Steve Baker - TPC
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Capitol Police Were Sacrificial Pawns on Jan. 6 - (Part 1)
Despite Ample Intel, Capitol Leadership Chose Not to Inform Frontline Officers About What Was Coming
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Already injured Capitol Police officer in first moments on west terrace battle line, Jan. 6 (Screenshot from my own video)

When I met with former United States Capitol Police Lt. Tarik Johnson, I told him I'd previously written that he and his fellow officers were set up as "sacrificial pawns" on January 6. He pointed his finger toward my face and said:

"That's exactly right. They didn't give a sh-t what happened to us that day."

——

Imagine, if you will, that you were a United States Capitol Police (USCP) officer who showed up to work on January 6, 2021, with no anticipation or expectation of anything other than a normal day at the office. Whether you were a rookie officer, or one with 20 years experience in the USCP — and regardless of your specialized position and training, your on-the-job experience before had been not much more than performing the operations of a glorified tour guide for both VIP visitors and general public tourists to the nation’s seat of government. 

That’s an oversimplification, given the various units of the USCP consist of Long-Gun Certified Officers, a Civil Disturbance Unit, Criminal Investigation, Intelligence Unit, Dignitary Protection Unit, Containment Emergency Response Team (SWAT unit), Hazardous Devices Team, and several other specialized units.

Skipping past the initial westside barricade breach — at which USCP officer Caroline Edwards was knocked unconscious when shoved down by the first violent perpetrators, hitting her head on the concrete steps — imagine that you were one of the few dozen USCP officers being ordered to relocate and defend the lower west side Capitol terrace against those initial agitators. Many of them were arriving wearing gas masks, carrying and using blunt force objects, and canisters of a variety of types of pepper spray. (What else might they be carrying, concealed under heavy winter clothing?)

As yet unindicted and removed from FBI Most Wanted List,
Luke Robinson was photographed carrying a handgun on January 6

You’d heard over radio comms that these unexpected visitors had already overrun outer barricades. They are now pushing and pulling against the barricade line you’ve just arrived to defend. Some of those rioters are breaking apart permanent black-metal fencing, turning the various pieces into clubs and projectile spears. You’re wearing no protective gear — no helmet, no eye protection, no gas mask — but your job is to now prevent further incursion toward the Capitol Building itself, where the entire Congress and Vice President of the United States are currently in session to ratify the Electoral College vote.

Already outnumbered by the initial arrival of provocateurs, imagine looking over those heads and shoulders and seeing thousands of other protesters marching toward your position, having no idea of their intentions. As you’re defending that line, being shoved, hit with flag poles and broken pieces of fencing, and assaulted by OC spray, you have no idea whether or not those thousands you see approaching also intend violence or might be carrying more lethal weapons.

You might rightly assume the possibility you’d never again be going home to your family. USCP Lt. Tarik Johnson told Joe Hanneman of The Epoch Times and myself, that very thing. At one point during the initial violence and chaos of January 6, Johnson phoned his wife to tell her he might not make it home alive.

——

When one has a crossover conservative/libertarian readership, like my own, a small handful of topics present no-win scenarios. Issues upon which, if I take one side or the other, half my readers blast me in the comment sections. If I present a more nuanced, middle-of-the-road — dare I say, a pragmatic position — I risk the ire of both sides.

The most obvious topic is anything related to our most recent former president. Trump Derangement Syndrome is real, and as I often point out, it cuts both ways. Another — and the underlying topic of this screed — is all things related to law enforcement.

Both the libertarian-ish anarchists, on what I define as the far right of the political spectrum, (though they will argue with me on that designation), as well as the faux-anarchists of the far left, (see: Antifa), both subscribe to the acronym we see scrawled on buildings after many riots, ACAB: all cops are bastards. 

The most extreme of these see no justification for any form of local or federal policing. Purist constitutionalists often interpret all police agencies as “standing armies,” and therefore antithetical to founding principles. Many who acquiesce to some justification for police forces are still automatically knee-jerk to blaming the cops when any violent or deadly force is used against private citizens — even before evidence of justification is presented. 

Then, of course, there are those — mostly from the right — who invariably “Back the Blue” . . . even when evidence is presented of unjustifiable use of force. All sides have their rationalizations to defend their respective positions.

For this narrative, I would ask all my readers to set aside their own biases and predispositions toward law enforcement. Particularly as related to the actions of the USCP on January 6. I’ll briefly reference the behaviors of the D.C. Metropolitan Police (MPD) and other agencies, but my study and investigations into those other agencies' actions that day are far exceeded by that of my analysis of the USCP.

