Videos Point to White House-Proud Boy and White House-Oath Keeper Coordination on January 6

In Part III of its exposé on the Proud Boys, Proof details the white supremacist group's January 6 interactions with both the U.S. Secret Service and Trump campaign agents.

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Introduction

Beyond the publication, at Proof, of a deep dive into the so-called Block Video, I can say that I’ve explored “Blockian marginalia” to a degree no one should ever have to do.

Fortunately, I’ve come out the other side with some surprising finds—ones that fall outside the Block Video itself, but are nevertheless well worth sharing. They relate to interactions between the Proud Boys and both the Secret Service and agents of the 2020 Trump campaign. These interactions matter because, as the Wall Street Journal details in this excellent video summary, the Proud Boys were central to the January 6 insurrection.

The Block Video Archive

As discussed in Part II of this three-part exposé on the Proud Boys, “fourth-degree” Proud Boy Eddie Block chose to hide on YouTube only one of his videos from January 5 and January 6. A review of his many hours of B-roll from his trip to DC—all of which remain public—reveals finds of interest to any journalist hunting for the truth behind the events of January 6.

Below are some key videos from the “Block Archive” that have been reviewed by Proof, along with their items of greatest significance.

Video 1: Before the Trump White House Ellipse Speech on January 6, 2021

Notes:

(1) A Proud Boy interaction with Alex Jones on Insurrection Day. Block, who at the time was wearing a prominently displayed “PROUD BOYS” patch on his chest, is greeted by Stop the Steal co-organizer Alex Jones, who takes a picture with Block and says to Block and those around him, “I love you guys.” While we don’t necessarily need more evidence that Jones, a longtime Proud Boys ally, knew the Proud Boys were at the Stop the Steal events on January 5 and January 6 and encouraged them, we have some here.

(2) A Proud Boy interaction with the Secret Service on Insurrection Day. This interaction is far more jarring. I’ll begin with what Block says about his exchange with the Secret Service on January 6 (warning: explicit language):

I went to go to the front [of the crowd at the White House Ellipse] with the press, and they [the Secret Service] saw this [points to large PROUD BOY patch in center of chest] and they started giving me a fucking hassle. So—the Secret Service—this one dude was being cool, he was going to let me in [to the press area at the event], then this other chick came over and was being a real rude bitch. So I guess I’m not getting—my press pass isn’t working, I guess. Even though I applied for one and I still have this one. [Holds up press pass reading, “Rally with Donald J. Trump, President of the United States: Media.”] So I don’t know what’s going on. This lady was a bitch.

Striking in this, of course, is not only (a) that the Trump campaign and/or the Stop the Steal group gave a press pass to someone it knew was not a member of the press but rather the media coordinator for a white supremacist organization with members that, according to congressional testimony by FBI director Christopher Wray, are domestic terrorists (“We have individuals in that group who are domestic terrorists”, Wray told Sen. Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina), but also (b) that a Secret Service agent was approached by a self-identified and clearly marked member of such a white supremacist organization in the center of Washington and “was going to let [a white supremacist] in[to]” a restricted-access area at a speech about to be given by a sitting president; this was only prevented when a second Secret Service agent thought better of the idea. This alone would be enough for a thorough congressional inquiry into the conduct of the Secret Service on Insurrection Day, which Proof has already called for via investigative reports here and here. Indeed, we know that Trump’s Secret Service let since-indicted Oath Keeper and domestic terror leader Jessica Watkins into the VIP area at Trump’s speech—and Wray told Congress of the Oath Keepers, just as he said of the Proud Boys, that “we have individuals in that group who are domestic terrorists”, which classification would therefore appear to extend to Jessica Watkins—so at some point the question must be asked, preferably by a congressional committee, “Were such security breaches the exception to the rule, or the rule itself, on January 6?”

Every analysis of the January 6 insurrection suggests that coordination between the Trump White House, the 2020 Trump campaign, the Stop the Steal group, the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers, the Three Percenters, Women for America First, and the Eighty Percent Coalition (see below) was essential to the execution of the assault on the U.S. Capitol on that day—from the funding for transportation to contact between insurrectionist leaders and the Trump campaign via text messages mid-insurrection—so the notion that Secret Service complicity between Trump loyalists in that taxpayer-funded unit and members of the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers is a national security issue that no one in Congress or Joe Biden’s administration is looking at is harrowing.

