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Free-Speech Nonprofit Sues Former Jan. 6 Staffer for Defamation Over ‘Domestic Violent Extremists’ Smear


BY: MARGOT CLEVELAND | OCTOBER 20, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/10/20/free-speech-nonprofit-sues-former-jan-6-staffer-for-defamation-over-domestic-violent-extremists-smear/

US Capitol on Jan. 6
Mr. Riggleman’s book pushes the Democrat talking point that military veterans who defend the First Amendment are violent extremists. We are not.’

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1st Amendment Praetorian, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting free speech rights, filed a defamation lawsuit on Wednesday against a former staffer for the Jan. 6 Committee and publishers of his insider story of the investigation that labeled the group of former veterans as “domestic violent extremists” and a “militant group,” and portrayed the nonprofit as responsible for the violence that erupted at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. 

News broke last month that a former senior adviser to the Jan. 6 Committee, Denver Riggleman, had penned a behind-the-scenes book purportedly detailing the inner workings of the Jan. 6 Committee. Riggleman’s book, “The Breach: The Untold Story of the Investigation Into January 6,” was released last month, with Esquire publishing an edited excerpt of it. 

The book and the Esquire excerpt both spoke of “the militant groups that took part in the attack, namely the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, and 1st Amendment Praetorian,” adding that the committee was looking at the storming of the building as a military operation. “The targets of our investigation were divided up into five major categories,” Riggleman wrote, with one group consisting of “domestic violent extremists,” which the former Jan. 6 staffer claimed, “included militant groups like Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, and 1st Amendment Praetorian.”

Those statements were false and defamatory, according to the lawsuit filed by 1AP in a federal court in Virginia on Wednesday that named as defendants Riggleman; Hearst, which publishes Esquire; and the publishers of “The Breach,” the Holt and MacMillan publishing companies. 

“Mr. Riggleman’s book pushes the Democrat talking point that military veterans who defend the First Amendment are violent extremists. We are not. We love America and it is our mission to guard its cherished values,” a representative of the 1AP told The Federalist. “Riggleman’s arrogance and reckless disregard of basic facts is not surprising. This book is low on intelligence and full on propaganda,” 1AP’s representative added.

Riggleman and the other defendants are not the first to falsely portray 1AP as “violent extremists” and “militant groups.” In July, The Federalist reported that in the days before the long Independence Day weekend, Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., told The New York Times that when the Jan. 6 Committee reconvenes public hearings in July, “he intends to lead a presentation that will focus on the roles far-right groups like the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers and 1st Amendment Praetorian played in the Capitol attack.” According to the Times, “Mr. Raskin has also promised to explore the connections between those groups and the people in Mr. Trump’s orbit.”

Raskin’s comments followed a year of the Jan. 6 Committee falsely portraying 1AP as “right-wing, paramilitary, or even a militia.” Lawyer Seth Abramson went further, claiming 1AP and its members were involved in the Capitol riot and are “insurrectionists” or “seditionists,” resulting in the group filing suit in a federal court in New Hampshire against Abramson for defamation.

Following Raskin’s comments, Leslie McAdoo Gordon, a lawyer representing 1AP in connection with the Jan. 6 Committee, corrected the record, telling The Federalist, “No matter what you think of the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers, 1st Amendment Praetorian in no way resembles those groups.” Rather, 1AP “provides pro bono security services at events to ensure a heckler’s veto does not interfere with the speakers’ constitutional right to express their viewpoint,” McAdoo Gordon explained.

McAdoo Gordon stressed these points in a letter to the Jan. 6 Committee in response to subpoenas issued to 1AP; its founder, Robert Lewis, a retired United States Army Green Beret and recipient of the Bronze Star; and 1AP member Philip Luelsdorff, who is a former U.S. Army Ranger. Among other things, the subpoenas demanded that 1AP provide “documents sufficient to identify all employees, officers, and board members” of the nonprofit, as well as “all agendas, minutes, notes, or other records related to meetings” of the nonprofit.

McAdoo Gordon rejected the committee’s demands, telling The Federalist that to use subpoenas “to demand financial and fundraising records (including bank account information) and ‘recruitment’ information from a nonprofit civic organization, especially a civil liberties group, is wholly unacceptable,” and “a gross affront to [the] First Amendment.” McAdoo Gordon stressed that her clients had nothing to do with the violence at the Capitol and were instead targeted because of the individuals with whom they associate.

The letter to the Jan. 6 Committee further detailed 1AP’s activities in D.C., noting that the group provided security for a rally held on Jan. 5, 2021, but the planned tasking to provide security in D.C. ended after that rally. While most members of 1AP left D.C. after the Jan. 5 rally, Lewis and Luelsdorff, who had remained, were asked to provide some additional protection services for the media outlets covering the protest at the Ellipse. They were later asked by the staff at the Willard Hotel to help “maintain order given the flood of people into the lobby and around the hotel after the Ellipse events ended.” They had nothing to do with what occurred at the Capitol.

Not only did the Jan. 6 Committee know these details in April, when McAdoo Gordon first responded to the committee’s subpoena, but by early July, the information was made public — well before the publication of Riggleman’s book and the Esquire excerpt. Nonetheless, the defendants called 1AP a “domestic violent extremist” and “militant” group.

In addition to the lawsuit against Riggleman and the publishers, an attorney for 1AP is calling for the Jan. 6 Committee to respond to the false claims pushed by their former adviser. 

“If the J6 Committee had an ounce of integrity, it would denounce Riggleman’s lies and admit that there is no evidence that 1AP participated in a plot to attack the Capitol on January 6,” Virginia attorney Steven Biss told The Federalist.

With midterm elections less than a month away and the Jan. 6 Committee still pushing its partisan goals by subpoenaing former President Donald Trump, that outcome seems unlikely.


