Matt Gaetz’s Father Wore Wire for FBI Probe into Extortion Claims


Rep. Matt Gaetz’s (R-FL) father says he wore a wire for an FBI investigation into DOJ extortion claims on more than one occasion in the course of a probe regarding a potential extortion plot both father and son believe was orchestrated by former federal prosecutor David McGee.

“The FBI asked me to try and get that information for Matt and an indication we would transfer money to Mr. David McGee,” Don Gaetz, Matt’s father, said Tuesday without additional information during an interview.

According to Politico, “Don Gaetz said in the interview he wore a wire during a meeting earlier this month with McGee and said he was set to meet Wednesday with Stephen Alford, a local developer who he said is also part of the alleged extortion scheme.”

“During that meeting, Don Gaetz said, he was again set to wear a wire and try to get Alford to talk about payments he allegedly was to make to McGee, but the meeting fell apart when news broke that his son was being investigated by the Justice Department. Alford did not respond to text messages seeking comment,” the report said.

Breitbart News reported Tuesday Matt Gaetz booked an interview on FNC’s Tucker Carlson Tonight to responded to allegations “the Justice Department investigated him over whether he had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl.” Matt Gaetz has denied the allegations, claiming it was due to an extortion scheme, whose ringleader Gaetz named as Pensacola, Florida lawyer David McGee, a former U.S. Attorney.

Matt Gaetz believes the scheme was leaked to The New York Times to “quell” the investigation.

“What was supposed to happen was the transfer of this money that would have implicated the former colleague of these current DOJ officials,” he said. “But that’s obviously not going to happen tomorrow because The New York Times story was leaked in order to quell that investigative effort.”

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U.S. Capitol breach | FBI arrests two, including Roger Stone’s bodyguard


Roberto Minuta breached the Capitol grounds and “aggressively berated and taunted U.S. Capitol police officers” during the Jan 6 insurrection, the FBI said in court papers.

Two men wanted in the deadly riot at the Capitol were arrested over the weekend, including one who reportedly served as a bodyguard to former President Donald Trump’s longtime political confidant Roger Stone, federal authorities said Monday.

Roberto Minuta breached the Capitol grounds and “aggressively berated and taunted U.S. Capitol police officers” during the Jan 6 insurrection, the FBI said in court papers.

Mr. Minuta, 36, of Hackettstown, New Jersey, had been “equipped with military-style attire and gear, including apparel emblazoned with a crest related to the Oath Keepers,” the FBI said, referring to the far-right anti-government militia.

The New York Times identified Mr Minuta as one of six people who provided security to Mr. Stone in the hours before the assault on the Capitol. Stone, whose sentence for several felony charges was commuted by Mr. Trump, was in Washington the day of the assault but has denied any involvement.

Mr. Minuta owns a tattoo shop in Newburgh, New York. It was not immediately known whether he had a defense attorney.

Also arrested over the weekend was Isaac Steve Sturgeon, 32, of Dillon, Montana, who is charged with shoving a metal police barricade into police officers during the insurrection, according to court records.

Authorities said he was identified through body-worn police camera and photographs posted to social media.

The FBI said Sturgeon, who owns a lawn care business, traveled to Kenya on Jan. 24 and was deported from that country to New York. He was arrested Saturday at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

A message was sent to his defense attorney seeking comment.

At least five people, including a Capitol Police officer, died as a result of the violence at the Capitol, and two other officers killed themselves after. More than 300 people have been charged with federal crimes.

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Portrait of a ‘domestic terrorist’, according to the 21st century FBI


by WorldTribune Staff, March 7, 2021 Georgia resident Bruno Joseph Cua, 18, is the youngest of the nearly 300 people the Department of Justice has arrested as part of its investigation into the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. He was arrested on Feb. 5 by FBI agents in Atlanta. A grand jury […]

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State Department aide appointed by Trump stormed the Capitol, FBI says


A former State Department aide in president Donald Trump’s administration has been charged with participating in the deadly siege at the Capitol and assaulting officers who were trying to guard the building, court papers show.

It’s the first known case to be brought against a Trump appointee in the January 6 insurrection, which led to Trump’s historic second impeachment.

Federico Klein, who also worked for Trump’s 2016 campaign, was seen wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat amid the throng of people in a tunnel trying to force their way into the Capitol on January 6, the papers say. Klein pushed his way toward the doors, where, authorities say, “he physically and verbally engaged” with officers trying to keep the mob back.

Klein was seen on camera violently shoving a riot shield into an officer and inciting the crowd as it tried to storm past the police line, shouting, “We need fresh people, we need fresh people,” according to the charging documents.

As the mob struggled with police in the tunnel, Klein pushed the riot shield, which had been stolen from an officer, in between the Capitol doors, preventing police from closing them, authorities say. Eventually, an officer used chemical spray, forcing Klein to move somewhere else, officials say.

