Two of Diamonds: Capitol Insurrectionists – Trump & followers tried to overthrow our Founders’ system of liberal democracy. Full stop.


“For man, when perfected, is the best of animals, but when separated from law and justice, he is the worst of all; since armed injustice is the more dangerous, and he is equipped at birth with arms, meant to be used by intelligence and virtue, which he may use for the worse ends.”



“It’s easy to provoke and exploit violence without endorsing it. You just say the election was stolen, and the president’s followers take it from there. Then, after their rampage, you warn that any punishment of him might drive them to violence again.”

– Will Saletan


“People in that crowd said it was the most beautiful day they’ve ever experienced. There was love in that crowd. There was love and unity.”

–  Former president Donald Trump on the supporters he addressed the morning of Jan. 6, before they marched to the Capitol.


“History is a vast early warning system.”

 – Norman Cousins

“A healthy republic would not be debating whether Trump and his followers seek the overthrow of the Founders’ system of liberal democracy.”

– Robert Kagan


Follow the facts – there is no debate: Trump and his followers sought the overthrow of  our Founders’  system of liberal democracy.


Proof enough of former President Trump’s culpability for the January 6 insurrection?


In a hurry? See the following summaries prepared by PBS, The New Yorker and the New York Times . . . 


. . . and for a summary of the Jan. 6 Committee’s final meeting, see the following report


Next, read day-by-day accounts, and recall GOP ridiculous claim that insurrectionists were “tourists seeing the sights of Washington. D.C. “


Proof enough of former President Trump’s culpability for the January 6 insurrection?


From: PBS NewsHour <>
Date: March 29, 2022

There are other stories regarding Jan. 6 making headlines this week as well.

Trump phone records

  • Seven-hour phone gap. Thanks to more sleuthing from the Woodward and Costa team, the Washington Post reports there is a more than seven-hour gap in which White House records show no direct phone calls to or from Trump on Jan. 6, 2021.
  • Trump did speak on the phone during that time. Statements from lawmakers and other reporting make it clear that Trump did communicate with people via the phone during that hourslong stretch.
  • Committee questions. The committee is reportedly investigating whether Trump used other phones or back channels to communicate.



Yesterday, the Department of Justice indicted Henry “Enrique” Tarrio on a conspiracy charge in the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Tarrio is a leader of the far-right extremist Proud Boys, the white supremacists that former president Trump told to stand back and stand by in his September 2020 debate with Joe Biden. Tarrio was not at the Capitol itself on January 6th because a court had ordered him to leave the city the day before after destroying a Black Lives Matter banner at an earlier protest.

The indictment charges that before leaving the city, Tarrio met with Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes and others in a parking garage. He also texted with someone who talked about “revolution” and sent a plan called “1776 Returns″ that called for occupying “crucial buildings” in Washington with “as many people as possible.” Tarrio allegedly agreed with the texter and added “ I’m not playing games.”

The indictment of someone who was not physically present at the riot expands the circle of those identified as part of the conspiracy. Violating the law the indictment identifies carries a sentence of up to 20 years.

Also yesterday, the Justice Department prevailed in the first case against a January 6 defendant as a jury unanimously found Guy Reffitt guilty of obstructing an official proceeding. Prosecutors produced what the New York Times called “exhaustive” evidence, illustrating just how extensive their investigations have been.



“Fearing political violence in 2024, judges sentence Jan. 6 defendants to probation through the next election”


U.S. judges including those appointed by Republican presidents are increasingly sentencing defendants who participated in the Jan. 6, 2021, breach of the Capitol to three-year terms of court supervision, fearing they could be misled into committing political violence in the 2024 presidential election.

A former truck driver from North Carolina on Monday became the first Jan. 6 defendant to receive a combination of a 60-day jail term and 36 months of probation. James “Les” Little, 52, pleaded guilty in February after telling the FBI that he saw President Biden’s election victory as “the second Bolshevik revolution” and warned agents and the Democratic Party of civil war if it were not overturned.

“I’m not proposing this, but I think to secure our freedoms, we’re on the brink of civil war,” Little told FBI agents who interviewed him a week after the attack on the Capitol, according to a recording played in court. In a YouTube video Little posted after the election titled “We Won’t Beat Them Next Time! There Won’t Be A Next Time! It’s Now Or Never!” the part-time delivery driver and patio store worker from Catawba Countyaddressed the Democratic Party, saying supporters of President Donald Trump “owned lots of guns and God forbid we’d ever have to use it on you.”

U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth of Washington said that Little’s explanations for his actions on Jan. 6 carried the seeds of a future threat.

“The Court must not only punish Little for his conduct but also ensure that he will not engage in similar conduct again during the next election,” Lamberth wrote in a 16-page opinion entered after a two-hour hearing. “Only a longer-term period of probation is adequate to ensure that Little will not become an active participant in another riot.”

Lamberth, a Ronald Reagan appointee, is among a growing number of judges who warn that the damage to democracy from last year’s assault on the peaceful transfer of presidential power is persisting as Trump has continued to whip a majority of Republican Party officials to embrace his false election fraud charges. Judges have also raised concerns about elected officials who continue to play down the violence of an attack that injured scores of police officers, ransacked lawmakers’ offices, caused more than $1.5 million in damage and disrupted a joint session of Congress.


“Document in Jan. 6 Case Shows Plan to Storm Government Buildings”


A document found by federal prosecutors in the possession of a far-right leader contained a detailed plan to surveil and storm government buildings around the Capitol on Jan. 6 last year, people familiar with the document said on Monday.

The document, titled “1776 Returns,” was cited by prosecutors last week in charging the far-right leader, Enrique Tarrio, the former head of the Proud Boys extremist group, with conspiracy. The indictment of Mr. Tarrio described the document in general terms, but the people familiar with it added substantial new details about the scope and complexity of the plan it set out for directing an effort to occupy six House and Senate office buildings and the Supreme Court last Jan. 6.

The document does not specifically mention an attack on the Capitol building itself. But in targeting high-profile government buildings in the immediate area and in the detailed timeline it set out, the plan closely resembles what actually unfolded when the Capitol was stormed by a pro-Trump mob intent on disrupting congressional certification of President Biden’s Electoral College victory.

Many questions remain about the document, including who wrote it and how it made its way to Mr. Tarrio, according to prosecutors, on Dec. 30, 2020, as President Donald J. Trump was engaged in a series of overlapping schemes to keep himself in power. The people familiar with the document said other evidence the government has gathered suggests that it may have been provided to Mr. Tarrio by one of his girlfriends at the time.

