A year after the Jan.6 attack on the United States Capitol, new evidence reveals Colorado’s connections to the challenge of the 2020 election and the mob that stormed Congress.
Why is this important: The details deepen our understanding of political discord and Colorado’s loyalty to former President Trump, even in a state where he has lost twice.
What we know: Two leading legal architects in Trump’s push to hold on to power have close ties to Colorado.
- John Eastman, a key Trump adviser, served as a visiting conservative scholar at the University of Colorado at Boulder in the 2020 election and certification.
- Trump campaign lawyer Jenna Ellis has worked in Colorado legal circles, including the Conservative Party Centennial Institute in Lakewood.
In addition, 14 people with ties to the state have been criminally charged in connection with the riot on the Capitol grounds, according to an Axios Denver analysis of federal indictments and media reports.
- At least 10 consider Colorado their home, from Telluride to Trinidad and Colorado Springs to Littleton. Three others were arrested in the state and a man traveled to Washington from Colorado.
- Federal prosecutors have laid more than 60 combined counts against them, including counts of assault and threat to police officers and violence.
The big picture: In total, federal authorities indicted 725 people for their role in the attack and continue to seek help in identifying 350 more, according to the Justice Department.
- US Attorney General Merrick Garland said on Wednesday that “the steps we have taken so far will not be the last.”
To note : The arrests in Colorado were the result of video evidence and photos of the attack, according to federal court documents, and in some cases, advice from close associates.
- In at least one case, authorities confirmed the presence of a Colorado Springs man in his response to a tweet sent by U.S. Representative Lauren Boebert (R-Rifle) promoting the events of January 6.
Details: Eastman’s role is particularly scrutinized. He circulated a two-page memo to the White House ahead of the certification of the vote, claiming Vice President Mike Pence was the “ultimate arbiter” of the election and had the power to prevent Joe Biden from taking his functions, according to a recent report in the New York Times.
- Eastman spoke at the rally near the White House on the morning of January 6, promoting unfounded claims about voter fraud that fueled crowds on Capitol Hill. He later critical violence as “terrible”.
- CU Rock cut ties with Eastman, who was paid $ 185,000 for the 2020-21 school year at the Benson Center for Western Civilization. It is to chase legal action.
Ellis wrote two legal notes the week before the attack saying Pence could refuse to count presidential voters, like Politico reported in December.
- One of the memos went to Trump’s office while the other went to the president’s outside lawyer.
- Ellis later told the publication that she explored legal theories and did not endorse the strategies she described.
The bottom line: Benjamin Teitelbaum, professor at UC, Recount CPR shortly after the riot that the far right is bigger than many realize. “They’re going to be resilient and they’re going to find a way to exist,” he said.
This story first appeared in the Axios Denver newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter and faster on the most important news taking place in their own backyards. Subscribe here.