Charlottesville, VA – The lawsuit against leading white supremacist organizers and groups began trial on October 25, 2021 at the federal courthouse in Charlottesville, Virginia. Attorneys with civil rights nonprofit Integrity First For America are representing victims of racist attacks at the ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Charlottesville in August 2017.
Additional Resources via Integrity First For America: Trial & Deposition Video Transcripts • Searchable Database of Plaintiff’s Trial Exhibits
Unicorn Riot’s rush transcript from the day’s proceedings is below. While the official court transcript is more comprehensive, UR’s live notes sometimes contain visual descriptions of elements not noted by the court reporter, including the visual appearance of exhibits shown at trial, movements of parties in the courtroom, and happenings in and around the courthouse.
NOTE: Rush transcripts are generated from Unicorn Riot’s live tweets posted in real-time while observing trial proceedings from inside the courthouse media room. Quotations and descriptions written here are not always precise verbatim quotes and sometimes use paraphrasing or shorthand to quickly capture and convey exchanges during court hearings. There may be some errors regarding details like jury numbers, exhibit numbers and dates as well as typos and missing punctuation. These rush transcripts do not capture every single moment but are our attempt to provide the public with as much direct access to the trial as possible until full court transcripts are made publicly available at a later date.
Rush transcripts: Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7 | Day 8 | Day 9 | Day 10 | Day 11 | Day 12 | Day 13 | Day 14 | Day 15 | Day 16
Read Unicorn Riot's live tweets from trial proceedings - Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7 | Day 8 | Day 9 | Day 10 | Day 11 | Day 12 | Day 13 | Day 14 | Day 15 | Day 16 | Day 17 | Day 18 | Day 19
Day 11 – Nov. 8, 2021 (Collected from this tweet thread)
The day started with continuing a video deposition featuring Dillon Hopper, a leader of in neonazi group Vanguard America. It is followed by a Zoom Internet call with Michael Tubbs, a leader in the neoconfederate group League of the South. (Jump to Tubbs.)
After Tubbs has Internet problems, the plaintiffs attorneys call one of the plaintiffs, Marissa Blair. (Jump to Blair.)
In the afternoon Blair continued and then Tubbs had his second block of testimony (Jump to Tubbs Pt 2.)
Next was Thomas Rousseau, a fascist organizer with Vanguard America and later its splinter organization, Patriot Front. (Jump to Rousseau.) See more Unicorn Riot coverage about Rousseau.
Lastly a video deposition from Traditionalist Worker Party member and Atomwaffen affiliate Vasillios Pistolis was played. (Jump to Pistolis.)
Court is starting in day 11 of the ‘Sines v Kessler’ Unite The Right lawsuit trial in Charlottesville now – plaintiffs are playing a video deposition of Dillon Hopper, leader of the neo-nazi group Vanguard America. He joined & led the group after being a recruiter for the Marines.
Dillon Hopper Video Deposition
Did you know ppl who were on Discord servers as members of Vanguard America?
Hopper: I met some in April 2017, some in Pikeville… I have a really terrible memory I can’t remember anyone’s name
When you got together Vanguard America members dressed in white shirts and khaki pants – was that your idea?
Hopper: partially my idea, partially Thomas’ idea – I wanted something that was comfortable…and also inexpensive
Was that partly to create a paramilitary, a more formal appearance?
Hopper: a more organized organization
The uniform wasn’t issued by Vanguard America… so anyone could go participate w Vanguard America in any particular district for any particular event… they wanted to associate with?
Hopper’s deposition interviewer shows Vanguard America banners with a white couple on them with the words “We have a right to exist – Vanguard America, blood and soil dot org”- Hopper says that site is Vanguard’s website, he agrees blood and soil is an anti-Semitic nazi slogan
That’s one of the purposes of Vanguard America, to create a white America, correct?
Hopper (yawning): yes
Hopper is shown a picture of himself with a shotgun guarding the police free speech pen given to the neo-nazi groups during the April, 2017 rally in Pikeville, Kentucky
Hopper is asked about the Vanguard America shields seen at Unite The Right in Charlottesville – agrees he ‘approved’ the shields but said he didn’t have much involvement – “that was all designed by Thomas Rousseau” and said ppl were encouraged to make their own shields
When you said you were telling people how to make shields… was all of that conversation… on the Discord server that Vanguard America was using?
Matthew Heimbach, do you know him, did you talk to him?
You talked to him in June 2017 about going to Unite The Right?
Hopper: yeah, asked him if he was going, how many people he was bringing etc
Were those conversations w Heimbach over text?
Hopper: at that time they would have been over Discord
So the business conversations in connection w Charlottesville 2.0 were about your organization attending and participating in Charlottesville 2.0.. they weren’t personal….?
