As part of their wide-ranging investigation into the deadly rioting at the Capitol on January 6, federal authorities including the FBI are looking into the roles of far-right figures like Roger Stone and Alex Jones, according to a new report from The Washington Post. Although neither Stone nor Jones are apparently suspected of committing any actual violence at the Capitol on January 6, rhetoric from both of them helped inspire the mob, which hoped to forcibly disrupt the formal Congressional certification of Joe Biden’s election victory. Investigating ties between their rhetoric and the rioters can help more fully depict the terroristic radicalization that led to the chaos.
As the Post explains it, the federal look at rhetoric from Stone and Jones is “part of a broader look into the mind-set of those who committed violence and their apparent paths to radicalization.” An official told the Post as follows:
‘We are investigating potential ties between those physically involved in the attack on the Capitol and individuals who may have influenced them, such as Roger Stone, Alex Jones and [Stop the Steal organizer] Ali Alexander.’
Potential criminal charges for Stone and Jones over their incitement of the rioters are not, apparently, federal authorities’ first priority. Instead, “Officials at this stage said they are principally seeking to understand what the rioters were thinking — and who may have influenced beliefs — which could be critical to showing their intentions at trial,” the Post reports. Still, authorities also “want to determine whether anyone who influenced them bears enough responsibility to justify potential criminal charges, such as conspiracy or aiding the effort,” according to the publication.
Amazingly, Stone and Jones have attempted to distance themselves from the violence at the Capitol on January 6, no matter the brazenly violent public rhetoric from both of them. On January 5 — the day before the riot! — at an event in D.C., Jones said, in part: “I don’t know how all this is all going to end, but if they want to fight, they better believe they’ve got one!” In a subsequent post, Jones added: “We’re under attack, and we need to understand this is 21st-century warfare and get on a war-footing.” Trying to convince observers that calling for a “war-footing” somehow isn’t an incitement to and endorsement of violence is utterly bonkers.
Meanwhile, on January 5, Stone described what would unfold the following day as “an epic struggle for the future of this country between dark and light… the godly and the godless… good and evil.” Pretending like this unhinged and cultish rhetoric doesn’t lay obvious groundwork for physical violence is just wild.
In addition, besides their promotion of the delusional lie that there was some kind of nationwide fraud conspiracy that was responsible for Biden’s win, Stone and Jones both “lifted the profiles of the Proud Boys, a far-right group with a history of violence, and Oath Keepers — a loose network of self-styled militias — branding them as street-level security forces for right-wing causes and VIPs,” the Post explains. Both the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers have documented connections to the Capitol violence.
At present, trials for many of the Capitol rioters are still in the future as authorities work through initial charges. The rioter who was photographed with one of his feet on a desk in the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was recently ordered to be held in jail until his trial, meaning there’s substantial jail time in his near future.