The Roger Stone Convergence at the Winter Palace

There was a status hearing in the Owen Shroyer case last week that was so short it was over by the time I had entered the dial-in code. Shroyer, you’ll recall, is the Alex Jones sidekick who was charged for violating his specific prohibition on being an asshole at the Capitol. His lawyer, Norm Pattis, happens to be the lawyer who sent a large swath of Alex Jones’ data to the Texas Sandy Hook plaintiffs, and then presided over the $1 billion judgement in the Connecticut Sandy Hook lawsuit. On June 14, Pattis noticed his appearance on Joe Biggs’ legal team, effectively giving him visibility on how badly the discovery in the Proud Boy case implicates Shroyer and Jones and Ali Alexander. Shroyer appears to be stalling on his decision about whether he wants to enter a plea agreement — one that would presumably require some cooperation — or whether he wants to stick around and be charged in a superseding indictment along with everyone else.

Shroyer has until November 29 to make that decision, around which time I expect a Roger Stone convergence to become more clear.

The Roger Stone convergence has been coming for some time (I’ve been pointing to it for at 14 months). Yesterday, NYT reported that one means by which it is coming is in the dissemination of the We the People document laying out plans to occupy buildings — under the code “Winter Palace” — which the FBI found on the Enrique Tarrio phone it took over a year to exploit.

As I laid out here, the document is important because it shows Tarrio’s motive on January 6 in his assertion that “every waking moment consists of” planning for revolution.

41. Between December 30 and December 31, 2020, TARRIO communicated multiple times with an individual whose identity is known to the grand jury. On December 30, 2020, this individual sent TARRIO a nine-page document tiled, “1776 Returns.” The document set forth a plan to occupy a few “crucial buildings” in Washington, D.C., on January 6, including House and Senate office buildings around the Capitol, with as “many people as possible” to “show our politicians We the People are in charge.” After sending the document, the individual stated, “The revolution is important than anything.” TARRIO responded, “That’s what every waking moment consists of… I’m not playing games.”

And an exchange he had with now-cooperating witness Jeremy Bertino that they had succeeded in implementing the Winter Palace plan shows that Tarrio recognized that occupying buildings was part of his plan.

107. At 7:39 pm, PERSON-1 sent two text messages to TARRIO that read, “Brother. ‘You know we made this happen,” and “I’m so proud of my country today.” TARRIO responded, “I know” At 7:44 pm. the conversation continued, with PERSON-1 texting, “1776 motherfuckers.” TARRIO responded, “The Winter Palace.” PERSON-1 texted, “Dude. Did we just influence history?” TARRIO responded, “Let’s first see how this plays out.” PERSON-1 stated, “They HAVE to certify today! Or it’s invalid.” These messages were exchanged before the Senate returned to its chamber at approximately 8:00 p.m. to resume certifying the Electoral College vote.

The NYT story reveals that Eryka Gemma is the person who sent the document to Tarrio, but she was not its author.

As a part of the investigation, prosecutors are seeking to understand whether Mr. Engels has ties to a little-known Miami-based cryptocurrency promoter who may have played a role in the Capitol attack.

A week before the building was stormed, the promoter, Eryka Gemma, gave Mr. Tarrio a document titled “1776 Returns,” according to several people familiar with the matter. The document laid out a detailed plan to surveil and storm government buildings around the Capitol on Jan. 6 in a pressure campaign to demand a new election.


The federal indictment of Mr. Tarrio says that the person who provided him with “1776 Returns” told him, shortly after it was sent, “The revolution is more important than anything.” That person was Ms. Gemma, according to several people familiar with the matter.

But Ms. Gemma was not the author of “1776 Returns,” which was written by others, first as a shared document on Google, the people said.

It remains unclear who the original authors were.

It may be unclear or detrimental to the sources for this story who originally wrote the document; it’s probably not to investigators who can simply send a warrant to Google.

