A Comprehensive Guide to Those Responsible for the January 6 Insurrection

This primer also explains, in detail, how and why the attack on the Capitol occurred.

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The Department of Justice calls the FBI investigation into the January 6 assault on the United States Capitol one of the largest criminal probes in American history. One of the reasons the investigation is so historically vast and complex is that it encompasses five discrete yet overlapping classes of potential criminal defendants.

This article details those five classes, establishes the key intersections between each, identifies a small number of key events in the lead-up to the insurrection, and presents an overarching narrative—confirmed by both testimonial and documentary evidence—of how the insurrection occurred.

The Five Classes of Insurrectionists


The Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, Three Percenters, Boogaloo Bois, QAnoners, and 8kun (an online community of trolls) all had a significant presence at the Capitol on January 6, as well as a patchwork of lesser-known entities that included smaller white supremacist organizations, militias, independently operating trolls from the internet, and heterogeneous breeds of conspiracy theorist. The FBI has already arrested many members of these groups, particularly the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers—not coincidentally, the groups with the most contact with several of the other classes of insurrectionists listed below—and charged some of them, even, with conspiracy.

At present, it looks like as many as 100 of the anticipated 420 January 6 defendants will ultimately hail from this group. Proof has already reported on most of the nineteen current Proud Boy defendants, and the Wall Street Journal has an excellent summary of the 30- to 40-person Oath Keeper plot to murder all of Congress. It appears that the QAnoners and 8kun trolls did not coordinate with other groups with any degree of seriousness, though many of them—for instance, the so-called “QAnon Shaman”—nevertheless breached the Capitol and committed various crimes therein.

At present, every January 6 defendant comes from the “paramilitary” group. the DOJ and FBI have made no arrests—or even apparently executed search warrants upon—any individuals from any of the four insurrectionist groups following this one. The evidence published by major media and DOJ thus far suggests that individuals in the “paramilitary” category were planning for January 6, in some cases even training for January 6, longer than the members of any other group. Their crimes were also the easiest to detect, as they in many instances involved property damage or violence rather than inchoate or collaborative crimes. Those paramilitary leaders who did not breach the Capitol themselves, such as the leader of the Oath Keepers—who seems to have coordinated events from outside—have not yet been arrested.

Paramilitaries: Key Names

Stewart Rhodes, leader of the Oath Keepers; Oath Keeper members Joshua James, Roberto Minuta, Jessica Watkins, Donovan Crowl, Thomas Caldwell, Sandra Parker, Bennie Parker, Graydon Young, Laura Steele, Kelly Meggs, Connie Meggs, and Kenneth Harrelson; Enrique Tarrio, leader of the Proud Boys; Ethan Nordean, “sergeant-at-arms” of the Proud Boys; state- and city-level Proud Boy leaders, including Joe Biggs, Nicholas Ochs, Charles Donohoe, and Zach Rehl; Proud Boys members Christopher Worrell, William Chrestman, Louis Enrique Colon, Christopher Kuehne, Cory Konold, Felicia Konold, Dominic Pezzola, William Pepe; and Jake Angeli (a.k.a. Jacob Chansley), the “QAnon Shaman.”

Paramilitaries: Ten Key Contacts and Associations

{Note: all summaries based on prior, fully sourced Proof reporting.}

  1. Donald Trump told the Proud Boys to “stand by” at a 2020 presidential debate, in reference to how he would want them to react in the event of an election dispute.

  2. Roger Stone has used the Proud Boys as his “personal army”, per the Daily Beast, and has personally endorsed and befriended Nicholas Ochs.

  3. On January 5, Stone was guarded by Oath Keepers who later stormed the Capitol.

  4. Ali Alexander coordinates with Proud Boys, especially the Arizona Proud Boys.

  5. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has been photographed with Joe Biggs at Trump International Hotel.

  6. Jake Angeli (Jacob Chansley) attended post-election Stop the Steal rallies, then counter-protested one—per Alexander—when he wasn’t allowed to speak at it.

  7. Alex Jones has regularly interviewed and attempted to mainstream both the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys.

  8. Roger Stone, like Ethan Nordean, is confirmed by hard evidence to have engaged in fundraising efforts for paramilitary forces headed to Washington for January 6.

  9. Enrique Tarrio entered the White House in December 2020, in an event that both Tarrio and Trumop’s team appear to have lied about without further explanation.

  10. Jessica Watkins was in Trump’s VIP area before his White House Ellipse speech.

Grassroots Organizations

This category includes at least six grassroots organizations (Stop the Steal, Women for Trump, Latinos for Trump, Students for Trump, Jericho March, and Women for America First, this last an outgrowth of Women for Trump) as well as a number of pro-Trump PACs or nonprofits (among them Save America PAC, America First Policies, and the Council for National Policy) that were involved in planning, funding, promoting, and/or coordinating the events of January 6.

