Ray Hartmann

MAGA school teacher pleads guilty after her husband lied to the FBI about entering Capitol

A Missouri couple who had boasted on Facebook of being "the first ones in" to the U.S. Capitol on January 6 has pleaded guilty to remaining unlawfully in the building they told FBI agents they hadn't entered.

Kelsey Leigh Ann Wilson -- then a first-grade teacher -- and her husband Zachary Wilson entered their guilty pleas Monday and await December 7 sentencing. Zachary Wilson had been arrested in February, but Kelsey Wilson hadn't been booked until six months later.

Here's how it was reported at the Kansas City Star:

FBI investigators interviewed Kelsey and Zachary Wilson on Jan. 18 at their home in Springfield, the documents said. During the interview, both said they had been on the Capitol grounds on Jan. 6 but denied entering the building.
An FBI agent interviewed Zachary Wilson a second time at his home on Jan. 20, according to the documents. Zachary Wilson then admitted entering the Capitol building but said his wife did not go inside.

But a coworker of Kelsey Wilson who accompanied them to Washington D.C. was interviewed by FBI agents and said the two had gone into the Capitol for 30 minutes. She shared a photo of Kelsey Wilson "wearing a black, white and gold beanie, white pants, a gray long-sleeved shirt and a 'Keep America Great Again' pro-Trump flag wrapped around her body," the FBI reported.

It was Kelsey Wilson's position as a first-grade teacher that had drawn the most attention when she arrested. At the time, the attorney said she expected to lose her new job at Dayspring Christian School in Springfield, Missouri. She was put on administrative leave and, as of Tuesday, the school told reporters she was no longer employed there.

'I’m standing in the way': Alabama governor channels George Wallace in opposing Biden vaccine mandate

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey was one of about 20 Republican governors to attack President Joe Biden's new rules on vaccines last week, but she stood apart in the historical context framing her anger.

Ivey, 76, channeled a hero of her youth, former Gov. George Wallace, famously standing in the schoolhouse doors in 1962 to block federal marshals from mandating the integration of Alabama schools.

Nearly half a century later, Ivey assumed a similar stance toward Washington D.C. But in this case, it was to resist the federal government imposing public-health measures on her sovereign state.

Ivey took to Twitter to invoke Wallace's imagery, this time to oppose Biden's OSHA-grounded requirement that employees be vaccinated or tested weekly for COVID-19 before coming to work in companies employing 100 or more. Here's her Tweet:

"You bet I'm standing in the way. And if he thinks he's going to move me out of the way, he's got another thing coming. I'm standing as strong as a bull for Alabama against this outrageous Washington overreach. Bring it on," Ivey said."

And there was this: "I encourage Alabamians to take the vaccine – have been since the beginning, but we're never going to mandate it. And we certainly aren't going to allow Washington, D.C. & this president to tell Alabama what to do. Here in AL, we don't put up with that nonsense."

That was precisely Alabama's position when Wallace was standing in those doors. Was the reference to standing in the way coincidental? The similarity wasn't lost on the Alabama Democratic Party, the website AL.com reported Sunday:

"Governor, quit playing your political games and work with Washington to find solutions to get folks to take the shot. Lives are on the line. It's time to be a leader, not a Wallace wannabe," said Wade Perry, executive director of the party.

Alabama ranks eighth in the nation in COVID-19 deaths and ninth in total cases since the beginning of the pandemic, according to statistics from the New York Times coronavirus tracker. It's death rate of 259 per 100,000 is 30 percent higher than the national average.

Perry called out Ivey for having failed to control the pandemic in Alabama:

"Now is not the time for feigned outrage or political rhetoric," Perry said. "Getting mad and throwing a tantrum is not what leaders do. We've needed real leadership throughout this pandemic and Kay Ivey has failed us. 12,552 Alabamians have died from COVID-19. For these neighbors, there will be no more birthdays, weddings, graduations, and holidays celebrated - only an empty seat at the family table for a generation."

Perry also noted the hypocrisy of Alabama's governor invoking state sovereignty while relying upon federal programs and assistance, Al.com reported.

Ivey, who is running for re-election in 2022, had made national headlines in late July by attacking Alabamans who refused to get vaccinated.

"Folks are supposed to have common sense. But it's time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not the regular folks. It's the unvaccinated folks that are letting us down," Ivey told reporters in Birmingham. "The unvaccinated are choosing a horrible lifestyle of self-inflicted pain. "We've got to get folks to take the shot."

Ivey ducked reporters' questions about imposing state mask or vaccine mandates, CNN reported. But now she has gone full Wallace in attacking Biden for attempting to force what she called "the greatest weapon we have to fight Covid" upon the states.

Then again, that's not all that surprising, given Ivey's history. Ivey had campaigned in 1966 for Wallace's wife Lurleen -- who had been placed on the ballot by her husband as "Mrs. George Wallace" in an unabashed effort to circumvent state term limits at the time.

