New Information Further Links Jones, Stone, and Watkins

A new report suggests another January 6 nexus between Alex Jones, Roger Stone, and Oath Keeper, insurrectionist, and alleged domestic terror leader Jessica Watkins.

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We already know, from the New York Times, that six Oath Keepers who guarded longtime Donald Trump friend and adviser Roger Stone on January 5 and January 6 shortly thereafter assaulted the United States Capitol. We know—see prior Proof reporting for more—that Stone promised far-right donors looking to fund the events of January 6 that he would be speaking at the Capitol on that day and then, informed by intelligence suggesting he should rethink his plans (intelligence whose provenance remains unknown), Stone decided to avoid the Capitol altogether on Insurrection Day.

Stone’s flight from the Capitol was mirrored by every other member of Trump’s inner circle, including January 5 Trump International Hotel war council attendee Charles W. Herbster, who thereafter attended Trump’s Ellipse rally and then flew home. Or so he said; it was later revealed that he’d lied and in fact flown with Trump’s kids to Florida. Even a Trump donor publicly excited about Trump’s January 6 speech, who met with Vice President Mike Pence at Pence’s residence on January 5—a Texan named Bubba Saulsbury—suddenly decided to flee Washington instead after speaking with the VP.

We know, from Business Insider and others, that two Oath Keepers, Donovan Crowl and Jessica Watkins, have not only been charged with conspiracy in the storming of the Capitol on January 6, but were both in D.C. with the intention of providing security to Stone. According to the Wall Street Journal, federal prosecutors allege that the duo’s other plan for their stay in Washington—besides offering armed-and-armored security for one of the President of the United States’ oldest and closest friends and advisers—was to thereafter murder every member of Congress in the tunnels below the Capitol.

We know, from Newsweek and others, that Watkins at first claimed that she “met” with Secret Service agents in the VIP area at Trump’s Ellipse speech, then later amended her claim to say, through her attorney, that she merely “encountered” Secret Service as she was being ushered into the VIP area. The difference between the two remains unclear, however, as Watkins admits she communicated with Secret Service agents long enough to be “given directives about things she could and could not do [in the VIP area], including directions to leave all tactical gear outside of the VIP area.” In other words, Watkins was, at a minimum, questioned by the Secret Service minutes before entering an area with special access to the President of the United States—an area she approached, apparently, both armed and armored for war—and the Secret Service, possibly under the direction of Anthony Ornato, accepted her answers and ushered her into Trump’s pre-insurrection VIP area. It seems hardly to matter, now, whether Watkins or her attorney classify this encounter as a “meeting” or not. {Note: Watkins is also on trial for her freedom, so we’ve no idea how much we can credit her words.}

But what we didn’t know until Roger Stone made the mistake, just now, of doing an interview with fellow Stop the Steal co-organizer Alex Jones, was that Jones had (1) covered Stone’s expenses to travel to Washington on January 6; (2) offered to pay for security for Stone, at Stone’s request; but also (3) according to his own unverified claim, “never ended up getting with [Stone]” because, per Jones, “the town was so mobbed, [Stone] couldn’t even find me”—with the result that Jones’s offer to let Stone use his own private security on January 5 and January 6 was replaced with a plan to have Stone use the Oath Keepers. Precisely who coordinated this backup plan remains unclear, as Stone does not appear to directly address the issue in the interview. {Note: Stone is an infamous liar, and had post-election ties with the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys.}

There’s one significant problem with the nexus of these major-media reports, however: What was insurrectionist leader Jessica Watkins doing in Trump’s January 6 VIP area, then?

We can start, first, with Watkins’ own claim, via her attorney (emphasis supplied):

On January 5 and 6, Ms. Watkins was present not as an insurrectionist, but to provide security to the speakers at the rally, to provide escort for the legislators and others to march to the Capitol as directed by the then-President….She was given a VIP pass to the rally. She met with Secret Service agents. She was within 50 feet of the stage during the rally to provide security for the speakers. At the time the Capitol was breached, she was still at the site of the initial rally where she had provided security.

