The Tactics of the Louis Enrique Colon Cooperation Agreement

As Capitol Police attempted to lower a barricade protecting the tunnels of the Capitol on January 6, Proud Boy Louis Enrique Colon reached out and prevented it from closing, then placed a chair to further obstruct the gate.

While inside the Capitol building, defendant observed co-defendants Chrestman, Felicia Konold, and Cory Konold at various points inside of the building, including in a downstairs area of the Capitol near where several retractable doors were being lowered by police officers in an attempt to stop rioters from proceeding further into a portion of the building. To prevent one of the doors from closing, defendant used his hands to stop the door and placed a chair in the door’s path, while co-defendant Kuehne and another individual placed a podium in the path of another door.

That’s the basis of the single charge to which Colon pled guilty as part of a cooperation agreement yesterday, 18 USC 231, Civil Disorder.

Defendant knowingly obstructed, impeded, and interfered with law enforcement officers while those officers were lawfully engaged in their official duties incident to a civil disorder that was occurring inside of the Capitol. Among other things, defendant prevented officers from closing a retractable door which was intended to prevent rioters from advancing further into a portion of the restricted Capitol building.

In my opinion, this is, by any measure, the most lenient overt plea deal a January 6 defendant has gotten (and a comment that one of the lawyers in the plea hearing yesterday made suggested that it had recently been sweetened). On top of this charge and trespassing, Colon was originally charged in a conspiracy with other members of the Kansas City Proud Boys, as well as individually with obstruction. With credit for cooperation, according to his plea deal, the former cop may avoid any prison time.

That’s all the more remarkable given that Colon’s statement of offense reveals that he went to the Capitol with a pocket knife and an axe handle.

Among other things, defendant purchased and modified an axe handle to be used as both a walking stick and an improvised weapon


Defendant and the group ultimately made their way to the west side of the Capitol’s grounds, outside of the restricted, fenced-off perimeter which had barricades staffed by USCP officers. At the time, defendant was wearing a backpack, pocket knife, tactical vest, tactical gloves, boots, and a helmet adorned with orange tape.

While the knife may be too short to trigger enhancements, carrying an acknowledged weapon has been used to enhance the penalties of others, though it is also the kind of thing prosecutors have used to flip people.

In other words, either Colon’s cooperation is so valuable, or DOJ needed it so badly, that he got a really sweet plea deal even in spite of bringing an “improvised weapon.”

So I’d like to discuss what DOJ may be doing tactically.

First, some background. The Oath Keepers investigation has been marked by a relentless march of new cooperators, publicly unveiled: Jon Schaffer, Graydon Young, Mark Grods, Caleb Berry, Jason Dolan, Joshua James. Boom. Boom. Boom. Boom. By contrast, just two of the overt Proud Boy cooperators have the kind of plea deal that implicates the wider conspiracy, Matthew Greene and Charles Donohoe. For whatever reason — apparently thinner staffing, greater numbers of participants, difficulties created by Enrique Tarrio’s arrest and delayed phone exploitation, investigative equities, corrupt lenient treatment, or a more important role in the overall investigation — DOJ has been using different tactics to get cooperation from Proud Boys and other key far right personalities. As an example, Jeff Finley (like Brandon Straka and likely, soon, Baked Alaska) seems to have cooperated in advance to avoid a felony altogether. So did Jeremy Grace, though his statement of offense implicated his far more complicit father who, if he ever cooperated, might implicate far more important tactical players. Ricky Willden’s statement of offense barely hints at what he knew that day.

Particularly given a reference made to Colon “continu[ing]” his cooperation in the hearing yesterday, this feels more like the kind of deal Finley got, where someone works their way out of more serious charges (which in Colon’s case would be obstruction with a weapons enhancement) ahead of time. That kind of cooperation makes it less visible, but also may make testimony harder to impeach down the road.

With that in mind, I’d like to look at four aspects of his statement of offense.

First, as virtually all conspirators who flip do, Colon implicated his co-conspirators, describing how:

  • Ryan Ashlock, Christopher Kuehne, and another individual traveled with Colon from Kansas City
  • Kuehne brought two AR-15 or similar assault rifles on the trip
  • Kuehne, at defendant’s suggestion, purchased orange, fluorescent tape so the group would be able to identify each other in a crowd
  • William Chrestman, Kuehne, and Ashlock, and others met on January 5 to talk about safety
  • The Konold siblings joined their group on the way to the meet-up at the Washington Memorial
  • Colon saw Chrestman, Felicia Konold, and Cory Konold as police officers attempted to stop rioters from proceeding further into a portion of the building (though the statement of offense doesn’t describe their efforts to prevent it) [my emphasis]

That is, at one level Colon’s cooperation simply shores up the third major Proud Boy conspiracy, just like Donohoe, Greene, and Finley provided direct evidence against the Leader conspiracy.

But consider this big story from Alan Feuer from September. According to 302s that defendants have gotten, one of just two known actively-handled informants among the Proud Boys that day said he had no advance knowledge of plans to disrupt the vote certification.

After meeting his fellow Proud Boys at the Washington Monument that morning, the informant described his path to the Capitol grounds where he saw barriers knocked down and Trump supporters streaming into the building, the records show. At one point, his handler appeared not to grasp that the building had been breached, the records show, and asked the informant to keep him in the loop — especially if there was any violence.


On Jan. 6, and for months after, the records show, the informant, who was affiliated with a Midwest chapter of the Proud Boys, denied that the group intended to use violence that day. In lengthy interviews, the records say, he also denied that the extremist organization planned in advance to storm the Capitol. The informant’s identity was not disclosed in the records.


