Congressional investigators are reportedly looking into what role Trump associates including Roger Stone may have played in the assault on the Capitol on Jan. 6. New video footage obtained by Just Security, and published in full below, shows connections between Stone and leaders of the Proud Boys who may have planned some aspects of the attack. The footage shows Stone and Proud Boys leaders Enrique Tarrio and Ethan Nordean (a.k.a. Rufio Panman) participating together in a demonstration the night before the December 12th “Stop The Steal” rally in Washington DC.
In the video, Owen Shroyer, an Infowars personality, speaks to the crowd on a bullhorn. He is standing next to Tarrio. Shroyer hands Stone the bullhorn. Stone gives brief remarks standing beside Nordean, who appears to have his hand on Stone’s shoulder. “We will fight to the bitter end for an honest count of the 2020 election. Never give up, never quit, never surrender, and fight for America!” Stone tells the crowd. After his brief remarks, Stone passes the bullhorn back to Shroyer. Tarrio joins Stone and Nordean. Tarrio and Stone engage in an inaudible dialogue as Shroyer continues to rouse the crowd. “We got stabbed in the back by the Supreme Court tonight,” shouts Shroyer. “This was never their revolution. This is our revolution!”
Prior video footage that has emerged includes Stone flanked by Oath Keepers on the morning of Jan. 6 in Washington DC (ABC News), including with an individual who appeared to have later participated in the Capitol assault. Vice News published photos of Stone with Oath Keepers working as his security detail at the Stop the Steal rally on Jan. 5 in Washington DC, where Stone spoke. Oath Keepers are seen wearing “All Access” passes on lanyards. Video footage scraped from Parler also appears to show Stone with Oath Keepers as his security entering the Willard Hotel in DC on the evening of Jan. 5.
I. Proud Boys’ Role: Enrique Tarrio and Ethan Nordean (a.k.a. Rufio Panman)
Recent court filings by the U.S. government against six members of the Proud Boys show prosecutors believe “a measure of planning went into disrupting the certification of the presidential vote,” the New York Times reported on Friday. In one of the criminal complaints — filed against Ethan Nordean (a.k.a. Rufio Panman) — prosecutors allege that “he and others were planning in advance to organize a group that would attempt to overwhelm police barricades and breach the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6,” the Washington Post explained. On Jan. 3, Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio posted a cryptic message on Telegram: “What if we invade it?,” the Wall Street Journal had reported earlier. On reviewing thousands of posts from Proud Boys members across Parler, Telegram and Gab, “the messages show the group repeatedly invoking President Trump’s rhetoric in the weeks leading to the Jan. 6 protest as they built momentum toward what became a violent showdown,” the Journal reported.
What activities did Tarrio, Nordean and other Proud Boys ultimately carry out on Jan. 6? Extraordinary video footage recently published by the Wall Street Journal shows Nordean in a lead role in the Proud Boys’ assault on the Capitol that Wednesday. The FBI also showed images of Nordean inside the Capitol. Tarrio was not present that day. He had been arrested on the Monday afternoon shortly after he drove into Washington D.C. He was found to be in possession of two high capacity firearm magazines, and charged for possession.
III. Additional Background on Stone
The following information is also relevant to consideration of Stone’s potential connections to the Proud Boys and the events on Jan. 6.
1. Jan. 5, 2021: Stone speaks at events in Washington, DC.
In the mid afternoon on Jan. 5, Stone speaks at the ‘One Nation Under God’ Prayer Rally hosted by Virginia Women For Trump in front of the Supreme Court. While he advises the crowd to protest peacefully, he frames the events as “a fight for the future of western civilization as we know it” and a “fight between dark and light.” He adds that he will be with the crowd the following day, marching “shoulder to shoulder.”
That evening Stone speaks at the Rally to Save America. He says:
“Let’s be very clear. This is not an election between Republicans and Democrats. This is not a fight between liberals and conservatives. This is nothing less than an epic struggle for the future of this country between dark and light, between the godly and the godless, between good and evil. And we will win this fight or America will step off into a thousand years of darkness. We dare not fail. I will be with you tomorrow, shoulder-to-shoulder.”
As discussed above, Stone is flanked by Oath Keeper who serve as his security detail at the public events and the Willard Hotel.
In an interview on Jan. 8, Stone says he advocated “peaceful protest” in his speech on the evening of Jan. 5, but he did not include any reference to peaceful action in that speech. In the interview, Stone also says, “I have specifically denounced the violence at the Capitol, the intrusion in the Capitol. That’s not how we settle things in America. I do understand the frustration of those involved … I think it was President Kennedy who said those who make peaceful reform impossible make armed revolution inevitable. That’s not who we are as Americans.”
Aside: Stone also says in the interview, “I was invited to lead a march to the Capitol. I declined.”
2. Jan. 4, 2021: Stone suggests “peaceful” options for keeping Trump in power are blocked.
In an interview with Just the News, Stone says that because “the three major peaceful ways to bring reform are blocked. You see why the American people are so frustrated.” The three ways include the elections, judicial proceedings, and the legislative process.
JUST IN: Roger Stone says @realDonaldTrump still has, "options" going forward. Watch his interview with @DavidBrodyCBN on #TheWaterCooler @realDonaldTrump #JustTheNews @RealAmVoice @madisonfoglio pic.twitter.com/wg5r3VSMCD
— Just the News (@JustTheNews) January 5, 2021
3. Jan. 2, 2021: Stone coordinates with Proud Boys on Stop the Steal activities outside Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R-FL) home.