Margot Cleveland is The Federalist’s senior legal correspondent. She is also a contributor to National Review Online, the Washington Examiner, Aleteia, and Townhall.com, and has been published in the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. Cleveland is a lawyer and a graduate of the Notre Dame Law School, where she earned the Hoynes Prize—the law school’s highest honor. She later served for nearly 25 years as a permanent law clerk for a federal appellate judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Cleveland is a former full-time university faculty member and now teaches as an adjunct from time to time. As a stay-at-home homeschooling mom of a young son with cystic fibrosis, Cleveland frequently writes on cultural issues related to parenting and special-needs children. Cleveland is on Twitter at @ProfMJCleveland. The views expressed here are those of Cleveland in her private capacity.

Inside Liz Cheney’s Coordinated Effort to Prevent Troop Deployment Before Jan. 6


BY: TRISTAN JUSTICE | AUGUST 02, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/08/02/inside-liz-cheneys-coordinated-effort-to-prevent-troop-deployment-before-jan-6/

Liz Cheney on Fox News

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Days before the Capitol riot provoked a years-long effort to impeach, prosecute, and politically malign former President Donald Trump, Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney coordinated efforts to deter the very actions she now claims haunt the former president.

Cheney has blamed Trump for not ordering the National Guard to defend the Capitol complex, even though multiple sources confirm that he authorized their deployment days prior to the Jan. 6 rally at the White House and riot at the Capitol. Security officials in charge of the Capitol declined to call up troops to protect it, government records show. Yet Cheney herself seems to have orchestrated opposition to use of the military to quell election-related unrest, allegedly organizing a Washington Post op-ed on Jan. 3, 2021, signed by every living former defense secretary.

“All 10 living former defense secretaries: Involving the military in election disputes would cross into dangerous territory,” the headline read. It went on to threaten any military official who thought any use of the military might be a good idea. “Civilian and military officials who direct or carry out such measures would be accountable, including potentially facing criminal penalties, for the grave consequences of their actions on our republic,” the op-ed warned.

The op-ed was allegedly organized by Cheney, whose father was secretary of defense under President George H.W. Bush before serving as President George W. Bush’s vice president. Eric Edelman, a national security adviser to Dick Cheney, told the New Yorker the Wyoming lawmaker “was the one who generated” the piece for the Post.

Now Rep. Cheney has adopted Trump’s supposed inaction on the National Guard as a primary line of attack. On “Fox News Sunday,” Cheney again depicted Trump as an apathetic leader who dismissed pleas to deploy the National Guard while the Capitol was under siege.

“There are several witnesses who say they met with President Trump on January 4th,” said Bret Baier, “and he offered some 20,000 National Guardsmen to protect the Capitol building on January 6th but the offer was rejected. Is that true?”

“His own acting secretary of defense says that’s not true,” Cheney said, highlighting committee testimony from former Acting Secretary Christopher Miller who told the panel Trump made no order to deploy the National Guard. “So, the notion that somehow he issued an order is not consistent with the facts.”

Except the president did issue authorization for D.C. leaders to call up the National Guard for pre-emptive reinforcements days before the Capitol riot. While Mayor Muriel Bowser took limited advantage of the extra troops, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s sergeant at arms rejected or stonewalled the offer six timesaccording to former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund. Pelosi’s office was reportedly concerned the guard’s deployment was bad “optics” after having spent the prior summer decrying the use of federal law enforcement to put down left-wing insurrections.

When Trump sent reinforcements to secure federal buildings under attack in Portland, Pelosi condemned the extra law enforcement as “stormtroopers.” After days of sustained riots wreaked havoc across Washington D.C., Pelosi called the sight of uniformed troops protecting the Lincoln Memorial “stunning” and “scary.”

The campaign to fight any use of troops to restore order during the left’s widespread and coordinated summer of rage was so effective that Gen. Mark Milley issued an abject apology for merely appearing in uniform at a site that had been ravaged by leftist arsonists.

“My presence in that moment, and in that environment, created a perception of the military involved in domestic politics,” Milley said about appearing in front of a historic church across the street from the White House. The night before, left-wing arsonists had targeted the church as part of a riot that besieged the White House and led to the injuring of dozens of Park Police and Secret Service officers.

Bowser’s use of guard troops on Jan. 6 extended to unarmed troops restricted to traffic control and removed from protests.

“[N]o DCNG personnel shall be armed during this mission, and at no time, will DCNG personnel or assets be engaged in domestic surveillance, searches, or seizures of [U.S.] persons,” she directed to law enforcement.

Although Cheney and her colleagues with the Select Committee have sought to indict Trump as responsible for a slow response from the National Guard on Jan. 6, the panel’s own findings have undermined the probe’s point. In December, the committee released a trove of private communications from former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, who pledged the National Guard would be ready to maintain order.

“Mr. Meadows sent an email to an individual about the events on January 6 and said that the National Guard would be present to ‘protect pro Trump people’ and that many more would be available on standby,” the committee wrote, as if revealing some grand scandal to help their case.

In June, Miller and former Chief of Staff of the Department of Defense Kash Patel went on Sean Hannity’s program to dispel committee accusations that the president was indifferent to the National Guard.

“Mr. Trump unequivocally authorized up to 20,000 National Guardsmen and women for us to utilize,” Patel said.

Miller, whom Cheney cited as evidence of Trump’s negligence, corroborated Patel’s testimony on air.

“To be clear,” Miller said, “the president was doing exactly what I expect the commander in chief to do, any commander in chief to do. He was looking at the broad threats against the United States and he brought this up on his own. We did not bring it up.”


Tristan Justice is the western correspondent for The Federalist. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and The Daily Signal. His work has also been featured in Real Clear Politics and Fox News. Tristan graduated from George Washington University where he majored in political science and minored in journalism. Follow him on Twitter at @JusticeTristan or contact him at Tristan@thefederalist.com.

Jan. 6 Committee Avoids Probing Security Failures as Hearing Finally Covers Capitol Riot


REPORTED BY: TRISTAN JUSTICE | JULY 13, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/07/13/jan-6-committee-avoids-probing-security-failures-as-hearing-finally-covers-capitol-riot/

Jan. 6 Hearing

Why is the Jan. 6 committee soliciting testimony from former D.C. government employees instead of the Capitol Police Intelligence Unit?

