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Defiant Capitol rioter says he’s relieved after FBI visit: 'I feel no remorse or shame'

Michael Timbrook was arrested Tuesday by FBI agents on the usual trespassing and disorderly conduct charges slapped on those who stormed the Capitol on January 6 on behalf of Donald Trump.

But Timbrook, 56, of Cookeville, Tenn. may have carved out his own niche: His Facebook account, which is still active, is as defiant as he apparently was as a rioter. Timbrook has not posted to the account in two months, but it remains live. Two proud posts related to Timbrook's participation in the riot remain visible to this day.

First, there was this one from January 10:

"Sorry friends and family, but I guess all y'all hate me now. I've been admonished, criticized, judged and condemned, for what I consider to be an act of patriotism, by the entire news media, celebrity class, political class, religious groups, hell everybody with a social media has weighed in and found us Guilty of violating the Sanctity of a public building. All the while for the past two generations that I know of, we've all been complaining about how crooked our government is and there's nothing we can do. Blah blah blah... I'm PROUD of everyone who went in there, even the 30 or so rowdy ones. Go ahead and ban me now because I have found my voice and am going to tell this story."

Then, on February 9, the day the FBI report says agents visited Timbrook, he posted this:

"First ever chat with the FBI today. To be honest, it comes as a relief. The agents were exemplary! Respectful, courteous, direct. My chastening is forthcoming, and will undoubtedly hurt my wallet, but I feel no remorse or shame."

That post lives on under the headline "PEACE But Not Fear Bullyproof with the Truth."

FBI agents reported that "Timbrook was ready to take the penalty for what he did on January 6." He even initialed and dated his January 10 Facebook post for the agents, giving it the look of a celebrity autograph that someday will be sold on the Internet.

You can see that and read the FBI complaint here.

Why Maxine Waters triggers Trump apologists

Imagine if one of the speakers at Donald Trump's January 6 "Stop the Steal" rally had said the following:

"We've got to stay on the street, and we've got to get more active, we've got to get more confrontational. We've got to make sure that they know that we mean business."

What a buzzkill that would have been. Someone using language so lame, tame and mundane would have had Trump fanatics shaking their riots helmets in disgust. They might have gotten booed.

Get more confrontational? Why that hardly would suit a rally that Trump had promoted in a December 20 tweet with this MAGA flair:

"Statistically impossible to have lost the 2020 Election. Big protest in DC on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!"

Trump demanded far more than to "show we mean business." He wanted an election overturned at the U.S. Capitol. He demanded his followers march down to that building and as the New York Times recounted, he wasn't about to settle for just being "more active."

"We are going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women," Trump said, "and we are probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them — because you will never take back our country with weakness."

"Trump exhorted his supporters "to fight. We will never give up, we will never concede," Trump said, delighting the crowd by calling Democratic victories the product of what he called "explosions of bullshit."

"'Bullshit! Bullshit! Bullshit!' people chanted in reply."

You don't get that sort of guttural response from some soft talk about confrontations. In other words, you've got to be a lot meaner and nastier than Rep. Maxine Waters was Saturday night in Brooklyn Center, Minn.

Aunty Maxine, as she proudly calls herself, had showed up there fresh off her epic "shut your mouth" takedown of Rep. Jim Jordan at a House hearing Thursday. Waters had come to show solidarity with protesters outraged at yet another death of an unarmed Black man at the hands of police, in this case 20-year-Daunte Wright.

Waters told the protesters she "could not sleep" due to continued police killings. Waters said Officer Kim Potter should be tried for murder rather than manslaughter for shooting Wright.

But the big news came out of what she said in front of the media, as reported by Yahoo News:

"I'm going to fight with all of the people who stand for justice," Waters told reporters at the demonstration. "We've got to get justice in this country, and we cannot allow these killings to continue.

"When asked what protesters should do moving forward, Waters said "We've got to stay on the street and we've got to get more active, we've got to get more confrontational.

"'We've got to make sure that they know that we mean business.' Waters told reporters, 'I hope we're going to get a verdict that will say guilty, guilty, guilty,' in the Chauvin trial. "And if we don't, we cannot go away.'"

Recognize those words? Yes, Waters used language that would have flopped in Trump world.

But the Republicans went wild anyway.

Enraged at the grave threat posed by this 82-year-old Black lady not comporting herself at all in keeping with the nation's Anglo-Saxon traditions, the Trumpers were besides themselves with the threat she posed to the Republic.

"Impeach and Remove Maxine Waters," declared the New York Post Editorial Board in a Sunday afternoon online screed.

"MAD MAXINE THREAT: CHAUVIN GUILTY OR WE TAKE TO STREETS," blared Breitbart.com.

"Republicans slam Maxine Waters for telling protesters to 'get more confrontational over Chauvin trial," proclaimed FoxNews.com.

Waters caused heads to explode on Twitter, as some of the nation's most noted race-baiters weighed in.

From Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene: "Maxine Waters told BLM terrorists to "stay on the streets" and "get more confrontational." BLM terrorists took her orders and took action. She should be expelled from Congress."

From Rep. Lauren Boebert -- retweeted by Rep. Matt Gaetz -- "Why is Maxine Waters traveling to a different state trying to incite a riot? What good can come from this?" Boebert added, "She would already be expelled if she were a Republican.'

From Senator Ted Cruz: "Democrats actively encouraging riots & violence. They want to tear us apart."

From the Arizona Republican Party: "She is a domestic terrorist and a danger of society."

The list goes on. But with each overheated response raging at Waters' words, Republican hypocrisy has become more exposed as to their definition of riot incitement.

In this warped worldview, Water's speech to racial-justice demonstrators was far more dangerous than, say, the January 6 rally. You know, the one at which Trump-- to borrow Cruz's words -- "certainly contributed to the violence that occurred."

Even by Trump's bottom-feeder standards, trying to equate Waters speech to racial-justice protesters with a raging mob trying to overthrow American democracy was a bit of a stretch. Remember some of these greatest hits from the "Stop the Steal" rally?

Trump's son, Donald Jr., warned "we're coming for you" to those Republicans who didn't favor overturning the presidential election.

Rudy Guiliani called for "trial by combat" with Democrats to wrest away the election.

Rep. Mo Brooks told the crowd, "Today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass."

Close your eyes and picture Waters having said, "we're coming for you" to white people?" Or calling for "trial by combat" should the "trial by jury" not convict Officer Derek Chauvin. Just imagine Waters saying BLM protesters should be "taking down names and kicking ass."

Funny thing, though. The same right-wingers so distraught over Waters were strangely calm about this whole riot-incitement thing as it pertained to the Capitol insurrection. They parsed every word for its technical context and meaning. They got downright scholarly.

Take the New York Post, please:

"At The Wall Street Journal, former Washington federal prosecutor Jeffrey Scott Shapiro argues that whatever he did, President Trump "didn't commit incitement or any other crime." Under the relevant Supreme Court precedent, "mere advocacy" of violence, not "directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action . . . likely to incite or produce such action," is protected speech under the US Constitution. Last week, "the president didn't mention violence on Wednesday, much less provoke or incite it. He said, 'I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.' " Nor did any "public disturbance" occur when Trump spoke. Bottom line: Inflaming public sentiment "does not satisfy the elements of any criminal offense."

