Steve Baker - TPC
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Steve's Unedited Tweetstorm from Day 13 of Oath Keepers Trial
“We need to stick to the objective, and protect those in the building from violence . . . including members and staff.”
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Day 13 of Oath Keepers Trial

***Before I begin . . . remember, this tweetstorm is unedited, and posted as fast as I could get the highlights out, but a very interesting message was revealed in the "OK FL" Signal chat group, which the government conveniently left out of their direct questioning yesterday of witness, FBI Special Agent Drew -- yet she was forced to read it aloud during cross-examination this morning:

“We need to stick to the objective, and protect those in the building from violence . . . including members and staff.” -Unnamed Oath Keeper, from Signal chats recovered by FBI, after violence had broken out on January 6

We'll see if any MSM outlets incude that in their stories. Now, to the tweetstorm . . . 



Steve Bannon also in Courthouse today. (Sentencing)


Mehta begins at 9:02am, with a request of the legal teams to give him some “sense” of how much longer this trip will take, so that he can so inform the jurors. (Not now, but soon.)


Jury seated at 9:04 . . . Agent Drew retakes the stand . . . Bright - for Rhodes - begins cross examination.




Bright asks if the Agent has actually interviewed any of THESE defendants. At first she says, “no, then corrects herself, and indicates she HAS met with on of the defendants . . . Mehta immediately interrupts, and calls a sidebar . . . “We need to talk about that.” . . . (Hmmmm.)


Back from sidebar . . . Bright is forced to abandon that question. (Why?)  He rephrases, “You don’t really know the individual mindset of each of these defendants.”


Bright gets Agent to admit that she DID NOT put together that media presentation by the government yesterday. She dd not individually select the messages, videos, or content of the presentation. Only validated those items the government selected.




Agent says she’s not aware of Michael Greene’s other operational duties on the day of January 6th . . . as related to the security details he was overseeing as OK “operational leader.” (What kind of investigator is she, actually?)


Bright reads her a chat message from an individual which she cannot identify . . . but which she validated yesterday. “Patriots in Capitol” at 2:07pm . . . precedes the OKs entry into the Capitol by at 30 minutes.  Bright already has her rattled, because the implication yesterday was that the message referred to OKs.


Message from Greene, “We need to regroup any members who are not on mission” (2:15pm) A message to entire group. Bright begins to get her to admit - without context - she can’t confer what this message was referring to . . . . . . Bright once again force to rephrase. “The intent of this could be open to interpretation?” She evades.




Bright is having Agent Drew review several of the text and Signal messages they displayed yesterday . . . but gets her to admit that many of those messages were DELAYED in delivery by as much as 5 and a half hours because of the bandwidth overload on J6. She admits that many of those messages presented by government yesterday were not delivered to intended recipient until long after they had left the Capitol. She admits from data supplied by phone carriers that those messages were not received until hours later.




Bright brings up that in a previous testimony - under oath - she’d referred to Kellye Sorrell as Rhodes “lawyer”, but yesterday called her “his girlfriend.” She said “I don’t recall” - several times. Bright points out he has the transcript from that previous trial, and she says, “Okay, whatever that says.”


Bright is showing her additional messages sent in which Rhodes and Greene are trying to get all the OKs to regroup - in a very confusing situation - “near the trailers” . . . “south side of the capitol . . . just left of dome.” In fact, Rhodes was never on that side of the Capitol, by her own investigation . . . so he was confused at where he was located, giving bad directions. As well as other bad directions, giving conflicting directions that don’t comport with the landmarks Rhodes mentioned. Agent agrees Rhodes has no idea where he is when sending messages to other OKs. Over and over he get the Agent to agree these “out-of-towners” have no idea how to give accurate directions to each other around the Capitol.




Bright: “Are you familiar with the concept of a QRF?”

Agent: “Yes.”  - (Then she defines. She agrees it is a “reaction” force, not an offensive force.)


Bright: “Have you seen a single chat of any kind that indicates the QRF was ever called in.”

Agent: “Based on my knowledge, they did remain in VA.”


Message from Vallejo: “Have two trucks available. Let me know how I can assist.”

Agent: “I don’t recall a direct response” [to that message]

Bright: “No body responded to him at all?”

Agent: “Correct, to my recollection.”


Message from Vallejo : “QRF standing by at hotel. Just say the word…”

Bright: “Does he get a return response?”

Agent: “Not as far as I know.”


Bright: “The biggest event at the Capitol since attack in War of 1812, and no one responds to bring the weapons over?”

Agent: “Correct.”




Bright shows that they presented Zello chats yesterday which had nothing to do with the defendants in this room, and for which there was no evidence that Rhodes was on, at all. By her investigation . . . she agrees.


Bright: “At no point is there a message, email, or chat containing a direct order for the OKs to enter the Capitol?”

Agent: “That’s correct.”


Bright: “No such order from Mr. Rhodes?”

Agent: “I did not see an order from Mr. Rhodes.”


Bright: “Did Rhodes enter the capitol? . . . have a bull horn? . . . did he give any orders?  . . . did he tear down any barriers?”

Agent: “Not to my knowledge.”






Bright is getting her to acknowledge that the initial breaches of barriers occurred long before Rhodes was even on Capitol Hill.


Bright: “Are you aware that there were multiple permitted events scheduled that day?”

Agent: “yes”


Bright: “Are you aware that Rhodes was an invited speaker at one of those events that day?”

Agent: (She really tried to evade, but eventually acknowledged) “Yes.)


Bright is done . . . Woodward - for Meggs - begins cross . . . 