This group includes “tens of thousands” (Associated Press) of Trump supporters—not, as claimed by various potential defendants and Trump allies, “over a million”—organized by these efforts to descend on Washington on January 5 and January 6.

So many of the leaders of these grassroots organizations and pro-Trump PACs are closely linked to the Trump campaign—indeed, in some instances, as discussed below, these entities actually gave over control of their operations to agents of the Trump campaign in the lead-up to the insurrection—and in other instances the heads of these entities had so directly worked for the former president himself in the past that to arrest any of them would be to immediately bring the January 6 probe to the doorstep of the former president. This looks to be something the FBI and DOJ are loath to do.

Grassroots Organizations: Key names

Roger Stone, Alex Jones, and Ali Alexander, the leaders of the Stop the Steal “movement”; Steve Bannon, former Trump campaign manager and the chief outside advocate and cheerleader for Stop the Steal (having created a popular Stop the Steal Facebook group immediately after the 2020 election); Michael Flynn, former Trump National Security Advisor and a member of the religious non-profit organization Jericho March; Charlie Kirk, leader of Students for Trump and Turning Point USA; Bianca Gracia, leader of Latinos for Trump; Rose Tennet, leader of Women for Trump; Amy Kremer and Kylie Jane Kremer, leaders of Women for America First; Linda McMahon, former Trump administration Small Business Administration Head and Chair of America First Policies; Cindy Chafian, Women for America First; Julie Jenkins Fancelli, Stop the Steal (and Trump) donor; and Owen Shroyer of InfoWars.

Grassroots Organizations: Ten Key Contacts and Associations

{Note: all summaries based on prior, fully sourced Proof reporting.}

  1. Roger Stone has been a friend and political adviser of Donald Trump for 30 years.

  2. Steve Bannon has regularly platformed Roger Stone via his media operations.

  3. Steve Bannon was Trump’s campaign CEO in 2016, and became his top political adviser between Election Day in 2020 and Insurrection Day in 2021.

  4. Cindy Chafian, Amy Kremer, and Kyle Jane Kremer saw their organizations effectively commandeered by the Trump campaign in December 2020 (see below).

  5. Ali Alexander was in touch with top Trump campaign aides on the evening of January 5 and throughout the events of January 6 (see below).

  6. Alex Jones and Ali Alexander spent much of the latter half of December 2020 barnstorming Georgia for political events, and were together for most of the day on January 6.

  7. Donald Trump has regularly retweeted and otherwise endorsed and promoted the political advocacy and organizing of Charlie Kirk. Kirk sent several buses of students to the January 6 Ellipse event via his organization, and has used his operation to host insurrectionist speakers from in and out of the U.S. Congress.

  8. Flynn and Stone received pardons from Trump shortly before beginning to work on illegally extending his presidency.

  9. Alex Jones interviewed Flynn at length on January 5. Flynn thereafter spoke at a January 5 Stop the Steal event and may have attended a secret January 5 meeting at Trump International Hotel (see below).

  10. Michael Flynn took the “QAnon Oath” on camera alongside friends and family.

The Trump Campaign

Officially, the 2020 Trump campaign began dissolving shortly after the 2020 election, but a sufficient number of loyalists and dead-enders remained to seek to assist Trump in overturning the November election. Many of these individuals had longstanding ties to the Trump family, the Trump administration, or a past Trump political campaign.

Following the November 2020 election, Trump effectively ceased governing the United States—obsessed, per major-media reporting by Axios and others, with just one topic: overturning the results of the 2020 election, whose outcome was about to strip him of his immunity from criminal prosecution. Trump’s legal team became, for all intents and purposes, an extension of his 2020 campaign.

Beginning in mid-December 2020, Trump and his political team commandeered a series of peaceful protests planned by grassroots pro-Trump organizations for late December 2020 and early January 2021. These events were quickly moved to January 6 and consolidated on the order of Trump and his political team. Whereas many of the grassroots activists incited by Trump following his election loss earnestly believed that Trump still had a pathway to victory on January 6—and that the November election had been stolen—Trump, in private, did not. The former president therefore designed January 6 to be a day of rage and chaos inconsistent with the designs of grassroots Trump supporters (for the simple reason that those supporters still believed that a last-minute intervention by Vice President Mike Pence or Congress; a sudden revelation about Joe Biden and the Democratic Party based upon secret investigations Trump and his team had purportedly been conducting for years; or the imposition of martial law by Trump in the waning days of his first term, would extend his presidency). In contrast, by January 6, Trump knew he had lost the election, and knew why he had lost the election, as Axios reports Trump had been well-prepared for the “red shift data” he and the nation ultimately encountered after in-person returns came in on Election Day.

