PatriotNews , 2023-03-16 14:37:55
Investigations into the Capitol Insurrection
The U.S. House Select Committee on the Events Surrounding the 2021 Attack on the Capitol released a trove of interview transcripts this Wednesday containing testimonies from four right-wing, Texas-based figures.The witnesses were Bianca Gracia, leader of Latino’s for Trump; Alex Jones, the conspiracy theorist; Stewart Rhodes, militia leader recently convicted of seditious conspiracy; and James P. Waldron, retired U.S. Army colonel and information warfare specialist.
Refusal to Answer Questions
Most of the witnesses refused to answer the committee’s questions about the lead-up to the Capitol attack. One such witness, Rhodes, founder of the extreme right-wing Oath Keepers militia, offered accounts about his group’s past activities in Texas but declined to answer questions pertaining to January 6th.
Recommendation for Criminal Prosecution
The Committee’s Final Hearing on Monday brought forth recommendations for the Department of Justice to criminally prosecute former President Trump, his legal adviser Eastman, and other figures involved in the insurrection, social media disinformation campaign, and the attempted undermining of the 2020 presidential election’s certification. Charges include obstruction of an official proceeding, conspiracy to make a false statement, and aiding insurrectionists.
Background on Stewart Rhodes
Rhodes, who lived in Granbury, was found guilty last month of seditious conspiracy and obstructing an official proceeding. Prior to the January 6th attack, he had been promoting the idea of a civil war and was actively recruiting members to his group. At it’s peak, Rhodes claimed the Oath Keepers had a membership of around 40,000. He also mentioned Hood County Constable John Shirley as a member, who had been with the group for over ten years before leaving in 2020. Also mentioned was Granbury attorney Kellye SoRelle, who was arrested in Junction and indicted on several charges, including destruction and hiding of evidence related to the Capitol attack that day.
Eastman and Jones
Eastman’s testimonies included questions about whether he’d ever clerked for Texas Senator Ted Cruz. Eastman plead the Fifth for almost all questions, including one about communications he had with Cruz regarding efforts to change the 2020 election’s outcome. Jones, based out of Austin, is known for his dissemination of misinformation regarding the “Stop the Steal” movement and sought immunity prior to his subpoena. He answered only one question, which was in regards to a conversation he had with former Trump adviser and Republican strategist Roger Stone. Jones was critical of Rep. Adam Schiff before his lawyer intervened.
Waldron and Garret Miller
Waldron, a Dripping Springs resident and retired Army colonel who specialized in information warfare, was asked about communications he had with White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows after the election. On the eve of the riot, he had reportedly briefed several members of Congress on election fraud theories and created a PowerPoint presentation for Republican members. Also mentioned was Garret Miller, of Richardson, who was motivated to bring a gun to the Capitol after Trump’s rhetoric. According to Miller, he believed he was “following the instructions of former President Trump and he was my president.”
The last witness was Bianca Gracia, head of Latinos for Trump. During the “Stop the Steal” rally, Gracia was seen in a video meeting with Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio and Rhodes. After the failed rally, Gracia ran as a Republican for Texas’ 11th Senate District, which she lost during the 2022 primary race. According to the transcript, she plead the Fifth to nearly all questions except for her address.
The Committee’s recommendation is largely symbolic, as the Department of Justice has the final say in investigations. The Committee plans to release its full report this week. The insight it offered in the testimonies of these four Texas-based figures brings new light to the investigation of the Capitol attack and those involved.