But statements from the informant appear to counter the government’s assertion that the Proud Boys organized for an offensive assault on the Capitol intended to stop the peaceful transition from Mr. Trump to Mr. Biden.

On the eve of the attack, the records show, the informant said that the group had no plans to engage in violence the next day except to defend itself from potential assaults from leftist activists — a narrative the Proud Boys have often used to excuse their own violent behavior.

Then, during an interview in April, the informant again told his handlers that Proud Boys leaders gave explicit orders to maintain a defensive posture on Jan. 6. At another point in the interview, he said that he never heard any discussion that day about stopping the Electoral College process.

As Feuer noted at the time, if you ignore that this Proud Boys showed up late, this informant’s testimony significantly undermines claims of prosecutors.

There are multiple clues in Feuer’s article and elsewhere — most notably the reference to a young woman (likely to be Felicia Konold) — that this informant was affiliated with the Kansas City cell.

He said that when he arrived, throngs of people were already streaming past the first barrier outside the building, which, he later learned, was taken down by one of his Proud Boy acquaintances and a young woman with him. [my emphasis]

In other words, until such time as DOJ secures testimony to contradict that of their informant, these interviews remain a weak point in the case against the Proud Boys.

They may have gotten that testimony yesterday.

Now consider what this particular cell of the Proud Boys did — and why that may have led DOJ to be satisfied with just the less serious 231 charge against Colon.

DOJ has charged conspiracy tied to January 6 in a bunch of ways: most spectacularly with some Oath Keepers, seditious conspiracy, also with those Oath Keepers (and the alleged Brian Sicknick assailants), conspiracy to injure an officer, and for most people charged with a conspiracy, either the conspiracy charge tied to the obstruction statute (18 USC 1512k, which carries greater penalties), or conspiracy under 18 USC 371.

But for a few of the Proud Boy conspiracies, including this Kansas City cell, the 371 conspiracy had two objects: to obstruct the vote count, but also to obstruct the cops. That’s basically a conspiracy to commit 18 USC 231, the charge Colon pled guilty to.

And the particular act of obstruction that this cell engaged in — preventing the cops from closing the gates leading to tunnels via which rioters correctly believed members of Congress had fled — is one of the most important tactically. That is, this may show not just a desire to mess with the cops, but a plan to go after members of Congress.

This cell is important for the means by which the Proud Boys made things work on January 6. And Colon may be a key witness to the tactical implementation of plans that went into that day.

Finally, consider the description, from Colon’s statement of offense, of this meeting the night before.

In the evening on January 5, 2021, defendant attended a meeting with co-defendants William Chrestman, Kuehne, and Ashlock, and others during which group safety was discussed. At some point during the meeting, another individual said that he did not come to Washington, D.C., to just march around and asked, “do we have patriots here willing to take it by force?” Defendant was shocked by this and understood that the individual was referring to using force against the government. Co-defendant Kuehne responded to the question by saying that he had his guns with him and, in essence, that he was ready to go. The individual who posed the question said that they should “go in there and take over.” [my emphasis]

DOJ has been doing a lot of work unpacking the degree to which coordination happened at meetings on January 5 (I expect we’ll see it in more expected plea agreements going forward). These meetings were critically important for getting everyone on the same page, including a bunch of people who weren’t otherwise affiliated.

We have no idea what this meeting was — we’re still looking for details on a meeting that Joe Biggs and Ethan Nordean attended around 9PM the night before, though I doubt that’s what this is.

The description is important for several reasons. First, the focus on “group safety” seems to match the informant’s claim that, “On the eve of the attack … the group had no plans to engage in violence the next day except to defend itself from potential assaults from leftist activists.” Except if it’s that same meeting, then the informant would have also heard someone express a desire to take DC by force, in response to which Kuehne, who is a former Marine, said he was ready to go. At the very least, this description could correct the informant’s claims; it may prove them false.

But it also significantly advances the evidence that some of the Proud Boys, like some of the Oath Keepers, were thinking of using force against the government.

That’s the kind of evidence that has, with the Oath Keepers, helped persuade others to plead out and cooperate.

Update: Note that Robert Gieswein also wore orange tape to insurrection; he allegedly sprayed cops trying to close that barricade.

106 replies
  1. Silly but True says:

    This clears up for me a big question on what initially appeared to be shenanigans — why so many people ransacked needless furniture: podiums and the like from various offices.

    It was strategic. I thought they wanted weird souvenirs.

    But it was all part of larger plan to utilize them as offensive blockades.

  2. Amers says:

    Would there be video compilation of Chrestman’s movements available in public records yet? The live stream video I watched (within days of jan6) from the pb in the scooter must have been very useful to track so many proud boys after they stormed the initial barricades. Chrestman popped in to that group for a check in with Biggs.

  3. Zirc says:

    Ok, I get it, or at least think I get it. This is a big investigation involving hundreds if not thousands of people who violated the law. DoJ is building cases a brick at a time, climbing the legal ladder to the top, and making sure every detail is supported and supportable in court. Let’s face it, every defendant has rights and will have lawyers defending them vigorously. When folks on Facebook and Kos complain about the lack of action regarding the big names, I point them to Emptywheel and tell them, “No, a lot is happening, and cases are being built.”

    All that said, I hereby confess that I fear the big boys and girls behind all this are going to skate. I know what I saw on 6 January was planned. I know it was encouraged by elected (and appointed) officials who knew about at least some of what was going to happen. It looks as though some of those officials did more than encourage and either helped prepare for the invasion of the Capitol or found ways of delaying the response to that invasion.