Ivey's bona fides as a disciple of Wallace were validated by none other than Wallace's daughter -- Peggy Kennedy Wallace -- shortly after her election as governor in 2018. Here's how the Montgomery Advertiser reported it:

"Peggy Wallace Kennedy spoke on a week that started with former Gov. Robert Bentley resigning amid a scandal that has dominated national headlines and Kay Ivey being sworn in as Alabama's second female governor. The state's first female governor was Kennedy's mother, Lurleen B. Wallace.

Kennedy said Ivey campaigned for her mother and that she's been a friend for years.

"I know that she'll put the past behind (her) and move the state forward," Kennedy said. "I think that Gov. Ivey will move us in the right direction. "(Lurleen Wallace) knew Gov. Ivey, of course, so I think she would be really proud of Gov. Ivey. I really, really do."

And certainly, George Wallace would be just as proud today of Ivey for standing in the way of Washington D.C.

Attorney for MAGA rioter trots out the 'blame Trump' defense

To hear his attorney tell it, accused rioter Kyle Fitzsimons was merely "caught up in the frenzy of the rally and protest" when Donald Trump incited his followers to storm the U.S. Capitol on January 6.

It is a defense that first started getting noticed in the weeks following the insurrection. But even though Trump certainly incited the riot that day, it's not clear that it is a winning argument when it comes to the exoneration of the rioters.

Fitzsimons, 37, of Lebanon ME, was bloodied by an officer's baton on the front lines of the riot, but "lowered his shoulder and charged at the line of officers" according to the FBI. The criminal complaint against him cited multiple witnesses who told agents of his "vocal right-wing beliefs," including frequent references to firearms.

"Fitzsimons has been held without bail since Feb. 4, when authorities arrested him at his Lebanon home. He was indicted on 10 charges, including rushing at a line of officers, disorderly conduct and assault on a federal officer," the Bangor Daily News reported.

"When a judge denied him bail in April, he rejected Fitzsimons' contention that a crowd pushed him from behind into a line of police at the Capitol.

"'I saw you charge at the officers, you were beat down but then got up and went back at them,' U.S. Magistrate Judge G. Michael Harvey said at the time," the Daily News reported.

In court Friday, however, Fitzsimons' public defender Natasha Taylor-Smith argued for his release pending trial "due to his "minimal" criminal history that includes a drunken driving offense and "no history of substance abuse or mental health issues." She said he is not a flight risk and poses no threat to the community," the newspaper reported.

"Mr. Fitzsimons had no prior intent to enter the Capitol building or engage in violence, but the energy of the crowd that day is well-documented, and the mood shifted from one of purported patriotism to agitation," Taylor Smith said. She added that his mother has offered to open her Titusville, Florida, home to Fitzsimons, who worked as a freelance butcher in York County and has no passport.

But the Portland Press-Herald reported this:

"Federal prosecutors have a very different portrayal of Fitzsimons in their arguments to hold him in jail pending trial. Prosecutors had not yet responded Saturday to Taylor-Smith's latest request, but among the reasons they cited in earlier filings were threatening calls Fitzsimons allegedly made to the office of a member of Congress later identified as Maine's Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-District 1.

"He was reported to be very aggressive, shouting and yelling," prosecutors wrote in a motion filed with the courts in March. "Fitzsimons said that he was going to 'give it to her hard' and that 'we're coming for her' (referring to the Congressperson)."

"Fitzsimons allegedly called back the next day to say the Electoral College vote is "corrupt and total garbage. 'He urged the Congressperson to dispute the election results in January,' prosecutors wrote. "He stated that Biden is a corrupt skeleton and that this is going to be civil war." In another call, Fitzsimons identified himself as 'Kyle Fitzsimons, the man who wants to start a war' as he demanded a number for Chinese President Xi Jinping."

Josh Hawley hits a new low for hypocrisy

If they decide to make flip-flopping an Olympic sport, Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley needs to hop on the next plane to Tokyo.

Hawley just attacked President Joe Biden for attacking Facebook. Yes, this excruciatingly annoying preppy man who has staked his repulsive young political career upon crusading against social media -- through the use of social media -- has decided it's not cool for Biden to get in Facebook's face. Really.

In the past week -- publicly and without apology -- the Biden administration has pressed Facebook (among other social media) to stop facilitating the spread of misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines. On Friday, Biden claimed Facebook was "killing people." The company fired back with a dismissive response telling Biden "to move past the finger-pointing."

There is neither a carrot nor a stick involved in Biden's effort. His administration is trying to shame Facebook into doing its fair share to keep dangerous lies from exacerbating a pandemic that continues to rage on--especially among the unvaccinated. And the government effort has not been well-received by the social-media giant.

But even before Biden's spat with Facebook, Hawley had already advanced the bizarre conspiracy theory that since Facebook is a monopoly and the government was in communication with it, this can only mean one thing: "(social media) collusion with the Biden administration to suppress free speech." Somewhere Q is blushing.