Trump and his team thereafter altered the events scheduled for January 6 in a way they knew or had a legal duty to know would cause chaos. This chaos suited the anger felt by Trump over being on the doorstep of losing all his political power. The alterations made by the Trump campaign to the planned grassroots events aimed at peacefully protesting his election loss ensured that January 6 would devolve into an insurrection.

Trump Campaign: Key names

Donald Trump; Donald Trump Jr.; Eric Trump; Lara Trump, wife of Eric Trump and possible 2022 candidate for the U.S. Senate from North Carolina; Ivanka Trump; Jared Kushner; Kimberly Guilfoyle, presidential adviser and girlfriend of Donald Trump Jr.; Katrina Pierson, 2016 Trump campaign spokeswoman and 2020 Trump campaign adviser, assigned by Trump pre-insurrection to be a liaison between the White House and grassroots organizations; Brian Jack, the White House political director; Anthony Ornato, former presidential detail head at the Secret Service and White House Chief of Operations on January 6; Mark Meadows, Trump’s chief of staff; Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney; Sidney Powell, Joe diGenova, and Victoria Toensing, three top Trump legal advisers; Jenna Ellis, 2020 Trump campaign attorney; Corey Lewandowski, 2016 Trump campaign manager; David Bossie, 2016 Trump deputy campaign manager; Tim Unes, 2016 Trump campaign Deputy Director of Advance and founder of Event Strategies (the production vendor for the March to Save America); Paul Manafort, 2016 Trump campaign manager and executive with Tim Unes’s Event Strategies); Caroline Wren, National Finance Consultant for the 2020 Trump campaign, “VIP advisor” on the Women for America First rally permit, political aide to Kimberly Guilfoyle, and employee of Trump Victory, a Trump-RNC partnership; Maggie Mulvaney, Director of Finance Operations for the 2020 Trump campaign, niece of former Trump chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, and “VIP lead” on the Women for America First rally permit; Justin Caporale, 2020 Trump campaign aide, former top aide to First Lady Melania Trump, and Project Manager for the March to Save America; Hannah Salem, Director of Press Advance for the 2020 Trump campaign, former Special Assistant to the President, and Operations Manager for the March to Save America; Arina Grossu, Outreach Coordinator for the Trump administration Department of Health and Human Services’ “Religious Freedom Office”; Kayleigh McEnany, White House press secretary; Adam Piper, Executive Director of the Republican Attorneys General Association; Peter Navarro, top presidential adviser; Charles W. Herbster, National Chairman of Trump’s Agricultural and Rural Advisory Committee, a Trump donor, and a candidate for Governor of Nebraska; Pastor Mark Burns, a 2016 Trump campaign surrogate; and State Rep. Vernon Jones (D-GA), a 2020 Trump campaign surrogate.

Trump Campaign: Ten Contacts and Associations

{Note: all summaries based on prior, fully sourced Proof reporting.}

  1. Caroline Wren commandeered the Women for America First operation after its initial announcement that it would hold a pro-Trump rally prior to January 6.

  2. Katrina Pierson cut the Stop the Steal organizers out of certain events just prior to Trump’s speech at the Ellipse, and removed certain safeguards intended to ensure that the post-speech march did not become violent or lead to a Capitol breach. {Note: However, the pre-event literature for the January 6 “Wild Protest” suggests the event was supposed to happen on the Capitol steps, contradicting Ali Alexander’s claim, below, that a “One Nation Under God” event that matches the description of the “Wild Protest” was supposed to happen on Lot 8, well away from the Capitol steps. Per videos in the ProPublica January 6 video archive, Alexander and Alex Jones are on camera on Insurrection Day directing rioters to the front of the Capitol for a peaceful event at which they said the President of the United States would be speaking; Capitol Hill Lot 8 is not located where the two men were directing the insurrectionists.}

  3. Sidney Powell represented and negotiated a pardon for Michael Flynn.

  4. Arina Grossu cofounded Jericho March, a group to which Michael Flynn belongs.

  5. Trump pardoned Manafort shortly before Manafort and Unes’s Event Strategies began assisting his campaign to coordinate the logistics for his Ellipse speech.

