Capitol rioter who told probation officer 'I will eat your flesh' pleads guilty to felony assault

An army veteran from Utah who became one of the faces of the January 6 riot – and one of its most defiant defendants afterward – has pleaded guilty felony assault charges.

Landon Kenneth Copeland, 34, of Hildale, Utah, pleaded guilty to assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ). Copeland’s plea agreement states that federal sentencing guidelines would suggest a sentence of 41 to 51 months. He will be sentenced September 9.

Copeland was among the first wave of rioters to gather on the Capitol grounds – at 1:11 p.m. – according to the FBI. As Fox 13 News of Salt Lake City reported, he “became a symbol of what happened on January 6, 2021, when news photographers captured images of him wrestling with police over a crowd control fence.

The DOJ reported that while another rioter grabbed a Capitol Police officer by his collar or neck, Copeland pushed from behind, causing the officer to fall and sustain injuries to his knee, back, and hip.

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“Immediately after the officer fell to the ground, Copeland grabbed a riot shield belonging to one officer and pushed against the police line, the DOJ report stated. “He grabbed another officer’s jacket and grappled with that officer, pushing (him) backward. Then he lowered his body to block other officers as they attempted to control the crowd. Copeland and other rioters joined in a tug of war with officers who attempted to reclaim (a) barricade. As events continued, chemical spray was deployed against members of the crowd. Copeland then charged officers with the barricade, pushing and throwing it into multiple officers.”

Copeland has been incarcerated for all but two days since his arrest last April 29. As Raw Story reported last year, he was released and rearrested immediately after this communication with the probation officer:

"I will eat your flesh for nutrients. You don't know what I am," Copeland told the probation officer, according to a motion from prosecutors seeking to keep him detained. Just before making the threat, Copeland screamed at a judge and court officials during an off-the-rails Zoom hearing on May 6. He texted his probation officer from the hearing saying, "Tell them I want to speak, or I will die for it!"

Copeland then drove to probation services where he spoke to the officer through a glass partition, according to the motion, "ranting about government conspiracies" and claiming "the government was out to get him."

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"At times, he banged his head against the glass and pressed his face against the glass. He told the (probation officer) that 'If I was on the other side of this glass, 'I would eat you from the inside out because I am starving,' and went on to say 'F*ck all of you, and f*ck every single one of you.’"

Copeland later said he became enraged during the May hearing when an attorney for another Jan. 6 defendant said his client had become addicted to Fox News and suffered from "Foxitis." Copeland said the attorney's comment was "spitting in the face of the 258 million people that tune in to the Tucker Carlson show.

After his arrest, Copeland had this to say to a Fox 13 News reporter:

“I do believe that the jury, whenever they stand there, they will see me as nothing more than a soldier trying to defend his people from the people who were attacking them," Copeland said. He added that former president Donald Trump "invited" him to be there — and that he would "willingly do it again."

Copeland has been in the Hurricane, Utah jail for a year and that time will be credited toward his sentence, the station reported.

You can read the FBI statement of facts here.

Capitol rioter who sat in Pence's seat on Jan. 6 faces prison sentence after pleading to felony obstruction

A California man who was among the rioters occupying the U.S. Senate chambers during the January 6 has pleaded guilty to felony charges and faces substantial prison time.

Christian Alexander Secor, 23, of Costa Mesa, California, pleaded guilty in the District of Columbia to obstruction of an official proceeding, according to the Department of Justice. Secor, who is to be sentenced on October 7, faces a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

But under Secor’s plea agreement, the DOJ maintains the defendant should receive a prison sentence of 51-to-63 months, which if imposed would be among the longest handed out to date. But the agreement also states the Secor “does reserve the right to challenge that finding “solely on the grounds that his offense did not involve causing or threatening to cause physical injury to a person or property damage.” If that position prevailed, Secor would face 21 to 27 months in prison under the guidelines.

The FBI alleged in its arrest documents that “at approximately 2:47 p.m., after another rioter had jumped over the railing in the Senate Gallery to the Senate Floor, (Secor) left the Gallery and went to the door of the Senate Floor on the second story of the building. The defendant then made his way to the Senate Dais and sat in the seat that had been occupied by Vice President Mike Pence approximately 30 minutes earlier.

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“While the defendant occupied the seat at the Senate Dais-and while other rioters were present inside the Senate Chambers and the U.S. Capitol building---the joint session to count and certify the votes of the Electoral College for the 2020 Presidential Election could not continue.”