Wow. This is the same newspaper that today is saying "Maxine Waters is trying to create a Civil War and her irresponsible rhetoric is inciting violence."

What an interesting contrast to the aforementioned Journal piece about Trump's riot, which appeared under this headline:

"No, Trump Isn't Guilty of Incitement: Inflaming emotions isn't a crime. The president didn't mention violence, much less provoke it."

But Waters is guilty? Really?

Doesn't Water have "protected speech" What "public disturbance" occurred when she spoke? What never mentioned violence, much less did she provoke it. Yes, she suggested confrontation. So did Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in pretty much the same context.

And don't forget, as the Journal noted, inflaming emotions isn't a crime, at least not when white people do it. Still, don't try telling that to the Post as it readies itself for civil war.

The right-wing mob, to coin a phrase, wants Waters punished right now. Forget about the fact that the violence they say she caused hasn't happened yet.

She'd never make the grade at a Trump rally.

Roger Stone's latest hustle finds him groveling for mercy -- and cash


Poor, pitiful Roger Stone.

Oh, what a fall from grace it has been for the Prince of Darkness, the Dirty Trickster, Roger Dodger the Artful Codger. Call him what you will (he's said to like the first one), Stone has suddenly pivoted to a new persona.

Meet Roger Stone, downtrodden political martyr. Here's how he is spinning his suffering at -- where else? -- the Roger Stone Legal Defense Fund:

"As a Victim of The Mueller Witch Hunt, I Have Been Drained of All My Resources," Stone blubbered to his followers.

"For me and my family, the Mueller Witch Hunt never seems to end- even after the President of the United States saw through the corruption and unfairness of my railroading in a DC Courtroom and granted me a commutation and ultimately a full pardon.

"For three years I was smeared by CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times and the Washington Post and the rest of the fake news media, hunted, terrorized, silenced, de-platformed, gagged, censored, harassed, persecuted, and forced into poverty by the corrupt politically-motivated Mueller witch hunt.

"Now the same corrupt cabal of media leftists and their Democrat allies are seeking to frame and destroy me again." In recent days the exact same fake media outlets seek to imply that I was involved in or knew about the storming of the Capitol on January 6th. This is categorically false and a smear, based solely on naked "guilt by association", sly innuendo and baseless supposition. It did not happen.

"Now these same Trump-hating leftists are once again demanding I be prosecuted in connection to the January 6th storming of the Capitol, an event I was not present for and have no knowledge of or connection to!"

Stone's plea conveniently left out a few details. One, was the part about a jury in that DC courtroom having found him guilty in November 2019 of all seven charges he faced: Five counts of lying to Congress, one count of witness tampering and one count of obstruction of a proceeding. That was a jury. Not Mueller. Not the media.

Stone also forgot to mention that his current financial plight owes to the IRS closing in on him regarding tax liabilities dating back a decade prior to the Mueller probe. Here's the crux of Stone's newest (and not small) problem, as reported Friday by Newsweek:

"The Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a lawsuit against former President Donald Trump's ally and confidante Roger Stone on Friday, alleging that Stone avoided paying about $2 million in taxes and fees to fund his "lavish lifestyle."

"The suit claims that Stone and his wife Nydia Stone used the company Drake Ventures as an "alter ego" to avoid paying $1,590,361.89 in taxes, interest and fees for the tax years 2007 to 2011, along with another $407,036.84 for the 2018 tax year.

"Although they used funds held in Drake Ventures accounts to pay some of their taxes, the Stones' use of Drake Ventures to hold their funds allowed them to shield their personal income from enforced collection and fund a lavish lifestyle despite owing nearly $2 million in unpaid taxes, interest and penalties," the complaint states. "As the Stones' alter ego, Drake Ventures is liable for the taxes."

"The complaint goes on to note that Drake Ventures is "dominated and controlled" by the Stones to such an extent that it "does not exist as an independent entity," with the company having no website or phone number and the Stones' private residence listed as the address. Nydia Stone is said to be listed as the managing member of Drake Ventures, while all other members are also members of the Stone family."

"They purchased the residence shortly after Roger Stone's indictment and placed it in the name of the Bertran Trust just prior to defaulting on their installment agreement with the IRS," the suit claims. "The Stones have long owed back taxes, and they have been parties to numerous installment agreements, some of which were terminated by the IRS. They were aware that their default would result in IRS collection activity."

"In addition to repayment of the unpaid taxes and fees, the DOJ is seeking that the house the Stones transferred to the trust be declared their own property rather than that of the trust, allowing it to be included in tax liens that could collect the unpaid balances."

Perhaps it's understandable that Stone would fail to mention any of that. It's a bit awkward to be trying to blame federal prosecutors and media leftists for all those IRS tax delinquencies -- and related shenanigans -- from a previous decade.

Besides, Stone apparently views another cause as riper for fund-raising purposes: The January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. While ignoring his enormous IRS problem, Stone's urgent plea for help spins his need for lawyers to fend off still another political persecution:

"Because, by the grace of God, I escaped the devilish deadly snare set for me by Congressman Adam Schiff and Robert Mueller's dirty cops, the hysterical demand for my blood on Twitter has reached epic proportions. There are literally thousands of butthurt leftists screaming for my blood- despite the total lack of evidence that I knew about or was involved in this appalling act of lawlessness.

"That's why I need your help. Please contribute to the STONE LEGAL DEFENSE FUND to help prepare to fend off this malicious assault on me once again.

"We lost our home, our savings, my car and most of our insurance in my epic fight for freedom last year. Being banned for life on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram has made it virtually impossible to sell my books online- my main source of income in the two years in which I awaited trial. I simply do not have the personal resources to fight yet another legal battle where I have done nothing whatsoever wrong."

How could anyone read that without tearing up? How is this poor man -- homeless, car-less, drained of all his resources -- supposed to carry on epic fights for freedom?

One way, apparently, was to jet off from Florida to Washington DC, stay at a posh hotel -- presumably serving the "impoverished" -- and hang out innocently with members of the Oath Keepers militia group. Mind you, without knowing who they are, except for the fact they had "graciously" offered to provide free security services for a few days.

Stone was famously videotaped on January 6 in front of that hotel talking with these perfect strangers.

ABC News had this report in February:

"In the video, which was obtained and reviewed by ABC News, Stone takes pictures and mingles with supporters outside a D.C. hotel as Oath Keepers hover around him, one wearing a baseball hat and military-style vest branded with the militia group's logo.

"So, hopefully we have this today, right?" one supporter asks Stone in the video, which was posted just after 10 a.m. on the morning of the rally. "We shall see," Stone replies.

"It is not known to what they were referring.

"Stone has maintained that he played "no role whatsoever in the Jan. 6 events" and has repeatedly said that he "never left the site of my hotel until leaving for Dulles Airport" that afternoon. He has also decried attempts to ascribe to him the motives of the people around him."

Since the ABC report, the FBI has charged one of the men in the video, Roberto Minuta of Texas, in connection with the riot.