Independent Agitators and Enablers

Trump’s brand of personal and professional corruption has always attracted a bizarre swarm of persons that includes dissolute grifters, deranged ideologues, and foreign agents—essentially, unscrupulous but sufficiently well-resourced people who see in Trump a means of advancing their fringe designs with relative impunity. If the actions of the paramilitary foot-soldiers Trump exploited on January 6 were primarily enabled, in the first instance, by decisions made by the Trump campaign, members of Congress (see below), and grassroots pro-Trump activists, the small class of insurrectionists here called “independent agitators and enablers” operated at a significantly lower level of visibility, greasing the wheels of insurrection in far-flung regions of the insurrection mechanism—ones that otherwise might have failed their purpose on Insurrection Day.

Some of these individuals simply whipped Trump supporters into a frenzy for their own eldritch purposes, whether pecuniary or personal or political or professional. Others were radical ideologues seeking to advance fringe causes. Still others were well-heeled conspiracy theorists with political and/or financial incentives behind their advocacy for anti-social paradigms. Some may have been simply “useful idiots.” At least one was a foreign agent backing Trump to advance his family’s interests in Brazil.

Independent Agitators and Enablers: Key Names

Michael Lindell, MyPillow CEO; Patrick Byrne, former Overstock CEO; Daniel Beck, Txtwire and Combat Armor Defense CEO; George Papadopoulos, 2016 Trump campaign national security adviser, author, and failed House candidate; Joe Flynn, brother of Michael Flynn; Lin Wood, Georgia attorney; Rogan O’Handley, MAGA influencer; Ineithia Lynnette Hardaway (a.k.a “Diamond”) and Herneitha Rochelle Hardaway Richardson (a.k.a. “Silk”), MAGA influencers; Nick Fuentes, unaffiliated white supremacist; Eduardo Bolsonaro, son of Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro; Phil Waldron, a self-described national security expert who is an associate of, and aide to, Rudy Giuliani; Sal Greco, an NYPD officer who is a friend and bodyguard for Roger Stone; Doyle Beck and Layne Bangerter, influential GOP county officials from Idaho; Gab, a far-right social media platform; Parler, a since widely banned far-right social media platform.

Independent Agitators and Enablers: Ten Key Contacts and Associations

{Note: all summaries based on prior, fully sourced Proof reporting.}

  1. Eduardo Bolsonaro is a Trump family friend and longtime Steve Bannon associate who visited the White House on January 5 and January 8, the first time (at a minimum) meeting with Ivanka Trump, and the second time meeting with (at a minimum) Jared Kushner.

  2. Rogan O’Handley attended a meeting at the White House with an unknown group of individuals, and immediately thereafter appeared on-stage at a Stop the Steal event with Ali Alexander. O’Handley had previously been invited to the White House, during the Trump administration, for a “social media summit.”

  3. Rogan O’Handley appeared with Donald Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle at a Trump campaign event in Tampa in October 2020. He also attended a 2019 event where he spoke alongside Steve Bannon and Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), who attended Trump’s December 21, 2020 White House strategy session (see below).

  4. Michael Lindell attended the January 5 Trump International Hotel meeting (see below), as well as an Oval Office meeting in the last few days of the Trump administration in which he presented Trump a plan to impose martial law.

  5. Patrick Byrne was photographed in the VIP area of Trump’s January 5 Ellipse speech and attended a December 18, 2020 meeting in the Oval Office (see below).

  6. Daniel Beck attended the January 5 Trump International Hotel meeting and owns a Brazilian factory in the Brazilian city represented by Eduardo Bolsonaro. His father, Doyle Beck, also attended the January 5 meeting—as did, it appears, Doyle Beck’s longtime friend within the Idaho Republican Party, Layne Bangerter.

  7. Donald Trump publicly endorsed George Papadopoulos’ book about the Trump-Russia scandal, as well as his former aide’s unsuccessful Congressional campaign.

  8. Joe Flynn spoke at the January 5 Rally to Save America, an event at which Rogan O’Handley, Roger Stone, Alex Jones, Ali Alexander, George Papadopoulos, Patrick , and many other individuals listed in this article also spoke.

  9. Lin Wood is an associate and acquaintance of Sidney Powell, and become infamous in part by issuing threats against Vice President Mike Pence on Parler.

  10. Nick Fuentes attended Stop the Steal events with Ali Alexander and Alex Jones.

Members of Congress

Trump’s GOP allies in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives did not directly participate in the January 6 insurrection, but nevertheless issued public rhetoric and engaged in actions in their official capacity as members of Congress that helped inspire the false belief that the 2020 election had been stolen—and that with sufficient pressure on Congress on and before January 6, the election result might be overturned.

These individuals repeatedly gave aid and comfort to insurrectionists in both word and deed. It remains under federal investigation whether these deeds extended to actually helping insurrectionists conduct reconnaissance tours of the U.S. Capitol before it was attacked. Many individuals listed below attended pre-January 6 strategy sessions with the president and his top advisers, while other spoke at Stop the Steal events and (in a few rare instances) arguably directly incited violence with their irresponsible rhetoric.