Woodard gets Agent Drew to read chat messages from OK leaders specifically telling them not to bring anything that can be deemed lethal to the Capitol. 


Woodward has her read further messages regarding bringing med kits and chats about the specifics regarding OK security details that morning.


Agent: “Based on their message content I have no reason to doubt that they provided security details on the morning of January 6.”


Woodward then takes Agent through dozens of messages which were NOT presented by the government yesterday, specifically dealing with the scheduling, organization, and “ALL DAY” security planning at the various events legally permitted throughout the day of Jan 6. (Which was the OKs reason for being there.) 


***NOTE: Bright previously got the Agent to admit that many of these messages were never delivered because of cell traffic overload, and as a result, comms and coordination broke down. NOT TO MENTION . . . once the OKs arrived at the Capitol, ALL HELL was already breaking loose, due to no action or fault of their own. As a result, the scheduled events for which they were providing security, and walking from The Ellipse to the Capitol for, were already disrupted because of the chaos and violence created by OTHERS. To the extent the OKs “trespassed” or “paraded” on Capitol grounds . . . the one thing that is most apparent, is there was no “conspiracy” to insurrection.***


Mehta calls morning break at 10:25 . . . 




Mehta back at 10:46am . . . asks about previous question on trial length. AUSA Nestler says they should be complete with government’s case by the end of next week. Defense all offer varying lengths for their individual clients: 1 to 3 days, each. Plus government rebuttal . . . closing arguments . . . Mehta estimates this trial could go through week of Nov. 7th or 14th.


Jury re-seated at 10:51am . . . Woodward resumes cross of Agent Drew.


Woodward shows a message slide presented by government that misrepresents who sent the messages from Meggs, when it was actually from Rhodes.


Message they left out: “We need to stick to the objective, and protect those in the building from violence . . . including members and staff.”


“I think the police are gong to be overwhelm . . . too many people . . . “


“This is f-cking ANTIFA . . . none of our OKs were allowed to carry backpacks . . . they’re using lumber . . . this is a f-cking set-up”




Agent testifies she does not know “Jim Donaldson” . . . yet she read some very inflammatory messages by Donaldson, yesterday . . . but failed to read the message where he sends his regrets, because he was AT HOME, sitting in a doctors office! . . . (Oops) . . . when sending those chat messages. He wasn’t even in DC.


Woodward now presents call detail records that she created and went through yesterday . . . Agent is suddenly going back into “I don’t recall” mode, once she is confronted with answering details about how she compiled this record of phone calls from mobile carriers.


Woodward shows her the long and confusing summary given to FBI of the phone data. He is having her verify the time zones clarification used by carriers. UTC time (standardized) vs. using US time zones, is provided by phone carriers so everyone can see same time on calls across time zones.


Agent testified yesterday the records she presented were “true and accurate.” Woodward is taking her through calls between Meggs and Watkins she presented yesterday, misrepresented the actual times of the calls by FIVE hours, making the context of those calls immaterial to what was happening at the Capitol on the 6th.




Woodward now brings forward Dolan’s cellphone video after the barrier breach on the east side of Capitol. Large crowd is moving toward Capitol, but Dolan is not moving toward Capitol. Audio:


Dolan: “I think we should go”

Harrelson: “Huh?”




Woodward now replaying government-presented video from yesterday which represented Meggs holding up his fist to wave other OKs forward as crowd was surging into Capitol. Then he plays longer source video from which the government’s short clips were derived. Showing several other people fist pumping hands in air to the chant of “We want Trump.” This contradicts government’s assertion that Meggs was using his fist to direct OKs toward the door, which they selectively and highly edited, leaving out all the other people pumping their fists into the air.




Woodward gets Agent to agree that Meggs was only in the Capitol for about 20 minutes. Begins showing CCTV video from Rotunda camera. He then presents a photo Agent presented yesterday, of “Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi” sign she took months after J6. He then asks if she knew that sign had been damaged and removed duing the riot of J6? “Yes.” He then enters into evidence  a new video, showing same area during riot, after sign had been removed.






He has Agent read transcript of testimony about the destruction of that sign, and the shards being handed out . . . including reference to someone videoing the scene.




***Side Note: I was the one who actually captured video of that sign at the moment it was being damaged and broken into small pieces, and handed out among protestors as souvenirs.***




Woodward now shows the government’s presentation of OKs coming up on USCP officer Harry Dunn, (including Stephen Horn’s video), 


Woodward: “Did you interview officer Dunn as part of your investigation?”


Woodward: “Do you understand that they tried to protect officer Dunn?



Mehta the tells Woodward to move on past the Dunn sequence of events. (WTF?!)


***F-CKING GOVERNMENT IS COVERING UP THIS EVENT!!!! This is THE issue behind Moseley’s threat to release the FBI 302, and for which Mehta called that “sealed session” last week. They know how damaging this sequence is to the government’s.***


Woodward moves on to showing more video of Meggs’ non-violent, peaceful interactions and behavior while inside the Capitol. Long sequences, including gestures for people to leave (Agent: “He appears to make that gesture.”) Peaceful interactions with police officers. Then shows his exit thru east doors. Now showing photos after Meggs exited building.


No further questions . . . Geyer - for Harrelson - takes over cross




Geyer: “You’re aware my client had no FB, Twitter, or other social media of any kind since 2014?”

Agent: “Yes”


Geyer: “He’s not on DC OP chat til Jan 3?”

Agent: “Yes”


Geyer: “Harrelson is not on any of the call lists you presented yesterday, correct?”

