How to use attacks on the informer against Trump & his MAGA mob

Exclusive: An Informer Told the FBI What Docs Trump Was Hiding, and Where

William Arkin of Newsweek revealed that there was an informer at Mar-a-lago. Everyone will be speculating on WHO it was. I want to talk about how we can use the expected attacks on the informer against Trump and his MAGA mob.

We know what Trump will do. He’ll go after the informer on social media. It’s what he does. His people will get the message. The informer is in danger.

The FBI knows who the person is, so this a perfect opportunity to capture all the calls/texts/ social media threats, smears and libel coming at them from all sources. But will they? And if they do, what will they do with this information?

If they chose to, the FBI can use the expected threats to build strong criminal cases against the people making them. And, if the informer chooses to, they can build strong civil cases against the people defaming, harassing and threatening them.

We know that the FBI has a method when working with sources to prepare them following witness tampering. When Trump called a witness Glenn Kirschner explained how the FBI prepares for witness tampering with “recorded call backs.” The FBI teaches the source how to draw out the people making threats to get their intent. These recordings can be used in obstruction cases.

But I want the FBI to do more than prepare for witness tampering cases. I want them to be looking into how to win criminal cases against the people making death threats, harassing and intimidating them. online.

It’s time to learn from the right’s history of threats of violence and flip them to fight the MAGA’s mob threatening behaviors from all vectors: RW media, phone calls, text messages, email, social media and in person threats when they show up at houses with weapons to protest.
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If the informant wants to file criminal charges about online threats, the FBI can help the informant by suggesting how to engage with those making threats in order to prove their intent. As we see in Elonis v. United States, to charge someone with a “true threat” the prosecution needs to show intent. Without this if law enforcement actually DOES follow up with a threat, they are often dismissed as hyperbole, or the person who is caught says a variation of “I didn’t mean it when I said ‘I’m going to come to your house and put a b u llit in your brain.’ It was a joke!”

Why the Right LOVES to make death threats. They work!

We have learned from the great reporting of Linda So and Jason Szep in Reuter’s that law enforcement dismisses A LOT of threats as “1st Amendment protected speech,” especially when it’s not local and on social media.

(In my three part series I wrote about all the excuses police, the media and politicians use to avoid dealing with cases involving threats & harassment.)


Death threats from the MAGA base is a Win-Win-Win for them. There are no significant downsides to them. When there are no criminal charges or negative consequences for the people making them, they continue. That’s why I’m really glad that Eric Swalwell addressed the threats of violence that are coming out of MAGA base following the FBI search of Mar-a-lago.

I HOPE the informant prepares to file criminal charges & works with the FBI to get hard evidence. But I know that it will take YEARS for criminal cases to go forward. The other way to ensure that the MAGA base experiences negative consequences for their defamation, harassment and intimidation of people is to charge them with CIVIL lawsuits.

If witnesses, whistleblowers, and election workers are going to be threatened & defamed, and the rich ones won’t be going to jail for doing it, there should be compensation for the damage to their lives because of the attacks. (Latest example of what this looks like is the Alex Jones’ cases against the Sandy Hook families.)

Ask your lawyer if a defamation case is right for you!

When the media finally told the story of the threats to Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss, they also noted how poorly law enforcement responded. No one was arrested or charged while this was happening. Joy Reid’s story in the Reidout Blog reminds people of the threats the two received.

So Ruby Freeman and her daughter Shaye filed civil lawsuits against The Gateway Pundit, Rudy Giuliani and OAN. They WON their multi-million dollar case against OAN.


Now the odds are that the informant was a Trump insider. I’m glad they acted to do the right thing for the good of the country. But now that they have acted, their life, as they know it, will be over. There will be no MAGA gravy train for them every again. So they will need a way to survive in the world later. They could write a book, or get a spot on MSNBC, but that’s not possible for everyone. They can’t always get a Go-Fund-Me going.

