Posts

“This is not reverse RICO!” Shane Jenkins Gives Away John Pierce’s Game

John Pierce, the trial attorney who is attempting to represent up to 18 January 6 defendants while lying in a COVID ward, seems to have found three kinds of clients for himself (I’ve included a roster below). There are a bunch of Proud Boys and other militia members who might serve as a kind of firewall for Joe Biggs and Enrique Tarrio. There are a handful of people charged with trespassing who have said outlandish things in the past about January 6. And there are three defendants with criminal records accused of assaulting cops. Two of those three, Peter Schwartz and Shane Jenkins, (the other is James McGrew) had hearings today to figure out what to do with their defense attorney who already had too much on his plate before getting COVID.

The hearings didn’t provide much more clarity into what has happened with Pierce. The same unbarred, indicted associate, Ryan Marshall, whom Judge Amit Mehta ordered last week to find a member of the DC bar to show up today appeared, alone in the first hearing and with a Bankruptcy lawyer who is not a member of the DC bar for the second. Marshall revealed they were trying to get an outside attorney to sign a contract to help represent all these defendants. That attorney is not the bankruptcy lawyer though, who just offered to fill in when she heard about the troubles in the news. Mehta asked Marshall about Pierce’s partner, Bainbridge (with whom Marshall purportedly works), but Marshall said he had never met him.

Marshall did admit Pierce is very sick and had spent most of yesterday sleeping. He said Pierce expects to get out in a week, but that was based on Pierce’s own representation, not anything someone with medical expertise said. Marshall said Pierce is not (now?) on a ventilator.

But when it came time to ask what Schwartz wanted to do about this, he revealed Marshall hadn’t spoken to him all week. He claimed this was the first he heard about it. He reeled off a bunch of complaints — a spider bite, old contacts, poor medical care — but in spite of a long, long criminal record, didn’t seem to understand that’s what lawyers are for, to help air those complaints. Nor did he understand that he doesn’t have the uncontested ability to refuse to waive Speedy Trial, particularly not when the bozo lawyer he has chosen to represent him goes AWOL.

Things were a bit different with Shane Jenkins, for whom “Pierce” filed a notice of appearance from the hospital (Marshall explained a paralegal had done it on Pierce’s instructions). Plus, Marshall had at least spoken to Jenkins to reassure him it’s a good idea to hire Pierce even though he’s hospitalized.

After Judge Mehta decided it was prudent to leave Maria Jacobs, the public defender currently representing Jenkins, on the job until someone actually qualified to practice law in DC showed up, Jenkins had his say.

Like Schwartz, he insisted he won’t waive Speedy Trial (as with Schwartz, Mehta waived it for a few weeks). Like Schwartz, he complained about the discovery he had gotten.

But — particularly given Pierce’s earlier claims about wanting to do a Public Authority defense — the specific claims Jenkins made about discovery were genuinely enlightening (these are my live-tweets).

Several questions about discovery. I received cracked disc that no longer works. Edited videos that exclude very important information. If these were used before GJ, that’s deception.

Jenkins claims there was a murder being covered up by DOJ, or suppressed by DOJ. “I’d love to proceed to trial, the facts prove the truth, I look forward to DOJ laying facts on table, full discovery, not interested in waiving BRady. This is not reverse RICO.”

Jenkins apparently claims to believe that the videos of his alleged assaults were edited to hide a murder, apparently committed by the police, on the West Terrace of Capitol. He appears to be claiming that he was retaliating for that murder.

With Ryan Samsel (who wisely fired Pierce in late July), Samsel seemed to have made coached claims about who assaulted him in jail, something that has not yet been publicly confirmed, though the public and totally believable story blames the guards. It’s not surprising, though, that someone who is a trial attorney and not a defense attorney, would encourage his clients to make public claims accusing the government.

But what Jenkins did was interesting precisely because Pierce claimed, when he announced he was going to mount a Public Authority defense, that he needed all the video.

He’s going to get all the video. Every January 6 defendant will get it.

And none of it will show that cops committed a murder on the West Terrace.

But Jenkins at least suggested that he plans to defend himself against assaults clearly shown on video by claiming that the real videos show cops killing peaceful Trump supporters.


Even as that has been going on, however, Pierce has been convincing one after another January 6 defendant to let him represent them. The following list is organized by the date — in bold — when Pierce first filed an appearance for that defendant (I’ll probably update this list as Pierce adds more defendants):

1. Christopher Worrell: Christopher Worrell is a Proud Boy from Florida arrested on March 12. Worrell traveled to DC for the December MAGA protest, where he engaged in confrontational behavior targeting a journalist. He and his girlfriend traveled to DC for January 6 in vans full of Proud Boys paid for by someone else. He was filmed spraying pepper spray at cops during a key confrontation before the police line broke down and the initial assault surged past. Worrell was originally charged for obstruction and trespassing, but later indicted for assault and civil disorder and trespassing (dropping the obstruction charge). He was deemed a danger, in part, because of a 2009 arrest for impersonating a cop involving “intimidating conduct towards a total stranger in service of taking the law into his own hands.” Pierce first attempted to file a notice of appearance on March 18. Robert Jenkins (along with John Kelly, from Pierce’s firm) is co-counsel on the case. Since Pierce joined the team, he has indulged Worrell’s claims that he should not be punished for assaulting a cop, but neither that indulgence nor a focus on Worrell’s non-Hodgkins lymphoma nor an appeal succeeded at winning his client release from pre-trial detention. While he has been hospitalized with COVID, Pierce submitted some filings attempting to get Worrell out of jail because he’s not getting medical care; the most recent filing not only thrice misstated what jail Worrell is in, but also admitted he has refused treatment at least five times.