Agent: “Yes”


Geyer: “My client only met Jason Dolan on Jan4, and they traveled together to do security on 5th and 6th?”

Agent: I’m aware they travelled together.


Geyer pulls up government presentation of Zello account assigned to Hrreslon, and begins trying to show her that all the users and interactions on that account are Harrelson’s sons, family, and gamers his kids interact with. Not Ken’s interactions. And that the account is actually in Ken’s wife’s name. (‘Cajun Queen”). The Agent would not acknowledge that she had any knowledge of who the people were in the data SHE claims to have investigated. But, did acknowledge that Harrelson was not on Zello during 6th.


Geyer then shows the screen shot from HArrelson’s iPhone which notifications shows backlog of unopened messages during the day of J6. Agent agrees it’s a significant number of unopened messages.


Geyer shows government video of Dolan and Harrelson which began after they arrived on Capitol lawn. He asks if she will agree they are doing security detail prior? She would only acknowledge she’d seen video as they were walking toward Capitol with a group of people who were not OKs.


Mehta asks Geyer how much longer his presentation today will go (11:59) . . . then he announces end of session for today.




Mehta then tells jury that evidence presentation for this trial could go into the week of Nov. 7th, then send them home for the weekend. Dismisses Agent Drew. 


Nestler asks to meet with Agent Drew through weekend to prepare her for next round of direct testimony, despite the fact she is currently under orders not to discuss her current testimony with anyone. Crisp objects. Mehta agrees to allow Nestler to “send her the presentations” for review.


Court dismissed at 12:05pm.


See ya on Monday!

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Live Streamed on April 10, 2023 10:00 PM ET
TPC INSIDER Live Stream - Tonight 10pm-ET

Hey guys!

It's been a while. Let's jump on a Live Stream tonight. Supporter-only call. I'll get you updated on all the latest. There are some interesting developments over the last couple of days!

See ya tonight, at 10 pm Eastern Time.


The Left Have Lost Their Minds Today

But even NC's GOP Sen. Tillis called Tucker's story last night, "Bullsh-t."

This short video shows how successfully pervasive was the #Jan6 disinformation narrative. From my appearance on Good Morning Britain, last year:

“The building is now pretty much back to normal. You can’t see any scratches or bullet marks.” -Lorna Shaddick (GMB)

Bullet marks? 🙄

If GOP lawmakers are also so brain-damaged by the left's successful propaganda, you know a DC jury has no chance of rendering a fair and impartial verdict for J6 defendants.

(BTW . . . A 15-minute interview cut down to less than 15 seconds. Not much allowance for context. Ha!)

Live Streamed on January 30, 2023 3:00 PM ET
TPC Live Stream

It's been a while, and there's so much to go over. I'm going to do a quick overview of my thoughts on recent headlines and give you an update on my current Capitol Police investigation series. (Obviously, if you can't join me live, the stream will be archived and available anytime.)

My Appearance on TNN Live from Tuesday

With so much else happening, I forgot to upload this for you on Tuesday. We get into the Tucker stuff and a few other things. I think you'll enjoy this conversation.

My Appearance on TNN Live from Tuesday
My Tuesday Appearance on TNN Live

Dan Newman and I discuss the release of all that J6 video to Tucker Carlson, as well as my phone call from Tucker's producers and their interest in me possibly working with them on this rather daunting project.

My Tuesday Appearance on TNN Live
In Case You Missed It . . .

Here's my interview with Dan Newman, from yesterday's TNN Live. I'm keeping this one as a Locals exclusive. You'll understand why, after listening. I got a tad 'excited.' 😏

In Case You Missed It . . .

These alliances built on lies, false virtues, and . . . dare I say, Pride . . . will always eventually turn on each other. (It is fun to watch, though.)

“Our recent marketing for this year’s event, which featured a white fist, was an unfortunate mistake, not an intentional act,” Reed explained. “Nonetheless, we recognize the harm it may have caused and sincerely apologize. We extend our gratitude to everyone who held us accountable for our error and helped us learn from it.”

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Norway bans child sex changes, joins Finland, Sweden, and UK in rejecting gender ideology

"An existing body of research shows that most kids with gender dysphoria grow to be comfortable in their bodies upon undergoing puberty and that those wishing to transition suddenly post-puberty may be experiencing a social contagion."

When Scandinavian countries reject this kind of deviancy, that's worth paying attention to. (Just sayin'.)

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For Politics and News Content Creators, the Usefulness of Facebook is About Over
My per-post reach on FB used to be 750%, on average, of my total number of Followers. Now, it’s about 6% on average.

Periodically I fall down the Facebook analytics rabbit hole. Typically, when I see or suspect a new trend in the total distribution of my posts on the platform. In this case, I’d been noticing a significant downward trend on my Steve Baker - The Pragmatic Constitutionalist Facebook Page, in just the last month.

Interestingly, I recently received a new “Rising Creator” acknowledgment from Facebook, (on May 16), in which they said I’d been meeting their “integrity guidelines.” Since then, I’ve received no fact-check or misinformation penalties. Yet, my total reach and “impressions” per post trend have been going down.

“Impressions” are the number of times any post to a Facebook Page has “entered a person's screen.” Essentially, this is the key metric by which to observe the extent the algorithms are allowing posts to be distributed to Page Followers, and secondarily, to others through “shares.”

Following is a detailed list of how many impressions there were on each of my posts for the last month, including the type of post those impressions came from. (May 3rd through June 3rd.) There were many other posts that I made by sharing content from other Facebook pages, but FB does not provide “impression” and other “insights” from content shared from other pages. There were 49 of these direct posts in the last month.