While one could surely add to the list below the approximately 150 House Republicans who voted to overturn the 2020 presidential election, and all of the small cadre of GOP senators who did so, for the purposes of this summation of the insurrection only those members of Congress currently known to have actively—with more than their votes—helped in the planning and orchestration of the January 6 insurrection are listed here.

Members of Congress: Key Names

Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ); Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ); Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL); Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC); Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO); Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA); Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH); Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA); Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX); Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX); Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO); Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL); and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI).

Members of Congress: Ten Key Contacts and Associations

{Note: all summaries based on prior, fully sourced Proof reporting.}

  1. Ali Alexander has called Paul Gosar a friend, an ally, and the “spirit animal” of the Stop the Steal “movement.” Alexander also declared, in a video, that he had “plotted” the events of January 6 in advance with the assistance of Gosar, Andy Biggs, and Mo Brooks.

  2. Mo Brooks and Madison Cawthorn spoke shortly before then-president Trump at the January 6 Stop the Steal event at the White House Ellipse. Mo Brooks’ speech is considered by many to have been an act of criminal incitement.

  3. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Jim Jordan, Andy Biggs, Jody Hice, and several others listed above attended the December 21, 2020 meeting at the White House with Trump and Vice President Mike Pence (see below).

  4. Rudy Giuliani and Donald Trump both attempted to contact Tommy Tuberville during the insurrection—accidentally getting Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, instead—trying to convince him to fraudulently contest four more states than the six states Trump’s Congressional ally Mo Brooks had already committed to contesting. {Note: Giuliani and Trump knew that approximately three hours total of debate and administrative wrangling is attached—by rule—to each objection, so ten objections would be needed to ensure that Congress could not finish its joint session on January 6, but would instead have to adjourn. This might’ve allowed for the “ten-day” investigation of 2020 ballots that Trump, Giuliani, and the Stop the Steal movement were all seeking.}

  5. Josh Hawley gave a “thumbs up” of encouragement to a crowd of soon-to-be insurrectionists outside the U.S. Capitol as he made his way into the building.

  6. Donald Trump now appears to be backing Mo Brooks’ plan to run for the open United States Senate seat in Alabama.

  7. Tommy Tuberville was at the January 5 Trump International Hotel meeting, but has provably lied about every component of the meeting and his attendance at it.

  8. All of the senators above have pushed the “Big Lie” that Trump won the 2020 presidential election.

  9. Paul Gosar, Mo Brooks, and Lauren Boebert are under investigation by two Congressional committees to determine if they gave illicit pre-insurrection tours that acted as reconnaissance missions for intended insurrectionists.

  10. Per Daniel Beck, at least two other—as yet unnamed—U.S. senators attended the January 5 meeting in Trump’s “private residence” at Trump International Hotel.

Key Events

December 17, 2020

Former Trump National Security Advisor Michael Flynn goes on Newsmax to propose that Trump seize voting machines in states around the country, impose martial law, and use the U.S. military to orchestrate new elections in battleground states he lost.

December 18, 2020

Axios reports that just a day after advocating martial law on Newsmax, Flynn and his attorney Sidney Powell storm into the White House without anyone being aware they’d made an appointment to meet with the president. What ensues is an hours-long, wildly contentious meeting that includes all of the following individuals:

  • Of those who entered the White House on an invitation of unknown origin: Flynn; Powell; Patrick Byrne; and Emily Newman (former White House liaison to the Department of Health and Human Services, former Director of the Office of Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs at the Department of Homeland Security, and former chief of the United States Agency for Global Media).

  • Of those who attended the meeting as part of their normal White House duties: Eric Herschmann, White House senior adviser; Pat Cipollone, White House counsel (called into the meeting by Herschmann); Matt Morgan, Trump campaign lawyer (proposed as a speakerphone addition to the meeting by Herschmann); and Derek Lyons, White House staff secretary (summoned to the meeting by “Trump’s [unnamed by Axios] personal assistant”—and thus, possibly, at Trump’s request).

  • Of those who attended meeting at Trump’s explicit request and orchestration: Robert O’Brien, Trump’s National Security Advisor (put on speakerphone by Trump); Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer (put on speakerphone by Trump); and Mark Meadows, Trump’s chief of staff (put on speakerphone by Trump).

