Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certification

Re: Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certificat

Postby admin » Sat Nov 20, 2021 2:49 am

The Trump Coup: Notes on an Authoritarian Conspiracy: Inside the Claremont Institute’s “79 Days to Inauguration” Report. Claremont’s post-election war game provides a window into the group’s ambitions.
by Christian Vanderbrouk
The Bulwark
November 8, 2021 5:04 AM



Holding public confrontational rallies is understood within the WSM as providing an opportunity to provoke (or “trigger”) their racial enemies in the hope of igniting a large-scale racial conflict and the societal chaos that will spread across the U.S. to the advantage of white supremacists who are positioned to seize control. This is a strategy that scholars now describe as “accelerating.”

-- Expert Report of Kathleen Blee (Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Bailey Dean of the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, University of Pittsburgh) and Peter Simi (Associate Professor of Sociology, Chapman University), Sines v. Kessler, No. 17-cv-00072, Submitted on July 20, 2020


The sun rises on January 6, 2021 while a nation is in crisis.

Michigan’s presidential electors are in dispute after a mysterious fire in Detroit destroyed thousands of mail-in ballots, ultimately throwing the election to Congress.

The nation’s capital is overwhelmed by riots organized by left-wing radicals.

A Republican member of Congress is attacked and critically injured in the violence, potentially depriving Donald Trump of the decisive vote.

However, the representative heroically insists on being taken to the House floor. “With IVs and blood transfusions being administered, the member casts the deciding vote, giving Trump 26 state delegations and the needed majority.”


This is the grisly climax of a report published in mid-October 2020 by the Claremont Institute and Texas Public Policy Foundation’s (TPPF) called “79 Days to Inauguration,”
prepared by “Constitutional scholars, along with experts in election law, foreign affairs, law enforcement, and media . . . coordinated by a retired military officer experienced in running hundreds of wargames.”

Among these luminaries were figures such as John Eastman—lawyer for Donald Trump and author of a memo advising Vice President Mike Pence to unilaterally block certification of Joe Biden’s win in order to buy time for GOP-controlled state legislatures to send competing slates of electors—and K.T. McFarland, who served as deputy national security advisor under Michael Flynn in the Trump White House.

Other participants include Kevin Roberts, then-executive director of the Texas Public Policy Foundation (soon to be head of the Heritage Foundation), Jeff Giesea, “a [Peter] Thiel protégé and secret funder of alt-right causes,” and Charles Haywood, a fringe blogger who anxiously awaits an American “Caesar, authoritarian reconstructor of our institutions.”

Ryan Williams, President, Claremont Institute
Chuck DeVore, Vice President TPPF, former California State Assemblyman (simulation designer and umpire)
John Eastman, Senior Fellow of the Claremont Institute
Jeff Giesea, entrepreneur, communications strategist
Charles Haywood
Jason Isaac, Director, Director of Life: Powered, TPPF, former Texas State Representative
Brian T. Kennedy, President, The American Strategy Group
Kathleen Troia McFarland, former Deputy National Security Advisor
Roy Maynard, Senior Writer, TPPF
Kevin Roberts, Executive Director, Texas Public Policy Foundation
Chelsea Murphy, Florida State Director for the Right on Crime Initiative, TPPF
Jeff Nyquist
Ky Olbert, Independent Researcher
Gladden Pappin, Department of Politics, University of Dallas and Deputy Editor, American Affairs
Randy Petersen, Senior Researcher, TPPF
James Quintero, Director, Center for Local Governance, TPPF
Kyle Shideler, Director/Senior Analyst for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, Center for Security Policy
Ron Simmons, Distinguished Senior Fellow, TPPF, former Texas State Representative

The distinguished wargamers.

Yet despite the authors’ pretensions to scholarship and rigor—“for a simulation to be valuable, the other side gets a vote and actions must be based in realism”— the final document is a frenzied and paranoid piece of work, revealing of the anxieties and aspirations of the authoritarian right.

Practically, the report is an instruction manual for how Trump partisans at all levels of government—aided by citizen “posses” of Proud Boys and Oath Keepers—could, quite literally, round up opposition activists, kill their leaders, and install Donald Trump for a second term in office.


The scenario begins late on Election Night. The networks have declared Joe Biden the winner, his campaign having upset Trump in the state of Texas. The call is withdrawn moments later, following reports of a cyberattack involving the state’s tabulation system. As it becomes clear there will be no definitive winner on Election Night, attention shifts to a few battleground states with large numbers of outstanding ballots.

Riots break out in more than a dozen major cities . . . 14 law enforcement officers are known to have been shot, with one confirmed death. There are unconfirmed reports of a car bombing of a police precinct building in Philadelphia.


The violence, as imagined by Claremont and TPPF, overwhelms police and fire officials.

Police recede to a defensive posture around their precincts, it is unsafe to maneuver police vehicles down the streets and responding to calls for service, even emergency calls, is suspended. Fire departments are unable to approach buildings on fire without police escorts, which are not happening.


The next day, the federal government announces Operation Spearfish, targeting

Leaders and agitators within the groups associated with BLM, Antifa, Boogaloo, and NFAC . . . with over one thousand arrest warrants issued using federal and state statutes from RICO to disorderly conduct… The decision to obtain arrest warrants even for the barest minimum of probable cause on the lowest of charges is meant to remove the players from the picture, at least temporarily. Social media sources and other intelligence sources were used to find any instances of incitement to violence, threats, or other criminal activity that met federal or local statutes and act on them.


Remember, this narrative is the result of a role-playing exercise in which the participants imagined themselves as key decision-makers in the federal government. The actions described, therefore, might be best understood as a combination of group therapy and suggestions for how they believe the federal government and law enforcement should behave in a moment of constitutional crisis.

Some of the report is revealing. Some of it is sad. Some of it is darkly funny. For instance, the authors’ recommendation for mass, politically motivated arrests “to remove the players from the picture” sits oddly next to the right’s outraged reaction to the prosecution of Trump supporters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6.

There’s more irony in how the task force imagines right-wing gangs would operate during such a period: with quiet discipline and in cooperation with law enforcement.


A lack of social media activity and overt action by the rioting by members of the Proud Boys draws the attention of law enforcement officials suspecting they may be operating covertly on the ground in several major urban rioting areas, but their exact involvement is unknown. Reports of militias moving into suburban areas is being monitored. Several groups affiliated with the Three Percenters and Oath Keepers have openly offered to assist law enforcement in putting down the violence via social media, touting significant current and retired law enforcement and military membership.


Which is . . . not how the Trumpist forces behaved during the actual crisis:

[x]
The Capitol rioters kept posting incriminating things on social media. Unsurprisingly, they were mocked -- and arrested.
by Travis M. Andrews
January 18, 2021

There is a pretty simple reason Bruce Wayne never fires up twitter and writes "Off 2 do sum cool Batman stuff" before donning his bat suit: Because then everyone would know he's Batman.


In reading the report, it becomes clear that task force participants see law enforcement as a critical adjunct to the more traditional political actors and that they believe law enforcement could act with greater impunity and force, independent from—and at times in defiance of—elected leaders.

There are rumors that several sheriffs in conservative counties throughout the country are hinting that they may deputize regular citizens into posses should the lawlessness come to their counties. Social media is ablaze with volunteers from Proud Boys, Three Percenters, and Oath Keepers and other Posse Comitatus groups to form posses.


This isn’t an innocent game of “what if?”

Earlier this year the Claremont Institute created a Sheriffs Fellowship program. Claremont claims that this program will offer “training of unparalleled depth and excellence in American political thought and institutions.” But then, this is the same group that produced a report hoping that “several sheriffs in conservative counties” would give groups like the Proud Boys actual legal authority.


Which is it?

Law enforcement plays an openly insurrectionist role throughout the “79 Days” exercise, defying civilian leaders, refusing to offer them protection, and threatening them with arrest.

For example, the report imagines Chicago police (with vocal backing from their union) abandoning Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s residential block, permitting protesters to set up camp on her front lawn.

In imagined dialogue, the wargame quotes the city’s Fraternal Order of Police president as saying “We have officers risking their lives by not shooting people they should be shooting, or waiting too long because Lightfoot and her Soros-funded prosecutor Kim Foxx seem more interested in arresting cops than criminals.”

The union leader goes on to defend a police sickout (“Foxx and Lightfoot use this department and its officers as political scapegoats all the time, maybe they will enjoy not having us around”) and “excessive force” against rioters (“Take a look out the window there, you tell me, what the hell is excessive right now?”).

The authors use an imaginary appearance by former Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke on Fox News to issue an open threat to elected leaders of the political opposition, which is imagined as going “viral”:


“The police are here to protect people and preserve the peace. They will do that. Politicians might get in the way for a while like they’re doing right now, but at some point, cops will remember their oath and will take back their communities for the good, law-abiding people in those communities. You won’t want to be on the other side of that once they have had enough of this nonsense.”


The National Fraternal Order of Police issues a partisan statement attacking Joe Biden’s “irresponsible” call for peaceful protests, “calling on President Trump to assist our men and women in blue in putting an end to the violence and anarchy and to restore law and order.”

At which point the “79 Days” report moves into truly authoritarian wishcasting:


• Federal and local law enforcement officials “entered into meetings with Google, Facebook, and Twitter to discuss tracking phones and electronic communication devices that have been traveling together to various cities” to track various “agitator groups.”
Checkpoints are established “along major corridors entering Michigan, Texas, and Florida [to] stop and detain any suspicious caravans or large transport vehicles and to identify passengers for verification in the state fusion centers as members of Antifa and BLM are expected to descend on the capitol buildings in those states.”
The FBI’s elite counterterrorist Hostage Rescue Team is sent to “execute search warrants for weapons in and around Washington, DC… Seven Antifa members are killed by gunfire” during the simultaneous raids with “no injuries to the agents.”


A barely concealed bloodlust runs through the report. During a battle with rioters at a Portland police precinct building, a:

SWAT sniper conducting overwatch shot and killed one of the arsonists as he drew his arm back to throw his device (captured on police surveillance video and released immediately: warning graphic). The Molotov Cocktail exploded when he dropped the bottle and covered several rioters in flames, three injured severely and one dead at the scene.


At a confrontation near the White House, a non-lethal directed-energy weapon called the “Active Denial System” is used against protesters “to great effect with limited, precise application to specific threats. Social media erupts with claims of abuse through military weaponry.”

The body count grows with “officer-involved shootings” related to the RICO-authorized Operation Spearfish, resulting in “at least three suspects dead.” However, “none of the agencies is releasing information on the circumstances or identities of the officers or suspects involved, citing the ongoing investigation.”

These raids, which operate with all the impunity of a death squad, “are executed in middle to upper class neighborhoods where the Antifa and BLM activists/leadership tend to reside.

The exercise ends with crude myth-making: the noble and sacrificial decision by a “Republican member from an at-large delegation” suffering from “life-threatening wounds” who, “understanding what is at stake, demands to be transported to the House for the state delegation vote and arrives in a heavily guarded convoy.”

This isn’t a serious wargame or a policy study so much as a bowdlerized [(of a text or account) having had material considered improper or offensive removed. "A bowdlerized version of the story"] retelling of The Turner Diaries.

The “79 Days Report” was created as a rejoinder to the bipartisan Transition Integrity Project’s (TIP) exercise on “Preventing a Disrupted Presidential Election and Transition.”


Founded in June 2020, the TIP gathered more than a hundred experts (including Bill Kristol, editor-at-large of The Bulwark) to game out a number of scenarios, including the worrying prospect that a refusal by President Trump to concede defeat would lead to violence.

The TIP final report also included detailed “recommendations to avoid a crisis,” such as educating state and local officials about their constitutional responsibilities, combating misinformation, and ensuring that protests were not hijacked by violent actors or agent provocateurs.

Despite their remaining affinity for Trump and their questions about the vote, both sources say they were motivated to come forward because of their concerns about how the pro-Trump protests against the election ultimately resulted in the violent attack on the Capitol....

“The reason I’m talking to the committee and the reason it’s so important is that — despite Republicans refusing to participate … this commission’s all we got as far as being able to uncover the truth about what happened at the Capitol that day,” the organizer says. “It’s clear that a lot of bad actors set out to cause chaos. … They made us all look like shit.”

And Trump, they admit, was one of those bad actors.
A representative for Trump did not respond to a request for comment.

“The breaking point for me [on Jan. 6 was when] Trump starts talking about walking to the Capitol,” the organizer says. “I was like. ‘Let’s get the fuck out of here.’ ”

“I do kind of feel abandoned by Trump,” says the planner. “I’m actually pretty pissed about it and I’m pissed at him.”

The organizer offers an even more succinct assessment when asked what they would say to Trump.

“What the fuck?” the organizer says....

Both sources also describe Trump’s White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, as someone who played a major role in the conversations surrounding the protests on Jan. 6. Among other things, they both say concerns were raised to Meadows about Alexander’s protest at the Capitol and the potential that it could spark violence....

“Meadows was 100 percent made aware of what was going on,” says the organizer. “He’s also like a regular figure in these really tiny groups of national organizers.”...

Both the organizer and the planner say Alexander initially agreed he would not hold his “Wild Protest” at the Capitol and that the Ellipse would be the only major demonstration. When Alexander seemed to be ignoring that arrangement, both claim worries were brought to Meadows.

“Despite making a deal … they plowed forward with their own thing at the Capitol on Jan.y 6 anyway,” the organizer says of Alexander and his allies. “We ended up escalating that to everybody we could, including Meadows.”...

“We had also been coordinating with some of our congressional contacts on, like, what would be presented after the individual objections, and our expectation was that that was the day the storm was going to arrive,” the organizer says, adding, “It was supposed to be the best evidence that they had been secretly gathering. … Everyone was going to stay at the Ellipse throughout the congressional thing.”

Heading into Jan. 6, both sources say, the plan they had discussed with other organizers, Trump allies, and members of Congress was a rally that would solely take place at the Ellipse, where speakers — including the former president — would present “evidence” about issues with the election. This demonstration would take place in conjunction with objections that were being made by Trump allies during the certification on the House floor that day....

“The Capitol was never in play,” insists the planner.

A senior staffer for a Republican member of Congress, who was also granted anonymity to discuss the ongoing investigation, similarly says they believed the events would only involve supporting objections on the House floor. The staffer says their member was engaged in planning that was “specifically and fully above board.”

“A whole host of people let this go a totally different way,” the senior Republican staffer says. “They fucked it up for a lot of people who were planning to present evidence on the House floor. We were pissed off at everything that happened.”

The two sources claim there were early concerns about Alexander’s event. They had seen him with members of the paramilitary groups 1st Amendment Praetorian (1AP) and the Oath Keepers in his entourage at prior pro-Trump rallies. Alexander was filmed with a reputed member of 1AP at his side at a November Stop the Steal event that took place in Georgia. The two sources also claim to have been concerned about drawing people to the area directly adjacent to the Capitol on Jan. 6, given the anger among Trump supporters about the electoral certification that was underway that day.

“They knew that they weren’t there to sing “Kumbaya” and, like, put up a peace sign,” the planner says. “These frickin’ people were angry.”


-- Jan. 6 Protest Organizers Say They Participated in ‘Dozens’ of Planning Meetings With Members of Congress and White House Staff: Two sources are communicating with House investigators and detailed a stunning series of allegations to Rolling Stone, including a promise of a “blanket pardon” from the Oval Office, by Hunter Walker


“Peaceful protesters will need specialized training on de-escalation and non-violent techniques—and on how to document the non-violent nature of their protests, given the likelihood that agitators will attempt to blame any violence on them,” goes one TIP recommendation.

Another TIP proposal is for “military and law enforcement leaders to be particularly attuned to the possibility that partisan actors will seek to manipulate or misuse their coercive powers for inappropriate political ends.”...

To the extent that the Claremont-TPPF report offers recommendations, they are mostly focused on how to emerge victorious from the chaos, including preparation “for destructive urban unrest [with] potential targets includ[ing] ballot counting facilities, government buildings, especially state capitols and city halls, as well as television and radio studios.”

The Claremont task force seems either resigned to—or perhaps energized by—the view that “prudent steps are likely to be spun as preparations for a military takeover or coup and may result in negative consequences either way.”

Either way. It’s as if they’re steering into the violence instead of trying to avoid it.

The message is clear: do whatever it takes to crush your opponents and all will be forgiven in the second Trump term.

Indeed, the wargamers expect readers to find their work heartening precisely because the bloodshed and strife will lead to the outcome they desire:

We hope that our work will reassure the American people that our system of government is resilient—having been crafted by the Founders to withstand crises and to emerge through the turmoil with a government of the people, by the people, for the people, that shall not perish from the earth, but endure to secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our children.


Establishment conservatives like to pretend they can insulate themselves from the Big Lie that Trump won the 2020 election.

But the Big Lie doesn’t stand up all by itself. It requires the supporting architecture of smaller lies and evasions, like the claim that our republic was never really threatened because Donald Trump lacks sufficient competence.

The particular focus on Trump the man misses the movement for its leader.

Given the weight of the evidence against that larger movement, one wonders if the myopia is intentional.

Christian Vanderbrouk served eight years in the George W. Bush administration, and later managed global affairs and government relations at the New York Stock Exchange. He can also be found on Twitter at @urbanachievr.
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Re: Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certificat

Postby admin » Sat Nov 20, 2021 3:51 am

Part 1 of 2

79 Days to Inauguration Taskforce Report: A Project of the Claremont Institute and the Texas Public Policy Foundation
by Claremont Institute and Texas Public Policy Foundation
November 4, 2020



Highlights:

Purportedly aiming to make sense of this fraught election year, in early August, the Transition Integrity Project (TIP) released a report suggesting that President Donald Trump would not likely leave office without an unprecedented struggle. The TIP, a self-proclaimed “bipartisan” group of some 100 people, was entirely composed of those utterly opposed to President Trump. Their purpose wasn’t so much gaming out plausible post-election scenarios as much as it was to generate breathless propaganda suggesting that no matter the outcome, President Trump would refuse to leave the White House on Jan. 20, 2021, Inauguration Day.

TIP’s effort marks a lost opportunity, one that the Claremont Institute in partnership with the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF), sought to remedy with their own simulation of election night and what might be a highly charged and competitive aftermath—a contest after the contest....

The TIP effort appears to have labored under a serious Mirror-Image Fallacy in that it assumed that Republicans under President Trump would routinely violate the law to win, threaten mass demonstrations in the streets, seize the assets of political opponents, and start a conflict overseas to divert attention from the highly-contested post-election period.

In contrast, the Claremont-TPPF simulation featured vigorous use of the courts by both sides, with the Biden team seeking to negate state election law to maximize the counting of late or flawed mail-in ballots while the Trump team sought to have state election law followed... our simulation also featured the Biden team calling protesters to the streets....


The team foresaw four significant post-election eventualities: widespread urban unrest; state and federal litigation; brazen media and social media narrative shaping (detailed in Appendix C); and foreign interference and adventurism. The first two issues are detailed in the appendices.

State and local public safety authorities should be prepared for destructive urban unrest as well as communications difficulty due to interference with or overload of systems, such as the 9-1-1 system. Potential targets include ballot counting facilities, government buildings, especially state capitols and city halls, as well as television and radio studios. At the same time, prudent steps are likely to be spun as preparations for a military takeover or coup and may result in negative consequences either way.

-- 79 Days to Inauguration Taskforce Report: A Project of the Claremont Institute and the Texas Public Policy Foundation, by Claremont Institute and Texas Public Policy Foundation


Executive Summary

There is no shortage of polls or pundits offering predictions on the outcome of the 2020 Presidential election. But “outcomes” include more than simply election results; who is gaming out how America—and the world—will respond? We are.

While national polls suggest an edge for Vice President Joe Biden, the winner isn’t determined by national polls—it is determined by who wins the Electoral College. Victory is won in the states.

Due to the political stoking of fears of contracting COVID-19, a massive push has been made, mostly by the left, to encourage voting by mail. This significantly alters the calculus on Election Day and completely upends the post-election period.

Most states and local election officials aren’t prepared to process, validate, and count large number of mail-in ballots. In five swing states (totaling 68 Electoral College votes)—Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin—no mail-in ballots may be counted before Election Day (Nevada’s legislature changed election law to allow early mail-in ballot counting in August). Since reports indicate a far greater interest in voting by mail for Democrats than Republicans, it’s likely that President Trump will be winning these states by large margins on Election Day, only to see that margin shrink in the days and weeks after Election Day.

Further, voting by mail doesn’t result in the same success rate as does voting in person. The Washington Post reported that some 534,000 ballots were rejected during the 2020 primaries, either because they arrived late, the voter’s signature appeared invalid, or other failures. A separate analysis published in the Post found that as many as 4.9% of mail-in ballots fail to result in a counted vote. Depending on the state and the share of the vote by mail for each major party, the 1 in 20 ballots that fail to convert into a vote could be determinative.

Adding uncertainty to what is a routine exercise in vote counting (the 2000 contest in Florida being an exception) is this year’s urban unrest. An election night featuring competing claims of victory, confusion, and early calls by the media, only to be reversed on the receipt of newer data, may lead to post-election violence unlike that seen in more than 150 years.

THE WINNER WILL NOT BE KNOWN ON ELECTION NIGHT DUE TO MILLIONS OF UNCOUNTED MAIL-IN BALLOTS IN 5 BATTLEGROUND STATES

• THE POST-ELECTION PERIOD WILL LIKELY SEE A TRUMP LEAD STEADILY ERODED BY MAIL-IN BALLOT COUNTING

• LAWSUITS WILL BE FILED IN MANY STATES, WITH REPUBLICANS SEEKING TO UPHOLD STATE LAW AND DEMOCRATS SEEKING RELIEF FROM STATE LAW

• THE U.S. CONSTITUTION IS REMARKABLY RESILIENT IN CHALLENGING TIMES AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE SHOULD GIVE IT TIME TO WORK

• SHOULD THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE NOT PRODUCE A WINNER, THERE ARE TWO ISSUES OF CONCERN: THE ABILITY OF THE HOUSE MAJORITY TO DENY THE SEATING OF NEWLY ELECTED MEMBERS AND HOW LONG THE SPEAKER MIGHT SERVE AS TEMPORARY PRESIDENT UNDER THE SUCCESSION ACT

• MAJOR MEDIA AND INTERNET GIANTS WILL ACTIVELY SEEK TO SHAPE THE POST-ELECTION NARRATIVE, SUPPRESSING INFORMATION OF WHICH THEY DON’T APPROVE

• THERE IS AN INCREASED CHANCE OF URBAN UNREST, ESPECIALLY IN JURISDICTIONS WHERE LOCAL AND STATE OFFICIALS ARE RELUCTANT TO MAINTAIN ORDER

• CHINA AND RUSSIA MAY TRY TO INCITE VIOLENCE

• THERE IS A GREATER LIKELIHOOD OF OVERSEAS CONFLICT INITIATED BY POWERS THAT MISUNDERSTAND THAT AMERICA HAS ONE PRESIDENT AT A TIME


Purportedly aiming to make sense of this fraught election year, in early August, the Transition Integrity Project (TIP) released a report suggesting that President Donald Trump would not likely leave office without an unprecedented struggle. The TIP, a self-proclaimed “bipartisan” group of some 100 people, was entirely composed of those utterly opposed to President Trump. Their purpose wasn’t so much gaming out plausible post-election scenarios as much as it was to generate breathless propaganda suggesting that no matter the outcome, President Trump would refuse to leave the White House on Jan. 20, 2021, Inauguration Day.

TIP’s effort marks a lost opportunity, one that the Claremont Institute in partnership with the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF), sought to remedy with their own simulation of election night and what might be a highly charged and competitive aftermath—a contest after the contest.

For the task, Claremont and TPPF assembled a taskforce of 35 people, and over the course of seven days, these Constitutional scholars, along with experts in election law, foreign affairs, law enforcement, and media, made decisions as to how they would react to fast-moving events. The entire operation was coordinated by a retired military officer experienced in running hundreds of wargames.

The Claremont-TPPF effort produced a detailed roadmap of the likely challenges at the state level, how those might be adjudicated in the state and federal court, how domestic unrest and foreign adventurism might intensify, and, in the unlikely event that the Electoral College cannot determine a winner, how a President and Vice President could be constitutionally determined.

The team foresees three basic scenarios, one of which was gamed out in detail:

• A clear victory for President Trump, winning 32 states and 322 Electoral College votes, better than the 304 Trump won in 2016, but, due to the massive use of mail-in ballots, especially in the five states in which counting cannot commence until Election Day, victory likely won’t be formally declared until days or weeks after election day as Trump would only have 248 Electoral votes known for certain.

• A clear victory for Vice President Biden, winning 26 states and D.C. for a total of 342 Electoral College votes. Again, because of the six states that cannot count mail-in ballots until Election Day, even in this scenario, victory won’t be known for certain as Biden may only have 268 Electoral votes late into election night.

• An ambiguous result, with several states’ final election results delayed and subject to intense court fights resulting in a struggle right up to the Jan. 6 joint session of Congress where the Electors’ ballots are unsealed. Uncertainty could extend even beyond this as decisions for both the presidency and vice presidency are battled out in Congress and before the U.S. Supreme Court.

It is this last scenario that the team simulated in detail. The key takeaways from the effort included:

• Regardless of the outcome, the winner isn’t likely to be known on election night.

• The large number of mail-in ballots may prove hard to validate in many states, as systems have not been prepared to process the ballots and count them while tremendous pressure will be brought to bear to bypass safeguards against fraud and produce results.

• When employed, the legal system will be up to the task of adjudicating disputes over election results.

There is a significant chance for unrest, stoked by a major media in which the American people have lost trust, by domestic opponents to America’s Constitutional system, and by foreign powers, mainly the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and Russia. Further, major media and the internet giants (Facebook, Twitter, Google) will actively shape and suppress news.

• There is a heighted danger of international adventurism by the PRC and Russia, the leaders of which, misperceiving the nature of American governance, may think that the post-election uncertainty gives them leave and opportunity for military action.

• If the contest doesn’t produce a majority (50% +1) of the votes of seated Electors by Jan. 6, there are clearly established Constitutional procedures to determine a victor.

• There are two areas of uncertainty at the late stage of a contested election:

o Each house determines the final election results of its membership. This means that the Democratic majority in the U.S. House might decide not to seat duly elected Republican Members so as to prevent the Republicans from holding a 26-seat majority in the state delegations in the event that state delegations, each with one vote per state, are used to determine the President in the event that no candidate has the needed absolute majority of seated Electors’ votes. Given that the majority’s power to determine the membership of the body, House or Senate, is absolute, the sole check on the use of this absolute political power is the potentially dire consequences of its abuse.

o Should the results be undetermined through Jan. 20, Inauguration Day, the Succession Act would suggest that the Speaker of the House would become President. Should the results be undetermined through Jan. 20, Inauguration Day, the Succession Act would suggest that the Speaker of the House would become acting President until one is determined and, if the House cannot decide, then elevating the Vice President, even if selected out of the Senate.


Comparing the TIP wargame to the Claremont-TPPF simulation

In August, the Transition Integrity Project (TIP) issued a report regarding the “results” of its “wargame” conducted over the summer. The “wargame” was conducted by about 100 Democrats and so-called “Never-Trump” Republicans, allowing it to be characterized as “non-partisan.”

TIP’s four scenarios were:

• Ambiguous. The first game investigated a scenario in which the outcome of the election remained unclear from election night and throughout gameplay. The results from three states are in contention and ballots are destroyed in one of the states, making it unclear who should have won that state. Neither campaign is willing to concede.

• Clear Biden Victory. Biden wins both the Electoral College and the popular vote. Trump alleges fraud and takes steps to benefit himself and his family but ultimately hands the White House over to Biden.

• Clear Trump Win. The third scenario started with an Electoral College victory for President Trump (286 to 252), but a popular vote win (52% to 47%) for former Vice President Biden. In this scenario Biden refused to concede, convinced the Democratic governors of two states that Trump won to send separate slates of electors to the Electoral College, encouraged three states to threaten secession and convinced the House of Representatives to refuse to certify the election and declare Biden the victor.

• Narrow Biden Win. The final scenario explored a narrow Biden win where he leads with less than 1% of the popular vote and has a slim lead at 278 electoral votes. The Trump campaign sows chaos but Senate Republicans and the Joint Chiefs of Staff eventually signal that they accept Biden's win. Trump refuses to leave and is removed by the Secret Service.

In response to TIP’s 2020 election wargaming, the Claremont Institute and the Texas Public Policy Foundation brought together 35 Constitutional, legal, political, foreign affairs, and law enforcement experts to simulate the post-election period, carrying the contest to the furthest Constitutional endpoint.

The TIP effort appears to have labored under a serious Mirror-Image Fallacy in that it assumed that Republicans under President Trump would routinely violate the law to win, threaten mass demonstrations in the streets, seize the assets of political opponents, and start a conflict overseas to divert attention from the highly-contested post-election period.

In contrast, the Claremont-TPPF simulation featured vigorous use of the courts by both sides, with the Biden team seeking to negate state election law to maximize the counting of late or flawed mail-in ballots while the Trump team sought to have state election law followed. As with the TIP wargame, our simulation also featured the Biden team calling protesters to the streets. The TIP effort hinted at how this might get out of hand, noting on page 9 of their report,


During TIP’s exercises, Team Biden almost always called for and relied on mass protests… participants in the exercise noted that racial justice activists and others will likely act independently of the Biden campaign…


This is TIP’s candid admission of the high likelihood of Team Biden encouraging street demonstrations that might spiral out of control. The Claremont-TPPF team simulation also saw this left-wing street violence as a near-certainty. Instructively, the TIP organizers urged Democrats to coordinate with the leadership of “recent demonstrations”—presumably, Black Lives Matter and Antifa—while meeting their demands (Reparations? Defund the Police?), writing,

If anything, the scale of recent demonstrations has increased the stakes for the Democratic Party to build strong ties with grassroots organizations and be responsive to the movement’s demands.


Lastly, there are two areas where the TIP team admits they didn’t do a lot of work,

Two words of caution about the findings from the exercises. First, TIP intentionally did not game legal strategies in any detail… One question is whether a candidate is able to convince the state legislature to send a package of electoral college votes inconsistent with the certified popular vote. Even if a court disapproved of this action, Congress might nonetheless consider those votes on January 6. Second, the exercises were not able to fully capture the ways in which the media will shape and drive public opinion, or how specific media outlets would cover events differently and drive increasingly partisan responses. Social media in particular will undoubtedly play a heavy role in how the public perceives the outcome of the election. Political operatives, both domestic and foreign, will very likely attempt to use social media to sow discord and even move people to violence. Social media companies’ policy and enforcement decisions will be consequential, and this merits further exploration and consideration.


Claremont and TPPF recruited players to simulate state and federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as major media outlets and social media firms. This is a significant portion of our output.

Unlike TIP’s effort, which appeared aimed more at generating headlines unfavorable to President Trump, the Claremont-TPPF effort had as its objective conducting a full simulation of an ambiguous election outcome having a three-fold intent:

1. Document the Constitutional, legal, and precedent-shaping history to support what might happen and actions the players on all sides may take.

2. Prepare key officials and supporters for the coming crisis.

3. Prepare the public and key institutions to recognize the post-Election landscape to reduce hype and fear and instill confidence in Constitutional mechanisms.

As such, unlike the TIP effort, the Claremont-TPPF exercise includes footnotes linking to online sources for important Constitutional, legal, or historical matters.

The Claremont-TPPF simulation

For a simulation to be valuable, the other side gets a vote and actions must be based in realism.

The Claremont-TPPF simulation used an iterative process running over the course of six days to simulate the days and weeks after Election Day. Chuck DeVore, vice president of National Initiatives for TPPF designed and led the simulation. As a U.S. Army lieutenant colonel intelligence officer, now in the retired reserve, and a Reagan-era special assistant for foreign affairs in the Pentagon, DeVore has created, run, or participated in hundreds of wargames, including those which resulted in military action.

Our effort employed some 35 players representing key people or entities such as: President Trump, Vice President Pence, Vice President Biden, Senate Majority Leader McConnell, Speaker Pelosi, the U.S. Supreme Court, various U.S. Circuit courts, state supreme courts, state governors and legislatures, major media groupings, internet companies, law enforcement, the intelligence community, street protesters, the People’s Republic of China, Russia, and others.

The simulation started on Election Night and proceeded with one turn every day. If a player wanted to coordinate an action, they were encouraged to do so, so long as it would be realistic in real life. Intended actions did not always result in exactly what the players wished as those actions could themselves be acted upon by other players or by friction—understood by Karl von Clausewitz as “the concept that differentiates actual war from war on paper.”

The turns represented the following timeline:

1. Election Night and the following day

2. Nov. 4-5, counting the votes and legal challenges

3. Nov. 6-12, intensifying legal challenges over disputed ballots

4. Nov. 13-Dec. 3, certifying the election results and seating the Electors

5. Dec. 4-Jan. 6, Electors vote and the joint session of Congress

6. Jan. 7-Jan. 20, Inauguration Day

All participants were given the following as the starting scenario.

Election Night, Nov. 3.

Former Vice President Joe Biden is declared the winner by all major networks by 11:05pm Eastern with 280 Electoral College votes as polls close on the West Coast. Biden leads in the popular vote with 49% to President Trump’s 47.5% with minor candidates netting 1.5%. Pressure builds on President Trump to accept the results and concede. (Map by Real Clear Politics.)

Image

At 11:12pm, reports out of Texas indicate that the internet communication of county results to the Secretary of State’s central tabulation was hacked. All county results are correct, though many counties had their election reporting webpages disrupted by denial of service attacks. County election officials, alarmed at the attack, call the Secretary of State and alert the official to the actual results.

By 11:35pm, Texas is moved from a Biden upset to too close to call. No candidate has the needed 270 Electoral College votes to be declared a winner
, with the margin of Election Day votes in four states, Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Texas smaller than the number of outstanding mail-in and provisional ballots, though Trump leads in all four states.

Riots break out in more than a dozen major cities, including Seattle, San Francisco, Sacramento, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis, Houston, Louisville, Miami, Philadelphia, New York, and Boston. 14 law enforcement officers are known to have been shot, with one confirmed death. There are unconfirmed reports of a car bombing of a police precinct building in Philadelphia.

Biden must win either Texas or Florida or Michigan and Pennsylvania to win. Trump must win Florida and Texas and either Michigan or Pennsylvania to win using the Electoral College.

