Two militia men from northern California built pipe bombs, stockpiled dozens of guns and thousands of rounds of ammo, pounded steroids, and plotted to attack Democrat headquarters in Sacramento, prosecutors say. Their goal, according to recently unsealed court documents, was “to go to war” against Democrats, and through intimidation, undo the results of the 2020 election, and ensure former president Donald Trump’s second term in office.
Jarrod Copeland and Ian Rogers, who are part of a militia group linked to the Three Percenter network, are facing federal and state charges for their “specific, detailed, and serious” plot to attack a government building, destroying evidence, assembling bombs, and owning illegal machine guns.
Prosecutors say that the two men started hatching their plot on November 25, weeks after President Joe Biden was declared the victor of the election.
“It will send a fucking message man… Scare the whole country,” Rogers told Copeland in text messages recovered by the government.
They initially talked about attacking the governor’s mansion, but then shifted focus to the Democratic headquarters in Sacramento. According to prosecutors, they spent nearly two months planning their attack: they reviewed maps of the building’s layout, and discussed weaponry in-depth. They weighed various options; riddling it with gunfire, setting pipe bombs, or fire-bombing it.
“I think . . . we will get tagged as domestic terrorists” Copeland told Rogers, according to court documents. “Like I care what we are labeled,” Rogers replied. “I just hope our actions will make others to get involved.”
The exchanges between Copeland and Rogers included in court documents offer a glimpse into the intense anger and violent ideation that was rumbling in far-right MAGA-world following the election, and leading up to the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol.
“I’ve had enough, time to wake people up,” Rogers wrote to Copeland on November 27. “The deep state is disgusting. 2 men can change the world if we want to.”
“We don’t need to win over 50,000 people we need 500 pissed off patriots that want America back,” Copeland replied.
The climate in the U.S. remains tense, even months after Biden took office, with many Republicans, including Trump, and elected officials, continuing to promote the conspiracy theory that the election was stolen.
The Department of Homeland Security issued a National Terrorism Advisory bulletin in May (which remains intact) warning of a heightened threat environment across the U.S. They outline a range of threats, including ideologically-motivated violent extremists fueled by perceived grievances, false narratives, and conspiracy theories.”
Prosecutors warn that this means fertile ground for potential acts of violence—and argue that Copeland and Rogers should remain in jail pending the outcome of the trial.
“[Copeland] and Rogers were animated by [the] kind of anger that will not be abated or deterred by a court order,” they wrote. “All of the political and social conditions that motivated them to plan what they described themselves as a terrorist attack remain.”
As Trump’s various legal challenges to the outcome of the election sputtered, and Congress’ certification of the results on January 6 approached, Rogers and Copeland became increasingly resolute in their plan, prosecutors say. “It will probably happen and we will become outlaws for real,” Copeland said.
The two men were also seemingly looking to recruit others to help them with the attack. “We need help though and I don’t know how to get more people involved,” Rogers said on January 4. “Proud Boys and 3%,” Copeland replied. “I emailed Proud Boys.” Prosecutors said they found a URL on Copeland’s computer that suggested he had contacted or attempted to contact the Proud Boys. However, there is no evidence to currently suggest that they responded or had anything to do with this case.
The duo also embraced the idea of martyrdom. “Heads must be taken,” Copeland told Rogers. “I don't like to think it but I think we will have to die for what we believe in.”
Even after the violent insurrection at the Capitol on January 6, the men remained focused. “I’m not going down without a fight,” Rogers told Copeland five days later. “These commies need to be told what’s up.”
“I agree,” Copeland replied. “Plan attack.”
“After the 20th, we go to war” Rogers said, presumably in reference to the date of president Joe Biden’s inauguration.
On January 15, Napa County Sheriff’s deputies searched Rogers home and business, and seized “between 45 and 50 firearms, including at least three fully-automatic weapons, thousands of rounds of ammunition, and five pipe bombs.” It’s not clear what led authorities to Rogers, but they arrested him that day for possession of illegal machine guns and explosives. News reports of Rogers’ arrest at the time also noted that he had a “white privilege” card in his possession.
