3 Things: Memory, Memory, the 6th of January

[NB: Check the byline, thanks. /~Rayne]

Next week the UK observes another Guy Fawkes Day, the anniversary of the failed assassination in 1605 of King James I, his privy council, and the House of Lords. Children used to recite a rhyme to commemorate the day:

Remember, Remember the 5th of November, Gunpowder, Treason and Plot

The U.S. has now survived its own Guy Fawkes Day; members of Congress, the Vice President and Vice President-elect were sheltered from a mob of insurrectionists who had been incited to rebel and obstruct congressional proceedings.

Unlike Guy Fawkes and his fellow conspirators, the conspirators and insurrectionists who temporarily disrupted Congress on January 6 and who continue their seditionist schemes will not be hung, drawn, and quartered if prosecuted and found guilty.

~ 3 ~

Marcy’s crunching away on some January 6-related posts right now, but we could use some fresh thread to tide us over to discuss recent developments related to the insurrection.

Let’s start with the unexpected heroics of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) which disclosed in a very early Saturday morning court filing that Donald Trump was trying to block release of 750 documents out of 1600 identified and requested by the House’s January 6 commission during its investigation — documents over which Joe Biden as the current president chose not to exert privilege.

The commission also filed a brief supporting its position that Trump as the former president does not have the authority to claim executive privilege over Trump administration documents sought by the commission.

You’ve likely read POLITICO’s report — the tl;dr version is Kyle Cheney’s Twitter thread describing NARA’s filing.

What boggles the mind is how Trump has tipped his hand as to which documents are most damning.

The cherry on top is NARA’s filing which details Steve Bannon’s role in the seditious conspiracy to incite rebellion and insurrection. Ryan Goodlaw at Lawfare wielded a highlighter for us:

Oh my. That’s just so good. It’s payback by NARA for all the crappy additional work they’ve had to do to archive the history of the Trump administration — all those tedious reconstructions of papers Trump had a nasty habit of shredding into confetti now coming home to roost.

~ 2 ~

Now add the claim reported today in Salon that Michael Flynn may have conspired to extort performance from Pennsylvania GOP elected officials in order to reseat Trump in the White House. U.S. Senate candidate for Pennsylvania, Everett Stern, who owns and operates a private intelligence company, had been contacted by persons associated with Flynn’s effort.

Stern says he’s shared information about the approach and related communications with the feds.

What’s deeply concerning about this plot is the possible involvement of foreign entities:

… Because of his intelligence background, Stern claims at least two people representing a Flynn-linked group called “Patriot Caucus” approached him earlier this year after a speech with an offer to hire his firm to gather “dirt” on officials and recruit others to assist in the plot. At one point, one of the men allegedly told Stern that they had retained the services of active intelligence officials “both domestic and foreign.” …

This sounds very much like something Flynn would do based on his past record of involvement with foreign agents.

Stern was also encouraged to achieve the ends desired using violence if necessary — “accomplish the mission even if you have to use domestic terrorism” — which he found very disturbing.

He’s recorded a YouTube video statement which sounds awkward and uncomfortable, and yet he sounds wholly legitimate in his concerns about the situation, including the lawyer for one of the intelligence targets.

Assuming Stern’s claims all check out, one might wonder if it was Bannon who set Flynn on this plot given Bannon’s relationships in PA.

UPDATE: Scott Stedman at ForensicNews tweeted Stern’s a serial fabricator. I guess we’ll let the feds sort that out. Have to ask yourself why a GOP candidate would commit political suicide with their own party and trash the cred of their private intelligence business at the same time while potentially risking federal charges for false statements.

~ 1 ~

Bannon appears to have played a more direct role in lead-up to the January 6 insurrection, along with working relationships to state-level contacts; Flynn may have been/may still be pressuring states’ elected officials using extortive tactics…

Does John Eastman’s ongoing involvement with state legislators complement their efforts?

It already looks like Eastman’s activities on and before January 6 complemented the activities Bannon and Flynn set in motion with their incitement intended to terrorize both Congress and VP Pence:

Sure would be nice to know if Bannon, Flynn, and Eastman had some overlapping communications.

Oh, and Rudy Giuliani.