And whether because investigators know who wrote the document or for some other reason (such as that they have just a few more weeks of pre-sentencing cooperation with Joel Greenberg), they’re trying to understand whether this document, laying out a plan to occupy buildings, had an analogue in the Florida-based riots that key Roger Stone associate, Jacob Engels, staged in 2018 in an attempt to thwart any delays in certification for Rick Scott (and Ron DeSantis, who gets a positive shout out by name in the Winter Palace document).

On Nov. 9, [2018] a group of about 100 angry protesters, including members of the Proud Boys, descended on the Broward County elections office, carrying pro-Scott and pro-Trump signs and protesting the recount.

The event drew support from several far-right activists in Florida linked to Mr. Stone — among them, Ali Alexander, who later organized Stop the Steal events around the 2020 election, and Joseph Biggs, a leader of the Proud Boys who has since been charged alongside Mr. Tarrio in the Jan. 6 seditious conspiracy case.

The NYT describes this line of inquiry as happening via two different sets of prosecutors, which is a sign of either convergence or simply the networked structure that DOJ’s approach, using parallel and (through Stone) intersecting, conspiracy indictments clearly facilitated (Shroyer’s prosecution team, incidentally, features an Oath Keeper prosecutor and a key assault prosecutor).

In recent months, prosecutors overseeing the seditious conspiracy case of five members of the Proud Boys have expanded their investigation to examine the role that Jacob Engels — a Florida Proud Boy who accompanied Mr. Stone to Washington for Jan. 6 — played in the 2018 protests, according to a person briefed on the matter.

The prosecutors want to know whether Mr. Engels received any payments or drew up any plans for the Florida demonstration, and whether he has ties to other people connected to the Proud Boys’ activities in the run-up to the storming of the Capitol.

Different prosecutors connected to the Jan. 6 investigation have also been asking questions about efforts by Mr. Stone — a longtime adviser to Mr. Trump — to stave off a recount in the 2018 Senate race in Florida, according to other people familiar with the matter.

While the NYT describes (breaking news!) that Engels was one of the people who in 2019, along with Tarrio, crafted an attack on the judge presiding over Roger Stone’s case, Amy Berman Jackson, it does not note that the Stop the Steal effort dates back two years earlier than the 2018 riot, to voter intimidation efforts that Stone pursued that look similar to the current drop box intimidation effort being disseminated via Trump’s shitty social media website (NYT does mention the Brooks Brothers riots in 2000 and notes the participants “apparently work[ed] with Mr. Stone” — more breaking news).

Nor does it describe the backstory to how Biggs showed up in Florida in 2018, fresh off his ouster from InfoWars after playing a key role in both the PizzaGate and Seth Rich hoaxes, both part of a Russian info-op that Stone played a key role in. But it’s part of the prehistory of the Proud Boys that prosecutors are now tracing.

I have no idea whether the very clear 2016 precedent is part of this. DOJ wouldn’t need to do (much) fresh investigation of it because Mueller and DC USAO did quite a bit of investigation before Bill Barr torched the investigation all to hell and then Trump pardoned Stone to avoid being implicated himself. But if it was part of this, no one who would share those details with NYT would know about it unless and until it was indicted. That’s even true of the 2019 incident; DOJ did at least some investigative work into the funding of that, the same questions being asked now about how Engels organized the 2018 riot.

But whether this investigative prong extends no further back than 2018 or whether it includes the Stone Stop the Steal activity that demonstrably paralleled a Russian effort, it does seem that DOJ is investigating how the prior history of the Proud Boys parallels these efforts to undermine democracy and did so in the place — Miami — where the Proud Boys, schooled by the master rat-fucker, are increasingly taking on an official role.

That may not be an investigation about Engels’ actions, directly (though he has long been in the thick of things). Rather, it may be an investigation into resources that were consistent throughout these developments.

