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COMMENTARY

He Led Chant of ‘Victory or Death’ but His 1/6 Committee Opening Statement Says He Had Nothing to Do With ‘Violence or Lawbreaking’

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Analysis

The former president’s chief of staff Mark Meadows may have reneged on his promise to cooperate with the Jan. 6 committee, but Ali Alexander, the leader of the so-called Stop the Steal movement, has followed through, spending eight hours in a closed-door hearing Thursday. In a draft of his opening statement, which was leaked to the New York Times, he denied having anything to “do with any violence or lawbreaking that happened on January 6”—a statement that flies in the face of his own comments and declarations ahead of the insurrection calling for rebellion, including leading chants of “Victory or death!” at a rally on the eve of the violence.

The findings of the closed-door hearing have not been made public, but based on his planned opening and public statements, it appears the far-right organizer is attempting to simply deny wrongdoing and pass the buck. Alexander claims he did not foment violence and that on the day of the rally, he attempted to deescalate the violence with calls of “peace,” while other organizers were nowhere to be found. Such claims ask the House select committee to suspend reality and ignore Alexander’s real-time approval of Trump loyalists descending on and breaching the Capitol as well as the role of violent rhetoric that was a staple of his Stop the Steal rallies.

Even Alexander’s prayers for “peace” on Jan. 6 suggested that violence is what the government brought upon itself for not declaring Donald Trump the winner of the 2020 election. He may have not explicitly told rallygoers to violently attack the Capitol and members of Congress, but his violent rhetoric, leading role in perpetuating the conspiracy theory that the election was stolen from Trump, and verbal attacks on officials in charge of U.S. elections smack of stochastic terrorism.

Alexander emerged from the hearing Thursday evening, telling reporters that the meeting was “adversarial” and that he was “truthful.” (The Daily Beast’s Zachary Petrizzo reported that Alexander was also served with a civil lawsuit related to Jan. 6 as he left the building.)

“Yesterday was one of the toughest days of MY LIFE,” Alexander wrote on Telegram Friday morning. “8 hours of accusations, lies, and conspiracy theories digging into my First Amendment rights.”

Alexander posted a video to Telegram of an interview he conducted before he went in, claiming he would “cooperate” where he could and lashing out against his critics.

“There’s this left-wing Blue Anon conspiracy theory that me and members of Congress worked to jeopardize the safety of their colleagues. Nothing could be further from the truth,” Alexander declared. “This evidence actually exonerates those members, this evidence exonerates me, and this evidence is actually going to exonerate President Donald J. Trump.”

Alexander had previously said that he “schemed” with Republican Reps. Paul Gosar, Andy Biggs, and Mo Brooks “to put maximum pressure on Congress while they were voting” to certify the election on Jan. 6.

The draft of his opening statement echoes his denial of wrongdoing and suggests he has been made into a “bogeyman” and treated differently because he is a Black and Arab man.

“I had nothing to do with any violence or lawbreaking that happened on January 6,” Alexander said. “I had nothing to do with the planning. I had nothing to do with the preparation. And I had nothing to do with the execution.”

As Right Wing Watch alerted the New York Times, Alexander spent weeks in the lead up to the Capitol insurrection calling for “rebellion,” starting chants of “victory or death,” and using rhetoric of the American Revolution and spiritual warfare to call for action should Congress certify the election of President Joe Biden.

On the day of the insurrection, Alexander took to Twitter early in the morning to declare it the “First official day of the rebellion.” Leaving the Stop the Steal rally at the Ellipse after Trump’s speech, where he was a VIP guest, Alexander followed far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones through the Capitol grounds and up the Capitol steps. At that point—around 2 p.m.—the Capitol had alreadybeen breached.

“Democrats and Media ended the Republic and the people responded. Welcome to ‘duhhh’,” hetweeted an hour later.

Alexander emerged on a terrace overlooking the Capitol to record a video, posted on the Stop the Steal Twitter account by his associate Michael Coudrey at 4:26 p.m.—well after the violence had begun. “I don’t disavow this. I do not denounce this,” he said as Trump loyalists continued to descend on the Capitol behind him. He added later in the video, “This is completely peaceful, looks like, so far. And there are a couple of agitators that I obviously don’t endorse.”


In the prepared draft of his opening statement, Alexander also threw under the bus three other organizers of the Stop the Steal event that preceded the insurrection: Amy Kremer and Kyle Kremer, the mother-daughter duo of Women for America First, and Katrina Pierson, a former Trump campaign adviser whom the White House assigned to take charge of the rally planning.

“While I was actively trying to de-escalate events at the Capitol and end the violence and lawlessness, it’s important to note that certain people were nowhere to be found, including Amy Kremer, Kylie Kremer, and Katrina Pierson,” Alexander’s draft statement reads. “Press reports suggest they may have had their feet up drinking donor funded champagne in a War Room in the Willard.”

Infighting between the two camps had already begun months before. When Alexander relaunched the Stop the Steal campaign in early November as Biden’s victory was becoming more apparent, he had called on the Kremers (who started a popular Stop the Steal Facebook page) to join him. Soon after, the mother-daughter duo began a bus tour with the Stop the Steal branding, which angered Alexander. The two camps publicly sparred on Twitter ahead of two competing December events. The Kremers made it known that they found Alexander to be incendiary, and ProPublica reported that with Pierson’s help, they kept him and the radical conspiracy theorist Alex Jones from taking the stage at the Jan. 6 Ellipse rally. Alexander blamed the Women for America First leadership for taking instructions out of the program “ to provide clarity on exactly where to go following the Ellipse event,” which he said would have prevented the chaos that followed.

In his statement on Telegram Friday morning, Alexander suggested that he would not turn on anyone else, offering his support to those who are refusing to cooperate with the House select committee.