2. William Pepe: William Pepe is a Proud Boy charged in a conspiracy with Dominic Pezzola and Matthew Greene for breaching the initial lines of defense and, ultimately, the first broken window of the Capitol. Pepe was originally arrested on January 11, though is out on bail. Pierce joined Robert Jenkins on William Pepe’s defense team on March 25. By April, Pierce was planning on filing some non-frivolous motions (to sever his case from Pezzola, to move it out of DC, and to dismiss the obstruction count), but not much has happened since.

3. Paul Rae: Rae is another of Pierce’s Proud Boy defendants and his initial complaint suggested Rae could have been (and could still be) added to the conspiracy indictments against the Proud Boys already charged. He was indicted along with Arthur Jackman for obstruction and trespassing; both tailed Joe Biggs on January 6, entering the building from the East side after the initial breach. Pierce filed to join Robert Jenkins in defending Rae on March 30.

4. Stephanie Baez: On June 9, Pierce filed his appearance for Stephanie Baez. Pierce’s interest in Baez’ case makes a lot of sense. Baez, who was arrested on trespassing charges on June 4, seems to have treated the January 6 insurrection as an opportunity to shop for her own Proud Boy boyfriend. Plus, she’s attractive, unrepentant, and willing to claim there was no violence on January 6. Baez was formally charged with trespassing on August 4.

Victoria White: If I were prosecutors, I’d be taking a closer look at White to try to figure out why John Pierce decided to represent her (if it’s not already clear to them; given the timing, it may simply be because he believed he needed a few women defendants to tell the story he wants to tell). White was detained briefly on January 6 then released, and then arrested on April 8 on civil disorder and trespassing charges. At one point on January 6, she was filmed trying to dissuade other rioters from breaking windows, but then she was filmed close to and then in the Tunnel cheering on some of the worst assault. Pierce filed his notice of appearance in White’s case on June 10. On September 3, White told Judge Faruqui she didn’t want Pierce to represent her anymore.

Ryan Samsel: After consulting with Joe Biggs, Ryan Samsel kicked off the riot by approaching the first barriers and — with several other defendants — knocking over a female cop, giving her a concussion. He was arrested on January 30 and is still being held on his original complaint charging him with assault and civil disorder. He’s obviously a key piece to the investigation and for some time it appeared the government might have been trying to persuade him that the way to minimize his significant exposure (he has an extensive criminal record) would be to cooperate against people like Biggs. But then he was brutally assaulted in jail. Detainees have claimed a guard did it, and given that Samsel injured a cop, that wouldn’t be unheard of. But Samsel seemed to say in a recent hearing that the FBI had concluded it was another detainee. In any case, the assault set off a feeding frenzy among trial attorneys seeking to get a piece of what they imagine will be a huge lawsuit against BOP (as it should be if a guard really did assault him). Samsel is now focused on getting medical care for eye and arm injuries arising from the assault. And if a guard did do this, then it would be a key part of any story Pierce wanted to tell. After that feeding frenzy passed, Pierce filed an appearance on June 14, with Magistrate Judge Zia Faruqui releasing his prior counsel on June 25. Samsel is a perfect defendant for Pierce, though (like Rittenhouse), the man badly needs a serious defense attorney. Update: On July 27, Samsel informed Magistrate Judge Zia Faruqui that he would be retaining new counsel.

5. James McGrew: McGrew was arrested on May 28 for assault, civil disorder, obstruction, and trespassing, largely for some fighting with cops inside the Rotunda. His arrest documents show no ties to militias, though his arrest affidavit did reference a 2012 booking photo. Pierce filed his appearance to represent McGrew on June 16.

Alan Hostetter: John Pierce filed as Hostetter’s attorney on June 24, not long after Hostetter was indicted with five other Three Percenters in a conspiracy indictment paralleling those charging the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys. Hostetter was also active in Southern California’s anti-mask activist community, a key network of January 6 participants. Hostetter and his defendants spoke more explicitly about bringing arms to the riot, and his co-defendant Russell Taylor spoke at the January 5 rally. On August 3, Hostetter replaced Pierce.

6, 7, 8. On June 30, Pierce filed to represent David Lesperance, and James and Casey Cusick. As I laid out here, the FBI arrested the Cusicks, a father and son that run a church, largely via information obtained from Lesperance, their parishioner. They are separately charged (Lesperance, James Cusick, Casey Cusick), all with just trespassing. The night before the riot, father and son posed in front of the Trump Hotel with a fourth person besides Lesperance (though Lesperance likely took the photo).