Hopper (bending over and pulling on his beard) talks about meeting leaders from the National Socialist Movement and League of the South at the April, 2017 Pikeville rally
Deposition interviewer is asking Hopper about his Protonmail (dillon_hopper@ ) and Tutanota email addresses (he says he doesn’t remember the Tutanota address)
Asked about 1488 in one of his email handles, Hopper says it’s a reference to “the 14 words, neo-nazi garbage”, tries to shrug it off as a joke… “I think that stuff is funny… people just go off the rails over that stuff”
So you were keeping track of events on August 11, 12 and 13? (Hopper wasn’t at Unite The Right)
You had shields being made for the purpose of the event?
Hopper: yeah… I didn’t know if they were there
So you were involved in the planning conversations?
Hopper (yawning): I suppose that I was..
You were using the channels under ‘Charlottesville 2.0’ that were involved in the planning activities?
Hopper: I wanna say only briefly…
The planning took place over several months… you were involved in the planning?
Hopper: according to this, yeah
Deposition interviewer shows Hopper a post from him on August 12, 2017 on Discord in ‘Bowl Patrol’ – “you don’t total out a 2010 Dodge Challenger SE for shits and giggles…” w a picture of James Fields’ car driving away from the attack
Hopper: “…that’s just a car joke”
Hopper is shown the answer to the plaintiffs’ first amended complaint which includes an answer given on behalf of Vanguard America – “Vanguard America admits a non-member James Fields marched with them…”
Isn’t it a fact that there are no records of who the members are of Vanguard America?
Hopper: physical records, no
No lists of who the members are?
Hopper: not to my knowledge
No records of who was vetted….?
Hopper: to my knowledge, no
Hopper tells his deposition interviewer that he hasn’t spoken to Thomas Rousseau (who took over the Vanguard organization from him) since the lawsuit was filed. Hopper says he told Rousseau “he messed up” by letting Fields march in their formation on August 12. Hopper says Rousseau said he let Fields march w them bc he wanted Vanguard America to appear larger in number
So Mr. Rousseau invited Mr. Fields into the Vanguard group for the event?
A different deposition video of Dillon Hopper is being played now – this one is being done remotely and he’s in a different outfit
You said Vanguard America had suffered severe damages from the Charlottesville rally, what did you mean by that?
Hopper: Thomas Rousseau… is the one who basically just allowed James Fields to come in and be a part of the group even though he isn’t actually a member… … then the incident happened and a lot of flac came down on us bc of that and a lot of guys, they just wanted to disappear bc they didn’t want to be associated with that… they didn’t really want the attention… of the world media…”
Hopper is being shown June 5, 2017 Discord DMs between himself and Matt Heimbach:
Heimbach: with the leadership being you, me, Jeff and Dr. Hill…but whatever profile youd like, ill get it up asap in the leaders section…you and your boys deserve recognition June 5, 2017
Hopper: Now all we need is Spencer and Damigo
Heimbach: well this is where charlotesville comes in
So at the time you said Thomas Rousseau was doing the planning and coordinating of Vanguard w these other groups, getting everyone to Charlottesville for the rally?
Hopper: at the time… he was basically the commander in charge of the group
Why did you say you forget people’s first names?
Hopper: I didn’t want to know anything about them… let’s just go by these handles to maintain that kind of security and anonymity so if anything happens they don’t have your information and they only have my information
So you understood Thomas Rousseau was telling you Brandon and Aaron, who were Vanguard members, were in contact with other members of the Charlottesville rally?
June 19 2017 Hopper discord dms w Thomas Rousseau:
Hopper: big names are popping up
Rousseau: Yes I know
Hopper: well make sure that we’re on top
Hopper is shown Discord chats from the Charlottesville 2.0 server on the ‘Vanguard America’ channel in June 2017 – Hopper wrote “you guys want me to get some shields?”
Hopper is shown August 12 2017 Discord dms between himself & Vanguard America member & discord user ‘Americana-MD’ talking about events in Charlottesville
Asked names of Vanguard America people in Charlottesville, Hopper says he doesn’t know their names, with the exception of some people from Texas including Thomas Rousseau – says he forgets their names too but the names are on his phone
Hopper: “I might have known their names but I have forgotten… I never knew all of everyone’s names in Vanguard…”
Hopper is shown August 12, 2017 messages in the ‘Vanguard Liberation’ discord server where he wrote, “Commies died. That’s good enough for me.“
You’re aware Heather Heyer was killed?
Hopper: yes but at the time I didn’t know it was her
You said here “commies died”, you thought the person who was killed, Heather Heyer, was a “commie”?
