Members of the far-right Oath Keepers organization seized the opportunity to storm the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 as part of a broader criminal conspiracy to oppose the peaceful transfer of power, a Justice Department prosecutor told jurors during closing arguments in their seditious conspiracy trial on Friday.
“For these defendants, the attack on the Capitol was a means to an end,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathryn Rakoczy told jurors. The defendants were driven by a “sense of entitlement that led to frustration followed by rage and then violence,” Rakoczy said.
…I know it’s a lost cause…but…I wish there were a way to recast the light in which the whole entitled thing plays…because that little causal chain…entitled->frustrated->rage+violence…between that & the subconsciously-blinkered-lack-of-empathy-derived-from-privilege thing…entitlement looks pretty bad as a rule…but up until that became the majority usage “you’re entitled” didn’t used to be a bad thing…you spend a few decades doing the whole 15 tons thing & want to quit & spend some time not having to work before you shuffle off the mortal coil…fair enough…you’re entitled…you want to be treated like a human being complete with a baseline level of dignity & respect that accords you things like fundamental bodily autonomy or an absence of discrimination…why not…you’re entitled…& yet the ever-present surfeit of red-faced pasty-ass rotten-to-their core “apples” out there giving entitlements a bad name apparently won’t be satisfied until that sounds like an argument instead of agreement…& pointless as it may be to…I resent that…& them…obviously
Closing arguments are expected to continue into Monday when the jury will begin deliberating their verdict. Rhodes testified during the trial, as did co-defendants Thomas Caldwell and Jessica Watkins. Kelly Meggs and Kenneth Harrelson did not take the stand.
James Lee Bright, an attorney for Rhodes, repeatedly told the jury that the government has presented no evidence to back up what he called “The Big 3”: “No plan to storm the Capitol. No plan to breach the rotunda. No plan to stop the certification or delay the certification of the election.”
Bright told jurors there was not evidence of a “meeting of the minds” on seditious conspiracy.
Oath Keepers were upset about the results of the 2020 election, but them venting their frustrations to each other doesn’t constitute a conspiracy, Bright argued.
“It was heated rhetoric,” he said. “Horribly heated rhetoric. Bombast. Inappropriate. But that is not indicative of an agreement.”
…you know…locker room talk…& (dumbass white) boys will be boys…what’s the big deal, anyway?
“‘We are not getting through this without a civil war. Prepare your mind body and spirit’ — those were the words of Stewart Rhodes on November 5, 2020, two days after the presidential election,” [Rakoczy] said. “Defendant Rhodes called for war with all of its horrors and all of its violence to oppose the results of a presidential election.”
Evidence showed that the defendants agreed to “use any means necessary, up to and including force, to stop the lawful transfer of presidential power,” she said. “That is a conspiracy.”
The attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6 was just a “means to an end” in support of their larger goal of overturning the election results and stopping Joe Biden from becoming president, she argued.
“Mr. Rhodes told you in his own words he was prepared to start a rebellion the day that president Biden took office,” Rakoczy said, referring back to Rhodes’ testimony in his own defense.
Rakoczy also focused on calls for violence and rebellion in messages sent by the defendants, saying, “that’s just what they put in writing.” The defendants surely discussed more precise plans over the phone and during in-person meetings, she said.
…that’s just what they put in writing
…sure…that’s not an original observation
…but…how about some context?
Joel Greenberg — the Roger Stone and Matt Gaetz associate who pled guilty in May 2021 to trafficking a minor, identity theft, wire fraud, stalking, and conspiracy — will be sentenced on December 1.
…& we know roger the artless dodger was hip-deep in proud boys, oath keepers &…documentary-making witnesses literally wired for sound & visuals…which might be dumber than stringer’s boy, there…but anyway…back to that context
In accordance with a schedule set in July, when Greenberg last extended his sentencing date to expand the time he could cooperate with the government, DOJ submitted its 5K letter (in which it tells the judge how much credit Greenberg should get for his cooperation) on November 10. The government submitted its sentencing memorandum yesterday.[…which would have been nov 15th…you know…for context]
Greenberg’s sentencing memorandum was initially due yesterday as well, but his attorney, Fritz Scheller, got an extension until next Monday, in part so he could submit this response to the 5K letter.
