'Traitors Need To Be Executed': 'Stop The Steal' Organizer Indicted In Jan. 6 Conspiracy Case
Alan Hostetter speaks at an event last month. (Photo: YouTube)
Alan Hostetter was "nowhere in Arkansas" when he pressed the record button. It was late November, a few weeks after what the former Orange County's police chief and newer yoga teacher called the "stolen" 2020 elections.
Hostetter, who formed a group called the American Phoenix Project in early 2020 to oppose government restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, was on his way to DC for the Million MAGA March in support of then President Donald Trump. He had a few thoughts that he wanted to record "for posterity".
In the darkened interior of his vehicle, he had "scolded a bit". He reiterated the baseless conspiracy theories on mass electoral fraud that he had read on the internet and heard from Trump, the ones that police officers feared would kill someone. Tilt ballot! Computer algorithms! It was all revealed, he said. “The charade is over,” he said, and people would end up in jail.
Then it was time for executions.
"Some people at the highest levels have to serve as an example: an execution or two or three," Hostetter told his audience. "Tyrants and traitors must be executed as an example so that no one pulls this shit again."
Back in November, stop-the-steal organizer Alan Hostetter called for "one or two or three executions". He was on his way to the Million MAGA March in D.C.
He is now one of six Californians indicted in this new January 6th indictment: https://t.co/kI1AEnxLd5 pic.twitter.com/FtcyRrkj4o
- Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) June 11, 2021
Hostetter, 56, and five other Orange County men - Russell Taylor, 40, Erik Warner, 45, Felipe Martinez, 47, Derek Kinnison, 39, and Ronald Mele, 51 - were accused of conspiracy "that Corruptly obstruct, influence and impede Congress proceedings in the US Capitol on January 6, 2021 ".
The 20-page indictment is the first multiple-defendant charge of conspiracy in the American Revolution.
The indictment alleges that the men, along with about 30 others, co-ordinated their actions on a Telegram chat that Taylor created and called "The California Patriots-DC Brigade," which is intended for "fit-for-people," which opened on Aug. January went to DC.
"Many of us have never met before and are all ready and willing to fight," Taylor wrote in the description, the federal agency said. "We will come together for this moment to which we are called."
In a message to the group, Taylor wrote that they "want to be on the front steps and be one of the first to break through the doors!"
Alan Hostetter (left) and Russ Taylor (right) were among the six men charged in connection with the January 6 attack on the Capitol. (Photo: Twitter)
The men's indictment was unsealed five months after the January 6 attack on the Capitol. Federal Agencies Complete 500 Riot-Related Arrests; 300 more suspects have their photos on the FBI's Capitol wanted page, and there are countless other solid cases against Capitol suspects in the FBI's database with hundreds of thousands of leads from the public.
Federal authorities estimated that about 2,000 people were involved in the Capitol break-in. New federal charges continue almost daily, and many more arrests are in the works.
Hostetter and Taylor weren't exactly incognito and received media attention in the weeks following the attack. The Washington Post's Radley Balko covered Hostetter and his past in January, and days later Mother Jones’s David Corn covered Hostette’s call for the execution of Trump’s enemies to an even larger crew of California "patriots" at a December 12 rally in California who planned their attack on the U.S. Capitol in advance.
The indictment is welcome news to some of the online investigators who followed the Hostetter crew for months before the Capitol Riot.
Katie, a California woman who was part of a small group tracking the American Phoenix Project prior to the attack, began searching footage on Jan. 6 when Taylor appeared in the background of a video of Simone Gold, another defendant dated January 6, California.
Gold, like the recent defendants in California, acted in the same ardent pro-Trump circles as Daniel Rodriguez, who electrocuted DC police officer Mike Fanone during the attack on the Capitol. Rodriguez was associated with the Three Percenters and attended far-right events in Huntington Beach, where Hostetter gave a speech suggesting that Trump's enemies should be executed. HuffPost reported the identity of Rodriguez in late February, and he was arrested in late March.
Katie told HuffPost that she went down the rabbit hole and on Jan. 6 started looking for any footage of members of the group. While the indictment doesn't directly quote the work of Katie's Twitter group, it appears to be building on their findings.
What is not mentioned in the indictment is that when Twitter users recorded his actions, Hostetter wrote them eerie, borderline threatening tweets. "I know your name," he wrote in a Twitter response in February to a Twitter investigator, who wrote that they "would like to chat about someday" about how Hostetter's crew carried bags and guns to the Capitol.
"We'll have a chat soon, trust me," Hostetter replied. "My team is at it right now," he wrote to Katie in another tweet. "Just wait for the script to flip."
Katie said it was important to expose the group's actions, even if it caused some stress.
"We did this because the public needed to know," Katie said before joking. "I was always curious by nature, but I never thought it would lead to it."
Russ Taylor, right, spot cops in the Capitol. (Photo: ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS via Getty Images)
On the eve of the Capitol attack, Taylor spoke at a Virginia Women for Trump rally in the U.S. Capitol as part of a panel for the American Phoenix Project. He called himself a "free American" and said he would "fight" and "bleed" before his freedom was taken.
"These anti-Americans made the fatal mistake," said Taylor. "They brought the anger of the patriots onto these streets without knowing that we will not return to our peaceful way of life until that choice is right, our freedoms are restored and America is preserved."
The next day, according to the indictment, the men carried out their rhetoric. Warner entered the building through a broken window. Taylor and Hostetter joined the mob that pushed through the police line, with Taylor warning officers it was their "last chance" to "pull out".
Martinez and Kinnison also made their way to the Capitol Building's Upper West Terrace while Mele was making a selfie video.
"We stormed the Capitol," said Mele.
Russ Taylor (center, with MAGA hat) on the west side of the Capitol during the attack. Another likely defendant wearing a similar patch appears on the right. (Photo: Tasos Katopodis via Getty Images)
Taylor later bragged about his exploits on Telegram chat. “I've been pushing traitors all day today. WE STORMED THE CAPITOL! Freedom was fully demonstrated today! "
On Instagram, Hostetter called the attack the "shot heard around the world" and the "2021 version of 1776". He noted that the war lasted eight years. "We're just getting started," he wrote.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.
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