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Newly Released Footage Raises Questions About Capitol ‘Tour’ On Day Before Riot (VIDEO)

A man who appears to be seen taking photos of security checkpoints and hallways in the U.S. Capitol during a tour led by Republican Representative Barry Loudermilk on January 5, 2021, is also allegedly seen—and heard—in footage captured from January 6 where he is outside of the Capitol screaming threats at Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and Reps. Jerry Nadler and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

The committee released segments of security footage from the tour on Wednesday morning, arriving fresh on the heels of an announcement by U.S. Capitol Police chief Tom Manger stating that the department found “no evidence” that Loudermilk led a “reconnaissance tour” of the complex with supporters of former President Donald Trump.

The man who appears to be taking photographs has not yet been identified publicly but according to multiple outlets including CNN, he has been interviewed by the select committee.

Committee chairman Bennie Thompson first asked Loudermilk to cooperate with the probe voluntarily this May, giving him an opportunity to discuss the video footage the panel discovered during its review of key Capitol surveillance video.

In a statement, USCP Chief Manger said footage reviewed by the department did show Loudermilk with a group of 12 people that initially ticked up to 15 as they walked through a number of office buildings around the U.S. Capitol. Manger said the guests did not “appear in any tunnels” leading to the Capitol itself.

The committee’s release appears to challenge that narrative, or at the very least, point out behavior it still deems highly suspicious.

“The foregoing information raises questions the Select Committee must answer,” Thompson wrote in a letter to Loudermilk on Wednesday morning.

“Public reporting and witness accounts indicate some individuals and groups engaged in efforts to gather information about the layout of the U.S. Capitol as well as House and Senate office buildings in advance of January 6, 2021,” Thompson wrote. “For example, in the week following January 6, 2021, members urged law enforcement leaders to investigate sightings of ‘outside groups in the complex’ on January 5, 2021, that ‘appeared to be associated with the rally at the White House the following day.”

The individuals accompanying Loudermilk, the committee noted, “photographed and recorded areas of the complex not typically of interest to tourists, including hallways, staircases, and security checkpoints.”

Including an image in the letter of an individual appearing to photograph a staircase in the basement of the Longworth House Office Building, Thompson notes Loudermilk is just nearby talking to other members of the group in the background.

In the nearly three-minute-long video shared by the committee, the man believed to be part of the Capitol complex tour given by Loudermilk on the 5th is recorded by a friend on the morning of the 6th.

They are near the Washington Monument when his friend shows him a flagpole he’s carrying with a sharpened end.

“That’s for a certain person,” the companion tells the man.

“That’s right, that’s for somebody special, somebody special,” the man responds.

On the day of the Capitol assault, that same man taking photographs of the halls a day before is excitedly heard clamoring about “patriots” converging on the Capitol in a recorded video.

“There’s no escape Pelosi, Schumer, Nadler, we’re coming for you. We’re coming in like white on rice for Pelosi, Nadler, Schumer, even you AOC. We’re coming to take you out and pull you out by your hairs.

How about that Pelosi? Mind as well make yourself another appointment. When I get done with you you gonna need a shine up on top of that bald head,” he says.

The video also shows two photos obtained by the committee that appear to have been taken by the same person. One photo is of a nameplate for Rep. Jerry Nadler, something that would typically appear just outside of a lawmaker’s office. Another photo captured the physical directory of Democratic majority members.

Before the video came out, on Tuesday, Loudermilk accused the committee of falsely accusing him of giving reconnaissance tours.

“To my knowledge, no one that visited my office on January 5 was involved in any illegal activity on Januar 6, so if the committee has the evidence they should release it, not just make accusations,” Loudermilk told CNN.

A representative for U.S. Capitol Police did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Punchbowl News was the first to report that the committee had this footage.

When calls for an investigation were first raised by a group of more than 30 Democrats about Loudermilk’s tours, he issued a swift denial and filed a House Ethics complaint against Democrats who demanded a closer examination.

Loudermilk slammed the Democrat's request for an investigation as a “stain” on Congress. He also voted to overturn the certification of the 2020 election results on Jan. 6 after the attack.

During the riot Loudermilk, according to texts obtained by the select committee, sent a message to Trump’s then-chief of staff Mark Meadows.

‘It’s really bad up here on the Hill. They have breached the Capitol,” he wrote.

Loudermilk has defended the tour he gave of the Capitol on January 5 as something he did for “a constituent family with young children” merely eager to meet with their congressman.

A member of Democratic Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García’s staff, deputy communications director and digital director Ben Kamens, said on Twitter Wednesday that he saw the group identified by the committee in the Capitol Tunnel between the Longworth and Cannon and Capitol building between 1 and 2 p.m. on January 5.

Kamens said they were unescorted. He has already provided this information to the committee and law enforcement.

Kamens told Daily Kos over email Wednesday that he remotely interviewed voluntarily with the committee in February and sat for just under an hour.

“I approached one of them and asked them to put on a mask because people that work here have pre-existing conditions and it was before the wide availability of vaccines,” Kamens said.

Indeed, the Capitol building was closed to visitors and anyone on unofficial business.

“It was a group of mostly older women [in their] 40s to 50s and young men, late teens early 20s that I saw,” Rep. Garcia’s communications director said Wednesday. “I wouldn’t have gone that way if it wasn’t an intern’s first day and I wasn’t showing her how to get around on our way to get her ID badge.”

At the time Kamens said he witnessed this, he was working as a congressional aide to Rep. Andy Kim, a New Jersey Democrat.

Kim inadvertently made headlines after the insurrection. He was spotted cleaning up debris from the floor of the rotunda after the building was secured.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Democrat who has experienced routine harassment by the former president’s supporters and Republican members of Congress, responded to the video release in a tweet on Wednesday.

Rep. Loudermilk did not respond immediately to a request for comment Wednesday.

He released a statement late Wednesday afternoon, however, accusing the committee of “doubling down on a smear campaign” against him and claimed to have received death threats as a result of the footage’s release.

The Georgia Republican also said he did not recognize the man making threats toward Pelosi, Schumer, Nadler, and Ocasio-Cortez.

CBS News reported on Wednesday that it reached Al Foley, identified as “one of the Rep. Loudermilk’s constituents who toured the Capitol with the Congressman” on January 5 and was previously interviewed by the House Select Committee.

Foley told CBS that suggestions it was a reconnaissance tour were “the farthest thing from the truth.” The allegation, Foley said, was “disgusting.”

A spokesman for the committee told Daily Kos on Wednesday that he did not believe Foley was the man taking photos of the stairwell leading up to the Longworth Building.

In another clip obtained by NBC News on Wednesday that was not a part of the original three-minute clip released by the committee, the same man seen taking pictures during the tour with Loudermilk on January 5 filmed another part of his visit in the Capitol.

In related news, in a court filing on Wednesday, Proud Boy Zachary Rehl entered a document onto the record that generated a considerable stir this spring: an extensive plan to attack and occupy federal buildings. Proud Boy ringleader Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, who is now facing seditious conspiracy charges for crimes connected to January 6, allegedly cited the plan during the attack.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

As Hearings Expose Coup Plot, Expect Fireworks Between Trump And Pence

This week the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol will commence its public hearings on Thursday, June 9 at 8 p.m. ET beginning what will be a month-long presentation of evidence that congressional investigators have compiled through extensive interviews with key witnesses to the violent insurrection incited by former President Donald Trump.

Hearings will be televised and streamed online and will feature live witness testimony, new and unseen video footage, and previously-recorded interviews with members of Trump’s innermost circle and reportedly, members of his family including his daughter Ivanka Trump, son-in-law-turned-White House adviser, Jared Kushner, and others.

On the path to this moment, investigators have amassed over 125,000 pages of records and hundreds of hours of deposition. Many records were obtained voluntarily, while others were only secured after hard-fought but critically victorious legal battles against Trump and his entourage of lawyers, campaign and administration staff, so-called “alternate electors,” and other allies like right-wing conspiracy theory peddlers and members of extremist hate groups like the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers.

Committee investigator, constitutional scholar, and Representative Jamie Raskin, a Maryland Democrat, described the probe’s findings to this Daily Kos reporter recently:

“This was a coup that was orchestrated by the president against the vice president and against the Congress,” he said.

“The insurrection is only comprehensible when you understand that it was unleashed as a way to assist this political coup, this inside political coup. Donald Trump and his entourage had been looking for ways to overthrow the 2020 presidential election results for months.”

The hearings begin June 9 at 8 p.m. ET. The next hearings will be held at 10 a.m. on June 13th, 15th, 16th, and 21st. The final anticipated session will unfold on June 23rd at 8 p.m. ET.

For the first hearing, the violence that exploded at the U.S. Capitol on January 6 will be put into whip-sharp relief as the committee is expected to introduce the broad strokes of a plot that its members say was orchestrated by the former president to stop the nation’s transfer of power after he lost the popular and Electoral College vote to Joe Biden in 2020.

Other hearings will zero in on how that plot was navigated including through the use of bogus electors in key battleground states. It is expected that the committee will explore the nuances behind the concerted pressure campaign foisted on then-Vice President Mike Pence to stop the counting of votes by Congress on January 6 despite a lack of constitutional authority to do so.

Trump’s private conduct in the White House on the day of the insurrection, which reportedly included him vocalizing support for those clamoring to “Hang Mike Pence,” will also come under the magnifying glass.

As a result of the Jan. 6 attack, five people died. Hundreds of police officers were assaulted. More than $1 million in damages were inflicted to the Capitol building alone. The committee, as it has made clear since its inception, does not have the power to prosecute anyone, It only has the power to investigate and legislate.

A final report with legislative recommendations will be issued this September.

What those recommendations will look like exactly is uncertain for now, but the committee has said repeatedly over the last 11 months that its plan is to beef up all available legislative firewalls against would-be usurpers of the nation’s peaceful, democratic process.

Important to note is that a criminal referral of Trump by the committee to the Department of Justice has not been ruled out as of yet.

The department has slogged through its own January 6 investigation for more than a year, arresting over 800 people for a sprawling number of crimes including seditious conspiracy. It has also opened up a number of grand juries—special or otherwise—to weigh indictments for key Trump-tethered figures.

The DOJ recently refused to indict Trump’s former chief of staff Mark Meadows and aide Dan Scavino for contempt of congress following their respective defiance of initial subpoenas. The decision was announced late Friday and left committee chairman Bennie Thompson and vice-chair, Liz Cheney, “puzzled.”

“If the department’s position is that either or both of these men have absolute immunity, from appearing before Congress because of their former positions in the Trump administration, that question is the focus of pending litigation,” Thompson and Cheney said in a June 3 statement.

U.S. prosecutors did, however, indict Steve Bannon, Trump’s short-lived White House strategist as well as Trump’s trade adviser Peter Navarro.

Meadows cooperated in part, giving the committee a plethora of text messages and other correspondence, only some of which has been made public prior to the hearings. Those messages demonstrated how Meadows was at the center of a storm of election fraud conspiracy and legally dubious strategies proposed to keep Trump in office well after his defeat.

Meadows was also the touchstone for an onslaught of panicked presidential allies, who, records have revealed, begged for Trump to quell the violence during a staggering 187-minutes of silence from the Oval Office as the mob raged, lawmakers fled and blood was spilled.

Scavino cooperated with the committee in part, haggling for weeks over executive privilege concerns. Bannon and Navarro, however, flatly refused to cooperate. Bannon’s executive privilege claims started on shaky ground: at the time of the insurrection, he was years removed from Trump’s formal employ though he was still well embedded with the administration.