According to court documents, Secor sent a text message on November 3, 2020 – Election Day -- stating, “We’re gonna win bigly and if we don’t we’re taking this ship down in flames.”

“In preparation for the events of Jan. 6, he messaged another individual on Jan. 5, 2021, stating that he “brought a gas mask” to Washington and that he “Wouldn’t be surprised if conservatives just storm the police and clobber antifa and the police but that’s wishful thinking.”

And Secor tweeted, "the facade of a free country are [sic] evaporating before our eyes. What an exciting time to be alive." And that "The institutional attacks on this demonstration are something out of the Arab Spring. More reason to go by any means necessary!"

On the evening of Jan. 6, Secor boasted about what took place that day on Twitter, saying, among other things, “One day accomplished more for conservatism than the last 30 years.”

You can read the criminal complaint here.

Capitol rioter who attacked officers with a large metal Trump sign pleads guilty

A Colorado man who wore a helmet and a “Guns Don’t Kill Clintons Do” sweater has pleaded guilty to one of five counts – civil disorder – for which was charged in connection with the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Thomas Patrick Hamner, 48, of Colorado Springs, entered the plea Tuesday to Count 2 of the indictment against him. The Department of Justice website states that “all other charges remain pending.”

As Raw Story reported last November, Hamner’s case stood out because the FBI was able to identify him with the help of an online restaurant review he had posted. That story cited coverage from Denver's Channel 7:

“A person who 'has had personal contact with Hamner' confirmed to investigators that he was the man seen in videos and in an online business review Hamner left for a restaurant, according to court records," the station reports. ‘Great food, close by, glad I found them,’ Hamner wrote of an unidentified Colorado Springs restaurant in the review, according to court records.

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The FBI complaint against Hamner alleged that he was captured multiple times on video and was seen “working with others to push a large metal 'TRUMP' sign into the line of officers trying to keep the barricade on the Capitol's West Plaza in place.”

At the time of Hamner’s arrest, the Colorado Springs reported that “Hamner told onlookers that he was being arrested for being at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, and joked that the officers arresting him were “lucky” he wasn’t running.

“I’m a runner, and I’m a fighter, but I ain’t that today because I know I’ve been doing right,” he appeared to say, referencing his “rap sheet.”

“In 2015, Hamner was convicted of driving without a license, failing to signal, and obstructing a peace officer and resisting arrest, for which he was sentenced to 45 days in jail. Court records indicate he appealed that conviction, but show his sentence largely remained and that his case was closed.”

You can read the FBI complaint against Hamner here.

Republicans cheap-shot Biden on baby formula shortage while Democrats hide

The Republican talking-point machine is exploiting America baby-formula shortage with a nonsensical claim that the national crisis is related to the Biden Administration sending scarce supplies to feed immigrant formula at the border.

Fact-checkers quickly pointed out that federal law requires the administration to provide necessary food to these children. But even that response ignores the much larger common-sense point that feeding a few thousand kids in one corner of the country hardly could represent even a dent in the supplies for millions elsewhere.

It’s pure symbolism and pure politics, a too-familiar sight of demagogues exacerbating a national crisis. But making it worse is this: Democrats are not mustering the will to fight back against the distortions.

If any Democratic politicians are coming to President Joe Biden’s defense, they’ve managed to avoid news coverage detectable by search engines. And although it can be argued that Biden’s defense has been belated and tentative, a much larger concern is that the president has been hung out to dry on the issue by his own party.

That Republican narrative has no basis in fact. The baby-formula shortage – which most certainly has become a national crisis – can be traced to a multitude of factors and the administration having followed the law to feed a few thousand babies at the borders isn’t one of them.

Among the real-world major factors was a bacterial outbreak last year at the lab of industry giant Abbott – a too-dominant supplier of baby formula – one that has continued to result in FDA product recalls. Those recalls have resulted in shortages, fear and confusion.

So have the shortages caused by hoarding at the outset of the pandemic, made worse from the supply-chain problems that it spawned. Trade policy – including Trump’s new NAFTA agreement – is blamed for an inability by the U.S. to import needed supplies from Canada and Europe.

All that has been laid out in strong journalism from the Atlantic to the New York Times to the Washington Post to the Wall Street Journal. Included in those accounts is the detail -- conveniently ignored now by Republicans -- that the Trump administration followed the precise law regarding food for immigrant children, albeit resentfully.

But perhaps most important is what’s missing from the analyses: Statements or advocacy from Democratic officials pointing out the absurdity of the Republicans’ vile narrative, much less defending the Biden administration.

