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Steve's Tweetstorm From Day 17 of Oath Keepers Trial
Equal Doses of Tricks & Treats on Halloween Day
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Four Oath Keepers take position between USCP Officer Harry Dunn and J6 protestors

Day 17 of Oath Keepers Trial - Oct 31


I stayed up all night reviewing Dunn’s many sworn testimonies, interviews, podcasts, and lots of video evidence. I’m certain the defense will not attack him in their cross-exams today . . . but Dunn has many glaring holes, contradictions, and changes in his story about his interactions(s)(?) with the Oath Keepers on J6. It’ll be very interesting to see where the government lead his narrative during direct questioning, because his story(s) are not all the same.


Judge Mehta takes the bench at 9:32am . . . after some quick welcomes and Halloween chuckles, Mehta goes straight to a long sidebar.




After coming out the long sidebar, there has now been a long period of silence before the jury is brought into the room, at 9:41. Very different beginning from previous trial days. 


Stewart Rhodes is BACK in the courtroom today. 


The government calls USPC Officer Harry Dunn . . . then Mehta asks the jury if any of them need to get home early today for Halloween. (Can’t hear their response, but there was laughter in the courtroom.)




Dunn has been with the USCP for 15 years. Describes his various positions over the years with USCP. Reported for duty at 6:45am, got off just after midnight on J6


Prosecutor then takes Dunn directly to a photo of OKs standing in front of him as he stands in from of the stairwell leading down to the Crypt.


He is then showed a video of when Dunn first encounters Ken Harrelson at that stairwell. He is telling Harrelson: “We have dozens of officers down. They are taking them out on stretchers…”


2nd video shows more protestors showing up in his area. They are now focusing on identifying Ken Harrelson, and Dunn is asked if Harrelson ever offered to assist him: “No.”


Another video is shown in which he claims to have said, “I’m not allowing you to come this way.” 




Now, the Stephen Horn video is being shown. They isolate on Kelly Meggs in next video screen shots, and ask Dunn if Meggs offered assistance: “No.”


He now talks about Ofc. Lazarus (plainclothes) being accosted and yelled at by rioters. He said he intervened in that situation and another officer being accosted, by imposing his “large voice, and large presence” between them and the rioters.


“What would have helped you and your other law enforcement officers that day?”

“If they’d left the building.”


No further questions . . . 




Juli Haller - for Meggs - takes the first cross-exam (Woodward is obviously not back.)


She returns to the photo of OKs where they are standing in front of him, and she brings up the original May 2021 FBI interview in which he made a statement to the FBI that he allowed them to protect him from protestors. He claims this photo is not representative of the “other” event when “other” OKs were allowed to assist him.


No further questions . . . 




Geyer - for Harrelson - takes over cross, and begins addressing Dunn with questions from his first FBI interview (which has been under seal) - and Mehta calls a sidebar, preventing Geyer from going forward with that line of questioning.  Clearly Mehta is not going to allow this evidence to be presented, (the source of early courtroom controversies with former J6 Atty Moseley).


Geyer enters a video of Dunn in the Crypt, yelling and cursing at protestors. USCP officers were not wearing body cams, but this event was captured by a Metro PD body cam. Geyer asks if any OKs were there in the crypt at this time. Dunn can’t say whether they are or not. He then shows another USCP officer trying to calm Dunn down. Dunn recalls the Cpt. asking him: “Are you okay?”


Dunn now asked about his previous encounter with OKs in the Crypt, where he told FBI that he ‘allowed’ OKs to stand between him and protestors. Geyer is attempting to show Dunn that he may have these two “incidents” mixed up. Tries to enter another video, and gov objects . . . <sidebar> . . . 


Geyer got video approved . . . it is Harrelson’s first interaction with Dunn, in which Dunn is explaining to Harrelson about injured officers downstair. Dunn acknowledges Harrelson’s reaction, “REALLY?”


Geyer now shows screenshot showing Harrelson holding his arms up to protesters, as he stands between Dunn and protestors.




Geyer begins another line of questioning that leads to asking Dunn if it was possible his recollection of events could have been affected by the confusion and chaos of the moment, and may have conflated the “two” alleged encounters with OKs (or other type militia). Dunn admits that this can happen to eye witness accounts of such events on occasion.


Geyer now goes back to showing him the line of OKs in front of him, with an additional character of a guy wearing a coon skin hat. Mehta shuts this down .. . 


No further questions . . . 


