site banner

The Bailey Podcast E035: Ray Epps Does Jay Six

Listen on iTunesStitcherSpotifyPocket CastsPodcast Addict, and RSS.

In this episode, we talk about the deep state, J6, and Ray Epps.

Participants: Yassine, Shakesneer.


Jack Posobiec's Pipe Bomb Allegation (Twitter)

Pipe Bombs in Washington DC (FBI)

Meet Ray Epps: The Fed-Protected Provocateur Who Appears to Have Led the Very First 1/6 Attack on the US Capitol (Revolver)

Social Media Influencer Charged with Election Interference Stemming from Voter Disinformation Campaign (DOJ)

'I started a riot for the sitting president': Why Ali Alexander won't go to jail for his role in Jan. 6 (Raw Story)

J6 Select Committee Interview of Ray Epps

Ray Epps Defense Sentencing Memo (Courtlistener)

Proud Boys Sentencing Memos (Courtlistener)

Wishing For Entrapment (Yassine Meskhout)

Recorded 2024-01-19 | Uploaded 2024-01-22

Jump in the discussion.

No email address required.

Hijack. Am I the only one who hates the podcast format? I have absolutely no interest in podcast. I prefer the written word but overall podcast just seem slower than my mind can work.

I did skim the transcript and found a lot interesting.

I’m always curious who watches podcast. And the only thing I come up with are people stuck in traffic commuting.

Making podcast seems so cool right now but I don’t know who listens. And I do understand boosting the playback speed. There are a few things in culture war that seem completely distant to me and I’ve done enough stuff but podcast (not culture war) feel equally distant to me as I have no idea who listens to them.

I’m always curious who watches podcast.

Nobody. Podcasts are for listening. Anyway, I think podcasts are exactly the right format for discussions among multiple people such as this one in particular. There will be disagreements, arguments, counterarguments, heated debates etc. The written word does not convey any of this well.

On a different note, if you happen to be that type of office worker who likes to kill time at work by hanging out on various blogs, clickbait sites and anything similar with a comment section, in a discreet way so that the supervisor does not notice, than your bewilderment is understandable. I don't mean this as snark, it's simply the reality of modern office work.

This is first time I've come across "podcast" as an uncountable noun ("no interest in podcast," "who watches podcast," "making podcast"). Is this a new thing? I hope not, it's really grating to me (though tbf most new coinages are).

It isn't, I think. "Podcasting"/"podcasts" are the correct expression, aren't they?

That's how I've always heard it, but I'm also hopelessly out of touch.

Podcasts, like audiobooks, are great for any situation where you cannot sit down to read but can spare at least one ear to listen. Driving is the obvious use case, but they are also good for doing chores, working out, etc.

Just this week my school was doing standardized test simulations, which meant I had to spend 2+ hours a day walking around proctoring exams. I couldn't pull out my e-Reader because I was supposed to keep an eye on the students, but I could put my MP3 player in my breast pocket and discreetly run a headphone to one ear so I could listen to 80,000 Hours and Rationally Speaking.

I do most of my listening at work or the gym.

I also prefer the written word, but I like to listen to podcasts when running and driving.

Podcasts also give me an option to avoid the farce of trying to do dishes while thumbing through essays and comments with wet fingers.

Everyone saying the same thing. I just find it hard to believe the amount of podcast are being filled by basically people doing chores.

It’s actually a fair amount of work to find good content.

I think the function that keeps me away from podcast is it’s more difficult to see the whole piece and realize if it’s worth the investment.

The one time I could see myself being a podcast guy was when I worked for a cousins as a pool contractor assistance and we drove around doing maintainance. Lots of time in a car. I assume guys like him are bread and butter Joe Rogan types.

I have about 4 hours of videos I want to watch but they’ve been sitting in a a tab for a few weeks.

My view is the podcast market is vastly oversupplied but it seems like a lot of people do watch them I just don’t know those people.

It’s actually a fair amount of work to find good content.

Depends on your interests. I listen to podcasts going to and from work, as well as during chores and working out. This totals about 2.5 hrs a day. I easily have 10 hours of content I could listen to via the podcasts I subscribe to produced daily. There are several high quality sports podcasts that usually make around 3, 1 hour, episodes each week (obviously not for everyone). I also find many political podcasts amusing. Maybe you do, maybe you don't. But by way of example, the Daily Wire probably produces 8 hours of content a day, Vox does ~ 3 hrs a day (and there are many such networks on both sides). There are also several niche subjects with leading podcasts that are typically weekly or biweekly.

The market is very oversaturated, I agree, but that means you can just subscribe to everything, and periodically cull your feed of the bad podcasts, and throw things out, even of the good podcasts, if they aren't discussing a topic you are interested in.

I've really gotten into podcasts recently, there's probably half a dozen I listen to regularly. I like listening while I clean the kitchen or do other household chores, gives my brain something interesting to do while my hands go through the motions of boring scut work.

Generally speaking I'm with you, but anytime I do something relatively mindless & need both hands and my eyes, podcasts & audiobooks are the only option (well and music, but that's imo categorically different).

I like podcasts for driving, cleaning, and weeding. I sort of like them for painting, but only fun fluffy ones, serious podcasts are more stressful when enagaging in creative handwork then when driving or cleaning, perhaps because I have no illusions about liking the latter activities.

I enjoyed a lot of this, and admired Shakesneer's composure under rigorous questioning even if I think you have the better of the argument, Yassine.

But wow, I wish I'd skipped the first hour. Couldn't you just stipulate that the PMC hates MAGA voters instead of pressing so hard on their motives, in this context? For a while, I thought you might be trying to go Socratic and lure Shakesneer into admitting that the Feds have a rational reason for persecuting conservative groups, beyond losing their jobs (if one grants that they persecute them). But it didn't quite cash out that way.

I'd say that employees of federal agencies have strong motives for their hatred of conservatives, even setting aside the "I can tolerate anything but the outgroup" reasons and fear of losing their jobs, especially if we're talking about the FBI and ATF:

  • Conservative political thought emphasizes the contingency of the state's legitimacy, moreso than the left (CHAZ notwithstanding). Right-learning separatist groups are closer to the mainstream of the conservative movement than those on the left, at least in the US.
  • Conservative political thought challenges the state's monopoly on violence. Pro-gun advocacy makes the FBI and ATF's jobs harder.

And that's how it plays out in real life. I have several friends that are FBI agents, and I occasionally go to parties where more are present. To a person, they take it for granted that Trump and his voters are contemptible. I'm sure it's not unanimous, but it definitely isn't generational - I'm a Gen-Xer, and the parties are generally +/-10 years around me.

Thanks! I too admired Shakesneer's composure against my admittedly aggressive manner, and I can't commend him enough for being open to conversation and scrutiny. He's a friend and someone I genuinely respect as a person and so I don't think this could've taken place had we not already established rapport.

You're not the only one to have criticized the first hour. In the extensive notes I had prepared, I only had 3 perfunctory questions on this topic (who organized the entrapment scheme, why, and how) and I definitely did not expect it to go so long. I really didn't know where the answers were going to go and my questions were primarily motivated with satisfying my own curiosity (the biggest question I had ahead of time is probably why the anti-Trump Deep State would jeopardize Biden's certification vote).

I thought it was important to marinate on this topic because a common pitfall with discussing "conspiracy theories" is when someone tries to straddle both sides of the motte/bailey line and I wanted to nail down some specifics from the get-go. Had Shakes simply said "the FBI has an interest in investigating conservative groups" I probably would've agreed, but with the "J6 entrapment" theory we're not talking about a run-of-the-mill law enforcement endeavor here. If someone is alleging a widespread entrapment scheme that is being intentionally covered up, one of my gut-reactions to determine how plausible this theory is is to sketch out motives and capabilities. This came up elsewhere but "FBI tried to blackmail MLK" is more plausible on its face than "NASA tried to blackmail MLK" because the latter lacks the former's motive and capacity.

Yeah, I don't think there's a plausible story to explain a widespread deep-state conspiracy. But there are other plausible theories (completely unsubstantiated, to be clear). They would involve either

  1. an informant with bad judgement going full Leeroy Jenkins or
  2. an undercover agent assessing the crowd, deciding they didn't pose a real threat, and doing their best to goose the crowd on

In the absence of evidence, those are idle speculation, but I'm a little surprised they didn't come up (or at least not more clearly).

I agree what you propose is much more plausible compared to a widespread cover-up but this illustrates the obvious tension between simplicity of proof and the magnitude of impact. Leeroy Jenkins theory is relatively easy to defend, but one rogue informant is not likely able to motivate a crowd of thousands into doing something they would not have otherwise done.

coincidentally massie is talking about the pipe bomb on his twitter again: and 5 days ago blaze media are claiming the person who found the pipe bomb at the DNC was a plains clothes capitol police officer.

Remind me not to get into a factual argument with a lawyer.

Overall I found the argument that Epps is a federal informant extremely unconvincing. It seems like what was presented in the podcast wasn’t so much evidence that Epps was an informant as it was presenting a narrative that is congruent with Epps being an informant.

If you want to say that Epps got a uniquely easy deal compared to others on the FBI seeking information list, then like… show me. Are those records not public? Couldn’t somebody go through and theoretically demonstrate that he got a light treatment compared to others on the list?

If you want to tell me that Epps being removed from the list is suspicious timing, then I would want to see a timelines of names being removed, of when the FBI talked to Epps, of what the media was saying about him. Based on what I heard it seems just as likely that the FBI didn’t bother updating their list until he became a public figure.

A few random thoughts-

While I don’t see any evidence of govt. efforts making J6 worse, I do concede the idea that just a few individuals can whip up a crowd. I think crowd dynamics are somewhat conformity based- At a given protest every member of the crowd has a particular proclivity to jump a police barrier, for example. As soon as one or two people with little restraint do that, it makes it much more acceptable, leading to more people doing it, compounding the effect. Thats why police fight so hard at these barriers initially. They don’t need to stop the entire crowd from jumping the barrier, just the first few people.

Obviously you still need people willing to do it, I’m not saying this is an excuse. But as it becomes more normal, it makes the actual action less notable. There were plenty of people who ‘trespassed’ on J6 by crossing the police barrier, but aren’t worth prosecuting since at that point the barrier had been basically erased. (I have an aspiring journalist cousin who even climbed the scaffolding to take better pictures. As far as I know he’s never been contacted about that.)

I don’t particularly buy the idea that Epps ‘thought the capital was open’. That does sound like covering his ass after the fact. I think a reasonable guess is that he was simply talking a big talk, and when confronted with actually fighting police, he wises up/chickens out/realizes people will get hurt.

There's videos of Epps encouraging people to go into the capitol since long before it was it was close. There is video of him removing the barricades in preparation to trick people into going on the property. He's seen coordinating with megaphoneman and other key actors. He is also seen repeatedly saying to not hurt anyone (because he's one of the opps). If anyone would have been convicted for multiple years of jail time it should of been him for being one of the main reasons people went into the capitol. The internet identified him day one, including name, job, role, etc. that's why he was top of the wanted list. His FBI contacts had to go and remove him from the list days later. And the internet found the connection where he had previously worked for the government as a snitch. He was being called a Fed agent for trying to get people to break the law long before he broke a single law. He had glowie energy the whole time he was in the city.

Epps sentence was nothing, no punishment. Others who did nothing wrong had gotten months in prison for being there from the same judge. Epps was the most public ring leader and he got zero punishment AND the judge thanked him during his sentencing and apologized for the incident.

There is video of him removing the barricades in preparation to trick people into going on the property.

And the internet found the connection where he had previously worked for the government as a snitch.

These statements deserve some hyperlinks.

I usually have fun trying to find reliable sources myself for ridiculous claims that might turn out to be true or might turn out to be interesting rabbit holes of bad epistemology, but I've got nothing to get a handle on here.

Searching for videos of Epps and barricades gets me to Epps at a barricade being breached, but (at least in the glimpses of him caught on shakycam) he's standing several feet back while others bring the barricade down, or even nudging one of the front-line people away from the barricade briefly, and the barricade is not removed to leave a deceptively open path, it's toppled to leave a climbable obstacle.

Searches for text about Epps being a government informant prior to Jan 6 naturally get me to a million articles about the theory that he was an informant or instigator on Jan 6.

While I don’t see any evidence of govt. efforts making J6 worse, I do concede the idea that just a few individuals can whip up a crowd.

This is true. The problem is that even if you conclusively establish someone as responsible for whipping up a crowd, that doesn't tell you whether they were an informant or a genuine actor trying to instigate others. In the early days of the 2020 BLM protests/riots, there was the "umbrella man" who went viral for taking a sledgehammer to an Autozone and he's still hasn't been definitively identified. His behavior would be consistent with an earnest Antifa trying to whip the crowd into violence. It also shows how unpredictable crowd dynamics can be. The general reaction to umbrella man at the scene was immediate suspicion and disdain.

I vaguely remember there being a bunch of pro-BLM articles arguing that he was actually a provocateur used by evil right-wing local police commanders to discredit the protests and generate public opposition to them. The existence of these articles, plus the fact that he has never been caught, makes me wonder if he were actually an FBI provocateur who also infiltrated local Antifa groups.

If he was involved with the FBI, I don't see why the FBI would resuscitate the issue with a new call for information more than two years after the fact. If the theory is that this is them just assuaging suspicion then it's an unfalsifiable theory.

For me there's several theories that fit the facts more-or-less equally: 1) genuine but potentially inexperienced Antifa dude thinking this is how you start revolutionary mayhem 2) anti-BLM guy who wanted to discredit the protests or was hoping to whip the crowd into a riot or 3) someone who wanted to be at the forefront of a riot in order to take advantage of prime looting opportunities.

While I don’t see any evidence of govt. efforts making J6 worse, I do concede the idea that just a few individuals can whip up a crowd. I think crowd dynamics are somewhat conformity based- At a given protest every member of the crowd has a particular proclivity to jump a police barrier, for example. As soon as one or two people with little restraint do that, it makes it much more acceptable

I've been thinking about these dynamics lately, though not in the specific context of crowds. More in the context of social norms.

There is a team of engineers who work on a product and they're all genuinely invested in bettering the project. Then one engineer (or manager) joins and everyone can kind of tell his priority is his career. He oversells and self-credits a bit too much. Then he gets promoted and somebody else decides he's going to start prioritizing his own career over the project. And now there is a cascade.

One can imagine a similar dynamic in academic honesty, charity for one's outgroup, cheating on taxes, not paying for the subway, bribes, etc.

The million dollar question is: in what situations is the state stable, and in what situations is there a cascade?

Consider f(x) -> y, where x is the percent of people currently defecting and y is the percent of people who would see nothing wrong with defecting if at least x% of other people were defecting.

Here the answer is immediately clear: when f(x) > x the group will tend towards defecting and when f(x) < x the group will tend towards cooperating.

This model leads us to the conclusion that the groups whose norms are the most affected by a small group of defectors are groups where f(x) is roughly equal to x. In fact, when f(x)=x exactly, an arbitrarily small shift can cause the group to cascade to either extreme!

Groups where f(x) is typically far from x will automatically tend to one of the extremes and will tend to be more stable (for better or for worse).

Are those records not public? Couldn’t somebody go through and theoretically demonstrate that he got a light treatment compared to others on the list?

... kinda? I tried doing that as a conversation with ymeskhout separately, but it's hard to overstate how much of a mess the available data is, and how much information either isn't publicly available or may never have been gathered to start with, and how much what is available depends on interpretation and value assessments that likely aren't shared. Some of the best documents are ones brought by plea bargainers during their sentencing request, which also means that they're out-of-date at time of publication, and possibly introduce errors.

((Though given the number of typos and miscites I've found on the DC DA's site, maybe not more error.))

There are only about 40 of the 720+ sentences published by the DoJ which contain probation-only sentences of the same or lesser length; only a dozen are shorter terms of probation than what Epps got. Sometimes that reflects a judge with a softer hand, like in Cudd's case where McFadden seemed generally skeptical of sentencing comparisons brought by the DoJ; others, such as the Kulas brothers, probably fall to what are euphemistically described as "serious physical and mental health issues" (and presumably one of the brothers caring for the other). Some of them are weird: Blauser seems like a combination of his extreme age, clear attempts to physically restrain a particularly nutty protestor that seems like she dragged him to the Capitol, long military service, and ... reading between the lines, probably a lot of health stuff. Bratjan's seems a mix of the above, though imo the court seems to take his claims of a past traumatic neurological injury as more justification for a short sentence than I would consider ideal.

Lower 5% of sentences is still a pretty big gap, though, so you have to start digging into the details, and then you end up with a giant hairball of forking paths. How serious were Epps' calls to go into the Capitol? How long was he at the Capitol grounds, even if he didn't enter the building (a matter often cited for longer probation sentences for people who did not spend long in the Capitol building itself)? How much Were his manhandling of a big metal-framed sign trying to slow other protestors down, or a threat to officers nearby? How credibly do you take Epps' claims of confusion about the Capital access -- you point out it's ass-covering, but perhaps that at least indicates knowing there's an arse to be covered? Should Epps be getting unusual credit even compared to other remorseful defendants given his Congressional testimony, even if that puts him into a class of one? What if one or two of the other cases are just badly-decided, like Bratjan's?

What about the signals that we might just not have for other cases? I can show where bringing heavy-duty first aid kit was treated as suspicious in other cases, but I can't show cases where someone brought it and no one cared to mention them. I can show cases where other people who never entered the capitol building nor committed violence themselves and received longer probation or (generally weeks of) incarceration; I have no clue how many people did not enter the building and were never charged, and even a lot of the defendants awaiting trial don't have great info quality.

But even with a lot of OCR and some carefully-written scripts, this isn't the sort of thing you can readily do off-the-cuff, or present verbally during a discussion. It's a massive gish gallop of (literally) almost a thousand Bleemer and Gorpman; worse, one that even people taking this position don't find interesting.

And it wouldn't even have been fair to ymeskhout's perspective had someone done it during the podcast; compare the two's reaction to the comparably well-known Vaughn/Mackey case -- there's a lot to be said about it, but without serious prep and focus it turns into a mess (this amici is one of the more in-depth pieces I've found, and it probably post-dates the initial recording here, and it's an hour-long discussion of its own.

A few points that I think are salient to the issues presented, but I don't think were appropriately discussed.

  1. The FBI, prior to J6 had many directives to investigate conservative orgs. There really was no rational and reasonable reason to be doing this, so it is very strong evidence (alongside the cornucopia of evidence discussed here) that there is serious anti-conservative bias at that organization, which obviously is a key cog in the "deep state" as defined in the discussion.

  2. Yassine didn't think entering the Capitol Building/encouraging that was all that dispositive, and I don't think this was pushed back against enough. Entering the Capitol IS why J6 is "JANUARY SIXTH". If no one enters the building its a boring protest outside the Capitol that has no political value to Democrats at all.

  3. More buttressing of the problems with J6 is how, if there is no inside job, its just a demonstration of outright incompetency. I will describe a generic building to you: Large masonry structure, at the top of a hill, with armed guards. What have I described? A fort. Julius Caesar could have held the Capitol building against the J6 crowd with 8 men in sandals equipped with no more than some sticks and a few shields. An the Capitol police lose it with dozens of times that manpower? That is, indeed, suspicious.

  4. Also, chronically under-discussed is how incredibly valuable "JANUARY SIXTH" has been to Democrats. Not only has it been an excuse to prosecute thousands of conservatives in connection to it, not only has it been an excuse to prosecute an opposition candidate for the office of the President, but its been nearly their only political argument for 3 years now. Without J6 they have nothing. That protesters were allowed into the Capitol has resulted in the largest political victory for either party in my lifetime. And that really should mean something to anyone discussing the events of that day.

That protesters were allowed into the Capitol has resulted in the largest political victory for either party in my lifetime. And that really should mean something to anyone discussing the events of that day.

The problem is that says too much. Under this metric any action that gives ammunition to one side of the other is suspect. Increased immigration at the border is an opportunity for Trump to use against Biden, does that mean Trump is secretly funding caravans in Mexico? Did Democrats organize Trump getting enough SCOTUS seats so they would overturn Roe V Wade and thus bring abortion back on the table to energize their base?

In other words there are so many things that happen that look bad for one side or the other that you have to have something other than that to be useful for this determination. The fact it can be used as ammunition tells you nothing about whether it was manufactured or simply a mistake that was then exploited.

To consider, what would look different in a world where J6 was a frame and a world where it was not? From a media and attacking Trump point of view, I would contend nothing. The media would jump on it either way, his opponents would jump on it either way. So those actions after the fact don't give you any actual information about whether it was an inside job or not.

I don't really have any quibbles with any of your points, I'm just saying its something that needs to be on the table. Particularly when paired with the testimony from the head of the Capitol Police who, essentially, said he was sabotaged by Pelosi, McConnell, the DOD, and the FBI.

Under this metric any action that gives ammunition to one side of the other is suspect.

Yes! It is! Not that everything is a false flag, obviously many things are not, but it is absolutely worth taking a look at things that are incredibly powerful ammunition through the lens of whether the side benefitting did anything to tip the scales in favor of the thing that would help them massively. To look at your immigration example, I certainly do see Democrats alleging that Republicans are happy to have it this way because it makes for a powerful campaign issue. Whether they're right or wrong, I don't think they're wrong to at least raise the point.

Sure, Republicans may be happy to have immigration as a campaign issue, but that doesn't mean its evidence they are creating the problem, rather than just taking advantage of it.

Absent some evidence of them creating the problem, its just conspiratorial thinking.

I would love it if you were willing to record a Bailey episode! You and I had many disagreements over the years so there's plenty of topics to pick from.

Just so everyone is aware of the process behind the curtains:

  • I'm the one who ends up editing the final cut, but it's to get rid of ums, silences, or (rarely) dead-end discussions that didn't go anywhere. Everyone ever involved in an episode has always had full access to the raw audio files, and I've always made sure they get a chance to listen to the final cut and offer feedback/suggestions before it's posted publicly. Sometimes we've even re-recorded or added passages. Thus far no one has ever claimed that I selectively or misleadingly edited their statements.
  • Before any episode, I ask everyone to post links/articles that they think everyone should be familiar with before a discussion. If it's bound to be particularly contentious conversation, I make sure that everyone has reviewed ahead of time what will be cited in recording. The goal here is to avoid the very boring "my studies are better than your studies" duels that are very common in mainstream debate, and also to allow people to research the sources ahead of time instead of getting ambushed off-guard.
  • I've also accommodated requests to mask/modify voices, including that time we hired a Nigerian voice actress to redub the whole track.

Regarding your points:

  1. I'm not very familiar with this point but it would've been relevant to bring up. I then would have been curious to see whether the targeted conservative orgs had any other common elements besides just being conservative. If not, then it would indeed be strong evidence of a serious anti-conservative bias from the FBI.
  2. It is of no relevance to me whether something has political value to Democrats. I don't think someone entering the Capitol and peacefully wandering around is a big deal, I only care to the extent someone engaged in violence or somehow actually meaningfully obstructed the proceedings that day. If someone disagrees and wants to be hyperbolic about it and compare wandering around to Pearl Harbor or whatever, it's on that person to defend that position.
  3. I agree there was definitely incompetence involved. The Caesar comparison is odd because he wouldn't be telling his men to rely on non-lethal weaponry in their defense of the fort. Capitol Police have used their M4s to hold off the crowd if no one cared about the ensuing massacre.
  4. This would have been interesting to dissect, because it would illustrate the underlying assumptions in play. On my end, as someone who largely accepts the mainstream J6 narrative, there's nothing particularly interesting about "members of a political movement have humiliated themselves by their own actions, and their opponents are benefiting from this." I suppose the "J6 has been valuable to Democrats" discussion would have more salience if you already accept that J6 was an inside job, but we didn't get there.

Regarding a podcast, I would be wiling to do one, but it would probably not be on this topic, which I am not passionate about. That being Ray Epps status as a fed or no.

Regarding the specific subsections my points would be:

  1. The Whitmer case presents a prima facie case that needs to be rebutted by an equally ridiculous prosecution of left wingers to rebut. See also, the abortion cases (protesters at clinics vs. at pro life clinic protesters). Until the FBI entraps lefties by conjuring a kidnapping plot out of whole cloth of a Republican governor you will never satisfy the level of scrutiny you asked for in this interview.

  2. The value to Democrats is literally the whole game. If you dont care about this point you don't care about the most important thing.

  3. I am simply saying that it was trivial to prevent J6 from being "a thing". So the fact that it is "a thing" is odd.

  4. I did not want to invoke this because its silly, but the best analogy of J6 is the Reichstag fire. Maybe it was Commies, maybe it was Nazis. But we know who it benefited. And in many ways it is worse. There is testimony on the record from the former chief of the Capitol police being denied backup.

Do I think a podcast would be beneficial? Maybe. It would take an exorbitant amount of time to assemble the sources, of course, because they are mostly suppressed by search engines. So, it would only really be of benefit to talk about things where you don't stipulate to facts if you have some unpaid interns that can go out and get the transcripts from testimony and bookmark them for us. Otherwise I am going to be saying things and you will be asking for citations that are onerously burdensome to provide.