Here’s a photo of a pass Trump’s campaign issued to one of the most senior members of the Proud Boys on Insurrection Day (and notice the PROUD BOYS patch below it):

Video 2: Before the Trump White House Ellipse Speech on January 6, 2021

Notes:

(1) More on a Proud Boy’s interactions with the Secret Service on Insurrection Day. In the video above, Block gives a slightly different account of his exchange with two Secret Service members on Insurrection Day, making it unclear whether Block attempted to get into both a press-only area and the “VIP area” Proof has previously written about at great length, or just the latter (alternately, the admission point to both areas may have been the same). In any case, this video confirms that at least one of the exchanges that Block had with the Secret Service occurred at the very same “VIP area” that we now know Jessica Watkins was successfully admitted to by the Secret Service on January 6:

I was in the VIP area [of the Ellipse speech]—went to go get in—I showed them my press pass, and this guy is like, “Hold on, let me look you up, because that's not the right press pass for here”, and he went to go look me up, and this other Secret Service lady said “Hey, Eddie. You’re a Proud Boy?” I said, “yes.” And she’s like, “I’m sorry, you’re not allowed in.”

This brief narrative more closely reflects how we would expect and demand the Secret Service act in this situation, though we’d still note (a) the odd familiarity of address used by the agent (if Block’s account here is accurate), and (b) the fact that the Secret Service had pre-determined—to be clear, rightly—that Proud Boy members should not be allowed into the VIP area. As to this latter point, clearly we don’t want to create a “damned-if-you-do-and-damned-if-you-don’t” situation, that is, one in which the Secret Service is derided regardless of how they treat with a self-declared Proud Boy, but consider the following: in Block’s first telling of the event, he’s about to be let into a VIP area controlled by the White House despite being a self-declared member of a group containing domestic terrorists, and in his second telling of the event, the Secret Service is working off a pre-determined and pre-established protocol that specifically forbids the Trump campaign from engaging with the Proud Boys in any fashion.

Perhaps you see the problem with this second possibility.

The 2020 Trump campaign had in fact been working indirectly with the Proud Boys—via Alex Jones, Ali Alexander, and Roger Stone of the Stop the Steal “movement”—since mid-December, making it inexplicable that only on the day that the Proud Boys were to execute Trump’s publicly expressed will and try to stop a joint congressional session should the Proud Boys be deemed personae non grata by the Trump campaign and the Trump White House. If the Proud Boys were personae non grata on January 6, as indeed they should have been, why weren’t they when Donald Trump’s friend and adviser Stone was publicly raising money for them hours after meeting with Trump at Mar-a-Lago in late December? There’s a double-standard here requiring congressional investigation to explain exactly how and when the Proud Boys came to be identified as a security threat by the Trump White House, and what actions were then taken to ensure that no one who the Trump administration was dealing with pre-January (for instance, Ali Alexander, an open Proud Boy supporter and liaison who spoke to top Trump adviser Kimberly Guilfoyle by phone on Insurrection Eve) was linked to that white supremacist group.

{Note: Given that the Block Video reveals Block and the other leaders of the Proud Boys not attending Trump’s speech at all, a separate question is this: considering that Block was tasked with tracking the Proud Boys’ movements on January 6 as their social media coordinator, why was he dispatched to Trump’s VIP area at all? Why risk him missing the Proud Boys’ planned march? Was he supposed to meet up with anyone there? Stone? Jones? Alexander? We can’t know this, but these are questions investigators will have to ask in the weeks or months ahead.}

Of course, still more notable than any of this is the fact that on January 6 the Secret Service apparently had a different approach to handling Oath Keepers than Proud Boys, as we know, again, that since-indicted Oath Keeper Jessica Watkins was allowed into Trump’s VIP area at the Ellipse. What instructions had the Secret Service received pre-insurrection, and from whom, that established differential treatment as between the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys? Who, that is, green-lit the Oath Keepers—or, in the alternative, said nothing about the Oath Keepers but made special note that the Proud Boys could pose an idiosyncratic danger to the White House and the Trump campaign if anyone from either entity was seen with one of them?

This underscores the need for a comprehensive investigation of the Secret Service by Congress, as one of the key questions for the FBI in its January 6 investigation is, “Did anyone inside the White House or the Trump campaign apprehend, pre-insurrection, that either the Proud Boys or Oath Keepers posed a special danger to the U.S. Capitol?” If Secret Service members were instructed to keep Proud Boys away from the inner circle of the President of the United States, but no such instructions were given as to the Oath Keepers, that state of affairs poses many more questions than it answers.