Hopper: …more appropriately a Marxist but that’s semantics
You thought Mr. Fields killing a protester was “good enough for you”?
Hopper: yeah, at the time… I didn’t realize he was connected to our group
So you’re saying it was “good enough for you” before you realized he was connected to your group?
More messages from the ‘Vanguard Liberation’ Discord server on August 12 are shown, Hopper wrote: “they challenged a dodge challenger“
So you thought that the counter-protesters had challenged Mr. Fields’ car, it was their fault they got hit?
Hopper: oh, absolutely
In the same chat, Hopper wrote “One person died, sheesh! There’s 315,000,000 more people in this country”
Your earlier testimony was that you felt bad that Heather Heyer died, but that isn’t true is it?
Hopper: this rally was somewhere where murder, violence was imminent … you can’t go there & not expect to be injured…it’s kind of like a surfer…he shouldn’t be surprised if he gets attacked by a shark… that’s his choice…it’s a tragedy… but…it shouldn’t be a surprise
Hopper is shown more messages from the ‘Vanguard Liberation’ Discord server on August 12, 2017 where he wrote, “Kill all commies. Fuck um.“
Deposition interviewer asks Hopper, is Heather Heyer a commie?
Hopper – “if she was there as a counter-protester I would consider her a communist”
You would consider all counter-protesters communists?
The deposition interviewer on the video recording is now showing Dillon Hopper discord chats he was involved in from the ‘Tradworker’ discord server. Hopper is shown a video someone posted in the chat – it shows protesters in Berkeley in early 2017 being run into with a car.
Hopper says in his deposition that the video shows “a car being attacked by protesters and trying to escape”
Matt Heimbach & Dillon Hopper go on in that Discord exchange to celebrate protesters being hit with cars.
Hopper is shown a Discord message chain where Vanguard America members discuss James Fields being seen with them in Charlottesville; Hopper tells them “the official story is that he was a plant.”
Dillon Hopper is now being asked to read a post he made in a more recent chat from the neo-nazi terror org Feuerkrieg Division where he uses various racial slurs and calls for the genocide of non-white people. [That leak is available here.]
Dillon Hopper’s video deposition is done playing now.
Michael Tubbs (Defendant) Testimony
Next witness the plaintiffs are calling is Michael Tubbs from the League of the South, who is testifying via Zoom. Tubbs has a trimmed white mustache and looks very different from the videos he appeared in during violence in Charlottesville, where he had a goatee.
Alan Levine for the plaintiffs is questioning Michael Tubbs of the Florida League of the South for his direct examination testimony now, asking him about joining the League of the South bc it represented his views of white/’southern’ nationalism. Tubbs joined the League of the South in 2000 and says he’s had the same views up to today.
Levine: …when you were younger you pledged… “I dedicate my heart…to warfare against the enemies of my race…”
Levine shows Tubbs/the jury an exhibit of a screenshot from the League of the South website – it talks about ‘Dixie’ being only for white people and mentions the ‘Jewish Question’
Levine shows the League of the South website post that League leader Michael Hill posted a year after Unite The Right in Charlottesville where Hill wrote – “to us Dixie is and should be White Man’s land, we are firm on the Negro Question and the Jew Question”
Levine: You agree with that, correct?
Michael Tubbs: I would agree with that 100 percent…
Levine: you see the sentence about that says “we see ourselves as the heart and soil of the Hard Right, an uncompromising movement of real blood and soil Souther/White nationalists…”…the term ‘blood and soil’ was used by the nazis referring to an aryan nation that wouldn’t have any Jewish people, is that right?
Tubbs: i know the nazis used that term…
Levine: when Hill wrote “we are firm on the Negro Question” you knew he meant that Black people should be returned to Jim Crow status in the south?
Tubbs: I believe he said that…If Dr. Hill wrote that then I agree with Dr. Hill
Levine asks Michael Tubbs about a tweet Tubbs sent in reply to pictures depicting Black people being enslaved, the original poster wrote “There is a whole slave trade happening in Libya.” Tubbs wrote in his reply tweet “Good for Libya” Another retweet made by Tubbs and shown to the jury shows Tubbs retweeted a Tweet that read “Africans are not capable of Western Civilization.”
Tubbs says retweets sometimes just mean “something that you find interesting and want to look at later.”
Levine shows another evidence exhibit to the jury – the League of the South YouTube video played last week that shows League leader Michael Hill burning a Torah and an Israeli flag while giving an anti-Semitic speech where he’s praying to god to banish the Jews.