    Unfortunately, I also know that there are few Republicans of influence and power with the courage and moral clarity (witness McConnell’s inability to list any moral red lines to Jonathan Swann recently) to help bring down those elected and appointed officials. I know that as I type this comment the odds of a democratic majority in the House next January is low, and that the Senate, though safer, is also endangered. I fear that without a majority in the House and Senate, the work of the Select Committee will die. Courts may be free from outside pressure, but some judges rely solely on right-wing sources for their news of the world, and their views of what to allow and disallow in court will be influenced by what they think they know. Similarly, it only takes one juror to derail/undermine the most meticulous of cases.

    I may be in a dark mood this morning, but I hope the tactics that you write of in this post actually are allowed to bear fruit. I am not so certain they will be.


    • bmaz says:

      Time will tell. But it is preferable to do it the old fashioned way; hopefully right. J/6 will be done the second the GOP regains a majority in the House, that is a given. DOJ has until at least January 20, 2025. It is going fine, overall, this stuff is hard and it takes time.

      • bowtiejack says:

        Watergate took about two years, but around 50 people ended up going to the slammer, including Haldeman, Ehrlichman and Attorney General John Mitchell.

        • Frank Anon says:

          If it took 2 years in an environment were a goodly amount of Republicans played by the “rules”, and didn’t hatch plans of total obstruction. Do it the right way, of course, but be clear-eyed on what is facing the investigation today. For example, how would DOJ choose to function in April 2023 if indictments are on the table and Merrick Garland is in the well of the Senate in his impeachment trial? Watergate is the only true guide, but the circumstances are far different and dangerous today

        • Al Ostello says:


          …the actual Watergate (meticulous investigations) timeline:

          Jun 1972: Watergate break in
          July 1973: Public hearings

          Mar 1974: Dozens of Indictments
          Jan 1975: Dozens of convictions

          • Anonymouse says:

            We will see how November goes after the public hearings. Otherwise on that timeline… the people who would otherwise be indicted and convicted is just going to be the top half of the list for government appointments into lifetime positions of power.

          • Callyn says:

            Always remember The Creeps Haldeman, Ehrlichman, Mitchell and Dean

            We’re Haldeman, Ehrlichman, Mitchell and Dean
            The way we’ve been treated is really obscene
            To think that a bug worth hardly a shrug
            Could end up by getting us tossed in the jug
            We all got the gate for no reason or rhyme
            You’d think we’d committed some horrible crime
            Our minds may be dirty, but our hands are clean

            We’re Haldeman, Ehrlichman, Mitchell and Dean
            We’re Haldeman, Ehrlichman, Mitchell and Dean

            Our job was to see that the White House stayed green
            We might have had flaws, like bending the laws
            But God only knows it was for a good cause

            There’s no power shortage where we were concerned
            And what little profit resulted, we earned
            For lovelier fellows you never have seen
            Than Haldeman, Ehrlichman, Mitchell and Dean

            We’re Haldeman, Ehrlichman, Mitchell and Dean
            Our past has been fat, but the future looks lean
            With backs to the wall, we’re taking the fall

            But dammit, we only robbed Pete to pay Paul
            Just when we getting to be well-to-do
            The Watergate turned into our Waterloo
            And now everybody is out to demean
            Poor Haldeman, Ehrlichman, Mitchell and Dean

            Yes, we’re Haldeman, Ehrlichman, Mitchell and Dean
            We’re perfectly willing to spill every bean
            We’ve nothing to hide, with God on our side
            He knows we were only along for the ride
            But so it won’t come as terrible blow
            There’s one little thing that we think you should know
            Whatever we say isn’t quite what we mean
            We’re Haldeman, Ehrlichman, Mitchell and Dean

            Oh yes, we’re Haldeman, Ehrlichman, Mitchell and Dean

            Things won’t be the same when we’re gone from the scene
            But people will still recall with a thrill
            Our sell-out performance on Capitol Hill
            It just isn’t fair to take all of the blame

            When all we were doing was playing the game
            Now all of Washington’s caught in between
            Haldeman, Ehrlichman, Mitchell and Dean

          • timbo says:

            Sigh. The first convictions in Watergate occurred seven months after the breakin occurred. It was the ongoing scandal, which was widespread and prevasive throughout CREEP and the Nixon White House that lead to later convictions. As noted in the article below, McCord submitted a letter to the court in early 1973 implicating the White House and CREEP in the breakins.


            One might argue that it takes time to convict criminals involved in conspiracy, particularly when they’re actively obstructing justice and lying to grand juries and the Congress. So, yeah, that takes time. However, if the judicial system is up to the task, obvious criminal behavior can handle pleas relatively quickly. Unless there are so many cases and threads to winnow through that one is stuck in a morass for months and years, as is the case of the current Jan 6 investigation.

            Frankly, what is irksome in the current situation is that you have obvious statements by key persons from the White House and the GOP etc, etc, that indicate that this was a conspiracy to delay the transfer of power long enough to cause a change in the outcome of the transfer of power…with little to no basis in legal fact or findings. That is, the folks trying to pull this off knew that they were doing this illegally and they did it anyways. They knew it was wrong and their still out there claiming that Twitler won the last election and it was Biden and the DP that cheated illegally to win. Thus, the Big Lie has not yet been substantially weakened, nor have the crazy fascists in the country been chastened all that much in their bid to install a strongman into the US Presidency…in contravention of the election laws and the Constitution. And while this is going on, the cries from the right to let state legislatures abrogate the voice of voters in Federal elections grows stronger, not weaker.

