“Let’s Go Brandon!” Straka’s Cow Manure

Update: Judge Friedrich sentenced Straka to 3 months home confinement and 36 months of probation. She repeatedly described his offense as worse than that of trespassers given that he encouraged them to breach the Capitol and defended the attack after the fact.

Brandon Straka did not start fundraising for the cops whose assault he cheered …

… Until a week after his second batch of leniency letters started coming in, and over 45 days after he pled guilty.

In fact, there’s no evidence in the public record that Straka ever gave any of that money to cops, not even the 75% he claimed to plan to donate, much less the 25% he was skimming from the top. There’s just a dated claim that it would be donated “at the conclusion” of a year that ended 20 days before the filing claiming it would be donated.

Since January 6, Brandon has spent a lot of hard time reflecting on his role in the events that took place that tragic day. He has offered strong condemnation for any violence used that day, especially the violence perpetrated against police. Additionally, Brandon has been actively using his platform to support law enforcement officers. Upon visiting the #WalkAway Foundation website, the first option presented is to donate to the “Refund the Police” initiative: “#WalkAway will donate 75% of the funds raised to pro-police organizations in [the fourteen (14) cities most affected by defunding initiatives]. The other 25% will be used for the cost of overhead for this campaign.”2 This initiative will close at the conclusion of this year; and is close to having raised over $18,000.00 at this time.

2 See #WalkAway Foundation Homepage last accessed Dec. 14, 2021, available at https://www.walkawayfoundation.org/.

That’s important because Brandon Straka really wants to continue doing such grifting as a public service in lieu of having Probation monitor his social media and finances, much less serve jail time for his role in inciting an insurrection. He even asks to pay $5,000 as a fine to be allowed to dodge further scrutiny of his grift.

The Defendant respectfully requests that he be sentenced to either a terminal disposition of time served for the two days he has already spent in custody, or in the alternate, a term of home confinement and community service. Defendant requests that he not be placed on probation. Defendant also requests that the Court impose the maximum fine permitted for this offense, which is $5,000.


If the Court would allow Brandon to have included in his sentence a stronger portion of community service rather than a sentence of Probation, the country at large will be better served. The nature of Brandon’s job requires that he often travels, making supervision more difficult and costly—and to what end? Brandon has already been on Pretrial Release for nearly a year with no violations. He clearly has the capability to contribute to the greater good through fundraising and leading others into service with him. While the Probation Office’s Recommendation sees Brandon’s following as a reason for concern3, it is the Defendant’s belief, and Counsel for the Defendant’s belief, that his talents can be put to better use than verifying that he is in compliance with certain conditions of Probation—that if he is given true freedom, that he will use that freedom in service of his country.


Brandon also objects to the recommendation by the Probation Officer that he be subjected to a discretionary condition of Probation that monitors his electronic communications service accounts, including email accounts, social media accounts, and cloud storage accounts. Brandon also objects to his financial activity being monitored by the Probation Office. These discretionary conditions of Probation are not sufficiently relevant to the offense committed. In United States v. Taylor, 796 F.3d 788 (7th Cir. 2015), the Seventh Circuit reversed a restriction on the defendant’s computer ownership and internet access in a bank larceny case, stating that the restriction was not reasonably related to his prior conviction for incest. In Brandon’s case, emailing, using social media, and using cloud storage has nothing to do with his offense.

3 The government has never alleged, and there is no evidence, that Brandon used his following to commit any criminal activity. Brandon is charged for conduct he committed at the Capitol in his personal capacity.

Whether or not there is evidence that Straka used his online presence to prevent the peaceful transfer of power (and there is, though DOJ may have discovered it after entering into this dud plea agreement), Straka’s own story materially conflicts regarding what he did on January 6, 2021.

Straka’s own letter to Judge Dabney Friedrich implies that he went directly from Trump’s speech to the Metro and because he did so he had no way of knowing there was a violent riot going on.