  1. This is a recurring dynamic with these conversations that I've referred to as "pulling a Kendi". I would hope that it's obvious that you can't just point to disparate treatment and herald it as proof of discrimination. A recent example is how the Seattle subway changed how it enforces fare evasion because it decried the old system as racist because blacks received a disproportionate number of citations. Is it proof that the fare enforcement was racist? Maybe! But of course none of the reporting I came across even entertained the idea that it could also be because black people evaded fares more often. Similarly, maybe the FBI intentionally targets conservative groups for prosecution...or maybe lefties are less likely to hatch kidnapping plots, or maybe they're more suspicious of FBI infiltration, or maybe they're more likely to cover up their tracks, or maybe it's for some other reason.
  2. I admit I don't know what this means. As best as I can guess, it seems to mirror your point about J6 being valuable to Democrats.
  3. Capitol police unloading assault rifles on a crowd doesn't sound "trivial". I also don't know what they could've done differently in protecting entrances like the one in the tunnel.
  4. Again, if a political movement does something humiliating, it's going to benefit their political opponents. That's just standard cause & effect, it's not evidence that the opponents somehow marionetted the movement into humiliating themselves. If we adopt your logic, where does it stop? Did Republicans cause Bill Clinton to get a blowjob from an intern?

Quibble: disparate treatment is not only evidence of discrimination, it is discrimination. Disparate treatment of similarly situated individuals without sufficient justification is the literal definition of illegal discrimination. "Pulling a Kendi" would be saying disparate impact alone is evidence of discrimination. I.E., any differences in group outcome must be the product of discrimination.

You're right, I was not sufficiently precise with my language.

Similarly, maybe the FBI intentionally targets conservative groups for prosecution...or maybe lefties are less likely to hatch kidnapping plots, or maybe they're more suspicious of FBI infiltration, or maybe they're more likely to cover up their tracks, or maybe it's for some other reason.

Sure, give me a set of plausible reasons equivalent to IQ and criminality. Or even close? Leftist protests are routinely more violent. Leftists have higher rates of mental illness. There are well respected leftists that participated in bombings of government buildings. Its an odd idea to think there is an innocent explanation.

I admit I don't know what this means. As best as I can guess, it seems to mirror your point about J6 being valuable to Democrats

Entering the Capitol building is why J6 is anything, right. You can agree to this idea. Correct? Democrats only can make hay out of the event because of this. Thus, why that happened is really important when discussing the event.

Capitol police unloading assault rifles on a crowd doesn't sound "trivial". I also don't know what they could've done differently in protecting entrances like the one in the tunnel.

Like I said. 8 guys in sandals with sticks led by the proper man would have stopped J6. That entrance was a bit of a weak point. Should have simply been locked and barricaded beforehand. It provided no strategic value. Capitol police were also deployed to indefensible positions like the aluminum barricades that were deployed around the top level. Even without a riot most of those positions would have been overrun because that is not what those are even for. They are for directing the flow of very orderly people waiting to get onto a ride at Six Flags. The response time of the national guard was also delayed by over 6 hours because of the speaker's office. Its a series of very bad screw ups.

But you also make my point for me I think. Had the Capitol Police simply massacred all of the J6 protestors who wins? Traditionally, in American politics, losers win. This is bad. But it is known.

Sure, give me a set of plausible reasons equivalent to IQ and criminality. Or even close? Leftist protests are routinely more violent. Leftists have higher rates of mental illness.

Sure, assuming arguendo that conservatives are targeted/prosecuted more than leftists with these types of infiltration. I don't think there's any dispute that conservatives are less likely to have gone to college, which can correlate with intelligence. There's also a sizeable portion of the conservative movement that is selected on gullibility based on how many believe in delusional worldviews like QAnon (and related/overlapping 2020 stolen election machinations). The specific delusions this demographic is susceptible to includes an element that makes them believe they're doing the right/lawful thing, as is evident by how many J6 rioters who earnestly believed the use of force was justified to keep Trump in power. Dumb gullible people who believe they're doing the right thing are much easier to hoodwink.

Entering the Capitol building is why J6 is anything, right. You can agree to this idea. Correct?

No, not on its own. The reason I believe it's a thing is the number of people involved, their intent to obstruct especially critical government proceedings, and the level of violence directed towards that end. The protestors would not have been able to enter the Capitol had they not had the numbers, the motivation, and the willingness to get violent. Had the Capitol been open that day and J6 protestors entered and acted peacefully, there's no reason it would've have been a thing.

The protestors would not have been able to enter the Capitol had they not had the numbers, the motivation, and the willingness to get violent.

See here's a key point of disagreement. On Jan 6 Pelosi and the DC mayor refused national guard support. Then Capital Police security was running at half their usual numbers, "due to covid messures". Then they started getting agressive with the protestors at the front. Then the line broke because Capital Police fired tear gas upwind and gassed their own lines.

If security had been run in a normal fashion then no one would have entered the capital.

On Jan 6 Pelosi and the DC mayor refused national guard support.

I keep hearing this repeated as a bare assertion but what's the evidence for this? I'm only aware of the Bowser letter on January 5th that said DC "is not requesting other federal law enforcement personnel and discourages any additional deployment *without immediate notification to, and consultation with, MPD". It would be helpful if you proactively cited evidence for your assertions.

The former Chief of Capitol Police testified to Congress on this point.

He makes fairly explosive allegations, including that he requested additional deployment of Capitol Police and the National Guard before J6 that was denied (request made Jan 3); that there was intelligence from other federal agencies about the potential for a riot that was not shared until after J6 (his deputy that he alleges was briefed and never reported to him, suspiciously was promoted to his position after he was forced to resign); that he asked, on the day of J6 for the National Guard to respond both before the riot broke, before the building was breached, and after, and this was not approved (he alleges he made 32 calls to congressional leadership, particularly the House Sergeant at Arms, who at the time reported directly to Nancy Pelosi requesting National Guard Backup, all denied or not responded to) . At one point he stated that off duty police from New Jersey arrived before the National Guard (which he alleges only showed up for, essentially, a photo op). He said he was not informed ahead of time that there were informants for other agencies at the Capitol, of which he confirms there was at least one.

Also he stated he was not allowed to publicly testify for the J6 committee, which he requested after the private session, which he also then claims that leaks mischaracterized his testimony.

It seems quite clear that there was a lack of interest in keeping the Capitol Building safe on that day from a lot of parties. And again, cui bono? The same people who had no interest in protecting the Capitol!

More comments

No, not on its own. The reason I believe it's a thing is the number of people involved, their intent to obstruct especially critical government proceedings, and the level of violence directed towards that end. The protestors would not have been able to enter the Capitol had they not had the numbers, the motivation, and the willingness to get violent. Had the Capitol been open that day and J6 protestors entered and acted peacefully, there's no reason it would've have been a thing.

This appears to be a huge point of disagreement IMO. I think that the J6 protestors entering the Capitol is very key to the depiction of the events. Without them entering the building, I think there is no rhetorical leg to stand on for the "insurrection" narrative.

Moreover, I don't think there was any violence necessary for them to enter the building, even though it was ostensibly closed. Indeed, it was on the lower ends of violence when we are talking about large groups that turn into a riot. IMO, given the incompetence at defending the building, no violence at all was needed for the J6 crowd to eventually end up in the Capitol, and had that happened with it being technically closed, the mainstream narrative would have remained the same. Most of the people in the Capitol were nonviolent after all, and still given misdemeanors, when a civil charge is probably more appropriate.

Had the Capitol been open there would still be great consternation, but I suppose there would be no leg to stand on in prosecuting them. But that strikes me as too wild of a hypothetical to really muse on.

I’ve long maintained there is no J6 if the people’s house was open to the people. Sure, they get loud in the rafters. But that’s basically it.

Fun quote from the Congressional Globe (precursor to the Congressional Record) for December 6, 1860 (after Lincoln's election but before his inauguration):

Mr. Garnett: I rise to a question of order. I trust that, in consideration of the great importance of the deliberations of this House, the Chair will, at the very commencement, stop applause, whether on the floor or in the galleries. I give notice that I shall move that the galleries be cleared, if applause is received. [Hisses from the galleries.] They hiss me; and I now move, as a measure of self-respect, that the galleries be cleared; and that these disgraceful blackguards, who are violating the rules of the House and the decorum and respect due to the Representatives of this Confederacy, be expelled from the galleries of the House. [Renewed hisses from the galleries.]

Mr. Lamar: I hope my friend from Virginia will not insist on his motion. It is utterly impossible to suppress hissing here, for it was even heard in Eden. [Laughter and applause.]

The Speaker: The Chair desires to state that order must be observed in the galleries, or they will be cleared. I have no doubt that this suggestion will be sufficient to the respectable auditory in the galleries. It is wrong that there should be any manifestation one way or the other, and I hope this notice will be sufficient. If not, I shall feel constrained to order the galleries to be cleared.

The episode is 3 hours long so here's an AI generated transcript.

Yassine: [00:00:00] So welcome to the Bailey. This is the podcast that did everything right. I'm your host, Yossi Enmaschot, and today's topic is going to be Ray Epps and how he fits in to the broader January 6th story. With me today is Sheikh Sneer. Hey, how you doing today? Great. I'm excited to talk about this. How are you doing?

I'm doing great.

Shakesneer: It's a cold day here, but otherwise everything's quite warm.

Yassine: Awesome. So, um, how about you tell us like who is Ray Epps and why is he important? Sure.

Shakesneer: So. This whole conversation is starting from a discussion we had on the Mott, uh, talking about Ray Epps, and Ray Epps is a figure who has become the subject of a lot of debate with regards to January 6th, the protest or the insurrection, however you [00:01:00] prefer, and thus the whole sort of Donald Trump, January 6th, politics, election, federal government, and so forth.

Ideas, conspiracies, and debates. And the specific impetus for our discussion was the. Announcement the other day that Ray Epps, who was present at January 6, and it's been the subject of much debate and conspiracy, will only be sentenced to a year's probation after being convicted of a misdemeanor,

Yassine: right?

And. You, you said that he was sentenced, or at least treated by the justice system, uh, unusually, uh, leniently,

Shakesneer: right? Yes, that's my contention, and so

Yassine: But, whether or not he's treated leniently doesn't matter as much, it's more about the implication of what that means, is that fair?

Shakesneer: Um, something like that, yeah.


Yassine: uh, so, you can add to that if you wanted, I was gonna ask, like, [00:02:00] How, how does him being treated leniently, how does that fit in into the broader narrative from like right wing media figures or I guess like the official story, whatever angle you want to describe.

Shakesneer: Here's why it matters. And here's the outline of the case, right?

Uh, there's a lot of debate about what happened on January 6th and whether that was sort of, let's call it the organic fault. of conservative movements, conservative leavers, people who were there at the protest, or to what extent that it was manufactured or manipulated by agents within the federal government.

So when

Yassine: you say debate, who, who is having these debates? So

Shakesneer: there are a couple of conservative outlets and media figures advancing theories about specific pieces of evidence that allege that specific parts or some or all of January 6th was guided or manipulated. by federal agents. And then there [00:03:00] are more official sources coming from places like the January six committee, where they have some subset of the evidence that they are using to allege that January six was an insurrection and a revolution against the government.

Yassine: Okay. So when you say manufactured or manipulated, can you be more specific about what that means? So

Shakesneer: I I'm, I'm trying to be broad here because me sitting here at home, I don't have access to the actual documents of who the FBI might be employing at any time, who did what, uh, I don't have the base truth, right, I'm just looking at this from the point of view of an amateur historian, and so I am not going to say That January 6th was obviously caused by the federal government.

January 6th was obviously caused by conservative leaders. January 6th was

Yassine: obviously caused by conservatives. I'm not asking you to make, I guess, like an absolute statement. It's more about describing what's going on. So if you say January 6th was caused by the federal [00:04:00] government, I'm not saying you believe that, but if you say that, I don't know what that means.

What do you mean by caused? What do you mean by the federal government? Can you just give more specifics? So without even endorsing the statement i'm just looking for I guess a description that is specific enough to give people an adequate understanding

Shakesneer: Sure, so i'm i'm trying to leave a little ambiguity here, but I would say that the claim Is that there are elements of january 6th that were either?

Planned by agents within the federal government, or manipulated by agents in the federal government. Specifically referring to the way that some protesters were led into the Capitol building, the way that some protesters were talking or talked about and incited, and the way that certain pieces of footage or evidence have been given new meaning after the event itself.

Does that make sense? [00:05:00] Uh,

Yassine: I think so. Uh, maybe one way we can zoom out and I guess I'll give my view, which mostly aligns with what would be considered the official narrative about what happened on January 6th. And then we can figure out if there is, um, I guess the points of disagreement. Is that does that sound good?

Sure. Okay. So I guess like. One of the, uh, part of the official narrative would be, uh, one of the first factors is that the 2020 election was not stolen and Biden is the legitimate president. Is that fair as a factor within the official narrative? Sure. And the second one would be, uh, Trump and his supporters were.

I guess rationally angry because they believe that the election was stolen, uh, or that they believe otherwise. There's some debate within the official story about whether or not Trump is genuine or if he's just faking, uh, the idea that he believes the election was stolen to whip up his base, but is that a Is that an accurate, I guess, like representation of within the official narrative?

Shakesneer: I think a lot of people believe that. I think the official narrative might say that [00:06:00] Trump and his supporters were irrational, that they have no basis whatsoever for what they're doing. And I think there's an idea floating around that.

Yassine: Sorry, there will be two components. Um, uh, one is like whether or not they believe was, uh, the election was stolen reasonably or on a rational basis.

And then two, assuming that they believe that the election was stolen, their subsequent behavior, uh, would be, I guess. Understandable or reasonable so that that would be like, uh, the idea that there's two different components here, and I was only talking about the latter. We're not going to get into the 2020 election stuff, even though I would love to write shakes.

We've been talking about this for a while. We

Shakesneer: could have a separate discussion about that sometime,

Yassine: right in the future. But for now, I'm just talking about, I guess, like. Um, their motivation and their response, given what they believe, assuming I'm not, I'm not getting into whether or not what they believed was correct or

Shakesneer: not.

I think that what you're describing is a reasonable [00:07:00] position that it sounds like you have, and a lot of people have, I think the official narrative, if you look to say. the January 6th select committee that had figures like say Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger on it. And I think if you look at sort of the story believed in by a lot of people within the federal government, like if you look at the statements of say Merrick Garland or Joe Biden, I, I think they don't believe that A justifies B.

I think that they don't think that believing the election was stolen. Means that January 6th was rational. I think they don't want to say two plus. I think they don't want to connect those two ideas. And so January 6th is irrational.

Yassine: Okay. Uh, so at least in terms of my position, I think. Uh, it was, uh, it's not rational to believe that the election was stolen, or I don't think it's, let me rephrase that, I don't believe it's reasonable to believe that the election was stolen, [00:08:00] uh, given the evidence, and we can have this discussion another time, but if you do believe it, I think the being angry or being, um, uh, feeling like you're, you're out of options, I think that's a reasonable reaction.

Given that, uh, uh, first, uh, assumption. Sure.

Shakesneer: Make sense? Yeah. And I want to agree with that because I, I think your position is a mainstream position. Maybe not the official position, but I, I think that's

Yassine: fair. Okay. Uh, now my own opinion is. The facts are there are about 10, 000, uh, supporters, uh, protesters on the Capitol grounds, about 2000 made it inside, uh, the Capitol.

My own opinion is the day was chaotic, but I would say most of the protesters were not violent. Uh, I don't think that would, well, there would be like, I guess, some debatable disagreement between the mainstream position. Um, and then, uh, the, I guess the last component is the reason they were there is my opinion is that it was ultimately in this like kind of ineffectual bid to delay or hinder the [00:09:00] certification of the electoral college because of their prior, um, uh, beliefs.

Does that make sense so far?

Shakesneer: Yeah. I would, I would just elaborate. I think that there was this idea. That Mike Pence could deny certification of the Electoral College, in which case, according to the Constitution, and this is all untested and never been tried before, but in theory, that would cause the vote to go back to the different state legislatures.

And I think,

Yassine: I think that's more, I would love to discuss that again on the, uh, uh, I guess like on the 2020 election, that topic, I think that's, it's a completely baseless legal theory, but would it be fair to describe that they were there at least to show that they cared about this issue, uh, that they wanted, you know, quote unquote, Mike Pence to do the right thing, whatever it needs, whatever needed to happen to rectify.

The wrong of the stolen election. Is that is that a fair

Shakesneer: description? Yes, I would. I can't [00:10:00] read anybody's minds. But from from what we have seen to me, it sounds really plausible to say that a lot of these protesters were hoping that if they showed up and protested that Mike Pence or other legislatures would, as you say, do the right thing.


Yassine: Now, when we talk when we contrast it against the Yeah, I guess we can call it the alternative narrative. Uh, there's broad agreement with the factors that I outlined, right? There's going to be some quibbles, but. So I

Shakesneer: would say within the conservative, uh, worldview, there are sort of two views on January 6.

One is rather similar to the view you've been describing, which is January 6 is this chaotic event, maybe rooted in some sympathetic ideas, but that definitely led to chaos. The, uh, and, The other narrative, which has been gradually emerging over time, is this idea that some or all of [00:11:00] January 6th was manipulated by agents in the federal government.

Yassine: Okay. So, um, when I look at the factors I outlined, the ones that would be different would be, I guess, the first one was, uh, the election was indeed stolen. Uh, that would be a difference, right? But it, it doesn't, I guess It's kind of irrelevant whether or not that's true, uh, for our purposes, because the main difference is going to be, uh, I guess you would agree that some protesters used violence, not all of them, uh, and it was in a way to show, to make their presence shown.

But then I guess you would add an addendum and say, but they were also entrapped into engaging. Yeah.

Shakesneer: So if we, if we grant that most of the protesters were nonviolent, but some of them were violent, it becomes a question of why were they violent? And there's a lot of evidence floating around. To me, some of it's more convincing than others, but there's a lot of it floating around that suggests that the [00:12:00] violence was either.

instigated by the federal government or actually perpetrated by elements from the federal

Yassine: government. Okay. So, um, I think that's going to be the main crux of our disagreement. And I want to get into some questions. Uh, first, do you find anything, I guess, implausible on its face about the, uh, official narrative?

The part of

Shakesneer: the official narrative that alleges that January 6 was an insurrection trying to overthrow the government. I find that implausible. The position that you've described I find to be much more palatable and much more

Yassine: sensible. Okay. And what I said was it was an ineffectual bid to delay or hinder the certification to electoral college.

Besides that, do you have any disagreements or do you find any part of what I outlined, I guess, implausible on its face? I

Shakesneer: think what you've described is a reasonable opinion and within the, within the limited evidence we have, I think that's one valid interpretation. However, as we get into talking about Ray Epps and some of these other things, I [00:13:00] will elaborate why I think a different interpretation is plausible.


Yassine: yeah, that's, that's great. And I'm excited to get into that. I just wanted to set the stage and see like, so that we don't get lost, figure out like where we do agree and where our disagreement is going to be. Perfect. So if there is, if there is a, there was a, uh, I don't want to use, uh, by the way, just like a note, if I use, if I start using loaded language, you can please call me out on that.

I don't want to say like, uh, oh, this conspiracy theory or, uh, this scheme or whatever. I don't want to, I want to use neutral language. So if you notice otherwise, just let me know. Okay. Okay. Okay. So, uh, the first question is, yeah. Whoever organized this entrapment scheme, uh, whatever part of the agency, uh, who, who would do that?


Shakesneer: the, there, there are a couple of specific agencies that have agents that infiltrate extremist groups. Uh, the foremost among them would [00:14:00] be the FBI, right? Okay.

Yassine: That's it. Yeah, we, we agree.

Shakesneer: And so I don't have any records. I mean, when, when it comes to these things, you know, the ATF, Infiltrate certain groups for the purpose of apprehending drug traffickers.

Right. And I, I don't have the records. I don't, I can't read the federal government, so I can't prove that it's one agency over another, but the most plausible interpretation is that it would be people from the FBI or maybe from the parent department of justice.

Yassine: Okay. So some, uh, some, maybe some lay informants, some FBI agents, some, Undercover, uh, government agent, their goal was to encourage, uh, protesters on January 6th to commit active violence?

Shakesneer: Uh, that's, that's one theory, yes. Okay.

Yassine: Why?

Shakesneer: So, the idea is that there is power in categorizing [00:15:00] parts of the political right As domestic extremists so that the political right can be defeated in other political arenas, right? If, if conservatives are just normal, uh, political voters, then they're just one faction and we have to defeat them at the ballot box.

But if conservatives are domestic terrorists, or if there are a lot of domestic terrorists within conservatism, then there's all of this justification. For using other state powers against conservatives.

Yassine: Okay. So I noticed that there's a few, um, uh, underlying assumptions, but you're saying, but you're saying all of this.

So the first one is that the, these government agents is it, can I use deep state? I don't want to use it. If that's deep state is fine. Okay. Uh, so we will just refer to the, these government agents as a, as a deep state. Uh, the idea is that these, uh, the deep state is inherently against conservatives, right?


Shakesneer: I [00:16:00] think, I think that over time, Washington DC has developed a political culture that is at a distance from the rest of the country as a whole. And I think today conservatism is more at odds with, and more of a threat to, The political culture of DC than other political movements. Why? I think that Washington DC has become this sort of epicenter of government that represents a specific vision of the government being big, of the government being powerful, of the government having all sorts of increasing powers, right?

You look at the tendency through the Bush and Obama years, the increasing powers the federal government has to police. Terrorism and extremism, the increasing budget of the federal government and conservatism, especially as it's practiced in more rural parts of the country, is really hostile [00:17:00] to that vision and to the culture of Washington, D.


Yassine: So the deep state is hostile to, I guess the deep state feels threatened by any political movement that advocates for, let's say, budget cuts or staffing reductions, right? Um, that that's part of

Shakesneer: it. Yeah. What's the other part? I, I, I just think that there's a lot of personal antipathy. I think that I think that as the country is becoming more polarized, as you're seeing more division between the left and the right, there is more hostility, more personal animus.

And I think whether true or not against who, you know, between left wingers and right wingers, between, you know, those city folk or those, those bigoted idiots out in the country, between those, those educated snobs, right? You turn on MSNBC or CNN or any news network and there's, there's a lot of contempt and it's [00:18:00] not a one way street.

I think people increasingly feel more contempt for the other side of the political aisle and It seems okay, but

Yassine: I guess I'm asking about the motivations. We're talking about the deep state. We're not necessarily talking about all liberals and all conservatives,

Shakesneer: right? I think I think people within the deep state have a lot of those same antagonism

Yassine: or

Shakesneer: antagonism.

Sure. Right. Like not to. You know, there's an impossible number of things we could talk about, but look at, for example, I'd say Lisa Page and Peter Strzok, right? And I, I'm not going to allege that Lisa Page and Peter Strzok did anything in particular, but their text messages came out, right? So, um, you know, these were the two FBI agents who were texting each other.

They were having an affair during the Trump presidency and they were talking about how they wanted to take Trump down and they were going to do whatever it took. I think that's emblematic of [00:19:00] a common attitude among the kinds of people in the FBI and the Department of Justice. But

Yassine: why, why do they have this hate?

Like, where does it come from? I mean,

Shakesneer: I think it comes from polarization. I think it comes from the fact that Washington DC has a specific political culture. You have to advance up the political pyramid. You have to progress in a career. And I think that lends itself to a certain kind of person. They say,

Yassine: but I guess like.

Because when you first started describing it, you said the deep state, I described it as the deep state feeling threatened by any political movement that threatens its existence, which means threatens its budgeting, threatens its staffing. Uh, and then you added an antipathy component, right? So, I mean, where does this antipathy

Shakesneer: come from?

I mean, I, I, I can't describe necessarily why people always feel the things they [00:20:00] feel. I just think there is a lot of antipathy. I, I see it when I look at the kinds of people who make up government agencies and I see it in reverse in the way people talk about the federal government and I'm only trying to come up with an explanation for what I already see around me, which is that a lot of people.

In the federal government are hostile to conservatives. And I think that goes vice versa. When did this start? You know, we could, we could go back a long time, but I, I think if you look at, I don't have this data in front of me. I think if you look at data in terms of the tendency of certain professions to lean Democrat versus Republican, uh, there's probably an inflection point around the eighties or nineties.

Yassine: Okay. We can, I don't know the specifics, but I can stipulate that. a significant majority of government workers lean democratic, but you're describing more than just government employees sent to be democratic. You're [00:21:00] describing a deep state that feels threatened by political movements. And I'm trying to figure out where this enmity comes from, uh, and what motivates it.

Uh, you gave me some ideas by saying it feels threatened by Staff and budget reductions. And then you also added kind of like this unknown antagonism. So what am I missing?

Shakesneer: There are a lot of incidents over a long period of time that I would have to dig down and find. I, for me, this antagonism between people within the federal government and more conservative political movements is just something I see all the time.