Levine: at the end of that video…Mr. Hill says “for the gentiles of the world we stand for the white race against all our enemies, particularly the Jew”…
Levine: “you share Dr. Hill’s views, correct?”
Michael Tubbs: yes I do, sir
Levine: in spring 2017 you learned that Michael Hill had been invited to speak at a rally… scheduled for August 12, 2017… you learned that Michael Hill decided the League of the South would participate…Michael Hill asked you to assist him… and you agreed?
Levine shows another exhibit to the jury of a text from Michael Hill to Tubbs asking him “to be in command of operations” during Charlottesville
Levine: you accepted that position, correct?
Tubbs: I don’t believe there’s any evidence that I replied…but I was prepared to assist Dr. Hill
Tubbs denies referring to League of the South members as “soldiers” but agrees he helped w preparations regarding shields and uniforms
Levine: that uniform included khaki pants, black polos with the League of the South logo, and cargo boots?
Tubbs: I’m not aware of anything called cargo boots but black boots were the uniform
Levine: up to August 12th, Dr. Hill kept you in the loop… by phone and text… how did you get to Charlottesville?
Tubbs: I drove my personal vehicle
Levine: where do you live, sir?
Tubbs: Jacksonville, Florida
Tubbs says he drove to the League of the South’s campground in Madison, Virginia, arrived the night of August 11 and had a meeting with Michael Hill and Matt Heimbach
Levine: and you knew by that time that the League of the South had formed an alliance with Matt Heimbach to form something called the Nationalist Front, correct?
Levine: and a decision was made that night that you would all go directly to a garage in Charlottesville called the market street garage early saturday morning, correct?
Tubbs: … we had to stop at a parking lot to meet up w other ppl to meet up at that garage
Levine: and the decision was made to meet at the garage, park… and then march in unison to Emancipation Park, correct?
Tubbs: I believe it was called Lee Park at that time but yes that was the plan…
Levine: and apparently the idea of just parking your cars in the garage and everyone just individually going to the park was rejected, was that right?
Tubbs: yes it was rejected bc we believed it was too dangerous…
Levine: isn’t it a fact that everyone could have just parked in that garage… and gotten to the park on their own?
Tubbs: with the large number of people who parked in that garage we would have all been marching down the street anyway
Levine: but the plan was to march together in a column in unison… if people decided to walk on their own they wouldn’t need shields, helmets…?
Tubbs: not sure I understand your reasoning as to why an isolated individual would need less protection
Levine: wasn’t it the plan that you would be marching in unison with helmets, shields and flags to appear to be soldiers going to battle?
Tubbs: I don’t remember any discussion of any LARPing activity of appearing as soldiers… our goal was to get to Lee Park with as little incident as possible
Levine: the fact is you knew there were gonna be counter-protesters outside the park, isn’t that right?
Tubbs: yes we heard there were gonna be violent communists including antifa and BLM…
Levine: and what you wanted and what Dr. Hill wanted and what the League wanted was a violent confrontation with those counter-protesters before you got into the park, isn’t that right?
Tubbs: I’m not sure I understand that question… our sole mission was to enter the park
Levine shows Tubbs/the jury a September 12, 2017 email from Michael Hill to Tubbs and others that says
“For instance we wanted a public confrontation in Charlottesville for the world to see, and we got it!”
Levine: so at least Dr. Hill wanted a public confrontation with those counter-protesters, correct?
Bryan Jones (Hill/Tubbs/League lawyer): objection
Levine to Tubbs: you didn’t disagree w Mr. Hill there did you?
Tubbs: no, I did not…
Levine: if in fact you didn’t want a public confrontation with counter-protesters… you could have found a different route to the park…?
Tubbs: that was the shortest distance from the garage to the park… we didn’t know we were going to be violently engaged… Levine: i’m asking you about the manner in which you left the garage for the park…
Tubbs: the manner in which we left the park was the safest way for our members..
Levine: isn’t it true that a public confrontation with counter-protesters was more important for you than going to listen to speeches in the park?
Tubbs: public confrontation can mean many things including speeches… for anyone who’s never had their nose broken, of which I suspect there are several present, you never want a violent confrontation if you can avoid it
Judge Moon calls for a 20 min recess
Questioning of Michael Tubbs by plaintiffs’ attorney Alan Levine is resuming after the break (some A/V issues w Tubbs’ Zoom connection it seems) – Levine is asking Tubbs about when he left for Charlottesville from the League of the South campground on August 12.
Tubbs met up with others from League of the South & its partners in the Nationalist Front (Traditionalist Worker Party, National Socialist Movement & Vanguard America) in the parking lot of a Joann Fabric where Ike Baker gave a speech. Ike Baker’s speech included instructions for everyone to drive to the top street of the Market Street garage – Baker celebrated the group as the “Hard Right” as opposed to the “alt-right or the alt-light” and said they would “take the park”
Levine: the whole point of the plan was you were going to march as a mass, correct?