——

Two years hence, many of my initial perspectives have been challenged by increasingly available evidence. For instance, on the evening of January 6 — upon return to my Arlington, VA hotel room — I posted a video to YouTube, where I specifically said I’d witnessed the majority of the violence being committed by Trump supporters. Then, upon my return home, I sequestered myself away for five days of frame-by-frame analysis of my own videos, taken of the Capitol’s west terrace battle line, then continuing into and through the Capitol Building. Time and again in that analysis I experienced “W(hat)TF? and W(ho)TF? was that” moments in those video frames.

By the time I published my first story about what I’d seen that day, all my initial preconceptions, from the day itself, were challenged. I even concluded that I have a new life axiom:

“I’ll never again believe anything I don’t see with my own eyes. Even then, consult the videotape.”

Our own eyes can deceive us in such a highly kinetic, violent event. It’s why every law enforcement officer knows that a dozen eyewitnesses to a violent crime will give a dozen different versions of what occurred. Unless one has ample experience in such events, the shock of unexpected violence causes different peoples’ minds to register and process the episode in diverse and often contradictory ways.

I now know — beyond a reasonable doubt — many of those frontline agitators and provocateurs, who I initially assumed to be Trump supporters, were anything but. Were there right-wing militias present? Yes. Left-wing anarchists? (Antifa?) Most certainly. Did I observe crowd manipulation tactics from professional provocateurs, experienced in rallying violence and coordinating movements of large groups? Definitely. Do I know, with absolute certainty whom these provocateurs worked for? No. (And neither do you. Not yet.)

What we do know, is that the late Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Stenger, in his last testimony before Congress on February 23, 2021, said, “There is an opportunity to learn lessons from the events of January 6th. Investigations should be considered as to funding and travel of what appears to be professional agitators.”

More recently, in the trial of Richard "Bigo" Barnett — who infamously posed for a photo with his feet up on Nancy Pelosi’s desk — USCP Captain Carneysha Mendoza was asked by defense attorney Bradford Geyer if the provocateurs she observed on January 6 were, “Highly trained violent people who work and coordinate together?” Mendoza answered, “Yes.”

In the lead-up to my second story about January 6 — published on February 24, 2021 — my investigations led me to discover and report that several federal agencies, including Army special forces operatives, were embedded in the crowd that day. This was later confirmed by a Newsweek story on January 3, 2022, entitled, “Secret Commandos with Shoot-to-Kill Authority Were at the Capitol.”

I know that’s a lot of preliminary groundwork laid before getting into the USCP’s response and actions on January 6, but you’ll hopefully understand why it was necessary before I proceed. Now, I ask you to set aside your understanding of what you believe transpired that day, in addition to your biases about law enforcement in general.

——

You’re now back on that Capitol lower west terrace battle line . . .

From testimony given in the first Oath Keepers trial, we learned — as a uniformed USCP officer — that it was likely you received no notification from your commanders that there were any planned protest events scheduled and permitted, (by the USCP itself), on the Capitol grounds that day.

USCP officer Ryan Salke testified in the Oath Keepers trial that he was only aware something was, “Going on at the White House that day.” This is even though the evidence was presented of the actual applications and permits issued by USCP authorities for staging, PA systems, and VIP speakers on the Capitol grounds for January 6th. Including speeches by members of Congress. 

Congress members . . . actual USCP protectees . . . scheduled to speak on USCP permitted stages . . . and you, a USCP officer charged with their security, have no knowledge this was to take place during that day’s tour of duty.

Additionally, ample advertising in the form of flyers and internet postings were seen by millions of Americans, about not only the rally at The Ellipse — for the president’s and others’ speeches —  but also scheduled marches to and around the Capitol Building, those speeches on the Capitol lawn, and even a protest on the “steps” of the Capitol.

USCP Chief Steven Sund, Asst. Chief Yogananda Pittman, (head of protective and intelligence operations), the MPD, the United States Park Police, the White House, the Pentagon, the National Guard, both the Senate and House of Representative Sergeants-at-Arms, Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnell, the FBI, and other federal agencies all knew that tens of thousands of protestors would be descending upon the Capitol grounds that day. Yet, the frontline USCP officers were neither notified nor prepared for what was to come.

——

I arrived at the lower west terrace battle line at exactly 1:19 p.m. The first thing my camera captured was both protestors and police officers receiving first aid. The next thing I registered with my own eyes was the shock and fear in the eyes of those officers defending the barricade line. They were taken by surprise, and unprepared, and the USCP in particular, were obviously and woefully untrained for what was taking place. 