Klein was arrested on Thursday, local time, in Virginia and faces charges including obstructing Congress and assaulting officers using a dangerous weapon.

He was in custody on Friday and couldn’t be reached for comment. It was not immediately clear whether he had an attorney who could comment on his behalf. A Trump spokesman said he had no comment.

At least five people died as a result of the violence at the US Capitol on January 6.Credit:AP

At least five people, including a Capitol Police officer, died as a result of the violence. More than 300 people have been charged with federal crimes.

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Declassified FBI document reveals Stefan Halper as ‘confidential human source’ used to frame Flynn


by WorldTribune Staff, February 26, 2021 Stefan Halper, a paid FBI informant, delivered gossip alleging an inappropriate encounter between Michael Flynn and a Russian-born scholar which the FBI used as part of its scheme to frame Flynn in the Trump-Russia collusion saga, a newly declassified document shows. Halper’s gossip of Flynn’s hooking up with Svetlana […]

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Comey email reveals FBI, DOJ made ‘premeditated effort to dislodge’ Trump from office: Gaetz


The Justice Department and FBI engaged in a “premeditated effort to dislodge the duly elected president of the United States,” Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., charged Monday on “Hannity.”

Gaetz was responding to a report published earlier Monday by Just the News which revealed that on Jan. 12, 2017, then-FBI Director James Comey had emailed then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and said that the FBI was “not able to sufficiently corroborate the reporting” in the now-infamous Steele dossier. The email was sent the same day Comey signed a FISA surveillance warrant that declared Steele’s reporting as verified.

“Not only did our own Justice Department set up the president on the Russia hoax, they did it with rotten information and they knew the information was rotten when they did it.”

Despite this new evidence, Gaetz told host Sean Hannity it is unlikely the Biden administration will hold anyone to account.

JASON CHAFFETZ CALLS ON NANCY PELOSI TO ANSWER 13 QUESTIONS ABOUT CAPITOL HILL SECURITY

“You know, I know, and all of the viewers know that there’s not going to be accountability under the Biden Justice Department,” Gaetz alleged, “because none of the career people there think the way to move up in the Biden Justice Department is to expose the Russia hoax. Instead they’re going to be targeting the President [Trump], his family members and the supporters of the America First movement.”

Hannity, Gaetz and former House Oversight Committee chair Jason Chaffetz also discussed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s failure to secure the Capitol ahead of the Jan. 6 riot and the ongoing lockdown in the nation’s Capitol despite the lack of an ongoing threat.

“She’s been charge for years,” said Chaffetz, “She hasn’t learned how to protect herself, members of Congress, the Capitol complex. The National Guard was ready to go, why didn’t those things happen?

“The Speaker is running out of excuses,” Chaffetz added. “She has surrounded the United States Capitol with a fence and a wall, but at the same time Biden and the administration is getting rid of the wall on the Southern border.”

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“Let me caution against leaning too hard into the ‘What did Nancy Pelosi know and when did she know it?’ narrative,” Gaetz warned. “I don’t want to give the Democrats any more of a basis to be able to have this forever occupation of Washington, D.C.”

He added: “We now have a capital city wrapped in barbed wire, crisscrossed in barricades and it is not what our country deserves. So let’s not help Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats build a predicate for that extended occupation.”

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Lawyer for man charged in Capitol riot says he worked for the FBI, had top-secret security clearance


An attorney for Thomas Caldwell, a Virginia resident accused of participating in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, said on Monday that his client is a Navy veteran who has had a top-secret security clearance since 1979, worked as an FBI section chief from 2009 to 2010, and ran a consulting firm that did classified work for the U.S. government.

Caldwell’s lawyer, Thomas Plofchan, wrote about his work history in a motion filed on Monday, which stated that because Caldwell has “been vetted and found numerous times as a person worthy of the trust and confidence of the United States government,” he should be released from jail as he waits for his trial to start.

Authorities have said Caldwell, 66, is a leader of the right-wing Oath Keepers militia group, and helped plan the attack on the Capitol. On Jan. 19, Caldwell was arrested and charged with conspiracy. He denies being involved with the Oath Keepers, and Plofchan said Caldwell is a “100 percent disabled veteran,” and because of his “physical limitation,” could not have forced his way into a building.

The charging documents show that during the attack, Caldwell received messages about lawmakers being “in the tunnels” under the Capitol. After the riot, he also allegedly shared video of the incident on Facebook, saying it was time to “storm the capitol in Ohio.”

More stories from theweek.com
5 brutally funny cartoons about America’s bungled vaccine rollout
Rep. Adam Kinzinger tells his fellow Republicans convicting Trump is ‘necessary to save America’
What’s the point of Trump’s second impeachment trial?