The government sentencing memorandum — which repeatedly seems to express amazement at how Greenberg kept criming even as he realized the government was hot on his trail — is worth reading on its own. Here are some highlights:
The one thing that Greenberg did not do, however, was stop his fraud. Greenberg continued to defraud the Tax Collector’s Office to obtain funds to purchase cryptocurrency for himself. His only reaction to the federal investigation was to alter his scheme.
As part of this scheme, Greenberg continued to sell the cryptocurrency machines that he had purchased with Tax Collector’s Office funds. In addition, Greenberg used some of the machines to mine cryptocurrency for himself. As part of those efforts, Greenberg used Tax Collector’s Office funds to build a server room in his personal office, and he operated some of the machines at the Lake Mary branch. Id. at ¶ 134. Because of how those machines were daisy chained together at the Lake Mary branch, they started a fire that damaged the machines and the branch office.
After he was released on pretrial supervision, Greenberg continued with his scheme, executing an SBA loan agreement for $133,000 only a day after he was ordered by a United States Magistrate Judge not to commit any new offenses.
…anyone else detecting hints of entitlement?
I’m sure Greenberg knows all sorts of things about what his sleazeball buddies have done and shared some of it with prosecutors. But the fact that Greenberg manufactured false allegations against someone would make him really easy to discredit as a witness about anything for which there wasn’t a whole bunch of independent documentation. Prosecutors use fraudsters as cooperating witnesses all the time, but to do so they need a bunch of corroboration, because otherwise jurors aren’t going to believe the claims of someone who confessed to manufacturing false claims for personal gain in the past.
With that said, I wanted to look closer at the sentencing dispute. Greenberg thinks his cooperation has been more valuable than the government has given him credit for. Partly, that’s because he thinks he should get a 4-level reduction for each of what he says are seven prosecutions he has been a part of (or will be as downstream conspiracy prosecutions progress or would have been had the defendant not died), rather than the 10-level reduction the government says he should get for all his cooperation. Partly, he thinks the mandatory 2-year minimum for the identity theft he pled to, which would be consecutive to his other sentence, should be set aside given his cooperation.
[…] In addition, the defendant has provided substantial assistance on other matters discussed in the sealed Supplemental Memorandum Regarding Defendant’s Cooperation.
It’s the “substantial assistance on other matters discussed in the sealed Supplemental Memorandum Regarding Defendant’s Cooperation” we’re all particularly interested in, what, in Greenberg’s response, he calls “an entire universe of malfeasance, corruption, and depravity.”
…remind you of anything?
Most recently, it showed up — with an on the record quote from Scheller boosting the import of Greenberg’s cooperation — in a NYT story on multiple January 6 prosecutors’ investigation of the ties between January 6 and the 2018 Stop the Steal effort.
I hope we’ll get a slew of new titillating new stories about Joel Greenberg’s universe of malfeasance, corruption, and depravity when that sealed cooperation memo is unsealed (or, better yet, if it leads to indictments). But for now, the advent of this sentencing dispute is a helpful reminder that the motives that drive reporting often require overselling the value of the testimony of an admitted fraudster.
…often require overselling the value of things you’re told by a demonstrable fraud…huh…what a coincidence…I just ran across something that sounded a lot like that…what was it?
Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump did not discipline Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg after finding out he’d been cheating on his taxes — and later gave him a raise to make up for the shortfall, the ex-CFO testified Friday.
At the time, he said, the company was cleaning up its business practices because of the extra scrutiny it got after its longtime head, Donald Trump, was elected president of the United States. Trump’s eldest sons took over control of the company following the 2016 presidential election.
Weisselberg acknowledged that he’d used the fact that he was no longer getting perks, like a free apartment and car, to successfully argue for a raise from the Trump brothers, who he’d known since they were children. He said he was given a $200,000 raise in 2019.
“I told them since the practice was no longer going on I would need some additional income to pay for those expenses,” he said.
…allen, it would appear, would like it to be understood that…well…he was entitled…but what’s his testimony worth?