When Copeland found out Roger was arrested, he immediately contacted members of their militia (which isn’t named in the court documents). The leader of the militia suggested that Copeland switch to a new encrypted app and delete everything he had, prosecutors say. Law enforcement searched Copeland’s residence in Vallejo on January 17, and noticed that messages that they’d located on Roger’s phone were missing from Copeland’s phone.
When police searched Copeland’s residence, they also discovered a “go bag” containing food, clothing, ID cards (including passports), tactical gear, steroids, rifle and pistol magazines, and zip tie handcuffs. Copeland wasn’t arrested until earlier this week.
Both Copeland and Rogers are facing up to 20 years on conspiracy charges if convicted. Rogers is looking at an additional 10 years on weapons charges, and Copeland could get hit with another 20 years for obstructing justice by allegedly destroying evidence.
Rogers’ next court date is July 30; Copeland’s is July 20.
‘Hillbilly Elegy’ author and venture capitalist JD Vance announced a run for U.S. Senate on Thursday, btu before he did that, he took the first necessary step for every conservative candidate for elected office: deleting all of the anti-Trump tweets.
Vance deleted several long-standing tweets about Trump prior to announcing his run for Senate, CNN’s Andrew Kacyznski reported Thursday. Most of them came prior to Trump’s election in 2016, such as when Vance said he would vote for third-party conservative candidate Evan McMullin.
“In 4 years, I hope people remember that it was those of us who empathized with Trump's voters who fought him most aggressively,” Vance tweeted in March 2016. “And it was the cosmopolitan conservatives like [Stephen] Moore and [Larry] Kudlow who shamefully apologized for him.”
Vance can’t delete everything he’s ever written that’s problematic for his new persona as a conservative politician, though. As a former contributing opinion writer for the New York Times, Vance once declared Trump was “unfit for our nation’s highest office,” and in another column said that Trump “offers little more than an excuse to project complex problems onto simple villains.” In one of his last columns for the paper, by contrast, Vance described former President Barack Obama—an arch-enemy of Trump and much of the Republican Party—as an “admirable man” and something of a hero to him.
Now, only two tweets mentioning Trump, both from the past few months, remain in Vance’s archive. The most recent was a picture of him and his dad he shared at Trump’s rally in Wellington, Ohio last week, the first in-person Trump rally since the January 6 Capitol riot.
"I've already been attacked by—CNN's gone after me, the establishment Republicans have gone after me, the leadership of the other campaigns have gone after me," Vance told Tucker Carlson. “It’s time to fight back. If you’re not willing to wade through a little crap to save this country, then you’re not willing to stand up on the big stage, and I am.”
It’s worth noting that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, the quintessential establishment Republican in 2021, reportedly tried to persuade Vance to run for Senate against Democrat Sherrod Brown three years ago. His efforts weren’t successful, and Brown kept the seat.
Vance, a Yale Law graduate, became famous after the publication of ‘Hillbilly Elegy,’ a memoir about his upbringing and his family in Ohio that made him a media star for explaining the white working class. The book landed at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list and was later turned into a movie for Netflix directed by Ron Howard.
Though he portrayed himself as an anti-Trump conservative populist, Vance has veered dramatically right in recent years. He’s now a frequent guest on Fox News, and despite working as a Silicon Valley venture capitalist Vance has attacked other Republicans for their close ties to Big Tech
“Establishment Republican apologies for our oligarchy should always come with the following disclaimer: ‘Big Tech pays my salary’,” he tweeted in April.
Vance enters a crowded Republican field in the race to succeed Sen. Rob Portman, who’s retiring next year. The GOP is a slight favorite to hold onto the seat considering Trump comfortably won the state twice in a row.