Watkins has since made clear that it wasn’t the Secret Service that asked her to provide security (an odd denial, as no one had alleged this). Given that nearly all the speakers at Trump’s rally were either Trump family members under Secret Service protection, members of Congress, Rudy Giuliani, or obscure law professor John Eastman (who would have required no security), and given that Watkins directly references aiding “legislators”, if her account is accurate she was there to aid either Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL)—a Stop the Steal co-conspirator according to the public confessions of Stop the Steal co-organizer and close Alex Jones associate Ali Alexander—or another Trumpist member of Congress, Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC).

That’s if what Watkins says in accurate.

Breaking down other possible explanations for Ms. Watkins’ presence in a highly secure area inhabited by the President of the United States just minutes before the launching of an armed insurrection that she helped coordinate gets very confusing very quickly, so let’s unpack it point-by-point (keeping in mind that, per BuzzFeed News, Watkins joined the Oath Keepers in the first place because she “began regularly watching videos on Infowars, the far-right conspiracy-driven website run by Alex Jones…[and] it was there that she saw an interview with Stewart Rhodes, the founder of the Oath Keepers, who has been a regular guest on Infowars for years”):

  1. If Watkins was in D.C. to try to provide security for Stone, but Jones never met up with Stone while the latter was in Washington, it means that Stone wasn’t in the VIP area with Jones, and therefore Watkins wasn’t in the VIP area to meet Stone.

  2. If Jones planned to offer Stone his own security rather than Oath Keeper security, as he now claims, Watkins couldn’t have been at the VIP event to offer security for Stone at Jones’s request, as Jones would have been planning to offer his own security detail to Stone, instead.

  3. If Watkins was in the VIP area for no reason having to do with Jones but because she was told Stone would be there, it remains unclear who she would have gotten info about Stone’s location from (and the info apparently turned out to be wrong). {Note: There’s no reporting suggesting that Stone ended up in the VIP area on January 6, though if he did, it would be an even bigger scandal than any previous one—as it would make it likely that Stone decided not to march to the Capitol due to a consultation with Trump and/or his top aides in or around the former president’s January 6 “party tent”, which interaction would suggest Trump’s inner circle knew the Capitol was going to be dangerous beforehand—possibly because of the Secret Service’s prior security assessment or possibly via other sources. It would also open up a possibility that in fact information had flowed in the other direction, with Stone informing Trump and/or his team in the party tent that Trump should cancel his plans to attend the Stop the Steal event at the Capitol. Such an attempt to scuttle Trump’s appearance at that event would have been complicated by the presence of Alex Jones in the VIP area, however, and indeed Jones continued to believe following the VIP event, as Proof has reported via video evidence, that Trump would honor his public promise and go to the Capitol to speak on January 6.}

  4. If Watkins was indeed interrogated to any degree by the Secret Service about her presence at the VIP event (because, despite her apparent possession of a pass to get in—issued by who, we don’t know—she was apparently armed and armored with accoutrements no Secret Service agent would allow anywhere near POTUS) the question arises of why we don’t have any readout from the Secret Service about who conducted the questioning of Watkins or what its result was. We also would need to know why has no internal review revealing this interrogation has apparently occurred, despite someone who is now sitting in federal detention for a conspiracy to commit violent insurrection getting within a matter of feet of the then-sitting president on the most politically tense and potentially violent day of his presidency (an assessment made by the Secret Service itself pre-insurrection).

  5. On what possible basis did Watkins and/or Crowl believe that they would have time for a side gig protecting Roger Stone if—as is lavishly established in their charging documents—they had been “training” to execute a complex operation involving “30-40” people inside one of the most presumptively secure buildings in America? Is it not exponentially more likely that making contact with Stone and/or Jones was deemed a useful part of the Oath Keepers’ Capitol operation than simply a fun side job alongside a massive and historic criminal conspiracy? Given that both Jones and Stone were self-confessedly in touch with the White House, wouldn’t there have been significant operational utility to making contact with either or both of these two Stop the Steal co-organizers, either in the VIP area at Trump’s Ellipse event or somewhere else?