{Note: At another point in the videos in this article, Block gives a third discrete account of what happened between him and the Secret Service, saying, “I had my press pass. So they [the event staff in the general admission area] sent me to the press area. And then some bitch at the press area saw my Proud Boys [chest patch], and she kicked me the fuck out.” While, according to Block—see the Fresno Bee link here—the FBI told him in late January 2021 that he was not under investigation, one has to wonder if this is true and, if it’s true, why it’s true. The Block Video shows Block trying to avoid overhearing operational details regarding the Capitol as they’re being discussed by Ethan Nordean and another Proud Boy, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t overhear significant evidence of criminality on January 6, or that his brief exchange with Trump agents that day couldn’t be key to the FBI probe into the insurrection.}

Video 3: Block at the Capitol After the Other Proud Boys Have Fled (January 6, 2021)

Notes:

(1) Block’s closeness with Enrique Tarrio, the leader of the Proud Boys. I mostly include this brief video because it features Block discussing his intent to call Tarrio directly. The fact that Block discusses this so casually underscores his place (and notability) within the national Proud Boy infrastructure, however congenial and goofy this white supremacist may seem in the Block Video and in many of his other videos. The video above is also the first of a series of videos on Block’s YouTube channel—which has over 8,000 subscribers, and which he boasts on camera is watched by “2,000” or more people during livestreamed Proud Boy events—in which the fourth-degree Proud Boy establishes himself as being the “last man at the Capitol [on Insurrection Day].” This boast appears to be true or nearly true, as Block is still sitting in his scooter on a high eleveation at the Capitol long after the Capitol has been cleared. The final videos in this sequence on Block’s YouTube channel reveal Block surrounded by members of the DC Metropolitan Police Department and no one else. {Note: in the Block Video, here, he says of Tarrio, “Every time he comes around, he has to drive my scooter and sit in my lap.”}

Video 4: Block Does a Q&A at the San Francisco Airport on January 7, 2021

Notes:

(1) Block confesses that the Proud Boys deliberately dressed like antifa on January 6, which revelation could implicate a top Trump congressional ally—indeed one who strategized with Donald Trump at the White House pre-insurrection—in a post-insurrection cover-up.

Here’s Block answering a user’s question during an hour-long “AMA” (“ask me anything”) while waiting for his flight at the San Francisco airport on January 7:

[Reading a viewer’s question out loud]: “Why didn’t we wear Proud Boy colors yesterday?” Because we heard that antifa was going to try to wear Proud Boys colors to try to fit in with us, so we decided to try to look like them [antifa] instead. That’s why. And no, we’re not going to do it again next time, so don’t think, antifa, you’re going to figure us out—because we change our shit up all the time.

The primary conspiracy theory passed around by the far right after the insurrection at the Capitol had been dealt with on January 6 was that the whole affair had in fact been orchestrated by antifa, a term the Proud Boys like to employ as a bogeyman whenever it’s convenient. Indeed, Trump ally Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ)—who Ali Alexander has called the “spirit animal” of the the Stop the Steal group—on January 6 tweeted a false claim by a fellow Arizonan, far-right activist Michael Coudrey, alleging that based on the dress of those who were at the Capitol, the attack on our nation’s seat of government was initiated by members of antifa.

Given that Alexander has identified Gosar (along with GOP Reps. Andy Biggs of Arizona and Mo Brooks of Alabama) as one of his three co-conspirators in planning the events of January 6, and given that Alexander is the Stop the Steal group’s liaison to the Proud Boys, is it really the case that Gosar had no operational knowledge of how the Proud Boys planned to dress or conduct themselves on January 6? Certainly, any competent FBI investigation into the events of that day would consider the possibility that Coudrey’s tweet, Gosar’s retweet, and the subsequent Alex Jones-Ali Alexander interviews on InfoWars were aimed to obstruct investigation into the real perpetrators of the insurrection—an investigation that all four of Coudrey, Gosar, Jones, and Alexander would have known would lead directly to them and to the Proud Boys.

Apart from all this, Block’s confession establishes an even more foundational point: if rank-and-file Trumpists—that is, those not involved with the Proud Boys—believed that they saw antifa at the Capitol on January 6 (which it’s not clear they did, but let’s humor this self-aggrandizing claim for a moment) we now know that they were really seeing was a radical pro-Trump group in disguise. Not only does this decimate a far-right conspiracy theory and talking point, it also raises a more sinister possibility, albeit one that seem almost self-evident as soon as it’s mentioned: that the Proud Boys didn’t dress up like antifa on January 6 because they were scared of antifa, they dressed up as antifa to try to blame a terrorist attack on the U.S. government on antifa.