Like to me, it's just background noise. It's just the conclusion of hundreds of specific examples. And so if

Yassine: you know, but But if you're describing, uh, some sort of coordinated attempt to entrap, uh, members of a political movement in order to discredit the broader, uh, political movement, I think you need more than just, I heard someone say something mean about

Shakesneer: conservatives.

Let me, let me tease at that word coordinated attempts [00:22:00] for a moment, right? Because I can

Yassine: use two different terminology. I don't, I don't want to get hung up on the

Shakesneer: vocabulary. It's not about the terminology, right? It's this, it's this idea of what coordination entails, right? There's a question of, if, if we suppose that there is FBI involvement in some of these January 6th movements, there's a question of, what does that mean?

What does that look like? What were they trying to do? And for me, I, I don't believe in and don't find it necessary to believe in there being, say, Some secret meeting where a couple of powerful people get together and say this is our plan, this is what we're going to do, we're going to entrap January 6th.

I find it plausible to believe that there were already FBI agents embedded within different conservative movements and that either they incited or exaggerated tendencies. violent tendencies within conservative movements, or [00:23:00] they exaggerated tendencies for their political advantage. Does that make sense?

Yassine: Okay. We can get into the specifics. I want to, um, I don't, I don't need to use the word coordinated if, uh, if you object to it, I'm trying to, I'm just really trying to understand the basics. Like we were talking about the deep state having enmity against this political movement, but why conservatives, when did it start?

Does it apply to all conservatives? Does it apply to all politicians that threaten budget and staffing cuts? Like I'm trying to understand some contours.

Shakesneer: I, I think that there is a contempt for, let's call it broadly conservatism within a large part of the culture of Washington, D. C. When did

Yassine: it start?

Shakesneer: It's a complex process, but I, I would say like the modern movements we're talking about, you probably date them to the nineties, right? We could date them to say. Um, the Oklahoma City shooting [00:24:00] and the Ruby Ridge case, right? And I, I'm too young to quite remember Ruby Ridge the way a lot of people do. But, uh, my impression is that a lot of people's ideas about what.

The federal government represents were fundamentally changed by Ruby Ridge, changed by this idea that government agents will come and label you a cult and threaten you with the violence of the state.

Yassine: Okay. I'm still just trying to understand the motivation. So if I told you, for example, the, the D a. Uh, goes after drug dealers and you ask me why, and I say, well, it's in their congressional mission mission.

It's in their charter. Uh, this is like what they're trained to do. They're evaluated by how well they enforce the law. I can give you specifics like why does the D. A. Go after drug dealers. So when I'm asking, I'm asking a broader question, and I understand there's gonna be some ambiguity. But when I'm asking why is the deep state going after conservative movement?

I I've heard [00:25:00] is mostly what I've heard is they have contempt. They hate. But why? Do you have any

Shakesneer: theories? I, I, I think I see a little bit better now. I would say that conservatism is broadly opposed to the existence of the political class of Washington, D. C., and I would say that the political projects of the people in Washington, D.

C. And running the country are broadly opposed to the conservative movement, right? So it's not just budget cuts. Why are they opposed? If conservatism got its way, a lot of these people would not have jobs, right? Okay, that's that's part of it. If conservatism got its way, a lot of these people would Would not be afforded the nice privileges of being somebody in Washington, D.

C. with power and shaping parts of the

Yassine: world. Okay, so I can understand that. That's a coherent explanation. I understand that. That's what I said earlier, like the deep [00:26:00] state feels threatened by Anything that challenges its existence or its scope or its breadth, right? Is that fair? Okay. So how I guess like we can go by uh by presidents out of the conservative presidents recently who Has been who counts as like the biggest threat to the deep state.

Shakesneer: I mean, I I think most people would say donald trump That's what I why Donald Trump, for all of his chaos and whether or not he delivers, he represents a couple of key planks that threaten specific policy goals of the political establishment, right? He is in favor of tariffs, immigration. foreign policy.

Those were the three core planks of Trump's original platform that propelled him in 2016.

Yassine: Okay. Well, we'll just do this in order. Uh, so how does, uh, how do tariffs threaten the deep

Shakesneer: state? Well, let me, so, so tariffs, but also arguments about stuff like NATO and our, uh, excuse me, not NATO, um, NAFTA, the [00:27:00] TPP, right?

So there's a lot of money and power in organizing organizing who trades, organizing trade deals between countries. There's a vision within Washington specifically of free trade that has led to a loss of economic industry within certain parts

Yassine: of how does the, how does that affect the deep state? Why would they care?

Shakesneer: They want free trade. Why? We, we, we, we, we could sit here and debate why you look at Hillary Clinton, right? And she and Barack Obama, they wanted TPP. They wanted the

Yassine: TPP. That's, that doesn't answer the question. We're not talking about Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. We're talking about the deep state. I mean, if you want to establish that they're representatives of the deep states, you're welcome to do that.

But I'm really just asking very, very basic questions about motivations. You can, you can test me on this. Ask me any organization, any government, any agency, any department, and I [00:28:00] can reasonably give you some motivations. So I'm just really trying to understand, like, you know, we didn't get into the details about who is a deep state, but I want to know why they do what they do.

Shakesneer: I mean, there's. You know, there's a lot of debate about this, right? There's some people who say that these people are being wiped by lobbyists and trade agencies. There's some people who say that these people just have misguided economic ideas. All I'm describing is that there are consistent policies advocated by the federal government that

Yassine: shakes.

That's not the same thing. So the first question was who represents the biggest threat? to the deep state. You immediately said Trump. Why? Why is he a threat? And you listed several factors. Tariffs, immigration, foreign policy, a NATO TPP. Fine. Why is that a threat to the deep state? I think that's a fair question.

They don't want those things. They want other things. Why? Why not?

Shakesneer: I can't read their minds. I'm

Yassine: just talking about the differences [00:29:00] between factions. What's your evidence that they don't want these things?

Shakesneer: They, they oppose them. Donald Trump was Who? Who's they? Everybody in politics. Donald Trump was the only candidate running on several of these issues.

Everybody opposed him for it. When he got elected and, and tried to get deals through Congress, there was opposition. Right? So let's, let's look at NATO. Let's, let's, let's look at No, no,

Yassine: hold on. Sorry, Shakes. I'm just so confused. I don't, uh, you keep changing labels. You would say the deep state and then you switch and say Uh, the political establishment, and then you switch and say Hillary and Barack Obama.

I, I, I don't think conflating all that is, is reasonable. So, uh, it would be helpful if we had precise language about what we're talking about. I'm willing to grant some ambiguity and some, uh, some fuzziness about the deep state. That's fine. But you can't keep switching names and say the deep state, therefore the political establishment.

Shakesneer: Let's, let's call the political establishment the people who Broadly make decisions about how the country

Yassine: is run. [00:30:00] Okay. So Democrats and Republicans, um,

Shakesneer: not just Democrats and Republicans, but people in non elected positions who exercise control over the federal government, right?

Yassine: For example, Democrats and Republicans with a majority of Democrats.


Shakesneer: Fine.

Yassine: You can challenge that.

Shakesneer: I mean, part, part of the issue is that a lot of Republican voters don't feel represented by those Republicans, right? The word, the word Republican is kind of loaded because it implies that there's like this sort of cross party. Uh, consensus. And if you don't agree with that, you might not be a Republican or a Democrat, but there's actually a lot of Republicans within the party who don't agree with what the leadership in Washington ends up committing to.

Okay. Right. And so, um, I don't disagree when you say Republicans and Democrats, but I think that that obscures one of the important [00:31:00] differences. Okay. So let's, let's call the political establishment broadly, the class of people. That makes decisions about how the country is run. Okay. And let's call the deep state, the part of the political establishment that has power, regardless of who is elected.

Does that make sense? So

Yassine: who is

Shakesneer: that? So there's lots of career bureaucrats and officials. In a couple of key important departments who run things on a day to day basis. So if you look at say the department of state, uh, you elect a president, the president appoints a, uh, secretary of state, right? The secretary of state's a political appointee and there's some under secretaries of state or some assistant secretaries of state, right?

And underneath those political appointees is a whole class of people who. Are not elected. They've been okay. [00:32:00]

Yassine: Those are the members of the deep state. I

Shakesneer: wouldn't say that everybody who's a career bureaucrat is a member of the deep state, but I would say that there are some departments where there are unelected officials with a lot of power and that because they all live in D.

C. They all are part of the same political culture and they All interface with each other. They've come to form a sort of class and that's what we might call the deep state. Does that make sense?

Yassine: Uh, getting there. What's there, I guess, what brings them together? What's their, do they have a joint, uh, motivation or interests?


Shakesneer: mean, in, in the sense that any class has an interest, right?

Yassine: Okay. I, what, what interests

Shakesneer: did I have? I think they have an interest in the prestige of their own offices, right? So there's, there's a famous. Incentive where every year government budgets go up, right? Government departments are always expanding their own budgets.

They're always finding ways to spend money, even if they have nothing to spend the money on, [00:33:00] but that increases their prestige. That's in their own self interest, right? That's almost rational.

Yassine: Okay. So what, what. Let's go back to the original question. Now that we've sort of identified who the deep state is, why do they feel threatened by Trump?

You said tariffs, immigrations, foreign policy. Do you want to change any of those answers? I

Shakesneer: think those were the three pillars of his campaign.

Yassine: And I think how does, how do tariffs jeopardize or threaten the career bureaucrats? Wouldn't that give him more power? Like if, if you have tariffs, then you have more regulatory power because you need an agency that collects the tariffs, that gate gets money from the tariffs.

So wouldn't that be supported by the deep state? More than

Shakesneer: tariffs. The way Trump wants to renegotiate trade deals would lead to a change in balance. We're things are manufactured in this country.

Yassine: Why would the deep state care about that? Why would career bureaucrats care about that?

Shakesneer: The United States gets a lot of power and global prestige from [00:34:00] securing the supply chains, from patrolling the ocean, from leading military alliances all over the world.

If the United States becomes self sufficient. In manufacturing its own goods. There's no real reason for the United States to pay all of these military costs that keep a lot of the rest of the world safe. And that leads to a loss of prestige for all of the departments that are lined up around us foreign policy, the way

Yassine: it exists.

Okay. So I guess the idea would be, let me see if I understand it. Uh, The idea is that the deep state, a. k. a. career bureaucrats, feel threatened by any candidate or political movement that advocates for, uh, a, uh, higher economic self sufficiency, because if that happened, then there would be a significantly lower need to rely on the Uh, formidable us military, uh, apparatus.

Is that fair? Yeah, I

Shakesneer: think that's part of it. Does that make

Yassine: sense? I can understand it, but then doesn't that, I mean, [00:35:00] there's different ways to cut back on the power of the state. Uh, I mean, Reagan fired a whole, like. Agency of employees. Was he considered an enemy of the deep state? I

Shakesneer: think that the deep state that we're talking about now.

So again, I would, I would think of the deep state as like a class with a class consciousness and the eighties, 40 years ago, I would think that the kinds of people making up that class had a different consciousness, different problems, and maybe wasn't as well considered as it is today. Okay.

Yassine: But, but you're still describing them with, with the relatively intense.

Uh, hatred for political movement. I personally would assume that if there is an intense hatred for a movement, there would be some reasons, some articulable reasons for that. So I'm trying to figure out where that comes from. And I, you know, we spent a lot of time on this topic, but I'm generally trying to understand it better because first you said they hate Donald Trump, obviously, and it's because of tariffs.

And I asked why, and you said, well, it's not really [00:36:00] tariffs. It's about all these, uh, trade agreements that could potentially, um, Allow the United States to be completely self sufficient, uh, and then if they're self sufficient, they would rely less on the military and the Navy to patrol the oceans. I can follow that, but I mean, how long is this, how long would this, how credible is this risk?

How long would it even take to, to manifest? Because I can't imagine the United States ever becoming economically self sufficient, nor, nor can I imagine it wanting to. I don't know any country that. Thrives or has gotten rich by just closing off. It's a, it's trade deals with the world. And even if that did happen, I guess eventually the United States military would be lower, but This is, this sounds like a 50 or 60 year plan.

So I'm trying to understand like why would care career bureaucrats

Shakesneer: care? I mean, no, nobody, nobody's talking about, uh, being making the U S it's not about making the U S. [00:37:00] Entirely self sufficient in all ways, in all forms. Right. But there are,

Yassine: Okay. I can walk that back. I don't, I don't want to get like stuck on, um, straw man.

I'm not saying you were straw manning it, but I don't want to get stuck on extreme. So significantly lower or significantly higher, uh, self reliance, whatever you want to use. Sure.

Shakesneer: Right. So, uh, I don't know. We could talk about a million issues here, but like, I'm thinking for example of something like oil, right?

There's a big divide. Between political factions about whether the United States should become self sufficient in oil, right? Drill, baby, drill. Let's drill as much oil as we can. Or whether we should be incentivizing the production of less oil as we move to greener energy sources to help mitigate climate change.

Yassine: Okay, I'm, I'm trying to loop that back. So like, why does the deep state care like for all of these things you bring up? I just ask like, why do the career bureaucrats care one way or the other? [00:38:00]

Shakesneer: I think that

Yassine: Is my question unfair? I,

Shakesneer: I don't think your question's unfair. I'm just trying to I, I, I keep wanting the telescope out and then having the telescope back in without like I, I, I'm trying to figure out how concisely Put the pieces together without telescoping out and

Yassine: in.

Okay. I I'm really, I'm, I'm trying to understand like a, like a simple component. I, I don't think I would encounter this challenge if I was describing any other department industry group, uh, nonprofit, uh, there's a corporation. I would be able to tell you what their motivations are. Uh, like, I don't know the oil lobby, uh, the oil industry group wants more drilling because it helps their members.

Like that's pretty easy. That's a concise way of describing what their motivations are. I'm trying to understand why the deep state cares about any of these issues. And as soon as I ask for more details. You keep shifting, you do, you're shifting the topic. Like I asked about tariffs and you said, well, it's [00:39:00] not really tariffs.

It's about these, uh, these trade deals. So I'm trying to nail something down. We can switch to immigration or foreign policy, whatever you pick. I just want to know one motivation for the deep state. Well, let's switch to immigration,

Shakesneer: foreign policy, foreign policy. I think we can, it will be simplest for both

Yassine: of us.

Okay. Okay. So what about Donald Trump's foreign policy threatens the deep state, AKA career bureaucrats? So.

Shakesneer: One example is Trump's desire to renegotiate NATO or pull out of NATO, right? There are a lot of prestige positions. There's a lot of preeminence the United States has for its position in NATO.

There's a lot of bureaucrats who get a lot of value out of our relationship

Yassine: with How many? Like just Roughly speaking, how many bureaucrats are attached to the NATO relationship? I mean,

Shakesneer: everybody in the Department of State who interfaces with a NATO country or has to [00:40:00] manage diplomacy along NATO issues has to deal with, uh, you know, however many thousands of people are working for some of the departments involved,

Yassine: right?

Okay, so I can understand that the specific Employees that are attached to a NATO function would be would have a personal interest in making sure that NATO, uh, stays relevant and stays active and well funded. I understand that. I can see that. But that's much, much smaller than the deep state, a class of career bureaucrats.

Can I use

Shakesneer: a specific example here? Can I introduce this? Okay. So look at somebody like Victoria Newland. Victoria Newland is now one of the deputary secretaries of state. She a Has been described as being more or less responsible for the United States policy in Ukraine, right? Going back 10 years to before.


Yassine: what's the, what is she, what policy is she responsible for?

Shakesneer: She is responsible for the United States supporting The my dawn revolution [00:41:00] and supporting the new government that came into Ukraine in 2014 after that revolution, there's actually an infamous phone call where she was coordinating with one of the members of the new government on which officials would be appointed.

Within the Ukrainian government as the post revolution government was being consolidated. Okay. Right. And so here's an example of a person who has advanced a specific foreign policy with the United States relative to Ukraine. And we have an investment in Ukraine and we have an investment in our relationship with NATO's relationship.

With Russia, because the United States is in NATO and is the backbone of NATO. And because of our investment in NATO, we have to assume certain positions within Europe, for which there are a lot of career bureaucrats implementing policy, right? Negotiating [00:42:00] with countries overpurchasing Weapons for

Yassine: NATO.

Okay. This is something I already conceded. I already concede that whatever specific employees are specifically attached to a NATO function would have a vested personal interest in maintaining the NATO relationship. I understand that. I can see that I'm trying to like figure out the deep state and like what they want.

Rather than just saying this employee wants to keep this particular job. Well, the deep

Shakesneer: state is in the terms that I'm using, I would call it a class, right? And so Victoria Newland is one member of that class. She's a career bureaucrat who's been influencing the policy of the department of state for many decades.


Yassine: I'm trying to link it from. Career bureaucrat has a vested interest in a specific policy and has been influential within their department to they hate Conservatives so much that they're willing to entrap them in order to discredit the political movement. I'm trying to link that together I mean, I

Shakesneer: don't know of anything Victoria [00:43:00] Newland specifically did about conservatives.

I'm trying to answer your questions as they're coming up

Yassine: okay, so so the deep state is Class of career bureaucrats they have they hate conservatives I personally don't really understand why, but whatever. Uh, and they feel especially threatened by Trump because he represents the biggest threat. So I guess you would say their, their focus has sharpened against Trump.

Like instead of just the conservatives in general, is it fair to say that it's sharpened against Trump? Sure. Okay. What would you describe as the, when Trump was president for four years, what did he do to specifically threaten the deep state? Like tell me the biggest thing that he did, the biggest policy that he did that seriously threatened the deep state because federal funding went up.

I don't think federal employment changed at all. So I'm trying to understand.

Shakesneer: In my personal opinion, Trump didn't do very much that really threatened them. [00:44:00] So why

Yassine: is he seen as a threat?

Shakesneer: For irrational reasons. And so I think, I think if he had Shakes, dude,

Yassine: come on. What?

Shakesneer: People are irrational. But you're

Yassine: telling me like the deep state hates conservatives.

Why? I don't know. And then like they hate Donald Trump, even though he didn't threaten them. Why? Well, they're irrational. So you're just telling me that they, they have hate and are acting irrationally. There are two opposite

Shakesneer: sides in a political dispute, right? One side wants X, Y, and Z. The other side wants anti X, Y, and Z.

And so the fact is that Donald Trump wasn't able to really Reign in the federal government or change most of its policies in a long term, sustainable way. That doesn't mean that he wasn't trying to, right? People tried to stop him from doing many of the things he wanted to do because of this political

Yassine: conflict.

Okay, uh, but they didn't do that against Bush?

Shakesneer: I, I think [00:45:00] that A lot of Bush's policies were not all that, um, what's the word, unpalatable to career bureaucrats, right? In many ways,

Yassine: Bush But, but you just said that Trump didn't do very much to threaten career bureaucrats, so I'm What's the, why the change?


Shakesneer: expanded the powers of the federal government. He

Yassine: Bush does the Trump restrict them? I

Shakesneer: think Trump tried to in several instances.

Yassine: How, what's an example?

Shakesneer: Give me, give me a second to think of a good one.

Yassine: I mean, you're describing him as, as almost like an existential threat to threat to the deep state.

And I'm just asking like, why, like, why is he seen that way? You can't think of one. I mean, I,

Shakesneer: I think there's a, I mean, my honest opinion is I think there's a certain amount of irrationality in this. I think Trump, if he had been elected and allowed to like cut deals, I think he would have, I think he would have been quite [00:46:00] happy.

Like doing whatever and cutting deals and like having a nice infrastructure bill. I think that there is, I think that

Yassine: irrespective, how does the infrastructure bill threatened the deep state? I

Shakesneer: don't think it would have. I just think that they like, here's, here's what I'm saying. I think that if like the, the deep state, if the political establishment, if the people, you know, and the democratic party or whoever, I think if they had cut deals with Donald Trump, Trump would have said great and he would have made deals that would have been I think that instead of that happening, there was an antipathy that already existed between all the

Yassine: different parties.

Right. But, but you just said like the antipathy wasn't always there. It depends. I guess it shifts presumably in response to conservatives. I guess it goes up. And then, and I earlier when I asked you, like, who's the biggest threat to the deep state? You said Trump without hesitation. But then when I asked you, what did he do to threaten the deep state?

You said not much. [00:47:00] So I, I don't, I'm, I'm confused.

Shakesneer: I, I think that Trump represents the spearhead of the opposition to the deep state. I also think How? How? He advances specific interests that go against the deep state's interests. Like what? Like restricting the powers of the

Yassine: What's one example of him trying to restrict the powers of the federal government?

Shakesneer: Just

Yassine: give me an example! Because you're describing him as this object of ire for the deep state. And I'm trying to figure out why, why do they hate him so much? Why is he such a threat? I just want one example to understand that. I mean,

Shakesneer: look, Donald Trump wanted to change the political orthodoxies of Washington, DC.

A lot of how,

Yassine: what did he want to [00:48:00] change?

Shakesneer: Immigration,

Yassine: NATO, how does that threaten the deep state? Wouldn't that increase the power of the deep state? Because then you would need a much bigger, a border patrol apparatus. You would need Coast Guard patrols, you need the Border Patrol, you need more employees at the Department of Homeland Security.


Shakesneer: lot of the people who are doing the work for the Border Patrol, for ICE, they're not in Washington, D. C., right? They're not part of the class that I am attempting

Yassine: to describe. Okay. You would still need more bureaucrats. Some of them are going to end up in D. C. to manage and run these departments that I just spoke of.

Right? Yeah. Okay. So I, I'm trying to understand like, where is the threat to the deep state? They don't want

Shakesneer: those things. What do you want me to say?

Yassine: Okay. So the deep state hates conservatives and hates Trump, especially even though he's not a threat to the deep state or he is, they think he is because they're irrational.

Uh, but he didn't really actually do anything that would jeopardize it, but he also [00:49:00] represents the spearhead for things that might jeopardize it. Is anything I said inaccurate or misrepresenting your position? I think

Shakesneer: he represents the spearhead of opposition to Washington bureaucrats, yeah. I don't think, actually in office he did all that much to try to rein them in, but I think that if anybody was, he is the guy most likely viewed as a threat by

Yassine: all involved.

Okay, but you haven't given me a reason why, except that they're sometimes irrational and they hate conservatives. They want different policies. Okay. Alright. So they want pol different policies, um, and they, they focused on January 6th to, as an, as a way to discredit the conservative movement. Right. Um, sure.

Okay. Why would they try to jeopardize Biden's recertification?

Shakesneer: I, I don't think that's, I don't, I don't think that's, that's right. I don't think that's what they tried to do. I, I think that,

Yassine: I, I think, I guess why would they put it at risk? Why would they try to disrupt [00:50:00] it? No, I,

Shakesneer: it would be the opposite, right?

It would be that they perceive conservatives trying to disrupt Biden's inauguration. And so they infiltrate the conservative movement to try to make sure that doesn't happen.

Yassine: What? I'm sorry, they, they knew that the conservatives were going to disrupt Biden's Certification. And so they infiltrated the groups to make sure it doesn't happen.

So is that what you said? Or did I mishear you?

Shakesneer: No, what I'm saying is that since they perceive conservatives to be a political risk, they not just a political risk, but like a domestic threat, a terrorist threat, right? And this is the language

Yassine: used by they perceived them to be a domestic threat for the same reasons that we just Spent the last hour talking about right?

There's yeah, they

Shakesneer: perceive conservatives to be a domestic threat or certain factions within conservatism to pose. [00:51:00] Okay, a terror threat, right? Okay. And so they have agents infiltrating certain movements within conservatism. Okay, I really, I really don't think that that's like a controversial question.

Idea because we we know cases where they have

Yassine: sure. Sure. I understand that infiltration happens. And then what? Like, what's the, what's the end goal here? What's the plan?

Shakesneer: What's what? So I don't, I don't think that there's like a cabal where they

Yassine: sit around and say, okay, it doesn't have to be a cabal. Like what, what is the point of each infiltration?

I mean, what's, what's the point of infiltrating anyone? Right. Well, I can explain that to you. And hopefully this can provide a template of an answer. But if I'm at the FBI and I'm doing like some counter terrorism unit, and my focus is going to be on Muslim terrorism, I my plan is to infiltrate these groups to see who has at least like some proclivity or some leaning towards committing acts of terrorism to make it to stop it before it gets anywhere [00:52:00] close to fruition.

And the goal is to identify these individuals And my criticism of the FBI is that the way this is typically handled is they'll find impressionable people that are easy to sway. Some of them are, have severe cognitive deficiencies, but they'll say, Hey, don't you want to be important? Don't you want to be special?

We can give you money. If you just like, you know, I want to allow Akbar a building. Don't you hate America? Don't you want to like have some money for your family? Don't you want to go to heaven? And the goal is to prosecute terrorism. and enforce anti terrorism laws before it happens. So that would be the point of the infiltration.

So when I'm asking you, what is the point of the infiltration for a conservative group, what is the answer? Let me ask you

Shakesneer: a question here. Okay. Cause I agree with what you said, and I want to do a map in here. What would be the motivation for an FBI agent to take somebody who's not a terrorist and incite them into an act of terrorism or some other crime that could be.

