The Pied Piper of Insurrection, and Other Challenges in Charging the January 6 Organizer-Inciters

In a post laying out what I called my “taxonomy” of the DOJ investigation of the January 6 crime scene, I noted that the next step in holding those who orchestrated January 6 responsible was to start holding the “organizer-inciters” responsible.

 I have argued that DOJ is very close to rolling out more details of the plot to seize the Capitol, a plot that was implemented (at the Capitol) by the Proud Boys in coordination with other militia-tied people. I have also argued that one goal of the misdemeanor arrests has been to obtain evidence showing that speeches inciting violence, attacks on Mike Pence, or directing crowds to (in effect) trespass brought about violence, the targeting of Mike Pence, and the breach of the Capitol.

If I’m right about these two observations, it means that the investigation has reached a step where the next logical move would be to charge those who incited violence or directed certain movement. The next logical step would be to hold those who caused the obstruction accountable for the obstruction they cultivated.

This is why I focused on Alex Jones in this post: because there is a great deal of evidence that Alex Jones, the guy whom Trump personally ordered to lead mobs to the Capitol, was part of the plot led by his former employee, Joe Biggs, to breach a second front of the Capitol. If this investigation is going to move further, people like Alex Jones and other people who helped organize and incite the riot, will be the next step.

Though you might not know it from the coverage, DOJ has charged several people who played a key role in creating and mobilizing the mob that seized the Capitol. This is where, however, the obscurity of the investigation and First Amendment protections raise real questions about whether DOJ will be able to move up the chain of responsibility.

I’d like to look at the prospects of accountability at three nodes of organizer inciters:

  • Walkaway founder Brandon Straka
  • SoCal anti-maskers Russell Taylor and Alan Hostetter
  • Alex Jones, Owen Shroyer, and Ali Alexander

The import of January 5 in January 6

Before I do so, though, a word about January 5. Though the general outline of the January 6 attack kicked off in November 2020 and was fine-tuned in December (the MAGA events in both months were critical both as dry runs and for networking among participants), the final outline of plans took place in the days before the riot. There seems to have been an intra-militia meeting planned on January 3 in Quarrysville, Pennsylvania where groups, “[got] our comms on point with multiple other patriot groups.”

After Proud Boy Enrique Tarrio got arrested on January 4, the Proud Boys frantically tried to regroup. As late as 9PM on January 5, Joe Biggs and Ethan Nordean were meeting with some unnamed group, out of which came their plan for the 6th.

There were rallies organized for January 5 at which a number of leaders gave incendiary speeches. There’s some reason to believe that members of what I’ve called a “disorganized militia” conspiracy, Ronnie Sandlin, Nate DeGrave, and Josiah Colt, learned key details of the plan for the next day at that event, which allowed them to be tactically important in the breach. Other disorganized attendees, like Jenny Cudd, came away from those Janaury 5 speeches persuaded a revolution was inevitable.

On January 5, 2021, Ms. Cudd stated the following in a video on social media: “a lot of . . . the speakers this evening were calling for a revolution. Now I don’t know what y’all think about a revolution, but I’m all for it. . . . Nobody actually wants war, nobody wants bloodshed, but the government works for us and unfortunately it appears that they have forgotten that, quite a lot. So, if a revolution is what it takes then so be it. Um, I don’t know if that is going to kick off tomorrow or not, we shall see what the powers that be choose to do with their powers and we shall see what it is that happens in Congress tomorrow at our United States Capitol. So, um either way I think that either our side or the other side is going to start a revolution.”

As Robert Costa and Bob Woodward have described, Trump ratcheted up the pressure as the mobs formed the night of January 5 by falsely claiming that Mike Pence agreed he could ignore the true vote counts.

Yet, even in spite of the import of January 5 to what happened on January 6, DOJ has included remarkably few details about what January 6 defendants did that day.

The organizer-inciters called for revolution on January 5

The three organizer-inciters are a notable exception. As I noted in this post, DOJ focused on the January 5 speeches of Straka, Shroyer, and Taylor in their arrest affidavits. Straka’s described how he called for revolution on January 5.

STRAKA was introduced by name and brought onto stage. STRAKA spoke for about five minutes during which time he repeatedly referred to the attendees as “Patriots” and referenced the “revolution” multiple times. STRAKA told the attendees to “fight back” and ended by saying, “We are sending a message to the Democrats, we are not going away, you’ve got a problem!”

The SoCal 3%er conspiracy described how Russell Taylor called for violence.

[T]hese anti-Americans have made the fatal mistake, and they have brought out the Patriot’s fury onto these streets and they did so without knowing that we will not return to our peaceful way of life until this election is made right, our freedoms are restored, and American is preserved.

And Owen Shroyer’s arrest affidavit described him calling for revolution, too.

Americans are ready to fight. We’re not exactly sure what that’s going to look like perhaps in a couple of weeks if we can’t stop this certification of the fraudulent election . . . we are the new revolution! We are going to restore and we are going to save the republic!

But the treatment of these three organizer-inciters, both in their charges, and the development of their prosecution so far, has been very different.

Brandon Straka

Originally, Brandon Straka was charged with trespassing and 18 USC 231, civil disorder, for egging on rioters as they stripped a cop of his shield.

At around the 3:45 mark of the video, an officer from the United States Capitol Police holding a protective shield could be seen in the crowd. As individuals pushed past the officer toward the entrance of the U.S. Capitol, the officer held his shield up in the air. At around the 3:59 mark of the video, STRAKA stated, “Take it away from him.” STRAKA and others in the crowd then yelled, “Take the shield!”

As several people in the crowd grabbed the officer’s shield, STRAKA yelled, “Take it! Take it!” The crowd successfully pulled the shield away from the officer as the officer appeared to be trying to move back toward the entrance of the building.

After his early arrest, his case was continued without indictment several times, first in February, then in May, then in August, each time invoking fairly standard boilerplate about a plea. “The government and counsel for the defendant have conferred, and are continuing to communicate in an effort to resolve this matter.” In September, Straka was finally charged, with just the less serious of the two trespassing misdemeanors. After a tweak in October reflecting that he never entered the Capitol itself, he pled guilty on October 6. His statement of offense says only this about January 5:

Brandon Straka flew to Washington D.C. to speak at a rally protesting the election results on January 5 and January 6, 2021.

It focuses entirely on his role in egging on rioters at the Capitol.

This plea could be one of the ones in which someone cooperating was able to plead to a misdemeanor (the only confirmed one of which, so far, was Jacob Hiles, who cooperated in the prosecution of Michael Riley). After all, he could provide valuable information not just on the plans for January 5, but also explain what he learned about why the scheduled rally on January 6, at which he was also supposed to speak, got canceled. And in fact, he posted the kind of self-justification in advance of pleading that might reflect cooperation.

[O]n Facebook this week he addressed 357,000 followers as “Dear Patriots,” thanked them for their patience, and urged them to tune out “negative press . . . likely coming down the pike” as he took the first meaningful step toward concluding “the perils of the situation I am in.”

“Hang on tight,” Straka wrote on the site, where he has asked for financial support and plugged a forthcoming “grand relaunch” of his campaign. “Let it come, and let it go. It means nothing. It’s just pointless noise. The best is yet to come. We’re almost there.”

But his plea agreement includes the boilerplate cooperation language that generally gets taken out when someone has already cooperated, which is one reason to believe his plea may just reflect good lawyering.

We may find out whether his plea included a cooperation component when we see the filings regarding his sentencing. He was originally supposed to be sentenced on Friday December 17, but that got bumped back (as many things are, these days) to December 22. His sentencing memos were due on December 15. But unless something happened with PACER overnight, they’re not there (PACER was particularly unreliable yesterday on account of the AWS outage, but the filings could also be sealed).

Update: The two sides have asked for 30 more days to make sense of some stuff that has recently come up.

On December 8, 2021, the defendant provided counsel for the government with information that may impact the government’s sentencing recommendation. Additionally, the government is requesting additional time to investigate information provided in the Final Pre- Sentence Report. Because the government’s sentencing recommendation may be impacted based on the newly discovered information, the government and defendant request a 30-day continuance of this case so that the information can be properly evaluated.