While Republicans across the nation are railing irrationally about baby formula, Biden and the border, there appears to be no coordinated effort by Democrats to counter the noise. One exception happened when Rep. Elise Stefanik tweeted the lie and a handful of Democrats called her out in response.

But that isolated instance of inside-the-Beltway conflict is no substitute for national messaging by the Democrats countering the Republican lies. And that, it seems, is nowhere to be found.

Whether that’s because of midterm-election jitters or Biden’s weak poll numbers doesn’t matter. The Democrats’ overall desertion of Biden on the issue can only assist Republicans salivating at the prospect of still another irrational red-meat issue.

The MAGA base has been energized by countless lies every bit as absurd as those claiming that the COVID crisis has been prolonged by Biden welcoming infected illegal immigrants. But this one’s especially easy to peddle in a 30-second midterm ad.

These souls were already lost. But the Democrats risk much greater political damage with their failure to pushback at the nonsense polluting the airwaves about baby formula having been diverted to illegal immigrants at the border.

At the very moment Republicans are reeling from the prospect of having to defend their assault on the reproductive freedom of American women, the last thing they should be handed in a media off-ramp for some bizarre diversion implying – or stating – that Democrats want to starve American babies to feed those of illegal-immigrant mothers.

That’s preposterous, of course. But as the current election cycle is demonstrating in state after state, preposterous sells in 2022. Especially if rational people – and in particular, the Democrats – don’t have the good sense and the will to fight back.

Pole-wielding Capitol rioter arrested on multiple felony charges

A North Carolina man who came prepared for the January 6 Capitol riot with a helmet, goggles and knee pads has been arrested by the FBI on charges that he attacked multiple officers with his fists and a large pole.

David Joseph Gietzen, 38, of Sanford, North Carolina, is charged with eight counts, including assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers with a dangerous weapon. The assaults took place between 2:13 and 2:31 p.m. on the day of the riot, according to a Department of Justice news release.

The FBI criminal complaint against Gietzen stated that he was captured on police bodycams and open-source footage of the riot “wearing a green jacket, jeans, knee pads, and on occasion a white helmet and/or goggles. Gietzen is seen consistently moving up and down the police line along the security gate barriers… pushing with the crowd against the barriers and thrusting his fist against U.S. Capitol Police officers’ shields.”

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Videos obtained by the FBI also show Gietzen grabbing an officer by the throat or face mask, the arresting documents charge.

“Gietzen hit the officer next to him with the pole, striking him in the shoulder between his protective gear. According to USCP Officer 1, Gietzen took the opportunity to hit the officers after the officers had to fight off a group of rioters who used a large piece of wood, appearing to be a piece of plywood the size of a door, to break through the perimeter.”

You can read the FBI statement of facts here.

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Trump-loving Texas sisters who participated in Capitol riot as a family affair plead guilty

Two sisters who joined their parents and brother in the January 6 riot have pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of parading at the U.S. Capitol.

Kristi and Kayli Munn, of Borger, Texas, entered the plea Friday to the charges. Their brother Joshua Munn made a similar plea April 28. The siblings were charged along with their parents Thomas and Dawn Munn, while a sixth family member, a minor child, was uncharged.

During a telephone interview less than three weeks after the riot, Kristi Munn “admitted to going to the U.S. Capitol to see President Trump speak and to express her First Amendment rights to object to the electoral college results, but denied going inside the Capitol or participating in any violence, vandalism, or any other criminal activity at the Capitol,” the FBI alleged.

But video shows the Munn family members crawling through a window at 2:25 p.m. on the day of the riot, the FBI stated. And as Raw Story reported last July, there was this from Kristi Munn’s Facebook page:

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"These women stormed OUR capital and demanded OUR House and Country back!!!!" Kristi Munn posted. "They did not brake [sic] burn threaten swear push touch or hurt another American there today but they damn sure made their voice hear [sic]!!!"

Subsequent social media activity confirmed their presence inside the building, including one Facebook conversation between Kayli Munn and another relative who asked how the march had been.

"F*cking great!" Kayli Munn said. "Holy sh*t we were inside the f*cking capital!"

On the day before the riot, their father Tom Dunn had posted “We made it to our hotel just outside DC … 1,600 miles in 24 hrs!” Afterward he posted this:

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“The DC police opened up on a small group climbing the scaffolding, with gas grenades . . . The only damage to the capital building was several windows and sets of doors. Nothing inside the capital was damaged. I can tell you, patriots NEVER made it to the chamber. There was no violence in the capital building, the crowd was NOT out of control . . . they were ANGRY!!!”