Crisp - for Watkins - takes over cross exam . . . 


Crisp once again gets Dunn to acknowledge he remembers sayind to FBI he remembers two separate incidents where OKs took up line between himself and OKs.


No further questions . . . 


Fischer - for Caldwell - takes cross




Fischer goes back to same line of questioning from original FBI interview. Fischer continues to try and get Dunn to differentiate between location and circumstances between the TWO alleged occurrences previously referenced. Dunn does admit that in his first FBI interview, he DID tell FBI that OKs offered and he accepted their assistance.


No further questions . . . 


Gov begins redirect with another video from January 5th that Dunn took himself at the Supreme Court building, at a rally there, with a department-issued cellphone, in which he asks another officer “What the f-ck are the Oath Keepers.”


Then, gov begins clarifying his original FBI testimony, to prove he had that experience with original OKs in The Crypt. He describes he ‘didn’t need their help,’ but allowed it. He says there was 3-4 of them, but doesn’t recall them identifying themselves as Oath Keepers or wearing OK patches.


Gov takes him back to the Rotunda area video, in which he said he refused to allow anyone to go down those stairs.


No further questions . . . 




One of Rhodes attorneys apparently challenges something in the redirect . . . <sidebar> . . . and Officer Dunn is dismissed.


The Government calls USCP Special Agent David Lazarus . . . assigned to Speaker Pelosi’s protective detail.




Lazarus describes how and when his J6 day began, and how he became the crowd outside was growing larger and more unruly, and eventually heard of the pipe bomb report, and the orders to begin “hardening up of the Senate chamber.” Including evacuation of Senators through tunnels . . . and then he heard “shots fired,” which prompted him to turn and run back to the Capitol - where he had to help an individual Senator who was having problems evacuating due to stress, anxiety, health. Describes how he navigated and avoided the crowds with his intimate knowledge of the building in moving from one area to the other, eventually going to the Speaker’s office. In case people were trapped in Speaker’s office and a situation if some or fire broke out, he could help them evacuate. Pelosi was evacuated at first breach, but he was looking for additional staff. He joined a stack of riot police as they checked the various rooms of Speaker’s offices and conference rooms, where they did find staffers locked in conference room, and cleared way for their evacuation. He began looking for other uniform officers to assist in his efforts.




During this evacuation effort, he encounters Officer Dunn. Same video previously shown of OKs first interaction with Dunn, when Dunn was standing at top of those stairs. Lazarus is coming up the stairs from being Dunn, and stood next to him for a moment, while he figures out how to get past protestors and get to the Speaker’s office, and he notices the placard above the Speaker’s entrance was missing. He managed to get around and through the crowd to get back to Speaker’s office after some protestors asked about his own identity.


He then came back out to check on Dunn, and saw him three or four times. He is asked to describe his observation of the interactions of protestors and OKs with Dunn. He claims each time those interactions and conversations were always antagonistic between the OKs and Dunn.


For his efforts, he was nominated for a Medal of Valor.


No further questions . . . Mehta calls for moving break.




SPECIAL NOTE: Why didn’t ANYONE ask Dunn why there is no video evidence of this alleged “other” interaction between himself and either OKs or others who dressed like them? (You do realize that it’s impossible there was no video of such a prolonged event in that area filled with people swinging cellphone cameras around in every direction, all day long, hmmm?)




Mehta is back on bench at 11:32 . . . jury seated at 11:35 . . . 


Haller - for Meggs - begins cross of SA Lazarus. She asks Lazarus about his 3 to 4 times revisiting Dunn, about what time it was. He doesn’t recall. He says he’d never heard of the OKs until that day.


No further questions . . . no further crosses . . . no redirect. Lazarus is dismissed




Untied States calls Edgar Tippett - district manager for Safeway. (43 years with company)


AUSA Nestler begins direct of Tippett, and has him describe his job position, how many Safeway’s there are in DC. Now reading an email which orders all Safeway’s to close at 4pm, in advance of the Mayor’s curfew order. He participated in the decision for all the stores’ early closure, at 4pm, so their employees could get their transportation home before trains and such closed at 6pm.


Nestler is asking Tippett about daily earnings reports and associated bonuses for a manager like himself. 


<objection . . . sidebar . . . overruled>




Gov enters Safeway earnings report for J6 into evidence, with the total earnings numbers redacted. Tippett explains the various columns on the report: projections and actual realized earnings on J6, showing obvious steep failures to hit projections.