Prosecutors told a federal judge "Minuta came to the Capitol dressed in gear identifying him as a member of the right-wing Oath Keepers group — citing a video in which he appears with Stone that morning," the Washington Post reported. And there was this:

"The Justice Department and the FBI are investigating whether Stone and other high-profile right-wing figures played a role in the insurrection by promoting false claims that the election was stolen from former president Donald Trump. Stone, a longtime Trump friend and adviser, was involved in some events on Jan. 5 and Jan. 6 but says they were peaceful protests.

"While investigators are interested in how the rioters became radicalized, they caution that criminal charges against Stone and others who spread misinformation are a distant prospect given case law on incitement and free speech."

At least two other Oath Keepers arrested in connection with the riot were pictured with Stone in December, the Post reported in a separate story.

Stone can't be troubled with any of that stuff. He's on a higher mission.

"Because of my unique perspective, I have an obligation to let the world know what happened to me and hold those responsible for abusing the system professionally accountable for their actions. But this does not come cheap and your donations are more vital than ever.

"As if fighting the government was not enough, throughout this whole ordeal, the DNC, former DNC employees, Larry Klayman, and Jerry Corsi have filed numerous and meritless lawsuits against me all over the country. With your donations and the help of expensive and skillful counsel, I have been able to beat back some of them, while some of them continue to be litigated. Your donations are also still needed to defend me from these attempts to bankrupt my family.

"Defending myself in court against the Mueller railroading and the other attacks on me cost almost $3M. Today the coffers are virtually bare. Once again I urgently need your help. Please consider making a contribution to my legal defense fund today."

Stone's tone certainly has changed since 2019. Perhaps you might recall the witness tampering thing, as it made for some reasonably colorful news coverage thanks to a more swaggering Stone.

Prosecutors presented evidence that Stone had threatened radio host Randy Credico, saying he would steal his little service dog if Credico didn't "do a Frank Pentangeli" (refuse, just like a mobster in "The Godfather," to testify before Congress).

"Stone wrote in an email to Credico, "You are a rat. A stoolie. You backstab your friends-run your mouth my lawyers are dying to rip you to shreds."

Now that 2019 quote didn't sound at all like today's whiny victim begging his supporters for charity. But that's not the important point, no more than Stone's need for cash is related to past IRS delinquencies. This is about the man's terrifying legal bills.

You see, as Stone is quick to point out, lawyers who rip people to shreds aren't cheap. These are practitioners with rare skill sets. They need to be cold and tough and willing to hurt people. They also need to be calculating enough to change their tune when the moment suits.

Just like Roger Stone.

Missouri GOP Senate hopeful enlists galaxy of wingnut stars for Mar-a-Lago event

The road to fill an open U.S. Senate seat in Missouri seems to be taking a sharp right turn through Florida and Donald Trump's bunker at Mar-A-Lago.

Rep. Jason Smith has lined up such loony luminaries as Reps. Lauren Boebert, Ronny Jackson and Lee Zeldin for the host committee of an April 30 fundraiser there. Smith is part of a growing field of Republicans rumored to be joining a primary free-for-all for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated in 2022 by retiring Senator Roy Blunt.

The host committee also includes such well-known GOP names as Governor Kristi Noem of South Dakota, former Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia and Governor Mike Parson of Smith's home state of Missouri. In Trumpy Missouri, Smith would be counting on his ongoing loyalty to the Deposed One as a key selling point.

Both the host list and the venue speak volumes about Trump's ongoing ownership of the GOP. Here's how the Missouri Times, a statewide political newspaper, described Smith's prospects:

"Should Smith seek the Senate seat, he is expected to be a good choice to garner Trump's endorsement. He's a staunch ally of the former president and even stood in his corner during a contentious debate held in St. Louis against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016. "

And there's this from the News-Leader in Springfield, Mo:

"In recent years, (Smith has) made friends with President Donald Trump and his family as one of Trump's most outspoken supporters, which may come in handy.

"Trump has made clear he plans to play an active role in Republicans' efforts to retake Congress in 2022, and if Smith could score his endorsement, it would be a game-changer in a state Trump won by 15 points last year."

But Smith would be squaring off in a crowded field with others touting their fealty to Trump. More from the Missouri Times:

"Attorney General Eric Schmitt and former Gov. Eric Greitens have already announced their candidacies for the Senate seat — and both Republicans have harped on their ties to Trump. The scandal-ridden Greitens has sought to paint himself as unfairly maligned by Democrats and the media, a comparison to Trump; Schmitt has touted his defense of Trump's agenda as attorney general."

Smith represents Missouri's 8th congressional district, which includes the childhood home of the late Rush Limbaugh. Trump carried the district by a stout 54.4 % margin in 2016, by far his largest spread in Missouri and 12th among all House districts in the nation, according to FiveThirtyEight.

Man who ‘invited Christ back into our Capitol’ during pro-Trump riot has been arrested

Michael Lee Roche was arrested Tuesday for storming the U.S. Capitol, like hundreds of others, on January 6. But unlike most, Roche was crystal clear about who sent him to the riot.

He says he was there specifically for Jesus.

Roche, 26, of Murfreesboro Tenn., posted video on Facebook, according to the FBI complaint. Here's how it read in part:

"My name is Michael Roche. We're here in Washington D.C. We did get a chance to storm the Capitol. And we made it into the chamber…We managed to convince the cops to let us through. They listened to reason. And when we got into the chamber, we all started praying and shouting in the name of Jesus Christ and inviting Christ back into our state capitol."

Roche, who was also photographed at the Trump rally before the riot, had a celebrity photo op with Jacob Chansley, aka the QAnon Shaman. Here's how he captioned the photo:

"Took a pic of this wonderful man from AZ before the media tried to smear him as Antifa. My brother was shoulder to shoulder praying in Jesus name in the main capital chamber holding up the Bible. I want too see those photos. Do NOT believe what you hear." (Unedited)

The FBI complaint cites a video from the New Yorker's YouTube channel showing Roche in the Senate chamber behind the desk of Vice President Mike Pence "with at least three other rioters, including Chansley, who begin to shout and pray."

Here are the charges against, Roche, with maximum penalties, as reported by the Nashville Tennessean:

Knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, for which the maximum term in prison is one year, the maximum fine is $250,000;

  • Disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, maximum prison term of one year, maximum fine of $250,000;
  • Obstruction of justice or Congress, maximum prison term of one year, maximum fine of $250,000;
  • Entering and remaining on the floor of Congress, maximum prison term of six months, maximum fine of $555,000;
  • Disruption of official business, maximum prison term of six months, maximum fine of $5,000;
  • Disorderly conduct in a capitol building, maximum prison term of six months, maximum fine of $5,000;
  • Parading, demonstrating or picketing in a capitol building, maximum prison term of six months, maximum fine of $5,000.

You read the FBI complaint here.

'I'm sure these officers are scared': Infowars 'editor' arrested for role in the Capitol riot

Samuel Christopher Montoya of Texas was arrested today by the FBI on charges of unlawful entry and disorderly and disruptive conduct in connection with the January 6 Capitol riot.