        • bmaz says:

          Hi there. “Watergate” started well before the arrest of the plumbers on or about June 17, 1972. Mitchell, Ehrlichman and Halderman were convicted in 1975. Could have dragged it out far longer via pleading tricks and appeals (that pretty much every Trumper does), but Barry Goldwater, John Rhodes and Hugh Scott convinced Nixon to resign without stringing it out much, much further in August of 1974. So, your analogy is bullshit. The last really big conspiracy case I worked on, which was “only” 150-200 people across a couple of different cases, took over 3 years to complete. And that was just a simple multinational drug case, not trying to prosecute the former President of the United States and likely next GOP nominee. Don’t try to blow stuff up our rears here.

      • Whinger says:

        The DOJ has until 1/202/25 for what, though. Seems to me that is how long they have to achieve a conviction and exhaust appeals, right? Otherwise, the defendants could very likely get pardoned before sentences are even final. Working back from that, given the complexity and the resources of the defendants, that means we’re approaching the cutoff line for starting the prosecution now.

        • timbo says:

          This idea of pardons assumes that there will be a GOP President installed in the White House in 2025. That is not a given by any means. Which is why the nutsos GOP is rabidly continuing to talk about the Big Lie ad nauseum as some sort of excuse for doing away with free and open Presidential elections in various states in the country. For, if they cannot win by legal means, clearly they will cheat and “change how we do things in this state” so that the voices of individual voters in Presidential elections are no longer material to their plans for a dictatorship.

      • Glint Breightly says:

        [Had a typo in the first posting; edit time had expired. Apologies]

        “…this stuff is hard and it takes time…” Sort of like the DOJ OIG Horriwitz an SC Durham investigations trying to clean up after Mueller’s botched investigation.

    • Belyn says:

      Zirc, I can only agree that is no certainty in this world. Given that, why not express hopes for the positive rather than fears of the negative? You started your post in that spirit and gave reasons for that hope. But then you transitioned into fear. What are you reasons for accepting that the House will be lost to republicans? Anything beyond projection of trends? I can likely cite as many reasons why it won’t, especially if you, me and others act in the face of / against self-fulfilling prophecies.

      • BobCon says:

        To be clear, the Russia/Bannon Axis has been deliberately pursuing a strategy of sowing defeatism among pro-Democracy forces.

        I’ve been seeing obvious bot messages popping up in other forums with exactly this kind of stuff.

        It’s pretty wild how supposedly savvy real people on the left don’t see this.

        The answer, of course, is not mindless rainbows and lollipops on the left either — I think a secondary goal for the Bannon/Russia axis is to degrade debate to the extent that meaningful pushback is difficult.

        The answer is to stick the facts, keep an eye out for disinfo and propaganda, and keep pushing against the other side’s weaknesses.

      • Zirc says:

        To quote Thomas Hardy: “If a way to the better there be, it exacts a full look at the worst.”

        As for BobCon’s comment below about defeatism on the left, he and you are right to challenge my down mood regarding the direction all this is heading. I could do a much longer essay that has been circulating around my skull for months now involving Camus, “One must imagine Sisyphus happy.” And trying to reconcile to seemingly opposing statements by MLK: one being “Time is neutral” the other being one he borrowed from Theodore Parker: “The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” I think the two statements can be reconciled, but I don’t have time to explain my journey to that reconciliation right now.


        • Sandor says:

          Thank You for the Thomas Hardy quote, the Happy Sisyphus.
          Stares into the abyss …
          Reconsidering: The Buddhist Quote:
          Before enlightenment:
          Haul water. Chop wood.
          After enlightenment:
          Haul water. Chop wood.
          Living is work.
          Life is short …
          make it meaningful.

        • Sandor says:

          Thank You for the Thomas Hardy quote.
          Stares into the abyss … .
          Reconsidering …
          The Buddhist Quote:
          Before enlightenment:
          Haul water. Chop wood.
          After enlightenment:
          Haul water. Chop wood.

          Living is work,
          Life is short …
          make it meaningful.

        • grennan says:

          Also, more people should challenge the mid-term election turnover trope — remember the post-Watergate congress?

          In November, 1974 more than 50 GOP reps lost, as the House acquired almost 100 new Democratic members. A bunch of GOP senate seats went Dem (including some real shockers) as well.

    • joel fisher says:

      Here’s a question for all the “things are just fine, your impatience is simply a demonstration of what a moron you are” folks: Steve Bannon was indicted in November of ’21 for refusing to answer questions posed to him by a committee created last summer; doesn’t that make it seem likely that no Federal Grand Jury had bothered to issue him a subpoena in the interval from 1/6 to when the Special Committee did get around to issuing one. Move along folks; nothing to see here.

      • emptywheel says:

        What do you imagine you would accomplish with an interview of Steve Bannon, especially 1) before accumulating evidence about what precisely you wanted to gotcha him with under oath (it took 2.5 years into the Russian investigation before they got there, with 3 interviews first) and 2) you probably treat him as a subject, not a witness?

        • joel fisher says:

          At least some of the privilege issues could have been litigated or he could have been forced to take the 5th and some sort of immunity offered. The Flynn timeline is not comparable, but is of interest: he lied to the FBI the last week of January 2017 and there were proceedings that continued until his pardon in 2021. Similar story with Roger Stone and the rest of the Trumpster scum who increasing look like they’re walking.

      • Whinger says:

        Yeah, we made a huge mistake being patient during the Mueller investigation. If we had been less patient and less trusting, perhaps we could have gotten a real investigation in the legislature at least. And we would have lent less credibility to Barr’s dismissal of what was found if we hadn’t been so all-in on it. I suspect we’re making the same mistake this time.

          • Leoghann says:

            Exactly the question you should ask to a set of statements like the whinger made. But realize you are talking to a troll, who is espousing a completely irrational revision of recent history. There are two or three in this very thread who are selling the same snake oil, but with slightly different wording.

