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Cheney Is Blocking Jamie Raskin’s Proposal To Eliminate The Electoral College

And Denver Riggleman’s Not Very Explosive Revelations

Denver Riggleman has a book, The Breach, coming out next week on the J-6 insurrection investigation for which he was a senior technical advisor. Before he joined the team looking into Trump’s attempted coup, Riggleman had been a one-term Republican congressman from Virginia. He was the only Republican to ever get up on the House floor and denounce QAnon, earning him the ire of some of his more extremist colleagues. He was one of the authors of The QAnon Conspiracy: Destroying Families, Dividing Communities, Undermining Democracy, in which he wrote “When ideas or fantasy are weaponized, there is a metamorphosis from harmless, bizarre theories to a dangerous bloom of tribalism and dehumanization of others. This bloom expands digitally from person to person, absorbing and then converting a tribe that believes alternate realities based on a directed stream of algorithmically and group targeted data, ignorant analytic white papers, memes, ideas and coded language.” In 2020, an extremist sociopath and QAnon believer, Bob Good, defeated him in a bizarre drive-through nominating convention.

Riggleman’s book, at least in part, focusses in on far right former congressman/former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows as a key cog in the attempted coup, dozens of right-wing congressman texting him during the insurrection, including Paul Gosar (“a blatant white supremacist,” according to Riggleman) and 3 Texas insurrectionists, Brian Babin, Chip Roy and Louie Gohmert. Riggleman wrote that the Meadows texts are the "crown jewels" that "gave us keys to the kingdom.”

This morning, Esquire published an edited excerpt from The Breach on the Inner Workings Of The January 6 Committee’s Investigation. “The select committee,” he wrote, “had six teams working separately. They were all code-named with different colors: Red, Gold, Green, Purple, Orange, and Blue. My operations were distinct from that structure. Part of our work involved providing technical and investigative support for the six other teams. Red focused on the rioters and what we termed ‘day-of command and control,’ in other words, coordination among people who engaged in violence at the Capitol on January 6th. This included the activists and conspiracists who planned the Stop the Steal and ‘Save America’ protests that drew people to DC that day. The militant groups that took part in the attack, namely the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, and 1st Amendment Praetorian, were also part of this portfolio. The committee was looking at the storming of the building as a military operation.”


