The Justice Department and FBI are investigating whether Roger Stone and Alex Jones played a role in the Capitol siege, report says

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Roger Stone, left, and Alex Jones, right, spoke at pro-Trump rallies ahead of the Capitol siege on January 6, 2021.

  • Right-wing influencers are being investigated by the FBI and the Justice Department, according to The Washington Post.
  • Investigators are exploring possible ties between Alex Jones, Roger Stone, and the insurrectionists.
  • The investigation wants to understand what the rioters were thinking when they ransacked the US Capitol.
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The Justice Department and FBI are looking into whether Roger Stone and Alex Jones played a role in the deadly insurrection on January 6, according to The Washington Post.

The right-wing influencers and ‘Stop the Steal’ organizer Ali Alexander, are being investigated to help gain a greater understanding of what inspired the rioters to ransack the US Capitol building, The Post reported.

Investigators intend to explore whether there is a link between those who stormed the Capitol and those who may have influenced them by promoting election fraud conspiracy theories, the paper said.

The investigation does not necessarily mean that the men will face criminal charges, people familiar with the case told The Post. 

“We are investigating potential ties between those physically involved in the attack on the Capitol and individuals who may have influenced them, such as Roger Stone, Alex Jones, and [Stop the Steal organizer] Ali Alexander,” an unnamed US official told the paper.

All three men made unsubstantiated claims of election fraud in the lead-up to the Capitol siege.

On one occasion, Stone baselessly claimed that North Korea had interfered in the presidential election by shipping in ballots through Maine ports.

The longtime friend of former President Donald Trump also spoke at a rally in front of the Supreme Court the day before the insurrection. He was reportedly flanked by extremists who later stormed the Capitol.

Jones, who also gave a speech at this event, posted a video on his website InfoWars.com of him telling a crowd: “We have only begun to resist the globalists. We have only begun our fight against their tyranny. They have tried to steal this election in front of everyone.”

He has publicly stated that his media company funded the Stop the Steal rally–  the precursor to the Capitol siege.

Alexander, who is also said to be under investigation, helped organize several rallies that preceded the insurrection.

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People are boycotting Publix because a member of its founding family gave $300,000 to the Trump rally that led to the January 6 Capitol riots

trump us capitol siege
Trump supporters gather outside the U.S. Capitol building following a “Stop the Steal” rally on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC.

  • People are boycotting Publix after heiress Julie Jenkins Fancelli was unmasked as a top donor to the January 6 Trump rally.
  • Fancelli is not a Publix employee but is set to inherit from the $8.8 billion founding family’s fortune.
  • Fancelli contributed most of the roughly $500,000 total raised for the “Stop the Steal” rally, the WSJ reported.
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People are calling for a boycott of Publix after the Wall Street Journal unmasked an heiress to the Southern grocery empire as the top donor to the Trump rally that led to the Capitol riots on January 6.

Julie Jenkins Fancelli, an heiress to the Publix founding family’s nearly $9 billion fortune, has previously donated millions to Republican causes and candidates. On January 30, the WSJ reported Fancelli as having contributed $300,000 out of the roughly $500,000 total raised for Trump’s now-infamous “Stop the Steal” rally.

Publix has a dedicated fanbase, but Fancelli’s contribution to the rally was the last straw for many loyal customers, The Guardian reported Monday. On Monday, the hashtag #BoycottPublix was trending on Twitter, with many users expressing outrage and claiming betrayal over Fancelli’s donation.

Fancelli’s donation was facilitated by far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who himself donated $50,000 to the rally that led to the deaths of five people, the Journal reported.

After the riots, corporations raced to cut ties with former president Trump and to end donations to political candidates that supported Trump’s attempt to overturn the election.

After the publication of the WSJ article, Publix rapidly distanced itself from Fancelli in a Twitter statement, and said it did not employ her.

Fancelli is still president of the George Jenkins Foundation, Inc., Publix founder George Jenkins’s charity, which is not affiliated with the grocery chain. Since posting the statement on January 30, the Publix Twitter account – which previously posted around once a day – has been uncharacteristically silent.

This isn’t the first time Publix has courted controversy over its political donations. It came under fire after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis awarded the chain an exclusive vaccine distribution contract. This followed the Publix PAC donating $100,000 donation to his campaign – a spokeswoman for DeSantis said any implication that the contract was a reward for the donation was “baseless and ridiculous,” per the Lakeland Ledger.

Leaders from predominantly Black communities throughout the state also criticized the contract, saying it deprived many Black Floridians of the chance to get vaccinated.

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A man in New Hampshire is detained on suspicion of sending pro-Trump death threats to members of Congress

stop the steal
People attend a rally in support of President Donald Trump on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington.

  • A man in New Hampshire must remain in custody on suspicion he sent death threats to lawmakers.
  • Ryder Winegar is accused of calling 6 legislators in December, telling them to keep Trump in office.
  • If the member of Congress did not, Winegar said he and other “patriots” would murder them.
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A man in New Hampshire will be detained after he was arrested on suspicion of sending death threats to several members of Congress and their aides in support of former President Donald Trump, according to the US Department of Justice.