9. Kenneth Harrelson: On July 1, Pierce filed a notice of appearance for Harrelson, who was first arrested on March 10. Leading up to January 6, Harrelson played a key role in Oath Keepers’ organizing in Florida, particularly meetings organized on GoToMeeting. On the day of the riot, Kelly Meggs had put him in charge of coordinating with state teams. Harrelson was on the East steps of the Capitol with Jason Dolan during the riot, as if waiting for the door to open and The Stack to arrive; with whom he entered the Capitol. With Meggs, Harrelson moved first towards the Senate, then towards Nancy Pelosi’s office. When the FBI searched his house upon his arrest, they found an AR-15 and a handgun, as well as a go-bag with a semi-automatic handgun and survivalist books, including Ted Kaczynski’s writings. Harrelson attempted to delete a slew of his Signal texts, including a video he sent Meggs showing the breach of the East door. Pierce attempted to get Harrelson out on bail by joining in the bail motion of one of his co-defendants, which may either show how little he knows about defense work or how little he cares.

10. Leo Brent Bozell IV: It was, perhaps, predictable that Pierce would add Bozell to his stable of defendants. “Zeeker” Bozell is the scion of a right wing movement family including his father who has made a killing by attacking the so-called liberal media, and his grandfather, who was a speech writer for Joseph McCarthy. Because Bozell was released on personal recognizance there are details of his actions on January 6 that remain unexplained. But he made it to the Senate chamber, and while there, made efforts to prevent CSPAN cameras from continuing to record the proceedings. He was originally arrested on obstruction and trespassing charges on February 12; his indictment added an abetting the destruction of government property charge, the likes of which have been used to threaten a terrorism enhancement against militia members. Pierce joined Bozell’s defense team (thus far it seems David B. Deitch will remain on the team) on July 6.

11. Nate DeGrave: The night before DeGrave’s quasi co-conspirator Josiah Colt pled guilty, July 13, Pierce filed a notice of appearance for Nate DeGrave. DeGrave helped ensure both the East Door and the Senate door remained open.

12. Nathaniel Tuck: On July 19, Pierce filed a notice of appearance for Nathaniel Tuck, the Florida former cop Proud Boy.

13. Kevin Tuck: On July 20, Pierce filed a notice of appearance for Kevin Tuck, Nathaniel’s father and still an active duty cop when he was charged.

14. Peter Schwartz: On July 26, Pierce filed a notice of appearance for Peter Schwartz, the felon out on COVID-release who maced some cops.

15. Jeramiah Caplinger: On July 26, Pierce filed a notice of appearance for Jeramiah Caplinger, who drove from Michigan and carried a flag on a tree branch through the Capitol.

Deborah Lee: On August 23, Pierce filed a notice of appearance for Deborah Lee, who was arrested on trespass charges months after her friend Michael Rusyn. On September 2, Lee chose to be represented by public defender Cara Halverson.

16. Shane Jenkins: On August 25, Pierce colleague Ryan Marshall showed up at a status hearing for Jenkins and claimed a notice of appearance for Pierce had been filed the night before. In that same hearing, he revealed that Pierce was in a hospital with COVID, even claiming he was on a ventilator and not responsive. The notice of appearance was filed, using Pierce’s electronic signature, on August 30, just as DOJ started sending out notices that all Pierce cases were on hold awaiting signs of life. Jenkins is a felon accused of bringing a tomahawk to the Capitol and participating in the Lower West Tunnel assaults on cops.

The Hundred-Plus January 6 Defendants Accused of Assault

Yesterday, Merrick Garland marked two milestones in the January 6 investigation: 500 arrests, of which 100 were for assaulting police.

The Department of Justice reached several benchmarks in our investigation into the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol.

We have now crossed the threshold of 500 arrests, including the 100th arrest of a defendant on charges of assaulting a federal law enforcement officer. This morning, we arrested our first defendant on charges that include assaulting a member of the news media.

I could not be more proud of the extraordinary effort by investigators and prosecutors to hold accountable those who engaged in criminal acts that day. Particular credit goes to those serving as prosecutors and agents in Washington, D.C., as well as those in FBI field offices and U.S. Attorney’s Offices across the country, and with the Department’s National Security Division.

Our efforts to bring criminal charges are not possible without the continued assistance of the American public. To date, we have received their more than 200,000 digital tips.

I assure the American people that the Department of Justice will continue to follow the facts in this case and charge what the evidence supports to hold all January 6th perpetrators accountable.

I’ve been tracking the charged assaults (and a few related crimes). Here’s my list, which includes several people who really resisted arrest (but got charged under 18 USC 111). Note this list also tracks how the FBI identified the defendant, which shows that FBI has been relying on “Be On the Lookout” photos to identify assailants. As of right now, all these defendants have pled NOT guilty and are assumed innocent. [fixed typo]

As you read this list, keep in mind that FBI has released 410 BOLOs, most for assault, and well over 200 of those people remain at large. And of course, the FBI has not yet apprehended the pipe bomber.