After viewing this list, you’ll see that I’ve broken down the average impression attained from each type of post. (Math and social media nerds will find this interesting, and other Page owners may find this information valuable.)

It should be noted that back when my FB Page only had half of its current number of Followers, the average reach per post was approximately 150,000 views. Today, it is only just over 2,500 per post. (Seriously . . . my per-post reach used to be 750%, on average, of my total number of Followers. Now, it’s about 6% on average.) This severe “throttling” of Page and Post reach began just after the 2016 election, then accelerated during the early days of the pandemic and the severe “fact-checking” regime. Even though FB says my Page now meets their “integrity guidelines,” they are again continuing to squash the reach even further — for unknown reasons. You’ll see that in my synopsis below this list.


Impressions - Type of Post (49 posts, going backward from June 3 to May 3):

104 - The American Mind link

3,613 - Text only, with a link in the comment section

495 - Rumble link

227 - Epoch Times link

822 - Text, with photo

496 - Christianity Today link

799 - Vice link

508 - Daily Caller link

1,487 - Text only, with a link in the comment section

352 - TPC Locals link

3,445 - Text only, with a link in the comment section

1,058 - Text only, with a link in the comment section

909 - TPC Locals link

1,153 - Text, with photo

642 - TPC Locals link

935 - Text, with photo

9,704 - Text, with photo

1,602 - Photo only

1,580 - Text, with photo

4,775 - Photo only

550 - TNN Live link

4,073 - Photo only

5,567 - Text, with photo

730 - TPC Locals link

900 - TPC Locals link

4,483 - Photo only

1,376 - Text, with photo, and link in comments

2,282 - Photo only

668 - Rumble link

859 - TPC Locals link

1,373 - Text, with photo, and link in comments

751 - TPC Locals link

3,561 - Photo only

7,358 - Text, with photo

873 - Twitter link

1,130 - TPC Locals link

574 - Washington Times links

7,391 - Text, with photo, and link in comments

2,333 - Photo only

7,058 - Photo only

6,744 - Text only, with a link in the comment section

909 - TPC Locals link

4,662 - Text, with photo

3,139 - Photo only

1,715 - NBC News link

1,931 - Text, with photo

5,216 - Text, with photo

10,544 - Text only

875 - TNN Live link

*49 total posts garnered 124,331 impressions (2,537 average per post)

My suspicions of recently enhanced algorithm throttling are confirmed:

*Last 24 posts - 45,626 reach (1,901 average per post)

*Previous 24 posts - 77,830 reach (3,242 average per post)

This is a 41% drop in impressions per post during the second half of the last month’s posts.


Now, a breakdown of the impressions made by each type of post, in ascending order of the average number of impressions per type:

*Total of 7 right-wing’ media links - 3,334 (476 average per post)

*Total of 2 Rumble links - 1,163 (582 average per post)

*Total of 20 outside links (all types) - 15,066 (753 average per post)

*Total of 9 TPC Locals links (my own blog) - 7,182 (798 average per post)

*Total of 2 ‘left-wing’ media links - 2,514 (1,257 average per post)

*Total of 5 text only, with a link in the comment section - 16,347 (3,269 average per post)

*Total of 3 text, with photo, and link in comments - 10,140 (3,380 average per post)

*Total of 9 photo only - 33,306 (3,701 average per post)

*Total of 10 text, with photo - 38,928 (3,893 average per post)

*Total of 1 text only post- 10,544 (This was a ‘test’ question asking if people were seeing the post, so not likely an indication of anything.)

Summary observations:

*Any post that links to content outside of Facebook is much more severely throttled. Even to the Page owner’s own blog or website. (Page owners have known this for many years.)

*Posts made — with text only or text with a photo — that then include the outside article link in the comment sections, increase the number of impressions by about 4 to 7 times the number of posts that have the same link in the main post field. (That trick still works, but I’ve also noticed FB seems to be catching on to this tactic, and that average is dropping. I typically post the same article or video link both ways.)

*Photos, screenshots, and memes almost always garner significantly more impressions than links of any kind.

*Links to left-wing news agencies get about three times more impressions than do links to right-wing news agencies. (Surprised?)

In closing, it seems the ‘glory days’ of Facebook’s political and news-oriented Pages are over. I know other types of non-political Page content creators — who have far fewer Followers — that still see their individual posts garnering hundreds of thousands, or even millions of impressions. Then, some of the more right-wing news agencies, like The Epoch Times, have millions of Followers and see less traffic than my Page of only 40,000 followers. (That should tell you all you need to know about Facebook’s discriminatory algorithms.)

There are better places to follow my content! 

Please consider joining our Locals community. As a free subscriber, or as a supporting member, you won’t miss anything if you set it up to receive notifications via either email or the phone app. No throttling and your information is never sold by Locals to a 3rd-party. On your browser go to:

Or, download the app to your device and use the handle:


And, of course, I’m now finally super active on Elon’s new Twitter. Same handle:


Those are the only two platforms where I now engage and interact with TPC readers and followers. I hope you join me on both. (I also post to MeWe, Gab, and TruthSocial.)

AND . . . if you know of any other tricks to get around FB’s reach restrictions . . . PLEASE let me know!