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House Oversight GOP says any FBI probe into Parler ‘role’ in Capitol riot ‘should include’ Facebook, Twitter


EXCLUSIVE: Republicans on the House Oversight Committee said any potential FBI investigation into the “role” Parler played in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot “should include” Facebook and Twitter, calling the recent request for an FBI probe from committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney “evidence” of the “growing alliance between Big Tech and Democrats.”

Committee Ranking Member James Comer, R-Ky., and GOP Rep. Greg Steube, R-Fla., penned a letter to Maloney, D-N.Y., on Monday after she requested that the FBI investigate Parler’s “role” as a “potential facilitator” of planning or inciting the violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6.

PARLER ‘WELCOMES’ FBI INVESTIGATION INTO COMPANY’S ‘ROLE’ IN JANUARY 6 CAPITOL RIOT

“Like you, we were disturbed and angered by the riot and we believe those responsible should be prosecuted to the fullest extend of the law,” they wrote. “But casting blame on a single social media company known for its conservative username while simply ignoring other social media companies known for sympathizing with liberal causes is blatantly and overtly partisan.”

They added: “Moreover, your letter is additional evidence of the growing alliance between Big Tech and Democrats to muzzle certain viewpoints, opinions, and perspectives.”

Comer and Steube said Maloney’s claim that Parler was a “potential facilitator” of planning for the Capitol chaos “completely omits the fact that other social media platforms were also facilitators of the January 6 riot.”

“A cursory search of other social media platforms yields identical, disturbing posts, from across the political spectrum, advocating for a wide swathe of positions, demonizing an equally diverse group of people,” they wrote, pointing to posts found on Facebook and Twitter

The GOP congressmen went on to slam Big Tech companies, claiming Facebook and Twitter “appear to have profited off of the January 6 riot,” citing commentary suggesting “political turmoil drives increased engagement” on social media platforms.

“Rather than limiting its investigation to Parler, then, perhaps the Committee should include Facebook and other social media companies in its request for an investigation into the antecedents of the January 6 Capitol riot,” they wrote.

Comer and Steube added: “Of course, doing so may upset Big Tech, which in turn could turn off the spigot of campaign contributions to Democrats.”

The Republicans pointed to Big Tech donations to Democratic candidates during the 2020 election cycle.

HOUSE OVERSIGHT DEMS DEMAND FBI PROBE INTO PARLER ROLE IN CAPITOL RIOT

“During the 2020 election cycle Facebook employees contributed over $5 million in federal elections—92.79% of which went to Democrats,” they said, citing Open Secrets. “Twitter employees were even more generous to Democrats, with 98.41% of all federal contributions in the 2020 cycle going to Democrats.”

“While Facebook, Twitter, and Parler seem to all share blame in allowing their platforms to be used to plan for the January 6 riot, one main difference between the three platforms is that Parler is the only one that hasn’t given generously to the Democrats,” they said.

Comer and Steube went on to call Maloney’s request for an FBI investigation into Parler “a transparently political ploy taking advantage of the tragedy that occurred on January 6 to shut down speech Democrats dislike.”

“Perhaps more disturbing is a Silicon Valley willing to oblige these impulses,” they wrote. “We request you amend your request for an FBI investigation to include Facebook and Twitter and the roles those companies played to contribute to the January 6 riot.”

Meanwhile, Maloney sent a letter to the FBI last week requesting that the bureau also review whether Parler facilitated planning for the riot and questioned whether it is “a potential conduit for foreign governments who may be financing civil unrest in the United States.”

Maloney pointed to a number of individuals who have been arrested and charged with threatening violence against elected officials or for their role in participating directly in the Capitol riot and said the Justice Department alleged that some conspirators posted threatening messages on Parler.

“It is clear that Parler houses additional evidence critical to investigations of the attack on the Capitol,” Maloney wrote.

In her letter, Maloney went on to point to questions raised about “Parler’s financing and its ties to Russia.”

The intelligence community has warned, repeatedly, that Russia, as well as other adversaries, have used social media and other measures “to sow discord in the United States and interfere with our democracy.”

“The company was founded by John Matze shortly after he traveled to Russia with his wife, who is Russian and whose family reportedly has ties to the Russian government,” Maloney wrote, adding that “concerns about the company’s connections to Russia have grown” since the company “re-emerged on a Russian hosting service, DDos-Guard, after being denied services by Amazon Web Services.”

PARLER CEO BARRED FROM PLATFORM BACKEND: ‘WE DON’T HAVE ANY MORE ACCESS’

Maloney said DDos-Guard “has ties to the Russian government and hosts the websites of other far-right extremist groups, as well as the terrorist group Hamas.”

Comer and Steube slammed Maloney for discussing Matze’s travel, calling it an “irrelevant” and “offensive.”