  1. Daniel Page Adams, whose arrest affidavit describes engaging in a “direct struggle with [unnamed] law enforcement officers” (his cousin, Cody Connell, described the exchange as a “civil war”). Tip SM
  2. Zachary Alam, who pushed cops around as he was trying to break into the Speaker’s Lobby. BOLO 79
  3. Michael Alberts, who was arrested for gun possession the day of the riot but who had an assault charge added in a superseding indictment
  4. Wilmar Alvarado, who pushed cops in the mob trying to get in from the West Terrace. BOLO 65
  5. John Anderson, who after taking two riot shields from cops, needed their assistance after getting maced.
  6. Thomas Ballard, who used a police baton and threw a table in the Lower West Terrace. BOLO 325
  7. Logan Barnhart, who pulled one of the cops out of the Capitol.
  8. Craig Bingert, who allegedly helped shove cops with a barricade. BOLO 105
  9. Brian Glenn Bingham, who scuffled with two cops after Ashli Babbitt got shot. BOLO 93
  10. David Blair, who poked a cop with a lacrosse stick with a Confederate flag attached. Onsite arrest
  11. Michael Brock, who hit two cops with a four-foot rod. BOLO 319
  12. Nicholas James Brockhoff, who sprayed a fire extinguisher from the Terrace at cops. BOLO 255
  13. Benjamin Burlew, who participated in a 6-person assault on an AP journalist.
  14. Jamie Buteau, whom surveillance video showed throwing chairs at cops several times in the Capitol. (BOLO 188)
  15. Alan Byerly, who allegedly beat up a cop and then beat up an AP cameraman. BOLO 193
  16. Daniel Caldwell, who was filmed macing 15 cops. SM
  17. Steven Cappuccio, who pulled Daniel Hodge’s gas mask and beat him with his own baton. BOLO 123
  18. Matthew Caspel, who was filmed charging the National Guard. Tip SM
  19. William Chrestman, who is accused of threatening a cop as Proud Boys pushed their way past the original line of defense (charged with 18 USC 115). NM
  20. Reed Christensen, who was videotaped swinging at cops. BOLO and video 191
  21. Luke Coffee, who was videotaped beating several cops with a crutch. Tip SM and BOLO 108
  22. Cody Connell, who with his cousin was in a direct confrontation with cops. Tip SM
  23. Lance Copeland, who admitted to fighting with cops on the barricades.
  24. Matthew Council, who was arresting for shoving cops the day of the riot.
  25. Kevin Creek, who was filmed hitting and kicking officers on the West Terrace. BOLO 296
  26. Bruno Cua, who was filmed shoving a cop to be able to get into the Senate. Tip LE
  27. Matthew DaSilva, who fought over shields with cops in the Lower West Terrace. BOLO 230
  28. James Davis, the Proud Boy with a big stick who charged some cops.
  29. Nathan DeGrave, whom security cameras caught threatening to fight cops. Network Sandlin
  30. David Dempsey, a Proud Boy with a history of assaulting anti-Trump protestors who used a crutch to assault police in the Tunnel. Sedition Hunters
  31. Josh Doolin, who is part of Johnny Pollack’s cell that assaulted multiple cops. Network Pollack
  32. Michael Eckerman, who pushed an officer down a small flight of stairs, thereby opening a new hallyway. Tip anon
  33. Daniel Egdvedt, a large man who took swipes and grabbed at several officers as they tried to remove him from the Capitol. BOLO 76
  34. Scott Fairlamb, who was caught in multiple videos shoving and punching officers (one who whom is identified but not named); Cori Bush has said she was threatened by him last summer. Tips, including SM
  35. Joseph Fischer, a cop who got in a tussle with another cop. Tip SM
  36. Kyle Fitzsimons, who charged officers guarding the doorway of the Capitol. BOLO 139
  37. Michael Foy, a former Marine who was caught on multiple videos beating multiple cops with a hockey stick. Tip SM
  38. Kevin Galetto, who allegedly knocked an MPD officer to the ground in the Tunnel. BOLO 146
  39. Robert Giswein, who appears to have ties to the Proud Boys and used a bat to beat cops. NM
  40. Vitali Gossjankowski, who was interviewed about whether he had tased MPD officer Michael Fanone, causing a heart attack; instead he was charged with assaulting CPD officer MM. BOLO 98 — with a second one mentioned
  41. Daniel Gray, who got into several confrontations with officers inside the Capitol, including knocking down a female cop. Tip SM
  42. Brian Gunderson, charged with assault while committing a felony on a superseding.
  43. Alex Harkrider, who after being filmed fighting with police at the door of the Capitol, posted a picture with a crowbar labeled, “weapon;” he was charged with abetting Ryan Nichols’ assault. Tip SM
  44. Richard Harris, who assaulted a journalist in Oregon weeks before threatening cops, Nancy Pelosi, and Mike Pence during the riot.
  45. Uliyahu Hayah, who was in the vicinity of Ashli Babbitt’s death and shoved a cop on his way out. NM
  46. Albuquerque Cosper Head, accused of assaulting Michael Fanone.
  47. Dillon Herrington, who threw a 4X4 at cops, then threw a barrier. Sedition Hunters picture
  48. Joseph Hutchison, who is part of Johnny Pollack’s group, but who was caught via his own BOLO. BOLO 320
  49. Emanuel Jackson, whom videos caught punching one officer, and others show beating multiple officers with a metal baseball bat. BOLO 31
  50. Shane Jenkins, alleged to have used a crowbar to break in a window, later threw things including a pole, a desk drawer, and a flagpole at cops.
  51. Douglas Jensen, the QAnon who chased Officer Goodman up the stairs, got charged with resisting him. NM, BOLO 10
  52. Taylor Johnatakis, charged with 111.
  53. Paul Johnson, who carried a bullhorn and was in the initial assault from the west side with Ryan Samsel. BOLO 49
  54. David Judd, who threw a firecracker at cops in the tunnel. Tip and BOLO 137
  55. Julian Elie Khater, who allegedly sprayed Brian Sicknick and two others with very powerful bear spray. BOLO 190
  56. Freddie Klein, the State Department employee who fought with three different officers while trying to break through police lines. BOLO 136
  57. Edward Jacob Lang, who identified himself in a screen cap of a violent mob attacking cops and who was filmed slamming a riot shield into police and later fighting them with a red baseball bat. Tip SM
  58. Nicholas Languerand, accused of throwing a bollard, a can of pepper spray, and a stick at cops in the Lower West Tunnel.
  59. Samuel Lazar, who was caught on video spraying chemicals and cops and claimed to be the tip of the spear.
  60. Mark Jefferson Leffingwell, whom a Capitol Police officer described in an affidavit punching him. Onsite arrest
  61. Joshua Lollar, who described fighting cops and was caught in pictures showing himself in the front lines confronting cops. Tip SM