Gold Team zeroed in on Trump and his inner circle. This included his family, staff, and informal advisers like Bannon, Rudy Giuliani, and General Flynn. Most folks know those names. They were some of the more hard-core voices in Trump’s ear throughout his presidency. But during the election result challenge, Trump also connected with a new wave of conspiracists including the lawyer Sidney Powell and Patrick Byrne, the multimillionaire former CEO of internet retailer
…Green Team followed the money. They tracked the financing of the so-called Stop the Steal movement. This was another area where the CDRs helped prepare investigators for certain interviews. Many folks sitting for a deposition seemed to come down with severe, sudden memory issues when confronted with questions about the finances for campaigns and rallies. Knowing that we could see who they were in touch with was often a quick cure. Green Team also relied on my knowledge of the fundraising process. During my first meeting with them, I busted out a white board to chart the digital fundraising ecosystem to show how algorithms incentivized the most aggressive Stop the Steal messaging. My OSINT consultants also worked with the Green Team to tie some far-right figures to their Bitcoin wallets.
The select committee’s Green Team showed that Trump’s family and inner circle personally profited from the events of January 6th. This included Kimberly Guilfoyle, a [coke addict and] former Fox News personality who was dating Trump’s son Don Jr. Evidence uncovered by the committee showed Guilfoyle was paid $60,000 to introduce Don Jr. at that day’s rally on the White House Ellipse. That’s the one where Trump told the crowd to “fight like hell” and march to the Capitol. Guilfoyle urged the crowd to “hold the line.”
“Look at all of us out here, God-loving, freedom-loving, liberty-loving patriots that will not let them steal this election!” she shouted.
Her remarks lasted almost exactly three minutes. That means her speech cost about $20,000 a minute. Guilfoyle also earned $180,000 from the Trump campaign in 2020, according to the HuffPost. That report said Lara Trump, the wife of the former president’s second-oldest son, Eric, drew similar payments from the campaign. There were piles of cash associated with the MAGA movement and some of it seemed to go right to Trump’s own family.
The Purple Team studied the radicalization pipeline. We didn’t only want to know what people did when they charged at the Capitol on January 6th. We wanted to know how they got there and who sent them. Purple Team researched the activity of extremist groups and MAGA influencers in the months leading up to the attack. My phone records team worked with Purple extensively to help them request and identify records.
Orange Team was tasked with examining the role foreign interference played in the Capitol attack. Some of America’s rivals, namely Russia and Iran, definitely contributed to fueling disinformation in the Stop the Steal space. We saw possible bot networks and coordinated actions with Twitter accounts that formed en masse on the same day. Personalities associated with English-language, Russian-state media like RT and Sputnik also pushed conspiratorial themes and hashtags. Still, the loudest and most violent stuff was coming from within our own borders. This was America’s problem.
The last team, Blue, had an especially delicate challenge. They were focused on the apparent failure to adequately protect the Capitol. They were, in part, investigating House Administration, which really meant Pelosi and two of the committee’s own members, Jamie Raskin and Zoe Lofgren.
Blue team was a talented group, but the sensitivity of their investigation and the multiple moving parts— House leadership, the National Guard, DC and Capitol police, and the Pentagon— created a politically explosive finger-pointing extravaganza. The end result was that the Blue Team became a bit of a backwater. Several witnesses they tried to interview remained elusive and the committee gave Blue no means to compel testimony. Later on, I would find myself smack in the middle of this mess.
We called the main link map “The Monster.” The targets of our investigation were divided up into five major categories: domestic violent extremists, which included militant groups like Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, and 1st Amendment Praetorian; rally organizers; officials, which included members of Congress and local politicians; Trump associates, which included top advisers and staff; and the president’s family. We also tracked a sixth group of unaffiliated individuals, who were mainly people we identified because they faced federal charges for breaking into the Capitol.
…When we examined the link maps, it was easy to see the centers of gravity. They showed up as dark spots where many different link lines came together. When you searched for an individual number, all link lines associated with that number would light up in blue.
At one point, we found a cell phone that we tied to Trump himself. It appeared on the map as a kind of oval island connected to the other Trump associates by a thin bridge of a few link lines.
Over six thousand calls and messages went to that cell phone during the roughly three months between the election and the end of his term. All of it was incoming, but the phone was never turned on. Everything was forwarded to a voicemail box, which was filled to the brim. Based on the records we had, it was unclear whether anyone ever listened to the messages or made room for new ones. That wasn’t the only phone we found that seemed to belong to Trump, but I won’t go into detail on the others due to the ongoing investigations.
There were people on the maps of Trump’s family and their associates who seemed to regularly retire numbers. We would see lines that popped up for a few days and couldn’t be tied to an individual registration. We thought they looked like burner phones or VOIP numbers generated through an app. One was active for about a week and only showed up in communication with the Trump family. It was hard to say— or to know— what that meant. Someone in the president’s innermost circle had very good OPSEC.
Another odd find came when the data team found a batch of numbers that, through the other investigators’ work, we believed were associated with the White House. Those lines started with digits that didn’t match any known area code or exchange.
These ghost numbers were just one of the many examples of evidence that was coming in during the spring of 2022. We kept finding new evidence for the call records team to analyze. It all added to my feeling that we should have gotten started a lot earlier. I also couldn’t help but wonder how much we were going to leave on the table when the committee concluded its hearings.
Throughout our work there were four people who were extensively connected to all six clusters on “The Monster.” They were in contact with militias and the highest levels of Trump’s inner circle. We saw them as the key touch points: Bianca Gracia, Alex Jones, Kristin Davis, and Roger Stone.
Stone, long one of Trump’s closest advisers, had a hidden phone number and a security detail comprised of extremist militia members. Glenn saw a lot of wild stuff during his time on this team, but when he found Stone on the link map, he was as excited as I ever heard him. When Glenn called to tell me about what he saw, he let me know right away that it was big.
“Denver,” he said. “I found a nuclear bomb.”

Tomorrow (1pm) is another televised hearing, likely the last one. Chairman Bennie Thompson told Capitol Hill reporters that the committee “has "substantial footage of what occurred ... [and] significant witness testimony that we haven't used in other hearings." Luke Broadwater and Katie Benner reported this morning that the committee hasn’t revealed the topics they will go into tomorrow but did note that Jamie Raskin hinted the day’s topics will focus on Trump’s culpability. And Zoe Lofgren said the panel “would focus some of its energy on ongoing threats to democracy, such as 2020 election deniers gaining power over election systems.”

Broadwater and Benner wrote that the committee is facing public criticism from Riggleman, “who says it has not been aggressive enough in pursuing connections between the White House and the rioters… To help with its end game, the panel has quietly rehired John Wood, a former federal prosecutor who is close to Cheney. Before he left the panel for a brief, unsuccessful run for U.S. Senate in Missouri, Wood led the committee’s ‘Gold Team,’ which investigated Trump and his inner circle.”

Members have also been discussing what legislative recommendations they should make. Last week, to close off the possibility of another president trying to have a vice president block the certification by Congress of the Electoral College results, Cheney and Lofgren introduced an overhaul of the Electoral Count Act, which quickly passed the House. (A somewhat different version is awaiting action in the Senate.)
Members are also discussing reforms to the Insurrection Act, legislation related to the 14th and 25th amendments and regulation of militia groups. Members also are likely to recommend improvements to Capitol security.
Not all the panel’s recommendations have found agreement. Raskin, for instance, has pushed for recommending the Electoral College be eliminated, but that idea has been met with resistance from Cheney and others and is unlikely to be included in the final recommendations.

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