Prosecutors have not accused Mr. Tarrio of using the document to guide the actions of the Proud Boys who played a central role in the Capitol attack. Nor do the charges against him offer any evidence that he shared the document with his five co-defendants: Ethan Nordean, Joseph Biggs, Zachary Rehl, Charles Donohoe and Dominic Pezzola.

But the document could help explain why prosecutors chose to charge Mr. Tarrio with conspiracy, even though he was not at the Capitol during the attack. And it appears to be the first time that prosecutors have sought to use evidence of a specific written plan to storm and occupy government buildings in their wide-ranging investigation into the attack and what led up to it.


First trial of Capitol rioters ends with conviction all counts

Nation Mar 8, 2022 2:34 PM EST


WASHINGTON (AP) — A Texas man was convicted on Tuesday of storming the U.S. Capitol with a holstered handgun, a milestone victory for federal prosecutors in the first trial among hundreds of cases arising from last year’s riot.

A jury also convicted Guy Wesley Reffitt of interfering with police officers who were guarding the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and of obstructing justice for threatening his two teenage children if they reported him to law enforcement after the attack. Jurors deliberated about three hours and convicted him on all counts.

Another key witness, Rocky Hardie, said he and Reffitt were members of “Texas Three Percenters” militia group. The Three Percenters militia movement refers to the myth that only 3% of Americans fought in the Revolutionary War against the British.


Former U.S. Attorney General Tom Barr says Trump was ‘responsible in the broad sense’ for Jan. 6 riot

March 4, 2022|Updated March 4, 2022


Understanding the criminal allegations the Jan. 6 committee is constructing against Trump

By Philip Bump

National correspondent

March 3, 2022


For eight months, the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol has been interviewing witnesses and collecting evidence. On Wednesday night, we got the first formal indication of its primary target: establishing that former president Donald Trump committed two federal crimes in his efforts to retain power despite losing the 2020 presidential election.

The case is well understood but intricate, particularly in regard to the need to meet the standards of criminal prosecution. So, below, we’ll walk through the case presented by the committee in the document produced on Wednesday. We’ll also contextualize it with other recent legal activity that hints at more significant culpability for Trump allies and maintains a risk of civil repercussions for the former president.


From: Heather Cox Richardson from Letters from an American <>
Date: March 2, 2022

Also today, in a case concerning whether the Oath Keepers, who stormed the Capitol on January 6, engaged in seditious conspiracy, Joshua James of Alabama pleaded guilty. According to CBS News congressional correspondent Scott MacFarlane, who is following all the January 6 cases, James agreed that he tried to disrupt the peaceful transfer of presidential power and that Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes had a “plan” for accomplishing that disruption. In the plea deal, James said that “Rhodes instructed James &..conspirators to be prepared, if called upon, to report to the White House grounds to secure the perimeter & use lethal force if necessary against anyone who tried to remove President Trump.”



Letters from an American, Heather Cox Richardson, February 18, 2022

The third story is that U.S. District Court Judge Amit P. Mehta rejected Trump’s attempt to dismiss three lawsuits that blame him for inciting the January 6 riot. Eleven members of the House of Representatives (in their personal capacities) and two Capitol Police officers have accused former president Trump, Donald J. Trump Jr., Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, Representative Mo Brooks (R-AL), and right-wing militia groups including the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers, the Warboys, and so on, of conspiring to prevent them from performing their official duties. This is a federal crime thanks to a law first passed in 1871 to stop Ku Klux Klan members from preventing Black legislators and their Republican allies from doing their jobs.

After reviewing the events of January 6 and the days leading up to it, the judge concluded that those launching the lawsuits “establish a plausible conspiracy involving President Trump.” He noted that the president and others worked together to disrupt Congress and stop the counting of the certified Electoral College ballots on January 6. The president undermined faith in the election, falsely claiming it was stolen, and urged supporters to go to Washington, D.C., on January 6, telling them it would be “wild.” He planned the rally, and at it he gave a barn-burning speech that concluded: ““We fight like hell, and if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.”

Trump’s role in a potential conspiracy was “to encourage the use of force, intimidation, or threats to thwart the Certification from proceeding, and organized groups such as the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers would carry out the required acts.” The judge also noted a pattern of “call-and-response” between the president and his militia followers. When he told the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by,” for example, one of their leaders tweeted: “Standing by sir.”

The court concluded that it was plausible that Trump was part of a conspiracy to stop the performance of official duties.


The Conservative Case for Avoiding a Repeat of Jan. 6

Feb. 14, 2022

By J. Michael Luttig

Mr. Luttig, a former judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, has been advising a number of senior Republican senators on the Electoral Count Act.


EXCLUSIVE: FBI probes pre-Capitol riot meeting of far-right groups

By Aram Roston

February 8, 2022


WASHINGTON, Feb 8 (Reuters) – The Federal Bureau of Investigation is probing a meeting in a downtown DC garage the day before the January 6 Capitol Hill riot between the then-leader of the Proud Boys extremist group, the now-indicted leader of the Oath Keepers militia and other far-right figures, according to two witnesses interviewed by FBI agents.

Among the half dozen people gathered at a garage near the Phoenix Park Hotel was Oath Keepers head Stewart Rhodes, who was indicted this year on charges of “seditious conspiracy” in the insurrection. Proud Boys Chairman Enrique Tarrio, who was not present at the riot, was also at the garage meeting but left Washington afterward.

The meeting put the heads of the nation’s two best-known violent far-right pro-Trump groups in immediate proximity to each other 24 hours before the breach of the Capitol.


In Scrutinizing Trump and His Allies, Jan. 6 Panel Adopts Prosecution Tactics

ByMichael S. Schmidtand Luke Broadwater

Feb. 5, 2022


The committee has no law enforcement role, and its stated goal is to write a comprehensive report and propose recommendations, including for legislation, to try to make sure the events of Jan. 6 are never repeated.

Members of the Jan. 6 committee say the obstacles thrown up by Mr. Trump and his allies and the high stakes of the investigation have left the panel with no choice but to use every tool at its disposal.

“It’s not a criminal investigation, but having experienced former prosecutors who know how to run complex, white-collar investigations working on a plot to overturn the presidential election is a very useful talent among your team,” said Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California and a committee member.

Mr. Trump moved to block the National Archives from handing over documents from his White House, leading to a monthslong court fight that ended with the committee receiving the documents.