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Why I Don't Share J6 Stories From Gateway Pundit - But Will Make This One Exception
It's best not to mischaracterize - grossly, subtly, or sensationalistically - how the events that day actually transpired

I don't usually share J6 stories published by The Gateway Pundit. My reasons are simple:

FIRST - They lean to the more sensational -- "if it bleeds it leads" -- side of J6 coverage, and as you know, I believe "our side" deserves a fair hearing of our perspectives from the general public. Their approach to certain stories is typically dismissed, immediately, even when they have all the facts nailed down.

SECOND - They don't always have all their facts nailed down. I'll give you two examples: 

Early on, their reporting on the Capitol's east side Columbus door magnetic locks went like this: "Someone inside the security booth at the US Capitol opened the doors!" They later revised the story to say, "A fire alarm set off from the inside — which did not happen — can also unlock the doors."

Even their update was incorrect, as we could see from interior Capitol CCTV that one of the protestors -- who'd entered from the first west side breach -- did exactly that very thing. He depressed the clearly marked fire alarm bar on the interior side of the east door. The accompanying sign read:

Emergency Exit Only . . . Push Until Alarm Sounds . . . "3 seconds" . . . Door Will Unlock In 15 Seconds

CCTV images of east interior doors at U.S. Capitol Building

That's a simple example of sloppy journalism, but more egregiously -- and on the sensational side -- Gateway Pundit continues to portray the Capitol Police as the J6 faction that initiated the violence that day, "Without Warning."

While it's fair to note that both Capitol Police and DC Metropolitan Police did ultimately deploy "less-than-lethal" munitions, both illegally and irresponsibly at non-violent protestors, the evidence is irrefutable that members of the earliest protestors to arrive at the Capitol were the ones who initiated the violence against the Capitol Police and 'drew first blood.'

If you want the general public to dismiss your journalism out of hand, there's no better way than to mischaracterize -- grossly, subtly, or sensationalistically -- how the events that day actually transpired.

THIRD - Gateway Pundit has used some of my own work in their coverage without attribution. Among other reasons why this is not appropriate, it's simply not cool. (They did attribute the announcement of the Oath Keepers' guilty verdicts to me, last November.)

Okay, that said . . . their recent article by Alicia Powe, entitled, "Attorney Sounds Alarm On Criminal Gag Order Placed on J6 Defendants: ‘It’s The Most Astounding Chill On Free Speech That I’ve Ever Seen", deserves a fair hearing, and accurately reflects much of my own analysis of what's been happening in the January 6 trials.

Specifically, these federal court cases are establishing a frightening precedent against the use of political speech. Especially reflected in the disparity of sentencing of J6 defendants. Simply put, for whatever crimes those charged individuals may or may not have committed, the severity of their sentences is most often increased by the words they used before, during, and after their alleged offenses.

I'll not expound further, as I'm currently writing a story on this very topic, using the specifics of the first Oath Keepers trial and last week's sentencing hearings as the basis of my thesis. I only ask that you read this recent Gateway Pundit piece as background and a setup to my coming story. It's a fair and accurate report of what the DOJ is doing in these cases.

Even in my own experience -- when I was threatened with prosecution for my journalism on January 6 -- the Assistant U.S. Attorney in charge of my case warned my attorney that a judge would not look favorably upon the media offensive I launched in the days following their expressed intention to file charges against me. (More on that, in my coming story. And no . . . they have not charged me with any crimes . . . yet.)

NOTE: The Gateway Pundit is welcome to reach out to me for comment.

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Tweetstorm Rollout for Sentencing Hearings of Oath Keepers Jessica Watkins and Kenneth Harrelson
Judge Mehta: “Mr. Harreslon, I don’t think you are what the government has suggested.”

As previously stated . . . when posting these Tweetstorm rollouts, they are “As Is” . . . “warts and all.” I’m not a professional courtroom reporter, and given my blazing 20-words-per-hour typing speed, (ha), I’m not even attempting to to give verbatim transcriptions. These are overviews and paraphrases, for the most part.


Jessica Watkins Sentencing Hearing - May 26, 2023

Oath Keeper Jessica Watkins (Source: Government Exhibit)

I'll be live tweeting the sentencing hearings for Oath Keepers Jessica Watkins and Ken Harrelson today. While my tweets are less technical summarizations, you should also follow a couple of the real pros: @rparloff and  @Brandi_Buchman, for a more complete picture.


Judge Mehta enters the courtroom at 9:37 am to begin the hearing for the sentencing of Jessica Watkins.

Mehta begins by discussing the scheduling and order of the day, then begins the summary of the pertinent details of Watkins’ conviction, guideline enhancements, the charges, her behaviors that day, and following J6.

Watkins was not convicted of ‘Seditious Conspiracy,’ but was of the other two conspiracy charges.

DOJ Attorney Alexandra Hughes rises to request a “significant” length of imprisonment for Watkins, based on her behavior and inflammatory rhetoric on J6. Hughes reviews the fact she was active in recruiting others to join both her own militia but also the OKs. 

Watkins and the others she recruited brought weapons - which they left in Virginia - so DOJ asks for a “leadership enhancement” of her sentencing. They also ask for an enhancement based on the fact she deleted messages, chats, and apps from her phone following J6.

Watkins’ words on J6 were not only aggressive, inflammatory, (and exaggerated) - but she also was involved in that shoving scrum with MPD officers, so the DOJ also asks for the terrorism enhancement. (Watkins took full responsibility for those words and actions in the trial.)

Atty Jonathan Crisp rises to speak for Watkins, explaining that her words and actions ultimately had nothing to do - in context - with stopping the certification of the government. He also explains that she originally answered the call to join the OKs in DC as a “medic.”