Navarro was officially-entrenched until the end and though he argues executive privilege should bar his compliance with the select committee, federal prosecutors disagree. Bannon goes to trial in July. Navarro’s next moves will be hashed out in court following his arrest last week.

How his case progresses will warrant close attention since prosecutors have taken the slightly unusual step of asking Navarro to not only produce records first meant for the committee but other specific communications from Trump, in particular. This could signify that Trump is under investigation by the department directly.

The DOJ has reportedly requested transcripts of the committee’s interviews as well, a resource that could bolster the department’s collection of evidence for any possible ongoing civil or criminal cases.

The witness list for the public hearings is evolving even now, as are the exact details of its presentations.

Members of Pence’s staff including counsel Greg Jacob and aide Marc Short have been invited to testify. So too has Michael Luttig and Luttig is expected to appear.

It was Luttig’s advice, as a former federal judge, that Pence relied on when Pence announced mere minutes before Congress was set to convene on Jan. 6 that he would not and could not “claim the unilateral authority to determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not.”

Pence Letter Jan 6 2021 by Daily Kos on Scribd

Pence Letter Jan 6 2021 by Daily Kos

Luttig is considered an expert on the Constitutional process and, crucially, the Electoral Count Act, the very legislation that his former clerk-turned-consigliere for Trump John Eastman sought to unwind when Eastman authored a memo proposing a six-point strategy to overturn the election.

Eastman Memo by Daily Kos

Eastman Memo by Daily Kos

As for the former vice president, he is not expected to testify.

Short and Jacob’s testimony will be useful to set the scene for the public: Both men were present for a January 4, 2021 meeting when Eastman presented the strategy to have Pence stop the count.

Other possible witnesses include Cassidy Hutchinson, a senior aide to Meadows who sat with the committee privately on multiple occasions. Legal records revealed in April that Hutchinson told investigators Meadows was warned of violence looming over Washington prior to Jan. 6.

Hutchinson testified too that several lawmakers, including Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Paul Gosar of Arizona, Mo Brooks, of Alabama and Matt Gaetz of Florida, among others were integral forces n the public and private pushes to advance the unconstitutional alternate elector scheme.

Former DOJ officials Jeffrey Rosen or Richard Donoghue may also testify.

Rosen, once the acting attorney general under Trump, told oversight and judiciary committees in both the House and Senate last summer that he was pressured by Trump’s allies at the DOJ—namely, Rosen’s subordinate, Jeffrey Clark—to issue a public statement saying the FBI found evidence of voter fraud in various states. The draft was proposed during a meeting just after Christmas 2020.

Richard Donoghue, Rosen’s deputy, took contemporaneous notes from that call with Trump.

“Just say that the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the R. congressman,” Donoghue wrote of Trump’s remarks.

When the committee’s held its first-ever public hearing last July, it heard visceral testimony from a handful of police officers who fought off the mob for hours.

Several officers injured have only recently made significant gains in their physical recovery efforts, like U.S. Capitol Police Staff Sergeant Aquilino Gonnell.

Others are still working through the post-traumatic stress.

U.S. Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn, who dealt with a barrage of racial slurs and physical attacks on January 6, has been vocal about the need for officers to receive therapy. A year after the attack, Dunn has kept up that messaging as well as demands for accountability and transparency as he continues to work on the Hill surrounded by the memories of that fateful day.

As the hearings get underway, there is counter-programming expected from the committee’s most staunch opponents.

Axios reported an exclusive scoop in advance of the committee hearings that House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy and Republican Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Elise Stefanik of New York will lead the counter-programming efforts publicly. Matt Schlapp, Trump’s onetime political director and now chairman of the powerful Conservative Political Action Committee, is reportedly in charge behind the scenes.

Jordan, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, is one of Trump’s most loyal lapdogs in Congress. During the former president’s first impeachment inquiry, the congressman used every opportunity during proceedings to throw witness interviews off track or demean their testimony.

When McCarthy nominated Jordan to serve on one of the first iterations of the committee to investigate Jan. 6, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi—per rules of a founding resolution—refused to seat Jordan. The California Democrat also refused to seat another one of McCarthy’s picks, Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana.

Pelosi accepted other Republican nominees put forward by McCarthy but Jordan and Banks had a track record that proved too divisive to be seriously considered. Both legislators had promoted Trump’s claims of election fraud openly and vociferously. Both voted to overturn the results. Both vowed before the committee was even formed, that they would use the opportunity to explore how Democrats were to blame for security lapses on January 6. They also sought to equate the violence of Jan. 6 with racial justice protests that dotted the nation after the police killing of George Floyd.

Negotiations for the committee stretched for more than a month and included moderate Democrats and Republicans in the process.

But when Jordan and Banks were skipped over for seats on what would have been a truly bipartisan committee with five Democrats and five Republicans sharing equal subpoena powers, McCarthy abruptly ended all negotiations.

The select committee was formed not long after. This time, its resolution established it would have nine members including seven Democrats and two Republicans. The only two Republicans that would participate on the committee were Cheney and Rep. Adam Kinzinger. Kinzinger is not seeking reelection.

As for Stefanik, her rapid ascent in the GOP will undoubtedly be underlined this month. Since her effective anointment by GOP Leader McCarthy to replace Liz Cheney as the party’s conference chair, the New York Republican has tirelessly echoed Trump’s cries of “witch hunt” whenever his conduct comes up for review or the events of January 6 are discussed.

The counter-programming will largely be a continuation of the meritless arguments and legal theories Trump’s allies have advanced in various court battles where they have sought to evade congressional subpoenas for their records and testimony. McCarthy, Jordan, Brooks, Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona, and Scott Perry of Pennsylvania have all received subpoenas from the select committee. Despite many of those same lawmakers admitting publicly to having conversations with Trump at critical times before, during, or after the insurrection, none agreed to come forward, either voluntarily or under force of subpoena.

McCarthy and the rest will staunchly defend the former president by presenting the easily-debunked argument that the committee was not properly formed and its members, as such, illegally empowered. That is not so, according to the U.S. Supreme Court and lower courts that have ruled, again and again, in favor of the committee’s standing as well as its pursuit of information relevant to its probe.

The select committee has been recognized not only as a valid legislative body but also as a properly formed one thanks to its binding resolution that was afforded the protocols necessary before a final vote in the full House of Representatives was held. The House voted last June, 222-190, to establish the select committee.

Last month, Vox obtained a copy of a strategy memo prepared by the Republican National Committee for its members and operatives to use as the January 6 hearings are underway.One goal allegedly listed was to push the message that “Democrats are the real election deniers” and that “Trump’s requests” this month to his “surrogates” should shape coverage on friendly media networks.

Though the endgame for Republicans during the hearings will largely be to deflect and distract, the committee’s sessions will be followed by a long summer with the events of January 6 still in focus: Bannon goes to trial in July to face his contempt charge and members of the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers facing seditious conspiracy charges (and other allegations) are slated to meet jurors in July and September, respectively.

While Trump and his cohorts are spinning, President Joe Biden is expected to keep somewhat of a distance from the spectacle of the proceedings. He waived executive privilege over Trump’s presidential records related to January 6 and on the record has been measured in his response to the select committee’s function and work. Politico reported Sunday that a former official suggested anonymously that Biden’s team would likely reconsider the hands-off approach if the counter-programming billows out of control.

At least one Republican, the former Virginia Rep. Denver Riggleman, has thrown his support behind the hearings and then some. Riggleman has been an adviser to the committee for several months.

He told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Sunday that the hearings would be a refreshing and unique change from the typical congressional committee hearing setting where Republicans and Democrats are often locked into partisan bickering and waste valuable time trying to course-correct.

“There’s not going to be a lot of partisan whining and screaming,” Riggleman said.

Rep. Raskin told Daily Kos in April that he believed the committee hearings would, at the very least, empower voters with “intellectual self-defense against the authoritarian and fascistic policies that have been unleashed in this country.”

Time, which is now running out, will tell.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

Ex-Trump Aide Navarro Indicted For Contempt Of Congress

A federal grand jury has indicted Peter Navarro, former President Donald Trump’s onetime trade adviser, after his failure to cooperate with a subpoena issued to him by the House Select Committee last February.

Navarro hit the press junket hard to shill his memoirs months before the subpoena rolled in and in that book, Navarro discussed a strategy he cooked up with Trump’s onetime adviser Steve Bannon to stop or delay the certification of Electoral College votes by Congress on January 6, 2021.

They called it the ‘Green Bay Sweep,’ and according to Navarro, its aim was not to “overturn” the election but rather, the plan was to have such a sweeping number of challenges to the certification launched by Trump’s Republican allies in the House and Senate that it would “put the certification of the election on ice for at least another several weeks,” he wrote in his book, In Trump Time.

Navarro faces two charges in the indictment: one count for failure to produce records to the committee as demanded in the subpoena and another count for failure to appear for testimony.

Incidentally, his indictment is similar to the one that was brought against Bannon—his fellow ‘Green Bay Sweep’ strategist—in November. Bannon’s trial is expected to begin this summer. As for Navarro, he made his first appearance in a federal court in Washington, D.C., on Friday at 2:30 P.M. ET.

NBC News reported that Navarro was taken into custody on Friday. Court records have also indicated that prosecutors sought to seal Navarro’s indictment until he was arrested. They were concerned that he might flee or engage in witness tampering. Navarro’s case will go before U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta, the same judge presiding over the seditious conspiracy trial involving a number of Oath Keepers including ringleader Elmer Stewart Rhodes.

Navarro told reporters earlier this week that he received a grand jury subpoena tied to January 6. He clarified that it was separate from the subpoena first sent by the committee. The 72-year-old vehemently argued that executive privilege invoked by Trump barred him from testifying. But there is no evidence to date that Trump asserted privilege over Navarro. The committee has indicated Trump did not invoke privilege over Navarro.

The grand jury subpoena notably zeroed in on the 45th president by name, ultimately asking Navarro for “all documents relating to the subpoena dated February 9, 2022, that you received from the House Select Committee to investigate the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol, including but not limited to any communications with former President Trump and/or his counsel or representatives."

The former trade adviser has been a vocal critic of the committee’s work and has referred to investigators as “domestic terrorists” running “a partisan witch hunt.”

He had multiple opportunities to cooperate with the House Select Committee. He was allowed to ask for more time to produce records so long as he could explain why. And if there were privilege issues, per the committee, Navarro could have created a list explaining which documents he would want to be shielded and why.

Instead, according to the seven-page indictment, Navarro opted to ignore the probe, resting on specious executive privilege claims instead.

“My hands are tied,” Navarro allegedly wrote in an email to the committee this spring.

Navarro Indictment by Daily Kos on Scribd

Navarro Indictment by Daily Kos

This back and forth went on for a matter of days, with the committee informing Navarro they could limit questions to his public remarks but his deposition, then scheduled for March 2, was mandatory under the subpoena.

He never showed.

Per the DOJ, each count carries a max sentence of up to one year in jail plus a fine of up to $100,000.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

Neo-Fascist Proud Boys Taking Control Of Miami GOP

Something stinks in Miami and the stench, it would appear, is wafting in from members of the neofascist group known as the Proud Boys.

A report by The New York Times published Thursday dives into the rapidly expanding political landscape in Dade County where the Miami-Dade Republican Party has now accepted a number of people affiliated with the extremist group into the ranks of its executive committee.