Same, Jim Bourg, same. Good on you getting this photo.

~ 0 ~

ADDER: If you haven’t already read the Washington Post’s investigative expose examining the run-up to, the day of, and the aftermath of January 6, you should do so. It’s worth your time even if you’ve been following along closely as both the House January 6 commission and the DOJ investigations have unfolded. You may see things which spawn more questions than the reporting answers.

I still don’t buy the benign spin put on former acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller’s role, for example. There’s a reason Trump wanted him in that role after Esper resigned; the multiple times Miller failed to respond to requests for National Guard support on January 6 looks like a particular reason.

~ 0 ~ 0 ~

I wonder if in the future children will have a rhyme to recall Trump’s January 6th autogolpe plot.

Memory, Memory, the 6th of January, Sedition, Insurrection, and Trump…

I certainly hope we have a few bonfires each January 6 to keep our memories fresh.

52 replies
  1. Rayne says:

    So much of this stuff is self-ownage — details sloppily spilling out with really lousy damage control.

    Imagine what could have happened if these guys weren’t hacks.

    • Charles Wolf says:

      “…self-ownage — details sloppily spilling out…”
      It’s another gang that couldn’t shoot straight.

      They should have taken lessons from the Deep State.
      Not a shred of evidence has ever leaked inculpating the Pizza Parlor Basement Pedos. That’s discipline.

  2. ThomasH says:

    Great post.

    This seems like it might fit into this thread, and I wanted to get some feedback from the good people here; over at Heather Digby’s Hullabaloo yesterday, she has a clip from Rachel Maddow’s show. Maddow discusses an interesting blowback on the Durham “investigation” and the single indictment of the national security lawyer that approached the FBI about the AlphaBank and Trump Org. servers. The indictment had enough information in it to allow any reasonably skilled doxer to figure out who the various researchers were, who put together all the server “pinging” information, and out them. These researchers have now stepped forward to say that their conclusions are accurate, reproducible and they have the receipts to prove their conclusion.

    I find that discussion by Maddow very interesting but don’t know quite what to make of it. I’d be curious to know what the participants here think of the information Maddow was talking about? Assuming people here have seen either Digby’s Hullabaloo or the Maddow show itself.

    • matt fischer says:

      There’s was a fair amount of discussion in the comments section of a post by Dr. Wheeler (https://www.emptywheel.net/2021/09/22/john-durham-is-the-jim-jordan-of-ken-starrs/) that addresses the question of what can be gleaned from the available evidence of communication between the Trump Campaign, Spectrum Health and Alpha Bank servers. Xboxershorts, an apparent expert on internet communications, asserted that you can’t glean much — and definitely nothing about the nature of the communication. If that’s true it would appear to contradict the primary claim of Maddow’s segment — that evidently a covert communication channel was deliberately created and covered up — unless the researchers who Maddow cited somehow obtained additional data of which the public is not aware.

      • Mojo Risin' says:

        To the masses, this all exists in a vacuum where Spectrum isn’t a proxy for Devos and Prince. This is only looked-for in the first place because of the long history of Amway in RF which makes a Fridman-DeVos backdoor relationship unsurprising, and complementary to the documented Prince-RDIF meetings. The Murdoch-Deng-Bannon-Guo-FedSoc noise machine has done a wonderful job making everyone miss the obvious, that Spectrum and Fridman connecting is just a different angle on the Seychelles meeting.

        • bmaz says:

          This is truly beyond gibberish, and typical of Tucker Carlson gibberish, and is likely the last obtuse comment from you that gets approved.

          We do not need trolls like you. Buh bye.

      • subtropolis says:

        Maddow acknowledged that the evidence that exists does not clarify anything “about the nature of the communication”. As did the researchers at the time. What is significant about this latest development is that the lawyer for one of them has sent a letter to Durham (and Garland) which includes quotes from emails shared between the researchers which put the lie to any suggestion that they were not unanimous in considering that there was something real there and that it couldn’t be easily explained away as spam or whatever. That they all were in agreement that the feds needed to look into it right away, iow.

        It’s Alfa Bank, btw.