The parading charges against the two women are misdemeanors carrying a maximum penalty of six months in prison.

You can read the criminal complaint against the Munn family members here.

Slur-spewing Capitol rioter faces up to 28 years in prison after pleading guilty to assaulting cops

A Pennsylvania man who wielded a wooden club he labeled the “Commie knocker” on January 6 has pleaded guilty to two felony charges in connection with the Capitol riot.

Marshall Neefe, 25, of Newville, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding and assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers. Neefe faces a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison on the conspiracy charge and an additional eight years in prison on the assault charge. He will be sentenced August 17.

Neefe was accused by the FBI of carrying the wooden club onto the Capitol grounds during the riot. He “participated in hoisting and pushing a large metal sign frame – at least eight feet tall and 10 feet wide -- into a defensive line of officers attempting to prevent the crowd from further advancing on the west front plaza of the Capitol,” according to a Department of Justice (DOJ) news release.

The DOJ stated that on November 4, 2020 -- one day after the election -- Neefe wrote to co-defendant Charles Bradford Smith, “I’m getting ready to storm D.C.” Smith, who has pleaded not guilty, participated in the riot with Neefe, the FBI alleges.

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“In one communication, Neefe wrote, “We goin? ...Cause hot damn son I really wanna crack some commie skulls.” The two discussed bringing “batons” with them, and Neefe sent a photograph of a wooden club he had made to Smith and others, with a caption that called it “The Commie Knocker.”

As reported at Raw Story, Neefe’s case was singled out by U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth in criticizing Republican lawmakers who claimed non-violent January 6 defendants were being held unfairly.

“In petitioning the court to keep him behind bars, prosecutors revealed a series of messages that Neefe had sent on Facebook using the “N-word” and discussing lynching people. Neefe also had made violent threats towards lawmakers, saying that Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell deserved “a bullet in the head.” He also talked openly of igniting a civil war and indicated that he was willing to return to Washington, D.C. with firearms to renew the attack on the Capitol.

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“After laying out his rationale for detaining Neefe, Lamberth added this highly unusual addendum:

“Some members of the public and even a few members of Congress retain the impression that peaceful political protestors are being held in jail pending trial,” wrote Lamberth, an appointee of President Ronald Reagan. “Neefe’s detention disproves that delusion. Neefe is detained not because of his beliefs, but because of his alleged violent actions and his expressed intent to engage in violent activity again.”

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MAGA rioter avoids jail – and is still on a Utah school board ballot

A Utah man was sentenced to probation today for his role in the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol -- just in time for him to continue his campaign for a seat on the local school board.

Willard “Jake” Peart, of Toquerville, Utah, pleaded guilty today to a single misdemeanor charge of parading at the Capitol. U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman sentenced Peart to three years of probation and 240 hours of community service. He is also required to comply with 60 days of home detention with electronic monitoring and will pay $1,000 in fines, KSL-TV of Salt Lake City reported.

Brittany Reed, a federal prosecutor, had sought up to 30 days in jail for Peart, while noting that he had turned himself in two weeks after the riot and had been “very cooperative,” KSL.com reported.

“However, Reed noted that Peart told investigators he witnessed police being assaulted by others as he made his way inside the U.S. Capitol. While inside, he was loudly chanting, "Our house" with others, Reed said.

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“She also pointed Monday to a statement Peart made to FBI agents regarding Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, which was included in prosecutors' sentencing memorandum filed last month that pushed for Peart to receive a jail term.

"’I don't know what would have happened if I had seen Mitt Romney, ’Peart said to FBI agents, according to the memorandum. "It's probably a good thing that I didn't see him, because I would have been, who knows, I was definitely, um, ya know, there. I've never had that much adrenaline run through my body ever, um, so I don't know ..."

Peart, who had wrapped himself in a Trump flag at the riot, told the judge he’s a candidate for the Washington County School District’s Board of Education and wanted to take accountability for his actions, KSL reported.

“Peart said he voted for then-President Donald Trump in both the 2016 and 2020 elections, and he was "concerned about election integrity." By walking to the U.S. Capitol, Peart said he believed he was carrying an order from the president.”

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But in court today, “Peart said his actions caused significant issues to the country and individuals. He said that if he could go back, he wouldn't have been involved,” the report said.