Image

Wednesday morning. Foreign actors are now suspected of being behind the confusion out of Texas.

From that beginning on Monday morning, the team worked through Saturday, making decisions on the following major milestones:

• On election night, Texas is called for Biden early as a surprise upset, only to discover minutes later that hacking (from foreign powers as is determined the following morning) caused the results to be improperly reported at the state level (the county counts being accurate). This put the race back into undecided status with Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Texas too close to call—a condition further compounded by the large number of uncounted mail-in ballots in Michigan and Pennsylvania. (In reality, we may see that in Georgia, Iowa, and Wisconsin as well due to state law preventing the counting of mail-in ballots before Election Day.)

• The early calling of the race for Biden followed by the change back to undecided served as a catalyst for urban unrest. This unrest was stoked by foreign powers, especially China and Russia. It was further complicated by local politicians unwilling to vigorously restore order.

• As the lawsuits and court cases stacked up and were resolved, eventually Texas and Florida were called for Trump, about a week after the election with Pennsylvania following shortly after for Biden, leaving the Electoral College count at 262 Biden, 260 Trump.

• With America fully occupied with the most-contested post-election period since 1876, the PRC took the initiative to amplify their genocide against the Uyghurs while increasing pressure on Taiwan. Russia made a move on Belarus, seized the Suwalki Corridor, and sent unconventional forces into Estonia and Latvia (the “Little Green Men”). These actions were not without consequences as the U.S. retaliated with offensive cyber operations on both nations, causing economic damage.


• The contest came down to Michigan, where Trump was leading by a few hundred votes when a fire of unknown origin destroyed thousands of uncounted mail-in ballots in Detroit. Michigan’s Secretary of State refused to certify the election.

• The Michigan Legislature failed to provide clarity as, though the Republicans controlled the State Senate, the State House was deadlocked 55-55. Michigan’s 16 Electors were not seated.

• At this point, sometime around December 8, Republicans sought legal remedies to force the seating of Michigan’s Electors.

• The Republican efforts fail to seat Michigan’s Electors, leaving the final count 262 to 260. The Constitution doesn’t require 270 (a majority of 538), rather, it requires a majority of the seated Electors, meaning Biden/Harris would win at this point—assuming there were no faithless electors (in 2016, there were seven).

Republicans hear of the Speaker’s plan to deny the seating of key Republican Members in certain closely-contested races (each house is the judge of their own elections) to shift the state delegation count from a 26 Republican majority, 22 Democrat and two tied, to a majority of 26 for the Democrats, or, failing that, something less than 26 for the Republicans. The Speaker’s intent is to become President herself on January 20. In response, Republicans conduct a major nationwide poll on what the public would think about such a radical power grab and massively publicize it. (The rationale here is that, like impeachment, such acts are political acts, and, as such, incur political consequences.) Public opinion turns massively against the power grab and the Speaker publicly backs off, likely anticipating a victory anyway on a 262 to 260 vote of the Electors.

• As Congress assembles to unseal the Electors’ ballots, there are two faithless electors from states without laws preventing such electors from voting in line with the state’s vote. The count is 261 Biden, 260 Trump, 1 Sanders. Per the Constitution, a majority of the seated Electors’ votes is needed to win, meaning 50% +1. The vote for President moves to the House for a vote by state delegation, with the top three candidates on the first ballot. The vote for Vice President was 261 to 261, one faithless elector voting for Biden and Pence. The vote for Vice President moves to the Senate.

• In the House, the Speaker considers not calling the House to prevent the vote, but the President calls the House into session.

• Over in the Senate, a 2/3rds quorum is needed to start the process of selecting the Vice President. The Democrats walk out and the Vice President orders the Sergeant-at-Arms to arrest the Members and bring them to the chamber. A quorum is established, but two members of the majority vote for the Democrat, leading to a 50-50 tie. The Vice President breaks the tie by casting the deciding vote for himself.

As the House is returning to session to vote by state delegation, there is a massive and violent Antifa demonstration in D.C. In the confusion, a Republican member from an at-large delegation is attacked and sent to the hospital with life-threatening wounds. With only 25 state delegations in control, it looks like the Speaker might become temporary President on January 20 per the Succession Act pending the elevation of the Vice President or unless the House comes to agreement. The critically injured Member of Congress, however, understanding what is at stake, demands to be transported to the House for the state delegation vote and arrives in a heavily guarded convoy. With IVs and blood transfusions being administered, the Member from (AK, MT, ND, SD, or WY) casts the deciding vote, giving Trump 26 state delegations and the needed majority.


The team responded as events unfolded, deploying tactics such as press conferences, leaks, calls for demonstrations (with the urban unrest in Appendix B), and lawsuits with the latter generating a significant body of legal scholarship (seen in Appendix A).

Foreign powers took advantage of the mounting confusion in America by stoking violence and increasing military activities on their borders.

The media and internet firms vigorously censored stories unfavorable to the Biden/Harris team, for instance, not reporting allegations of election fraud and shutting down any discussion along those lines. This effort was pervasive and aggressive, forcing the public to find alternative means of collecting and sharing information.

Recommendations

The team foresaw four significant post-election eventualities: widespread urban unrest; state and federal litigation; brazen media and social media narrative shaping (detailed in Appendix C); and foreign interference and adventurism. The first two issues are detailed in the appendices.

State and local public safety authorities should be prepared for destructive urban unrest as well as communications difficulty due to interference with or overload of systems, such as the 9-1-1 system. Potential targets include ballot counting facilities, government buildings, especially state capitols and city halls, as well as television and radio studios. At the same time, prudent steps are likely to be spun as preparations for a military takeover or coup and may result in negative consequences either way.

Legal arguments need to be anticipated and prepared now, during the relative calm of the pre-election environment.

Methods of bypassing the major media while breaking through social media censorship need to be planned. (The simulation was run a week before Facebook and Twitter censored the New York Post series on Hunter Biden, predicting the behaviors seen by the internet giants during the week of October 12). For instance, campaigns and parties might encourage their supporters to sign up for email updates or to check in with specific websites (the establishment of backup servers would be prudent as well). Talk radio may also be a good source of news that may be difficult to embargo.

The likelihood of foreign intervention and military adventurism might be diminished by keeping the Secretaries of Defense and State focused on projecting the message that America only has one chief executive at a time and that the U.S. is more than capable of defending its interests during even a contentious and uncertain post-election period.

Conclusions

America already has a well-established “transition integrity” procedure—the Constitution.

It is the participants’ earnest desire that this scholarship will illuminate the path for both state elected officials and local election officials as they struggle through what may likely be the most difficult period of their professional careers.

Furthermore, we hope that our work will reassure the American people that our system of government is resilient—having been crafted by the Founders to withstand crises and to emerge through the turmoil with a government of the people, by the people, for the people, that shall not perish from the earth, but endure to secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our children.

Ryan Williams, President, Claremont Institute

Chuck DeVore, Vice President, TPPF, former California State Assemblyman, (simulation designer and umpire)

John Eastman, Senior Fellow of the Claremont Institute

Jeff Giesea, entrepreneur, communications strategist

Charles Haywood

Jason Isaac, Director, Director of Life: Powered, TPPF, former Texas State Representative

Brian T. Kennedy, President, The American Strategy Group

KT McFarland, former Deputy National Security Advisor

Roy Maynard, Senior Writer, TPPF

Kevin Roberts, Executive Director, Texas Public Policy Foundation

Chelsea Murphy, Florida State Director for the Right on Crime Initiative, TPPF

Jeff Nyquist

Ky Olbert, Independent Researcher

Gladden Pappin, Department of Politics, University of Dallas and Deputy Editor, American Affairs

Randy Petersen, Senior Researcher, TPPF

James Quintero, Director, Center for Local Governance, TPPF

Kyle Shideler, Director/Senior Analyst for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, Center for Security Policy

Ron Simmons, Distinguished Senior Fellow, TPPF, former Texas State Representative

APPENDIX A – Lawsuits and Court Decisions

FLORIDA

The Biden campaign and the DNC files


FL state law prohibiting the counting of ballots received after polls closed is an unconstitutional deprivation of the fundamental right to vote under the Voting Rights Act and the 14th Amendment. Florida law, while questionable in normal times, is unconstitutionally restrictive during a pandemic, when many—especially the disabled and minorities—voters are less able to obtain or renew valid ID in a timely manner and are thus less able to fulfill the official requirements for mail-in voting.

Florida Supreme Court Ruling

This Court (the Supreme Court of Florida) has been made aware that a lawsuit was filed earlier today in the 17th Circuit Court (Broward County) by attorneys for the Biden for President campaign, alleging that the requirement in Florida law, Fl. St. § 101.67 that absentee ballots must be received by the supervisor of elections of the county of the voter's residence by 7:00 p.m. on Election Day deprives voters of the fundamental right to vote in violation of the federal Voting Rights Act and the 14th Amendment. Given the time sensitivity of this challenge, and the fact that the complaint raises a matter of pure law, we are directing the Circuit Court to transfer the case to this Court in the exercise of our original jurisdiction, pursuant to Rule 9.030(a)(3) of the Florida Rules of Court. The Secretary of State, as the Chief Elections Office of Florida, is directed to file an answer to the complaint, together with any supporting memorandum of legal points and authorities, by Noon tomorrow (Wednesday, Oct. 6, simulated time). The Clerk of Court is directed to give notice of this Order to the Circuit Court, the attorneys for Plaintiff, and the Secretary of State of Florida forthwith.

Biden for President 2020, Plaintiff, v. Laurel M. Lee, in her official capacity as Secretary of State of Florida, Defendant.

Florida Supreme Court Ruling

The Court (the Supreme Court of Florida) rejects the Biden campaign's challenge to the absentee ballot requirements of Fl. St. Sec. 101.67. Voting is one of the foremost rights protected by the Fl. constitution. The Fl. legislature is duly authorized to establish rules and regulations for the fair and efficient administration of elections, and this for two reasons. First, the very nature of an election is to have a defined point at which the receipt of ballots is complete and a victor is declared. Plaintiffs urge no reason to believe that the 7pm election-day deadline deprives voters of their rights anymore than a statutory deadline of a week before or a week after the election. The legislature has determined that requiring the receipt of ballots by the evening of election day secures an efficient resolution to the election process. The court will not second guess that decision. Second, ballot requirements are designed to prevent fraud and other misconduct that would taint the fairness and integrity of the election and cast doubt upon the validity of the results. Taylor v. Martin Cnty. Canvassing Brd., No. SC00-2448 (Fl. S.C., December 2000). These lofty goals permit the Fl. legislature to proscribe rules protecting the sanctity of the ballot box, and the court will not rewrite those statutory protections from the bench. This state's experience in the primary elections a few months ago demonstrates that only a small percentage of mailed ballots were not counted due to late return. Of those, it is unclear whether the ballots were even postmarked by the time they should have been received, illustrating one of the many, many problems with extending the deadline for absentee voting. Although "technical statutory requirements must not be exalted over this right" to vote, in the absence of fraud or evidence of intentional malfeasance by the legislature, this Court will not interfere with the election procedures. Palm Beach Canvassing Board v. Harris, No. SC00-2346 (Fl. S.C., December 2000). As this Court has previously expressed, "absent an assertion that there has been substantial noncompliance with the law, [We] do not believe that the possibility of affecting the outcome of the election is enough to justify ignoring the statutory deadline." Id.

MICHIGAN

The Biden campaign and the DNC files


Michigan state law requiring a valid postmark on mail-in ballots, while normally valid, is unconstitutional in light of the unprecedented lengths to which the Trump administration has gone to under-fund, under-resource, and generally manipulate the Postal Service's ability to process and distribute mail. All mail-in ballots that arrive within two weeks of election day, regardless of postmark, must be counted.

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit Ruling

This Court (the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit) has been made aware that a lawsuit was filed earlier today in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan (Lansing Division) by attorneys for the Biden for President campaign, alleging that the requirement in the Michigan Constitution that absentee ballots must be postmarked on or before election day to be counted is unconstitutional in light of the Trump administration's alleged efforts to "under-fund, under-resource, and generally manipulate the Postal Services ability to process and distribute mail." From the report we have received, it appears that the district court issued a writ of mandamus ordering county clerks to count all mail-in ballots that arrive within two weeks of election day, regardless of postmark. Anticipating an appeal from the Michigan Secretary of State and/or attorneys for the Trump 2020 Re-Election Campaign, and given the extreme time sensitivity involved in this matter, we hereby assert jurisdiction over the pending appeal, and reverse the judgement of the lower court, which is patently contrary to the further requirement in Michigan law, MI. St. § 168.764a, that absentee ballots must be received by the county clerk of the county of the voter's residence before the close of polls on Election Day to be counted, a statute that was just upheld this past summer by the Michigan Court of Appeals against a constitutional challenge. See League of Women Voters of Michigan v. Sec'y of State, No. 353654, 2020 WL 3980216 (Mich. Ct. App. July 14, 2020), appeal denied, 946 N.W.2d 307 (Mich. 2020), reconsideration denied, 948 N.W.2d 70 (Mich. 2020). County Clerks are directed to count only those absentee ballots that were received in their office before the close of polls at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time on election day.

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit Ruling

Case No. 20-1001

UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT
REPUBLICAN PARTY OF MICHIGAN, Plaintiff-Appellant
v.
JOCELYN BENSON, SECRETARY OF STATE OF MICHIGAN, Defendant-Appellee

On Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan

FILED November 6, 2020

BEFORE: SUTTON, THAPAR, and LARSEN, Circuit Judges

Michigan law, MI. St. § 168.764a, quite clearly requires that, in order to be counted, vote-by-mail ballots must be “received” by the county clerk before the close of polls on election day, which this year was 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 3. That law was upheld by the Michigan Court of Appeals as recently as July, in a decision that the Michigan Supreme Court twice declined to review. League of Women Voters of Michigan v. Sec'y of State, No. 353654, 2020 WL 3980216 (Mich. Ct. App. July 14, 2020), appeal denied, 946 N.W.2d 307 (Mich. 2020), reconsideration denied, 948 N.W.2d 70 (Mich. 2020). It was relied on by this Court only two days ago when we reversed a decision by the District Court for the Western District of Michigan ordering, at the request of the Biden for President Campaign Committee, that county clerks accept and count ballots received up to two weeks after election day, regardless of postmark. In that decision, we ordered County Clerks to count only those absentee ballots that were received in their office before the close of polls at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time on election day. Our ruling became final later that same day, when an emergency petition for writ of certiorari was denied by the Supreme Court of the United States.

Nevertheless, based on a decision last month by a state inferior court judge in the Michigan Court of Claims that ordered county clerks to accept and count ballots received up to two weeks after election day—in a case that has all the hallmarks of being a collusive suit, brought by the Michigan Alliance for Retired Americans (a group closely aligned with the Michigan Democrat Party) against the Michigan Secretary of State (also a Democrat), who did not oppose MARA’s request for an injunction, which was granted by the Court of Claims Judge (a recent appointee of Democrat Governor Gretchen Whitmer), and which the Michigan Attorney General (also a Democrat) declined to appeal—county clerks have been counting said ballots, in direct violation of our order. The argument put forward to the Court of Claims and accepted by that Court is that neither our order nor the July ruling by the Michigan Court of Appeals took account of the fact that the U.S. Postal Service was indicated that it could not guarantee the timely delivery of vote-by-mail ballots. The “evidence” in support of that claim appears to have been manufactured to create the plausible ground for the collusive suit, by a long-time career employee of the Postal Service (also a Democrat) who, in his capacity as General Counsel of the Service, sent a letter to the Democrat leadership of the Senate (and only the Democrat leadership) complaining that changes proposed by the recently-appointed head of the postal service would cause delays in postal delivery. Those claims were disavowed in sworn testimony before the Senate by the head of the agency, but the General Counsel then, on his own initiative, sent letters to several state Secretaries of State repeating the charges he had made in his initial letter. Copies of those letters were then provided to major media organizations, along with a picture of chained mailboxes (which, in fact, was a decade old, taken merely for nostalgic purposes to document that modern communications via the internet were making a lot of the postal system’s old post offices obsolete).

In response to this, the Republican Party of Michigan yesterday filed an emergency request for an injunction to prevent the counting of ballots received after election day, in violation of Michigan law. It argued that the Court of Claims order compelling the County Clerks to count said ballots violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment as well as the Republican Guaranty Clause of Article IV. The district court denied the injunction, and the Republican Party of Michigan filed an emergency appeal with his Court late last night.

We agree with the district court that the decision of the Court of Claims does not violate the Equal Protection Clause, because the order to count late-received ballots has equal application throughout the State. But we disagree with the district court’s holding that the Republican Guaranty Clause is not violated. That Clause, long thought to be non-justiciable, was revived by Justice O’Connor in New York v. United States, where she contended that it would be justiciable in the situation where state officials were ignoring the structural requirements of their own state law.

That has occurred here. The federal Constitution makes clear that the “Manner” for choosing electors shall be directed by the Legislature. U.S. Const. Art. II, § 1, cl. 2. The Michigan legislature as determine that vote-by-mail ballots must be received by the close of polls on election day. To allow a low-level court of claims judge, rather than the legislature itself, to alter that “manner” of election, with apparent complicity from the executive officials of the state, is to ignore those basic structural requirements.

We therefore grant the requested injunction. The county clerks are again ordered to county only ballots received in their office before 8:00 p.m. on election day, November 3. For any ballots received after that time and day that have already been counted, those ballots are to be removed from the final tally (to the extent possible). The decision below is REVERSED.

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit Ruling

Case No. 20-1001
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT
REPUBLICAN PARTY OF MICHIGAN, et al., Plaintiffs-Appellants
v.
GRETCHEN WHITMER, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN; JOCELYN BENSON, SECRETARY OF STATE OF MICHIGAN; MICHIGAN BOARD OF STATE CANCASSERS, Defendants-Appellees
On Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan
FILED January 2, 2021
BEFORE: MOORE, STRANCH, and READLER, Circuit Judges

Due to the overwhelming number of vote-by-mail ballots that were submitted for the presidential election last November 3, and disputes over the validity of large number of those ballots, the Michigan Governor had not certified who had been elected as electors for the State prior to December 14, 2020—the date set by federal law for the casting of electoral votes, see 3 U.S.C. § 6. Indeed, the Governor has still not certified electors, yet the date set by federal law for the counting of electoral votes in a joint session of Congress, January 6, see 3 U.S.C. § 12, is hard upon us. Efforts by the Vice President of the United States, in his role as President of the Senate, to obtain a certification of electors from the Governor pursuant to authority granted to him by 3 U.S.C. § 7, have been unavailing, as the issue is not simply one of the Governor’s failure to transmit the certificate of the electors’ vote, but of the fact that the election of the electors has itself still not been determined.

The Republican Party of Michigan, joined by the Trump for President Re-Election Campaign Committee, the Vice President (in his role as President of the Senate), the President Pro-Tem of the Senate Charles Grassley, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, filed this action in the court below seeking injunctive relief compelling the Secretary of State to certify the election of electors in Michigan, based on the vote tally as it exists now. The district court denied the request for injunctive relief without opinion, and the plaintiffs have filed an emergency appeal with this Court, as they are entitled to do under 28 U.S.C. § 1292(a)(1).

The standards for injunctive relief are well-known, and given the time urgency of this appeal, we will not repeat them here. Suffice it to say, a key requirement is the likelihood of success on the merits, and for that, there has to be some legal duty with which plaintiffs are attempting to compel Michigan officials to comply. We find no such legal duty in Michigan law. Section 841 of Chapter 168 does provide that “The board of state canvassers shall canvass the returns and determine the result of all elections for electors of president and vice president of the United States,” MI ST § 168.841 (emphasis added), but there is no timetable specified in that statute by which that duty must be completed. Section 46 of Chapter 168 provides that the Governor “shall certify” the names of the electors chosen at the election, but only “[a]s soon as practicable after the state board of canvassers has, by the official canvass, ascertained the result of [the] election.” MI ST § 168.46. She can hardly certify which electors have been chosen when the board of canvassers has not yet ascertained the election results. Section 47 of that same chapter mandates that said electors “shall convene” on the date specified by Congress, MI ST § 16 8.47 (emphasis added), but until the results of the election have been ascertained by the board of canvassers and the electors “certified” by the Governor, there are no such electors against whom that mandate can run.

Neither do we find any such legal duty in federal statutes or the U.S. Constitution. What we do find is a presumption that electoral votes cast by the First Monday after the Second Wednesday in December following the election (which this year was December 14) are valid unless both houses of Congress agree that the votes of said electors were not “regularly given.” But the failure of Michigan to avail itself of that safe harbor, or indeed to appoint electors at all, is not enjoined by any law or constitutional requirement.

One might contend that by failing to certify electors, Michigan officials have deprived the voters of Michigan of their right to vote for President and Vice-President of the United States. But there is no such right. Rather, as the Constitution makes clear, “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, [the] Number of Electors” to which it is entitled. U.S. Const. Art. II, § 1, cl. 2. The Legislature of Michigan could remove the choice of electors from the people altogether without giving rise to any constitutional violation. What we have here is a failure to choose electors at all, but that is a function of the manner that the Legislature of Michigan has crafted for its process. Whether that was wise or foolish, it is a matter that the Constitution of the United States leaves entirely in the hands of the Legislature. Not only is there no duty that we could enforce by an injunction, there is no justiciable question for us to consider at all. We therefore cannot even affirm the district court’s denial of an injunction, but must dismiss the appeal for lack of jurisdiction, and remand to the district court to dismiss the action there for lack of jurisdiction as well.

The appeal is DISMISSED and the matter is REMANDED to the district court to enter an order DISMISSING the action there as well, for lack of jurisdiction.

The Biden campaign and the DNC appeals the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court

MI state law requiring a valid postmark on mail-in ballots, while normally valid, is unconstitutional in light of the unprecedented lengths to which the Trump administration has gone to under-fund, under-resource, and generally manipulate the Postal Service's ability to process and distribute mail. All mail-in ballots that arrive within two weeks of election day, regardless of postmark, must be counted.
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Re: Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certificat

Postby admin » Sat Nov 20, 2021 3:52 am

Part 2 of 2

The U.S. Supreme Court Ruling

Supreme Court of the United States
JOE BIDEN FOR PRESIDENT CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE, ET AL., Petitioners, v.
JOCELYN BENSON, SECRETARY OF STATE OF MICHIGAN, Respondent; and
TRUMP FOR PRESIDENT RE-ELECTION COMMITTEE, Intervenor-Respondent
ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT
No. 20-266 Decided November 5, 2020

The petition for writ of certiorari is denied.

Statement of JUSTICE KAVANAUGH respecting the denial of certiorari.

The Michigan Constitution quite clearly permits voters to request an absentee ballot without giving a reason, and to cast a vote via that absentee “during the forty (40) days before an election.” MI CONST Art. 2, § 4(1)(g). That provision has been in place since 2018, when the voters of Michigan amended their State Constitution to add “without giving a reason” to the right to case an absentee ballot that had, since the Constitution of 1963, been permitted only for six specifically enumerated reasons. But the requirement that the window for casting an absentee ballot was “during the forty days before an election” has been in place since 1963. The phrase “before an election” conclusively indicates that the ballot must be submitted before the polls close on election day, a conclusion that is bolstered by Michigan statutory law, which requires that “[t]he ballot must reach the clerk or an authorized assistant of the clerk before the close of the polls on election day,” namely, 8:00 p.m. on November 3, 2020 for the current election cycle. MI. St. §§ 168.764a; 168.720. That statutory requirement was just recently upheld by the Michigan Court of Appeals, and review was twice denied by the Michigan Supreme Court. League of Women Voters of Michigan v. Sec'y of State, No. 353654, 2020 WL 3980216 (Mich. Ct. App. July 14, 2020), appeal denied, 946 N.W.2d 307 (Mich. 2020), reconsideration denied, 948 N.W.2d 70 (Mich. 2020). Although that case did not press the federal constitutional questions presented here, the plaintiffs could have, and had they done so, those federal questions could have been considered in a timely fashion prior to the election, not afterwards while the counting of ballots is underway.

That is an important fact to keep in mind, because this Court has repeatedly treated late challenges to long-standing election rules as deeply suspect. Just last month, for example, we stayed a preliminary injunction upheld by the Fourth Circuit and entered by the district court in South Carolina. See Andino v. Middleton, No. 20A55 (Oct. 5, 2020). The district court had blocked a state requirement of witnesses for absentee ballots. Although the Court provided no rationale when it issued its stay, I provided two in a separate opinion I wrote concurring in the stay. The first was deference to the legislature during a pandemic. The second was that “for many years, this Court has repeatedly emphasized that federal courts ordinarily should not alter state election rules in the period close to an election.” Id. at 2 (citing Purcell v. Gonzalez, 549 U.S. 1 (2006) (per curiam)). “By enjoining South Carolina’s witness requirement shortly before the election, the District Court [had] defied that principle and this Court’s precedents.” Id.

What happened in the district court below is even worse. Its order, reversed by the Court of Appeals, was not a change in the rules close to the election; it was a change in the rules after the election had ended, while the ballots were still being counted. I cannot think of anything that would undermine our faith in the ballot more than were we to allow changes in the rules after the game had been played, when partisans can target rules of long-standing for a temporary political gain. For this reason in particular, I join in the denial of the petition for certiorari.

PENNSYLVANIA

The Biden campaign and the DNC files


Pennsylvania state law requiring an 8 p.m. Election Day postmark (and a 5 p.m., Nov. 6 arrival) for mail in ballots, while normally valid, is unconstitutional in light of the unprecedented lengths to which the Trump administration has gone to under-fund, under-resource, and generally manipulate the Postal Service's ability to process and distribute mail. All mail-in ballots that arrive within two weeks of election day, regardless of postmark, must be counted.

Addendum to Pennsylvania suit: the requirement that ballots have a security envelope to be valid disproportionately deprives discreet and insular minorities the right to vote under the VRA and the 14th Amendment.

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania Ruling

The application for injunctive relief presented by LAWRENCE TABAS on behalf of the Pennsylvania Republican party is denied.

The court appreciates Tabas, who has appeared as an election lawyer in this court in other nonpartisan circumstances, and his concern for safeguarding Pennsylvania's democracy from fraudulent manipulation. However, the evidence presented suggesting there's an effort alter election results ex post facto was at the time of filing dubious. The leader of Project Veritas, JAMES O'KEEFE, has been arrested for engaging in illegal activity in his attempts to obtain incriminating information on a Democratic officeholder.

The evidence from Republican election judges around the state suggesting an influx of ballots without postmarks is more compelling, but ultimately not acceptable in the absence of corroboration from nonpartisan sources. We do not think this justifies the risks of potential disenfranchisement at this time. However, the court is well aware of federal electoral fraud charges filed against state Democrats earlier this year and don't discount the possibility. The court is prepared to reexamine should additional evidence emerge.

For now, the court stands by its September 17 decision allowing unpostmarked ballots to be counted up to three days after the election. As in that decision, we would remind citizens of the words of the state Constitution, "Elections shall be free and equal; and no power, civil or military, shall at any time interfere to prevent the free exercise of the right of suffrage.”

https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/1 ... 0_08l1.pdf

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/artic ... 44299.html

https://www.pagop.org/member/lawrence-tabas/

https://www.inquirer.com/news/voter-fra ... 00521.html

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/former-c ... bstruction

SUPREME COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA refuses to hear lawsuit filed by the Democratic National Committee, Joe Biden for President, and Pennsylvania Democratic party demanding to further extend ballot deadlines, and accept so-called "naked ballots" without security envelopes, staying consistent with September 17 ruling.

TEXAS

The Biden campaign and the DNC files


Texas state law barring the counting of ballots received after election day, while normally valid, is unconstitutional in light of the unprecedented lengths to which the Trump administration has gone to under-fund, under-resource, and generally manipulate the Postal Service's ability to process and distribute mail. All mail-in ballots that arrive within two weeks of election day, regardless of postmark, must be counted.

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Ruling

Yesterday the Biden for President Campaign filed a petition for a writ of mandamus in the Western District of Texas. The requested writ would have ordered the Secretary of State to accept and count all mail-in ballots received within two weeks after Election Day. Relying on our recent decision in Texas Democratic Party v. Abbott, No. No. 20-50407 (Sept. 10, 2020), Judge Biery rejected the request. Acting pursuant to a properly filed emergency appeal pursuant to Rule 8.4 of the Fifth Circuit’s Rules of Procedure, we uphold the District Court’s decision.

In Texas Democratic Party, we held that “that the right to vote under the Twenty-Sixth Amendment is not abridged unless the challenged law creates a barrier to voting that makes it more difficult for the challenger to exercise her right to vote relative to the status quo, or unless the status quo itself is unconstitutional.” Neither condition applies here. Without any comment on the merits of the District Court’s recent decision in Richardson v. Secretary of State, No. 5:2019cv00963 (W. D. Texas), currently on appeal, we note that the concerns regarding fundamental fairness expressed in that opinion do not apply here. The election-day deadline for mailing ballots is unambiguous and has been clearly communicated to all mail-in voters. Vague claims that the Postal Service is underfunded, together with speculative claims that under different circumstances ballots might have arrived on or before Election Day, do not raise any claim of fundamental fairness or hinder the right to vote.

The Secretary of State and his designees are directed to count only those mail-in ballots that were actually received by 7:00 p.m. on November 3, or postmarked by that time and date and arrived by 5:00 p.m. on November 4.

The Biden campaign and the DNC appeals

Biden appeals 5th Circuit ruling against petition to count all ballots received within 2 weeks of election day in Texas.

The status quo in Texas is indeed unconstitutional under the terms of Texas Democratic Party v. Abbott, and voters have been effectively barred from exercising their right to vote due to postal service manipulation by the Trump administration. Under normal circumstances, there would be no constitutional issue. But given the Trump administration's repeated and explicit efforts to undermine the ability of the Postal Service to deliver election mail/mail-in ballots in a timely manner, the requirement that all valid ballots must be received by 7 p.m. on November 3 is patently unconstitutional.

The U.S. Postal Service has admitted that it may be unable to deliver mail-in-ballots ahead of various statutory deadlines for a valid vote, Texas included:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/context/ ... l_manual_6. "The U.S. Postal Service sent detailed letters to 46 states and D.C. warning that it cannot guarantee all ballots cast by mail for the November election will arrive in time to be counted."

It has also been reported that the Trump administration is under-resourcing certain demographic groups/vulnerable communities. This is very far from conspiracy theory. Even the unimpeachable NYTimes is appalled at recent developments. "In recent weeks, at the direction of a Trump campaign megadonor who was recently named the postmaster general, the service has stopped paying mail carriers and clerks the overtime necessary to ensure that deliveries can be completed each day. That and other changes have led to reports of letters and packages being delayed by as many as several days." (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/31/us/p ... elays.html

The National Postal Mail Handlers Union, https://www.npmhu.org/media/news/npmhu- ... ss-release, has released troubling confirmation that overtime is being denied and insufficient mail-sorting machines are leading to delayed mailings.

Adding fuel to the fire, the President has been tweeting frequently sentiments like, "Republicans should fight very hard when it comes to statewide mail-in voting. Democrats are clamoring for it. Tremendous potential for voter fraud, and for whatever reason, doesn’t work out well for Republicans."

With such rhetoric, it is clear that Donald J. Trump's goal is to muddy the waters sufficiently to make the outcome of the presidential race ambiguous no matter what. It is doubly clear that President Trump seeks to, under the pretenses of getting a 'full and fair count' of the vote, undermine any certainty that may emerge on election day regarding a possible win by the Biden campaign.

In light of the high incidence of irregularities surrounding this most fundamental right to vote--a right that guards against all manner of due process rights under the14th Amendment--as well as the highly irregular manipulation of the normal processing and administration of the mails, the Texas deadline of 7 p.m. on election day for the final counting of ballots violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment and must be extended to 2 weeks past election day. This is especially the case because the actions undertaken by the Trump administration's newly re-organized Postal Service, coupled with rhetoric by the President himself clearly designed to discourage voting by mail in a time of pandemic (which, incidentally, amounts to the discouragement of voting full-stop)--all this amounts to an unconstitutional deprivation of the equal protection of the laws under the 14th Amendment--and more specifically, a deprivation of the fundamental equal right to vote.

The U.S. Supreme Court Ruling

Supreme Court of the United States
JOE BIDEN FOR PRESIDENT CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE, ET AL., Petitioners, v.
GREG ABBOTT, GOVERNOR OF TEXAS, Respondent
ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT
No. 20-267 Decided November 6, 2020

The petition for writ of certiorari is denied.

APPENDIX B – Law Enforcement

The purpose of this law enforcement scenario narrative was to provide context to simulation participants as to what was happening around the nation while they made their decisions. The narrative was not canned, but was shaped by actions during the simulation and, as such, represents a free play representation of what was unfolding during the simulation. The use of actual names, places, and projected events was designed to add realism to the scenario and is not meant to be used for any other purpose.

Election Night November 3—Law Enforcement Scenario

Law enforcement begins riot control functions in all major cities. The shooting of 14 police officers results in the deployment of all available armored personnel carriers in cities that have them, including Department of Defense MRAP’s obtained through the 1033 program. The elected officials in several cities (Seattle, Portland, and Minneapolis) object to the militarized show of force and require their police departments to pull back what they describe as “tanks” from the riots. Portland police request Mayor Wheeler lift the ban on chemical agents in dealing with the rioters.

Police in these cities recede to a defensive posture around their precincts, it is unsafe to maneuver police vehicles down the streets and responding to calls for service, even emergency calls, is suspended. Fire departments are unable to approach buildings on fire without police escorts, which are not happening
. Police departments request fire trucks be used to block areas form vehicular access, assume control of water cannons to deny access by foot or bicycle. All police departments are notified by the FBI and ATF of the possible car bombing in Philadelphia and begin to deploy concrete barricades and establish perimeters around precincts. The Philadelphia FBI and ATF field offices each release a joint Tweet:

“Agents from the Philadelphia FBI and ATF field offices are responding to unconfirmed reports of a car bomb at a Philadelphia PD precinct house. We will update soon.”


Mayor Lightfoot in Chicago restricts access to the downtown area in a repeat of this summer’s looting response, prompting rioting to spread out into residential areas. As the rioting intensifies Chief Brown asks Mayor Lightfoot to request the National Guard through the governor’s office. Social media monitoring begins looking for calls for protests to move out into the suburbs.

