The Right Wing

Inside the Christian crowdfunding sites used by right-wing extremists to fund trips to DC for Capitol riot

Right-wing extremist organizations managed to use Christian crowdfunding websites to finance their efforts to breach the U.S. Capitol. According to CNN, prior to Proud Boys member Nick Ochs' arrest for participating in the U.S Capitol riot, he raised a total of $300 through the Christian fundraising platform GiveSendGo.com to fund his trip to Washington, D.C.

The discovery led to a more in-depth look at how fundraising efforts may have aided the pro-Trump mob who invaded the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. After Ochs was arrested, one of his supporters turned to the same platform to raise funds for his legal defense. CNN also conducted a review of the site and similar platforms which confirmed that hundreds of thousands of dollars were raised in connection with the Capitol riots.

Below are the findings of that investigation, per CNN:

  • Among the campaigns and their beneficiaries: Ali Alexander, a Stop the Steal organizer who raised money for a "security and administrative team." As of today, he's reached 75% of his $40,000 goal on the platform.
  • Friends and family of Enrique Tarrio, the leader of the Proud Boys, have raised more than $113,000 for his legal defense on GiveSendGo.com. Tarrio was arrested two days before the insurrection at the Capitol and charged with destruction of property for burning a Black Lives Matter banner after a protest in December and with possessing high-capacity firearm magazines.
  • Jim Hoft, founder of the conservative news outlet Gateway Pundit, is currently the beneficiary of two campaigns on GiveSendGo.com, totaling more than $135,000, intended to fund an investigation into alleged voter fraud in Michigan and to "take on the tech giant censorship of conservative voices."
  • At least five other campaigns that collectively raised nearly $200,000 are tied to self-described Proud Boys members looking for funds for "protective gear," travel expenses to the January protest in Washington, DC, and medical costs after a December rally in the capital turned violent.

In wake of the investigation into the Capitol riots, GiveSendGo CEO Jacob Wells defended the use of the site's crowdfunding capability. During an interview with CNN, Wells argued that "just because a cause may be unpopular it doesn't mean a person shouldn't have an opportunity to raise money from like-minded supporters."

"We're not here to take sides," Wells said to the publication. "We don't necessarily condone on our platform a campaign anymore than when you tweet on Twitter that Twitter somehow agrees with you," Wells said.

However, the site's terms and conditions "prohibit any 'abusive or hateful language' on its platform, as well as campaigns for 'items that promote hate, violence, and racial intolerance'" which is a clear conflict considering all that transpired during the deadly riot on Capitol Hill.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has also warned donors to do their own research before contributing to crowdfunding platforms. The bureau recently took to Twitter with a public announcement saying, "Fraudsters will take advantage of any tragedy to try to steal your money. Do research before donating — crowdfunding sites can look legitimate but criminals behind them steal money instead of giving to an org/cause. Don't be fooled."

'I'm the laughing stock of my family': QAnon believers implode as they watch Biden getting sworn in

President Joe Biden was sworn into office on Wednesday, and some believers in the QAnon conspiracy theory have apparently realized that they have wasted years of their lives believing in a complete fabrication.

As flagged by Jared Holt of Right Wing Watch, a QAnon group chat that occurred during Biden's inauguration found many one-time faithful followers disillusioned with the false claims they had been sold over the last four years.

"Well I'm the official laughing stock of my family now," wrote one. "Awesome."

"OMG none of this was real," wrote another.

NBC News reporter Ben Collins, who has been covering the QAnon phenomenon since it first started gaining traction on social media, has similarly found devotees slowly realizing that they've been had.

"I dont (sic) think this is supposed to happen?" asked one while watching the Biden inauguration. "How long does it take the fed (sic) to run up the stairs and arrest him?"

"It's like being a kid and seeing the big gift under the tree thinking it is exactly what you want only to open it and realize it was a lump of coal," wrote another.

And the Daily Beast's Will Sommer flags a QAnon post that simply reads, "I'm about to puke."