The government is currently ordered to file its sentencing memorandum and any video evidence in support of its memorandum on December 17, 2021. The government respectfully requests that this deadline be extended based upon the reasons stated.

3%er SoCal Conspiracy

Calling the indictment against Alan Hostetter et al the “3%er SoCal conspiracy” is actually a misnomer, because it has more to do with how two men calling for violence helped organize Southern Californians largely mobilized around anti-mask politics.

The indictment provides evidence that some of the men charged–Erik Warner, Tony Martinez, Derek Kinnison, and possibly Ronald Mele– are 3%ers. Though the indictment shows Hostetter invoking the language of 3%ers in one place, he is the head of the American Phoenix anti-mask group and his anti-mask activism is one of the places Hostetter met Russell Taylor (the other is the QAnon conference in Arizona in October 2020). Hostetter and Taylor repurporsed a Telegram chat Hostetter was already using to sow violence to organize Southern Californians to travel to DC for the rally, then created a new one on January 1 called “The California Patriots-DC Brigade.”

Much of the conspiracy involves the planning of alleged conspirators for the trip, including discussions of how to bring weapons to DC.

Just one of these men, Warner, entered the Capitol; the rest skirmished around the West Terrace. Not all of the January 6 defendants whose arrest documents show them to be members of the California Patriots-DC Brigade Telegram chat are included as part of this conspiracy; Jeffrey Scott Brown and Ben Martin, who were each charged individually, are described to have been part of the chat, and it’s likely that Gina Bisignano and Danny Rodriguez and his co-conspirators were also part of that chat (among others). In addition, there’s a Person One described in the indictment, whom Hostetter has identified as big GOP donor Morton Irvine Smith, who wasn’t charged, though Irvine Smith’s actions appear distinguishable from Hostetter’s only in that he didn’t climb onto the West Terrace on January 6. So it’s not entirely clear why DOJ included the six people they did in this conspiracy.

As I laid out before, in addition to being charged individually with obstructing the vote count, the men were charged with conspiracy under the obstruction statute rather than the conspiracy statute, as most other January 6 conspiracies were charged (though a Patriot-3%er two person conspiracy unsealed the other day uses 1512(k) as well). Taylor was charged for civil disorder for an interaction with cops and his trespassing charges were enhanced because he was armed with a knife. Warner and Kinnison are separately charged for efforts to hide the Telegram chat.

In other words, this conspiracy ties together two guys publicly calling for violence with members of a militia who discussed arming themselves.

Hostetter says he wants no part of it, though. After getting permission to represent himself in October, earlier this month the former cop filed a motion to dismiss the entire indictment because of alleged government misconduct. The entire thing is the kind of batshit conspiracy theory you’d expect from Tucker Carlson or Glenn Greenwald, spinning what appears to have been inappropriate coddling of him by an Orange County Sheriff’s Sergeant into an FBI plot (that started in spring 2020) to get him, involving Yale’s Secret Society Skull and Bones, the Freemasons, Scientologists, Mormons, and a talented artist named Bandit who likes to mock him. (Read this thread if you want to laugh along.) In the wild yarn Hostetter spins, he argues both Irvine Smith and Taylor must be FBI informants and therefore he can’t be held accountable for any of the actions they induced him to take.

He asks to be severed from the other defendants and/or have his case thrown out because, he claims, he “has never knowingly met, nor has he ever knowingly communicated with, four of the co-defendants,” the 3%ers, and according to his feverish conspiracy theory, Taylor is an FBI informant who set him up (Taylor is Mormon, which is where that part of Hostetter’s conspiracy theory stems from). In a filing asserting as fact that, “the election of 2020 was actually stolen from a duly elected President whom was elected in one of the biggest landslide victories in the history of our country,” Hostetter complains that his actions to prevent the vote count of the actual winner do not amount to a crime.

On January 6, 2021 defendant did not commit one act of violence. Defendant did not commit one act of vandalism. Defendant never entered the U.S. Capitol Building. Defendant never conspired with anyone to do anything illegal, immoral or unethical. The government has not provided anything, that defendant has yet seen in discovery, that contradicts these claims by defendant. Yet, defendant is charged with federal felonies that could result in his imprisonment for up to twenty years.

Particularly given the scope of Dabney Friedrich’s ruling on the application of obstruction, with its caveats regarding whether legal activities can be deemed part of an effort to obstruct the vote count, Hostetter’s claims may have some success (Royce Lamberth is presiding over the case).

His motion to dismiss doesn’t, however, mention a number of overt acts described in the conspiracy to obstruct the vote count:

  • His participation in the November 14, 2020 MAGA event in DC
  • His own November 27, 2020 call to execute “traitors”
  • A December 12, 2020 Stop the Steal rally in Huntington Beach
  • His own calls for people to travel to DC starting on December 19, 2020

Rather than addressing most of the overt acts alleged against him, Hostetter provides what appear to be cover stories for two key December 2020 events in this timeline.

After Taylor and Hostetter spoke at an Orange County event on December 15, they met with Irvine Smith the next day, and Taylor gave both axes.

On December 15, 2020, defendant and co-defendant Russell Taylor both spoke at an Orange County Board of Supervisor’s Meeting. This was only three weeks prior to January 6th. As usual at the Board Meeting, the topics to be discussed related to Orange County issues to include Covid-19 related issues, which is what we typically spoke out about. For some reason, while Taylor was speaking during this particular board meeting, he made the following comment to the Board which was completely unrelated to any of the topics on the agenda: “Week after week, I and others are with thousands in the street all up and down the state of California. You know what they are saying? Revolution. Storm the Capitol.”


On December 16th, the day following Taylor’s comments to the Orange County Board of Supervisors, co-defendant Russell Taylor met defendant and “Person One” Morton Irvine Smith at a Mexican restaurant in San Clemente, CA called “El Ranchito.” Taylor was the organizer of this meeting and had requested, planned and organized it a few days prior. While at the restaurant, Taylor told defendant and Irvine Smith that he had purchased gifts for them. Taylor reached under the table and pulled out two boxes and gave them to defendant and Irvine Smith.

Inside these boxes were the axes that have been referred to in the indictment as proof of defendant’s nefarious intent to attack the Capitol using the axe as a weapon of some sort. Until receiving this “gift,” defendant had never personally owned an axe in his life. As he gifted it to us, Taylor described the axe metaphorically as a “battle axe” representing the battles we had already fought in support of freedom and the many battles yet to come.

Upon leaving the restaurant, either (informant) Taylor or (informant) Irvine Smith requested one of the restaurant employees take our photograph in front of the restaurant holding the axes. Defendant liked the photograph and thought it looked quite masculine and “tough” so he posted the photograph to Instagram with a somewhat provocative comment attached to the photograph. Defendant’s comment was, “The time has come when good people may have to act badly, but not wrongly.” Defendant continued in this post with, “Thank you @russ.taylor for the gift of the #thebattleaxe representing the many battles yet to come.”

Defendant had read this quote about good people possibly having to act “badly but not wrongly” in a meme very close in time to when Taylor gifted the axe to him. Defendant had no thought whatsoever about January 6 or the U.S. Capitol when creating this Instagram post. Defendant had been making public speeches regarding the fact that the U.S. was and had been “at war” with the Chinese Communist Party and domestic enemies for approximately 8 months prior to receiving this axe from Russell Taylor

Hostetter posted the photo not as a call for war, he claims, but because it made him look manly. And his caption to the photograph wasn’t a prospective call to war on January 6 in response to Taylor’s call for revolution, but to the prior 8 months of political unrest.

Particularly given Hostetter’s description of the December 16 meeting, which he helpfully tells us was actually planned, “a few days prior” (and so possibly the same day that Irvine Smith, but not Hostetter, returned from the DC MAGA March), I find the description Hostetter gives for his involvement in the January 5 event of interest. He learned of it from Irvine Smith at around the same time as that same December 16 meeting at El Ranchito and before — the indictment alleges but Hostetter ignores — he started recruiting people to attend the event.

