'I know way too much': Staci Burk fled her home after watching the Capitol riot on TV with Flynn’s security team
Staci Burk watches the Jan. 6 Capitol riot in her home with security team from 1AP (Staci Burk)

Staci Burk was shooting at a gun range in the Sonoran Desert southeast of Phoenix on Christmas Day with her adult daughter and Brandon Pittman, who was part of a three-person security detail assigned to Burk’s home by retired Lt. General Michael Flynn.

While at the gun range, they noticed two black SUVs with tinted windows and decided to leave; the SUVs pursued them. As later reported to the police by Richard Chichester, a former correctional officer from Massachusetts, one of the SUVs continued to follow Burk’s vehicle as the other turned northbound onto an intersecting highway.

Pittman, who was driving, made a series of quick turns to evade the pursuers and went back to Burk’s home. Then Pittman put in a phone call to Jim Penrose, a former National Security Agency official who was running investigations into potential election fraud on behalf of attorney Sidney Powell.

Pittman and Chichester were members of 1st Amendment Praetorian, or 1AP, a volunteer security group comprised of former law enforcement, military and intelligence officials that was also providing security for Flynn and leaders of the “Stop the Steal” movement like Ali Alexander.

On Dec. 4, at Flynn’s direction, 1AP replaced a local private security company as Burk’s personal security detail. The first security company assigned to protect Burk was headed by a former sheriff’s deputy who sometimes accompanied Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb on media tours of a migrant corridor from the border up to Interstate 10.

Through a friend in her pulmonary hypertension online support community, Burk made contact with a FedEx supervisor in Seattle who claimed to have evidence of illegal ballots shortly after the Nov. 3, 2020 election. Burk had forwarded the woman’s allegations to a congressman and state lawmaker, who put her in touch with a Trump campaign lawyer, and then to an Arizona couple who were collecting affidavits to support the legal efforts of Powell and Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney. The FedEx supervisor insisted on remaining anonymous, putting Burk in the unenviable position of being the Powell’s team access point to a “whistleblower” with potentially explosive information.

“What can we do to make her feel more comfortable — we can facilitate security,” Carissa Keshel, Powell’s assistant, told Burk in a text on Dec. 1, 2020.

Keshel added: “We definitely need to get her piece of the puzzle — it helps piece together the whole story.”

Keshel’s texts to Burk confirm that she looped in Flynn, Trump’s former national security advisor who would emerge as a major charismatic figure rallying Trump supporters behind the false claim that the election was stolen and that nothing less than the fate of the republic hung in the balance.

“Ok I just spoke with General Flynn,” Keshel told Burk. “He says if nothing else, if she can get us as much evidence as possible: pictures, facts. If she can send that to us (or you) and if she can even just write an email. Then you can do another declaration to cover for that. I hope that makes sense.”

This is the third and final installment in a three-part series about Burk’s experience following the 2020 election that is based on extensive interviews and unrivaled access to audio recordings of her conversations and text messages during that period. You can read the first installment here and the second installment here.

Geoffrey Flohr, a former Michigan State Police officer who went by the nickname “Yoda,” arrived at Burk’s home in Arizona on Dec. 4 following a 36-hour drive from Michigan.

Patrick Bergy, a former Defense Department information assurance security officer who was part of a team that was tasked with uncovering evidence of election fraud, told Raw Story he recalled hearing Burk’s name come up among colleagues that included former InfoWars contributor Millie Weaver and her common-law husband Gavin Wince, conspiracy theorist Terpsehore “Tore” Maras and former military contractor Scott Bennett. All were staying in hotels in and around Washington, DC on the dime of Flynn ally Patrick Byrne.

Bergy said the team’s interest in Burk would have been “anything that gave them the possibility of foreign election interference.” He added, “That was what they were waiting for — something to justify the use of the National Guard or law enforcement to come in and take control of the voting machines, all the things that Byrne and Flynn were pushing for in the December 18th meeting with Trump.”

Soon after Flohr’s arrival at Burk’s home in Arizona, Burk said he told her something that broke the impasse around the Seattle FedEx supervisor’s reluctance to come forward.

“Yoda woke me up in the middle of the night and said that they had reliable information that she was about to be kidnapped and be taken to South Korea and they needed her information,” Burk recalled. “I said, ‘No, you’re just trying to get her information still.’ He said, “No, your friend’s gonna die.’ So, I called her and put her on speaker phone and let her make the decision, which I feel horrible about now.”