          • Leoghann says:

            That’s exactly the right question to ask, considering the onslaught of bent and spun information in the comment you’re replying to. But realize you’re talking to a troll, whose line of products (in this case, statements) are based on half-truth, and who is here to disrupt the discussion.

    • The Dude Abides says:

      Just three counterpoints here:
      (1) I’m sure you know this, but the DOJ’s prosecutions have nothing to do with whoever controls Congress;
      (2) I believe that the televised hearings, the progress in Ukraine against the Russians, and the subsequent easing of inflation will combine to let the Dems retain control;
      and (3) someone correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t federal juries in D.C. comprised of D.C residents? Biden got 95-96% of the vote in the District, so I would imagine that any decent prosecutor should be able to eliminate the small handful of MAGA jurors during voir dire.

  4. Whinger says:

    That we are still talking about plea deals with the low-level people from the physical insurrection suggests to me that we are not going to make it. The GOP is already running literally 1000s of candidates on platforms that include attempting another coup. The most pivotal election in determining whether that succeeds is happening in November- that’s when most the relevant elections boards and secretaries of state, for example, get elected. If we go into that election, or really just if we pass the primaries for that election, with the GOP still generally having the impression that coups are at least decriminalized, then democracy is in real peril.

    The DOJ doesn’t even seem to be focused on the actual coup, with the fake electors, pressuring people to falsify results, etc., and the physical insurrection investigation may never lead to the top, and apparently even if it does, not for some time yet. Say, for example, that one of these people flat out hands them Meadows or somebody, Meadows could likely hold out until after the midterms. Unless the DOJ is planning some kind of epic arrest of the top 100 people involved in trying to overturn the election, in the next month or two, or something wild like that, I don’t see how they get there in time.

    Looks like we were wrong to trust the process. Again.

    • Rayne says:

      What exactly does your 228-word whine do to change matters? Perhaps you should expend more energy on the part of the little d democratic process which is in your control — like helping new and unregistered voters get registered, ensuring they know who the pro-democracy candidates are up and down the ticket, helping them get a ride to the polls on election day. Check for the closest swing district to you and find out how you can help.

      Because whining about the DOJ in comments here only DDoSes those who are exchanging information about the January 6 prosecutions in progress.

      • Whinger says:

        If the DOJ doesn’t act in time, I am not at all confident the small d democratic process will still be relevant. Absent vigorous law enforcement, the GOP will most definitely try it again in 2024. And, in 2024, they’ll very likely control both houses of the legislature. So, the red state legislators send fake electors, the Republicans in the federal legislature accept them, the SCOTUS very possibly says that the Constitution assigns responsibility for counting the electors to the legislature and doesn’t interfere. Then, that’s it. No more small d democracy.

        The only way I see to head that off that is left on the table, now that the federal legislature seems to have failed to do anything, is the DOJ. In order to head that off, they need to make it abundantly clear, before the 2022 election, that coup attempts land you in jail. And, they need to be ready to go to stop a coup attempt, in real time, in 2024, if they try it. Not years later, immediately.

        I think that it does not appear that the DOJ gets that. So, to answer your question, the good I think my post, and the millions of others everybody else is making on the same point, are doing is adding pressure to the administration to act. Faster. So that it gets it done in time.

        • Rayne says:

          Your whining here — another 227 words — does absolutely dick to either press the DOJ to act or to further the little d democratic process on the ground in your own city/county/state.

          We get it. We’ve had +400 days of this crap where people whine at us instead of contacting their elected officials and demanding action, instead of helping better candidates get elected, instead of helping voters. This is a massive part of the problem with U.S. democracy: they believe that simply bitching over social media, particularly in blog threads, does anything at all constructive.

          Except depress and deter other voters from turning out. Now beat it and find something constructive to do.

          • Troutwaxer says:

            You and I have been over this same ground a little bit, so I have a question for you. What would a letter demanding action look like? Which person/people do we address it to? Any thoughts?

            • Rayne says:

              I’m not writing a demand letter here for you or anyone else. What I’m going to suggest to you is that you recruit or locate a team willing to work together to do this. When I was active in Democracy for America and my local Democratic Party, we had teams of volunteers who worked on rapid response and on group communications. Our monthly newsletters went out with both talking points and a request for members to write letters to government officials, restated in their own words. Organizations can generate a resolution with a cover letter which can be sent not only to elected and appointed officials, but to media with a press release, creating additional bodies of pressure.

              Frankly, this is how something becomes part of the Democratic Party’s platform at county, state, and national level. It becomes part of a group communication; we’d share the letter campaigns with other county parties, encourage them to draft resolutions and write letters, rolling upward to the state party’s central committee. But it does require at least one person starting the ball rolling; the effort is more effective if done collectively. If you can’t draft a 3-to-5 paragraph letter which states your case, gives evidence to make the case, offers a conclusion with demand for performance, you won’t be able to persuade people to join in and make the effort.

              Every single House member and Senator should know that their constituency demands full transparency and accountability for criminal behavior; they swore an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution which includes oversight of the executive branch. Executive functions like Department of Justice or the National Archives have public affairs offices where communications should be sent.

              I’m sure you can stitch all that together and develop a course of action.

  5. Al Ostello says:

    Almost weekly the Jan 6th committee news drips…reveal a more clear picture how well all levels (from foot soldiers to everyone around Trump) had a clear plan to overthrow our govt. All based on zero evidence of any “steal” at all.

    I prefer to keep politics out of my daily face to face community connections. BUT, yesterday a dude with a van covered with Trump banners such as “Trump won” “Biden cheated” rolled by me again (as I’ve seen him many times a week) while I was on one of my bikes.