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The House Select Committee on Jan. 6 finally devoted a major portion of a hearing in its summer show trial series to the violence at the Capitol. After again re-establishing that members of the Trump White House were divided over the Republican president’s challenges to the 2020 election, lawmakers spent the second half of Tuesday’s hearing on the turmoil from more than 18 months ago.

“We settle our differences at the ballot box,” Committee Chair Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said during his opening of proceedings in which a fellow panel member, Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-M.d., led the questioning of two repentant rioters who illegally entered the Capitol. Just five years ago, Raskin spearheaded efforts to overturn the 2016 election results as one of his first actions in Congress, objecting to the certification over made-up narratives of Trump-Russia collusion.

Over the course of Tuesday’s hearing, lawmakers sought to paint former President Donald Trump as guilty of coordinating an assault on the Capitol, which began well before he had finished his speech at the White House. At one point, the panel featured an unsent tweet from the president urging supporters to “March to the Capitol,” as incriminating evidence. The post loses its shock value, however, when one acknowledges that Trump said plainly to those gathered at the Ellipse to head toward the Capitol and protest “peacefully.” Quite the bombshell.

“I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard,” Trump said.

For all its redundancy in its desperate attempt to smear political dissidents as violent “insurrectionists” ahead of the fall midterms, the Jan. 6 Committee’s latest hearing offered the most information yet about the telegraphing and public planning in the run-up to the Capitol riot. The proceedings, on the other hand, came complete not with testimony from senior officials in charge of Capitol security, but instead from an anonymous Twitter employee and former D.C. Chief of Homeland Security and Intelligence Donell Harvin.

In a pre-recorded clip played during the hearing, Harvin told lawmakers his division received information “suggesting that some very, very violent individuals were organizing to come to D.C. and not only were they organizing to come to D.C., but these groups, these nonaligned groups, were aligning. All the red flags went up at that point.”

“When you have armed militia collaborating with white supremacy groups collaborating with conspiracy theory groups online all towards a common goal, you start seeing what we call in terrorism, ‘a blended ideology,’” Harvin added. “And that’s a very, very bad sign.”

Harvin said groups went beyond casual chatter and began coordinating specifics.

The committee’s anonymous Twitter employee, meanwhile, testified that the company was concerned about the potential for violence on Jan. 6.

“I don’t know that I slept that night [Jan. 5, 2021] to be honest with you,” the employee said. “I was on pins and needles, because again, for months, I had been begging and anticipating and attempting to raise the reality that, if we made no intervention into what I saw occurring, people were going to die.”

Twitter fostered the same type of user riot planning that Silicon Valley tech giants cited to justify their collective purge of rival app Parler from their online services shortly after the riot.

Tuesday’s testimony raised more questions than answers and reinforced existing questions about the Capitol security failures under the leadership of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who six times turned down requests for the deployment of the National Guard, according to former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund.

Why didn’t Pelosi’s House Sergeant at Arms approve requests for National Guard assistance? According to The Washington Post, “Harvin’s team set up a call with analysts at the Capitol Police.” Why did the U.S. Capitol Police Intelligence Unit “not warn its officers or law enforcement partners of the gravity of the threat” as outlined by a Senate report last summer? Why didn’t the Jan. 6 Committee ask Harvin about the Capitol Police’s failure to heed his warnings? And why is the committee soliciting testimony from former D.C. government employees instead of the Capitol Police Intelligence Unit? We all know the answer to the last two.

Devoid of opposition, the committee is operating for the sole purpose of expunging its political enemies from public life, and that means doing everything in its power to present a curated narrative. Panel member Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., admitted that much on CNN on Sunday when she said on national television that the committee was uninterested in corroborating blockbuster claims left unverified at best.

“We never call in witnesses to corroborate other witnesses or to give their reaction to other witnesses,” Lofgren said.


Tristan Justice is the western correspondent for The Federalist. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and The Daily Signal. His work has also been featured in Real Clear Politics and Fox News. Tristan graduated from George Washington University where he majored in political science and minored in journalism. Follow him on Twitter at @JusticeTristan or contact him at Tristan@thefederalist.com.

EXCLUSIVE: Jan. 6 Committee Is Using Innocent Americans’ Assertion of Their Constitutional Rights as Proof of Guilt


BY: MARGOT CLEVELAND | JULY 12, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/07/12/exclusive-jan-6-committee-is-using-innocent-americans-assertion-of-their-constitutional-rights-as-proof-of-guilt/

Jan. 6 committee segment with Jamie Raskin on MSNBC

Implying guilt based on a witness asserting his rights ‘is a McCarthy-esque tactic that offends the Constitution and is unworthy of the United States Congress.’

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The Jan. 6 Committee is abusing its power by asking inappropriate questions about their fellow Americans’ beliefs and associates, and publicly portraying witnesses who exercise their Fifth Amendment rights as guilty — all to put on a show trial.

Later on, Tuesday, the Jan. 6 Committee will hold yet another public hearing, this one purportedly to focus “on the role of extremists” in the attack on the Capitol. While the precise script for the afternoon’s proceedings remains unknown, last week Democrat Rep. Jamie Raskin previewed the committee’s plans, telling The New York Times that when public hearings resumed in July, “he intends to lead a presentation that will focus on the roles far-right groups like the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers and 1st Amendment Praetorian played in the Capitol attack.” According to the Times, “Mr. Raskin has also promised to explore the connections between those groups and the people in Mr. Trump’s orbit.”

Recycling the Fifth Amendment Tactic

An attorney for 1st Amendment Praetorian, or 1AP, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting free speech, spoke exclusively with The Federalist about the committee’s questioning of 1AP, the group’s founder, and another member of the nonprofit, all of whom she represents. From the framing of the questions posed to her clients, Leslie McAdoo Gordon was left with the firm impression that the Jan. 6 Committee merely wanted video capturing her clients declining to answer the questions for the purpose of impugning their character during the televised hearings.