Perceived as an act of terrorism. What's the motivation

Yassine: [00:53:00] for that FBI agent provided it's ambiguous enough in terms of the actions of the person that is being entrapped, they can pass it off as no, they had, they were planning, uh, a terrorism act. Uh, they were dangerous. We got them before they became dangerous.

Please give me a promotion. So it would be a way to advance. Uh, it tends to play well with the press and the public, prosecutors and agents like to put all their accomplishments on their resume, like, Oh, it was part of 38 operations that successfully caught terrorists before they did anything. So that would be the motivation.


Shakesneer: I agree with that entirely. And I think that a lot of those same motivations now are being turned away from Muslim and Islamic. Extremism or the perceptions of those threats to

Yassine: conservatives. So with Muslim extremism, there were Muslim terrorists, right? Muslim terrorists exist in the world, right?

Okay, and if you, I don't know, if you like, took a poll of all terrorists in the world from the last 20, 30 years, would it be fair to say a [00:54:00] significant portion of them would be Muslim? Uh, yeah. Okay. And, you know, 9 11 happened. There was a great deal. Is it fair to say that there was a a reasonable amount of increase in attention for focusing on or for deterring terrorist acts?

Yes. After that? Okay. So, there's some background of This happened before. We don't want to happen. We don't want it to happen again. A significant amount of terrorists tend to be Muslim for cultural and religious reasons. And so, our goal here is to prevent this from happening by targeting or paying attention to the threat of Islamic terrorists.

Is that fair? Okay, so how would you map that to the conservative movement? Was there anything, it doesn't have to be obviously the same scale as 9 11, but why, what exactly makes conservatives seem

Shakesneer: threatening? I think a lot of people within the political left think conservatives are motivated by racism.

Sexism and other forms of bigotry that the left thinks [00:55:00] maps quite well onto historic American ideas, right? And so when somebody like Donald Trump says, let's make America great again, the left looks at that and says, well, when was America great before you're talking about periods that involved a great deal of bigotry?

And violence and discrimination and

Yassine: so would you say that conservatives are dangerous or how are they dangerous?

Shakesneer: I I don't think conservatives are dangerous in that way. I don't think conservatives are trying to bring back Jim crow.

Yassine: Okay, so Okay, so the deep state's belief that conservatives are dangerous.

That's an unfounded belief. Is that is that fair? Or you believe it's unfounded. No, yeah, I think it's unfounded. But they believe otherwise, right? Yeah,

Shakesneer: I think, I think for a lot of people, of which, you know, the deep state would just be a subset, modern conservatism is trying to hark back to horrible issues within American history.

Yassine: And they look at Okay, but the point is, [00:56:00] like, the deep state found out Or they have this delusional or unfounded idea that conservatives are dangerous and because of that belief, they are motivated to infiltrate, uh, these groups in order to stop them from committing bad acts, right? So I, I think

Shakesneer: that with the election of Donald Trump, a lot of people became convinced that Republicans and the far right were a real threat that was eminently threatening the country.


Yassine: but is it fair to say that that's what motivates the infiltration? Something like, yeah. Okay, but ultimately the goal is to stop the conservatives from becoming dangerous, from kidnapping Governor Whitmer and shit like that, right? Okay, but you're saying that, what ends up happening? Do they find people that are planning plots or do they mostly, or do they spend a significant amount of time having to create it?

Shakesneer: I, I, I think that in a large amount of cases, they end up inventing cases. Yeah. Look at, look at the governor Whitmer [00:57:00] plot. Right.

Yassine: Okay. And what's their motivation for inventing these cases? The

Shakesneer: same things you were describing with regards to Muslim extremism.

Yassine: They get promotion. And what I, what I described, what I described as the motivating the, uh, the, I guess like the made up plots in the Muslim extremism, isn't that they want to stop actual violence.

It's, it's self promotion. There's a self interest. It's like. This person doesn't seem, doesn't seem to be actually dangerous, but I need this case because I need a promotion. So if you're applying that to the deep state infiltrating conservatives, the underlying assumption is that, yeah, they're not dangerous, but I need a promotion.

Do you adopt that? I

Shakesneer: think people rationalize in lots of ways. I think if you looked at the FBI agents involved in the Whitmer case, some of them clearly were just acting for their own personal benefit, but then a lot of them would justify What the FBI did in that case, they would say that conservatism, conservatives are extreme and they pose a danger to the country and [00:58:00] maybe we incited them a little bit, but they were, they would have done it anyways.

They were part of a dangerous extremist movement that we're helping to expose.

Yassine: Okay, but they didn't expose it. I mean, the, the governor Whitmer plot, most of the defendants got acquitted, right? Okay. So how does the deep state convince people to commit acts of violence? Uh, which people?

Shakesneer: What are we talking about here?

Conservatives. Uh, through, through entrapment. I mean, there are There's a lot of stupid people out there, right? And I don't think that it would be that difficult to some conservatives to say stupid things that then lead them to being faced with charges and having to roll over, right? Okay. So look at, look at something like the Proud Boys, right?

In, in the conception of the Proud Boys Originally was like Enrico Tario thought that he could get a bunch of young guys together to be proud about Western [00:59:00] civilization and show up to protest at universities and protest against, uh, leftist protesters, right? Okay. That maybe was a high flown idea, but it's no surprise to anybody that you get a bunch of young guys together, all worked up about an issue, and some of them say stupid things, and some of them go a little off the deep end, and

Yassine: that comes to Okay, but it's not, it's not just saying things, it's also planning and, and doing things, right?

Mm hmm. Okay, so how does the deep state convince people to, to do things? Because the typical, I guess, scenario, uh, for, um, entrapment for Muslim extremists, or what I would argue is entrapment. It doesn't, it's not necessarily legally recognized, but it would be the informant or a government agent would be furnishing the guns or the bomb parts and doing a lot of the legwork and then giving a cell phone And say, Hey, you just need to dial five, five, five.

And then the [01:00:00] bomb will detonate a law walk bar. So the, in terms of how much they're doing and how much they're saying, it's much more lopsided. So I would tend to agree with you. Like, and that's true with the governor Whitmer's plot. There was a lot of bullshitting, a lot of talking and not, not much doing.

They did scout some locations, but not, they didn't really take, in my opinion, not significant steps towards that. So I agree with you, but. If there's, if there's actual violence or actual behavior, how does a deep state convince people to do that? So

Shakesneer: I think this is where the comparison starts to fall off slightly because with Muslim terrorism, we're talking about basically lone wolves, right?

Guys who are basically manipulated on a chat room to Some act that can be framed as terrorism, right? Okay. With these conservative political movements We're already talking about political movements that involve groups of people where they might even organically be planning something, right? So

Yassine: irrespective of Wait, so they might already be [01:01:00] planning plots and then the government finds out about them?


Shakesneer: plots, right? Just planning things, right? Like planning a protest. So irrespective of Of the fact that there are federal agents embedded within certain conservative movements, irrespective of whether that's true or not, irrespective of the motivations of conservatives within those movements. There were people planning to protest at January 6th, right?

And that, that involves a significant amount of organization. You have to send out emails and mailing lists and try to commit people to showing up. You have to drive people, you have to get cars, you have to figure out where people are going to be staying, how they're going to get into town, right? All these sorts of things have to be organized and that's true of any political protest.

Yassine: Right. So let's assume that there were no government infiltrators on January 6th. What would you estimate the level of violence to be at?

Shakesneer: Um, what kind

Yassine: of violence are we talking about? Uh, pushing, breaking windows, uh, pushing doors, destroying doors, fighting with cops, uh, anything that uses force, uh, or I guess [01:02:00] significance here, uh, physical force in order to push your way into the Capitol.

Push your way into the chambers.

Shakesneer: So I, I, I think that question has a problem, which is that presupposes there's really two questions there. Conceal is one. There's a question of how much violence there would be without any federal informants involved. And then there's the supposition that without federal agents involved, they would have entered the Capitol anyways, right?


Yassine: are, I didn't make that assumption. I asked you how much violence would you have seen? In

Shakesneer: your counterfactual, without federal agents, when you're discussing the questions of violence, we're presupposing that violence includes entering

Yassine: the Capitol. No, I said, use a force to enter the Capitol. We can define violence however you want.

I don't want to get stuck on that point. I'm just asking, like, how much did the federal agents contribute to the level of violence, however you want to define it, if they, by, by their presence?

Shakesneer: Part of the baseline here, right? [01:03:00] Let's, let's look at something like Antifa as a comparison. I think if there was no federal involvement in January 6, the protest might have looked like an Antifa protest, right?

People walk around on the, like, like, like a regular Antifa protest in a regular city, not some of the more extreme ones that are the subject of a lot of conversation where say, like

Yassine: Portland. Trying to burn a courthouse? Yeah,

Shakesneer: let's, let's not go that far, right? Let's just talk about, you know, there's a lot of protests.

You get a lot of people to show up. They're really angry. They're really passionate. Uh, you know, probably a lot of people are just there to show support for a cause, and then there's a bunch of hooligans running around, and some of those hooligans are going to get into trouble pushing cops, uh, pressing their faces up against barricades, shouting uncouth things, right?

Yassine: So, your opinion is that without the federal agents that Uh, infiltrated on January 6th, we would have a small portion, uh, engaging with cops, but otherwise it would have been [01:04:00] peaceful.

Shakesneer: Well even, even as it was on January 6th, most of the people there for protesting. Did not go to the Capitol.

Yassine: Okay, so let's narrow it down.

How much do you, how many people do you think would have made it inside the Capitol?

Shakesneer: I, I want to give you a specific guess, but I also want to have It

Yassine: can be a broad guess. I'm not, I'm not trying to hold you to it. I, I know we're talking about hypotheticals, but I'm just trying to get a sense of the scale here.

Shakesneer: This goes back to what I said way at the beginning of this conversation about how I can't read anybody's mind, right? So for me, here's,

Yassine: here's a couple And I'm not claiming you

Shakesneer: are. Here's a couple, yeah. Here's a couple plausible scenarios, right? I don't want to commit myself to just one plausible scenario, but here's a couple.

Yassine: I'll make sure none of this gets edited. Yes, you can add as many qualifiers as you want.

Shakesneer: Here's a couple plausible scenarios. One is that without any federal involvement whatsoever, People protest outside, everybody goes home. Turns out that because of the evidence we have, they deliberately let protesters inside, they opened the [01:05:00] doors, they had cameras set up, right, and they tried to frame everybody, and without federal involvement, none of that would have happened.

Let's call that one scenario. Let's call that one scenario, and there's a whole set of arguments that could be used to justify why that is or isn't true. That's one plausible scenario. Here's another plausible scenario. Uh, everybody was caught with their pants down. You have these conservative hooligans running around and they.

Managed to find an unlocked door that nobody secured properly or that just wasn't happened and the FBI's caught with their pants down. And then in all the investigations and recriminations afterwards, there's a natural incentive to cover up motivation. Nobody wants to get fired for leaving the door to the Capitol closed.

And so it would have played out exactly the same way without federal involvement. But now there's all this suspicion in the aftermath. Because of a rational desire to try to prevent accountability,

Yassine: [01:06:00] right? Okay. So to go back to your first scenario, are you, do you believe that the federal agents and informants, are they coordinating with each other?

Are they saying, Hey, let's make sure that we're in January 6th. I'll make sure that the barricades on the East are opened. You take care of the Northwest. Is that how it's working out?

Shakesneer: Sure. Let's, let's, let's imagine that as like the most extreme end of, of, of one theory, right? That there's some amount of coordination to try and get protesters into

Yassine: the Capitol.

And what's the, what's the goal? Are they saying, Hey, we just need to make sure to get into Capitol and then nature will take its course. We'll activate the violence gene. I'm like, what's, what's the goal? Or I like.

Shakesneer: Is that once they're in the Capitol, It becomes a pretext for. Suppressing these conservative groups

Yassine: because right, but, but the, I'm talking about like, okay, you agree that some people at the Capitol that they [01:07:00] engaged in violence.

Okay. How would they have engaged in violence otherwise? Or what did the deep state do to make them engage in violence or encourage them or prod them or instigate them? Whatever term you want to use? My baseline

Shakesneer: antifa rally, right? There's just some amount of violence. That's just, okay. Part of the event, right?

So I'm not, I'm not, I'm not suggesting that every. single, you know, and with the word violence here, we can be really loose, right? Every single act of pushing, I'm not suggesting that that was all mastermind. The, the, the question here,

Yassine: but how did they, how does someone prod someone to engage in violence?

Shakesneer: I mean, I, I think when you are talking about protests, that some of that is already baked into the event, right?

There's a lot of people coming for a lot of different reasons and motivations, a lot of

Yassine: I mean, but then why do they need to be there? Like, why do they need to instigate it if it's already baked in? [01:08:00]

Shakesneer: That's, that's the explanation. That's, that's the other theory that I have way at the other end, right? That the feds didn't do anything, but that this sort of violence is just inherent and the feds were too incompetent or stupid to prevent that and now all this federal involvement is just trying to cover up the fact that they should have known better and they didn't.

Right. Does that make sense?

Yassine: Yes, I think I can follow

Shakesneer: that. I'm trying to define here the endpoints for what the plausible explanations could be for federal involvement, right? At one end, the feds, like, nobody would have entered the Capitol without federal involvement. And at the other end, it all would have happened the same without federal involvement and the way the feds were involved is just in trying to cover up their own incompetence and allowing it to happen.

Does that make sense? Okay.

Yassine: Sure. On that spectrum, where would you place yourself, roughly speaking?

Shakesneer: Within that [01:09:00] spectrum, there's a lot of other possible outcomes where some quantity of what happened Was federal involvement on top of the baseline that I would suggest is akin to an antifa protest, right?

Yassine: Okay, so where would you place yourself?

Shakesneer: I would I would try to put myself somewhere in the middle from what i've seen There is definitely evidence that there were federal agents who had infiltrated some of these groups Okay, I cannot tell you in any way shape or form How much that infiltration?

Yassine: Terminative. Okay. Uh, you mentioned like, I guess one example, it's the pipe bomb example. Do you want to, uh, explain it? Yeah.

Shakesneer: So this is something that's been going around lately. Just within the last couple days, so it's all fairly new and I'm sure if it bubbles up to a wider consciousness There will be arguments and counter arguments that I can't be prepared to rebut yet.

But here's here's what I am [01:10:00] seeing, right? I think this was Jack Posobiec and one or two other guys on Twitter We're combing through some of the new footage that has been released of January 6, because there's a lot of footage from lots of cameras and everything, and not everything was released right away, and here's what they found with regards to the pipe bomb.

Originally, on January 6, one of the claims made by federal agents was that they found a pipe bomb. Somebody had brought in a bomb robot had to be called in to dismantle this pipe bomb. And they were going to look very seriously to figure out who planted the pipe bomb with the implication that it was brought by one of the protesters.


Yassine: So this refers to a, it's, it's a case that's still unsolved. I don't believe they've, they haven't caught anyone that's responsible for the pipe bombs. Yes. They

Shakesneer: haven't caught anybody. And Uh, to people of a more conspiratorial mindset, it seems as though they've stopped caring about it altogether.

Maybe that's not

Yassine: true. So what's the evidence for that? That

Shakesneer: [01:11:00] nobody's heard anything about it in a while, right? I, you know, it depends on how you want to interpret that.

Yassine: So do you believe it's, it's unusual for active investigations not to have constant

Shakesneer: updates? It's been, what has it been? Uh, let's see, almost, what day is today?

The 19th, so as of tomorrow? Three years. Yeah, tomorrow would have been three years. Right. And I'm not saying I feel this way necessarily. I'm just trying to describe the position. A lot of people feel that it's suspicious that three years later, they can't seem to find any evidence of who planted the pipe

Yassine: bomb.

Right. But a lot of crimes go unsolved for a while. That by itself is that evidence of a government. Fabrication. No,

Shakesneer: but I think that

Yassine: a lot of people, so what, what is like other, another factor?

Shakesneer: Look, I, I'm not saying I think it's

Yassine: suspicious. I'm saying a lot. Okay. I understand that. I'm not gonna hold you that to believe that you believe it, but I'm trying to understand like what the factors are.

Because unsolved crime for three years. That doesn't tell me government, uh, fabrication. Sure. So

Shakesneer: here's, here's, [01:12:00] here's the rest of the case, right? Um, pictures came out of what the pipe bomb that was found actually looked like. There's footage of the pipe bomb being discovered by. Agents of the secret service.

I believe that it was secret service agents associated with Kamala Harris. They find this pipe bomb, they call him the bomb threat and it gets dismantled, right? This footage has just recently come out or it's just recently been looked at critically. And so here's, here's a couple. points that have been discussed in this footage.

One is that the pipe bomb that was called in, the pictures of it, it looks identical to pipe bombs from FBI training manuals.

Yassine: Okay, so, uh, let's, let's focus on this point. So, Jack Poseibic, the guy, the guy's a liar. Like, he, he has a long history of lying. Yeah, sure. Okay, uh, I mean, he, he was, he was a Pizzagate believer, he like, went to Comet Pizza, filmed himself, [01:13:00] and then later tried to say that he was just trying to debunk it.

Uh, he also put out a hoax about, uh, saying that some pipe bombs were found at the Korean Memorial. Uh, none of that was true, he just made shit up about a pop, a pipe bomb being found somewhere. Do you have any disagreement about what I just said?

Shakesneer: I'm not familiar with any of those things, honestly, so I'm willing to accept them, right?

Yassine: Okay, I'll put low, uh, links to it. His tweet about a pipe bomb being found at the Korean Memorial I don't think has ever been deleted. This was back in June 2020.

Shakesneer: I'm willing to believe what you're saying. I'm also willing to hear, like, counter evidence, but I'm not familiar with any of this, and it's not Okay, that's fair.

It doesn't feel real to what I'm trying

Yassine: to say. I'm saying I have no reason whatsoever to believe anything Jack Busybik says at face value. If he has evidence, I am more than willing to, uh, to consider it.

Shakesneer: There are pictures of the pipe bomb, right? There's footage. That's what's being said.

Yassine: Yeah. So the picture of the pipe bomb is legit.

The one on the left, and I'll, I'll put this in the show notes. And then [01:14:00] on the right, it's a picture of presumably pipe bombs. And then on the bottom is kitchen timers and it says FBI training materials. He says that he was, he received this from a source. Maybe that's true. Maybe he's making shit up again.

I don't know. To me,

Shakesneer: it, it sounds plausible, but you could, you could come up with evidence that says actually this isn't part of an FBI training manual.

Yassine: Okay, but I mean, this goes to the second point. It doesn't, in my opinion, it doesn't matter if it's from a training manual or not, because the whole point of pipe bombs is that they're made from commonly available materials.

So when you say this pipe bomb looks exactly like the one in the training materials. Yeah, that's kind of the point. Because you go to Home Depot and you get some, like, pipe fittings. And you put together a pipe bomb. So why would you expect them to look differently? The

Shakesneer: material picture that I'm looking at, there's not just one example pipe bomb, but there's seven or eight, and they all look identical to each other, right?


Yassine: don't agree that they look, well, okay, how about [01:15:00] this? Just Google malleable iron threaded pipe cap and look for the images. And I'll just send you a link right here. So, I mean, we can go this like piece by piece. If we're looking at the FBI training material, uh, you see, you know, like 10 different pipe bombs, presumably pipe bombs.

I actually don't know if. If they're functional in any way, but I see pipe fittings, you can get these at Home Depot, you can get these on Amazon, and they still have stickers like UPC stickers on them, which to me indicates that they're, they were purchased from the store.

Shakesneer: I don't disagree with you, but I also think that, like, if we're talking about UPC stickers, this is a point of evidence in favor of there would be a trail of evidence.

With this pipe bomb that they should be able to track down. And here we are three

Yassine: years later, why, why, what, what trail of evidence you're

Shakesneer: saying that if this is not from an FBI, so let's,

Yassine: let's suppose that I'm saying it doesn't matter if it's from FBI, the whole point of pipe bombs is that you build them from you jury rigged them [01:16:00] from commonly available materials.

You can go to a junkyard, you can shoplift, uh, pipe caps from, you know, the 50 different home depots in your area so that there's no paper trail. The whole point is that you find plumbing materials. So, so I don't understand when you say they, they look exactly, they don't actually look exactly the same at all.

Uh, the ones in the FBI training material, they have an end cap, uh, a pipe and then a pipe fitting cap and then another pipe and then another end cap. The one in the photo looks to be just like a single segment. And the flu, the end caps look different. Like it looks thinner and the photo than it does on the training manual, the FBI so called training materials.

I mean,

Shakesneer: to me, all those pipe bombs look fairly identical in the right. But

Yassine: okay. Even if I'm just going to grant, they look exactly the same. What does that mean? It

Shakesneer: implies that when the FBI has. Pipe bombs shown to agents for [01:17:00] training. They have a supply that were all made at the same time in the same place.

Right. And going further, there would be some cache of pipe bombs lying around that the FBI has as examples for training purposes. It would be very easy for somebody to grab one, throw it somewhere and then say, look, we found a pipe bomb. Uh, look at what these domestic extremists

Yassine: did. Okay, would you expect the pipe bomb to look different if it was genuine?

Shakesneer: That would be one indication, right? Why? Because if somebody actually just scavenged materials from a Home Depot or any, any store around, they're just scavenging random materials, the bomb might not so closely resemble the FBI training materials.

Yassine: Okay. I sent you the link, like, uh, the Google image search, when you just look for iron threaded pipe cap, does it look any different from what you see in the so called FBI training materials?

Shakesneer: I mean, this is just the cap, right? There's the whole pipe and it could be any kind of, that's the

Yassine: point. There's standardized plumbing [01:18:00] supplies, the length

Shakesneer: of the pipe, the color of the pipe, the combination, these

Yassine: don't look the same at all. I told you there, there's like segments, there's different segments, uh, like the FBI training material on it's segmented, it's two parts.

With like a pipe fitting in the middle, the, the one that was, uh, dumped on the street looks like a single pipe, uh, section.

Shakesneer: I mean, the, uh, it's, it's actually partially obscured in the picture, right? So we're really just looking

Yassine: at the bottom half. And that, I mean, that goes into the second photo, you know, if you Google kitchen timer and look at the images.

Well, yeah,

Shakesneer: it's, it's obviously just a generic kitchen

Yassine: timer. So that's what I'm failing to understand. Like, how is this compelling evidence for anyone? If I was building a pipe bomb and I'm not for the record FBI, just in case you're listening, I would go, I would find whatever is commonly available. If I need a mechanical timer, I'll grab whatever's there.

I'll the most common one. If I need pipe fittings, I'll go to home Depot and grab whatever's there. [01:19:00] And whatever I come up with. It's going to look very, very similar to the FBI training material. So how is this an indication of the government fabricating it? I

Shakesneer: mean, I don't know. To me, they look similar.

I'm not an

Yassine: expert on this. No, no. Okay. I'm saying like, even if they look exactly the same, how is that an indication? Because I just described if I was making a pipe bomb, which I'm not for the record, I would end up with exactly the same thing or at least close enough. To pass it off as very similar. I mean

Shakesneer: look, I'm not an expert in pipe bombs.

I really don't know how they're made.

Yassine: I don't expect you to, I'm just trying to understand why this is considered compelling.

Shakesneer: Because I don't know anything, apparently.

Yassine: I'm not trying to, I'm not trying to

Shakesneer: Oh no, it's like I I don't know how reasonable it is for other pipe bombs to look like given pipe bombs.

I am just repeating The claim that the pipe bomb that was discovered looks very similar to [01:20:00] FBI training material, but there's another half of this pipe bomb thing, which is that the picture of the pipe bomb only comes from a video of the agents standing around the pipe bomb. Right. And, uh, I think the video shows that there were several claims in the written report about the pipe bomb that were not true.

I think, I think specifically one thing that troubled people looking at this video was that here's all these FBI agents standing around a bomb and then in the footage there are children and kids walking in the street right near to where the FBI agents are and nobody runs over and tells them, Hey, you shouldn't come

Yassine: here.

This is okay. But this is, this is shifting. I haven't seen this video. I don't know what it is, but it's also shifting the reason. So, Jack Poseibuck posted an image of the pipe bomb and said, Hey, this looks very similar to what he claims is FBI training materials. Uh, I don't know anything about this thing about FBI agents standing around it.

That's a completely different claim. Related, because

Shakesneer: they both come from the same piece of [01:21:00] footage. Okay, but

Yassine: that, but the, the claim about the agents. I'm not saying they're not related, I'm not saying they don't come from the same footage, I'm saying it's a different claim. Saying that this pipe bomb looks the same as the training material is a different argument from saying the, in the footage where the FBI agents found the pipe bomb, they didn't seem very alarmed.

That's all I'm saying. Does that make sense?

Shakesneer: Yeah, sure. Those are two different claims that constitute a larger claim. Yes.