In hindsight, Burk would come to see herself as being used in the same way as Marko Trickovic, an Arizona Three Percenter. A month earlier, Trickovic had reached out to her after two unidentified men disabled her home security system, and put her in touch with a man named John Shattuck, who in turn introduced her to Sidney Powell’s team.

“I’m the Marko in her scenario,” Burk told Raw Story. “So, I called her, put the phone on speaker, and Yoda told her she was in danger, and they needed to get to her. Then she made a decision. They could turn around and say, ‘She was the one who said, ‘Come and get me.’” Burk spoke with the FedEx supervisor as recently as last month, but said the woman does not want to be identified and is not interested in speaking with Raw Story.

The Flynn team spent $75,000, including hiring two former FBI agents, to investigate the allegations of illegal ballots in Seattle, alongside similar claims about illegal ballots at the airport in Phoenix, according to Penrose.

During the Christmas Day phone call with Burk, Penrose confirmed that people in the Flynn camp believed the FedEx supervisor was in danger.

“We had a security team dispatched in Seattle,” Penrose said. “My worst fear was that the people were moving, you know, like a team of people that might want to, you know, even kidnap your friend in Seattle.”

But ultimately, Penrose told Burk, the investigation of ballots in Seattle, along with the seemingly related allegations at the Phoenix airport, turned up no evidence of widespread election fraud.

“I thought that when we ex-filled her and we got her to write her affidavit, I thought we were going to have a goldmine of information,” Penrose said.

“She had a picture of two ballot bags, and I asked her, ‘Would you know if ballots came across the tarmac from that Korean Air flight?’ And the answer was, ‘I just know what comes in this bay door from the USPS and what goes out these other bay doors to get loaded on FedEx planes.’ So, the answer was, there was no smoking gun per se with respect to that.”

As for the related Korean Air claim, in which a local private security contractor named Scott Koch had made an outlandish confession to Burk that he had been involved in trafficking illegal ballots, Penrose said: “I’ve shut that investigation down. It’s a dry hole. There’s nothing there.”

Burk’s sense of peril and disorientation was compounded by Penrose’s admonition against associating with John Shattuck, the man who had put Burk in touch with Powell in the first place, through Shelby Busch and Steve Robinson.

“You know my position on John Shattuck,” Penrose said. “I’ve already made it clear.”

“So, you think he’s lying?” Burk asked.

“I think John Shattuck is a threat to you, and you should discontinue communications with John Shattuck,” Penrose said.

Penrose scoffed when Burk mentioned that Shattuck was serving on a board with Flynn.

“There’s spies everywhere,” he said. “I mean, maybe you haven’t noticed, but there’s corruption and spies penetrating a lot of organizations. Being in high office and different committees doesn’t mean you’re a good guy.”

Meanwhile, Penrose discounted Koch as a suspect in the incident with the two SUVs tailing Burk from the gun range on Christmas Day. He suggested a likelier explanation for the apparent surveillance was Burk’s propensity to record her phone conversations.

“Think of all the people you’ve recorded in the past, and where they fit in the power structure versus Scott Koch and this plane story,” he said. “What’s more important?”

Pittman and Chichester, the two 1AP members assigned to Burk’s security detail at the time, suggested that Burk’s phone might have been hacked, Burk told Raw Story, allowing a bad actor to track her to the gun range.

Even at the time, she said, she was suspicious about the incident with the two black SUVs because of the way Pittman had made a show of taking them on an “overdramatized surveillance detection route,” on the way to the gun range, so that it took 40 minutes to travel 10 miles. When the two black SUVs appeared, it seemed to line up a little too conveniently with Pittman’s precautions.

The recording of the phone call with Penrose indicates that he also was concerned about securing the phone.

“So, let’s just get this down to a nominal security state,” he said. “The phone’s going to be taken care of….”

Burk interrupted. A former nurse, she noted that she had personally identifiable information about patients that was protected under federal law.

“The data on this phone, I have to be able to transfer it before you do the forensics because that is — this phone technically can’t leave my hands with people’s PII on it without me securing it,” she told Penrose.

Penrose declined to comment for this story.

Despite Burk’s refusal to turn over her phone, Chichester and Pittman continued to pressure her. Two or three days after the incident with the SUVs and the call with Penrose, Burk said, Pittman took the phone from her hands, forcing her to hastily end a phone call, and set it down on a kitchen counter. Burk tried to pick up the phone, but Chichester grabbed it from her. That was the last time she saw her phone before it was mailed back to her by another 1AP member.

