A Profile of January 5 Trump War Council Attendee Daniel Beck

The little-known Idaho entrepreneur could be a key witness for federal investigators.

{Note: That the pre-insurrection “war council” held at Donald Trump’s private residence in Trump International Hotel is one of the key events in the insurrection timeline is clear. It is discussed on Proof here and here. This article expands on that prior reporting and is the first of three articles on men who featured in the events of January 5, the day before the insurrection.}

In a now-infamous Facebook-posted video discussing his attendance at a Trump war council on January 5, Idahoan and Txtwire CEO Daniel Beck underscores that the meeting was not merely a felicitous get-together of hotel guests, as some defenders of the president have sought to frame it on social media. Per Beck’s video commentary, the meeting was held in a “really intimate setting”, with “about 15 of us in a room.” This comports with fellow meeting participant Charles Herbster’s claim that the meeting was held “in the private residence of the President at Trump International.”

Unlike Herbster, however, Beck reveals some of the content of the meeting, going well beyond a report in the Omaha World Herald that the purpose of the gathering was to “discuss how to pressure more members of Congress to object to the Electoral College results that made Joe Biden the winner.”

As Beck explains in his Facebook video, at the war council the attendees “hear[d] first-hand their [other attendees’] take on how things are going, what things are looking like [for Trump’s chances of retaining power.” Beck describes the January 5 meeting as a debriefing on “what to expect for tomorrow [January 6]” and, as importantly, what to expect “through inauguration.”

In short, the January 5 war council, as explained by Beck, was a strategy-and-tactics session targeted at keeping Trump in the White House, and was conducted with eight key components of Trump’s political machine present: (1) his family, (2) his legal team, (3) his Congressional allies, (4) his campaign advisers, (5) his donors, (6) his political intelligence experts, (7) his administration allies, and (most problematically from a legal standpoint), (8) his contacts in the Stop the Steal and Jericho March movements—the two far-right entities that choreographed and funded the events that led to the January 6 insurrection. (Note: Jericho March is a far-right Christian nationalist organization and movement founded after the 2020 election, with former Trump National Security Advisor Michael Flynn one of its most prominent adherents. A December 12 Jericho March event in DC had ended in violence, yet the radical group nevertheless decided to hold identical events in DC on January 5 and January 6, the latter scheduled to coincide with Trump’s speech.)

What this profile of Beck consequently focuses on is the still-unanswered and clearly significant question produced by the reporting in Proof on the January 5 war council: can we determine with more specificity, using publicly available information, what the men and women who attended the January 5 meeting in Trump’s private residence discussed? We begin, again, with an itemized recitation of the three things that Daniel Beck says occurred at the meeting:

  1. A briefing on how the other components of Trump’s political machine believed “things [were] going” with Trump’s self-coup attempt.

  2. A preview of “what to expect for tomorrow [January 6].”

  3. A forecast of how Trump’s political machine intended to proceed “through inauguration.”

An analysis of Beck’s Facebook feed lets us deduce with greater clarity the content of all three of the briefing, the preview, and the forecast.

As for the briefing and preview, Daniel Beck expresses confidence, following the war council, that he has a handle on what the events of January 6 will look like. It’s perhaps an unsurprising revelation, given that Beck would by then have been, by his own admission, (a) briefed on the relevant events that would transpire in the United States Senate by “several senators”, including Alabama senator Tommy Tuberville, (b) been given an update on the January 6 Jericho March and January 6 Stop the Steal/March to Save America event by three organizers of those events (Flynn, Adam Piper, and Ali Alexander, with the last of these having communicated with the group telephonically); and (c) accessed Trump’s top advisers (including Herbster, Peter Navarro, and Corey Lewandowski, with 2016 Trump deputy campaign manager David Bossie now saying he was not at the meeting) on the matter of Trump’s planned movements on January 6.

We know Beck’s reaction to the various components of his January 6 briefing, as he includes it in his video: “It’s going to be a big day,” he tells his Facebook followers. “A lot of big things are going to be happening.” He adds, “Hang in there, keep the faith.”