QAnon believers refuse to give up even after Trump leaves White House — here are their craziest theories

President Donald Trump departed the White House on Wednesday, but that hasn't deterred many supporters of the thoroughly discredited QAnon conspiracy theory of believing he'll still be president for the next four years.

Media Matters researcher Alex Kaplan has spent the morning combing through assorted QAnon message boards and Telegram channels to see how they're coping -- and he's found that they're furiously moving the goalposts to justify their belief that Trump will soon carry out mass arrests of his political enemies for being in a purported Satanic pedophile ring.

As Kaplan documents, some QAnon believers still think Biden will be arrested before taking the oath of office, while others think that Biden will be sworn in and that Trump and the military will launch a coup against him at an unspecified future date.

The wildest theory, however, comes from three QAnon "influencers" who now believe that incoming President Joe Biden is secretly allied with Trump and will help him bring down Hillary Clinton and other Democratic leaders.

As evidence, one influencer notes that Trump's nickname for Biden was "Sleepy Joe," which they interpret to mean that Biden is a Q sleeper agent.

They also speculate that Trump's letter to Biden contains "instructions" for bringing on the mass arrests that they have been promised for the last four years.

Read the whole thread on QAnon coping with Trump's departure here.

Calls grow for expulsion of 'insurrectionist' Josh Hawley after he roadblocks Biden DHS pick

Americans are once again ramping up calls for U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) to be expelled from the United States Senate after he announced he will block quick consideration of incoming President Joe Biden's nominee to head the Dept. of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas.

Hawley was one of the leaders of the movement that led to the January 6 insurrection, during which 5 people died. An infamous image of him standing outside the U.S. Capitol that day with his fist raised in the air has circulated countless times on the internet. Many, including his state's top newspaper, has said he has "blood on his hands" while calling for him to resign.

Homeland Security has not had a Senate-confirmed Secretary in nearly two years, since Kirstjen Nielsen tendered her resignation in April of 2019. The massive $52 billion agency created in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks is charged with fighting terrorism and homeland security threats, securing U.S. borders, securing cyberspace and critical infrastructure, preserving and upholding the nation's prosperity and economic security, strengthening preparedness and resilience, according to its website.

On Tuesday Senator Hawley said Mayorkas, who is eminently qualified – including having served as Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security from 2013-2016 – had not "adequately explained how he will enforce federal law and secure the southern border."

In response to Hawley's actions today and seditious role in the attempted coup, Americans, including political experts, are demanding Hawley's expulsion from the Senate.

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'Right on schedule': GOP backers of tax cuts for the rich resume deficit-mongering hours before Biden inauguration

Just 24 hours before the inauguration of Democratic President-elect Joe Biden, Republican senators who did not hesitate to approve unpaid-for tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans and bloated Pentagon budgets over the past four years suddenly rediscovered their concern for the rising deficit and national debt Tuesday as Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen made the case for a robust coronavirus relief package.

Republican lawmakers have been signaling a return to their hypocritical deficit-mongering for months, leading some to warn of a conscious GOP effort to impose crippling austerity on the incoming Biden administration in the name of "fiscal responsibility."

Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) hinted in that direction during Yellen's confirmation hearing Tuesday, using his time to lament the "massive amount of debt that we continue to rack up" and complain that Congress appears "to have no concern" about the problem. In 2017, Thune was one of 51 Republican senators to vote yes on the $1.5 trillion Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), which blew a massive hole in the deficit and disproportionately benefited the rich and large corporations.

As Yellen stressed the need for the federal government to "act big" in the face of twin public health and economic crises—pointing to historically low interest rates as further reason to spend without hesitation—Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) said "the ink is barely dry" on the previous $900 billion coronavirus relief measure and warned against another large stimulus package, specifically rejecting Biden's $1.9 trillion proposal.

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) told Yellen, the former chair of the Federal Reserve, that "we shouldn't get too comfortable" with low interest rates and called rising deficits "frightening," attributing them to the "mandatory spending side of the ledger"—an oblique reference to Medicare and Social Security.

