      Recall, too, Stephen Miller-adjacent Richard Spencer [and his Dugin-promoting, Moscow-born (and ? now ex-)wife]. (More at SPLC)

    • Eureka says:

      I’ve meant to address this for some time; it involves convoluted intersecting stories so this is but a sketch. More to unpack.

      See Michael Hayden’s extensive reporting at SPLC; wikis for named individuals; additional reporting esp. in 2020 at ydr.com (York Daily Record) and Lancasteronline.com

      Also mentioned:

      Too Racist for Russian Propaganda?

      The World Congress of Families’ Russian Network – Mother Jones

      See EW’s twitter (~~ “You mad, bro?” or something similar) 10/20/21 for her QT of a translation of Deripaska’s remarks on the FBI raids (twitter not working rn).

  15. harpie says:


    I broke down The JOE BIGGS MOVIE here:

    [10:36] 2:17 PM BIGGS standing outside the NW breach point [10:44] Northeast Carriage Door alcove, then [11:03] BIGGS goes back into arched area where breach point Northeast Carriage Door is.

    That alcove is on the NORTHEST COURTYARD.

      • harpie says:

        This is what CapitolHunters has for this time span
        on their CHART [with linked videos] :

        2:14 PM House Chamber: Paul Gosar (R-AZ) begins a speech objecting to the Arizona electoral vote.
        2:14 PM People open the NW door from the inside.
        Joe Biggs enters the Capitol with a videographer
        2:14 PM On Senate side, the first intruders from the NW breach confront Officer Goodman at foot of stairs
        2:15 PM Mob chases Goodman upstairs. He lures them from Senate Chamber into a faceoff with police
        2:16 PM Breach of NW Side Door
        2:17 PM Alex Jones & entourage climb the E. Capitol steps; Alex gives a speech
        2:18 PM Fighting continues on the W. Plaza and steps to Lower W. Terr.
        2:18 PM Joe Biggs & others exit & are seen in the NE Courtyard.

        It seems like the mob that chased Goodman might have been used to distract from BIGGS’s movements.

    • harpie says:

      I’ve been working through this AMAZING THREAD from CapitolHunters:

      9:20 PM · Oct 20, 2021

      #SeditionHunters have worked for months to understand the order & organization under the seeming chaos of the Capitol attack. New analysis suggests: U.S. democracy hung by a thread for critical minutes. And we owe an immense debt to the men and women who fought to preserve it. 1/ [THREAD]

      IF those two timestamps are correct, then it seems like
      BIGGS must have walked THROUGH the building.

      • Rayne says:

        Thanks for picking through that CapitolHunters’ thread. It was excellent. I have something squirreled away which I need to post at some point soon – I’m under the impression two things did/didn’t happen which could have dramatically changed dynamics. Not only did a very few people keep this from going badly, but those two IEDs planted south/southeast of the Capitol and some persons who didn’t arrive on the scene from the east could have made the timeline significantly different.

        It’s worth going through the timeline and analysis by body language expert Dr. Jack Brown in this thread. Sure would like to know where Lauren Boebert and Marjorie Taylor Greene were the evening of January 5.

        • harpie says:

          hmmmm…..VERY intriguing!

          Thanks for linking to that thread…will definitely read!

          What would you think of the idea of dividing our TL for the day of J6 into the time framing CapitolHunters have developed in that CHART?

          • harpie says:

            wow! [from the thread RAYNE links to]:

            17/ It is not clear why the bomb left behind the Capitol Hill Club is referred to as the “RNC bomb”, if the maps provided by both the FBI as well as the Washington Post shows the bomb was placed behind the Capitol Hill Club.
            [end quote]

            • Rayne says:

              That was a doozy — what outlet or journalist or law enforcement entity first framed it as RNC? Why did they both-sides the IEDs when they weren’t?

          • Rayne says:

            Yeah, I like what the CapitolHunters did with the breakdown into phases. The challenge for us, though, is to continue to look at the information collected as if it were still fluid and continuous, not phased; it’d be easy to miss a trigger point if we locked into CapitolHunters’ POV.

            I wish I had a better tool for this than Google Sheets. We’re going to need to breakdown even earlier phases, like whatever happened on December 12, again on Dec 23, and by players (column for Sidney Powell, another for Michael Flynn, Steve Bannon, so on).

        • harpie says:

          We’d have to keep an eye on the transitions between “Phases” [their description], because stuff will overlap. For instance, their Phase 3 begins at 2:15 PM, but things that happened at 2:14 PM are definitely relevant to what happens in Phase 3.

          One 2:14 PM entry we have:

          2:14 PM [WHIP] OATH KEEPER who leads the coordination of the OK security details writes: “The[y] have taken ground at the capital[.] We need to REGROUP any members who are not on mission.”

          RHODES then reposts that message and instructs the group: “Come to South Side of Capitol on steps”; sends a photo of the SOUTHEAST side of the Capitol.

          • harpie says:

            That refers to PERSON TEN, “Mike”, “Whip”, is former Indianapolis Police Department, former Army explosives, and former Blackwater.

  16. harpie says:

    Ahead of Jan. 6, Willard hotel in downtown D.C. was a Trump team ‘command center’ for effort to deny Biden the presidency
    [caption]: A team of advisers and lawyers worked at the Willard hotel in Washington seeking to pull off what they claim was a legal strategy to reinstate President Donald Trump for a second term.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/willard-trump-eastman-giuliani-bannon/2021/10/23/c45bd2d4-3281-11ec-9241-aad8e48f01ff_story.html 10/23/21

    […] Eastman was not the first or the only person in Trump’s sphere to argue that Pence was empowered to block or delay certification of Biden’s victory. Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn — and Trump himself — suggested as much on Dec. 23, retweeting a post about the possibility of invoking “the Pence card.” […]

    6:33 PM · Sep 25, 2021

    THREAD: Before it became the “Eastman memo,” the plan to overthrow our democracy was known as Ivan Raiklin’s “Pence Card.” Raiklin–lawyer, Flynn Org operative, and former Green Beret–designed a plan full of such contingencies and recruited GOP members to adopt the plan. /1

    Raiklin first argued Pence had “the sole plenary authority” to take unilateral action that same day (12/23/20) to throw out electors from the contested states.

    Doing so “changes the dynamic of the entire election,” forcing states & Biden/Harris to seek “recourse” in court. /2 [THREAD]

    • harpie says:

      More from that thread and embedded VIDEO:

      And, while Raiklin’s interview focused primarily on what Pence could do on 12/23/20, Raiklin revealed there was a different “Pence Card” that Pence could use on January 6th.

      A card that was ultimately still similar to what he was describing for 12/23. /5

    • harpie says:

      […] Some, such as @SenMikeLee who was sent the Eastman memo, may believe it was drawn “out of thin air,” but it wasn’t.

      It was a concerted influence effort by the architect, Ivan Raiklin, & part of Flynn Org’s irregular warfare op to keep Trump in power. /19 […]

      • harpie says:

        From an earlier THREAD:
        7:19 PM · Jul 17, 2021

        No surprise to me as, in a 1AP video dated 12/9/20, [Robert Patrick] Lewis said “our intel team has been processing a lot of OSINT” for “the Sidney Powell legal team” and “[w]e’ve been helping them kind of collate it, bring them to the right place, and sort it, and also do a lot of digging.” /14

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