Flohr, who was acknowledged as the team leader of Burk’s personal security detail, was also responsible for protecting Flynn. Bearded and dressed in a khaki cap and olive-colored jacket, he accompanied Flynn during the retired general’s speech in front of the Supreme Court during the Dec. 12 Jericho March, which later earned him the nickname of #ShadowFlynn from Jan. 6 online researchers.

Chichester left Burk’s home in Arizona just before New Year’s Eve to join Flohr in DC for the large-scale mobilization of Trump supporters as Congress was preparing to convene and certify the election on Jan. 6. Two 1AP members, a Marine Corps veteran named James Curtis from Oregon and a man nicknamed “PJ,” arrived at Burk’s home to complete the complement for the security detail.

About a week after Burk’s phone disappeared, it turned up at the Willard Hotel, which has been described as a “command center” of the effort to overturn the 2020 election.

Although Flohr hadn’t been at Burk’s home when her phone disappeared, the other 1AP members assigned responsibility to him for the theft.

“He tapped me on the shoulder, didn’t say a f***ing thing, okay?” Chichester recounted to Burk, describing a tense encounter at the Willard.

“And I was just watching him as he came past, all right? I was angry. I probably showed a little bit of anger in my face or something because I was pissed off at him because of the whole clusterf***…. Because of the whole thing — the stealing — the phone being stolen. The way he did things, it was all f***ed up, and he was the guy in charge.”

On Jan. 6, Burk and the 1AP members in her personal security detail watched the congressional session and the unfolding chaos at the Capitol on television from her living room. They also listened to Flohr’s voice communications as he circled the Capitol. Flohr can be seen in video filmed on Jan. 6 walking on both the west and east sides of the building, while talking on a cell phone.

Burk was recording from home, and Flohr’s voice can be heard saying, “Just so you know we’re having a little bit of issue trying to get down there, getting around blockades and all that bulls***.”

Less than a minute later, Flohr referenced Flynn by his 1AP nickname “Three Star” and himself in third person by his nickname “Yoda.”

“Maybe you could go up to Three Star and ask him to come on out and help Yoda get back to the nest,” Flohr said.

A lawyer for 1AP acknowledged to the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the US Capitol in correspondence in early July that two “volunteers” went to the Capitol on Jan. 6, but said they did so “without the knowledge or approval” of the organization or its cofounder, Robert Patrick Lewis.

Neither Flohr nor Alan Kielan, who has publicly acknowledged being at the Capitol, have been charged to date, and 1AP lawyer Leslie McAdoo Gordon told the committee she does not “expect that either of them ever will be charged with any offense based on what 1AP knows of their activities on January 6, 2021.”

A friend of Burk’s who spoke to Raw Story on condition of anonymity because of concern about her safety described a visit to Burk’s home on Jan. 6. She recalled that one of the 1AP members talked about news “coming from DC” and made a comment that “it was going down.” Burk and her friend said that after the friend mentioned the Capitol, the 1AP members went to the backyard where they could talk privately.

“They wouldn’t let us leave the house,” the friend recalled. “We actually were going to leave for dinner, and they said, ‘No, she’s not going with you.’”

“I was just so scared of the guys around me,” she said. “They had the gun laying out, and I was scared. I was thinking, ‘How am I going to get out of here tonight? They started telling me about her friends being followed.”

The next day, Burk called another friend. She told Raw Story she was worried after seeing a tweet by the 1st Amendment Praetorian Twitter account that said, “#WETHEPEOPLE OWN DC,” in reference to a report about the Capitol breach.

“I might not be safe after a day or two,” Burk said. She explained that she had provided access to her security cameras to different friend so she could listen to the audio, and the friend had overheard one of the 1AP members say, “Yeah, we’re gonna take care of her on the eighth.” The friend who had access to the audio feed from Burk’s security cameras confirmed Burk’s account to Raw Story on condition that her name not be published.

“Put it this way: Some things have happened, and I know way too much now,” Burk added during the Jan. 7 phone call. James Curtis and “PJ” were sent home that day, leaving Pittman alone with Burk.

On Jan. 10, Burk called Curtis and asked him for his assessment of the Christmas day incident with the black SUVs.

“You don’t think the black SUVs were staged just to get the phone from me? she asked.

Curtis said he did not believe that 1AP had orchestrated the incident to scare Burk, because it was the reason he was asked to come join the security detail in Arizona.