“On Jan. 2, longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone participated in a Proud Boys effort to pressure Sen. Marco Rubio to not certify the results of the election. Mr. Tarrio led about two dozen Trump supporters in front of Mr. Rubio’s Miami home, while Mr. Stone called in to the rally to speak to the crowd.”
4. Jan. 2, 2021: Stone had originally created “Stop the Steal” website in 2016; he reactivates it following his pardon.
The New Yorker reported that “months before the 2016 election, Stone created a Web site called Stop the Steal, which he used to undermine Hillary Clinton’s expected victory by insisting that the election had been rigged—a position that Trump maintained even after he won, to explain his deficit in the popular vote.”
The New Yorker report notes that ten days after Donald Trump pardoned Stone, on Dec. 23, 2020, “Stone reactivated his Stop the Steal Web site, which began collecting donations for ‘security’ in D.C. on January 6th.”
Previously, the site had redirected to Stone’s website StoneColdTruth.com, reported CNN.
5. Dec. 28, 2020: Stone says he is advising Trump on Stop the Steal initiatives.
A few days after being pardoned, Stone posts on Parler that he was with Trump and they discussed Stop the Steal strategies.
I guess Roger Stone met with Trump last night and they talked about voter fraud… pic.twitter.com/HQHVd6Gqrg
— PatriotTakes 🇺🇸 (@patriottakes) December 28, 2020
6. Shortly before Dec. 25, 2020: Ali Alexander, a leading organizer of Jan. 6 events, credits working with Stone amid hinting at violence.
“Just before Christmas, Alexander … used violent metaphors to hint at what was to come in January when speaking to followers of his livestream channel on the social media platform Periscope. In his freewheeling monologue, Alexander credited Roger Stone….
‘This is something Roger and I have been planning for a long time,’ Alexander said. ‘And finally, he’s off the leash. So, you know, it’s a knife fight and your two knife fighters are Ali Alexander and Roger Stone, and you either fight with us or you get slashed. So I’ll let you guys know more about what that means as we evolve.’”
In his speech on the eve of Jan. 5 in Washington DC, Stone says, “My good thanks to my friend Ali Alexander who has revived the ‘Stop the Steal’ movement.”
7. Sept. 2020: Stone endorses Proud Boy leader for public office; the individual is later indicted in Capitol attack.
Nicholas Ochs, the founder of the Proud Boys of Hawaii, is under indictment and could serve up to 20 years for his direct role in the assault on the Capitol. The Justice Department alleges, among other things, “While on U.S. Capitol grounds unlawfully, … Ochs defaced the U.S. Capitol by scrawling onto its Memorial Door the words ‘MURDER THE MEDIA.’”
In Sept. 2020, Stone endorsed Ochs in his run for the state legislature in Hawaii.
8. Feb. 21, 2019: Stone testifies that Tarrio worked with him and had access to Stone’s phone.
Under oath, Stone tells Judge Amy Berman Jackson (full transcript) that he worked with Tarrio and that Tarrio had access to Stone’s phone.
PROSECUTOR: Who sent the email?
STONE: I would have to go back and look. I don’t recognize. I don’t know. Somebody else uses my —
THE COURT: How big is your staff, Mr. Stone?
STONE: I don’t have a staff, Your Honor. I have a few volunteers. I also — others use my phone, so I’m not the only one texting, because it is my account and, therefore, it’s registered to me. So I’m uncertain how I got the image. I think it is conceivable that it was selected on my phone. I believe that is the case, but I’m uncertain.
THE COURT: So individuals, whom you cannot identify, provide you with material to be posted on your personal Instagram account and you post it, even if you don’t know who it came from?
STONE:: Everybody who works for me is a volunteer. My phone is used by numerous people because it can only be posted to the person to whom it is registered.
THE COURT: How large is your volunteer core?
STONE: I have five or six people.
PROSECUTOR: What are the names of the five or six volunteers that you’re referring to?
STONE: I would — Jacob Engles, Enrique Tarrio.
Acknowledgement: Thanks to Marcy Wheeler’s reporting.
9. Dec. 2018: Stone appears with Tarrio and gives explicit support for Proud Boys.
TARRIO: Mr. Stone, is there something that you want to tell the Proud Boys?
STONE: Yeah, absolutely. Keep the faith. … Never give up the fight. We will prevail.
10. Around March 2018: Stone flashes white supremacist symbol with Proud Boys.
See Snopes for analysis of the photograph.
11. Feb. 2018: Evidence of Stone’s “low-level initiation” in the Proud Boys
“Tarrio’s Proud Boys count Stone as one of their own. The group posted a video last February showing Stone completing what has been described by the group as a low-level initiation,” the Daily Beast reported.
12. Nov. 22, 2000: Brooks Brother Riot and “Stop the Fraud”
Roger Stone played a significant role in an earlier attempt to claim fraud and disrupt the tallying of votes in a presidential election. In 2000, Stone helped organize an event that came to be known as the “Brooks Brothers Riot.” Republican Congressional aides and paid operatives claiming to be local protestors gained access inside a building in Miami-Dade county, Florida and shouted “Stop the Fraud!” while attempting to disrupt officials from being able to conduct the recount. In a 2008 New Yorker profile, Stone claimed he directed the riot from a Winnebago parked near the election office.
The authors thank Jacob Apkon and Mari Dugas for research assistance on this article. Review of videos from Parler was conducted with special assistance from Vidrovr, a company that makes video searchable. Video was obtained from publically available posts to Parler and is preserved here.