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Reuters launders FBI claims that “scant” evidence exists of coordinated January 6 plot to overthrow the government

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from World Socialist Web Site (en).


This past Friday, August 20, Reuters published an xe2x80x9cexclusivexe2x80x9d report citing four anonymous current and former law enforcement officials xe2x80x9ceither directly involved or briefed regularlyxe2x80x9d on FBI investigations into January 6, who claimed that xe2x80x9cscantxe2x80x9d evidence has been uncovered that there was an organized plot to overthrow the election of president Joe Biden by Trump accomplices and fascist militia groups.

This bogus claim is contradicted by the ongoing prosecutions of fascist militia members who are closely tied to the Republican Party and particularly to Trumpxe2x80x99s closest supporters, like ultra-right operative Roger Stone. The central purpose of this obvious lie is to downplay the significance of the attack, and cover up for the role of state agencies, including the FBI itself, in facilitating it.

The most important quote cited by Reuters is attributed to xe2x80x9ca former senior law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation.xe2x80x9d The unnamed law enforcement official refers to leading Trump co-conspirators, long-time crony Roger Stone and the fascist Alex Jones of InfoWars.

Speaking of the over 579 people charged in connection with the January 6 attack the former federal official notes that, xe2x80x9cNinety to ninety-five percent of these are one-off cases. Then you have five percent, maybe, of these militia groups that were more closely organized. But there was no grand scheme with Roger Stone and Alex Jones and all of these people to storm the Capitol and take hostages.xe2x80x9d

The xe2x80x9corganizedxe2x80x9d fascist militia groups played the leading role in the attack on the Capitol and both groups, specifically the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys, have close and ongoing ties with the Republican Party and Stone and Jones in particular. The naming of these two men by the official is noteworthy given their central role in whipping up Trumpxe2x80x99s paramilitaries and supporters in support of Trumpxe2x80x99s xe2x80x9cstolen electionxe2x80x9d lies, which he continues to propagate to this day.

Stone is a long-time Republican political operative going back to Nixon administration. He avoided prison after being pardoned by Trump last July for lying to congressional committees and to Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Stone is a frequent guest on InfoWars. During a September 10, 2020, appearance on the program, he stated that the only way Trump could lose would be if the election was xe2x80x9ccorruptedxe2x80x9d and therefore Trump should invoke the Insurrection Act and seize mail-in ballots, likely to be heavily Democratic, in battleground states.

Stone has previously admitted in court documents that he maintains close relations with the Proud Boys militia group, allowing high-ranking members access to his home, phone and e-mail accounts, and using them as bodyguards in public appearances.

At a rally December 12, 2020 in Washington D.C., Stone, flanked by Proud Boys chairman and admitted FBI informant Enrique Tarrio and xe2x80x9csergeant of armsxe2x80x9d of the Seattle Proud Boys chapter Ethan Nordean, tells the assembled that the election xe2x80x9cisnxe2x80x99t over until we say it is!xe2x80x9d

Nordean, a bodybuilder and street brawler, is one of at least 38 Proud Boys who have been charged in connection to January 6. In addition to facing charges of obstructing an official proceeding, aiding and abetting, violent entry, disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, destruction of government property, obstructing of law enforcement, Nordean is one of at least six Proud Boys to have been charged with conspiring to obstruct the certification of Joe Bidenxe2x80x99s Electoral College victory. At least 40 Oath Keeper, Proud Boy and Three Percenter militia members have been charged with conspiracy, i.e., an organized plan, to overthrow the election.

According to encrypted communications seized by the government and recounted in prosecutorsxe2x80x99 briefs, Nordean was given xe2x80x9cwar powersxe2x80x9d leadership over the 200-plus Proud Boys who spearheaded the attack on the Capitol on January 6. A March court filing notes that Nordean and other Proud Boy leaders had specifically planned to whip up xe2x80x9cnormies,xe2x80x9d or xe2x80x9cnormieconsxe2x80x9d (normal conservatives) on January 6 in order xe2x80x9cto incite and inspire them to xe2x80x9cburn that city to ash todayxe2x80x9d and xe2x80x9csmash some pigs to dust.xe2x80x9d

As for Jones, who previously hosted Nordean as well Oath Keepers founder and leader Stewart Rhodes on his InfoWars program to spread fascistic lies about the election, the Wall Street Journal reported in January that Jones pledged $50,000 of his own money in exchange for a speaking slot at the January 6 xe2x80x9cStop the Stealxe2x80x9d rally in Washington D.C., where Trump sent the crowd marching down Pennsylvania Avenue to storm the Capitol. Jones ended up speaking at a xe2x80x9cStop the Stealxe2x80x9d rally the day before, while video taken the day of the attempted coup shows Jones leading Trump supporters with a bullhorn to march on the Capitol.