Yassine: So, uh, the, the photo that Jack Poseibuck, uh, posted does is still like hosted by the FBI, but curiously, he doesn't include the other photo. That's much clearer that I just sent it to, I sent it to you on the.

Uh, on the chat, you see the one on the right? Yeah. So that's a, that's one segment of a pipe bomb, obviously. Right. And would you agree that the caps look different? Yeah. Okay. So, you know, if Jack Poseidon posted that photo instead of, uh, the one that he chose, do you believe the argument would have been just as strong?


Shakesneer: I mean, it looks to me like the picture from the FBI [01:22:00] training materials doesn't have timers hooked up to them at all. So I guess I don't know what the FBI training material pipe bombs look like when fully assembled. And so it's hard to judge the claim.

Yassine: I'll just put these in the show notes. People can like judge for themselves.

Shakesneer: Demonstrated is that. There's no way to judge the claim. I

Yassine: mean, my argument is this is what you would end up with if you were building a pipe bomb. There's only, it's a pipe. It's a bomb made out of pipes. Pipes necessarily come in uniform standard sizes. That's, that's what you would expect. They're not like artisanal products, like hand manufactured and have like unique blemishes and whatnot.

They're, they're standardized supplies, anything. Uh, all right. So let's, let's finally talk about Ray Epps. Um, we, the claim, as I said earlier, like Ray Epps is accused or suspected of being a federal informant, but [01:23:00] whether his status as an informant is kind of secondary to the broader. Uh, allegation of deep state FBI, whatever, infiltrating January 6th in order to instigate, encourage, uh, or, uh, orchestrate violence in a way.

Yes. Okay. Uh, but let's, let's investigate, uh, I guess the, the claims that, uh, Ray Epps is a, is a federal informant or otherwise a government agent or something to that effect. Uh, so I agree with you. It's true. Like the FBI has a history. Of, uh, using federal informants before. And we already talked about the, um, the Whitmer kidnapping.

Now the key piece of the key defense in the Whitmer kidnapping was entrapment. The defense attorneys argued that this was just all talk. They didn't, weren't actually planning on anything. Also, there's a significant entrapment defense, which is. A valid legally recognized defense, uh, and entrapment is generally very difficult to establish, but the significant [01:24:00] number of the defendants in the Whitmer kidnapping plot did successfully deploy that they were acquitted in front of a jury.

So it's not, it's not always obvious, like. What they found, what the jury found compelling, but seems reasonable to conclude that, yeah, this is like, this was a good argument. Is that any disagreement so far? Uh, no. Keep going. Okay. So, my question is, how come there's been about 1, 200 January 6th defendants?

How come not a single one of them have ever argued

Shakesneer: entrapment? I think, I think there's a couple of reasons, and I think it goes to a sort of deeper problem with the January 6th defense. Right. There's been a lot of stigma around defending January 6th defendants. And it's been hard. What? Who? It's been hard for them to get legal defense that isn't really wrapped up in certain conservative movements.

Yassine: Right. Like what? I mean, most of them had federal public defenders.

Shakesneer: [01:25:00] Yeah. It's been hard for them to get anybody else.

Yassine: Well, for the record, like, unlike the state counterparts, state and county counterparts, federal public defenders are top notch at their game. You don't have to take my word for it, but that's the general, generally recognized reputation.

So I'm trying to understand, like, what's the evidence that they weren't properly represented?

Shakesneer: I, I think that for a lot of them, they either want to take a plea deal and bargain their way down, or

Yassine: When you say them, are you talking about the defendants or the defense attorneys?

Shakesneer: The, the, the defendants with the defense attorneys, right?

Why? Because I think a lot of them understand that the federal government is interested in prosecuting January 6th cases and there's a sense that they should try to cooperate and get their sentences reduced, because there's no denying that all of these people were at But that's,

Yassine: but that, that same problem happened in the Governor Whitmer plot.

Right? The government was [01:26:00] interested in prosecuting the Whitmer plot. They made a big deal about it when it was first released. That was, I think, in 2020. So why didn't that apply then?

Shakesneer: So I don't think it's quite a one to one example in that. Okay, that's fine. What's the distinction? There's a difference between a handful of agents influencing a handful of defendants in a tightly controlled monitored situation over a period of months, right?

One long specific entrapment scheme versus a sort of vague amorphous protest, right? So even if we, even if we accept that there are federal agents at January 6th, who

Yassine: is it? What's, what's the comparison? The comparison isn't just like a vague, amorphous protest, we're talking about individuals. So if you're a January 6th defendant that is accused of, I don't know, spraying hornets spray on a cop, and you want to say, I was entrapped into it, what's stopping them from pursuing that argument, if it's true?

Shakesneer: That's the distinction I'm making, right? Like if you are one of the Whitmer defenders, there's [01:27:00] a very. Easy case to make that you are being entrapped because here there are specific agents who have been talking to you over a period of time, trying to get you in the specific behaviors. The

Yassine: January agents, I mean, the defense attorneys have to investigate that the Whitmer defense attorneys, they say, okay.

What's the defense? And the defendant says, Well, I wasn't trapped like I didn't do anything. There was this guy that always wanted to talk about plots. Maybe you should talk to him. And then they investigate that. They asked the prosecutor. Can you give us the name of any informant? And then they do. They have their own private investigators to find the names of people involved and look into their background to see Okay.

Uh, if they're informants or not. And then in testimony, the FBI had to admit that, yes, we did use informants. Why did none of the January 6th defendants do that? But

Shakesneer: that's, that's the distinction that I'm drawing here, right? There's a clear difference between that kind of entrapment versus what we're describing here with January 6th, where there's this idea.

Let me give you two answers here, right? Which, which are related but separate. One [01:28:00] is that there's a clear difference between having a couple FBI agents specifically interacting with you over a period of time in chat rooms and specific plots. Trying to get you to commit a specific crime versus what we're talking about here with January six is this idea that there were federal agents embedded in specific groups and they might have manipulated the chaotic conditions of a protest to create.

An image of a terrorist threat

Yassine: to create an image of a terrorist threat or to encourage people to act in a violent way,

Shakesneer: you could, you could suggest both of those, right? Okay. Again, I have

Yassine: what exactly is the difference? Because if you look at the proud boys and Minor correction. I think maybe they were informants, uh, in the Proud Boys case.

But if you look at the Proud Boys case, they were planning their January 6th for several weeks leading up to it. Yeah. So I'm trying to understand [01:29:00] what the difference is.

Shakesneer: The Proud Boys involvement in January 6th is just one piece of January 6th, right? So I guess, I guess in my mind, part of the image lurking in the background here is this question of, How did the protesters enter the Capitol?

There's a lot of conspiracizing. There's a lot of debates around why the doors were unlocked or how they were unlocked. Were they let in? Were they Okay,

Yassine: but you, you do recognize that the, I apologize for interrupting you. There's this element of. Infantilizing the January sex protesters where they see an open door and it's like a mama bird trying to feed its young.

It's like, Oh, I see a gawking beak at me. I need to feed it. They're not, I'm going to say they're not that retarded. They're not that simple minded where they just see an open door and say, I'm going to go in. So I, I just want to put that in there and I would love to hear an explanation for whether you acknowledge that or reject that what

Shakesneer: you're saying to me sort of dismisses the [01:30:00] question.

Yassine: What? Okay. How about this? Can you think of any? Let's talk outside of politics. Can you think of any example where people are, I guess, that prone to suggestion to actually not just talking but doing something? To that level. Like, how do you suggest them to do

Shakesneer: it? I think that the madness of crowds is well documented and individual people.

Can be suggestible, but a group of people can be highly suggestible.

Yassine: Okay. Okay. If I said that the 2020 BLM riots slash protests, whatever you want to call them. If I said that they were the result of federal informants, federal infiltration, trying to instigate people to act in a violent way. Uh, and that's why they were violent.

Would you believe that? Or would you reject that?

Shakesneer: I would be highly skeptical of that. I would be because it seems very plausible to me that you get a lot of left wing radicals and you, you turn them into the location and they have tendencies that lead [01:31:00] towards. there being some subset of violence.


Yassine: why do you not find that plausible for right wing

Shakesneer: crowd? Hang on. Cause, cause I'm not, I'm not saying I find it implausible. I'm saying that my supposition would be on the face of it, that there would be some violence that's organically generated, which is what I said for the January six people. I said that if you, Had no federal involvement at all, it's plausible that it would be just as rancorous as Antifa.

Now, if you, if you had evidence But, but

Yassine: you placed yourself away from that position. You said you were somewhat in the middle. So

Shakesneer: I definitely think that there was federal involvement in January 6th, and I think that that might have exaggerated some of the tendencies of what happened.

Yassine: I understand that, and I'm trying to understand, what I'm trying, the part that I don't understand is How does one get encouraged to commit violence?

If they don't, I mean, what, if they weren't going to do it or are they like at a knife's edge [01:32:00] and it's just like, kind of like a tightly wound crowd that can go off,

Shakesneer: let's qualify here the phrase commit violence because whatever,

Yassine: whatever definition you want to use. I have no interest in fighting over definitions.

I don't want

Shakesneer: to shift any goalposts here. One half of this is about people committing violence, like throwing up hands, tearing down fences. Punching cops. The other half of committing violence is what we were just talking about. This question of people coming into the Capitol building, right? Okay.

Yassine: I'm not considering people walking into the Capitol as violence.

If that's the line you want to draw fine. Well,

Shakesneer: but that is something that I think was highly influenced by federal agents. Which part? Well, this gets back to the question of Ray. Yeah,

Yassine: which, which, uh, okay. You said there's fighting cops is one type of violence and then. The other type is just walking into the Capitol or getting into the Capitol, which one was influenced by federal agents,

Shakesneer: the latter walking into the Capitol and recognize here for a second that it's people who entered the Capitol who were being prosecuted the most heavily, right?

So but

Yassine: let me make sure it's [01:33:00] clear. So are you saying the federal informants had or federal agents had minimal or no impact on the fisticuffs? Version of violence.

Shakesneer: I, I think that's plausible. I think it's your position. Yes. Without federal informants, you're still going to have a lot of rowdy people. And again, they're

Yassine: okay.

Well, let me see if I understand it. So your theory is that the, if there were federal, uh, agents and performance involved, uh, which you think is plausible or potentially likely the aspect of violence that they. Most likely contributed to was allowing people into the capital and then the baseline fisticuffs violence was just going to play out its course once they were inside.

Is that a fair description? Yeah, that's

Shakesneer: plausible to me. That's what I think.

Yassine: Okay. So, I mean, this is, this is walking it back significantly if they were just there to get people. So their whole goal was just to get people inside and [01:34:00] Let nature take its course. Is that their primary motivation?

Shakesneer: What do you mean by let nature

Yassine: take its course?

Well, it's more, we know that there's going to be some violence in protest. We want to make sure that it does the most damage inside the Capitol. So we're going to throw down some barricades. We're going to open the doors. We're going to let people in. And then hopefully once they're inside, the claustrophobia will magnify the level of baseline violence, or at least, uh, Be more likely to prompt it.

Is that is that a fair description? I

Shakesneer: don't think the FBI was trying to incite violence within the Capitol. Like, I don't think that there are agents sitting around saying, let's get these hooligans into the Capitol building so that they can go and smash a bunch of cops up or do worse. I think that it's plausible.

That they were trying to let people into the Capitol building as a sort of, what's the, what's the word I'm looking for? There's, there's a phrase here. False flag. Well,

Yassine: it's not a false flag if they actually did go in. But

Shakesneer: [01:35:00] the false flag is this idea of trying to overthrow the government.

Yassine: No, no, no. False flag.

Maybe we're talking about different things, but false flag. Is conducting an attack while wearing the uniform or pretending to be another group.

Shakesneer: But it also has a sense of meaning something that maybe I'm thinking of. Um, no, I'm not thinking of AstroTurf. AstroTofer

Yassine: is similar to false flag where you, it's the opposite of grassroots where you say, I kind

Shakesneer: of like the idea of AstroTurf.

I kind of like the idea of imagining January 6 as, Agents within the federal government astroturfing a more serious incident than what really occurred.

Yassine: But they wouldn't have been able to do that if the baseline violence proclivity wasn't already there, right?

Shakesneer: I'm not denying that there was, I'm not denying that in a crowd of tens of thousands of amped up people there were some [01:36:00] violent people.

I'm not denying

Yassine: that. Okay, but I guess like what, what difference did the federal agents make? If someone was willing to, if there's elements of the protest that were willing to punch cops, what, why would they, why would a door, why would a barricade stop them? Why wasn't the door locked? Which door are you talking about?

Shakesneer: The door by which some protesters entered the Capitol. Why wasn't that door locked? Like why?

Yassine: I mean, I'm, I'm seeing, so, you know, generally when I walk into my, around my neighborhood, if I see a door, I don't just like walk in, you know, or I don't test whether or not doors. Uh, are locked unless I have a reason or an interest of being there, which is why I believe that the January six protesters, the one that surrounded the Capitol, they had a reason and desire to be inside the Capitol.

And there's a shit ton of footage and video evidence that shows they're willing to smash windows. They take, they can steal, uh, a riot cops at shield and use that to smash a window. [01:37:00] Uh, they can smash through doors. They can push barricades. There's plenty of evidence of that. So I'm, I'm failing to understand.

The idea that they wouldn't have done it if, if federal agents didn't like open doors. And even if you establish that, why are they so, why are they fucking lemmings? I

Shakesneer: mean, that, that seems to me to be taking it the wrong way around because

Yassine: why? Please correct me, please. I'm

Shakesneer: waiting. If they're willing to smash windows and doors, why didn't they have to smash doors to get in?

Yassine: They did. I mean, how many, how many, how much footage would you find? Satisfactory? Of people smashing windows at the Capitol

Shakesneer: windows. But what about doors? The

Yassine: doors? Yeah, I can show you doors being smashed. Like what, what, what is the, what is your expectation?

Shakesneer: We'll unlock the doors. That's when a big,

Yassine: you don't need to, um, what I've, first of all, I've never heard of this unlock doors, but if you're smashing a door, you don't need to lock or unlock it.

If you're smashing a window, you don't even have to bother with the door. You've never heard of this argument. No, I have not. [01:38:00] I am. Are you saying that you're not aware of the videos of people smashing windows and smashing doors to get inside

Shakesneer: windows? I'm not denying that I'm talking about the other side of it.

I'm talking about why the doors were open. Yeah, this is a big part of the debate in the evidence.

Yassine: There's, I don't know what, what evidence it's in because. Here's my explanation. January six protesters were really angry about the election. Uh, their purported leader, Trump whipped them up into a frenzy because he's saying fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore.

Uh, they cheated the election. We're going to go march to the Capitol. And then he said, of course, peacefully, uh, and he, people were reasonably angry, given what I believe are delusional beliefs that they held. But once they were there, if they were willing to punch cops. There's a window is not going to be like, they're not going to show up to a door and be like, Oh guys.

Hey, it's locked. Let's just go

Shakesneer: back. Yeah, but the thing is that some of these doors weren't locked. Like this is

Yassine: okay What does that mean? It means I don't see the significance of that [01:39:00] either because okay, it's not locked What it what's the theory?

Shakesneer: You need to talk about the other side of the equation here, right?

Imagine your capital security. Imagine your nancy pelosi Imagine your whoever is responsible for the security of the capital building, right? Okay, you see These protesters coming, you know, that there's an important vote going on in the halls of Congress. Like you see these protesters, like they don't just, they don't just march in like a hurricane and in five seconds, they're in the building, right?

There's a process where, again, as you say, they, right, as, as we agree, they have to tear down barricades. They have to push through one layer of defense and another layer of defense. So why is it that at this final level of defense, There are unlocked doors and then they just sort of walk in and there's footage.

There's this sort of now famous footage of some of these people walking in and they sort of do actually stand around like lemmings and they're like sort of gawping and they're just sort of walking in because they didn't really know what they're doing.

Yassine: I'm trying to understand the theory is that part of like the [01:40:00] safety plan was, Hey guys, make sure to lock the doors of the Capitol.


Shakesneer: nobody defending these doors. Like

Yassine: there's, there's Capitol police outside the Capitol. Yes. Yes, and there's capital police inside the capital. Yes. Yes. Okay. So let's assume the doors are locked as the people as a police outside. They start retreating. They get they are going to get stuck on the door, right?

And then they would try to open it right to go inside. What you're

Shakesneer: stipulating here now is that. Cops can't like, like now, now what you're talking about is like either the cops have to unlock the door and why didn't they relock the door once they're safely inside, or they're just walking inside. And then in that case, they really are bringing protesters in with them, right?

Although in

Yassine: that, Yeah, if they're, if they're retreating, I don't find anything implausible about a Capitol Police officer retreating inside the building. And as he's getting in, the protesters grab the doors, there's there's shits on a video of that happening as well, too. Yeah, I don't disagree with that, but okay, but so how [01:41:00] does it, how does that, what do you find, what do you think I'm missing?

Because I'm looking at this and I don't, I don't see anything worth considering that some doors, even if I assume that some doors were unlocked, I don't understand what the plan is. The, you had deep state agents infiltrate conservative groups. And the most that they were, the biggest step that they took was making sure that the doors were unlocked so that people can come in.

No, the

Shakesneer: accusation is that they tried to exaggerate. The severity of conservative groups by making it look as though they were committing greater crimes or, or rather that, that the, that the protest represented a serious attempt to overthrow the government, part of which included actually entering the building of the

Yassine: Capitol, right?

But they weren't pushed inside. By the, uh, the federal agents, right? They walked inside. And so this

Shakesneer: is where, so, so let's finally talk about Ray Epps here, right? Because this is where Ray Epps becomes important. So [01:42:00]

Yassine: let's just, uh, I want to go back to Ray Epps, but to go back to the reason why I don't believe a defense attorney is out of the 1200 or so January 6th defendants didn't present evidence of entrapment or anything that the reason I believe that is because I don't, I don't think there was entrapment.

At least not worth presenting in court, uh, in contrast to the, to the, uh, Whitmer kidnapping plot where there was a significant amount of entrapment. So if you think that's unreasonable, you can let me know, but we can, we can move on to Ray, uh, Ray Epps.

Shakesneer: I don't know if I want to add anything to that prior discussion.

Yassine: Okay. So what were you going to say?

Shakesneer: Let's, let's, let's take, let's take all your, let's start with the sort of, uh, interpretation of events that you've been using up until now, right? Correct. And correct me if I'm saying anything that sounds unfair, but, uh, what we have according to the sort of mainstream position is a bunch of violent hooligans who enter the Capitol [01:43:00] building, right?

They're led into the Capitol building. And this becomes a serious security threat. There's no sort of malicious interference by any government agents. Uh, everything conservatives did was in some sense organic, even if, say, the feds might've dropped the ball in some way. And it's because it's, it's, it was all on conservative zone impetus that all these people entered the Capitol and tried to disrupt proceedings.

Right. Yes. And so here within that, you have Ray Epps. Okay. And so here's Ray Epps. He is specifically shouting at several points, both during the protest and the day of the, before the protest saying that he wants people to enter the Capitol. And I, you know, I think within that, he might have said non violently, but he was trying to get people into the Capitol.


Yassine: was something that is, that is true. [01:44:00] Yes.

Shakesneer: Tomorrow we need to go into the

Yassine: Capitol, into the Capitol.

Shakesneer: This one specific guy was agitating for saying, we should do this. We should go into the Capitol. We should. Right. And he

Yassine: was, he was saying, you recognize he's not the only one, right? Yeah. I

Shakesneer: recognize he's not the only one.

However, he is sort of the poster boy. He, well,

Yassine: according to who?

Shakesneer: Yeah. That's why I stopped that's a perfect example of the exact case that the federal government is trying to make.

Yassine: Okay. Please elucidate the factors that you believe come compose the perfect case. He's

Shakesneer: trying to incite people to go into the Capitol building.

He is [01:45:00] saying, this is what we should do. We need to take this protest inside and actually enter the Capitol, which Okay. wasn't something that people necessarily, well, whatever. So

Yassine: Okay, so that's factor one. He's trying to get people inside the Capitol. Yes?

Shakesneer: Right. He agitates for that. He shots people to do that, right?

That is making the government's case. That is everything the government says, you know, these These January six people, they tried to enter the Capitol. They tried to, uh, disrupt official proceedings, right?

Yassine: Okay. You're making the jump. So no dispute whatsoever that he asked people, he suggested, uh, loudly and publicly, we should go inside the Capitol.

No dispute, but then you jumped to say disrupt proceedings. I didn't see anything of him saying we need to disrupt proceedings. Why, why would

Shakesneer: he be telling people then to go into the Capitol? Like the, the part of the argument. I

Yassine: mean, there's been a lot of protests in Capitol, in state capitals across the country.

[01:46:00] They occupy the rotunda. They, they shout outside the halls. They bring a, a poster. Sometimes they sneak into the, the, the chambers like while they're voting or while there's other proceedings that that happens regularly, right? Do you, you do recognize that

Shakesneer: happens? That happens regularly in all sorts

Yassine: of contexts.

If I said in any other context, let's say I'm in the, I'm at the Wisconsin state Capitol and they're about to vote on an abortion bill. And I said, Hey, we need to go into the Capitol. Is that by its own threatening in any way? Okay. So someone saying we need to go into the capital, the federal capital. Do you believe that that's threatening in any way, just on its own, like out of, like, outside of the context of the, of the chaos that's around that day?

Just that statement on its own. I don't believe

Shakesneer: that

Yassine: that's threatening. And I agree with you. So what would be, what, what would be the other factor that makes him stand out?

Shakesneer: The federal government is not treating this protest like other cases of protesters occupying rotundas and Capitol [01:47:00] buildings.

Yassine: Could that, could it be that it was a different kind of protest?

Shakesneer: What makes it a different kind of protest?

Yassine: What, what, what, the level of violence, the amount of people. Their motivation was explicitly to hinder or delay the proceedings that were going on. The proceedings were especially critical. They involved the transfer of power. And so any hindrance to that was at, in terms of importance, that was at its apex.

It's very different from, you know, a state legislature that wants to vote on an abortion bill. Let me say that again. It could be very different. So long as the further apart they are, the more different that they are. But as soon as, like, the state capital example starts to meet more elements, then it would reach to the level of importance that January 6th did.

Shakesneer: I don't take it for granted that just because there are protesters inside the Capitol building that that constitutes a threat.

Yassine: I agree with you. That's why I didn't mention that, that, that part. I said the difference was the intent of the protesters. And the importance of the [01:48:00] proceeding that was taking place that day.

I mean,

Shakesneer: I don't, I agree that it's a more important event than a lot of events that usually happen in state capitals, but I don't see that that constitutes proving that these protesters are a unique

Yassine: threat. That's not, I mean, you're taking one component and saying that's not enough. I agree that's not enough.

That's why I added the other component, which was the intent of the protesters, their intent, not all of them, but a significant, or at least the significant portion of the, the ones that got violent, their intent was to, uh, delay and hinder the proceedings. I didn't, I didn't say overthrow the government. I said delay or hinder the proceedings.

It's not

Shakesneer: necessarily malicious about delaying proceedings, right? That

Yassine: is Well, okay, you're doing it again. You're taking one component of what I said and saying that's not enough. I didn't just say delay the proceeding. I said hinder. Let's just use obstruct. They were trying to obstruct the certification.

Maybe even stop it if they were successful enough.

Shakesneer: Let's take these two elements, right? They're trying to delay these proceedings and also these proceedings are [01:49:00] uniquely important, right? Sure. Protesters in other cases of rotunda capital state building protests are also trying to delay and hinder results.

So the only element really makes, the only element that makes what you're describing unique is the fact that this is so

Yassine: important. That's part of it, but it also involves the transfer of power, which is a critical, uh, Uh, moment in democracy. So if there was a state, uh, governor that was about to be inaugurated and they were protesters there to hinder or delay the vote, I would consider that at a similar level of seriousness.

Shakesneer: Let's, let's, let's grant that that's a counterfactual for which no exactly comparable behavior exists

Yassine: for us to judge. Sure. That's always going to be a challenge. I acknowledge that. But putting that aside, we're talking about Ray Epps and why, what he did was what you, why you consider it to be the perfect case.

For [01:50:00] prosecution because

Shakesneer: he was inciting people to do the very thing that the government is alleging was so serious

Yassine: and well, okay, that's, that's, that's not okay. Let's make sure that I don't want to obfuscate. Hold on shakes. You said he's inciting people to do the thing that government said was so serious, but you're obfuscating.

Uh, he asked, he suggested to people that we should go into the capital. The most serious thing was not going into the capital. The most serious thing was obstructing the proceedings. Yes. Okay. Okay.

Shakesneer: And the government is alleging that people obstructed the proceedings by entering restricted areas.

Yassine: Okay, but, but, but is it correct to say that the most serious thing isn't just It's walking into the doors, it's entering the building with the intent of hindering the proceedings.

Is that fair? I mean,

Shakesneer: the government is prosecuting everybody who entered the Capitol. So I don't, I mean,

Yassine: That's not true. There's about 2, 000 people that entered the Capitol. That's not even the total amount of defendants that have been charged. [01:51:00] They're not prosecuting

Shakesneer: everyone. They're still working their way through the backlog

Yassine: of cases.