60 replies
  1. Rugger_9 says:

    I suspect it was inevitable that Roger Stone would be the linchpin of the plot given how much it resembled an expanded and extended rat fornication. What I saw in the ‘net news that was different was a report about how a MAGA type hated Stone once he met him in person. It’s not relevant to anything serious but does show how depraved these plotters are.

    • Ridgewalker 1 says:

      Roger Stone needs to be indicted for all his illegal activities in Trump’s attempt to overturn our lawful election. Stone, Flynn, Trump the big three require 20 or 30 years of prison time each.

  2. harpie says:

    From 2019:
    Roger Stone’s Proud Boys “Volunteers” Have Been Defending Him Online After The Judge Entered A Gag Order Stone said he couldn’t remember who exactly gave him the photo of a judge that he Instagrammed and got in trouble for, but he identified Proud Boys leaders as some of his volunteers. [Tarrio, Tyler Whyte, Jacob Engels, and Rey Perez] Zoe Tillman February 24, 2019

    […] According to the Daily Beast profile of Engels earlier this month, he first met Stone in 2013 through his work with Young Republicans groups. The two men are close; Engels has come to DC for Stone’s appearances. In November [2018], Engels tweeted a photo of himself and Stone at the beach, shirtless, displaying their tattoos — Stone famously has former president Richard Nixon’s face in the middle of his back, and Engels has former president Andrew Jackson’s face on his right shoulder. […]


    • harpie says:

      Also from 2019:

      Meet Jacob Engels, Roger Stone’s Mini-Me Jacob Engels has become the face of Stone’s defense in right-wing media. Will Sommer 02.12.19

      Even in the circus that was last November’s [2018] Florida ballot count, Jacob Engels managed to stand out.

      Amid the Proud Boys and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) standing on a truck filled with mock ballots, Engels, 27, was a permanent fixture in the Broward County elections board parking lot, leading the Republican crowd outside in chants with a megaphone and sparking rumors about mysterious disappearing ballots. […]

      The attempt to stop the Broward ballot count echoed a similar effort from the 2000 election […]

  3. Clare Kelly says:

    Thank you, as always, for delivering cogent analysis of nefarious machinations, i.e. “extended and expanded rat fornication” (Rugger_9) with a spoonful of humor.

    • Rugger_9 says:

      You’re welcome, but it was something of an easy call as Stone is a ‘usual suspect’ any time something like this occurs. Also, Rove and O’Keefe among others are on the list. All are dedicated to the expansion of GOP power by any means necessary.

      OT: Latin of the Day…about MAGA cultists and other Faux News types (answering Willis Warren’s Q below):

      Populus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur – the people wish to be deceived, therefore let them be deceived.

      • Clare Kelly says:

        I come here for my daily dose of:
        Non illegitimi carborundum via cogent analysis and non-whinging.

        Possibly OT, but I left Twitter in Dec., and really appreciate Rayne’s inclusion of @emptywheel and crew’s tweets here.

        I assume that if y’all leave said, it will be posted here and I thank you in advance.

        My current methadone is the WaPo comment section and it’s getting tiresome.

        • ernesto1581 says:

          Ha! Take a look at the truly incisive and cutting-edge investigation of Big Trucks & Politics & Men’s Generative Apparatus (Paul Waldman) in yesterday’s WaPo, and at the comments spilling all over it. That’ll put you off your feed for good.

          Why did I read it?? I dunno — because it feels so good when I stop?

  4. Willis Warren says:

    I just don’t see how Roger Stone could inspire anyone to commit violence for him. He’s literally a cuck, and he looks like the Freaks from the movie. I guess my bigger question is were fascists always this dumb? The way Chaplin sent up Hitler seems to suggest yes.

  5. Savage Librarian says:

    Thanks for the heads up about the amount of time left with Joel Greenberg. Not that it makes any difference at this point, but Jacob Engels scored a place in Stone’s list of acknowledgements for his book, The Making of the President 2016: How Donald Trump Orchestrated a Revolution (Skyhorse Publishing, 2017.)