I sat in the front row at the Ellipse and listened to the President of the United States speak. He concluded by telling the crowd that we were all now going to march “peacefully” to the Capitol. Everything felt perfectly normal and exactly in accordance with the schedule of events for that day. I then walked to the DC Metro On the way to the Capitol, I began getting text messages from people I knew who were at home watching the news on television indicating that people were going inside the Capitol building. Shortly after, I started getting numerous messages from the other scheduled speakers, some asking if our event was still happening, if it was now cancelled- it was total confusion. I was of 2 minds at this point. Either,

#1) The event is still happening and I’m still speaking, and that’s what I came all the way to DC to do. Or

#2) The event may no longer be happening, but SOMETHING is going on at the Capitol right now, and I want to be there to capture footage of whatever it is that’s going on. [my emphasis]

His sentencing memo describes that he came to DC to speak on January 5, and only stayed over because he was one of the very inflammatory people who were offered speaking slots on January 6 but who got canceled (!!!) at the last moment.

Prior to the January 6, 2021 rally at which then-President Donald Trump was set to speak, Brandon was set to speak at a rally held at Freedom Plaza on January 5, 2021 and travelled to Washington, D.C. for that purpose. Brandon remained in Washington, D.C. after the rally on January 5, 2021, as he was a potential slated speaker at a rally the next day. On the morning of January 6, 2021, Brandon arrived at the Ellipse at 5:00 a.m. in anticipation of then-President Trumps’ rally to start. Up until the time Brandon arrived at the event, he believed that he might speak at that event.

More problematic still, Straka’s sentencing memo describes that in-between Trump’s rally and the riot, Straka went to the Willard Hotel, where a bunch of his associates were plotting to steal the election (he doesn’t mention that fact), and where his “security guards” alerted him that it was too dangerous to walk the 28 minutes to the Capitol, which is why he instead took the Metro to the far side of the Capitol, spending perhaps 38 minutes in transit.

When President Trump concluded his remarks around 1:00 p.m., a wave of protestors left the Ellipse and headed toward the Capitol. At this time, Brandon left the Ellipse and traveled to the Willard Hotel to meet with two of his employees who were designated as security guards. Upon the advice of his security guards, Brandon did not participate in the march to the Capitol and instead took the Metro to the Capitol. While riding on the Metro, Brandon began receiving push notifications on his phone about what was happening at the Capitol. The Metro did not stop at the Capitol, and Brandon got off at the next stop—which was roughly an 18-minute walk from the Capitol.

By the time Brandon arrived, at around 2:40 p.m. (a full twenty minutes after the Capitol had been cleared), the outer barriers and fencing that had previously surrounded the Capitol were largely displaced. Brandon arrived and approached the East side of the Capitol, where things were calmer; and Brandon did not notice anything out of the ordinary during most of his walk to the Capitol.

And that version is off by at least two and possibly 22 minutes off from Straka’s sworn statement of offense.

Straka got off the metro on January 6, 2021 sometime between 2 p.m. and 2:20 p.m. He then knowingly entered the restricted area at the U.S. Capitol Grounds.

The revised story would have him arriving to the Capitol seven minutes after (prosecutors noted in their own sentencing memo) he was informed his speech was delayed because “they stormed the Capitol.”

At 2:33 pm on January 6, 2021, Michael Coudrey, the national coordinator for Stop the Steal, sent a message to a group chat telling those in the chat that the event that Straka was scheduled to speak at would be delayed because “They stormed the capital[sic].”

And that’s important, because Straka claims that when he said some inflammatory things on social media, he didn’t know about the violence.

Brandon made statements on social media that were in retrospect irresponsible and potentially inflammatory. Any statements Brandon made must be considered in context with the fact that Brandon had not witnessed the violence committed on the west side of the Capitol and he had not seen what was broadcasted on television. Once understanding the full context of the events, Brandon retracted and removed his prior statements.