At least 16 witnesses have sued to try to block the committee’s subpoenas. Four of the panel’s most sought-after targets — the conservative lawyer John EastmanJeffrey Clark, the Justice Department lawyer deeply involved in Mr. Trump’s plays to try to stay in power; the conspiracy theorist Alex Jones; and the longtime Trump adviser Roger J. Stone Jr. — invoked the Fifth Amendment as a way to avoid answering questions without the threat of a contempt of Congress charge. [Boldfaced added].

Three Republican members of Congress — Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the minority leader; Representative Scott Perry of Pennsylvania; and Mr. Jordan — told the committee that they would refuse to sit for questioning. [Boldface added].

Despite those obstacles, the committee turned its attention to lower-level aides, who investigators knew were in the room for many of the key events that occurred in the lead-up to and during the assault, or were told almost immediately about what had occurred. So far, the committee has spoken to at least a half-dozen lower-level aides who fall into this category.

When Mr. Meadows, the former White House chief of staff, refused to testify, the panel turned to his top aide, Ben Williamson, who complied with a subpoena and sat for hours of questioning. After Mr. Clark, the Justice Department lawyer, refused to cooperate, a former senior counsel who worked for him, Kenneth Klukowski, sat for an interview with the committee. [Boldface added].

Representative Jamie Raskin, Democrat of Maryland and a member of the panel, said the committee was not trying to “flip” witnesses the way investigators might do in a criminal case. But, he said, “If you drew some kind of social diagrams of who’s testifying and who’s not, pretty much everyone is testifying, except for those who are in the immediate entourage of Donald Trump.”

Among the other aides who have testified before the committee are Marc Short, Greg Jacob and Keith Kellogg, all of whom worked for former Vice President Mike Pence. Three former spokeswomen for Mr. Trump have also cooperated: Kayleigh McEnany, Stephanie Grisham and Alyssa Farah Griffin. [Boldfaced added].


The Republican National Committee voted to censure Representatives Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger for participating in the inquiry into the deadly riot at the Capitol.



The Case Against the Oath Keepers

Members of the group face seditious-conspiracy charges for their roles in the January 6th insurrection. Can a sincere belief that the election was stolen protect them?

By Jeannie Suk Gersen

January 21, 2022


Any trial on the seditious-conspiracy charges will be a proxy fight over the legitimacy of those words: whether it is reasonable to believe, as both Trump and Rhodes claim to, that on January 6th Congress was doing something deeply unlawful.

This raises the question of whether false beliefs about our democracy will determine the enforcement of our laws; a jury could decide that Rhodes’s conviction that the election was stolen is reasonable enough to mean he didn’t commit seditious conspiracy.

Such an outcome might have the effect of adding legal legitimacy to the big lie, and it would underscore troubling questions about the future of American democracy. Now that talk of potential “civil war” occurs not only among extremist groups but in the mainstream press, a public trial of alleged seditionists will showcase the central fissure that could lead us there.


The Feds Just Took the Jan. 6 Cases to a Whole New Level

A new charge against alleged rioters is likely as far as the Justice Department can go short of indicting a politician or elected official, experts said.

Pilar Melendez, National Reporter


Letters from an American, Heather Cox Richardson, January 13, 2022


Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes charged with seditious conspiracy in Jan. 6 Capitol riot

BySpencer S. Hsu andDevlin Barrett

January 13, 2022 a

Stewart Rhodes — founder and leader of the extremist group Oath Keepers — was arrested Thursday on a charge of seditious conspiracy, accused of guiding a months-long effort to unleash politically motivated violence to prevent the swearing-in of President Biden that culminated in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.The 56-year-old, who was at the Capitol that day but has said he did not enter the building, is the most high-profile person charged in the investigation so far. The indictment filed against Rhodes and 10 other Oath Keepers or associates marks the first time the historically rare charge of seditious conspiracy has been leveled in connection with the wide-ranging Jan. 6 probe.

“Rhodes and certain co-conspirators … planned to stop the lawful transfer of presidential power by January 20, 2021, which included multiple ways to deploy force,” the indictment reads. “They coordinated travel across the country to enter Washington, D.C., equipped themselves with a variety of weapons, donned combat and tactical gear, and were prepared to answer Rhodes’ call to take up arms at Rhodes’ direction.”

Read More

Most of the individuals facing the seditious conspiracy charges were arrested previously, but one, 63-year-old Edward Vallejo of Phoenix, is also a new defendant in the case. Officials said Rhodes was arrested Thursday morning in Little Elm, Tex., and Vallejo was taken into custody in Phoenix.

Washington Post investigation: Before, during and after Capitol breach

The most damaging evidence in the 48-page, 17-count indictment comes from the defendants’ own words, often shared in the encrypted messaging app Signal. The indictment alleges that a core group of Rhodes’s most strident adherents planned for and participated in obstructing Congress on the day lawmakers certified Biden’s 2020 election victory.

The attack on the Capitol came after a rally outside the White House, at which President Donald Trump urged his supporters to march to Congress. The pro-Trump rioters injured scores of police officers and ransacked Capitol offices, halting the proceedings as lawmakers were evacuated from the House floor.

According to the indictment, the plotting for violence began just after Biden won the election.

On Nov. 5, Rhodes told an invitation-only message group of Oath Keepers leaders: “We aren’t getting through this without a civil war. Too late for that. Prepare your mind, body, spirit,” Five days later, he published a call to action titled, “WHAT WE THE PEOPLE MUST DO,” suggesting his organization follow the example of an anti-government uprising in Serbia, the court filing says.

On Christmas Day in 2020, Rhodes sent a message to a similar group, saying he doubted Congress would keep Trump in the White House. The president had spent weeks making unfounded allegations of election fraud and pressing state election officials to pursue those allegations.

But even his own attorney general, William P. Barr, said there was no evidence of anything that would cast doubt on Biden’s win.

“The only chance we/he has is if we scare the s— out of them and convince them it will be torches and pitchforks time. … But I don’t think they will listen,” Rhodes wrote.

Six days later, on New Year’s Eve, he sent a message in an encrypted group chat to other Oath Keeper leaders, saying, “There is no standard political or legal way out of this.”

Stewart Rhodes: paramilitary commander or couch-surfing grifter?

In interviews with The Washington Post over the past year, Rhodes — a former Army paratrooper and Yale Law graduate who has become one of the most visible figures of the far-right anti-government movement — has repeatedly denied wrongdoing.

He said he was communicating with members of his group on Jan. 6, 2021, in an effort to “keep them out of trouble,” and emphasized that Oath Keepers associates who did go into the Capitol “went totally off mission.”

That mission, he and other Oath Keepers have argued, was to provide personal protection for, among others, longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone. A number of the individuals charged as part of the alleged Oath Keeper conspiracy were involved in guarding Stone in the days and hours leading up to the attack on Congress. Stone has not been charged with any wrongdoing.