January 5, 2021: Defendant’s non-profit organization, American Phoenix Project (APP), cohosted a rally with a group called Virgina Women for Trump. The VWT group was headed by Alice Butler-Short, a well-known and well-connected woman in the DC area.

This event, and APP’s ability to co-host it was brought to defendant’s attention in mid-December after informant Morton Irvine Smith returned to California after attending the December 12, 2020 Stop the Steal rally in Washington DC. Defendant did not attend this event. Irvine Smith claimed to have met Ms. Butler-Short for the first time at this 12/12/2020 event and the two of them agreed to APP becoming involved in co-hosting the event together.

Irvine Smith arranged for defendant to participate in a conference call with Ms. Butler-Short and two members of another group identified as Jericho March as they were a nationally known group also supporting election integrity. Once this conference call was completed, defendant told Irvine Smith that he was not interested in having American Phoenix Project co-host the event as it was too far away from California to be able to properly assist in putting it together and defendant had also gotten a bad vibe / feeling from some of the other participants in the conference call.

Irvine Smith was highly disappointed and notified defendant that he, Irvine Smith, would then just continue to help Butler-Short on his own time as they had developed a good relationship and he wanted to be personally helpful to her. Within a week or two, Irvine Smith notified defendant that Butler-Short had lined up some very big-name and popular conservative speakers for the event to include Roger Stone, Alex Jones, General Michael Flynn’s brother Joe Flynn, among several others. Irvine Smith notified defendant that ButlerShort was continuing to hold out the invitation for APP to co-host this event with her group, to include flying the APP banner at the event. Irvine Smith told defendant the only thing Butler-Short requested of APP was to help her with finding security staff to cordon off an area in front of the Supreme Court because it was a “first come, first served” policy as far as finding a location to set up a stage and microphone.


After hearing from Irvine Smith about the high-quality speakers involved and the relative ease with which APP could co-host such a high-profile event, defendant agreed to co-host the event under the APP banner. Were it not for the individual efforts of Morton Irvine Smith, neither defendant nor APP would have been involved with this event at all.

Irvine Smith’s role in getting him this gig certainly raises more questions about why he wasn’t charged, but it doesn’t change Hostetter’s own exposure.

Hostetter adds to the questions about Irvine Smith’s treatment by revealing that Irvine Smith was not searched until the day before this indictment (Hostetter also makes much of what appears to be FBI’s choice to image Irvine Smith’s devices rather than seizing them).

On 1/27/2021 when Taylor and defendant had search warrants served on them, Irvine Smith did not. It wasn’t until nearly five months later, on June 9, 2021 that Irvine Smith finally had a search warrant served on him. This was one day before defendant’s indictment was unsealed. The timing of Irvine Smith’s “raid” is transparently obvious and laughable. It was intended to “clean him up” as an informant.

Hostetter’s questions about Irvine Smith, who funded much of his actions, are as justified as questions from the Oath Keepers about Stewart Rhodes not being charged yet. But I expect this crazypants motion to be dismissed and the conspiracy prosecution to continue to hang on whether all six members of the conspiracy entered into an agreement to help stop the vote count on January 6.

But Hostetter’s motion does suggest that the conspiracy indictment uses the involvement of the 3%ers as a way to raise the stakes of both Hostetter and Taylor’s own public calls for violence. That is, DOJ seems to have charged these organizer-inciters (but not the guy funding it all, yet) by exploiting their ties to an organized militia.

Alex Jones, Owen Shroyer, and Ali Alexander

The way that DOJ appears to have used militia ties to charge organizer-inciters Alan Hostetter and Russell Taylor makes their treatment of far more important organizer-inciters, Alex Jones, Owen Shroyer, and Ali Alexander, more interesting.

Ignore for a moment Ali Alexander’s crucial role in setting up explicitly violent protests.

It is a fact that the guy leading the coup, Donald Trump, asked Alex Jones (personally, as Jones tells it) to lead the mobs Trump had incited at the Ellipse down the Mall to the Capitol. As Jones was doing this, his former employee, Joe Biggs, was kicking off the entire riot. It is also a fact that Jones lured rioters like Stacie Getsinger to the East side of the building, to where Biggs and the Oath Keepers were also gathering, by promising a second speech from Trump.

There’s reason to believe that Jones and Biggs remained in contact that day, evidence of which DOJ would presumably have from Biggs’ phone, if not his phone provider (based on whether the contact was via telephony or messaging app). If it was the latter, getting it may have taken a while. While DOJ obtained Ethan Nordean’s phone when they searched his house (because his spouse provided the FBI the password), and obtained the content of Biggs’ Google account quickly (which included some videos shared with his co-travellers), it may have taken until July 14 to exploit Biggs’ phone (this Cellebrite report must pertain to Biggs because it is not designated Highly Sensitive to him). While the content of any calls Biggs had with his former boss would not be captured, some of it is also likely available from videos shot of him. If his co-travellers wanted a cooperation deal they might be able to provide Biggs’ side of any contacts with Jones too, though several of Biggs’ co-travelers are represented by John Pierce, who may be serving as a kind of firewall for Biggs or even Enrique Tarrio.

Nevertheless, if DOJ has in its possession evidence that one of the guys accused of masterminding the plan to breach the Capitol from two sides was in contact during that process with Jones, who lured unwitting rioters to the second breach by lying to them, then DOJ would appear to have far more evidence tying Jones to militia violence than they used to charge Hostetter in a conspiracy with 3%ers. And Jones got just as far inside the restricted area of the Capitol — to the top of the steps on the East side — as Hostetter did.

Of course, two things have made it harder to charge Jones: he is a media figure, one who very quickly disseminated a cover story claiming his intent for joining the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers at the site of the second breach was to de-escalate the situation, not to escalate it.

DOJ has been chipping away at both those defenses. It already arrested two of Jones’ employees, videographer Sam Montoya and on-air personality Owen Shroyer.

DOJ arrested Montoya for trespassing on April 13 and charged him with misdemeanors on April 30. The arrest warrant cited a number of things Montoya said that were captured on his own footage making it clear he viewed himself as part of the mob.

We’re gonna crawl, we’re gonna climb. We’re gonna do whatever it takes, we’re gonna do whatever it takes to MAGA. Here we go, y’all. Here we go, y’all. Look at this, look at this. I don’t even know what’s going on right now. I don’t wanna get shot, I’ll be honest, but I don’t wanna lose my country. And that’s more important to me than—than getting shot.

And DOJ noted that Montoya had no press credentials for Congress (a really shitty distinction for an event where legitimate journalists chased mobsters inside).

At times during the video, Montoya describes himself to others inside the Capitol Building as a “reporter” or “journalist” as he attempts to get through crowds. The director of the Congressional press galleries within the Senate Press office did a name check on Samuel Christopher Montoya and confirmed that no one by that name has Congressional press credentials as an individual or via any other organizations.

Montoya’s case has been continued on his own initiative since then. Given the discovery notices he has gotten — from AUSA Candice Wong — he had been treated as part of the mob most closely involved in the scene at Ashli Babbitt’s shooting. On December 10, Montoya got discovery from the Statutory Hall Connector that other defendants in that group did not get, and a different prosecutor, Alexis Loeb, took over his case. Loeb’s January 6 caseload is eclectic, but in October she started taking over the case of Proud Boys Joshua Pruitt, and Nicholas Ochs and Nicholas DeCarlo, and she has always been in charge of the prosecution of the pair that played a key role in opening the East doors from the inside, George Tenney and Darrell Youngers.

In August, Shroyer was arrested. His arrest was opportunistic, relying on the fact that he had a still-unsatisfied Deferred Prosecution Agreement arising from his attempts to disrupt Trump’s first impeachment making his loud presence inside the restricted are of the Capitol uniquely illegal. He filed a motion to dismiss his case, which was basically the cover story about de-escalation that Jones offered up immediately after the riot and Ali Alexander prepared to deliver to Congress last week. In a filing debunking that cover story, the government noted that calling for revolution — as Shroyer and Jones did from the top of the East steps — does not amount to de-escalation.