Suburban law enforcement prepares for possible civil unrest but is not experienced in serious riot control situations. NIPAS activates a callout of its Mobile Field Force, a multijurisdictional team tasked with crowd control, but most member agencies are unwilling to release their officers to the task force for fear they will be needed in their home jurisdictions. The model collapses and the callout is withdrawn. State Police units from rural Illinois are re-directed to the Chicago metro area. Suburban police chiefs echo Chief Brown’s request for their mayors to request help from the National Guard through Governor Pritzker.

Law enforcement across all major metropolitan areas assume various emergency plans, generally cancelling days off for all personnel and assigning officers to 12-hour shifts. Emergency service response in the suburban and rural areas continues for now, but it limited in areas where growing protests and riots are forming.

Federal law enforcement made up of Secret Service, Homeland Security, ICE, Capitol Police, and others mass around the White House in anticipation of an announced BLM protest. They are not wearing identifying patches or insignia and are arriving in armored personnel carriers. A “no-go” zone is established far from the White House gates, and all traffic along streets near the White House is diverted. Active Denial Systems are placed around the White House behind the barricaded perimeter.

NYPD deploys hundreds of plainclothes officers from the disbanded Anticrime Unit. There is no comment from Commissioner Shea when asked about permission from Mayor De Blasio, but the Commissioner points to multiple riot-related arrests in the past two hours and assures the press that identification of the arrestees is forthcoming.

In the more rural areas of the country, several elected sheriffs have made public warnings about rioters coming into “their counties,” warning that the locals wouldn’t be very welcoming to hostile crowds of outsiders. Local law enforcement begins monitoring social media for indications that militias are becoming active.

November 4—Law Enforcement Scenario

Law enforcement in major cities coordinate with the FBI and other federal agencies to identify leaders and agitators within the groups associated with BLM, Antifa, Boogaloo, and NFAC. Operation Spearfish commences with over one thousand arrest warrants issued using federal and state statutes from RICO to disorderly conduct with coordinated pre-dawn warrant executions nationwide. The decision to obtain arrest warrants even for the barest minimum of probable cause on the lowest of charges is meant to remove the players from the picture, at least temporarily. Social media sources and other intelligence sources were used to find any instances of incitement to violence, threats, or other criminal activity that met federal or local criminal statutes and act on them.

A lack of social media activity and overt action at the rioting by members of the Proud Boys draws the attention of law enforcement officials suspecting they may be operating covertly on the ground in several major urban rioting areas, but their exact involvement is unknown. Reports of militias moving into suburban areas is being monitored. Several groups affiliated with the Three Percenters and Oath Keepers have openly offered to assist law enforcement in putting down the violence via social media, touting significant current and retired law enforcement and military membership.

Several of the warrant services resulted in officer-involved shootings. Seattle, Chicago, and New York report shootings during at least some of their warrant services, with one officer injured in Seattle and at least three suspects dead in various locations. None of the agencies is releasing information on the circumstances or identities of the officers or suspects involved, citing the ongoing investigation. The majority of the warrants are executed in middle to upper class neighborhoods where the Antifa and BLM activists/leadership tend to reside, prompting concern with the volume of tactical police actions in areas unaccustomed to such activities.

Operation Spearfish continues as new players or current players promise revenge or seek “justice” through social media platforms and agencies prepare for a second round of warrant executions.

The use of water cannons and a drop in overnight temperatures kept downtown Minneapolis relatively quiet overnight, but the rising temperatures of the day and rioters arriving with raingear and heavy-duty umbrellas has cause activity to be a concern for Minneapolis PD. The number of sick callouts is alarming.


The ADS placed around the White House is used to target several protestors attempting to throw rocks and bottles at officers to great effect with limited, precise application to specific threats. Social media erupts with claims of abuse through military weaponry. Viral videos claiming that shields lined with aluminum foil will thwart the system and instruction on how to make them are seen making the rounds.

Attempts to burn down a Portland Police Precinct occur when six Black Bloc members attempt to throw simultaneous Molotov Cocktails at the building after an unknown gunman shot the front windows out hours earlier. One of the incendiary devices hit an exterior wall and covered an officer in flames, she suffered third degree burns on her face and neck. A Portland Police SWAT sniper conducting overwatch shot and killed one of the arsonists as he drew his arm back to throw his device (captured on police surveillance video and released immediately: warning graphic). The Molotov Cocktail exploded when he dropped the bottle and covered several rioters in flames, three injured severely and one dead at the scene. The shot from the police sniper and the subsequent fires cleared the area for the time being.

Chicago Police continue to restrict movement into the downtown area, but remain on defensive posture with patrols outside volatile neighborhoods, using MRAP’s to respond only to “officer needs assistance calls.” 911 service remains unavailable, and Chicago PD issues public Tweet:

“911 service is down and the cause is being investigated. Please use the non-emergency number 312-555-5555 to report an emergency. Response is limited and response times may be long.


The FBI assists major agencies with an investigation of the possible hacking of the 911 systems. Because of a limited ability to respond due to the rioting, the crashed 911 system is not a priority for most of the larger urban agencies. However, rural and suburban agencies recognizing lag times ask for federal assistance in investigating the cause of the disruption.

November 5-12—Law Enforcement Scenario

Riot control efforts continue throughout the country. There are rumors that several sheriffs in conservative counties throughout the country are hinting that they may deputize regular citizens into posses should the lawlessness come to their counties. Social media is ablaze with volunteers from Proud Boys, Three Percenters, and Oath Keepers and other Posse Comitatus groups to form posses.

In reading the report, it becomes clear that task force participants see law enforcement as a critical adjunct to the more traditional political actors and that they believe law enforcement could act with greater impunity and force, independent from—and at times in defiance of—elected leaders.
There are rumors that several sheriffs in conservative counties throughout the country are hinting that they may deputize regular citizens into posses should the lawlessness come to their counties. Social media is ablaze with volunteers from Proud Boys, Three Percenters, and Oath Keepers and other Posse Comitatus groups to form posses.

This isn’t an innocent game of “what if?”

Earlier this year the Claremont Institute created a Sheriffs Fellowship program. Claremont claims that this program will offer “training of unparalleled depth and excellence in American political thought and institutions.” But then, this is the same group that produced a report hoping that “several sheriffs in conservative counties” would give groups like the Proud Boys actual legal authority.

-- The Trump Coup: Notes on an Authoritarian Conspiracy: Inside the Claremont Institute’s “79 Days to Inauguration” Report. Claremont’s post-election war game provides a window into the group’s ambitions, by Christian Vanderbrouk


A team of Chicago police officers assigned to protect Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s residential block went home sick, driving past the protestors waiting behind barricades who cheered and promptly knocked over the barricades to begin marching down the street, camping on her front lawn and blocking the roadway with signs demanding she defund the Chicago PD. The mayor was not home at the time, and Chief Brown explains in a heated phone call with her that he does not have any more officers to deploy to her block, that there has been a record number of injuries and sick callouts in the past two days.

Chicago Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara holds a press conference:

Catanzara: “This city is on fire because of the poor leadership displayed by Lori Lightfoot and her cronies. The level of hypocrisy and lack of professionalism she displays on a daily basis is despicable. She claims to believe that black lives matter, but stabs in the back those who have committed their lives to truly ensuring that black lives matter, that ALL lives matter….our police officers. We have officers risking their lives by not shooting people that they should be shooting, or waiting too long because Lightfoot and her Soros-funded prosecutor Kim Foxx seem more interested in arresting cops than criminals.”

Reporter: “What happened with the officers protecting her block? Are they really sick?”

Catanzara: “I’m sure they are, probably sick and tired of protecting her house while our city burns. Maybe they got the COVID or something. Who knows.”

Reporter: “Is this a political statement on the part of the Chicago Police Union or something else?”

Catanzara: “Everything is a political statement today. Foxx and Lightfoot use this department and its officers as political scapegoats all the time, maybe they will enjoy not having us around. We’ll see.”

Reporter: “Chief Brown has promised disciplinary action against any abuse of sick time or false reports of injuries, what do you say?”

Catanzara: (chuckles) “Yeah, good luck proving that during the middle of a pandemic. Our union will fight any such actions. Would he prefer our officers spread the China virus instead? Let him clarify that.”

Reporter: “There have been numerous reports of excessive use of force against rioters, how do you respond?”

Catanzara: “Really? Take a look out that window there, you tell me, what the hell is excessive right now?” (leaves podium).


In response to Sarah Innanore, the Mayor-elect of Portland’s statement, the Department of Justice releases a statement:

“Any state, county, or city official obstructing the police operations within their jurisdiction aimed at protecting the safety and rights of the citizens of their communities, should be prepared to feel the full weight of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division come down upon them. The police are here to enforce laws, protect rights, and preserve the police. Telling them to put down their guns or calling them murderers (denying the officers of due process) directly interferes with their ability to do that by destroying the relationship they have with their communities.”

Police officers in Portland call in sick in record numbers. There are reports that more than ten officers have walked off the job, quitting with no notice. A leaked audio recording claiming to be the voice of Chief Chuck Lovell at a staff meeting is heard saying “I am not going to work one day for that nut, Innanore. I’m out of here as soon as she swears in.”
Lovell denies that he said that and states that he looks forward to working with the incoming mayor on improving policing in Portland.

November 13 to December 3—Law Enforcement Scenario

Portland Police Chief Lovell meets with Homeland Security and FBI officials at a remote location to discuss retaking the city hall. During the meeting, he expresses concern that the rights of the people and the business owners are being violated, and that the current mayor and mayor-elect are aiding what amounts to terrorist activity by allowing the city hall to be overtaken and prohibiting the police from enforcing laws in a “no-go zone” that they are complicit in establishing.

Discussions begin on how the federal government will assist the retaking of the building and the downtown area. The federal officers, under no restrictions imposed by the mayor, will assist Portland Police in a massive push into area and deploy chemical munitions where needed. Nearly three hundred federal officers from various agencies arrive in Portland. The decision is made that the mayor and mayor-elect will not be consulted prior to the retaking, and that any overt action or orders inhibiting the enforcement of state or federal laws by the mayor or other politicians will be considered obstruction. The DOJ would be consulted on prosecution only after the arrests were made, all parties agreeing that there would be probable cause for such arrests. The plan is to begin a fast-moving retaking of the building and the downtown area moving from three sides, leaving one route for those complying with the order to disperse a route to do so. Hundreds of arrests are expected. Execution of the plan set 10 pm after two orders to leave the area declaring the assembly unlawful.

Chicago police have a massive sick callout, nearly one third of all officers call in sick for their shift, some districts experiencing up to 75% of their patrol shift calling in sick. Reports from CPD Intelligence Unit indicate that the gangs intend to use the lack of policing to settle scores and gain new area. The Gangster Disciples are rumored to be planning the complete annihilation of two smaller gangs, but it is unclear which gangs these would be or if it would simply be a consolidation of power rather than warfare. Confidential informants are providing conflicting information and CPD is suspicious that the gangs are supplying disinformation through compromised informants. Chief David Brown makes a second, public request that Mayor Lightfoot request the assistance of the National Guard. Mayor Lightfoot does not respond publicly but criticizes the CPD union president and Chief Brown in a social media post showing a broken front window on her house and spray paint on her front door saying “DEFUND.”

Commission Shea in New York reports that there has been a decline in violence in the past day and a half, praising the tireless efforts of his officers in apprehending rioters. He gives special praise to his Intelligence and Anti-Terrorist units for having arrested over one hundred leaders of agitator movements and claims this has been key to lowering the violence. He is silent when asked about communication with Mayor De Blasio’s office.

Former Sheriff Clark of Milwaukee appears on Fox News to give an interview. When asked about what he sees happening and what he predicts will happen, his response goes viral:

“The police are here to protect people and preserve the peace. They will do that. Politicians might get in the way for a while like they’re doing right now, but at some point, cops will remember their oath and will take back their communities for the good, law abiding people in those communities. You won’t want to be on the other side of that once they have had enough of this nonsense.”


December 4 to January 6—Law Enforcement Scenario

The National Fraternal Order of Police issues a statement on former Vice President Joe Biden’s comments yesterday:

“While it is the role of this nation’s fine men and women of law enforcement to protect the rights of all citizens, including the First Amendment right to peacefully protest, what we have seen since last summer has anything but peaceful. While one party and one candidate has chosen to ignore the violence and flames, our membership has not had the luxury of such ignorance. Members of the media have promoted slanderous lies about our police officers, fanning the flames in our cities that they obediently ignore on behalf of the left.

Our members have been maligned, attacked, accused of being racists, and in some cases murdered for the mere fact that they wear a badge. The irresponsible call to arms that former Vice President Joe Biden made yesterday to ‘let their voices be heard’ is not at all tempered by his suggestion to ‘continue to peacefully protest.’ There hasn’t been a protest that was not accompanied by rioting since all of this began last spring, and now he is openly encouraging it. We call on President Trump to assist our men and women in blue in putting an end to the violence and anarchy and to restore law and order.”

The five largest police departments along with Homeland Security officials and FBI officials have entered into meetings with Google, Facebook, and Twitter to discuss tracking phones and electronic communication devices that have been traveling together to various cities belonging to know members of Antifa, BLM, and other known agitator groups on both the left and right. They are also discussing efforts to identify and remove foreign and domestic disinformation and bots from those platforms and methods of mining information not available through open source information.

DC Capitol Police secure the Capitol Building and place concrete barriers around the building in response to the attempted assassination of the Wyoming Congressman and his aide. Additional ADS systems are place near the Capitol Building in anticipation of chaos after the vote. A truckload of pepper spray canisters and CS gas are brought to the building and distributed to both perimeter and interior agents. Overwatch snipers are placed around the upper perimeter of the building to control the grounds and monitor the crowds. There is a massive gathering of federal law enforcement, and the arrival of military MRAP vehicles transporting federal agencies across multiple departments.

State Police in Texas and Florida issue warnings via Facebook and Twitter to BLM or any other groups intending to occupy the state capitol buildings in their respective states in response to intelligence that BLM is intending a coordinated effort at occupying Texas, Florida, and Michigan state houses as a result of their electoral situations. Michigan state police begin preparing to respond to any takeover attempt but issue no warning and will not comment on the BLM intelligence data as a result of their governor’s public views in support of the movement.

State police in Texas take the rare step of closing the capitol building to the public and placing barriers around the capitol grounds, erecting warning signs that the grounds and building are closed to the public, and that trespassers will be arrested. Troopers from various districts arrive at the capitol with riot gear. A sergeant is heard yelling to the front line of officers, “No one comes through, no one!”

Police along major corridors entering Michigan, Texas, and Florida, are notified to stop and detain any suspicious caravans or large transport vehicles and to identify passengers for verification in the state fusion centers as members of Antifa and BLM are expected to descend on the capitol buildings in those states. Notice is issued by Homeland Security and their assistance is offered in identifying suspects. Coordination with social media platforms commences and real-time tracking of several agitator groups results in multiple stops and arrests.

The FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team deploys at multiple known Antifa hideouts to execute search warrants for weapons in and around Washington DC in anticipation of impending riots. Multiple locations are hit at the same time, with three reporting shots fired. Seven Antifa members are killed by gunfire
, no injuries to the agents are reported.

APPENDIX C – Social Media

The purpose of this social media narrative was to provide context to the taskforce participants as to what was happening online during the simulated post-election period. The narrative was not canned, but was shaped by actions during the simulation and, as such, represents a free play representation of what was unfolding during the simulation. The use of actual names, places, and projected events was designed to add realism to the scenario and is not meant to be used for any other purpose.

Facebook

Wednesday November 4, 2020


Statement from Facebook:

Facebook is wholly committed to the legitimacy of America’s electoral process. In our efforts to bring the world closer together, we believe that the biggest danger to a smooth process reflecting the will of the American people is misinformation that encourages a spiral of conflict. Therefore, limiting such misinformation is critical to our mission.

Facebook takes no political positions and any actions we take in the current environment are strictly nonpartisan. We have decided that for the benefit of all, during these immediate post-election days, we will prevent use of the Facebook platform (including Instagram, WhatsApp, and other members of the Facebook family) to make unproven claims by either side of the Presidential election. This is particularly necessary in light of deepfakes and other new techniques allowing disinformation to spread.

Thus, effective immediately, we are (a) suspending all paid political ads and (b) suspending posting privileges for all national-level political office holders and political parties. Third party organized entities are warned that any posting of misinformation regarding the election, particularly baseless claims of fraud, will result in immediate removal of the information and, in most cases, immediate removal of accounts from the platform. Such account removal will be permanent unless reversed at a later time, for good cause shown, by our Oversight Board, our recently created neutral body, which is wholly autonomous from Facebook management.

Because propagation of misinformation occurs on the individual level, naturally all individual users of Facebook are, effective immediately, subject to similar rules. However, individuals will first be given two-week suspensions; only upon a second offense occurring after reactivation of an account will account removal be permanent.

At the same time, we want to assure our users, and the larger community to which we are responsible, that legitimate, vetted news sources will in no way be limited on our platforms. In fact we will, at no charge, widely promote reliable sources to all our users, not just through Facebook News, but by direct placement of reliable news into our users’ News Feeds. Such sources include those widely recognized as nonpartisan and objective, outlets such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, major television networks that do not promote misinformation, and nonpartisan long-form publishers such as the Atlantic. A complete list of such news sources will be provided later.

Any news source not on our list will be prevented from any of its reporting about the election appearing on our platform, directly or indirectly, including in links posted by individual users, in order to ensure lack of bias and clear information being delivered to all our users.

These policies supplement, not replace, our existing policies, and we will evaluate and update them if necessary in the coming days. In particular, existing Facebook policies against hate speech will be vigorously enforced. Any posts that encourage violence in any way will be removed and appropriate actions taken against account holders. At the same time, we want to make clear that these policies will never be interpreted in a way that hampers legitimate, peaceful dissent and protest, especially by those historically marginalized and disempowered, most of all our BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities.

Our stated values and policies will always remain, at their core, an attempt to ensure that we, as a community, will thrive, even during challenging times. We welcome feedback on our positions, as we continue to earn America’s trust.

Twitter

Wednesday November 4, 2020

Press Release from Twitter Safety:


Twitter has taken a number of steps this year to ensure the security of our platform during the election. As voters are confronted with misleading and false information in the coming days, we will not allow our platform to be manipulated by actors foreign or domestic. With the Civic Integrity Policy we updated earlier this fall, Twitter will treat all attempts to spread misleading and false information identically.

Twitter has also taken steps this year to ensure the authenticity of accounts from all major political actors, through the introduction of two-step authentication and higher standards for password security.

In the late evening hours yesterday, the Twitter Safety team reviewed two dozen major political accounts for disputed claims regarding alleged voter fraud, and misleading claims regarding the results of the election. This review led to the application of red-badged “Disputed Claim” tags to a number of candidate and campaign accounts that alleged voter fraud without evidence.

Although Twitter does not wish to determine the truthfulness of tweets, we are committed to making sure that our platform is not abused during a moment of national crisis. Beginning this morning, therefore, Twitter is implementing the following additional steps to secure the integrity of our platform and affirm our commitment to user health and safety.

1. Tweets from candidates and campaigns in the U.S. presidential election will be subject to a ten-minute embargo, during which time Twitter Safety will examine the tweets for possible violation of Twitter’s terms of service as well as the terms of our Civic Integrity Policy.

2. Tweets from candidates and campaigns in the U.S. presidential election will receive a green badge for verifiable claims that are confirmed and verified by independent and neutral third parties, such as official vote-counting bodies. (Example: a claim of victory following official confirmation.)

3. Tweets from candidates and campaigns in the U.S. presidential election will receive a yellow warning notice for permissible but potentially misleading tweets, so that the security of the platform will not be impinged. Such tweets will be throttled. (Example: a claim of confidence.)

4. Tweets from candidates and campaigns in the U.S. presidential election that assert, as fact, unverified, unverifiable or false information will be prevented from display on the service. (Example: an assertion that fraud has occurred or that the other side is working to steal the election.)

5. After a series of three attempted claims of false information in one twenty-four-hour period, Twitter will suspend, for a further twenty-four-hour period, any account making such claims.

6. Retweets of green-badged tweets will be permitted, while retweets of yellow-badged tweets will only be permitted as retweets with comment.


Twitter is also taking the following steps to facilitate the predominance of truthful information regarding the election.

1. Twitter’s Curation Team will pin verified, accurate information about the election count on Twitter’s home page and the Explore page, as well as above all major political accounts.

2. Searches for political terms and election information on the service will lead to Twitter’s Elections splash page, with information verified by the Curation Team.

3. Retweets of tweets marked as election-related news will be limited to verified Twitter accounts (noted with a blue check mark).

4. Verified news organizations which spread misinformation will have their accounts temporarily suspended. Multiple suspensions will result in an immediate permanent ban.

5. Attempts to access the accounts of suspended news organizations will redirect the user to @TwitterGov.

Finally, Twitter Safety is cooperating with the United States Intelligence Community in identifying accounts which have amplified the attempt of foreign intelligence agencies to undermine the legitimacy of the American democratic process. An initial dragnet has led to the suspension of four hundred accounts. Due to the sensitivity of the Intelligence Community’s concern, Twitter Safety will not be able to discuss why such accounts have been suspended, nor will discussion of suspensions be permitted on the Twitter platform.

Statement by Jack Dorsey:

“Twitter began as my dream for helping the world to communicate better. We have not always been effective at establishing the rules for fair play to make that happen. Thanks to the foresight of the team behind our Civic Integrity Policy, this year is different. No political actor, foreign or domestic, will abuse Twitter’s platform, or threaten the health and safety of our users. Embargoing major political accounts will allow us to make sure unverifiable information is flagged or removed. We are grateful to the U.S. Intelligence Community for helping us identify suspicious accounts. Twitter will have no tolerance for threats to platform health and safety.”

Actions taken:

• All of President Trump’s tweets last night and today have been shaded in yellow.

• Eleven of Vice President Biden’s tweets have been judged verified information and have been marked green (that he has received the most votes). Two of Vice President Biden’s tweets have been marked yellow (that he expects to win).

• Two reporters from the One America News Network had their accounts suspended. Twitter cannot discuss the reasons for the suspension.

• Sean Hannity’s account has been suspended for twenty-for hours for tweeting that “the steal is on.”

• Several MAGA accounts have been temporarily suspended. Twitter cannot discuss the reasons for their suspension.

• Tweets from the United States Intelligence Community are green-flagged and pinned at the top of the Explore page.

• No action has been taken against major news networks.

• Twitter Safety is actively suspending accounts linked to the “Boogaloo Boys.”

• President Trump’s tweets are held for the full ten minutes each time. Vice President Biden’s tweets are approved quickly.

Regarding the Deep Fake of President Obama on Election Night, Twitter issued the following:

Statement from Twitter Safety: "Twitter takes no responsibility for videos that originated on TikTok, but is throttling accounts that spread the apparently falsified Obama statement."

On November 4-5, Twitter’s Action’s Included:

• Twitter removed two Trump tweets

• Twitter temporarily hides all tweets from five countries identified by the Intelligence Community

• Twitter introduces the Civic Integrity Algorithm to anonymously and safely monitor private tweets for attempts to organize violence against peaceful protesters

• Twitter continues its earlier policies ensuring safety of the platform's users, as well as preventing attempts to use the platform against peaceful protesters

STATEMENT FROM TWITTER SAFETY

As news media reported earlier, Twitter Safety has determined that accounts originating in Russia are responsible for internet buzz about the supposed vote-buying scheme in Michigan. In cooperation with the Intelligence Community, Twitter in the United States is throttling all accounts originating from countries identified by the Intelligence Community as cooperating to interfere in the U.S. presidential race. Twitter is temporarily suspending all accounts that retweet or share allegations of voter fraud, including Project Veritas.

Beginning today, direct messages and group messages will be anonymously scanned by our Civic Integrity Algorithm. Accounts using direct messages and group messages on the Twitter platform to spread disinformation or to organize violence against peaceful protesters will be suspended.
We assure users that their privacy will be protected during this process.

Twitter Safety has removed two tweets from President Trump that included claims marked as "misleading and false" by our Civic Integrity Project. The content of the tweets cannot be discussed. A third such tweet will result in his temporary suspension from our platform. Twitter implements the rules of the Civic Integrity Project fairly across all parties.

Twitter Safety is also locking all unverified accounts that display unusually high activity and engagement in circulation of election-related claims. Accounts will be unlockable with phone verification after twelve hours.

On November 6-12, Twitter’s Action’s Included:

• Twitter continues attempts to enforce prohibition on right-wing incitement of violence, targeting accounts by Proud Boys and other "militia groups"

• Twitter struggles to contain militia coordination as code words develop more rapidly than Twitter's ability to stop them

• Jack Dorsey asserts that Twitter's rules are applied evenly across all accounts, even while users see challenges to Republican-friendly court rulings proliferate on the platform

• As final tabulations begin in the decisive states, Twitter stands ready to suspend any premature claims to victory

Google (Alphabet)

Evening of November 3, 2020


Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai releases statement, “Google provides products that increase access to information for everyone — no matter where you live, what you believe, or who you voted for. We are committed to partnering with lawmakers, including the members of Congress and state election officials, to protect citizens, affirm America’s electoral integrity, and ensure that every American has access to the information needed in this critical period.”

Google’s operations managers order the following:

1. Trust & Safety teams comb all right-wing websites using Google’s ad network that referenced a left-wing coup or stolen election essays and boot them from Google’s ad network program.

2. Google News Feed will only provide election coverage search results from Major Media for first 3 pages even if links go back to pre-11/4. All clicks to other sites first go to a disinfo warning screen.

3. All Google searches for “fraud”, “ballot harvesting”, “vote cheating” will yield a wall of links to verified Get The Facts pages like Snopes and other fact checking sites.

4. All YouTube videos claiming an electoral victory for either side will be immediately removed (applies also to both campaign channels).

5. YouTube Trust & Safety teams that find violations from right wing channels for racist, sexist, homophobic content from the past will be suspended, pending appeal if user chooses to do so.

November 4, 2020

After last night’s events, Antifa livestreams are being shut down.
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Re: Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certificat

Postby admin » Sat Dec 04, 2021 12:50 am

Mom Who Joined the QAnon JFK Cult in Dallas Left Her Family to ‘Follow God’: “We can’t just give up on her, but it feels like we’re mourning her while she’s still alive,” the woman’s daughter told VICE News
by David Gilbert
December 2, 2021, 9:03am



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When Patricia left her home in Texas last month to join a QAnon cult that believes John F. Kennedy and JFK Jr. are about to return from the dead, she said she had no intention of ever returning.

She thanked her husband of 32 years and her two children for “being a great family” and said she would see them soon.

Then, her daughter Laura found her mom’s journals, filled with page after page of indecipherable nonsense.

“​​Before she went to Dallas she kept a couple of journals,” Laura told VICE News. “We don't know if it was people on Telegram telling her these things, or she's just having delusions, but it's just books of what she believes JFK Jr. is saying to her directly.”

But even more worrying were the words written on the front and back covers of the books.

“I'm going to follow God. Thank you for a wonderful life. Look up to the sky, I will always be close by.”

To Laura, this sounded worryingly like a suicide note. Then, those fears seemed to be confirmed last week when the head of the cult took part in a video chat in which his followers discussed the need “to experience that physical death.”

“It would not be hard to believe at this point if they were suicidal as a group,” Laura said. “I would not be surprised at all, because, initially, after we read her books, we were just waiting for a call, to hear that they'd done something like that.”

Patricia and Laura are not their real names, but VICE News is using pseudonyms in order to protect the family’s privacy. VICE News called and sent messages to Patricia on several occasions but didn’t get a response. The account of Patricia’s actions is based on interviews with her daughter and sister.

Laura and her family eventually had to resort to drastic measures to rescue Patricia from the cult. “We obtained guardianship and my mother is now in a behavioral health center following a psychiatric evaluation,” Laura said on Thursday.

Laura is just one of many people whose family members have been sucked into the cult that this week is beginning its second month holed up in Dallas, where up to 1,000 people gathered on November 2 to witness the return of former President John F. Kennedy, his son JFK Jr., and wife Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

None of that happened, but the group’s leader Michael Brian Protzman, known to his followers as Negative48, was able to convince up to 100 people to stay in Dallas, claiming that JFK Jr. had in fact appeared on stage during a Rolling Stones concert.

Since then the group has become increasingly cult-like, with Protzman declaring himself God’s representative of earth and members cutting off communication with their families. They’re also using apocalyptic language to describe the future.

While some of Protzman’s followers lost faith, a core group of believers have remained in Dallas, staying in hotel rooms and Airbnbs in the city, while Protzman has repeatedly predicted something big is about to happen.

Patricia, who celebrated her 56th birthday with Protzman’s group last week, remained a loyal follower until her family rescued her, and had formed a romantic relationship with a fellow group member. She had told acquaintances that she had found her “twin flame”—though claimed the relationship was not about sex and they did not sleep together.

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Soul Mates and Twin Flames: The Spiritual Dimension of Love and Relationships (Pocket Guides to Practical Spirituality) Paperback – January 1, 1999, by Elizabeth Clare Prophet (Author)


You can make the call to God, “Show me who my twin flame is.” But the development of your inner faculties, of your inner knowing, comes through decreeing, through giving the violet flame. It's the most efficacious means on the planet of spiritual development. It will be the crown of all other paths, meditations, forms, asanas you have been through. And you will notice it if you're diligent with it.

Question: Can you tell me how it could work out so neatly that everyone has a perfect love? Where did this person come from and what is their relationship to us?

Elizabeth Clare Prophet answers:

The twin flame, or perfect love, is born out of the original white-fire ovoid. This is an ovoid of light in which you are created in the Central Sun, the highest concentration of pure Spirit in the universe. God takes the ovoid and he makes out of it two spheres of light. And each sphere looks like the causal body in the upper portion of the Chart of Your Real Self. So imagine this chart twice.

Descending from these spheres into Matter, then, come forth the souls that are the counterpart of the Spirit spheres. They are called twin flames because they came out of the original single ovoid. The Electronic Presence of each soul is the exact duplicate of the other. And when they descend into form, one assumes the positive or masculine and one assumes the negative or feminine polarity.

Now, that ovoid has a unique pattern. It is an electronic blueprint. Only you and your twin flame have it. You have it in the Spirit. You have the divine image in which you were made. It's the same image. No one else in the whole cosmos can claim this oneness with you because you were only born once, spiritually.

So we all started out in golden ages long ago with the perfect person, the twin flame, but then we started making karma.

Karma is energy/consciousness in action; the law of cause and effect and retribution. Also called the law of the circle which decrees that whatever we do comes full circle to our doorstep for resolution. Paul said, “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Newton observed that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

The law of karma necessitates the soul's reincarnation until all karmic cycles are balanced. Thus, from lifetime to lifetime man determines his fate by his actions, including his thoughts, feelings, words, and deeds.

We descended into the lower octaves, we were separated from our twin flame. We lost that physical manifestation of the divine counterpart in heaven, and then we began creating obligations with other people.

And this is why embodiment after embodiment we are married to different people. Some may be soul mates, some karmic relationships. And hopefully we make the best of it and share a love that will achieve a particular purpose and also balance karma. The law of karma demands we go back and fulfill our responsibilities first. It is always your first obligation. It can take you away from your twin flame for lifetimes.

And the goal is to balance that karma, become purified on the Path of the Holy Spirit, attain reunion with God and the twin flame, and climb back up the ladder of life to the Source whence you came. And that is the long story of the lost Word being found again.


Could you clarify the difference between a twin flame and a soul mate? You seem to be saying that if you can't unite with your twin flame in this lifetime, in the meantime you might find a soul mate. And I thought that they were just different expressions for the same concept.

Elizabeth Clare Prophet answers:

A soul mate is a person with whom you may have worked for many centuries on the same mission or the same initiation of the chakras—some parallel path of soul development. And even though there may be a great attraction and bond between soul mates, fundamentally, in the ultimate sense, you could define it more as a brother/sister relationship, even though soul mates have great marriages and a great union of hearts.

There is that sense of “we're comrades, we're pilgrims on the path together, and what we're doing has to be done together.” You may come together for several lifetimes, and you may feel a great tie.

But if you really meditate at inner levels, you know that that relationship doesn't go as high or is not as profound as the one with the person who is your direct counterpart—the twin flame you have known as your other self from the first moment of your creation in the Great Central Sun.

You have only one twin flame. But you may have brothers and sisters in various places whom you're working with.

Let's say in this lifetime your choice as well as your assignment is to master music. You'll probably be assembled with many musicians, and you may find someone who is very much a co-worker and a companion with whom you can share not only your love of harmony but also a real soul communion on that wavelength and chakra of one of the seven rays.

And there is a blessing that comes to your endeavor from the I AM Presence of both twin flames—your twin flame and that person's twin flame. So that's what a soul mate is—someone you can truly love and respect and share with.

A soul-mate relationship has to do with the seat-of-the-soul chakra—that chakra just above the base. The connection is one of parallel and mutual evolution rather than origin.

It is a blessed experience to have someone who is a friend (someone you can trust who also trusts you) with whom to share a true commitment to a common cause as well as tender devotion.


Is the age of Aquarius a time when you're more likely to meet your twin flame? Or, in other words, is the possibility of joining forces by meeting your twin flame, which you did with Mark Prophet, the kind of power that is needed right now in the world?

Elizabeth Clare Prophet answers:

Well, it is a very propitious time for meeting one's twin flame because it is the desire of the Great White Brotherhood in sponsoring your souls on the path of soul liberation that you should be joined with your counterpart for a greater realization of true freedom to be who you are in God—in your joint causal bodies.

(The Great White Brotherhood is a spiritual order of Western saints and Eastern masters cooperating from the ascended octave with embodied disciples and adepts. The word “white” refers to the aura (halo) of white light that surrounds them, not to race.)

Also, because we're at the conclusion of the Piscean age, we're supposed to be balancing our karma. And so, we may go through karmic marriages; we may go through the marriage with the soul mate.

The end of Pisces is the time of balancing a lot of karma, and that's why people's thinking about relationships has radically changed in recent decades—because people have had a need to interact and to settle old scores and to keep on searching to find the highest complementary expression of their being in the quest of the spiritual path.

There is a heightened intensity of interest in twin flames today because that is the relationship that enables you to fulfill the greater portion of your fiery destiny. God knows this. God is sponsoring the true relationships of twin flames and soul mates today because in the beginning God made us to love one another as He first loved us.