The arrival of reinforcements by the MPD was another story. They had far more experience in dealing with violent protests in our nation’s Capital. Most recently from numerous riots initiated by left-wing groups — Antifa and BLM — post-George Floyd’s death. The look in their eyes was different, many of whom seemed to relish the engagement and enjoy knocking heads.

After an hour of violence, and when the violent insurgents were successfully breaching the lower west terrace police line, USCP Lt. Tarik Johnson was desperately radioing for decontamination tents, water supplies as first aid, reinforcements, redeployment of understaffed USCP units, and operational direction from Chief Sund and Asst. Chief Pittman — both of whom were in the Command Center — but Johnson’s calls for a plan . . . any plan . . . were being ignored.

From both audio recordings and transcripts of USCP radio transmissions — obtained by The Epoch Times, that I was also made privy to in our collaboration for their story published on January 10th of this year — we can hear Lt. Johnson’s voice:

If you’re not able to get units out here at a certain point, can you advise, unit 400, if you want me to push everybody inside of the lower terrace door and lock it . . . If we can’t get any help on the north side, we’re gonna have to bring everybody in and we will have to lock the doors.” (1:53 p.m.)

Former USCP Lt. Tarik Johnson on January 6, 2021

No response from Command. Lt. Johnson takes the initiative — and not for the first time that day:

Be sure that there are no weapons left on the lower west terrace, bring them all inside the doors now, any weapons that we have, bring them inside . . . Anyone on the lower terrace now, I need you to fall back and I need you to respond to the attack, we’re not going to use lethal force, we can’t risk them taking the M4s [automatic rifles] from us, so if you have an M4, I need you to respond on the lower terrace door now . . . We are not going to be able to keep these people out, all the M4s need to be inside the terrace doors now, no M4s out.” (1:54 p.m.)

No response from Command. Johnson, again:

“Advising you that all situations here are dire, we’re going to prepare to evacuate the lower west terrace and everybody’s about to go inside, I’ll advise in about two minutes.” (1:58 p.m.)

At exactly 2:00 p.m., Asst. Chief Pittman’s voice can be heard for the first time, all day:

“Unit two, at this time, we're ordering a lockdown of the Capitol building, lock down the Capitol building.”

USCP Inspector Thomas Lloyd immediately responds to Pittman’s order, (rather derisively), “That was done a long time ago,” as he’d previously issued that order almost an hour earlier.

Then, Lt. Johnson urgently begs:

“Can we get in the lower terrace door first, before you lock it down?”

No response from command.

At 2:08 p.m., Lt. Johnson radios, urgently requesting command to give them much-needed direction:

“I’m telling you what we need. We need some kind of a tactical plan just to divert these breachers, so we can get everybody in the lower west terrace door. We do not have any hard gear up here. We need a plan to get these people, these officers back in the building. They’re coming, and [we] can’t stop them from breaching.”

Asst. Chief Pittman is heard on the radio again, with the following feckless order:

“Unit two, at this time, we are ordering a campus-wide lockdown. A campus-wide lockdown. Please simulcast.”

Nothing else coming from Pittman could have been more incompetent or utterly useless. By this time, the entire Capitol campus was overrun on all sides, by thousands of protestors with unknown intentions. She could see this on her CCTV screens. All her officers had already been ordered to retreat inside the Capitol, (by Lt. Johnson, himself). None were left amongst the already-gathered throng to execute her “campus-wide lockdown” command, as tens of thousands of additional rally attendees continued to arrive from The Ellipse.

The USCP’s beleaguered officers were being ignored by their top commanders. Former Chief Sund has testified that he was busy on the phone with the Sergeants-at-Arms, the National Guard, and other agency heads, while Asst. Chief Pittman could see and hear all that was taking place from her command center CCTV videos and radio comms . . . but she was providing no leadership while issuing scant and ultimately impotent directives. 

The under-manned USCP officers were on their own. At 2:13 p.m., the Capitol’s northwest Senate windows and door were breached by the lead provocateurs, while many of those officers had been locked outside. Panicked calls are made on radio comms, notifying command that protestors were inside the Capitol Building.

Some of those made their way toward the occupied Senate and House chambers, while others were working their way to the east side Columbus doors, to open those from the inside.

With no direction coming from the command center, who will lead the evacuation of the Senate and House members? Did individual USCP officers behave appropriately or did their actions incite the crowd to more violent acts? Was the lack of leadership and alleged intelligence failures the result of incompetence or something more nefarious? Could the entire event and subsequent tragedies been averted, were they allowed to happen, or were they planned?

