The 20 Women Who Shaped January 6

New revelations put twenty women at the heart of the events of Insurrection Day.

{Note: The armed insurrection against the United States government staged by pro-Trump irregulars on January 6, which action included an all-out attack on the U.S. Capitol, has since understandably been framed as an act of toxic masculinity and white privilege. It was, indeed, exactly that—but also substantially organized by a cadre of Trumpist women who to date have received surprisingly little press coverage for their key roles. This article seeks to remedy that.}

Kimberly Guilfoyle. Surely we should have seen Guilfoyle’s role in the insurrection coming. From her unhinged performance at the Republican National Convention in the summer of 2020—culminating in her wild-eyed announcement to “fighters for freedom” that “the best is yet to come!”—to her frenzied appearance at a Trump rally in Dalton, Georgia, where she opened with “Where my soldiers at?” and continued yelling from there for the entirety of her address. From her inappropriately gleeful dancing in Trump’s “party tent” before his January 6 speech—captured on video by her boyfriend Donald Trump Jr., at a time both she and he would have been well aware that the day’s events were likely to turn toward illegality and mayhem—to the most shocking fact of all, that she was on the phone with the most infamous insurrectionist in the United States, Ali Alexander, the night before the attack on the Capitol.

Alexander, a far-right activist, Stop the Steal coordinator, and convicted felon, had consistently spoken about January 6 and Trump’s “election defense” in violent terms. Proof has documented many of his pre-insurrection incitements, from leading a “Victory or death!” chant on January 5 to a promise he made at a rally in Georgia pre-insurrection that “we’ll light it [the country] on fire” if the November 2020 election weren’t overturned. He’s now on the run from the FBI. Alexander probably should have been incarcerated for incitement as of January 5, not on a telephone call with the president’s son’s girlfriend as she met with other Trump family members, members of Congress, and top Trump advisers at Trump’s “private residence” in Washington.

But now two new reports, one from the Wall Street Journal and one from ProPublica, place Guilfoyle even closer to the action. She was, for starters, the boss of an apparent insurrection plotter, Caroline Wren (see below), at Trump Victory, Trump’s dodgy, RNC-partner fundraising clearinghouse. Knowing what we do now about Guilfoyle’s contact with Alexander, and Wren’s endorsement of Stop the Steal coordinator Alex Jones—and thus his partner-in-crime, Alexander—it seems impossible Guilfoyle was unaware her deputy was promoting Jones and Alexander to less militant organizers.

Melania Trump. No one, including Proof, would dare to pretend Melania was a direct participant in any of her husband’s political activities—indeed it’s unclear how much she wanted to participate in anything relating to her marriage or her husband’s family beyond raising her son, Barron Trump—yet it cannot be missed that it was her office inside the White House that produced at least one of January 6’s chief event planners. Justin Caporale, called by ProPublica the man “whose production company helped put on the [Stop the Steal/March to Save America]”, was formerly a “top aide” of hers.

Given that Caporale was paid $15,000 a month by the 2020 Trump campaign and was called the “Project Manager” for the Stop the Steal/March to Save America event in its materials, it’s hard not to see Melania’s White House shop as having served as a “minor leagues” of sort for at least one key figure in the January 6 insurrection.

Katrina Pierson. Pierson—a spokesperson for the Trump 2016 presidential campaign who is, yes, pictured above wearing a necklace made of bullet casings—was involved enough in Trump’s campaign advisory corps in 2020 that, according to the Wall Street Journal, she was speaking with the president himself as late as January 4 about who he wanted speaking alongside him at the Stop the Steal/March to Save America event that incited an armed insurrection. Trump allegedly told Pierson that he “wanted to be joined primarily by lawmakers assisting his efforts to block electoral votes from being counted” and “members of his own family”, suggesting Pierson may have been behind booking Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) and Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) to give their inciting speeches on January 6. According to a post-insurrection statement by Brooks, he was asked to speak at Trump’s January 6 rally on January 5 by White House political director Brian Jack. That Pierson should be acting as a go-between between Trump and the White House political director hours before an attack on the Capitol underscores her central place in the insurrection’s organizational hierarchy.

Caroline Wren (photo) and Cindy Chafian (not pictured). Trump Victory’s Wren is listed as a “VIP adviser” to the January 6 rally, but ProPublica notes that this “downplays the active role she played in organizing the event.” According to the digital outlet, Wren “played an extensive role in managing operations for the event. The records show that Wren oversaw logistics, budgeting, funding and messaging for the January 6 rally that featured President Donald Trump.” One of Wren’s points of emphasis, per ProPublica, was ensuring the “messaging” and “timing” of the event was calibrated to “the votes [for certifying Biden’s victory on] that day [January 6]”, a fact that confirms that the White House wanted Trump’s speech synchronized to events on Capitol Hill.

Per ProPublica, “Since April 2017, Wren and her Texas-based firm, Bluebonnet Consulting, have received more than $890,000 from the Trump campaign, the Republican National Committee and Trump Victory.”

Chafian, according to ProPublica, spent the three weeks before January 6 working with Women for America First (see below) “overseeing planning for the [Stop the Steal/March to Save America] event”, including producing a “budget” and a “vendors breakdown” that she subsequently gave to Wren and former Melania aide Caporale. Interestingly, ProPublica reports that once it was confirmed that Trump would speak at the event, Wren largely took over logistics from Chafian—a sign that the White House had made the event its own. According to Chafian, she was “directed by [Alex] Jones to Wren, who, she was told, had ties to wealthy donor who wanted to support the January affair [now known to be Julie Jenkins Fancelli].” Chafian was unable to give Fancelli’s name due to a “confidentiality agreement” she had signed, apparently at the insistence of individuals close to the White House.