Miami, since at least the early 1990s, has been a Democratic stronghold for presidential candidates. The 2020 election put that to the test and the hits have just kept coming. The Republican Party continues its lurch toward extreme right-wing ideology and divisions continue to be inflamed by the party’s darlings like Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and the twice-impeached former president-turned-Florida-resident Donald Trump.

According to the chair of the GOP’s executive committee in Miami, Rene Garcia, they are aware of the “fringe elements” present in the influential panel. But having a few Proud Boys on board—including those charged with obstructing Congress or impeding police on Jan. 6, 2021—is, apparently, just par for the course.

“Yes, we have different points of view in our party. That’s how we are. And my job as Republican chairman is to protect everyone’s First Amendment right, however wrong they may be,” Garcia told the Times.

In February, the Miami Herald reported at length on the spread of extremist right-wing ideologues into Florida life and politics. In fact, in terms of January 6 defendants, the outlet noted, no other state claimed more than the Sunshine State. Granted, there are 21 million people who live in Florida, therefore increasing the probability of their presence in the defendant pool.

But it's not just a numbers game.

A plethora of the nation’s most prominent right-wing figures call Florida home, including Roger Stone and Michael Flynn. The onetime president of the Proud Boys, Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, is also from Miami and the group has had significant success disseminating its message within and outside of the state’s borders.

The Southern Poverty Law Center remarked on this phenomenon to the Miami Herald.

Rachel Carroll Rivas, a senior research analyst for SPLC said in February:

“Those national players can speak to audiences around the country — they choose to be based in Florida, but they’re also influenced by the politics of Florida and influence Florida politics. And in that way, they actually export Florida culture across the country.”

There are also a large number of hate groups that call Florida home. In the last two decades, extremist groups of all types have expanded in the state from right around 40 groups in 2000 to 68 identified today.

The number of hate groups across America overall has shrunk recently, according to the SPLC’s most recent report, but the Proud Boys aren’t losing any momentum. In fact, analysis has shown an increase in the number of Proud Boys chapter divisions cropping up in the U.S.

As noted by the Times on Thursday, self-starter groups like Miami Against Fascism have invested their energy into sorting out who in the Miami-Dade Republican Party may have ties to the hate group.

Today, the Miami-Dade Republican Party executive committee members include January 6 defendants Gilbert Fonticoba and Gabriel Garcia, for example.

Fonticoba was charged with obstructing Congress on Jan. 6. He faces a a number of other charges and has pleaded not guilty. According to an order from the U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly in Washington, D.C., Fonticoba’s next appearance is slated for August. In advance of his trial, Fonticoba has asked for additional time to review the “voluminous discovery” presented to him by prosecutors.

Gabriel Garcia, who faces charges including entering a restricted area on January 6, violent entry, disorderly conduct and more, also sits on the Miami Republican Party Executive Committee.

According to the Times, Garcia has said that he is no longer a member of the Proud Boys. An attorney for Garcia could not immediately be reached by Daily Kos.

Prosecutors said that Garcia screamed at U.S. Capitol Police on January 6, calling them “fucking traitors” as he allegedly urged those around him to storm the Capitol.

“USA!” Garcia was heard chanting in a Facebook video he uploaded. “Storm this shit!”

In another video, Garcia is heard allegedly taunting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, asking her to “come out and play.”

Garcia has railed against claims that the Proud Boys are a hate group. When he ran for a House seat in Florida last year, the former U.S. Army Captain said those descriptions were false. He has pleaded not guilty.

In an interview with the Miami Herald, Garcia deflected the accusations and blamed antifa for violence in the U.S.

Another member of the committee is Chris Barcenas. Though Barcenas did not go into the Capitol on January 6 and has not been charged with any crimes, he was at the Capitol that day and has been identified by groups like Miami Against Fascism as a member of the Proud Boys.

He has also not appeared to contest his membership with the group; he reporetedly testified earlier this year in private before the January 6 Committee to discuss Proud Boys and their role in January 6.

Another member of the GOP’s executive committee, Barbara Balmaseda, recently stepped down when pictures started to circulate of her on Capitol grounds on January 6. She said her resignation was based on her wish to focus on other work and that she felt the executive committee had become a drama-filled “waste of time.”

Balmaseda once interned for Florida Senator Marco Rubio and worked as a campaign organizer for Ron DeSantis. She was also a field organizer for the GOP in Florida and has managed campaigns for aspiring legislators like Omar Blanco and Illeana Garcia.

Though she recently left the executive committee, she has opted to remain on the board of the Miami Young Republicans.

Notably, online sleuths have claimed that they have identified Balmaseda at the rally on January 6 and in proximity to alleged January 6 conspirator and Proud Boy leader Ethan Nordean.

An attorney for Balmaseda did not immediately return a request for comment Thursday.

Balmaseda’s boyfriend, Brandon Diaz, served until very recently as the executive director for the GOP in Miami. He allegedly left the position to focus on his day job.

He has denied having any role in bringing Proud Boys into the committee’s fold in Miami and has denied any personal involvement with the group.

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos.

Defying Subpoena, McCarthy Rejects Select Panel's Oversight

The leader of House Republicans Kevin McCarthy has responded to his subpoena from the House Select Committee with a lengthy letter from his attorney, arguing, like others have tried and failed before him, that the panel lacks “valid legislative purpose.”

And as for his own discussions with former President Donald Trump—impeached for inciting the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol last year—those details, McCarthy argues, are not subject to oversight.

McCarthy’s response also came with a list of demands, much like his colleague in the House and fellow Trump-ally Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio. But unlike Jordan, who at the very least offered to provide an "adequate response” if his requests were met, McCarthy’s attorney, Elliot Berke, opted instead to present only McCarthy’s challenge to the committee’s authority—with the demand that members on the panel defend their “legal rationale” for issuing the subpoena.

“It is unclear how the Select Committee believes it is operating within the bounds of law or even within the confines of the authorizing resolution,” Berke wrote in the 11-page letter to committee chair Bennie Thompson.

As for the California Republican’s conversations with Trump on the day of the attack—the details of which the committee has sought for months and beyond what has potentially been publicly reported—McCarthy’s attorney says that information would effectively have no bearing on whatever legislative agenda the probe might have.

”Of course, the Select Committee has no valid legislative interest or oversight authority to question the Leader about public statements he has already made to the press or in the House Chamber,” Berke wrote.

McCarthy, through his attorney, also accused the committee of wishing to “interrogate him” politically and slammed the panel as unconstitutional and acting beyond the “power of inquiry as decreed by our Founding Fathers.”

Federal courts have already established that the committee has a valid legislative interest in investigating the events leading up to January 6. This decision was rendered in John Eastman’s fight to keep the committee away from documents it deemed pertinent to the probe’s fact-finding mission and again when the Republican National Committee tried to shield data from the committee about its fundraising materials.

Those documents, the committee has argued, were entrenched with the former president’s falsehoods and lies about the outcome of the 2020 election and this was used to effectively defraud the public.

McCarthy Letter to Bennie T... by Daily Kos

The response also contends at length that the committee itself was improperly formed because just nine members sit on it and the resolution states the speaker “shall appoint 13 members to the select committee, 5 of whom shall be appointed after consultation with the minority leader.”

But McCarthy had his chance to nominate picks to the committee. Some of his picks were accepted by Pelosi and others were denied. When Pelosi sent two of the nominees back—including Trump stalwart Jim Jordan—McCarthy, to borrow a phrase, took his ball and went home.

He ended negotiations cold and established clearly that he would not continue engaging with the committee.

The January 6 committee, as it stands today with nine members, includes seven Democrats and two Republicans.

An investigatory body was initially proposed and designed to be an independent, truly bipartisan commission. Democrats suggested splitting membership right down the middle, affording equal subpoena powers to both their party and the Republican Party.

But this proposal couldn’t muster enough support in the Senate and as such, the dreams of that commission were shut down.

Republicans continued to balk, largely, at holding any investigation at all. In the House, only two Republicans—the only two that now serve on the committee, Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger—voted in favor of forming the select committee.

The House passed the resolution.

Five members of the House including McCarthy and Jordan have been hit with subpoenas for their records and depositions. The committee also sent subpoenas to Reps. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, Mo Brooks of Alabama, and Andy Biggs of Arizona. To a man, each have have refused to comply.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

Jordan May Testify — But Only If Select Panel Shows Its Hand First

More than a week after receiving a subpoena from the House Select Committee, Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio has responded by telling investigators he will consider complying if they meet a list of his demands, including that the probe share any information it has on him that prompted the subpoena.

In a six-page letter to Committee Chair Bennie Thompson littered with accusations that the probe is unconstitutional, the Ohio Republican said he would “adequately” respond if investigators provided, in advance, “all documents, videos, or other material” they anticipate using during his possible deposition.

He has also demanded that the committee give him all other materials it has where he is specifically referenced and any legal analyses the panel has accumulated pertaining to the constitutionality of subpoenaing a fellow member of Congress.

A spokesperson for the committee did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.

In related news: On Thursday, Politico was first to get its hands on a letter from at least 20 former House Republicans urging GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy and other Republicans subpoenaed by the select committee to comply with the requests.

Addressing the letter to McCarthy and Reps. Andy Biggs, Mo Brooks, Jim Jordan, and Scott Perry, the former Republican lawmakers stressed that they understood the rarity of a “congressional investigative body” issuing a subpoena to sitting lawmakers.

But, they wrote, “we also recognize that the subject of this inquiry is unprecedented in American history.”

“A full and honest accounting of the attack and its causes is critical to preventing future assaults on the rule of law and American institutions — and ensuring that we all can move forward,” the letter states.

The committee first asked Jordan to voluntarily cooperate in December, highlighting questions it had for him about his contact with former President Donald Trump before, during, or after the insurrection at the U.S Capitol.

Historically, Jordan’s public response to these questions has been wildly inconsistent. Last summer Jordan told Fox News he spoke to Trump on January 6. When asked the same question a day later by a reporter from a different outlet, Jordan initially couldn’t recall if or when he spoke to Trump on January 6.

But he ultimately bumbled through the question and said he “thought” he spoke with Trump after the attack.

Then, a month after that interview, Jordan told Politico he spoke to the former president during the attack. And last October, when testifying before the House Rules Committee, Jordan was adamant that he spoke to Trump after the attack but he also said he couldn't remember how many times he spoke to Trump that day, either.

It was only after several minutes of House Rules Committee Chair Jim McGovern (D-MA) pushing Jordan to get specific that he stated he did not talk to Trump during the Capitol assault.

Last February, the committee investigating the insurrection obtained White House call records from the National Archives that showed Trump attempting to reach Jordan on the morning of January 6 from the White House residence.

Another entry following it noted the call lasted for 10 minutes.

When this news broke in February and reporters asked Jordan yet again if he remembered speaking to Trump before the insurrection, he responded: “I don’t recall.”

But he did say that he talked to Trump after delivering remarks on the House floor for roughly five minutes on January 6.

Legislators were debating objections to Biden’s electoral vote in Arizona and Jordan’s remarks began just after 1:30 PM. Jordan then spoke again from the House floor hours after the riot had subsided, this time around 10:27 PM.

"I know I talked to him after we left off the floor," Jordan told CNN in February.

Investigators also want to ask Jordan about any communication he was privy to that took place at the Willard Hotel on the eve of the attack or on Jan. 6 itself.