    As he was driving on a road I pulled up next to his drivers side window which was down. I was on the super wide sidewalk and said, “Trump lost. Which means he is a loser”. He shouted back “Trump didn’t conceded”. At that point I realized this high school drop out/mouth breather wasn’t worth my time so I ended the short dialog with, “63 judges, including some Trump appointed judges looked at all the evidence Trump provided, and concluded there was no steal.” Then I rode off knowing that he wouldn’t ever understand the most basic way of how facts work. lol

    Can’t wait for the Jan 6th public hearings in May to give us a much more clear picture of who knew what and when ! :D

    • P J Evans says:

      No civics classes in his past, and no clue that concessions aren’t a legal act but a courtesy.

    • Makeitso says:

      I wouldn’t expect the hearings to change anyone’s mind. That pie is pretty much baked. The committee will, essentially, be preaching to the choir. The republican base will never yield in their belief. There are elected repubs, for example, that are claiming the McCarthy tapes are fake.

      Moreover, as more evidence is released one realizes this was a wide-ranging conspiracy, orchestrated by not just Trump’s cabal but by members of the republican party. None of whom have suffered one consequence. Not. One.

      • MB says:

        Well, let’s see – we’ve had 5+ years openly “stirring up” the far-right base of the unholy alliance of Trump voters, QAnon believers and white supremacists.

        I posit that the value of the public hearings is not “to change minds” – I agree with you there. Part of it will be simply to educate the uneducated. But mostly it can serve to stir up that other “base”, those of us who think the rule of law is a good thing, who believe that facts form a basis for intelligent discussion (and policy-making) and that using skin color to justify violence is definitely not worth promoting.

        So the purpose of the upcoming public hearings might better be stated as pulling us out of the mire of apathy and inaction – we need some fire here! Mallory McMorrow is a start.

        • Leoghann says:

          I both knew and knew of a number of people (some were relatives) who in 1973 were convinced that those awful, socialist Democrats were treating poor, patriotic President Nixon terribly. But by 1975, they were convinced that the whole bunch was awful.

          By and large I hate public hearings, because there’s so much grandstanding. But even though I am disgusted by such behavior, that’s what it takes to reach some folks.

          • grennan says:

            So true about the Watergate hearings changing hearts and minds of individual voters…I referred to the November 1974 elections above.

            I actually attended a couple of the 1973 hearings — was home in DC between first and second years of college.

            Several of us went down to the Hill. Unlike today, they just let people wander in. The hearing room was packed, despite crowd control more or less accomplished by ancient air conditioning and blue clouds of cigarette smoke.

            This was at least a month before the Butterfield tape bombshell and ‘just’ the initial campaign finance hearings. But people already knew it was a big deal, despite Nixon’s crushing win the year before.

      • Frank Anon says:

        I do t think it’s necessary to change, or care to change, a single Republican mind. What baffles me constantly is that Republicans and leaners never take up more than 40% of nationally identified voters, ever. THEY ARE A MINORITY. See many act like they are just an endless juggernaut of victory. If impactful hearings motivate the apolitical, the truly swing, or the handfuls needed to flip the districts and states that get us to 218 and 51, they would be of historic value.

  6. PieIsDamnGood says:

    I’m consistently amazed at how easily right wing extremists hoodwink the FBI. I hope they are treating this as an actual problem.

  7. Retired guy says:

    Another interesting thing in the Colon Statement of Offemse. Both sides agreed to include that Colon was a first degree Proud Boy. If I am not mistaken, Greene’s SOO labels him also as first degree.

    I was fuzzy on what the PB degrees meant and found an explanation in SPLC’s article about PBs:

    First: show up at a meeting and take the western chauvinism oath, suggesting Green and Colon were new recruits,similar to cooperators in the OK case (young et al.). SPLC reports suggestions that Roger Stone was at least a first degree PB, not as a recruit, but an affiliate for communication.

    Second degree: pass a physical hazing designed to demonstrate “adrenaline control”, apparently needed to calmly mobilize “normies” to out-of-control violence. Pezzola proudly self identified as second degree, having recently become a celebrity icon of the movement, right out of central casting, though still a relatively Junior member. Perhaps Pezzola’s unwillingness to accept a plea, reflects a side benefit to the gang of recognized “adrenaline control”

    Third degree: get a Proud Boys tattoo, perhaps demonstrating durable commmittment to what increasingly sounds like a gang. I don’t get it, but I am an old guy.

    Fourth degree: participate violently in a PB operation. Perhaps some came to Jan 6 hoping to earn this level.

    I don’t recall reading a filing identifying any suspects as third or fourth degree Proud Boys, perhaps suggesting these are a matter of secrecy, reinforcing the notion of an inner ring and the MOSD architecture

    If we assume Colon’s SOO assertion that he did not know they were going into the Capitol until the day before, it adds evidence that the real mission was a tightly held secret among senior members, while recruiting new bodies to go fight the evil antifas. The lead conspirators perhaps rightly assumed the new recruits and normies would easily shift to the new mission in the heat of the operation. Similar situation in the OK seditious conspiracy. This lines up with Nordean shushing “Milkshake” who was bragging about going to the Capitol, as they marched there.

    A further speculation: both PB and OK leadership wanted to stop the steal, and if they pulled it off, they might become national patriot heroes, typically American magical thinking. To accomplish the goal, they thought they needed to scale up the organizations, and perhaps added too many new recruits that weren’t completely ready or aligned. This explains the cooperation agreements of Colon, Greene, and Young. and perhaps how unqualified LARPer Kelly Meggs rose to lead the OK operation. Add the delusions of grandeur by con-men leaders of the two organizations, and you got Shakespearean tragedy.