Okay, but that hasn't happened yet, so you can't make an affirmative statement about something that hasn't happened yet. You can say, I predict that they will prosecute everyone, that's fine. Okay, I predict

Shakesneer: they're going to prosecute all the people who

Yassine: enter the Capitol. Okay, cool. So, when you say that Ray Epps did the most serious thing, he didn't tell anyone, hey, we need to stop the vote, or delay the vote, or obstruct the vote.

Did he? I need to look

Shakesneer: again and see, but the famous footage of him is of him telling people to enter

Yassine: the Capitol. Yes, I agree with you. And I'll even put the audio so that listeners can hear it. He did tell people to go into the Capitol. Did you ever hear his explanation?

Shakesneer: Um, yeah, a long time ago. What specific part are you referencing?

Yassine: He said that he thought the Capitol was open that day. That sounds like bullshit.

Shakesneer: Why? Uh, that sounds

Yassine: like cover his ass. Why? Why is it implausible?

Shakesneer: Because that to me sounds like at odds from what I remember him saying on other [01:52:00] occasions.

Yassine: What, what, what do you remember him saying?

Shakesneer: I remember him saying something about how we need to get as many people into the Capitol as possible so that we can surround it.

I remember him talking about trying to enter the Capitol even before January 6th on January 5th. He

Yassine: did talk about entering, wanting to enter the Capitol on January 5th. I've never heard him say we need to get as many people in there to surround it. That's, that's possible. But how, how does that change the, how does that refute or rebut the notion that he thought the Capitol was open that day?

You know, an example would be. I don't expect this to actually have been caught, but him saying, Hey guys, I know that the Capitol is going to be closed, but we need to force our way in there and get in as many people. I agree that that would be seriously incriminating, but I haven't heard him say that.

Shakesneer: Well, yeah, that's, that's exactly it, right? He's, he's offering an explanation post facto that says, Oh, what I meant wasn't this incriminating thing. What I meant was this thing that proves that I'm innocent.

Yassine: He's never entered the Capitol, right?

Shakesneer: I [01:53:00] don't think his ex post facto explanation of why what he did wasn't a crime is something really worth sharing seriously.

Like he's not going to

Yassine: say after the day of the crime. Okay. Is it, let's assume that Ray Epps is telling the truth when he said, I thought the Capitol was open that day. What event, what evidence, what behavior, what anything is inconsistent with that explanation? I think the

Shakesneer: fact that he was trying to lead people into the building, but he never went into the building

Yassine: himself.

Right. Isn't that consistent with someone thinking that it was open and then saying, Oh shit, it's actually not open. I'm going to go home.

Shakesneer: If he, if he thought the Capitol was open, why didn't he go in himself in the first place?

Yassine: I just asked you that question. Isn't that consistent with him believing that the Capitol was open?

And then as he got to the doors and saw the barricades and the police, he's like, Oh shit, it's actually not open. I'm going to go home. Is that what he did? He never went inside. Is there anyone that indicated that he went inside?

Shakesneer: Yeah, he never went inside, but then why was he [01:54:00] encouraging other people to go in?

Yassine: Because he thought he was, it was open. I'm asking you which part is inconsistent with his explanation. Let me, let me pull up the

Shakesneer: Revolver story. Give me a second. I want to, uh, now that I've re listened to those, I want to challenge, uh, a little more strongly something you asked. Okay. So you asked me if, you know, what's, what's in Congress between Epps telling people to go to the Capitol and then saying later, Oh, I thought it was open.

Yes. In the tapes of Epps specifically at one point he says, Oh, I shouldn't say this because I'll be arrested, but I'm going to say it anyways, we should go to the Capitol. Tomorrow,

Yassine: I don't even like to say it because I'll be arrested. Well, let's not say it. We need, we need to go. I'll say it. All right. We need to go in.

Shut the fuck up, Boomer. To the Capitol. Based Fed posting? We need to go into the Capitol. I didn't see that coming. Okay. Okay, [01:55:00] uh, he's admitting to some criminal element to his plan. Yes. But that's still consistent with him believing that it's open, right? Because there's different ways of committing a crime.

When a capital is open, it could be you're trespassing or you're not supposed to be there, even though, uh, or you've outstayed your, your welcome or something to that effect. I

Shakesneer: mean, there's, there's lots of ways of parsing ambiguous statements, but look, he says the day before the day of the attack, we're going to go to the capital.

We should go to the capital. I shouldn't say this because I might be arrested, but I'm going to say this anyways. We should go to the capital, right? So he. He himself, he himself in that

Yassine: wording. So that would be one aspect, uh, that you believe is inconsistent.

Shakesneer: Now, if you want to say that his post facto rationalization is accounts for that, I would ask you to provide the wording of his post [01:56:00] facto rationalization.

Because to me, What you have described him saying,

Yassine: wait, wait, what do you mean by post? Uh, factor rationalization,

Shakesneer: saying, saying after the day that, oh, I thought the building was open, and you know what, what we did wasn't, I wasn't doing

Yassine: anything illegal. Well, he, I don't think he's ever said, I, I wasn't doing anything illegal.

Uh, so Well, what, what,

Shakesneer: what, what your, your, your summation of what he, his justification was

Yassine: on his, well, I wanna avoid, uh, loaded language. You call it a post hoc rationalization that, that is begging the question. I'm just going to say his explanation for why he, uh, he told people to go into the Capitol, what he claims and we, we don't have to take his word for it.

I don't want to play this game of, Oh, well, he denied it. What he claims is he thought that the Capitol was open. That's why he was telling people to go inside. I, uh, he did admit or acknowledge some element of criminality to that. Um, I guess, encouragement, the, what I find congruent [01:57:00] about his explanation is.

Yeah, he's seen on video telling people to go in, but he never went inside himself. Uh, I think the furthest he got was the barricades. I see him running, uh, forward and like interacting with the police, but I don't see any evidence that he went inside. To me, that's consistent with him claiming that he thought that the Capitol was open.

Uh, the other thing that's consistent is that he fully cooperated with the, with the FBI. Uh, the FBI put him on a list saying, seeking information. Uh, I believe the day of January 6th, he was photographed number 16, uh, on January 8th, he called the FBI and spoke to them. Uh, and then on March, he sat down for an interview with his attorney president, spoke to the FBI, uh, for a couple hours and admitted that he, he messed up and then provided, uh, again, that explanation that he thought it was open.

So because of those reasons. I'm inclined to believe him. Uh, I also know that, I mean, tourists don't really know anything about monuments. They can't tell monuments [01:58:00] apart to begin with. Someone having the wrong idea about what is or isn't open, uh, seems perfectly plausible to me. I don't see anything unusual about that.

I mean,

Shakesneer: that just seems, like, way too generous to his own theory.

Yassine: Okay, but you need to tell me why. I just outlined several factors for why I think it corroborates or it's congruent to this is explanation. You can challenge any of those factors, or you can highlight your own factor, which I already conceded him saying, I'll probably go to jail for this.

I can see that that's an incriminating statement to make. But I'm, I'm balancing it with all the other congruent acts. So tell me why your factor matters more or why the factors that I mentioned don't matter as much.

Shakesneer: Yeah. I'm not aware of Ray Epps going to the FBI of his own accord and saying, Oh yeah, that was me.

And then they take them off the list. It took them some time to take him. I

Yassine: can tell you the wanted. Okay. So this information is provided by the FBI and provided, [01:59:00] submitted into court by a, a government. Prosecutor and also repeated by EPS defense attorney. I guess you can say that they're all in on it and they're all lying.

I wouldn't, I would ask for evidence for that. Uh, but that's the timeline that I just described comes from court filings. That

Shakesneer: would be the natural supposition, right? That would be the easiest way for them to

Yassine: Only if you already have accepted the premises that he's an informant, then yes, that would be the easiest supposition.

But we're, we're challenging that very premise. I mean, if you already accept that he's an informant, then any explanation is a post hoc rationalization. If you, if you don't know, or if you at least start from the blank slate. Then you need to look for evidence and, or at least you, you need to be agnostic at first and then find the evidence and figure out which way that sways you.

So the other thing is, uh, when he said, let's go into the Capitol, he said, peacefully, uh, do you place much weight on him saying peacefully from the

Shakesneer: footage? I see. I don't remember him saying peacefully at all. Especially when he's

Yassine: saying that he did say it. [02:00:00] That's that's he said this on January 5th. Uh, it was at night.

I think it was in BLM Plaza, uh, baked Alaska, who's a live streamer. He was the one that started shouting fed

Shakesneer: fed fed. Yeah. Okay. That that sounds more plausible. He said peacefully after he's after people start shouting fed at him.

Yassine: Yes, the fact that he said peacefully, doesn't that just, doesn't that, isn't that exculpatory?

So if you,

Shakesneer: this goes back to your question about, um, what do we prejudge it as, right? If you, if you, if you lead with the presumption, and this, this is something I almost wanted to say at the beginning, but I forgot, right, I mean, the, right, I, I don't have access to all the information. I'm not sitting here trying

Yassine: to pronounce it.

That's fine. I don't claim, I'm not making any claims that you have access to all the information. If you Uh, have a theory. If you have an assertion, it's totally fine to say, I don't know if I can prove this. I don't know how much I can believe it.

Shakesneer: The standard here is not, is he guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.[02:01:00]

Yassine: We're not, we're not there. And I want to avoid, I feel like it's a waste of time to start addressing or rebutting. These extreme positions that no one is taking. I'm not, I'm not saying this is beyond a reasonable doubt. It's okay to have uncertainty. That's totally fine.

Shakesneer: So, all right then. So if you, if you assume he's innocent to start with, then saying peacefully just shows.

Yassine: I'm not assuming.

Shakesneer: Let me, let me, let me finish what I'm saying. Okay. Because if you, if you take the counterfactual that he's a federal agent, then the order of events looks even more suspicious because first he says, we need to go to the Capitol and then when people accuse him of being a fed, i. e. of being insincere, of trying to lead them into a trap, he says, Oh no, no, peacefully, peacefully.

Okay. That to me looks like walking back because first he's trying to lead people into the capital and when they identify that as a trap, he has to now walk back what he wants people to do in order to make it more plausible.

Yassine: Okay, but this is, I [02:02:00] think, a perfect illustration of what I think the core issue is.

I'm not walking into this assuming that Ray Epps is innocent. It seems like you are actually walking into this, assuming that he's a fed and then working backwards to justify the conclusion and I'll, I can explain why I'm, I'm saying this because if let's assume that he is innocent, I'm going to walk in and assume that he's innocent, him saying, we're going to walk into the Capitol and then receiving kind of like the negative reaction that he did from the crowd that you saw in the video.

And then he realizes, Oh shit, maybe they mean that I'm agitating. They think that I'm agitating for violence. I need to correct that. So I'm going to say peacefully. Is there anything incongruent with that explanation? Yeah.

Shakesneer: The next day when he's still trying to get people to go to the Capitol and

Yassine: he says, just, just that part.

Is there anything incongruent about that aspect? No, that's

Shakesneer: one possible explanation. I grant that is that, that is an

Yassine: explanation. Okay. And so, uh, and then what were you saying the next day? [02:03:00] Yeah. When he

Shakesneer: says I might, or it might've been earlier in the same day, but the, the, the clip we've already discussed where he says, I might be arrested for saying this, but I'm going to say it anyways.

Okay. It was, it was all I know. It was nighttime during the The clip where he gets called a fed and it's daytime when he says I might get arrested for saying this But I think that was actually the day before not the day of

Yassine: okay Uh, so we also revolver news also put up videos of him Of how he acted when he was in front of the police This is like when there's a barrack there's a lineup of capital police and riot gears and he's walking along and he's telling people like, you know, we've already made our point like we don't need to engage I'm paraphrasing and I'll post the audio.[02:04:00]

You don't want to take away from what we did.

Shakesneer: Hey, where were you guys? Where were you guys?

Yassine: We fight for you in the street. Hey, hey.

But he's trying to calm people down. But is that congruent with someone that, with I guess like my version of events? I

Shakesneer: think it's more congruent with my version of events

Yassine: because here, he's

Shakesneer: been telling people to go into the Capitol. He's been trying to lead people into the Capitol. He never goes into the Capitol himself.

He spends his time outside the Capitol. Making sure that the cops are okay. Trying to talk down protesters. You

Yassine: do realize that this is way before anyone got close to the Capitol, like the actual building, uh, you'll see him in front of a lineup of, uh, riot gear cops, you can see the Capitol in the background.

They're not they're not close to the building.

Shakesneer: Yeah. So the revolver news article [02:05:00] claims that this footage is from 315 after the Capitol was already breached.

Yassine: Okay. I mean, it's possible that it's breached in one portion, but why would the cops be standing outside? If, if, if there were people, if there were protesters behind, let me just,

Shakesneer: let me just read what.

Revolver News writes in this clip, which is here's a clip of EPS patrolling the very front lines of the capitals. Western Plaza at approximately 3 15 PM at the height of the day's mania. Okay. Nearly 2. 5 hours after EPS and his quote, scare quote, breach team appeared to coordinate the toppling of the capitals.

Westside police barricades. This was also nearly a full hour after the U. S. Capitol building itself had already been breached. Now here's a Here's Revolver really editorializing, right, really putting the theory in. With Epps stated mission of breaching the Capitol accomplished and hundreds of Trump supporters already inside, Epps mission magically switched to [02:06:00] calming the crowd down, assuring them, we already made our point, and ensuring that no more of his apparently fellow officers got hurt that afternoon.

Yassine: Okay, I mean, this is just unfalsifiable, right? He's saying, if he, because he's saying, oh, we need to be peaceful. Oh, that's just him covering it up because his mission has already been a success. But if he said, let's go into the Capitol. Oh, that's him encouraging others to, as a federal agent or a federal informant to, to go into the Capitol.

So like, no matter what happens. It's it's him. It's because he's a federal agent.

Shakesneer: Well, he does encourage people to go into the

Yassine: Capitol You recognize that it doesn't it's you recognize it's unfalsifiable, right? Well, but we have Yes, or no, is it? Okay, so if okay, what would you have expected him to say instead if he was not an informant Well, he says after the fact What would you have expect him to say instead?

Not what he says. How would you expect him to behave if he was not an informant? [02:07:00] If

Shakesneer: he was a genuine believer, and he's telling people to go into the Capitol, why didn't he go into the

Yassine: Capitol himself? I just told you because he thought it was open and then as he got closer and saw the violence, he said he changed his mind and turned around.


Shakesneer: why did he think that he would go to jail previously for saying like, what did he think that violence was not going to happen, but he could go to jail for Yeah,

Yassine: there's, there's different ways that you can enter a Capitol during a protest and still get in trouble, even if the Capitol was nominally open.

I'm just asking, how would you expect him to behave? If he was, uh, if he was not an informant, I would expect

Shakesneer: him to have tried to go into the Capitol himself. Like I said, he said,

Yassine: this is dude, this is insane. You're saying if he was actually innocent, he would have tried to go into the Capitol and because he didn't go into the Capitol, that means he's an informant.


Shakesneer: he tried to get other people to go to the Capitol, but he never, and

Yassine: then he changed his mind. That's what he claims after the fact. Okay, so I'm asking, like, I mean, you're not giving me a counterfactual, [02:08:00] it's like no matter what he does, he's a, he's a fed. No, that's not what I said. Okay, sorry, that's, that's a misleading paraphrase of what you said.

But if he, if he did go in, isn't that an, also an argument that he's a fed? Well,

Shakesneer: if he went in, he might have been charged like lots of the other

Yassine: protesters were charged. That's not what I'm asking. If he went in, isn't that an argument that he's a fed? No. Because he's inciting people to, to agitate. And so he's joining them with the so called breach team that Revolver News says.

He's joining them to make sure that everything goes according to plan because he's a Fed. Isn't that an argument in favor of him being a Fed? I'm offering a hypothetical and asking if it's incongruent with the theory that he's a Fed. I think

Shakesneer: what you're Suggesting is

Yassine: that I mean, it's a, I think it's a very simple question.

Is it congruent with the theory that he's a fed? Had he gone inside? Okay. So what is your argument? Like the federal informants don't go inside. They don't get involved too, [02:09:00] too closely. What exactly is the argument here?

Shakesneer: Differently from other protesters while. inciting those protesters to do the very thing that was held up as the worst piece

Yassine: of evidence.

But that's not how informants actually act, right? We know that from the Governor Whitmer kidnapping plot. The informants had to blend in. They had to, uh, assuage suspicion. They had to talk and instigate others to encourage others to talk about plans. So where are you getting this idea that they, the informants have to act differently?

And this is also unfalsifiable.

Shakesneer: I'm not, I'm not saying they have to act differently. I'm saying he acted differently. It was the suspicious point in

Yassine: the first place. So I'm, I'm asking, okay, let me, I think it's, let me make sure I ask you again. Had Ray Epps gone inside? Would you agree that action would be congruent with him being a Fed?

I'm not saying that's what happened. I'm not saying [02:10:00] that's the only evidence. I'm only asking, is it congruent with the theory? That's it. It could be. Okay. So if he had gone in. It doesn't tell us whether he's a Fed or not. And, and you already said that the fact, the reason, the fact that he stayed out is evidence that he's a Fed,

Shakesneer: right?

I mean, the key piece of evidence that he's a Fed is that he's trying to get people into

Yassine: the building. Okay. So, do you apply that to other people? Does anyone that encourages others to go into the building, are they by definition, or strong, is that a strong indicator that they're a

Shakesneer: Fed? Let me, let me hint something else.

So, not only did he incite people. To go into the building and try to get people into the building, but he was never charged with trying.

Yassine: Okay. Okay. But this is what I want to avoid. I want to, uh, evaluate each factor and determine and analyze whether they're determinative. I don't want to keep switching between reasons.

I don't want to, I don't want, I don't want to hear saying, Oh, he told people to go in. Therefore [02:11:00] he's a fed. Okay. Does that apply to other people? It's like, well, no, he, it's also because okay. He, uh, didn't charge. He wasn't charged. Okay, but that's making a different argument. I don't want to, I don't want to play whack a mole with this.

Imagine an actual criminal, someone that is not an informant, that was there on January 6th. His intent is to delay the proceedings. So he tells other people, we need to go into the Capitol to delay the proceedings. Is there anything incongruent with him being a genuine, uh, rioter? A

Shakesneer: genuine rioter in this hypothetical Yes.

Trying to go into the Capitol and delay proceedings would not be deterred by seeing

Yassine: the doors are closed. Chase, I'm talking, I'm trying to limit the number of factors so that it doesn't get confusing as to like what we're narrowing down. So I'm just asking. To me, it's, well, it keeps, it keeps like, it's, this is slippery, like tactics.[02:12:00]

I'm asking about specific factors, whether they're determinative, whether they help us predict, and look, we can step back away from January 6th and we can discuss. Anything like who ate the cookies or something. It's like, okay, there's cookies and they disappeared. There's several hypotheses that this is congruent with.

Maybe your kid stole the cookies. Maybe a dog came in and stole the cookies. Maybe a scientist created a shrink ray and shrunk the cookies to a microscopic level. There's all sorts of hypotheses. I'm only asking whether they're congruent with each other. So when I say an earnest January six writer who had every intent.

To riot if they said let's go into the capital. What is congruent with that scenario? If if he

Shakesneer: actually goes into the capital that would show that what he was

Yassine: okay, but you're you're adding components I'm only asking about if someone said let's go into the capital and they had a genuine intent to disrupt proceedings What is incongruent about those two factors?

Oh, I see

Shakesneer: what [02:13:00] you're asking. Nothing's incongruent about those two being put

Yassine: together. Okay, so this is what keeps happening. You say, well, the fact that he told other people to go into the Capitol is evidence that he's a Fed. Well, it's like, it's also evidence that he thought it was open. It's also, it's consistent with him actually wanting to disrupt proceedings.

There's all sorts of hypotheses that are congruent. With that fact, right?

Shakesneer: I've said from the beginning that I'm willing to believe in some degree of variance here. I just think the idea that he's the fat is the most possible.

Yassine: Okay. And I'm asking you to like, I guess, narrow it down. And I, and I want to avoid having to like jump from one reason and one piece of evidence to another.

It's, it's okay to, I guess, rule out possibilities based on the evidence because I'm, I'm. I think I'm transparent about what I'm relying on. I see this dude, he claims after the fact that he thought it was open. The one piece that I agree is not fully consistent with that claim is that he said, I might go to prison for that.

See, I'm willing to [02:14:00] say, yes, that is not fully consistent with his claim. But at the same time, there's other factors that corroborate that. Do you see how I'm willing to say, yes, that is not fully consistent? Well, when

Shakesneer: you phrase it like that, you make it sound like I'm intransigent. Like I'm not open to reason, which maybe that would be the correct position

Yassine: for me.

Well, look, I, I don't, I, you're not, you're, you're not boxing with the arm behind your, your back. You're a grown man. You can fucking take it. So you're more than welcome to push back on the premises. And also if I'm using faulty logic, I'm not, I'm not, I'm not hamstringing you in any way. I'm trying to figure out like, what is.

Which, I guess, scenario is most consistent with the facts?

Shakesneer: Look, I would say, first, in the spirit of what you just said, let's put out there that Let me explain suspicious without being determinative, right? Epps calls for people to go into the capital, but doesn't go in himself, doesn't try to go in [02:15:00] himself, right?

Okay. Right. So the things he's advocating for people to do are not the things he actually does himself. Now you can say in after the fact he has this justification that He was unaware that the Capitol was closed to which I would. And he

Yassine: also said, uh, he wasn't, he didn't realize it was going to get that violent, right?

To which I

Shakesneer: would reply, why does he assume prior that it could be an arrestable offense to go to the Capitol? Why does he, why does he have that association in his mind when later he seems to

Yassine: not? Okay. Okay. That's, that's fair. Uh, so. Is it indicative when you say it's, I guess, incongruent or suspicious that do you apply that uniformly?

Cause, uh, there's other people that could, that are comparable that told people to go into the Capitol that didn't go in themselves. And they were never charged. So, uh, we already mentioned Nick Fuentes. I'll put into audio, keep moving towards the capitol. It appears [02:16:00] we're taking the capitol. Keep marching and Joe never break down the barriers and disregard the land in fear of the people they're betrayed over and over again.

Ali Alexander, uh, where he posted a video on January 7th saying. I did call for people to enter the U. S. Capitol and later in the live stream, he said, I started a riot for the sitting president of the United States. So neither of those two people have ever been charged with a crime. Uh, and they're comparable to EPS because they told people to go in, they didn't go in themselves, and EPS was treated harsher than those two people.

Shakesneer: Let's, let's talk about Nick Fuentes, right? So, first, there's a lot of theories already floating around Nick Fuentes, which Which theories? That, that he's a federal informant, or

Yassine: Who's making these

Shakesneer: theories? People online discussing Nick Fuentes. What evidence are they using? One piece of evidence is the fact that he wasn't arrested over January 6th.

I'm not, I'm not, I'm not, I'm not trying to, I'm not [02:17:00] trying to help out.

Yassine: Okay, this is, this is my point, like, everything becomes evidence that he's a fed. No matter how like unfalsifiable he is. So he didn't get arrested. That means he's a fed. He did get arrested. He is a fed. Like I, I'm trying to, I'm like laws, like what exactly helps us predict anything.

He's this

Shakesneer: extremist inciting people to radical points of view, right? So already he exists in a world where. Federal investigators, federal agents are going to be paying attention. Okay.

Yassine: You also acknowledge that there is a free speech right under the constitution and maybe it's not fully respected all the time, but it's.

Respected somewhat by the judiciary, right? Yeah. Okay. So doesn't it, what is so implausible about the explanation is we're not going to prosecute people for just talk. I mean, they

Shakesneer: prosecuted Ricky Vaughn for,

Yassine: you're not familiar with Ricky Vaughn. I mean, I don't know what, how his.

Shakesneer: That's the guy who got arrested for memes [02:18:00] that were like the text to vote Hillary

Yassine: memes.

Okay, I, I concede that that's, uh, I guess you would say it's an edge case, uh, because this is the, um, the guy that created false, uh, posters, uh, imploring P Hillary voters to vote by text. The intent is. They, they would falsely believe that they're voting when they're actually not, uh, and it wasn't, the, the purpose was to reduce the number of people that were voting for Hillary.

No, he

Shakesneer: states, and this is what the people around him state, that they were memes. They were memes mocking the intelligence of Hillary voters because they were also associated with memes talking about how if Hillary Clinton wins, she'll draft our daughters to fight the war.

Yassine: Okay. Is there a possibility that someone dumb enough?

Fell for that poster and voted by tax and didn't vote for Hillary Clinton. The journalists

Shakesneer: allege that that number is possible.

Yassine: It's possible. What do you want me to say? So I, I can see that that's, that's an edge case in terms of a free speech jurisprudence, [02:19:00] but you're not, we're not talking about the norm, right?