Trump’s legal team established a “war room” at the Willard, an upscale venue just blocks from the White House. Using a block of suites there, the president’s attorneys, advisers, and campaign strategists would meet regularly to hash out a strategy to overturn the 2020 election results.

Public reporting, witness testimony, and court records have indicated it was Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman, Bernie Kerik, Steve Bannon, Roger Stone, Michael Flynn, and others who convened there, though it is critical to note that they were far from the only Trump aides, attorneys, or insiders who frequented the room.

All told, it has been estimated that up to 30 people attended meetings at the Willard where the overturn—and “alternate elector”—strategy was discussed in detail.

In his response to the committee’s subpoena, Jordan argues at length that neither the subpoena nor the committee are constitutional. His argument has become a de facto position for Republicans who have faced the probe’s scrutiny.

Though Jordan claims the panel’s request is invalid because the committee does not have proper representation of Republican members appointed by GOP leader Kevin McCarthy, Jordan fails to note that when he had a chance to vote in favor of a wholly bipartisan committee—evenly split between Republicans and Democrats with even subpoena powers—he voted against it.

McCarthy appointed Jordan to serve on the initial bipartisan committee proposed by Democratic leaders. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi rejected Jordan—and Rep. Jim Banks—and asked McCarthy to advance two new nominees to the pool of five GOP members he was permitted to appoint.

McCarthy refused to do so, negotiations ended, and the hopes of an evenly split committee were dashed.

As for the select committee itself, it was, in fact, also properly formed.

To stand up a special committee in the House, congressional rules dictate that a resolution is drafted and voted on. When lawmakers in the House drafted the resolution to form the special committee in 2021, this is exactly what happened: They wrote a resolution, imbued the committee with the power to have subpoena authority, and dictated the membership terms.

The House voted on it and a majority of lawmakers voted in favor of it.

A federal judge in California last January has dismissed similar claims about the committee’s unconstitutionality from election subversion strategist John Eastman.

“The public interest here is weighty and urgent. Congress seeks to understand the causes of a grave attack on our nation’s democracy and a near-successful attempt to subvert the will of the voters. Congressional action to ‘safeguard [a presidential] election’ is ‘essential to preserve the departments and institutions of the general government from impairment or destruction, whether threatened by force or by corruption,’” U.S. District Judge David Carter wrote earlier this year.

And just a few weeks ago, on May 2, in a different court—this one in Washington, D.C.—a federal judge handily dismissed a lawsuit by the Republican National Committee (RNC) brought against the January 6 probe to stop it from obtaining information about fundraising efforts the RNC premised on Trump’s bogus claim that he won the election.

Among allegations that the probe was engaging in a fishing expedition for sensitive party information, the RNC also argued that the select committee was invalid and its subpoena powers unenforceable.

“The subpoena’s valid legislative purpose is apparent enough to sustain it against this challenge,” U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly wrote.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

Trump Reportedly Approved Of ‘Hang Mike Pence’ Chants

The mob calling for former Vice President Mike Pence to be hanged during the attack on the U.S. Capitol reportedly prompted Donald Trump to remark that “maybe” Pence should be hanged, according to testimony provided to the House Select Committee.

According to a report from The New York Times published on Wednesday, at least one witness has told the panel investigating the attack that it was Mark Meadows, Trump’s then-chief of staff, who divulged Trump’s remark about Pence made to colleagues at the White House on January6.

Meadows reportedly left Trump sitting in the dining room of the Oval Office where the 45th president was watching the melee unfold on television.

He was irritated that Pence had been moved to safety, the witness said.

Once away from Trump, “Mr. Meadows… then told the colleagues that Mr. Trump had said something to the effect of, maybe Mr. Pence should be hung,” the Times reported.

The “tone” Trump used is unknown.

Trump’s alleged comment appears to have been corroborated, at least in part, by some of the testimony delivered to the committee by Cassidy Hutchinson, a onetime legislative aide to Trump.

“It was not immediately clear how much detailed information Ms. Hutchinson provided. She has cooperated with the committee in three separate interviews after receiving a subpoena,” the Times noted.

According to the Times, a lawyer for Meadows responded to the report and said he had “every reason to believe” that the claim was untrue. Separately, a spokesman for Trump, Taylor Budowich, only responded by railing about the Jan. 6 committee running a “smear campaign.”

Hutchinson was first subpoenaed in November. In March, when the committee pursued records from Meadows in court, it revealed a partial transcript of her deposition.

She told investigators that during one planning call before Congress met to certify the electoral votes on Jan. 6, lawmakers like Reps. Scott Perry, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Lauren Boebert (among others) were fervently calling for Congress to stop the count and suggested that Pence had the authority to do so.

He did not.

Hutchinson went on to say that Rep. Perry, a Pennsylvania Republican, supported the idea of “sending people to the Capitol” on January 6.

Perry was one of many Republican lawmakers hit with a request for cooperation over the course of the insurrection probe’s investigation. But after stonewalling the committee for weeks, a round of formal subpoenas were sent to him and others including Jim Jordan of Ohio, Andy Biggs of Arizona, Mo Brooks of Alabama, and Kevin McCarthy, leader of the House GOP.

The Jan. 6 committee begins its hearings on June 9 and according to a draft schedule first obtained by The Guardian, the first hearing will air during primetime at 8PM ET.

There will be six hearings—for now. Investigators like Rep. Jamie Raskin, a Maryland Democrat, have indicated there could be more later.

After the first hearing on June 9, the next hearings will be held on June 15, June 16, June 21, and June 23. Like the first hearing, the last scheduled meeting on June 23 will air at 8PM. All of the other dates will feature testimony that starts at 10 AM.

The morning hearings are expected to last between two and three hours and for primetime slots, about an hour and-a-half to two hours is being allocated.

Raskin told Daily Kos recently that the committee hearings would offer unique, new, and chilling insights into the attack. He said he hopes the information they will present will arm the nation with “intellectual self-defense” against aspiring and existing authoritarians still in the midst.

The committee may also draw attention to another detail tacked onto the end of the Times report Wednesday: Meadows, witnesses have testified, used a fireplace in his office to burn documents.

Though the public hearings are fast approaching, the committee is still seeking cooperation from witnesses and conducting interviews. Just last week, the committee hit Rep. Barry Loudermilk with a request for his voluntary cooperation.

The panel asked the Georgia Republican last week to share information about a tour that he gave through the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 5.

Loudermilk balked, saying on May 19 that he gave a “constituent family with young children” the tour because they were meeting with him in House office buildings.

“The family never entered the Capitol building,” Loudermilk said. “No place that the family went on the 5th was breached on the 6th, the family did not enter the Capitol grounds on the 6th, and no one in that family has been investigated or charged in connection to January 6th.”

A day later on May 20, however, Loudermilk said that he “took a family with young children and their guests who were visiting Washington to lunch in a cafeteria in one of the House office buildings” and he noted that “some were actually wearing red baseball caps.”

There was “nothing unusual or nefarious about this family’s visit to see their congressman,” he said.

But in an interview that Loudermilk gave to WBHF radio on Jan. 6, he said he had roughly a dozen people “come by and visit.”

His account from that day doesn’t exactly line up with his remarks in the past week.

On Jan. 6, Loudermilk told WBHF:

“We had them in our office. They were definitely peaceful people. People that we’ve met at church. They were supporters of the president. They just wanted to be up here as if it were another rally.”

Loudermilk did not immediately return a request for comment Thursday.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

John Eastman Trying To Conceal Trump’s Direct Role In Coup Plot

New details about the direct role that Donald Trump played in developing a strategy to overturn the 2020 election were revealed in a federal court filing from election coup attorney John Eastman late Thursday.

Eastman is several months into a battle to keep records of his work for Trump in the run-up to January 6 confidential. but in his latest parry to bar access to emails he says should be protected under attorney-client privilege, he has revealed that Trump sent him at least “two hand-written notes” containing information “he thought might be useful for the anticipated litigation” challenging election results.

Evidence of Trump’s hand in developing this strategy is not the only thing that Eastman wants U.S. District Judge David Carter to keep away from prying eyes. He also asked the court to protect correspondence with no less than seven state legislators, White House attorneys, and other officials who received his guidance on the appointments of Trump’s so-called “alternate” electors.

Details on those officials and legislators in the filing are limited since Eastman was careful to keep their identities private.

But as first reported by Politico:

“But several of the attorneys filed declarations supporting Eastman’s descriptions of his work for Trump. Those declarations, filed under seal with the court, include attestations from Kurt Olsen, the lead lawyer in a Supreme Court lawsuit that Trump backed to overturn the election results, as well as Bruce Marks, a Pennsylvania lawyer who worked on Trump’s election litigation.”

Olsen was subpoenaed by the Jan. 6 committee in March. His push to change election laws at the Justice Department just ahead of the Capitol attack prompted the demand for his records and testimony. Olsen, in response, countersued the select committee.

Notably, Eastman also mentions in his filing that there are at least “six conduits to or agents of the former president” that he dealt with directly when strategizing the overturn.

Three are individuals who had roles with Trump’s campaign and serve as attorneys and the other three were members of Trump’s “immediate staff and one attorney.”

“While Dr. Eastman could (and did) communicate directly with former President Trump at times, many of his communications with the President were necessarily through these agents,” the filing states.

In another section of the motion, Eastman clarifies further, saying he also “communicated directly with Trump by phone and email through his assistant or attorney agents.”

Even now, Eastman promotes claims and makes insinuations that the 2020 election was rigged against Trump. There is no evidence to support these statements. He was equally adamant in the motion to Judge Carter that the select committee probing the attack is acting unconstitutionally and prejudicially.

Time and again, however, when the committee’s standing has come up in a legal challenge, courts have found otherwise, deeming it a valid and constitutional body acting within the scope of its congressional authority.

“The Select Committee has accused Dr. Eastman and his client of acting to obstruct the Joint Session of Congress with corrupt intent, based on its claim that Dr. Eastman and his client (and others) engaged in the ‘big lie’ about election illegality and fraud. But that claim, that premise, is itself false. One might even say that the assertion of a ‘big lie’ is itself the actual Big Lie,” Eastman maintained in the motion Thursday.

This batch of emails Eastman wants hidden comprise just 600 records. The committee has requested access to 90,000 pages of records housed with Chapman University, Eastman’s former employer.

The committee initially subpoenaed Eastman directly but he refused to comply.

That decision has been a boon for the committee: Judge Carter ruled in March that Trump and Eastman “more likely than not” engaged in a conspiracy meant to stop Congress from engaging in the counting of certified votes, one of the last steps on the path to a transfer of power.

Eastman was previously revealed to be the author of a six-point pressure strategy targeting former Vice President Mike Pence. Eastman advised in the document that Pence had the final say in stopping the certification. In truth, Pence did not, his role, under the constitution, was overwhelmingly perfunctory.

The conservative attorney took a swing at Judge Carter’s ruling from March, and in particular, a section where Carter said the evidence indicated Eastman's conduct was not “driven by preserving the Constitution, but by winning the 2020 election.”

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

Select Panel Seeks 'Cooperation' Of Lawmaker Who Led January 5 Capitol Tour

The House Select Committee has requested cooperation from another sitting lawmaker; this time it is Rep. Barry Loudermilk, a Georgia Republican, who investigators say gave a tour of the U.S. Capitol one day before a mob violently stormed the complex.