An attorney for Rhodes, Jonathon A. Moseley, did not respond to a request for comment, but in a tweet asked another lawyer for Oath Keepers to call him urgently saying, “Immediate need for ‘perfect’ bail hearing.”

Rhodes is scheduled to appear before a U.S. magistrate judge in Plano, Tex., at 2:30 p.m. Central time on Friday.

An earlier indictment charged 19 alleged Oath Keepers adherents with conspiracy and aiding and abetting the obstruction of Congress. Two of them have pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with investigators. The rest pleaded not guilty and are preparing for upcoming trials.

In one of three new indictments unsealed Thursday, Rhodes and 10 others were charged with seditious conspiracy, a charge related to the use of violence to hinder the execution of federal law and punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Seven others, who are not alleged to be ringleaders or organizers, remain charged with conspiracy and obstruction of Congress. The conspiracy charge against one individual, Jonathan Walden, 57, of Birmingham, Ala., was dropped, though he still faces other charges.

In splitting up the largest charged case into smaller groups of defendants, prosecutors effectively drew a distinction between two alleged conspiracies: one by Oath Keepers associates who worked together and breached the Capitol that day with angry Trump supporters, as initially charged; and a second, allegedly led by Rhodes, to thwart the results of the election and the transfer of power, starting immediately after the 2020 presidential election.

Read the indictment of Stewart Rhodes and other Oath Keeper adherents

The defendants who have already pleaded guilty acknowledged they were among a group that forced entry through the Capitol’s East Rotunda doors after marching single-file in tight formation up the steps wearing camouflage vests, helmets, goggles and Oath Keepers insignia.

Some defendants also admitted to stashing guns in a nearby Arlington, Va., hotel for possible use by what they called a “quick reaction force.”

In an interview with The Washington Post last February, Rhodes acknowledged that effort, saying the quick-reaction force was “only if the president calls us up.”

“We thought antifa might try to storm the White House,” he said, without evidence. If such a thing happened, he posited, D.C. gun laws would no longer apply, because “we would have been part of the military.”

Rhodes has accused prosecutors of trying to manufacture a nonexistent conspiracy. In an online interview Wednesday with NorthWest Liberty News, he said federal agents would “love to put me behind bars” but insisted he committed no crimes.

“I don’t do illegal activities. I always stay on this side of the line,” he said. “I know where the lines are, and it drives them crazy.”

Rhodes also said he has grown disillusioned with Trump, accusing the former president of not supporting members of the Oath Keepers charged in the Jan. 6 investigation.

“All of the people that are being unlawfully detained or denied bail, they’re being abandoned by Trump. … He didn’t pardon anybody while he was still in office,” Rhodes said, adding that he also thinks the former president should have helped with the Jan. 6 defendants’ legal defense.

“I do feel abandoned by him,” Rhodes added.

In interviews last winter, Rhodes seemed focused on putting distance between himself and the people who entered the Capitol on Jan. 6. He showed photos on his phone to illustrate where he was at different points that day — always outside, always with people acting peacefully, he said.

“Just so we’re clear on this: We had no plan to enter the Capitol, zero plan to do that, zero instructions to do that,” Rhodes said.

He said any government claim that he did more than ask his members to meet outside the building would be “complete garbage.”

Stewart Rhodes and the Oathkeepers: What you need to know

The indictment charges that Rhodes and eight others tampered with evidence by deleting files, messages or photographs on their electronic devices.

But the charging document shows FBI agents recovered a great deal of their communications — including discussions after the riot in which Rhodes’ followers voiced enthusiasm for continued rebellion.

“We got food for 30 days,” Vallejo allegedly said in a leadership Signal chat the night of Jan. 6, adding, “We have only [begun] to fight!”

On Jan. 11, the charging papers allege, another Oath Keeper suggested they adopt tactics similar to the North Vietnamese Army during the Vietnam War. “We’ve been organizing a bugout plan if the usurper is installed,” the person’s Facebook message said. “… Something like 20+ Oath Keepers going to Kentucky mountains on hundreds of acres apparently. … Be like the NVA and network tunnels.”

The federal government last brought sedition charges in 2010, against members of the self-described militia Hutaree in Michigan who were accused of plotting to rise up against the government. A judge dismissed the charges, saying the government failed to prove the group had firm plans to launch attacks.

The last successful federal sedition prosecution came 26 years ago, when Omar Abdel Rahman, also known as the “blind sheikh,” and nine others were convicted of plotting to blow up the United Nations, the FBI building and bridges and tunnels between New Jersey and New York, part of an effort to change U.S. policy toward the Middle East.

Over the past year, the Justice Department has charged more than 700 people in connection with the Jan. 6 attack. The FBI is seeking to arrest more than 200 more.

But some Democrats and lawyers say the department has been too cautious in pursuing more-serious charges, including against individuals who may not have been at the Capitol but may have organized or incited the violence.

In a speech last week, Attorney General Merrick Garland urged his critics to be patient, noting that federal conspiracy investigations typically start with the lesser allegations and work their way toward graver charges.


Letters from an American, Heather Cox Richardson, January 10, 2022

Today, U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta held a hearing in Washington, D.C., to determine whether three lawsuits against former president Trump and a number of his loyalists should be permitted to go forward.

The lawsuits have been filed by Democratic members of the House and Capitol Police officers injured on January 6 against Trump, lawyer Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump Jr., Representative Mo Brooks (R-AL), and others. The plaintiffs are trying to hold Trump and his team liable in a civil suit for inciting the January 6 insurrection.

But the questions in these three cases mirror those being discussed by the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol, and touch on whether the former president committed a crime by inciting insurrection or by standing back while the rioters stopped the official proceedings of Congress (which itself is a crime).

Most significantly, Judge Mehta grappled with the meaning of Trump’s refusal to call off the rioters for 187 crucial minutes during the insurrection as they stormed the Capitol. This is a key factor on which the January 6th committee is focused, and Mehta dug into it.

While Trump’s lawyer tried to argue that the president could not be in trouble for failing to do something—that is, for failing to call off the rioters—the judge wondered if Trump’s long silence indicated that he agreed with the insurrectionists inside the Capitol. “If my words had been misconstrued…and they led to violence, wouldn’t somebody, the reasonable person, just come out and say, wait a second, stop?” he asked.