Without acknowledging the connection between the 2017 GOP tax cuts and soaring deficits, Portman went on to defend the TCJA and claim it was a boon to the economy, a characterization not borne out by the data.


During Tuesday's hearing, centrist Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) pushed back on his Republican colleagues' deficit-hawkery, saying mildly that "we've made some poor choices in terms of what we've borrowed money to spend on."

"Two wars in the Middle East that lasted for 20 years that cost us something like $5.6 trillion, all of which was borrowed, none of which was paid for," Bennet said. "We cut taxes for $5 trillion, almost all of it to the wealthiest people in America. And we borrowed every penny to do that."

Progressives echoed Bennet's critique and condemned GOP senators for conveniently reviving their concerns about deficits and the national debt—which grew by $7.8 trillion during President Donald Trump's four years in the White House—on the eve of the inauguration of a Democratic president.

"Once again Republicans are resurrecting their 'deep concern' about deficits and debt," said Nina Turner, who is running to represent Ohio's 11th congressional district. "Shocking! Only seems to happen when we talk about investing in working people but never when they want to fund wars or give billionaires tax breaks. The people see right through this hypocrisy."

Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-N.J.) tweeted that "with a Democrat about to become president, Republicans are now pretending to care about deficits and debts again."

"Let's not pretend to believe them this time," Pascrell added.

Americans for Tax Fairness, a progressive advocacy group, argued Tuesday that with the economy in shambles and growing increasingly unequal due to a "pandemic that has seen mass unemployment as billionaires profit," the incoming administration cannot skimp on relief in deference to the GOP's bad-faith warnings about the deficit.

"We cannot meet the moment and protect working families if we worry about the deficit," the group said. "Want to pay for it later? Tax the rich."

Local Missouri newspaper slams Josh Hawley’s ‘cynical’ and unethical conduct in a blistering editorial

Far-right Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri has been widely condemned for contesting President-elect Joe Biden's electoral college victory on January 6, hours after the U.S. Capitol Building was stormed by a mob of violent insurrectionists. And some of the vehement criticism is coming from the Kansas City Star's editorial board, which argues that Hawley, an attorney, did his part to fire up the insurrectionists and stresses that his "indefensible actions must have consequences."

Hawley, the Star's editorial board argues, "helped lead the charge to try to overturn a free and fair election, echoing President Donald Trump's fabricated claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen and offering a fist pump of encouragement to the rioters who stormed our country's Capitol."

"The deadly January 6 insurrection left a stain on our country and put public servants' lives in danger," the Star's editorial board laments. "Five people died, including Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick. Repercussions ranging from a public reprimand to disbarment should be considered, said Alan Hoffman, a retired attorney from St. Louis who circulated one of the letters seeking sanctions against Hawley."

Hoffman said of Hawley, "The accusations are serious enough to warrant disbarment, but that's not my determination to make." And the Star points out that a group of Kansas City attorneys has "signed a complaint" against the GOP senator. One of them, Hugh O'Donnell, said, "As a fellow attorney, I am ashamed of him."

The Star's editorial board emphasizes that an investigation of Hawley for possible ethics violations must go forward.

"While Hawley is far more focused on his political ambitions than on actually practicing law," the editorial states, "an inquiry into whether Hawley violated rules of professional conduct could force him to answer for his actions….. Hawley's actions were cynical, wrong, politically motivated and incendiary. He has dishonored his office — and his profession. Hawley violated the oath that all lawyers in Missouri swear to support the Constitution, and a formal investigation by the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel should hold him to account."

Critics to McConnell: Trump would already be convicted 'if the Senate trial were a right-wing judicial confirmation'

With the U.S. Senate set to reconvene Tuesday—President Donald Trump's final full day in office—progressives are demanding that the chamber immediately get to work on convicting the outgoing incumbent for provoking the violent mob attack on the Capitol Building earlier this month and barring him from holding office again in the future.