The FBI complaint identifies Montoya as a narrator and video editor at Infowars.com and quotes a witness as saying he worked there. Here's what the complaint states was found at Infowars.com:

"PatriotsStormCongressRawFootageIncludesExecutionofAshliBabbitt. The approximately 44-minute video is embedded with the tag "THERESISTANCE.VIDEO" and the narrator identifies himself as "Sam with Infowars.com." The video captures "Sam" going from the Capitol grounds into the Capitol Building along with crowds of protesters on January 6, 2021, at one point turning the camera on himself and exclaiming, "It feels good to be in the Capitol baby!"

Here are some of the other comments attributed to Montoya in the FBI arrest complaint:

"During the video, Montoya makes the following statements:
9:55 – "We're gonna crawl, we're gonna climb. We're gonna do whatever it takes, we're gonna do whatever it takes to MAGA. Here we go, y'all. Here we go, y'all. Look at this, look at this. I don't even know what's going on right now. I don't wanna get shot, I'll be honest, but I don't wanna lose my country. And that's more important to me than—than getting shot."
11:04 – "We have had enough! We're not gonna take your fucking vaccines! We're not gonna take all your bullshit! The people are rising up! Folks, I am now on the steps of the Capitol. Here we go! Here we go! Having a good time!"
12:55 – "We are in the Capitol, baby! Yeah!"
15:40 – "We're all being a little bit too rowdy for sure."
16:07 – "Here we are in the US Capitol in Washington DC in the Capitol building, it has officially been stormed by Trump supporters. Again, the US Capitol building in Washington DC has officially been stormed by Trump supporters. And here we are, taking our—the people's house back!"
17:38 – "I'm sure these officers are scared, but we're here, we're here to just show that we've had enough. We've had enough."
34:05 – "We don't hurt innocent people; we don't tear down statues! We don't tear down statues! We take our house back! We take the people's house back!"

The report also states: "At times during the video, Montoya describes himself to others inside the Capitol Building as a "reporter" or "journalist" as he attempts to get through crowds. The director of the Congressional press galleries within the Senate Press office did a name check on Samuel Christopher Montoya and confirmed that no one by that name has Congressional press credentials as an individual or via any other organizations.

The FBI stated it had received a tip January 11 to its National Threat Operations Center "from W-1, a family member of Samuel Christopher Montoya." W-1 reported that W-1 had proof that Montoya was physically inside the U.S. Capitol near the shooting of a woman on January 6, 2021. FBI agents interviewed W-1 on January 17, 2021, to follow up on the tip received. W-1 stated that Montoya worked for Infowars and that Montoya showed a video of himself walking through the Capitol and captured footage of the death of Ashli Babbitt. W-1 reported that Montoya showed the video to family members who all recognized Montoya as being the one in the video and having taken the video.

And there was this: "Your affiant has also reviewed several interviews with Montoya on the Infowars show "War Room with Owen Shroyer" regarding the events at the U.S. Capitol. On January 8, 2021, Shroyer interviewed Montoya in a video titled "EYE WITNESS ACCOUNT OF ASHLI BABBITT'S EXECUTION"2 Montoya - who is credited as "Sam," and a "Video Editor" at "Infowarsstore.com" – describes to Shroyer hearing the gunshot and his recollections of the scene of the shooting. His "exclusive" footage that is played features his same voice narrating as in the 44-minute video, and appears to depict activity by the Speaker's Lobby sometime after the conclusion of his 44-minute video.

Here's the FBI complaint.

Black man wrongly arrested after false face recognition match leads to a 'shoddy' Detroit police investigation': lawsuit

The ACLU today announced a lawsuit has been filed on behalf of

Robert Williams, a Black man arrested based on a false face recognition match by Detroit police.

Williams was held "in a dirty, overcrowded cell for 30 hours — until they realized that 'the computer got it wrong,'" the ACLU stated in announcing the suit. The ALCU filed the case on behalf of Williams in conjunction with the University of Michigan Law School's Civil Rights Litigation Initiative.

The lawsuit charges that the police violated Williams' rights protected by the Fourth Amendment and Michigan's civil rights law. "It seeks damages and demands that the Detroit Police

Department institute policy changes to halt the abuse of face recognition technology," the ACLU stated.

"It is well documented that face recognition technology is deeply flawed," the ACLU reported. "The technology has a disturbing record of racial bias against people of color and other marginalized groups. Many jurisdictions ban its use for that reason, among others.

"Face recognition is especially unreliable when attempting to identify Black people, when the photo used is grainy, when the lighting is bad, and when the suspect is not looking directly at the camera. All of these circumstances were present in the photograph that the Detroit Police Department used in its shoddy investigation, and are common in the type of photographs routinely used by police officers around the country when deploying face recognition technology.

"Despite the technology's well-known flaws, Detroit police relied on it almost exclusively in their investigation. They did not perform even a rudimentary investigation into Williams' whereabouts during the time of the Shinola shoplifting incident. If they had, they would have realized that Williams was not the culprit he was driving home from work outside of Detroit at the time the incident took place.

"After the "witness" falsely identified Williams, the police submitted a faulty and misleading request for an arrest warrant. They did not include the probe image used to generate the faulty face recognition "match," nor did they disclose that the image was blurry, dark, and showed an obstructed, barely-visible face turned away from the camera — impermissible conditions for a face recognition search by even the police department's own standards.

"They also failed to mention that face recognition technology is known to be faulty under these circumstances. Nor did they disclose that the image of Williams that "matched" with the culprit's was actually his expired driver's license, rather than the most current image of him on file with the state.

"Moreover, the police did not mention that the individual who picked Williams out of the lineup had never actually seen the shoplifter in person. And perhaps most egregiously, the police did not explain that both the unknown suspect and Williams are Black, and that face recognition technology is well known to produce significantly higher rates of false matches when used to try to identify images of Black people, as compared to white men.

The ACLU concluded, "Williams' case makes it painfully clear: Face recognition technology turns everybody into a suspect and threatens our civil rights. We cannot allow flawed technology to participate in an already-flawed criminal legal system — especially when an individual's life and liberty are at stake."

You can read the full ACLU report here.

Gun-loving GOP congressman plans to sue over Capitol metal detectors

Georgia Congressman Andrew Clyde was rebuffed today by the House Ethics Committee over his refusal to walk through metal detectors installed in the wake of the January 6 Capitol riots.

So Clyde, owner of the Clyde Armory in his hometown of Athens, GA (and one other store), now says he'll go to the courts to challenge the constitutionality of metal detectors. Here's Politico's reporting:

"While my team and I continue to await an announcement of a fine levied on the Speaker, we are preparing for the next stage of this fight. I will take my case to federal court where I am confident justice will be served," Clyde said in a statement.

"Clyde had previously stated that he had intentionally bypassed the metal detectors, which were installed after a throng of Trump supporters violently occupied the Capitol in early January for several hours, in order to set up a court challenge.

"I did that so we would have legal standing to take the case to federal court, and that's exactly what I'm going to do," he told Fox News in March. "People have to stand for the Constitution.'"

Among Clyde's pro-gun credits, he introduced a bill last month to shorten the waiting period for gun purchases from three business days to three calendar days. Clyde made so secret as to his motivation for the bill, as reported by the Gainesville Times.