“Many others are using their constitutional rights to stop the Democrat Select Committee from violating those rights. I support those people using their right to not testify too,” Alexander said. “I chose to testify after the advice of counsel and with the thought: I fear nothing but God. I told the truth.”

This article was originally published by Right Wing Watch and is republished here by permission.

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COMMENTARY

Whoopi Goldberg Destroys Bill Maher’s Anti-Mask Rant: ‘How Dare You Be So Flippant?’

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Whoopi Goldberg blasted HBO’s Bill Maher after the increasingly right-moving comedian declared he doesn’t want to live in pro-vaccine Americans’ “masked paranoid world” anymore.

On Monday’s “The View” Goldberg called Maher’s remarks “not really funny to people who have lost their kids” or “family members or dear friends to this,” she said, apparently meaning to COVID. (She obviously misspoke, saying the “vaccine.”)

Maher on his HBO show on Friday had said, “I don’t want to live in your paranoid world anymore, your masked paranoid world anymore, you know, you go out it’s silly now. You know you have your mask, you have to have a card, you have the booster, they scan your head like you’re a cashier and I’m a bunch of bananas. I’m not bananas you are.”

Goldberg continued, saying, “listen, nobody on the planet really wants to go through this, this is not something we’re doing because it’s, you know, sexually gratifying. This is what we’re doing to protect our families, and you don’t have to do it, but stay away from everybody. Because if you’re the one who’s not paying attention, and your confidence needs, you don’t want to then stay out of the public man. This is not, nobody wants this. I don’t want it. And I think he’s forgetting the people who are still at risk. who cannot get vaccinated. People who can’t get – little kids under the age of five. Yeah, well people with health conditions How dare you be so flippant, man?

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COMMENTARY

Backlash Grows Against McConnell as Viral Video Shows His Racist Remarks Deeming Black Voters Not Real Americans

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Many across the nation paying attention to the Senate’s doomed voting rights vote – failing 48-52 Wednesday night, thanks to two conservative Democrats and every single Republican – noticed GOP Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s post-vote remarks in which he essentially deemed Black voters not real Americans, or in a separate class as the rest of American voters.

Calling the “concern” about minority voters having less access to the ballot box “misplaced,” McConnell told reporters: “because if you look at the statistics, African-American voters are voting in just as high a percentage as Americans.”

This clip garnered one million views in less than 12 hours:

There are clips from different sources, all of which flooded social media overnight.

The outrage has been palpable.

“Mitch McConnell didn’t say the quiet part out loud, people,” said political strategist Tom Watson. “He said the main plank of the Republican Party out loud.”

New York Times journalist and “1619 Project” creator Nikole Hannah-Jones:

NBC and MSNBC Legal Contributor Katie S. Phang noted: “After tonight’s vote, McConnell is just letting it all hang out.”

Sociologist and Brookings fellow Victor Ray: “McConnell saying “African Americans are voting at just a high of percentage as Americans” shows exactly why they are targeting voting rights and who he considers fully American.”

“McConnell did not misspeak,” said TV writer and producer Bryan Behar. “In one quote, he summarized the entire GOP worldview. They think it’s a White nation and anyone who isn’t White isn’t a true American.”


 

 

 

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COMMENTARY

Legal Experts Blast ‘Jerk Gorsuch’ for Refusing to Wear a Mask – Forcing Sotomayor to Stay in Chambers

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During the Supreme Court’s oral arguments on the Biden administration’s vaccine or test mandate in certain workplaces earlier this month some court observers noted every justice was masked – except one: Neil Gorsuch. They also noticed that Justice Sonia Sotomayor was participating from her chambers via telephone, while her co-workers were seated as usual on the bench.

“Sotomayor has diabetes, a condition that puts her at high risk for serious illness, or even death, from COVID-19,” NPR reported Tuesday. “Sotomayor did not feel safe in close proximity to people who were unmasked. Chief Justice John Roberts, understanding that, in some form asked the other justices to mask up.”

“They all did,” NPR’s Nina Totemberg noted. “Except Gorsuch, who, as it happens, sits next to Sotomayor on the bench.”

Public outcry was swift, and it includes legal experts:

“As a member of the Supreme Ct bar, I condemn in the strongest terms possible Justice Gorsuch refusing to wear a mask to protect his high risk colleague, Justice Sotomayor, from being killed by Covid,” wrote Richard Signorelli, a civil and criminal litigation attorney and former Asst. U.S. Attorney. “Shame on him.”

Constitutional law scholar and Harvard University Professor Emeritus Laurence Tribe, who has argued before the Supreme Court 36 times, called Justice Gorsuch a “jerk.”

“Gorsuch’s refusal to mask up on the bench even when asked by the Chief Justice to do so in order that the diabetic and hence immunocompromised Justice Sotomayor could attend in person shows just what kind of jerk Gorsuch is,” Tribe tweeted. He added he wished Gorsuch were not an alumnus of Harvard Law.

“Personally, I feel like we’re entitled to expect our Supreme Court justices to be better role models,” wrote former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, now a well-known MSNBC and NBC News legal analyst and law professor. “Or, at least, to have an ounce of decency. Putting on a mask would have cost Gorsuch nothing, but then he didn’t care about risk to front line workers, either,” she noted subtly, after the conservative Court voted 6-3 to block OSHA’s vaccine or test mandate.

USA Today columnist Connie Schultz quoted Dahlia Lithwick, an attorney and author of “Supreme Court Dispatches” and “Jurisprudence,” from Lithwick’s Slate column:

“Gorsuch should be the one who is forced to isolate, not Sotomayor,” notes NBC News and MSNBC Legal Contributor Katie S. Phang.

Legal journalist Cristian Farias, a former New York Times editorial writer last week commented on Gorsuch and his refusal to wear a mask:

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