The purpose of the meeting was to allow Powell, Flynn, Byrne, and Newman an opportunity to convince Trump that (1) “Dominion Voting Systems had rigged their machines to flip votes from Trump to Biden, and that it was part of an international communist plot [involving Venezuela, Iran, China, and other nations] to steal the election for the Democrats”; (2) he should “declare[ ] a national security emergency [and] grant [Powell’s] cabal top-secret security clearances and us[e] the United States government to seize Dominion’s voting machines”; (3) the judges who had dismissed his post-election lawsuits were all corrupt, so in any case he “hadn’t ‘lost’ the 60-odd [post-election] court cases, since the cases were mostly dismissed for lack of standing and [Powell] had never had the chance to present [her] evidence”; (4) “neither [the FBI nor the DOJ] could be trusted”, so “Trump needed to fire the leadership [of both entities] and get in new people he could trust”; and (5) “the National Emergencies Act and a Trump executive order from 2018 that was designed to clear the way for the government to sanction foreign actors interfering in U.S. elections….[were] key to unlocking extraordinary powers for Trump to stay in office beyond January 20.”

Per Axios, the president was intrigued by Powell’s argument, and seemed inclined to pursue the course Powell and Flynn were urging—despite vociferous objections from everyone he had personally called into the meeting.

December 19, 2020

Trump tweets for the first time about a January Stop the Steal event, writing that “[it is] statistically impossible [for me] to have lost the 2020 election”, then trumpeting a “big protest in D.C. on January 6.” “Be there, will be wild!” he adds.

Trump had first tweeted his support for the Stop the Steal movement a week earlier, touting an event at which Flynn had spoken by writing, on December 12, 2020, “Wow! Thousands of people forming in Washington (D.C.) for Stop the Steal. Didn’t know about this, but I’ll be seeing them! #MAGA.” Trump’s December 12 tweet about Stop the Steal had occurred on the same day that the national leader of the Stop the Steal-linked Proud Boys, Enrique Tarrio, visited the White House as part of what Tarrio claimed was a “last minute invite.”

According to Axios, “The White House refutes the invitation and states Tarrio did not meet with Trump, but does not explain how [the Proud Boy would have] passed screening for a public tour.”

December 21, 2020

Trump convenes a series of White House meetings with members of Congress that last at least three hours and focus on his political team’s plans for January 6, 2021.

Attendees, besides the president himself and Vice President Pence, include Giuliani, Brooks, Gosar, Biggs, Greene, Jordan, Gohmert, Hice, and Biggs. Brooks will call it “a back-and-forth concerning the planning and strategy for January the 6th.” The meetings are only supposed to last for an hour, but go more than three times longer; Brooks says he organized the event. CNN reports a “double-digit” total attendance at the event, and notes that Sidney Powell was also in the White House at the time—though it is unclear if she attended any of the meetings. Either during the meetings or before, Brooks learns that “multiple” GOP senators will seriously consider contesting the 2020 election results. He will not tell CNN if any senators attended the meetings, however, and is vague on exactly what Trump and his Congressional allies needed hours to discuss. “We talked about a lot of things”, Gosar will say after the meeting.

While not at the White House meeting, Madison Cawthorn, a GOP Congressman from North Carolina, is nevertheless helping the cause: at a rally sponsored by Charlie Kirk’s Turning Point USA, Cawthorn urges attendees to “call your congressman [about blocking the January 6 certification] and feel free [to]…lightly threaten them.”

December 27, 2020

Trump again publicizes the January 6 Stop the Steal event, tweeting, “See you in Washington, DC, on January 6. Don’t miss it. Information to follow.”

December 28, 2020

Roger Stone visits Trump at Mar-a-Lago to thank him for his pardon, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Stone shortly thereafter records a video seeking donations for “protective equipment” for “professional security” for a January 6 event at the United States Capitol that he says he will be speaking at.

January 1, 2021

Trump again publicizes the January 6 Stop the Steal event, tweeting (emphasis in original), “The big Protest Rally in Washington, DC will take place at 11AM on January 6. Locational details to follow. #StopTheSteal!” 

Per Just Security, Trump also “retweets Kylie Jane Kremer, chair of Women for America First, an organizer of the [January 6 Stop the Steal rally. ‘The calvary [sic] is coming, Mr. President! January 6’, Kremer had tweeted on December 19. The President responds, ‘A great honor!’ in his retweet on New Years Day.” (Emphasis in original.)

January 3, 2021

At a rally in Georgia, Ted Cruz tells a crowd that Democrats steal elections and use dead voters to win at the ballot box. Cruz says, “We will not go quietly into the night! We will defend liberty in the future! And we are going to win!”

January 4, 2021

Per Just Security, “At a pre-election rally in Georgia, Donald Trump, Jr., introducing his father, tells the crowd, ‘We need to fight.’ President Trump then takes the stage, telling supporters, ‘They’re not taking this White House. We’re going to fight like hell.’”