He pleaded guilty in August and agreed to testify truthfully against his employer in return for a five month jail sentence. Had he been convicted at trial, he could have faced a sentence of five to 15 years in prison.
On the witness stand, Weisselberg often seemed to be walking a tightrope between honoring his deal with prosecutors while offering only muted criticisms of his longtime employers.
Weisselberg had also testified Thursday, in his second day on the stand, that the Trumps had not been aware of his schemes or given him permission to commit tax fraud when it was taking place, and that he had “betrayed” the family’s trust in him.
…huh…well…that’s sure curious…he betrayed their trust, he says…the trust of a family notorious for not paying the lawyers defending them personally to the point that it’s a running joke…so…they sure as shit ain’t paying allen a thin…sorry…what, now?
On Friday, he acknowledged the company kept paying him his $1 million even after he was charged in the case and pleaded guilty, and that the company was paying for the lawyers who’ve represented him in this case as well.
…so…still on payroll…& they’re paying for his lawyers while their own keep filing those forlorn invoices…that seems…I dunno…pertinent…but that wasn’t the thing
Twitter CEO Elon Musk said Friday he was bringing back three high-profile accounts that had been suspended for breaking the service’s rules, but he said he hadn’t made a decision about former President Donald Trump’s account.
“Trump decision has not yet been made,” Musk said in a tweet, as Twitter users braced for sweeping changes on the service that Musk bought three weeks ago.
Musk said he was bringing back comedian Kathy Griffin, academic Jordan Peterson and conservative satire site Babylon Bee.
It may be only a matter of time before Musk reinstates Trump. Yoel Roth, a former head of trust and safety at Twitter, wrote in a column in The New York Times on Friday that Trump’s return was a “near-certainty.”
Musk also began laying out a new approach to moderating content, tweeting Friday that he would allow “freedom of speech” but not “freedom of reach.”
As a result, he said, “hate tweets” would be downranked in the platform’s algorithm, but presumably allowed. It was not clear if Musk had made any changes to Twitter’s policies that ban hate speech and harassment.
But leaving up tweets with a message of “hateful conduct” would represent a major change from Twitter’s rule banning such tweets. The existing rule often requires the removal of tweets that contain hate.
…that doesn’t mention the part where he put a poll up on twitter for a should-I-shouldn’t-I on letting the unpresidented dumpster fire back on the platform…but based on that bit towards the end…I’m guessing this thread is probably being buried about as deep as he can have them dig a hole
…it goes on a bit…but…short version…he’s a demonstrable fraud…but weirdly the stuff he says is routinely overvalued…even now…there’s probably entitlement involved
…people have lied about stranger stuff
…& the internet is a lot less opaque than it looks
Sotakoun isn’t a data privacy expert, nor is she experienced in cybersecurity. She is a restaurant server in Chicago who simply loves puzzles. And that’s how she views each of her consensual doxxing subjects — as a kind of logic game.
“Any normie can do this,” said Sotakoun, who goes by notkahnjunior on TikTok.
“I think there’s a level of smugness to everybody when they do comment, like ‘Wait, I genuinely think that you couldn’t find me.’ But people don’t know what kind of social media cracks they have,” she said. “And unfortunately, I think, even being present on the internet, at any moment in your life, you unfortunately will have information there.”
These days, since having gone viral, Sotakoun gets a lot of requests from people to “find them.” But she primarily picks subjects based on accounts that require a more involved search process. Many of her subjects, for example, hide behind partly anonymized TikTok accounts that lack names, videos or profile pictures.
“It doesn’t really matter what you’ve posted, because you have a proud mom somewhere or you have a friend who loves you or you have people who are not as careful about internet security as you, you know?” Sotakoun said. “And that is what I’ll find. … It’s crazy, because if you just interact with something, interact with somebody, not even have to write anything, then that is a way that someone can find you.”
Sotakoun uses only information that is readily and publicly available. Despite speculation by viewers that she pays for public records or uses computer programs to find people, she clarified that she uses only social media and Google. She has been told that her content is reaching data privacy forums. On Twitter, academics praised her for effectively illustrating gaps in social media privacy.
…I guess it’s true what they say…a man oughta know his limitations