Even assuming the defendant’s argument is true and the defendant received permission to go to the Capitol steps for the limited purpose of deescalating the situation, the defendant did not even do that. Quite the opposite. Despite the defendant’s arguments today that “Shroyer did nothing but offer his assistance to calm the crowd and urge them to leave United States Capitol grounds,” Dkt. 8-1 at 14, the defendant himself said otherwise in an open-source video recorded on August 21, 2021: “From the minute we got on the Capitol, the Capitol area, you [referring to Person One] started telling people to stand down, and the second we got on there, you got up on stacks of chairs, you said, ‘We can’t do this, stand down, don’t go in.’ … And I’m silent during all of this” (emphasis added).11 Moreover, as seen in other videos and described above, the defendant forced his way to the top of Capitol Building’s east steps with Person One and others and led hundreds of other rioters in multiple “USA!” and “1776!” chants with his megaphone. Harkening to the last time Americans overthrew their government in a revolution while standing on the Capitol steps where elected representatives are certifying a Presidential Election you disagree with does not qualify as deescalation.

Shroyer let the due date to reply to this debunking, November 22, pass without filing anything. A status conference that had originally been scheduled for Tuesday, December 14 has been rescheduled for Monday December 20.

As I said in my taxonomy post, the government seems to be very close to being able to demonstrate how that the breach of the second front worked, an effort on which the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, and Alex Jones seemed to coordinate.

Doing so will be very important in demonstrating how the militia conspiracies worked. But if DOJ finds a way to charge Alex Jones for his role as the Pied Piper of insurrection, the organizer-inciter who provided the bodies needed to fill that second breach, it would bring the January 6 investigation up to an order issued directly by the former President.

The investigation of three InfoWars figures — Montoya, Shroyer, and Jones — who all have legitimate claims to be media figures happens even as DC judges are getting more insistent that DOJ adhere to Merrick Garland’s own media guidelines. In November, for example, Chief Judge Beryl Howell required prosecutors to acknowledge the media guidelines if they sought orders and warrants targeting news media.

Of course, Alexander has no such press protection, and his decision to go mouth off to Congress for seven hours last week may prove as self-destructive as the similar decision by his mentor, Roger Stone, four years ago.

The government seems to have a pretty good case about how the multi-front breach of the Capitol worked. The question is whether First Amendment protections will shield those who made that breach possible from prosecution.

128 replies
  1. harpie says:

    WOW!, Marcy! THANKS for this!

    The question is whether First Amendment protections will shield those who made that breach possible from prosecution

    I’ll note something here that may be related, before I have to run out for a bit…
    In it’s changing TL, DOD at first used the “First Amendment activity” label regarding J6 … but then changed it afterwards, [I think]. See Kate Brannen’s tweet here:

    • bmaz says:

      Very few have come to grips with the First Amendment issues and problems any prosecution for facts involving speech has been fooling themselves. Can it be worked around or overcome? That depends on the specific facts and circumstances as to each individual defendant, and also one of the reasons why DOJ does not just go willy nilly charging the bigger cases as so many, even here of all places, blithely want them to do.

      • Barb says:

        Will she win this fight? “A photographer from Indiana, who took pictures of the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol insurrection, is suing the House Jan. 6 Committee after it issued a subpoena for her telephone records.

        The lawsuit claims that during that timeframe, Harris was using her personal cellphone on a project documenting far-right extremist group the Proud Boys and their leader Henry “Enrique” Tarrio. Harris claims that turning over these records to the House Select Committee would not only intrude on her privacy but also forces her to reveal confidential sources.”

        [FYI, link edited to remove tracking. /~Rayne]

      • Eureka says:

        If DOJ pulls together the elections-interference (PHL charged; see also Detroit TCF shenanigans), calls to invoke Insurrection Act, e.t.c., I think the beyond 1A will come with Rhodes, SoRelle, Macias, and LaMotta [and any co-conspirators, Elizabeth de la Vega voice]. None of them are charged to date wrt 1/6; only Macias and LaMotta have any (non-federal) charges related to the (E-day+) vote count.

        Besides militia, they seem a special designation of inciters/actors (Rhodes’ legendary laziness aside; and as EW notes that 1/3 inter-militia meeting to which he was invited has yet to tie in). [Adding: See that now EW calls this “intra”-militia, ? if that’s a typo or word choice indicating a revised understanding.]

        And SoRelle went Krogering with the FBI for *four hours*, IIRC Ryan J. Reilly’s reporting of her in-store Starbucks sit-down w/them.

  2. BobCon says:

    “DOJ seems to have charged these organizer-inciters (but not the guy funding it all, yet) by exploiting their ties to an organized militia.”

    Are there hints that funding is being pursued extensively? Because if they were as sloppy in this regard as many were with communications, it would seem like a productive path.

    I know Garland made an assurance in testimony to Congress, but I don’t recall if much has gone public.

    I’m curious how Jones’ complete refusal to engage with the Sandy Hook case might connect. It seems like it could be the sign of a guy who refused to share financial records because he doesn’t have any.

      • BobCon says:

        I hope so. I could think of reasons why they wouldn’t push them before unveiling where they’re going with any potential higher tier arrests.

        I also have to wonder if there are any concerns about how right wing activists judges might extend their legislating about money and speech.

        • bmaz says:

          No legislating on that, money is speech (and, frankly, it really is). But that money has to be expended within legal boundaries.

          • Troutwaxer says:

            My own take on that is that money isn’t speech. It’s volume. Anyone can bloviate. To make sure that other hear my bloviations requires money. All speech is equal. All volume levels are not.

            This may not be true legally, but IMHO it’s one of the things the Supreme Court has gotten badly wrong.

            • bmaz says:

              That can certainly be your opinion, but it is very far from the law. I do not even think SCOTUS got this wrong, not just in CU, but it really all goes back to Buckley v. Valeo. all the little “CU was the worst thing ever!” don’t even really understand the history. Money is absolutely and unequivocally speech. The question is how is it regulated.

              • Alan Charbonneau says:

                I agree.
                In other news, Ed Perlmutter is gonna push your “T” button. Batten down the hatches.

          • BobCon says:

            I think there is enormous room for mischief by right wing activist judges to start expanding their reach into nonprofit finance law under wildly broad claims that regulation of finances is regulation of speech.

            It’s not hard for me to see them ruling that someone like Stone setting up a bogus Christians for Peace group to fund a violent militia is completely off limits to any oversight whtsoever.

            And quite frankly, I can see them moving to require enforcement against environmental or social justice groups for legitimate activities in complete disregard for principles of free speech.

            I think the supposed distaste for legislating from the bench is really no stronger than their belief in precedent or judicial restraint. Money will be speech when they want it to be, and it won’t when they don’t.

            • adambulldog says:

              Doesn’t freedom of speech include the freedom not to speak? If money is speech, are federal income taxes a violation of the first amendment?

            • obsessed says:

              Money will be speech when they want it to be, and it won’t when they don’t.

              Writ large, this is the overarching philosophy of the conservative movement. Merit is never considered when choosing to argue one side or the other of any issue — only the desired short-term outcome. Speech is strictly tactical. It’s like a debate class participant or a defense attorney with a guilty client. You start with the conclusion; work backwards to the argument; then invent the facts.

              • bmaz says:

                That statement is complete horse manure. You are a hyperbolic hand wringer that operates on personal outrage and not an understanding of how things properly work if you actually respect the rule of law instead of just shouting at the moon of it.

  3. JohnForde says:

    I am always trying to summarize Marcy to my friends. This post means DOJ is about to enter phase 2.
    1 Capitol breachers
    2 Field Generals
    3 Coup plotters inner circle at the Willard and elsewhere
    4 DJT

    (Also to rebut the “Garland is doing nothing” meme)

    • emptywheel says:

      To be clear: With Jones you don’t need to go through the Willard to get to Trump, given that he says he was ordered by Trump personally.