Because of curfew, shipments from Lancaster PA warehouses were not allowed to roll, and none of the Safeways could be restocked on the evening of J6, causing many perishable items be discarded, and undersupplied stores.


No further questions . . . 




***NOTE . . . obviously, the government is simply letting the jury know the reason they couldn’t get groceries on the 7th, is because the OKs were the cause and ‘leaders’ of the insurrection?***




Crisp - for Watkins - begins cross. Asking questions about the basis for their financial projections . . . <yawn> . . . Crisp asks about P&Ls . . . how COVID affected profits . . . weather . . . <did I mention. YAWN?> . . .  Tippett mentions how COVID’s restaurant closures made them experience record sales, and that also, record inflation is helping all the stores show additional increases in revenues because of much higher cost of their items in the store.


Crisp goes back to the government’s exhibition of projections and realized earnings . . . argues that projections were exceeded by earning on 5th . . . no unusual damage at stores during closure . . . no trucks hijacked . . . etc.


No further questions . . . 




Nestler begins redirect . . . 


Nestler: “On January 6th, did you make as much money as you thought you’d make.

Tippett: “No sir.”


No further questions. Tippett dismissed.




The government calls Graydon Young. From Inglewood, FL. (west coast) 57 years old. Army reserves at 18, but had car accident and then was released. Ultimately served 11 years in the Navy reserves as IT tech. Currently software developer. 


Nestler asks him if he had a CCW permit in the fall of 2020, and how many guns he had: “10-ish.” How many ARs? “2.”  In fall of  2020 he was just managing his rental properties - not doing IT work.


Asked if he followed the presidential election that year. He supported Trump as a “special, non-establishment candidate.” He considered it a better than 50% chance there was fraud. He was spending between 2-6 hours per day on YouTube and Facebook, watching videos about claims of election fraud, and got emotionally invested, this clouded his judgment, and began neglecting his family.  He eventually attended a freedom rally in DC, and felt it accomplished nothing.


Gov submits into evidence some Signal chats in which Young participated. More rah-rah tolk, and eventually Young says all other efforts (marches and protests) are ignored (about fraud), and “something more is required.”




Young signed up with OKs because he thought their website description represented his own ideals. He got involved with Signal chats, and attended no live OK meetings. Eventually was vetted and able to attend closed chats. He knew Rhodes was national leader, and Meggs was FL leader.


He was asked to attend a meeting with OKs helping Roger Stone. [Media chuckles multiple times.] He had low opinion of Stone after seeing him for the first time. Nestler asks why he agreed to provide personal security for Stone when he had no experience in working PSDs. (“Good question.”)


Nestler shows photo of OKs posing with Stone, and a firearms trainer, who he was excited to meet and get more firearms training. Encrypted email introduced into evidence from “John Willow” - about recruiting new OKs and growing the organization.


Now bringing a Facebook post into evidence, in which Young made a public recruitment effort, but he received no responses. He was then asked about his knowledge of The Proud Boys - and said he understood they were similar, but more “offensive” in their activities. He reached out to Meggs and presented the idea they might want to recruit Proud Boys. Meggs explained to him that he already had personal connections with PBs at a higher level.


Nestler takes us back to firearms training communications between himself and a trainer who never responded back. . . . 


Mehta interrupts and calls for lunch break, at 12:32 . . . 


Nestler advises court that due to scheduling problems from previous week, they may not have another witness available today . . . and depending upon how long cross exams go . . . he recommended early recess for “trick or treating.”




***Lunchtime Note: We now have two claims made by USCP Officer Harry Dunn for which there is no video evidence, either from Capitol CCTV cameras or the hundreds of cellphone cameras and dozens of journalists in the building on J6. The first, being that somewhere between “20 to 50” people were actively calling him the “N-word,” and now, the mythical “other” encounter with either Oath Keepers or OK lookalikes who, from exit quotes taken from his first FBI interview in May of 2021, he said . . . according to two FBI agents: he was “guarding the stairs where officers were being decontaminated.” And while guarding the stairs, “some Oath Keepers wandered over.” While he was guarding those stairs, he informed all protestors - and I quote: “they need to leave and told the Oath Keepers that the protestors were fighting officers.” Then, he told the Agents, the Oath Keepers advised, “they would help keep the protestors from the lower west terrace area.” The Agents also wrote in their report that Dunn - and I quote: “allowed them to stand in front” of him, “to help keep the protestors from getting down the stairs?” Today Dunn further insists that this is NOT the scene presented as evidence, and is captured on camera, showing the actual OKs doing that exact thing he described as having happened in The Crypt. Today, the government presented NO VIDEO EVIDENCE of that other alleged encounter. Only Dunn’s testimony that it happened, and a testimony which he openly contradicts in his second FBI interview in August of 2021 with two different FBI agents. Unfortunately, Atty Geyer was not allowed by Judge Mehta to continue pursuing that line of questioning that would have ultimately showed the contradicting version of events Dunn gave in two different FBI interviews.***