  62. Michael Lopatic, who allegedly assaulted some cops with Stager and Sabol, then took a BWC to hide the assault. BOLO 133
  63. Clifford Mackrell, who attempted to strip an officer’s gas mask after someone else sprayed bear spray. BOLO 124
  64. Logan McAbee, who was part of a gang assault on a cop pulled out of the Capitol.
  65. Patrick Edward McCaughey III, who was filmed crushing MPD Officer Daniel Hodges in one of the doors to the Capitol. BOLO 62
  66. James McGrew, who shoved some cops in the Rotunda then bared his King James belly tattoo, Tip Network
  67. Sean McHugh, accused of spraying some yellow substance at cops and using a sign as a battering ram, BOLO 59
  68. Jeffrey McKellop, a former Special Forces guy accused of assaulting 4 cops, including one by using a flagpole as a spear. BOLO 215
  69. David Mehaffie, who directed the assaults in the Tunnel
  70. Jonathan Mellis, who used some kind of stick to try to jab and beat police. Tip SM
  71. Jalise Middleton
  72. Mark Middleton, the Middletons fought the cops outside the West entrance to the Capitol. BWC
  73. Garret Miller, who pushed back at cops and then threatened both AOC and the cop who killed Ashli Babbit. Tip LE
  74. Matthew Ryan Miller, who released fire extinguisher in close quarters. Tip SM
  75. Jordan Mink, who used a pole to assault the police.
  76. Brian Mock, who kicked a cop when he was down and bragged about it. BOLO and Tip SM
  77. Patrick Montgomery was charged with assault against MPD officer DJ in a follow-up indictment.
  78. Robert Morss, who in addition to tussling with a cop, was a key organizer of shield walls in the Tunnel. BOLO 147
  79. Aaron Mostofsky, possibly for stripping a cop of his or her armored vest and riot shield. NM
  80. Clayton Mullins, alleged to be part of the mob that assaulted AW and two other police. Tip
  81. Jonathan Munafo, alleged to have fought with cops in two different locations, including punching one in the Lower West Terrace. (BOLO and video 170)
  82. Ryan Nichols, who was filmed wielding a crowbar and yelling, “This is not a peaceful protest,” then spraying pepper spray against police trying to prevent entry to the Capitol. Tip SM
  83. Grady Owens, who allegedly hit a cop in the head on the Mall with a skateboard, as he was heading to reinforce the Capitol. BOLO 109
  84. Jason Owens, accused of assaulting a second officer after his son attacked one with a skateboard. Network Owens
  85. Jose Padilla, who shoved cops at a barricade, then helped use a Donald Trump sign as a battering ram against them. Tip SM
  86. Robert Palmer, who sprayed cops with a fire extinguisher then threw it at them.
  87. Michael Perkins, who is part of the Pollack group. Network Pollack
  88. Dominic Pezzola, a Proud Boy who stole a shield from cops. NM and BOLO 43
  89. Johnny Pollack, who serially assaulted cops and then went on the lam. BOLO 144
  90. Olivia Pollack, Johnny’s sister who also allegedly punched a cop. Pollack network
  91. Mark Ponder, filmed repeatedly attacking cops with poles.
  92. Christopher Quaglin, accused of assaulting cops both at the initial breach of the barriers and later in the Lower West Terrace.
  93. Stephen Chase Randolph, who shoved cops at the initial barricade and later bragged about a female cop’s head bouncing off the pavement. BOLO 168
  94. Daniel Rodriguez, whom videos appear to show tasing Michael Fanone. Sedition Hunter-based reporting
  95. Edward Rodriguez, who sprayed pepper spray at cops while wearing a suit. Sedition Hunter-based reporting
  96. Greg Rubeacker, Tip SM
  97. Jeffrey Sabol, helped drag a cop from the Capitol and beat him while prone. LE arrest (erratic driving)
  98. Ryan Samsel, who set off the riot by giving a cop a concussion; he appears to have coordinated with Joe Biggs. BOLO 51 (though not IDed by BOLO)
  99. Salvador Sandoval, Jr, who went to the insurrection with his mother and shoved some cops.
  100. Robert Sanford, who was filmed hitting Capitol Police Officer William Young on the head with a fire extinguisher. Tip NM
  101. Ronald Sandlin, who tried to wrestle cops to keep the door to the Senate open. MPD tip
  102. Troy Sargent, who appears to have punched some cops holding a line. Tip SM
  103. Peter Schwartz, a felon who maced several cops. Tip NM (BOLO 120)
  104. Dan Scott, AKA Milkshake, who shoved some cops in the initial assault. Network.
  105. Christian Secor, a UCLA self-described fascist who helped shove through some cops to break into the Capitol and then sat in the Senate chamber. Tip NM
  106. DJ Shalvey. The details of the assault charged against Shalvey are not public, but he did get charged for lying about it to the FBI.
  107. Barton Wade Shively, who pushed and shoved some police trying to get into the Capitol, punched another, then struck one of those same cops later and kicked another. BOLO 55
  108. Thomas Sibick, accused of being among a group of men who attacked Michael Fanone and stole his badge.
  109. Geoffrey Sills, alleged to have used both a pole and a baton in several assaults on cops in the tunnel.
  110. Audrey Southard-Rumsey, the talented singer deemed one of the main agitators in the Statuary Hall Connector. Tip SM
  111. Peter Francis Stager, who was involved in beating a prone cop with a flagpole. Tip SM
  112. Ezekial Stecher, whom videos showed pushing in the Lower West Tunnel.
  113. Tristan Stevens, who fought cops with a shield and baton. Video
  114. Isaac Sturgeon, who is accused of using a barricade to attack some officers.
  115. Andrew Taake, who is accused to have used a metal whip and pepper spray against the cops. Tip SM
  116. George Pierre Tanios, who allegedly conspired with Julian Khater to attack Brian Sicknick and two other cops. BOLO 254
  117. Kenneth Joseph Owen Thomas, who organized a MAGA Caravan from AL and then selfied himself attacking cops. BOLO 214
  118. Christopher Warnagiris, the Marine Major who fought to keep the East door open. BOLO 241
  119. Thomas Webster, who attacked a cop with a flagpole. BOLO 145
  120. Wade Whitten, accused of dragging AW down the steps of the Capitol and hitting him with a crutch. BOLO 130
  121. Ricky Willden, who allegedly sprayed cops with a chemical.
  122. Duke Wilson, accused of assaulting several officers in the Lower West Tunnel. BOLO 87
  123. Jason Woods, who allegedly used the same tripping attack on a female cop and a cameraman. BOLO 238
  124. Christopher Worrell, a Proud Boy who apparently sprayed pepper spray at a line of police.
  125. Kyle Young, accused of attacking Michael Fanone and another officer, and stealing Fanone’s weapon.