Homes are damaged and 17 people are injured after Los Angeles Police detonated a stash of illegal fireworks on a city street Wednesday night. During a press conference, Police Chief Michel Moore said that his officers believed they could safely trigger the explosives inside a containment vehicle, but that they were “more unstable” than originally thought and there was a total catastrophic failure of that containment vehicle.
According to the Los Angeles Times, police were responding to a tip from a concerned neighbor about a resident storing boxes of fireworks. When inspecting the home, LAPD discovered palettes of fireworks the owner had purchased out of state and had planned to sell for Fourth of July celebrations. There were so many boxes, around 5,000 pounds of the stuff, that police had to use pallets and forklifts to move it all to a bomb disposal vehicle.
The containment vehicle is a semi-truck with an iron chamber that’s built to withstand blasts. The cops set off the explosives at 7:37PM and the explosion destroyed the semi-truck, blew out the windows of the nearby homes, sent residents to the hospital, and triggered the response of 75 firefighters.
“Clearly protocols were followed and pursued, but something happened in that containment vehicle that should have not happened and we don’t know why,” Moore said during his press conference. “We intend to find out why.”
During a press conference, Moore said that the LAPD had found improvised explosive devices stored with the fireworks. According to the cops, there were around 240 of these devices, roughly the size of a soda can or smaller.
The aftermath of the explosion sent residents to the hospitals. According to the Los Angeles Times, eight or nine family homes were so badly damaged residents had to leave. The man who housed the fireworks has been arrested on suspicion of reckless or malicious possession of a destructive device and is being held on a $500,000 bail.
All Gwen Goldman wanted to do was get close to her beloved Yankees. After dozens of attempts to be a ballgirl for the team as a 10-year-old in New York, Goldman was crestfallen when she was told by then general manager Roy Hamey back in 1961 that ballgirls weren’t allowed.
On Monday night, after 60 years of waiting, Gwen got her chance.
In 1961, Gwen Goldman was rejected to be the Yankees bat girl because of her gender. Today, the 70-year-old finally got to fulfill that dream. pic.twitter.com/zLJKtGsl6A
“It was a thrill of a lifetime — times a million,” Goldman told NBC New York, “And I actually got to be out in the dugout, too. I threw out a ball, I met the players. Yeah, it goes on and on. They had set up a day for me that is something that I never would have expected.”
The idea that any kid would get rejected from being a ballboy or ballgirl is ridiculous now, but in 1961 it was standard. In his letter to Goldman, Haney explained the organization’s justification for now allowing her to take the field.
“While we agree with you that girls are certainly as capable as boys, and no doubt would be an attractive addition on the playing field, I am sure you can understand that it is a game dominated by men a young lady such as yourself would feel out of place in a dugout.”
A second letter from the Yankees, arriving 60 years to the day from her rejection, couldn’t have shown better how far we’ve come.
“Here at the Yankees, we have championed to break down gender barriers in our industry,” wrote Yankees GM Brian Cashman. “It is an ongoing commitment rooted in the belief that a woman belongs everywhere a man does, even in the dugout.” Cashman added that he has a daughter himself, and wants to see every little girl given the opportunity to do anything a man can. He also quipped that the 60-year waiting period for Gwen to realize her dream happened before he was even born.
60 years later, in a new letter to Gwen from the current Yankees GM, Brian Cashman invites her to Yankee Stadium to fulfill her dream. pic.twitter.com/FHZK3SIfe5
For Gwen, the moment was worth the wait. Grinning ear to ear as she told reporters that the moment was better than she ever hoped.
“The whole piece, from walking in the front door of the stadium at Gate 2, to coming up to a locker with my name on it that said Gwen Goldman, and suiting up, then walking out onto the field. It took my breath away. It’s obviously taking my words away also.
Bravo to the Yankees for not letting this moment drift into history unrecognized. It would have been far easier for the organization to simply move on, and pretend this never happened — but by bringing Gwen to Yankee Stadium, and making her a VIP for the day, it made an impact.