In America these days it’s not enough to just defeat the right. You need to crush them in multiple ways, because they keep coming after you. So I’m all in favor of figuring out ways to use defeating them to raise money. I’m a huge fan of qui tam cases. I like when the SPLC goes after the assets of hate groups. In my world, I’d use these kinds of cases to fund our ongoing fights against them.

(A recent case is of using their reactions against them to raise money for our causes is Olivia Julianna, the 18 year old who flipped the script on Matt Gaetz and raised 2 million dollars for abortion access in less than a week.)

It will take time to change MAGA world’s constant use of threats of violence. They are already attacking the judge who signed the Trump search warrant.

But stories of individuals doing time for threats have been starting to make a difference on people’s behavior. Ben Collins did a story about Tyler Welsh Slaeker, a Washington state man awaiting sentencing for storming the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, who wrote about a “civil war” on Reddit,

Later on in the night, Slaeker clarified in a reply that he could not be more specific about his civil war post.

“I am awaiting sentencing for trespassing into the Capitol,” he wrote. “I am only being careful with my words.”

We know that huge fines for defamation had an impact on OAN. News Corporation is very careful of defaming voting machine companies now. We have evidence of what changes their behavior.

To change individual’s behavior we need to prepare for how they typically respond and then make them face real consequences for their USE OF UNPROTECTED THREATENING SPEECH–and make them pay a price.

The J6 Committee has the “missing” texts

I think the J6 committees already knows the contents of the missing texts from the Secret Service, DHS and now the DoD. Texts of top Trump officials in the Department of Defense wiped. The “missing texts” investigation is designed to reveal people involved in the cover up. It’s a setup to implicate Trumpers embedded in government. And it’s working, it’s already exposed actions and non-actions taken by Trump appointed Inspector General, Joseph Cuffari. Monday, Reps. Bennie Thompson and Carolyn Maloney ( said they also have new evidence the inspector general’s office stopped trying to recover the missing records over a year ago. Link

.@SamSeder the J6 cmte telling the media the Secret Service texts are "missing" is a set up designed to catch those who tried & are trying to obstruct justice. It's working too, it's exposed IG Cuffari. @MattLech @majorityfmGood Job #J6committee! @January6thCmte pic.twitter.com/T4J0VEJAxm

— Spocko (@spockosbrain) August 2, 2022

“But Spocko,” you ask, “if the committee has copies of the texts, why didn’t they reveal them?” There are a couple of reasons. Not revealing the content now is giving the committee the opportunity to get more people in to “refresh their memory” and cut deals. They . . . → Read More: The J6 Committee has the “missing” texts

Did Tony Ornato help TFG plan the coup? Or just cover up the Secret Service’s role in it?

I’ve had my eye on Tony Ornato since the Tulsa coronavirus rally on June 20th 2020. (link)

Last year I wrote @BennieGThompson & said"Tony Ornato, Trump's former Deputy Chief of Staff & current Secret Service Assistant Director needs to be investigated by the House Cmte on Homeland Security for breaking state & Federal reporting laws. Do it now! https://t.co/RIv7alyg9u

— Spocko (@spockosbrain) July 22, 2022

I think Tony Ornato and members of the Secret Service helped with the coup. Specifically they used their foreknowledge of where Pence would go following a violent attack on the Capitol to position a specific driver in the secure location.

Tony Ornato, star of United States Secret Service: On the Frontline (2018) Donald Trump with the head of his protection detail, Tony Ornato, in the documentary United States Secret Service: On the Frontline (2018)

They knew the procedure for Pence when he arrived at the secure location–take him off-site.

“at the White House, Pence’s national security adviser, retired Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg, was making a similar argument to Ornato. Ornato indicated that the Secret Service planned to move Pence to Joint Base Andrews.

“You can’t do that, Tony,” Kellogg said, . . . → Read More: Did Tony Ornato help TFG plan the coup? Or just cover up the Secret Service’s role in it?