So if someone talks a lot of shit. And they don't get prosecuted. I personally don't see anything incongruent about that because there is a robust tradition of protecting the free speech. And that especially applies to Ali Alexander.

Shakesneer: It's relevant because when it comes to. The way the federal government is treating conservative activists, the new right, a lot of these right wing influencers, they are starting to create new standards.

That's why Ricky Vaughn

Yassine: is Okay, I agree Ricky Vaughn is an example, his conduct is such a, it's such an unusual case because it implicates the voting rights, the voting rights of people and interfering with that. I, I agree that that's a, uh, that's an edge case, but it doesn't represent the

Shakesneer: norm. They invented a legal argument based on one of the civil rights acts from the 1860s that had like, like 150 years old piece of [02:20:00] legislation that has never been used to prosecute anybody.

Yassine: Okay. Uh, so that's your evidence that. I guess your counter evidence that free speech rights of conservatives is not protected or not respected.

Shakesneer: It's illustrative of that when they really want to prosecute somebody, they can invent a

Yassine: new theory. Okay, so you agree that posting A fraudulent, uh, a fraudulent poster, uh, imploring people to vote by text.

That's different from telling people to go into the Capitol. Do you agree that those are

Shakesneer: different texts, right? They wanted to prosecute him. And so they,

Yassine: I'm asking if you think those are the same or different.

Shakesneer: I'm saying that if they wanted to prosecute people trying to incite people going into the Capitol, they

Yassine: would invent a, that wasn't my question.

I'm asking if you think they're the same or different. You can argue that what they can do. I'm asking if they're comparable first. Comparable in which sense? Telling people to go into the Capitol is one type of action. Sure. Putting up a fraudulent vote, imploring people to vote by text, is [02:21:00] another action.

Those are not directly comparable to each other.

Shakesneer: But I'm not comparing the actions, I'm comparing the way the federal government prosecuted

Yassine: them. Okay. How about this? Can you think of any example of someone prosecuted for just telling people to go into the Capitol? I mean,

Shakesneer: nobody else did the exact combination of things Ray Epps did.

So no, I'm not

Yassine: Ali Alexander did Nick Fuentes dead. But then you said he's people, people online suspect that he's a fed because what's what's unique about Ali Alexander is that not only was he not criminally charged with anything, He was sued by Capitol Police, uh, federal, uh, federal civil lawsuit, uh, and then a judge took him off the case because she said, well, everything he did was like protected speech.

Nothing, nothing that he did or said rose to the level of inciting, uh, imminent lawless action. So

Shakesneer: that's different from Ray Epps. How? I mean, didn't they actually find Ray Epps guilty of a misdemeanor? I

Yassine: think it was disorderly conduct.

Shakesneer: Disorderly conduct, [02:22:00] right? So you're saying that Alexander Ali did not engage in disorderly conduct, he just said Someone

Yassine: not being charged with a crime is not the same thing as them not doing it.

And simultaneously, someone pleading to guilty to a crime is also not the same thing as them doing it. Although usually it is. This is a

Shakesneer: long story, I'm trying to find what you're

Yassine: suggesting. Okay, how about this? Can you think of anyone that was That did the same thing or close enough same thing to Ray Epps that got a harsher sentence or treatment than Ray Epps.

A lot of people who went

Shakesneer: into the Capitol building. Like what?

Yassine: Like who?

Shakesneer: Like the guy who put his feet on Pelosi's

Yassine: desk. Hold on. So you're comparing Ray Epps who didn't go into the Capitol with someone that did go into the Capitol? Yeah. How is that comparable?

Shakesneer: What crime did he commit?

Yassine: How is that comparable, though?

How is it not comparable? Because Ray Epps was not in the Capitol and the other person was in the Capitol? I mean, that's a difference, right? Do you agree that that's a difference? [02:23:00]

Shakesneer: We were talking about the matter of free speech and the Actual crimes being committed.

Yassine: So I don't know how you compare things, but if, you know, if we were like in a forest and you said, Hey, this tree is unusually tall, I would say, Oh, compared to what, because if it's like a foot tall, I'd be like, I don't know.

That's not unusually tall. That's, that's a really short tree. But if you said, no, no, no, I meant like compared to my Lego trees, there are only like three inches. I'm like, oh yeah, yeah, that's true. This one foot tree is indeed unusually tall. Compared to your Lego trees, but then if you said, Oh, it's unusual.

If you talk, if you talk about like a Redwood. A tree. And you said, Oh, this is unusually short. I would say, Oh, that's weird. I don't think it's unusually short. He said, Oh, well, I mean, compared to a skyscraper. Yes, that is unusually short. So, you know, usually you have some comparison, some like idea in mind.

This person was treated badly. This person was treated leniently. Where, where does this [02:24:00] comparable third person fit? Among these, uh, this metric. So I'm asking who is someone that did whatever is close enough to what you think Ray Epps did that was treated harsher than Ray Epps. I don't,

Shakesneer: I don't think there were people who.

We're trying to incite rioters to enter the Capitol, who did not themselves try to go into the Capitol, or, like,

Yassine: like Okay, so let's, let's dissect what you just said. Uh, you're using the loaded language, but whatever. Ri he tried to incite rioters to enter the Capitol, and then also did not enter. So those are two different components.

The fact that he told people to go into the Capitol, that's incriminating, you would agree with that, right? That's a bad thing to do. I, I

Shakesneer: need to see the context of why he told people to, like, how did he tell people to

Yassine: No, no, I'm trying to divorce it away from Because that's the problem, like, it gets confusing when you keep adding, like, a bunch of different factors.

So him telling others to go into the Capitol, that is an incriminating act. What

Shakesneer: does that mean, he told people to go into the Capitol? He [02:25:00] texted people to go into the Capitol? He said He, he,

Yassine: he What? He yelled outside Hey, we need to go into the Capitol. That's an incriminating act. Yes, sure. Okay. The fact that he did not go into the Capitol, he didn't commit the crime of trespassing.

He didn't, uh, assist anyone else in, uh, bringing down any of the barricades, uh, either passively or, uh, just by his presence, the fact that he did not go into the Capitol that you would agree. That's exculpatory, right? I mean, you're

Shakesneer: saying that he was telling people to

Yassine: go into the Capitol. It's a very simple question stakes.

I can divorce it further if you want. Let's say someone was charged with murder or attempted murder. He bought a gun. That, you would agree, that is an incriminating step, yes? Uh, it could be. Okay. And then afterwards, he said, No, I don't want to do this anymore. And he threw the gun away into the river. Would you agree that that's an exculpatory step?

If you throw a gun into the river, you're trying to hide evidence. Of evidence of what? There's no crime at this point. Then why are you trying to throw it into the river? You don't want, I don't know. People throw guns away. They destroy guns all [02:26:00] the time. They don't, he just wasn't, doesn't want the weapon around.

I'm asking from the context of attempted murder. Is throwing a gun away that you're intending to, you're planning to use for a murder, is that exculpatory? Pick any crime you want. Someone wants to rob a bank. They have a plan. They drive to the bank. They scope it out. And then they change their mind and leave.

They haven't committed any crime whatsoever. The fact that they changed their mind, is that exculpatory? For that particular crime, yes. Okay. So, from the context of Uh, Ray apps, if the crime is entering the Capitol, the fact that he changed his mind and didn't go in, that's exculpatory. So when you combine it with.

him telling others to go into the Capitol. To me, it's kind of a wash. I don't know what's worse, whether, I don't think they cancel each other out exactly, but it doesn't, I don't, I can't definitively say he did a net bad thing or a net good

Shakesneer: thing. Yeah. But the question to me isn't about whether [02:27:00] what he did was net good or net not good.

Right. So if, if we take for granted, That he's not a federal agent. Let's take that for granted. Right. Then, then the relevant question, you know, then the question becomes, if we look at this guy and we decide we got to evaluate and come to an opinion, then there's a question of, you know, it was, was what he did net good or net bad.

And so you say it's a wash, right? That applies

Yassine: to, no, it's more, okay. Maybe there was a point of confusion, but what we were talking about is. We're trying to figure out who else fits his actions right to find out to compare against. So when you say, I think you said that he was treated unusually and leniently right by the criminal justice system.

Okay, so when you make a claim like that, when you make an assertion like that, ideally you have on one side of Ray Epps, someone that was treated unusually harshly, right? Because how else can you say that Ray Epps was treated unusually leniently if you don't have a foil or a contrast to compare [02:28:00] against.

Shakesneer: I mean, there's no quite apples to apples

Yassine: comparison. That's why I'm saying But you're the one making the assertion that he was treated unusually and leniently. So how are you making that assertion without a comparison? I'm

Shakesneer: looking at all of the other people prosecuted

Yassine: during Name one.

Shakesneer: The thousands of people prosecuted Name one.

What do you want

Yassine: me to, you want me to name? I mean, give me one example of one guy that did almost the same thing as Ray Epps that was treated unusually harshly. I think there isn't

Shakesneer: anybody who did almost the same thing as Ray Epps. That's what I'm saying.

Yassine: So what is your basis for asserting that he was treated unusually?

If you don't have a contrast, he was only

Shakesneer: ever reluctantly prosecuted. Look at all of the people who are on the FBI most wanted list. He was one of the people they wanted right away. What crimes did they charge him with? They must've wanted him right away for something because they have video evidence of him trying to incite people into the Capitol.

They wanted him. Why did they want him? Because they think he didn't commit any crimes because

Yassine: okay, so [02:29:00] let me, uh, let's wait. So we talked to, we tried to find comparisons. You said there isn't one. That you can point to. And we talked about Nick Fontes and Ali Alexander. Uh, let's talk about, I guess the component where you said the, so.

Uh, he was put on FBI seeking information list almost immediately. I think the same day, uh, that he was put on. What do you think that is evidence of the FBI

Shakesneer: was trying to find him. They

Yassine: wanted him and usually, and what is that indicative of?

Shakesneer: They want to find somebody who they believe might've committed

Yassine: crimes.

Okay. And then what? Like, I'm trying to understand how that establishes that he was treated unusually, leniently, or that he was a fed. How does it support either premise? Because

Shakesneer: when it comes to, like, they're, they're supposedly searching for him and trying to find one of the guys who has been inciting people to go into the Capitol, and he never gets charged with anything related to that.

Or he only gets charged eventually with disorderly conduct and

Yassine: This [02:30:00] is what I mean, you're like working backwards, you're assuming that he needs to be, or that he should have been charged, and the fact that he wasn't, what does that imply?

Shakesneer: So why do you think it's plausible for him to end up on the most wanted list if he never really committed any crimes?

Yassine: He was one of the most visible characters from that day.

He showed up, he was easy to spot, he didn't try to hide his face or anything. I think there's an element of randomness. There was thousands and thousands of video footage that day, the FBI tried to find.

Shakesneer: Was Ali Alexander on the most

Yassine: wanted list? I don't think he was, no. Okay,

Shakesneer: so none of those guys who you were comparing as akin to Ray Epps were on the most wanted list, but Ray Epps was on the

Yassine: most wanted list.

Well, also, hold on. When they, he was put on the list that said seeking information. They didn't know his name. He just was showed up as photograph 16. Ali Alexander is recognizable. Nick Fuentes is recognizable. Alex Jones is recognizable. He would never be on a, uh, seeking information list. Like FBI is not going to be like, Hey, do you know this guy?

Everyone knows who they, who [02:31:00] those people are

Shakesneer: already. Okay, fine. But so the FBI doesn't know who this guy is, right? Why are they trying to, what, what especially does he did that made him interesting?

Yassine: Because apparently I don't know. I don't know. He ended up on a list. They wanted more information. He called them two days after.

There was, and then he did the interview in March.

Shakesneer: Well, you don't know from the footage that we've already seen why they might've been looking for this guy.

Yassine: I have no idea why they wanted to, why they were looking for him. They didn't, that wasn't like a charging decision list. It was just seeking information.

Help us identify these people. Maybe they wanted to talk to him because he talked to other people that they wanted information on. Maybe I don't, I have no idea why they wanted information on him. I also don't know what that's supposed to, what you think it's indicative

Shakesneer: of. Wouldn't it be indicative of the thing he did that was most characteristic, which again, was being on tape several times in several locations, trying to incite people to

Yassine: go to the Capitol.

Yeah, that's possible. And, uh, there is a, there was, um, uh, an FBI agent [02:32:00] generated a memo for why. They didn't charge him, they, this was submitted like in July of that year, 2021, the summary says, and this is a, this was in the sentencing, uh, memorandum from the federal prosecutors and the attorney, uh, and the defense attorney, it said the quote, investigation did not reveal sufficient evidence that Epps entered the U.

S. Capitol on January 6th, engaged in acts of violence or committed any other criminal violation, uh, and it said the United States attorney office declined prosecution in this case.

Shakesneer: And you see why that sounds suspicious to me, right?

Yassine: No. Can you explain that?

Shakesneer: So the only things they have to comment about on Ray Epps are that he didn't go into the Capitol?


Yassine: that's it? No. Did not go into the Capitol, did not engage in acts of violence, or committed any other criminal violation.

Shakesneer: Then why were they looking for Ray Epps in the first place? Like, this

Yassine: is, this is circular. You're saying he must have committed a crime because they're looking for him. And if they don't, they don't find the crime, then they must be covering for him.

Because he must have committed a crime because they were looking for him. Because, [02:33:00] I mean, where this is going, this just goes round and round. I think,

Shakesneer: I think your point of view is circular and too credulous because. Which part? The, the reason Ray Epps would have been wanted in the first place is because he's a highly visible face saying, let's go into the Capitol.

He was there. He was present.

Yassine: What's your evidence that that's the reason why he would be wanted in the first place? Why else would he have

Shakesneer: been wanted? Can you proffer

Yassine: another reason? Yes. He, they could have, he talked to a lot of people that day. They could have been wanting to talk to him to see if he.

Had information on any other people that he interacted with. Why was he

Shakesneer: one of the first people the FBI wanted? Like why? It's random.

Yassine: I don't know what that's indicative of. Because like consider like the flip side that he's an informant. So why the fuck would the FBI put him on the list seeking information if he's already an informant?

So that

Shakesneer: he doesn't appear to be suspicious when they decide not to prosecute him. No, that's perfectly reasonable

Yassine: Okay, so because they didn't want [02:34:00] him to be suspicious they put his face And broadcast it to the world and say, we need information on this guy. It's a cover story. Why wouldn't it cover? That anything I say is any that does that make sense?

What's the cover story here?

Shakesneer: So if you're infiltrating a movement and everybody else is getting prosecuted, you're not getting

Yassine: prosecuted. The question is why? So I'm trying to understand this theory. So you're saying that the FBI put him on a seeking information list. Because they knew that there was going to be a lot of attention placed on him.

So as a way to assuage that suspicion, they put him on this very, very visible list, broadcast his face to the public and told the entire world, we need more information on him. And the whole re the reason they did that is as a cover story. So I guess. Like, I guess I'm, I'm, I'm so confused because here's my explanation.

The FBI, we're dealing with a lot of thousands of individuals, a shit ton of information, a lot of footage, a lot of photos. They put a list that says we need more [02:35:00] information. Can you help us identify these people? And then they work through the leads. They didn't really bother updating. The list and taking people off until months later.

If you look at the list now, it's still up. You'll see that several people have been taken off the list. To me, I can't draw any conclusions from that. Am I supposed to conclude that everyone that was on the list was a federal agent? Or is it only the people that were on the list and then taken off? The

Shakesneer: timing here is important because, as I recall, they took him off the list after news organizations started to ask questions about

Yassine: him.

What is that indicative of?

Shakesneer: As, as soon as, as news organizations start asking questions about this guy, they suddenly take his name down. Like the second he begins to get

Yassine: any publicity. Why don't you tell me, articulate what exactly does that prove? Here, I'll try and you can tell me if I'm wrong. So the FBI put this guy on the list to make him not suspicious.

And then the news organization started asking about it. And then the FBI said, Oh shit, the news is asking. Let's [02:36:00] delete. His, his, uh, name and photo from the list because they're onto us. Doesn't that make them more onto you? I don't understand the logic here. If this is a guy

Shakesneer: they were actually trying to investigate, why, why wouldn't the, and, and, and suddenly reporters are investigating him, why wouldn't they either just keep his name on the most wanted list or They could easily put out some statement or charging document or anything.

There's a million things they could have done.

Yassine: They already investigated him. They talked to him two days after January six, and then they sat down for an interview with his lawyer president in March. So they already investigated him. And by July, all they had was the memo saying, yeah, there's no reason to prosecute this guy.

I'm trying to understand like, what, what does it mean for him to have been on the list and then taken off? What I don't understand what that's indicative of

Shakesneer: as the timing is.

Yassine: Suspicious. Why? Explain it to me. Explain why the timing is suspicious. You don't

Shakesneer: think there's anything suspicious about the FBI removing his face as soon as people start asking questions about him?

Yassine: That could have [02:37:00] been a coincidence, maybe. I don't know. They've already investigated him. You can look through the list in archives and see how often people were taken off. If you look at it today. Uh, there's a lot of people taken off the list because it goes like photograph number one, photograph number three, photograph number eight, 10, 16.

There's a lot of people that have been deleted because it was numbered sequentially. So someone being taken off the list is not suspicious to me. Yeah. I grant

Shakesneer: that people get taken off the list. I grant that. I don't see how that proves

Yassine: your point. What, what do you think

Shakesneer: my point is? I don't see how the fact that he got taken off the list proves there's nothing suspicious about the timing.

Yassine: I said, it could be a coincidence. I just don't know what. What it's supposed to indicate like revolver. And you, I don't, I also don't understand the scheme. Like they put him on a list, as you said, explicitly to dissuade suspicion, but then took him off the list when the news organization found out. How does that make sense?

He was a high

Shakesneer: priority for the FBI. He was one of the people they [02:38:00] most wanted to ask

Yassine: questions to. How the, I'm asking how does that make sense? How does it make sense to put him on a list to dissuade suspicion and then take him off once a news organization asks a question? How does that make sense? Very

Shakesneer: visible evidence that, Oh, look, we're, we're looking into this guy.

He's not one of us. He's somebody we're looking into, but then the second other news organizations actually start looking into him, then he gets taken away.

Yassine: Okay. This is, this is like unfalsifiable. Again, the fact that he's on the list is evidence that they're, the FBI is pretending to take this case seriously.

And then the fact that he's off the list is suspicious. So whether he's on or off the list, it's suspicious, right?

Shakesneer: They're, they're, they're two separate things. The first is that he was put on the list in the first place, which would normally imply, normally imply this is someone the FBI is looking for,

Yassine: right?

Right. And they talked to him. So what does that, what does that

Shakesneer: imply? To charge him on when he's one of the people they're most interested in talking to first, they later charge him [02:39:00] with a misdemeanor. They're able to charge him with something once there's political pressure. Right. Once people are looking at him, they're able to charge him with something.

They didn't charge him with that misdemeanor in the first place?

Yassine: No. I mean, they didn't charge a lot of the people that did the same thing. And I already gave you examples. Nick Fuentes, Ali Alexander. You called Nick Fuentes a fed. Okay, fine. You haven't provided any explanation for why Ali Alexander wasn't charged.


Shakesneer: said that the fact that Nick Fuentes hasn't been charged has also been taken by

Yassine: suspicion. Right. But, I mean, this is, we're back into unfalsifiable territory. No, like, no matter what, it's evidence that It's suspicious or, uh, he's a fed saying it's

Shakesneer: unfalsifiable is like asserting that there's some sort of default position that Ray Epps should be given some benefit of the doubt.

Some benefit.

Yassine: No, that's not what I'm saying at all. Unfalsifiable just means that the evidence that you're citing doesn't tell us one way or the other. The fact that he's on a list is suspicious. The fact that he's taken off the list is suspicious. Like, I don't understand like what. [02:40:00] Why don't you describe, like, what would it look like if he wasn't, uh, if he was genuinely innocent?

If he wasn't an informant, what would that, how would that play out in your head?

Shakesneer: It might play out like the way Enrique Tarrio was arrested. It might play

Yassine: out like Okay, tell me more about Enrique Tarrio. He

Shakesneer: wasn't even physically at January 6th. He wasn't there. Okay.

Yassine: Why, why do you think, why do you think he was convicted?

Like what, what do you If you were to describe what Enrique Tarrio was responsible for, what do you think it is? At least like what the government accused him of. What do you, what do you think that

Shakesneer: is? Didn't they sentence him to 22 years for,

Yassine: I think, I think he got at least 22 years. I thought it was 30, but he got a lot.

Wasn't, wasn't

Shakesneer: the argument that the organizing he did of Proud Boys in the run up to. January 6th, indicative of a seditious plot to overthrow the government. Yes. The thing about Enrique Tarrio is that he wasn't present at January

Yassine: 6th. That's correct. [02:41:00] He was not physically present at the Capitol. That is correct.

But you don't need to be physically present at every If you're, if you're charged as part of a conspiracy, you don't need to be physically present during the act itself. Right. You can think of a bank heist that says, hey guys, like I'm bringing the gang together. You, you take care of the safe. You're, you're the getaway driver.

And I'm just going to stay here the night of to make sure that you guys do this right. You, you, even if you stay home, you're not anywhere near the bank, you can still be guilty, vicariously guilty for what your group did. Yes, I agree with that. So what do you, what problem do you see with Enrique Tarrio's conviction?


Shakesneer: order for the government to allege that the Proud Boys were part of a seditious plot to overthrow the government. There has to have been a seditious plot to overthrow the government. There

Yassine: was. Such as? Okay, so for the Proud Boys, Enrique Tarrio was the chairman of the National Proud Boys. I think like a week or a few days after Trump's rally was announced for January 6th, he formed [02:42:00] what is called the Ministry of Self Defense.

It was a department within the Proud Boys that was heavily vetted. They only allowed, it was invite only. And the goal, this was exposed like in the text message that they sent each other, Tarrio, like. Biggs and Tarrio were talking to each other. Biggs said, you know, it's time to get radical, get some real men, recruit real men.

He formulated guidance on what these people are supposed to wear. He devoted, he wrote like a nine page strategic plan to storm government buildings for purposes of getting the government to overturn the election results. He implemented multiple rules that were enforced by his deputies. The group would be exclusively made of hand selected members, specifically chosen by the M O S M O S the.

leadership. He said multiple times, like if Biden steals this election, the Proud Boys would not go quietly. In multiple group chats, the people talked to each other and said, yeah, we're ready to kick the fuck, kick the fucking ass when it came to kick ass. They were planning violence on January 6th. Uh, and that was done through this handpicked group of men [02:43:00] that their standards, their training, their guidance, their rules that they were supposed to follow, that was all promulgated by uh, Tarrio.


Shakesneer: just said violence, but nothing you said allege actual sedition. They actually plan? Were they actually planning on going guns in, blazing, killing senators? Were they actually planning on doing

Yassine: that? You're listening to yourself, right? Because you're, you're explicit, you're explicitly. Uh, expressly presenting a straw man, but I did not argue for I didn't say anything about guns.

I didn't say anything about killing senators. I said it was a seditious conspiracy because the goal was to hinder or overthrow, uh, the election results, and they wanted to use violence, explicitly wanted to use violence to accomplish that. And you think

Shakesneer: there's nothing in that akin to the things we already discussed?


Yassine: because Tario had a leadership position in a fairly prominent organization. Tario explicitly recruited people to join an internal group with the intent of committing violence. Tario promulgated rules that everyone was supposed to follow. He promulgated [02:44:00] the security protocol. Uh, he explicitly looked for people that were willing to get this physical and violent while, even though he was not at the scene at the Capitol, he was still communicating with his deputies that were at the scene and making sure it was coordinated throughout there's other elements that we can go over in terms of how different it is.

So number one, he was in a leadership position. Ray Epps was not, he was. oath keepers chairman in 2011. I don't see how that's relevant. Number two, he had the intent to violently obstruct the certification proceeding. I see no evidence that Ray Epps had any intent to commit any violence or any obstruction that day.

The third one I guess you could say is encouraging others. You don't think

Shakesneer: it was violent when he was present at overturning one of the

Yassine: barricades? No, I don't think that's enough to determine violence because I don't know if he was the one that pushed it. Uh, I don't know, I don't see any evidence that he was the one that instigated the overturning of the barricades.

I saw the video where he like backs up once people started pushing on the barricades. So that's, that's exculpatory [02:45:00] to me.

Shakesneer: When the barricades are down, he keeps going forward. He follows

Yassine: them. Yeah, he does. Yeah. I don't see that as indicative of, uh, of, uh, Violent

Shakesneer: intent. Conveniently at every point in time, he steps just far back from actually doing something.


Yassine: but this is like, we're unfalsifiable thing. If he's committing violence, then he's guilty of violence. If he's stepping back, then it's just a cover up. Like, where does this go? There's, there's other elements. Uh, he encouraged, Atario encouraged other people. He expressed no contrition. He had absolutely no cooperation with law enforcement.