        • matt fischer says:

          Maddow repeatedly addressed the nature of the communication: “The people who found it out in the first place, to this day, think that what they found was conclusive evidence that a covert communication channel was opened during the campaign between the Trump Organization and a Russian bank connected to the Kremlin. It was a covert communication channel that existed during the campaign and that both sides deliberately covered up.”

          To my eyes, it didn’t look like Maddow reported anything new regarding the available evidence. Of course the researchers thought their data should be investigated — and it was. My point (notwithstanding my misspelling) was that experts appear to strongly disagree with those researchers’ conclusions.

    • madwand says:

      What I got out of it was that persons whose identities were implied in the documents are not going to roll over and die for John Durham, which is as it should be. Durham, IMHO, has produced nothing of note.

    • ChuckM says:

      This is just a sidebar to the main topic.
      I’m recently retired from a couple decades of IT, as a technician only with a couple SME designations though none that would pertain here (I can speak volumes on SolarWinds’ issues tho). I only want to point out some unneeded flavor added to the reporting I’ve heard because we constantly strive to process information by allowing the fat, as it were, to separate to the top and thence consume the broth (or whatever).
      I love Ms. Maddow and consider her must-see TV, but I’ve been hearing a lot about “covert lines of communication”, and it only heightens my skepticism in the reporting (certainly not the veracity of the facts). A passel of protocols could count as “covert lines of communication” including such innocuous ones as VPN or HTTPS. I’m pretty sure any interaction using end-to-end encryption could be considered “covert”, add in alternative ports than the standard or a VLAN and I suppose it starts to look suspicious.

      I’ll admit to possibly (probably) not having all the information available, and I don’t discount the reality or suspicious nature of these connections but this mysterious “covert channels” business seems like just added unnecessary drama being repeated. I look to Maddow and others (like this joint) for truth and accuracy, and I only bring this up to try to clarify the broth.
      I’ll be back out on the front lawn if I’m needed.

      • Leoghann says:

        Of course the communications were encrypted. We’re not talking about Aunt June talking to Grandma on Fb Messenger. What I gleaned from the reporting thus far,the suspicions aren’t that the communications were encrypted, it was that both parties tried to hide the fact that there were was any communication channel at all.

      • matt fischer says:

        The researchers who discovered the data apparently wholeheartedly believe they put forth significant evidence of intentionally hidden communications. One of their lawyers argued as much to the special counsel. Here are some quotes from the letter Steven A. Tyrrell, attorney for “TECH-EXECUTIVE-1”, wrote to Durham (according the Maddow segment):

        “In the end, the researchers unanimously concluded that the data reflected the existence of a covert communication channel”

        “If the whitepaper intends to say that there are communications between at least Alfa and Trump, which are being intentionally hidden by Alfa and Trump, I absolutely believe that is the case.”

        “Facts: It’s clear there’s hidden communications between Trump and Alfa Bank.”

        If skepticism is warranted about “this mysterious ‘covert channels’ business” and “unnecessary drama”, much of it should be directed at the researchers.

        • J R in WV says:

          I am NOT a networking person, but I do have a BsCs [and much of a MS degree until I got a full time job ] degree and worked in IT software development at a high level from the late 1980s until my retirement in 2008.

          It is a non trivial task to set up secure communications between two computers in the same building — let alone on different continents. No one ever does this between two computers they do not seriously require to be in contact.

          The mere fact of the communications channel existing shows something important to the owners of these computers was going on. One hopes the NSA has intact data exchanged on that communications channel, and that if it was encrypted in some way (which seems overwhelmingly probable!) it is a method of encryption that the NSA can break open before lunch.

          The problem there is that the NSA very much wants to keep the fact of their awareness of hidden communications channels secret as well as to keep their ability to decrypt those channels secret. Secrecy is so far as I know far more important to the NSA than identifying treasonous individuals in the government, and perhaps more important than uncovering insurrection plots in our own government.

  3. Tom R. says:

    Speaking of memories and of things that don’t add up: What role did _Roger Stone_ play?

    *) On the one hand, WaPo (Oct. 23rd) says he “was not part of the Giuliani team at the Willard and did not participate in the team’s efforts, according to the three people with knowledge of the matter.”