“The committee knew before the depositions that my clients would be asserting their First and Fifth Amendment rights, and also would not answer any questions because the depositions were being held in violation of the rules established by the House,” McAdoo Gordon told The Federalist. So, shortly after the hearing began and the 1AP witnesses made clear they would not answer any questions, the staffers moved to general topic areas and would ask a few prepared questions, then the committee representative would note that he had more questions on the topic and inquire whether if he asked those questions, the witnesses intended to assert the same objections.

“My clients would respond ‘yes’ to that question, so then the committee would move forward with the next topic,” McAdoo Gordon said. “But after covering various topics, the committee staffer at the end volleyed a litany of individual questions to my clients, forcing them to respond to each question with ‘Rules, First, and Fifth,’ the shorthand we had agreed to with the committee to convey their objections to questions posed.”

Given that the committee had broadcast video of Michael Flynn asserting his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in an earlier hearing, McAdoo Gordon said she wouldn’t be surprised if Tuesday’s hearings include clips of her clients refusing to answer the committee’s questions.

In fact, she said as much to the committee in a letter last week. After calling the lawmakers out for implying to the public that Flynn was guilty of some crime because he asserted his Fifth Amendment rights, McAdoo Gordon wrote that implying guilt based on a witness asserting his rights, “is a McCarthy-esque tactic that offends the Constitution and is unworthy of the United States Congress.” The attorney added that she is “forced to anticipate that the Committee will use the same totalitarian tactic to improperly smear 1AP.”

The irony is that McAdoo Gordon was working with the committee to arrange for her clients to testify voluntarily, within the bounds of the First Amendment, until the committee concocted what she has called a “cockamamie” criminal conspiracy theory. The committee argued in litigation with former Trump attorney John Eastman “that President Trump, Dr. Eastman, and others conspired to defraud the United States by disrupting the electoral count,” supposedly in violation of Section 371 of the federal criminal code, which makes it a crime to “conspire to defraud” the United States. The committee’s pushing of what she called a “preposterous” legal theory left McAdoo Gordon “with no option but to recommend that my clients assert their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.”

McAdoo Gordon told The Federalist that during her clients’ depositions, the committee asked a series of questions that she likely would have allowed her clients to answer if the meeting had been on a voluntary basis. Putting aside the question of whether the committee was properly constituted, the 1AP’s attorney noted Congress had a legitimate interest in investigating the riots and violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

“What 1AP did, or more accurately put, didn’t do, on Jan. 6 was relevant to the committee’s investigation into the riot and the violence at the Capitol, and I was working to arrange for my clients to voluntarily provide the committee with that information,” McAdoo Gordon said. Likewise, the committee had questions about a couple tweets my clients sent on the sixth, and again, such questions were relevant to the Jan. 6 investigation. “

“But once the committee advanced the absurd Section 371 criminal conspiracy theory, I could no longer recommend my clients speak with the committee,” the attorney explained. McAdoo Gordon did respond to the committee on behalf of her clients, however, after Raskin “falsely described 1AP as a ‘far right’ group with a ‘role’ in the ‘Capitol attack’” in his interview with the Times. “All of those points are false and defamatory,” she told the committee. “1AP is a mainstream, non-partisan group with no role whatsoever in the attack on the Capitol.”

Violating the First Amendment

It isn’t just the Fifth Amendment the committee has been shredding, however. “Even if my clients did not assert the Fifth Amendment, I would have still objected to several questions on First Amendment grounds,” McAdoo Gordon added. While some questions related to Jan. 6 were relevant, the majority of the questions posed to 1AP representatives were none of Congress’s business, McAdoo Gordon stressed. And even the process reveals the warped authoritarianism of the committee, the attorney added.

“At the beginning of the depositions, the congressional staff sought confirmation that we were not recording the proceedings in any way, while they proceeded to video record the questioning,” McAdoo Gordon said. She then noted that while witnesses called before a federal grand jury in Washington, D.C., can obtain a transcript of their testimony, the Jan. 6 Committee refuses to allow those they target to obtain transcripts of their subpoenaed testimony.

The committee’s hiding of the transcripts serves to cover their lies and to control the narrative of the show trial, but it also allows the Jan. 6 Committee to hide the wildly inappropriate questions it posed to the witnesses.

“Do you believe in QAnon?” “Do you believe that Joe Biden is the legitimately elected president of the United States?” “What’s your understanding of what happened on 1/6?”

“A Committee of the United States Congress actually asked my clients those questions,” McAdoo Gordon told The Federalist in an exclusive weekend interview.

“Before the deposition, I assured my clients that their political and personal beliefs would not be probed,” the D.C. attorney explained. “While I knew from the subpoenas the Jan. 6 Committee intended to seek constitutionally protected information concerning other 1AP members, my jaw just kept dropping further when they started to question my clients on what they thought and believed.”

The committee also asked Robert Lewis, who is a retired United States Army Green Beret and recipient of the Bronze Star and a Purple Heart, and Philip Luelsdorff, a former U.S. Army Ranger, to describe 1AP activities. For whom and for what purpose did they provide volunteer services? Did they provide security? Surveillance? Assistance with legal activities? What training did they provide? And how were they able to afford to provide the training and volunteer services? Where did the money come from? Who made donations? What bank accounts were used? Did the organization accept cryptocurrency?

Again, none of those questions concerned the events of Jan. 6. Rather, the committee focused on events long before the Jan. 6 events at the Capitol. For instance, it asked whether 1AP provided security for polling places. Other questions concerned 1AP’s security work at a Nov. 14 rally and a Dec. 12 rally.

In essence, the committee is seeking information about 1AP’s members, financial status, donors, and activities. None of that is relevant to the Jan. 6 riots, and all of it is off-limits to the government, the lawyer said. “The Committee had no business asking those questions, so my clients weren’t about to answer them in violation of their First Amendment rights.”