The letter sent to Loudermilk on Thursday is not a subpoena. It is a request for voluntary cooperation. Committee chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) asked that Loudermilk make an appearance next week:

“We believe you have information regarding a tour you led through parts of the Capitol complex on January 5, 2021. The foregoing information raises questions to which the Select Committee must seek answers. Public reporting and witness accounts indicate some individuals and groups engaged in efforts to gather information about the layout of the U.S. Capitol, as well as the House and Senate office buildings in advance of January 6, 2021.”

The week after former President Donald Trump incited an insurrection at the Capitol, New Jersey Democrat Mikie Sherrill alleged publicly that she witnessed sitting Republican lawmakers lead tours through the Capitol on the eve of the attack.

Other Democrats, like Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon of Pennsylvania, also said they saw small “unauthorized” groups touring the Capitol on January 5. Scanlon told PhillyVoice in January that she witnessed a group of up to eight people, wearing ill-fitting face masks, on one of those tours.

This stuck out to her, Scanlon recalled at the time, because the Capitol had stopped public tours due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For Sherrill, a moderate Democrat, a sitting member of the House Armed Services Committee, and a Navy veteran, the accusation drew sharp rebuke.

Sherrill has been publicly mum about the details of what she claims to have seen on January 5, but she did join more than two dozen other Democrats who demanded that the House and Senate Sergeant-at-Arms investigate the “suspicious behavior.”

Denials from Republicans came swiftly. Rep. Loudermilk, who sits on the House Armed Services Committee with Sherrill, lashed out by filing a complaint against her—and 33 other Democrats who called for a probe—with the House Ethics Committee.

Loudermilk called the Democrat’s request “a stain” on Congress and flatly denied that any member of the GOP led “reconnaissance tours” through the Capitol on January 5.

“Security footage captured by U.S. Capitol Police easily confirms these facts,” Loudermilk wrote in the full-throated denial.

Loudermilk was one of several Republicans on the House Administration Committee who reviewed security footage from January 6. Many of those same Republican lawmakers said after reviewing it that there were “no tours, no large groups, [and] no one with MAGA hats on.”

In fact, Rep. Rodney Davis, once nominated to serve on the House Select Committee by GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy, led a call for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to have the Capitol security footage made public.

His review, Davis said, did not support allegations from Democrats that members of the GOP led tours of the Capitol on Jan. 5. Pelosi, he screeched, must release the tapes.

But Davis was barking up the wrong tree: Pelosi does not have the authority to release U.S. Capitol security footage. That is up to the U.S. Capitol Police.

Arguably, Davis should have known that. As a member of the Committee on House Administration, he serves on a committee that, in part, oversees the Capitol Police.

Incidentally, Davis was also approved by Pelosi to serve on the January 6 committee when it was first being formed.

McCarthy nominated Davis and four other Republicans—including Trump cronies Rep. Jim Jordan and Rep. Jim Banks—to serve in the probe. But Pelosi didn’t want Jordan or Banks and sent McCarthy back to the drawing board.

Instead of continuing negotiations, McCarthy abandoned the committee altogether and slammed it as a partisan witch hunt.

Since then, Davis has served on what amounts to a shadow committee investigating January 6. Its members are all those Republicans who were not placed on the House Select Committee, including Banks and Jordan.

The shadow panel has no subpoena power, so it has relied on voluntary cooperation only and has reportedly focused its efforts almost entirely on the U.S. Capitol Police.

Loudermilk has been a vocal opponent of the investigation of the attack on the U.S. Capitol. Before the probe was officially formed, Loudermilk said any select committee formed in Congress would fail to produce new information.

So far, the select committee has interviewed more than 1,000 witnesses and obtained critical first-hand witness testimony about what was happening inside of the White House during the insurrection incited by the former president.

Some of that information includes texts from Loudermilk to Trump’s then chief-of-staff Mark Meadows.

While a mass of the former president’s supporters—and members of domestic extremist networks like the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys—carried out the assault, Loudermilk texted Meadows.

“It’s really bad up here on the Hill,” he wrote. “They have breached the Capitol.”

Meadows responded to Loudermilk that Trump was “engaging.”

Loudermilk thanked him, but he lamented where they found themselves.

    "Thanks. This doesn't help our cause," Loudermilk said.The lawmaker had spent weeks publicly promoting the idea on Twitter that election fraud was rampant in Georgia, as evidenced by posts collected in a social media field guide first compiled by Rep. Zoe Lofgren.

    A representative for Loudermilk did not respond to a request for comment to Daily Kos on Thursday.

    He did, however, tell The Guardian:

    Loudermilk ultimately voted to object to the certification of the 2020 election results on January 6 after hundreds of police officers had been badly beaten, one person had died, and the Capitol endured more than $1 million in damages.

    Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

    Oath Keepers Leader Offers Damning Evidence In Seditious Conspiracy Case

    On January 6, after the mob receded from the Capitol, Oath Keeper Wiliam Todd Wilson sat in a hotel room less than a mile away and listened as Elmer Rhodes attempted to call someone who he thought could connect him to then-President Donald Trump.

    After a violent, failed day, the leader of their extremist network implored this individual to tell Trump that groups like theirs were on the ready to forcibly stop the nation’s transfer of power.

    This is the account of William Wilson, the leader of the Oath Keeper’s North Carolina division. On Wednesday, he pleaded guilty to seditious conspiracy and obstruction of an official proceeding for his part in what Department of Justice prosecutors have described as a well-orchestrated, fully weaponized conspiracy.

    Rhodes has pleaded not guilty and awaits trial. Around him meanwhile, his former compatriots are turning their backs to seek reduced sentences at an increasing clip. Wison’s plea marks the third Oath Keeper to flip and subsequently up the ante on Rhodes who is facing possible decades in prison should a jury convict.

    According to the 45-year-old Wilson, during the call with someone appearing to serve as a Trump intermediary—the individual was not named in court records—Rhodes was left flat.

    He would not be patched through to Trump. Wilson recalled that an apparently tense Rhodes turned to his fellow Oath Keepers gathered at the Phoenix Hotel and remarked: “I just want to fight.”

    Wilson’s guilty plea is added to those entered by fellow Oath Keepers Joshua James of Alabama and Brian Ulrich of Georgia in the seditious conspiracy case. Wilson, however, was not indicted by a federal grand jury first, unlike James and Ulrich. Instead, he flipped voluntarily. This is a strong indicator that Wilson has been cooperating with the Justice Department for some time.

    Statement of Offense Willia... by Daily Kos

    Wilson was one of many Oath Keepers from neighboring states who arrived in D.C. in advance of Jan. 6 and prepared to lay siege.

    He arrived in Vienna, Virginia, on January 5 and stowed weapons at the Hilton Garden Inn Hotel including an AR-15-type rifle, a pistol, ammunition, and body armor. Wilson also carried a pocket knife and chemical irritants like pepper spray and brought along a large wooden stick he intended to use as a weapon.

    When coming to Washington, he traveled with Rhodes. During the rioting, Wilson has admitted to charges that he plowed through the west side of the Capitol only to force open the Rotunda doors and usher in a column of Oath Keepers to join the fray.

    The Justice Department argues that this moment had been in the works since right after the 2020 election. Enraged over Trump’s lies about rampant fraud in the results, Rhodes, his indictment noted, wanted Trump to invoke the Insurrection Act.

    If he did, the Oath Keepers would have a series of “quick reaction force” teams lined up in nearby hotels with weapons to aid him.

    Between January 4 and January 6 alone, Wilson said he and Rhodes spoke dozens of times with their co-conspirators to finalize their plans. As Wilson made the drive, he texted members of a “DC Op Jan. 6 21” encrypted channel.

    “It’s going to hit the fan tonight!” he wrote.

    In fact, it would take a few more hours yet.

    Once they breached the barricades on January 6, Wilson said he and Rhodes, and others steadily advanced through a chaotic scene. Rhodes told the group they were “in the midst of a ‘civil war” and moving in a stack formation, the Oath Keepers attempted to force their way deeper inside the building. Wilson, at times, filmed the assault.

    When it was over, and Wilson, Rhodes, and other co-conspirators found themselves back at the Phoenix Hotel, the inability to connect with Trump directly seemed to fill the ringleader with a new rage.

    In an encrypted Signal chat seized by prosecutors, Rhodes warned that “patriots entering their own Capitol to send a message to the traitors is NOTHING compared to what’s coming.” [Emphasis original]

    After meeting for dinner to discuss the longer fight ahead—what Rhodes allegedly said was going to be akin to the American Revolutionary War—the Oath Keepers agreed to destroy any incriminating evidence and scrub their devices. They went their separate ways.

    Weeks later, after Wilson had returned to North Carolina, he told prosecutors he chucked his phone into the ocean.

    At present, Rhodes and nine other defendants charged with seditious conspiracy have pleaded not guilty. But they are far from the only Oath Keepers involved or charged with crimes connected to Jan. 6. There is another group of seven Oath Keepers and their affiliates also poised to face trial for conspiracy. The Rhodes group goes to trial in July; the second group is expected to go to trial in the fall.

    Rhodes has maintained that Oath Keepers who were in D.C. on January 6 and charged with violence went off-script. He has argued that they were there if Trump invoked the Insurrection Act, but also to provide security details to Trump’s associates like Roger Stone.

    Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

    New Texts Expose January 6 Coordination Of Proud Boys And Oath Keepers

    A series of text messages newly poured into the record for the impending seditious conspiracy trial of extremist Oath Keepers leader Elmer Rhodes and his cohort has exposed often frantic correspondence where members discussed providing security details for Trump World figures like Roger Stone, Michael Flynn, Alex Jones, and others.

    The texts also appear to show a working relationship with the Proud Boys, another extremist network once headed by ringleader Henry Tarrio, who now sits in jail as he—and his minions—await trial for numerous charges related to the events of January 6, including conspiracy to obstruct Congress and assaulting police.

    From December 2021 onward, the text messages made public late Monday demonstrate a startling pathway to January 6. They were released as part of the exhibits that accompanied a pretrial release motion filed by Oath Keeper Edward Vallejo. A hearing will be held on that matter on April 29.

    Rhodes, as the apparent ground zero for the group, served as a touchstone for the daily concerns, schemes, and strategy of fellow Oath Keepers coming from all around the U.S. to Washington, D.C., for January 6. He would add people to the group chat, introduce them, and explain their roles.

    In the hundreds of texts that were made public, some stand out more than others, like those from late afternoon on New Years Day.

    It was hours after Oath Keepers held a conference call for “DC Leadership,” when they began chatting about firearm restrictions and magazine limits in Washington. They also spoke about possible loopholes they believed might exist for private security guards.

    In one exchange, Jessica Watkins — who prosecutors say was in one of the Oath Keeper stack formations that marched on the Capitol during the breach — mentioned that she heard GOP fink and convicted felon Roger Stone call for security during his appearance on Alex Jones’ show, Infowars.

    Florida Oath Keeper division leader Kelly Meggs, using his handle “OK Gator 1” initially told Watkins: “We have Stone.”

    Then moments later, Meggs said he “just texted him.”

    When another person in the chat believed to be an Oath Keeper—their name or handle is redacted—chimed in that they wanted to shake Stone’s hand, Meggs boasted that he could arrange it since he had been to Stone’s home “a few times.”

    “I’m down for doing PSD for folks,” Watkins replied, using shorthand for “private security detail.”

    “I don’t want to be a spectator. I want to be useful,” she added.

    “As per Stewart,” a reply from a redacted sender began, “We are all likely to be doing PSD most of the time ...”