Court resumes at 1:45pm with Nestler showing more inflammatory Signal chats from FL OKs, Meggs and Dolan, talking about “standing against tyranny.” Young is explaining what his ideas were of the tyrannies they may need to respond to. 


Young posted, “The real enemy is going to be much smarter than ANTIFA.” Young explains the government will have much greater resources than Antifa.


More Signal chats - one in which he mentions in chat that the “FBI and ATF target patriots.” Explains that “at the time” he thought the apparatus of the government was being used to target patriots.


Another Signal post: “I think ANTIFA and BLM are distractions.” Explains he thinks they were a distraction against election corruption, which would be by people with much more power.


Another post: “We need MUCH larger numbers PDQ.” Explains he knew they need more numbers to go up against the government. More OKs respond to this with positive comments.




More chats. more chats. More chats. Young explains that he believed election fraud had been committed, and there was no hope of preventing the change of power to Biden. More chats. more chats. More chats. Including Rhodes having jumped into the OK FL chat group, and Young’s personal chat interaction with Rhodes, asking for more encouragement that they had some chance to overcome Trump’s “dithering.” Rhodes responds that he has been advised for OKs to take no action until they see what Trump does on J6. More chats. more chats. More chats. Between Rhodes and other FL OKs. Young is impressed by Rhodes’ personal interaction with him, and Rhodes responses, and that Rhodes might have some special inroads to Trump’s ear.


On January 1st . . . 

Young: “Hey Boss, while you’re here…any intel on Trump DOING anything?”

Rhodes: “Not Yet. Keep your fingers crossed.”




At this point Young made the decision to go to DC. Decided to fly, so wouldn’t be bringing a weapon, so Meggs told him he would bring an AR for him. Other gear needed, for PSDs: vests, helmets, flashlights, etc. He flew to meet his sister in NC, then they rode together in a car from there to DC, and brought two handguns. His sister is a former LEO. They went to the hotel in VA, where he met Meggs.


Morning of J6, echoes previous testimonies about OK activities that morning. Initially told they’d be escorting a VIP to Capitol, until he was told by Meggs that the situation had changed after first barricade breaches. Young and his sister were escorting an overweight middle-age lady, and Meggs told him they needed to pick up the pace. Young said the reason why was “self-evident.”


He was told by Meggs that there was a medical emergency being attended to by an OK with med training, and that the Capitol had also been breached. Young felt this was an historic moment on the level of the French Revolution, and he felt he was integral to an important day. Also felt the other OKs felt the same way.


As they approached the steps, the crowd parted and began chanting “Oath Keepers” as they moved up the steps. This made him feel good and important. When he was initially in the Capitol, he was closest to “Kenny” (Harrelson) inside the Capitol, before getting separated. Said that he probably could NOT identify “Kenny” in this courtroom. Photo entered which shows he and Kenny inside the Rotunda, with his hand on Kenny’s shoulder.




New video presented showing Young of heading toward “wherever the people in Congress were approving the vote.” He admits to pushing his way toward the House chambers, until tear gas was released while he was pushing his way forward. He was so far back, he couldn’t see who released the tear gas, but moved with the crowd back and away from the House chamber, where he eventually gathered outside the building with other OKs.


Outside he had a conversation with Kenny about the level of protection the police had, and that Kenny didn’t think their body armor would be very effective against firearms. At the moment of that conversation they were all “pretty amped,” and he and his sister - former LEO - began to realize they had been involved in an illegal activity. Young was “coming down” from being amped up.


While outside the Capitol, Young posted to Facebook, “We stormed and got inside.” Explained he used the word “stormed” because they had to overcome resistance and he was “bragging.”