FBI and DHS Aren’t Using the Free Expertise on Right Wing Terrorism While Looking to Pay for It

There was a remarkable moment in the Homeland Security/Rules hearing on January 6 the other day. Krysten Sinema asked whether FBI knew of the conversations on social media where people were openly planning for insurrection. FBI’s Assistant Director for Counterterrorism, Jill Sanborn, explained they did not know of them because the Bureau couldn’t collect on the social media of Americans without a predicated investigation.

Krysten Sinema: Was the FBI aware of these specific conversations on social media?

Jill Sanborn: To my knowledge, no ma’am, and I’ll just sort of articulate why that is. So under our authorities, because, being mindful of the First Amendment and our dual-hatted mission to uphold the Constitution, we cannot collect First Amendment protected activities without, sort of the next step, which is the intent, and so we’d have to have an already-predicated investigation that allowed us access to those comms and/or a lead or a tip or a report from a community citizen or a fellow law enforcement partner for us to gather that information.

Sinema: So the FBI does not monitor publicly-available social media conversations?

Sanborn: Correct, ma’am, it’s not within our authorities.

For what it’s worth, Sanborn’s first comment was about collecting on social media. Sinema then treated that as a limitation on monitoring it (and Sanborn didn’t correct her). Still, Sanborn explained away FBI’s failure to see the insurrection many of the rest of us were seeing develop in real time by saying that discovering it would have required tracking Americans’ protected speech.

A more revealing moment came elsewhere, when Sanborn revealed that just one person who has been arrested in the wake of the attack had already been under investigation. That means, in spite of the Proud Boys’ threat, with Roger Stone, against Amy Berman Jackson two years ago, the FBI didn’t have an enterprise investigation into them (or the Oath Keepers or a range of other extremist organizations involved in the attack). So, because the FBI was not investigating the Proud Boys, the Proud Boys were able to plan an insurrection in plain sight.

