Peter Ticktin, an attorney for former President Donald Trump, has repeatedly gone on online shows hosted by supporters of the QAnon conspiracy theory. During some of these appearances, hosts have asked Ticktin to connect them with Trump, and in one instance, Ticktin and the host suggested members of the Biden administration should be put to death.
In March, Politico reported that Trump filed a lawsuit against some of his perceived political enemies, including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former FBI Director James Comey, and the Democratic National Committee, accusing them of a “racketeering conspiracy for allegedly joining in ‘an unthinkable plot’ to falsely accuse Trump of colluding with Russia in the 2016 presidential election.” Ticktin, who is a longtime friend of Trump’s, is serving as one of the lead counsels for Trump on the case.
Later that month, Ticktin spoke at Mar-A-Lago for an event for QAnon-supporting Florida congressional candidate Darlene Swaffar, during which QAnon influencers Ann Vandersteel and Jeffrey Pedersen — who is known online as “intheMatrixxx” — also spoke. Pedersen was photographed with Ticktin at the event.
In June, Ticktin appeared on RedPill78, which is hosted by QAnon supporter Zak Paine, who participated in the January 6 insurrection at the United States Capitol. During the interview, Ticktin told Paine that “the real insurrection occurred on November 3 and 4,” referring to false voter fraud claims, and that “if we had a stolen election, that means the people that are in the White House are criminals -- not only criminals but criminals guilty of capital punishment crimes.” Paine agreed, later saying, “You’re absolutely right when you said that these are capital crimes. We’re talking about treason.”
When Paine asked Ticktin “what are we doing” in terms of “exposing this fraud,” Ticktin said, “I've got one thing I’m working on now that you're going to hear about in about a month.” And at the end of the interview, after they discussed Trump’s lawsuit, Paine asked Ticktin to “tell Donald Trump I said hello” and to “help me get an invite to Mar-A-Lago,” adding after the interview, “Hopefully one of these days, I am going to be able to get down to Mar-A-Lago and if I could interview President Trump, you all know it would be a dream come true.”
A couple of months earlier, on April 11, Ticktin appeared on Vandersteel's online show, Steel Truth. During the interview, the two discussed Trump’s lawsuit and Ticktin’s book about Trump (Vandersteel suggested Ticktin signed a copy for her), and she told Ticktin, “It was a pleasure to make your acquaintance the other evening at another event in Mar-A-Lago.”
The following day, Ticktin appeared on the QAnon-supporting MatrixxxGrooove Show (or MG Show), co-hosted by Pedersen. During the interview, Ticktin promoted Trump’s lawsuit and pushed false voter fraud claims alongside the hosts, suggesting the 2020 presidential election was “the real insurrection.” While promoting Ticktin’s book, Pedersen also noted that he had a signed copy, and he asked Ticktin to tell Trump that “we’d love to have him on the show.” (Pedersen had also claimed to be at Ticktin’s office the day before, weeks after claiming that he “might be meeting with” Ticktin “for some other things too.”)
Days later, Pedersen claimed on his show that he had met Trump at Mar-A-Lago that past weekend, saying that “Peter Ticktin also let him [Trump] know that we were there” and that Trump “knew we were there. He knew who we were.”
Ticktin’s association with the far-right internet extends beyond QAnon as well: In April, Ticktin apparently teamed up with far-right blog The Gateway Pundit to “crowdsource videos” from the January 6 insurrection, “requesting footage of ‘Trump protestors being peaceful’ and of ‘police or anyone else waving/encouraging people to go into the Capitol building,’” as reported by Mediaite.
This is not the first time a person in Trump's orbit has associated with QAnon-connected figures. Trump himself amplified and praised the QAnon community when he was president. And Pedersen and his co-host Shannon Townsend obtained press credentials for a Trump rally last July, after which “Trump associates … told POLITICO that they had attempted to weed out any QAnon influences — both adherents and postings — getting close to him.” But Trump has continued to amplify QAnon-promoting accounts since he began actively using his social media platform Truth Social.
Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.