“When they described to me what I needed to be prepared to deal with, that was the first one,” Curtis said. When Flohr and Pittman briefed him on the assignment, Curtis said, “they considered it hot, they considered it active. They didn’t consider it a potential threat; they considered it a realized threat because people had come out of the shadows. And it was no longer potential; it was actual.

“And so, no, I don’t think it was staged at all,” Curtis continued. “Now, I’ve been playing intel games for thirty years, and I could be wrong. But I don’t think it was staged. At least everybody that was there believes that it’s real.”

Burk pressed Curtis, addressing him by his 1AP nickname “Marge.”

“It looked straight out of a movie, Marge,” Burk said. “I mean, out in the middle of the desert. Two black, you know, tinted-window SUVs show up, try to do an L-shaped ambush. You know, we jump into a high-speed chase out of there. I mean, it looked right out of ’24,’ that show.”

“Well, I’ve planned ambushes,” Curtis responded. “And L-shaped ambushes work. There’s a reason we use ’em.”

What Curtis said next may have been intended to reassure Burk, but it had the opposite effect.

“If that’s what we’re capable of doing, then you really don’t have a gauge of where we would stop,” he said. “What’s the difference between Mayhem versus 1AP versus, you know, anybody else? I’m not going to say that it wasn’t staged in the sense that I’m not omniscient, right? But nothing in my experience says that it was staged. But if you think that it was, then you should drop us like a hot potato, and find something else.”

The following morning, Flohr texted Burk a picture of her phone with a familiar screensaver that displayed a photo of herself with her grandson at the beach, confirming to Burk that her phone had wound up in DC.

“When I found out that they did have the phone, I totally believed that they staged the ambush,” Burk told Raw Story. “It was terrifying. What [Curtis] was telling me was that if we staged the ambush that’s an awful lot of resources. It’s a very fine line between how much trouble you’re worth and you being killed.”

When Burk fled her home on Jan. 11, it wasn’t her first attempt. She said Pittman set up driveway alarms in her garage and he stopped her before she could leave. The next time she tried to flee, Burk waited until Pittman was asleep, and then carefully lifted her suitcase over the laser beam.

Burk’s first stop was Florence Police Department, but the building was closed for COVID precautions. She eventually returned home, but then fled a second and final time in February 2021. Burk said she hasn’t returned to her home in Arizona since then — and is still in hiding from 1AP.

Months later, when Burk spoke to Joe Flynn, he denied that anyone from Flynn's team was involved in the theft of her phone.

“No one on our side would have ever authorized that,” he said. “Ever.”

“This clearly on the 1AP side was handled poorly,” Flynn added. “When I heard someone took your phone out of your hand, I said, ‘Okay, this is bad. Not good.’”

Joe Flynn declined to provide additional comment for this story.

Flohr ended his involvement with 1AP shortly after Jan. 6. The reason, Pittman told Burk, was “because of the issues that we had with you, and the way that was handled was a bunch of bulls***, and Yoda was the guy that was like, ‘This is a bunch of bulls***.’” Pittman added that Flohr “shields me from a lot of flak.”

Flohr told Burk that he reported the phone debacle to a 1AP member named Matthew Wallach.

“We want to do the f***ing right thing,” Flohr said. “And it fell all on my shoulder. So, listen up. It fell on my shoulder. I went and told him.

“I went in and drilled it right into the people that run this place,” Flohr continued. And I said, ‘We gotta f***ing fix this.’ And they said, ‘Well, we’re gonna take it under advisement, get through the DC op, and then address it.’ So, today’s the ‘come to Jesus’ moment. I talked to Matt. I told him what I’m gonna do. Matt signed off on it.”

Wallach declined to comment for this story.

Burk tracked Wallach down after she spoke with Joe Flynn. She told him that she still did not feel safe to go home, and that people were attacking her character by spreading false rumors that she had sued Michael Flynn.

“Zero respect or consideration for the harm and trauma that’s been caused,” she told Wallach in a string of texts. “No apology. No explanation of what happened.

“Plus, I lost my law school scholarship because my phone had the review material that was stolen just before I was to take the final exam and I missed the exam,” Burk continued. “As a result, I lost my scholarship worth 40K.”

Wallach suggested to Burk that the reason he had blocked her previously was because she had put him on notice of possible legal action.

“Saying that I had to report to OCR the data breach of my patients’ HIPAA data,” Burk replied. “Yes, I remember that. My phone was physically taken away from me in my own home. Way not cool. On so many levels. If you can’t see that, then I don’t know what to say. It’s another reason I do not feel safe at home. Huge betrayal. It’s why I left, and you know that.”

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