That has changed, of course.

Later in the hearing, Mark Warner — citing all the FBI’s warnings in recent years about what a lethal threat white supremacist terrorism is — asked both Sanborn and the woman currently running DHS’ Office of Intelligence and Analysis, Melissa Smislova, what they’re doing to improve things and whether they’re using any of the open source experts out there.

Sanborn talked about working with “partners” (which I took to mean social media companies) and Fusion centers. Smislova revealed that DHS is looking to contract with experts on the topic, rather than read what those experts produce on a regular basis.

Mark Warner: I appreciate Ms. Sanborn’s appropriate response that they not arbitrarily collect off of American citizens if there’s not some nexus, but I do think it’s important, I think others have mentioned this that Domestic Violent Extremists didn’t start with January 6. They didn’t start with Donald Trump. They’re not going to end with January 6. They’re not going to end with Donald Trump. In my state we saw, a few year’s back, the Unite the Right rally at Charlottesville where many of these same groups and affiliations came together in another violent effort where one protestor was killed, we unfortunately lost a couple members of our State Police. Director Wray has repeatedly said in testimony before the Intelligence Committee, the Worldwide Threat Assessment, that Domestic Violent Extremists are a major national security threat to this country. I personally believe that that message was downplayed during the previous Administration because they didn’t want to hear it. I want to start with Ms. Smislova and Assistant Director Sanborn — Director Sanborn it’s great to see you again — is that, recognizing the constraints that are placed upon you in terms of collections, and also acknowledging that this threat has been around for some time. The FBI in particular has acknowledged that it is an extraordinary major severe threat, what have you both been able to do in engaging in open source intelligence and independent research communities to better identify these DVEs. I know in the run-up to the January 6 insurrection there was research done by Harvard’s John Donovan and Elon University’s Megan Squire as well as other researchers that pointed to the fact that these DVEs and affiliated groups, oftentimes groups that are working in conjunction with groups in Europe, were planning this effort. So how are you both, DHS and FBI, utilizing these independent researchers, these open source activities, and making sure we’ve got a better handle on it, recognizing your appropriate constraints on what you can do directly?

Melissa Smislova: Yes, Senator, thank you for the question. We just last week met as, as inside I&A, to discuss contracting with some of those experts outside. We are aware that we need to invest more in our understanding of Domestic Terror, we understand as well that it will require a different approach than a traditional Intelligence Community approach, we must use different sources to understand this threat, we are looking to get outside experts, invest more in-house, we are secondly looking at how to better understand the social media world, so we can better focus on where we might find specific and insightful information about what the adversary is thinking about. We are additionally looking to partner more with our state and local colleagues who we know have a different perspective on this threat and have more information, in some cases, than we do, and we are also, again, partnering more across the department and with our federal partners, increasing our relationships with FBI.

Warner: Ms. Sanborn?

Jill Sanborn: Thank you Senator, nice to see you again as well. I’d sort of say what we’re trying to do, and I’ll put it in three buckets, really, for you. Increasing our private sector is 100%, I have a section just inside my division that does nothing but partner engagement. We have found that the better we educate them on the threat we’re facing and painting a picture for them of what those threats we are, they’re better able to pay attention and collect and refer information to us and that is helpful and that’s when we talk about the fact that 50% of our tips and leads to our cases, or predication for our cases come from that relationship and that education. We’re also, same as my colleague said, using the state and local partners, so we leverage the Fusion centers a lot and their ability and their expertise — and the Orange County Fusion Center is a great example of leading, sort of, the analytics of social media and leveraging their expertise to predicate cases and they were actually behind the predication of the case, The Base, that we disrupted. And then last, I’d say, challenging ourselves for better collection inside, right, trying to point our sources and our collection to be in the right places to collect the intelligence that we need and that is what led to the Norfolk SIR, that is us pointing our collection in a space that gathered that information.

Warner: I have to tell you, respectfully, I’m pretty disappointed with both of your answers. This is not a new threat, we’ve seen since 2016 election how foreign adversaries manipulate social media, hear repeatedly from DHS and FBI that we’re going to get better at collecting. We saw the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville. We heard people say we’re gonna get better at collecting information and better partnering, neither one of your referenced — there’s literally a host of experts at academia, at organizations like Graphika, and others that are monitoring the DVEs and their activities, oftentimes in their connections to anti-government groups in Europe, again, oftentimes amplified by nations like Russia, and I guess we’re always going to get ready and we’re somehow surprised when we see the kind of chaos that took place on January 6th.

Mark Warner proceeded to chew out both FBI and DHS’s witnesses given that, even after he raised open source expertise available, neither mentioned relying on it.

I hope Warner is paying attention to Huffington Post’s recent reporting. On February 26, relying on the work of some anti-fascist researchers, HuffPo identified Danny Rodriguez as the likely culprit behind the tasing of DC cop Michael Fanone, which led him to suffer a mild heart attack. HuffPo also reported that the FBI had gotten tips IDing Rodriguez in January, but had done nothing to call those who submitted the tips until HuffPo called the Bureau for comment.

