Jan. 6 attack: 3 FL extremist groups formed an alliance ‘to work together to shut this sh** down’

By: - December 27, 2022 7:00 am

A mob bashes its way into the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, to disrupt the transfer of power to incoming President Joe Biden. Credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The final report of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol is 845 pages long — similar to more than two or three books outlining the terror of historic events. The excerpts related to Florida are often chilling.

The publication released last week showed the force of extremist groups from Florida that formed an alliance leading up to Jan. 6, traveled to Washington, D.C., and attacked the U.S. Capitol.

Some of the Florida individuals in extremist groups have already been on trial and have been convicted.

Here are mesome of the main excerpts of the Florida events:

SUMMONING A MOB TO WASHINGTON, AND KNOWING THEY WERE ANGRY AND ARMED, INSTRUCTING THEM TO MARCH TO THE CAPITOL

“The Department of Justice has charged a number of Oath Keepers with seditious conspiracy. Specifically, the government alleges that “[a]fter the Presidential Election, Elmer Stewart Rhodes III conspired with his co-defendants, introduced below, and other co-conspirators, known and unknown to the Grand Jury, to oppose by force the lawful transfer of presi[1]dential power.” A jury agreed, convicting Stewart Rhodes and Kelly Meggs—the leader of the Florida Oath Keepers chapter—of seditious con[1]spiracy. The jury also convicted Rhodes and Meggs, as well as fellow Oath Keepers Jessica Watkins, Kenneth Harrelson, and Thomas Caldwell, of other serious felonies for their actions on January 6th.

Meggs celebrated the December 19th tweet, sending an encrypted Signal message to Florida Oath Keepers that President Trump ‘wants us to make it WILD that’s what he’s saying. He called us all to the Capitol and wants us to make it wild!!! . . . Gentlemen we are heading to DC pack your shit!!’ Similarly, Oath Keeper Joshua James—who pleaded guilty to seditious conspiracy—told Oath Keepers that there was now a ‘NATIONAL CALL TO ACTION FOR DC JAN 6TH’ following President Trump’s words…

“Similarly, members of the Florida Guardians of Freedom, Three Percent sent around a flyer on December 24, 2020, saying they were ‘responding to the call from President Donald J. Trump to assist in the security, protection, and support of the people as we all protest the fraudulent election and re-establish liberty for our nation.’ Their leader, Jeremy Liggett, posted a meme to Facebook stating that ‘3% Will Show In Record Numbers In DC’ and put out a ‘safety video’ instructing people that they could bring ‘an expandable metal baton, a walking cane and a folding knife’ to Washington, DC on January 6th. Several have been arrested for participating in the violence around the tunnel on January 6th …

“These groups were not operating in silos. Meggs bragged on Facebook that following President Trump’s December 19th tweet he had formed an alliance between the Oath Keepers, the Florida Three Percenters, and the Proud Boys ‘to work together to shut this shit down.’ On December 19th, Meggs called Enrique Tarrio (of the Proud Boys) and they spoke for more than three minutes. Three days later, Meggs messaged Liggett, echoing his excitement about the December 19th tweet and specifically referencing the seat of Congress: ‘He called us all to the Capitol and wants us to make it wild!!!’

“Liggett said ‘I will have a ton of men with me’ and Meggs replied that ‘we have made Contact [sic] with PB [Proud Boys] and they always have a big group. Force multiplier. . . . I figure we could splinter off the main group of PB and come up behind them. Fucking crush them for good.’

“Aside from Meggs, Stewart Rhodes brought in at least one local militia leader and Three Percenters into the Oath Keepers January 6th planning chats that came about following President Trump’s tweet…

“Others brought firearms. Three men in fatigues from Broward County, Florida brandished AR-15s in front of Metropolitan police officers on 14th Street and Independence Avenue on the morning of January 6th. MPD advised over the radio that one individual was possibly armed with a ‘Glock’ at 14th and Constitution Avenue, and another was possibly armed with a ‘rifle’ at 15th and Constitution Avenue around 11:23 a.m. The National Park Service detained an individual with a rifle between 12 and 1 p.m. Almost all of this was known before Donald Trump took the stage at the Ellipse…

“Statement of Facts .. When the Select Committee asked about this post to the leader of the Florida Guardians of Freedom, Liggett downplayed any significance or any knowledge about other Three Percenter groups that might ‘show in record numbers’…

Henry “Enrique” Tarrio. Credit: Wikipedia.

“On December 30, 2020, (Enrique) Tarrio received an intriguing document titled, ‘1776 Returns.’ The document was apparently sent to him by cryptocurrency investors in South Florida. The file’s author(s) divided their plan into five parts, ‘Infiltrate, Execution, Distract, Occupy and Sit-In,’ with the goal of overrunning several Federal buildings around the U.S. Capitol.

“The plan specifically mentioned House and Senate office buildings, setting forth steps for occupying them. The author(s) called for ‘the masses to rush the building[s],’ distract law enforcement in the area by pulling fire alarms around the city, target specific Senators’ offices, and disguise participants’ identities with COVID masks. One proposal mentioned in the document is titled, ‘Storm the Winter Palace.’