A few truths cry out for attention. One, criticizing and colluding are different things. Two, urging and censoring are different things. And three, joining forces and fighting are different things.

Hawley is just beside himself that the administration "is in regular touch with the social media platforms" about misinformation and disinformation about related to COVID-19 and that it is "flagging problematic posts for Facebook." He finds it "shocking" that such "casual collusion" could exist.

Only in Hawley's twisted world could communication with Facebook have morphed into a plot to "censor" those who spread falsehoods for the purpose of scaring people away from getting vaccinated. Or that fighting the spread of a deadly virus is a bad thing.

It's revealing that Hawley equates conservative speech and false information on vaccines. Perhaps he has a point there. But this is the same politician who has demanded that the federal government use every tool at his disposal to punish social-media companies that he and fellow Republicans deem offensive.

Think that's exaggerated? Consider one of the first bills Hawley introduced as a freshman senator in 2018, one that Vox succinctly described at the time as a "joke." Here's how writer Peter Kafka explained Hawley's bill:

"The idea is that the federal government will strip away protections that shield those companies from being held accountable for the content their users upload and they distribute — and will only restore those protections once the companies can prove they aren't favoring one end of the political spectrum…

"On to the bill itself: Its main idea is to remove Section 230 from the 1996 Communications Decency Act, which says that big internet publishers that distribute content supplied by their users — think Twitter, YouTube, Facebook — aren't held liable for the content those users supply.

"Hawley, though, describes that protection from lawsuits as a "subsidy" given to big internet companies. And he says they should have to prove themselves worthy of that protection by convincing at least four of the five members of the Federal Trade Commission that they're not politically biased — a process they would have to repeat every two years.

"How would Twitter or Facebook successfully prove that to the satisfaction of the FTC members? Hawley's bill doesn't tell us. It just says the companies need to provide "clear and convincing evidence that the provider does not … moderate information provided by other information content providers in a politically biased manner."

Now that's what you call Big Brother government.

Kafka didn't have the benefit in 2018 of knowing that Hawley would flip to the view in 2021 that even for an administration to complain to Facebook would constitute "collusion" to impose censorship in the event Republicans were not the complaining party. But now that the uniforms have changed, everything is reversed. Forget about those tribunals calling social-media executives on the carpet to disprove the negative that they're not "politically biased."

Now that the Democrats are in power, Hawley is trying to claim it's a tyrannical act of censorship even for Biden and his administration to urge Facebook to combat the spread of misinformation about public health during a pandemic. And even as a private company, Facebook must be compelled not to "police speech…in the public square" -- even if it means saving lives.

How much more hypocritically can this political Plastic Man contort his positions with respect to social media? To be fair, it was a bit of an Olympian feat that Hawley could deliver his most recent deceits with a straight face, even in this era of unbridled shamelessness by insurrectionists such as himself.

Hawley was, after all, the guy with the iconic clenched fist on January 6 outside the Capitol. And he's never been prouder of anything. The man has no shame.

What's next, using an iPhone for a Twitter post to promote an anti-tech book on Amazon? Oh wait, Hawley just did that.

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Mo Brooks snared by local paper over Alabama's Confederate holidays — after he voted against Juneteenth

Rep. Mo Brooks, R-AL, provided a reminder this week of why intellectually challenged politicians are best served by not trying to explain their votes.

Brooks was one of just 14 Republicans to oppose the overwhelmingly bipartisan bill that made Juneteenth a federal holiday this week. When he tried to explain why, it just made matters worse.

The QAnon-friendly congressman (and Alabama U.S. Senate candidate) feebly tried to make his vote about money, as reported at Al.com:

"The Huntsville congressman…said he had fiscal concerns about the bill, noting that adding a federal holiday would cost the country $1 billion in lost productivity by giving federal workers a day off.

"The cost should have been offset by eliminating one of the other holidays so that taxpayers don't once again have to foot the bill for paying millions of people not to work," he said.

Asked which federal holiday should be cut to add one that celebrates the end of slavery, Brooks said, "I have some thoughts, but I'm not going to volunteer a holiday and get a group of folks unnecessarily mad at me unless it was going to be a trade-off."

Unfortunately for Brooks, his home-district daily newspaper, the Athens (AL) News-Courier, raised a matter even closer to home:

"A spokesman for Brooks did not respond to questions asking if the congressman had similar concerns about the cost to state taxpayers for the multiple Confederacy-related holidays in Alabama," the News-Courier reported.

Showing why local journalism stills matters, the story included this civics lesson:

"Alabama is the last state to have a legal holiday set aside solely to commemorate the birth of Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Mississippi marks Davis' birthday but includes it in the Memorial Day celebration. In Texas, Davis' birthday is part of "Confederate Heroes Day" while other Southern states, including Florida, Kentucky and Tennessee, have a holiday for Davis on the books but do not give employees a day off.