The judge also tried to get at the answer to whether the actions of Trump and his loyalists at the rally were protected as official speech, or were part of campaign activities, which are not protected. Brooks told the judge that everything he did—including wearing body armor to tell the crowd to fight—was part of his official duties. The Department of Justice said this summer that it considered the rally a campaign event and would not defend Brooks for his part in it.

Trump’s lawyer, Jesse Binnall, argued that Trump is absolutely immune from any legal consequences for anything he said while president. “So the president, in your view, is both immune to inciting the riot and failing to stop it?” Mehta asked.

When Binnall suggested the judge was holding Trump to a different standard than he would hold a Democrat, Mehta called the charge “simply inappropriate.”


Opinion: Garland’s caution is an asset when it comes to holding Trump accountable

ByE.J. Dionne Jr.


January 9, 2022


What crime might Trump have committed on Jan. 6? Liz Cheney points to one.

A casual observer might have missed it, but what Cheney was doing here was pointing to a specific criminal statute — a felony, 18 U.S. Code § 1512 — that she suggests President Donald Trump might have violated. And both its inclusion in her comments and the timing of it shouldn’t be lost on anyone. This was a Republican member of the committee floating a specific potential Trump crime that the committee apparently wants to drill down on; it also came shortly after a federal judge upheld the use of the statute in a key Jan. 6 case.
Meadows texts show Hannity, Don Jr. wanted Trump to stop Jan. 6 riot
As rioters stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, several leading Fox News pundits and Donald Trump’s eldest son all voiced desperate concerns that the former president was doing nothing to quell the violence and protect those in the building, according to damning text messages unveiled Monday night by the select committee investigating the attack.

The stunning messages, submitted to the panel by Mark Meadows, Trump’s former chief of staff, revealed that Sean Hannity, Brian Kilmeade and Laura Ingraham — all superstar Fox personalities with enormous conservative followings — and Donald Trump, Jr. were all pressing Meadows to convince the president to intervene during the early hours of the siege.


Meadows texts show Hannity, Don Jr. wanted Trump to stop Jan. 6 riot

As rioters stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, several leading Fox News pundits and Donald Trump’s eldest son all voiced desperate concerns that the former president was doing nothing to quell the violence and protect those in the building, according to damning text messages unveiled Monday night by the select committee investigating the attack.

The stunning messages, submitted to the panel by Mark Meadows, Trump’s former chief of staff, revealed that Sean Hannity, Brian Kilmeade and Laura Ingraham — all superstar Fox personalities with enormous conservative followings — and Donald Trump, Jr. were all pressing Meadows to convince the president to intervene during the early hours of the siege.


From: “Brent D. Griffiths” <>
Date: December 10, 2021
Subject: 10 Things in Politics:

5. Federal court rules Trump must turn over January 6 documents: Judge Patricia Millett, writing for a three-judge panel, rejected former President Donald Trump’s bid to block the House’s January 6 select committee from obtaining a tranche of executive-branch documents. Trump, per The New York Times, is now expected to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court. Millett’s decision gives his team just two weeks to make such a move before a temporary block on the National Archives turning over the records is lifted. More information from what has become a closely watched court battle.

  • Key quote: “The constitutional protections of executive privilege should not be used to shield, from Congress or the public, information that reflects a clear and apparent effort to subvert the Constitution itself,” Millett, an Obama appointee, wrote in a blistering 68-page opinion.


Appeals court sides with House on access to White House records

December 9, 2021


A federal appeals court on Thursday denied former President Donald Trump’s request to stop certain White House records from going to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, but the court fight will go on.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit gave Trump’s lawyers two weeks to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court before the transmission of documents from the National Archives and Records Administration, or NARA, to the Jan. 6 panel. Trump’s lawyers have indicated they will do so.

A three-judge panel unanimously found that Trump had “provided no basis” for the courts to override President Joe Biden’s judgment that executive privilege should not be asserted on those documents or to override the agreement the Biden administration worked out with Congress about them.

The D.C. Circuit judges said they did not come to the decision lightly because the confidentiality of presidential records is critical to the effective functioning of the presidency.

But the executive privilege over documents must give way when necessary to protect overriding interests, and the president and committee “have shown a national interest in and pressing need for the prompt disclosure of these documents,” the opinion states.

Trump, on the other hand, “failed that task” of meeting the legal standards that apply to everyone else to get an injunction, the court found. That includes Trump failing to demonstrate any harm that would arise from the disclosure of the documents, particularly when Congress has a vital interest in studying the Jan. 6 attack.

Letters from a American, Heather Cox RichardsonDecember 3, 2021

People will soon be able to hear at least some of the stories of the Big Lie for themselves. Today, Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY), the vice chair of the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol, announced that the committee will hold public hearings next year to lay out “exactly what happened every minute of the day on Jan. 6 here at the Capitol and at the White House and what led to that violent attack.”


Letters from an American, Heather Cox Richardson, June 28, 2021 

Pelosi also announced today that the House is preparing legislation to establish a select committee to investigate the January 6 attack on the Capitol. She had to do so, she noted, because “Senate Republicans did Mitch McConnell a ‘personal favor’ rather than their patriotic duty and voted against the bipartisan commission negotiated by Democrats and Republicans.  But Democrats are determined to find the truth.”


Letters from an American, Heather Cox Richardson, July 29, 2021 

The ripples of the explosive testimony of the four police officers Tuesday before the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol continue to spread. Committee members are meeting this week to decide how they will proceed. Congress goes on recess during August, but committee chair Bennie Thompson (D-MS) suggested the committee would, in fact, continue to meet during that break.

Read More

Committee members are considering subpoenas to compel the testimony of certain lawmakers, especially since the Department of Justice on Tuesday announced that it would not assert executive privilege to stop members of the Trump administration from testifying to Congress about Trump’s role in the January 6 insurrection. This is a change from the Trump years, when the Department of Justice refused to acknowledge Congress’s authority to investigate the executive branch. This new directive reasserts the traditional boundaries between the two branches, saying that Congress can require testimony and administration officials can give it.

Further, the Department of Justice yesterday rejected the idea that it should defend Congress members involved in the January 6 insurrection. Representative Eric Swalwell (D-CA) sued Alabama Representative Mo Brooks, as well as the former president and Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, for lying about the election, inciting a mob, and inflicting pain and distress. 

Famously, Brooks participated in the rally before the insurrection, telling the audience: “[W]e are not going to let the Socialists rip the heart out of our country. We are not going to let them continue to corrupt our elections, and steal from us our God-given right to control our nation’s destiny.” “Today,” he said, “Republican Senators and Congressmen will either vote to turn America into a godless, amoral, dictatorial, oppressed, and socialist nation on the decline or they will join us and they will fight and vote against voter fraud and election theft, and vote for keeping America great.” 