Tubbs: that was the plan
Levine: but you didn’t have to “take the park” because you had a permit for the rally in the park, isn’t that right?
Levine: you didn’t have a permit for marching en masse to the park, isn’t that right?
Tubbs: I’m not aware of who secured the permit or what the permit included… the streets were closed off to vehicular traffic and allowed foot traffic only and we took advantage of that
Levine: you knew the permit did not include the streets, isn’t that right?
Judge Moon: sustained
Tubbs: I didn’t know anything about what the permit included and frankly I didn’t care
Levine is going to play some videos from the morning of August 12, 2017 and ask Michael Tubbs about himself in those videos
Tubbs is shown a picture of himself leading the column of League of the South members up Market Street that morning.
Levine: did you stop when you were walking along to ask any police officers if you could march through the counter-protesters?
Tubbs: I believe that was understood that we had the right to enter the park due to our permit, there were police officers to the right side of our column in front of the library… there was a line of Virginia state police alongside between the library and the park
Levine: can we show the video to the jury?
Not sure if its the same exact clip but this is what the video shows – Tubbs, Heimbach and Hill leading the column up the street as it violently attacks counter-protesters on Market Street.
Tubbs: that’s correct
Levine shows another video to the jury of the League of the South formation with shields closer to Emancipation Park, they’re using flag and shields to beat more counter-protesters. One of them is beating his confederate flag’s flagpole against his shield
Levine: when you finally got in the park… you didn’t just go into the park, you stayed on the steps and engaged the counter-protesters, isn’t that right?
Tubbs: upon entering the park we realized counter-protesters were attempting to enter the park and attack our people… we took up a position at the steps to separate our people from the counter-protesters…
Levine pulls up another video that shows Tubbs inside the park above the steps, giving orders to a group of men w shields before they charge down the stairs into counter-protesters.
Levine circles Tubbs in the crowd as he’s part of a group pummeling a fallen counter-protester
Levine: so after making your way into the park… you actually waved your men into the street to physically attack counter-protesters in the streets..?
Tubbs: our friends were being attacked by antifa so we had to intervene
Levine: the video shows you bodyslam someone…
Some back and forth w Tubbs and Levine and the Judge, Levine is playing the video again showing Tubbs involved in a violent fight in the street after descending the steps
Levine: this is the physical violence you were looking forward to, correct?
Tubbs: …noone ever looks forward to physical violence… but if it came my way I was prepared to do whatever was necessary…
Levine: this last video… shows that you left the inside of the park area where you had a permit for a rally and went back into the street to physically fight counter-protesters isn’t that right?
Tubbs: I think the person I threw to the ground was one of our allies I was trying to break up from a fight, I think he was from Identity Evropa or Identity Dixie
Levine: you don’t see anyone get up and follow you back into the park from the street, do you? (Levine plays the video again)
Levine: isn’t it a fact… that the video shows that the person that you bodyslammed to the ground was then dragged by counter-protesters to safety?
Tubbs: I don’t know, I can’t determine from the video…if you say that’s the case, so be it, I don’t care, we did what we had to do that day for our friends and allies
Levine: and against your enemies, correct?
Levine: and after Charlottesville 2.0 was all over, Michael Hill applauded you for being a warrior in the street fighting, didn’t he?
Michael Tubbs: I don’t recall
Levine is quoting Michael Hill’s speech where he celebrated marching in Charlottesville alongside Michael Tubbs.
Tubbs says “it was also the proudest day of my life marching in Charlottesville that day…”
Levine is quoting a post from Michael Parrott of TWP that celebrated Michael Tubbs as “a tyrannosaurus among raptors…as League of the South members with shields put their training to work”
Levine asks if Tubbs’ actions in Charlottesville and members being seen fighting with shields helped the League of the South’s recruitment numbers, Tubbs agrees that it did
Levine: because of your physical show of force with your colleagues, correct?
Tubbs: …i don’t know…
Levine pulls up Sept 16 2018 messages Michael Tubbs sent over Russian social media site VK to another League of the South member named Charleen Braun:
Sept 16 2018 Tubbs-Braun VK messages:
Braun: That video of the “burning” is going crazy on Twitter. Really hate that you won’t be in Tennessee with us. I understand though
Tubbs: It’s been hard for me to do the traveling I used to
Braun: I bet. You will be missed, especially if there is confrontations. Your presence is always a great thing to witness
Tubbs: I pray I don’t miss any good violence
Braun: Lol… I must admit when recruiting, besides Paddy’s video, I share pictures of Charlottesville and of you and your uh, background if you will… You helped me recruit twenty something guys…
Levine is asking Michael Tubbs about his emails w Michael Hill in lead up to Charlottesville – Tubbs wrote “even though we haven’t had any hard intell so far to make us believe there would be violence I think we assumed there would be (and maybe even hoped for it)”
Levine: so that when you testified earlier that when you marched down the street you didn’t think you would be violently engaged, that wasn’t 100 percent true.. you were hoping for it, weren’t you?