    Stone has tried to put distance between himself and the Oath Keepers, albeit poorly.

    He has also denied being in Washington on January 6, though he was filmed fleeing D.C. that day by a group of documentarians. And in that same film, a screenshot shows he was in a group chat with Rhodes as well as Tarrio.

    Joshua James, the Alabama Oath Keeper chapter leader who pleaded guilty to the seditious conspiracy charges in March, served as security detail for Stone on January 5. He also hauled him to meetings at the Willard Hotel where Trump and his cronies Steve Bannon, Rudy Giuliani, attempted coup strategist John Eastman, and others would often meet in their self-described “war room.”

    Sal Greco, a former New York Police Department officer, allegedly worked alongside James when they did private security for Stone on January 5 and 6. Greco has denied being anything more than a friend to Stone. Greco is facing a police department trial in New York for misconduct.

    James, however, admitted that on January 6 he used a stolen golf cart with co-defendant Robert Minuta to evade police as they beelined for the Capitol. From there, James has admitted, he was part of an organized effort to breach the Capitol as lawmakers conducted the counting of electoral votes, a necessary step toward the peaceful transfer of power.

    Other text messages from Meggs to the group also indicate a through-line between the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys.

    Video has already emerged showing Rhodes meeting with Tarrio in a parking garage on the evening of January 5 in D.C.

    Tarrio was arrested just a day before on an outstanding warrant for his December theft and burning of a Black Lives Matter banner from a prominent church.

    The Miami, Florida, resident was ordered out of Washington after his release, but before he left, he met with Rhodes, Oath Keeper lawyer Kellye SoRelle, Josh Macias, and Bianca Garcia in the D.C. garage. Macias is the founder of Vets4Trump and Garcia is the president of Latinos for Trump.

    As news of Tarrio’s arrest first spread, Meggs told the group he tried reaching out.

    “I just called him no answer. But he will call [when] he’s out,” Meggs said of Tarrio.

    That evening, another redacted speaker in the chat responded to the news of the arrest.

    “They [think] chopping the head off kills it or something? Damn fools should have left him alone,” the text said.

    This is also far from the first time that prosecutors have exposed a unity between the groups.

    In a December 19 message entered into the record by prosecutors last month, Meggs tells a person on Facebook that he spent the week doing outreach to Proud Boys leadership.

    “This week I organized an alliance between Oath Keepers, Florida 3 percenters, and Proud Boys. We have decided to work together and shut this shit down,” Meggs wrote.

    The Three Percenters are an anti-government extremist militia.

    A week later, according to exhibits attached to Meggs’ request for pretrial release, the Florida Oath Keeper told members their groups had a plan in place to deal with “antifa,” or supporters of the anti-fascist movement.

    Meggs explained how they would coordinate together on January 6:

    “We’re going to march with them for awhile then fall to the back of the crowd and turn off,” Meggs wrote in December 2021. “Then we will have the Proud Boys get in front of them [and]] the cops will get between antifa nad Proud Boys.”

    He continued: “We will come in behind antifa and beat the hell out of them.”

    Many of the Oath Keepers charged with seditious conspiracy who have pleaded guilty have maintained they only came to Washington because they believed Trump would invoke the Insurrection Act.

    If he did so, then, in short, they believed they would then have the green light to proceed and assist him as necessary.

    The messages revealed Monday also offered a brief glimpse into the network’s ties to 1AP, or the First Amendment Praetorian, a self-styled militia. That pro-Trump group was subpoenaed by the January 6 committee already for its connections to Michael Flynn. Flynn used its members as bodyguards at “Stop the Steal” rallies. The group also threw its support behind proposals to seize voting machines as a part of Trump’s bid to stay in power.

    Like the Oath Keepers had in the past, 1AP also reportedly had members assigned to protect Jones.

    Rhodes appeared enthralled by the prospect of working with Jones again in a text Rhodes sent to members on Dec. 31, 2020.

    “Bottom line, is those of you wanting to do PSD details will get plenty of opportunity. We may also end up assisting the PSD for Alex Jones again. Which was a great feather in our cap. We worked subperbly (sic) well with both Alex Jones security team (who are awesome guys) and with the Praetorian Guard (also awesome veterans led by SF and SEAL veterans),” Rhodes wrote. “They LOVE working with us because of our legit ‘quiet professional’ demeanor and skillsets.”

    Rhodes continued: “It’s incredibly important for us to be front and center and again very visible for the patriots AND the domestic enemies. Heck, also to our foreign enemies, who will surely be watching as well.”

    Jones was subpoenaed by the committee months ago. He had a private meeting with investigators in January and when he emerged, he went on his own show to unpack the day. He vowed that he “stayed silent” and said he didn’t know answers to half of what he was asked.

    Jones also swore that same day that he did not use members from the Oath Keepers or Proud Boys as his private security. Instead, he said, he hired 12 or 14 people from a private security firm in Texas. He simultaneously claimed that some of those members were D.C. or Maryland police officers.

    Jones also didn’t think the Oath Keepers or Proud Boys were threat. He chalked up their activities to “live action role playing.”

    According to the texts, Oath Keepers were also interested in providing security to Ronny Jackson during the insurrection itself. Jackson was the former White House physician under Trump who turned into a congressman for Texas.

    “Dr. Ronnie Jackson on the move,” one message from an unidentified person stated on January 6 at 3:08 PM. “Needs protection. If anyone inside cover him. He has critical data to protect.”

    Rhodes sent a text asking what Jackson needed and then offered up his cell phone number.

    “Rep. Jackson is frequently talked about by people he does not know. He does not know nor has he ever spoken to the people in question,” a spokesperson for Jackson said Tuesday morning.

    In another message appearing to involve U.S. lawmakers, on January 3 Meggs told the group that friends to the Oath Keepers mentioned the group “on the call with congressmen,”

    “[They] wanted to say thank you all for providing and protecting us,” Meggs wrote.

    Attorneys for Rhodes, Tarrio, and Meggs did not immediately return a request for comment.

    Published with permission from DailyKos.

    New Texts Expose Sen. Lee And Rep. Roy Scheming To Overturn 2020 Election

    When Donald Trump lost the presidency in 2020, Sen. Mike Lee of Utah and Rep. Chip Roy of Texas spent weeks frantically prodding then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to find ways to overturn the 2020 election results, according to text messages newly obtained by CNN on Friday.

    But when evidence of so-called fraud did not materialize and Trump’s ever-expanding team of ethically challenged attorneys failed to deliver in court, instead holding spectacle-riddled press conferences rife with dubious constitutional theory, Lee and Roy became cynical.

    In the end, after blood had been shed inside of the Capitol courtesy of the insurrection incited by Trump, Lee and Roy voted to certify Joe Biden as president.

    Now, as the nation prepares for public hearings about January 6, the texts offer a keen glimpse into some of the private thoughts and conduct of legislators who were willing to override the will of over 80 million voters.

    The text messages from Lee and Roy to Meadows range from November 7, 2020 to January 6, 2021, and they are already in the Jan. 6 committee’s possession. There are roughly 100 texts in the batch CNN made public Friday.

    A spokesperson for the probe declined to comment or confirm any of the details reported. Representatives for Lee, Roy, and Meadows did not immediately respond to request for comment by Daily Kos.

    Roy’s spokesman, however, told CNN the texts “spoke for themselves,” and a communications director for Lee called Lee “fully transparent” since he previously and publicly aired his concerns about fraud in the aftermath of the 2020 election.

    It was Nov. 7, 2020, when Lee planted his flag with Meadows and pledged to find “every legal and constitutional remedy” to “restore Americans faith in our election.”

    Trump didn’t have to concede, Lee told the White House chief of staff.

    Trump also didn’t have to destroy the “credibility of the election process,” he added.

    Lee believed there was a “third way” that could work.

    Lee pushed to have right-wing attorney Sidney Powell guide those efforts and sent Meadows her cell phone number and email. She had a “strategy that would keep several states in play” for Trump, the senator vowed.

    He urged Meadows again just a couple of days later, saying Powell was a “straight shooter.”

    Powell had already established a reputation for herself in Washington long before Lee made the recommendation that she take on Trump’s latest scheme. She represented Trump’s ex-national security adviser Michael Flynn after he pleaded guilty to lying to Vice President Mike Pence.

    She would eventually launch a legal bid against the Department of Justice on Flynn’s behalf, accusing them of prosecutorial misconduct. A judge swatted her down, finding no such proof. She was also vehemently opposed to Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election and regularly carried on about “deep state” conspiracy theory.

    For a while, Powell’s knack for right-wing red-meat spectacle only increased her cache in Trump’s White House. Trump even praised her on Twitter as a “great” attorney after she took up for Flynn.

    Around the same time that Lee was pushing for Powell to get more involved, Roy sent a flurry of texts to Meadows. The Texas congressman was concerned that the president’s allies in Congress were ill-equipped to make the case of widespread fraud to the public.

    “We have no tools/data/information to go out and fight RE: election/fraud. If you need it/want it, we all need to know what’s going on. Fwiw ...” Roy wrote on November 5.

    Meadows told Roy he was “working on it.”

    Two days later, Roy again texted Meadows.

    Meadows tried to soothe him.

    “We are working on exactly that,” he replied.

    By November 9, Lee had told Meadows he held a meeting with Powell and fellow Republican senators so she could familiarize them with Trump’s “legal remedies.”

    “You have us in a group of ready and loyal advocates who will go to bat for him, but I fear this could prove short-lived unless you hire the right legal team and set them loose immediately,” Lee said.

    With the electoral college safe harbor certification deadline only weeks away at that point, Powell was well into Lee’s ear. Lee said she told him that Trump’s campaign attorneys were “obstructing progress” that could be made on the president’s supposed path to victory.

    But within a few weeks, things changed. Powell’s performance at a 90-minute press conference with Trump attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis just before Thanksgiving caused a major rift.

    Powell made wild claims at the press conference. She said Dominion Voting Systems used rigged software on its machines at the behest of former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez because that helped him rig his own election. She also said the company had ties to George Soros and the foundation run by former President and First Lady Bill and Hillary Clinton known as the Clinton Foundation.

    She also claimed that the software used and set an algorithm that switched votes from Trump to Biden.

    None of what Powell said during the November 19 press conference was true.

    Lee was watching and shot Meadows a text.

    “I’m worried about the Powell press conference,” Lee wrote.

    In another message, he warned Meadows: “The potential defamation liability for the president is significant here. For the campaign and for the president personally.”

    Lee urged that Powell be cut off from the campaign unless her wild claims of fraud could be substantiated. “He’s got deep pockets, and the accusations Powell made are very, very serious,” Lee wrote. It is unclear if Lee meant Trump had deep pockets or was referring to the owner of Dominion Voting Systems. The company did eventually sue Powell for defamation for her comments and when she responded in court in March 2021, the conservative attorney defended her conduct by saying she was only sharing her opinion and that “reasonable people” would not accept her commentary as fact. She was ordered to pay damages and was later sanctioned in court for filing lawsuits in bad faith.

    The text messages demonstrate how Lee pulled away from Powell after the press conference and began advocating for longtime conservative attorney John Eastman to get involved. Roy was chatting with Eastman around this time, too.“Get Eastman to file in front of PA board of elections,” Roy wrote to Meadows after asking him if the president had engaged with Eastman yet. “Get data in front of public domain,” Roy wrote on November 22.“Frigging Rudy needs to hush,” Roy added. The GOP needed a “controlled message ASAP,” because, according to Roy, without “logic and reason” presented, only the most “hardcore Trump guys” would lodge an objection at certification.