Videos taken on January 6 show Jones marching with InfoWars producer and co-host Owen Shroyer. The same day the Reuters article appeared, Shroyer was charged by federal prosecutors with illegally going into a restricted area on the Capitol grounds and disorderly conduct.

Significantly, the Reuters report indicates the ongoing complicity of the Democrats in covering up Trumpxe2x80x99s coup: xe2x80x9cSenior lawmakers have been briefed in detail on the results of the FBIxe2x80x99s investigation so far and find them credible, a Democratic congressional source said.xe2x80x9d

This is only the latest example, following the truncated impeachment, the joint bipartisan Senate cover-up report and the last monthxe2x80x99s House Select Committee hearing, to demonstrate that the foremost concern of Democratic xe2x80x9cinvestigationsxe2x80x9d is not to expose the deep support Trumpxe2x80x99s coup had within the capitalist state and among congressional Republicans. They serve to defend the institutions of the state and preserve xe2x80x9cunityxe2x80x9d with their xe2x80x9cRepublican colleagues.xe2x80x9d Both are essential to the defense of bourgeois class rule.

The so-called xe2x80x9ccrediblexe2x80x9d Reuters report has been hailed by leading Trump co-conspirators and fascists, including Alex Jones, who said Friday, claiming there was no coup attempt, xe2x80x9cWexe2x80x99d have had guns if that was our plan.xe2x80x9d On the social media site Gab, Stone wrote, xe2x80x9cbased on todayxe2x80x99s news reports I would say that the FBI investigating January 6 determined that xe2x80x98Roger Stone STILL did nothing wrong!xe2x80x99xe2x80x9d

Former <a href=”” rel=”nofollow”></a> CEO and millionaire propagator of Trumpxe2x80x99s stolen election lies, Patrick Byrne, likewise hailed the Reuters article, which in his words showed, xe2x80x9cThere was no organization behind January 6, no Republicans.xe2x80x9d He characterized the article as xe2x80x9c…a very politically strong report.xe2x80x9d

xe2x80x9cSomebody in the FBI yesterday, did something heroic, they came out with this report. And I want us all to applaud them,xe2x80x9d added Byrne.

Byrne has been the main sponsor of the sham xe2x80x9cforensic auditxe2x80x9d in Arizona. Byrne created a non-profit dubbed The America Project, which has provided over $3.25 million to facilitate the xe2x80x9cauditxe2x80x9d in Maricopa County, Arizona and has produced a book and movie called The Deep Rig which purports to show evidence of election fraud.

Joining this noxious crew was libertarian journalist Glenn Greenwald, who likewise cited the Reuters report as proof that nothing of significance happened on January 6.

xe2x80x9cThe only thing more deranged than claiming Russia had taken over control of the US through blackmail is calling January 6 an xe2x80x98Insurrection,xe2x80x99xe2x80x9d he tweeted, adding that January 6 was simply a xe2x80x9c3-hour riot that got put down.xe2x80x9d

Greenwaldxe2x80x99s approach to the FBI is somewhat selective. In this case, he accepts FBI propaganda, laundered through Reuters, as good coin, because it reinforces his complacent view that there was no significant threat to democracy on January 6.

Last month he denounced the World Socialist Web Sitexe2x80x99s exposure of his defense of the fascist militia members arrested for conspiring to murder Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, falsely claiming that the WSWS article defended the FBI.

What is consistent here is that Greenwald downplays the threat of fascist violence, either, in the case of Michigan, claiming it was FBI entrapment, or, in the case of January 6, citing the FBI whitewash as proof that there was no real danger.

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