Julie Jenkins Fancelli. Wren’s services, per ProPublica, “were enlisted by a major donor to Trump’s presidential campaign, according to the Wall Street Journal, which reported that Julie Jenkins Fancelli, the heiress to Publix Super Markets, committed some $300,000 to fund the January 6 rally.” This appears to be the major donation Alex Jones would say in a video (covered previously at Proof) made the event possible. Fancelli previously donated $1 million to Guilfoyle and Wren’s Trump Victory fund.

Lauren Boebert. As has been exhaustively discussed on Proof already, the new House member from Colorado, a Republican, not only tweeted on January 6 that “Today is 1776” and gave out the location of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in mid-insurrection, she also gave a “large private tour” of the Capitol on either January 4 or January 5—the latter a day on which she spoke at the Stop the Steal/Rally to Save America event.

Some of the insurrectionists of January 6 had a surprisingly complete knowledge of the layout of the Capitol, leading many to speculate that a comprehensive investigation of Boebert’s private tour will reveal it was given to men planning a breach of the Capitol.

Lara Trump. The former president’s daughter-in-law—wife of his second-eldest son, Eric Trump—is considered a potential 2022 Senate candidate in North Carolina. She spoke briefly at the Stop the Steal/March to Save America on January 6. The key elements of her speech were discussed in great detail on this January Twitter thread.

Hannah Salem (photo above) and Maggie Mulvaney (not pictured). Salem, a “special assistant to the president and director of press advance at the White House” per an article in Politico, was paid by the Trump campaign for “event consulting” in 2018 and was the “Operations Manager” for the Stop the Steal/March to Save America rally. {NB: More news on her is likely coming.}

Mulvaney, the niece of ex-White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, was Director of Finance Operations for the 2020 Trump campaign, receiving over $10,000 a month. On the Women for America First rally permit for the January 6 event at the Ellipse—which came to be known as the Stop the Steal/March to Save America—Mulvaney was listed as “VIP Lead.” {NB: More news on Mulvaney is likely coming.}

Arina Grossu. Grossu, Outreach Coordinator for Trump Administration Department of Health and Human Services Religious Freedom Office, was a co-founder of Jericho March, called by the Washington Post “one of the coalition partners that organized the January 6 rallies.” {NB: More news on Grossu is likely coming.}

Marjorie Taylor Greene. In late December 2020, Greene was at the White House as part of what she called a “great planning session for our January 6 objection.” It is unknown who she met with while there—and whether then-president Trump attended the meeting. What we do know is that in a brief statement made outside the White House upon the conclusion of the meeting, Greene declared that “we aren’t going to allow this election to be stolen by Joe Biden and the Democrats.” She also repeated what is now known as “the Big Lie”—that, as she put it in late December, “President Trump won by a landslide”—and made a public call for action: “Call your House reps, call your senators from your states, we’ve got to make sure they’re on board.” Greene added—ominously, given later events—“We already have a lot of people engaged.”

Kylie Jane Kremer (top photo), Amy Kremer (not pictured), Rose Tennet (not pictured), Bianca Gracia (not pictured), and Linda McMahon (bottom photo). Kyle Jane Kremer is the executive director of Women for Trump, and was named as the “Person in Charge” on the Women for America First rally permit. According to ProPublica, Women for Trump is a “pro-Trump nonprofit run by the mother-daughter duo Amy and Kylie Jane Kremer.” It employed Cindy Chafian (see above) “on and off” beginning in October 2019. Per ProPublica, whereas the White House-connected Wren was “listed…as one of the primary points of contact for the demonstration, the Kremers, whose nonprofit was attached to the event, are not mentioned at all.”

Per the Wall Street Journal, “The involvement of Jones and Alexander [in the January 6 rally] triggered debate among the organizers. Amy Kremer, chairwoman of Women for America First, said in a statement: ‘We were concerned because there was an aggressive push [by Guilfoyle aide Wren] to have fringe participation in our event.’”

Prior to Insurrection Day, on December 19, 2020, Kylie Jane tweeted that “The calvary [sic] is coming, Mr. President! January 6th | Washington, D.C.” Notably, Rose Tennet of Kremer’s organization, as well as Bianca Gracia of Latinos for Trump, would speak at the January 5 Stop the Steal/Rally to Save America alongside Jones, Alexander, Boebert, Roger Stone, George Papadopoulos, Michael Flynn, and a large number of Trump surrogates, including pastor Mark Burns and Georgia state rep Vernon Jones.

Formerly Trump’s Small Business Administration head, Linda McMahon thereafter became the chair of America First Policies, a pro-Trump policy dark money group, which contributed $25,000 to Women for America First in 2020.

Ivanka Trump (photo above), Kayleigh McEnany (not pictured), and Riley Williams (not pictured). Ivanka’s role in the events of January 6 remains unclear. She was present in Trump’s party tent in the hour before Trump incited an insurrection, and fled back to the White House with the rest of the First Family afterward. McEnany helped spread “the Big Lie” in occasional pressers and frequent media appearances before January 6. Williams was arrested for stealing Pelosi’s laptop inside the Capitol—allegedly as part of a plot to sell the device to Russia’s foreign intelligence service, the SVR.