“[T]oday is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass!” he said. He asked them if they were willing to give their lives to preserve “an America that is the greatest nation in world history.” “Will you fight for America?” he asked.

To evade the lawsuit, Brooks gave an affidavit in which he and his lawyers insisted that this language was solely a campaign speech, urging voters to support Republican lawmakers in 2022 and 2024. But he also argued that the Department of Justice had to represent him in the lawsuit because he was acting in his role as a congress member that day, representing his constituents. 

Yesterday, the Department of Justice declined to take over the case, pointing out that campaign and electioneering activities fall outside the scope of official employment. It goes on to undercut the idea of protecting any lawmaker who participated in the insurrection, saying that “alleged action to attack Congress and disrupt its official functions is not conduct a Member of Congress is employed to perform.” This means Brooks is on his own to defend himself from the Swalwell lawsuit. It also means that lawmakers intending to fight subpoenas are going to be paying for their own legal representation.

Meanwhile, it looks more and more like Republicans, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), are eager to change the subject. McCarthy today tried to walk back his previous blaming of Trump for the events of January 6, trying instead to tie Pelosi to the riot. He told reporters that when he said on January 6 that “[t]he President bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters” and that Trump “should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding,” he made the comment without “the information we have today.” Then he tried to blame Pelosi for the Capitol Police response. 

McCarthy seems unable to figure out how to handle the changing political dynamic and is continuing to shove the octopus of his different caucus interests into the string bag he’s holding only by promising that the Republicans will win in 2022. To that end, he is essentially walking away from governance and focusing only on the culture wars.

In addition to pulling the Trump Republicans off the select committee on the insurrection, he also pulled all six of the Republicans off a key committee on the economy, the Select Committee on Economic Disparity and Fairness in Growth. At a time when voters in all parties are concerned with the huge divergence in income and wealth in this country, a divergence that rivals that of the 1850s, 1890s, and 1920s, members of this committee could make names for themselves. 

Ohio Republican Warren Davidson was one of those removed from the committee; he told Cleveland media he had been “looking forward” to participating and would “gladly rejoin” the committee if McCarthy relented, but it was Ohio Democrat Marcy Kaptur, still on the committee, who got the headline and the approving story. 

Instead of this productive sort of headline, Representatives Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), and Louie Gohmert (R-TX) staged an event in which they tried to visit the accused January 6 rioters at a Washington, D.C., jail. Refused entry, Gohmert told the press: “We’re in totalitarian, Marxist territory here. This is the way third-world people get treated.”

McCarthy and fellow Trump supporters are trying to get their own headlines by opposing new mask mandates as the Delta variant of coronavirus is gathering momentum across the country. On Tuesday, the attending physician for the United States Congress, Dr. Brian Monahan, reinstated the use of masks in the House of Representatives and recommended it in the smaller Senate. On Wednesday, Pelosi required the use of masks in the House, and reminded members that they would be fined for refusing to wear them. All of the Democrats in the House are vaccinated; it appears that only about half of House Republicans are.

Today, House Republicans launched a revolt against mask use. They are trying to adjourn the House rather than gather with masks. Chip Roy (R-TX), said “This institution is a sham. And we should adjourn and shut this place down.” Representatives Greene, Lauren Boebert (R-CO) and Andy Biggs (R-AZ), all maskless, gave Roy a standing ovation. Today, a group of House Republicans without masks posed for cameras as they tried to gain entrance to the Senate. 

Consolidating around Trump after his November loss was always a gamble, but increasingly it looks like a precarious one. Just this week, the former president tried to sabotage the infrastructure deal, and 17 senators ignored him. In Texas, on Tuesday, Trump’s ability to swing races was tested and failed when the candidate he backed—even pumping a last-minute $100,000 into the race—lost. 

McCarthy has promised to win in 2022 with culture wars rather than governing, and that looks like an increasingly weak bet. But make no mistake: the ace in his vest remains the voter suppression laws currently being enacted across the country.


House panel investigating Jan. 6 attack seeks records from agencies on insurrection, Trump in first request for information

By John Wagner

August 25, 2021


The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection issued its first sweeping requests Wednesday for records from federal agencies pertaining to the attack on the Capitol and President Donald Trump’s efforts to subvert the election.

In letters demanding materials from the National Archives and seven other agencies, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.), the committee chairman, signaled that an expansive investigation is underway, touching not only on what happened Jan. 6 but also on matters such as “the former President’s knowledge of the election results and what he communicated to the American people about the election.”

Jan. 6 committee faces unprecedented choice of whether to call Republican lawmakers to testify

Thompson gave the agencies a two-week deadline to produce materials and asked Archivist of the United States David Ferriero to use his authority under federal regulations to swiftly address the request for records from the Trump White House.

“Our Constitution provides for a peaceful transfer of power, and this investigation seeks to evaluate threats to that process, identify lessons learned and recommend laws, policies, procedures, rules, or regulations necessary to protect our republic in the future,” Thompson wrote.

The requests include information on “communications within and among the White House and Executive Branch agencies during the leadup to January 6th and on that day,” as well as on issues further removed, such as “attempts to place politically loyal personnel in senior positions across government after the election.”


Jan. 6 Panel Takes Sweeping Steps

The Weekender from TPM, Issue No. 14, by Josh Kovensky, August 28, 2021

The House Jan. 6 Committee launched its first big volleys of investigative requests this week, demanding records from a host of federal agencies on Wednesday and from fifteen separate social media companies

The federal agency requests shed light on where lawmakers are looking in the probe.

Namely, they’re looking straight at former President Trump, asking the National Archives to provide all records from his time in the White House that relate not only to the Jan. 6 insurrection itself, but also to a host of insurrectionists. The scope of this probe is sharpening into focus, and its broad: the Jan. 6 committee seems intent on investigating the whole attempt to overthrow the 2020 election, encompassing the Big Lie, the ‘Kraken’ lawsuits, the Capitol insurrection, and everything in between, with Trump right at the center. 


Trump’s political operation paid more than $4.3 million to Jan. 6 organizers but questions remain about the full extent of its involvement


From: Heather Cox Richardson from Letters from an American <>

Date: September 1, 2021 

[Excerpts; boldface added]

Meanwhile, today, House Republicans have been on a media blitz to insist that the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol has no right to examine the phone records of fellow congresspeople. On Tucker Carlson’s show on the Fox News Channel, Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) said, “These telecommunication companies, if they go along with this, they will be shut down. That’s a promise.” 