    I also think the magical thinking about success in stopping the steal, led to the many lapses in operational security, including the inexplicable decision to open Jessica Watkins’ operational Zello channel to the public, so her friends back home could chat with her during the op, perhaps leaving recordings of her heroism to history. I have the impression Watkins knew the importance of opsec, and had the discipline to manage it well. It could also have been a simple mistake.

    Old guy rambles on a grand puzzle.

    • subtropolis says:

      Agreed on all that, though the “adrenaline control” is something else. They haze a new prospect by pummeling him, several at once, and the prospect is expected to loudly call out the names of breakfast cereals. It sounds stupid, but there’s good reasoning behind it. The object is to maintain mental discipline in the midst of physical chaos. The exercise is meant to promote discipline during urban combat, which is, arguably, the main attraction of the group.

      The strategy of that day was, indeed, to rile up the ‘normies’, of course Indeed, it seems that not even all of their members present fully understood what the task and purpose was.

      • Leoghann says:

        Their four-level initiation process is effective. The obvious problem was that so many newbies had joined, including some with both desire and funding to travel to DC, that they relaxed their requirements for participation in the high-level operation that January 6 was.

  8. obsessed says:

    Can’t wait for the Jan 6th public hearings in May

    It’s June now, but Raskin seems pretty upbeat about the prospects of them going powerfully viral. Fingers crossed. Maybe Trump’s family members testifying has resulted in this second postponement.

    • Rayne says:

      I’m wondering if Meadows is the reason public hearings were bumped out. The House had nothing on the calendar in May and then the stupid 2319 messages and Margie Three Toes’ hearing combined to mix things up a bit.

    • FiestyBlueBird says:

      June is potentially a better time, anyway, IMHO. Kids out of school. Some with time on their hands. Some (maybe not many) will watch. Some will be old enough to vote in November for the first time. I know, I know, my last comment here on was how average folks don’t watch this stuff…

      I was a kid watching the Watergate hearings. My dad had no problem with me NOT helping with some of the work on the farm that I COULD have been doing during those hours. He was actually kind of proud of me for having the interest to watch so much of it. Here’s hoping there are plenty more outlier kids hungry for this stuff. A nice thing is that this will not become a shit-show, as everyone on the committee is all-in on presenting truthfully what they’ve found.

      I know bmaz and someone (I’ve forgotten who) kind of got into it a little bit the other day over that someone’s concern about a possible created crisis to misdirect the public’s attention. Actually, I don’t discount that as beyond the realm of what this country’s fascists may try. Time will tell. Hope bmaz is right, that that ain’t gonna happen.

      Anyway…I hope this moves the needle. Even if only by just barely enough. If not, we are truly fucked.

      Gonna hunker down for a bit with Marie Yovanovitch’s book now. Have not yet opened it.

      • bmaz says:

        There are no perfect answers. Have I been right? Who the hell knows. I do, however, know how things “should” work. Marcy has been really good on explaining things. It will all never be perfect, but given the scope of the task, it is really pretty good.

  9. Anne says:

    There were no antifa/leftists/counterdemonstrators present on Jan 6 to be used as planned by the PB. AFAIK, not a single one. Why? Did somebody get a whiff of what was being planned and get the word out to local activists to stay home? Like maybe, the FBI?

    • bmaz says:

      Maybe because Antifa does not exist. But, sure, spin that into some kind of FBI conspiracy theory. Excellent plan.

    • Rugger9 says:

      Why would “ANTIFA” go to a J6 Trump rally to ‘stop the steal’? Their supporters won the election. Or, are you trying to troll the thread by pretending there’s a massive LW conspiracy? If we’ve seen any thing about the FBI (i.e. SDNY) they were populated by many RW types, including some caught on tape from J6 flashing signs of support.

      I hope you were paid up front, Individual-1 and his minions have a habit of stiffing the help.

      • timbo says:

        This. Having gotten rid of Trump through the normal legal means, why would Antifa or anyone else on the center-progressive spectrum be in DC to protest anythings on Jan 6?

    • PieIsDamnGood says:

      Yes, the insurrectionists got the word out by recruiting terrorists in public. Counter-protestors decided to stay away from DC on Jan 6th for the same reason DC residents stayed home that day, they didn’t want to be hurt.

      Please come up with better conspiracy theories.

      • Retired guy says:

        Regarding the absence of counter protestors, this was apparently the product of a coalition of groups working to protect the election while the coup was starting up. I think it included legal teams fighting the Kraken in court. I can’t find the long article about this from months ago, but as I recall the coalition was winding down, they became aware of the Jan 6 threat, and put out word to let the Trump protestors have the street to themselves that day. This was apparently followed by local DC officials begging counter protesters to stay away.

        I also suspect the usual organized counter protestors figured out on their own that numbers on the street would not be on on their side, on that day, and stayed home. While average Americans missed the scale of the mobilization, organized experienced counter protesters maybe did not.

        Notional visual: at Antifa super secret HQ – everybody watching TV pops champagne celebrating “our most successful op, and we did not even have to show up!”

      • Anne says:

        I didn’t intend it as a conspiracy theory: just wondering who would have gotten a whiff of the danger, that this wasn’t your normal MAGA rally.

        • Krisy Gosney says:

          Trump himself put out the warning of the potential danger when he broadcasted it to the world in his December(?) tweet- come to DC Jan 6th “it’s going to be wild.” So who warned counter protesters (and everybody else)? Trump did.

