How Ryan Nichols Responded to Trump’s Mike Pence Tweet

A number of you have noted that dumbass James Comer has subpoenaed Hunter Biden and others (but asked only for voluntary testimony from Tony Bobulinski). And Trump has filed his appeal of Judge Tanya Chutkan’s gag order.

I’ll get to both of those.

For now, I’m more interested in the details of Ryan Nichols’ plea. Nichols is a former Marine who drove from Texas to DC, with four guns in his truck, with a buddy. He carried a crowbar to the Capitol. As he was marching to the Capitol from the Ellipse, he heard about Trump’s tweet targeting Mike Pence. In response, he gave a long, recorded speech responding to Trump’s news that Pence was not going to overturn the election by promising to drag politicians in the streets.

I’m hearing that Pence just caved. I’m hearing reports that Pence caved. I’m telling you if Pence caved, we’re gonna drag motherfuckers through the streets. You fucking politicians are going to get fucking drug through the streets. Because we’re not going to have our fucking shit stolen. We’re not going to have our election or our country stolen. If we find out you politicians voted for it, we’re going to drag your fucking ass through the streets. Because it’s the second fucking revolution and we’re fucking done. I’m telling you right now, Ryan Nichols said it. If you voted for fucking treason, we’re going to drag your fucking ass through the streets. So let us find out, let the patriots find out that you fucking treasoned this country. We’re gonna drag your fucking ass through the street. You think we’re here for no reason? You think we patriots are here for no reason? You think we came just to fucking watch you run over us? No. You want to take it from us, motherfucker we’ll take it back from you.

Later, at the Capitol, he pepper sprayed cops guarding the Tunnel, then called others to take up weapons. “If you have a weapon, you need to get your weapon,” chanting, “Pedo Pence.”

At the end of the day, he again recorded himself, explaining how the mob had listened to Trump, learned Pence “did the wrong thing, and so they stopped the vote.”

I watched patriots gather and on the way down Pennsylvania Avenue after we listened to President Trump speak, we heard that Pence did the wrong thing. And as we got [sic] the Capitol building the consensus across the board was the same, that if Pence did the wrong thing and sold us out, then we have to fight.


They showed where Pennsylvania said yesterday, “hey, we screwed up. We want to change this,” but Pence did the wrong thing and allowed them to continue with the vote. So we stormed the Capitol building, and they stopped the vote. And went down in to the tunnels and hid, like the fucking cowards they are.

Instead of coming out there and addressing “we the people,” they ran. Because they knew they were doing the wrong thing. So we clashed with Capitol Police.

After engaging in the most committed kind of conspiracy theorizing about the January 6 investigation for years, Nichols pled guilty the other to assault and obstruction.

His guidelines sentence is 78 to 97 months.

Congressman Clay Higgins, who is nothing short of batshit, wrote a letter calling on Judge Lamberth to sentence Nichols to time served, less than two years, rather than the guidelines upwards of 6.5 years.

Because Nichols recorded much of what he did with a GoPro and/or on his phone, this is precisely the kind of evidence that prosecutors may use to show how Trump mobilized a mob against Congress, and Mike Pence in particular, to obstruct the vote certification on January 6.

As I noted the other day, Jack Smith has promised to prove Trump’s role in mobilizing the mob — both those who attacked cops and those who threatened to attack Mike Pence — at trial.

At trial, the Government will prove these allegations with evidence that the defendant’s supporters took obstructive actions at the Capitol at the defendant’s direction and on his behalf. This evidence will include video evidence demonstrating that on the morning of January 6, the defendant encouraged the crowd to go to the Capitol throughout his speech, giving the earliest such instruction roughly 15 minutes into his remarks; testimony, video, photographic, and geolocation evidence establishing that many of the defendant’s supporters responded to his direction and moved from his speech at the Ellipse to the Capitol; and testimony, video, and photographic evidence that specific individuals who were at the Ellipse when the defendant exhorted them to “fight” at the Capitol then violently attacked law enforcement and breached the Capitol.

The indictment also alleges, and the Government will prove at trial, that the defendant used the angry crowd at the Capitol as a tool in his pressure campaign on the Vice President and to obstruct the congressional certification. Through testimony and video evidence, the Government will establish that rioters were singularly focused on entering the Capitol building, and once inside sought out where lawmakers were conducting the certification proceeding and where the electoral votes were being counted. And in particular, the Government will establish through testimony and video evidence that after the defendant repeatedly and publicly pressured and attacked the Vice President, the rioting crowd at the Capitol turned their anger toward the Vice President when they learned he would not halt the certification, asking where the Vice President was and chanting that they would hang him. [my emphasis]

Already, DOJ has collected evidence to show that rioters who engaged in some of the most consequential actions on January 6 were directly responding to Trump’s incitement. The guys who first breached the Senate chamber and helped open a second major breach at the East door, for example, took GoPro video of themselves specifically looking for Pence. The guy who almost murdered Michael Fanone was caught on camera responding to Trump’s incitement by promising to slit Joe Biden’s throat. His buddy, who helped Ryan Nichols incite the crowd, also tied storming Congress to targeting Mike Pence.