He and his sister drove back to NC that evening. The next day they burned their helmets, vests, equipment, and OK shirt in a burn pile, because by then they were “freaking out” at what they had done. (His sister’s husband is also an LEO.) He saw a photo of himself inside the national media. He deleted his FB and Signal accounts. He was arrested on February 15th. He pled guilty in front of Judge Mehta to “conspiracy to obstruct Congress.” Has not yet been sentenced, but that will be by Mehta. He hopes the government will take into account he’s really sorry for his actions. <He breaks down crying.> Explains how embarrassed and sorry he is. He pleaded guilty because he felt to be fully forgiven he needed to confess.


No further questions . . . 




Bright - for Rhodes - begins cross-exam . . . Young explains his only interactions with OKs was via chats and phone before J6, and only in person interactions was on J6.


Bright asks him how many meetings he had in preparation for his plea agreement. (4-7?) He went into the plea agreement voluntary. Explains he understands conspiracy is an “agreement” to commit a crime. He never had such a conversation with anyone else, but he assumed it was an “implicit” agreement with others. He agrees he is aware of the potentiality of getting a reduced sentence and more leniency - actual said so under oath in a previous hearing - if he cooperated with government.


Questioning shifts to Young’s initiation to the OKs. It was actually his sister who introduced him to who the OKs were. And he had only been a member of the OKs for about a month before J6. So, his Signal chats and interactions that day were his only contacts with other OKs. On the night of the 5th, his sister and high school friends went into the city to “get a lay of the land.” Not a “recon,” more sightseeing, because they’d never been to DC before. At the time he had no plans to enter the Capitol Building the next day.


Young knew that there were explicit instructions from OK leadership NOT to bring firearms into DC. He did not bring his. He did not witness any other OK bringing firearms into DC.


Young agreed that he had previously testified the reason he went to the Capitol is because Trump had told them to go up there. Young says Meggs also encouraged them to go to the Capitol.


Young agrees he was with only 6 to 12 OKs as they approached the Capitol. Bright asks him why they chose to approach the Capitol in the so-called ’stack’ fashion. <objection . . . sidebar . . . overruled> Young agreed there was nothing by definition that this was a strictly “militaristic” formation.


Young agrees Meggs never explicitly stated they were going into the Capitol, and that any effort he personally made to push through the crowd into the Capitol was a decision of his own, and not an order he received from Meggs. Young was reminded that in a previous sworn testimony he stated it was a spontaneous “stupid” decision to go into the Capitol, by the whole group, with no prior planning or discussion. <Nestler objected . . . overruled.> 


No further questions . . . 


Mehta announces afternoon break before further cross-exams.




Mehta steps back in (3:16) to instruct defense on his preferences for cross exam questioning. Jury reseated. Young retakes stand.


Haller - for Meggs - begins cross. 


“Would it be fair to stay you really went to DC just as a protester to be heard?”



“You didn’t harm any one, did you?”



“You even told people not to damage any property while inside?”

“Yes ma’am.”


“You never interacted with Meggs inside Capitol?”

“Yes ma’am.”


“Hadn’t you also said you really wanted to protect protestors from violence, correct?”

“Yes ma’am.”


“Hadn’t you indicated you wanted to participate with OKs in disaster relief?”

“Yes ma’am.”


Haller shows Young the photo of them in the VIP area. And he confirms being allowed into VIP section because he understood they had a role to play that day.


No further questions . . . 




Geyer - for Harrelson - takes over cross . . . 


“Did you see Mr. Harrelson at the security event you did for Roger Stone?”



“You never heard one bloviated comment or chat made by Mr. Harrelson during your time with him?”

“yYes. That’s true.”


Geyer enters Facebook posts into evidence, which includes insults to different public officials and other types of groups.


Geyer asks Young if that reflects an unsettled state of mind at the time for him. Young agrees. Geyer has Young agree that he’d never met or talked to Ken Harrelson before J6, and that Young was unaware that Harrelson had already escorted a group of VIPS to the Capitol before he left the Ellipse himself. Geyer expresses his skepticism that Young could have interpreted Harrelson’s intentions about ineffective police body armor as being a desire for Harrelson to WANT to attack LEOs. 


No more questions . . . 




Crisp - for Watkins - takes over cross. Young confirms that his group of “6-12” people waking to Capitol included those people they were escorting, as well as Crisp’s client Jessica Watkins. Young learned only the morning of the 6th who’d be escorting that day, but was unsure of the timelines in which he’d do his assigned duties.


