Yesterday, CNN reported that Kenneth Chesebro, identified as co-conspirator 5 in Trump’s DC indictment and charged in the Georgia one, in both indictments for actions limited to the fake electors scheme, trailed Alex Jones while he was present at the Capitol on January 6, apparently recording Jones’ actions and words for most of the time he’s at the Capitol.
CNN cites Ryan Goodman — who has steadfastly refused to look closely at much of the crime scene video evidence (much less credit the investigators who have meticulously catalogued it) — making a nonsense legal argument about the significance of Chesebro’s actions, one that clings to a cognitive distance between the white collar planning, to which he assigns Chesebro, and the blue collar execution of the attack).
Ryan Goodman, a law professor at New York University who previously served as the special counsel to the general counsel at the Department of Defense, told CNN that Chesebro’s presence on the Capitol grounds could be cited by prosecutors.
“Regardless of Chesebro’s potential criminal liability for being in the restricted areas of Capitol grounds, this evidence could be cited by prosecutors as further proof that Chesebro was not operating as a bona fide legal advisor but rather was an activist aligned in the cause to overturn the election,” Goodman said. “It undercuts defenses Chesebro might mount that he was functioning only in the role of providing legal advice for clients.”
The NYT version of the same story makes an equally nonsensical observation about what it means, claiming that this is the first evidence that “different tentacles of the efforts to keep Mr. Trump in power  overlapped.”
Until now, there appeared to be different tentacles of the efforts to keep Mr. Trump in power that had not overlapped. But Mr. Chesebro hinted at those connections in an email exchange with John Eastman, another lawyer who was instrumental in the plan to pressure Mr. Pence with the fake elector scheme.
In late December 2020, the two lawyers discussed how to get a case before the Supreme Court. Mr. Chesebro told Mr. Eastman as they discussed filing a legal action that in terms of the highest court, the “odds of action before Jan. 6 will become more favorable if the justices start to fear that there will be ‘wild’ chaos on Jan. 6 unless they rule by then, either way.”
The pressure on state legislators brought to bear by Stop the Steal, ginned up at rallies headlined by Jones and Alexander, has always been a necessary component of the fake electors plan. The Georgians charged in the Trump side of the fake elector charges in the Georgia indictment, Robert Cheeley and Scott Hall, were also coordinating with the people pressuring Ruby Freeman. The political violence was not an afterthought, it was part of the plan.
Indeed, Thomas Joscelyn, a key author of the January 6 Report, noted that this overlap is in no way new and reminded that Jones and Owen Shroyer were in contact with the Proud Boys who are awaiting sentencing on their sedition conviction.
There is no firm dividing line between those orchestrating the political conspiracy to overturn the election and the extremists who led the attack on the Capitol.
He cited back to the passage of the report describing that Jones’ entourage was in direct contact, in real time, with the Proud Boys, even as they kicked off the riot.
Other, more prominent members of the Proud Boys appear to have been in contact with Jones and Shroyer about the events of January 6th and on that day. Records for Enrique Tarrio’s phone show that while the attack on the Capitol was ongoing, he texted with Jones three times and Shroyer five times.124 Ethan Nordean’s phone records reflect that he exchanged 23 text messages with Shroyer between January 4th and 5th, and that he had one call with him on each of those days.125 Records of Joseph Biggs’s communications show that he texted with Shroyer eight times on January 4th and called him at approximately 11:15 a.m. on January 6th, while Biggs and his fellow Proud Boys were marching at and around the Capitol.126
Those ties have remained close. Indeed, Jones and Shroyer — who were asked to lead Trump’s mob to the Capitol by someone in Trump’s immediate vicinity — have shared a lawyer, Norm Pattis, with former InfoWars employee and seditionist Joe Biggs for over a year; Pattis has also even taken over the defense of Zach Rehl.
But the limited visibility J6C had on that key node, the Jones entourage (largely because of their obstruction), ultimately prevented it from connecting all the dots and indeed the full extent of those dots remains obscure.
Even before you add Chesebro to the equation, in that entourage you had Jones who understood he was sent to lead the mob by Trump himself (J6C concludes it must have been conveyed through Caroline Wren, though for reasons I included in this post, that’s not entirely convincing). You had Shroyer, who shared that understanding, and who was coordinating with those launching the attack. And in addition to his frequent updates from Wren and coordination with Garrett Ziegler (now a central player in the Hunter Biden information operation led by Rudy Giuliani), Ali Alexander was also coordinating closely with Paul Gosar’s office — the guy who’d kick off the challenges. And all of them have exceptionally close ties to Roger Stone, including membership in the Friends of Stone list.