Tubbs: I said ‘we’ even hoped for it… ‘we’ includes a lot of people
Levine: and that includes you… doesn’t it?
Levine: didn’t you say to Charleen “I pray I don’t miss any good violence?”
Tubbs: if there’s going to be any violence at any League event I want to be there to defend… my family…
Levine: after the unlawful assembly was declared… you walked to the Market Street garage.. when you arrived you saw a beating in progress…
Levine shows the jury one of the infamous photos of the Deandre Harris beating in the garage, circles Michael Tubbs in the photo
Levine: was you attention focused on the Black man being beaten on the ground?
Tubbs: well my attention was focused on …
Levine: it’s a yes or no question…
Tubbs: it’s not a yes or no question. I am defending myself to the jury
Levine has the court reporter read the Q back, Tubbs eventually admits that he did see Deandre Harris on the ground.
Levine shows the photo of the parking garage beating to the jury
Levine: isn’t it a fact that you walked right by this beating.. after seeing that there wasn’t any League of the South member that you could see involved?
Tubbs: I walked past this beating and several others…
Levine: you didn’t see League of the South member Tyler Davis participating in this beating because he had his back to you, correct?
Levine: shortly after August 12… you learned the Charlottesville Police Dept was investigating League of the South member Tyler Davis for this beating… Tyler Davis was a member of your Florida chapter, correct?
Tubbs: yes he was
Levine pulls up a tweet from Tyler Davis showing his membership in the Florida League of the South – “Still getting chills from this, Fla League was there that night before the rally (sunglasses emoji)” w a pic of the torch rally.
(Michael Tubbs claims he wasn’t aware until now that the Florida League of the South was at the torch rally)
Levine: you learned that Tyler Davis was arrested… you learned that the police had his phone?
Tubbs: we thought that someone had his phone
Levine: and he was trying to contact his Florida League of the South friends, correct?
Tubbs: we thought Tyler Davis’ phone was being used to contact people
Levine: you decided you would reach out to League of the South members that had friended Tyler Davis to tell them to delete his contact from their phones so the police wouldn’t be able to contact them, isn’t that right?
Tubbs: i went through Davis’ friends list… and let them know that there was something suspicious going on with his phone and they should unfriend him
Levine: bc you wanted to keep the League of the South out of the case involving the beating?
Tubbs: i wanted to protect people… from whatever was going on w Tyler Davis’ phone while he was in jail
2/5/18 email from Tubbs to Charleene Braun:
“You are friends w Tyler Davis. The feds apparently have possession of his phone & “Tyler” has been friending people while he is in jail..remove him from your friends list immediately and delete any convos you might have had with him via Signal, Messenger or any other format…”
Michael Tubbs sent the same message to several other League of the South members, Levine reads off some of their names
Levine: didn’t you delete a whole bunch of emails out of your inbox in spring 2019?
Tubbs: … i was having a lot of problems with my ProtonMail account… it was having problems due to being overloaded so I deleted a lot of ads…
Tubbs says his phone was “severely damaged and I had to replace it” when asked by Levine
Levine: you learned about James Alex Fields’ car attack… you weren’t upset for the victim who died, were you?
Tubbs: …I didn’t feel that there was an emotional connection to me or anything that happened…
Levine: you tweeted ‘Fields did nothing wrong’ 6 times in May and June of 2020, isn’t that right?
Tubbs: …i know I did it at least once…
Levine: you did it in response to a car attack in San Jose, CA, correct?… you tweeted ‘Fields did nothing wrong’ in response to a car attack on BLM protesters in downtown Tallahassee on May 30, 2020 didn’t you?
Tubbs: i may have…
Judge Moon: Mr. Tubbs am I correct that you don’t deny you said it at least 6 times?
Judge Moon is pushing Levine to move on from this part, Levine wants to show the 6 tweets to the jury.
Judge Moon: i have ruled you may not proceed with this… he hasn’t denied it
Levine: your honor the tweet itself has it’s own meaning and the jury is entitled to see it
Judge Moon: okay, I look forward to it
Levine: is that your tweet, Mr. Tubbs? and you did that 6 times, correct?… and 3 of those were in response to attacks on counter-protesters, correct?
