QAnon 'bottom-dweller' quickly amassing power in GOP primaries -- and could control key elections in 2024
A QAnon supporter (Shutterstock)

A former Republican state legislator from Michigan has gained prominence in QAnon circles, and the organization he founded is moving closer to getting its candidates elected to key positions in battleground states.

Jim Marchant lost his own election in November 2020, and he was so convinced that Donald Trump's loss was fraudulent that he went to Las Vegas to help overturn those results in Nevada, where he met QAnon conspiracist Wayne Willott -- also known as right-wing influence "Jean O. Savin," reported The Daily Beast.

“If one of these candidates in the future gets elected, there is a QAnon influencer that could help lead to a constitutional crisis,” said Alex Kaplan, a senior researcher for Media Matters for America.

The 65-year-old Willott, who QAnon adherents have come to believe is John F. Kennedy Jr. in disguise, and Marchant co-founded America First Secretary of State Coalition, which aims to elect pro-Trump election conspiracists to oversee statewide elections.

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Willott is virtually unknown outside conspiracy circles, but he helped Kristina Karamo win the GOP nomination for Michigan secretary of state, and election-denying Arizona state Rep. Mark Finchem seems likely to win his state's primary.

The Daily Beast found that Willott is a longtime private investigator -- most recently following up on worker's compensation claims in Alaska -- who spent time in the 1990s trying to dig up dirt on Bill Clinton in Arkansas, and he was a frequent caller into a talk-radio show hosted by Michael Reagan, a son of the late president.

"In one bizarre incident covered by the conservative magazine The American Spectator in 1997, Willott began surveilling an amateur sleuth in the Clinton-dirt demimonde, who was himself tailing another Clinton adversary who was friends with Willott," The Daily Beast reported. "James Ring Adams, a reporter who covered the saga for the Spectator, compared the misadventures of Willott and his cohort to the Mad magazine feature 'Spy vs. Spy.'"

“He certainly was a bottom-dweller back then,” Adams told The Beast.

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Willott also made claims in 1997 that that Child Protective Services agencies were fronts for child sex trafficking by Democrats, but he largely stayed out of politics for the next two decades until emerging as "W the Intelligence Insider," the name under which he frequently appeared on conspiracy theorist Douglas Hagmann’s talk radio show during Barack Obama's second term.

Hagmann helped him present himself as “real American James Bond" and internationally connected millionaire, although court records in Washington state show a history of financial trouble and tax liens from the IRS.

The talk radio host interviewed Willott under his new alias "Juan O. Savin," where he spun even wilder conspiracy theories about global elites sharing alien DNA strands, and he told listeners the Obama administration was plotting to assassinate Hagmann -- who was eventually sued by an associate that Willott had implicated in the alleged plot.

Willott re-emerged in January 2019 on an online show hosted by 9/11 conspiracy theorist Field McConnell, and he latched onto the newly popular QAnon conspiracy using his "Savin" alias, but their partnership ended after McConnell was arrested for harassing a Florida attorney and Willott met with QAnon adherent Cynthia Abcug, who allegedly plotted an armed assault on a foster home where her son was living.

He quickly became one of the most influential QAnon conspiracists, and his rise in popularity was aided when two leading conspiracy theorists who had promoted him, Robert David Steele and Cirsten Weldon, both died from COVID-19 and he inherited their followers.

Willott then became a political power broker by joining forces with Marchant, and they formalized their coalition in May 2021 at a meeting also attended by Overstock.com founder Patrick Byrne, MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, former Claremont Institute president Brian E. Kennedy and Joe Hoft, the brother of right-wing Gateway Pundit blogger Jim Hoft.

Rival QAnon leaders consider Willott to be a huckster, but he's influential to a subset of Trump-backed candidates for secretary of state, including Marchant, who's running in Nevada, and Rachel Hamm, who's running in California and openly fantasizes about throwing prominent Democrats into prison at Guantanamo Bay.

“Remember, Juan told us the other night that if we can’t get justice through our courts, he has built another one,” Hamm said in on meeting that streamed online. “Remember? He said that the other night. We built one at Gitmo, they said ... Juan has been very good to us."

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