Peart was described by another local TV station last year as “a well-known real estate agent in Washington County and father of five. For nearly four years, Peart served on the Toquerville Planning Commission beginning in 2015. Meeting minutes show he would occasionally lead commissioners in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.”

Peart’s case drew attention last year when he was granted permission -- without prosecution objection -- to take an 8-day September trip with his wife to Cancun.

You can read the FBI statement of facts here.

Capitol rioter incriminated by his own diary pleads guilty to assaulting police with a flagpole

A 71-year-old Pennsylvania man who documented his participation in the January 6 riot in his day planner has pleaded guilty to felony assault charges for striking Capitol police with a metal flagpole.

Howard C. Richardson of King of Prussia, pleaded guilty in the District of Columbia to assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers and faces a recommended sentence of 37 to 45 months under federal sentencing guidelines. He is to be sentenced on Aug. 26.

As reported last December at Raw Story, FBI searching Richardson’s home found a day planner with entries that matched closely to video surveillance footage at the Capitol. He admitted the diary was his.

Richardson wrote that he parked at 11:00 a.m., was at the front of the Capitol building at 12: 15 p.m., "gates were breeched" at 1:00 p.m., "moving up to steps" at 1:30-1 :45 p.m., and "got pepper sprayed" at 2:00 p.m. He noted that he "started to leave" the Capitol at 3:30 p.m.”

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The FBI’s more conventional video evidence depicted Richardson in a group near the bicycle rack-style barricades outside the Capitol.

“At approximately 1:38 p.m., carrying a metal flagpole with a blue flag attached, he approached an officer with the Metropolitan Police Department. In the video, Richardson can be heard yelling, “here it comes,” before swiftly approaching the officer’s position and striking the officer with the flagpole three times. He only stopped swinging after the flagpole broke in his hands.”

The plea agreement states that the government was recommending as “appropriate” a 2-level reduction in federal sentencing guidelines. Aggravating factors in the calculation were the use of a dangerous weapon and an official victim. Richardson’s lack of a prior criminal history -- and agreement to plead guilty and cooperate -- factored in his favor.

The offense carries a statutory maximum of eight years in prison and a fine up to $250,000. The plea agreement also notes as estimated applicable fine range of $15,000 to $150,000 but notes, “your client reserves the right to ask the Court not to impose any applicable fine.”

You can read the FBI complaint against Richardson here.

Brothers from posh Chicago suburb escape without prison time for role in MAGA riot

Two brothers from a posh Chicago suburb -- including one who had promised a judge he’d obey their mom at the family mansion -- were able to avoid prison time for their participation in the January 6 Capitol riot.

Christian Kulas, 27, and Mark Kulas, 24 were sentenced today to six months of probation, including two months of home detention -- presumably within a $4.5 million mansion on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan. They pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor offense of parading in the Capitol that carried a six-month maximum sentence.

U.S. District Senior Judge Thomas Hogan noted in sentencing the men that neither had joined in the violence that day, the Chicago Sun Times reported. “You did not destroy anything,” Hogan told Mark Kulas Jr. “You did not attack anybody.”

The Sun Times added, “However, prosecutors said the men entered the Capitol through doors that had been forced open 13 minutes earlier, and then they spent 25 minutes inside the building. They said Christian Kulas watched and laughed as rioters stormed the building and later raised his arms to cheer when rioters broke open a door inside.”

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Prosecutors also reported that the Kulas brothers stayed at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., the night before the breach. Christian Kulas took video of the “Stop the Steal” rally near the National Mall on Jan. 6, 2021, and later broadcast it on his Instagram account, the report said.

The brothers apparently were less jovial at the sentencing hearing. The newspaper reported that both apologized to the judge in advance of the sentencing.

“I make no excuses for my behavior and I take full responsibility for what I did on that day,” Christian Kulas said. “My intention is to move on from this with grace and dignity.”

As reported at Raw Story, Christian Kulas, who had sported a dark coat with a Burberry print for the riot, had promised good behavior when arraigned.

"Kulas' mother agreed to be responsible for her son returning for upcoming court appearances.

"Yes, I understand I must listen to everything my mother says your honor," Christian Kulas told the judge during a hearing conducted by phone Tuesday.

"Attorneys indicated Kulas would be staying at his parents' home in Kenilworth. Public records indicate it is $4.5 million mansion that sits on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan. His father agreed to remove two guns from the premises.

Apparently, the brothers’ attorneys didn’t hesitate to make the family out as a victim, based upon the Sun Times reporting.