    *) On the other hand, it seems safe to assume he was involved; he has a track record that goes back decades:
    ++ He organized the Florida 2000 “Stop the Steal” riots.
    ++ He organized a “Stop the Steal” campaign to dispute the 2016 primaries and general election, although this turned out to be inconsequential.
    ++ He is tight with the Oath Keepers, who played a leading role in political violence on Jan. 6th and before.
    ++ He was at the Willard in the days leading up to and including the 6th.

    It would be quite a coincidence if there were multiple independent seditious conspiracies that just happened to overlap in time and space. Given the stakes, that would be an amazing level of mismanagement, even for this bunch. My theory is that there was coordination, but at a higher level. We need to find out how that worked.

    There are so many rogues in this gallery that it’s hard to keep track of them all, but even so, we need to keep Roger Stone in the foreground.

    • Rugger9 says:

      That’s been something I have been saying for a while: follow Stone. His tribulations with Bannon may have a kernel of truth to it, but reads currently like TrumpOrg kayfabe. Not that I wish ill on anyone, but I would suspect Stone disappears before the investigators close in, no indication whether it involves a trap door to meet Minos on the way to the Ninth Circle.

  4. Jax says:

    Thanks for this. It’s been a busy day and I’ve only had time to read the first part of the WaPo series (and my mind’s already a little blown), but I always come here for a more in-depth take on the Jan 6 stuff.

    First time commenter, thanks for doing what you do. It doesn’t go unnoticed.

  5. DrFunguy says:

    Open secrets.org is claiming new details of funding of 6 Jan.
    “ Caroline Wren, a top fundraiser for Trump’s campaign who was listed as a “VIP Advisor” on the permit granted by the National Park Service for the Jan. 6 rally, reportedly boasted of raising $3 million for the protest before the Capitol riot. She then “parked” funds with two “dark money” groups that helped organize the protest and a closely-tied super PAC, ProPublica reported last week.”
    Not sure how much they add to ProPublica’s reporting… follow the money is always good advice.

    • Earthworm says:

      A slush fund, to make payments/reimbursements for expenses of insurrectionists.
      to my mind this is the cause of so many selfies.
      Usually, people engaged in illegal or criminal actions take pains to mask their identity. These rioters were creating proof they were there, in order for some kind of payment or reward.
      the rich, right wing “vip’s” knew they had to pony up and fund this, make it worth the rioters’ while, and ensure an immense mob showed up.

  6. AndTheSlithyToves says:

    Love it when you mount the pulpit, Rayne–set that congregation on fire!
    Saw this via Bandy Lee’s twitter thread the other day–very thought-provoking piece from TomDispatch about the J-6 coup “d’État raté” (the failed Rat Coup): https://tomdispatch.com/an-american-coup/
    Always have in the back of my mind Sarah Kendzior’s observation that Trump’s lifetime practice is to cover up the real criminality with the spectacle of scandal.

    • punaise says:

      Minor thing: I didn’t check the source material, but “coup d’État raté” just means failed coup. Past participle of the verb rater. Not that there aren’t plenty of rhetorical rodents involved here.

      • rip says:

        I really liked the juxtaposition of Stone’s rat-shaped face (apologies to the real Rattus) and his raté endeavors. Altho he has succeeded in stenching up the environment with his ratty excrement.

        • AndTheSlithyToves says:

          Preach it, rip! Yes, Stone is an odious individual. Whenever I see his picture or a statement of his in the media (I find him too noxious to listen to him speak online), I swear I get a whiff of brimstone. Big vermin indeed!

      • AndTheSlithyToves says:

        lolol, Punaise! Forgive my self-indulgent (and deliberate) malapropisms, in semi-French, no less!

  7. Eureka says:

    A few points while waiting on this Stern matter to shake out (@visionsurreal, @gal_suburban, @jimstewartson, @davetroy etc. are on it, didn’t see anything new tonight) (and will it show up reported in the NYT as Stern sought?).