On January 6, Beck films himself at Trump’s Stop the Steal/March to Save America event. He is sitting in the VIP section of the rally, just five rows from the front—a placement that helps corroborate his January 5 claim of special access to Trump’s top allies, advisers, and agents. In the picture below, he holds his camera to highlight a man in a red hat sitting in front of him, Patrick Byrne, saying so loudly (and from just inches away, without any evident reaction from Byrne) that the man he’s pointing out is from Overstock.com that it seems probable Byrne knows Beck is there and filming.

The day before, on January 5, Byrne had spoken immediately after Flynn and George Papadopoulos at the former’s Jericho March/Rally for Revival. (Note: virtually every insurrectionist event held on January 5 and January 6 in Washington had multiple names associated with it. I provide all the relevant names for each event, so that you can match the reporting here at Proof with reports from other media that use only one of an event’s names.)

More significant than Beck’s acknowledgment of Byrne is his location of Alex Jones in the Stop the Steal/March to Save America crowd. Beck points out how close he is to Jones, the Stop the Steal organizer who previously claimed on video that the White House had asked him to lead the march on the Capitol. Jones’ claim is now bolstered by Beck’s photographic proof that—as Jones had claimed in his now-viral video—the latter was indeed seated at the head of the VIP section at Trump’s event, in a position to be led from the area by “Secret Service” as described in Jones’ video. In the picture below, Jones is the man whose back is partially covered by the tip of Beck’s finger:

Beck thereafter illustrates for his Facebook following just how good his seats are via stills and video placing him perhaps ten yards from the President of the United States.

Following the rally—and after the post-rally march had become violent—Beck takes to Facebook once again to spread the same conspiracy theories that the president and his agents, allies, and advisers would later disseminate: that the cause of any violence during the march on the Capitol was antifa, the anti-fascist movement that Trump and his supporters have repeatedly and deliberately miscast as an “organization” with discrete chapters (e.g., like the white-supremacist Proud Boys, long considered vocal supporters of the president). In fact, hours of documentary footage compiled by both reporters and eyewitnesses has confirmed that the marchers shouting “Fuck antifa!” during the march on the Capitol were members of the Proud Boys, the very group Beck’s presidential donee Trump infamously told to “stand by” at a fall 2020 debate.

Twenty-seven minutes after this first post, Beck, perhaps buttressed by what he had learned at the Trump war council 20 hours earlier, seeks to encourage his Facebook followers: “It’s not over! Do not give up!! Every option will be exhausted, and some things need to run their course first.” He insists “Trump will retain the presidency!!”

Given that Beck had so recently received a briefing from Trump’s top lieutenants in the president’s private residence at Trump International Hotel, federal investigators will want to know what Beck refers to here in citing Trump’s “option[s]” and his allusion to the fact that “some things need to run their course first…[after which] Trump will retain the presidency.” While similar words from someone who had not attended a Trump war council just hours earlier could easily be dismissed as empty rhetoric, Beck’s prior reassurance of his social media following that he had been directly briefed by Trump’s family and political team on how “things [were] going”, “what to expect for tomorrow [January 6]”, and events ahead “through inauguration” means that Beck is—while unwilling to divulge details to the public—in possession of non-public information about Team Trump’s plot to illegally retain the White House.

By the evening of January 6, Beck begins to speak of the Trump camp’s plans with more specificity, stating that he knows Trump will not “quit[ ]”, that he is aware of the “many options” Trump and his team considered “available immediately after the election to remedy the [falsely alleged voter] fraud”, but that Trump’s team felt “some options would be better received by the masses and should be attempted first.”

In context—and given the presence at the January 5 Trump war council Beck attended of both Flynn and Mike Lindell, the two leading proponents of Trump declaring martial law in January and conducting a “re-vote” in the battleground states he lost—this is likely a reference to the imposition of martial law (and to the likelihood that such an executive order by Trump would not be well “received” by “the masses”).