“The Committee had cited as ‘evidence’ against my clients that they obtained a permit for a demonstration the day before the riot. How is obtaining a permit to hold a peaceful protest evidence of a role in a riot the next day? It isn’t,” McAdoo Gordon said. The committee also sought to quiz Lewis and Luelsdorff on their relationship with the Trump family, the White House, the campaign, and numerous specific individuals such as Sidney Powell and Michael Flynn. The staff further asked whether they had been in contact with any of the defense attorneys representing any of the Jan. 6 defendants.

“The government should not be asking a civic organization, which is what 1AP is, about its relationships, in general, with other people, much less about the organization’s donors or lawyers with whom they spoke,” McAdoo Gordon stressed.

Assuming Guilt with Dishonest Framing

Beyond asking inappropriate questions that implicated 1AP’s First Amendment rights, the committee framed several questions in the “do you still beat your wife” format. Before the election, did they provide security “in order to overturn the election”? “Have you engaged in any activities to overturn the certified election results?” “Have you engaged in any activities to reinstall Donald Trump as president of the United States since Jan. 20, 2021?” These questions all presuppose that the “election results” were sought to be “overturned,” as opposed to challenged.

But of course, the Jan. 6 Committee’s focus on the few unfounded claims of election fraud, as opposed to the numerous violations of state election law and evidence of illegal voting — issues Trump and his legal team pursued — aids in the narrative that the protesters wanted to “install” Trump or overturn the election, as opposed to protest election irregularities. And by using a guilt-by-association strategy, the committee paints not just 1AP and its volunteers as complicit in the violence at the Capitol, but every American who attended the rallies and peacefully protested the disastrous 2020 election.

“The committee might be using nicer language, but its questioning is Stalinist in nature nonetheless,” McAdoo Gordon said.

The 1AP lawyer is correct. But because the corrupt media is effectively serving as a state-run press for its preferred politicians, most of America will be oblivious to that fact when the hearings resume later today.


Margot Cleveland is The Federalist’s senior legal correspondent. She is also a contributor to National Review Online, the Washington Examiner, Aleteia, and Townhall.com, and has been published in the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. Cleveland is a lawyer and a graduate of the Notre Dame Law School, where she earned the Hoynes Prize—the law school’s highest honor. She later served for nearly 25 years as a permanent law clerk for a federal appellate judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Cleveland is a former full-time university faculty member and now teaches as an adjunct from time to time. As a stay-at-home homeschooling mom of a young son with cystic fibrosis, Cleveland frequently writes on cultural issues related to parenting and special-needs children. Cleveland is on Twitter at @ProfMJCleveland. The views expressed here are those of Cleveland in her private capacity.

The J6 Inquisition Is An Obvious Soviet-Style Show Trial


REPORTED BY: TRISTAN JUSTICE | JUNE 10, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/06/10/the-j6-inquisition-is-an-obvious-soviet-style-show-trial/

Jan. 6 Committee Prime Time Hearing

As during Communist control of Soviet Russia, the Jan. 6 Committee’s purpose is to prop up a dying, corrupt regime.

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The House Select Committee on Jan. 6 launched the public phase of its proceedings Thursday night in a prime-time hearing with all the fanfare of a Soviet show trial, complete with production assistance from a former president of ABC News.

Just as the communists gathered in Moscow between 1936 and 1938 to purge their political opponents in public show trials, nine members of the lower chamber filed into the Cannon House Office Building to demonize their political opponents as domestic enemies.

“I’m from a part of the country where people justify the actions of slavery, Ku Klux Klan, and lynching,” Chairman Bennie Thompson of Mississippi said in his opening. “I’m reminded of that dark history as I hear voices today try and justify the actions of the insurrectionists on January 6th, 2021.”

Thompson went on the brand today’s political opposition as modern-day Confederates and “domestic enemies of the Constitution,” cloaking his own authoritarian admonishment under the moral righteousness of preserving American democracy.

“The world is watching what we do here,” Thompson said. “America has long been expected to be shining city on the hill, a beacon of hope and freedom, a model for others when we are at our best.”

The hearing, however, possessed all the signature hallmarks of the infamous Moscow Trials nearly 100 years ago, in which opponents to Joseph Stalin’s regime were hauled before the public and charged with treason and sedition. And those who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 are far from the only targets of the witch hunt spearheaded by Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney and Rep. Thompson.

Legitimate political opposition on Thursday was absent from the hearings. No counternarrative was allowed by the regime, which barred the opposing party’s selected representatives as every cable network except Fox News carried the programming live. Members conducting the show trial accused their opponents of conspiracy to topple the U.S. government, just as the Soviets accused Old Bolshevik leaders of plans to terminate Stalin. Never mind that American institutions held on Jan. 6, and the federal government came nowhere close to collapse when congressional proceedings were interrupted.

The trials in Moscow culminated in the “Great Purge” of dissidents to the incumbent regime, with defendants given death sentences. The Jan. 6 proceedings are aimed at the ultimate purge of former President Donald Trump and his supporters, albeit through societal exile and jail sentences as opposed to execution. According to whistleblowers in the FBI, a purge within the federal law enforcement agency has already begun.

On Tuesday, Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray detailing allegations of multiple whistleblowers who reported they were terminated for their dissident (conservative) views from the agency.

“[He is a] decorated Iraqi War veteran being run out of the FBI,” Jordan said on Fox News Tuesday night of one whistleblower. “His allegiance to the country is being questioned because he had the gall to say something that offended the FBI leadership about the Jan. 6 investigation.”

The other [individual] is also having the same thing happen to them simply because, on an anonymous questionnaire, they said something that the leadership disagreed with them about Jan. 6.

Six in total have come forward, Jordan told Fox News’s Laura Ingraham.

