The Arizona Republic reports, Jan. 6 committee hearing into Capitol riot shows numerous ties to Arizona in effort to overturn election:
The select committee investigating the riot at the U.S. Capitol started laying out its evidence Thursday night that former President Donald Trump helped lead a coordinated effort to sidestep his election loss that culminated in the historic insurrection.
Orange-clad Proud Boys from Arizona walked to Capitol before Trump speech
Testimony featured a group of orange hat wearing Proud Boys from Arizona who, according to witnesses, turned a standoff at a group of barricades at the Capitol more dire.
CNN reported in January 2021, Decoding the extremist symbols and groups at the Capitol Hill insurrection (excerpt):
The Proud Boys and the OK sign
The far right has co-opted the OK sign as a trolling gesture and, for some, as a symbol of white power. The ADL added that symbol to its long-standing database of slogans and symbols used by extremists.
A photo from the riot at the US Capitol shows several people making the OK hand gesture.
Some of the people in the photo are also seen in a livestream from the rally, where they identify themselves as members of the Proud Boys, specifically the Arizona chapter.
The man livestreaming the event moves through the crowd at the Capitol saying “support your local Proud Boys.”
In the video, he goes up to a group wearing orange hats and says, “They wanna know what the orange hats stand for.”
One man replies that it’s a way to keep their group together before another chimes in: “It stands for the best f*cking chapter in the best f*cking organization in the world.”
Asked what that organization is, the man in an orange hat declares: “The Proud Boys.”
A documentary filmmaker who testified before the House Select Committee during its prime-time televised hearings on Thursday described meeting up with a group of Proud Boys, clad in orange armbands and hats, who were from Arizona.
Nick Quested, the filmmaker, said that he had spent time with a different group of Proud Boys on the evening of Jan. 5, 2021, and the morning of Jan. 6, 2021, gaining familiarity with them. But, he told the committee, during a 10:30 a.m. walk around the Capitol, that group was joined by a group he hadn’t met from Arizona.
“There was also a contingent of Proud Boys that I hadn’t met before from Arizona who appeared to wear these orange hats and had orange armbands,” he said to the committee.
One Phoenix man who pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge related to his actions at the U.S. Capitol, Micajah Joel Jackson, told The Arizona Republic in a 2021 interview that he was given an orange armband by the Proud Boys of Arizona. He has denied being affiliated. He said he thought it would be safer to walk with a group that day than to be on his own.
A U.S. Capitol Police officer said that the arrival of the orange-clad group of Proud Boys turned the situation more dire. The officer, Caroline Edwards, said that after the Arizona group of Proud Boys joined the confrontation at the police line, the attacks through the megaphone became personal and pointed against the officers.
So much for “Back The Blue” from these Arizona domestic terorrists.
In his testimony, Quested said he thought it was unusual that the Proud Boys walked to the U.S. Capitol before President Donald Trump started speaking, what he thought was the reason for them being in Washington, D.C. [It was reconaissance to determine the weak spots in the Capitol Police perimeter around the Capitol in preparation for storming the Capitol.] After circling the Capitol and posing for photos at the east side of the Capitol, the group took a lunch break, Quested said.
“We went for tacos,” he said.
They love our food but they hate us. https://t.co/auEbY6i9fF
— Lalo Alcaraz (@laloalcaraz) June 10, 2022
Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) argues the January 6th hearings are a distraction:
“That pack of tortillas that I just bought … they used to look like the regular corn tortillas. Now they look like mini tortillas … That’s what Americans are talking about.” pic.twitter.com/ACl5dFXrsY
— The Recount (@therecount) June 9, 2022
Quested also described a meeting between the leaders of the Proud Boys [Enrique Tarrio] and the Oath Keepers [Stewart Rhodes] at a parking garage, a meeting he hastily filmed.
Additional testimony described the actions of the Oath Keepers that involved an Arizona man.
Marcus Childress, an investigative counsel with the Select Committee, said that Oath Keepers amassed “quick reaction forces” in Virginia, stocking weapons [caches] in case Trump invoked the insurrection act.
Among those at a Comfort Inn in the Ballston neighborhood of Arlington, Virginia, was a 63-year-old Arizona man named Edward Vallejo.
Text messages included in court files indicate Vallejo was at the hotel when the riot at the Capitol broke up. Prosecutors allege he stood ready to deliver weapons if Rhodes told him to do so as part of a “quick reaction force” team.
Vallejo has been charged with seditious conspiracy, as have other members of the Oath Keepers.
Vallejo, in a phone conversation from a Florence, Arizona, detention facility that was later made public, said he intended only to feed the crowd. He took a field kitchen — full of food and equipment — and planned to cook enough food for 30 days, up through the presidential inauguration on Jan. 20.