    If it’s true that Stern so-notified PAGOP, and they cared, this might play into a big factional split over the summer between two of the Trumpy segments. Short version: State Sen Pro Tem Jake Corman stripped Doug Mastriano of his relevant committee powers just in time to get PA’s fraudit going. Corman, more “sensible” / less full-blown, had prior (relatively) resisted Trump’s pressure. Mastriano as we know is all-in and has been the loudest big lie proponent**. Now, Mastriano doesn’t get the splashy role he sought [incl. issuing subpoenas; nor control (as much) which rando third-party contractors get Pennsylvania voters’ personal info] — which may just point to the Corman faction’s ambitions (they’ll now get the Trumpish credit, emphasis on _ish_), or … maybe this whole thing is a factor, too. A bridge too far for the faint (feint) of heart?

    Mastriano (besides the Russia/psy-ops/Q angles) is further linked to Flynn in promoting together candidates like Kathy Barnette for US Senate (PA). https://www.emptywheel.net/2021/08/04/leave-the-rest-to-me-and-the-r-congressmen-trumps-big-lie-and-the-actual-harm-of-january-6-obstruction/#comment-899128
    [See Jim Stewartson’s twitter for other Black women GOP candidates Flynn/Ivan Raiklin promote.]

    As to purported targets Toomey and Fitzpatrick, besides their sharing later-term votes/statements contra Trump’s couping, a reminder re Fitzpatrick’s specialties as former SAUSA/FBI:

    Republican Fitzpatrick is a former Special Assistant United States Attorney and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) supervisory special agent in California. At the FBI, he served as a national supervisor for the Bureau’s Public Corruption Unit, and led the agency’s Campaign Finance and Election Crimes Enforcement program. During his time in the FBI, he spent time in Kyiv, Ukraine; Mosul, Iraq; and Washington, D.C.[3] He was embedded with U.S. Special Forces as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom.


    Also, his congressional district is apparently peppered with black “USA” (sic) flags (no quarter for enemy libs).

    • Eureka says:

      ** ooh, brain tickle: After the Gettysburg sham hearing, Mastriano and his son (and a friend IIRC) were found COVID-positive after traveling to the White House that night for a meeting with Trump, so were turned away. Something came back up lately re who- got- COVID- when among Rudy and all of them that might have pointed to further coup-contact tracing but it’s_ just_ out of reach…

      Thread about the flags:


    • rip says:

      This sounds like some moles were well planted into state governments and perhaps the DOJ/FBI and are now executing their scripts. Whose moles, one might ask.

    • Eureka says:

      Besides this guy contradicting himself within his own video, what he was tweeting Monday morning merely ups the inconsistencies and makes him sound like a con artist lite. Quite frankly he reminds me of the Lev Speaks shtick (not much good info pixel-for-pixel, but perhaps some — and a lesser version at that). Bye Everett (and bon chance to any journalists & c dealing w/him).


      Going to note here that the screenshot he posted: https://twitter.com/EverettStern1/status/1455137994420236291 7:41 AM · Nov 1, 2021

      puts a date of June 12, 2021 5:18 PM on the statement “Target is former FBI Agent Fitzpatrick”

  8. Eureka says:

    Meanwhile here’s some different Pennsylvania-based extremists seditionists GOPers (you pick ’em/mix-and-match) with Russian ties. Big series at Lancaster Online yesterday — and heads up, there’s more coming Monday focused on Charles Bausman’s activities election-to-1/6 :

    A group of notorious white nationalists met secretly in historic Lancaster County barn last year. Why here? | PA Power and Policy | lancasteronline.com
    CARTER WALKER | Staff Writer Oct 30, 2021 [and click around for more]

    I wrote about some of these characters here, see Marcy’s linked thread on other reasons why this is interesting re 1/6:

      • Eureka says:

        Well, shit. I got my second wind after a marathon of horror movies and the football which was not horrific.

        It’s been FORTY THREE YEARS since the first Halloween came out. For those who’re counting.

    • Eureka says:

      As to “…Why here?”, there’s a nice discussion of how WN organizing in the US is following Orban’s successful model in Hungary, starting and crystalizing rurally with the intent to take over urban centers [thanks, Zuck, for the “active diffusion”]. Reading it, you feel the very deliberateness of Fox, Carlson, et al.’s obeisance. Chilling, truly — besides maddening that we know the causes of this disease yet remain relatively powerless to stop them.

      On August 15, 2020, they created their new white nationalist party in Bausman’s barn.