And, as CapitolHunters reminded in response to this coverage — and backed with a new researcher-compiled video of Jones’ movements that day — Jones played an absolutely central role in the success of the attack, first by bringing reinforcements to those leading the attack, and then, once he got there, by leading a huge chunk of those mobsters to the East side of the Capitol, where they’d serve a crucial role in a second, pincer attack on the building.
The convergence of first Jones and then key members of two militias on the East doors is the easiest place to see that the attack on the Capitol wasn’t random, but — at least in key movements — was fairly well executed. That convergence — and collection of evidence showing the import of Jones’ actions, for which people have already done time — has been an investigative focus from the start.
And Chesebro was there, capturing Jones’ actions.
Jones is a blowhorn-wielding asshole. But he commands almost the same kind of rabid loyalty as Trump does (Alexander estimated that a third of the attendees that day were Jones’ people). And via whatever means (the new Jones compilation video makes me wonder about potential uneven understanding of the events of the day, between Jones, Alexander, and Jones’ handlers) Jones played a central role in events of the day.
That entourage was a bunch of men checking in with at least Wren and possibly Ziegler, with Gosar’s office, and with the Proud Boys as they launched the attack on the Capitol. That entourage led a mob from the Ellipse, and then wittingly or not, deployed the mob where they would be the most effective, right there on the East steps before a second major breach would occur.
That’s the background one should bring to the images showing Chesebro, someone always associated with the plotting in the Willard, filming Jones as that entourage moved around the Capitol.
It’s not clear who sent him or why. NYT quotes a Jones lawyer — probably the same lawyer that Jones, Shroyer, Biggs, and Rehl share, Norm Pattis — disclaiming any knowledge of why Chesebro was shadowing Jones that day (though, given Jones’ paranoia and Shroyer’s pending sentencing, I’d find the denial more credible if Jones were squawking about being spied on by the Deep State).
It remains unclear why Mr. Chesebro was with Mr. Jones’s group outside the Capitol or how he came to be with them. A lawyer for Mr. Jones said that Mr. Jones was unaware that Mr. Chesebro had been following his entourage that day.
Plus, at one point, Chesebro seems to share something on his phone with a member of Jones’ security.
It is clear that Chesebro is not participating in the riot. Chesebro never indulges in the kind of fan worship of Jones as everyone else following him around does. Nor does he ever get distracted by the far more significant spectacle happening just yards away. He appears to be, at a minimum, monitoring Jones (though CapitolHunters pointed to some mannerisms that could be the kind of signaling as other things seen in the crime scene footage). And when Jones leaves, Chesebro follows. Chesebro continues to monitor — and film — as Jones seeds a conspiracy theory about the attack being launched by provocateurs on his way out (Michael Coudrey is a key Alexander associate, another member of the entourage).
We have seen that members of both the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers monitored the proceedings of the attack remotely, with Proud Boy leaders — including Tarrio and Bertino — chiming into the command and control from afar. It may be that’s what we’re seeing here.
After thirty months of hypervisibility, it’s easy to forget that there were actually pockets of the attack (inside offices without surveillance cameras and under the scaffolding are two of them) that could only be rendered visible by the cameras of others onsite, making their own recording. There are parts of Jones’ movement — which his own entourage recorded with a GoPro and at least one phone — that he subsequently edited.
The actions of Ken Chesebro suggest that someone wanted to make sure Jones’ movements at the Capitol would be visible, possibly to people monitoring the attack remotely, perhaps even in real time. Indeed, given that we’ve never seen this footage published on Parler, it suggests someone wanted a record of Jones’ real-time movement for private consumption.
The two indictments implicating Ken Chesebro have brought new visibility to him, and his actions. The discovery of Chesebro monitoring Jones’ activities during the attack have made aspects of the coordination behind this attack visible to TV lawyers for the first time. But amid all that newfound visibility, it’s worth remembering that some people knew to — and did — monitor all this in real time.
Update: I may have overstated when I claimed that Chesebro hadn’t cheered Jones. At the very beginning of this clip, Chesebro (in the far left of the frame) yells out, “Alex Jones” with the rest inaudible to me.