  6. Klaatu Something says:

    as I sit waiting for someone like the electrician, I feel compelled to add:

    “We’re no longer safe here, let’s to the Winter Palace, quick!”

          • person1597 says:

            “We’re going back to the shadows again
            Out where an indian’s your friend
            Where the vegetables are green
            And you can pee right into the stream (and that’s important!)
            We’re back from the shadows again…”

            • goatrodeo says:

              A Firesign Theater reference is welcome anytime, perhaps especially in these anxious times! Thanks for that! This site is a constant source of erudition and amazement, both! And many thanks for that as well!

  7. harpie says:

    Today, in the OK trial, the witness ALPERS, says he recorded RHODES on 1/10/21,
    and then handed him a cell phone to write TRUMP a message.
    11:20 AM · Nov 2, 2022

    1/10/21 RHODES to TRUMP: [message on cell phone]

    [APPROXIMATE] [Rhodes warned Trump that if he didn’t invoke the Insurrection Act then] “you and your family will be imprisoned and killed just like the Romanovs in Russia.”

    Is this a reference to the original “Winter Palace”?

    • Ken Muldrew says:

      That seems a bit strange. If the whole point of the insurrection was to keep Trump in the presidency, then why refer to him as a bit player who has one job to do, and he better do it, or else.
      Is this mis-direction or was Rhodes thinking that someone else would be ascending to the throne once power had been acquired?

      • harpie says:

        I think RHODES was trying to scare TRUMP into believing [and may have actually believed himself?] that Biden/Democrats would imprison/assassinate/hunt down all of the Coup Plotters, including TRUMP and Family. RHODES did this in order to insure that TRUMP would enforce [can’t think of the correct term] the Insurrection Act, so that RHODES et al could have their Civil War.

      • viget says:

        No way he could’ve done it. Philbin and especially Herschmann would have told him it was beyond illegal and threatened to resign then and there. And if the former DOJ officials are to be believed (Donahughe and Rosen and by extension, Engle whose office would have final say), no way would they have condoned it.

        Kinda hard to enforce the Insurrection Act if the DOJ isn’t going along.

        Although, it kind of sounds like the DoD was down for the plan though.

  8. Savage Librarian says:

    Marcy, for some reason I have in my head that you once alluded to the author of the We the People, 1776 Returns plan some time ago as possibly being or being connected to a woman from the state of Washington. But now I don’t know why I thought that because I can’t find it anywhere.

    But Bill Gates was noted in the plan (along with McConnell and McCarthy.) And, as I briefly mentioned recently, Bill Gates was also brought up in my own civil case more than two decades ago. In that case, it was a red herring used to prejudice the jury. So, I’m just speculating that there may be some kind of longstanding grievance or bias against him in the right wing GOP. Or if there is a connection to the state of Washington, it may have something to do with that.

  9. Jannie says:

    The Romanovs were killed at the Ipatiev House (aka The House of Special Purpose) in Ekaterinburg.

    [Welcome back to emptywheel. Please use the same username each time you comment so that community members get to know you. This is your second user name; back in September you commented as “JannieP” which also complied with our 8 letter minimum. Thanks. /~Rayne]

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Yes, but those deaths were in July 1918. The symbol of the revolution was the storming of the Winter Palace – the official home of the Czar’s family and the symbol of royal power – in October 1917.

    • Rugger_9 says:

      I’m not sure Miller would be involved as much at this point, but more likely with DeSantis’ plane stunt. It’s not impossible, but Miller gets his jollies on immigrant abuse.

      • KM Williams says:

        Miller may be a very sly Wormtongue type, whispering ideas and plots into his superior’s ears, but keeping his own slimy hands looking nice and clean… and white.

        • gmoke says:

          Well, maybe “honorarily” white as Stephen Miller does have Jewish blood and Jews are not really white, doncha’ know.