Meanwhile, the Jan. 6 Committee’s prime targets have included prominent members of the prior administration, just as Stalin’s deputies prosecuted leaders of the old regime. On Friday, former Trump Trade Advisor Peter Navarro was taken by the FBI in handcuffs and charged with crimes stemming from the committee’s work. On Thursday morning, hours before the Jan. 6 Committee’s prime-time show trial, lead Michigan GOP gubernatorial candidate Ryan Kelley was arrested by the same agency.

Of the more than 100 subpoenas issued by the Select Committee ostensibly established to probe the Capitol riot, less than 10 percent, according to a Federalist analysis, have targeted individuals directly involved in the chaos. The rest have gone after Americans who committed the now-apparent crime of holding a peaceful demonstration at the White House and espoused unacceptable views in the eyes of the incumbent regime.


Tristan Justice is the western correspondent for The Federalist. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and The Daily Signal. His work has also been featured in Real Clear Politics and Fox News. Tristan graduated from George Washington University where he majored in political science and minored in journalism. Follow him on Twitter at @JusticeTristan or contact him at Tristan@thefederalist.com.

Sponsor Of J6 Show Trial Watch Party Demanded Soft Treatment for Lawyers Who Firebombed NYPD Car


REPORTED BY: TRISTAN JUSTICE | JUNE 08, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/06/08/sponsor-of-j6-show-trial-watch-party-demanded-soft-treatment-for-lawyers-who-firebombed-nypd-car/

Vehicle on Fire

Colinford Mattis and Urooj Rahman pled guilty last week to torching a police vehicle at a Brooklyn riot in May 2020.

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A group of far-left organizers sponsoring watch parties for Thursday’s show trial hearing by the House Jan. 6 Committee demanded soft treatment for a pair of attorneys sentenced last week in firebombing a New York City police car. Demand Progress, a project of the leftist Sixteen Thirty Fund, is named as a partner organization for January 6 Watch Events gearing up for Thursday’s prime time programming to “uncover the truth, demand accountability and ensure violence like this never happens again.”

“We need to make sure these hearings break through the busy news cycle and reach the American public,” the event website’s description reads. “We cannot allow Trump Republicans to successfully cover up one of the greatest attacks ever planned against American’s freedom to decide who governs in our name!”

The flagship watch party across from Capitol Hill Thursday night will even feature free Ben and Jerry’s ice cream while attendees watch what Democrats routinely characterize as the worst assault on American democracy on par with Pearl Harbor and 9/11. The committee recruited a former ABC News executive to up the drama for prime-time television.

While Demand Progress sponsors parties to raise the alarm over right-wing “insurrection,” the group demanded soft sentencing for two radical attorneys who torched a New York City police vehicle two years ago amid nationwide street violence over George Floyd’s murder.

On Thursday, attorneys Colinford Mattis and Urooj Rahman each pled guilty to conspiracy charges in a deal struck with federal prosecutors for tossing the Molotov cocktail at a Brooklyn riot on May 30, 2020. The pair had previously pled guilty to possession of a destructive device in October, but the threat of added years through a “terrorist enhancement” remained. In the plea deal landed last week, prosecutors dropped the enhancement and requested maximum prison time of two years as opposed to the decades they faced months ago. Mattis and Rahman officially pled guilty to conspiracy to commit arson and to make and possess an unregistered destructive device.

In a coalition letter with more than a dozen other leftist groups on June 22, 2020, Demand Progress condemned the prosecution as “excessive and politically-motivated charges.”

“The Trump Administration is wielding the punitive force of this system against Colin and Urooj, who are Black and South Asian, respectively, in order to chill popular protest against the unjust status quo,” the coalition wrote led by the Center for Constitutional Rights. “We call for the immediate release of Colin and Urooj on bail and for the federal government to drop these excessive charges.”

A day later, the Demand Progress shared the letter on Twitter demanding charges to be dropped.

Demand Progress’ about-face on criminal prosecution over civil unrest marks another episode of endless double standards for political violence. Democrats on Thursday will pursue wall-to-wall coverage of the events on Jan. 6, 2021 after spending the entire summer and fall preceding the Capitol riot normalizing violent uprisings when it served their cause.

“This is more proof that socialist Democrats don’t care about rioting,” Matt Schlapp, the president of the American Conservative Union, told The Federalist. “They want to put on a show to attempt to distract from their failures.”


Tristan Justice is the western correspondent for The Federalist. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and The Daily Signal. His work has also been featured in Real Clear Politics and Fox News. Tristan graduated from George Washington University where he majored in political science and minored in journalism. Follow him on Twitter at @JusticeTristan or contact him at Tristan@thefederalist.com.

CENSORSHIP: How Compulsive Conformity Can Get People Killed


REPORTED BY: STELLA MORABITO | MARCH 30, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/03/30/how-compulsive-conformity-can-get-people-killed/

shock therapy

Two dynamics are at work: the conformity impulse and the manipulation of that impulse by power brokers to promote the illusion that their view is the majority opinion.

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Our survival instincts are going to get us all killed.

I’m specifically referring to our hard-wired conformity impulse. That’s what causes us to go along with politically correct absurdities like pronoun protocols. It also causes people to join mobs, and to drink cyanide-laced Kool-Aid at the command of a cult leader. In primitive environments, the herd instinct serves as a means of survival. If some sense danger and rush to safety, all follow. But how does such a conformity impulse work in a high-tech society like ours? It doesn’t really.

Sure, a certain level of conformity is normal for a society to function. But an unchecked conformity impulse in a technological society like ours acts more like slow-motion suicide than a survival mechanism. We think we’re saving ourselves by conforming, but in the long run the opposite is true. In fact, our instinct to conform has become a weapon tyrants use to control us by threatening social isolation for those who don’t obey. This is especially the case when a monopoly of tech overlords can broadcast propaganda to the herd, instantly and globally. In such cases there is no “wisdom of crowds.” When the masses obey the propaganda to avoid social punishment, they only prop up propaganda and thereby spread social turmoil.