    Over in the Senate, Lee was still spitballing and told Meadows he had “ideas” about how to audit battleground states. Eastman had a proposal that could help things move along, but the White House would have to act fast.

    Eastman was responsible for writing a memo proposing an unconstitutional strategy that pressured the vice president to stop the certification despite lacking the authority to do so. It is unclear what date the memo was written.

    By mid-December, neither Roy nor Lee seemed confident that they had the “evidentiary support” they needed to anchor the fraud claims and bolster support from fellow lawmakers to object.

    “The president should call everyone off. It’s the only path,” Roy wrote on December 31. “if we substitute the will of states through electors with a vote by congress every 4 years, we have destroyed the electoral college … respectfully.”

    Lee told Meadows a few days later he had “grave concerns” about the plan Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas had in place to object to battleground state electors. It wouldn’t help Trump, he warned on January 3.

    That same day, Lee wrote:

    Lee believed things could change if battleground states certified Trump’s electors “pursuant to state law” but absent that, he conceded, the effort to stop or delay the certification was “destined not only to fail but to hurt DJT in the process.”

    Trump took a swipe at Lee during a rally on January 4, saying he was a “little angry at him” for suggesting he was against objecting on January 6.

    Lee had spent hours that day, he whined to Meadows over multiple texts, trying to “figure out a path that I can persuasively defend.”

    Meadows apologized, saying Trump had “bad intel.”

    “And this won’t make it any easier, especially if others now think I’m doing this because he went after me. This just makes it a lot more complicated,” Lee seethed to Meadows. “And it was complicated already. We need something from state legislatures to make this legitimate and to have any hope of winning.”

    That same day, Roy messaged Meadows and apologized for having to break with the president when lawmakers would convene at the Capitol on January 6.

    “I am truly sorry I am in a different spot then you and our brothers re: Wednesday. But I will defend all,” Roy wrote. [Spelling original]

    Within 48 hours, Trump would take to the stage at the Ellipse, flanked by his attorneys, like John Eastman and Rudy Giuliani. He would spend more than an hour delivering remarks about a stolen, fraudulent election, whipping the crowd into a frenzy.

    Before he even finished his speech, rioters had already made their way down to the Capitol and began pouring over police barricades.

    Roy sent a message to Meadows during the attack: “This is a complete shitshow.”

    He urged: “Fix this now.”

    Trump White House Counsel, Stephen Miller Appearing Before Select Committee

    Months after his initial subpoena, former President Donald Trump’s senior aide and speechwriter Stephen Miller is reportedly testifying before the January 6 select committee on Thursday.

    The select committee is steadily rolling toward what will soon be weeks of public hearings beginning in late May or June. Private depositions, including this one with Miller, however, are still helping investigators tick off any final boxes in a probe that has collected more than 800 interviews behind closed doors.

    According to the Associated Press, sources were unclear on whether Miller would appear in person or virtually. A committee spokesperson did not immediately return a request for comment to Daily Kos.

    The New York Times reported just 24 hours ago that the committee met with two of Trump’s most trusted attorneys, Pat Cipollone and Patrick Philbin, on Wednesday. They were not formally subpoenaed. The attorneys were not under oath nor was their testimony transcribed. They are, however, likely to return, and on those visits, their engagement with the committee could be more formal.

    Why the attorneys would meet with the committee this week is also being kept under wraps, but the National Archives on Wednesday did notify the panel it would soon begin transmitting a completely new tranche of records from the Trump White House.

    Those documents are expected to be remitted to the committee within 15 days—barring a court order stopping the hand-off.

    This February, Trump notified National Archivist David Ferriero that he would claim privilege over thousands of records in what will now be the seventh transmission.

    Trump to Archives Feb 2022 by Daily Kos

    Trump has been on a consistent losing streak, though, in trying to legally shroud January 6 documents from Congress. President Joe Biden overruled Trump’s executive privilege assertions, and courts have reinforced that decision.

    The Archives will soon hand off Philbin’s records to the probe and that includes correspondence about the lawsuits he launched on Trump’s behalf to challenge Biden’s electoral victory. As for Cipollone, he was present for many meetings of critical importance to the Jan. 6 committee’s probe.

    Cipollone was privy to meetings where Trump allegedly leaned on his other attorney, Rudy Giuliani, to call the Department of Homeland Security and demand that voting machines be seized because of widescale fraud.

    That fraud was non-existent, but nonetheless, Trump raised the prospect on more than one occasion.

    Cipollone and Philbin were also in the room when Attorney General Bill Barr tendered his resignation to Trump. In his recent book, Barr described the scene as explosive with Trump’s face “quivering” in anger when Barr rejected his insistent claim that there was fraud in the 2020 election.

    Miller’s appearance, meanwhile, signals a continued tightening of the committee’s focus on Trump’s innermost circle. Whether Trump asserted privilege over Miller’s testimony Thursday remains to be seen. He reportedly offered his daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner a chance to invoke privilege during their appearance.

    Neither took him up on the offer.

    Investigators want to interview Miller about his role in Trump’s “alternate elector” scheme. In an interview with Fox in December 2020, Miller openly vowed that Trump’s so-called alternates would keep the president in power because they had the ability to stop or delay the certification of electoral votes.

    Those electors, however, were unsanctioned and unrecognized in every state they formed in. The National Archives ultimately rejected all alternate slates for certification. The last hope for Trump to stay in power was to have then Vice President Mike Pence stop the proceedings. Pence did not.

    There are also questions about Miller’s involvement in crafting Trump’s January 6 speech. The ex-senior adviser has a penchant for inciteful rhetoric

    Trump’s onetime bodyman turned personnel director John McEntee met with investigators on Wednesday, too. It was revealed in November that McEntee played a critical role in having Trump’s Defense Secretary Mark Esper ousted, despite being a political neophyte with zero experience in the defense arena.

    He was, however, one of Trump’s pets inside the administration because he took it upon himself to root out any and all anti-Trump sentiment in the White House’s ranks and report on his findings.

    Printed with permission from Dailykos.

    Trump Coup Lawyer Still Trying To Overturn 2020 Election

    Some of the police officers attacked by the mob former President Donald Trump incited on January 6, 2021 are only now regaining greater mobility in their bodies—461 days since the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

    But according to a new report by ABC, attorney for Trump John Eastman took a meeting with a Republican state assembly official in Wisconsin just a few weeks ago. While there, Eastman pushed the official to overturn the 2020 election results by “reclaiming” those electoral votes that went to President Joe Biden.

    The meeting was reportedly held on March 16 between Eastman and Robin Vos, the GOP speaker for the Wisconsin state assembly, as well as a number of pro-Trump activists, including right-wing activist Jefferson Davis. Davis has been a vocal advocate of election fraud conspiracy theories central to Trump’s push to overturn the 2020 results.

    Other attendees reportedly included Douglas Frank, a friend to pro-Trump MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell; Shawn Smith, one of Lindell’s reported financial backers; and Ivan Raiklin, a U.S. Army Reserve lieutenant colonel with close ties to Michael Flynn, Trump’s disgraced former national security adviser and Q-Anon enthusiast. Raiklin’s political advocacy put him under an internal review by the Army in December 2021.

    Lindell did not attend the meeting with Eastman, Frank, Smith, and Raiklin.

    Eastman told ABC he would not discuss the meeting.

    “By explicit request from Speaker Vos, that meeting was confidential, so I am not able to make any comment,” he said Tuesday.

    An attorney for Eastman did not immediately respond to a request for comment by Daily Kos, nor did Vos.

    The January 6 committee declined to comment to Daily Kos on Tuesday.

    For the last several months, the committee has been slogging it out in court with Eastman as he fought to keep thousands of emails away from the probe. He rebuffed an initial subpoena from the committee, but the probe maneuvered around him and subpoenaed his professional emails from his tenure at his ex-employer, Chapman University.

    Ultimately, a federal judge cut Eastman’s obfuscation short and in the course of reviewing some of the attorney's emails, found information that led him to believe Trump and Eastman “more likely than not” engaged in a federal crime by trying to stop Biden’s victory from being certified.

    Eastman’s March 16 engagement is not his first get-together with Trump allies or election fraud conspiracy theory peddlers since he was first subpoenaed by the January 6 committee.

    As noted by ABC, a month before his appointment in Wisconsin, Eastman was in Castle Rock, Colorado, meeting with activists bent on ousting the state’s Democratic secretary, Jena Griswold. Republicans in the Colorado legislature have been stumping hard on election fraud conspiracy for weeks to reverse their defeats.

    All the while, Trump has continued to push bunk election fraud claims and call for new investigations by state officials.

    A day after Eastman’s meeting with Vos, Trump issued a statement through his chief spokeswoman, Liz Harrington, on Twitter.

    Vos “just said there was widespread fraud in the 2020 presidential election but that the state legislature cannot do anything about it. Wrong!” Trump said on March 17.

    The twice-impeached ex-president continued: “If you rob the diamonds from a jewelry store, if you get caught, you have to give the diamonds back, votes should be no different.”

    Trump demanded that Vos “do the right thing and correct the crime of the century—immediately.”

    On Tuesday, the former president openly said he would not endorse Republican and former ally Bill McSwain for governor in Pennsylvania. Trump said he chucked the endorsement because when McSwain was the U.S. attorney for Philadelphia, he wouldn’t overturn the election results for that state despite being aware of so-called voter fraud.

    “It was there for the taking and he failed so badly,” Trump said.

    No extensive voter fraud was uncovered in the 2020 election because none occurred. In a place like Pennsylvania, what very little voter fraud that was found, was was determined negligible to the election outcome.

    Trump’s kicking of McSwain to the curb is less surprising but more predictable. Trump has often turned on those political candidates who will not or cannot carry his election fraud message for him. This may be a bitter pill for McSwain given the heavy lifting he did to support the ex-president’s claims of rampant election fraud.

    According to Politico, McSwain even went so far as to write a letter suggesting the DOJ under Trump-appointed attorney general Bill Barr instructed him not to investigate irregularities in the election.

    Meanwhile, the government watchdog group American Oversight has successfully sued Vos for access to tens of thousands of pages of emails from the Wisconsin state assembly. The oversight group was interested in reviewing the many inquiries that were made to the assembly about the 2020 election.

    On Monday, the Wisconsin Examiner reported in-depth on Vos’ communications during that time. Many of the emails had been deleted,

    Emails showed messages sent and received between Vos and Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani and other election fraud conspiracy theory-peddling lawyers like Victoria Toensing.

    Giuliani was subpoenaed by the January 6 committee on January 18, 2022 for his records and deposition. The former New York City mayor was often the public face of Trump’s plan to install “alternate electors” and according to at least one prosecutor in the 2020 election battleground state of Michigan, Giuliani also pressured him to seize voting machines and send them to Trump’s team.

    Printed with permission from Dailykos.

    'Total Control': Trump Jr. Pushed Coup Plot In November 2020 Texts To Meadows

    In a series of messages exclusively obtained and reviewed by CNN on Friday, Donald Trump Jr. reportedly sent texts to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows with ideas about how his father, Donald Trump, could stay in power even before the official results of the 2020 election were called.

    “It’s very simple. We have multiple paths. We control them all,” Trump Jr. reportedly wrote to Meadows on November 5, 2020. President-elect Joe Biden would not be declared the official winner until November 7.