“The defense attorneys told the judge the Kulas family has “received vicious hate mail and threats, have witnessed their images repeatedly plastered across TV, print, and international media outlets, and have lost their privacy to drones flying over their home and reporters with camera crews knocking on their door.”

They wrote that the family cleaning business has suffered and that the brothers’ parents “do not deserve the barrage of disgusting and hateful threats, postings, letters, and email messages they have received in connection with this case.”

You can read the criminal complaint here.

Conservative WSJ editor begs 'duplicitous' Republicans to stop pretending they support Trump

The editor at large of the Wall Street Journal today called out “the malaise in the very soul of the Republican Party” that causes its members to feign support for Donald Trump while harboring a “fervent desire” for him to be gone.

Gerald Baker wrote that “it’s not exactly shocking to discover” that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy had told fellow Republicans privately that he would ask Trump to resign, and then didn’t. That was revealed in a new book by New York Times writers Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns.

Baker, a British writer who served as the Journal’s editor-in-chief from 2013 to 2018, lashed out at Republicans for their “mendacity” in feigning loyalty to Trump.

“It says something about the malaise in the very soul of the Republican Party that so many of its prominent members say one thing behind Mr. Trump’s back and another to his face,” Baker wrote. “Democrats speak a lot about the ‘big lie’ that the 2020 presidential election was stolen. But the continuing bigger and more consequential lie is the fundamental dishonesty at the heart of the relationship between the Republican Party and Mr. Trump himself.”

Then Baker called out the party with a directness seldom seen in conservative media regarding their view of Trump.

“It may or may not come as a shock to you, dear reader, to learn that the fervent desire of much of the Republican Party’s top brass, its major donors, business leaders who urgently crave a Republican restoration, and many of the party’s most prominent supporters in the media and elsewhere, is for Mr. Trump to break the habits of a lifetime and go quietly away. It is a desire expressed as fervently in private as it is assiduously and dexterously avoided in public. But the big lie of this duplicitous relationship requires them to utter multiple, smaller, cascading fictions.”

But it may or may not come as a shock to you, dear reader of Raw Story, that the conservative editor hasn’t come over to the dark side of liberalism. Scorning the “mess” he says that Democrats have created, Baker apparently clings to a fictional vision of what the Republican Party is today.

What can fix this for a Republican Party that Baker terms “too important a political institution to continue to be a vehicle for this grand deception?” Apparently, this:

“There are too many capable Republicans who uphold high conservative ideals while embracing the populist values that are energizing the party’s base, understand the need to abide by the U.S. Constitution (and so on), Baker claimed.

In his view, they won’t allow the party “to be willingly shackled once again to the vanities of a cynical opportunist.”

That’s sounds high-minded enough. But Baker didn’t name a single name among these culpable Republicans. And seeing as how he did not, it must be assumed that he didn’t want to embarrass them by citing them as independent of Trump, or calling them out for their previous silence.

Wasn’t that precisely the “mendacity” for which he was accusing them?

With no apparent sense of irony.

Hockey announcer gets fired mid-game for racist slur on the air

A minor-league hockey announcer in British Columbia was yanked from the broadcast booth and fired between periods of a playoff game Friday night for uttering a racist slur aimed at a player of Asian descent.

Bruce MacDonald, a color commentator for the Alberni Valley Bulldogs in the B.C. Hockey League, questioned whether an opposing team’s player -- Canadian-born Owen Kim -- could speak English. Kim, 17, was born in North Vancouver and will be attending Holy Cross University in Worcester, Mass. this fall.

MacDonald had been fired up as a local broadcaster when Kim -- who stands 5’7”” -- appeared to challenge a Bulldogs’ player to a fight. First, he said “Aw, Kim … give it a break. Get on a ladder and talk to him." And then this:

"Does he speak English? Maybe that's the problem.”

Then the fired-up MacDonald just got fired. David Michaud, president and governor of the Bulldogs, was watching the game in the arena, went to the broadcast booth after the 2nd period, and dismissed MacDonald on the spot, the Victoria Times Columnist reported.

Michaud, president and governor of the Bulldogs, referred to the 70-foot banner on the wall of the concourse in Weyerhaeuser Arena in Port Alberni, which reads: “There is no place in hockey for racism.” He said there was no other choice to be made if his club wants to live up to those words.

“It was a regrettable comment and we could not turn a blind eye to it. How do we as a club take part in anti-racism initiatives all over the valley, and then not react to something like this?”