"Alabama and Mississippi are also the last two states to have a combined holiday in January in observation of the January birthdays of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and Confederate Army Gen. Robert E. Lee. Legislation introduced in Alabama this year to move Robert E. Lee Day to Columbus Day did not make it out of committee."

FBI invited a Trump rioter to write an essay about his day at the Capitol -- and he did

Carey Jon Walden of Kansas City was arrested today in connection with the January 6 Capitol riot, but only after an FBI interview that resembled a middle-schooler getting questioned by his teacher about a field trip.

Walden, identified by the FBI as an ex-Marine, was identified with the help of a tip to the bureau's online portal and a photo he had posted on his Facebook page. But what made this accused rioter stand out from the rest was his unusually forthcoming discussion with the FBI.

What was truly extraordinary was the FBI description of his response to being interviewed by an agent. The highlight was Walton's claim to have "fist-bumped and devil-horned" a friendly swat line.

Here, according to the FBI criminal complaint, is how it went:

"On February 3, the FBI interviewed Walden at his residence in Kansas City, Missouri. Walden admitted to the FBI that he was present at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, and that he went inside the Capitol Building that day through a broken window.

"Walden was shown a photocopy of the U.S. Capitol and asked to show where he went inside. Walden circled on the photocopy where he thinks he went into the US Capitol. He wrote on the back, 'That's where I think I was during protest.' Walden signed, dated, and placed his date of birth on the photocopy. Walden also forwarded three videos (and) four still photographs from his phone to the FBI (that he identified as coming) from his activities outside the Capitol.

"Walden was then shown two printed photos from Facebook titled Carey Jon Walden. Walden stated that the first picture was one he took and posted on Facebook prior to entering the U.S. Capitol thru a broken window. Walden confirmed also posting the second photo and then wrote on the front of the photocopy "This is from my Facebook, picture that I took."

"Walden was then asked to write in his own words his activities inside the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, which he did.

"I, Carey J. Walden, climbed a wall into the Capitol building on 6 Jan 21, at approx 1:00pm to 1:30pm. I took pictures and videos of where I entered. I went into a broken window, which was already broken. I walked in a 15 SQ FT, area, witch there were police in a line guarding a passage way. I took pictures and video. I did not break anything. The police were present and I was not asked to leave. I fist bumped and 'Devil horned' the swat line. I left after about 5 minutes. I walked out after I heard that someone was shot. I was wearing blue jeans gray sweatshirt, blue respirator, red chiefs beanie. Had a backpack, with all of the belongings I have. I was not armed, nor had body armor. I am not a part of any hate groups. I went with a bus of Trump supports. I am a U.S Marine (inactive) veteran. These are my recollections of that day."

The FBI complaint against Walden also showed a screen capture of Walden's self-identified video shows a breathing apparatus he was wearing prior to making entry into the Capitol building. Walden faces charges of disorderly conduct and unlawful entry.

You can read the complaint here

.

Even right-wing media are slamming Arizona's bizarre 'election audit'

The conservative Washington Times, a noted purveyor of conspiracy theories, didn't mince words in criticizing the spectacle of a partisan election "audit' -- to placate Donald Trump -- in Maricopa County, AZ.

"'Hoping something sticks': Arizona election audit promises more intrigue than answers," read the headline on a Saturday piece at the newspaper's website.

"The ongoing audit of the 2020 election in Arizona has the state's Republican leaders at each other's throats and their disputes over the process are raising doubts about the outcome of the high-tech recount," the paper reported.

The Times was not alone among leading conservative information sites in shying away from Trump's obsession. The Arizona audit has received scant coverage at FoxNews.com and Newsmax.com -- likely because Arizona Republicans are allowing the even-battier OANN to livestream the festivities -- and other right-wing sources have also seemed unimpressed.

"The Madness of the Maricopa Election Audit," blared a headline Friday at the National Review. "The election results in Arizona's largest county have been certified and authenticated multiple times. This audit effort has been pure folly."

Even the agitators at Breitbart.com have been circumspect, eschewing their customary red-meat screeching and picking up AP News stories on the audit instead. Imagine the confusion among Breitbart believers upon seeing the audit described like this last week:

"EXPERTS OR GRIFTERS? LITTLE-KNOWN FIRM RUNS ARIZONA AUDIT."

The Washington Times analysis did not read like one would expect from a newspaper known for birtherism, climate denial and most recently, wondering aloud if Antifa hadn't pulled off the January 6 Capitol riot in disguise.

"The pro-Trump faction that is championing the effort says all they want is the truth about an election in which President Biden was declared the winner by a less than 1% margin and GOP challenges over irregularities were rejected by the courts," the newspaper reported.

"Republican officials in Maricopa County, which is Arizona's largest county and the target of the audit, say the auditors have made impossible demands. Some analysts suspect the audit is less about getting answers and more about injecting new uncertainty."

The National Review piece -- one of three critical of the audit in recent weeks, with none in support -- was authored by Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer, a Republican elected to that post in November. The article was carried until the "Elections" tab and not identified as a guest column.