It’s here I must remind everyone that—as Proof has by now covered ad nauseam—top Trump advisers Michael Flynn, Michael Lindell, and Sidney Powell were desperately trying to get Trump to invoke the Insurrection Act of 1807 prior to January 6, an invocation that could only even arguably happen if there were a major left-wing attack on the U.S. government prior to Biden’s inauguration. Vanity Fair has reported that, days before January 6, Trump inexplicably told acting secretary of defense Chris Miller that the Pentagon would need to bring in “10,000” troops on January 6. No one has ever been able to explain why Trump said this to Miller, as it implied that Trump believed things would get out of hand on January 6.

On the one hand, we could surmise that this concern was prompted by a Secret Service security assessment that Trump and his team hid from Congress, but on the other hand Trump and his allies (like Gosar, Alexander, and Jones) have consistently implied an antifa presence at the Capitol on January 6 that is wholly imaginary. So could it be that a premeditated plan to pin any violence or chaos at the Capitol on antifa, a plan accidentally implied here by Block, went awry and made it impossible for Trump to invoke the Insurrection Act and impose martial law? To be honest, the idea seems far-fetched to me—but even so, as a former criminal investigator in the federal criminal justice system I wouldn’t call it beyond the scope of what we might expect the FBI and Congress to at least inquire into, given the evidence before them at the moment.

(2) Block discusses the possibility of a second Civil War in the United States. When one of his viewers remarks that a “civil war” is coming, Block replies:

[Summarizing a viewer’s question out loud]: “A civil war is going to happen?” I wouldn’t doubt that, if it keeps going on the way it is. But we’ll see.

Block later notes that he “doesn’t want” a civil war, but does see it as a “possibility.” When he is asked if he “still backs the ‘blue’ [the police]”, he answers, “Not really.” Proof has already noted the anti-police hostility the Proud Boys exhibited on January 6 even pre-insurrection.

{Note: It’s hard to say how much of a law-abiding citizen Block was pre-insurrection, as he boasts, at one point in the video above, that he “knocked [a] guy [from antifa] out” in Sacramento a week earlier. “I fought antifa in Sacramento”, he adds. “We had a big brawl.”}

(3) Block’s telling slips. One of the many far-right canards about Insurrection Day is that it was largely peaceful, which we certainly don’t need Eddie Block to know is untrue. Even so, two slips by Block are telling on this score. At one point Block admits “there was a lot of blood all over the place” at the Capitol on January 6; at another point he undermines the premise that the Proud Boys didn’t significantly participate in the assault on the Capitol (something he refuses to discuss or acknowledge on camera), saying, “We had people breaking in on all four sides [of the Capitol].” At another point he refers to the Capitol assault as “a lesson we taught them all.”

While it’s arguably unclear who Block means by “we,” it’s impossible to miss that Block wears Proud Boy colors in almost every video he records and routinely uses words like “we” to refer to the Proud Boys. Certainly, statements like these should become part of any FBI investigation into the events of January 6, making it a continued mystery why anyone at the FBI told Block he was not under investigation.

Videos 5: Block’s Drive Around Washington on January 5, 2021

A sequence of videos in which Block drives his scooter around Washington on January 5 contains a good deal of useful content, particularly when night falls and Block heads over to the Stop the Steal/Rally to Save America event at Freedom Plaza.

Notes:

(1) Golf carts (and Ali Alexander). Proof recently ran a major report on the importance of (of all things) golf carts to the insurrectionists and their attack on the U.S. Capitol—and wouldn’t you know it, as Block approaches the back of the crowd at the Rally to Save America event sponsored by the Stop the Steal “movement,” we see a parked golf cart without anyone around it. Unfortunately, this does little for the key question of the Proof report on this subject (who paid for the golf carts, a query that matters for the several reasons outlined in that article) because while Stop the Steal sponsored the rally in question, one of the speakers at the event was top Trump adviser Roger Stone, who we know was at the time being guarded by soon-to-be-indicted Oath Keepers who were driving him around via golf cart.

Still, the presence of a lone cart, at an event Stone was known to be at, underlines that the Proud Boy-aligned Stop the Steal team (a) may not have had many rented golf carts on January 6, (b) apparently allotted one to a top Trump adviser, and therefore (c) were delivering valuable assets to the Oath Keepers when they permitted Roberto Minuta and Joshua James to race two golf carts to the Capitol as soon as the Capitol had been breached. This is also another sign of Proud Boy-Oath Keeper coordination, which has previously been confirmed.

For good measure, Block also encountered Alexander himself—seen below in a blaze-orange hat that God had directly instructed him to wear (per Alexander)—at the front of the crowd at the Rally to Save America.

