Leading Republican Candidate for Governor of Virginia Met with Insurrectionists and Discussed Armed Rebellion the Day Before the January 6 Insurrection

Recorded discussion included consideration of Donald Trump raising a personal army of more than a million combat veterans to help him retain control of the White House.

{Note: You’re reading a free article on the Proof website. If you enjoy this content, I hope you’ll consider subscribing to Proof for just $5 a month—the lowest subscription rate on Substack. A subscription gives you access to all of the site’s content. See the Proof archives for a sense of the sort of content you can find here, or click the button below to subscribe to Proof right now.}

In the Republican gubernatorial primary in Virginia, State Senator Amanda Chase has a healthy lead of 7% over her nearest competitor. The bad news for Chase is that just 48 hours ago she lost a lawsuit seeking to compel the Republican Party of Virginia to hold a conventional primary rather than—as the party is now considering, and has until Tuesday to decide upon—a state “convention” at which the party’s 2021 gubernatorial candidate would be selected by a committee of just 72 party members.

Chase, who has been called “controversial” by local media, even “the Donald Trump of Virginia politics” by one source, fears that her state party’s leaders, as opposed to Virginia’s Trumpist voter base, won’t select her to be their standard bearer for the November 2, 2021 gubernatorial election.

It appears that there’s very good reason for Virginia’s Republican leaders not to do so.

A no-longer-publicly-available social media thread allegedly depicting a January 5, 2021 Facebook Live event involving Chase and several infamous insurrectionists is now getting renewed attention. In the initially little-seen and little-noticed video (first posted on a Facebook page that Facebook suspended for 60 days on January 8), Chase speaks with Stewart Rhodes, founder of the Oath Keepers, and Joshua Macias, head of Vets for Trump. CNN has reported that the FBI is now investigating many of Rhodes’ associates in the Oath Keepers, and has arrested some of them in a plot since detailed by the Wall Street Journal as involving gassing all of Congress to death in the tunnels beneath the United States Capitol.

As for Macias, he was arrested on gun charges during vote-counting in Philadelphia and was later charged with felony election interference in November of 2020.

At one point in the Facebook Live video, with Senator Chase sitting between them, Macias and Rhodes have the following exchange (one made all the more harrowing because it comes just hours before Insurrection Day):

MACIAS: “…[t]he most well-trained—crucible-trained—combat veterans this world has ever seen….there are veterans out there that are well-trained, that can immediate [sic] president be brought in as a special group and be utilized—in any way, shape or form—at his [the president’s] disposal. And we have a million just in Vets for Trump right now, standing at the ready, let alone those within one degree of separation, and the six million that didn’t even vote before [in 2016], that now voted in the 2016 [sic] election. So here we sit [on January 5] at a precipice of change, where we have the community that’s ready to step in, do what is needed, we have those that are—the president has all the power and the authority to do so—and he has all the backing of “we the people” and the 80 million that voted for him.

RHODES: In fact, us veterans, until age 65, under federal statute, still are subject to being called up as a militia. It goes from 17 to 45 if you’re not a veteran; if you’re a veteran, because of our prior experience and training, it goes to age 65. He could call us up right now as a militia—

MACIAS: Right now!

RHODES: —and put us to work.

MACIAS: And he has the ability—with special groups—that he can pull them in in other ways as well, and we can intake all of them, and place them wherever he needs it. So he has, standing at the ready, well-trained—crucible-trained—veteran volunteers that are at the ready right now.

At another point in his comments, Macias spreads anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about George Soros controlling the U.S. criminal justice system and opines that “the Communists have taken over so many places in our country.” At several points in the Vets for Trump leader’s diatribe, Senator Chase visibly nods.

Less than two weeks later, Macias would, alongside Latinos for Trump—whose leader Bianca Gracia not only also appears in the January 5 video alongside Chase, Rhodes, and Macias, but had also appeared at the Stop the Steal/Rally to Save America that day—seek a Temporary Restraining Order in federal court in Texas to try to keep Joe Biden from being inaugurated. {Note: Other speakers at the January 5 rally included Roger Stone and Alex Jones, both of whom say—see the prior articles in Proof on this subject—that they were in touch with Trump or the White House in the days leading up to the insurrection.}

Senator Chase attended the January 6 Stop the Steal/March to Save America event that incited the armed insurrection that day, and indeed recorded a video from the event in which she confirmed that “everyone” at the event was a Trump supporter and that there were “no counter-protestors”—a statement that, as of February 21, 2021, 58% of Trump voters disagree with (they claim, instead, per a USA Today poll, that it was “mostly an antifa-inspired attack that only involved a few Trump supporters”). In fact, New York Times cell phone tracking data confirms that the same group that attended the Trump rally at the White House Ellipse, which Chase denominated in her video as composed wholly of Trump supporters, thereafter stormed the Capitol.

Chase’s personal Facebook page, which has not yet been suspended by Facebook, includes the January 6 video but not the January 5 video of her discussion with several insurrectionists. In the January 6 video, which Chase closes with the words “stay tuned”, she can be seen wearing a lanyard around her neck that is attached to some sort of identification badge or access pass whose contents can’t readily be determined.

The New York Times calls Amanda Chase a Trump loyalist; Chase has called herself “Trump in heels.” Now that Chase’s hob-knobbing with insurrectionists to discuss—among other matters, like anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and false claims of a Communist takeover in the United States—armed insurrection is publicly known, it becomes a key question in American politics whether Trump will publicly endorse her. Per the Times, Chase called the January 6 insurrectionists “patriots” and “was still arguing with less than a week left in Mr. Trump’s presidency that he could yet be inaugurated for a second term.” At stake, therefore, in Virginia right now is whether Donald Trump plans to make an active play to get insurrectionists into positions of power across America. It would be an extreme long-shot for Chase or any Virginia Republican to win the 2021 gubernatorial race in Virginia—at present, it looks like whoever the GOP nominates will face longtime Clinton ally Terry McAuliffe, who has a comfortable 14-point lead over his nearest primary competitor—but either way, how Trump handles the situation in Virginia could tell America a great deal about his own plans going forward.

{Note: Proof gives a hat-tip to Kristopher Goad of Virginia for preserving this critical evidence. You can find Goad on Twitter here. I should note, too, that the fact of a January 5, 2021 Chase-Rhodes meeting was first reported in mid-January by the Daily Beast in a fifteenth-paragraph buried lede—but beyond the fact of Rhodes mentioning the January 6 rally at the meeting, no details of the discussion at the event were then available, nor its list of attendees. By the time of the Daily Beast report, video of the event was already unavailable on Facebook.}