Marcy Wheeler discusses DOJ’s investigation of the Insurrection with Brad Friedman, @theBradblog podcast 7-14-2022

This was a great interview. It made me feel better about what the DOJ has been doing. Especially after listening to Rachel Maddow reading the memo from Merrick Garland on Monday, July 18th talking about the DOJ being careful during election years. Because I thought the whole interview was great I made a clip and then used Otter’s AI to transcribe all 45 minutes of her interview. I reviewed it all , but there still might be some things that aren’t perfect, so here is a link to the entire show.

Marcy Wheeler @emptywheel

Marcy of course has details on Emptywheel.net. Here is the link to her piece listing some of the investigations into various characters in the January 6th insurrection. WHAT DOJ WAS DOING WHILE YOU WERE WASTING TIME WHINGING ON TWITTER

Reupping this GREAT @emptywheel interview on @TheBradBlog https://t.co/iVTxRYOf7TI feel better about DOJ's progress now. I learned how much evidence the DOJ has from Rudy's phones. He's doomed.The DOJ has enough evidence to charge TFG, they just need a couple more pieces. pic.twitter.com/5x63E802km

— Spocko (@spockosbrain) July 19, 2022

"I think Weissman is not even remotely familiar with the investigation. eg. Sidney Powell . . . → Read More: Marcy Wheeler discusses DOJ’s investigation of the Insurrection with Brad Friedman, @theBradblog podcast 7-14-2022

I Celebrate National Bomb Pop Day & Watermelon Seed Spitting Week

Today is National Bomb Pop Day – June 30, 2022

Photo from the Herron Nest How to have a BOMB POP Party

I loved these as a young space cadet. “The bomb pop man! The bomb pop man!” I’d cry when I heard the music playing and saw the truck coming up the street.

I found out the bomb pop was created in 1955.

“amidst the threat of nuclear warfare, Abernethy and Merritt came up with a frozen treat to cool down temperaments all over the nation. The pop was shaped like a bomb with six fins, hence the name Bomb Pop, and its color scheme reflected the patriotic zeitgeist of America during the Cold War.”

Bomb Pop FAQ.

This week is Watermelon Seed Spitting Week

Watermelon Seed Spitting Week – June 30-July 3, 2022From the Watermelon Seed Spitting Week FAQ

What is the world record for watermelon seed spitting?

The world record for watermelon seed spitting is 75 feet two inches.

Can a watermelon seed grow in your stomach?

Watermelon seeds along with other seeds will simply pass through your digestive system and be removed from your body in a day or two.

. . . → Read More: I Celebrate National Bomb Pop Day & Watermelon Seed Spitting Week

Hey Ohio! Check out these stories of armed teachers’ gun fails!

“Ohio Gov. DeWine signs a bill arming teachers after 24 hours of training” I just reviewed the Ohio Arming Teachers’ bill history & future. It stinks.

“In more than a year of debate on the legislation, witnesses spoke to oppose it more than 360 times, while around 20 people spoke in favor. ” wrote Bill Chappell at NPR. I downloaded pages and pages of testimony. The opponents gave the statistics, they told the stories of the problems and failures. Yet it passed. The gun lobby is still very powerful and knows how to push the right buttons with politicians. They also know how to push the “armed hero saves school kids’ lives” myth into the minds of the public.

I watched what happened with Florida’s Armed Teacher program. The NRA/MAGA crowd went to school boards where we saw bad slogans, incorrect premises and faulty data. They were going up against Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America who had peer-reviewed research, facts and matching t-shirts.

Unless the law can be stopped, we are going to see the same thing happen in Ohio. And it’s going to be a s*** show. Remember parents screaming about CRT & . . . → Read More: Hey Ohio! Check out these stories of armed teachers’ gun fails!

After Parkland the GOP/NRA sold parents on hope with slogans & guns in schools. It failed. What’s their move now?

