The Washington Post is reporting that former Trump Assistant Secretary of State Robert Destro met with two election theft "activists" on January 6th itself, with the purpose of the meeting to coordinate spreading disinformation about the 2020 election and justifying the January 6th terrorist attack with that disinformation.
On Jan. 6, 2021, around the time that thousands of Donald Trump’s supporters swarmed the U.S. Capitol, a top Trump appointee at the U.S. State Department met with two activists who had been key to spreading the false narrative that the presidential election had been stolen.
The meeting came as Trump’s allies were pressing theories that election machines had been hacked by foreign powers and were angling for Trump to employ the vast powers of the national security establishment to seize voting machines or even rerun the election.
Robert A. Destro, a law professor at Catholic University of America then serving as an assistant secretary of state, confirmed to The Washington Post he met with the two men — Colorado podcaster Joe Oltmann and Michigan lawyer Matthew DePerno — in the midst of the tumultuous day.
The two men have previously claimed to have huddled on Jan. 6 with State Department leaders, who Oltmann has said were sympathetic to the claims that a “coup” was underway to steal the presidency from Trump. They have not identified with whom they met. Destro’s acknowledgment is the first independent confirmation that they successfully gained the high-level audience. It is unclear whether the meeting led to any action.
Oltmann and DePerno played important behind-the-scenes roles in crafting the baseless allegations that the election was stolen from Trump, a review of emails and public statements from Trump allies shows. The State Department meeting provides new evidence of the success that activists spreading false claims about the election had in gaining access to top administration officials. Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows was in close contact with activists pushing false fraud narratives, as were high-level officials at the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security.
Little is known about the origins of the session at the State Department. The department is responsible for international diplomacy, and former officials said meetings that revolve around domestic elections would be highly unusual.
In response to questions from The Post, Destro confirmed in an email that he met with Oltmann and DePerno, now the Republican nominee for attorney general in Michigan. But Destro declined to answer other questions, including what was discussed that day, whether other officials took part and whether anyone took action as a result.
“I met with hundreds of American citizens and foreign nationals during my time at State, all of whom had foreign-focused issues to discuss,” wrote Destro, who served as the assistant secretary of state for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor from September 2019 to the end of Trump’s term. “I won’t talk about any of the details of those meetings, either.”
Before joining the State Department, Destro was a law professor who specialized in religious liberty and had served as an adviser to religious organizations. He has appeared on a podcast hosted by Tony Perkins, president of the socially conservative Family Research Council.
Oltmann and DePerno did not respond to questions about the meeting.
Everywhere you look, you find more January 6th co-conspirators.
Years beforelaw enforcement seized the contents of Ian Rogers’s safe, he earned a reputation as a talented mechanic and successful Napa Valley business owner. Rogers catered to an elite clientele of Jaguar, Land Rover and Rolls-Royce owners inside a garage off Napa’s main drag, a street spotted with boutiques and high-end bed and breakfasts.
The 47-year-old from Sonoma County, who appeared to have a passion for guns, according to Facebook posts where he dissed prominent Democrats, was also a loving husband and father who paid his bills on time, according to his family and friends.
In the fall of 2020, in the weeks after Joe Biden was declared the next president of the United States, Rogers sent an ominous text to someone he trusted, according to court records.
“Ok bro we need to hit the enemy in the mouth,” he messaged.
“Yeah so we punch Soros,” Rogers’s former employee and gym buddy, Jarrod Copeland, texted back, referring to billionaire investor George Soros.
Copeland, a Kentucky native, had been a mechanic at Rogers’s shop nearly a decade earlier.
“I think right now we attack democrats. They’re offices etc. Molotov cocktails and gasoline,” Rogers continued.
Copeland replied, “We need more people bro. Gonna be hard.”
The day after Thanksgiving, the chatter kindled a plan. Text messages contained in court records show the two men agreed to burn down the headquarters of the California Democratic Party in Sacramento, a building diagonal to the California Highway Patrol office tasked with protecting state lawmakers and daily visitors to the Capitol. Also nearby: a youth center, a gym and a popular bookstore.Rogers: sent link to the address of the California Democratic Party office…
Copeland: Right next to CHP
Copeland: gotta be cautious
Rogers: Only takes 3 minutes
Rogers: Take a brick break a window pour gas in and light
The two men texted that they hoped hitting that particular target would send a message and ignite a movement. They viewed themselves as action-film heroes, referencing “The Expendables,” a popular movie franchise.Rogers: Scare the whole country
Rogers: Can you imagine cnn covering this haha !
Rogers: I’ll leave a envelope with our demands and intentions
Rogers: Basically saying we declare war on the Democratic Party and all traitors to the republic.
Copeland: That’s some expendables stuff.
Rogers: We need to send a message
Copeland: Yep I agree
Rogers: Start a movement
On Jan. 8, 2021, the two acknowledged they might die carrying out their plan. Rogers asked Copeland if he was ready to leave his wife.Rogers: What I’m talking about we probably will die unfortunatelyIt never came to that.
Copeland: She was crying yesterday and said to me “please don’t leave me I don’t know what to do without you” she was rubbing my back while I was watching...
Copeland: She knows how i run and she knows I will put myself in harms way for what I believe in
Rogers and Copeland were arrested in January and July of 2021, respectively, according to court records.
Reminder that the good guys have to get lucky 100% of the time, or people die.