Part 2 - https://thepragmaticconstitutionalist.locals.com/post/3391476/capitol-police-were-sacrificial-pawns-on-jan-6-part-2

Part 3 - https://thepragmaticconstitutionalist.locals.com/post/3544429/capitol-police-were-sacrificial-pawns-on-jan-6-part-3

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I got a shoutout from Dan Bongino yesterday. 😄

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Bullet marks? 🙄

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I'll be back on BlazeTV's "Off the Record" again this Friday at 2:30 pm-ET. It's a live, "no questions barred" open forum chat between me and the viewers. It is an exclusive for BlazeTV subscribers, so if you don't yet have a subscription, you can use the following link for a discount:

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From the book:

"Think on it, Chani: the princess will have the name, yet she'll live as less than a concubine - never to know a moment of tenderness from the man to whom she's bound. While we, Chani, we who carry the name of concubine - history will call us wives.”

At least Lynch shot the scene. Did Villeneuve?

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Bull City Syndicate - 23 Years, and Done
New beginnings and the end of an era as I retire my bands

On December 8, 2023, Bull City Syndicate (BCS) played its final show. We went out with a bang, performing a top-shelf corporate holiday event to 700 enthusiastic attendees. Appropriately, in the city of the band’s birth — Durham, NC — The Bull City. I considered booking a final public show, but after much thought, I decided to retire the band in a more low-key, less public manner. 

In November of 2000, I answered an ad from an established local band then known as Soul Kitchen & The Bull City Horns. (SK) I’d spent a year getting my trumpet chops back into shape after a decade in the music business, managing other artists. I did not intend to do anything in SK other than return to my first love: just playing the trumpet. I didn’t want to manage the band and certainly had no interest in ownership. I just wanted to play again. Money didn’t matter. And in those days, even as one of the premier club bands in the Raleigh/Durham market, my share of earnings from a 9-piece horn band rarely covered my bar tab.

For many months after joining Soul Kitchen, I managed to avoid being involved in the business of the band. When asked by band members what I did for a living, I always lied and gave them a different story each time. (I remember once telling them I was in the CIA. Ha!) Finally, after a Sunday night rehearsal, drinking and smoking on the back deck of our original drummer’s house (Dave Wilkins), Dave suddenly demanded, “Baker. What the f—k do you do for a living?”

“You really want to know?”

“Yes!”

“I manage bands for a living.”

“WHAT!? Why don’t you manage this band?”

“I don’t want to. I just want to play trumpet.”

At the next week’s rehearsal, Dave handed me a manilla folder that represented the totality of the band’s “business.”

“You’re in charge now,” said Dave. 

(Sigh.)

Bull City Syndicate opening for Eddie Money in 2008

From that point forward, things began to change quickly for SK. First began a radical updating of our set list designed to draw more people to our shows and more dollars for the band. I began to pursue more private events and larger public shows. Some of the original band members were not happy about the extra demands and work required to make the move from a fun club band to a serious special event band, and we began to replace members. With the band growing in popularity, we were able to attract even more versatile and better-trained musicians. We went from being a really good band to a great "horn band," packing out every live performance and fielding requests for those higher-paying private events.

We then began to spin off a few side projects. The first of those was our pop-jazz 4-piece called Cafe Mars. Then, in 2006, we launched an aggressive recording project led by award-winning local producer John Custer. After six months in the studio, “You Make Me Feel” was released in 2007. An album paying tribute to North Carolina songwriters, and for which I’m really proud of the final product. Especially the original tunes written for the album by Custer himself. It was because of that album that Soul Kitchen & The Bull City Horns became Bull City Syndicate. (There were 17 other bands named Soul Kitchen at the time, and with an album containing original music, we didn’t want to deal with any trademark issues.)

Durham Herald Sun Magazine feature in 2008

When the economy began to tank in the summer of 2008 and into 2009, so many local music venues didn’t survive or cut their live music budgets drastically, and private event buyers were forced to hire smaller bands and DJs. Bull City Syndicate made the decision to add a female lead singer to the line-up — as that was a requirement of so many private event and wedding buyers. Our 9-piece “all dude” band became a 10-piece outfit, and the additional female lead remained a feature of the band for its remaining years.

