- The Washington Times
Sunday, February 28, 2021

Justice Department court filings have singled out fringe-right Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys for instigating the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

On Friday the department highlighted a third group: the “Groypers” — a young following of “alt-right” podcaster Nicholas J. Fuentes.

Mr. Fuentes arrived Saturday at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Florida, only to be blocked by security.

“CPAC sucks,” he said.

The Justice Department released an indictment of Christian Secor, a UCLA undergraduate and Groyper activist who founded the America First Bruins on campus.

Mr. Secor, indicted on 10 offenses, was a prominent Capitol invader, pushing a gaggle of pro-Trump supporters into the building, carrying an “America First” flag up crowded hallways and occupying the Senate president’s chair.

An FBI affidavit presenting evidence to justify Mr. Secor‘s arrest is not limited to his actions that day. The agent also notes his right-wing political views, referring to him as a Groyper.

Groypers, named after a cartoon frog, follow a hard-right nationalist agenda that is at odds with the Republican Party and mainstream conservatism. Mr. Fuentes is credited with founding the loosely aligned group, whose key aim is to infiltrate Republican Party thought.

On his Twitter account, Mr. Fuentes retweeted a short video of himself and his boisterous followers showing up at CPAC, whose security would not let him enter Orlando’s Hyatt Regency hotel. He made a brief provocative statement, then marched off with his group, who chanted “America First, America First.”

“CPAC is not conservative,” Mr. Fuentes said. “CPAC sucks. It’s gay.”

Later, he exited hotel grounds in a convertible. “I walked up to the front door and they kicked me out,” he told his supporters in a video posted by Orlando Weekly. “At AFPAC [America First Political Action Committee], we don’t have homosexuals speaking on stage.”

“Jesus Christ is sovereign over everything,” he said.

Groypers oppose the mainstream message of such young people’s groups as Turning Point USA, led by Charlie Kirk and dedicated to spreading conservative values to high school and college students.

Mr. Fuentes is often derided on Twitter by established conservative activists and opinion writers who view him as an extremist and anti-Semitic.

“The Groypers are a network of alt right figures who are vocal supporters of white supremacist and ‘America First’ podcaster Nick Fuentes,” states the FBI affidavit for Mr. Secor‘s arrest.

The FBI identified Mr. Secor with help of anonymous UCLA students. One informant submitted a photograph of the defendant at a pre-Jan. 6 rally in Huntington Beach, California, attended by a number of self-described Groypers.

The FBI used a New Yorker magazine invasion video and U.S. Capitol Police closed-circuit television surveillance to track Mr. Secor‘s movements though the Capitol building.

A college tipster told the FBI: “Secor is known to follow an extreme ideology and invite white nationalists to speak at engagements on campus.”

After the riot, Mr. Secor returned to California, moved back home with his mother, ditched his phone and car, and “bragged that he would not be caught for his involvement at the U.S. Capitol,” the affidavit says, quoting a longtime friend.

The affidavit’s most damning political evidence is screenshots of Mr. Secor‘s Twitter account, @fullautonat. Twitter says that account does not currently exist.

The FBI agent writes that Mr. Secor describes fascism as “epic,” states that he supports “nationalism everywhere” and “suggests Jews and the state of Israel control the politics of other governments.”

Other FBI affidavits have described militia members of the Oath Keepers from Ohio and Virginia as the group that actively planned to break into the Capitol weeks before the rally. The aim was to stop Congress from certifying the Electoral College victory for President Biden.

Former President Donald Trump had wanted former Vice President Mike Pence, who presided over the joint session of Congress, to send the vote back to battleground states where legislatures would elect him for a second term. Mr. Pence refused, saying he had no such power.

FBI affidavits also have presented evidence against the Proud Boys, a sometimes violent right-wing nationalist group whose members were seen breaking into the Capitol.

The Secor indictment accuses him of assaulting a police officer, illegally entering the Capitol building, illegally entering the Senate floor and gallery, and disorderly conduct.

The Secor affidavit gave a recap of Jan. 6: “In the course of these events, approximately 81 members of the Capitol Police and 58 members of the Metropolitan Police Department were assaulted. Additionally, one subject was shot and killed while attempting to enter the House chamber through broken windows; many media members were assaulted and had cameras and other news gathering equipment destroyed; and the Capitol suffered millions of dollars in damage — including broken windows and doors, graffiti, and residue of various pepper sprays, tear gas, and fire extinguishers deployed both by crowd members who stormed the Capitol and by Capitol Police officers trying to restore order.”

Capitol Police estimate that 10,000 Trump supporters marched to the Capitol on Jan. 6 and about 800 entered the building.

• Rowan Scarborough can be reached at rscarborough@washingtontimes.com.

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