On Friday, NBC News reported that a pro-Trump influencer is scrambling to do damage control with his allies after a report that he revealed enormous amounts of information to FBI investigators in the January 6 investigation.
"Brandon Straka, a self-described former liberal who founded the #WalkAway movement in support of Republicans, was sentenced to three months of home detention and a total of three years of probation in January. Straka's relatively light sentence was in part due to what his lawyer described as 'significant' cooperation with the FBI investigation into the Jan. 6 attack," reported Ryan J. Reilly. "Documents detailing Straka's cooperation were placed under seal when they were filed ahead of his January 2022 sentencing, but a coalition of media companies that includes NBC News filed a motion this week requesting they be unsealed."
According to prosecutors, on the day of January 6, Straka headed to the Capitol after learning of the breach, and posted messages encouraging people to "hold the line."
"The documents provided to the media coalition, in an apparent error, included the underlying attachments that were meant to be kept under seal for the time being. Early Friday morning, Straka's attorney filed a motion requesting a hearing on the release of the documents 'without Court approval,'" noted the report. Those documents indicated Straka's cooperation was far more extensive than realized, with him divulging information to federal investigators on more than a dozen "Stop the Steal" rally organizers and Capitol rioters.
Now, per NBC, Straka is desperately trying to reassure allies that he is still on their side.
"After details of Straka's cooperation began spreading on social media and a story on Straka's cooperation ran on WUSA-9, Straka took to the right-leaning social media platform GETTR and posted a two-page letter expressing outrage at what he described as a 'leak,'" said the report. “'There is NOTHING WRONG with talking to the DOJ and telling them your friends are innocent,' Straka said. 'I hope at some point people pull their heads out and begin focusing on the ACTUAL horror here — that sealed court documents were leaked from within the DOJ to the liberal media.'"
But the idea that Straka was just telling investigators that his friends were innocent appears dubious, given that according to WUSA-9, Straka exposed the identity of one Capitol rioter in Nebraska that the FBI hadn't even been aware of. Moreover, "DOJ wrote in their own memo that Straka gave federal investigators critical information in the case because he 'provided the government with voicemail messages that he received from [anti-vaccine activist Simone] Gold' that were 'valuable in the government’s prosecution.' Gold was sentenced to two months in federal prison in June."
“I’ve suffered immensely at the hands of the DOJ for a year and a half," said Straka in his post, according to NBC. "The reason why these documents were leaked is because I didn’t go away and crawl in a hole and die after my case the way they wanted me to. I’m still not going to now.”