Vallejo said in the interview that he understood the plan was for members of the Oath Keepers to meet at a field in Virginia for target practice. That, he said, was the only encampment he thought would set up.
“That’s what I went for,” he said. “It has nothing to do with this Washington, D.C., crap. And I wish that I never went to the hotel.”
Just before the committee adjourned until Monday morning, an early Arizona connection to the Capitol riot emerged during testimony from Caroline Edwards, a U.S. Capitol police officer, and Nick Quested, a documentary filmmaker who was tracking the Proud Boys extremist group.
Edwards testified to the committee that the arrival of an Arizona contingent of Proud Boys at the perimeter around the Capitol changed the tone of remarks from a megaphone-toting Proud Boy leader, Joseph Biggs.
“Once they joined that group, Joseph Biggs’ rhetoric turned to the Capitol Police. He started asking us questions … our pay scale was mentioned, and started turning the tables on us,” she said.
“I know when I’m being turned into a villain, and that’s when I turned to my sergeant and I stated the understatement of the century. I said, ‘Sarge, I think we’re going to need a few more people down here.’”
Not long afterward, the Proud Boys conferred and began tearing apart the barricades, giving the crowd an opening to advance on the Capitol, she said.
Quested also noted seeing Joseph Biggs meet the Arizona Proud Boys, who wore distinctive blaze orange caps.
Joseph Biggs is not related to Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz. Joseph Biggs, of Florida, has been indicted on charges of seditious conspiracy in connection with the riot.
‘QAnon shaman’ appears in video
The video presentation of the unfolding riot from the House Select Committee on Thursday showed the unmistakable image of Jake Angeli of Phoenix entering the U.S. Capitol wearing his fur hat topped with horns, tattooed bare chest and painted face.
Angeli, according to video, entered the Capitol through an open door, something he pointed out to an NBC News reporter the day after the riot. “I walked through an open door, dude,” he said.
The judge who would sentence him to 41 months in prison after Angeli pleaded guilty noted that Angeli, who was charged under his legal name, Jacob Chansley, would have heard fire alarms and seen people crawling through a broken window next to the door he entered. Those were signs, the judge said, that Angeli and the others were doing something wrong.
Although defense attorneys said Angeli played a minor role in the melee, U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth noted in a filing that Angeli was among the first to enter the U.S. Capitol. Lamberth wrote that Angeli “quite literally spearheaded it.”
Angeli, according to his defense attorney, came to D.C. from Phoenix feeling as if he had been called by Trump. Angeli, in a letter, expressed disappointment that Trump did not pardon him and others before he left office.
Angeli had been a fixture at protests in the Phoenix area since at least 2019. He often carried an intentionally weathered sign that said “Q Sent Me.” In interviews with The Arizona Republic, he said he wore the fur hat with horns to attract attention to the QAnon conspiracy theory.
That false theory alleged that a government agent with Q-level security clearance was posting cryptic clues on relatively obscure online bulletin boards. The theory went several directions but coalesced on the fiction that the world was ruled by a cabal of globalists who sacrificed children to drink their blood.
The committee said that future hearings would mention Trump’s efforts to pressure state lawmakers to overturn the election and create alternate slates of electors. Arizona figured prominently in those plans.
Nearly 200 GQP state legislators signed an open letter calling for “forensic audits” of the “corrupted 2020 election” and urging states to decertify electors “where it has been shown the elections were certified prematurely and inaccurately.”
The letter, signed by GQP lawmakers from 39 states, was circulated by Arizona State Sen. Wendy Rogers.
BREAKING: 186 Legislators from 39 States Write a Letter to the American People Calling for a 50-State Audit, Decertification Where Appropriate, and Possible Convening of the US House of Representatives (1/2) pic.twitter.com/syGpDm5fN9
— Wendy Rogers (@WendyRogersAZ) November 23, 2021
Arizona GQP legislators also arranged for a “Stop The Steal” election denier hearing with Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Arizona GOP lawmakers hold meeting on election outcome with Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
Fake GOP electors were part of plan to upend election
The group of Arizona Republicans who met Dec. 14, 2020, at state party headquarters made no secret that they were signing a document falsely declaring themselves the state’s official presidential electors. After the ceremony, the party sent out a news release. The meeting was posted on YouTube.
— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) February 3, 2022
What was not clear at the time was that this was not an empty exercise.
The document creating a second set of declared presidential electors out of Arizona was part of a strategy intended to upend or delay the official certification of the 2020 election in Congress on Jan. 6, 2021, and possibly keep Donald Trump as president.
The meeting at which the Arizona Republicans falsely swore themselves the state’s official electors has drawn the interest of the Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol. The committee has subpoenaed three of the 11 Republicans who signed the document, including Kelli Ward, the head of the Arizona Republican Party.