Richer offer the conservative audience an analogy to an IRS audit of an American who does not cheat or lie on taxes:

"Even though an IRS audit might annoy you and cause you some stress, you'd eventually realize that you have nothing to fear as long as the audit is done fairly and properly.

"But you'd likely feel differently if the IRS outsourced the audit to someone who:

  • Had no applicable professional credentials
  • Had never previously run a tax audit
  • Believed that Hugo Chavez had nefariously controlled your tax-auditing software
  • Had publicly stated prior to examining your taxes that you'd certainly committed tax fraud

"That is what is happening to elections in Maricopa County, Ariz. — the home of almost two-thirds of Arizona's voting population."

Richer went on to defend the accuracy of the county's 2020 vote tabulation and he described the head of the company conducting the audit -- Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug Logan -- as having "indulged the wildest election conspiracy theories, including the one that deceased Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez somehow had a hand in rigging America's elections."

For its part, the Washington Times piece did present some whataboutism about then-Democratic president candidate John Kerry having challenged voting-machine accuracy in Ohio during the 2004 election. And it presented some Trump quotes, but in the context of questions that "have given Trump room to operate."

And the most telltale sign of how skeptically the conservative media view the Arizona circus is how the Times ended its analysis. It quoted Matt Bernhard, a research engineer at VotingWorks, a non-partisan, non-profit voting technology company:

"Mr. Bernhard said the problem is from what he's seen, the auditors in Arizona are in over their head and 'based on their lack of expertise, aren't capable of finding problems if they are there.

"'It is sort of the dog chasing a firetruck situation," he said. 'The dog is never going to catch the fire truck and even if he did he wouldn't know what to do with it.'"

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All-villain team: The 62 who voted against the bipartisan hate crimes bill are the worst of the worst GOPers in the House

The "COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act" signed into law Thursday by President Joe Biden has been hailed as a rare breakthrough in the partisan gridlock that poisons American politics.

That's a fair assessment, given that the law was passed by whopping margins of 94-1 in the Senate and 364-62 in the House of Representatives. The big story was the bipartisan goodwill -- however fleeting -- that accompanied a measure that will, among other things, provide long-overdue greater protections to members of the AAPI community.

But every silver lining has a cloud in Washington D.C. So it's not unreasonable to wonder who would possibly stoop so low as to vote against a resolution "condemning the horrific shootings in Atlanta, Georgia on March 16th and reaffirming the House's commitment to combating hate, bigotry, and violence against the AAPI community."

The answer is 63 Republican members of Congress. But not just any 63.

They are the worst of the worst, a veritable who's who of the most hateful, treasonous and otherwise irrational voices on the national landscape.

Missouri Senator Josh Hawley reveled in his lone "no" vote in the Senate. His quest to claim the title as most bodacious seditionist this side of the Dear Leader could not have been more transparent.

On the House side, 62 members shamelessly stood apart from 147 other Republicans to take a collective public stand on behalf of hatred. All of them have terms that expire in 2022 -- and almost none have anything to fear electorally other than perhaps a primary from their right -- so they fired stray bullets in the culture war. Or perhaps they really love hate.

Considering that their fellow 147 Republicans have a pretty clear record of enabling Trump and his racist agenda, it's no small feat to put together a group that makes the others moderate in comparison. They've definitely planted their QAnon-ish flag.

What has emerged is the handiest roster of the nastiest scoundrels in the House.

Most striking about the 62 House members-- overlooked in the media focus on bipartisanship -- is the high-profile nature of this rogue's gallery. Virtually every major reprobate of the Far-Right defiantly went out of the way to make it more difficult to protect the AAPI community from acts of hatred.

It's an all-villains registry featuring the biggest of the big names: Matt Gaetz, Lauren Boebert, Marjorie Taylor Green, Mo Brooks, Louie Gohmert, Jim Jordan, Madison Cawthorn, Paul Gosar, Ronny Jackson, Andy Biggs and more. If they're in Congress and have made a public splash on behalf of insurrection, racism and the like, they're almost certainly listed in this program guide.

To borrow a phrase offered today by ultra-conservative Rep. Liz Cheney, these people embody "evil lunacy." And though not all of the 62 hate enablers are household names, as a group they share one trait: This isn't their first act of treachery, just the most recent.

Consider some statistics:

Of the 62 members, 40 were among those joining as a group the disgraced and dismissed December lawsuit in Texas to overturn the results of the 2020 election. A unanimous U.S. Supreme Court flipped it aside.

Another 17 of the members weren't part of that legal effort because they hadn't yet taken office. These freshmen members of Congress represent 38% of the Republican class of newcomers--a chilling glimpse into the direction the party is heading.

Of the remaining five members, three -- Gosar, Cole and Davidson -- didn't join the lawsuit (citing concerns over federalism) but did vote to overturn the election on January 6. The others, Massie and Roy, have still continued to support the Big Lie.