Tubbs: I don’t know if I’d call them attacks, they were probably defensive measures
Levine: no further questions
First up to cross-examine Michael Tubbs from the League of the South’s Florida chapter is Bryan Jones, lawyer for Tubbs, Michael Hill and the League.
Jones: did you attend the torch march on August 11 in Charlottesville? Did you instruct anyone to attend on your behalf?
Tubbs: No, i was not even aware there was a torch march scheduled
Jones: when did you become aware of the torch march?
Tubbs: the next day, on August 12
Seems like Michael Tubbs’ zoom connection to the court has dropped out or there’s some sort of related A/V issue
Michael Tubbs has disappeared on Zoom – plaintiffs are filling the gap by calling plaintiff Marissa Blair as a witness.
Marissa Blair (Plaintiff) Testimony
Marissa Blair is being asked to introduce herself to the jury – she recently passed the bar and currently works at a financial company. She currently lives in Charlottesville – in summer 2017 she lived in Amherst, VA and was working in Charlottesville at the time.
Plaintiffs’ attorney David Mills: When did you first learn about the Unite the Right event?
Blair: about a week or two before the event happening
Mills shows a flyer for Unite the Right, Marissa Blair says she saw it on social media
Blair: my understanding was that he event was… about the Robert E. Lee statue.. but also to come to Charlottesville to spread hateful ideology… racism…anti-Semitic speech.. there was confederate flags in the flyer
Mills: did you know of anyone in the flyer before you saw it?
Blair: I knew about Jason Kessler bc he was from Charlottesville
Mills: looking at the flyer is there anything that you noticed?
Blair: I got Nazi vibes… not any swastikas but I don’t know what those eagles are… confederate flags
Mills: when did you decide to attend?
Blair: the night before when I saw a video of the tiki torches… it reminded me of something from history books… it was intimidating…I decided that I wanted to go and stand up for the people of Charlottesville
Mills: were you at all concerned that there might be guns at the event?
Blair: No, I’m a big believer in 2nd Amendment rights… I went to high school with guys who had a shotgun in the back of their car…
Mills: did you go downtown on August 12?
Blair: yeah me and my fiancee at the time Marcus Martin drove down there… met our friend Courtney Commander and our friend Heather Heyer…
Mills: who is Courtney?
Blair: a friend who worked w me at the law firm with Heather Heyer Mills: when did you arrive in Charlottesville?
Blair: Around 12:30… after the state of emergency was declared…
Mills: did that fact change your plans at all?
Blair: no, from what knew about the state of emergency.. i assumed it had something to do with the rally but we weren’t going to where the rally was supposed to be located..
Mills: why were you planning to avoid that area?
Blair: I personally didn’t want any kind of confrontation or arguments… I assumed the protesters who were attending the Unite the Right were using intimidating tactics.. didn’t want to be provoked…
Mills: who were you with that day?
Blair: Myself, my then-fiancee Marcus Martin, my friend Courtney, and Heather Heyer
Mills has Marissa Blair draw a line on a map showing where the crowd she joined was marching up Water Street
Mills: when you say you were with a larger crowd at that point, can you describe the mood of the crowd?
Blair: a very happy, joyous crowd, a diverse group of people.. i saw people giving hugs.. i saw clowns in the crowd, people handing out water… happy people…
Mills: was this a crowd of protesters or counter-protesters?
Blair: counter-protesters… that was obvious
Mills: did you see anyone in this crowd behaving violently…any guns or other weapons?
Mills: were you ware of the term ‘antifa’ at the time?
Blair: no, i had to google it
Mills: have you ever been a member of antifa or Black Lives Matter?
Mills: have you been a member of a social justice or activist group?
Mills: were you recording video when you were walking with this crowd?
Blair: Yes I was
Mills plays the first few seconds of the video for the jury, Marissa Blair is taking a selfie type video, Marcus Martin is right behind her
Mills continues playing the video, it shows the crowd chanting, drums are being payed.
Mills pauses the video again and has Marissa Blair point out Heather Heyer in the crowd, Blair says Heyer was wearing all black bc she was going to work & that’s what she wore as a waitress
The video continues playing and then shows James Fields’ car plowing into the crowd, Marissa Blair is trying to find her fiancee Marcus in the immediate panic and aftermath.
Mills: please tell the jury what we just watched
Blair: that is the video I recorded when we got with the crowd of conter-protesters, the sounds that you hear is when the car hit the crowd and the aftermath
Mills: were you hit by the car?