Having already made clear to his Facebook readers that he is in direct contact with Trump’s family and political team, Beck next assures them that “the wrongs [of the election] will be corrected, and people will pay for their crimes.” The implication here—that Trump’s inner circle has discussed arresting Democratic officials and other entities it was falsely alleging, on January 6, had stolen the 2020 election—is chilling.

By the next day, Beck has become even more explicit, declaring darkly, “There’s a plan in the works, and it will be apparent soon.”

In assessing Beck’s participation in Trump’s January 5 war council, and in gauging his comments thereafter, it’s helpful to understand a little more about the man. Here’s the header of his LinkedIn profile:

Though Beck’s Parler handle is currently unknown, that the Idahoan was active on the far-right social media network—now hosted by Russians, and still known for allowing open plotting of insurrection—is strongly suggested by the following urgent Facebook post from Beck instructing readers on how to protect themselves from having Parler deleted from their phone by Apple (note: Beck embedded this image in his Facebook post):

An older image on Beck’s Facebook feed suggests that he flew to Washington to attend Trump’s 2016 inauguration, as the photo below (from January 27, 2017) has appended to it on social media a comment from a follower saying, “You’re still in DC???” This would seem to place Beck in DC at the time of Trump’s January 20, 2017 swearing-in.

Beck’s social media presence shows a fealty to Trump that borders on the cultish. For instance, his Facebook avatar is Donald Trump’s possibly federal law–violative faux-presidential post-presidency “seal,” and Beck tweeted out the prospective logo of a Trump-founded Patriot Party before Trump had even floated the idea of creating one:

(Note: for those unfamiliar with Trumpist iconography, Trump is often imagined as a lion.)

Proof has written a great deal about how the men and women closest to the president and his team during the planning of the events of January 6—including Roger Stone, Ali Alexander, Alex Jones, and the president himself—somehow managed to avoid being at the head of the January 6 march or entering the Capitol building (and indeed, in the case of Stone, Alexander, and Trump, never even marched to the Capitol). This offers evidence to federal investigators that these key plotters had advance warning, possibly from the groups they were affiliated with, like the Oath Keepers (Stone) and Proud Boys (Alexander and Stone), that the January 6 march would not be peaceful.

Daniel Beck must now be added to the list of those on or close to the president’s family and political operation who mysteriously knew not to go to the Capitol on January 6. In the Facebook post below, Beck notes—without any explanation—that despite the president explicitly asking the mob he had assembled for the Stop the Steal/March to Save America event to march with him to the Capitol, he himself opted to reject the president’s “ask” and “went to the trump hotel [Trump International Hotel]” instead.

(Note: some readers have been confused by a video of Daniel Beck “marching” after 1:30PM, approximately 20 minutes after Trump stopped speaking. Trump’s rally was so crowded it took a long time for the VIP attendees to join the marchers, as attested to by Alex Jones, and Trump International Hotel is on Pennsylvania Avenue—along the marching route from the Ellipse to the Capitol—so anyone going from the Ellipse to Trump’s hotel would be alongside marchers.)

It is difficult to understand one of the most enthusiastic Trump supporters in the U.S. refusing a presidential request to march with him to the Capitol on the biggest day of the president’s political career—and a day Beck himself had promised his social media followers would be a “big day”—unless Beck had advance warning, via his attendance at the Trump war council under 20 hours earlier, that Trump would not be marching to the Capitol as he told the crowd (including Beck) on January 6, and indeed that the president’s team did not consider it safe for his most loyal allies to do so given the information available to the the White House on January 5.

That another war council attendee, Ali Alexander—who connected to the war council telephonically, through the girlfriend of Donald Trump Jr., Kimberly Guilfoyle—made an identical decision to stay away from the march itself, even though he’d organized it, bolsters the idea that the topic was discussed at the “intimate” January 5 war council.

In establishing that Trump had foreknowledge of the risks of the public gathering on January 6—and therefore had the requisite criminal intent to incite such risks during his speech that day—any evidence that his inner circle deliberately avoided an event he had encouraged his rank-and-file supporters to attend will be considered critical evidence.