There is no longer any daylight between the radical fringe like Greene and Republican leadership. Today House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who had at least one phone call with former president Trump on January 6, put out a statement warning that attempts to investigate the phone data of congresspeople from the January 6 insurrection would “put every American with a phone or a computer in the crosshairs of a surveillance state run by Democrat politicians.” If the companies comply with the committee’s request—which McCarthy mischaracterized as a “Democrat order”—he said, “a Republican majority will not forget.” 

In response, representative Ted Lieu (D-CA) tweeted the legal code: 18 U.S. Code § 1505: “Whoever…by any threatening letter or communication…endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede…the due and proper exercise of the power of inquiry under which any…investigation is being had by either House…Shall be fined under this title, imprisoned…”

“I don’t think enough people understand how much we have asked of the 1 percent of this country who put that uniform on, who are willing to put their lives on the line in defense of our nation,” Biden said today. He called his listeners back to President Abraham Lincoln’s defense of democracy at Gettysburg when he said: “As we close 20 years of war and strife and pain and sacrifice, it’s time to look to the future, not the past—to a future that’s safer, to a future that’s more secure, to a future that honors those who served and all those who gave what President Lincoln called their ‘last full measure of devotion.’”

‘QAnon Shaman’ Jacob Chansley, face of pro-Trump Capitol riot, pleads guilty to felony

Spencer S. Hsu

September 3, 2021


On Friday, Chansley in a deal with prosecutors pleaded guilty to one of six charged counts: corruptly obstructing, influencing, or impeding an official proceeding, a joint session of Congress meeting to certify the 2020 presidential election.

Chansley’s case highlighted the role played by the far-right QAnon extremist ideology in radicalizing some would-be insurrectionists.

The FBI has reported that more than 20 self-identified QAnon adherents were arrested in the riot, and one, Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt, was fatally shot by police while breaching a barricaded House Speaker’s Lobby door. QAnon’s unidentified online “prophet” had promised in thousands of cryptic postsbased on discredited claims tha tPresident Donald Trump was leading a spiritual war against a cabal of Satan-worshipping “global elites” and “deep state” international child-sex traffickers who control the world, a struggle to culminate in a mass roundup of enemies.

In costume and using the name Jacob Angeli, Chansley was repeatedly photographed and interviewed in 2020 at pro-Trump rallies, often carrying a sign that read, “Q sent me.”

The invasion triggered the evacuation of House and Senate members, as well as Pence, who had refused Trump’s pleas to block the vote certification. At 2:16 p.m., Chansley admitted, he challenged police through a bullhorn, demanding that lawmakers be brought out.


HBO Exposes the Violent Chaos of Trump’s Jan. 6 Rioters in ‘Four Hours at the Capitol’

The new HBO documentary “Four Hours at the Capitol” features gut-wrenching testimonies from survivors and tons of on-the-ground footage capturing the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.

Nick Schager

Oct. 18, 2021


October 18, 2021 

Heather Cox Richardson Oct 19

Today, the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol recommended that the House of Representatives find Trump adviser Stephen K. Bannon in contempt of Congress. Bannon is refusing to cooperate with a subpoena for documents and testimony about the events surrounding the January 6 insurrection. Now the House will take up the question of contempt.

The committee report is a lot more interesting than that topline suggests (political historian here: although people tend to watch what happens before the TV cameras, committee reports are often where the action is).

The report starts by stating that the attempt of “a violent mob” to “halt the lawful counting of electoral votes and reverse the results of the 2020 election” was, according to “the words of many of those who participated in the violence, …a direct response to false statements by then-President Donald J. Trump—beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through January 6, 2021—that the 2020 election had been stolen by corrupted voting machines, widespread fraud, and otherwise.”

The committee is laying the events of January 6 on Trump.

Congress established the committee, the report says, “to identify how the events of January 6th were planned, what actions and statements motivated and contributed to the attack on the Capitol, how the violent riot that day was coordinated with a political and public relations strategy to reverse the election outcome, and why Capitol security was insufficient to address what occurred.”

The committee is saying that the riot was coordinated ahead of time, and it appears to suggest that Capitol security was compromised.


Cheney: Bannon’s actions suggest Trump was involved in Jan. 6 planning

BY LEXI LONAS– 10/20/21

The January 6 insurrection, in all its heart-pounding detail, from 34 people who lived through it

As Congress and the Justice Department investigate the January 6 attack on the Capitol, the people who were there are struggling to move on.

The consequences of that day are still coming into focus, but what is clear isthat the insurrection was not a spontaneous act nor an isolated event. It was a battle in the broader war over truth and over the future of American democracy.

A deep distrust in the voting process has spread across across the country, shaking the foundations on which the American experiment was built – the shared belief that the nation’s leaders are freely and fairly elected”.

Nov. 7, 2021



House Jan. 6 committee issues subpoenas to 6 top Trump advisers, including pair involved in Willard hotel ‘command center’

November 8, 2021

Those subpoenaed include scholar John Eastman, author of a legal strategy to deny Biden the presidency, and former New York police commissioner Bernard Kerik.

By Jacqueline Alemany, Tom Hamburger and Josh Dawsey

The House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol is not relaxing. Today it issued six new subpoenas. The subpoenas went to people associated with the “war room” in the Willard Hotel in the days leading up to the events of January 6. 

The subpoenas went to William Stepien, the manager of Trump’s 2020 campaign which, as an entity, asked states not to certify the results of the election; Trump advisor Jason Miller, who talked of a stolen election even before the election itself; Angela McCallum, an executive assistant to Trump’s 2020 campaign, who apparently left a voicemail for a Michigan state representative pressuring the representative to appoint an alternative slate of electors because of “election fraud”; and Bernard Kerik, former New York City police commissioner, who paid for the hotel rooms in which the plotting occurred.

Another subpoena went to Michael Flynn, who called for Trump to declare martial law and “rerun” the election, and who attended a December 18, 2020, meeting in the Oval Office “during which participants discussed seizing voting machines, declaring a national emergency, invoking certain national security emergency powers, and continuing to spread the false message that the November 2020 election had been tainted by widespread fraud.” 

The sixth subpoena went to John Eastman, author of the Eastman memo saying that then–vice president Mike Pence could reject the certified electors from certain states, thus throwing the election to Trump. Eastman was apparently at the Willard Hotel for a key meeting on January 5, and he spoke at the rally on the Ellipse on January 6. 

None of these people are covered by executive privilege, even if Trump tries to exercise it. 

Letters from and American, Heather Scott Richardson, November 8, 2021 <>


Trump White House records can be turned over to House Jan. 6 investigative committee, judge rules

Court deals blow to former president’s claim to executive privilege after Biden White House approved release.