Propagandists Manipulate our Conformity Impulse

We should be aghast at the high level of American conformity to the demands of propagandists: Mask your toddler! He’s a girl and she’s a guy! Mind your pronouns! He’s a white supremacist! And so on. Nobody is safe if we can’t challenge the truth of what the elites who presume to rule us are saying.

Meanwhile, they keep pushing the envelope to get us to say things we know are false and to do things against our own interests. Demonizing those who hesitate to comply fosters a mob mindset that protects their narratives. Hence, people with different views feel alone and tend to be intimidated into silence. This is how resistance to tyranny is eroded.

Demonization campaigns are key to this process. Suddenly, you’re a bigot if you don’t celebrate men invading women’s sports. Or you’re an “insurrectionist” if you don’t applaud punishing people with 24/7 solitary confinement (without a trial date) for “parading” around the Capitol for a few hours on January 6, 2021.

Or you’re selfish if your toddler isn’t wearing a mask. Or you should be expelled as a Yale law student if you don’t take part in shouting down a conversation about free speech at Yale Law School and then sign a statement intended to abolish freedom of speech.

The Conformity Impulse Is Juvenile and Deadly

Teenage girls provide an especially clear-cut example of how the conformity dynamic works. Too many of them are notorious for engaging in relational aggression, a type of bullying that damages someone’s social status, causing others to shun and isolate the victim. This type of aggression is inherent to mob behavior.

For example, pundit Kathleen Parker’s recent hit job on Ginni Thomas in The Washington Post is infused with a smug little middle school flavor. It includes a huge dose of projection, such as Parker’s hallucination that Thomas has a sense of self-importance, when it’s obviously the Parker girl who’s infected with egotism.

Hillary Clinton is perhaps the ultimate case of the “I’m important and you’re not” mentality. The subtext of Clinton’s 2021 wistful reading of her 2016 acceptance speech is that Americans were obligated to elect her because she wanted to be president ever since she was a little girl. Men with a similar mentality include MSNBC anchor Joe Scarborough, Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, and humorless late-night “comics” like Stephen Colbert.

Their followers imitate and repeat what they’re told by the approved talking heads. They laugh at unfunny lines on cue, regurgitate the assigned opinions, and label the non-compliant with the “eewww” factor. Many are eager to become influencers so they too can dictate what others must say and do on pain of being socially rejected.

The Secret Laws of Social Psychology

Far too many have been marching in lockstep with media-pushed narratives, and too few seem to be speaking out. Two dynamics are at work: the conformity impulse and the manipulation of that impulse by power brokers to promote the illusion that their view is the majority opinion.

To resist this absurd state of affairs, we must first learn about the dynamics and understand our vulnerabilities. The information is out there, but it doesn’t get much circulation.

Nobel Laureate Doris Lessing once observed that people are dangerously ignorant of the laws of mob psychology. In 1987 she recommended everyone be schooled in them, especially children. She speculated that power elites are invested in such ignorance. If such knowledge were widely understood, people would be insulated from the manipulations of propagandists.

A lot of the research on conformity was the result of scholars asking how small groups of fanatics could take over whole societies — e.g., Bolsheviks in Russia and Nazis in Germany — resulting in millions killed while the vast majority of the population sat back in silence and fear.

In the 1950s psychologist Solomon Asch conducted his famous experiments on the conformity impulse. At least 37 percent of the time people would deny the evidence of their own eyes — about the obvious fact of a line’s length — if everyone else gave an incorrect answer. The experiment has been replicated thousands of times with the same or worse results. Here’s a video of that experiment conducted in the 1970s:

Stanley Milgram later took that study to a new level with his famous “shock machine” experiments. When Adolf Eichmann said he was “just following orders” while on trial for his leading role in the Holocaust, Milgram wondered how often ordinary people would inflict harm if told to do so by an authority figure.

Participants in that experiment were told it was a study about how punishment affected learning. If the “learner” gave an incorrect answer, the “teacher” was supposed to shock him in increments. The learners were actors who could not be seen but, although not really shocked, would scream in “pain” from the next room. The “teacher” was the subject.

Sixty-five percent of the subjects gave the highest voltage shock when asked to “please continue” by the administrator. For more background, watch “The Experimenter,” a 2015 film about Milgram. Other related research includes the Robbers Cave Experiment; Robert J. Lifton’s research on thought reform and totalitarianism; and Margaret Thaler Singer’s research on cults. All illustrate how elites can manipulate our urge to conform.

Everybody needs to learn about the dynamics of conformity. Blatant censorship, hostility to free speech, and campaigns to demonize mainstream American views were all unthinkable scenarios for most Americans just a few years ago.

But here we are. When we start self-censoring because we’re afraid of not fitting in, we open the door to oppression and social chaos. That unchecked urge to “fit in” can kill us all, and we need to stop.


Stella Morabito is a senior contributor at The Federalist. Her essays have also appeared in the Washington Examiner, American Thinker, Public Discourse, Human Life Review, New Oxford Review. In her previous work as an intelligence analyst, she focused on various aspects of Russian and Soviet politics, including communist media and propaganda. She has also raised three children, served as a public school substitute teacher, and homeschooled for several years as well. She has a B.A. in journalism and international relations from the University of Southern California and a Master’s degree in Russian and Soviet history, also from USC. Follow Stella on Twitter.

The Attacks on Clarence and Ginni Thomas Are Merely Latest in a Decades-Long Smear Campaign


REPORTED BY: TRISTAN JUSTICE | MARCH 30, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/03/30/the-attacks-on-clarence-and-ginni-thomas-are-merely-latest-in-a-decades-long-smear-campaign/

Clarence Thomas

Not only are the attacks on Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and his wife Ginni purely political, they’re deeply hypocritical.

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While claiming its aggressive collection of confidential information on private citizens is narrowly tailored” and without a nefarious purpose, Democrats on the Jan. 6 Committee selectively leaked communications of a private citizen to smear political opponents.

Last week, CNN and the Washington Post published text messages between Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’s wife, Virginia, who goes by “Ginni,” and former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows exchanged in the days leading up to and on the day of the Capitol riot.