Sixty of the 62 members voted to overturn the results, with two -- Mace and Massie -- saying Congress lacked power to do so (while repeating the Big Lie about the election having been stolen from Trump).

In a strange footnote, Cole claims he voted "no" by mistake on the anti-hate bill and had that read into the Congressional record. His official "no" vote stands in the final count.

Here, as reported at CNN, is an alphabetical list of the House Republicans who voted against the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act:

Robert Aderholt of Alabama

Rick Allen of Georgia

Jodey Arrington of Texas.

Brian Babin of Texas

Jim Banks of Indiana

Andy Biggs of Arizona

Dan Bishop of North Carolina

Lauren Boebert of Colorado

Mo Brooks of Alabama

Ted Budd of North Carolina

Tim Burchett of Tennessee

Kat Cammack of Florida

Jerry Carl of Alabama

Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina

Michael Cloud of Texas

Andrew Clyde of Georgia

Tom Cole of Oklahoma

Warren Davidson of Ohio

Byron Donalds of Florida

Jeff Duncan of South Carolina

Virginia Foxx of North Carolina

Matt Gaetz of Florida

Louie Gohmert of Texas

Bob Good of Virginia

Lance Gooden of Texas

Paul Gosar of Arizona

Mark Green of Tennessee

Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia

Michael Guest of Mississippi

Andy Harris of Maryland

Diana Harshbarger of Tennessee

Kevin Hern of Oklahoma

Yvette Herrell of New Mexico

Jody Hice of Georgia

Clay Higgins of Louisiana

Ronny Jackson of Texas

Mike Johnson of Louisiana

Jim Jordan of Ohio

Trent Kelly of Mississippi

Doug LaMalfa of California

Barry Loudermilk of Georgia

Nancy Mace of South Carolina

Tracey Mann of Kansas

Thomas Massie of Kentucky

Tom McClintock of California

Mary Miller of Illinois

Alex Mooney of West Virginia

Barry Moore of Alabama

Ralph Norman of South Carolina

Steven Palazzo of Mississippi

Gary Palmer of Alabama

Scott Perry of Pennsylvania

August Pfluger of Texas

Tom Rice of South Carolina

John Rose of Tennessee

Matt Rosendale of Montana

David Rouzer of North Carolina

Chip Roy of Texas

John Rutherford of Florida

Greg Steube of Florida

Tom Tiffany of Wisconsin

Randy Weber of Texas

Roger Stone's latest hustle finds him groveling for mercy — and cash

Poor, pitiful Roger Stone.

Oh, what a fall from grace it has been for the Prince of Darkness, the Dirty Trickster, Roger Dodger the Artful Codger. Call him what you will (he's said to like the first one), Stone has suddenly pivoted to a new persona.

Meet Roger Stone, downtrodden political martyr. Here's how he is spinning his suffering at -- where else? -- the Roger Stone Legal Defense Fund:

"As a Victim of The Mueller Witch Hunt, I Have Been Drained of All My Resources," Stone blubbered to his followers.

"For me and my family, the Mueller Witch Hunt never seems to end- even after the President of the United States saw through the corruption and unfairness of my railroading in a DC Courtroom and granted me a commutation and ultimately a full pardon.

"For three years I was smeared by CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times and the Washington Post and the rest of the fake news media, hunted, terrorized, silenced, de-platformed, gagged, censored, harassed, persecuted, and forced into poverty by the corrupt politically-motivated Mueller witch hunt.

"Now the same corrupt cabal of media leftists and their Democrat allies are seeking to frame and destroy me again." In recent days the exact same fake media outlets seek to imply that I was involved in or knew about the storming of the Capitol on January 6th. This is categorically false and a smear, based solely on naked "guilt by association", sly innuendo and baseless supposition. It did not happen.

"Now these same Trump-hating leftists are once again demanding I be prosecuted in connection to the January 6th storming of the Capitol, an event I was not present for and have no knowledge of or connection to!"

Stone's plea conveniently left out a few details. One, was the part about a jury in that DC courtroom having found him guilty in November 2019 of all seven charges he faced: Five counts of lying to Congress, one count of witness tampering and one count of obstruction of a proceeding. That was a jury. Not Mueller. Not the media.

Stone also forgot to mention that his current financial plight owes to the IRS closing in on him regarding tax liabilities dating back a decade prior to the Mueller probe. Here's the crux of Stone's newest (and not small) problem, as reported Friday by Newsweek:

"The Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a lawsuit against former President Donald Trump's ally and confidante Roger Stone on Friday, alleging that Stone avoided paying about $2 million in taxes and fees to fund his "lavish lifestyle."

"The suit claims that Stone and his wife Nydia Stone used the company Drake Ventures as an "alter ego" to avoid paying $1,590,361.89 in taxes, interest and fees for the tax years 2007 to 2011, along with another $407,036.84 for the 2018 tax year.