What is the first step you can take toward finding your twin flame?

Elizabeth Clare Prophet answers:

You must first seek the union with your I AM Presence and Christ Self. That is the inner polarity. That is the greatest, most profound and blissful union that you can experience. It is the goal of the Path.

When you attain union with your Divine Reality, you also are coming into the closest union with the white fire core of your being through which you find the one and only one who was there with you in the beginning. Your relationship with your twin flame first began in this giant ovoid of white fire that became twain—two spheres of God-identity.

Now, you can develop a polarity in the human with your twin flame, with a soul mate or with anyone. You have had experiences in many lifetimes which make you feel attracted to people you may meet throughout your life.

But the only polarity that is of the fiery ovoid, that Electronic Presence, is that of your twin flame. And the profoundness of the oneness of twin flames is in the very depths of God's being.

So the real path and the real search is for union with God, because the reason we are separated from our twin flame in time and space is that through our incarnations in the physical plane, we've departed from our original Oneness and gotten entangled in other relationships, other karma.

So you may feel a longing and a loneliness in a crowd because the other half of your spiritual being is nowhere to be found.

But, you see, you can be sitting next to your twin flame and not even know it, because from having gone forth from the octaves of light and being separated for so many long thousands of years, you don't even recognize one another through the veils of karma. And that is the great tragedy of searching and searching and not realizing that the twin flame is, mystically, oneself.

And if one hasn't found oneself spiritually, one is not going to recognize that “One alone, to be my own,” as the song goes.

Now, if your twin flame is ascended, already one with his/her I AM Presence, you tend to feel more complete because the twin flame has achieved the divine oneness.

If your twin flame is your equal in attainment and in embodiment, you may seek that one.

If your twin flame has lesser attainment and more worldly ties, you may find a great dichotomy in yourself—that you love the Path but you have to dive into the astral sea because somewhere in all of that temporal and illusory condition is the other half of yourself whom you feel dedicated to rescue and to raise up.


Continued in Twin Flames, Soul Mates and the Karma that Separates Us, Part 2.

-- Soul Mates and Twin Flames: Q and A Part 1, Questions and Answers with Elizabeth Clare Prophet, Twin Flames, Soul Mates and the Karma that Separates Us, Part 1


“This has destroyed my family,” Patricia’s sister told VICE News.

Patricia’s radicalization into QAnon and Protzman’s numerology-inspired QAnon offshoot was rapid, Laura says.

“Right after the 2020 election, she got buried in her phone and very involved with QAnon stuff. She got very involved with some people in the area and started to drown in the conspiracies, to the point where that's all she talked about and stopped talking to her kids.”

Laura said that Patricia had always been interested in politics and been pretty conservative, but she had never dabbled in conspiracy theories.

But when she stumbled across Protzman’s Telegram channel, she became convinced that the conspiracy theories he was spreading were true. So she headed to Dallas at the beginning of November to see the resurrection of JFK.

When that didn’t happen she returned home, but almost immediately turned around and said she had to go back, Laura said, adding that Patricia told her husband that she had no choice in the matter and had to return to Dallas.

Even more worrying, Laura says, was that Patricia also stopped taking her medication.

“She kind of struggled with mental illness in the past, not too bad, but she's been off her medication for the past month now because she thinks that big pharmaceutical companies are evil. Not the regular kind of evil, like Satan kind of evil,” Laura said.

Unlike other members of the group, whose families have told VICE News that Protzman’s followers have handed over hundreds of thousands of dollars to help fund the group’s activities, Patricia spent almost nothing. “It doesn't seem to be about the money,” her daughter said, adding that Patricia took just a single change of clothes with her to Dallas.

When asked what he has to say to the families of his followers who are concerned about their safety, Protzman said: “Nobody here is talking about death. We are talking about life, how it has been, and how it should be.”

When asked about the video chat he participated in where “experiencing physical death” was discussed, Protzman said he specifically didn’t use those words, adding: “Your [sic] not understanding what is being said.”

Despite the group now entering its second month in Dallas, researchers who track its activities closely don’t see any signs that it’s winding up any time soon. Those close to Protzman are telling group members they have a lot of work yet to do.

Weeks ago, the group discussed creating a permanent base in or near Dallas where they could all live together.

In a post last week, Protzman declared December 3 the next date when something big will happen.

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Slider
@FakeGucciSlide

Save the Date
A Whole load of nothing is next due to happen on the 3rd December
#negative48 chat bringing the doom.
market crashes!!!, no coincidences, largest market crashes have occurred on Fridays and or Mondays. Markets closed of Thursday. Cyber Monday sale 29th of November, no coincidences either. Cyber attacks and further market turmoil. 11.4 Marker = Election day plus 1. 3rd of Nov 2020 + 1 year = USA default day = EBS, Hammar on the clock. Symbolism will be there down fall. Amazon black Friday, Amazon Cyber Monday, its right there folks. Get ready!


5:10 AM Nov 24, 2021


In the Telegram chat groups where the members who are still based in Dallas communicate, group leaders issue orders about where to meet and when.

“EVERYONE NEEDS TO MAKE YOUR WAY TO THE ARK FOR ROLL CALL BY 6:00 PM. ROLL CALL WILL START IMMEDIATELY,” one group admin wrote earlier this week in comments reviewed by VICE News.

The Ark is understood to be a conference room inside the Hyatt hotel, where some of the group are staying. In another message, the group leaders warned members about a coming “battle.”

“IF YOU LEFT THE ARK BEFORE RIGHT NOW YOU MISSED YOUR ASSIGNMENT!!! YOU BETTER BE SERIOUS FROM THIS MOMENT FORWARD OR YOU WILL BE ASKED TO LEAVE. IT’S TIME TO WORK!!! YOU MUST WATCH THIS VIDEO AND BE READY TO GO TO BATTLE!!!”


In recent days Protzman has been making increasingly outlandish claims, including hinting that he may be the second coming of Christ, and in an audio chat on Tuesday, Protzman claimed—without any evidence, it should be added—that he is communicating directly with former President Donald Trump.

But no matter what outrageous claims are made or what predictions fail to come to pass, his followers remain loyal, and willing to follow his every direction—including Patricia.

Thanks to her family, Patricia is now out of Protzman’s grasp. But before they secured her guardianship, Patricia’s family had already begun mourning the loss of a wife and a mother.

“It's difficult to just kind of count her out,” Laura said, speaking just three days before her family finally secured the guardianship. “She's been married for 32 years and we’ve just always had her around, so we can't just give up on her but it feels like we're mourning her while she's still alive. We don't know what to do because it doesn't seem like she wants our help. It's a pretty tragic situation. It feels very hopeless.”

This article has been updated throughout to reflect recent developments.

****************************

Trump's Qanon Supporters Thought JFK Jr., Famously Dead, Was Going to Show Up In Texas Today: They also believe Trump and JFK Jr. are going to run on a ticket together in 2024.
by Bess Levin
Vanity Fair
November 2, 2021

There are a lot of reasons Donald Trump lost the last election, chief among them being his disastrous handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in more than 232,000 deaths by the time voters went to the polls one year ago. But we’re pretty sure another contributor was the fact that he had become even more of a batshit crazy lunatic than usual, to the point that he was going on TV and suggesting his political enemies were running a satanic pedophile cult.

If you blocked that out of your mind to make room for all of the other insane events that went down over the last year, here’s a quick refresher. On October 15, 2020, after backing out of the second presidential debate, Trump sat down with NBC’s Savannah Guthrie for a live town hall. At one point, Guthrie said, “Let me ask you about QAnon,” referring to the far-right, incomprehensibly insane conspiracy theory that a cabal of Democratic politicians, liberal Hollywood actors, and high-ranking government officials, who worship Satan, were running a child-sex-trafficking ring and simultaneously plotting against Trump, who was planning a day of reckoning in which thousands of members of the cult would be arrested. “It is this theory that Democrats are a satanic pedophile ring and that you are the savior of that,” Guthrie said. “Now, can you just, once and for all, state that that is completely not true and disavow QAnon in its entirety?”

“I know nothing about QAnon,” Trump said.

“I just told you,” Guthrie responded.

“I know very little,” the then president insisted. “You told me, but what you tell me doesn’t necessarily make it fact. I hate to say that. I know nothing about it. I do know they are very much against pedophilia,” he added, contradicting his claim to knowing nothing about the group and also giving the impression that they were lawyers bringing sex traffickers to justice instead of fringe lunatics. “They fight it very hard. But I know nothing about it…I’ll tell you what I do know about. I know about antifa, and I know about the radical left, and I know how violent they are and how vicious they are. And I know how they are burning down cities run by Democrats, not run by Republicans.”

Ben Collins
@oneunderscore_
Outside of a straight up endorsement, this is about as close to a dream scenario for QAnon followers as is humanly possible.
Timothy Burke @bubbaprog Oct. 15, 2020
"I agree with that" is not the proper answer to a question about Qanon

President Trump Town Hall
5:24 PM Oct 15, 2020


Unfortunately for Trump and his Q followers, he did not end up winning the election. But this is a group that is not deterred by facts or anything else, and it quickly shifted gears to the idea that Trump was going to be reinstated as president on August 13, 2021.

Once again, this did not happen.
So Q adherents pivoted to another theory, one they were pretty sure was airtight: that (1) John F. Kennedy Jr., who famously died in a plane crash more than 20 years ago, was going to appear in Texas today, and that (2) it was going to all be part of a larger story in which a man belonging to a Democratic dynasty was going to run on the 2024 ticket with Trump.
Congratulations if you followed all of that.

Rolling Stone explains in further detail:

QAnon true believers gathered en masse on Tuesday morning in anticipation of the return of Camelot—namely, of John F. Kennedy, Jr., the lush-haired scion and former George publisher who was killed in a plane crash in 1999. The crowds chose to meet in Dealey Plaza and lined themselves around the large white “X” that marks the spot where his father, John F. Kennedy, was assassinated in 1963.

That John F. Kennedy, Jr. is set to return is a belief set forth by proponents of the QAnon conspiracy theory, which postulates that Donald Trump is lying in wait to destroy a secret cabal of blood-drinking, child-sex-trafficking members of the liberal elite. Dozens of QAnon supporters started gathering in AT&T Discovery Plaza in downtown Dallas last night to commemorate the glorious return of JFK Jr.—a man who, again, it must be emphasized, has failed to convert oxygen into carbon dioxide for over two decades.

“Trump reinstated as 19th president calls up a new vice president, JFK Junior,” wrote a prominent QAnon influencer with more than 250,000 followers on the encrypted messaging app Telegram.


The person added that after winning the election, Trump would step down and JFK Jr. would become president. But wait, you say: Why would QAnoners stand for anyone being president but Trump? And the answer, according to the fantasy, is that Trump would subsequently become “1 of the 7 new Kings. Most likely the King of Kings.”

Anyway, this somehow resulted in a disturbingly large number of people showing up in Texas in hopes of witnessing history:

Will Sommer
@willsommer
There's a sizable crowd of QAnon believers in Dallas's Dealey Plaza, where they're convinced JFK Jr. and plenty of other dead celebrities will return. Lots of talk online about Kobe Bryant and Robin Williams
Image
10:12 AM Nov 2, 2021


Sadly, though, it was all for naught—but the true believers were apparently undeterred as always:

Will Sommer @willsommer Nov 2
Replying to willsommer
JFK Jr. and the other dead celebrities failed to show in Dallas. But the QAnon crew has moved on, and now believes they'll make an appearance at the Dallas Rolling Stones concert tonight. "Rolling Stones? Rolling away the stone!" says one.


Anyway, if you’re wondering why these whack jobs deserve any coverage whatsoever, remember that, at this very moment, there are members of Congress who literally believe this shit, and many more candidates for office who proudly subscribe to such theories too. Even scarier, if such a thing is possible? As Slate’s Ben Mathis-Lilley notes, “many political observers are currently projecting that voters across this country will sweep the party that these people belong to back into power in the 2022 midterms.” Get ready for Rep. QAnon (R-AZ).
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Re: Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certificat

Postby admin » Sun Dec 05, 2021 8:24 am

Michigan school shooting: Ethan Crumbley’s parents charged with involuntary manslaughter
Charging decision for Jennifer and James Crumbley comes three days after their son allegedly killed four at Oxford High School

by Megan Sheets
Independent.co.uk
12/4/21

Michigan school shooting suspect Ethan Crumbley’s parents have been charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection with the deadly massacre earlier this week.

Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald’s office filed the charges against James and Jennifer Crumbley, the Associated Press reported on Friday, three days after their 15-year-old son allegedly opened fire in the halls of Oxford High School, killing four classmates and wounding seven others. The parents each face four counts of involuntary manslaughter.

Ms McDonald announced the charges at a press conference at noon and said she filed them because while Mr Crumbley is the one who pulled the trigger, “there are other individuals who contributed to this”. “It is my intention to hold them accountable,” she said.

The prosecutor noted that the involuntary manslaughter charge is the strongest allowed under the law, which states that the parents of a child who violates firearm-related statutes on school property or in a school vehicle can be held criminally liable if the parent knew the child’s intentions or furthered their actions.

The couple were scheduled to appear at an arraignment at 4pm Friday. However, as of 5pm a fugitive team was still searching for them to serve arrest warrants.

Mr Crumbley’s mother Jennifer texted him “Ethan, don’t do it” after she heard reports of an active shooter at his school, Ms McDonald said on Friday.

When he heard the reports, the suspect’s father James called 911 to report a gun was missing, officials said.


The gun Mr Crumbley allegedly used - a Sig Sauer 9mm model SP 2022 - had been stored in an unlocked drawer at the family’s home, according to Ms McDonald. The suspect went with his father to purchase the gun on Black Friday and then posted about trying out his “new Christmas present” on social media.

Ms McDonald also provided new details about the two incidents that prompted teachers to raise alarms about Mr Crumbley’s behaviour prior to the shooting.

On Monday, a teacher reportedly found Mr Crumbley searching for ammunition on his cellphone. His parents were alerted, and his mother Jennifer allegedly texted him: “LOL I’m not mad at you, you have to learn not to get caught.”

On Tuesday, a different teacher found on a note on Mr Crumbley’s desk which featured a drawing of a handgun a bullet with the words: “The thoughts won’t stop, help me” and “blood everywhere”.

Mr Crumbley’s parents were called in as a result of the note, but fought to have him return to class, Ms McDonald said.


Image
James and Jennifer Crumbley are pictured at their son Ethan’s arraignment on Wednesday
(Rochester Hills District Court)

The prosecutor went on to call the parents’ failure to prevent Tuesday’s shooting “criminal”.

“I have tremendous compassion and empathy for parents who have children who are struggling and at risk for whatever reason. And I am no means saying an active shooter situation should always result in a criminal prosecution against parents,” she said.

“But the facts of this case are so egregious, reading this document, looking at it, reading the words ‘help me, with a gun, blood everywhere,’ this doesn’t just have impact [on] me as a prosecutor and lawyer, it impacts me as a mother. The notion that a parent could read those words and also know their son had access to a deadly weapon, that they gave him, is unconscionable and I think it’s criminal. It is criminal.”

Ms McDonald said she brought the charges to send a message about the responsibility faced by gun owners.

“When they fail to uphold that responsibility, there are serious and criminal consequences,” she said. “As we work together to honour the lives lost and all of those impacted by the evil acts this week, justice for the victims and their families is at the forefront of today’s announcement.

“We need to do better in this country. We need to say enough is enough for our kids, our teachers, parents, for all of us in this community and the communities across this nation.”

Earlier this week, it was revealed Jennifer Crumbley had written an open letter to Donald Trump on her blog in 2016, praising the Republican’s position on gun rights.

“As a female and a Realtor, thank you for allowing my right to bear arms,” she wrote. “Allowing me to be protected if I show a home to someone with bad intentions. Thank you for respecting that Amendment.”


Ethan Crumbley is currently being held without bond at the Oakland County Jail on 24 charges, including one count of terrorism and four counts of first-degree murder.

Image
Ethan Crumbley, 15, is seen in his booking photo
(AP)

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Ethan Crumbley – latest: Sheriff says suspect was ‘looking forward’ to attack as parents appear in court
by Gino Spocchia, Megan Sheets, Stuti Mishra, Thomas Kingsley
12/5/21

[x]
Parents of Michigan school shooting suspect plead not guilty as mother sobs in court

Ethan Crumbley’s parents pleaded not guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter in connection to their son’s alleged shooting rampage at Oxford High School that led to the death of four students on Tuesday.

James and Jennifer Crumbley appeared at an arraignment in front of judge Julie Nicholson this morning after being arrested by Detroit Police around 1.30am earlier today.

The arrest came after officers found a vehicle, believed to belong to the Crumbleys late on Friday, when they were searching for the couple. The vehicle was reported by the owner of the industrial building where the couple was located.

James and Jennifer Crumbley, parents of the 15-year-old accused, had gone missing after being charged with involuntary manslaughter on Friday.


Prosecutor Karen McDonald announced the charges against James and Jennifer Crumbley on Friday, three days after their son Ethan allegedly killed four classmates and wounded seven others.

On Tuesday morning, the parents attended a meeting with Mr Crumbley and administrators after another teacher found a note on his desk with a drawing of a handgun that read: “The thoughts won’t stop, help me.”

The parents allegedly insisted Mr Crumbley return to class, and three hours later he carried out the massacre. When she heard reports of an active shooter, Jennifer Crumbley allegedly texted: “Ethan, don’t do it.”

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Key moments of Oxford high school shooting case

The deadly shooting at Oxford High School on Tuesday has so far led to three people being charged — first accused 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley, who allegedly opened fire at students and school staff, and his parents James and Jennifer Crumbley, who face charges of involuntary manslaughter.

All three are in the custody of the police now. Ethan’s parents were caught in the east of side Detroit early on Saturday morning when they were allegedly trying to run away.

Investigators say they’ve uncovered a “mountain of evidence” that Ethan Crumbley plotted the shooting he is accused of perpetrating well in advance, outlining plans in a journal and sharing his intentions in two videos filmed before the shooting.

His behaviour in the hours before the shooting also had several warning signs including his his search of gun ammunition on the phone, violent drawings and suicidal thoughts that penned down.

Here’s everything that has happened so far in the case:

A prosecutor has charged the parents of a 15-year-old boy who is accused of fatally shooting four students and wounding six at a Michigan high school this week

GOP congressman poses with guns for Christmas photo

Republican congressman Thomas Massie has sparked outrage for posting a Christmas photo of his family posing with a trove of firearms, just days after four students were murdered in America’s deadliest school shooting since 2018.

The Kentucky congressman shared the family portrait on Twitter on Saturday, along with the caption: “Merry Christmas! ps. Santa, please bring ammo.”

Mr Massie is seen posing with his wife and members of their family in front of a Christmas tree in a holiday card-style image. All seven people in the photograph are holding weapons as they beam at the camera.

The Republican faced an instant backlash for his social media post, coming just four days after suspected teenage gunman Ethan Crumbley opened fire at his high school in Michigan.

Image
GOP Rep Thomas Massie poses with guns in Christmas family photo after school shooting

Third party to investigate events at Oxford High School

An outside investigation has been called to look into the events at Oxford High School that occurred before the deadly school shooting on Tuesday, the Michigan district’s superintendent said on Saturday.

The decision was taken because the parents have asked questions about “the school’s version of events leading up to the shooting,” Oxford community schools superintendent Tim Throne said in a statement.

“It’s critically important to the victims, our staff and our entire community that a full and transparent accounting be made,” Mr Throne said.

The decision comes after prosecutor Karen McDonald detailed the various warning signals in Ethan Crumbley’s behaviour, including search for gun ammunition, violent drawings and suicidal thoughts, that eventually led up to the fatal shooting that left four students dead and six other students and a teacher wounded.

- AP

Crumbleys may have been trying to flee to Canada, police say

The fugitive parents of Michigan high school shooting suspect Ethan Crumbley were found hiding out in a warehouse and may have been trying to flee to Canada to escape charges in connection to Tuesday’s mass shooting, according to authorities.

Jennifer and James Crumbley were arrested in the early hours of Saturday morning after authorities were tipped off about their location at a commercial building at 1111 Bellevue Street in Detroit – less than a mile from the Canadian border.

Oxford school shooting: ‘Distressed’ fugitive parents of Ethan Crumbley were found ‘hiding in warehouse’
Jennifer and James Crumbley found inside a commercial building in Detroit close to the Canadian border after skipping their arraignment

by Rachel Sharp
12/4/21

The fugitive parents of Michigan high school shooting suspect Ethan Crumbley were found hiding out in a warehouse and may have been trying to flee to Canada to escape charges in connection to Tuesday’s mass shooting, according to authorities.

Jennifer and James Crumbley were arrested in the early hours of Saturday morning after authorities were tipped off about their location at a commercial building at 1111 Bellevue Street in Detroit.


Detroit Police Chief James White announced in an early morning press briefing that the “distressed” couple were taken into custody unarmed and “without incident”.

Their arrest was the outcome of an hourslong manhunt on Friday after the couple failed to show for their 4pm arraignment to face four charges each of involuntary manslaughter.

Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald announced in a press conference on Friday afternoon that she was taking the somewhat unusual step of charging the parents for their alleged parts in the massacre that left four students dead and seven other people wounded.

The couple’s son is accused of opening fire on his fellow students in a hallway of Oxford High School on Tuesday with a firearm that his parents are said to have gifted him.

The Crumbleys missed their deadline to appear in court on Friday and couldn’t be located, prompting authorities to label them as fugitives and issue a $10,000 reward for information leading to their arrests.

The couple were last seen in public on Thursday when they appeared virtually for their son’s arraignment, where he pleaded not guilty to the 24 charges stacked against him.

They are said to have withdrawn $4,000 in cash from an ATM in Rochester Hills on Friday afternoon and switched off their mobile phones to prevent them being tracked.

Chief White announced that the couple had been located at the industrial building - which is used as an art studio - in Detroit in the early hours of Saturday.

The couple’s car - a black KIA SUV - was first found in the area in the parking lot of a local business with a witness reporting seeing a woman close to the vehicle before fleeing.

A search later uncovered the Crumbleys in the basement of the warehouse “very distressed”.

The couple were unarmed and gave themselves up to authorities, said Chief White.

The police chief said that the fugitives “appeared to be hiding in the building” and that the situation “isn’t indicative of turning themselves in, hiding in a warehouse”.

He said he believed it was “very likely” the Crumbleys were trying to flee the country after they were apprehended less than a mile from the US’s border with Canada.

Chief White said the couple did not break into the building but that “somebody let them in”.

It is not clear who the individual is or what connection they have to the suspects but the police chief said charges could be on the cards.


Attorneys for the Crumbleys have denied the couple went on the run, insisting in Saturday’s arraignment that they are not a flight risk and that they were “absolutely going to turn themselves in” and that it was “just a matter of logistics”.

On Monday, a teacher reportedly found Mr Crumbley searching for ammunition on his cellphone. His parents were alerted, and his mother Jennifer allegedly texted him: “LOL I’m not mad at you, you have to learn not to get caught.”

-- Michigan school shooting: Ethan Crumbley’s parents charged with involuntary manslaughter. Charging decision for Jennifer and James Crumbley comes three days after their son allegedly killed four at Oxford High School, by Megan Sheets


Image
The Crumbleys are seen in booking photos following their arrests
(EPA)

The prosecution dismissed this claim saying: “I can’t imagine why they were surprised. The whole country knew that these charges were coming.”

The judge set their bond at $500,000 each. The Crumbleys both pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Prosecutors said the Crumbleys bought the gun used in the massacre for their son and failed to take steps to prevent the shooting, after multiple red flags of potential violence were raised.

Four students died in the mass shooting – Tate Myre, 16; Hana St. Juliana, 14; Madisyn Baldwin, 17; and Justin Shilling, 17 – and one teacher and six students were injured.

Ethan Crumbley is being held without bond on 24 counts including four charges of first-degree murder and one count of terrorism. He is being charged as an adult.


Ethan Crumbley’s fugitive parents found ‘hiding in warehouse’

Jennifer and James Crumbley found inside a commercial building in Detroit close to the Canadian border after skipping their arraignment

Everything we know about shooting suspect Ethan Crumbley

Ethan Crumbley, 15, has been charged as an adult with one count of terrorism, four counts of first-degree murder, and several other charges.

Police say investigators are examining the teenager’s smartphone and social media posts for clues as to the reason for the attack, which is still unknown.

“We can’t get the motive from the suspect that we have in custody, but we think we’ve got a path to get a lot of supportive information as to how and why this occurred,” Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard has said.

Here’s everything we know about the suspect so far:

Ethan Crumbley: Everything we know about the Michigan school shooting suspect
Fifteen-year-old in custody after four killed and eight injured in Oxford but motive remains unclear

by Joe Sommerlad
12/4/21

A 15-year-old sophomore has been taken into custody after four students were killed and at least eight others injured in a mass shooting at a suburban high school in Michigan on Tuesday.

The suspected shooter, teenager Ethan Crumbley, was apprehended by police following the incident at Oxford High School in Oxford Township, a community of 22,000 people 30 miles north of Detroit, and a semi-automatic 9mm Sig Sauer handgun was seized.

Oakland County undersheriff Mike McCabe said the suspect had not offered any resistance when he was arrested, which he said took place within five minutes of the first 911 call being received, simply putting his hands on his head and surrendering.

A motive for the attack has not yet been established, according to the undersheriff, as the teen invoked his right to an attorney and declined to speak to officers, apparently on the instruction of his parents.

On Wednesday, Mr Crumbley appeared virtually in court to face the charges and plead not guilty. Asked by the judge if he understood the charges, he calmly said: “Yes, I do.”

The teenager was charged as an adult with one count of terrorism, four counts of first-degree murder, seven counts of assault with intent to murder, 12 counts of possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald said the charges stemmed from “undeniable” evidence that the attack was premeditated.

Prosecutors told the judge that CCTV footage from the school showed Mr Crumbley “methodically and deliberately” firing on his fellow students.

The judge accepted prosecutors’ request to deny him bail and transfer him out of juvenile detention to the county jail because he could pose a threat to other minor prisoners.

Mr McCabe said investigators planned to examine Mr Crumbley’s smartphone and social media posts as they search for clues pointing to a possible motive and that they have already executed a search warrant on his house, retrieving several items, notably a cache of weapons including long guns.

It has also emerged that Mr Crumbley wrote on Instagram just hours before he started shooting: “Now I become death - destroyer of worlds - see you tomorrow Oxford.”

His journal also reportedly contains notes about his fantasies of doing violence to his contemporaries at school.

Speaking to CNN on Wednesday, Oakland County sheriff Michael Bouchard said: “It’s clear that he came out with the intent to kill people. He was shooting people at close range, oftentimes towards the head and chest... It’s just absolutely coldhearted murders.”


Mr Bouchard said investigators were examining further writings belonging to the shooter obtained in the middle of the night that contain “some of his thoughts”.

“We can’t get the motive from the suspect that we have in custody, but we think we’ve got a path to get a lot of supportive information as to how and why this occurred,” he said.

Sheriff Bouchard said at the time that he was unaware of any previous run-ins with law enforcement by the suspect, adding that investigators had so far seen nothing to suggest a history of disciplinary problems.

However, it has since been reported that the teen and his parents had a meeting with his teachers who were concerned about his behaviour and that Mr Crumbley had been part of another meeting without them a day earlier.

Sheriff Bouchard added that forensic technicians were still collecting evidence from the crime scene, while detectives were gathering video footage from security cameras mounted around the school and interviewing witnesses and those acquainted with the suspect.

The shooter is understood to have emerged from one of the school’s bathrooms at approximately 12.51pm bearing the pistol, which had been hidden in his backpack and was purchased by his father on Black Friday four days earlier.

Chilling footage subsequently emerging from the incident shows him firing off between 15 and 20 shots from multiple magazines as he stalks the school’s halls.

At one point, he is seen banging on a door and claiming to be a police officer in a bid to dupe people into coming out into the corridor, ordering someone to: “Just open the door bro.”

His fellow students are meanwhile seen running for cover and barring classroom doors with chairs.


Robin Redding, a mother of one of the teenagers at the school, caused a stir in the aftermath of the incident when she told the Associated Press: “This couldn’t be just random. Kids just, like they’re just mad at each other at this school.”

Her remark inspired rumours that the suspect might have issued overt threats in advance of his rampage but this was denied by Sheriff Bouchard, who said: “There was no prior information shared with the Sheriff’s Office or the School Resource Officer before the incident.”

Mr Crumbley’s own mother, Jennifer Crumbley, once wrote an open letter to Donald Trump, it has since emerged, in which she expressed pro-gun sentiments and thanked him for safeguarding her right to own firearms.

“As a female and a Realtor, thank you for allowing my right to bear arms. Allowing me to be protected if I show a home to someone with bad intentions. Thank you for respecting that Amendment,” she posted on her blog in November 2016.


Everything we know about Michigan shooting suspect Ethan Crumbley

Ethan Crumbley: Who is Michigan school shooting suspect?

Cops crack down on ‘copycat threats’ and fake Ethan Crumbley social media accounts

Several social media accounts pretending to be suspect Ethan Crumbley have cropped up in the wake of Tuesday’s mass shooting in Michigan.

Mr Crumbley’s accounts were removed from public view shortly after his arrest at Oxford High School, only to be replaced by imposters posing as him in a bid to spread misinformation, police say.

It comes as dozens of high schools across Michigan have cancelled in-person classes this week due to “copycat threats” circulating online.

Michigan State Police Lt addressed the fake accounts on Thursday and acknowledged that the people behind them are not technically committing a crime.

“Unfortunately, poor taste is not against the law,” he told the Detroit Free Press.

Michigan school shooting: Cops crack down on fake accounts in Ethan Crumbley’s name

Crumbley’s real social media accounts were removed from public view shortly after his arrest at Oxford High School

Investigators list all the red flags around Ethan Crumbley

Investigators say they’ve uncovered a “mountain of evidence” that Ethan Crumbley plotted the shooting he is accused of perpetrating well in advance, outlining plans in a journal and sharing his intentions in two videos filmed before the shooting.

His social media accounts were allegedly studded with menacing posts, including a photo of the handgun he used in his rampage and an apparent countdown warning: “Now I become death – destroyer of worlds – see you tomorrow Oxford.”


A journal of plans to kill, warnings from teachers and a chilling ‘countdown’: The red flags around alleged Michigan school shooter Ethan Crumbley
Revelations about suspect Ethan Crumbley’s menacing social media posts, confessional videos and ‘disturbing’ classroom behaviour have sparked a debate over whether more could have been done to prevent the deadly shooting at Oxford High School.

by Megan Sheets
12/3/21

As the tight-knit community of Oxford Township, Michigan, struggles to pick up the pieces from a deadly high school shooting, revelations about multiple red flags from the days prior are fuelling an impossible question: why wasn’t something done to prevent this?

Suspect Ethan Crumbley is accused of shooting dead four classmates and wounding seven others at Oxford High School on Tuesday.

The 15-year-old sophomore is facing 24 charges including one count of terrorism and four counts of first-degree murder, which carry a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Investigators reportedly uncovered a “mountain of evidence” showing Mr Crumbley allegedly plotted his attack well in advance, outlining plans in a journal and sharing his intentions in two videos filmed before the shooting.

His social media accounts were allegedly studded with menacing posts, including a photo of the handgun he used in his rampage and an apparent countdown warning: “Now I become death – destroyer of worlds – see you tomorrow Oxford.”

Teachers at Oxford High School raised concerns about the teen’s behaviour twice in the days leading up to the shooting, authorities say. The second time took place on the morning of the shooting, when Mr Crumbley’s parents met with him and administrators at the school.


Details about the behaviour that prompted those concerns remain unclear, but they were serious enough for Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald to question why Mr Crumbley was allowed to return to class after the meeting.

Students and parents described a sense of unease on the campus in the weeks prior, saying that threats of a violence had been circulating for some time. The school acknowledged the rumours in a letter to parents in mid-November.

When pieced together, these details paint a picture that casts doubt on claims by school administrators and law enforcement that they had no prior knowledge of what would come to take place on Tuesday.


‘Desire to kill’

Gunshots rang out in the halls of Oxford High School just before 1pm, sending students scrambling for cover as they’d been taught in routine active shooter drills.

Surveillance video purportedly showed Mr Crumbley emerging from a bathroom with a 9mm Sig Sauer SP2022 semi-automatic handgun. Prosecutors said he fired the gun “methodically” but appeared to be targeting people at random.

Officers from more than 60 law enforcement agencies in the area responded to the scene and took Mr Crumbley into custody within five minutes of the first shots.

In those five minutes, Mr Crumbley fired at least 30 rounds, police said. There were still 18 rounds in his gun when he surrendered.

Three students - Tate Myre, 16; Madisyn Baldwin, 17; and Hana St Juliana, 14 - were pronounced dead at the scene and a fourth, 17-year-old Justin Shilling, died in hospital the next day. A further six students and one teacher were injured.


The carnage which seemed unimaginable to students, parents and community members who watched it unfold was exactly what Mr Crumbley intended, according to prosecutors.

Details about his alleged plans for the attack emerged at his arraignment on Wednesday.

Lt Tim Willis of the Oakland County Sheriff’s office said investigators found two videos on Mr Crumbley’s cell phone in which he talked about shooting and killing students at the high school.

They also found a journal in his backpack which described his “desire to shoot up the school to include murdering students”, Mr Willis said.

Mr Crumbley’s Instagram page reportedly featured a photo of the handgun he used in the shooting, with the caption: “Just got my new beauty today.” His father, James Crumbley, reportedly purchased the gun on Black Friday.


Ms McDonald, the Oakland County prosecutor, highlighted another “disturbing” and “troubling” piece of evidence at a press conference on Wednesday, but said she could not yet disclose what it was.

She said investigators are still sifting through evidence but have thus far have zero doubt that the attack was premeditated. “I am absolutely sure after reviewing the evidence that it isn’t even a close call, it was absolutely premeditated,” she said.

Parents under scrutiny

Ms McDonald said investigators are working to determine whether Mr Crumbley’s parents, Jennifer and James Crumbley, knew of his plans for the attack. She said her office is still weighing the possibility of charges against the pair.

They were, however, aware of concerns about his behaviour in the days prior, according to Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard.