"The Senate reconvenes tomorrow," Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, tweeted late Monday. "They should immediately convict Donald Trump and hold him fully accountable for inciting a deadly attack on our country."

But the effort to remove Trump from office in the wake of the January 6 invasion of the halls of Congress has been at a standstill since the House of Representatives impeached the president for the second time last Wednesday, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) rejecting Democratic demands that he invoke emergency powers to bring the Senate back from recess and start the trial without delay.

"If the Senate trial was a right-wing judicial confirmation, Trump would have been convicted already," economist Robert Reich remarked last week.

Additionally, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)—who has characterized Trump's removal from office as a matter of life and death—has yet to transmit the newly approved impeachment article to the Senate, a step that is necessary to kick off the proceedings.

The New York Times reported over the weekend that Pelosi is expected to deliver the article to the Senate at some point this week, but it's unclear whether she will do so before President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration on Wednesday. Democrats, according to the Times, are "working to draft rules that would allow the Senate to operate on dual tracks to confirm Mr. Biden's cabinet and begin moving his legislative agenda while trying Mr. Trump."

"The speaker's decision to delay sending the article was reminiscent of a similar maneuver a year ago, when she waited almost a month to press charges against Mr. Trump after the House voted to impeach him the first time for pressuring Ukraine to smear Mr. Biden," the Times reported. "The House was waiting, at least in part, to determine the outcome of negotiations between Senate Democrats and Republicans over the shape of a highly unusual proceeding."


Congress' failure to remove Trump from office for inciting the violent assault on the U.S. Capitol earlier this month leaves him in a position to continue exercising the powers of the presidency until the very end, including clemency power that he has thus far wielded largely for the benefit of wealthy political allies and other corrupt actors.

On Tuesday, Trump is expected to roll out his latest pardons and commutations following an intense lobbying push in which some of the president's allies collected payments to pressure the White House on behalf of wealthy individuals seeking clemency.

While Trump has floated the idea of pardoning himself and his adult sons, it is unclear whether he will attempt to do so on Tuesday.

Jayapal warned late Monday that Trump's last-second pardons will "be another abuse of power by a corrupt, failed, one-term, twice-impeached president who has routinely undermined the rule of law, the Constitution, and our democracy."

"We must hold him accountable even after he leaves office," the Washington Democrat added.

Watch: Viral video calls for Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley to be prosecuted for 'aiding and abetting acts of terrorism'

The Really American PAC has just released a video calling for GOP Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley to be prosecuted for their role in inciting the January 6 insurrection that left five people dead. Thousands marched to the Capitol after pro-Trump forces – including the President – spent weeks spewing election lies that erupted into a planned coup attempt.

"They need to be expelled from the Senate immediately and prosecuted for aiding and abetting acts of terrorism," the video (below) says. Experts including President-elect Joe Biden have characterized the insurrection as "domestic terrorism."

The video has gone viral, with 2.5 million views on Twitter in under 20 hours.

Really American is calling for the "immediate removal of Senators Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz under terms that are clearly spelled out by the 14th Amendment," and notes the Constitution "is clear in declaring that no American who has engaged in insurrection or rebellion is allowed to hold office."

As new information about the planned insurrection comes out, Really American says Cruz and Hawley "have continued their attacks," and say the two Republicans "have likely contributed to plans by various militia groups to hold armed protests outside of various state Capitol buildings around the United States. Those protests are scheduled for January 20, the day Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th President of the United States."

Watch:

'She's not on the home team': Congressman says GOP's Boebert gave 'large tour' of Capitol before insurrection

U.S. Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN) on Monday identified freshman Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) as the member of Congress who gave a "large tour" in the days before the January 6 Capitol insurrection.

"We saw Congressman Boebert taking a group of people for a tour sometime after the 3rd and before the 6th," Rep. Cohen told CNN late Monday morning, adding that "she had a large group with her."

"She's not on the home team," Cohen said.