Federal prosecutors allege that Ryder Winegar, 33, called six members of Congress on December 16 and 17, 2020, and urged them to flip the election or he would kill them, according to a federal complaint and affidavit filed by Special Agent Sean Wilson of the US Capitol Police.

The voicemails were quickly sent to Capitol Police and transcribed. They were able to identify Winegar because he began several of his threatening messages with “this is Ryder Winegar,” also leaving his phone number, expecting a phone call in return. He also said in a voicemail that he is a US Navy veteran.

Winegar’s script changes from voicemail to voicemail with varied racial epithets, anti-Semitic insults, and homophobic slurs, but the contents of each are based on the untrue assertion that Trump won the 2020 election and if members of Congress did not stop then-President-elect Biden from becoming president, that he and others would murder them.

“Do the right thing or patriots are going to come,” Winegar said. “And we’re going to f—–g kill you all. You understand?”

The names of the members of Congress that Winegar called are redacted in the court filings, but one transcript suggests that he intended to leave threats to former Republican Sen. Martha McSally, but was surprised when the answering machine said he was calling the office of Sen. Mark Kelly. Kelly defeated McSally in the 2020 election and was sworn in on December 2, 2020.

“Well, I’m actually trying to contact Martha, not, not Mark or whatever the f–k your answering machine said, but anyway, it’s regardless, regardless, uh, you f—–g, you know, just graduated from college, know-nothing piece of s–t,” Winegar said. “You need to send this voicemail or tally it up to the senators or whatever gay s–t you do.”

Read more: Trump allies are slamming the president and likening the mob he unleashed on the US Capitol to authoritarian countries

Following his loss in the 2020 presidential election, Trump and his allies spread countless unfounded claims of election fraud and attempted to overturn the election through lawsuits in several swing states. Over 60 cases were filed across the US, but none of the lawsuits were successful in flipping the results of a single state, nor did they find any widespread evidence of fraud.

Trump’s rhetoric peaked on January 6, when he headlined a “Stop the Steal” rally outside of the US Capitol in an attempt to stop Congress from lawfully certifying Biden from becoming president.

“We will never give up. We will never concede. It doesn’t happen,” Trump said. “You don’t concede when there’s theft involved. Our country has had enough. We’re not going to take it anymore.”

Soon after, the Capitol was breached by violent rioters, which led to the deaths of five people, including a police officer. Over 230 arrests have been made since the attempted coup. The FBI is currently seeking help and information to locate other insurrectionists.

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Republicans need the Marjorie Taylor Greene wing of the party, and she knows it

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Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene speaks as ex-President Donald Trump listens at a campaign rally on Jan. 4, 2021.

  • Republicans had their chance to bench conspiracy theory-spouting Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. 
  • But they didn’t because while QAnon is fading away, conspiracy theorists are now part of the GOP base. 
  • The House voted to strip Greene of committee assignments, but her apology-free speech proved she knows she’s untouchable in the GOP. 
  • This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author.
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Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene gave a victory speech to the House on Thursday. 

Greene, a day after Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy declined to preemptively boot her from assignments on two committees, gave a defiant address on the House floor prior to a vote on whether to advance another vote to force her off of those assignments. Greene claimed to have “moved on” from her support of vile anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, demonstrable Islamophobia, violent political rhetoric, 9/11 and school shooting trutherism, and of course – QAnon. 

But she didn’t apologize for a thing. 

Instead, she played the culture war hits, railing against “big tech censorship,” “illegal aliens,” and comparing the mainstream media to the QAnon cult. 

It was a spectacle, watching a member of Congress say that “9/11 happened” and “school shootings happen,” before quickly pivoting to calling abortion murder.  

And it happened because Republican leadership has tacitly admitted they need the Greene wing of the party. 

Even as QAnon falls out of favor, the Republican party allowed conspiracy theories to take hold with the Trump-supporting base of the GOP, and now they know the party can’t win without them. 

Keeping the conspiracy theorists inside the “big GOP tent”

Republican leadership would clearly rather not have this problem. They’d love to recapture some semblance of the GOP that wasn’t built on conspiracy thinking and a Trump personality cult. 

While McCarthy, along with much of the GOP congressional leadership, has forcefully denounced Greene’s toxic social media history, they have refused to hand down actual consequences. 

Preemptively removing Marjorie Taylor Greene from any committee assignments would have been their chance to assert the authority of the “facts matter” wing of the Republican Party. 

But when it came time to put up or shut up, McCarthy declined to marginalize Greene. To do so, he said, would be to surrender to the Democrats. 

That’s a tacit admission the Republican party allowed the fringe elements of their movement to grow into a key constituency – and now needs to appease the Greene wing of the party.

Politics being a metaphorical bloodsport, McCarthy knows that being perceived to have bent to the Democrats’ demands will look like weakness. It’s pragmatic, but it’s a cop-out. 

Republicans removing the Georgia freshman wouldn’t have been a surrender, it would have been responsible. 

Sure enough, the Democratic-controlled House (including 11 Republicans) voted on Thursday to boot Greene from the committees anyway. 