Note: There was also a second group of fake GQP electors in Arizona, a buch of yahoo “Sovereign Citizens of the Great State of Arizona,” who sent signed, notarized forged certificates to the National Archives purporting to be electoral votes for Trump. Hobbs asks AG to investigate fake electors for using state seal.
The “official” group of fake GQP electors from the Arizona Republican Party were not done aiding and abetting Donald Trump’s coup plot.
NEW: January 5 letter from Arizona fake elector to Mike Pence asks Pence to delay certifying the election and consult Arizona legislature on considering fake Trump electors instead. pic.twitter.com/kKr1WEOBXc
— Maddow Blog (@MaddowBlog) February 16, 2022
The [fake GQP] electors from Arizona have not explained what led them to hold the meeting or whose advice they followed on procedures. One elector, now a state lawmaker, Rep. Jake Hoffman, repeatedly refused to answer a Republic reporter’s question about how he knew where to go for the meeting.
NEW In Arizona, journalism can be a team sport. GOP State Rep. Jake Hoffman refused to answer 12News photojournalist's question (which I provided) re why he signed phony declaration in 2020 that Arizona electors voted for Trump. Watch as AZRepublic's @ruelaswritings folos up… pic.twitter.com/Qp3YOLyBl9
— Brahm Resnik (@brahmresnik) January 13, 2022
Had Trump won Arizona, the 11 Republicans who met would have cast Arizona’s official votes in the Electoral College, the constitutionally mandated body that actually votes for the president.
The fake Republican electors met at the same time Arizona’s official electors, as chosen by the state Democratic Party, met to cast their votes for President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
Among the notable fake alternate Republican electors from Arizona, besides Hoffman, were Jim Lamon, now a U.S. Senate candidate; Anthony Kern, a former state lawmaker running for a state Senate seat; and Ward.
Arizona creating an alternate elector slate was part of a plan to throw a wrench into the typically rote ceremony of the vice president counting each state’s Electoral College votes. That plan was outlined by John Eastman, a lawyer brought on to the Trump team in December 2020.
Eastman proposed having seven states submit competing slates of electors to be counted on Jan. 6, 2020. Vice President Mike Pence, the theory went, could say that with competing slates of electors, neither one could be counted.
Pence then could declare Trump the winner, since Trump would have won the majority of the electoral votes he was able to count.
If Congress protested, as Eastman’s memo theorized it might, Pence would throw the election to the House, where, following a procedure in the U.S. Constitution, each state’s delegation would get one vote. At the time, the memo pointed out, 26 out of the 50 states had Republican majority delegations. “President Trump is re-elected there as well,” the memo said.
Eastman’s memo predicted that, going alphabetically, the first disputed state Pence would encounter would be Arizona.
It is not clear exactly when this strategy was hatched.
The House committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol believes former Energy Secretary Rick Perry is the author of a text message to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows that was turned over to the committee that called for encouraging Republican-led states to cast their Electoral College votes for Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election regardless of the outcome of the popular vote, according to CNN.
The message, sent Nov. 4, 2020, suggested an “agressive [sic] strategy” for Meadows to pursue: Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and other closely contested states with Republican state legislatures should call the presidential election “BS” and “send their own electors to vote and have it go to the [Supreme Court].”
Eastman wrote his first memo on Christmas Eve 2020. That was 10 days after the Arizona Republicans had met and sent its documents falsely declaring themselves the state’s “duly elected and qualified” presidential electors.
But, on Tuesday, a federal judge wrote in a ruling that the plan to disrupt the Jan. 6, 2021, joint session of Congress was “fully formed and actionable” as early as Dec. 7, 2020.
That would be one week before the alternate slate of Republican electors met at party headquarters.
The judge’s ruling Tuesday involved a dispute between Eastman and the select committee over what emails Eastman needed to turn over to the committee. The emails sought were sent between Nov. 3, 2020, which was Election Day, and Jan. 20, 2021, which was the day Biden was inaugurated.
Among the emails in question, according to the ruling, are invitations to state lawmakers to attend virtual meetings over Zoom. One listed as an agenda item for a Dec. 8, 2020, meeting, Eastman speaking about “State legislative actions that can reverse the media-called election for Joe Biden.”
During those December weeks, Eastman was contacting “sympathetic state legislators in Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Arizona, urging them to decertify Biden electors and certify alternate Trump electors,” the judge’s ruling says.
At the time, the ruling says, Eastman was convinced that the states didn’t just need to appoint alternate electors. Instead, he thought each state legislature needed to decertify its election [not an actual thing] and appoint its own slate.
Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers was under pressure from attorneys for Trump to do just that. In a news release on Dec. 4, 2020, Bowers said that the Trump legal team made the “breathtaking” request that Arizona lawmakers disregard the election results and take it upon themselves to appoint the presidential electors.
In interviews with The Republic, Bowers described such pressure dating back to the Sunday before Thanksgiving. Bowers said that Rudy Giuliani, a Trump attorney, asked him to take advantage of a unique Arizona law that allowed the legislature to appoint electors rather than the voters.
Bowers refused to entertain the notion, neither in November nor following the in-person meeting in December.
Even though Arizona’s Legislature refused to throw out the election results, the Arizona electors met at party headquarters to declare themselves the state’s official electors. In six other states, all states carried by Biden, similar groups of Republicans met to make similar declarations.
The wordings on each state’s documents were nearly uniform. The font and design were identical. [A Clear indication it came from the Trump lawyers.]
Two states, New Mexico and Pennsylvania, inserted language that said the Republican electors would only be valid under certain future conditions. But Arizona, along with the other four states, flatly declared themselves the state’s official electors.
The meeting opened with a prayer, according to postings on Twitter from the Arizona Republican Party. The document they each were to sign was read out loud, according to video posted by the party. Then, the electors broke out in applause.
A copy of the document was sent by certified mail to the National Archives. It was preserved, but officially ignored. Another copy was sent to the U.S. Senate. It is not clear what happened to that document.
In his speech to supporters on Jan. 6, 2021, just before the crowd caused mayhem during its breach of the U.S. Capitol, Trump mentioned the plan for Pence to employ the alternate electors.
“If Pence does the right thing,” Trump said, “we win.”
Ali Alexander is a cooperating witness and that affects Biggs, Gosar
Ali Alexander, the architect of the “Stop the Steal” movement, cooperated with the committee early on, and that could shed light on what more the panel has learned about Arizona Republican Reps. Andy Biggs and Paul Gosar.
It’s unclear when Alexander’s contributions may come up, but when they do, it could offer some of the most important information the committee gathered involving two of the more controversial members of Congress.
In a since-deleted social media post before the attack on the Capitol, Alexander singled out Biggs and Gosar, along with Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., for helping give his group’s effort success.
See the Washington Post, A ‘Stop the Steal’ organizer, now banned by Twitter, said three GOP lawmakers helped plan his D.C. rally, and The Intercept, Freedom Caucus Chair Andy Biggs Helped Plan January 6 Event, Lead Organizer Says.
Alexander called Gosar the movement’s “spirit animal” and said he spoke “in person” to Biggs. A spokesman for Biggs insisted in the days after the riot that Biggs had no direct contact with Alexander, so their interaction remains a point of wide factual dispute.
Alexander also had ties to state Rep. Mark Finchem, R-Oro Valley, and former state Rep. Anthony Kern, R-Glendale, who spoke at “Stop the Steal” rallies and were at the Capitol on Jan. 6.
Finchem and Kern were mingling with crowds amassed on the Capitol steps, photos, texts and social media accounts show.
Biggs attended White House planning sessions to keep Trump in office and helped spread the false narrative of a stolen election. He is among GOP congressional members who have refused to cooperate with the probe.
The Republic leaves out Vice Chair Liz Cheney’s revelation: Several Republicans including Scott Perry sought pardons from Trump after the Capitol riot, Liz Cheney says:
Rep. Cheney called out Rep. Scott Perry in particular, saying: “Representative Perry contacted the White House in the weeks after January 6 to seek a presidential pardon.”
“Multiple other Republican congressmen also sought presidential pardons for their roles in attempting to overturn the 2020 election,” she added.
In January 2021, CNN first reported that “Reps. Andy Biggs, Mo Brooks and Paul Gosar were among some Republicans who feared their legal exposure and sought clemency. ”
These are the organizers of the Stop The Steal Rally on Janary 6 according to Ali Alexander. This demonstrates a consiousness of guilt to request a “preemptive” pardon, which is exceedingly rare, except for Donald Trump who pardoned his supporters before they could be sentenced or sent to prison.
Returning to the top of this post, were Reps. Biggs and Gosar responsible for bringing their own militia, the Arizona Proud Boys, to the January 6 insurrection, who the witnesses accused of being the first to breach the security perimeter of the Capitol? Did they know in advance of the Arizona Proud Boys’ plan to storm the Capitol? Did they know in advance that the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers were hunting Vice President Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi? Were they involved in directing the Arizona Proud Boys to do this as part of the Coup Plot?
Rep. Mark Finchem is an avowed Oath Keeper and was present at the insurrection on January 6. What was his connection to these domestic terrorist organizations, the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys, on January 6? Is anyone seriously to believe that he was just a visitor all on his lonesome that day? He almost certainly had contacts with other Oath Keepers there that day. What did he know in advance?