Mr Bouchard said two teachers separately reported concerning behaviour from Mr Crumbley, first on the day before the shooting and again on the day it happened.

The first came when "a teacher in the classroom where he was a student saw and heard something that she felt was disturbing”, Mr Bouchard told CNN.

“They had a counselling session about it with school officials, and a phone call was left with the parents,” he added.

The following day, a different teacher “saw behaviour they felt was concerning” and called Mr Crumbley into a meeting with school officials, which his parents also joined.

Mr Crumbley was allowed to return to class after the meeting. Just hours later, he opened fire.


After he was taken into custody, Mr Crumbley’s parents refused to give investigators permission to speak to him, authorities said. They appeared at his arraignment via video, but did not say anything.

A cache of weapons was seized from the family’s home after the shooting, including several long guns.

Jennifer Crumbley, a real estate broker in Oxford, shared enthusiasm for guns in an open letter to Donald Trump in November 2016 after he was elected president.

“As a female and a Realtor, thank you for allowing my right to bear arms,” the 43-year-old wrote. “Allowing me to be protected if I show a home to someone with bad intentions. Thank you for respecting that Amendment.”

James Crumbley, a 45-year-old tech salesman, shared the letter on social media and wrote: “My wife can be spot on.”


Ms McDonald did not say whether investigators believe the parents knew their son had taken the handgun on the day of the shooting, or if he did so without permission.

Under Michigan law, the parents of a child who violates firearm-related statutes on school property or in a school vehicle can be held criminally liable if the parent knew the child’s intentions or furthered their actions.

As for whether charges will be filed against the parents, Ms McDonald said: “We know that owning a gun means securing it properly and locking it and keeping the ammunition separate and not allowing access to other individuals, particularly minors. We know that and we have to hold individuals accountable who don’t do that.”

Trouble on campus

Administrators at the school have also faced scrutiny over their handling of concerns about Mr Crumbley’s behaviour, as well as their response to rumours of violence on campus.

Speaking to reporters soon after the shooting, Oxford Community Schools Superintendent Tim Throne insisted the school had no prior knowledge of the attack.

As panicked parents rushed to locate their children in the chaos after the shooting, one mother claimed that her son had expressed serious concern about trouble brewing on the campus hours earlier.

Robin Redding told the Associated Press her son Treshan Bryant, a 12th grader at the school, opted to stay home on Tuesday because he and his younger cousins had a “bad feeling” that violence could be coming.

Mr Bryant told the outlet he had heard vague threats about plans for a shooting “for a long time now”.


“You’re not supposed to play about that,” he said. “This is real life.”

While investigators have yet to determine a motive for the shooting, Ms Redding said: “This couldn’t be just random.”

Ms Redding didn’t offer details about what her son had heard but shared general concern with safety at the school.

“Kids just, like they’re just mad at each other at this school,” she said.

It later emerged that school officials had sent a vague letter to parents dismissing the existence of safety threats on campus three weeks earlier.

“We are aware of the numerous rumors that have been circulating throughout our building this week. We understand that has created some concern for students and parents,” the letter dated 12 November stated.

“Please know that we have reviewed every concern shared with us and investigated all information provided. Some rumors have evolved from an incident last week, while others do not appear to have any connection. Student interpretations of social media posts and false information have exacerbated the overall concern.

“We want our parents and students to know there has been no threat to our building nor our students.”

Following the shooting, critics have pointed to the letter as evidence that the school knew trouble was brewing and didn’t do enough to address it.


‘Fervent hope’ for gun reform

Shockwaves from Tuesday’s shooting rippled far beyond the campus itself, as gun control advocates nationwide pointed to Oxford in renewed calls for reform.

The shooting joins a list of 28 that have taken place in US schools so far this year, according to Everytown.org.

Ms McDonald stressed the importance of learning from Oxford’s heartache during Wednesday’s press conference.

“We have watched school shootings unfold in this country for far too long,” she said. “Sadly, the national spotlight is shining today on our community.

“It’s my fervent hope that this will be the last time that we experience an incident like this in Oakland County or anywhere.”


Ethan Crumbley: Red flags raised before Michigan school shooting spark scrutiny

Revelations about suspect Ethan Crumbley’s menacing social media posts, confessional videos and ‘disturbing’ classroom behaviour have sparked a debate over whether more could have been done to prevent the deadly shooting at Oxford High School. Megan Sheets writes

Watch the full police press conference on the Crumbleys' arrest

Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard explained at a press conference on Saturday how Oakland sheriff’s deputies, the Detroit Police Department, and other law enforcement agencies worked together to capture James and Jennifer Crumbley.

“Everybody pitched in,” Mr Bouchard said. “We were confident we’d be able to find them in short order, and because of that teamwork we did.”

Crumbleys’ lawyers insist they were going to turn themselves in

Attorneys for the parents of the Oxford school shooting suspect have insisted that the couple planned to turn themselves in to authorities – despite police finding them hiding in a warehouse close to the Canadian border after they skipped their arraignment on Friday.

On Monday, a teacher reportedly found Mr Crumbley searching for ammunition on his cellphone. His parents were alerted, and his mother Jennifer allegedly texted him: “LOL I’m not mad at you, you have to learn not to get caught.”

-- Michigan school shooting: Ethan Crumbley’s parents charged with involuntary manslaughter. Charging decision for Jennifer and James Crumbley comes three days after their son allegedly killed four at Oxford High School, by Megan Sheets


Shannon Smith, an attorney for James and Jennifer Crumbley, told the court at their arraignment on Saturday morning that they had not been on the run and that it was “just a matter of logistics” as to when and how they would surrender.

“Our clients were absolutely going to turn themselves in,” she claimed.

Ethan Crumbley’s parents’ lawyers insist they were going to turn themselves in

James and Jennifer Crumbley were arrested in the early hours of Saturday morning hiding in a warehouse close to the Canadian border, say officials

Ethan Crumbley’s parents must be held ‘accountable,’ prosecutor says

The parents of Michigan school shooting suspect Ethan Crumbley must be held “accountable” for the massacre that left four students dead and can’t be trusted not to go on the run again, according to prosecutors.

Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald told the court during James and Jennifer Crumbley’s arraignment on Saturday morning that the couple knew their son was “dangerous” and “could have stopped” him from carrying out Tuesday’s mass shooting at Oxford High School.

“This is a very serious, horrible, terrible murder and shooting, and it has affected the entire community, and these two individuals could have stopped it,” she said.

Ethan Crumbley’s parents must be held ‘accountable’, says prosecutor

James and Jennifer Crumbley knew their son was ‘dangerous’ and ‘could have stopped’ him from carrying out Tuesday’s mass shooting at Oxford High School, says prosecutor
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Re: Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certificat

Postby admin » Mon Dec 06, 2021 9:51 pm

'Absolute liars': Ex-D.C. Guard official says generals lied to Congress about Jan. 6. In a 36-page memo to the Capitol riot committee, Col. Earl Matthews also slams the Pentagon's inspector general for what he calls an error-ridden report.
by Betsy Woodruff Swan and Meredith McGraw
Politico
12/06/2021 04:30 AM EST

A former D.C. National Guard official is accusing two senior Army leaders of lying to Congress and participating in a secret attempt to rewrite the history of the military's response to the Capitol riot.

In a 36-page memo, Col. Earl Matthews, who held high-level National Security Council and Pentagon roles during the Trump administration, slams the Pentagon's inspector general for what he calls an error-riddled report that protects a top Army official who argued against sending the National Guard to the Capitol on Jan. 6, delaying the insurrection response for hours.

Matthews' memo, sent to the Jan. 6 select committee this month and obtained by POLITICO, includes detailed recollections of the insurrection response as it calls two Army generals — Gen. Charles Flynn, who served as deputy chief of staff for operations on Jan. 6, and Lt. Gen. Walter Piatt, the director of Army staff — “absolute and unmitigated liars” for their characterization of the events of that day. Matthews has never publicly discussed the chaos of the Capitol siege.


On Jan. 6, Matthews was serving as the top attorney to Maj. Gen. William Walker, then commanding general of the D.C. National Guard. Matthews’ memo defends the Capitol attack response by Walker, who now serves as the House sergeant at arms, amplifying Walker's previous congressional testimony about the hourslong delay in the military’s order for the D.C. National Guard to deploy to the riot scene.

“Every leader in the D.C. Guard wanted to respond and knew they could respond to the riot at the seat of government” before they were given clearance to do so on Jan. 6, Matthews’ memo reads. Instead, he said, D.C. guard officials “set [sic] stunned watching in the Armory” during the first hours of the attack on Congress during its certification of the 2020 election results.

Matthews' memo levels major accusations: that Flynn and Piatt lied to Congress about their response to pleas for the D.C. Guard to quickly be deployed on Jan. 6; that the Pentagon inspector general’s November report on Army leadership’s response to the attack was “replete with factual inaccuracies”; and that the Army has created its own closely held revisionist document about the Capitol riot that’s “worthy of the best Stalinist or North Korea propagandist.”

The memo follows Walker’s own public call for the inspector general to retract its detailed report on the events of Jan. 6, as first reported by The Washington Post. Walker told the Post he objected to specific allegations by the Pentagon watchdog that Matthews’ memo also criticizes, calling the inspector general’s report “inaccurate” and “sloppy work.”


Reached for comment on Matthews’ memo, Walker, the former head of the D.C. Guard, said the report speaks for itself and that he had nothing further to add. A Jan. 6 committee spokesperson declined to comment.

The new memo from Matthews, who now serves in the Army reserves, emerges as officials involved in the response that day try to explain their decision-making to investigators. The House select committee has probed the attack for months, and earlier this year top officials testified before the House oversight panel.

Reached for comment, Matthews said the memo he wrote is entirely accurate. “Our Army has never failed us and did not do so on January 6, 2021,” he said. “However, occasionally some of our Army leaders have failed us and they did so on January 6th. Then they lied about it and tried to cover it up. They tried to smear a good man and to erase history.”

Flynn, now the commanding general of the U.S. Army Pacific, and Piatt didn't respond to messages. Army spokesperson Mike Brady said in a statement that the service's "actions on January 6th have been well-documented and reported on, and Gen. Flynn and Lt. Gen. Piatt have been open, honest and thorough in their sworn testimony with Congress and DOD investigators."

“As the Inspector General concluded, actions taken ‘were appropriate, supported by requirements, consistent with the DOD’s roles and responsibilities for DSCA, and compliant with laws, regulations, and other applicable guidance," Brady added. “We stand by all testimony and facts provided to date, and vigorously reject any allegations to the contrary. However, with the January 6th Commission’s investigation still ongoing, it would be inappropriate to comment further.”

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Former U.S. Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund testifies before a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs & Senate Rules and Administration joint hearing on Capitol Hill, Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, to examine the January 6th attack on the Capitol. (Erin Scott/The New York Times via AP, Pool) | Erin Scott/The New York Times via AP

A 2:30 phone call

Matthews’ memo begins by focusing on a 2:30 p.m. conference call on Jan. 6 that included senior military and law enforcement officials, himself and Walker among them. Then-Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund “pleaded” on the call for the immediate deployment of the National Guard to the Capitol, Matthews recalled, saying that rioters had breached the building’s perimeter. Walker has also told Congress that Sund made that plea then. According to Matthews, Flynn and Piatt both opposed the move.

At the time, Piatt was the director of Army staff, one of the top generals in the Pentagon, and Flynn was the Army’s director of operations. The two men were the highest-ranking Army officials who spoke on the 2:30 call, according to Matthews.

“LTG Piatt stated that it would not be his best military advice to recommend to the Secretary of the Army that the D.C. National Guard be allowed to deploy to the Capitol at that time,” Matthews wrote, adding: “LTGs Piatt and Flynn stated that the optics of having uniformed military personnel deployed to the U.S. Capitol would not be good."

Piatt and Flynn suggested instead that Guardsmen take over D.C. police officers’ traffic duties so those officers could head to the Capitol, Matthews continues. [!!!]


In addition to Matthews’ memo, POLITICO also obtained a document produced by a D.C. Guard official and dated Jan. 7 that lays out a timeline of Jan. 6. The D.C. Guard timeline, a separate document whose author took notes during the call, also said that Piatt and Flynn at 2:37 p.m. “recommended for DC Guard to standby,” rather than immediately deploying to the Capitol during the riot.

Four minutes later, according to that Guard timeline, Flynn again “advised D.C. National Guard to standby until the request has been routed” to then-Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy and then-acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller.

Everyone on the call was “astounded” except Piatt and Flynn, Matthews wrote.

Both men, however, later denied to Congress that they had said the Guard shouldn’t deploy to the Capitol.


In response to a written question from House Oversight Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) in June about whether Piatt advised anyone in the Guard’s chain of command not to deploy directly to the Capitol, Piatt wrote, “At no point on January 6 did I tell anyone that the D.C. National Guard should not deploy directly to the Capitol.”

That statement, Matthews says in his memo, is “false and misleading.”

Walker also testified to Congress in March that Piatt and Flynn expressed concerns about “optics.”

Further, Flynn told Maloney that he “never expressed a concern about the visuals, image, or public perception of" sending Guardsmen to the Capitol.

That answer, Matthews says in his memo, is “outright perjury.”

Matthews wrote that he and Walker “heard Flynn identify himself and unmistakably heard him say that optics of a National Guard presence on Capitol Hill was an issue for him. That it would not look good. Either Piatt or Flynn mentioned ‘peaceful protestors.’”

Flynn’s brother, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, promulgated a host of conspiracy theories in the lead-up to Jan. 6 and called for former President Donald Trump to impose martial law. Matthews’ memo does not insinuate that Gen. Charles Flynn’s actions on Jan. 6 were shaped by his brother, who has been subpoenaed by the select committee, and does not mention Michael Flynn.

The two generals told the House oversight committee that the Guard wasn’t ready to respond to the chaos that day, and Flynn testified to the House Oversight Committee in June that a “team of over 40 officers and non-commissioned officers immediately worked to recall the 154 D.C. National Guard personnel from their current missions, reorganize them, re-equip them, and begin to redeploy them to the Capitol.”

Matthews says that assertion “constituted the willful deception of Congress.”

“If it does not constitute the willful and deliberate misleading of Congress, then nothing does,” Matthews wrote of Flynn’s statement. “Flynn was referring to 154 D.C. Guardsmen who were already on duty, were trained in civil disturbance response, already had area familiarization with Washington, DC, were properly kitted and were delayed only because of inaction and inertia at the Pentagon.”


In other words, Matthews indicates, the idea that it took 40 officers to get 154 National Guard personnel ready to go to the Capitol beggars belief.

Every D.C. Guard leader was desperate to get to the Capitol to help, Matthews writes — then stunned by the delay in deployment. Responding to civil unrest in Washington is “a foundational mission, a statutory mission of the D.C. National Guard,” his memo notes.

“Their attitude was ‘This is What We Do.’ ‘Send Me,’” the memo continues.

It adds that the previous summer, when civil unrest unfolded in the wake of the police murder of George Floyd, the D.C. Guard was deployed numerous times to protect federal buildings. Its belated mobilization on Jan. 6, Matthews continues, was a jarring break from the norm.

Importantly, Matthews’ memo alone paints an incomplete picture of how the Army’s top leadership responded to Jan. 6. Matthews indicates he did not have firsthand knowledge of what the Army Secretary was doing for much of the afternoon — and, in fact, says D.C. National Guard leaders at times had trouble finding him.

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Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy, left, speaks during a briefing at the Pentagon on Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020. | Andrew Harnik/AP Photo

Where was Ryan McCarthy?

While taking issue with the Pentagon watchdog’s timeline regarding the actions and involvement of key figures in the response, Matthews' memo seeks to illustrate errors in the Pentagon inspector general report released last month.

That report states that McCarthy had to call Walker twice on Jan. 6 to order him to deploy the D.C. Guard. Matthews’ memo calls this “an outrageous assertion … as insulting as it is false,” and says McCarthy himself was “incommunicado or unreachable for most of the afternoon.”

The inspector general’s report says McCarthy arrived at the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department at 4:05 p.m., and that “witnesses told us that not having heard from MG Walker regarding any specific plan." McCarthy and others present, including D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee, themselves drafted a comprehensive plan for the Guard's deployment, according to the Pentagon watchdog.

The report further says that soon afterward, Miller and Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, reviewed that plan over the phone. Miller authorized the deployment of the D.C. Guard and McCarthy informed Walker of it during a call at 4:35 p.m; McCarthy then held a press conference with the D.C. mayor and called Walker again to reissue the order that he deploy the Guard, according to the Pentagon inspector general.

Matthews challenges that Jan. 6 timetable in his memo. He writes that D.C. Guard leaders “still have not seen this so-called plan developed by McCarthy and allegedly approved by Acting Secretary Miller at 4:32PM.” He adds that the idea that the Army secretary would give Guard personnel support for tactical planning and coordination is “patently absurd.”

Walker, meanwhile, has said no call happened between him and McCarthy at 4:35 p.m.
The D.C. Guard’s Jan. 6 timeline — produced while Walker helmed the D.C. National Guard — does not document any phone call between McCarthy and Walker at 4:35.

Both McCarthy and Miller declined to comment.

Megan Reed, a spokesperson for the Pentagon inspector general, said their office stands by its report.

'Stalinist Propaganda'

Matthews' memo also homes in on a document that Army officials have referenced but never fully revealed, titled “Report of the Army’s Operations on January 6 2021." In Matthews' view, it lays out a fabricated timeline in a bid to burnish the Army's reputation.

According to Matthews, Piatt helped produce the document after a series of bruising congressional hearings and news reports that damaged the reputations of Army senior leadership
— among them, a Washington Post report that the Army falsely denied Flynn’s participation in the 2:30 p.m. phone call.

“In March 2021, MG Walker was told by a friend that LTG Piatt was so upset with MG Walker that he directed the development of an Army ‘White Paper’ to retell events of 6 January in a light more favorable to LTGs Flynn, Piatt, Secretary McCarthy and the Army Staff,” Matthews writes.

The Army Staff ultimately sought “to create an alternate history which would be the Army’s official recollection of events,” Matthews continues, adding: “The end product, a revisionist tract worthy of the best Stalinist or North Korea propagandist, was close hold," kept secret from the public.


But members of Congress have seen the document. Piatt referenced it during a House Oversight Committee hearing in June when asked about conflicting recollections of the afternoon of Jan. 6.

“I would refer to the U.S. Army Report of Operations on January 6 that we submitted to this committee,” Piatt told lawmakers. “What the D.C. National Guard did in those short hours was extraordinary. Now when people’s lives are on the line, two minutes is too long. But we were not positioned to respond to that urgent request. We had to re-prepare so we would send them in prepared for ... this new mission.”
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Re: Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certificat

Postby admin » Tue Dec 07, 2021 4:34 am

Part 1 of 2

The Harder Right: An Analysis of a Recent DoD Inspector General Investigation and Other Matters
by Colonel Earl G. Matthews, U.S. Army
December 1, 2021

May we ever choose the harder right, instead of the easier wrong.

-- Thomas Monson


The purpose of this memorandum is to outline and detail the myriad inaccuracies, false or misleading statements, or examples of faulty analysis contained in a recent publicly released Department of Defense Inspector General (DoDIG) report of its investigation into the Department of Defense’s actions leading up to and in response to the violent assault on the U.S. Capitol which occurred on 6 January 2021. This memorandum will also detail a series of false and/or misleading statements or documents deliberately made or submitted to the DoDIG and/or to the House Oversight and Reform Committee by senior officers of the United States Army1. This memorandum will conclusively show that at least two general officers of the Army engaged in repeated violations of 18 U.S.C. §§ 907, 1001, 1621. One of these general officers now leads an Army Service Component Command.2 The other will soon be nominated to lead an Army Command.3

Although written in the third person, the recollections expressed are those of Major General (Retired) William J. Walker, U.S. Army, who served as Commanding General of the District of Columbia National Guard on the date in question, and Colonel Earl G. Matthews, U.S. Army, who then served as his Staff Judge Advocate. This memorandum was drafted primarily by Colonel Matthews with the assistance of current and former D.C. National Guard officers who were continuously with MG Walker during the afternoon and evening of 6 January 2021, or who otherwise supported our response to the attack on the Capitol. This memorandum is drawn from the contemporaneous notes and emails of these soldiers and airmen and from their individual and collective memories.

Inspector General investigations are usually and appropriately accorded great deference because they are normally unbiased, independent, contain careful analysis of facts and circumstances, and because they make determinations as to the credibility, veracity and biases of particular witnesses, based on the preponderance of the evidence. Unfortunately, the DoDIG report on its investigation into DoD actions leading up to and during the 6 January attack was marked by few of these characteristics.

The DoDIG report relied heavily on close associates of LTG Walter Piatt and other Army Staff principals and the DoDIG failed to interview numerous District of Columbia National Guard personnel with highly relevant information. The DoDIG Report eventually adopted a narrative formed and developed by LTG Piatt, and his close associates, and is fundamentally flawed as a result.

The DoDIG report is replete with factual inaccuracies, discrepancies and faulty analysis. It relies on demonstrably false testimony or statements. The focus of this memorandum is on the discrepancies and falsehoods that DoDIG relied on to produce its report. The danger is that if this report, with its glaring errors and wholesale adoption of the Army company line, is accorded the deference typically afforded inspector general investigations, the report will become part of the historical record and a false narrative will have been as adopted fact. Discerning what happened on 6 January is too important to get wrong. If we do not fully comprehend and analyze what occurred on 6 January, the danger is that history will repeat itself. Our collective goal as a government and an American people should be to ensure that what occurred on 6 January does not happen again.

MG Walker’s view is that words matter, accuracy matters and precision matters. All too often the DoDIG Report lacked accuracy and precision.

A plausible argument can be made that the imprecision and inaccuracy begins with the title of the DoDIG report itself. The report is titled “ Review of the DoD’s Role, Responsibilities, and Actions to Prepare For the Protest and Its Aftermath at the U.S. Capitol Campus on January 6, 2021.”4 However, what occurred at the Capitol on 6 January was no mere “protest,” it was a riot and an assault on our democracy which occurred at the very seat of government. To not call it what it was is to minimize the importance and gravity of what occurred.

A Review of Key Events

Beginning at 1:49 p.m. on 6 January 2021, MG Walker began to receive a series of frantic telephone calls from the then Chief of the U.S. Capitol Police (USCP), Steven Sund informing MG Walker that the security perimeter at the U.S. Capitol had been breached by hostile rioters. Chief Sund, his voice cracking with emotion, indicated that there was a dire emergency on Capitol Hill and requested the immediate assistance of as many D.C. National Guard personnel as MG Walker could muster at the intersection of New Jersey and Louisiana Avenues, where law enforcement personnel from various local and federal law enforcement partners were assembling to assist and support U.S. Capitol Police efforts to restore order at the Capitol. MG Walker immediately made the Secretary of the Army aware of Chief Sund’s request and requested permission to assist USCP. At roughly 2:30PM on January 6, 2021, Dr. Christopher Rodriguez, Director of the District of Columbia Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (DCHSEMA) established a telephone bridge and invited MG Walker, Secretary of the Army, Ryan McCarthy, MPD Chief Robert Contee, USCP Chief Steve Sund, D.C. Deputy Mayor Dr. Roger Mitchell and U.S. Secret Service Uniformed Division Chief Thomas Sullivan to join. Conference call participants were informed that Secretary McCarthy was not available for the conference call as he had gone to see the Acting Secretary of Defense. McCarthy did not participate in the call. However, Lieutenant General Walter Piatt, Director of the Army Staff and Lieutenant General Charles Flynn, the Army’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, were both on the call. As was Colonel John Lubas, Executive Officer to the Secretary of the Army. Additionally, Brigadier General Aaron Dean, the Adjutant General of the D.C. National Guard, Colonel Earl Matthews, Staff Judge Advocate of the D.C. National Guard, Command Sergeant Major Michael Brooks, the DCNG Senior Enlisted Advisor, and 1St Lieutenant Timothy Nick, MG Walker’s aide-de-camp, all joined MG Walker in his office at the D.C. Armory for this 2:30 p.m. conference call.

During the 2:30PM conference call, Chief Sund of the USCP pleaded for the immediate support of the D.C. National Guard at the U.S. Capitol as the security perimeter at the Capitol was being breached at that very moment. Chief Contee reinforced Chief Sund’s request. Chief Contee asked Chief Sund aloud if he was requesting immediate D.C. National Guard support at the Capitol. Chief Sund replied “Yes”. Chief Contee then asked LTG Piatt if the D.C. Guard would be sent to the Capitol. LTG Piatt stated that it would not be his best military advice to recommend to the Secretary of the Army that the D.C. National Guard be allowed to deploy to the Capitol at that time. LTG Piatt stated that the presence of uniformed military personnel could inflame the situation and that the police were best suited to handle the situation. Both LTGs Piatt and Flynn stated that the optics of having uniformed military personnel deployed to the U.S. Capitol would not be good.

Chief Contee then stated that he would inform the Mayor (D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser) that the Army was refusing to send the National Guard to the Capitol and that he would ask her to convene a press conference to make this refusal known. LTG Piatt then asked Chief Contee to please not do this. Piatt stated that the request for Guard presence was not being refused and he had no power to deny or approve the request, only that he would not recommend approval to his civilian leadership. Piatt and Flynn recommended that Contee identify locations away from the Capitol where D.C. National Guard personnel could relieve MPD personnel of traffic duties, allowing more MPD personnel to surge to the Capitol. LTG Flynn also stated that the best use of D.C. National Guard personnel would be to free up MPD personnel by performing non-law enforcement traffic duties away from the Capitol. LTGs Piatt and Flynn recommended the D.C. National Guard develop a plan to support MPD at locations other than the Capitol. The telephone call that began at 2:30PM ended at approximately 2:55PM. LTG Flynn then directed that a secure video conference bridge be established between the Army Staff and the D.C. National Guard Leadership.

At approximately 3:05PM, MG Walker joined from his office the secure videoconference hosted by LTG Charles Flynn. Present with MG Walker were BG Dean, COL Matthews, 1LT Nick and CSM Brooks. This secure video teleconference would be continuous until around 5:15PM. Personnel in this teleconference included LTG Piatt, LTG Flynn, later General James McConville, Chief of Staff of the Army, LTG Leslie Smith, Inspector General of the Army, BG Matthew D. Smith, Mr. Casey Wardynski, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, Wardynski’s deputy, Mr. Marshall Williams, and numerous others who joined and left the call as necessary. This teleconference was used to share information that was received from various sources by the D.C. National Guard or Army leadership. Army leaders on the call provided a situational update to GEN McConville. During this call, at 5:08PM, GEN McConville informed MG Walker and his leadership team that the Secretary of Defense had authorized the D.C. National Guard to deploy to the Capitol in support of the USCP.

Getting Facts Consistently Wrong on the 2:30PM Phone Conference

The DoDIG report consistently gets basic information incorrect as to events that transpired during the day on 6 January. The actual participants on the 2:30 p.m. conference call in which USCP Chief Sund and MPD Chief Contee, and others, pleaded for D.C. National Guard assistance is but one example. Although the call was arranged through the Secretary of the Army’s Executive Officer, COL John Lubas, MG Walker and the other non-Pentagon based participants in the call were told McCarthy was unavailable as he had gone to the Acting Secretary of Defense’s office.

The DoDIG report incorrectly indicates that McCarthy was an active participant on the call and that he spoke for roughly 5 minutes, before departing. During these 5 minutes, McCarthy was able, according to the DoDIG report, to “hear and acknowledge the urgent request from Mr. Sund and Mayor Bowser.” In reality, McCarthy could not have heard from Bowser during the 2:30 p.m. call because she did not participate in the call. Further, there was no indication that she was listening to the call silently. The DoDIG got this important point wrong. Active participants from the D.C. government during the call included Chief Contee, Dr. Rodriguez and Deputy Mayor Mitchell, but not Mayor Bowser. The only active participants in the call from Army headquarters were LTG Piatt, LTG Flynn and COL Lubas. COL Lubas only spoke to announce that McCarthy could not participate and to introduce Piatt and Flynn. The DoDIG report, however quotes several unnamed “Army witnesses” who consistently observed things that did not actually occur during the 2:30 p.m. call:

A supposed witness involved on the call is quoted as saying “Mayor Bowser and Chief Contee were frustrated that LTG Piatt told them that “Mr. McCarthy was getting the approval from Mr. Miller rather than saying, ‘Yes, we’re coming.’”

The DoDIG further notes “according to an Army witness on the call, Mayor Bowser made the statement about telling the media the Army denied the USCP request”

An unnamed witness to the 2:30 p.m. call stated “Mr. McCarthy asked MG Walker how quickly the QRF could respond MG Walker said that the QRF could move in 20 minutes.”

LTG Piatt incorrectly told the DoDIG that Secretary McCarthy directed MG Walker to move the QRF to the Armory during the 2:30PM conference call. This could not have occurred as McCarthy did not speak during the conference call and McCarthy was with the Acting Secretary of Defense at the time in question.

LTG Flynn is portrayed by the report as having listened to the 2:30PM conference call for “a couple of minutes,” not saying anything and then leaving to establish a video conference. The report states that “Army witnesses” confirmed that LTG Flynn’s participation was minimal. These may have been some of the same “Army witnesses” who, according to open press reporting, repeatedly and strenuously denied to the press for days that Flynn was even a participant on the 2:30PM conference call which occurred on 6 January. MG Walker conversely recalls that LTG Flynn was an active participant on the call who stayed to the end of the call and that Flynn commented on the negative optics that would ensue from the presence of uniformed military personnel at the Capitol. Flynn wanted the DCNG to develop a plan to have D.C. National Guard personnel relieve MPD elements at locations away from the Capitol in order to free up MPD resources to go to the Capitol.

According to the DoDIG report, “two Army witnesses” claimed that LTG Piatt asked questions during the 2:30 phone conference such as “what was happening at the Capitol, what tasks DCNG personnel would perform, whether they should be armed, who the QRF would align with, and where the QRF would assemble once they arrived at the Capitol”? An Army witness claimed that “no one on the conference call could answer LTG Piatt’s questions.” This allegation is false on its face and does not withstand basic parsing. Chief Sund, Chief Contee and Chief Sullivan, of the U.S. Secret Service Uniform Division, where relaying real-time reports of events at the Capitol from their respective police personnel arrayed there. The request for DCNG personnel at the Capitol came from Chief Sund, who was on the call. Sund knew exactly what mission he wanted the DCNG personnel to perform was. Sund wanted as many riot-equipped (helmets, body armor, shin guards, batons and shields) D.C. National Guard personnel as possible to report to the Capitol where they would assist USCP personnel in re-establishing the security perimeter which had been breached. Chief Sund had previously provided a link-up location where DCNG personnel should report to the USCP, the corner of New Jersey & Louisiana Avenues. There was never any contemplation or expectation by Chief Sund or Chief Contee that the requested DCNG would be equipped with firearms. The DCNG personnel would essentially perform the same roles they performed at Lafayette Square, along the National Mall, and other locations around Washington, DC during the civil unrest which followed the murder of George Floyd in the summer of 2020. The DCNG was a seasoned forced when it came to civil disturbance response operations, having conducted these missions, or prepared to conduct such missions, extensively over the previous 6 months. As MG Walker stated to the DoDIG when interviewed, the DCNG operational plan was to get as many riot gear-equipped Guardsmen on buses and to the Capitol, as soon as possible, where they would form up and take direction from MPD and/or USCP.

A Question Raised By the McCarthy-Miller Meeting

The DoDIG report indeed raises more questions than it answers. According to the report, at 2:30PM on 6 January, at roughly the same time that the conference call was occurring between LTGs Piatt and Flynn, Chief Sund, Chief Contee, DCNG leaders and others, Secretary McCarthy was meeting with Acting Secretary of Defense Miller. According to the DoDIG report, during their 2:30PM meeting, “McCarthy told Miller that the DCNG needed to mobilize everything and move to the Capitol as quickly as possible, and Mr. Miller immediately agreed.” The report goes on to state that “Miller ordered McCarthy to mobilize all of the DCNG’s 1100 personnel at approximately 3:04 p.m.”. Miller told the DoDIG that his 3:04PM order “gave McCarthy the approval and guidance he needed to mobilize the DCNG to help the USCP and MPD, and that Walker would immediately employ the QRF.” When asked by the DoDIG whether Miller’s order to mobilize the entire DCNG included approval to deploy DCNG personnel immediately to the Capitol to support the MPD and the USCP, McCarthy replied, “It did.”

The DoDIG report glosses over this crucial point. Miller claims he gave McCarthy full discretion to employ the DCNG in force to the Capitol at 3:04PM. For some reason , however, McCarthy felt the need to go back to Miller to report a so-called plan of deployment. It is not clear, whether Miller directly asked McCarthy to come back with a plan, or whether McCarthy simply sought buy-in from Miller because he did not want to be responsible for making the decision to deploy DCNG personnel on his own. The DoDIG does not address whether it asked Acting Secretary Miller if McCarthy was required to submit a plan to address the ongoing emergency then extant at the Capitol, or whether McCarthy simply chose to bring back a plan for approval. Miller’s statement to the DoDIG and his testimony to Congress would indicate that Miller believed that his further concurrence or approval, after his 3:04 PM direction to McCarthy to mobilize the DCNG, was not necessary before the DCNG could deploy to the Capitol. On May 12, 2021, in his sworn testimony before the House Oversight and Reform Committee, in response to questioning by Representative Ocasio-Cortez, former Acting Secretary Miller stated that MG Walker had “full authority. . .in my mind at 3:04.” Later in the same hearing, in response to questioning by Representative Hank Johnson, former Acting Secretary Miller stated, that Walker had “all the approval and authorities he needed at 3:04 when the order went out.” Secretary McCarthy however, believed he did not have the authority and approval he needed at 3:04 PM. The DoDIG does not acknowledge or address this obvious disconnect.

McCarthy supposedly briefed his “plan” to deploy the DCNG to Miller at 4:30PM, nearly 90 minutes after Miller, according to Miller’s statement to the DoDIG and his sworn testimony to a congressional committee, gave McCarthy full authorization to deploy the DCNG to support the MPD and USCP at the Capitol.