“Help This Great President stand firm, Mark!!!” Ginni reportedly urged Meadows days after the 2020 contest when news organizations began to call the race for former Vice President Joe Biden. “You are the leader, with him, who is standing for America’s constitutional governance at the precipice. The majority knows Biden and the Left is attempting the greatest Heist of our History.”

Out of the 29 of more than 2,300 text messages released from Meadows’ vast trove of data handed to the Select Committee, not one, the Washington Post conceded, included a direct reference to the sitting justice as the weaponized probe sought to dox a private citizen for petitioning her government.

“The messages, which do not directly reference Justice Thomas or the Supreme Court, show for the first time how Ginni Thomas used her access to Trump’s inner circle to promote and seek to guide the president’s strategy to overturn the election results,” the Post reported with the paper adopting Pelosi committee’s framing to indict private political views as a blockbuster scandal.

While the committee has made an open point to prosecute those who publicly sought to cast doubt on the fairness of the 2020 election results, the committee’s targeting of Ginni Thomas for privately petitioning government officials on her own marks further escalation of the probe’s assault on civil liberties, and makes Thomas case all the more unique.

CNN reported Monday the committee will now seek an interview with Ginni, who has become the latest to be dragged before lawmakers for exercising dissident views, even in private. But the probe’s latest request is just as much targeted at Ginni, a long-time conservative activist who has never concealed her activism, as it is her husband.

The left’s racist disdain for Justice Thomas has never been a well-kept secret by a virulent left frustrated by the mere existence of a black conservative, let alone one on the high bench. Attacks on Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s record on lenient sentencing for child sex crimes are cruel and racist. Baseless criticism of Justice Thomas is warranted, however, for his political heresy, starting with his own confirmation process three decades ago.

Publication of the text messages provoked immediate calls for Justice Thomas to recuse himself from any cases related to the Jan. 6 investigation for the crime of his wife’s public political views raising concerns over an election with record mail-in voting and last-minute rule changes. New York Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez even demanded Justice Thomas resign or face impeachment.

As outlined Tuesday in The Federalist by former Thomas Law Clerk Wendy Long, however, judges are never asked to recuse themselves over political views, whether their own or their spouse’s.

“Leftists in Congress and the media hyperventilate over every tidbit showing that Justice Thomas’s wife, Ginni, is involved in national conservative politics – most recently, that she pushed for integrity in the 2020 election,” Long wrote. “This isn’t news, and it has nothing to do with Justice Thomas’s ability to be a fair and impartial jurist.”

Instead, Long explained judicial recusal is about “mainly financial, legal, personal, or professional interests of the Justice or a family member.” Not personal politics. The strategy of the modern left, however, has been to intimidate the courts into submission to extremist and anti-Constitution politics. Consider the last three nomination battles: Justice Brett Kavanaugh was slandered as a serial gang rapist, Amy Coney Barrett was depicted as a character in The Handmaid’s Tale, and Stephen Breyer was pressured to retire while Democrats were in power to replace him.

Not only are the attacks on Thomas purely political, they’re hypocritical. Will Democrats calling on Justice Thomas to refrain from his official duties as a jurist similarly demand a probe into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi leveraging her position in Congress to rake in millions? Will journalists married to people in power recuse themselves from coverage on any issues their spouses conduct even minor work on? Probably not. It’s all theater.


Tristan Justice is the western correspondent for The Federalist. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and The Daily Signal. His work has also been featured in Real Clear Politics and Fox News. Tristan graduated from George Washington University where he majored in political science and minored in journalism. Follow him on Twitter at @JusticeTristan or contact him at Tristan@thefederalist.com.

Mark Levin: Jan. 6 committee wants to DESTROY Trump, his followers, the GOP — and they’re spending YOUR tax dollars to do it


BLAZETV STAFF | January 26, 2022

Read more at https://www.theblaze.com/shows/levintv/mark-levin-jamie-raskin-jan-6?rebelltitem=1#rebelltitem1

On MSNBC, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) claimed that the January 6 committee is going to “blow the roof off the house” with its findings. He even managed to get every Marxist talking point into one outrageous sentence: “We`re looking at that mob riot which surrounded a violent insurrection of domestic violent extremist, white nationalist groups surrounding a presidential coup against the vice president and against the Congress.” It’s time to push back on their Marxist narrative with the truth, and BlazeTV’s Mark Levin is ready to take them on.

On a recent episode of “LevinTV,” Mark played a video clip in which Raskin told MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan that, unlike the Senate impeachment trial that was “about one guy, Donald Trump, and one crime, incitement to violent insurrection,” the mandate of the “select committee” is “much more sweeping.”

“We`re looking at all of the events of the day, all of the causes, and what needs to be done to fortify democratic institutions in the future,” Raskin said. “So, we’re looking at that mob riot which surrounded a violent insurrection of domestic violent extremist, white nationalist groups surrounding a presidential coup against the vice president and against the Congress. And we`re going to tell the story of each dimension of this attack on American democracy.”

“[Democrats] are going to destroy these people, Trump, his followers, the Republican Party, and they’re spending American tax dollars on this,” Mark exclaimed. “These guys are going out publicly saying what they’re going to do: ‘We want to get Trump indicted. We want to prevent him from being president of the United States’ … and this guy’s out there saying, ‘Yes, this is going to be a spectacular public hearing!’ Look at the smirks on their already smirk-like faces. It’s unbelievable. “

“God help us. I just hope this isn’t the narrative for the next 50 to 100 years in this country, because the Democrats are working very, very hard to make it the narrative,” he added.

Levin went on to unpack Raskin’s claims one by one, exposing the fallacies, hyperbole, and flat-out lies, before concluding, “[Democrats] can go after everybody and anybody for anything … and seek an indictment against them from our always objective and independent attorney general. The Department of Justice will go after them if they don’t submit. I am telling you, this is precisely what the framers of the Constitution rejected. This is a disgrace.”

Watch the video clip below or find more “LevinTV” here:

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