Ali Alexander, the lead organizer of the so-called Stop the Steal movement, received a subpoena Thursday afternoon from the House select committee to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Another two were issued to Nathan Martin, who worked with Alexander and reserved the Jan. 6 rally space, and to the Stop the Steal organization. In response, Alexander accused the government of “gaslighting” and blamed the violence on “agitators dressed in militant outfits” and “police brutality.”
Addressing his supporters on Telegram Thursday night, Alexander claimed he “organized 500 peaceful rallies across this nation asking our government to look into election irregularities” and that his rallies on Jan. 5 and Jan. 6 were his “duty as a concerned citizen.”
“FBI failures, agitators dressed in militant outfits, and police brutality which escalated into a manufactured ‘riot’ disrupted our two legally permitted peaceful rallies,” he claimed.
While some right-wing activists took pride in the insurrection, others found it politically expedient to baselessly blame the violence on supposed undercover anti-fascist activists and federal agents. Alexander now appears to fall in the latter camp despite fomenting such extreme action.
The violence at the Capitol wouldn’t have been possible without justification. Right Wing Watch reported on how, for months, Alexander and other Stop the Steal organizers and participants ceaselessly told Trump supporters that the election had been stolen from their hero, despite no evidence to that effect.
Before the election results were even in, Alexander claimed that Democrats couldn’t have won, and when Joe Biden was announced victor, he relaunched the Stop the Steal campaign used in Florida in 2018 to discredit mail-in ballots and disrupt vote-counting. Rallies were held in states across the country with speakers like QAnon conspiracy theorist Lin Wood, “Kraken” litigator Sidney Powell, “Pizzagate” conspiracy theory-booster Jack Posobiec, and radical conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who peddled conspiracy theories and couched their calls for violence in the language of the American Revolution.
On Nov. 14, Alexander led the first of three Stop the Steal rallies in D.C., welcoming white nationalist “groypers” from Nick Fuente’s America First movement, QAnon conspiracy theorists, and far-right militia groups. He applauded the Proud Boys after they engaged in violent skirmishes with counterprotesters following a Stop the Steal rally in December. Earlier in the day at that rally, Stewart Rhodes, the leader of the far-right paramilitary group the Oath Keepers, stood on the mainstage calling for “bloody war” if Trump didn’t invoke the Insurrection Act to stay in power.
In a Periscope stream weeks before the election, Alexander said he organized the Jan. 6 rally with Reps. Paul Gosar, Mo Brooks, and Andy Biggs. “We four schemed up putting maximum pressure on Congress while they were voting,” he said in the since-deleted video.
On the eve of the insurrection, Alexander held a rally in D.C.’s Freedom Plaza and led the crowd in chants of “Victory or death!” Right Wing Watch’s Peter Montgomery reported at the time.
“Our government is only our government if it is legitimate,” Alexander declared. “1776 is always an option.” Stop the Steal activists, he said, were starting “a rebellion against the Deep State.”
Excerpts from Alexander at Jan. 5 rally: pic.twitter.com/Bug7B6LRFe
— Peter Montgomery (@petemont) October 7, 2021
The next day Trump loyalists arrived for the “Save America” rally held in the Ellipse under the Stop the Steal banner. They listened to speakers continue to peddle the big lie that the election was stolen from Trump before Trump himself took the stage and told his supporters to “fight like hell,” to “stop the steal,” and to march on the U.S. Capitol to “encourage” members of Congress to resist certifying the electoral college votes won by Biden. His most ardent followers did just that, breaching the Capitol, attacking police officers, and searching for members of Congress whom they wished to do more than just encourage.
In his response to the subpoena, Alexander claimed he was being targeted because he is a “Black patriotic man peacefully agitating an insecure government,” insisting, despite earlier comments, that “There is no place for vandalism or violence in our Stop the Steal movement.”
He went on to lash out at media organizations and the government:
Big Media Corporations and Censoring Social Media Companies have deprived me the traditional right of reply afforded to those accused in the court of public opinion. These accusations, absent of any evidence of wrongdoing, have now been weaponized by a partisan Congressional Committee which lacks public support.
This government will paint anyone who disagrees with it as a “domestic terrorist” to play on the same xenophobia they used to militarize our local police stations and pass the Patriot Act. All this gaslighting will not give Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden the mandate deprived to them by the American voters.
The Jan. 6 committee had previously issued subpoenas for figures closely associated with Trump—former Trump campaign spokeswoman Katrina Pierson, former adviser Steve Bannon, former chief of staff Mark Meadows, former communications aide Dan Scavino, ex-Defense Department official Kashyap Patel—as well as right-wing activists and figures such as Women for America First organizers Amy Kremer and Kylie Jane Kremer, “dirty trickster” Roger Stone, Posobiec, Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio, and George Papadopoulos.