MacDonald was contrite, the newspaper reported:

“I am so sorry that I have let you down. The Bulldogs have been a part of my life since Day 1. I am heartbroken that I caused it to end this way. I will do whatever I can to make this right. Racism has no place in hockey or anywhere else in this world. I’m truly sorry.”

Michaud acknowledged MacDonald’s apology, saying: “Sorry is good but words still have consequences.”

MacDonald’s broadcast partner, play-by-play announcer Evan Hammond, had immediately called out MacDonald on-air for his comment by saying: “OK, come on, that’s too far. No, that’s too far.” To which MacDonald had responded on-air, “That’s wrong. That’s too far.”

It was.

You can see a clip of the video here.


DeSantis' attack on Disney is just the tip of the iceberg

When Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis picked a culture-war fight with the Walt Disney Co., old-school conservatives worried aloud about the precedent it might set.

It’s a little late for that.

Defying decades of Republican subservience to America’s business elite, the state of Florida has attacked Disney by repealing its “special independent district” status. But it turns out that DeSantis’ move is hardly an isolated example among states in this, the faux-populist era of the GOP.

Modeling after Donald Trump’s mob-like instinct to punish companies that offended him, politicians running red states have begun boycotting corporations to retaliate for policies aimed at protecting the planet. The once-unthinkable notion of Republicans using their government power to attack big business prompted the conservative Washington Examiner to tout its “alternative coverage” on the subject:

“Republican-led states are pushing back against firms that try to curb use of fossil fuels,” the newspaper proclaimed in advance of Earth Day last week. “Pressure has been building on companies to follow environmental, social, and governance standards from both the private sector and the government."

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“Because much of that pressure involves businesses' handling of carbon emissions and the fossil fuel industry, policymakers in some oil- and coal-heavy states are actively working against major investors and businesses.”

There’s no better example than West Virginia, where Treasurer Riley Moore has used his office to punish companies for the sin of trying to decarbonize their investments. Moore, the grandson of the state’s late Gov. Arch Moore and nephew of Sen. Shelly Moore Capito, has boldly planted the flag against environmentalism.

“Earth Day should celebrate coal, oil, and natural gas instead of condemning the natural resources God has blessed us with,” Moore tweeted last week.

It’s no surprise, then, that Riley has led the charge against anti-polluters. Here’s more from the Examiner:

“Last year, in response to pressure from the Biden administration for big banks to cut down on their emissions, more than a dozen state treasurers, led by Moore, wrote to presidential climate envoy John Kerry suggesting that they would pull state assets from firms that are trying to decarbonize their investments.

In the letter, the treasurers urged banks and financial institutions “not to give in to pressure from the Biden Administration to refuse to lend to or invest in coal, oil, and natural gas companies.”

The trend is not limited to West Virginia. In Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill into law last year banning state investments in businesses that cut ties with the oil and gas industry.” As industry magazine WorldOil.com reported, “Boycott Texas oil, and Texas will boycott you.”

But like West Virginia, Texas has gone beyond defending its industries to launch a broadside attack on companies advocating for green policies. Indeed, both states have made targeted investment giant BlackRock for advancing the use of Environmental Social and Governance criteria (ESG).

BlackRock, a massive $10 trillion investment firm, has led the corporate world in the prioritization of ESG,” the Examiner reported. Part of the push has been the encouragement of ‘net zero’ investment strategies, which Moore contends would hurt the fossil fuel industry and, ultimately, residents of the Mountain State who make a living in that industry.

“Moore took action against BlackRock this year, (announcing) that the state would end the use of one of the firm’s investment funds. He said the inflows and outflows of that fund were about $1.5 billion.”

Moore termed it a “conflict of interest for West Virginia to do business with BlackRock -- particularly as it relates to their stance on the fossil fuel industry” -- since West Virginia ranks fifth nationally in energy production.

As NPR reported last month, “the goal of pushing companies to a more fossil fuel friendly position – at least publicly – appears to be working."

BlackRock representatives have met with Texas state leaders trying to smooth things over, and highlighting their fossil fuel investments. CEO Fink also wrote a letter this year flatly stating that the firm does not pursue fossil fuel divestment.

"You can already see that they [BlackRock] have now written back to the state and said, 'Hey, hey, hey, don't worry, we love you guys,'" says Amalgamated Bank's Ivan Frishberg. "'We're open for business. Bring us your oil and gas!'"

MAGA rioter who wept in court faces up to 46 months in prison after pleading guilty to assaulting cops

A New York man who boasted to his aunt about fighting and macing police officers at the January 6 riot has pleaded guilty.