      But the Oath Keepers (and Proud Boys, presumably) also have ties through the Willard via Stone, at a minimum.

      • JohnForde says:

        Thanks EW, I noticed that on my second reading. It deliciously increases the chance of conviction to tie Trump to both 2nd level Field General Jones and the several 3rd level conspirators at the Willard.

        Curious about documenting that Trump “ordered” Jones personally. Just AJs word? Witnesses?

        • John Paul Jones says:

          Hmmm, I don’t know about “Field General.” I’d say at best Captain, and more likely, green lieutenant. The Willard guys I’d classify as Colonels; and as for Generals, I’d say there were none, because that gives them too much credit.

          But chain of command is a good way to look at it, so thanks for that.

      • Hoping4Better_Times says:

        Is there any proof that trump personally asked Alex Jones to lead the Jan 6 March to the Capital? In a video, Alex Jones said “the White House” asked him to lead the marchers to the Capital. Jones also claimed that the Secret Service would escort him to the front of the marchers. Jones is not known for telling the truth.

  4. pdaly says:

    Thank you for this detailed roadmap. It gives those of us traveling along in the backseat an appreciation of the passing views and makes questions about destination (“are we there yet?!”) less immediate.

    One typo re: Shroyer: “does not amount to escalation” (deescalation?)

  5. Bobo says:

    Great dissection. But not much about Akbar Alexander.

    Here’s the thing, he’s always been easy for the feds to clip. Never paid a dime of taxes on large sums of money raised over the years. Is a two time convicted felon, has so much potential money laundering issues as well as tax evasion issues that all they need to do is pick him up off the floor and charge him as a habitual criminal. He’d be facing a life sentence on that alone. Yet, the DOJ just can’t seem to find anything to charge him with?

    Also, who’s paying his rent and bills? Certainly not any of his former buddies. He lives in a 3200 dollar a month house in Dallas and no one seems to look at how he stopped fund raising/grifting for money for his “security” and various other grifts. He just suddenly got well and we’re supposed to believe he’s been in hiding all this time, yet congress was able to easily subpoena him.

    Everything to do with him is suspicious. His incessant calls for civil war after J6, his continued calls for action, his various stupid rants on telegram, and no one in government seems to be able to or desire to pick him up. He was literally standing next to Shroyer, yet DOJ can’t pick him up or find anything to charge him with. Way too suspicious.

    He gave up Gosar Biggs and Brooks the night of J6, showing his willingness to rat them out to save his own miserable skin. So why would anyone not see that during that drive out of DC that night, he was on his way to Dallas straight into the hands of the FBI for a sweetheart deal? You mean to say the phones of lower echelon hillbillies are more important than obtaining the phone of Ali Akbar Alexander?

    Few have been willing to closely look at Akbar Alexander and how suspicious everything is with him and how the DOJ can’t seem to even care about trying to find an easy felony to charge him with to get him to cooperate.

    Lastly, he suddenly came up with that I can’t afford Attorneys so i’m going to spill to Congress? So could it be that the DOJ was able to cover his cooperation prior to and after by coming up with that pitiful cover story for their own informant?

    [FYI, line breaks added to improve readability. Let’s avoid long blocks of text in the future as bmaz noted. /~Rayne]

    • emptywheel says:

      I’m not focusing on Alexander bc I have zero doubt DOJ is, not least bc he used fronts to get his permits. My guess is that Stone put him up to testifying (and paid for the same lawyer he used to cover-up his Russian role), and my guess is also that over the course of 7 hours he said a lot of demonstrably false things that Jan6 can now refer to DOJ.

      The way DOJ gets people to cooperate is they get additional crimes on top of the main one, and use that to coerce the person to cooperate on the main one.

  6. pdaly says:

    Has there been any revisiting of Roll Call’s tweet from 1/5/21?
    (and whether Sen. Grassley was in on a conspiracy to obstruct the Electoral College certification?)

    RollCall on twitter:
    NEW: Iowa Sen. Charles E. Grassley, the Senate president pro tempore, says he and not Vice President Mike Pence will preside over the certification of Electoral College votes, since “we don’t expect him to be there.”
    10:06 AM · Jan 5, 2021

    • P J Evans says:

      Given what I’ve heard about Grassley in the last couple of years, they could have told him that Pence had flu, and he’d have believed it, without having to be in on the conspiracy.

  7. Bobo says:

    Sorry BMAZ, was trying to edit but it just didn’t format for me the way I wanted it. Apologies.

    Marcy, what you said in your opening was you wanted to concentrate on individuals, which you included Akbar in your focus. That’s why the reply. I understand why you’re not focusing more clearly on him after your reply.

    A few minor details though; the DOJ thing, well they already have him, not much of a need to get him lying to congress to add to it. But ok. More is better.

    7 hours of testimony is a lot. And I’m sure he gave up everything he had.

    The war with Any Kremer (one of his old BFF’s from tea party days) was bullshit. Blaming her/them is also bullshit. He operated whereby he took over everything in his path. If someone else had an operation in his way he’d run in and take over, if they didn’t like it he would tell them to GTFO. He owned everything he could own. No one he blames was responsible is actually responsible for what he took over.

    What’s up with a two bit convicted felon getting Secret Service escorts out of the main area to what he claimed was his speaking gig? The night of J6 when he was on his way out he claimed in a video that the SS escorted him and Jones. I’m sorry but do you know how many sign offs that would take to get a non protectee an escort? Very strange.

    To your points about Stone; I have issues with it. In that world after something like J6, it’s every man for himself. There are no buddies left, no help, no transactions, especially financial, to give someone to pay for attorneys, bail etc. Essentially you’re on your own because no one knows what you’re capable of then or later.

    He gives up Gosar et al without any prompting the first night out, thus all would know he’d give them up or drop a dime on them as well. That is essentially that world. No loyalty, no dying for you or the cause, it’s everyone is a potential rat, thus everyone that’s smart closes the door on you.

    Ask yourself this: if your heading into heavy uncharted waters under a federal cloud, do you continue to keep yourself in the news calling for civil war, violence etc etc, or do you shut the fk up and keep the lowest profile you can?

    In that game the only person you can trust is your mouthpiece attorney, and you don’t talk, run your mouth or say anything that could draw a bead on you over actions that you are under a cloud over.

    I’m just not buying Akbar’s bullshit. Under real pressure he has always folded like a cheap suit, claiming he can’t sleep, wants to kill himself, can’t eat, the list goes on. But in this case he’s running his mouth and acting as if he and he alone controls the outcome. It’s just not him. He’s not under any stress at all. He’s enjoying the game, and when he’s been like that it’s been because he’s protected from blowback.

    • bmaz says:

      Heh, no worries at all, and thanks. It seems petty, but a lot of our readers do so on smaller devices and it really does make it hard on those. So we try to keep, especially the longer comments, things paragraph spaced so people can keep track of where they are. Also insures more people will read your comment!

  8. Pete T says:

    I read the embedded links, but am still wondering in this statement

    “In a filing debunking that cover story, the government noted that calling for revolution — as Shroyer and Jones did from the top of the East steps — does not amount to escalation.”

    if escalation should be de-escalation.


    Your ability to keep all of this straight is absolutely amazing.

  9. Ken Muldrew says:

    This is tangential to the Jan 5 discussion in the post, but does anyone else remember the numerous stories on Jan 5 about various skirmishes between the Capital Police and the MAGA crowd where in every case, the Capital Police easily beat back the protesters and made fools of them? I wonder if this was a deliberate ploy, both to justify the delay in calling for reinforcements on Jan 6 and also to try to draw some anti-Trumpers on Jan 6 to serve as “antifa” patsies (in the created reality of after-the-fact propaganda).

  10. Benton says:

    OT: Re. Department of Defense Cover-up?

    On J6 a DC National Guard Quick Reaction Force (QRF) was on standby to respond to requests for assistance from Capitol area police. Opposite of quick is MG Walker being mandated in advance to get approval from Secretary of the Army McCarthy before being able to release the QRF to assist police. It certainly wasn’t quick when McCarthy was “incommunicado” at the decisive moment (MMp5,MMp31).