January 5, 2021

Two critical pre-insurrection meetings occur on this date: one at Trump’s private residence in Washington—his suite inside Trump International Hotel—and one at Trump’s public residence in Washington, the White House. It is unknown whether the two meetings are connected at various points, or consistently, via speakerphone, but there is substantial evidence to suggest it (see the prior Proof report on this). Nearly all of the attendees at both meetings appear to lie at various points about the locations of the meetings, the topics of discussion at the meetings, the the lists of attendees at the two events.

Here are known attendees at the two meetings, in all cases “live” with the exception of two people (Ali Alexander is definitely on the phone, and David Bossie may have been on speakerphone, as he denies being present at either meeting despite others’ claims):

Trump International Hotel Meeting Attendees

Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, Kimberly Guilfoyle, Michael Flynn (*), Rudy Giuliani, Peter Navarro (*), Corey Lewandowski, David Bossie (*), Tommy Tuberville, Michael Lindell, Charles Herbster, Adam Piper, Daniel Beck, Doyle Beck, Layne Bangerter (^), Phil Waldron (^), Sidney Powell (^), Jair Bolsonaro (#), and Ali Alexander (+).

* = Denies attending despite evidence, testimonial and/or material, to the contrary.
^ = Strongly suspected to have attended based on testimonial and/or material evidence.
# = May have attended this meeting, the White House meeting, or both.
+ = Attended via telephone.

White House Meeting Attendees

Ivanka Trump, Eduardo Bolsonaro, Rogan O’Handley, Corey Lewandowski (#), Donald Trump (^), Nestor Forster (^^).

{Note: Jared Kushner met with Bolsonaro at the White House on January 8; it remains unclear whether he was present for the January 5 meeting, also. To be clear, we do know that the list of attendees for this January 5 White House meeting remains incomplete.}

^ = Strongly suspected to have attended based on testimonial and/or material evidence.
^^ = Then-outgoing Brazilian ambassador to the United States.
# = May have attended this meeting, the White House meeting, or both.
January 6, 2021

According to a statement by Ali Alexander, on the morning of January 6 “saboteurs” and “bad actors” within the 2020 Trump campaign “consciously”, “intentionally”, and “premeditatedly” produced the risk or even likelihood of violence at the Capitol by altering the plans for the Stop the Steal rally at the last moment. Per Alexander, “the president’s [political team] knew a lot [about the actions by campaign staff that caused the insurrection].” As his statement contends (emphasis in original),

President Trump’s address [at the Ellipse] that day [January 6] was always meant to have followed specific instructions….Stop the Steal had permitted space on Capitol Hill and had worked with the U.S. Capitol Police for weeks to secure a safe and orderly event near the Capitol building….Women for America First made a conscious decision to eliminate the prepared and specific instructions guiding protestors to Lot 8 on Capitol Hill, permitted to Stop the Steal by U.S. Capitol Police for our “One Nation Under God” event. Instructions were to be given from the stage at the Ellipse and displayed on the Jumbotron. Women for America First and at least one Trump campaign advisor…intentionally eliminat[ed] the clear directions meant for the…patriots [who] Stop the Steal had assembled to hear President Trump [at the Ellipse]….[President Trump’s] general comments about walking to the U.S. Capitol were meant to point people to what was supposed to be the previously mentioned Lot 8, permitted to us by the Capitol Police—not the physical building itself.

In two interviews with Alex Jones on his InfoWars website, Ali Alexander adds the following details: (1) the “Trump campaign adviser” who removed any reference to “Lot 8” in Trump’s January 6 presentation, and in the Stop the Steal event generally, was Katrina Pierson; and (2) Pierson also summarily cancelled the Ellipse event speaking roles for Alexander, Jones, and Stone on the morning of January 6, thereby ensuring that no “instructions…[were] given from the stage [by Alexander]” about where marchers were supposed to assemble on Capitol Hill. {Note: Ali Alexander claims that he was supposed to speak for five minutes to issue instructions to the crowd on this score.}

As noted above, Pierson was, on January 6, the White House’s liaison to Stop the Steal and other pro-Trump January 6 organizations and events. There is no evidence to suggest Pierson was granted the authority to make the dramatic changes Alexander alleges without the agreement of the president (Trump is so famous a micromanager when it comes to events he cares about that he is said to have reviewed swatches for tablecloths at 2017 inaugural events).

Proof has written before, at great length, of all the reasons neither Alexander and Jones can’t be trusted. The above account, however—if only this component (and one or two scattered others) of their January 6 narrative—appears to be confirmed by the evidence.