I’ve been writing about gun violence and how to prevent it for over 15 years. After the Uvalde shooting I went back to revisit to see what I’ve learned and what I think will happen next. I also want to point to some good gun law changes we have made and some messages we can spread about them. The Republicans will push to get more guns in schools following the Uvalde shooting. This is the “do something” that the Republicans can get behind. It builds on the premise that people with guns in school will be able to gun down an active shooter before they kill kids.* Guns are NOT a passive defensive tool like a bullet proof vest. They won’t stop a bullet coming at you. Guns are an active, offensive weapon. This active, offensive role of the “virtuous person with a gun” is what appeals to men who want to actively respond to threats to their property and their families. For them it’s not good enough to passively stop bullets, they want an active component that stops/kills the person who is the threat.

*Of the nearly 200 Post-identified incidents of school gunfire, only once before this . . . → Read More: After Parkland the GOP/NRA sold parents on hope with slogans & guns in schools. It failed. What’s their move now?

Let’s make winning defamation cases a profit center for the left

First some happy good news. Georgia election workers Ruby Freeman and Wandrea “Shaye” Moss won their defamation case against OAN! OAN Settles One Election Defamation Suit, Only One Million To GoAfter months of vicious harassment Freeman and Moss sued Giuliani and OAN, which “spent months airing grainy edited footage of the pair, and the network’s White House correspondent Chanel Rion for defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Separately, the pair filed a similar suit against wingnut website Gateway Pundit in Missouri state court.” Joy Reid’s story in the Reidout Blog reminds people of the threats the two received.

In this third piece on threats I wanted to give an example of what to DO when threatened by the right. (Part 1 , Part 2)This Freeman defamation case is a prime example of a successful action given our current justice system, media and social media environment. I’ve been looking into civil actions because criminal cases take a long time and you have to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. Civil cases can be won with a preponderance of evidence. The civil cases against Rudy Giuliani and the Gateway Pundit that involves doxxing are still open. I hope those will be successful . . . → Read More: Let’s make winning defamation cases a profit center for the left

Accepting death threats IS NOT part of the job!

I was watching Judy Woodruff and Martin Baron, former editor of the Washington Post, in a talk when they were asked about criticism of their work. Woodruff gave what I recognize as the standard line that mainstream journalists give that they are doing a good job when they are getting “pushback from both ends of the political spectrum.” She said that criticism “comes with the turf.”The host then asked about her support of the International Women’s Media Foundation and how the focus is on protecting women journalists who are subject to threats and harassment. He asked both whether “this anger at the press is manifesting itself in a kind of behavior that’s not just an angry tweet or letter, but it’s something else.”

Judy Woodruff and Martin Baron with Geoffrey Cowan Apr 13, 2022 | America at a Crossroads

Baron talked about “the aggrieved individual’ that killed journalists at the Annapolis paper the Capital Gazette. (Link ) He mentioned incidents that were directed toward Washington Post staff that “indicated that people knew where we lived and that damage could be done and that physical harm could take place.” He explained that staff at the Washington Post were subject . . . → Read More: Accepting death threats IS NOT part of the job!

Facebook profits from threats, harassment & defamation, why can’t the victims? 

In part one I wrote about the ways that the right uses social media to threaten, harass and defame people. In part two I want to look at how to get accountability for those threatening and attacking people online. Historically, I have shown multiple groups how to organize negative financial consequences for those engaging in violent rhetoric in right wing media. (Reminder, *I* successfully beat Disney/ABC/KSFO in a copyright case.)One way I did that was look at who made a company money & what costs a company money then used that understanding to show companies that what they thought was an asset, can be a liability, unless they took action. I believe that there should be criminal and civil accountability for those threatening and attacking people online and punishment for the wealthy individuals and organizations behind it that are connected with and profit from specific threats, harassment and defamation campaigns. Let me show you one example of how it could be done. Right now my editor at Crooks and Liars, Karoli, is facing a suspension of her personal Facebook account. She was phished and hacked. The hacker inserted offensive words and images in her account. She reported it right . . . → Read More: Facebook profits from threats, harassment & defamation, why can’t the victims?