"Clyde in a recent media appearance said the bill is part of his 2020 campaign promise to "eliminate" the background check provisions under the Brady Act. "I really think the Brady background check system is looking at it backwards," Clyde told Fox News. "We need to be looking at it from the point of the Second Amendment is an inalienable right."

Next to trying to eliminate all background checks, Clyde's stand against metal detectors seems to pale in importance. But Clyde is hardly alone in raging against even a basic security measure involving guns.

""A number of Republicans have bristled at the enhanced security measures installed by House leadership in response to the insurrection, arguing that they are unnecessary and intrude on their ability to carry out official duties. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) has also been fined for going around House metal detectors and, like Clyde, has had his appeal rejected by the House Ethics Committee," Politico reported.

"After the metal detectors were stationed outside the House chambers, several Republicans were observed trying to go around them, set them off without stopping or argue with Capitol security officials about the matter. U.S. Capitol Police also opened an investigation in January into whether one GOP House member had tried to bring a firearm onto the floor.

"As part of the sweeping changes enacted by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol building, members can be subjected to hefty fines — $5,000 for the first violation and $10,000 for additional infractions —for avoiding the metal detectors. The fines are deducted automatically from lawmakers' paychecks."

Clyde, a U.S. Navy veteran, is a freshman congressman, elected to the seat that Rep. Doug Collins vacated to run for U.S. Senate. His district adjoins that of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.

Capitol rioter named after Andrew Jackson makes his ‘patriotic’ stand

If you're named for Andrew Jackson and you're a QAnon guy and you're a self-styled "law-enforcement auditor" who posts traffic stops and other arrests on YouTube, why wouldn't you go the January 6 Capitol riot?

Meet Andrew Jackson Morgan Jr. of Maxwell, Texas. The FBI charged him April 8 with the usual charges of unlawful entry, obstruction of an official proceeding and violent entry or disorderly conduct in connection with the riot. But there's also one for "aiding and abetting" that would suggest an active role in "encouraging" others in the crowd.

Morgan's alleged language during the riot and from his interview with the FBI make for some of the better reading among the hundreds of arrest reports.

Morgan is identified by the FBI as "the content creator of a YouTube video channel called "Political Trance Tribune." That where "he presents as a law enforcement 'auditor,'" the FBI complaint states.

The report says agents acted on a video linked to the FBI tip line. The report alleges that Morgan, "while filming other protesters, can be heard encouraging them to make entry" into the Capitol.

Here's some of the running commentary reported by the FBI:

"I want my bullet and goin in my house. I want that door right there! I want my bullet! Give me my bullet! Give me my tear gas!"

That's followed, the report says, with words "to the effect of" these:

"Send helmets forward…what's happening is that people are pushing in…getting their bullet…crack on the head…rotating…fresh people--fresh people--are we in?"

That might be a little hard to follow, but there's more clarity to the interview reported by the agent on March 10 upon executing a search warrant and interviewing Morgan at his home. Morgan claimed he was covering the event as "an independent journalist and civil-rights auditor."

He even had a press lanyard provided him by a fellow auditor who he says runs the "Michigan Constitutional Crusader." Here's the FBI agent's account of the interview:

"Morgan said he was there as a "chameleon." He said wishes now that he had not said the things that he did, but just filmed the events. Morgan said he is concerned that the government has been hijacked.

"He is concerned why Mike Lindell's video about election fraud was banned. He is like-minded with the Founders of the country and with QAnon. He has come to realize that the people in power keep power through child pedophilia. They used child pedophilia to control the masses."

The FBI report also stated that agents spoke with Morgan's wife, who confirmed his identity in the video from the Capitol.

"She said Morgan drove to the Capitol with a group of political YouTube auditors. She said they sometimes refer to themselves as independent patriots."

Republicans snivel back from being OK with Trump's close pal Xi Jinping

Just for kicks, President Joe Biden should try to see if he could make Republican heads explode by acting soft on China. It wouldn't take much effort.

Biden could say that he "loves" Chinese President Xi Jinping. He could declare that Xi is a "great gentlemen" and that the two men "will always be friends" even if there's a trade war between their countries.

Biden could say "I think it's great" that Xi has made himself president for life in China. He could congratulate Xi for becoming "the most powerful (Chinese) president in a hundred years." For good measure, Biden could muse that "maybe we'll have to give that a shot someday."

Biden could describe how Xi treated him "tremendously well" on a visit to China. He could add that it was "unfortunate" that the coronavirus started in China but got "out of control." He could defend Xi's good intentions with regard to its spread by observing that the Chinese leader "respects" the U.S.

Biden could defend Xi's oppression of the people of Hong Kong by noting, "That's between Hong Kong and that's between China, because Hong Kong is a part of China. They'll have to deal with that themselves. They don't need advice."

Or Biden could Tweet, "I know President Xi of China very well. He is a great leader who very much has the respect of his people. He is also a good man in a 'tough business.' I have ZERO doubt that if President Xi wants to quickly and humanely solve the Hong Kong problem, he can do it."

In other words, Biden could say all the things that Donald Trump has said out loud about Trump's good friend Xi Jinping.

Trump's Republican enablers maintained loyal silence all those times he lavished praise on Xi. They of course have forgotten that, just like they continue to forget what Trump about Xi more than a month after learning the lethality of COVID-19 and less than two weeks before declaring a national health emergency. Here's some of Trump's praise of Xi's handling of the virus as reported at Politico:

Feb. 27, Coronavirus Task Force press conference:

"I spoke with President Xi. We had a great talk. He's working very hard, I have to say. He's working very, very hard. And if you can count on the reports coming out of China, that spread has gone down quite a bit. The infection seems to have gone down over the last two days. As opposed to getting larger, it's actually gotten smaller."

Feb. 29, Coronavirus Task Force press conference:

"China seems to be making tremendous progress. Their numbers are way down. … I think our relationship with China is very good. We just did a big trade deal. We're starting on another trade deal with China — a very big one. And we've been working very closely. They've been talking to our people, we've been talking to their people, having to do with the virus."

Yes, that's all forgotten, except the part about the virus originating in China. As for Xi Jinping, now that Biden is president, everything is different for Republicans. They're finding their voices again.

Senator Ted Cruz, R-Cancun, provides a good case in point. Recently, Cruz described Xi's regime as "this human rights-abusing, free speech-repressing, trade-and-currency manipulating set of totalitarians who make up the Chinese Communist Party."

Yet Cruz couldn't bring himself to utter a word of dissent all those times Trump extolled Xi's virtues. Not even after Trump congratulated Xi Jinping for becoming a totalitarian for life.

Cruz did weigh in on Hong Kong in a June 29, 2019 op-ed piece at FoxNews.com. He called upon Trump to complain about "China's assault on the sovereignty and autonomy of Hong Kong." Trump was holding a side meeting with Xi Jinping the next day at a G20 summit in Japan.

Trump ignored Cruz's advice as Hong Kong didn't come up. Cruz responded by saying nothing. Cruz also said nothing less than four months later in response to this news from CNN:

"During a private phone call in June, President Donald Trump promised Chinese President Xi Jinping that the US would remain quiet on pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong while trade talks continued, two sources familiar with the call tell CNN.

"The remarkable pledge to the Chinese leader is a dramatic departure from decades of US support for human rights in China and shows just how eager Trump is to strike a deal with Beijing as the trade war weighs on the US economy."