      On January 3, 2021, Moonies, the Next Gen — Rod of Iron Ministries — held a “service” in Bausman’s barn.

      [Click through for “How we confirmed a barn in Lancaster County was used for a 2020 white nationalist rally”, October 30, 2021.]

      1/3/21 is also the date of the scheduled regional intermilitia planning meeting for 1/6 in nearby Quarryville, PA to which NJ OK James Breheny had invited Stewart Rhodes, per court docs.

    • Eureka says:

      Some tidbits from today’s reporting [“Pro-Russia blogger worked in Lancaster County to ‘Stop the Steal’ between election, Capitol riot”]: Facebook was essential to the project, with some linkages exposed re locally-organized anti-shutdown/COVID regs folks who became Capitol attendees (defendants); Mastriano appears, as does J6 Committee doc request recipient Scott Presler [last known to be organizing in upstate NY at Elise Stefanik’s hem].

      Most interesting: in a recent interview, Bausman says he doesn’t want to return to the US from Russia for fear of being treated like *Maria Butina.*

      Of all things he could say, this is a telling comparison.

        • Eureka says:

          If so, he might get to go to some better concerts. Even if he knows said crush would turn him in to the FBI over foreign influence concerns, that is a fate preferable to broadcasting a predilection for Styx (a “secret, secret” best kept under the hat).


          Update, yikes: Dennis DeYoung was photographed lurking about the barn — nabbed by those Amish paps. Seems Mr. Bausman has some explaining to do…

        • Eureka says:

          Like I said, Bausman has some splaining to do.

          Though to your point the aural treats Butina experienced would seem to have been the version sans DeYoung.

          But in a truth-stranger-than-fiction FURTHER update, I see DeYoung is akshually on tour in the region doing a full Styx setlist. Dates postponed, tho — hope he didn’t purchase tix before fleeing to his (true) motherland. Concerts are expensive and FinCen’s a bitch! /bad timing for operatives to up their taste game

  9. Ravenclaw says:

    I do love this line from page 27 of the NARA court filing: “Plaintiff advances no legal or factual arguments to match his rhetoric.” It so nicely sums up the man’s entire career. And I look forward to November 12, when (we may hope) at least 35-40 pages are to be released to the select committee. Though it may be some time after that before we see much of what lies within.

  10. Tom says:

    This isn’t schoolyard friendly and doesn’t even scan properly, but …

    Be wary! Be wary!
    Of the Sixth of January,
    When Trump tried a coup
    And we told him, “Fuck you!’

  11. SlimSloSlider says:

    You’ve heard of Steve Bannon
    The Alt-Reich loose cannon
    Who tried some subversion
    With his pal Donald Trump
    Now his gig’s legal diversion,
    The US Congress to stump

    Then there’s Roger Stone,
    Tatted rat-fucker clone,
    Who lies when he speaks
    And Eastman who plotted
    with Mike Pence critiques

    Guy Fawkes? Forget him,
    His fate worse than grim,
    Hung, drawn and quartered
    All Trump’s allies deserve
    Their graves then mortared
    And infamy as hors d’oeuvre

      • Leoghann says:

        Although the proper term today is “hanged,” and the awful punishment always began by drawing (dragging the condemned behind a horse from the court or gaol to the gallows), the term in days of yore was “hung, drawn, and quartered.” Fortunately the other fun parts aren’t included in the name.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          As P J Evans points out, medieval hanging, drawing and quartering involved gelding the male victim, suspending him from a noose, pulling out his intestines, often by rolling them onto a spiked club, beheading, then quartering the body. Especially disfavored victims had their parts sent to the four corners of the kingdom, pour encourager les autres.

  12. Leoghann says:

    To elaborate a bit on a point SlithyToves brought up, in an interview I heard, Mary Trump said one of Donald’s favorite ploys is to throw out a red herring to distract people from his actual foul deeds. This doesn’t necessarily involve the common politician’s method of distracting the media with some unrelated scandal or complaint, although it might. It might have him tossing out an outrageous statement to the media, then denying it (“I’m not into getting peed on”), while never bringing up the real bad behavior. Or perhaps throwing a big fit over several hundred pages of a 1,500-page tranche of documents, when the damning information a small item buried in the middle, or is somewhere else entirely.

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