Anyone managing a 10-piece band knows that turnover is going to happen — even when there’s no drama or interpersonal issues. People move away, change jobs, etc. Life happens. But, somewhere around 2010, there was a particular tumult that caused five of our members to leave, and suddenly, with no remaining original members, Bull City Syndicate became “my” band. We were able to fill the missing spots quickly, and the band really took off. No longer led by a “committee,” I was able to take the band to the next level, particularly as a private event and festival band.

Bull City Syndicate Christmas show in Raleigh, NC - 2016

There were many highlights through my time with both incarnations of the band: SK and BCS. My very first gig with SK was an opening date for Kool & The Gang. Our last such brush with greatness was when Dolly Parton joined us onstage performing her classic hit, “Jolene.”

We were honored to be the headlining entertainment for the last two NC Governor’s Inaugural Balls. We performed for some of the largest companies and charities in America: SAS, Glaxo, AT&T, American Heart Association, and too many others to list. We traveled throughout the Mid-Atlantic region for shows — as far north as Maryland and even down to Florida.

Our first spin-off, Cafe Mars, eventually became a 6-piece version of the band called BCS Express. Then, 10 years ago, we added a “yacht rock” version of the band called Captain & The Keels. (C&K) The same line-up as BCS, doing the smooth rock hits from ’75 to ’85, with appropriate foolish costumes.

Captain & The Keels in Hampton, VA - 2016

In 2018 came my most fun spin-off. A David Bowie Tribute act called The American Bowie Experience. (ABX) With that group, we moved our bassist, Randy Ines, over to keys (because of his virtuoso piano chops), and brought my son Duncan in on bass guitar. (Bowie’s son is also named Duncan. Just a coincidence.) Despite the growing popularity and demand for ABX, that band didn’t survive the COVID-19 pandemic after a year and a half of lockdowns. It was everything I could do just to get BCS back to work.

American Bowie Experience at House of Blues in Myrtle Beach, SC - 2019

The aftermath of the pandemic was the beginning of the end for BCS. My life began to change drastically. For more than 25 years I’d been a hobbyist political writer and commentator. My writing chops began to take shape in the early days of the Internet. AOL, Compuserve, and Prodigy eventually became MySpace. MySpace became Facebook, where my online following really began to take off. 

In early 2020 — long after the four versions of the band had become my full-time job and main source of income — “Two Weeks to Flatten the Curve” became two months of COVID lockdowns, and none of the band projects were allowed to do live performances. It was then that I decided to monetize my writing “hobby,” moving that to the captain’s seat of my endeavors and BCS and its spinoffs to the co-pilot’s seat. By 2022 and into 2023, my journalistic efforts were being rewarded with significant media attention, and my travels were keeping me away from the band and its needs with increasing frequency. 

In the summer of 2023, I was approached by Dallas-based Blaze Media to become a contributing writer. I was now splitting most of my time between D.C. and Dallas, and the bands’ bookings were suffering. With that came the hard decision that ultimately led me to retire from the BCS and C&K brands, make the total life transition and reinvention to a full-time writer and investigative journalist for The Blaze.

An appearance on The Glenn Beck Show in 2023

I’ve been doing music in one form or the other for over 50 years. At 19 years old, I was traveling the world playing trumpet. In the 80s, I was working for churches doing music and promoting contemporary Christian music concerts with the biggest names in that industry. Into the 90s, I became manager to national acts touring around the world — which caused me to put my horns in the closet for about 10 years. By 1999, I just wanted to play music again, and I answered that ad to join Soul Kitchen & The Bull City Horns.

Obviously, this telling is the very short version of that 23-year experience, and what became such a significant part of my life. There were hard times and bad times, but mostly wonderful times with all the guys and gals I was honored to perform with. We played for near-empty rooms and for as many as 40,000 at festivals. We shared the stage with famous artists and many of the best local musicians and bands. I will always cherish every moment.

BCS Express in Cary, NC - 2013

I want to express my heartfelt thanks and admiration to all the fantastic musicians who made those 23 years unforgettable. And to the fans who continued to show up for our infrequent club shows in the last couple of years. Many who’d been coming to see us for over 20 years!

At our final Durham show on December 8, I stepped off the stage a few times just to watch and soak it in. After the last song, and when we began the final tear-down and load-out of the gear, one of the guys said to me, “You know you’re going to miss this.”

Yes . . . I am.