Finally, it’s curious that DOJ is relying on a ProPublica story for the notice from Coudry (to say nothing of Ali Alexander’s warning, “Everyone get out of there … The FBI is coming hunting”). That’s because Straka claims to have provided prosecutors passwords to whatever phones he still had in his possession when the FBI searched his apartment.

Brandon cooperated fully with law enforcement, including providing two proffers and turning over the password to all devices seized as part of the search warrant executed on his apartment. Brandon provided information on individuals the government was investigating in separate cases and answered all questions posed by the government.

There’s abundant evidence that Straka is bullshitting prosecutors, and was bullshitting them when he got a sweet plea deal.

Indeed, with the inconsistencies between his letter to Dabney Friedrich and his own sentencing memo, the evidence shows he’s bullshitting Judge Friedrich.

I don’t know what excuses Probation scrutinizing Brandon Straka’s grift more closely than the FBI. I don’t know what targets DOJ was so desperate to implicate that they missed the target sitting in front of them.

But even his own sentencing package makes it clear he’s shoveling cow shit.

70 replies
  1. Eureka says:

    LMAO like TVs were not on all over the Willard* (beyond what streamed into his fingertips). Bet there’s photos.

    Also, how could it be at once innocent to proceed and “too dangerous” [Full Stop here, really] for him to walk to the Capitol as his “security guards” advised, and as if his curiosity ended on the words of his “employees”.

    DOJ (/media/we the people) also must unpack this whole thing where the J6 planners/hangers-on hijack the trappings of importance to exploit pivots within the stereotype (here, “I’m Too Big to know these little-people details, my staff takes care of that”).

    These are grifters and (potential/accused) criminals clothing themselves as dignitaries. Too routinely, they’re given the deferential treatment of same (including the affordance of being too dumb, cf. Mueller on Jr.).

    “[T]he country at large will be better served” by foreclosing the panoply of shenanigans in this case (it’s not too late) — which, like a rodent’s teeth, seem ever-growing.

    *If he spent maybe 38 minutes (EW) in transit and now says he arrived at Capitol 2:40 PM he is also extending his leave-time at the Willard.

  2. Peterr says:

    From Brandon’s lawyer’s letter: “Since January 6, Brandon has spent a lot of hard time reflecting . . . ”

    Hard time? I think that was an unfortunate choice of words by the lawyer.

    But perhaps the judge could give Brandon an opportunity to experience what hard time is like.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      The hard time he seems to be having, which his lawyer is almost certainly aware of, is how to continue shoveling this manure without getting caught. Can his plea deal be revoked or is the DoJ hoping to cover up this clusterflop through sentencing?

  3. Bay State Librul says:

    RIP Thich Nhat Hanh

    Straka’s sentence for “Bullshitting and “Serving up Baloney during the daytime” should be exile to Plum Village in France
    “We realize that, at any given moment, we can behave with either violence or compassion, depending on the strength of these seeds within us.” Thich Nhat Hanh, Creating True Peace

    • Al Ostello says:

      He has had many rough years since his stroke, which left hime unable to speak, in 2014. RIP Thich Nhat Hanh

  4. glenn storey says:

    Good morning, all you smart people. I have a somewhat off topic question. Please excuse me if this has been addressed before. I was watching Glenn Kirschner on You Tube, and, no matter what you may think of him, he asked what I thought was a pretty valid question, which is – why isn’t the select committee using their powers of inherent contempt to have the Sergeant at Arms lock up the subpoena deniers? Do they actually have the legal right to do that? And if they do, but they’re not, is it a legal calculation, or a political calculation? Enquiring minds, or at least mine, want to know.

    • Al Ostello says:

      My loose theory is they might (should) lock up a few of them, with at least one key criminal low life loons like Bannon (& Meadows) 1 week before the hearings begin. It will create a ton of free publicity and draw millions of additional eyes to the public hearings. :D

      The J6 committee knows that after the WATERGATE public hearings Nixon’s approvals dropped 15 pts and his party lost the midterms.