“It is neither illegal nor suspect to either travel to Russia or have a Russian spouse,” they wrote. “After four years of peddling bogus—and later disproven—conspiracy theories about Russia, Committee Democrats are now resorting to outright xenophobia to deride both conservatives and social media platforms not approved by Democrats.”

Maloney’s letter to the FBI last week also added that her committee would conduct its own investigation of the matters and requested a meeting with FBI officials on the status and scope of its review “consistent with protecting the integrity of law enforcement efforts on this front.” 

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Parler was removed from Google Play and the Apple App Store following the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. Soon after, Amazon Web Services also disconnected Parler from its servers.

Meanwhile, Parler COO Jeffrey Wernick responded to Maloney’s call for an FBI probe, saying the company “welcomes” a “robust examination of our policies and actions” by the bureau.

“Like other social-media platforms, we have been cooperating and will continue to cooperate with law-enforcement efforts to identify and prosecute those individuals responsible for organizing and carrying out the shameless Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

“Parler welcomes Rep. Maloney’s call to have the Federal Bureau of Investigation conduct a robust examination of our policies and actions,” Wernick said.

Fox News’ Brian Flood contributed to this report. 

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FBI hunt for woman accused of stealing Nancy Pelosi’s laptop to sell to the Russians


Williams’ mother, who lives with her in Harrisburg, told ITV reporters that her daughter had taken a sudden interest in President Donald Trump’s politics and “far-right message boards”. Her father, who lives in Camp Hill, told local law enforcement that he and his daughter went to Washington on the day of the protest but didn’t stay together, meeting up later to return to Harrisburg, the FBI said.

FBI officials said they believe Williams “has fled”. Her mother told local law enforcement that she packed a bag and left, saying she would be gone for a couple of weeks. She also changed her phone number and deleted a number of social media accounts, the FBI said. Court documents don’t list a lawyer for her.

But the FBI have arrested a heavy metal guitarist who is accused of spraying police officers with a pepper-based bear spray irritant.

Jon Schaffer, guitarist with heavy metal band Iced Earth, turned himself in after seeing his face on a wanted poster.

Jon Ryan Schaffer turned himself in Sunday after he was featured on an FBI poster seeking the public’s help in identifying rioters, said Chris Bavender, a spokeswoman for the FBI’s Indianapolis office. He has been charged with several felony counts, including engaging in an act of physical violence and knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful entry.

It wasn’t immediately known if Schaffer, a member of the band Iced Earth, had a lawyer who could speak on his behalf and online federal court records Monday didn’t yet list his case.

The Indianapolis Star reported that Schaffer had been sought after, according to a federal statement about his case, he was seen in photographs and on video “engaging in verbal altercations with Capitol Police inside the Capitol building” and holding a container of bear spray.

Schaffer is a supporter of President Donald Trump and has voiced various conspiracy theories, once telling a German news station that a shadowy criminal enterprise is trying to run the world under a communist agenda and that he and others are prepared to fight with violence.

According to a statement filed in federal court by an FBI agent, Schaffer “has long held far-right extremist views”. The statement said that: “During an interview in 2017, Schaffer … referred to the federal government as a ‘criminal enterprise’. During that same interview, Schaffer stated that the 2016 presidential election was ‘rigged.’”

Four of Schaffer’s “Iced Earth” bandmates put out a statement on Instagram and Facebook condemning the violence that rioters were involved in, saying: “We hope that all those involved that day are brought to justice to be investigated and answer for their actions.”

Federal charges of assault, destruction of government property and obstruction were also laid against 24-year-old Colorado man Robert Gieswein, who is alleged to have attacked US Capitol police with a spray cannister and a baseball bat.

Gieswein appears affiliated with a radical militia group known as the Three Percenters, which advocates for resistance to government policies it believes infringe on individual rights, according to the affidavit, and runs a private paramilitary training group he calls the Woodland Wild Dogs.

AP, Bloomberg

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US politics live updates: Donald Trump speaks at border wall as FBI warns of ‘hundreds’ of cases to come from Capitol attacks



Joint Chiefs of Staff issue statement condemning violence, confirming Biden’s election

For those not super familiar with the US military, the Joint Chiefs of Staff are the absolute top dogs from all of the various arms of the US military. The kind of generals with more medals than chest to pin it on you see sat around big rounds tables in Hollywood movies when they’re discussing how Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum will save the earth from an alien invasion.

Today they’ve issued a letter calling what happened on January 6 a “direct attack on the US Congress, the Capitol building, and our Constitutional process”.

“We witness actions inside the Capitol building that were inconsistent with the rule of law. The rights of freedom of speech and assembly do not give anyone the right to violence, sedition and insurrection,” the letter says.

The statement also has this paragraph:

“On January 20, 2021, in accordance with the constitution, confirmed by the states and the courts, and certified by Congress, President-elect Biden will be inaugurated and will become our 46th Command in Chief.”

Apologies for the quality of the letter, but you can see the full statement below.

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