In short, something isn’t adding up about the stories now being delivered by Jones, Stone, and Watkins—only partly because Watkins and Jones both seem to imply that they ended up in the same highly restricted VIP area on January 6 by chance, despite Jones being the primary catalyst for Watkins becoming an Oath Keeper in the first place.

Watkins appears now to be at great pains to imply she never intended to offer security to Roger Stone; Jones is at great pains to indicate he never saw Stone in D.C.; and yet Watkins ended up at an event that Jones attended and that Stone would naturally have been expected to attend if he were in D.C. for the biggest day of his friend and advisee’s political life. Meanwhile, Stone did end up getting protected by the very Oath Keepers who were working with Watkins as part of an alleged criminal conspiracy, and those militia members were in fact conspiring with an entity—the Proud Boys—referred to as Stone’s “personal army.”

Above all, it remains unclear why the FBI has not spoken to either Jones or Stone now that they have arrested and incarcerated Jessica Watkins. {Note: Both Jones and Stone are famously public about all their contacts with law enforcement, and their past contacts have always leaked to media immediately; we have heard nothing about such contacts in the most important federal criminal investigation since the Civil War, suggesting no such interviews have yet been conducted by the FBI or electronic devices seized by federal law enforcement.}

But these are only a few questions this reporting raises. Here are some other key ones:

  1. Was Stone in fact raising money for himself in his late December/early January video seeking cash for “protective gear” for paramilitary irregulars—the very same conduct that got Proud Boy Ethan Nordean, a Stone associate, arrested?

  2. Stone was staying at the Willard Hotel, but had no money to travel to D.C. until Jones supplied it, per Jones, so who funded Stone’s incredibly expensive stay in Washington—a stay that apparently involved Stone not attending the January 5 meeting at Trump International Hotel, not entering the VIP area at Trump’s January 6 speech, and not speaking on the Capitol steps as he’d promised donors?

  3. If Watkins and Crowl communicated with great enthusiasm—as we know, from federal filings, they did—about offering protection for Stone in Washington, why did they not end up on that detail? Was the fact that Watkins was summoned to the VIP area at Trump’s speech connected to the fact that she had to decline to take on Stone’s protection? Who summoned her to the VIP area and issued her a VIP pass, and what was she going to do in that VIP area that was more important than protecting one of the President of the United States’ oldest pals and advisers?

  4. If Jones had no contact with Stone, and Stone had no security lined up, but Stone ended up with Oath Keepers security and Jones was in a VIP area with an Oath Keeper leader, does this indicate that Jones was the one who arranged with the Oath Keepers to have them handle Stone’s protective detail? If so, why was Stone already raising funds for the Oath Keepers days before January 6, and what other contacts did Jones have with the Oath Keepers before, during, or after January 6?

  5. If Stone was indeed broke, and if he took the opportunity to raise his personal profile (a means of also raising money) at both the January 5 Stop the Steal/Rally to Save America in Freedom Plaza and a separate January 5 rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court, why did he decline to even show up at the most public, historically significant event of the entire January 5-6 timeline: a speech on the Capitol steps at an event where he’d be speaking alongside the President of the United States, according to the stated intentions of the President of the United States himself? What did Stone know about that event—or what was planned for the U.S. Capitol—that led him to flee the Capitol grounds rather than show up as he’d promised?

More broadly, this Jones-Stone interview confirms that federal law enforcement has a mass of evidence voluntarily produced by Jones and Stone even before they’re formally interrogated. While some might see this fact as an explanation for, or justification of, the FBI not yet seeking to interview either man—which stated intention might shut them up and shut off the spigot of their public (often inculpatory and contradictory) statements—in reality, the value of searching and seizing the properties of the two men and locking them into a likely false version of events that will (almost certainly) later be proven to be a fabrication is far more valuable as a matter of criminal investigation than giving the two men all the time they could want to try to work out a cover story.

Article #80 at Proof.