        • subtropolis says:

          Anne, your hunch is correct. Ignore the ignorant brigading and unwarranted troll-calling; it’s a feature of the comments section of this site. That people are accusing you of conspiracy theory or trolling is ridiculous. Nothing about your comment is abusive. That there were concerns about thugs looking to ‘bash hippie heads’ is beyond question. Perhaps they simply weren’t paying attention at the time.

          This article from Jan 4 describes efforts by Mayor Bower, the Loudon County Board of Supervisors Chair, and others to get the word out to those who might be thinking about meeting the dipshits head on. There was another article, post-coup, which described even more efforts in the days leading up to the 6th, but i’ve been having a heck of a time locating it again. I’ve written to several journos (eg. at Mother Jones, AlterNet, etc.) asking whether anyone recalls where the thing was posted, to no avail.

          When i do find it again, i will be writing something up at DailyKos, where i post under the same handle. I’ve been searching for months, though, so i don’t expect to be posting anytime soon.

          [Knock it off. As bmaz said, we don’t have time for this bullshit. You have no idea what kind of trolling we’ve had to put up with including those who deliberately attempt to compromise the community. You know where the exit is if you don’t like it here. /~Rayne]

          • bmaz says:

            How about we ignore you. If you want to write things at DKos, by all means do. But we will determine who is, and is not, trolling this site, not you. We seriously do not have time for that shit right now.

          • Rayne says:

            How you think the efforts of Bower and Loudon County and other local resources could persuade persons across the U.S. who share antifascist ideology not to show up is beyond comprehension.

            It couldn’t be more obvious at the time that the right-wing would use any counterprotest as an excuse to claim a false flag attack legitimizing their assault on the Capitol.

            You and Anne should be asking yourselves why in all the communications published so far there has been no evidence of the co-conspirators investing any serious effort to organize counterprotesters, only co-conspirators and perps claiming falsely there were antifa. Even Russia could do a better job of that in 2016.

    • civil says:

      I live in MD near DC and considered going to counterprotest, but local officials, including DC Mayor Bowser, asked counterprotesters to stay away. Rayne already gave you a link to local reporting at the time, and I recall there being a discussion on the local NPR station (WAMU) as well.

      Also, my impression is that the PB reference to the “normies” was a reference to average Trump supporters.

    • Rayne says:

      1) Antifa is an ideology — anti-fascism — which has been around for more than a lifetime across many borders. It is not an organized entity. Talking as if it is amplifies a right-wing active measure against the left and the majority of voters by legitimizing their animus of violence.

      2) Any conscious entity left of center who saw what was brewing across the right-wing ecosphere knew that January 6 would be a mess in D.C.; they’d already seen the way the feds treated protesters in January 2017 and all through 2020 in Portland and Washington D.C. during the Floyd murder protests. Why would any rational leftist want to make themselves the target for violence let alone an excuse for escalation by Trumpist cretins after the 2020 election had been won by a Democrat?

      Stow that conspiracy theory because it’s not going to fly here.

      • Retired guy says:

        Sorry, I thought antifa HQ would be seen as an obvious visual joke, as there is no such thing, nor could there be. I suppose old guy needs to finally learn to use emojis. Can you suggest an appropriate emoji for this? I meant no trolling.

        • Krisy Gosney says:

          I saw the joke. And all this repeating of the word antifa in my brain made me think of a great drag name: Anne Qweefa. Or drag king name: Dan Qweefa. (Pardon the vulgar. My community would get a kick out this but I hope it’s not crazy offensive here. If it is, please delete it.)

        • Leoghann says:

          There actually is an ANTIFA!!! headquarters, but they built it with camo brick, and the glass is so clean it seems to disappear.

          • Rayne says:

            And they all managed to get in and out of DC’s mass transit without causing a breakdown or taking up all the parking spaces with their invisible vehicles. ~eye roll~

  10. Riktol says:

    Particularly given a reference made to Colon “continu[ing]” his cooperation in the hearing yesterday, this feels more like the kind of deal Finley got, where someone works their way out of more serious charges (which in Colon’s case would be obstruction with a weapons enhancement) ahead of time. That kind of cooperation makes it less visible, but also may make testimony harder to impeach down the road.

    I’m not quite certain about what the big difference is between the different cooperators, is it that Colon is continuing and might testify at someone’s trial, whereas other people have (IIRC) just agreed to an ‘exit interview’?
    (edit) Won’t the statement of offence cover the things he’ll testify about?

    • bmaz says:

      “Won’t the statement of offence cover the things he’ll testify about?”

      No, not necessarily at all.

    • Leoghann says:

      Although he did indeed give the FBI,, a huge trove of his father’s personal documents about DeutcheBank, he was also a serious drug addict, since his early teens. He had a history of disappearing into the drug world for weeks to months at a time, and had been saved from a number of overdoses over time. It appeared, when he was found, that he had been homeless for a good while, and that his physical condition had seriously deteriorated. Take it from experience–it’s what drug addicts do. Those of us who made it to recovery have, temporarily perhaps, been spared from a death sentence.

  11. subtropolis says:

    Another interesting aspect of the SoO is the mention that Colon directed Kuehne to buy orange fluorescent tape, and its purpose that day. It wasn’t only the Kansas mob who wore that, which suggests that somebody told Colon to so outfit themselves. That will be important to prosecutors. If Colon has dished about that — which, given that it’s in the SoO, seems obvious — it’s likely among the reasons that Colon got this sweet plea deal.

  12. Leoghann says:

    This is only tangentially related to the Proud Boi topic, but I see that Oath Keeper Bryan Ulrich pled guilty today, and has committed to working with the prosecution. His attorney says he is prepared to implicate Stewart Rhodes. He was part of the Leadership chat group that did some planning on the days leading up to the insurrection. He was also the leader of the Georgia chapter.

Comments are closed.