All of that is in stark contrast with the way Behaved. So, I mean, we, if you want to say anything, uh, to that, I'm happy to, but we can move on to, I guess, the defamation. I don't, I don't even want

Shakesneer: to talk about the defamation

Yassine: stuff, but we can, if you want to. Okay. So one other aspect that you said, uh, counts as, I guess, favorable treatment that Ray Epps received.

Is that, I think you said something like his suit against Fox news. So, so Ray Epps is suing Fox news for defamation. How is that [02:46:00] indicative of, I guess, favorable treatment? So.

Shakesneer: I don't think that the suit is like indicative that anybody is consciously allowing Epps to do anything, which seemed to be the way you were interpreting my I don't know.

Text posts, those were the sorts

Yassine: of questions you were asking. No, that wasn't my interpretation. Frankly, I had no idea how to interpret your post. I didn't know what

Shakesneer: it meant. So, Ray Epps is this guy who was at the protest, regardless of what he's legally culpable for, here he is at January 6th, inciting people to go into the Capitol building.

Which is exactly the sorts of thing that people have been saying was wrong with January 6th. Who have been,

Yassine: who has been saying that?

Shakesneer: Leftists, people in the media, liberals, right? People who are scared about January 6th.

Yassine: But, I mean, you should have been able to identify one person that did the same thing as Ray Epps did, that got punished harsher.[02:47:00]

But you haven't been able to find someone. So for you to say this is the perfect example of what was wrong with January 6th, I don't see how that's accurate.

Shakesneer: But nobody else was like Ray Epps, actually physically there with the mob, by the doors, saying let's go into

Yassine: the building. I gave you plenty of examples.

The other

Shakesneer: people you're describing are people who were hanging around, but they weren't actually

Yassine: Okay, they weren't actually

Shakesneer: what? I don't think Fuentes is apples to

Yassine: apples. And for the record, I don't see any evidence that Ray Epps ever reached the doors. Uh, maybe that happened. I don't see it, but go ahead.

So, how does, how does his suit against Fox News play out? We were

Shakesneer: discussing. He was right outside the Capitol. He was,

Yassine: you said the

Shakesneer: doors. Yeah, he was right by the stairs by the doors. That was in one of

Yassine: the videos we were looking at. Alright, people can see that for themselves, how close he was to the doors.

But you were saying the suit against Fox News. How is that relevant to how he's being treated?

Shakesneer: Now that Epps has become the subject of conspiracy [02:48:00] theories, which is a word I'm comfortable using. Okay. Now that he's become the subject of conspiracy theories, nobody is sitting around saying, Gee, here's this guy who wanted to invade the Capitol, and he could get money from Fox News, isn't that terrible?

Here's this January 6th guy, and he might win some money, that's really bad. Instead, they're all saying, Fox News is about to pay money for their conspiracy theories, like every, like,

Yassine: uh, like, I'm not, I'm having trouble following this because is it not possible to say, yes, Ray Epps did a stupid thing, but he suffered too much.

What do

Shakesneer: you mean he suffered too much?

Yassine: Like what's suffering? What do you think he, what do you think he faced? Like, it's true that he got a shit ton of attention nationwide. fixation on him. How do you think that changes life?

Shakesneer: He alleges that he received threats. He alleges that he received a lot of negative attention, which is just the price of being a public figure these days.

Yassine: Okay. His wife found shell casings on her property. She [02:49:00] collected it and submitted it as evidence. Uh, people would come up to EPS in person and say, tell him to sleep with one eye open. Uh, there were several trespassers on his property demanding answers about January 6th. Uh, he received multiple letters saying that there's a Mexican drug cartel assassin that are about to kill him.

Uh, a busload of people came by his property, uh, during a wedding ceremony to shout at Mr. Epps. All of this is from his, uh, sentencing memorandum submitted by his attorney. And they eventually like sold the property that he lived in and his business and like moved to another place. I think he moved to another state in a trailer off the grid because he wants to avoid all the attention to me.

That that's a, that comes across, you know, assuming it's true. Maybe you can say that it's all made up, uh, that that comes across as. plausible and, uh, like expected reaction given the fixation that he was the subject of. And it doesn't sound fun at all. I don't want that to happen to me.

Shakesneer: No, it doesn't sound fun.

I'm [02:50:00] not saying I want this to happen. I'm

Yassine: not. Okay. But I'm, I guess like I'm proportionate. In proportion to him saying we need to go into the Capitol and then turning around, whatever. I don't want, I don't see any reason to, I don't see what his actions did as that bad. He, he was an idiot for going to the Capitol in the first place.

Yes. But he turned around. I can give him credit for that. What do you mean he turned around? He didn't go inside. He left.

Shakesneer: Oh, I thought, I thought you were saying something else.

Yassine: I mean, he also acknowledged that he was, he was an idiot and what he did was wrong. So I can give him points for that as well. I'm trying to understand how is this, when you say that he's a, you know, he's pursuing, it's bad that he's pursuing a defamation lawsuit against Fox News.

I mean the central component to that is, did Fox News defame him? Did they actually cause him damage? That's like the pertinent question about defamation, but you're turning it about, well, the left thinks that he's a bad guy. But they're happy that [02:51:00] he's suing Fox news. I I'm, I'm having trouble

Shakesneer: following.

No, because we're talking about how it's plausible to consider Ray Epps to have been a federal agent, right? That's the whole point of contention here.

Yassine: I don't think that's plausible, but go ahead. If you say so. Continue your point.

Shakesneer: I mean, you don't think it's shameless. You don't, you don't think that there's.

Yassine: Which part is shameless? What is shameless about suing someone for defamation who has defamed you? How did they defame him? What do you think? Okay, that's an argument. I'm glad to hear it.

Shakesneer: What is defamatory about covering the fact that he stood outside the building and told people to go inside, and the day before he told people to go inside?

Like, what's

Yassine: defamatory about that? I mean, if you call him like an agent provocateur, if you say that he orchestrated January 6th, if you say he's the prime suspect behind all this. I would say that's a false statement of fact. That's defamatory. Which, which part of that is false? All, everything that I just said.

Which is,

Shakesneer: let's drill down on something specific.

Yassine: [02:52:00] Uh, that he orchestrated January 6th. What,

Shakesneer: what, what's the Fox News wording? What did they actually say? I

Yassine: don't know. I haven't looked at the, his lawsuit, so I don't know what specific statements that he's alleging. I mean, you, you're already said that the suit is shameless.

So presumably you already are familiar with what is shameless about the suit. You're familiar with the statements that he's challenging. So you tell me why you think the suit is shameless.

Shakesneer: For him to have been at the Capitol and to have been involved. And then turn around and say, Oh, sorry. I didn't mean any of it.

I didn't know it was going to go to, we didn't know it was violent. Like at the beginning, he was saying he was going to do, he was going to say something that he could be arrested for saying, and then suddenly he turned and sorry, Oh gee whiz. And now he's going to try to sue people for covering him as if he planned some aspect of it.

Yeah. That's shameless. So

Yassine: absolutely shameless. Does it matter to you whether or not the statements were false or not? The statements that Fox News made about EPS? Is that relevant? I

Shakesneer: [02:53:00] mean, it depends. It depends on which statements

Yassine: we're talking about. I mean, it's a defamation lawsuit. You can't have a defamation lawsuit without a false statement of fact, right?

Which false

Shakesneer: statement

Yassine: of fact, I haven't looked at the lawsuit, but you already have a negative opinion of this lawsuit. So you don't. You can't claim to say, yes, I examined all the statements that Ray Epps is alleging to be defamatory. I've concluded that they're not defamatory. You can't even say that you already, you just have a preconceived opinion that this lawsuit is bullshit.

Shakesneer: Yeah. It's a priori bullshit for him to try to make money off of something. Okay. But

Yassine: you're, you're shifting things again. Uh, why, when you say a lawsuit is bullshit. Generally, it's about the merits. Like, yeah, he's claiming that Fox news defamed him, but actually what they said was true or, uh, what they said wasn't actually defamatory.

That would be an example of like, why. The lawsuit is bullshit.

Shakesneer: They claim that the, the, the, the, they claim that every, that the, the video of his, the videos are selective

Yassine: and edited. Okay. [02:54:00] I don't, I don't understand what this, this is going. If, if his lawsuit doesn't have merit, it's going to lose. Right.

Shakesneer: I don't, I don't actually take that for granted to be honest.

Why? I, I think that there's been, I don't know how much we really want to elaborate on this. I

Yassine: think there's been a pattern. It's up to you. I can go on. I mean, Joe Rogan has three hour podcasts all the time, so this is, this is fine. I'm trying to understand, you have, you have a strong opinion about the lawsuit that Epps filed against Fox News, but you can't even tell me what statements he's challenging.

So, to me, that's, that's, that's another form of confirmation

Shakesneer: bias. It's challenging. I think Tucker Carlson did the reports that he is suing them for. And it's highly, to me, it seems highly plausible based on the way Fox News settled some of their 2020 election lawsuits that they'll settle

Yassine: this one. Why?

Why won't they fight it if it's meritless?

Shakesneer: I, I think that it's, there's a growing [02:55:00] pattern. of juries endorsing politically vindictive punitive damages. Okay, what's an example? The Alex

Yassine: Jones cases. Okay, why was he punished?

Shakesneer: Part of it, I think, is that he just refused to comply with the judge during the Okay,

Yassine: so that's not an indication that the jury is vindictive, right?

Because there's another factor, him disobeying discovery obligations, correct? Yeah, but Okay, so why do you think that's a good example to cite?

Shakesneer: Why, how does that lawsuit, the whole lawsuit is political, right? The lawsuit wasn't,

Yassine: I mean, what does that mean? A lot of lawsuits are political. What does that mean?

Shakesneer: The intent of all the suing parties was to try to destroy Alex Jones. What

Yassine: do you mean by all ensuing parties? Who are you talking about? The people that sued Alex Jones? The

Shakesneer: people that sued him and the judges at his

Yassine: trial. Okay. I agree that the people that sued him were trying to destroy him. Yes. Why do you say that about the judge?

You think the

Shakesneer: judge was not biased against him?

Yassine: You're making a different claim now. You're walking it back. You're saying that the parties [02:56:00] involved were trying to destroy Alex Jones. I'm asking you for the evidence for why you claim that the judge was trying to destroy Alex Jones. And now then you said, Oh, you don't think that the judge was biased?

That's not the same thing. The

Shakesneer: judge was biased against Alex Jones from the start.

Yassine: There was no full trial. What evidence do you have that the judge was biased against Alex Jones before any proceedings started? Rather than as a result of his misconduct. You have to look at the

Shakesneer: actual

Yassine: trial, but okay. I mean, you have an opinion about this.

So why don't you tell me what basis this opinion is based on? This

Shakesneer: happened a long time ago. I'm just trying to bring up an example of,

Yassine: I mean, the first example that you can think of, of. I guess, like, I guess a rigged system against conservatives is Alex Jones, the guy who is famously obfuscating his finances, refuses to disclose any discovery, refuses to follow court orders.

That's your example that you want to Harold,

Shakesneer: how, how much did they decide he was on the hook for 8 billion? Yeah, it was a

Yassine: shit ton because the instructions tell the jury. [02:57:00] You are not just allowed to consider, uh, his, his obstinance. You are required to assume the worst because he refused to comply with obligations.

That's, that's what's called the discovery sanction. The same thing happened to Rudy Giuliani. He refused to comply with discovery. So the jury instruction said, you are ordered, your instructions are to assume the worst because he would not comply. This is the sanction for not complying with discovery.


Shakesneer: you don't see anything political about that at

Yassine: all? That's not the claim. You said, People, the parties were trying to destroy Alex Jones, then you walked it back and said the judge was biased. And now you're walking it back further and saying, Oh, you don't think that there's anything political about that?

Yes, there is something political about that

Shakesneer: as part of a pattern of defamation lawsuits being used as a political tool.

Yassine: That's why it's high. What does that mean? What does it mean for a lawsuit to be used as a political tool? I don't understand what that means. You don't understand what

Shakesneer: that means? You don't understand what I'm all I am saying that defamation lawsuits are being used not [02:58:00] to extract damages on behalf of parties who feel they were defamed, but are being encouraged to target the people being accused of defamation and lying.

Yassine: Okay, you said that's not being used to extract damages from people who are defamed, who are being defamed. So Which part of that is, are you challenging? Are you saying that the people were not defamed or that they're not getting damages? I don't understand what's inconsistent with that. I'm

Shakesneer: saying that these cases are being used specifically to punish conservative

Yassine: activists.

But, and these conservative activists just happened to have defamed people. It's easy

Shakesneer: to conclude that they defamed people when the. System a priori is going to rule them guilty.

Yassine: When

Shakesneer: did that happen? Alex

Yassine: Jones, Rudy Giuliani. Okay. Why didn't they fight their case? What's your evidence that it was ruled, uh, that they were ruled guilty a priori.

Shakesneer: They did fight their case. They were ruled guilty. It was, it had nothing to do with what

Yassine: they said. They didn't fight their case. They, they didn't comply with discovery orders. They didn't follow court orders and they had a sanction. But I don't understand what's. What's [02:59:00] confusing about that

Shakesneer: part? It's not confusing.

It's part of an example, and it's why I suspect REAPS will get a payout.

Yassine: Because Fox News will just refuse to fight their case. I don't understand the theory here. Fox, Fox News

Shakesneer: will roll over. Why? Because they don't want the publicity of having to go through discovery and trial like they did with the 2020 election

Yassine: lawsuits.

Oh, is that because it was the text messages that were unearthed were embarrassing?

Shakesneer: I think they were embarrassing, but not actually

Yassine: defamatory. Why, if they had a case, why didn't they fight it? Like, why didn't they fight the dominion lawsuit?

Shakesneer: I think Fox News.

Yassine: Why? They were already embarrassed at that point, right?

Why couldn't they claim, actually, the Italian satellites thing was true, or reasonably true, or whatever?

Shakesneer: I don't know. Is there anything

Yassine: else? So my, my theory is that Alex Jones lost his case because a, he defamed people. I mean, he, he kept calling [03:00:00] people saying crisis actors. That's a, that's a false statement of fact, unless you wanna argue that it's true and that is defamatory. So he, he

Shakesneer: took that back and

Yassine: apologized for, I, I don't that, okay.

What I, that's not like a defense to defamation. The fact that he made, he had so much coverage of this one topic over and over again, and he didn't walk it back until like years or months after the fact. So that's not, that's not a defense. So he did defame people, he was sued for it, in the process of being sued, he refused to comply with the, with court orders, and then he's whining that he lost a shit ton of money or got a monumentous verdict against him.

Well, yeah, okay, that's not an indication of The system against them. It's a it's indication of, oh, he's a shitty defendant that doesn't comply with court orders. Anything else? Yeah, I have nothing

Shakesneer: else I want to say about this. Concludatory.

Yassine: I want to genuinely thank you for being open to conversation. I wish this happened more.

My, my intent is not to embarrass you. I want to really [03:01:00] dissect these ideas and arguments carefully. This was intended to be a relatively narrow subject on something that you wrote about recently. And so we're familiar with and well versed. I had no intention of. Catching you or ambushing you off guard.

Shakesneer: No, no, no, no, no, no. I'm not, I'm not saying you did that. I'm just, I'm just, I'm in the period of, I'm trying to reflect here. Right. Me personally, frankly, I'm just not a detail oriented person. I'm just not right. And so I always feel slightly disadvantaged in these kinds of conversations. Because I'm much more interested in the big picture stuff and key key ideas, which might be a way of saying I'm lazy, right?

Might be a way of saying.

Yassine: I mean, look, if I'm, I'm more than open to any criticism that you have, if my questions were unfair, I thought they were very reasonable. I asked very basic questions like, who is the deep state? What is their motivation? Why are they doing this? What? I thought that that's like, The, [03:02:00] the uncharitable interpretation.

When you say I'm a big pictures, that guy, the uncharitable one is, Oh, I, I realize that I can't justify this. So I want to zoom out and escape or switch, change the subject. It's always okay to, for me to say, I don't know too much about the subject or my opinion on this is not a super confident to me, those are reasonable qualifiers that anyone can use them.

I guess the one I take issue with is when someone makes an assertion or has a strong opinion, but they can't back it up.

Shakesneer: Yeah, that's fair.

I haven't read all of it, but on the discussion of why the "deep state" hates Trump, I think there's a very clear and obvious reason: Because Trump is extremely disruptive. Not necessarily in an ideological way, but in an operational way.

I'll analogise the role of a bureaucrat to the role of a criminal defence lawyer. The job of the lawyer is to represent their client. They take instruction from the client. If the client wants to do a plea deal, they'll do that, and if the client wants to go to trial they'll do that too. They might have an opinion and offer advice about which course the client should take, but at the end of the day they understand their role and respect the decision making power rests in the client's hands. This is more or less how a career bureaucrat thinks about their political superiors.

What they absolutely do not want however, is for the client to pull his johnson out in the middle of a hearing and demand the judge suck it. That just makes everything more difficult, for no purpose.

The deep state doesn't hate Trump because he's an existential threat to their power. They hate him because he's a nightmare to work for.

The Deep State segment was frustrating to me, not because I believe the more sinister theories about it, but because I hear a more compelling and far-reaching explanation of it on a weekly basis from my rightier friends.

The mundane, plausible version of the theory goes that the Clinton Administration engaged in a purposeful stocking of the DC bureaucracy with partisans who would continue to pursue Democratic Party goals regardless of who was in office. These are the same class of new political operators who trashed the White House before GWB took office.

Taking it a bit further, Trump posed an unusual adversary, as mainstream Democrats expected him to shuffle LGBTQ and all brown people into camps. Also, symbolically, he was the disruptor of the narrative that mainstream Democrats created for themselves with Obama: That conservativism was dead (IMO they may have been correct; populism is not "conservative") and Obama was the leading light of a new era of progressive liberal democratic rule. Opposing Trump with every administrative stroke was a noble effort.

The version that really gets the Deep State Theorists (DSTs) buzzing, however, adds a few more layers to the obstinate liberal bureacracy, which DSTs see as one component of an elite movement starting** at the WEF/Davos "you will eat bugs and own nothing" set. WEF directs the high-level political operators like Victoria Newland who are orchestrating "forever wars" as part of a military industrial complex that has captured centrists in both parties - NeoCons and NeoLibs - and this is who the DC managerial class serves, whether they know it or not. They aren't anti-conservative as much as they are anti-populist, which is why Bernie was also boxed out by the DNC and there is so much commonality between Bernie and Trump supporters, in a "Rich Men North of Richmond" respect. The threat that Trump poses is disruption of the plans of elite billionaires and technocrats to turn the world into a globohomo concentration camp of some kind that somehow profits from stripping the rest of us of material goods and property (I don't really understand this part of the theory, unless you add the asterisk below).

** Add one more layer above the WEV/Davos: Satanic pedophiles are behind the scenes. The answer to why they are doing anything ultimately comes down to "They are literally evil and serving Satan." It is astonishing how many smart people I know actually buy into this theory in some regard. It does plug some logical holes, but with silly putty, IMO.

What's the evidence that Clinton administration stuffed DC bureaucracy with partisans? The number of federal employees declined significantly by around 340,000 or 11% over the Clinton years. I really have trouble following these arguments because I can't tell what the premises are based on, or even what they mean (e.g. what is conservatism and how did Obama claim it was dead?). This was the advantage of a real-time conversation, because I was able to ask clarifying questions for every point.

When Obama was elected, Democrats were, understandably on a high, and while I can't point stats my sense of the national mood was that the younger Boomer Liberalism that first assumed power under Clinton considered itself victoroious in the culture war (and it was!) and this was reflected with unusual smugness. A new generation was in charge, and they were "on the right side of history." There were some prominent books and articles that got a lot of talk radio play in the wake of Obama's election, like the uncreatively titled "The Death of Conservatism" by Sam Tanenhaus (2009, The New Republic) and "The Death of Conservatism" by Lee Siegel (2009, The Daily Beast). Even quasi-conservative Andrew Sullivan got into it with a book titled "The Conservative Soul: How We Lost It, How to Get It Back." More self-eulogizing from conservatives in "The Death of Conservatism: A Movement and Its Consequences" edited by Lee Edwards (2011).

As for the ideological composition of the federal workforce, the size doesn't matter as much as who made up the ranks. I asked ChatGPT and it responded with this:

One notable initiative in this regard was the National Performance Review (NPR), also known as the Reinventing Government initiative. Led by Vice President Al Gore, the NPR sought to make government more efficient, customer-focused, and results-oriented. It aimed to eliminate waste, reduce bureaucracy, and improve the delivery of government services.

While the NPR did involve workforce reforms, such as encouraging early retirements and implementing performance-based management systems, the primary goal was not age-based replacement but rather improving the overall effectiveness of the federal workforce. The initiative emphasized the importance of attracting and retaining talented employees, regardless of age, and creating a culture of innovation and accountability within the government.

Additionally, the Clinton Administration supported initiatives to promote diversity and equal opportunity in the federal workforce, including efforts to recruit and retain a diverse range of employees across age groups, backgrounds, and demographics.

Obviously, there is not going to be a stated purpose in these initiatives to replace older workers with young democrats, but there is going to be a natural influx of Democrats in such an environment led by party operatives, especially with diversity initiatives driving part of it.

I don't think the Deep State segment would've have gone any differently if this is the theory that was deployed. A bunch of books claiming the death of a political movement are the norm for any era, and the NPR program you mention appears to be the one responsible for eliminating over 250,000 federal jobs. I would've asked very similar clarifying questions because I don't see how you go between "250k federal jobs eliminated" to "also older workers were replaced by younger democrats" (citation needed) and then to "these new federal employees continued to pursue Democratic Party goals for the next 20 years, including during Bush era" (citation needed) and then "this Clinton era group was particularly activated in opposition to Trump because of fears he'd shuffle LGBTQ and brown people into camps" (citation needed) and so on. This illustrates the benefits of a real time conversation in dissecting these claims.

What's the evidence that Clinton administration stuffed DC bureaucracy with partisans? The number of federal employees declined significantly by around 340,000 or 11% over the Clinton years.

This is a terrible metric to discuss the question. What does the number of federal employees have to do with anything? The only publicly available data (at least I think it's publicly available, since people post fancy charts with that every once in a while) I'm aware of that could maybe resolve the question one way or the other, is which party the political donations of the employees went to, and if that changed over the Clinton years.

I wasn't given a metric for the phrase "purposeful stocking of the DC bureaucracy with partisans" so I went and looked for my own. Coming up with your own interpretation is a natural response when encountering an ambiguous statement. Even if we establish that political donations among federal employees shifted between 1993 and 2001, how do we rule out other causes besides whatever "purposeful stocking" was supposed to mean?

If you're going to criticize political donations data for not answering the question of whether the hiring and firing decisions that made it so were purposeful, it makes even less sense for you to put forward the number of federal employees as a metric, as it cannot prove or disprove the purposeful nature of the shift, nor there even being a shift in the first place.

Mostly I'm just annoyed at the rat sphere's insistence on quantitative analysis, and it is the next exhibit in the case for dropping the entire framework in political debates. There's no guarantee something will even be arguable with quantitative data in the abstract, in the case it will be, there's no guarantee the data will be gathered, if it is, there's no guarantee it will be available to the public, so expecting someone to actively provide it to back their argument makes no sense. It makes even less sense to act like dropping some random number not even related to the question provides a valid counter argument. It's fine if you want to ask why he think Clinton stocked the federal bureaucracies with supporters, but then just ask that, instead of doing this weird dance with "evidence" that can't even answer the question.

That's a coherent explanation but a) I don't think Trump supporters would be eager to endorse it, especially because b) it doesn't help advance the broader "feds did J6 to discredit conservative movement" theory.

I agree wholeheartedly with both points. It's psychologically more attractive for Trump supporters to say "the deep state is out to get Trump because he wanted to take them down". But as you allude to in the podcast, it's just not true that he did anything meaningful to attack the deep state. He fired the FBI Director, but that's about it.

It's like how people have echo-chambered themselves into believing that Trump is this anti-war figure when the reality is he's a guy who goes on twitter and belligerently threatens to nuke other nuclear powers.

I just want to say I really appreciate the transcript. Though there’s no good (mobile) solution that lets me scroll to the end of your comment to reply, as all the buttons get collapsed with the comment itself. I wonder if there are sites designed for transcript hosting.

I didn't know this would be an issue, because I'm able to collapse threads just fine on my android phone. I posted it on my substack so if this is a big issue for others I can just edit the link into it.

To be clear, I can collapse the thread just fine. If I do, it also takes the reply button, so I had to manually scroll to the bottom while keeping the thread enlarged in order to reply.

A true first world problem.

Putting the new character limit to good use I see! Any chance of transcripts for prior Bailey episodes?

Yes I'm totally open to that, the issue is that it still costs money. I spent way too long this morning fiddling with Whisper and its command line interface before realizing that it doesn't differentiate by speakers (not unless you jury-rig some other service on top) and also seems to take a really long time to process even with an RTX 4080. I ended up paying $20 for a Descript subscription just to get the above done and over quick. As soon as I know how to do transcripts simply and for free/cheap, I'm down to doing the back catalogue.