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A Brief Summary of My Personal January 6 Story Timeline (Then ’til Now)
Mainly For Newer Followers, Not Yet Up-to-Speed on My Work

A more detailed account of my day on January 6, 2021, can be found here:

https://thepragmaticconstitutionalist.locals.com/post/3897816/what-i-saw-on-january-6th-in-washington-dc


 

-On Dec. 21, 2020 — two days after Trump announced his own "wild" J6 rally at The Ellipse in D.C. — I posted this announcement to my social media accounts:

“Regardless of how you feel about the election results, this might be a spectacle worth observing up close and personal. (I'm predisposed to believe this crowd will not riot, loot, and burn the city.) I might begin my northeast run on this date, in DC. Anyone else going? #tpcroadtrip2021”

Well . . . they didn't "burn the city."

——

-In my email newsletter that went out on January 4, 2021, I made the following comment:

“I am headed to DC on Wednesday. Why? Not because I think a crowd of any size is going to force government into a real investigation of the election results, but because the “powers that be” on all sides of the political equation need to see WE THE PEOPLE in force, letting them know that WE ARE WATCHING. WE are engaged! WE are not going to lay down to any level of tyranny — whether it comes from the right or the left, the Democrats or the GOP. I’m also hoping to document on video anything “special” that might happen, and perhaps get a few interviews from a variety of voices.”

-By “special” . . . it was rumored there would be some big announcement on the election controversy, (a release of The Kraken, maybe), about which I hoped to get comments from members of the crowd. There was nothing special announced from the stage, by Trump or any of the others. The “special” came later . . . unexpectedly.

——

-I arrived at the Washington Monument at about 9:30 am on January 6, and spent the next three hours watching the crowd grow to an enormous size — documenting it on video.

-Trump took the stage almost an hour later than announced, at 11:57 pm. His “warm-up” acts were ‘meh,’ and his speech was equally ‘meh.’ Because of the cold, windy conditions, the poor audio, and wanting to get ahead of the throng that was scheduled to march on the Capitol for the other events, I left the Washington Monument lawn about halfway through Trump’s speech and began a brisk walk toward the Capitol Building . . . along with thousands of others already peeling off from Trump's speech.

-I arrived at the Reflection Pool on the west side of the Capitol at about 1:15 pm, where I was hearing police sirens and what sounded like explosions. From there, I could see smoke and the arrival of DC Metro PD (MPD) units pouring down the steps toward the west terrace. I made the decision to sprint up to the terrace, where I turned on my camera at 1:19 pm, and for almost an hour filmed the violence and surging crowds in that area.

-Just after 2:00 pm I began to notice signs of Capitol Police (USCP) withdrawal. Shortly thereafter, there was a sudden surge of protestors up the stairs underneath the scaffolding on the northwest side of the terrace. Hundreds of protestors were now in unrestricted movement up those stairs, so I followed.

-At approximately 2:21 pm I followed hundreds of protestors through what some call the “Senate Wing door.” This, I would later learn, was the site of the first breach of the building. I did not see the breach, as it occurred at approximately 2:13 pm, while I was still on the lower terrace.

-For almost 40 minutes I captured scenes inside the Capitol Building, before exiting at about 2:59 pm, at the exact location where FBI tactical unit medics were trying to save Ashli Babbit’s life. Just over one minute after I exited through the South door, I filmed Babbitt’s extraction through that doorway, while the D.C. Fire EMT crew still worked feverishly on her lifeless body.

Screenshot from my video - January 6, 2021 - of Ashli Babbitt being evacuated from
the Capitol Building by D.C. Fire Department emergency medical techs.

-Shortly thereafter, I gave a couple of interviews to local media, found a restroom and a sandwich, then returned to the Capitol to witness the arrival of the Army and Air Force National Guards finalize the clearing of the entire Capitol grounds. I then returned to my hotel in Arlington sometime after 7:30 pm.

——

-For the next five days I began frame by frame review of my videos, and then started writing my first story about the event, which was posted on January 13, 2021:

https://thepragmaticconstitutionalist.locals.com/post/3897816/what-i-saw-on-january-6th-in-washington-dc

-On February 24, 2021, I published my second story about J6:

https://thepragmaticconstitutionalist.locals.com/post/3897816/what-i-saw-on-january-6th-in-washington-dc

-As I’ve pointed out many times, I got a few things wrong in my earliest analyses. I’ve tried to correct those over the following months and years as new evidence has presented itself. But, those two articles remain as written — errors included.

——

-Because I engaged in no violence, property damage, chanting, singing, carried no flags, and wore no political messages on my clothing . . . as the months wore on I began to think maybe I was going to have the same respect as so many other journalists who were not being rounded up in the J6 dragnet. But, on the morning of July 22, 2021, I received a phone call from FBI Special Agent Gerrit Doss. After he asked me for a voluntary interview, I immediately turned that over to my local attorney, and they worked together with all our schedules to arrange a date for the interview.