"Although they used funds held in Drake Ventures accounts to pay some of their taxes, the Stones' use of Drake Ventures to hold their funds allowed them to shield their personal income from enforced collection and fund a lavish lifestyle despite owing nearly $2 million in unpaid taxes, interest and penalties," the complaint states. "As the Stones' alter ego, Drake Ventures is liable for the taxes."

"The complaint goes on to note that Drake Ventures is "dominated and controlled" by the Stones to such an extent that it "does not exist as an independent entity," with the company having no website or phone number and the Stones' private residence listed as the address. Nydia Stone is said to be listed as the managing member of Drake Ventures, while all other members are also members of the Stone family."

"They purchased the residence shortly after Roger Stone's indictment and placed it in the name of the Bertran Trust just prior to defaulting on their installment agreement with the IRS," the suit claims. "The Stones have long owed back taxes, and they have been parties to numerous installment agreements, some of which were terminated by the IRS. They were aware that their default would result in IRS collection activity."

"In addition to repayment of the unpaid taxes and fees, the DOJ is seeking that the house the Stones transferred to the trust be declared their own property rather than that of the trust, allowing it to be included in tax liens that could collect the unpaid balances."

Perhaps it's understandable that Stone would fail to mention any of that. It's a bit awkward to be trying to blame federal prosecutors and media leftists for all those IRS tax delinquencies -- and related shenanigans -- from a previous decade.

Besides, Stone apparently views another cause as riper for fund-raising purposes: The January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. While ignoring his enormous IRS problem, Stone's urgent plea for help spins his need for lawyers to fend off still another political persecution:

"Because, by the grace of God, I escaped the devilish deadly snare set for me by Congressman Adam Schiff and Robert Mueller's dirty cops, the hysterical demand for my blood on Twitter has reached epic proportions. There are literally thousands of butthurt leftists screaming for my blood- despite the total lack of evidence that I knew about or was involved in this appalling act of lawlessness.

"That's why I need your help. Please contribute to the STONE LEGAL DEFENSE FUND to help prepare to fend off this malicious assault on me once again.

"We lost our home, our savings, my car and most of our insurance in my epic fight for freedom list year. Being banned for life on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram has made it virtually impossible to sell my books online- my main source of income in the two years in which I awaited trial. I simply do not have the personal resources to fight yet another legal battle where I have done nothing whatsoever wrong."

How could anyone read that without tearing up? How is this poor man -- homeless, car-less, drained of all his resources -- supposed to carry on epic fights for freedom?

One way, apparently, was to jet off from Florida to Washington DC, stay at a posh hotel -- presumably serving the "impoverished" -- and hang out innocently with members of the Oath Keepers militia group. Mind you, without knowing who they are, except for the fact they had "graciously" offered to provide free security services for a few days.

Stone was famously videotaped on January 6 in front of that hotel talking with these perfect strangers.

ABC News had this report in February:

"In the video, which was obtained and reviewed by ABC News, Stone takes pictures and mingles with supporters outside a D.C. hotel as Oath Keepers hover around him, one wearing a baseball hat and military-style vest branded with the militia group's logo.

"So, hopefully we have this today, right?" one supporter asks Stone in the video, which was posted just after 10 a.m. on the morning of the rally. "We shall see," Stone replies.

"It is not known to what they were referring.

"Stone has maintained that he played "no role whatsoever in the Jan. 6 events" and has repeatedly said that he "never left the site of my hotel until leaving for Dulles Airport" that afternoon. He has also decried attempts to ascribe to him the motives of the people around him."

Since the ABC report, the FBI has charged one of the men in the video, Roberto Minuta of Texas, in connection with the riot.

Prosecutors told a federal judge "Minuta came to the Capitol dressed in gear identifying him as a member of the right-wing Oath Keepers group — citing a video in which he appears with Stone that morning," the Washington Post reported. And there was this:

"The Justice Department and the FBI are investigating whether Stone and other high-profile right-wing figures played a role in the insurrection by promoting false claims that the election was stolen from former president Donald Trump. Stone, a longtime Trump friend and adviser, was involved in some events on Jan. 5 and Jan. 6 but says they were peaceful protests.

"While investigators are interested in how the rioters became radicalized, they caution that criminal charges against Stone and others who spread misinformation are a distant prospect given case law on incitement and free speech."

At least two other Oath Keepers arrested in connection with the riot were pictured with Stone in December, the Post reported in a separate story.

Stone can't be troubled with any of that stuff. He's on a higher mission.

"Because of my unique perspective, I have an obligation to let the world know what happened to me and hold those responsible for abusing the system professionally accountable for their actions. But this does not come cheap and your donations are more vital than ever.

"As if fighting the government was not enough, throughout this whole ordeal, the DNC, former DNC employees, Larry Klayman, and Jerry Corsi have filed numerous and meritless lawsuits against me all over the country. With your donations and the help of expensive and skillful counsel, I have been able to beat back some of them, while some of them continue to be litigated. Your donations are also still needed to defend me from these attempts to bankrupt my family.