    How did this bureaucratic hurdle, which MG Walker described as “unusual” come about? COL Matthews says this hurdle was added by an Army Staff action officer on the evening of 4 Jan (MMp28). He says that “neither McCarthy, Walker nor Matthews knew about this restriction before it was added… McCarthy didn’t ask for the specific change…” (MMp14). Why then does the DoDIG report say McCarthy “acted within his authority” to require this hurdle (IGp42)? Why does McCarthy give an explanation for creating this hurdle if he didn’t know about it before J6 (IGp37)? Why are there conflicting accounts of QRF discussions at a Jan 4 5:30 p.m. meeting between Walker, McCarthy, and others (IGp34)?

    Some people are obviously lying, but who? Was this a premeditated effort to delay National Guard response on J6, or otherwise ensure that it would only “protect pro Trump people”?

    • matt fischer says:

      Given all the glaring inconsistencies and unforced blunders, certain folks apparently thought the cover-up of J6 malfeasance would be child’s play. They certainly didn’t anticipate such strong pushback from the likes of Walker and Matthews.

    • harpie says:

      This might be of interest to you, in case you hadn’t seen it:
      12:00 PM · Jan 28, 2021

      Here’s the Jan. 4 memo from former acting Defense Secretary requiring “personal authorization” for DC National Guard to employ riot control agents & other tactics at Jan. 6 “March for Trump.” This same day Capitol police knew of a “strong potential” for violence against Congress. [screenshot]

      • Benton says:

        Yeah, it’s preserved in Appendix C of the IG report. The first item on the list about helmets became a topic of discussion on Jan 4. They weren’t going to have a QRF go in without helmets. The last line about notification upon authorization of QRF employment is important, one way or another. MG Walker says he never saw the memorandum prior to the IG investigation. This gets addressed on page 34 of the IG report, along with the conflicting accounts of meetings on Jan 4.

    • Alan Charbonneau says:

      Will Bunch has a hypothesis that seems more than plausible: the insurrectionists expected left wing demonstrators would be there, violent clashes would erupt, and Trump would have an excuse to declare martial law.

      “A theory: How Trump’s Jan. 6 coup plan worked, how close it came, why it failed | Will Bunch” Philadelphia inquirer

      • P J Evans says:

        You have to wonder why the insurrectionists couldn’t see the possibility that others saw them coming and weren’t going to help them in any way.

        • timbo says:

          One might also wonder why the BLM and antifa folks would be there to protest having a “socialist” President’s vote certified… again, all this idea that BLM and “antifa” folks would be there on Jan 6 has come from the folks who were planning to march on the Capitol to stop the certification of Biden’s electoral votes, ie the conspirators themselves. It’s a cover story, pure and simple. And we can see that it was actively in place then and afterwards, with plenty of folks who ginned up the riot and then were apologists for it afterwards claiming that it was “antifa” that had caused the riot on Jan 6, that the Trump supporters had been “peaceful tourists” that day, etc. This is the Twisslerings justification for their illegal actions and insurrectionist sedition before, during, and after the riot and subsequent retreat from the center of power since then; it’s all the fault of “socialists”, “Communist traitors”, and “antifa Black Lives Matter activists!” in their nutty world of justification of their own delusions.

          • bmaz says:

            There is no such thing as Antifa. I have met one of the founders of BLM, that is a real thing. “Antifa” is very much not, and nobody should propagate the fiction that it is.

            • Leoghann says:

              There is no Antifa organization. But there are plenty of antifa (anti-fascist) folks, many of whom are fond of public protest. And they have a grapevine, just like any other population whose members share a cause.

              I suspect that most of that Jan 6 crowd, including some if not all of their organizers, had drunk so much of their own Kool-Aid that they believed the Boogey-Antifa would be there in force, decked out in full black uniform, to fight against the Patriots. It’s obvious, though, because of the early hour at which some of the organizers and right-wing commentators began to claim it was all ANTIFAAA, that those people had already made a plan to describe the insurrection as such.

              • bmaz says:

                Yeah, I am contra to fascism. Am I Antifa? No. It is a completely made up Republican bogeyman and to use the term is to adopt and propagate it. Don’t do that.

                • Dopeyo says:

                  “Antifa” shows the right-wing genius to create and plant dangerous ‘brain parasites’ in the gullible. They seem to feed on an innate paranoia and hate in their hosts.
                  In my right-wing relatives, i see their conflation of Antifa and Black Block. And they associate those with BLM killing cops and burning down cities. Because ‘Black People.’ Racism is a powerful drug, and an even better political lever.
                  ETA: I am not aware of any BLM demonstrators killing any law enforcement persons. And the last time I checked, Portland and Seattle were open for business.

                  • bmaz says:

                    Exactly. Also plug in “CRT” (which is simply history that is inconvenient for them) and “woke” (hell, even I don’t what exactly that is). They are all just manufactured buzzwords for channeled ignorance and bigotry.

      • Benton says:

        Check out EW’s earlier article on a Proud Boy’s reaction to the National Guard deployment.

        Also see former Acting Secretary of Defense Miller’s testimony about his conversations with Trump concerning the National Guard. I included additional testimony in this comment.

      • matt fischer says:

        Bunch’s article is generally good, but this sentence is very misleading:

        Critically, the lack of expected street clashes might explain the stunning three-hour failure by the National Guard to respond to officials pleading for troops to help stop the insurrection [emphasis mine].

        There’s evidence that DCNG leadership was also pleading for their troops to be deployed.

        • Benton says:

          Completely agree. This can’t be placed on the National Guard.

          The National Guard’s (DCNG) initial mission on Jan 6 was to support Metropolitan Police at traffic control points and Metro stations. The commander of this force (TF Guardian), took personal initiative to go to the Capitol when he heard that police lines were being breached. Upon seeing the situation, he contacted his senior leadership telling them, “Hey, we’ve got to get here right away.” This was at 2:12 p.m. The leadership of the DCNG began preparing troops at this time. The first breach of the Capitol happened at 2:15 p.m. DC civilian leadership first officially requested help from MG Walker, the DCNG Commanding General, at 2:19 p.m. MG Walker contacted senior Army leadership at the Pentagon at 2:22 p.m. requesting permission to move troops to the Capitol. This started the long process of fighting through bureaucratic hurdles established by SECDEF Miller, SECARM McCarthy, and Army officers at the Pentagon.

          These events and times are documented on pages 51 and 52 of the IG report.

  11. Amers says:

    Regarding So Cal. This virtual event came across my radar a few weeks ago. I asked Mark Pitcavage if anything stood out to him. He noticed at least two sovereign citizens and David Icke and anti vax.

    https: //2021 .theevent. global/speakers/

    • MB says:

      Wow, looks like a star-studded who’s who of the “conspirituality” community, a Venn diagram overlap of anti-vaxxers, “wellness” practitioners/grifters, and Q-adjacent types…

  12. Retired guy says:

    A notion about Hostetter’s motion to dismiss, after revisiting it here, if you focus just on his interaction with Person 1 and Taylor, and ignore the government informant allegations, Hostetter makes his case, perhaps offering new evidence, that Person 1 and Taylor conspired to get him to DC. Hostetter was known to be effective at getting people to come to rallies, and reliably gives fiery antigovernment speeches. Perhaps Person 1 and Taylor knew of the plan to be prepared to breach the Capitol, and recruited Hostetter to participate as a force multiplier. Hostetter claims that he had no knowledge of the larger plan, that he proposes, perhaps mistakenly, is government entrapment directed at him. From the filing, Hostetter is clearly an over thinker, and he writes very clear prose.

    Hostetter was a participant in the apparently larger concerted, legal effort to get as many partisans to DC, along with many County-level Republican committees, across several states, who organized, by my count, at least 100 buses to get partisans to the rally on Jan 6.