      Most of the public has not been told my major news outlets that it took the DOJ took 2 long years of careful investigations before dozens of Nixon’s aides were indicted after the WATERGATE break-in. Many additional months for them to be jailed.

      My 2 cents

    • harpie says:

      I think the J6 Committee is great at investigating, and just getting that information they unearth into their PUBLIC letters is probably MORE important than possibly jailing these people. The Committee is working hand in glove with the DOJ, who has the real power to hold them accountable.

        • Al Ostello says:

          Former U.S. Army prosecutor Glenn Kirschner says “you send the sergeant at arms of the house of representatives as supplemented by capitol police officers…and you take into custody the witnesses who defy, who ignore, who refuse to comply with lawfully issued congressional subpoenas and you JAIL THEM. You detain them, in one of the 4 cells at Capital police headquarters…”

          Congress’s Lawful Tool of Inherent Contempt — Jan 20, 2022

          4:50 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Og2gol1S_2s

        • Al Ostello says:

          “Today, the Capitol Police have a holding cell three blocks from the Capitol.” — USA Today, May 14, 2019

        • bmaz says:

          Glenn Kirchner is still full of shit, and so are you if you think the ever elusive “inherent contempt” will accomplish anything, ever.

        • glenn storey says:

          yeah, yeah, you’re a hundred times smarter than everybody else. we get it. maybe, instead of insulting others, you could explain why. why, exactly, won’t they use it? is it a legal calculation, or a political calculation?

        • bmaz says:

          Who are “we” Kemosabe? The last time it was even attempted (1933-1934 if you were wondering), the “defendant”, MacCracken, spent a night in a cushy office in the Capitol, and later a few nights literally at the Willard Hotel. You think that is going to solve anything? Oh, and if you think Kirschner and Maddow are going to solve it all, you are sorely mistaken.

    • Ravenclaw says:

      Some folks here know A LOT more than I on this subject, but in part it comes down to what is technically lawful vs. what is actually done. I think the last time Congress literally locked someone up was in 1934; the case involved a corrupt “revolving door” grifter-lawyer named MacCracken, and he wasn’t detained for more than an hour or so (in an office). I’m not even sure the current Sergeant-at-Arms knows where the supposed jail cell is.

      • bmaz says:

        Lol, there is no jail cell. It is an old tale of fantasy that there is one in the bottom of the capitol. Are there jails in DC? Sure, as there are in any city. But the House would have to contract out space there. And that is never happening.

  5. bg says:

    “. . .traveled to the Willard Hotel to meet with two of his employees who were designated as security guards. Upon the advice of his security guards,”

    First they are “security guards” then they are “his security guards.” Is that intentional or was he meeting with security guards for someone else? Or are there 2 sets of “security guards.?” Just wondering.

      • Vicks says:

        It would make sense that there was a point person for all of the “security guards” that were supposedly at and around the capitol to “protect” Roger Stone and other MAGA celebs.
        Michael Simmons said he was paid for his security expertise, he was also referred to as the “Operations Leader” by Rhodes.
        I’m not suggesting that the same person overseeing the logistics for a bunch of ass-holes running around in golf carts is the same person that ran the attack on our Capitol but the overlap in personnel is obvious and if any of these clowns were paid it would make sense to follow the money in search of a potential financial liaison between Stone and The Oath Keepers.

  6. Chirrut Imwe says:

    From Straka’s letter: “By the time Brandon arrived, at around 2:40 p.m. (a full twenty minutes after the Capitol had been cleared), the outer barriers and fencing that had previously surrounded the Capitol were largely displaced.”

    This was probably addressed in older posts, but what does ‘a full twenty minutes after the Capitol had been cleared’ refer to? Obviously the rioters were still there, and were there not elected officials and staffers still in the building at that time?