          Is Christianity simply cultural appropriation writ large?

  10. Lawnboy says:

    Dr. W.
    I wonder what you think of the chance that details of “the back door man” may come to light in the OK or PB trials? I am referring to that detail of the doors opening from a person inside the Capitol.

    IIRC you spent some time pondering that issue a while back, and it has stuck with me since.

  11. Jenny says:

    “Politics with me isn’t theater. It’s performance art. Sometimes, for its own sake.” Roger Stone

    “I’m a total Republican, but I’ve never claimed to be a Christian-right conservative. They’re a large but dwindling part of the Party.” Roger Stone

  12. Adam Selene says:

    Thank you for this great piece of journalism, Marcy.

    Every day this story gets more surreal with each new fact and participant.

    It reads like a terrible fanfic version of perhaps Philip K. Dick’s first (and likely discarded or burned) attempt at a social fiction novel.

    Evil is dumb.

    • Matt___B says:

      All of PKD’s early “mainstream” novels which publishers refused to touch in the ’50s have been published post-mortem since his death in 1982.

      Hannah Arendt coined the term “the banality of evil” and I believe PKD understood that concept very well.

      • Adam Selene says:

        Me too, Matt.

        As the immortal Maxwell Smart used to say about his arch-rivals/villains (paraphrased):

        “Too bad he used his genius for evil instead of for niceness.”

  13. WilliamOckham says:

    Co-writing your coup plans as a Google doc. Wow. The ancient Greeks are calling. They want their hubris back.

    • Alan Charbonneau says:

      You beat me to it. When I read this: “But Ms. Gemma was not the author of ‘1776 Returns,’ which was written by others, first as a shared document on Google”, I thought that I know next to nothing about OpSec, but even I know that isn’t a good idea. So it has to be someone who either is incredibly stupid or was incredibly confident in the coup working.

    • emptywheel says:

      I was thinking the same.

      There MUST be a catch.

      Or maybe someone wanted it found? It DID take a year to get it off Tarrio’s phone.

  14. harpie says:

    CapitolHunters when this story came out:
    1:57 PM · Nov 1, 2022

    The NYT now names the source of “1776 Plan” given to Tarrio as someone tied to Roger Stone. BUT! Remember this wasn’t the plan that was implemented. And Stone sulked in the Willard all day; he did not run a command center. On Jan 6 it was another plan and another director. 1/

    The NYT names Eryka Gemma as the source of the plan, tied to Stone’s lieutenant Jacob Engels. It’s great reporting. Just remember – the physical attack was far more professional than Stone could pull off. Someone else was brought in. Don’t let him slip. 2/

  15. harpie says:

    GOVERNMENT rests its case [in RHODES et al]:
    12:01 PM · Nov 3, 2022

    SA Moore describes Jan. 6 as a domestic terror investigation and says the FBI was particularly concerned in the first two weeks afterward because the inauguration was coming up and could have been a target. Thus, an impetus to move quickly.

    “With that, the government rests its case,” says assistant U.S. attorney Kathryn Rakoczy, closing the case-in-chief of the DOJ’s first seditious conspiracy prosecution in more than a decade.

    • harpie says: 11:57 AM · Nov 3, 2022

      […] Rakoczy eliciting that this occurred less than a month after J6, a period during which FBI was investigating 1,000s of people. Almost no one had been arrested on J6 itself, so they were investigating thousands to try to catch up. … /56

      also had the potential for violence on J20, when the inauguration was scheduled.

      Now discussing Rhodes comments from J10 in his conversations with Albers. [ALPERS?] Listening to this excerpt. /57

      1/10/21 RHODES: If he’s not going to do the right thing and he’s just gonna’ let himself be removed illegally, then we should have brought rifles. We could have fixed it right then and there. I’d hang fuckin’ Pelosi from the lamppost.
      [Background noise/shuffling]
      WITNESS No.