As if none of that happened, Cruz recently was part of losing efforts to oppose several Biden Cabinet picks by alleging they wouldn't be tough enough on China. If Trump was tough, the people of Hong Kong would hate to see weak.

Joining Cruz has been fellow insurrectionist Senator Josh Hawley. An advanced search of Hawley's Twitter feed finds literally dozens of tweets raging against China over the past two years on several issues. But insert the word "Trump" and there are no results. Hawley has been busy in recent weeks calling out Biden in advance for being weak on China.

But perhaps the cheapest shot of all came from 2024 GOP Nikki Haley, who was serving as Trump's UN Ambassador when Trump praised Xi Jinping for becoming president for life. Haley had nothing to say then. Now, suddenly, Haley's so concerned about China that she's willing to edit presidential remarks deceitfully to make a point about how tough she is.

Haley literally shared only one half of a Biden sentence to distort his position on China. Here's the half she tweeted:

"China has an overall goal, and I don't criticize them for the goal, but they have an overall goal to become the leading country in the world, the wealthiest country in the world, and the most powerful country in the world…"

Incredibly, Haley stopped the tape there, noting, "Biden doesn't think it's necessary to criticize China." And what did she omit? Just the rest of Biden's sentence, which concluded:

"That's not gonna happen on my watch."

If anyone needs proof of what a liar Haley can be, there you have it. Plus Haley also omitted the rest of Biden's comments. Here's what she forgot to include, via Business Insider:

"This is a battle between the utility of democracies in the 21st century and autocracies," Biden said. "We have to prove that democracy works."

"Biden said Chinese leader Xi Jinping, much like Russian President Vladimir Putin, doesn't have a democratic "bone in his body." Xi and Putin see autocracy as the "wave of the future," Biden said, and that "democracy can't function" in an increasingly complex world.

"The president on Thursday said he's communicated to Xi that the US is "not looking for confrontation" with China, but knows "there'll be steep, steep competition."

"Biden also said he told Xi that "as long as you and your country continue to so blatantly violate human rights, we are going to continue in an unrelenting way to call it to the attention of the world, and make it clear, make it clear, what's happening. And he understood that."

Perhaps it should come as no surprise that Haley left out the meat of what Biden had to say. After all, that was the kind of language her old boss would never have uttered about his "good friend" Xi Jinping.

The RNC has sent out a mailer that is going to infuriate Trump

Donald Trump probably is not happy about this.

The Republican National Committee last week mailed supporters a fundraising letter and survey of GOP 2024 presidential hopefuls over the signature of RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel. The letter was remarkable, not for what it said, but what it didn't say.

The party of Donald Trump didn't mention Donald Trump, other than to list his name without fanfare on an alphabetical list of 15 potential presidential nominees. Instead, McDaniel offered the following unconvincing disclaimer:

"I must emphasize the RNC is strictly neutral through the entire presidential primary process," McDaniel's letter stated. "But once the presidential primaries are complete in 2024, the RNC is the ONLY Party committed by federal law that can provide substantial direct financial support to our presidential nominee."

From Trump's perch as arguably the most narcissistic human ever, the two-page letter's five mentions of the White House and zero of him likely didn't sit well. In particular, this paragraph took neutrality to a level not seen at the RNC for many years:

"President Biden and the Radical Democrats are feverishly working to reverse the gains our country made the last four years under Republican leadership in the White House and are determined to ram their Far Left agenda down the American people's throats."

Really? "Under Republican leadership in the White House?" Can't think of the fellow's name, apparently. What's worse, it's part of a sentence that looks to be lifted right off of a MAGA propaganda piece.

McDaniel's letter explained that I (strangely enough) have been invited to be "one of a handful of Republicans in your state" to help ensure the party picks the "absolute strongest candidate for the Presidency our party can find." It repeatedly mentioned Biden and sounded alarms in terms strangely reminiscent of that guy who preceded him:

"Their Far-Left special interest allies are already planning to raise billions of dollars to keep Biden in the White House for another four years so he can finish the "fundamental transformation" of America into a Big Government Socialist state."

The letter was accompanied by an enclosure listing 15 "Republican leaders as potential nominees for president of the United States." We special recipients of the letter weren't asked to rank them, merely to check one of five boxes rating our views of them from "strongly favorable" to "strongly unfavorable."

As the letter explained, "The poll does not ask you to choose between possible candidates. Its purpose is simply to help our Party and possible candidates establish a baseline gauge, at this moment in time, of the interest, viability and support within our Party, of the current provisional slate of "most likely" presidential nominees.

Despite the pledge of strict neutrality, the RNC had to pick someone and -- given that there are far more than 15 such leaders -- it had to omit some people as well. Both lists, as well as Trump's not-at-all-special treatment, were rather telling.

Here's the list of candidates, with their accompanying descriptions:

  • Tom Cotton (Arkansas Senator)
  • Chris Christie (Former New Jersey Governor)
  • Ted Cruz (Texas Senator)
  • Ron DeSantis (Florida Governor)
  • Nikki Haley (Former South Carolina Governor)
  • Josh Hawley (Missouri Senator)
  • Larry Hogan (Maryland Governor)
  • Rand Paul (Kentucky Senator)
  • Mike Pence (Former Vice President)
  • Mike Pompeo (Former Secretary of State)
  • Marco Rubio (Florida Senator)
  • Rick Scott (Florida Senator)
  • Tim Scott (South Carolina Senator)
  • Donald J. Trump (Former President)
  • Donald Trump Jr. (Businessman)

Just the way the candidates are listed and identified is a hoot. Not that Trump wouldn't appreciate the need to refer to him parenthetically as "Former president." At least he wasn't just called "Businessman" like his son.

But it's worth noting some of the big names who didn't make the cut. There was Ivanka Trump, the president's daughter, former adviser and what not. There was Governors Kristi Noem of South Dakota and Greg Abbott, of Texas, on almost everyone's short list. They must be wondering how the RNC dredged up Christie for a spin rather than them. So might Senators Mike Lee and Joni Ernst and Rep. Dan Crenshaw.

On the celebrity non-politician front -- where Don Jr is lined up, so to speak -- a couple of glaring omissions were two media figures whose names have been widely bandied about: Tucker Carlson and Candace Coleman.

These non-inclusions probably weren't as telling, however, as those of Senators Mitt Romney and Ben Sasse, Governor Mike DeWine, former Governor John Kasich and former Senator Bob Corker. All of them have run, or are flirting with running, for the GOP presidential nomination. All have received the title "Never Trumper."

Or, as the RNC, apparently would say now, "Never that former president."

Republicans bash themselves over the head in raging against MLB's All-Star Game move

A small handful of Republican politicians is garnering an outsized amount of attention by threatening to eliminate baseball's anti-trust exemption. The idea is to punish major-league baseball for punishing Georgia with its decision to yank this year's All-Star Game from Atlanta.

The GOP is striking out, literally and figuratively. But the best part of the story is how Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, Representative Marjorie Taylor Green of the Qniverse and others are targeting the wrong team in terms of their own self-interest.