(2) The stunning monologue of Cindy Chafian, leader of the Eighty Percent Coalition. At the Rally to Save America, Cindy Chafian, leader of the Eighty Percent Coalition (so named for the farcical premise that 10% of Americans are fringe-left and 10% are fringe-right, with the jaw-droppingly far-right views of the Eighty Percent Coalition representing the remaining 80% of the country—the “ignored middle” of America) gives a speech as risible as anything I have seen yet from the insurrectionist camp.

That Chafian gives the speech she gives in the video above is telling because not only does the Wall Street Journal report that Chafian worked directly with Alex Jones in the lead-up to Insurrection Day, but we also know, from past Proof reporting, that Chafian worked directly with agents of Donald Trump to plan and coordinate the events of both January 5 and January 6. From that prior Proof report (emphasis supplied, at the end):

Cindy Chafian, according to ProPublica, spent the three weeks before January 6 working with Women for America First to “oversee planning for the [Stop the Steal/March to Save America] event”, including producing a “budget” and a “vendors breakdown” that she subsequently gave to [Kimberly Guilfoyle aide] Caroline Wren and former Melania Trump aide Justin 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 [which donor is now known to be Publix heiress 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.

ProPublica has done amazing work establishing that insurrectionist events we think of as having been coordinated by Stop the Steal, Women for America First, or the Eighty Percent Coalition were in fact coordinated by the White House and its agents within the 2020 Trump campaign. Keep that in mind when you read the transcript below of what Chafian yelled to the crowd at the January 5 Stop the Steal/Rally to Save America.

{Note: Also ask yourself, if this is what Chafian says publicly, what was she saying privately to Caroline Wren, Kimberly Guilfoyle, Amy Kremer or Kylie Jane Kremer of Women for America First, and other Trump partisans and Trump agents? These vile, seditious, and transparently bigoted viewpoints couldn’t have been unknown to the Trump White House or to the Trump political team pre-insurrection.}

Here’s Chafian (emphasis supplied, though realize that she shouted almost all of this):

Let me just tell you: the Deep State, ruled by Communists and people who want to destroy this country, have taken advantage of us for far too long. And I don’t know about you, but I am pissed. Are y’all pissed? Are you gonna fight back? They have smacked a lion on its ass, and that lion is not backing down, are we? So here’s the thing: tomorrow we’re going to make history. Tonight we’re making history. And I am so excited for this. What we’re doing is unprecedented. We’re standing at the precipice of history and we are ready to take our country back. Take it back—chant it!—“take it back!” We’re gonna fight for America, aren’t we? We’re gonna fight for this president, who has been fighting for us for four years. And we are here to let President Trump know that we heard your call! We’re here for you, Mr. President! We are here to have your back! We are not going to let you down because we know that you have not let us down. So we are here for you—thank you. I just want to say that there are a lot of people that have put a lot of work into this, but people that often go unseen and unknown are the ones who protect us. And unfortunately Enrique [Tarrio, leader of the white supremacist Proud Boys] could not be here tonight. He was scheduled to speak [at this rally], so I want to hear a huge shout out for Enrique and the Proud Boys right now! Thank you, Enrique! Thank you, Proud Boys! I stand with the Proud Boys! [Crowd begins shouting, “Proud Boys!” and “Enrique!”] Know this: when you guys are going back to your hotel tonight, they [a group called the First Amendment Praetorians] are the ones who are integrated into the crowds, keeping you safe. Them, the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers, the Three Percenters [militia], all of those guys keep you safe! All of them! And I’ll stand with them, because I’m tired of the comment that “we can’t talk about them.”

First, note Chafian’s confession that the January 5 Stop the Steal event that the group organized with the help of the Trump campaign was going to feature the Proud Boys’ leader as a keynote speaker. Could there be any clearer coordination between Tarrio and the White House? Can Trump’s claim that Tarrio wasn’t invited to the White House in December—which contradicts what Tarrio himself says—still be credited by anyone? Who could believe that the keynote speaker at a large event wasn’t invited to a place where that event was being planned while it was being planned, but instead just ended up there by coincidence?

Second, who had Chafian recently been working with who’d been telling her that she had to hide her and her operation’s fidelity to violent militias and white supremacists? Was it the same person or group of persons who’d given directions to the U.S. Secret Service about how to deal with the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers on Insurrection Day?

How can Trump or his camp maintain the fiction that the then-president didn’t incite an insurrection, when one of the organizers of the events of January 6 says, without any ambiguity whatsoever, “We are here to let President Trump know that we heard your call! We’re here for you, Mr. President! We are here to have your back!”