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.