Crisp begins to show video of Young’s group walking toward Capitol, and has him identify himself in that video. Young agrees he went into the Capitol, and clarifies that he did some pushing and also got pushed into the building. 


Crisp reminds him of his interview with Special Agents Palian and Drew. Young explains that he may not have been as truthful in earliest interviews as he was in later interviews, as he became more honest with himself. Crisp reminds him he couldn’t lie in ANY of those interviews without possible penalties. Then reminds him that in the first interview he described the entrance into the Capitol as both himself and other OKs being “pushed’ through the doors. He also reminded him of saying they were just a bunch of “morons” for going up those steps.


Crisp asks a couple state of mind questions about ‘the stack’ which Nestler vigorously objects to, twice. Crisp argues . . . <sidebar> . . . Crisp rephrases, and Young answers that the stack idea is a logical thing to do even when with your family at a crowded sporting event.


Crisp asks Young if he was aware that in his own sister’s FBI interview that she stated he’d misled her? . . . <OBJECTION! . . . Crisps argues . . . sidebar> (Seriously . . . I think Crisp could take Nestler. HA!) Apparently “sustained.” Crisp returns with another question.


Questions about Young also meeting Watkins for the first time on J6, (along with a few other OKs also being first time.) Young emphatically agrees there was no “GROUP” effort or decision made to seek out the House of Representatives. Young agrees it was never said they were looking for a “politician” or going down that hallway with ANY other OKs. And he couldn’t see any police at the end of that hallway.


No further questions . . . 




<sidebar called>


Nestler begins redirect . . . 


Nestler asks Young to expound upon who he thought would be down that hallway. Common sense says there would be politicians somewhere given that was “the purpose of the building.”


Nestler takes Young back to  a review of those boisterous Signal chats leading up to J6. Young said there was never an explicit call to violent action, but that it was “Implicit.” Nestler has him define the words “implicit” and “conspiracy.” Young believes their implicit conspiracy was to obstruct Congress in those chats before J6.


“When you’re at a sporting event is there tear gas, alarm bells, police trying to keep you out.”



Young confirms he couldn’t identify the person by name he was assigned to escort to the Capitol from the Ellipse that day.


“Did you touch anyone aggressively when entering the building.” 

“I was pushing forward.”

“In that hallway?”

“I was pushing forward.”


“Do you know Ken Harrelson’s Signal chat handle?”


(NOTE: Young was shown no inflammatory chats from Harrelson.)


“How did you know where you were going if no one explained or said to you that you were all going in the Capitol?”

“Common sense just made me think that’s what we were going to do. That was the purpose of the day.”


“Were there Signal messages about taking weapons and where they would be?” . . . yes

“How were you going to access?” . . . yes

“Who was bringing an extra gun?” . . . yes


About the comments made by Kenny after you left the Capitol building: (rapid fire)


What was Kenny’s demeanor like? . . . we were all amped up

Was he talking directly to you? . . . no

How many people were there? . . . maybe 30

Kenny talked about the lack of effectiveness of LEO’s plastic armor? . . . yes

Kenny also said that if they’d had gas masks they’d have been more effective? . . . yes

What kind of success were you looking for? . . . . Hoping the fraud would be exposed.

What was your understanding about Rhodes and Meggs were asking you to do when you went to DC? . . . .Going to look for an opportunity to do something about the election fraud.

Who was the enemy you were going to fight against?  . . . The corrupt elements of the government that were causing the election fraud.

How do you feel now, almost two years later? . . . I feel like I was acting like a traitor against my own government.


No further questions . . . 




Mehta announces that we are in recess for the day, (at 4:16), tells the jury to have a Happy Halloween and not to “eat too much candy.”


Crisp has some objections about future evidence. Nestler has three more witnesses tomorrow, and expects to rest the government’s case by Wednesday. 


Linder mentions the Rule 29 hearing. Asks for the beginning of Defense’s case to be Monday. Mehta feels like there’s no way he can ask the jury to take a couple more days extension in light of what’s already transpired scheduling wise. Linder explains that same problem has made it impossible to know when to schedule travel for their own witnesses. Basically, Mehta nicely tells Linder and the rest of the defense teams to suck it up. Looks like the two defense deferred openings will be on Thursday.


Nestler defends his intention to bring video of police riot shield stolen and passed in the direction of Caldwell, and though Caldwell obviously didn’t participate, he’d seemed to celebrate it. Now playing that for Mehta. Mehta decides to boot that argument til later. 


Court in recess at 4:25pm.

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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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