Vice News had a hot scoop yesterday-- Trump World ginning up divisiveness and violence in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Cameron Joseph wrote about a QAnon conclave last weekend, "Patriots Arise," where one of the featured speakers was Trump’s current chief spokeswoman, Liz Harrington. In a long, crazy speech, Harrington warned the assembled sociopaths, generally a really paranoid bunch to begin with, that "It’s so important to have accountability and have that trust restored because otherwise you’re going to get more of it. There’s no accountability? Yep. They’re gonna start arresting political opponents. They’re gonna start throwing political dissidents in jail. They’re going to parade people and interrogate you for your free speech... You think it’s gonna be better next time? You really think if there’s no arrests made from 2020, if there’s no real exposing of it and getting these people and holding them accountable, you really think they won’t do it again?"
Mastriano gave a long speech that argued that America is a Christian nation, mocked what he called “this myth of the separation of church and state,” and promised the audience that he and they are “taking our country back.”
“We’re going to win on May 17 [Pennsylvania’s primary date], with your help. And in November we’re going to take our state back. My god will make it so,” Mastriano promised, to cheers from the crowd.
After his speech, Mastriano was awarded a “Sword of David” by the convention’s co-hosts, podcasters and QAnon conspiracy theorists Allen and Francine Fosdick, whose website used to feature the QAnon slogan WWG1WGA (“Where we go one, we go all”).
“Where’s Goliath?” Mastriano said with a laugh as he raised the sword.
“We will be civil on our terms, not theirs,” he said.
Mastriano vaulted from being a little-known backbencher in the state Senate to a top MAGA figure by leading the charge to try to overturn Trump’s 2020 election loss in Pennsylvania. Trump has described him as a “great patriot,” and he’s currently neck-and-neck with former GOP Rep. Lou Barletta in recent polls in a crowded primary field to win the Republican nomination for governor.
Mastriano’s running mate for lieutenant governor, Teddy Daniels, also spoke at the conference, warning the audience that “we are at war in this country, we are losing this country.” He also said that the only way to be civil with liberals is after “we beat the crap out of them.”
And speaking of Teddy... He should probably worry more about losing his home. His most current wife-- of 3 who accused him of abusive or threatening behavior-- had a court remove him from their home this week, having asked the court for "emergency protections against abuse... Daniels’ wife initially received an “order granting emergency protection from abuse” to her and her child on Monday from the Wayne County, Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas. On Tuesday, those protections were extended via a separate order from the same court. Under the terms of the Tuesday order, Daniels is barred from the couple’s home in Lake Ariel, Pennsylvania, until the court orders otherwise. The order bars Daniels from contacting his wife and gives her temporary custody over their child. It also notes that there are firearms present in the couple’s home and bars Daniels from possessing or acquiring any firearms while the order is in effect, and to relinquish any he currently possesses to the court or an approved third party." Among other things, the 360 pound Daniels threatened to kill the family dog in front of their children. He was also at the insurrection on 1/6.
Alas, one Republican politician who didn't show up at the Patriots Arise nut show was insurrectionist Congressman Scott Perry, who figures prominently in the Meadows coup texts. I'm sure he would have had a rousing reception from the QAnon crowd. CNN reported yesterday that Perry was "pushing to have the nation's top intelligence official investigate baseless conspiracy theories and working to replace the US acting attorney general with an acolyte willing to do Trump's bidding." In fact he was all hung-ho on one of the baseless QAnon conspiracy charges about Dominion voting machines being hacked by China.
Last year, the Senate singled out Perry for his role in promoting Trump's election fraud conspiracies. The Meadows texts provide new details into his efforts behind the scenes. In particular, the texts show how Perry, now the head of the House Freedom Caucus, was one of the most vocal advocates for recruiting top government officials to investigate baseless claims of voter fraud.
Perry wrote to Meadows again on November 12 claiming that "the Brits" orchestrated a conspiracy to manipulate voting machines in the US and that then-CIA Director Gina Haspel was helping cover it up.
"And Gina is still running around on the Hill covering for the Brits who helped quarterback this entire operation," Perry texted. "DNI needs to be tasked to audit their overseas accounts at CIA-- and their National Endowment for Democracy. "
More than a month later, Perry texted Meadows a YouTube link detailing another conspiracy theory: that votes were changed by Italian satellites.
"Why can't we just work with the Italian government?" Perry wrote. According to the text logs, Meadows does not appear to have responded to that message, emails released by the Senate Judiciary Committee last year show he did forward the same video link to then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen hours later.
Rosen subsequently refused to look into the claim further and said he would "not be giving any special treatment to Giuliani or any of his 'witnesses,' " an email discussion between the acting attorney general and top DOJ officials emails show.
"Pure insanity," another former DOJ official, Richard Donoghue, responded to Rosen about the claim.
A new court filing also reveals how Perry played a key role in strategizing with Trump allies about throwing out electoral votes in states Trump lost.
In testimony released on Friday, former Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson told House investigators about Perry's role in White House strategy sessions.
"Mr. Perry is one that immediately jumps to mind as me recalling him physically being there and then pushing back," Hutchinson said, describing how the Pennsylvania Republican clashed with Trump's White House counsel over whether the plan for states to submit alternate slate of electors was legally sound.
On November 21, Meadows also went through Perry in order to get in touch with local lawmakers in his state.
"Can you send me the number for the speaker and the leader of PA Legislature. POTUS wants to chat with them," Meadows wrote to Perry.
More than a month later, Perry texted Meadows stressing a need for urgency as January 6 and Biden's inauguration were quickly approaching.
"Mark, just checking in as time continues to count down. 11 days to 1/6 and 25 days to inauguration. We gotta get going!" he wrote to Meadows on December 26.
On five occasions, according to the text messages reviewed by CNN, Perry texted Meadows to request the conversation move to the encrypted messaging app "Signal" or to alert Meadows to a message he sent on the encrypted platform.
Such a move could put the exchange out of the committee's reach because Signal does not collect or save user data, making it more difficult to provide that information to outside entities, including law enforcement and congressional investigators, even under subpoena.
The committee has previously released a January 5 text message Meadows received from an unidentified member of Congress saying, "Please check your signal."
CNN has now confirmed that message came from Perry.