In speaking with Alexander, Jones says, “We’re not blaming the Kremers [the leaders of Women for America First]. We know it’s someone above her [Amy Kremer] who did this [Katrina Pierson].”

Women for America First confirms that as soon as Trump decided to get involved in its event—immediately following his raucous White House meeting on December 18—the organization ceased to be in full control of the pro-Trump protests of January 6, and the budgeting and coordination of the events was taken over by Katrina Pierson, Kimberly Guilfoyle aide Caroline Wren, and other members of Trump’s campaign.

This comports with (1) Alexander’s December 2020 pre-insurrection claim (previously covered at Proof) that he was in contact with “people at the White House”; (2) his claim that just prior to January 6 “The Trump campaign called [me] and said, ‘Let’s combine all the events’” (which resulted in a larger crowd at the one event that did occur, as Trump would have wanted, but also ensured that Alexander, Jones, and Stone would not be able to speak at the main event on January 6, as they were considered too disreputable to share a stage with a sitting president—itself an indictment of Trump’s decision to fraternize with these men); and (3) the direct involvement of the president in managing these affairs (at one point Alexander tells Jones that his White House contact told him, “The president doesn’t want to stomp on your grassroots efforts”).

Alexander says that while he was with Jones on the Capitol grounds on January 6,

The Trump campaign texted me and says, “You guys [Alexander and Jones] need to get there [the Capitol] to de-escalate [the violence]. And I said [to the Trump campaign], “We are going to de-escalate. And if we can’t de-escalate, we’ll leave [the area] so that other people [indiscernible].”

We can’t know if this conversation between the Stop the Steal insurrectionist leaders and Trump’s political team unfolded in exactly the way Alexander describes. Indeed, though he has the texts in question, instead of giving them to federal investigators he is in hiding with all of his electronic equipment and any text messages thereupon.

That said, Jones and Alexander are clear, consistent, and reasonably compelling on the limited subject of being in touch with Trump’s team during the insurrection. Indeed, Jones augments Alexander’s recitation of the latter’s mid-insurrection contacts with the Trump campaign by adding the following stunning detail:

And you [Ali Alexander] told me that Trump’s not coming [to the “Wild Protest”] once we got there [the Capitol]. And I climbed on top of that pile of chairs to try to stop it [the riot].

Proof has published videos from the ProPublica January 6 archives confirming that in fact Jones did try to get insurrectionists to remain peaceful at the Capitol. His broader premise, here, confirmed by Alexander—namely, that Alexander was not only in touch with the Trump campaign in mid-insurrection, but that the campaign was transmitting to Ali Alexander and Alex Jones the movements of the President of the United States, in real time, during an armed insurrection—is as stunning as any piece of information about the insurrection I’ve encountered. It also explains the otherwise bizarre conduct of the U.S. Secret Service during the assault on the Capitol, including the Service doing nothing to take the president to a secure location.

If Ali Alexander, improbably, abides by his public promise to “make public” every text message that he “received during that period [the insurrection]”, it means the FBI will shortly know what the Trump campaign was communicating with the insurrectionists.


In mid-January, Alexander told Jones that he was at an “undisclosed location” and had been traveling by “unconventional means.” Nevertheless, he says he is “not in hiding.”

At one point during their interview series Jones says to him, as a statement rather than a question, “you were put on a ‘no-fly’ list”—implying that the FBI is concerned about him fleeing the country, but also that Jones and Alexander have previously discussed this topic in private—to which Alexander cagily demurs, saying he “doesn’t know” and adding, unconvincingly, “I just decided not to use my plane ticket out [of America].”

Alexander is consistent about certain things, however—including the involvement of the U.S. Secret Service in his own and Jones’s movements during the day on January 6:

You [Alex Jones] and I were escorted out [of the VIP area at Trump’s Ellipse speech] by Secret Service in order to lead the overflow from our event with the president [the March to Save America rally at the Ellipse] to the U.S. Capitol….you and I then started proceeding down Pennsylvania Avenue.

The most unsettling content here is the idea that someone atop Trump’s political operation—Anthony Ornato looms above all others as a suspect in this regard, as Proof has detailed—instructed the Secret Service to act as an escort for two insurrectionists.

In short, all the evidence we now have confirms a relatively simple narrative: even as paramilitary operators, in communication with grassroots organizers, were plotting an assault on the U.S. Capitol, those same grassroots organizers were in touch with the White House. Trump and his team spent the weeks pre-insurrection doing two things: (1) coordinating Congressional attempts to overturn the election, and (2) using Trump’s agents to wrestle planning and orchestration of January 6 from grassroots organizers—in every case, in ways that ensured that January 6 would turn both chaotic and violent.