"Defending myself in court against the Mueller railroading and the other attacks on me cost almost $3M. Today the coffers are virtually bare. Once again I urgently need your help. Please consider making a contribution to my legal defense fund today."

Stone's tone certainly has changed since 2019. Perhaps you might recall the witness tampering thing, as it made for some reasonably colorful news coverage thanks to a more swaggering Stone.

Prosecutors presented evidence that Stone had threatened radio host Randy Credico, saying he would steal his little service dog if Credico didn't "do a Frank Pentangeli" (refuse, just like a mobster in "The Godfather," to testify before Congress).

"Stone wrote in an email to Credico, "You are a rat. A stoolie. You backstab your friends-run your mouth my lawyers are dying Rip you to shreds."

Now that 2019 quote didn't sound at all like today's whiny victim begging his supporters for charity. But that's not the important point, no more than Stone's need for cash is related to past IRS delinquencies. This is about the man's terrifying legal bills.

You see, as Stone is quick to point out, lawyers who rip people to shreds aren't cheap. These are practitioners with rare skill sets. They need to be cold and tough and willing to hurt people. They also need to be calculating enough to change their tune when the moment suits.

Just like Roger Stone.

'I'm sure these officers are scared': Infowars 'editor' arrested for role in the Capitol riot

Samuel Christopher Montoya of Texas was arrested today by the FBI on charges of unlawful entry and disorderly and disruptive conduct in connection with the January 6 Capitol riot.

The FBI complaint identifies Montoya as a narrator and video editor at Infowars.com and quotes a witness as saying he worked there. Here's what the complaint states was found at Infowars.com:

"PatriotsStormCongressRawFootageIncludesExecutionofAshliBabbitt. The approximately 44-minute video is embedded with the tag "THERESISTANCE.VIDEO" and the narrator identifies himself as "Sam with Infowars.com." The video captures "Sam" going from the Capitol grounds into the Capitol Building along with crowds of protesters on January 6, 2021, at one point turning the camera on himself and exclaiming, "It feels good to be in the Capitol baby!"

Here are some of the other comments attributed to Montoya in the FBI arrest complaint:

"During the video, Montoya makes the following statements:
9:55 – "We're gonna crawl, we're gonna climb. We're gonna do whatever it takes, we're gonna do whatever it takes to MAGA. Here we go, y'all. Here we go, y'all. Look at this, look at this. I don't even know what's going on right now. I don't wanna get shot, I'll be honest, but I don't wanna lose my country. And that's more important to me than—than getting shot."
11:04 – "We have had enough! We're not gonna take your fucking vaccines! We're not gonna take all your bullshit! The people are rising up! Folks, I am now on the steps of the Capitol. Here we go! Here we go! Having a good time!"
12:55 – "We are in the Capitol, baby! Yeah!"
5:40 – "We're all being a little bit too rowdy for sure."16:07 – "Here we are in the US Capitol in Washington DC in the Capitol building, it has officially been stormed by Trump supporters. Again, the US Capitol building in Washington DC has officially been stormed by Trump supporters. And here we are, taking our—the people's house back!"17:38 – "I'm sure these officers are scared, but we're here, we're here to just show that we've had enough. We've had enough."34:05 – "We don't hurt innocent people; we don't tear down statues! We don't tear down statues! We take our house back! We take the people's house back!"

The report also states: "At times during the video, Montoya describes himself to others inside the Capitol Building as a "reporter" or "journalist" as he attempts to get through crowds. The director of the Congressional press galleries within the Senate Press office did a name check on Samuel Christopher Montoya and confirmed that no one by that name has Congressional press credentials as an individual or via any other organizations.

The FBI stated it had received a tip January 11 to its National Threat Operations Center "from W-1, a family member of Samuel Christopher Montoya." W-1 reported that W-1 had proof that Montoya was physically inside the U.S. Capitol near the shooting of a woman on January 6, 2021. FBI agents interviewed W-1 on January 17, 2021, to follow up on the tip received. W-1 stated that Montoya worked for Infowars and that Montoya showed a video of himself walking through the Capitol and captured footage of the death of Ashli Babbitt. W-1 reported that Montoya showed the video to family members who all recognized Montoya as being the one in the video and having taken the video.

And there was this: "Your affiant has also reviewed several interviews with Montoya on the Infowars show "War Room with Owen Shroyer" regarding the events at the U.S. Capitol. On January 8, 2021, Shroyer interviewed Montoya in a video titled "EYE WITNESS ACCOUNT OF ASHLI BABBITT'S EXECUTION"2 Montoya - who is credited as "Sam," and a "Video Editor" at "Infowarsstore.com" – describes to Shroyer hearing the gunshot and his recollections of the scene of the shooting. His "exclusive" footage that is played features his same voice narrating as in the 44-minute video, and appears to depict activity by the Speaker's Lobby sometime after the conclusion of his 44-minute video.

Here's the FBI complaint.

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