Crisp reminds the court that Watkins was cooperative with the authorities in her arrest. That she voluntarily turned herself in. There was no manhunt. Multiple proffers were made in her cooperation. 

He argues against the enhancements based on her cooperation, and especially against the terrorism enhancement, based on the lack of evidence that she had any such ideals or actions.

Mehta again summarizes certain of Watkins’ behaviors that justify her and her coconspirators’ enhancements pertaining to leadership, as well as her participation in planning calls with Rhodes, and her rhetoric which shows her state of mind and preparedness for violence.

Mehta, similarly as in yesterday’s hearings, recites and reminds of many of Watkins’ most inflammatory rhetoric against the change of government to the Biden administration. He also reviews her recruitment efforts to her own militia and OKs.

Mehta continues the review, including her participation in leadership planning and scheduling chats directly for J6 - including QRF, hotels, transport of weapons, etc. Then he goes into her specific leadership conduct on J6 itself.


Mehta agrees with the sentencing enhancement for obstruction, property damage, and physical injuries to officers. He also agrees with the enhancement for the interference of justice. Planning and preparation enhancement applies.

Mehta says she doesn’t rise to the level of either Rhodes or Meggs, but her leadership enhancement is justified by a preponderance of the evidence, given her actions directing her “sub-group.”

Because she deleted messages and apps, knowing she’d be investigated, she earned the enhancement for the interference of the administration of justice. She earned - by her intention to influence by force & intimidation - more enhancements.

Mehta references Crisp’s argument about her cooperation and admittance of her guilt in her personal actions during the trial. He states that she did not admit to a majority of the counts against her - including the conspiracy charges - and as a matter of law, the departure request doesn’t apply.

Mehta says he will take into account her cooperation during her arrest, but her military record will not be considered - considering she left under circumstances that were “no fault of her own.” And, there was nothing extraordinary about her service.

The guideline calculation for which he will be considering her sentencing will be 168 to 210 months. (14 to 17.5 years)

Mehta announces a short break.


Judge Mehta returns to the bench at 10:45 am and intros the government’s allocution. DOJ Atty Hughes begins by describing Watkins’ efforts to push against the police line in the hallway toward the Senate chamber. 

Hughes claims she has never taken full responsibility for that particular action - that she used her full body and pushed against those officers - resulting in the physical and emotional damage to Officer Owen and others.

Hughes reviews commentary Watkins’ has made since J6, and that she has said police officers were responsible for much of what happened, and even responsible for most of their own injuries.

Hughes says Watkins is a danger to society. 

Mehta asks Hughes how he should think about Watkin’s life story (her transgenderism - though not specifically stated) and how that should mitigate his final sentencing. Did her life’s troubles lead to her actions on J6?

Hughes pushes back and says she deserves sympathy, but not to the extent she should be treated differently in sentencing. In fact, she advocates the court uses her to send a warning against any such societal justifications for ‘fantastical’ behaviors and crimes.

Watkins rises on her own behalf. She immediately begins crying. Mehta tells her to take her time. She expresses her regrets for her actions and says her right to seek redress for grievances is never a justification for violence.

She said she wasn’t aware of the violence taking place on the west side, and that she actively tried to stop vandalism - and sees the irony of trying to stop crimes while she was herself committing a crime. “I shouldn’t have been there.”

For a long time, she was in denial of her culpability, but her atty (Crisp) was himself a military colonel and helped her understand her responsibility for her actions.

She continues to state that she “now” completely understands the reasons for her justifiable convictions. She speaks highly of her jurors and says she has nothing but respect for them and their decisions.

Watkins says she had no intention to stop the certification of the election, but that she desperately wanted Congress to “audit” the 2020 election, and that she “still” does.

Watkins explains her comments about officers hurting themselves were a direct reference to MPD Sgt. Thau’s body cam video, which shows a gas canister fired by a cop into a group of other cops, causing them to retch and throw up in response.

She concluded with an emotional and unqualified apology for all her actions.

Atty Crisp begins his final remarks, reminding the court of her earliest cooperation in turning herself in, handing over electronic devices, and taking personal responsibility for her actions. 

He asks the court to understand that he wouldn’t allow her to admit to the conspiracy charges during the trial and that it would present complications in her other charges.

As to her transgenderism, he talks about the tremendous strides she has made in life contending and dealing with that challenge. She was rejected by her parents. She rejected herself. She was rejected by the Army. She was rejected by her colleagues. 

All of this certainly affected her decisions and makes. Crisp asks for “justice with compassion,” and a significant downgrade of the sentencing being contemplated. He asks for a sentence of 60 months.

Mehta then asks Crisp to explain the phone call Hughes referenced where Watkins seemed to show a lack of empathy toward the officers who were injured. Crisp says she’s reacting to being a demonized “poster child” to the entire J6 affair.

Crisp explains that she’s also dealing with her own level of PTSD, and she’s having to deal with the pressures of being a “J6 poster child.”

Mehta announces a 10-minute break to collect his thoughts.


(Note: Many of the reporters in the media room are anticipating a downgrade of Watkins’ sentencing. Generally agreeing she will receive a 7-year sentence.)


Metha returns to the bench at 11:32 am and says the guidelines can be mitigated by other considerations. He reminds us that the seriousness of the conspiracy charges set this case apart from other cases with more violent behavior but without conspiracy considerations.

Mehta begins to review the defense characterizations of her less-than-violent behavior compared to other J6 defendants. She didn’t breach any barriers, etc. But, then cites the SCOTUS case which speaks to the seriousness of criminal conspiracy.