Another Fictious Phone Call

The DoDIG report claims that:

Mr. McCarthy left Mr. Miller’s office and called MG Walker at approximately 3:05 p.m. Mr. McCarthy did not want to send the DCNG to the Capitol without a plan he could present to Mr. Miller. A witness told us Mr. McCarthy and MG Walker discussed how many personnel were already at the Armory and where the DCNG could replace or reinforce MPD officers, freeing the MPD to respond to events at the Capitol in greater numbers. Mr. McCarthy directed MG Walker to recall DCNG personnel to the Armory, including the QRF at JBA and those already supporting the MPD at Metro stations.5 He ordered all personnel be equipped with riot shields and batons, and for MG Walker to prepare a “hasty” plan to support law enforcement at the Capitol.


The above recitation of events, cited as fact by the DoDIG, does not withstand even light scrutiny. MG Walker had directed that the QRF move from Joint Base Andrews to the Armory on his initiative in advance of 3:05PM (DCNG records show 14:12). Further, all D.C. National Guard personnel preparing to go to the Capitol were already fully kitted out with riot gear.6

MG Walker categorically denies that Secretary McCarthy called him at 3:05PM on 6 January. MG Walker at that time was in the midst of a video teleconference with LTG Piatt, LTG Flynn and senior Army leaders, and DCNG key leaders, discussing events at the Capitol and potential DCNG responses thereto. MG Walker would have of course prioritized a call from the Secretary of the Army, his direct and immediate superior, if it had come, but it did not. The above passage, posited as a fact by the DoDIG, apparently does not rely on the firsthand statements of Secretary McCarthy or MG Walker, but the recollection of an anonymous witness. MG Walker maintains that this phone call did not occur. Further, the idea that the DCNG should plan to replace MPD personnel away from the Capitol to free up the MPD to respond to the Capitol was what LTGs Piatt and Flynn proposed during the 2:30 phone conference, however, it is contrary to the determination McCarthy told the DoDIG he made shortly after 2:30 and conveyed to Miller , “that the DCNG needed to mobilize everything and move to the Capitol as quickly as possible.” (see p. 54 of the report).

The Making of a False Narrative

The most glaring deficiencies and outright falsehoods in the DoDIG report relate to events which transpired after Secretary McCarthy traveled to MPD headquarters at 3:48PM to meet with Mayor Bowser and Chief Contee. The purpose of the meeting was ostensibly to reassure Mayor Bowser that DCNG support had not been previously refused and was imminent, and to initiate a plan for the DCNG’s eventual insertion into the Capitol.

The entire “planning narrative” created by BG LaNeve (and LTG Piatt) to justify the delay and inaction of Army civilian leadership between 3:04PM and 5:08PM strains credulity. The crux of this narrative is that, at 3:04PM, Acting Secretary Miller approved the mobilization of the DCNG (which Miller may have interpreted as granting McCarthy permission to send DCNG personnel immediately to the Capitol to support USCP), however McCarthy wanted to see a plan, and to brief it to Miller and have Miller approve the plan before sending DCNG personnel to the Capitol. Under this narrative, MG Walker was either unable or unwilling to develop a workable plan, so Secretary McCarthy took it upon himself to travel to MPD headquarters, to confer with Mayor Bowser and Chief Contee and to, with their help, personally develop a plan for the employment of the DCNG at the Capitol in support of USCP. The report alleges, based on the statements of anonymous witnesses, “Secretary McCarthy, Mayor Bowser, Chief Contee and others present drafted a detailed plan that identified where DCNG personnel would go, the route they would take, whom they would support, who was in charge, and who the key leaders were.” This detailed plan was developed between the time that McCarthy arrived at MPD HQ at 4:05PM (or 4:10PM according to the DoD publicly released timeline) and the time McCarthy briefed the plan to Miller and CJCS Milley at 4:30PM. This plan for the deployment of DCNG personnel to the Capitol was developed without any input or participation from DCNG leaders. LaNeve claims the detailed plan took 20 minutes to construct, according to the DoDIG report. Miller approved the detailed plan in 2 minutes, at 4:32PM, during his call with McCarthy and Chairman Mark Milley. McCarthy then called MG Walker at 4:35PM to provide the detailed plan to Walker and to direct Walker to deploy all available forces to the Capitol immediately. During the 4:35 call between McCarthy and MG Walker, McCarthy delivered his detailed plan including a link-up point and the names of federal contacts that DCNG personnel should engage at the Capitol. The call between McCarthy and Walker evidently lasted less than 5 minutes because McCarthy then jumped on a 4:40PM telephone call with Governor Larry Hogan of Maryland. It is unclear how long McCarthy’s call with Governor Hogan lasted. One glaring omission from the DoDIG report is that between 4:30 and 5:00 p.m., before DCNG personnel had deployed to the Capitol, McCarthy spent nearly 20 minutes in a live nationally televised press conference with Mayor Bowser and Chief Contee7. At 5:00PM, presumably after the conclusion of the televised press engagement, McCarthy then called MG Walker, according to the LaNeve narrative, and had to re-issue his order to deploy to the Capitol because MG Walker and his forces had inexplicably failed to move as directed by McCarthy at 4:35PM.

It is unclear why McCarthy needed to participate in this live press event with the Capitol not yet secured and with DCNG forces not yet deployed there. It is also unclear how this press availability jives with the planning narrative and timeline constructed by BG LaNeve and LTG Piatt. The press conference with McCarthy was at least 17 minutes in length (likely longer) and there is actual video footage of the event. The press conference either began at 4:30PM or at 4:45PM (Mayor Bowser’s website indicates that the press conference began at 4:30PM while a transcript indicates the event began at 4:45PM). If the live news conference began at 4:30PM, than McCarthy could not possibly have briefed Miller and gained his concurrence between 4:30PM and 4:32PM and then called MG Walker to give him an elaborate run down at 4:35PM and then called Governor Hogan at 4:40PM. If the live press conference began at 4:45PM, than McCarthy could not possibly called MG Walker to “re-issue” the deployment that Walker failed to execute.

In certain respects, the DoDIG report serves as little more than a vehicle for anonymous Army officials to take unsubstantiated and uncorroborated pot shots at MG Walker in retaliation for his March 2021 testimony before a joint hearing of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee (HSGAC) and the Senate Rules Committee, and for statements he had previously made to the House Appropriations Committee during its review of 6 January, because those statements and testimony, are viewed as having portrayed Secretary McCarthy and LTG Piatt in a less than flattering light. These anonymous officials took the opportunity to attempt to discredit MG Walker by impugning his competence, integrity and leadership via an official DoDIG report, their statements are not unbiased and must be weighed in context.

Because MG Walker, quite unfairly, was not provided the opportunity to review and comment on these criticisms, much of them innuendo and conjecture published by the DoDIG without verification or analysis, MG Walker he will do so now.

The DoDIG report contains a claim that at 4:25PM (according to anonymous witnesses) then BG Christotpher LaNeve called MG Walker and told him to have his DCNG relief element ready deploy to the Capitol. MG Walker denies that LaNeve called him at 4:25PM, or that he spoke to LaNeve at anytime between the phone call from Chief Sund at 1:49PM and the eventual DCNG deployment to the Capitol at 5:08PM. Furthermore, MG Walker and the DCNG had been posturing to respond to the situation on the Hill since at least 1:49PM when Chief Steven Sund initially called requesting urgent and immediate assistance. It is preposterous to assume that MG Walker needed to be notified to prepare to respond at 4:25PM when the Capitol had been breached for over 2 hours.

The DoDIG timeline states that at 4:35 PM Secretary McCarthy called MG Walker to inform him that Acting Secretary of Defense Miller had approved the DCNG request to re-mission the DCNG to support the U.S. Capitol Police at the Capitol. MG Walker denies that Secretary McCarthy called him at 4:35PM or that any such discussion took place at that time. As he stated in sworn testimony, MG Walker became aware of the approval to deploy DCNG personnel during a video teleconference with senior Army officials at 5:08 PM. The decision of civilian leadership was conveyed by the CSA, General James McConville.

The DoDIG timeline also states the McCarthy had to “reissue” his direction for the DCNG to move to the Capitol at 5PM. This is an outrageous assertion given that Walker would have began deploying DCNG to the Capitol when he first received USCP Chief Steve Sund’s urgent requests if he had been given authority to do so. The notion that MG Walker had to be told twice to deploy forces to the Capitol is as insulting as it is false. MG Walker believes that if the foregoing narrative was true, and he really did fail to move after being directed to do so at 4:35PM, by the Secretary of the Army, then he should have been fired immediately by Secretary McCarthy. MG Walker, however, and key DCNG personnel who were constantly with him, all contend that this “planning narrative” is an absolute falsehood.

A Plan that If It Existed, Was Never Used

If Secretary McCarthy did develop a plan to deploy DCNG, with Mayor Bowser, Chief Contee or others, it was created independent of any DCNG involvement, and was not shared with DCNG leadership prior to the deployment of 154 DC Guardsmen to the Capitol at 5:08PM or afterwards. DCNG leaders still have not seen this so-called plan developed by McCarthy and allegedly approved by Acting Secretary Miller at 4:32PM.8 When the DCNG did deploy personnel to the Capitol beginning at 5:08PM, it did not do so pursuant to any plan developed by Secretary McCarthy or BG LaNeve, who again had not spoken to MG Walker or anyone else in the DCNG leadership in the immediate few hours before their deployment.

In actuality, the assertion that the DCNG required the Secretary of the Army to provide tactical level planning and coordination support to DCNG personnel preparing to deploy to the Capitol is patently absurd. DCNG maintained a Joint Task Force, led by BG Robert K. Ryan, at the D.C. Armory to plan and conduct domestic operations in the city. LTC Craig Hunter was the senior DCNG officer located at the U.S. Capitol during most of the day on January 6, 2021, serving as the Task Force Guardian Commander. At 2:32PM, LTC Hunter departed his command location in a vehicle and headed towards the Capitol to link up with the MPD and USCP Incident Command Post. Hunter arrived at the Capitol at 2:55PM. At 3:00PM, Hunter made contact with MPD Assistant Chief Jeffrey Carroll, the senior MPD officer then at the Capitol, and a police official with a long history of working with the DCNG. Carroll requested that Hunter accompany him to USCP headquarters. Hunter rode with Chief Carroll in a marked MPD scout car, arriving at USCP headquarters at 3:10PM. Hunter at USCP HQ, and co-located with Chief Carroll and other MPD personnel, was the primary on the ground DCNG interlocutor with both USCP and MPD responding to the unrest at the Capitol.

LTC Hunter was in constant contact with the DCNG Joint Operations Center (JOC), with Joint Task Force DC Commander, BG Robert K. Ryan, BG Dean and/or MG Walker, his superiors in the chain of command, as needed. When asked by the DoDIG whether the DCNG for the flow of DCNG to the Capitol:

“He responded that he was not sure if Mr. McCarthy was aware that he (the TF Guardian Commander) was with USCP helping to bring in forces. He told us that they had a plan for the troops to assemble at a rally point, organize, and don riot gear, and that he had already made contact with USCP and MPD.”


Indeed, when DCNG forces began to arrive at the Capitol after 5:08PM, they did so after the coordination with MPD and USCP provided by the LTC Hunter, the senior DCNG officer on the scene, not through the intervention of the Secretary of the Army or BG LaNeve. Hunter was not in contact with McCarthy or LaNeve at any time before the arrival of DCNG personnel after 5:00PM.

Obvious Unaddressed Inconsistencies

The DoDIG report alleged that Secretary McCarthy called MG Walker at approximately 4:35PM and told him to immediately move all available DCNG personnel from the Armory to Lot 16 at the corner of 1st and D Street and to meet with the MPD Assistant Chief to perform perimeter and clearance operations. The DoDIG report states that after McCarthy gave MG Walker the deployment order, he handed the telephone to BG LaNeve, who informed MG Walker of the plan’s details. (DoDIG Report p. 60). In the very next paragraph however, LaNeve is recorded as stating that at the time that Miller approved the re-mission plan (at 4:32PM according to the DoD timeline and Miller’s congressional testimony), “there was still no meeting point established.” LaNeve states that approximately 20 to 30 minutes later, at around 5:00PM, and at that time provided a link-up location. If LaNeve’s recollection is true, than McCarthy could not have directed Walker to deploy forces to the Capitol at 4:35PM (to Lot 16 at 1st and D Street), as that location had not been established as the link up point. The DoDIG does not address this glaring inconsistency. The DoDIG claims it reviewed contemporary handwritten notes which indicated that at 4:36PM., “LaNeve and a witness coordinated with MG Walker, advised him to mobilize 150 DCNG personnel, and move, under police escort, to 1st Street and D Street. The DCNG personnel would meet FBI personnel there and move into position to establish an inner cordon.” MG Walker doubts the credibility of these notes as they reflect an event that did not occur. Again, LaNeve’s own statements to the DoDIG that Walker received the link-up point at around 5:00PM contravene the allegedly contemporaneous notes of Secretary McCarthy’s aide.

In addition to LaNeve, another witness who was accompanying McCarthy (likely COL John Lubas) at MPD Headquarters told the DoDIG that Walker:

“did not get ‘approval to do the specific actions’ until close to or just after 5:00 p.m. This witness confirmed to us that no one conveyed to MG Walker the specific meeting point and other details until after 5:00 p.m.”


This unnamed military officer who was present with Secretary McCarthy at MPD Headquarters was apparently in a position to know what information Walker received and when he received it. This unnamed officer at least corroborates that MG Walker did not receive direction to deploy until after 5:00 p.m. It is unclear why the DoDIG would disregard or not credit the statements of both LaNeve and this unnamed Army officer. Instead, the DoDIG report states as accepted and uncontroverted fact that McCarthy had to re-issue an order to Walker to deploy DCNG forces to the Capitol at 5:00 p.m. when McCarthy could not have issued an order to deploy at 4:35PM because the details had not been worked out (and McCarthy may have been in a nationally televised press conference, or preparing for a nationally televised press conference at 4:35PM).

Given the foregoing, the below passage seems to be included merely to discredit MG Walker:

“According to an unnamed witness, Mr. McCarthy had to reissue the deployment order to MG Walker 30 minutes after he conveyed it to MG Walker, which the witness believed contradicts MG Walker’s March 3, 2021 testimony to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and Senate Rules and Administration Committees. The witness told us that MG Walker’s assertion to those committees that the DCNG could have responded to the Capitol in 20 minutes was not true. The witness said, “It took 27 minutes for [MG Walker] to get the order from Mr. McCarthy] around [4:35] to actually get his wheels moving on the bus.” In addition, the witness said “mischaracterization” was the word the witness would use to describe MG Walker’s response to questions from congressional committees.” (p. 61)


The alleged witness who provided the foregoing statement essentially accused MG Walker of willfully misleading two congressional committees during sworn testimony. The DoDIG allowed this conjecture to stand, without providing MG Walker opportunity to respond to or rebut the assertion, even though the DoDIG had in its possession evidence (namely the statements of LaNeve and the other unnamed Army with Secretary McCarthy) that the underlying assertion is likely false. Even LaNeve, most of whose assertions are in direct contradiction with Walker, concedes that at 4:35PM there was still no meeting point established (p. 60). BG LaNeve stated to the DoDIG that MG Walker did not receive direction on where to have his forces report until around 5:00PM. Importantly, the additional unnamed witness who accompanied McCarthy at MPD headquarters told the DoDIG that “no one conveyed to MG Walker the specific meeting point and other details until after 5:00 p.m.”

When McCarthy visited MPD Headquarters at 4:05PM (or 4:10PM) he was accompanied by his Executive Officer, COL John Lubas, his aide-de-camp, MAJ Matt Scot, his public affairs officer, LTC Audricia Harris and his congressional liaison LTC Scott Mras. BG LaNeve arrived at MPD Headquarters shortly after McCarthy. LaNeve, when he traveled in a separate vehicle, typically traveled with his own executive officer, an Army major. It should be noted that these individuals are not unbiased, disinterested parties. They in most instances were personally close to McCarthy, traveled with McCarthy and have some degree of personal loyalty to and affection for him, or in the case of LaNeve’s XO, for LaNeve. These individuals, who were with McCarthy and LaNeve may be some of the anonymous Army witnesses that have impugned MG Walker’s integrity. One of these officers is likely the person who was with McCarthy and who was able to “confirm” to the DoDIG that MG Walker was not made aware of the deployment authorization until after 5:00 p.m. MG Walker does not question the integrity and honesty of any of these officers, except to the extent that they say that they have personal knowledge that Secretary McCarthy called MG Walker at 16:35 on 6 January and directed him to immediately deploy the D.C. National Guard to the Capitol. No such call took place, if an individual alleges such a call took place, than they are lying.

Failure to Interview Key DCNG Personnel

MG Walker was never alone during the hours in question. He was constantly in the presence of, among others, the Adjutant General of the DCNG, the senior enlisted leader DCNG, his own aide-de-camp who was taking contemporaneous notes throughout the afternoon and evening, and his staff judge advocate. These individuals participated in the 2:30PM conference call between senior Army leaders, D.C. government officials, the Chief of the U.S. Capitol Police and the Chief of the Secret Service Uniform Division. They also participated in the follow-on secure video conference with senior Army leaders from the Pentagon. These DCNG leaders were present when MG Walker received the approval of civilian leadership to deploy to the Capitol at 5:08PM. This approval was conveyed on the call by the Chief of Staff of the Army, the message passed to him by an unknown person in the room. The DoDIG apparently interviewed most, if not all of Secretary McCarthy’s entourage, but did not interview any key personnel who were with MG Walker when events unfolded on 6 January, to include his aide-de-camp 1LT Timothy Nick, a sworn federal law enforcement officer, and the Staff Judge Advocate, COL Earl Matthews, who were constantly by MG Walker’s side during the events in question, nor the Command Sergeant Major of the D.C. National Guard, CSM Michael Brooks who was also with MG Walker throughout the day.

The DoDIG decision not to interview COL Matthews stands out for several reasons. Matthews was integrally involved in the planning leading up to DCNG support to MPD on 5-6 January and he was an expert on D.C. National Guard authorities. The DoDIG investigative report quotes a witness from the Army Staff who states “The discussion of the QRF implementation beforehand was very clear and General Walker understood it and he knew exactly what needed to happen if the QRF needed to be employed and he had no questions or concerns at that time.” If COL Matthews had been interviewed he would have characterized the Army Staff witness’s comment as an absolute lie. The addition of the restriction withholding QRF employment authority from MG Walker was not discussed with the general during the meeting with Secretary McCarthy and the Army Staff which occurred during the afternoon of 4 January. The specific withholding QRF approval authority to Secretary McCarthy’s level was inserted by Army Staff officers late on the evening of 4 January. Matthews, if interviewed, would have stated that neither McCarthy, Walker nor Matthews knew about the restriction before it was added. McCarthy had typically trusted Walker to deploy the QRF at his discretion. McCarthy didn’t ask for the specific change to Matthews’ knowledge. The restriction, or at least the more stringent language was added at the request of the Judge Advocate General of the Army. If the restriction was not there, Walker would likely have interpreted the riot on Capitol Hill as a ‘last resort’ situation and employed the QRF on his own initiative in support of MPD at the Capitol. Additionally, Matthews had raised his own concerns about certain restrictions on MG Walker with both the Army Staff at 3:48 AM on 5 January, leading the Army Staff to make a late change.

At 4:00AM on 5 January, Matthews sent an e-mail to a senior official in the Office of the Secretary of Defense who was involved in the drafting of the OSD restrictions on DCNG employment on 5-6 January. The subject line was “Employment Guidance.” In the e-mail Matthews noted, “As written now, SECDEF would need to personally approve before our personnel in the city wear helmets for personal protection. I do not believe this restriction meets the Acting SecDef's intent. Flagging for your situational awareness.” Matthews did not believe the Acting Secretary of Defense wanted to intentionally restrict the ability of soldiers or airmen to protect themselves by donning their helmets in an in extremis situation, but that was the literal interpretation of the memorandum that was issued.

On January 6, 2021, at 2:19PM, MG Walker sent an email to Secretary McCarthy, LTG Piatt and BG Christopher LaNeve. He copied COL Matthews on the cc line. The subject line was FLASH UPDATE. The e-mail stated:

Mr. Secretary:

Chief Steve Sund advised that the US Capital (sic) has been breached and they need immediate assistance at least 200 Guardsmen. Chief Sund advised that a formal letter requesting support is forthcoming.

V/R

MG Walker


At 2:21PM, COL Matthews forwarded the above e-mail to the unlisted personal DoD e-mail address of the Acting Secretary of Defense, Christopher Miller. Matthews’ e-mail to the Acting Secretary stated:

Sir:

Army has DCNG on stand down despite request for support.


A former senior DoD official, Matthews was a personal friend and former work colleague of both Acting Secretary Miller and Secretary of the Army McCarthy, he just happened to be the DCNG’s top lawyer as a part-time job. His name and role were well known in particular to the official within DoDIG, Marguerite Garrison, who had responsibility for that office’s investigation into 6 January. That COL Matthews was not interviewed by the DoDIG was in retrospect stunning to both MG Walker and COL Matthews. MG Walker was himself an experienced former federal criminal investigator and knew that DoDIG had likely accessed the contemporaneous emails of the DCNG, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Army Staff and Army Secretariat from 6 January as part of its investigation. That a serving DCNG officer had sent a direct e-mail to the Acting Secretary of Defense’s unlisted work email address during the midst of the breach of the Capitol, and had not been asked about it was not reassuring. It was perhaps a reflection of the thoroughness of the DoDIG investigation.

It’s unclear from the DoDIG Report whether Secretary McCarthy is asserting that he told Walker the things that Piatt, Flynn, LaNeve and others associated with McCarthy are now falsely asserting, or whether Piatt and LaNeve (and McCarthy’s former retinue are merely stating these lies because they believed it will help McCarthy). McCarthy and Matthews are friends. They were among the first Trump political appointees at the Pentagon together. They had each others personal cell phones, they called each other on weekends. McCarthy never referred to Matthews as “COL Matthews,” but as “Earl”. The DoDIG report even mentions Matthews calling McCarthy on January 6, while redacting his title and stating an incorrect time for when the call actually occurred. However, the lies being told by Piatt and Flynn would pit Matthews against McCarthy. Matthews would be forced to say under oath that he was on the 2:30PM call, that he knew Piatt and Flynn quite well, and that both were absolute and unmitigated liars. Matthews had actually helped to revive Flynn’s career a few years ago when no less than Marguerite Garrison, the same DoDIG official that had inexplicably allowed the flawed report about MG Walker to be issued, had once had her sites on Flynn. Garrison had previously launched a DoDIG investigation against Matthews as well, when he was Principal Deputy General Counsel of the Army, that went nowhere. Matthews could prove that without Matthews’ personal actions a few years ago, Flynn would not even have been eligible for promotion to his 3-star rank. Flynn did not know this. He does not know Matthews. Piatt does. Though undoubtedly close to MG Walker, Matthews had no reason to lie about Flynn or Piatt on behalf of Walker.

Matthews also found the story about Chris Miller requiring a back brief before DCNG could be launched to Capitol Hill to be strangely odd. Miller was the most informal government official that Matthews had ever known. He was a laid back Iowa farm boy, turned DC Guardsmen (while attending GWU), turned Green Beret Colonel/secret warrior for a special mission unit. He was a guy who believed in cutting through bureaucracy and getting stuff done. Requiring McCarthy to come back to Miller when the Capitol was under siege sounded strange. As an Army officer, Chris had trusted and empowered subordinate leaders to make life or death decisions. Requiring a formal backbrief in the midst of a national emergency didn’t sound right. Not for a Tier 1 operator like Chris Miller. Matthews knew Piatt and Flynn didn’t respect Miller or Walker.

The DCNG Timeline

DCNG officers who had been present with MG Walker throughout 6 January also created a timeline of events that transpired that day, based on contemporaneous notes and their collective memories. The timeline was digitally signed by the DCNG Secretary of the General Staff.9 MG Walker provided a copy of the timeline to members of the House Appropriations Committee and the Senate HSGAC and Rules Committees. In the hindsight of March 2021, the DCNG timeline did not paint LTG Flynn nor LTG Piatt in a favorable light. One paragraph read:

1437: LTG (P) Flynn and LTG Piatt recommended that the D.C. National Guard standby and start drafting a plan for courses of action (COA). Recommended plan that the D.C. National Guard can take over more points and help Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) to go to the U.S. Capitol to assist USCP.


Another paragraph of the DCNG timeline reflects:

1620: LTG Piatt advising MG Walker to plan and prepare to transition from TCPs and be placed around other federal building (sic) and monuments. Also, to create an outer perimeter around other federal places. (SVTC)


Both of the above paragraphs were taken from the contemporaneous notes of MG Walker’s aide-de-camp, who was the designated notetaker in MG Walker’s office during the conference call and SVTC and other meetings during the day. Both of the above entries from the DCNG timeline reflect the mindset of Piatt as expressed during the 2:30PM call and the SVTC as recorded contemporaneously by the DCNG notetaker. With respect to the 2:30PM call, LTG Piatt himself caused an official press statement to be issued by the Army Office of the Chief of Public Affairs10, Piatt stated:

“I told the assembled group on the call that we need to work together to develop a plan on how to use National Guard Soldiers if their participation was approved. This included options of relieving law enforcement throughput the city so those assets could assist with law enforcement actions at the Capitol, or using the National Guard to set a perimeter at the Capitol”


What Piatt’s statement did not concede was that he said his best military advice to the Secretary would be that the DCNG not be deployed to the Capitol at the moment. Regardless, it should be noted that at around 2:30PM on January 6, 2021, when Congress was under an unprecedented siege, the Director of the Army Staff, by his own admission, was contemplating at least one course of action to present to the Secretary of the Army wherein the D.C. National Guard would not be used at the Capitol, but elsewhere away from the locus of the emergency. This key point has been obfuscated by Piatt’s subsequent self-serving statements and by the less the accurate timeline he helped engineer. Piatt’s suggestion astounded MG Walker, Chiefs Sund and Contee and all the speaking participants on the call, except Piatt and Flynn. The DCNG had a great deal of experience handling civil unrest in Washington in support of local and federal law enforcement. It had a 40-member Quick Reaction Force and MG Walker could pull troops off of the traffic control points or could direct other trained and experienced personnel present at the Armory to immediately don riot gear and respond to support USCP and MPD at once. To everyone else on the conference call, immediately re-establishing or reinforcing the security perimeter at the U.S. Capitol was the only acceptable course of action to consider.
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Re: Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certificat

Postby admin » Tue Dec 07, 2021 4:35 am

Part 2 of 2

The Army Timeline and The Purposeful Distortion of Fact

By March 2021, both Chief Contee and Chief Sund had testified in congressional hearings about Army leaders, Piatt and Flynn, displaying an overconcern about the optics of military personnel at the Capitol, about their lack of urgency during the 2:30PM conference call, about their indicating that they would not recommend that the Secretary of the Army authorize troops at the Capitol based on the information they had at the time, and about their desire that the DCNG plan to deploy troops away from the Capitol in the midst of the riot to free up police to move to the Capitol11. MG Walker testified about the same issues, and about what he felt were unusual restrictions placed on his command authority and freedom of maneuver in the run up to 6th January. Walker’s testimony also highlighted the 3 hours and 19 minutes that elapsed between Chief Sund’s emergency pleas for assistance at 1:49PM and when MG Walker received notice to deploy to the Capitol at 5:08 PM, and the lack of personal communication between Secretary McCarthy and MG Walker during the afternoon and early evening of 6 January.

The cumulative impact of the Contee, Sund and Walker testimonies, and the attendant negative news stories, coupled with the revelation that Army leaders had for a time falsely denied that LTG Flynn was even on the 2:30PM call worked to create a narrative which made Army Senior Leadership look bad. In March 2021, MG Walker was told by a friend that LTG Piatt was so upset with MG Walker that he directed the development of an Army “White Paper” to retell events of 6 January in a light more favorable to LTGs Flynn, Piatt, Secretary McCarthy and the Army Staff. The initial version of the “White Paper” was so incendiary that other Army Senior Leaders convinced LTG Piatt not to release the paper shortly after MG Walker’s testimony in March 2021. When he became aware of the document, MG Walker asked a senior Army officer (a 3-star general) for a copy and was told by the officer that the report “wasn’t mine to share.”

At the direction and under the supervision of LTG Piatt, however, with the assistance of BG Chris LaNeve, the “White Paper” morphed into the Army’s Report (Report of the United States Army Operations on January 6, 2021). The judgment of history is depends on who writes it. With respect to the Army on January 6, Piatt was determined to be that author. The Army Staff sought to change that narrative and to create an alternate history which would be the Army’s official recollection of events. Piatt and LaNeve literally changed facts and recollections overnight. The end product, a revisionist tract worthy of the best Stalinist or North Korea propagandist, was close hold.

Where MG Walker indicated in his Senate testimony that he did not talk directly to Secretary McCarthy between 1:49PM and roughly 6:00PM on January 6, 2021, Walker was now directly tasked by Secretary McCarthy at 2:30PM, 3:05PM, 4:35PM and again at 5:00PM. Where Walker had once directed on his own that the QRF be moved to the Armory from Joint Base Andrews, now McCarthy made that decision. Where Walker was told about the deployment authorization via SVTC from the Chief of Staff of the Army 5:08PM, he now found out directly from the Secretary at 4:35PM. Under the new fabricated timeline supervised by LaNeve and Piatt, McCarthy was an active participant in the 2:30PM phone conference. Mayor Bowser was now in meetings she did not actually attend, making statements she did not actually utter. McCarthy had to call Walker twice because, presumably due to his bumbling incompetence, he had inexplicably not followed Secretary McCarthy’s order to deploy forces to the Capitol campus. The Army Staff and not Joint Task Force-DC under BG Robert K. Ryan was now primarily responsible for the movement of DCNG forces to the Capitol on 6 January. The buses left at 17:02, not at 17:08 as Walker swore under oath. Piatt had to know these insertions into the timeline and official narrative were incorrect. Still he presented this timeline to a congressional committee as fact as developed from an official unbiased Army product, the Army Report, which he directed be written.

The DoDIG then adopted Piatt and LaNeve’s narrative wholesale, in some places verbatim, subsequently releasing it as if it was the authoritative word of God, and creating the impression that Walker was deceitful during his congressional testimony. The official Army narrative also found Army leadership was blameless in the delay in National Guard reaching the Capitol.

Piatt, Flynn and LaNeve engineered a multitude of demonstrable falsehoods and misstatements about Army activities leading up to and on 6 January, especially on the afternoon of 6 January, and then submitted this report to select members of Congress in an effort to absolve Army leadership (especially Piatt who was slated to be nominated for promotion) of any missteps on 6 January. The document is an effort to mislead the Congress and to retroactively change history. The very existence of the document calls into question the honesty and integrity of LaNeve, Piatt and Flynn. The Army Staff most significantly has avoided releasing this document to the public, but we know it contains a few things from Piatt and Flynn’s perjured testimony before Congress. The report states, quite falsely that McCarthy contacted Walker at around 3:05PM and at 4:35PM gave him a go order to deploy to Capitol Hill. At 4:35PM the link up location and the name of the name of the lead law enforcement officer were provided to MG Walker (according to Piatt’s testimony)

McCarthy apparently had to call back at 5:00PM (although Piatt and Flynn’s testimonies don’t state this, it’s likely in the Army Report). We also know from their testimonies that the first DCNG buses departed the DCNG Armory at 17:02. That is what the Army Report states. DCNG’s Joint Task Force-DC records indicate that the buses actually departed at 17:08, after Walker received authorization from McConville. It’s unclear how the Army Staff could have a more accurate recollection of when the buses left than the DCNG Joint Task Force which actually controlled the buses. There were no Army Staff representatives or embedded liaison officers at the D.C. Armory when the buses left. However, having the buses depart from the Armory at 17:02 allows for the narrative that it took MG Walker 27 minutes to get the first buses off after McCarthy first directed him at 4:35PM.

When Congressmen Lynch and Raskin, during June 2021 hearing, questioned Piatt and Flynn about the timeline discrepancies, Piatt and Flynn referred to their more accurate Army Report (a fabricated distortion) and made sure to laud the DCNG for doing the best it could under the circumstances. The questioning by Lynch and Raskin is revealing.

The Army Report indicates that MG Walker was notified to deploy at 16:35 by the Secretary of the Army. LTG Piatt knows this assertion to be incorrect, because Piatt was on a secure video conference with MG Walker and other Army and DCNG leaders at 16:35. He repeated the false assertion in his testimony before a congressional committee anyway. To support this assertion he relied on the official Army timeline contained in the Army Report, the document he directed be drafted and which he influenced heavily. This is the definition of a self-serving document. It is preposterous to assert that MG Walker would have received authorization to deploy personnel from the Armory at 16:35 and then stayed on video conference without directing at least some of the personnel awaiting at the Armory to head to the Capitol. As MG Walker has publicly stated, minutes mattered.

How was McCarthy able to brief Walker with all the details of the link up and the name of the officer and still call Governor Hogan at 16:40 while participating in a live nationally televised press conference at 16:30 or 16:45?

Whether Walker was told to deploy at 16:35 or 17:08 is a small point, what matters is the lie being crafted by senior officials who know better. This lie seems aimed and discrediting Walker for his testimony. Also, the lie is easily revealed because the Army timeline doesn’t withstand simple scrutiny.

Lying Under Oath

An analysis of the facts demonstrates that Piatt, Flynn and their confederates repeatedly and deliberately made false statements under oath or false official statements to the DoDIG and/or a congressional committee in order to support their contrived narrative, to discredit MG Walker, to absolve Army Senior Leaders of any responsibility in the delays on 6 January, and to burnish the promotion chances of Walter Piatt.

Piatt repeated a narrative that he knew to be untrue to both the DoDIG and to the House Oversight Committee. Piatt claims that on the conference call, “the SecArmy asked MG Walker how quickly the 40-member QRF could respond; MG Walker stated the QRF could be ready to move in 20 minutes. The SecArmy directed MG Walker to prepare to move the QRF to the Capitol Building and support the USCP, but to remain at the Armory until he confirmed approval from the Acting SecDef.” That sentence is drawn from whole cloth and did not occur. In later testimony Piatt and Flynn would state that the QRF was ill-equipped and ill-suited to respond to Capitol Hill, but here Piatt states as early as 2:30PM, before meeting with Miller, McCarthy had already saliently determined and directed Walker to posture the QRF to move to the Hill.