Cody Mattice, 29, of Rochester, N.Y., pleaded guilty Friday to a count of assaulting, resisting or impeding officers on Jan. 6 – a felony charge with a recommended sentencing range of 37-46 months in prison and up to three years of supervised release afterward, WUSA9-TV reported. The two sides agreed to the sentencing range -- which is below the eight years’ maximum punishment for the offense -- but a judge is not bound by the agreement.

Mattice entered the plea via teleconference before D.C. District Court Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell from the facility in which he is being held. Also pleading to the same charge -- but in attendance in his orange prison jumpsuit -- was James Mault, 30, a friend of Mattice from Rochester with whom he participated in the riot. Mault had drawn attention for having joined the U.S. Army after taking part in the insurrection.

The two men were shown on video having pulled down barricades, attacking multiple police officers as part of a mob surging forward and having sprayed officers with chemical agents. And the judge took note that the defendants’ participation had not been spontaneous:

“Howell read several text messages between the two, detailing their plans to travel to Washington, D.C. together in early January with others, bringing pepper spray, baton, and "a**-kicking boots," WHAM, a Rochester TV station reported.

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It was not the first time Mattice had to listen in court to incriminating texts he had sent. Last October, there had been this:

“Mattice sent out a text message to his aunt, Rebecca Evert, in which he boasted of his exploits in fighting with law enforcement officers at the Capitol. Specifically, Mattice informed Evert via a text message that he and his allies "fought off like 4 or 5 cops and stand f*cking victorious." Mattice then told Evert that he "also maced a cop."

"Awesomeness!" Evert replied. "I'm trying to find you in the breach videos... what are you wearing?"

As previously reported at Raw Story, Mattice and Mault were not identified in court as members of an extremist group but derived esteem from having fought alongside them.

“It was dope, and James had everyone hyped bro,” Mattice texted another person at 7:44 p.m. on Jan. 6, according to the government. “Even the Proud Boys were thanking us. Legit, bro, it feels like a f*ckin movie."

But by the time Mattice was in court facing up to 20 years in prison, that tone had changed, as reported here.

“Cody Mattice sat quietly weeping in court Tuesday, his head down, resting on the table in front of him, only lifting it to whisper to his attorney.”

You can read the FBI complaint here.

Capitol rioter gets smacked down by judge after claiming he was not 'part of that mob'

A New York man who entered the U.S. Capitol twice during the January 6 but tried to convince a judge that he was “100 percent on the side of the Capitol police” was sentenced today to 14 days of jail time and three years of probation.

Richard Watrous, 59, of Homer, N.Y., had plead guilty to a misdemeanor count of parading in the Capitol. Some other Capitol riot defendants have received probation only for entering the same guilty plea, Watrous received a stiffer sentence from U.S. District Court Judge Beryl A. Howell, according to a report at Syracuse.com.

Watrous will serve the intermittent confinement in two 7-day periods, along with 60 days of home detention, a $2,500 fine and $500 restitution per a plea deal, the report said. It cited a Tweet from BuzzFeed News reporter Zoe Tillman who noted that the sentence “was more than DOJ had requested.”

Howell said that the fact that Watrous entered the Capitol twice during the riots is a “very serious aggravating factor” for his sentencing, Syracuse.com reported. Here’s how the FBI described how Watrous managed to enter twice into the same riot:

“Watrous estimated he was inside the Capitol for approximately five minutes and then left out the same door he had entered. Watrous stated that outside, he sat on the Capitol steps and observed an unknown male who said he was going to Nancy Pelosi’s office. Watrous said the man entered the Capitol and then came back out crying because he had clearly been pepper-sprayed but was now holding a bottle of wine that said Democratic Convention. Watrous stated the man said, “I got Nancy Pelosi’s wine!”

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“Watrous said that after sitting on the steps for approximately 15 minutes, he walked away and met a woman who had a YouTube channel whom he told he had gone inside and there “wasn’t much to see.” The woman wanted to go inside the Capitol and Watrous stated he reentered the Capitol with her.”

Perhaps sealing Watrous’ fate was this interchange with the judge, as reported by Syracuse.com:

“Watrous, who was seeking probation rather than jail, told Howell that he was “100% on the side of Capitol Police,” according to MacFarlane. “I would never be a part of that mob,” Watrous said.

“You understand,” Howell replied, “you were a part of that mob.”

You read the FBI criminal complaint here.

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Trump rages against Brian Kemp for purportedly conspiring against Marjorie Taylor Greene www.youtube.com