In the highly unlikely event something might happen to MLB's century-old anti-trust exemption, it would be regarded as a major blow to wealthy MLB owner sports monopolists, almost all of whom are Republicans. And many of whom are among the party's chief financial donors.

Conversely and comically, among the beneficiaries would be professional baseball players, who have been tormented by the exemption since it was guaranteed by a 1922 U.S. Supreme Court decision. Former star Curt Flood made a heroic stand against in 1972 (although he lost his court case) that would lead to free agency and players' rights were codified in a law bearing his name in 1998. But the exemption survived, to the ongoing dismay of players.

So here's the sweetest irony of the present situation: It was fear of an All-Star boycott by players that was among the main reasons that MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred made the stunning call to move the All-Star Game from Atlanta. Anyone who thinks that a bunch of Republican sports monopolists suddenly woke up with alarm over voter suppression has been snorting the first baseline.

Manfred's reasoning was analyzed Friday in a piece at The Athletic:

"Manfred's primary motivations for the move were sliced differently by various industry sources. Those closest to Manfred suggested that Manfred had 30 reasons to make the move and did not rely on any one factor alone. Others, including people who had been briefed on conversations Manfred has held, pointed to two strong concerns: One, that players could eventually decide to boycott the All-Star Game if it remained in Georgia, which would be a disaster for the sport; and two, that major corporate sponsors could be reticent to continue to support the game if it remained in Atlanta. Coca-Cola and Delta, both major Atlanta-based companies and partners of the Braves, had previously criticized the law."

The report added:

"Even without a boycott, keeping the game in Atlanta could have directly produced difficult and tiresome situations for the players themselves. Players might have been constantly asked about their feelings on holding the game in the state. At the very least, Manfred would not have wanted that negative attention on the sport, although he'll face a different kind now, from proponents of the voter laws."

Perhaps the only certainty is that Republican sports monopolists had no reason to rail against voter-suppression efforts that have been introduced by the GOP not merely in dozens of states, of which Georgia is but one.

As USA Today reported last October in an extensive study of the political leanings of sports owners, there is no ambiguity about what they said they favor.

"USA Today Sports reviewed the political contributions of 183 owners from 161 teams across MLB, MLS, the NBA, the NFL, the NHL and the WNBA. The filings show that owners have collectively given at least $14.6 million to federal candidates during the 2019-20 election cycle so far – with nearly 86% of those funds going to Republican candidates and causes.

"USA TODAY Sports found that the 10 largest spenders have accounted for roughly two-thirds of the overall political spending by sports ownership during this election cycle, led by San Francisco Giants owner Charles Johnson, who has given more than $3.25 million. In total, 23 owners have donated $100,000 or more."

The report also quoted sociologist Harry Edwards as saying the political donations exemplify the "ideological disconnect" that remains between predominantly white owners and their Black players.

"These owners standing up and saying 'Black Lives Matter,' and even taking a knee, doesn't mean that they get it," Edwards said. "What shows what they get is where they put their money."

In the case of MLB owners, the place owners put their money is on the Republican side, by a margin or more than 10 to 1, according to USA Today. As to how these donors might receive their beneficiaries eliminating their anti-trust exemption, consider this report at NBC Sports from last May:

"What is still in place, firmly, is Major League Baseball's ability to work to thwart competitors, if any ever arise, and its ability to carve out protected geographic territories for its clubs and anti-competitive contract rights for its clubs. The Rays can't pick up and move to Brooklyn. Jeff Bezos can fund an eight-team upstart league, try to put it in some cities and Major League Baseball can do all manner of things in concert to stop him that no other businesses could do when faced with competitors.

"They can agree to set salaries for scouts or other team employees who are not part of a union across the league and make rules against hiring players from one another. It can also dictate the terms of employment of minor league players and institute a draft which prevents teams from separately negotiating with amateur players. It's an enormously powerful tool that any business would kill to have but which belongs exclusively to baseball. It's a gift, really."

Capitol cop beaten with a skateboard by Florida music student during Trump's insurrection: prosecutors

Grady Douglas Owens, a 21-year-old music student in Winter Park, FL, remains held in jail on some of the most serious charges filed among the hundreds arrested in connection with the January 6 Capitol riot.

Owens is accused by the FBI of having struck DC officer Christopher Boyle over the head with a skateboard during the melee at the Capitol. Boyle suffered a concussion and a finger injury from the attack, its report stated.

Owens was denied bail Friday by U.S. Magistrate Judge Daniel Irick. The FBI complaint shows that he faces charges of assaulting an officer, violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, along with the trespassing and obstruction charges faced by other protesters. Owens faced up to 36 years in prison.

The judge "said the "crimes of violence" for which Owens is accused justify denying his release on an unsecured bond, unlike many of the others who have been arrested previously, the Orlando Sentinel reported. Owens does not have a prior criminal record.

"Those who attacked law enforcement officers are a different level of dangerous." Irick said, the Sentinel reported. Irick also cited Owens' alcohol and marijuana use as aspects of his character that justify keeping him in custody.

"Following Irick's decision, Owens turned to the gallery and pulled his mask down. "I'm sorry, guys," he told his great-uncle and his wife in the gallery. They declined to answer questions after the hearing," the Sentinel reported.

The FBI complaint said Owens had flown to DC from San Antonio with his father, Jason D Owens. The Sentinel reported that the elder Owens attended the rally but was not charged in connection with it.

Sedition Hunters, a group of Internet sleuths, had information helpful in identifying Owens and his Instagram page. Sedition Hunters' website describes it as "a global community of open-source intelligence investigators working together to assist the U.S. FBI and Washington D.C. Capitol Police to find those who committed crimes on January 6 at the Capitol."

The lettering "White Fang" on Owens' skateboard helped the FBI identify him, along with license-plate-reading technology with which his car was tracked. Authorities were able to locate Owens at Full Sale University in Winter Park, where he is a junior majoring in music production. A faculty member confirmed his identity.

Owens had been described by a local TV station as having shown up in shorts and a T-Shirt when he appeared in court Thursday afternoon. He told the judge at the time he believed his parents were trying to hire him an attorney. He ended up Friday with a public defender and an email promise from his mother that he would be living with relatives and not a flight risk. The judge disagreed.

Here's the FBI complaint, which includes photos of Owens and the riot.



Proud Boy arrested for Capitol riot with help of photo at antifa website

Marc Anthony Bru truly had insult added to injury this week when it turned out that his arrest by the FBI in connection with the January 6 Capitol riot was at least partly facilitated by an anti-fascist website.

Bru, 41, of Vancouver, WA has been charged with breaching the Capitol -- like so many others -- with the help of anonymous tips to the FBI. But in his case, the bureau had a little help from photos posted at PNW Resistance, an antifascist website that's the last place a Proud Boy like Bru wants to be seen.

Here's how Bru's apprehension was described by the website of Oregon Public Broadcasting:

"According to an affidavit, an anonymous tipster told the FBI in early February that Bru had planned to travel to D.C. on Jan. 6 to "witness history in the making," telling the tipster, "you are about to see. It's going to be big."

"The affidavit claims a second individual the FBI interviewed saw Facebook videos posted to Bru's account that showed him at the Capitol. The FBI also relied on open-source intelligence from an unlikely place: the popular antifascist Twitter account PNW Resistance known, in part, for scouring videos of right-wing demonstrations and identifying the individuals.