In sworn testimony, under penalty of perjury, Piatt and his confederates, falsely claim that an elected official, Muriel Bowser, the Mayor of the Nation’s capital, is present on a conference call that she very obviously was not present on. They have her making comments that she did not utter, and then they falsely imply that false stories spread by her caused a delay in the federal response to a riot at the Capitol because McCarthy had to deal with media inquiries generated by her rather than the urgent crisis underway12. They do this in a DoDIG report that is supposed to accorded great deference and to form part of the historical record for our grandchildren, long after we are gone. Secretary McCarthy was not on the 2:30PM call, certainly did not task MG Walker to prepare to move the QRF to the Capitol at 2:30PM and certainly did not talk to the Mayor during that call as Piatt and others associated with him suggested in sworn testimony and in official statements to the DoDIG and the House Oversight committee. According to Piatt’s official January press statement, “As soon as Secretary McCarthy received the specific request for assistance from the Capitol Police on the phone call at 2:22 p.m., he ran to the Acting Secretary of Defense’s office to request approval.”13 Piatt’s story changed in June to where McCarthy now stays until 2:30 on the conference call, hears Mayor Bowser and Chief Sund’s pleas and questions and tasks MG Walker. None of which occurred. Further Piatt’s statement conflict’s with LTG Flynn’s statement from the same hearing.

Flynn states: “At 1421, my Executive Officer interrupted the meeting stating that the Capitol was under attack and the Secretary of the Army’s office had called for me to come up to his office. I paused the meeting, gave guidance for my directors to remain in my office, and left. . .for Secretary McCarthy’s office, he was walking out and giving instructions to staff members who were already in the room.” Secretary McCarthy’s office is one flight up from LTG Flynn’s office in the Pentagon. Assuming it took 5 minutes for Flynn to reach the Secretary’s office (which it would not), Flynn still has McCarthy headed to Acting Secretary Miller’s office. Piatt’s story has McCarthy staying. According to Piatt, at roughly 2:25PM, McCarthy was sitting next to Piatt in McCarthy’s office. Surely Flynn would not have seen him leaving the office when he did.

Piatt in his sworn testimony, repeatedly made false or misleading or statements to inflate and exaggerate the insignificant role played the Army Staff in support of DCNG operations on the afternoon of 6 January:

“General Flynn's immediate interpretation of the urgency of the situation allowed the Army Staff to begin identifying the many critical actions and considerations we needed to address and adjust rapidly. We needed to redeploy the D.C. National Guard from 37 locations throughout the district, alert and recall soldiers from their civilian workplace, organize into unit configurations, equip the force, prepare deployment plan to include communications, specific routes, link up locations, casualty evacuation, the rules for the use of force, determine if the D.C. Guard would be armed or not armed, with or without riot control gear, and how and where the D.C. National Guard would be deputized to support federal law enforcement.


Piatt is falsely asserting that the Army Staff is performing the delineated actions on behalf of the DCNG, which it was not. The DCNG Joint Task Force under BG Robert K. Ryan had a very capable staff on 6 January that was not in contact with the Army Staff. None of the tasks Piatt lists in the preceding paragraph were performed by the Army Staff to support DCNG. Piatt implies that the Army Staff was planning for the “re-mission” and “re-equipping” of DCNG personnel employment of the DCNG and that this was a source of delay in getting SecArmy or SecDef’s approval to deploy to the Capitol. This is false. The Army Staff had no involvement in the movement or consolidation of DCNG personnel from the 30 traffic control points or 6 metro stations (indeed Guardsmen at the TCPs were never recalled to the Armory from the TCPs as Piatt implies).

Further, the Army Staff had no involvement in the recall of DCNG personnel from their civilian workplaces or in unit sizing as Piatt implies. Piatt states “we” needed to determine if the D.C. Guard would be armed or unarmed—in reality there was absolutely no discussion or request to arm the DCNG on 6 January. MG Walker did not request this, nor did the Chiefs Sund or Flynn on the 2:30PM call. DCNG personnel performing civil disturbance response duties are typically unarmed as there is enhanced risked that a demonstrator could go for a soldier’s firearm, when the soldier is kitted out with shield, baton and firearm. Keep in mind that Piatt and Flynn wanted DCNG personnel to perform duties for the police away from the Capitol, they certainly didn’t want those personnel armed. Piatt states that “we” needed to determine whether they would be with or without riot control gear. This is similarly an absurdity and altogether implausible. MG Walker had been adamant about his troops having helmets and body armor when the traffic control mission was being planned on January 4, 2021.

The troops at the TCPs had riot control gear in their vehicles (although admittedly they weren’t suppose to have this equipment, they did have it). The QRF had riot control gear on their persons. The DCNG had over 500 individual riot control kits stored at the Armory, left over from summer 2020 civil disturbance operations. There is no way MG Walker would have brooked a discussion about his troops not having riot control gear in the midst of a riot. Concerns about optics would be the only reason DCNG personnel would not have been in riot gear, and Piatt and Flynn claim optics were not an issue. Piatt implies that the Army Staff was involved in equipping the DCNG on 6 January which is an absolutely false insinuation. Piatt evoked issues of deputization and rules for the use of force, legal issues handled on the 6th by DCNG judge advocates outside the purview of the Army Staff.

Piatt mentions communications, specific routes, link up locations, CASEVAC routes.14 These were all tactical issues handled internally by the DCNG Joint Task Force on January 6th without any Army Staff involvement. These issues were certainly not addressed or handled by the 3 and 4-star generals, and civilian political appointees on the secure teleconference started by Charlie Flynn. These issues were the purview of BG Robert K. Ryan, COL Jon Ebbert and LTC Craig Hunter, LTC Sekou Richardson, and other DCNG officers on 6 January. Ultimately the issues belonged to MG Walker. These matters were not an Army Staff responsibility. In short, the Army Staff was not involved in the planning of any of the matters on January 6, that Piatt references before the House Overnight Committee during his opening statement . If the Army Staff developed a plan for the deployment of the DCNG on 6t January, it was done without DCNG input and outside of our purview. DCNG is still waiting to see this purported plan. The entirety of the referenced paragraph in Piatt’s opening statement is deceptive and misleading, designed to continue a false narrative. The main communications link and interface between the Army Staff and the DCNG on 6 January was the secure video conference bridge established by LTG Flynn.

In his sworn statement, LTG Piatt states:

“No personnel, including the QRF, were armed with lethal weapons, and none of the TCP or Metro station personnel had any equipment beyond their helmets and ballistic vests stored in their vehicles.”


That assertion is not a reflection of reality as events unfolded on the afternoon of 6 January. The mention of lethal weapons is a deflection. DCNG civil disturbance response personnel would typically not have lethal weapons and this of course avoids the potential of a Kent State scenario. Neither Sund nor Contee requested Guardsmen have lethal weapons. Through fortuitous oversight, each of the TCP and Metro station teams had full riot gear in their GSA vehicles15.

Piatt states:

“As a soldier who has commanded numerous times in combat, I knew we needed a plan to safely and properly redeploy forces from the traffic control mission, equip, arm, remission, and then deploy our Guardsmen to the Capitol from over 37 dispersed locations”


Piatt’s statement is misleading. MG Walker, the DCNG CG, BG Dean, the DCNG TAG, BG Ryan, the JTF-DC CDR and LTC Craig Hunter the TF Guardian CDR, were all experienced combat veterans. With the exception of LTC Hunter, they were all also experienced in riot control operations in the District of Columbia. They all wanted to send as many DCNG personnel to the as they could as Capitol as soon as possible. They had a plan to do that if allowed to exercise it. Piatt was implying that he cared more about the safety and well-being of DCNG personnel than did their own commanders. Additionally, the traffic control element was never redeployed, despite having full riot kits with them.

At the start of his testimony, Piatt notes:

The Army's role on 6 January began as unarmed support by the D.C. National Guard to metropolitan police. By midday, the mission had changed drastically to respond to the attack on the Capitol. That change of mission was unforeseen, and we were not positioned to respond with immediate supports.


While the attack on the Capitol was not anticipated, LTG Piatt is misleading the committee when he implies that the DCNG could not have been able to respond immediately to the riot on Capitol Hill. Indeed, MG Walker, BG Dean, BG Ryan and LTC Hunter all wanted to respond immediately. They could have directed their 40 person QRF to move immediately from Joint Base Andrews to link up with USCP near the Capitol. DCNG could also have diverted personnel supporting the traffic control mission to the Capitol. These soldiers and airmen possessed the requisite riot gear in their vehicles.16 DCNG estimates 131 riot gear-equipped troops could have been mustered immediately and an additional 200 Guardsmen within the following 2 hours.

In his sworn statement, LTG Piatt falsely asserts the following:

“In the meantime, the Army Staff was planning with the DCNG to recall forces and redeploy the forces committed to traffic control posts and Metro station control. We assisted in directing the staging of the DCNG forces in order to be as ready, as quickly as possible, once a plan for commitment was approved.”


The above statement is untrue in its entirety. The Army Staff conducted no planning with the DCNG to recall forces and redeploy the forces committed to traffic control posts and Metro station control. Indeed the dayshift at the TCPs were never recalled. The night shift was converted into a civil disturbance response posture at roughly 2:14PM at the direction of the DC Adjutant General. The Army Staff played no role in this decision. The Army Staff did not assist in directing the staging of the DCNG forces in order to be ready, as quickly as possible, once a plan for commitment was approved.

In his sworn testimony, Flynn claims, a team under his direction of “40 officers and noncommissioned officers, immediately worked to recall the 154 D.C. National Guard personnel from their current missions, reorganize them, reacquaint them, and begin to redeploy them to the Capitol.” Flynn’s sworn statement is so astounding on its face that it defies reason. If it does not constitute the willful and deliberate misleading of Congress, than nothing does. Flynn was referring to 154 D.C. Guardsmen who were already on duty, were trained in civil disturbance response, already had area familiarization with Washington, DC, were properly kitted and were delayed only because of inaction and inertia at the Pentagon. Why would the DCNG need the assistance of “40 officers and noncommisioned officers” from the Army Staff to “organize and acquaint” these Guardsmen?

GEN Flynn states: “Members of my G-3/5/7 staff supported the SecArmy and LTG Piatt by coordinating planning and decisions for the recall of the 350 DCNG personnel from their current mission, so the DCNG could re-deploy, re-organize, re-equip and re-mission their force to be federalized and employed by the Lead Federal Agency.” Flynn’s statement is willfully inaccurate and designed to mislead Congress and re-write history. The Army Staff was not in contact or coordination with the DCNG Joint Task Force, under BG Robert K. Ryan. Ryan, not anyone working for Flynn was responsible organizing, and directing the soldiers referenced. Ryan was a member and the leader of the referenced 350 DCNG personnel. The very able LTC Sekou Richardson, a Master Logistician, was responsible for equipping the 350 soldiers. Richardson ensured Ryan’s people had all the kit they needed. Neither Ryan nor Richardson was in coordination with anyone who worked for Charlie Flynn on the afternoon of 6 January. Flynn implies there was an intent to federalize the D.C. National Guard. His inclusion of this notion proves that he had no clue about the history, purpose and structure of the DCNG on 6 January or when he testified in June. The D.C. National Guard was created by an Act of Congress to respond to rioting and other civil disturbances in the Nation’s Capitol. DCNG already worked for the President, through SecArmy and SecDef. There was no need to federalize it.

Piatt and Flynn consistently and repeatedly misrepresented, understated, or misled the House Oversight Committee and the DoDIG regarding the capability, readiness and motivation of the DCNG to respond on the afternoon of 6 January. They falsely claimed that the DCNG did not have, the training and resources to move quickly, to pivot from traffic control to civil disturbance operations. This was untrue. Flynn falsely stated that the Army Staff (which is supposed to be running the global operations of the U.S. Army) had to devote 30 to 40 officers and non-commissioned officers to get 154 ill-prepared DC Guardsmen to Capitol Hill. This assertion constituted the willful deception of Congress. It is not just imprecision, it is lying. Senior Army officers lied about little stuff. Their lies contributed to the deficiencies in the DoDIG’s findings because the DoDIG allowed the Army Staff to define the DCNG and to set the narrative, allowed LTG Piatt (and Flynn and LaNeve) to define the story. DoDIG also didn’t talk to anyone from the DCNG who could challenge the false Army Staff narrative. What’s most stunning is that they almost got away with it. If they hadn’t gratuitously attacked MG Walker’s character and integrity and then publicized the DoDIG report, they would have gotten away with it.

The D.C. National Guard in Piatt and LaNeve’s narrative was poorly led, poorly motivated, under resourced, and lacked equipment and training to respond immediately to the Capitol. This notion is an outright lie and is not borne out by a review of what really was happening on the afternoon of the 6tth What was occurring between the Army Staff and the DCNG on the afternoon of 6 January, after the breach and before receiving permission to deploy to the Capitol, can in no way be characterized as military planning. Piatt and Flynn knew this when they falsely testified to the House Oversight and Reform Committee on June 15, 2021.

It is important to note that neither Piatt nor Flynn were in the Chain-of-Command of the DCNG. The Commanding General, MG Walker, worked for Secretary McCarthy who was incommunicado or unreachable for most of the afternoon. The Army Staff was not providing any independent direction or guidance to MG Walker. They were only sharing information. The only orders Walker received that afternoon, through secure video, were the decision to mobilize the DCNG after 3:04PM and the 5:08PM authorization to deploy forces to the Capitol.

The main channel of communication between the DCNG and the Army Staff on the afternoon of 6 January was the secure video bridge established by LTG Flynn. This communication was occurring mostly at the general officer level. MG Walker was in his office with his Deputy, BG Dean, his Senior Enlisted Leader, CSM Brooks, his aide-de-camp (who was taking thorough notes) and his staff judge advocate, COL Matthews. On the other end were mostly 3-star Army Staff principals, or their deputies, and 2 to 3 senior civilian officials. These individuals were mostly in their personal offices in the Pentagon. The open channel was essentially a “general officer chat line” to relay information back in forth. With the exception of MG Walker’s aide-de-camp, COL Matthews was probably the lowest ranking officer on the teleconference.

The Army Staff was not in communication with Joint Task Force-DC, under BG Robert K. Ryan, which was running on the ground operations. DCNG required none of the technical, administrative or logistical assistance or support from Army Headquarters that Piatt and Flynn falsely implied during their congressional testimony. DCNG had all the equipment it needed. On the afternoon of January 6, 2021, the DCNG likely had more civil disturbance or riot gear on a per capita basis than any state National Guard in the country.17 Enough to equip roughly 500 Guardsmen if necessary. These were left over from the summer of 2020 and were in good condition. Flynn and Piatt either didn’t know this when they testified, which they should have, or they willfully deceived Congress. Further, DCNG personnel at the traffic control points and Metro stations had full riot kits with them in their vehicles at the TCPs and Metro stations. This fact was in direct contravention of the SecArmy and SecDef guidance on 4 January. The word had not passed to the DCNG supply officers who equipped the TCP personnel with the gear anticipating they might need it.

By the time of the breach, the Joint Task Force leadership knew their troops at the TCPs and Metro stations had the necessary riot gear and could be directed to designated rally points for formation and movement to the Capitol. That was LTC Hunter’s plan if the DCNG had been given permission to move. The TCP based troops would not have required the assistance and coordination from the Army Staff that Piatt and Flynn falsely stated they required in their sworn testimony. To a person, every leader in the DCNG wanted to get to Capitol Hill with deliberate speed when the Capitol security perimeter was breached. Their attitude was “This is What We Do.” “Send Me.” In fact, responding to civil unrest within the confines of the District of Columbia was a foundational mission, a statutory mission of the D.C. National Guard, given it by the Congress. It is part of the reason the moniker of the D.C. National Guard is “Capital Guardians.” The Dome of the U.S. Capitol is literally on the uniform of every D.C. Guardsman. DCNG has responded to civil unrest in the District in 1968 after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., it did so again during the 1971 anti-Vietnam War May Day riots, the 2000 IMF riots and the recent riots in the wake of the murder of George Floyd.

BG Robert K. Ryan had commanded 5,530 joint service members from 12 states and the District during the unrest in the city following the Floyd murder. He was a retired career ATF special agent. He took some unfair hits because of a helicopter incident in the city, but no one doubted Ryan’s competence or dedication to the mission or his people. Ryan enjoyed the full confidence of the DCNG command team. He would lead 25,711 joint service members from 50 states, three territories, and the District in the immediate aftermath of the 6 January unpleasantness. In their perjured testimony before the House Oversight Committee, Piatt and Flynn were saying, by implication, that this Joint Task Force Commander, his headquarters and staff did not exist.

Piatt and Flynn were similarly trying to airbrush the work of Craig Hunter. Hunter, was a unicorn, an African-American originally from Florida, who started his career as an enlisted sailor, but became an Army Apache pilot and CIA operations officer, before becoming a medavac pilot in the D.C. Guard. He had extensive special operations experience, served on the Joint Staff, and was a resident NDU grad. Many people considered him the future of the D.C. Guard. MG Walker had referenced his initiative in immediately rushing to the Capitol and linking up with USCP and MPD once the Capitol was breached, during his March 2021 Senate testimony. The testimony Piatt and Flynn were trying to discredit with their fake timelines and statements. Hunter and Sergeant Major Barrick, his senior enlisted leader, were on the Hill scouting rally points and coordinating with MPD and USCP early after the breach. Incidentally, the Chief of Staff of the Joint Task Force on the afternoon was a Colonel, like Hunter a resident NDU grad and a combat-experienced aviator, and unlike Hunter, he was a still-serving CIA officer. Piatt and Flynn’s testimony airbrushed these men (and women) and many others from history and falsely replaced them with the Army Staff, who according to them, was doing all the heavy lifting [“40 officers and noncommissioned officers” who never left the Pentagon]. This was wrong.

In his testimony, Piatt states:

During a January 4, 2021 back brief from MG Walker to the SecArmy, MG Walker briefed the commitment criteria for employment of the QRF and expressed no concerns with the guidance for the use of the QRF.


The above statement is misleading and disingenuous. On the morning of 4 January 2021, at 11:31AM, Colonel Jon Ebbert, J-3, Director of Operations for the DCNG sent an e-mail to MG Walker, copying Colonel Matthews. Subject was, “Triggers for QRF Deployment,” the e-mail read:

The QRF will be on standby but won't be used unless required. The CG will deploy the QRF based on a MPD Chief of Police request.

Indicators that the QRF may deploy include the following events: Flash crowd that is not manageable by assembled Law Enforcement; Civil unrest not manageable by assembled Law Enforcement Civil Disturbance Units; Large scale vandalism and looting (ie City Center area); Vandalism or damage to National Monuments or Museums; Attempts to breach Federal or District government buildings; Acts of arson.

Very respectfully,

COL Jonathan S. Ebbert


During the afternoon meeting that Piatt references in his statement, with the Secretary, the Chief of Staff of the Army and the Army Staff presents, the discussion of what might happen in an emergency came up. MG Walker listed the triggers for QRF employment contained in COL Ebbert’s e-mail to the Secretary and no one objected. However, at 9:12PM, on the evening of 4 January, an Army Staff action officer changed the draft document that MG Walker had reviewed with the Secretary earlier in the afternoon. The draft delegation to MG Walker had initially read:

You may employ the DCNG Quick Reaction Force (QRF) only as a last resort, in response to a request from an appropriate civil authority. If the QRF is employed, DCNG personnel will be clearly marked and/or distinguished from civilian law enforcement. You will notify me immediately upon your authorization.


The changed delegation memo read:

I withhold authority to approve employment of the DCNG Quick Reaction Force (QRF) and will do so only as a last resort, in response to a request from an appropriate civil authority. I will require a concept of operation prior to authorizing employment of the QRF. If the QRF is employed, DCNG personnel will be clearly marked and/or distinguished from civilian law enforcement personnel. You will notify me immediately of any requests for QFR employment.


The change effectively limited the discretion of Walker to deploy the QRF when the very trigger scenarios that COL Ebbert had identified 2 days prior actually occurred on 6 January. The Chief of MPD made an urgent request for DCNG to assist with a: “flash crowd that is not manageable by assembled law enforcement,”; with “civil unrest not manageable by assembled law enforcement civil disturbance units”; with “large scale vandalism and looting” and with “attempts to breach federal or district government buildings.” Now Piatt and Flynn were deceitfully testifying that the QRF was never at all contemplated to be employed in those scenarios.

In a Question for the Record submitted by Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney, LTG Piatt is asked when he became aware of Acting Secretary Miller’s determination that “all available forces of the D.C. National Guard [were] required to support the MPD and USCP” at the Capitol? Piatt answers:

“I learned that Acting Secretary of Defense’s approval of the full mobilization of the District of Columbia National Guard at a time after 3:04 p.m. To the best of my recollection, I learned of the approval during the Army planning meeting on a secure teleconference that began before 3:00 p.m.”


The above statement is one of the few times Piatt answered a question somewhat truthfully. His statement tells us a few things. Piatt did not learn of Miller’s decision from McCarthy. He also did not see McCarthy tell Walker of the decision. Walker was on the same Army “planning meeting.” That such a momentous determination by the Acting SecDef was not conveyed by Secretary McCarthy to his principal staff officer speaks volumes as to McCarthy’s priorities on the afternoon of 6 January. The answer also shows that Piatt perjured himself when he says McCarthy personally tasked Walker at 3:05PM. The one untruthful part of the answer was that the video conference on the afternoon of the 6th was an actual Army planning meeting.

Piatt stated:

“The Secretary [McCarthy] surveyed the Capitol to establish where the best anchor point would be.”


If true, that assertion was a new revelation and is not mentioned in the public DoD timeline. Why the Secretary of the Army is conducting tactical reconnaissance is unknown. This statement is likely untrue, designed to mislead a congressional committee. The DoDIG report says McCarthy’s aide-de-camp carried a map with him to the Mayor’s office, not the Capitol. If McCarthy surveyed the Capitol, why didn’t he stop by and see Steve Sund, Chief Carroll or LTC Hunter? If the statement is true, it begs the question, of how it was safe for a civilian Army Secretary to reach the Capitol, but too dangerous to employ the DCNG?

In a Question for the Record, Chairwoman Malone noted that the D.C. National Guard timeline shows that at 4:20PM, more than an hour after Acting Secretary Miller’s 3:00PM authorization—Piatt advised Walker to “plan and prepare to transition from [traffic control points] and be placed around other federal buildings and monuments.” Piatt was asked if it was accurate that you recommended that the DCNG conduct a mission other than helping secure the Capitol? Piatt’s reply is easily parsed as a lie. He states:

I do not believe the D.C. National Guard timeline accurately describes my conversation with MG Walker. I believe the Army’s Report (Report of the United States Army Operations on January 6, 2021) more accurately describes the relevant details. I believe the description at page of the Army’s Report to be more accurate where it states that, at 3:04 p.m., “Immediately upon Acting SecDef’s approval, SecArmy directed MG Walker to recall all personnel and to initiate movement to posture forces to support the [Metropolitan Police Department]; SecArmy directed MG Walker to create a hasty plan to employ DCNG personnel and to ensure the Guardsmen were properly equipped for the mission.” It is important to note that, as a staff officer whose role it is to carry out the Secretary of the Army’s orders, I would not recommend to the D.C. National Guard’s Commander that he carry out preparations that would be inconsistent with the Secretary of the Army’s intent.


Piatt’s comment that the DCNG consider missions away from the Capitol was not just heard by Walker but a room full of other DCNG personnel. His sentiments were recorded contemporaneously by a 1st Lieutenant with no reason to lie. An officer who in his civilian capacity is a member of the Uniformed Division of the U.S. Secret Service. Piatt relies on the Army Report to refute the DCNG timeline because he knows the Army Report is a work of historical fiction that he himself wrote and controls. Further, by his own admission, at 3:04PM, Piatt had not spoken with McCarthy and may not have spoken with him by 4:20PM. Piatt likely didn’t know what McCarthy’s intent was. McCarthy was at MPD Headquarters with Mayor Bowser preparing for a nationally televised press conference, or alternatively, “drafting a plan.” According to the DoD public timeline, McCarthy would have been on a call with Miller, Milley and the Chief of the National Guard Bureau at 4:20PM.

When asked in a Question For the Record to explain the discrepancies between the DCNG and official Army Timelines, Piatt replies:

“Unfortunately, I cannot explain why that timeline differs from my recollection and the Department of the Army’s timeline. After the Capitol was breached on January 6, 2021, it was a chaotic day. It is possible that some of the reports that were used to put together the D.C. National Guard’s timeline came from individuals who misperceived or misremembered the events of that day. For example, many of the participants were distressed and talking over one another.”


Piatt’s reply meets the definition of chutzpah. He is claiming the DCNG personnel who heard his remarks misunderstood, misremembered or misstated them. Piatt knew exactly why the D.C. National Guard and Army timelines differed. He directed and supervised the creation of the Army timeline (which has not been publicly released or otherwise subjected to public scrutiny) which he knew to be false. Piatt shielded the Army Report from public disclosure and selectively released it when it inured to his benefit. The DCNG timeline portrayed him in a negative light, while he held the pen on the Army timeline, it was guaranteed to comport with his faulty memory. He provided the Army Report, or portions thereof, to congressional committees in order to discredit MG Walker.

Piatt is next asked if at any other time between 3:00PM and 4:32PM on January 6, he advised anyone in the D.C. National Guard’s chain of command that Guard personnel should not deploy directly to the Capitol. Piatt dishonestly replies:

At no point on January 6 did I tell anyone that the D.C. National Guard should not deploy directly to the Capitol. My role that day was to make recommendations and to help guide the Army’s planning efforts that ultimately led to the re-taking and re-securing of the Capitol. Between 3:00 p.m. and 4:32 p.m., the Army Staff, which included myself, was assisting with coordinating numerous tasks, including assisting the D.C. National Guard to prepare to conduct their new mission once it was approved by the Acting Secretary of Defense.


Piatt’s above answer is again false and misleading. First, Piatt did not limit himself from 3:00PM to 4:32PM, he replied that at no time during January 6 did I tell anyone that the D.C. National Guard should not deploy directly to the Capitol. Although not in the chain of command, or a decisionmaker, Piatt did tell the 2:30PM conference call participants that it was his best military advice that the DCNG not be deployed to the Capitol. The Secretary of the Army was incommunicado. Walker was communicating through Piatt. Walker sought permission to at a minimum to deploy the QRF. Presumably, Piatt conveyed MG Walker’s request to deploy to the Capitol to Secretary McCarthy, and then recommended that the Secretary reject Walker’s request. Lastly, Piatt repeats the falsity that the Army Staff was assisting the DCNG with preparations to conduct its new mission when approved. The Army Staff provided no technical, administrative, logistical, medical or legal support to the DCNG Joint Task Force—directly or indirectly—between the time of the breach and the 5:08PM movement of 154 D.C. Guardsmen to the Capitol.

Chairwoman Maloney last asked Piatt to clarify whether at any point on January 6, he expressed a concern about the visuals, image, or public perception of the sending the D.C. National Guard to the Capital even if you did not specifically use the term “optics”? She asked what specifically Piatt had stated.

I do not recall using the term optics, visuals, image, public perception or any similar term during the 2:30 p.m. phone call, or in any other conversation on January 6, 2021. I respect and understand that others may recall things differently, but ultimately, on that day, my chief concern was developing a plan to effectively assist D.C. and Federal authorities in regaining control of the U.S. Capitol. This is what I was ordered to do during the 2:30 p.m. phone call by the Secretary of the Army, as he ran to get approval for the use of the D.C. National Guard from the Acting Secretary of Defense.

During the 2:30 p.m. call, in gathering necessary information to help develop and coordinate a plan, I recall asking those on the call to identify specific tasks that were needed to be performed by the D.C. National Guard. I asked questions to help determine the mission requirements and the best ways to employ the National Guard Soldiers. I asked if there were other buildings or monuments that needed protection to seek ways to free up law enforcement officers so they could immediately respond to the U.S. Capitol. I also asked if there were any additional armed law enforcement personnel conducting missions from which the National Guard Soldiers could relieve them. I knew that the forces that the Army had available were not postured, prepared, or equipped to conduct this type of law enforcement operation.


Piatt’s response is again troubling. Piatt told the DoDIG that optics were a concern as the Army prepared to deploy Soldiers into downtown D.C. in response to the D.C. RFA, but he could not remember making that statement during the telephone call specifically about Chief Sund’s request for immediate assistance during the 2:30PM. Chief Contee, Chief Sund, and MG Walker each recounted Piatt expressing concerns about optics during their sworn testimony before various Congressional committees.

Four other DCNG soldiers heard Piatt say optics were an important consideration. Two Army witnesses on the conference called [based at the Pentagon] told the DoDIG that LTG Piatt questioned the impression that the or “optic” of uniformed Soldiers rushing into the Capitol would make with the public. In a January 2021 media interview, Chief Steven Sund recalled that, after he pleaded for immediate and urgent National Guard assistance during the 2:30PM conference call, Piatt said “I don’t like the visual of the National Guard standing a police line with the Capitol in the background.” Piatt at first publicly denied making the comment, then later “backtracked” according to a media report stating that although he didn’t recall saying anything about optics but Army note-takers in the room told him he “may” have said something similar to what Sund recalled.18 However, by March 2021, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Robert Salesses appeared in the same joint Senate HSGAC and Senate Rules Committee meeting where MG Walker was appearing. Salesses stated in his sworn testimony, that in preparing for the hearing, he had spoken directly with Piatt on the issue and Piatt denied saying anything about optics during the meeting.

Piatt evidently forgot about the Army notetaker present in McCarthy’s office with him who heard and recorded his statements. Notetakers on two different sides of the river heard Piatt say the optics matter. At least 9 people then who were in the meeting heard Piatt mention optics. Only Piatt and Flynn are adamant that he did not. Lastly and very importantly, Piatt asserts that the forces the “Army______ had available were not postured, prepared, or equipped to conduct this type of [civil disturbance] law enforcement operation.” Piatt’s last sentence is true only if you place the word “Staff” between “Army” and “had” and you forget that we are talking about a civil disturbance response mission, a core mission of the D.C. National Guard. There is a reason the United States Government gave all of those CD or riot kits to the D.C. National Guard. Hint/Hint, it wasn’t to plan. It was to respond to civil disturbances in Washington, D.C. Every leader in the D.C. Guard wanted to respond and knew they could respond to the riot at the seat of government. They set stunned watching in the Armory while for the first time in its 219 year history, the D.C. National Guard was not allowed to respond to a riot in the city.

In a Question For the Record from Chairwoman Maloney, GEN Flynn is asked if at any point he observed LTG Piatt express a concern about visuals, image, or public perception of sending the D.C. National Guard to the Capitol even if he did not specifically use the term “optics”? What specifically did he state and when? GEN Flynn replies:

No, I did not observe LTG Piatt express concern about the visuals, image, or public perception of sending the D.C. National Guard to the U.S. Capitol at any point on January 6, 2021 or in the following days. In the few minutes that I listened to the 2:30 p.m. phone call, LTG Piatt’s demeanor was calm, that of a combat-experienced leader reacting to a violent, unpredictable event. It was in clear contrast to others on the call.

MG Walker, BG Dean, COL Matthews and CSM Brooks have a combined 130 years of service to our Army. They had served multiple tours to Iraq and Afghanistan among them. Each is a recipient of at least 1 Bronze Star Medal for meritorious service during combat operations. Walker is a 32 veteran of federal agent and intelligence officer He has been shot at and he has shot people. Sullivan, Sund and Contee have over 90 combined years of police service in some of the toughest streets of our country. None of the men on the call (and they were all men) were strangers to violence.


Flynn’s comment suggests that Piatt’s calm demeanor was a reflection of his combat experience. Others would say it reflected his indifference and tone deafness. Flynn’s comment was aimed at denigrating these soldiers and public servants because they expressed an urgent desire to re-establish security at the Capitol and to protect the Congress of the United States. That is the noticeable contrast that Flynn observed.

Chairwoman Maloney also asked Flynn, “At any point during this call, or during an other communication on January 6, did you personally express a concern about the visuals, image, or public perception of sending the D.C. National Guard to the Capitol even if you did not specifically use the term “optics”? What specifically did you state and when? Flynn replied:

No. I never expressed a concern about the visuals, image, or public perception of sending the D.C. National Guard to the U.S. Capitol. When the Army received the request for D.C. National Guard support, my focus was to facilitate the planning and execution of Secretary McCarthy’s decisions and guidance regarding Army support on January 6, 2021.


In the above answer Flynn again engaged in outright perjury. MG Walker and COL Matthews, and others on the call were very familiar with whom Flynn was, knew his voice, and had spoken to him in different contexts. Both Walker and Matthews heard Flynn identify himself and unmistakably heard him say that optics of a National Guard presence on Capitol Hill was an issue for him. That it would not look good. Either Piatt or Flynn mentioned “peaceful protestors.”19 Flynn likely did very little if any planning to facilitate the immediate and urgent movement of D.C. National Guard soldiers and airmen to the U.S. Capitol. Flynn’s only personal contact with the DCNG on 6 January would be via the 2:30PM call and the secure VTC he set up. The Army Staff action officers who worked for him had no direct contact with Joint Task Force-DC under BG Robert K. Ryan.

In response to a Question For the Record from Ranking Member Comer, LTG Piatt replies:

As established by the 18 U.S.C. 1385 (the Posse Comitatus Act), the Army does not conduct law enforcement operations against American citizens, subject to a few limited exceptions.


Piatt is intentionally seeking to obfuscate issues. Posse Comitatus did not apply to the DCNG, sitting in its Armory on 6 January, while the Capitol was being overrun. He is well aware that the Posse Comitatus Act is not applicable to the D.C. National Guard, or any National Guard, in a militia status. Piatt was involved in the uplift of over 5,000 out-of-state National Guardsmen into the District of Columbia, ironically under the command of BG Robert K. Ryan, during the first week of June 2020. Posse Comitatus was inapplicable to those forces. Even if the Act applied to National Guard in a militia status, the Act would not apply to the D.C. National Guard because the D.C. National Guard was created by a specific act of Congress. The D.C. Code is such an act, an in pertinent part states:

§ 49–103. Suppression of riots.