    • harpie says:

      2:37 PM [Man inside the CAPITOL on phone] Can I speak to Pelosi? Yeah, we’re coming bitch! Oh, Mike Pence, we’re coming for you too fucking traitor.
      2:38 PM TRUMP tweets [VIDEO] Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our country. Stay peaceful!
      2:38 PM UNKNOWN to LEADERS; Signal “QRF standing by at hotel. Just say the word…”
      2:39 PM CENTER EAST DOOR breached. [OK’s, BIGGS etc, Mob]
      2:39 PM Rep. Mo BROOKS [AL] tweets: At least #Socialist #Democrats have NOT defunded Capitol police. Evacuating chamber.
      2:40 PM RHODES to LEADERS; Signal “Trump better do his damn duty”
      2:40 PM UNKNOWN to LEADERS; Signal “SWAAT should stand down and abide by their oath”
      2:40 PM UNKNOWN to LEADERS; Signal “Hopefully anyone inside the capitol is barricading themselves in and continually reinforce their positions for the long haul”
      2:40 PM BIGGS is walking up some stairs inside the CAPITOL

    • Eureka says:

      I took it to refer to the boilerplate statement that’s in a lot (maybe all; EW would know) of the complaints/charging documents that approx. 2:20 PM is when _the chambers_ were evacuated. (And elsewhere something like it is ~ legalese for ‘Ima skate the “Pence was present” charge’, so I further interpreted it as pointing to entailments of “innocence” there.)

      However — and it bugged me, too, I nearly added earlier — such statements should always be appended with “except for the rioters and everyone in hiding” to not lose sight of the larger plot. (Perhaps a side-effect of early DOJ scripting and some charges that focus has winnowed in many cases to the more narrow time period of overt crisis.)

    • emptywheel says:

      I think this may be language that was in there from before that didn’t get removed.

      One of the charges (not the one he pled to) relies on the Secret Service presence for Mike Pence. Some defendants are arguing that since he already had to flee, they’re not on the hook for his presence.

  7. allium122 says:

    Off topic, but….. why was all the criming going on at the Willard Hotel? Don’t you think as fealty all the stuff would be at the Trump Post Office Hotel?

    • YinzerInExile says:

      Likely because the Willard is a lot closer to the White House. It’s literally next door. By contrast, the Old Post Office (as I’d still prefer to think of the building in question) is another 2.5 blocks farther along Pennsylvania Avenue, and those are long blocks. I don’t know if you’ve seen Steve Bannon or Rudy Guiliani recently, but neither looks like a guy who would be interested in walking farther than he has to.

      • Rayne says:

        Haven’t checked but the Willard might have been cheaper, too, and Trump Old Post Office Hotel discouraged because it’s likely crawling with surveillance embedded by many entities.

  8. YinzerInExile says:

    Likely because the Willard is a lot closer to the White House. It’s literally next door to the White House compound, across the street from the Treasury building. By contrast, the Old Post Office (as I’d still prefer to think of the building in question) is another 2.5 blocks farther along Pennsylvania Avenue, and those are long blocks. I don’t know if you’ve seen Steve Bannon or Rudy Guiliani recently, but neither looks like a guy who would be interested in walking farther than he has to.

      • P J Evans says:

        And the freeway across the north side of the San Fernando Valley is the 118, not the Ronald Reagan freeway. (I don’t know *anyone* who calls it that, outside of the media when a Big Name GOP is in town to visit the shrine place.

        • Peterr says:

          Yeah, but naming an airport after a former union president who as US president broke the air traffic controllers union . . . that’s beyond offensive.

  9. Zinsky says:

    Ouch! Marcy dropped the bomb on Mr. Straka, which he richly deserves. The man is a poseur – he is enamored with his own image. He saw easy money on the conservative side of the aisle, by fleecing the rubes, and went for it. Let’s hope his vanity and narcissism cause him to squeal on the other rats in the sack, like Roger Stone, et al.

