A Virginia man associated with the white supremacist Groypers movement who is accused of breaching House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s conference room and assaulting law enforcement at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 went on to work on Glenn Youngkin’s successful campaign for Virginia governor as an employee of the state Republican Party.
The government accuses Joseph Brody of Springfield, Va. and four other young, white men of entering the Capitol together and chanting, “Nancy, Nancy, Nancy,” before entering Speaker Pelosi’s office on Jan. 6. After leaving the building, the government alleges that Brody assisted another rioter in using a metal barricade to knock a Capitol police officer back to prevent him from securing the door. Later, the five men reportedly watched the destruction of media equipment, with charging documents indicating that Brody appeared to damage a corded phone while one of his codefendants looted a pair of headphones.
More than eight months later, Brody helped coordinate volunteers for Glenn Youngkin, the Republican nominee for governor of Virginia, in Fairfax County. A page on the Fairfax County GOP website inviting volunteers to knock on doors for Youngkin on Sept. 18, 2021, lists Brody as the contact for a location in Alexandria, along with a “virginia.gop” email address. Youngkin went on to win the election in November 2021, defeating Democratic opponent Terry McAuliffe, and securing a term as governor.
A spokesperson for Youngkin referred questions about Brody to the Republican Party of Virginia.
Ellie Sorensen, the press secretary for the state party, confirmed in an email to Raw Story on Wednesday that Brody was employed by party as a door-knocker for a month last fall. She added that Brody has not been employed by the party since then.
The statement of facts accompanying Brody and his codefendants’ charges notes that the five men “were associated with a group known as America First,” whose leadership “has espoused a belief that they are defending against the demographic and cultural changes in America.”
The America First movement, also known as the Groypers, coalesced under the leadership of Nick Fuentes, who attended the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va. As the alt-right movement fractured under pressure from prosecution, litigation and antifascist opposition, Fuentes cultivated an optics-conscious brand of white supremacy that flourished by exalting Donald Trump while other extremist formations associated with the rally fell by the wayside.
In addition to Brody’s crew, at least two other Jan. 6 defendants are linked to the Groypers movement.
In a filing last month, prosecutors signal that they plan to introduce evidence that Riley June Williams filmed speeches by Fuentes at a “Stop the Steal” rally in Harrisburg, Pa. on Dec. 5, 2020 and then again during a pro-Trump rally in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 12.
As part of their effort to prove Williams’ wrongful intent to obstruct Congress on Jan. 6, prosecutors say they will introduce evidence that Williams “took an interest in, followed, and even adopted imagery and beliefs associated with various movements hostile to the peaceful transfer of power from former President trump to President Biden.”
As part of the evidence the government intends to introduce, prosecutors cited “images, videos, and messages concerning the defendant’s interest in and knowledge of the ‘America First’ podcasts and Nick Fuentes, as well as her adoption and use of imagery associated with the Groyper Army, accelerationism, Pepe the Frog, prior violent protests, alt-right views and leaders, and claims about election fraud related to the 2020 presidential election.”
In a statement of facts attached to Williams’ case, the government cites a video published by the ITV television network that shows Williams at the bottom of a staircase in the Capitol repeatedly yelling, “Upstairs, upstairs, upstairs.” According to the government, the staircase leads to Speaker Pelosi’s office.
In the charging document, an FBI agent describes a video depicting a laptop with Williams appearing to say, “Dude, put on gloves.” The statement of facts also cites social media posts that appear to have been made by Williams stating, “I stole shit from Nancy Polesi” and “I domt care I took Nancy Polesis hard drives I dont care kill me [sic].”
In a filing last month, her lawyers said evidence produced by the government in discovery shows that Williams did not take the laptop from Pelosi’s office.
In May, Christian Secor pleaded guilty to obstruction of an official proceeding, and aiding and abetting in connection with his involvement in the attack on the Capitol. Secor carried a blue “America First” flag into the Capitol, and entered the Senate floor at about 2:49 p.m., and sat in the seat that had been occupied by Vice President Mike Pence about 30 minutes earlier, according to the statement offense accompanying Secor’s plea deal.
The statement of facts for Brody and his four codefendants indicate that Brody entered the Senate chamber at the same time as Secor, and screenshots of CCTV footage show the two men together. “While in the chamber, Brody appeared to hold a cell phone in his hand and photograph or record the interior of the Senate chamber — to include documents or other information on and inside several desks,” the government said.
Following the arrests of Brody and his four codefendants, Fuentes has distanced himself from them. In a Telegram post, Fuentes accused Brody of being both Jewish and a “wignat,” a derisive term used by white supremacists to refer to people they perceive as being too conspicuously hardline in their ideology.
“I am not nor do I wish to be associated with these losers,” Fuentes said.
The arrests prompted Fuentes to disclose a history of infighting. He accused Brody of “sticking a knife in my back” by calling in a bomb threat to the America First Political Action Conference organized by Fuentes in Orlando, Fla. earlier this year, manufacturing “an embarrassing Twitter scandal” and leaking a private group chat Fuentes was in.
“Rot in hell, traitor,” Fuentes closed.
Posting under the name “Broseph,” Brody has been a frequent contributor to far-right chats on Discord, posting thousands of messages dating back to November 2017 that are among the trove posted by the media collective Unicorn Riot.
Posting on the Nick Fuentes server in June 2018, Brody demonstrated a concern about the optics of people with extremist views getting involved in electoral politics. He complained that Patrick Little, a candidate for US Senate from California “makes people like me look bad,” while assessing that Corey Stewart, the Republican gubernatorial nominee in Virginia in 2017 “is literally Pat Little.”
“I don’t care how hardline you are, we just need people who can win,” Brody said in the private chat. He added, “All you nazis need to stay out of politics.”
But on the same server, a month earlier, he fantasized about forming a modern-day equivalent to the Freikorps, a German paramilitary that existed from the 18th to early 20th century.
“I wonder what it would take to form a new Friekorps,” Brody wrote. “Like a group of mercenaries who crush commie insurrections around the country. Sadly, suggesting such a thing or any kind of vigilantism is considered ‘fed posting.’”
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