    Speculation: prosecutors understood this before he was arrested; he was indicted with Person 1 and Taylor as a guy likely to cooperate against them, maybe possessing evidence of the larger conspiracy. Hostetter may have misinterpreted the meaning of this evidence, given his world view. As a former police officer and chief, Hostetter has a rich understanding of the jam he is in, and how the process works, and is maybe willing to throw his friends under the bus, no matter whose plan they were furthering.

    • matt fischer says:

      Hostetter, Taylor and Smith were the Directors of the American Phoenix Project (APP). Of the three only Smith (Person One) remains unindicted. All signs point to Smith (Person One) as the “guy likely to [have] cooperate[d] against them”. Hostetter, in true MAGA form, is really good at playing the victim though.

    • emptywheel says:

      Hostetter didn’t address the evidence that he had foreknowledge and I don’t think he actually makes that claim.

      • Leoghann says:

        From the way he writes and speaks, Hostetter probably had some shit at one time. But from the looks of his motion, he has lost it by now. If he actually believes any of his claims.

  13. Rugger9 says:

    Two OT items to consider with the evening egg nog:

    1. A judge has said that Dominion’s suit against Faux News can proceed, and also that Faux News’ silence can be construed as an admission of something.
    2. Project ‘Veritas’ (according to the NYT) had told Biden that his daughter’s diary would be returned if he sat for an on[camera interview. IIRC, isn’t that blackmail and illegal as hell (crossing state lines for a federal conspiracy [non-RICO] rap, perhaps)?

      • Eureka says:

        I know who stole Christmas: address of Park Ave., NY. Look for the King clown.


        FFS player(s) who wouldn’t even get vaxxed for the sake of their post-cancer coach start an outbreak, Roger does another solid for Snyder, and screws Gritty’s home team.

            • bmaz says:

              Herb was something, And the employees loved him because he insisted on everything being fun. Just another cheap carrier now.

          • Eureka says:

            Just heard about Taylor Swift’s superspreader in Australia. While the Aussies don’t take kindly to all that, had it happened in NZ she’d be under the sea by now.

            ETA: fact check, _she_ wasn’t at the party — was in celebration of her album or something. / The problems with gossip

  14. harpie says:

    CNN Exclusive: Jan 6 investigators believe Nov. 4 text pushing ‘strategy’ to undermine election came from Rick Perry [former Texas Governor and Trump Energy Secretary]
    3:58 PM ET, Fri December 17, 2021


    November 4, 2020 Lawmaker to Meadows
    Here’s an AGGRESSIVE STRATEGY: Why can t (sic) the states of GA NC PENN and other R controlled state houses declare this is BS (where conflicts and election not called that night) and just send their own electors to vote and have it go to the SCOTUS.

    From the article:

    A spokesman for Perry told CNN that the former Energy Secretary denies being the author of the text. Multiple people who know Rick Perry confirmed to CNN that the phone number the committee has associated with that text message is Perry’s number.
    The cell phone number the text was sent from, obtained from a source knowledgeable about the investigation, appears in databases as being registered to a James Richard Perry of Texas, the former governor’s full name.

    • harpie says:

      Also [uggg]:

      In his remarks, Raskin inaccurately described the text message as having come from a “House lawmaker.” Sources told CNN this was an inadvertent error. After CNN reached out for comment, a Raskin source said the congressman learned of the error this week from CNN and confirmed the mistake with staff. He has written a letter to correct the Congressional Record.

      What was Rick Perry doing after he retired from being energy secretary after Trump’s Ukraine extortion? [12/2019]

  15. harpie says:

    A dive into Rally permitting:
    1:38 PM · Dec 17, 2021

    A brilliant thread by @DempseyTwo and a must-read by Jan 6 investigators.

    Were the permits around Capitol for Jan 6 obtained by Christian groups to create a “soft defense” for insurrection? [link]

    Links to:
    1:11 PM · Dec 17, 2021

    Dempsey begins with the permitting for The Jericho March on 12/12/20.

    • harpie says:

      This is how FLYNN described the biblical JERICHO story, on 12/12/20:

      Before the battle of Jericho, God gave Joshua specific instructions for the men of war to march in silence around the city once each day for six days. The priests were to walk with them, blowing the ram’s horns and carrying the ark of the covenant as a sign of God’s presence among them. On the seventh day, they were to march around the city seven times. At the appropriate signal, the priests were to blow their trumpets, and the people were to give a mighty shout. They did exactly as Joshua commended, and on the seventh day, the walls of Jericho crumbled. The soldiers went in and took the city, destroying it completely. Only Rehab and her family were spared.

    • harpie says:

      […] These were permit applications for use of specific areas for January 5th and January 6th and some extending further past Jan 6. We see from this USCP permit doc that ‘Grassy Area 8’ was designated for One Nation Under God to have 50 people praying.

      Remember Stephen Brown from the [12/12/20] Jericho March?

      That’s his name on the permit for One Nation Under God to have their prayer rally take place at the Capitol on Jan 6th. He is listed as ‘Spokesperson’ on the permit. […]

      • harpie says:

        From the final USCP threat assessment [screenshot at thread]:

        There is no specific organization behind the event and it is being organized by several individuals. Eight Congressional Members are expected to attend this event. This event is one of multiple events permitted on Capitol grounds for Wednesday, January 6, 2021, and counter protesters may be present.

    • harpie says:

      Further along the thread:

      Now, remember all of those ‘Areas’ I mentioned? […] [screenshot of highlighted DIAGRAM of Capitol Demonstration Areas] […]

      By the time [TRUMP’s] speech at the Ellipse had ended, the Capitol was already poised to
      1] have 250 people present and
      2] the USCP had assessed no threat.
      Was this a means of lowering defenses?

      I ask again, was this a strategic plan to use Christians to lower the defenses of the United States Capitol Police on the day the election was certified to create a soft resistance to an insurrectionist mob angry that those in the Capitol were certifying fraud?

      • harpie says:

        At this point, Dempsey links to a THREAD he did about how
        [most] people [don’t] grasp how dangerous psychological operations are. At their core, they are weapons.
        8:00 AM · Dec 11, 2021

        […] The church already has a built in foundational infrastructure of belief. An infrastructure upon which a psyop can easily be built. People have already put their faith in their pastor, in their minister. They have a community. They have their own beliefs. They trust each other. […]

        • harpie says:

          THAT is a very scary AND clarifying thread.

          […] If you are told that an entire political party are demons, then you will listen to the person whose job it is as Christian pastor to protect the flock from demons. We need to start thinking about the churches as being used. They are the venue for the psyop.

          Former head of DIA Mike Flynn is the headliner of these shows. The Elvis. Clay Clark’s Health and Freedom conference, the Reawaken Tour, the Reopen America tour is a traveling show with traveling performers. There is a group of speakers whose job it is to connect with people. […]

    • harpie says:

      There’s an UPDATE on this THREAD from yesterday, referencing ALEXANDER’s lawsuit against the J6 COMMITTEE:
      1:05 PM · Dec 18, 2021

      UPDATE: Ali Alexander is now suing the @January6thCmte. His complaint references ‘Permits’, ‘One Nation Under God’ and says the committee seeks confidential messages he had with ‘clergy’.

      Here’s the lawsuit:

      References to “clergy”:

      16. The data sought is not pertinent to the investigation and sweeps up privileged communications between Alexander and clergy, Alexander and people he spiritually counsels, and Alexander and his respective attorneys. […]

      79. Mr. Alexander used his personal mobile device to engage in protected advocacy and other speech, including privileged speech with his attorney(s) and clergy. Mr. Alexander, himself, is also a Christian minister and engaged in counseling, prayers, and ministerial duties using his mobile phone.

      ALEXANDER is a “Christian minister”?

        • harpie says:

          Of course…but is he? If so, when did he become one?
          What is the direction of the argument he’s trying to make?

          To me, it feels like there are “journalists” trying to use the First Amendment to shield speech and/or behavior that seems to have nothing to do with journalism.

          And now, here is “Christian minister” Alexander trying to use the First Amendment to shield speech and/or behavior that seems to have nothing to do with religion.