      Rakoczy eliciting that this is why FBI was trying to move quickly in late Jan 2021.
      Moore done.
      Sidebar /58

  16. hollywood says:

    Meanwhile, on another flank, there’s Kash Patel and his immunity deal to testify before the Mar-a-Lago grand jury. Is he going to say that Trump never declassified any docs? Or what he saw of the content of the docs?

    • bmaz says:

      Who knows? But it is not just “the Mar-a-Lago grand jury, it is the greater series of grand juries in DC District. It appears, however, that the only topics Patel will be examined on are in relation to the inappropriate document removal from the White House and subsequent retention thereof at Mar-a-Lago.

  17. harpie says:

    Newly un-redacted report shows how feds politicized response to 2020 Portland protests
    After pressure from Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, an internal Department of Homeland Security report released last year with significant redactions has been released again, almost in its entirety
    Jonathan Levinson 10/27/22

    Related THREAD, via Marcy:
    12:55 PM · Oct 27, 2022

    Homeland Security agents “scrambled” to Best Buy in 2020 to get laptops for new recruits with “barely any form of training,” meeting up in a “parking lot” to begin work creating spy files on Americans protesting George Floyd’s murder. [THREAD]

    • harpie says:

      Here’s Roger Parloff tweeting today about yesterday’s Oath Keepers trial:
      8:20 AM · Nov 4, 2022

      […] Meggs atty said he would ask the jury to judge whether the messages Meggs sent in the encrypted Signal chats were meant as “literal truths” or as “hyperbole” & “political rhetoric.”

      He stressed that Meggs honestly felt that the rioting during summer 2020 in Portland, Louisville & DC was “threatening the bedrock of our democracy.”

      His 1st OK event was in Louisville KY protecting businesses during Breonna Taylor-related rioting. OKs gained publicity & Rhodes went on Alex Jones‘ show. …

      Jones then asked Rhodes to provide security for Roger Stone at a FL event. Meggs met Stone there and Stone invited Meggs to J6. Ali Alexander invited Meggs to provide security at the Ellipse rally. Meggs’ atty says there was no plan to storm capitol or stop certification. […]

      • harpie says:

        huh…and look at this, happening right now,
        regarding OK’s at the Louisville protest job:

        WATKIN’s attorney [Crisp] is questioning her boyfriend, Montana Siniff, a defense witness:
        9:24 AM · Nov 4, 2022

        […] Montana Siniff back on stand.
        Crisp continues redirect.
        Crisp saying he going to show a video taken in Louisville KY during fall of 2020 taken by a non-OK. Now showing it. It shows Rhodes & other OKs. …

        near several pickup truck. OKs are armed with assault-style rifles. Some black people are yelling things at them. Now identifying Siniff & Watkins standing near another pickup.
        Mehta interrupts & asks to get on sidebar phone. /22 [THREAD]

  18. Tom R. says:

    𝐈’𝐝 𝐥𝐢𝐤𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐤𝐧𝐨𝐰 𝐰𝐡𝐨 𝐨𝐫𝐠𝐚𝐧𝐢𝐳𝐞𝐝 𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬. There’s quite a lot to consider:
    — The Roger Stone convergence, including the MAGA militias, which is beginning to come into view. Very important.
    — The rogue military clandestine-ops convergence: Flynn, Waldron, Scott Perry, and dozens of others.
    — The demented litigation convergence: Giuliani, Powell, Eastman, Chesesbro, and dozens of others.
    — The fake electors convergence: Epshteyn, Roman, Wilenchik, McDaniels, and dozens of others.
    — Other state-level shenanigans: Clark, Mitchell, Meadows, Eastman, et cetera.
    — The inside-the-capitol convergence: Cruz, MTG, Hice, Meadows, and dozens of others.
    — The lunatic CEOs and megadonors: Lindell, Byrne, et cetera.
    — The astroturf convergence: Women for America First and many others.