The man in the red “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN” hat seemed to think he was untouchable. He joined the mob as they yelled “HEAVE! HO!” and tried to force their way through a police line into the Capitol building. Once inside, he used a pole to ram against a window, trying to shatter it and bring more people into the Capitol. In the most disturbing footage of all, he was caught on camera appearing to shock D.C. Metropolitan Police Officer Mike Fanone with a stun gun. As rioters push Fanone down the stairs and away from other cops, video shows the man in the red cap pressing a small black device against the officer’s neck. Fanone instantly drops to the ground, swallowed by the mob.

[snip]

His assailant in the red MAGA hat, who has been at large since the insurrection, is 38-year-old Daniel Joseph Rodriguez from Fontana, California, HuffPost can confirm.

Rodriguez, who goes by “Danny” and “DJ,” is well known among Trump supporters in the Los Angeles area as a superfan of the former president. Multiple news outlets have featured him in their coverage of the local pro-Trump movement in recent years, in articles that included his name and photo. He regularly attended the weekly Trump rallies in Beverly Hills last year. He was recognizable there by his dark-rimmed glasses and the many distinctive pins on his hat, which has a big GOP elephant symbol on the brim.

[snip]

Two separate anti-fascist activists ― as well as a third witness who supported Trump and called himself a former friend of Rodriguez ― reviewed footage of the man at the Capitol and told HuffPost they recognized Rodriguez from the California rallies.

The FBI received tips about Rodriguez last month, including one from a man he assaulted on video at a Los Angeles-area rally. But it wasn’t until hours after a HuffPost inquiry to the bureau for this story that the tipster heard from an FBI special agent with questions specifically about a man named “Danny Rodriguez.”

Then, yesterday, HuffPo revealed another case where a researcher sent in a tip only to have no visible response from the FBI. Shortly after January 20, SeditionHunter “Amy” identified Robert Scott Palmer as the guy in an American flag jacket who sprayed a fire extinguisher at cops.

With bright red and white stripes across his body and stars down his sleeves, the man in the American flag jacket and “FLORIDA FOR TRUMP” hat wielded a fire extinguisher while charging the U.S. Capitol on the afternoon of Jan. 6. He shoved his way through the crowd of rioters to the police line, then sprayed officers at close range before chucking the emptied canister at them. By nightfall he himself had been lightly harmed, apparently by a police crowd control munition. He held up his shirt to show off his bruised gut during an interview with a female journalist filming him live as cops pushed the mob back from Capitol grounds. Then he looked straight into her livestreaming device and identified himself as Robert Palmer from Clearwater, Florida.

[snip]

Palmer is now publicly on the FBI’s radar, though not by name. Three photos of him are featured on the bureau’s Capitol violence page, where he’s listed only as “#246 – AFO [Assault on Federal Officer].” But the images didn’t appear there until nearly a month after Amy had already tipped off the FBI about his identity.

#FloridaFlagJacket was used as a hashtag on Twitter less than a week after the Capitol attack, when Trump was still in office. Amy sent in a tip naming Palmer not long after President Joe Biden was inaugurated. His photos were finally added to the FBI database in late February.

It’s not just online researchers whose tips the FBI isn’t moving on quickly. On January 11, someone who knew Peter Schwartz as a felon who had gotten released from prison due to COVID, alerted the FBI that Schwartz had skipped out on his halfway house to attend the rally (the tipster was friends with Schwartz but Schwartz owed him money). The FBI subsequently identified Schwartz as the person who maced some cops.

On January 11, 2021, the FBI National Threat Operations Center (NTOC) received a tip from an individual (hereinafter W-1) who is personally acquainted with SCHWARTZ. In the tip, W-1 reported that “Pete SCHWARTZ” was involved in the Capitol riots. W-1 stated SCHWARTZ is a felon and was released from prison due to COVID-19. W-1 also stated that SCHWARTZ is employed as a traveling welder. According to W-1, SCHWARTZ was supposed to be at a rehabilitation facility in Owensboro, Kentucky on January 6, 2021. However, W-1 saw a picture of SCHWARTZ on the Capitol Building steps that appeared to have been taken on January 6, 2021. As part of the tip, W-1 also provided the Facebook URL for what he claimed was SCHWARTZ’s Facebook page. W-1 did not provide any other photographs, however. Due to the volume of tips provided to the FBI since January 6, 2021 – which stands at over 150,000 as of January 26, 2021 – the FBI was not able to immediately contact W-1 regarding the information that W-1 provided and did not immediately link SCHWARTZ to the individual who repeatedly maced officers at the Capitol.

Schwartz wasn’t arrested until February 4.

Still, that’s less time than these other tips.

The FBI, perhaps justifiably given the flood of data they’re dealing with, seems to value tips from suspects’ direct associates rather than online tipsters. The vast majority of tips they have acted on do come from people who know a suspect directly, often their family or friends or high school classmates.

But many of these researchers have been doing what FBI claims it cannot do (or could not before an insurrection gave them the predicated investigation permitting them to do so): connect the dots from public social media.

Instead, DHS is looking to pay people for the assistance people are trying to give the FBI for free.