      • harpie says:

        It doesn’t look like he’s a minister. This is from 2/5/21:

        Who is Ali Alexander, the Fort Worth Man Behind ‘#stopthesteal’? NBC 5 Investigates the Tarrant County man at the center of “#stopthesteal”
        Scott Friedman // Published February 5, 2021

        [2:33] He graduated from Fossil Ridge High School in Keller and says he later attended the ultra-conservative Criswell College in Dallas with plans to become a minister, although Criswell would not comment on whether he attended. Eventually, he ends up at the University of North Texas.

        [ALEXANDER to website Church Militant approx. 1/10/21]: Then I discovered, I really can’t do this whole college thing. I need to start my own business.

        […] [4:25] We discovered he continued making money through a platform that might surprise you, and he’s not the only one. Alexander found a new money lifeline on a Christian fund-raising site called GiveSendGo. […] Members of extremist groups also used the site to raise money to travel to DC on January 6th. [Proud Boys examples]

        About the website Church Militant:

        • harpie says:

          This is from 2/1/20

          Tampa Pastor: Roger Stone Witnessed With Franklin Graham, “Has Put His Faith In God” Randy Coggins, an up and coming evangelist based out of the Tampa Bay area in Florida, is calling on Christians and patriots across the nation to support longtime Trump ally Roger Stone as he prepares to be sentenced in a DC court on February 20th.

          February 1, 2020

          Tampa bay area evangelist and Pastor Randy Coggins serves as Roger’s spiritual advisor and plans to speak on his behalf during his sentencing hearing. He revealed to The Gateway Pundit earlier today that he saw Roger Stone “witness” with Franklin Graham during Graham’s Boca Raton Stop of his “Decision America” tour. […]

          Here’s a tweet from COGGINS:

          8:16 AM · Jan 30, 2020

          My friend, Roger Stone is scheduled for sentencing on FEBRUARY 20th!!! As a spiritual adviser to him, I will be speaking on his behalf at his hearing. I urge President Trump to PARDON ROGER!! He was PROSECUTED for not bearing FALSE WITNESS against the President. [PHOTO]

        • harpie says:

          TRUMP commuted STONE’s sentence in July.

          Then, STONE brought his Road Show to Tennessee in September:

          Roger Stone testifies how he gave his life to God after hitting ‘rock bottom’

          SEPTEMBER 01, 2020

          Conservative political consultant and lobbyist Roger Stone, whose 40-month sentence in federal prison was commuted by President Donald Trump in July, testified how he turned his life over to God at a Franklin Graham revival after “hitting rock bottom” in January 2019.
          Speaking at Global Vision Bible Church in Tennessee led by popular internet personality Pastor Greg Locke on Sunday, Stone said that he was unjustly persecuted for his support of Trump, who has been his friend since 1979. […]

        • harpie says:

          12/23/20 TRUMP pardons Manafort, Stone, C. Kushner, and 23 others
          12/27/20: TRUMP tweets: See you in Washington, DC, on January 6th. Don’t miss it. Information to follow!
          12/27/20 TRUMP to Rosen/Donoghue: just say that the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me and the R. Congressmen.
          12/27/20 STONE tells TRUMP “exactly how” to continue “as our president. #StopTheSteal #rogerstonedidnothingwrong”

          12/29/20 STONE interview with The American Conservative published

          The Gospel According To Roger Stone Trump’s most famous political operative returns to Christianity and thinks God has a special purpose for him.

          < This account begins on 12/12/20 with THE JERICHO MARCH

          • harpie says:

            […] Then Roger Stone showed up on the Jumbotron, speaking via livestream. “It was Jesus Christ who gave our president Donald Trump the courage and the compassion to save my life when I was unfairly and illegally targeted in the Mueller witch hunt,” he said. The crowd roared their approval.

            Perhaps nobody encapsulates the strange fusion of Trumpism and Christianity better than 68-year-old Roger Stone, the infamous political dirty trickster who has worked on GOP campaigns since the 1970s. […]

            On February 20, he was sentenced to 40 months in federal prison. Five months later, Donald Trump commuted his sentence. Between his sentence and his pardon, Stone claims he decided to embrace Christianity. […]

            Stone carefully curates his testimony for a Christian audience, referring to his prosecutors as his “persecutors,” stating that their attempts to get him to flip on the president would cause him to “bear false witness,” and sprinkling liberal references to “the Lord” throughout. […]

          • harpie says:

            When the interviewer asks about STONE’s view of the prophetic visions cited at the Jericho March, he had a bizarre answer at the ready. , about a prophecy by “a very famous evangelist named Kim Clement”, who predicted TRUMP would become President with the help of [the biblical David’s] STONE.

            God will tell me what He wants me to do when He wants me to do it. I have been a strong supporter of the Stop the Steal movement. I think my life was spared for some greater purpose, and maybe I am that Stone. In an earlier prophecy, Clement sees a man named Clark, who is also involved in this epic struggle to save America. Clark and Stone are supposed to work together. I have now recently met a gentleman named Clark. He’s as dedicated to saving this country as I am. We’re not claiming to be special. We’re open to whatever it is God wants us to do.”

            • harpie says:

              This man STONE says he has recently met
              MIGHT BE Jeffrey Bossert CLARK.

              More entries to add to the above timeline:

              Mid December [Date(s) TBD] Jeffrey Bossert Clark is introduced to TRUMP by Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA)
              [Beginning of SHOWDOWN at DOJ CORRAL]
              12/28 20 Bossert Clark draft letter to Georgia election officials rejected by Rosen/Donohue


                • Eureka says:

                  That Clark-reference payoff, though. To be fair we don’t know who he’s referring to, but also TBF Stone has a longstanding habit of wanting to leak that he has access to important hidden knowledge.

                  Couple things:

                  Stone started the religious jag back in Mueller times / era of his trial. Don’t have links handy but I recall Marcy cited some of it. [ETA: Stone “came out” on this in a big Axios on HBO episode as I’m recalling now. Among other statements.]

                  More recently (earlier this year), Stone and Flynn were doing the God-routine together (I referred to this before; Jim Stewartson has clips tho they are months back now). Anyway it evinced to me part of the split between Flynn and others running Qanon (like Flynn/Stone/others were going straight-Christian radicalism and trying to peel the Q-ers away from e.g. Watkins). And this was long before the even more public fights (Lin Wood and the recordings/texts etc.).

                  The recent TNR piece on Flynn I’d linked takes the point home, where Stone tells the author he thinks Flynn could be the candidate if Trump doesn’t run.

                  Bigger picture, if for now you are micro-focused on these AA-/J6-related issues.

              • harpie says:

                Yeah…and that’s why I was wondering about ALEXANDER’s references to his communications with or AS “clergy.”

    • harpie says:

      […] We have received evidence from multiple witnesses that you had an important role in the efforts to install Mr. Clark as acting Attorney General. Acting Attorney General Rosen and acting Deputy Attorney General Donoghue have provided evidence regarding these issues, and we have received evidence that others who worked with Mr. Clark were aware of these plans. We are also aware that you had multiple text and other communications with President Trump’s former Chief of Staff regarding Mr. Clark—and we also have evidence indicating that in that time frame you sent communications to the former Chief of Staff using the encrypted Signal app. Mr. Clark has informed us that he plans to invoke his 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination in anticipation of a deposition to be conducted by the Committee. When Mr. Clark decided to invoke his 5th Amendment rights, he understood that we planned to pose questions addressing his interactions with you, among a host of other topics.

      In addition, we have information indicating that you communicated at various relevant times with the White House and others involved in other relevant topics, including regarding allegations that the Dominion voting machines had been corrupted. […]

    • harpie says:
      6:16 PM · Dec 20, 2021

      The [1/5/21] text message sent to former WH chief of staff Mark Meadows, & first revealed by @RepLizCheney last week, asking him to “Please check your signal,” was sent by Perry, 2 sources familiar w the documents provided by Meadows tell me & @thamburger: [WaPo link]

      MARCY tweeted about that here:
      10:30 AM · Dec 15, 2021

      This could get interesting. […]

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