  10. RacerX says:

    Best. Headline. Ever.

    Taking “Let’s Go, Brandon” from the alt-right and pointing it back at ’em really hit the spot!

  11. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Shakespeare’s peasant revolutionaries in Henry VI knew how to reap the fruits of an armed rebellion: “First thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.”

    Lawyers protected the interests of their clients – offensive to peasant debtors – but they primarily protected the monarch and the feudal system through which he governed. They drafted his laws and the process by which they became law. They kept track of precedent, not just for how laws were to be applied, but what government was permitted to do and how, and what was beyond the pale. Ridding the land of lawyers might make it harder to collect usurious debts, but it would make it harder to overthrow a new regime built on an illegitimate foundation.

    In our day, corrupting the courts and closing the courthouse door would do much the same. So, too, would ridding the land of competent journalism, allowing an authoritarian regime to replace democracy. See, Florida, Texas, the NYT. The TFG gave his Krell freedom to release their Id, not just on the streets or on January 6th, but in newsrooms and legislatures. He gave us a corrupt government and Supreme Court. The governor of Florida gave us his lethal Covid non-response, his election “police” in their brown shirts, and his corruption of academic freedom. The execrable GOP-led Wisconsin legislature wants to give us high school seniors with the right to conceal carry in school – without weapons training. It will become a black sport to count the bodies. Abominable, but part of the process to undo legitimate government to make room for its fascist replacement.


    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      I left out two important legs in that fascist process. Demonizing the other – immigrants and people of color – and corrupting education: school health and safety, teaching and teachers’ unions, libraries, budgets and programs, facts and history-in-context. The Wisconsin legislature is just doing its part.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        And Greg Abbott continues to do his. Under the false guise of protecting “parental rights,” he wants to terrorize educators (an inclusive term that would seem to include teachers, librarians, guidance counselors, visiting lecturers) by threatening them with conviction for “providing ‘obscene content’ to minors.” As if his malleable definition of obscenity was pornography and not accurate history, art, literature, science, and social studies.

        Abbott’s punishment for violating his code of conduct includes loss of educational credentials and teaching certification, forfeiture of retirement benefits, and being put on a “do not hire” list. That’s tantamount to a criminal conviction for teaching about the real world rather than the mythological one Greg Abbott lives in.

        The average quality of schools in Texas (and Florida) is already poor. Greg Abbott is determined to make it far worse, to promote his career. I hope qualified teachers migrate to states that are not intent on making good teaching a criminal offense.


  12. may says:

    re @ 12:50pm 23rd Jan.

    in 1381 ce England, lawyers were also in the crosshairs, as were any parchment found with green wax seals.

  13. viget says:

    Still think Straka was secretly cooperating with DOJ, at least once Probation found something in his past that might’ve opened up a can of worms for his plea deal.

    Perhaps Probation found material evidence that he’d been lying about his supposed prior cooperation which would have nullified his deal and opened him up to all sorts of 1001 charges?

    I find it rather interesting that after his last late interview with the FBI, Rhodes et al superseder comes down. Especially if the body guards were indeed Oath Keepers…

    • viget says:

      As a for instance, part of the presentence report is to look at the offense conduct, even of dismissed charges, which I imagine is doubly important when a plea agreement is in play.

      It’s very possible given the complexities of the J6 prosecutions that the FBI may have overlooked subsequent interviews other J6 witnesses/defendants gave that may have implicated Straka in some of the dismissed charges or directly contradicted his proffers. Or maybe it wasn’t apparent to the agents at the time, but is now….

      A diligent Probation officer might dig up these gems during the report and say, “Hey, wait a minute….”

      • bmaz says:

        Focusing on “uncharged conduct”, “dismissed conduct” and/or acquitted conduct is one of the most pernicious and heinous things about the federal criminal justice system. It should not be celebrated.

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