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On Tuesday's edition of CNN's "The Lead," former Homeland Security official Juliette Kayyem broke down how the criminal conviction of Elmer Stewart Rhodes, leader of the far-right paramilitary group the Oath Keepers, is a devastating blow to his organization.
Rhodes was convicted of seditious conspiracy for his role in the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, along with Kelly Meggs, in addition to several other charges against his fellow top Oath Keeper associates.
"What does this mean for other far-right groups?" asked anchor Jake Tapper. "Do you think this will be a deterrent?"
"Yes. Absolutely," said Kayyem. "Look, we can focus on the noise and people on Twitter and people being hateful and the potential violence, but what we need to look at is whether these organizations have a capacity to grow. And what we've seen since January 6th, and certainly because of this verdict, is their capacity in terms of whether their leadership is able to do it, are they able to raise funds, these organizations need fees to keep themselves going, to keep themselves online, to keep themselves organized. And whether they're able to recruit. All will be harmed significantly by this verdict. In particular recruitment."
The issue, said Kayyem, is that "you can call this group whatever you want, right-wing, domestic terrorism, organizations like this thrive with the victory. In other words, they convince potential adherents, potential recruits that they are on the winning team. This is true of violent organizations and groups throughout the world. That narrative — they had that narrative when Trump was supporting them. They had that narrative going into January 6th. They no longer have that narrative."
"And so if you think of just the long-term trajectory of righ- wing extremist organized groups ... there's going to be the one-offs, violent people, hateful people online, but in terms of organizing and the capacity of these groups to organize, a huge hit today," said Kayyem. "These organizations are basically over. They may reform in other names, and we keep an eye on them, but nothing like what we've seen before because their capacity to grow has been severely limited. And Stewart Rhodes deserves to go to jail for a long time because of — because he led what the jury found to be a true conspiracy."
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Juliette Kayyem says Oath Keepers' recruitment is ruined by Rhodes verdict www.youtube.com
Kari Lake, the Republican candidate for Arizona governor, encouraged county supervisors to break the law to ensure that her opponent, Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D), is not certified as the winner of the 2022 election.
During an interview on Tuesday, right-wing podcast host Steve Bannon asked Lake if she could prove that the election had been stolen.
Lake argued that election fraud was indisputable.
"We had poll watchers, poll workers, attorneys that were out there — observers and there's not a darn thing that they could do when as if on clockwork, all the computers went down, all the tabulators — or the majority of the tabulators went down. I mean it's diabolical geniusness on their part."
Lake referred to a video clip of one county supervisor saying that he faced legal action for threatening not to certify Hobbs' victory.
"This is a time for Americans, for Arizonans to stand up," she said. "I saw in Mohave County with [Ron Gould] on the Board of Supervisors. He said, 'I'm doing this — I'm certifying this under duress. They're telling me if I don't, I'll be locked up. They're telling me, I'll be arrested. They're telling me is a Class 6 felony and I'm doing this under duress.'"
The candidate argued that the certification could not stand up in court if it were done under duress.
"But I wish that somebody would say, 'You know what? Arrest me then. I don't care,'" Lake remarked. "We need people with courage to say, 'Class what felony? Go ahead, go for it, arrest me because this is a botched election and you're disenfranchising the folks in Mohave County when you allow this kind of election in Maricopa County to stand.'"
Watch the video below from Real America's Voice.
On Tuesday, writing for The Arizona Republic, columnist Laurie Roberts shredded Arizona state Sen. Wendy Rogers for promising Trump supporters she can have the 2022 Arizona election redone, as a fundraising gimmick.
"From the glass half full department, Maricopa County’s vote to certify the Nov. 8 election opens an entirely new grifting opportunity for the election denial industry," wrote Roberts. "And who but our own state Sen. Wendy Rogers to lead the way? Within minutes of the (Republican-run) Maricopa County Board of Supervisors voting (unanimously) to certify the vote on Monday, Rogers had her hand out. 'I am Arizona Senator Wendy Rogers, and I will hold Maricopa County accountable for its election shenanigans,' she wrote, in her fundraising plea. 'Help me get a new election for Maricopa!' And by 'help,' she means send her money."
In spite of all this, noted Roberts, Arizona Senate Republicans have decided to name her chair of the brand new Senate Elections Committee.
"Rogers is perhaps the looniest legislator ever elected in Arizona, an attribute that makes her uniquely qualified to chair a committee that has a roughly 0.00% chance of getting any of her 'election integrity' ideas passed into law," wrote Roberts. "She’s repeatedly called for decertifying the 2020 election, an end to the state’s wildly popular early voting program, the arrest of elections officials for (non-existent) fraud and an entire laundry list of loopy ideas that have made her a national rock star on the hard right."
"Now, suddenly, as Democrats prepare to take over as governor and attorney general, Rogers is vowing to somehow engineer a do-over of Maricopa County’s 2022 election," Roberts said. "That is, if you’ll give her $35 or $60 or heck, fork over $5,300 to her campaign."
Rogers has been a constant source of controversy for the Arizona legislature, even aside from her election conspiracy theories. She has ties to the Oath Keepers, the far-right paramilitary group whose leader was just convicted of seditious conspiracy for the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. She has also defended Alex Jones, the conspiracy theorist webcaster being sued for inciting harassment of the Sandy Hook shooting victims' families, and demanding the right "stand up" for Confederate monuments.