Mehta again says she’s not a Rhodes or Meggs, but that her role is more than that of just a “foot soldier.” And that she bears greater responsibility for the others she brought into the conspiracy.

He explains that her role was more aggressive and more purposeful than most of the others, and she led others to follow her purpose. She also celebrated her actions immediately following those actions.

Mehta reviews her life story and congratulates her on her ability to navigate and overcome her personal difficulties. He says he’s “happy” she found someone who supports and loves her. (Montana Siniff.) 

He believes she can ultimately be held up as a role model in the trans community, but he has a hard time understanding some of her continued lack of empathy for other circumstances. 

Mehta says this process is always difficult but is “particularly difficult” in her case.

Oath Keeper Jessica Watkins of Ohio has been sentenced to 102 months. (8.5 years)


Kenneth Harrelson Sentencing Hearing - May 26, 2023

Oath Keeper Kenneth Harrelson (Source: DC Metro Police)

(I began by retweeting Jordan Fischer of WUSA @JordanOnRecord):

Judge Mehta has now given the five longest Jan. 6 sentences:

18 years - Stewart Rhodes

14 years - Peter Schwartz  

12 years - Kelly Meggs 

10 years - Thomas Webster

8.5 years - Jessica Watkins


The sentencing hearing for Ken Harrelson of the Oath Keepers is set to begin in a few minutes. This photo is of Ken and 3 other OKs forming a protective line between the rioters and Officer Harry Dunn. Something Dunn first told the FBI did take place, but then later changed his story to say it never happened.

Kenneth Harrelson and three other Oath Keepers form a line between Capitol Police
Officer Harry Dunn and rioters.

Judge Mehta takes the bench at 1:44 pm for the sentencing hearing of Kenneth Harrelson and immediately begins the preview of how things will proceed. 

Mehta says he’s not going to very much of the sentencing reports and guidelines, and that Harrelson is obviously not at the same level as Rhodes and Meggs in the hierarchy of the OKs. But they will discuss what ‘ground team leader’ means.

They will also discuss the allegation that Harrelson disposed of gins after J6.

Nestler rises to state he believes was a part of the conspiracy along with other OKs, and that he attended firearms training with other OKs back in Sept. of ’20. He brings up that Harrelson deleted Signal chat messages on the evening of J6.

Nestler still wants to make Harrelson complicit in the seditious conspiracy, even though the jury acquitted him of that. Mehta interrupts to ask Nestler how it’s possible that Harrelson could delete Signal messages, and they do not still show up on other people’s phones.

Nestler can only conjecture that Harreslon had some knowledge of how to wipe those messages clean on both ends. (BUT, we learned in the trial that some of his very few messages WERE visible on others’ phones.) 

The point is, Nestler is still trying to implicate Harrelson in the conspiracy - without evidence - despite the fact they could never prove that in the trial, and that Harrelson never showed up on those chats until January 3.

Nestler states that Harrelson’s intent was demonstrated when he was “screaming Treason” when he entered the building. Mehta continues to push back against Neslter’s allegations.  

Nestler again misrepresents WHEN Harrelson was added to the DC Op Jan 6 Signal message, by OMISSION of that fact.

Mehta says he disagrees that chanting “treason” is evidence of intent to commit violence or physical injury, and Nestler continues to debate that his actions were intimidating and threatening conduct. Claiming he was “pushing past police officers at the door.”

Nestler then repeats the claim that Harrelson touched the body armor of Officer Salke and that in itself was a threat. He also believes Harrelson’s participation in bringing guns to the QRF was also threatening.

Nestler again makes the false claim that Harrelson was a “leader” because he “told others what they needed to wear.\

Mehta again pushes back. (He has not done this level of pushback in any of the other three hearings.) He is asking Nestler what of Harrelson’s actions prove he was a “leader.” Nestler continues to allege his leadership is evidenced by some of Harrelson’s communications.

Nestler then says Harrelson hid his AR-15 after he got home, and continued to be in communication with Meggs and other OKs in the weeks after J6, showing no contrition by this behavior.

Atty Brad Geyer rises and says he will save most of his comments for his allocution statements, later. Geyer says Harrelson did have administrative privileges on the GoToMeeting app, but did not participate because the one in question was on his birthday.

When Meggs called Harrelson on J3, Meggs did tell him he’d be the “ground team leader.” Geyer makes the point that Dolan was the one who drove to DC and that Dolan was a retired Staff Sgt., meaning Harrelson would have deferred to him - not the other way, as alleged.

Geyer says that regardless of what the Court thinks about the legitimacy of the security details, Harrelson was sincerely engaged in that operation, as video evidence proved in the trial. (The government contended the security details were a “diversion” from their actual conspiracy.)

Geyer reminds the Court that DC jurors can’t understand how many gun ranges are in Florida, and the types of activities that take place there, and the Court shouldn’t consider that day at the range as something nefarious.

Geyer explains how the person chanting “Treason” on a megaphone was doing so at a time when Harrelson had his mouth open, and it can’t be assumed Harrelson was participating. 

Then the CCTV shows multiple scenes of Harrelson engaging in non-threatening, non-violent, tourist-like behavior while taking videos with his phone.

Geyer believes the allegations of Harrelson’s “leadership” are weak at best, and is strengthened by the fact Harrelson’s name rarely came up in the trial itself - sometimes, not for weeks.

Geyer discusses Harrelson’s apolitical nature and lack of sophistication about how our government works.

Mehta calls for a short break “to look at a few things.”


Mehta returns to the bench at 2:39 pm and begins a review of factual findings about the specific convictions.