“Pence did the wrong thing … So we stormed the Capitol, and they stopped the vote,” Nichols explained his actions that day.

These kinds of statements, mobsters explaining how they responded to Trump’s statements by taking violent action to stop the voter certification, happened over and over.

That’s what Trump wants to keep out of his trial.

25 replies
  1. greengiant says:

    Thank you for years of illumination especially the last few.
    The lede should read like the text, targeting Mike Pence ( from crowd source editing…)

  2. earthworm says:

    Reading Ryan Nichols’ quoted rant makes me wonder what these guys were jacking themselves on.
    Captagon? Isn’t that the substance that assassins of the Middle East are reputed to use?

  3. Taxesmycredulity says:

    The front page caption says “how he responded to…Mike Flynn,” not Pence.

    Looking forward to your posts on the other two topics too. Thanks for the great research and writing!

    • SteveBev says:

      The Home page summary reference to “Flynn” is obviously a typo for “Pence”

      However, Nichols rant as recorded in the plea para 14 pp 5-7 ( part of which Marcy quotes above) does indeed make reference to Flynn.

      The rant is split into unnumbered paragraphs, and the reference to Flynn is in the 6th such paragraph on p6 :

      “You see the battle drums? I told you all, this was a war cry, January 6th. You don’t have General Flynn out here. Who do Generals rally? Generals rally troops. You hear the war cry. You hear the war drums. You think we are marching for nothing? You’re gonna do the right thing.[…]”

  4. OldTulsaDude says:

    The issue that concerns me is how to counteract the type of faith-based thinking that leads the duped to be manipulated by a single demagogue. What became of lessons in critical thinking and civics?

    • Tech Support says:

      Critical Thinking skills have never, to my knowledge, been commonplace in K-12 education. Even if we put aside the subordination to standardized testing forced by No Child Left Behind 20 years ago, this has been a theme for more than a century:

      “Schools make persons all on one pattern, orthodoxy. School education, unless it is regulated by the best knowledge and good sense, will produce men and women who are all of one pattern, as if turned in a lathe. An orthodoxy is produced in regard to all the great doctrines of life. It consists of the most worn and commonplace opinions which are common in the masses. The popular opinions always contain broad fallacies, half-truths, and glib generalizations.”

      – William Graham Sumner, Folkways, 1906.

      Faith-based thinking is hardly new, but the decomposition of civic institutions and the proliferation of for-profit propoganda has led to a dramatic shift in where people’s faith is being placed.

    • BRUCE F COLE says:

      In defense of substituting Flynn for Pence, it might be said that their personalities could easily be likened to Jekyll and Hyde (if you ignore some of Hyde’s more positive attributes).

      Which raises the question: have they ever been seen in the same place together???~

  5. The Old Redneck says:

    For everybody who was impatient as hell with DOJ, saying they weren’t moving quickly enough to prosecute Trump, now you can see why they did what they did. They had to build this brick by brick. Now that they’ve done that, they’ve got the evidence locked in that will allow them to pursue Trump.

  6. greenbird says:

    i see the defense stubbornly repeating in filings the defendant as “President” and now, in the appeal, shows “the prosecution” in lower-case. “Feeling lucky, PUNK ? … Well, DO YA ?”

    we are so beyond lucky, having you, marcy. perpetual thanks.

  7. wa_rickf says:

    It’s astounding how these Trump supporters come off as knuckle-dragging Neanderthals who lack thinking and reasoning skills, and who allow themselves to be conned by a pathological sociopath and misfit like Donald Trump.

  8. Thomas McKearn says:

    This excitable and effusive fellow seemed to be chiefly focused on the buttocks of the (then current) vice president as well as the posteriors of much of Congress and the Senate. ‘Dragging their asses’ through the streets of D.C. was his reiterated intention, a practice with which I’m unfamiliar. Ryan Nichols seems to want to indulge his passions more than he wishes to shore up his sense of comportment.

    Desires such as these are perhaps best honored in the breech than the observence, hey?

    [Welcome to emptywheel. Please use the same username and email address each time you comment so that community members get to know you. Do not add anything in the URL field if you do not have or wish to share a homepage address. Thanks. /~Rayne]

    • CoffaeBreak says:

      I guess getting dragged by the tail of a horse and/or quartered was too old fashioned for these seditionists.

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