Had McCarthy refused to throw the party’s weight behind Greene, it would have severely hampered Nancy Pelosi’s efforts to label the GOP as the QAnon Party

Now there’s no turning back. Greene is the GOP, and the GOP is Greene. 

QAnon is over, “Stop the Steal” is forever 

The real reason McCarthy wanted to have it both ways – to wrap Greene’s wrists with a condemnation, but issue no meaningful punishment – is because she’s far more popular among Republican voters than the reality-accepting “Trump lost the election” wing of the party – including the House’s third-in-command Republican Rep. Liz Cheney and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. 

And so McCarthy, issuing his mealy-mouthed rebuke of Greene, fumbled through the word “QAnon,” unconvincingly claiming to have never heard of the conspiracy theory cult, even though he explicitly denounced it last August.   

Greene might be part of a small and mostly powerless fringe of internet-created edgelords in the Republican House caucus, but she also represents the GOP base, warped by conspiracy theories, that will never admit Trump lost a free and fair election. 

Republicans quietly continue to live in fear of the “Stop the Steal” wing of the electorate, as demonstrated by their inability to – even now – publicly accept Joe Biden is the legitimate President of the United States of America. 

Of the 147 congressional Republicans that voted – on the night of the Trump-incited January 6 insurrection at the Capitol – against certifying the Electoral College results, only 10 have since rebuked the false and thoroughly-debunked narrative that massive election fraud cost Trump the election, according to a report by Reuters

And a portion of the GOP House conference clearly identifies with the Greene wing of the party, as the conspiracy theory-spouting lawmaker received a standing ovation from some members at a Republican meeting on Wednesday night.

So while Greene can play the “Who me?” charade regarding her extensive history of swimming in the Alex Jones-wing of the internet, she knows she’s untouchable within the party itself. 

Trump might be gone, but the culture warrior conspiracy theorists carry on his legacy in Congress. And Republicans still dare not cross them.  

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Trump supporters chant ‘destroy the GOP’ at a rally in Washington DC, after Republican officials in Georgia refused to back the president’s bid to overturn the election

Stop the Steal, DC
US President Donald Trump flies in Marine-1 over a pro-Trump rally of supporters demonstrating against the election results, on December 12, 2020 in Washington, D.C.

  • At a rally in Washington DC Saturday, Trump supporters vented their anger at Republican party officials who’ve refused to take part in President Trump’s bid to subvert the election. 
  • “Destroy the GOP,” some chanted at the event, according to video footage posted online. 
  • The rally was attended by supporters including Alex Jones and Michael Flynn, and Trump took part in a Marine One flyover in a show of support.
  • The anger shown by the supporters will likely fuel concern about a growing rift in the party between backers of Trump’s groundless election fraud claims, and those who have rejected them. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Trump supporters chanted “destroy the GOP” at a rally in Washington DC on Saturday, venting their anger at Republican state officials who refused to take part in President Trump’s bid to overturn the election result and cling to power. 

According to footage of the rally posted on Twitter, far-right activist Nick Fuentes addressed supporters, attacking the Republican Party and alleging that it had failed to keep Trump in power.

Fuentes, in a tweet Saturday, posted a picture of himself addressing the rally, and wrote “We are going to destroy the GOP and transform it into a party that truly puts AMERICA FIRST!”

 

“In the first Million MAGA march, we promised that if the GOP did not do everything in their power to keep Trump in office, then we would destroy the GOP,” said Fuentes through a megaphone. 

“As we gather here in Washington DC for a second Million MAGA March, we’re done making promises. It has to happen now. We are going to destroy the GOP,” he continued, to cheers and applause from Trump supporters. 

The crowd, many wearing red caps emblazoned with Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’ slogan, then started chanting, “Destroy the GOP! Destroy the GOP!”

 

In recent weeks a rift has emerged in the Republican party, with Trump and his supporters attacking Republican officials in swing states, such as Georgia Governor Brian Kemp.

He is one of a number of Republican officials in key states who have refused to obey Trump’s demands and block certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. 

The Trump campaign has alleged widespread ballot fraud in the election while producing no convincing evidence to support the claim. The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a lawsuit by Texas’ Attorney General Ken Paxton seeking to overturn the election result, in a conclusive blow to the bid to overturn the election. 

In a sign of the hold Trump still has over the Republican base, recent polls have found that most Republican voters believe his claims of mass voter fraud, while hundreds of GOP members of the House of Representatives backed the failed Supreme Court lawsuit. 

The rift has led to concerns among some Republicans that Trump supporters could boycott the crucial January 5 Senate runoffs, imperiling the party’s chances of retaining control of the US Senate. 

Saturday’s rally was attended by thousands of Trump supporters, though the turnout was reportedly not as large as last month’s Stop the Steal rally in the US capital. Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and former national security director Michael Flynn, who are revered by the president’s base, were among the supporters who attended. 

 

Trump flew over the rally several times in Marine One on his way to the Army-Navy game, in a nod of support to the protesters. 

Later, violence flared, as members of the far-right Proud Boys clashed with supporters of the far-left Antifa group. The Washington Post, citing DC fire department spokesman, Doug Buchanan, said four people had been hospitalized with stab wounds. 

 

 

 

 

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