    Alan Futerfas, an attorney for the president’s eldest son, told CNN the message to Meadows was a forward. Incidentally, when the Jan. 6 committee exposed text messages sent by Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio to Mark Meadows, Jordan said the same had occurred.

    “After the election, Don received numerous messages from supporters and others. Given the date, this message likely originated from someone else and was forwarded,” Futerfas said.

    According to CNN, the November 5 text from Trump Jr. echoed similar strategies put forward by election subversion strategist and conservative attorney John Eastman. Eastman urged the Trump White House to have then-Vice President Mike Pence stop the counting of electoral votes and consider “alternate electors” for Trump. In Trump Jr.’s reported text, he too said that key battleground states must be recounted and recertified with “Trump electors.”

    “Republicans control 28 states Democrats 22 states. Once again Trump wins,” the message said. “We either have a vote WE control and WE win OR it gets kicked to Congress 6 January 2021.”

    If the alternate elector bid didn’t work, Trump Jr. made the baldly unconstitutional proposal that Congress simply hold a vote on January 6 to reinstall Trump.

    “We have operational control Total leverage. Moral High Ground POTUS must start 2nd term now,” Trump Jr. wrote [punctuation in original].

    He also allegedly called for FBI Director Christopher Wray and Anthony Fauci, Trump’s White House adviser on the pandemic, to be fired.

    The president’s son wanted former Director of National Intelligence and Internet troll Ric Grenell to replace Wray, despite having zero experience, and Attorney General Bill Barr to serve as a “special prosecutor on HardDrivefromHell Biden crime family,” the text shows

    Barr ultimately refused to investigate the Bidens. He resigned about a month after Trump Jr’s text. Notably, Barr did not find fraud had occurred in the 2020 election.

    It is unclear whether the House Select Committee on January 6 had previously obtained the text messages reported on by CNN. A committee spokesman did not immediately return a request for comment Friday.

    Reprinted with permission from Alternet

    Ivanka Trump Meets With House Select Committee On Capitol Riot

    As a contempt vote in the House looms for Trump White House officials who sidestepped subpoenas from the House Select Committee on January 6, NBC News has reported first that investigators of the attempted overthrow are meeting today with Ivanka Trump, the ex-president’s daughter and onetime adviser.

    Ivanka reportedly will appear before the committee Wednesday, on the heels of a private deposition given by her husband and fellow senior adviser to the former president, Jared Kushner. Kushner appeared voluntarily. Ivanka was first asked to appear in January and talks have reportedly been ongoing since then.

    The probe is particularly interested in hearing details from Ivanka about her father’s conduct before, during, and after the siege. Former Vice President Mike Pence’s national security adviser, Keith Kellogg, told the committee he and Ivanka were present when Trump called Pence to pressure him to stop the certification.

    As that call ended, Ivanka turned to Kellogg and said of the vice president: “Mike Pence is a good man.”

    It is unclear whether Ivanka Trump will appear remotely or in person. A representative for the committee declined to comment to Daily Kos on Wednesday.

    If she indeed appears, she will be the second member of the Trump family circle to testify since Kushner went first last week.

    Investigators have targeted phone records belonging to Eric Trump, as well as records belonging to Kimberly Guilfoyle, Donald Trump Jr.’s fiancée. Guilfoyle received a separate subpoena direct from the committee on March 3 following a voluntary appearance that fell apart fast.

    The committee has appeared generous with Trump family members thus far, extending opportunities for “friendly” or voluntary meetings and granting time to negotiate appearances.

    Guilfoyle was afforded that friendliness, too, but balked on the day of her deposition, when she realized she would have to testify in front of members of the committee as well as House counsel. Her attorney chalked up the opposition to a fear of media leaks.

    Guilfoyle’s fundraising efforts around the rally at the Ellipse on January 6 are front and center for the probe. Last year, text messages obtained by ProPublica showed Guilfoyle boasting about raising no less than $3 million for the event. She was also backstage at the rally, seen celebrating with those closest to the president just before his speech to a crowd that would soon descend violently on the U.S. Capitol.

    It is unclear whether Guilfoyle has agreed to cooperate since her last botched appearance.

    Kushner’s appearance went smoothly, according to Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a California Democrat who serves on the committee. Lofgren was mum on details during an appearance on CNN following the meeting but described Kushner as “precise.”

    Though she did say Kushner “did not volunteer” anything.

    The meeting lasted six hours but Lofgren emphasized that the deposition was not “volatile.”

    Fellow January 6 investigator Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA) told NPR that Kushner’s testimony was “helpful.”

    “I think that the committee really appreciates hearing information directly from people who have relevant facts about January 6, and the fact that Jared Kushner came as a witness is helpful to building the story of our investigation,” the Virginia Democrat said.

    Unlike Ivanka, Kushner was not in Washington, D.C., on January 6.

    He was heading back to the U.S. from Saudi Arabia while she, according to testimony already provided to the committee, was busy trying to convince her father to say something publicly to soothe the mob attacking the Capitol and threatening to kill Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Pence.

    Where Ivanka’s insights into how she soothed her father during the riot are sought by the committee, it’s likely that investigators asked Kushner about the widely reported role he played: telling Trump that he lost the 2020 election to Joe Biden.

    Luria said that Kushner’s testimony allowed the committee to “substantiate information” while providing “his own take on different reports on the January 6 attack.”

    Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

    Ex-Cop Who Stormed Capitol Goes On Trial

    The trial for Thomas “TJ” Robertson, a former cop and U.S. Army veteran who prosecutors say stormed the U.S. Capitol with tactical gear and gas masks in hopes of obstructing the certification of the 2020 election, begins this week.

    Jury selection kicks off the proceedings for the third trial mounted from the Justice Department’s massive investigation of the January 6 attack incited by former President Donald Trump.

    Robertson has a steep hill to climb: He has entered a not guilty plea to six counts after violating the terms of his release earlier this year, and his alleged cohort—another police officer, Jacob Fracker, who has already pleaded guilty—is expected to testify against him.

    Robertson’s trial could last for the duration of this week and according to NBC4 Washington, presiding U.S. District Judge Christopher Moore told attorneys Monday he anticipated the trial could pour over into next week.

    According to his indictment, Robertson traveled from just outside Roanoke, Virginia to the Capitol with fellow Rocky Mount Police Department officer Jacob Fracker on January 6. Both men were fired after being arrested in the immediate weeks after the riot.

    Robertson, a veteran of the U.S. Army who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, allegedly brought a large wooden stick with him to the Capitol on January 6. Prosecutors say he used it to beat back Metropolitan Police Department officers defending the complex alongside U.S. Capitol Police in the melee.

    He also brought three gas masks with him that day. According to Fracker’s admission last month when entering his guilty plea, Robertson gave Fracker and another person the masks as they marched into a restricted zone near the west terrace of the Capitol.

    Fracker faces up to five years in prison and will be sentenced on Apr. 28, potentially just after the jury issues its verdict for Robertson. Fracker has agreed to cooperate with the Justice Department’s sweeping probe in exchange for leniency, and he could receive just 15 to 21 months.

    At trial, in addition to key testimony from Fracker, U.S. attorneys will present a variety of exhibits to make the case against Robertson.

    The former Rocky Mount police sergeant has made some of that work easy: He took a selfie with Fracker in the crypt of the Capitol after breaching it and then sent it to other officers at the department.

    The men posed before a bust of John Stark, a decorated major general of the Continental Army during the American Revolution. Robertson is seen making an obscene gesture there.

    He posted the selfie with Fracker to his own social media account after it was leaked online.

    “Here’s the picture in question and I am fucking PROUD of it,” he wrote. It shows 2 men willing to actually put skin in the game and stand up for their rights. If you are too much of a coward to risk arrest, being fired and actual gunfire to secure your rights, you have no words to speak I value.”

    Instagram exchange

    He also wrote online about how he “took the fucking Capitol” and how he “attacked the government” on January 6.

    All of this evidence cuts against his defense that he was actually escorted into the Capitol by police and milled about peacefully. Robertson denies reveling in or participating in any violence, and his attorney has emphasized how Robertson was only inside the Capitol for 10 minutes.

    Jurors will also see timestamped video footage provided by U.S. Capitol Police as well as bodycam footage from the Metropolitan Police Department, security footage from the Senate and House, and a bevy of Robertson’s disturbing Facebook posts and other social media messages.

    Two days after the attack, he unloaded on Facebook, prosecutors say. In one post, Robertson railed that “being nice [and] polite, writing letters and sending emails hasn’t worked.”

    An FBI lab report from last July noted Robertson had a metal pipe with two metal end caps, a fuse and a piece of a fuse.Robertson was outraged, writing:

    Robertson was outraged, writing:

    “All thats left is violence and YOU and your ‘Friends on the other side of the isle have pushed Americans into that corner. The picture of Senators cowering on the floor with genuine fear on their faces is the most American thing I have seen in my life.” : [Punctuation, spelling, emphasis original]:

    Jurors may also see records tied to Robertson’s account for an online assault rifle “discussion and resources” forum, his bank statements, information found on his cell phone, and photographs of items found at his home two weeks after the Capitol breach.

    Robertson was initially on pretrial release following his arrest but was thrown back into detention when officers with a search warrant found an M4 Rifle, over 50 cans of gunpowder and the makings of a pipe bomb at his Ferrum, Virginia home. Officers also turned up four silencers. The weapons and materials violated an order from the court that he not have access to firearms or destructive devices.

    Prosecutors fought to keep him in jail as well because Robertson ordered ammunition and some 37 firearms after he was indicted. He spent nearly $50,000 on the haul and had the guns and ammo sent to a federally licensed firearm dealer in Roanoke, Virginia.

    He claimed the rifle found in his bedroom belonged to his son. His attorneys argued the materials were part of his training equipment for a law enforcement rapid response training program. The mass of guns he ordered he chalked up to being part of his growing collection of World War II memorabilia. Court records show Roberts tried to obscure the purchase on Venmo, at one point labeling a more than $3,000 purchase as “Wedding Photos.”

    Judge Cooper told Robertson he likely committed a felony by having the weapons shipped on his behalf.

    Robertson appeared flagrantly remorseless about his conduct on the online gun forum, too.

    At one point, he posted a screenshot of his charges to the gun broker site, adding that he was “sure as fuck” proud of his charges.

    “I’ve said it before. They are trying to teach us a lesson,” Robertson wrote on Jun. 10. “They have. But not the intended lesson. I have learned that if you peacefully protest than you will be arrested, fired, be put on a no fly list, have your name smeared and your address released by the FBI so every loon in the U.S. can send you hate mail.”

    He continued:

    “I have learned very well that if you dip your toe into the Rubicon… cross it. Cross it hard and violent and play for all the marbles,” he wrote online six months after Jan. 6.

    Robertson insists he is innocent and told ABC13 last year Capitol police invited him inside and offered him water.

    U.S. Capitol Police did not immediately return a request for comment to Daily Kos on Monday.

    Robertson maintains “there was absolutely no indication” he or Fracker were “anything but welcome to check out certain places” and he insists he “did not participate in any violence or property damage.”

    Prosecutors allege Fracker, Robertson, and an unidentified neighbor drove to Washington early on the morning of January 6 and started the day listening to speeches near the Washington Monument. Before they arrived, Robertson was raging on Facebook that the 2020 election had been stolen, echoing false claims by then-President Trump.

    Published by permission of Daily Kos.