When there is in the District of Columbia a tumult, riot, mob, or a body of men acting together by force with attempt to commit a felony or to offer violence to persons or property, or by force or violence to break and resist the laws, or when such tumult, riot, or mob is threatened, it shall be lawful for the Mayor of the District of Columbia, or for the United States Marshal for the District of Columbia, or for the National Capital Service Director, to call on the Commander-in-Chief to aid them in suppressing such violence and enforcing the laws; the Commander-in-Chief shall thereupon order out so much and such portion of the militia as he may deem necessary to suppress the same, and no member thereof who shall be thus ordered out by proper authority for any such duty shall be liable to civil or criminal prosecution for any act done in the discharge of his military duty.


Conclusion

Given the glaring deficiencies with respect to the DoD IG investigation, and given that his name was unfairly besmirched, MG Walker requests an independent review of the investigative findings of the DoDIG report and most importantly, the Army Report that was created at LTG Piatt’s direction should be publicly released, independently reviewed and substantiated. The timeline the Army produced should be carefully scrubbed for accuracy. Evidence of the actually planning activities of the Army Staff, and especially of the G3/5/7/ under BG LaNeve and LTG Flynn should be reviewed. What planning and coordination did these individuals actually conduct? How did this planning enable DCNG to support the U.S. Capitol Police on 6 June after the Capitol had been breached? What evidence is there of the planning and support the Army Staff provided to DCNG after the Capitol’s breach and before DCNG deployed to the Capitol after 5PM on January 6, 2021.

Unanswered Questions

Did Miller believe that he had authorized the actual deployment of the DCNG to the Capitol so that McCarthy’s decision to seek his concurrence of a deployment plan was not required?

Where was Ryan McCarthy on the afternoon of 6 January, what is his personal timeline?

Where did Secretary McCarthy call MG Walker from at 3:05PM, 4:35PM and 5:00PM?

What phones were used to call Acting Secretary Miller and MG Walker?

Where is the plan that Secretary McCarthy generated with the Mayor?


Why didn’t McCarthy and or LaNeve invite DCNG participation in the planning that occurred at MPD?

Who conveyed the plan (any plan) to DCNG?

Where is the plan? Why wasn’t it implemented on 6 January?


Were congressional leaders and the press mislead by being told that the DCNG was mobilized (with an inference that the DCNG had been approved to come to the Capitol)?

What kind of operation are Troy O’Donnell [Sean O'Donnell? Acting Inspector General, DoD]and Marguerite C. Garrison [Deputy Inspector General Administrative Investigations, DoD OIG Senior Leadership] running, what is their agenda?
 
_______________

Notes:

1 The Capitol Insurrection: Unexplained Delays and Unanswered Questions (Part II) | House Committee on Oversight and Reform

2 HHRG-117-GO00-Wstate-FlynnC-20210615.pdf (house.gov)

3 HHRG-117-GO00-Wstate-PiattW-20210615-U1.pdf (house.gov)

4 https://www.dodig.mil/reports.html/Arti ... -to-prepa/

5 The QRF was actually directed to move at 2:14PM, according to JTF-DC records.

6 BG Dean directed BG Ryan to move the QRF from JBA to the Armory at 14

7 Mayor Bowser incorrectly introduces McCarthy as Mr. McCartney at the beginning of the news engagement.

8 It should be noted that this so-called plan for the deployment of the DCNG was developed by McCarthy between 4:05PM and 4:30PM, but that the publicly released DoD timeline for 6 January states that McCarthy participated in a 4:18PM phone call with the Acting Secretary of Defense, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Chief of the National Guard Bureau, further shortening the supposed 20 minutes that McCarthy used to develop his detailed plan to employ the DCNG.

9 The DCNG SGS did not participate or observe the 2:30PM or the follow-on secure teleconference but signed the document as a staffing action. The timeline is drawn largely from the contemporaneous notes of MG Walker’s aide-de-camp, designated notetaker during the day.

10 Piatt’s January 2021 public statement was in response allegations from Steve Sund about the 2:30PM call. The statement no appears on the Army Public Affairs website as Piatt’s narrative has changed.

11 Notably neither Sund, Contee, nor Walker in recounting the 2:30PM phone call ever stated the either McCarthy or Mayor Bowser were on the call.

12 It is unclear why the Secretary of the Army who had a 1-star general and a lieutenant colonel on his personal staff to address media inquiries, needed to personally address false news stories while the Capitol was under siege and the D.C. National Guard had not been authorized to move.

14 The TF Guardian Commander, LTC Craig Hunter, was an actual combat-seasoned medevac pilot. He required no instruction or direction from the Army Staff.

15 Despite the restrictions imposed by the civilian chain of command.

16 DCNG logisticians had not received word of the restrictions on riot gear imposed by SecDef and SecArmy. They made sure full riot gear for each Guardsmen were contained in their GSA vehicles.

17 Much of the equipment DCNG had in stock on 6 January was left over for the summer 2020 civil unrest.

18 Pentagon restricted commander of D.C. Guard ahead of Capitol riot - The Washington Post

19 Matthews did not know Flynn well, but had been around MG Walker when he spoke to Flynn in person at the Pentagon.
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Re: Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certificat

Postby admin » Sun Dec 12, 2021 10:07 am

With Trump's COS Meadows' Democracy-Ending PowerPoint, It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like . . . RICO
by Glenn Kirschner
Dec 11, 2021

In a staggering development, Donald Trump's former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows turned over to the House select committee, pursuant to a subpoena, a 38-page PowerPoint presentation setting out how to corruptly overturn Joe Biden's election win and install Trump for a second term as president.

With each new revelation about the democracy-busting crime and corruption of Trump and his associates, it looks more and more like our nation's RICO laws might apply to certain segments of the Trump administration.

Although our RICO - Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations - laws came into existence in 1970 to combat organized crime in the form of the Mafia, the RICO laws can be applied to any organization operating as a corrupt enterprise, as is discussed run this video.



***************************

Mark Meadows PowerPoint Plan to Overturn Election Results Revealed
by Ewan Palmer
Newsweek
12/10/21 AT 4:48 AM EST

Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows handed over a PowerPoint presentation to the House committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol that details how the Trump administration planned to overturn the 2020 election results, including by declaring a national emergency.

The 38-page presentation, entitled "Election Fraud, Foreign Interference & Options for 6 Jan," is dated one day before the Capitol riot. It's believed to have been submitted by Meadows after he was subpoenaed by the panel in connection with the insurrection.

The slides contained a series of recommendations for Donald Trump and his administration to follow ahead of the certification of the electoral votes ceremony to declare Joe Biden the winner.

These include informing senators and congressmen of apparent "foreign interference" in the election, namely by China, before declaring a National Security Emergency. The government was then to announce that electronic voting in all states for the 2020 Election would be invalid.

The PowerPoint file details a number of dismissed claims of voter fraud, including that electronic voting machines were "shifting votes from Trump to Biden," as well as disputed allegations of widespread occurrences of double voters, deceased voters and fake ballots/ballot stuffing in states such as Michigan, Arizona and Pennsylvania.

There were also apparent plans to make then Vice President Mike Pence, in his purely ceremonial and constitutional role as presiding officer of the Senate on January 6, reject the electoral votes from states "where fraud occurred," therefore forcing the vote to be decided by the remaining electoral votes.

The plan then called for Pence to delay the election decision in order to allow "for a vetting and subsequent counting" of all the legal paper ballots.

In a slide entitled "Restoring confidence: 'Clear the air—count and compare'" the next stage of the alleged plan to stop Biden becoming president was to do a "full check to weed out counterfeit paper ballots" and then a count of the remaining "legal ones" across the country.

U.S. Marshals and Troops

"It must be done in full public view (via web broadcast) where each person has the chance to do the count themselves if they so desire. No more hiding behind barriers, distances, secrecy, and gag orders," the slide states.

The presentation also shows the extent of the planned recount, including deploying U.S. Marshals to immediately secure all the ballots and "provide a protective perimeter around the locations" in all 50 states.

National Guard troops were then to be brought in to recount the tens of millions of votes across the country.

"As the counting occurs each ballot will be imaged and the images placed on the Internet so any US citizen can view them and count the ballots themselves. The process will be completely transparent," the presentation said.

Recommendations

• Brief Senators and Congressmen on foreign interference
• Declare National Security Emergency
• Foreign influence and control of electronic voting systems
• Declare electronic voting in all states invalid
• LEGAL & Genuine Paper ballot counts or Constitutional remedy delegated to Congress


The existence of the PowerPoint presentation appeared to have been first referenced in a letter from the House committee investigating the January 6 riot to Meadows' lawyer, saying that they had "no choice" but to move forward contempt charges against Trump's former chief of staff after he refused to appear for a second scheduled deposition on Wednesday.

The letter confirmed that Meadows had previously been cooperating with the investigation and provided documents as requested. Meadows' lawyers are also reported to have withheld several hundred additional documents and more than 1,000 text messages from the committee while citing executive privilege, a defense that has been thrown out by District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan.

"Despite your very broad claims of privilege, Mr. Meadows has also produced documents that you apparently agree are relevant and not protected by any privilege at all," the letter to attorney George Terwilliger adds.

"Those documents include: a November 7, 2020, email discussing the appointment of alternate slates of electors as part of a 'direct and collateral attack' after the election; a January 5, 2021, email regarding a 38-page PowerPoint briefing titled 'Election Fraud, Foreign Interference & Options for 6 JAN' that was to be provided 'on the hill.'"

Restoring Confidence in the 2020 General Election

• “Clear the air – count and compare”
• The tabulators cannot be trusted nationwide, and many counterfeit ballots have been inserted, therefore:
• A full check to weed out counterfeit paper ballots and then a count of the remaining legal ones across the nation must be done for all races in all states and will accurately determine who the people of America actually elected as our leaders.
• All ballots must remain locked and physically protected until directed by the federal government.
• A task force led by a trustworthy individual (we recommend Sid Gutierrez: NASA Astronaut, retired Air Force Colonel, Center Director at a National Laboratory) produce a standard procedure that will be required and will include full accountability so that counterfeit ballots are excluded and legal ballots are not lost, modified, substituted, or added in.
• We estimate counting can be done in each state in 5 to 10 days time with support from identified national assets.
• It must be done in full public view (via web broadcast) where each person has the chance to do the count themselves if they so desire. No more hiding behind barriers, distances, secrecy, and gag orders.
• We have the technology to do this.
• The paper ballots are secret ballots which means you cannot tell who voted it.
• Counterfeit ballots can easily and quickly be identified using technology similar to that used by Treasury to find counterfeit currency. Illegal paper stock, ballots filled out by a machine, mail-in ballots that never went through the mail, ballots printed and marked with the same ink can all be identified and rejected.
• Every legal paper ballot will have a camera pointed at it and will be captured for a few seconds.
• It will be recorded and be broadcast in real time on the Internet.


The letter from the panel chairman rep. Bennie Thompson adds that "there is no legitimate legal basis" for Meadows to refuse to cooperate with the Select Committee and answer questions about the documents he produced.

In a joint statement on Wednesday, Thompson and Vice Chair Liz Cheney said that they will be recommending that the House cites Meadows for contempt of Congress and refers him to the Department of Justice for prosecution.

Fellow key Trump ally Steven Bannon was indicted in November on two counts of contempt of Congress for defying subpoenas and refusing to answer questions from the House committee investigating the January 6 attack.

Terwilliger has been contacted for comment.

*******************

Inside the 38-page PowerPoint TrumpWorld circulated to justify election subversion: A version of the document circulating online is similar to one turned over by Mark Meadows: NYT
By Brett Bachman
Salon
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 11, 2021 1:02PM (EST)

As the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot continues its work, reports suggest it is closely scrutinizing a PowerPoint document filled with conspiracy theories and several plans to overturn the 2020 election results.

The 38-page file turned over by former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows was titled "Election Fraud, Foreign Interference & Options for 6 JAN" and was circulating "on the hill" in the days prior to Jan. 6, according to a letter Rep. Bennie Thompson, the select committee's chairman, sent to Meadows' attorney earlier this week.

The document is part of the reason the committee is so interested in speaking with Meadows more extensively, Thompson said, which leaves him "no choice" but to bring Meadows up on contempt of Congress charges after he stopped cooperating with the committee.

Both the Guardian and The New York Times report that a different, 36-page version of the PowerPoint circulating online is similar to the one received by the committee. Both include plans to declare a national emergency in order to delay the certification of the 2020 election and the outlines of a wild conspiracy that the country of Venezuela had taken over voting machines in a large number of important states, among other debunked and unverifiable allegations.

Though it remains unknown who first created the document, the Times notes it bears striking similarities to the theories of Jovan Hutton Pulitzer, which the paper describes as a "Texas entrepreneur and self-described inventor."

Meadows' attorney, George J. Terwilliger III, told the committee that the ex-Trump aide turned over the PowerPoint to the committee after receiving it via email and that he had not done anything with it.

"We produced the document because it wasn't privileged," Terwilliger wrote.

But the Times reports that Phil Waldron, a retired Army colonel and one of the key propagators of Trump's Big Lie, apparently circulated the document among influential lawmakers, holding several briefings for Senators and House members on Jan. 4 and 5, respectively. Waldron, who reportedly cites a history of involvement with "informational warfare," told the paper that he hadn't given Meadows a copy but wasn't surprised it found his way to Trump's chief of staff.

"He would have gotten a copy for situational awareness for what was being briefed on the Hill at the time," he said.

It's unclear Meadows' continuing involvement with Waldron around Jan. 6 — though Waldron told The Washington Post that he met with Meadows and others at the White House just a few weeks earlier, around Christmas, to discuss investigative avenues, and held another meeting with Trump and several Pennsylvania legislators in the Oval Office on Nov. 25.

Former New York City Mayor and personal attorney to Trump Rudy Giuliani has also talked openly about receiving information from Waldron for his legal campaign to overturn the 2020 election, the Post reported, often serving as a go-between for Meadows and the retired Army colonel.

Shortly after turning over the document — and thousands of other emails and texts — Meadows decided to stop cooperating with the Jan. 6 committee. The drawback sets up an escalating legal battle that entered a new phase this week, with Meadows suing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Jan. 6 committee in the hopes a judge will block the subpoenas.

The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit also recently poked a hole in Trump's argument that he be allowed to keep documents from the Jan. 6 committee, writing that Congress has a broad mandate to Congress investigate any attacks launched against it.

"The January 6th Committee has also demonstrated a sound factual predicate for requesting these presidential documents specifically," the court writes. "There is a direct linkage between the former President and the events of the day."

BRETT BACHMAN
Brett Bachman is the Nights/Weekend Editor at Salon.


************************
Election Fraud, Foreign Interference & Options for 6 JAN, January 5, 2021
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Re: Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certificat

Postby admin » Fri Dec 17, 2021 9:21 pm

Congress Refers Meadows to DOJ for Prosecution: Here's Why Indicting Meadows is a Legal Layup
by Glenn Kirschner
Dec 15, 2021



Congress just voted to hold Donald Trump's former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows in contempt of Congress and refer him to the Department of Justice for criminal prosecution. This means today is day 1 of "Mark Meadows - Indictment Watch." It took DOJ 22 days to indict Steve Bannon for his crime of contempt of Congress.

This video discusses the reasons why DOJ's decision whether to indict Meadows is an easy one based on the applicable law and the available facts.

*************************

Mark Meadows Held in Contempt of Congress as Jan. 6 Probe Expands. How Long Can Trump Hold Out?
by Amy Goodman
Democracy Now
DECEMBER 15, 2021
https://www.democracynow.org/2021/12/15 ... s_contempt

GUESTS: Jose Pagliery, political investigations reporter at The Daily Beast.
LINKS
Jose Pagliery on Twitter
"Mark Meadows' Personal Cell Is Becoming a Personal Hell"
"Don Jr. & Fox Stars Begged Meadows: Get Trump to Stop Capitol Riot"
"D.C. Attorney General Uses Anti-KKK Law to Sue Proud Boys, Oath Keepers Over Jan. 6"

The U.S. House voted to recommend the Department of Justice charge former President Trump’s former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows with criminal contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena from the select committee investigating the January 6 Capitol attack. The vote came after the committee released a series of text messages from Republican lawmakers and Fox News hosts to Meadows on January 6 that begged him to convince Trump to tell his followers to leave the Capitol. The messages show that Trump and his inner circle were “in the know” in the plot to overturn the election, says Daily Beast reporter Jose Pagliery.

Transcript

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: The House voted to Tuesday to hold former President Trump’s Chief of Staff Mark Meadows in criminal contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena from the select committee investigating the January 6 Capitol insurrection. Meadows is now the first former congressmember ever held in criminal contempt by Congress and the first held in contempt since 1832, when former Congressman Sam Houston was held in contempt for beating a colleague with a cane.

The vote came after the committee released a second batch of text messages from people begging Meadows to convince Trump to stop the deadly attack. This is Democratic Congressmember Jamie Raskin reading text messages sent to Meadows’ phone by Republicans on January 6th.

REP. JAMIE RASKIN: A whole set of messages that were discovered in asking questions to Mr. Meadows, including Republican lawmakers and others sending frantic messages saying, “We are under siege up here at the Capitol,” “They have breached the Capitol,” “Mark, protesters are literally storming the Capitol, breaking windows on our doors, rushing in. Is Trump going to say something?” “There’s an armed standoff at the House chamber door,” “We are all helpless.”

AMY GOODMAN: The text messages to Meadows are part of evidence he turned over to the committee investigating the January 6 insurrection. Tuesday’s vote came after the seven Democrats and two Republican committee members voted unanimously to seek contempt charges against Meadows. This is the vice chair of the committee, Republican Liz Cheney, reading private text messages sent to Meadows’ personal cellphone by Fox News hosts on January 6th.

REP. LIZ CHENEY: Quote, “Mark, the president needs to tell people in the Capitol to go home … this is hurting all of us … he is destroying his legacy,” Laura Ingraham wrote. “Please get him on TV. Destroying everything you have accomplished,” Brian Kilmeade texted. Quote, “Can he make a statement? … Ask people to leave the Capitol,” Sean Hannity urged. As the violence continued, one of the president’s sons texted Mr. Meadows, quote, “He’s got to condemn this [bleep] ASAP. The Capitol Police tweet is not enough,” Donald Trump Jr. texted.

AMY GOODMAN: Those were text messages sent to Trump’s former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows by Fox News hosts on January 6th. This was the response Monday on Fox News from Sean Hannity.

SEAN HANNITY: The hyperpartisan, predetermined outcome, anti-Trump January 6 committee just voted 9 to 0 to hold Mark Meadows in contempt for refusing to comply with their orders.

AMY GOODMAN: Sean Hannity also had Mark Meadows back as a guest on his show to discuss the vote to hold him in contempt, but Hannity did not bring up the text message he sent Meadows during the Capitol riots.

This comes as the January 6 committee has also voted to cite former White House adviser Stephen Bannon and ex-Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark for contempt of Congress after they refused to testify after receiving a subpoena.

For more, we’re joined Jose Pagliery. He is political investigations reporter at The Daily Beast. He’s been following all of this very closely. One of his latest pieces is headlined “Mark Meadows’ Personal Cell Is Becoming a Personal Hell.”

Welcome to Democracy Now!, Jose. So, let’s talk about the significance of this moment. This is the first time in U.S. history a congressmember has been held in criminal contempt and only the second time in, what, almost 200 years, been held in contempt. Talk about these thousands of pages that he himself gave to the committee, or his lawyers did, based on — we don’t even know his official phone, his White House phone, but this was his personal cellphone, thousands of pages, even though he is refusing to cooperate.

JOSE PAGLIERY: Well, good morning, Amy.

I’ve got to say, this is also the first time in history that a former member of Congress has become a chief of staff who tried to help a president stage a coup. And so what we’re seeing here is absolutely new ground, but it’s par for the course.

So, Mark Meadows and his situation is quickly worsening, and to understand it, we’ve got to realize this is the problem that a man creates by himself by only going halfway. He received a subpoena from the committee to turn over documents and to show up for a deposition. And just recently did we discover that this entire time that the committee has been saying that they’ve been engaging with him, what’s actually been going on behind the scenes is that they’ve just been delaying — not the committee; Mark Meadows and his legal team. So, for the past two months they fought off showing up for the deposition. They fought off any document — you know, turning over any documents. It wasn’t until really the end of November, basically, where they started turning over reams of data.

And when they did, what’s curious here is that it didn’t come from the kind of stuff that you’d expect to be at the National Archives, like the things that would be on his official phone or his official computer. What he was turning over was stuff from two Gmail accounts and his personal cellphone. Now, this is where it gets really curious, because, first off, you’re not supposed to have official work on your personal electronics. He would know that. This is one of the top Republicans who went after Hillary Clinton for her emails in her private server. And so he knew that from the beginning.

But in turning over this stuff over to the committee, he was also trapping himself, essentially. One, he was trying to claim executive privilege on some of them, thereby admitting that, essentially, it shouldn’t be in his possession now. And, two, the stuff he was turning over hinted at what could be in the other material that he’s not turning over. Like you said, these text messages between him and Fox News hosts and the text messages that he got from Donald Trump Jr. clearly show that he was in the know on January 6th, in the run-up to and after, on this plot to stop the certification of election results from 2020.

But the trap that’s really going to get him here is the following. It’s three parts. One, if these are official texts, they shouldn’t be on his personal cellphone. Two, if they are official communications for the executive branch, then that phone should not be reimbursed by donors for his congressional campaign, which is something we discovered. And the third point is, if this phone is being reimbursed by his congressional campaign, given that he’s no longer a congressman, they shouldn’t be used in a personal capacity. And so he’s absolutely trapped here.

One of the things that I’ve spoken to about with a former archivist for the United States is that the stuff he’s got on his personal devices needed to have been turned over to the National Archives on his way out the door. The fact that he didn’t do that could also potentially land him problems by being in violation of the Presidential Records Act.

And so, really what we’ve got here is Mark Meadows, for reasons that are yet to be determined, essentially making himself a martyr for the former president and just attracting all this trouble on himself, where, inevitably, what’s going to happen is, if the Justice Department comes after him, he’s facing jail time or huge fines. And this is going to be a problem for him going forward, because this is not escapable.


All of this hinges on the idea about whether or not a former president can claim executive privilege. And that’s something we can talk about, too, because the Trump case right now, that clearly is headed to the Supreme Court, is going to essentially determine the outcome for Mark Meadows, Steve Bannon, as you mentioned, and also Jeffrey Clark, that official at the Department of Justice, who’s since left, but, while he was there, tried to play a central role in essentially turning over the election in 2020.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And, Jose, I wanted to follow up on that latter portion of your remarks there in terms of this issue of the executive privilege eventually — issue going to the Supreme Court. Isn’t the effort of Meadows and the Trump followers to drag this out, to run out the clock past the November elections, when hopefully they can regain control, from their perspective, of Congress and short-circuit this entire investigation?

JOSE PAGLIERY: Well, Juan, that’s certainly the position of the Department of Justice under the Biden administration. I mean, they’ve said in court papers that this is absolutely a delay tactic. I mean, the committee also is accusing this of being such. But while that does appear to be the case, there also seems to be something else at play here.

Reporting that I did last week reflects that Steve Bannon’s legal strategy appears not just to be a manner of delaying this, hoping that maybe if they stretch this out until late next year that we’ve got an election and then things get sort of fuzzy, but also that if there’s a case against Bannon, Bannon’s legal team seems to think that they can then use that as a way to reach into the Department of Justice, reach into the White House and try to seek documents that would purportedly show that this is a political prosecution. And so, this perfectly well fits Bannon’s strategy, right? We know him as this right-wing provocateur who is, frankly, really intelligent and smart at playing games with journalists, but also with messaging, with public messaging. And so, he seems to be trying to turn the tables here and say, “Well, forget the committee’s work for a second. What did the Biden administration do to me?” And in doing so, we can see how three different characters here — four, essentially, actually, if you consider Steve Bannon, Jeff Clark at the DOJ, Mark Meadows and then Trump himself — are trying to essentially not just block the committee’s work but turn it upside down.

All these cases, though — it has to be said, all of these cases and any effort to block the committee’s work claiming executive privilege, it all hinges on Trump’s legal challenge, which deserves a close look, because everyone I’ve spoken to, every legal scholar, everyone who’s really knowledgeable about the Constitution and is currently teaching at a law school, has told me that there is no way that a former president can claim executive privilege that overrides the current president deciding to release those records to Congress. That said, we are also dealing with a Supreme Court that has been packed by that very former president.

And so, it has yet to be determined what exactly is going to come out of this, but at the very least, like you said, Juan, there’s going to be delays. And the problem with delays are at least twofold. One, we can run into the problem where if this stretches on until late next year, then maybe if it goes beyond the election, then there won’t be a Democrat-led committee. Maybe it will be Republican-led. And we all know what’s going to happen there. It’s going to just fizzle and disappear. On the other hand, though, the delay also buys time for people to delete information, to coordinate responses, to essentially drag this out so that the evidence is not as fresh. And that could also be problematic, because in this case, time is absolutely of the essence.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And I wanted to ask you, in terms of how this is playing in the general public — I mean, we’ve had examples in the past of major scandals in Republican administrations — of course, most famously, Watergate during the Nixon era. But then we had Iran-Contra during the Reagan era. And while this could potentially be more like Iran-Contra, that it drags on for so long, with the people, the public, basically turning off, that even after the conclusions are reached in a congressional committee, that nothing major happens in terms of holding those responsible for what happened. I’m wondering your thoughts on that.

JOSE PAGLIERY: So, it’s a good question. And I’ve spoken with some people who have direct relations with the members of the committee, and they know this could happen. So, there is not — I wouldn’t say a concern, but they see this as a potential outcome. And so, what I’m hearing is that the committee absolutely plans, sometime early next year, to start having some kind of public hearings to garner attention, to lay out all the evidence all at once. The chairman of the committee, Representative Bennie Thompson, sort of hinted at this the other day when he said, “At some point we’re going to lay all the evidence out, but not just yet, not until we have it all put together.” Well, that’s essentially — the reason why they would do that is exactly what you’re saying here, which is that there would be a concern that the public will just get lost with hundreds of headlines. And if they have a few days or a few weeks where they have daily public hearings laying out all the evidence they’ve gathered, that could sort of shore that up.

I mean, look, if we think about what the committee has done so far, it’s a ton of work. They say that they’ve heard from almost 300 witnesses, received tens of thousands of documents — at least 9,000 pages from Meadows himself. And with that amount of information, we’ve got something that, frankly, could be compared to the FBI’s effort on the other end, prosecuting the actual people who tried to storm the Capitol.

I mean, there’s a multi-front sort of effort here that we’ve got to keep track of. One is the committee going after the people who staged this. The other is the FBI going after the people who actually showed up, sometimes armed. But then we’ve got, you know, efforts like what you mentioned on your show just now with the District of Columbia attorney general going after the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers in a civil lawsuit, making them literally pay for what they did, because unless you’ve got this multipronged approach, you’ve got a situation potentially where this could happen again in 2022 or 2024. There are a lot of people who are Trump loyalists, absolutely ticked off. They have guns, and they’re connected. And so, this multipronged approach could be an attempt to prevent this from happening again. The question is whether or not people are going to be paying attention when the January 6th committee actually shows the evidence they’ve got.

AMY GOODMAN: I want to go to that lawsuit in a minute. But during Monday’s hearing at the House committee investigating the insurrection, Republican co-chair Liz Cheney seemed to suggest the committee could refer former President Trump for criminal charges. This is what she said.

REP. LIZ CHENEY: Mr. Meadows’s testimony will bear on another key question before this committee: Did Donald Trump, through action or inaction, corruptly seek to obstruct or impede Congress’s official proceedings to count electoral votes?

AMY GOODMAN: Jose Pagliery, the significance of what this Republican congressmember is saying?

JOSE PAGLIERY: Yeah. Well, I mean, it seems like she’s — she sounds like a prosecutor speaking to a jury, reading out the U.S. federal criminal code, because this would be obstruction of Congress’s work, which is a crime punishable by jail time. And so, it’s very clear, when she read that, that she is hinting at where this is going: ultimately going after the former president for his central role in trying to stage an insurrection — well, in successfully staging an insurrection, trying to stage a coup and staying in power.

And so, this is — we know where the committee is going here. They’re going after the people who put these rallies together, the people in the White House who knew what was going on and didn’t stop it or egged it on, and the president for, I mean, let’s not forget, literally telling his followers, his rallygoers in front of him, “Go to the Capitol.”

I mean, it can’t be stressed enough just how obvious this was going on in plain sight. And, look, some members of Congress yesterday, when they were debating whether or not to hold Meadows in contempt, were noting the fact that it seems like the weird thing about the last four or five years is that if it happens in plain sight, people sort of shrug. But it can’t be that way.

AMY GOODMAN: I also wanted to go to Congressmember Adam Schiff reading that text message sent January 3rd to Mark Meadows from an unidentified sender — but it’s a congressmember — about the possibility that Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark, who appeared open to pursuing Trump’s attempts to overturn the election results, would replace Jeffrey Rosen, then the acting attorney General. And this was the text Schiff read: “I heard Jeff Clark is getting put in on Monday. That’s amazing. It will make a lot of patriots happy and I’m personally so proud that you are at the tip of the spear and I can call you a friend.” He’s talking to Mark Meadows. And what about these anonymous texts, which are believed to be congressmembers, and will congressmembers get implicated in this, helping with the insurrection as their fellow congressmembers were being targeted and police were being physically attacked?

JOSE PAGLIERY: This is a really tricky question, because this doesn’t just border on, like, constitutional issues in the U.S. I mean, who’s going to go after a sitting congressmember, right? Are they going to be able to police themselves? I mean, we’ve shown that throughout the past few months, there have only really been two Republicans — Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney — who have actually decided to go along with investigating what happened on January 6th. What’s going to happen when the closest people to Mark Meadows, like Matt Gaetz or Jim Jordan, are revealed, you know, for their role they potentially played in those days? I don’t know that their fellow members are going to hold them accountable. That’s an open question.

But what we do see now that’s very interesting from the committee is that in reading these texts without saying who it is that sent them — because we don’t know who it is that sent them; we just know that, according to them, they’re members of the House, they’re not senators — they’re flexing a muscle here. They’re saying, “We have these communications, and this will keep going.” And it should come to no surprise that nearly every Republican voted against holding Mark Meadows in contempt. They want to hit the brakes on this.

But it’s worth noting, by the way, that Mark Meadows, in the run-up to all of this, was going back and forth with the committee about whether or not he would testify and under what conditions. And one of the things that seems to have absolutely become a wall to those discussions is when the committee sought his private text message and call logs from Verizon. It was then that Mark Meadows just stopped talking to the committee and then sued Nancy Pelosi and the committee members to stop them from getting any more records from Verizon, because it’s clear that that’s where the goods are. What’s curious is, as I mentioned earlier, you know, he’s trapped here, because if the relevant material is in a personal account, then he cannot claim that there is executive privilege over this without essentially saying that he should have turned it over anyway. And that’s a big problem for him.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And, Jose, I wanted to ask you: Is there any indication that Mark Meadows was not alone in using private accounts, private phone or email accounts, to conduct government business? Because, after all, as you note, this was one of the major criticisms of Hillary Clinton in the famous email — in the battle over the emails. Is there any indication that there were many other members of the Trump administration doing the same thing?

JOSE PAGLIERY: So, there’s been reporting from others that clearly show that members of the Trump administration didn’t want to let go of their personal devices. I mean, if you remember, at the start of the Trump administration, there was a big issue when his family members and his close advisers were reluctant to use phones that had been secured by the intelligence community here in the country. And so, you know, some of that was deep state concerns, right? But, yeah, when they didn’t want to use government phones and they used personal phones, yes, we had heard about use of Signal and other encrypted apps to do this. And there’s been reporting from others that there may have been a burner phone involved with Meadows in his communication with the rally organizers. And so, there is absolutely that question.

I mean, look, going back, let’s remember that if you go back six or seven years, yes, there was a national debate about whether or not a politician should use a personal device for official work and keep official documents on a personal server. I think there was a resounding response to that, that says, “No, you can’t do that. You shouldn’t do that. You should be held accountable.” The question is: Are Republicans going to hold their own former colleague accountable here, and are they going to hold themselves accountable? Because we clearly see from what the committee has shown so far that these private texts were going back and forth between him and other members. And so there is absolutely an open question as to whether or not you’ve got all these personal devices going around, on official business, that is official business plotting a coup. I mean, let’s not forget what this is really about. This is official business about an insurrection. And that’s going to blow up in their face.


AMY GOODMAN: Jose, maybe this is connected, but I want to end on your pinned tweet. You’re the political investigations reporter at The Daily Beast. Your pinned tweet is from 2019. You wrote, “Sitting in a nearly empty immigration court on Tuesday, the judge called the next case. In walks a 4-year-old Honduran girl, her hair in a dozen braids each with a black bow. She refused to sit in the chair. She preferred to sit next to me in the back. The translator leaned over, telling her about upcoming court dates & the importance of attending — or being subject to a deportation order in absentia. Of course this little darling had no idea what was going on. She blew raspberries my way & giggled the whole time. The first time she responded to the judge was when she asked her age. The girl raised her right hand and four little fingers, then looked at me and smiled. 'Wow,' I whispered to her. 'Tienes cuatro años?' She nodded, and all the bows swung in the air. 'Si!' When it was all over, she didn’t want to get up & leave. She seemed so content just sitting by my side and swinging her legs from the pew. I complimented the rainbow unicorn on her jacket. It’s cold outside & you should really put it on, it’s such a beautiful jacket, I said. The child care center worker held her hand, and they walked out. I have no idea where her mom is. She has no idea where her mom is. I couldn’t stop thinking about little Merolin for the rest of the day.”

We just have 30 seconds. It’s such a heartbreaking story. But if you can connect what happened then, under President Trump in 2019, to his insurrection of January 6th and what he’s doing today?

JOSE PAGLIERY: Well, look, the Trump era was one that really took everything that Americans traditionally considered American values — whether or not they had any right to claim or assert ownership of those values and support them, he took everything that people considered American values, and flipped them upside down. The big question I have had as a reporter covering this has always been: Why have so many people not — you know, not caught that and said, “No, this is wrong. We’re not going to go along with this”?

I mean, when I wrote that, I was at Univision here locally in New York, and I was covering the child separations. I mean, if you take that to the insurrection, what we’ve got is everything that Americans have considered sacred was chucked out the window. The question still is: Are we going to hold people accountable for that? I don’t know.

AMY GOODMAN: Jose Pagliery, I want to thank you for being with us, political investigations reporter at The Daily Beast.
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