By Spencer S. Hsu

November 10, 2021


At the Willard and the White House, the Jan. 6 Panel Widens Its Net

What went on at a five-star hotel near the White House the day before the riot could be a window into how a Trump-directed plot to upend the election ended in violence at the Capitol.


More than 150 witnesses have been interviewed, some of whom surprised investigators by proactively contacting the committee to testify, according to two people familiar with the investigation who described the confidential inquiry on the condition of anonymity.

The panel has learned details about how “Stop the Steal” rally organizers used deception to obtain permits from the Capitol Police to hold rallies near the Capitol; how Mr. Trump and White House officials coordinated with organizers of the rally whose attendees would later storm the Capitol; and how deeply Mr. Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, was involved in pushing false claims of widespread election fraud.

Working out of a nondescript office building at the bottom of Capitol Hill, the committee’s investigators have divided themselves into color-coded teams to pursue several avenues of inquiry. They are looking into:

  • The money trail. Investigators are scrutinizing the groups that funded the protests that preceded the violence, which involved rioters from at least 44 states, and promoted and spread lies online that helped radicalize the crowd.

  • Planning meetings. The panel is pressing for answers about gatherings at the Willard and other Washington hotels where Mr. Trump’s allies who were involved in the effort to overturn the election, including Stephen K. Bannon, Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Eastman, met in the hours before the riot.

  • Foreknowledge of violence. The most difficult piece of the investigation involves unearthing evidence that Mr. Trump or anyone in his inner circle had foreknowledge that violence was a possibility on Jan. 6, and whether they took any steps to either encourage or discourage the storming of the Capitol. Mr. Bannon, whom the House voted to hold in criminal contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena from the committee, predicted on his podcast a day before the riot that “all hell is going to break loose tomorrow.”


The Ugly New Charges Against Jan. 6 Rioter ‘Baked Alaska’

By Will Sommer

November 19, 2021

A notorious U.S. Capitol riot suspect and white supremacist livestreamer who goes by the alias “Baked Alaska” faces new charges in Arizona after allegedly defacing a Hanukkah display at the state capitol.

On Nov. 3, prosecutors in Maricopa County charged the right-wing social media personality, whose legal name is Anthime Gionet, with two misdemeanor charges for criminal damage and attempted criminal damage. In the complaint, obtained by The Daily Beast, prosecutors allege that on Dec. 19, 2020, Gionet “did deface” a Hanukkah exhibit. The complaint lists a rabbi and a local Jewish organization as Gionet’s victims.

The charges concern a visit Gionet made to the state capitol last year, which he captured himself on the Baked Alaska livestream. In a video viewed by the Phoenix New Times before it was deleted, Gionet showed himself tearing down a “Happy Hanukkah” sign on a menorah in front of the state capitol.

“No more ‘Happy Hanukkah,’ only ‘Merry Christmas,’” Gionet said in the footage, according to the Phoenix New Times report.

Gionet couldn’t be reached for comment on the charges.

Gionet has promoted antisemitism in the past, publishing a gas chamber meme on social media and hanging out with Holocaust deniers like white nationalist leader Nick Fuentes. In 2017, Gionet marched in the white supremacist “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville. Footage of Gionet crying out for milk at the rally after being maced later went viral.

Read More

This isn’t the first time Gionet’s own livestream footage has been used against him in court. On Jan. 15, Gionet was arrested in Texas for his alleged law-breaking during the U.S. Capitol riot and charged with illegally entering a restricted building and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. Gionet’s livestream video was cited in the indictment against him, which listed in minute detail the various remarks Gionet made supporting the riot as he entered congressional offices.

Earlier this month, Gionet was found guilty of misdemeanor assault for pepper-spraying a security guard at an Arizona bar as the man tried to eject him. Footage from Gionet’s livestream of that incident was also used as evidence at his trial.

That assault case could complicate Gionet’s Hanukkah defacement case, since his pretrial release on the pepper-spray charge required him to obey the law. Instead, according to the complaint, Gionet defaced the religious display a few days after leaving jail.

The defacement charge marks just the latest legal woe for Gionet, who originally shot to some level of internet fame as an Alaska-themed rapper, and then as an employee for BuzzFeed’s video department. But during the 2016 election, Gionet started associating himself with various far-right figures, including working for right-wing troll Milo Yiannopoulos.

More recently, he’s traveled the country livestreaming his confrontations with strangers in public to his fans, who give him money in order to gain attention on his livestream. These livestreamed exchanges often turn violent, with Gionet pepper-spraying innocent people.

Gionet is scheduled to appear at an arraignment on the defacement charges on Dec. 1. He faces sentencing for the assault charge in January.

The Attack:

The January 6 siege of the U.S. Capitol was neithera spontaneous act nor a isolated event.

A report in three chapters (Before, During,After), including Key Findings and Key Characters



“786 people have been charged in connection with the Capitol riot.’


“What happened at the Capitol on January 6 has not occurred in over 200 years.”  FBI Assistant Director D;Antuono, Remarks on Press Call., January 26, 2021


“Feds: Evidence shows well-laid plan by some Capitol insurrectionists”: An FBI affidavit described preparations by the Proud Boys to storm the Capitol, including using earpieces and walkie-talkies to direct movements through the building., January 21, 2021


Sen. Mitch McConnell says: 


“The Capitol [is] essentially a crime scene”. Michael R. Sherwin, acting U.S. Attorney, Washington. D.C., January 13, 2021


Insurrectionist Lonnie Coffman of Alabama brought to the Capitol a truckload of weapons, including components for 11 explosive devices, guns, smoke devices, machetes and a note with information about a member of Congress. The note and the volume of weapons Coffman had in his truck suggest he planned to distribute them and attack members of Congress., Jan. 12, 2021.

On how diversity in nature relates to human diversity:
“We as humans will always be fallible. That’s always my opener. And with that in mind, looking at the history of just our country, it’s so easy to see the amazing things we’ve accomplished. And it’s also so easy to see the mistakes that we’ve made. And so that’s my hope is to open our minds to that fallibility that then allows us to own those behaviors and say, “OK, so we did this poorly. We did this bad. How can we do it better?”
“Because we’ll never be done evolving our civilization. Our beautiful American experiment that ostensibly on paper is designed to make an equal amount of happiness and justice for every citizen has a long way to go. So in order to achieve that, which I think is absolutely what our goal should be, we have to keep our eyes and ears and hearts open to that diversity of nature.’

— Nick Offerman