-The first attempt at scheduling the FBI interview was aborted on-site, on the morning of August 5, 2021. The reason given — after my attorney and I had already arrived at their Cary, NC filed office — was that they could not interview me, “because of my press status,” until after they received a letter of approval from the U.S. Attorney General’s office.

-My attorney worked with an assistant USAG, they negotiated a proffer agreement for the interview, and it was rescheduled for October 18, 2021. I was interviewed for two full hours, under the agreement that nothing I said in the interview could be used against me — should charges be made against me — in court . . . unless I perjured myself. (That didn’t happen.)

-On November 17, 2021, my attorney received an email from Assistant U.S. Attorney Anita Eve — out of Philadelphia — stating, “Your client will be charged within the week.”

-On Monday morning of Thanksgiving week — November 22, 2021 — we sent out approximately 200 press releases to all manner of media sources, stating that I — an independent journalist — was about to be prosecuted for nothing more than the act of “journalism” on January 6.

-At approximately 1:00 pm that same day, AUSA Eve sent my attorney a copy of that press release, stating, “We’re not happy about this.” He responded, asking, “Are you saying my client should forego his 1st Amendment right because he is being persecuted by the federal government?" There were a couple of other exchanges between my attorney and the AUSA before she went silent. I assumed that was because of the Thanksgiving holiday.

-My phone began to ring from interested media sources, wishing to cover my story.

-On Tuesday evening — November 23 — I received a call from Senator Ron Johnson (WI), asking me how he could help. As the minority leader of a Senate J6 investigative committee, he put me in touch with his investigators.

-On Wednesday morning — November 24 — I was contacted by an attorney who practices criminal law in D.C., who happened to be a federal prosecutor for more than 20 years. After a three-hour phone call, I engaged his services.

-On Monday — November 29 — my new attorney reached out to AUSA Eve by both email and phone, and she never responded. We never heard from her or the FBI again . . . until yesterday — August 5, 2023 — more than 20 months later, when my Raleigh attorney received a call from the FBI notifying him that they had “service of process” for me.

-This turns out to be a Grand Jury subpoena, requesting my January 6 videos. My attorney received that on Monday. We have been able to determine the DOJ has reopened its investigation into my January 6 activities. I volunteered to give those to the FBI during my interview in October of ’21, but they never followed up and requested them. The most unfortunate fact is . . . grand juries are not convened to investigate misdemeanor crimes. For unknown reasons, they are apparently considering a felony recommendation to the grand jury. As of this writing, that is all we know.

——

-Since January 6, 2021, as well as the time since my threatened prosecution, I have been very active in investigating many aspects related to January 6. Something I never expected to be engaged in. I have broken original stories, developed Capitol Police whistleblowers, met with Congress Members, and engaged with congressional staffers and investigators. All of that has been well documented in my blogs.

-In the fall of 2022, I covered every day of the first, nine-week-long Oath Keepers trial, at the District Courthouse in D.C.

-I’ve been interviewed for my work by innumerable media sources — large and small — from Tucker Carlson on Fox News, to reporters with both NBC and the New York Times, to smaller podcasters. I’ve also collaborated on several stories with The Epoch Times, and have been one of a small hand full of journalists who’ve been given access to that “41,000 hours of J6 video” by Speaker McCarthy’s staff. I am just now entering into a “contributor” relationship with Blaze Media.

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As I said in the beginning, this is an abbreviated overview of my personal “January 6 story.” I have no idea what the government’s renewed interest is in me or my videos. The only “crime” I committed on January 6 — technically speaking — is to have entered a restricted building. But, so did some 80 to 100 other journalists who have not been charged with any crimes. We all simply followed the story where the story went that day.

It would be easy to speculate that I might be being singled out because I haven’t conformed to the “preferred narrative,” or because of the sensitivity of certain stories I’m currently working on. I simply have no idea, so can’t really go there. Not at least until I see the subpoena on Monday, and we can get some questions answered about the status of my case . . . which went from “Your client will be charged within the week” to total silence from the DOJ for more than a year and a half.

Some say there are “no coincidences” in this particular game . . . but we’ll know more on Monday.

Stay tuned . . .