“This is a reference to a dramatic reenactment of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, during which Vladimir Lenin ordered his forces to take over the Romanovs’ residence in Petrograd. The ‘Winter Palace’ was the seat of the provisional government, which had held out against the Bolshevik revolutionaries. The Proud Boys would frame their actions on January 6th as part of the American Revolution. But the ‘1776 Returns’ document shows their inspiration came at least in part from the Communist Revolution, which led to 70-plus years of totalitarian rule. No historical event has been less American.

“The Proud Boys did not adopt the ‘1776 Returns’ plan in full. Several Proud Boys testified that they were unaware of the document before it became public. But the document does appear to have been significantly edited while in the Proud Boys’ hands. The person who sent it to Tarrio—his ex-girlfriend, Eryka Gemma Flores—commented, ‘The revolution is [more] important than anything.’ To which Tarrio responded: ‘That’s what every waking moment consists of . . . I’m not playing games…’

“On January 2, 2021, Tarrio led a Proud Boys protest outside of Senator Marco Rubio’s home in Florida. The Proud Boys wanted to convince Rubio to vote against certification of the vote on January 6th…

“On January 3rd, Tarrio posted a conspicuous question on Telegram: ‘What if we invade it?’ The first response to his post read: ‘January 6th is D day [sic] in America.’

“In private, on the Proud Boys’ leadership group message, planning continued…

“Early the next morning, on January 4th, Tarrio sent a voice memo to the same group of MOSD (Ministry of Self Defense) leaders stating, ‘I didn’t hear this voice until now, you want to storm the Capitol…

“By the following evening, January 5th, Tarrio was discussing with other Proud Boy leaders a “tactical plan” for the following day. Their ‘objective’ was ‘to obstruct, impede, or interfere with the certification of the Electoral College vote.'”

Here are some other excerpts related to Florida incidents:

SOME OFFICIALS EAGERLY ASSISTED PRESIDENT TRUMP WITH HIS PLANS

“On December 21st, (Pennsylvania State Senator Doug), Mastriano sent another email for President Trump, in which he wrote: Dear Mr. President—attached please find the ‘killer letter’ on the Pennsylvania election that we discussed last night’ that ‘I only just completed.’  This letter recapped the Gettysburg hotel hearing on November 25th, and claimed that ‘there is rampant election
fraud in Pennsylvania that must be investigated, remedied and rectified.’ President Trump sent that letter to John Eastman, Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, Acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue, Rush Limbaugh, former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, Lou Dobbs, and others.”

THE BIG LIE (related to mail-in ballots)

“Prior to the 2020 election, Donald Trump’s campaign manager Bill Stepien, along with House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, urged President Trump to embrace mail-in voting as potentially beneficial to the Trump Campaign. Presidential advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner recounted others giving Donald Trump the same advice: “[M]ail in ballots could be a good thing for us if we looked at it correctly.

“Multiple States, including Florida, had successfully utilized mail-in voting in prior elections, and in 2020. Trump White House Counselor Hope Hicks testified: ‘I think he [President Trump] understood that a lot of people vote via absentee ballot in places like Florida and have for a long time and that it’s worked fine.’ Donald Trump won in numerous States that allowed no-excuse absentee voting in 2020, including Alaska, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Wyoming.”

From executive summary: Despite all that Donald Trump was being told, he continued to purposely and maliciously make false claims. To understand the very stark differences between what he was being told and what he said publicly and in fundraising solicitations, the Committee has assembled the following examples.

Florida example:

Then-Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen (12/15/20): “[O]ther people were telling him there was fraud, you know, corruption in the election. The voting machines were no good. And we were telling him that is inconsistent, by ‘we,’ I mean Richard Donoghue and myself, that that was not what we were seeing.” . . . “There was this open issue as to the Michigan report. And—I think it was Mr. Cuccinelli, not certain, but had indicated that there was a hand recount. And I think he said, ‘That’s the gold standard.”

President Trump one day later (12/16/20):

“‘Study: Dominion Machines shifted 2-3% of Trump Votes to Biden. Far more votes than needed to sway election.’ Florida, Ohio, Texas and many other states were won by even greater margins than projected. Did just as well with Swing States, but bad things happened. @OANN”

Documents on File with the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol (Julia Fancelli Production), REL0000000994, (Bank Statements for Julia Fancelli at the Bank of Central Florida from December 10, 2020, to January 10, 2021).

“Julie Fancelli is the billionaire heiress to the Publix supermarket fortune and a longtime supporter of President Trump…

“Fancelli’s goal was clear: she wanted to spend $3 million to “get as many people there as possible.”

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Diane Rado
Diane Rado

Diane Rado has covered state and local government and public schools in six states over some 30 years, focusing on policy and investigative stories as well as legislative and political reporting. She spent most of her career at the St. Petersburg (Tampa Bay) Times and the Chicago Tribune. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and did a fellowship in education reform at the University of Michigan in 1999-2000. She is married to a journalist and has three adult children.

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