Boebert, as many have noted, tweeted Speaker Pelosi's location – or, to be specific, removal – during the insurrection.

Boebert has been called a members of the "QAnon Caucus," an unofficial group of lawmakers who support the dangerous conspiracy theory.

Her communications director resigned over the weekend in response to the attempted coup.

Watch: Shocking video of Capitol insurrection shows rioter saying Ted Cruz 'would want us to do this'

Some Trump supporters in right-wing media insist antifa activists played a prominent role in the storming of the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, but video after video has made it abundantly clear that the violence came from a passionately pro-Trump mob. And one of the Trump allies who rioters mentioned while ransacking the Capitol Building that day made it clear he thought he was following the wishes of Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.

Cruz joined President Donald Trump in promoting the false claim that the outgoing president lost to President-elect Joe Biden in November because of widespread voter fraud. In video of the attack that has been released by The New Yorker, a man can be seen looking through a binder on the Senate floor and saying of Cruz, "Look, 'objection to counting the electoral votes of the State of Arizona.' He was gonna sell us out all along."

But a man in a red MAGA hat rose to Cruz' defense, telling the rioter, "Wait no, that's a good thing! That's a good thing! He's with us, he's with us."

Although the storming of the Capitol Building delayed the certification of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory, it didn't prevent it. The joint session of Congress later resumed, and Cruz voted to object to the electoral vote in Arizona.

The two men, in the video, can be seen continuing to look through the binder on the Senate floor, and one of them said, "There's gotta be something in here we can fucking use against these scumbags. This is a good one, him and Hawley or whatever. Hawley, Cruz."

The other man responded, "Hawley, Cruz? I think Cruz would want us to do this…. So, I think we're good."

The "Hawley" they were referring to was Sen. Josh Hawley, a Missouri Republican who has drawn widespread criticism for contesting Biden's electoral college victory on January 6 — and for a photo that shows him waving at the MAGA mob before he entered the Capitol Building and expressing his solidarity.

The video shot by The New Yorker's Luke Mogelson also shows rioters, as they break into the Capitol Building, telling several police officers, "You're outnumbered, there's a fucking million of us out there. And we are listening to Trump, your boss."

Another one of the rioters can be seen saying, "Where's fucking Nancy Pelosi? Where the fuck is Nancy?" And another expresses his disdain for antifa, saying, "You afraid of antifa? Well, guess what? America showed up!"

Reporter reveals the 'psychotic drama' inside Trump White House

President Donald Trump's failures are all rooted in the gossipy incompetence of everyone in his orbit, according to one of the reporters who gained insider access to his administration.

Elle published an oral history of covering his unlikely and unprecedented presidency by women reporters, and New York Magazine's Olivia Nuzzi revealed how Trump's love for drama made it nearly impossible for anything significant to be accomplished.

"When you work on a palace intrigue story about the Trump White House, it activates nefarious actors and crazy people," Nuzzi said. "You might have six sources that 'independently' tell you something, but that doesn't mean anything because they're all actually insane and evil."

Nuzzi was unexpectedly invited to the Oval Office while chasing down rumors that then-chief of staff John Kelly would be fired, and ended up getting a private press conference with the president, Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Kelly that made her question her own sanity afterward.

"I regretted in some ways how I told that story," Nuzzi said. "It didn't do a great job of conveying how powerful people in the country spend their time, in the middle of crises, talking about and trying to prevent the spread of gossip about their workplace. It's been four years of psychotic drama, at the most personal, petty level you could imagine. That is the story of why Trump failed to do anything, for the most part, that he set out to do."

She also gained remarkable access to Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, who sent her late-night texts and got drunk on Bloody Marys during a brunch interview.

"This has been an accessible group of people, not because they understand the value in being accessible or think they're doing the right thing, but in their incompetence, they accidentally do things that are in the public interest," Nuzzi said. "Even if they lie, they're still revealing interesting or important information with the way they lie and the way they communicate."