    As Marcy has previously discussed, the whole operation is so complex that it’s hard to keep track of. If you plot it on a “conspiracy string board” or computerized cluster diagram, it gets very messy.

    It would be an oversimplification to call this a hub-and-spokes conspiracy. A wheel counts as only one moving part, but this conspiracy has a whole lot of moving parts that interact with each other. For example, the fake electors and the pressure on state officials interact with the pressure on Pence. Much more importantly, looking at the structure and purpose leaves many questions unanswered.

    One big question is, who organized it? They had months to work on it, but even so, organizing something of this size and complexity is a tough job. Meadows served as a clearinghouse, but neither he nor his boss has ever exhibited the skills needed to pull together something like this.

    Simply wanting to fly does not empower you to build an airplane.

    The core idea (lose the election but cling to power anyway) is classic Roger Stone, and classic Roy Cohn as well. I’m sure Stone wanted to run the show, but he was not given the assignment. He was at best a caporegime (one of several), not the boss, not the underboss, not the consigliere. Navarro says it was his plan, but nobody believes that. The objective was simple, but the implementation was complicated.

    • Savage Librarian says:

      I came across an interesting diagram from a geocache. If you use the diagram for each of your categories, then you could link or layer them together. Color codes and dots might work to identify groups that were in more than one diagram. It seems like something that Flynn and the Christian nationalists might be acquainted with.

      If you copy and paste this phrase into a web search, you might find it:

      Ezekiel’s Wheel Team Noltex

      • Tom R. says:

        It’s best to formulate this in terms of graphs, in the sense of graph theory. Six degrees of Kevin Bacon is an example. The wikipedia article on Erdős number has a good discussion. The article on Distance (graph theory) is also helpful. (These are sometimes called adjacency graphs, network graphs, or arc-and-node graphs to distinguish them from innumerable other kinds of charts, plots, and graphics.)

        There is a thriving industry devoted to data visualization in general and graph theory in particular. There are software tools such as Graphviz that have been around for decades. When the data set is not super-tiny, using such tools is easier and produces a better result, compared to drawing things by hand (or using colored strings on a bulletin board).

        I mention this because a wheel is a particular type of graph that is not optimal for analyzing the coup data. A wheel would be fine if all we cared about was the distance from the hub, but the reality is more complicated. At hop zero, we have one guy at the center of the conspiracy. One hop away, we have dozens of guys (including Stone, Meadows, Giuliani etc.) who interact directly with the center. At hop two, we have a crew that interacts directly with Stone, another crew that interacts directly with Meadows, another crew that interacts directly with Giuliani, et cetera.

        At this point we have a problem, because the different crews interact with each other in complicated ways. It’s not an orderly hierarchy. You could try to depict this using azimuth along a wheel, but that only works if the network is two dimensional, which in our case it is not. It is in fact quite high-dimensional. Drawing multiple wheels helps a little, but it doesn’t solve the fundamental problem, because wheels embody false assumptions about the data.

        In the “Team Noltex” example, the number of nodes grows by a factor of 2 at each hop after the first. It extends to hop four, which would be wildly infeasible for the coup data, where the number of nodes grows by a factor of 20 or more at each hop. Even at hop three (e.g. Stone -> Rhodes -> all Oath Keepers) it’s a mess. Forsooth, even at hop two some pruning is required (e.g. MTG -> scores of legislators). I can’t prove it at the moment, but I suspect two hops will get you to dozens of fake electors.

        Bottom line: It’s very big and very messy. Even using powerful tools still leaves you with a big mess. As has been pointed out a thousand times in this forum, DoJ is obliged to figure this out, which is an exceedingly unenviable task. I would add that criminal justice, while absolutely necessary, is nowhere near sufficient. We have grave political problems that date back many many years. DoJ cannot solve political problems, and we shouldn’t ask it to. We need to get out there and solve our political problems by political means.

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