Mehta says Harrelson is responsible for the actions of the others as participants in the conspiracy. Harrelson is also responsible for his participation in the QRF and understood the nature of how it was to be used if they were called into action.

Mehta brings up the firearms training in Florida and his travel from Florida with his own rifle and others’ firearms. 

Mehta says he recalls the video of the ‘pat down’ of Ofc. Salke, and that Harrelson then described how ineffective that body armor would be . . . and that Harrelson made other comments about how much better prepared they could have been with their own gear.

Mehta says this confirms his participation in the broader conspiracy. And even though he didn’t engage in any violence, he was prepared to do so if the opportunity presented. He also says he believes Harrelson could see the violence at the east door.

Mehta says he believes it is Harrelson’s voice chanting “treason” on the phone video. He believes he hid his weapon when he got home because he knew he’d later be subject to investigation. 

He says he thinks Harrelson shared the purpose of the others to interrupt the proceedings. Even says he doesn’t understand why the jury didn’t convict him of the seditious conspiracy charge, by a preponderance of the evidence.

Mehta doesn’t think Harrelson had any degree of leadership with respect to the conspiracy - regardless of his position in the OKs in itself. There’s not any evidence that Harrelson directed or controlled anyone on J6. Not enough for a 3-level enhancement.

“The terrorism enhancement is applicable because of what he has been convicted of.” He’s only going to add a single point, and his behavior makes him less culpable than some of the others. The interference of the administration of justice does apply.

Total of 97 to 121 months qualified under the guidelines.

Nestler begins his allocution by saying Harrelson was the point person with regard to weapons and materials. Mehta asks if this was presented at trial. Nestler says, “No.” But Mehta allows him to proceed.

Nestler again brings up the guns. Against brings up the chanting of “treason,” and states that Harrelson meant to sentence Congress Persons to “death” by that chant. 

Nestler brings up Ofc. Dunn’s testimony that he was intimidated and scared by the OKs presence.

Ken Harrelson rises to speak for himself. States that he didn’t have any intention to go to DC, and didn’t have any political intentions related to that trip. He wouldn’t have brought his gun to Virginia if he knew what he knew now.

He was promised free lodging and free food. It was so disorganized on the 5th, he wanted to leave and wished he had. He got in the wrong car with the wrong people and went to the wrong place.

As to Dunn - that was the first time he’d heard anything about violence. He did not see Salke being attacked, and would never attack another officer. “I thought I was helping them.” Through tears, he apologized to Dunn and Salke for not helping them more.

He says he is responsible for his foolish actions that have ruined his life and that of his family. He broke down in tears as he finally thanked his family for supporting him, and telling him that he loves them.

Geyer takes the podium and has to take time to collect himself. He thanks the Court and the clerks for their hard work. Thanks the US Marshals. He even thanks the Lewisburg prison, to which Harrelson was transferred after nearly two years in the DC Gulag. 

Geyer says Harrelson only met his “junkie” mother one time, at the age of 19. Angel lost the family home in Hurricane Katrina, and they met in one of Ken’s Army disaster relief projects. He hasn’t been allowed to see the face of his kids since being in prison. 

“I understand the pressure the Court is under, and I’m left with praying for a miracle here.”

If ever there was a reason for a downward departure, (of sentencing), the mentoring of his son resulted in him going into the Army, and his daughter is in the JROTC. He doesn’t hate the government’s institution.

Geyer discusses the interaction with Ofc. Harry Dunn and the emergence of a new video showing Ken with both arms extended, holding the crowd back from Dunn. Then, he discusses the prayer they engaged in while in the Rotunda. 

That was Ken’s first time in DC, and he was overwhelmed by the majesty of the Rotunda. Geyer is attempting to show a video, (tech problems), which shows that Ken and other OKs took time to pray in the rotunda.

Then he presented the new video where Ken firsts encountered Dunn, then spins around and holds his hands out to keep the crowd away from Dunn. Geyer reminds the court of trial evidence that shows Ken’s surprise when the east barricades were breached.

Geyer begins comparing other cases where others were far more violent, were wearing body armor and gas masks, (unlike Ken), and those who even took guns into the District. People who struck officers got as little as 41 months, 30 months, 32 months, and 24 months.

By contrast, in Harrelson’s mind, he believes he was coming to Ofc. Dunn’s defense. Geyer says he has no sentencing recommendation, and just asks Mehta to please do what is necessary to get Ken back home to his family. “He will exceed your expectations.”

Mehta calls for a short recess.


Mehta returns to the bench at 4:04 pm and reiterates the guidelines are 97 to 121 months. He addresses Geyer’s comparison of those who received far shorter sentences while engaging in worse, more violent behavior. But, the nature of conspiracy is far more serious. 

Mehta reminds he was convicted of only one of the conspiracy counts. Says Harrelson is a different person today, and can’t possibly read his mind either then or now.

But, “Mr. Harreslon, I don’t think you are what the government has suggested.”

Mehta says he didn’t see any of those types of communications as the rest of OKs, and thinks it’s more likely Ken wasn’t even paying attention to all those other messages. he still has a problem with the pat-down of Ofc. Salke, but still doesn’t think he’s like the others.

Mehta reviews his having successfully overcome a hard childhood and life, honorable service in the military, and the fact he has raised children to be proud of.

Mehta continues to say he believes Ken was just not comparable to the others and still feels he has suffered sufficiently.

Kenneth Harrelson of the Florida Oath Keepers has been sentenced to 48 months. (4 years.)

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