Steve

P.S. I have no idea what they're looking for in my videos. What's so special, that it requires a Grand Jury subpoena? All the good stuff is already posted online:

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Tweetstorm Rollout on Secret U.S. Army SpecOps Deployed on January 6
Having no name, this top secret group is referred to as “the activity,” “the unit,” or “orange”

THREAD: Two and 1/2 years ago, in my 2nd article about #Jan6, (Feb. 24, 2021), I revealed a “very high probability that both [Army] ’Special Forces’ operatives and U.S. Marshalls were mixed in with the crowd that entered the Capitol Building.”

https://thepragmaticconstitutionalist.locals.com/post/3842175/who-was-up-the-chain-on-january-6

——

10 months later (Jan. 3, 2022) Newsweek confirmed my sourcing with a story headlined, “Secret Commandos with Shoot-to-Kill Authority Were at the Capitol.” saying, “The role that the military played in this highly classified operation is still unknown.”

https://www.newsweek.com/exclusive-secret-commandos-shoot-kill-authority-were-capitol-1661330

——

I have quietly investigated this discovery ever since and eventually revealed my knowledge of a SpecOps group deployed on J6 to be a top-secret SIGINT group from Ft. Belvoir, just outside D.C. (I have no info if this is the same group Newsweek reported.)

——

I have long been aware of a current member of this “unit” deployed to the Capitol on J6. Late in 2022, I was introduced to a retired member of the same SpecOps group. In short, he was highly impressed with my knowledge of that unit, as they officially . . . “do not exist.”

——

They may not officially “exist,” but in 2007, British author @MickWSmith revealed the existence and history of this U.S. Army SpecOps group in his book, “Killer Elite: The Inside Story of America's Most Secret Special Operations Team”

https://www.amazon.com/Killer-Elite-Completely-Americas-Operations-dp-1250006473/dp/1250006473/ref=dp_ob_title_bk

Unlike the SEALS or Delta Force, this secretive Army team does not have a name. Only their specific operations are given a name, and they are otherwise generally referred to as “the activity,” “the unit,” or “orange.”

——

My source, who is a retired member of “the unit” does not believe his former group could possibly have been used for any purpose on J6, as it is outside the operational protocols of their mission. Namely, when he was a member, they would never be used for domestic operations.

——

Also, he says they would never have been “seconded” to @FBI. They have a specific chain of command within the Army hierarchy and are only ever seconded to the CIA in overseas ops. That said, he has been retired from “the unit” for almost a decade.

——

In my recent interactions with congressional members and staff, I have been informed that they are aware the “the unit” was operational in some capacity on J6, but have been unable to get answers from @DeptofDefense, specifically because they “do not officially exist.”

——

In recent weeks, trying to get more information, I’ve read another team of special ‘intel’ investigators into my research on this subject. Our most recent discovery is that they have been able to identify another current member of “the unit” who was at the Capitol on J6.

——

Before I go any further in this narrative, I'll emphasize that I've never implied “the unit” was deployed on J6 for nefarious purposes. In my 1st story, I theorized that they were simply there to “take care of business” should protestors get out of hand, using lethal weapons.

——

That established, their presence and deployment raises serious questions. Why are military forces being deployed in violation of posse comitatus law? Is it common practice for @DeptofDefense to allow military SpecOps to be used at domestic protest events?

——

More importantly, if this is not common, and was a one-off operation . . . having “the unit” seconded to @FBI on J6 . . . WHY? What did they know, requiring “the unit's” presence at the Capitol, and what was “the unit’s” “posture” on J6?

——

We are seeking more information, and answers to those questions, but do not expect to receive those directly from @FBI, @CapitolPolice, (if they even knew), or from @DeptofDefense. But, you may be asking why I’m talking about this without having all the facts nailed down.

——

My @FBI whistleblowing friends, @KyleSeraphin and @RealStevefriend have advised me that “daylight” is not only the “best disinfectant,” but also the best “protection” when one is hovering this close over the target. 

——

I don’t have the same covering as that afforded a reliable MSM journalist - as when @FBI had Newsweek’s @warkin release a one-year anniversary CYA story about their deployment of every 3-letter agencies’ tactical teams and military commandos with “shoot to kill” orders on J6.

——

So . . . I’m letting @FBI and @DeptofDefense know that I’ve now read three other friendly journalists, a team of think tank investigators, and several congressional staffers into the details of this story. “Whacking” me, to stop my work, will probably be counterproductive.

——

But, they are welcome to reach out to me and answer my questions. (I also have more.) I’m certain they already have my number. 

Stay tuned. More on this, and even more important J6 stories are in the pipeline. 

——

On Twitter, (or, X):

https://twitter.com/TPC4USA/status/1686907274692861952

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