"It appears the account is associated with the anti-fascist movement and purports to attempt to publicly identify individuals who are associated with or are members of certain groups," the affidavit reads. "I am not aware of the credibility or lack thereof of the information posted on the account. Regardless, the following photographs were located on this website."

"The affidavit then includes some of the evidence collected by PNW Resistance and explains how the agent was able to verify the information.

"Of the many photographs included in the affidavit, some from his social media show Bru pointing a handgun at the camera and flashing the "ok" sign, a hand sign popular among white nationalists and far-right groups. Others purport to show Bru, donning goggles and a neck gaiter, advancing toward police officers in front of the Capitol on Jan. 6 as they are trying to disperse the crowd. Bru appears to have a radio clipped on the inside of his sweatshirt. Security camera footage provided by the U.S. Capitol Police appears to show Bru before and after he allegedly entered the Senate chamber.

"The affidavit also alleges Bru's cellphone "was identified as having utilized a cell site consistent with providing service to the geographic area that includes the interior of the U.S. Capitol building."

The account goes on to provide some striking insight into the Proud Boys operation:

"A video from January 2020 shows known members of the Proud Boys attacking Bru during an initiation ceremony into the far-right group, which prosecutors say played a central role in the Jan. 6 insurrection.

"In that video, Bru is shirtless and holding the "ok" sign, says he is "a proud western chauvinist" and refuses "to apologize for creating the modern world." A number of people then punch him while he struggles to recite the names of five breakfast cereals.

"OPB reporters have also identified Bru in videos and photos taken at the 2019 May Day Proud Boy rally in Portland, which later devolved into a street brawl in front of Cider Riot, a local bar. A few months later, Bru was at an Aug. 17 Proud Boys rally in Portland."

Despite all that, the Oregonian reports that "U.S. Magistrate Judge Youlee Yim You in Portland ordered Bru's pretrial release with GPS monitoring." Apparently, that decision happened over the objections of prosecutors, as the newspaper reported:

"Assistant U.S. Attorney Ashley Cadotte read a recent text message sent by Bru that was intercepted by law enforcement. He talked about outnumbering officers, being "done with them" in a way that no "NGs," or National Guard members, "would be dispatched from DC to come put out this fire" no matter what judges say from the bench, according to Cadotte. It's unclear who he sent the message to.

"Cadotte argued that the recent message "displays a wanton disregard for any type of authority or laws we have in place. People were injured at the Capitol on Jan. 6. People died, and he is attempting to corral people to effectuate the same type of visceral and damage in Portland."

"She also argued that Bru had a gun in his waistband when arrested and was seen carrying guns in photos on social media.

"Yet the judge found Bru has long-standing community ties and family in the area and some evidence of employment. In addition to ordering GPS monitoring, she said Bru must stay away from the District of Columbia, surrender travel documents and not possess any guns."

Bru, by the way, is one of the few accused Capitol rioters with an existing LinkedIn account.

Matt Gaetz once dished the dirt about Michael Cohen's sex life — but it doesn't look so good now

Of all the people unimpressed with Congressman Matt Gaetz today, no one takes a back seat to Michael Cohen, former fixer and lawyer for Gaetz's hero, Donald Trump.

Here's what Cohen tweeted Tuesday:

"There are so many things I want to say…but I won't and will just l let this @nyt article speak for itself. #DirtBag @mattgaetz Is Said to Be investigated Over a Possible Sexual Relationship With A Girl 17--New York Times."

Cohen's use of the hashtag #DirtBag arguably mitigated the need for him to say "many things." But there was restraint by Cohen, who had been publicly dragged through the mud by Gaetz on the eve of Cohen's February 27, 2019 testimony before Congress' House Oversight and Reform Committee.

One day before Cohen's appearance, Gaetz tweeted:

"Hey @MichaelCohen212--Do your wife & father-in-law know about your girlfriends? Maybe tonight would be a good time for that chat. I wonder if she'll remain faithful when you're in prison. She's about to learn a lot."

The tweet did not go well for Gaetz. After initially defending his words as "entirely appropriate," Gaetz surrendered that very night under an avalanche of criticism that he was tampering with and threatening a witness, including a warning from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Quickly, Gaetz deleted the offending tweet and apologized for it on Twitter:

"Speaker, I want to get the truth too. While it is important 2 create context around the testimony of liars like Michael Cohen, it was NOT my intent to threaten, as some believe I did. I'm deleting the tweet & I should have chosen words that better showed my intent. I'm sorry."

Of course, Gaetz wasn't sorry enough to shut up. As Vanity Fair reported,
"Throughout the hearing the following day, Gaetz tweeted and re-tweeted articles disparaging Cohen and his testimony, even as lawmakers and critics continued to ridicule his comments."

That wasn't the end of it. The original tweet did garner Gaetz a full-fledged ethics investigation by the Florida Bar Association, but he was found not to have committed a violation months later.

And Gaetz wasn't finished with his apology tour, however forced it might have been. Vanity Fair reported:

"After Cohen's day on the Hill, Gaetz was backpedaling even further. 'Mr. Cohen, this is Congressman Matt Gaetz,' he wrote in a text to Cohen. "'I am writing to personally tell you I'm sorry for the tweet that I sent which many believe was threatening to you. It was never ever ever my intent to threaten you in any way."

"While you don't know me," he continued, "that is not who I am and how I operate. I do not wish any harm to you or your family. I was upset at what was transpiring and chose my words poorly. I will work to be better, as I know you said today you will as well. Have a good evening. – Matt.'"

At the time, Cohen reacted graciously, according to the magazine.

"Cohen wasted no time in responding. 'Congressman Gaetz, I cannot thank you enough for your message. The tweet, sadly, has only made a bad situation worse . . . not only for my wife but for my children as well. With your permission, I would like to share your message with my wife and children. Hopefully, it will bring a little peace to their damaged life. We all make mistakes especially in this crazy partisan time. Thank you again for your text and I hope that the tweet does not cause you any harm. If it does, and there is anything I can do to help you correct it, please feel free to reach out and I would be happy to assist.'"

And so it went. More from Vanity Fair:

"Later that evening, Gaetz tweeted that he had personally apologized to Cohen "4 referencing his private family in the public square. Regardless of disagreements, family members should be off-limits from attacks from representatives, senators & presidents, including myself. Let's leave the Cohen family alone."

"Gaetz repeated his apology in an interview with Fox News on Friday night, saying he should not have invoked Cohen's family. He took the opportunity to pat himself on the back, and to chastise those he feels are unduly hard on him because of his vocal support for the president. "The reason your network has me on a lot is because I'm one of the leading voices standing up for the president," he said. "This time I crossed the line. It's a sign of valor that I'm willing to admit that." He added that "it seems as though the people who defend the president most vigorously do spend their time in the barrel with the Ethics Committee, so I guess it's my turn."

Two years later, Gaetz is having his turn again, but in front of a much bigger barrel than the Ethics Committee. Suffice it to say that the Department of Justice is looking much more than "a sign of valor."

And apparently Michael Cohen has no need to express graciousness any longer.

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