Blair: I was not… Marcus pushed me out of the way
Blair says she saw the car back up and then ran across the street into an alley bc she thought the car might ram the crowd again
Mills: what was your first thought after the car attack?
Blair: I was looking for Marcus… I tried to find him.. I went to where the car…and I found his hat and it was covered in blood… after that I didn’t really want to look on the ground…I kept calling his name…I heard people calling my name and someone found me and grabbed me by the hand and took me to Marcus
Mills: did you know the people that took you to him?
Blair: I did not
Blair described finding Marcus Martin badly injured on the sidewalk
Mills shows the jury the photo of Marissa Blair first finding Marcus Martin on the side of the road.. he shows some more photos of them at the scene, her helping him to the ambulance
Mills: can you describe the feeling at that moment that you had?
Blair: I was confused, I was scared, I was worried about all the people that were there, it was a complete terror scene, blood everywhere, I was terrified… we didn’t know where Heather was…
Mills: when did you first learn that Heather had died in the attack?
Blair: in the hospital, i was there waiting in the room for other people that had been badly injured…
Blair: I was told a girl died so I went to an attendee and described Heather… eventually an officer came and took me in a room and…confirmed.. that Heather was the girl that died.. I was sitting in a char and I literally had to drop to my knees and I sobbed
Mills: please describe your relationship with Heather
Blair: I don’t consider many people friends and Heather. was one of those people.. we communicated via text and saw each other before work, after work… she was one of my good friends… we could talk about anything…”
Mills: were you injured physically in the car attack?
Blair: I was but not as bad as most people…
Mills: please describe those injuries
Blair: i had a large hematoma, a big bruise, on my left thigh… a large gash and a lot of pain on my left side…
Mills pulls up some photos of Marissa Blair’s injuries after the car attack
Mills asks Blair to describe the pain from landing on her side – “I couldn’t laugh… it didn’t heal up on its own so i eventually did seek medical attention for it.. it was a soreness” said she got x-rays and was prescribed various meds, had trouble sleeping
Mills asks Blair about her medical expenses and shows the jury a document summarizing her medical expenses from physical & emotional injuries on August 12
Mills: did you suffer emotionally from the events of August 12 as well?
Blair: yes the emotional suffering is far more than the physical suffering…
Blair describes feeling survivor’s guilt about Heather Heyer’s death – “I’ve never had a friend die, much less like that”
Mills: did you notice that Marcus’ personality changed as a result of August 12?
Blair: he was a lot more frustrated… he couldn’t play sports and stuff like he liked to…became more frustrated at small things.. that affected him mentally
Mills: how did that affect your relationship?
Blair: we argued a lot more, we grew apart after that
Mills: are you still together?
Blair: no, we got a divorce
Mills: do you attribute that to what happened on August 12?
Blair: I do
Mills asks Blair to describe how she’s felt in the aftermath, she says she is often depressed, anxious, struggles with panic attacks and flashbacks. Says she has flashbacks whenever she sees a Dodge Challenger and sometimes when crossing streets…
Blair: i can’t even stay focused to read a book, I haven’t read a book since 2017
Mills: do you think it took you longer to pass the bar because of this?
Blair: yeah.. now i will read a page and have to go back and read it again…my attention has never been like this, after August 12, 2017 it changed my mental state
Mills: did you have emotional issues like this before August 12, 2017?
Mills: do you believe the emotional trauma this has caused is permanent?
Blair: I hope not, I’m working on it every day and I hope. it gets better
Mills is done w direct examination of Blair.
David Campbel, lawyer for James Fields, asks Blair about seeing the Unite The Right Flyer, has no Qs other than one about that.
Chris Cantwell is up next to cross-examine, Judge Moon asks if he can finish in 10 mins, Cantwell says he can’t.
Judge Moon declares a lunch recess now until 1:20 PM eastern time
Judge Moon is back on the bench, court is resuming now Jury is back in, Judge Moon apologizes them for the delay, says it was due to “technical problems.”
Chris Cantwell is about to start cross-examining plaintiff Marissa Blair, a survivor of James Fields’ car attack on August 12 in Charlottesville
Cantwell: you said there were clowns in the crowd that you were marching with? (pulls up a pic) are those the clowns right there?
Cantwell shows a pic to the jury, circles them.
Cantwell: the people you were marching with didn’t have any weapons?
Blair:nnot that I saw
Cantwell: what about any flagpoles?
Blair: I saw a rainbow flag, so there must have been
Cantwell circles a guy w a red baseball bat in the pic he’s showing, Blair said she didn’t notice.
Cantwell is asking if Marissa Blair noticed any helmets, goggles, bandanas on in the crowd she was with before the car attack
“I wasn’t paying attention for bandanas” – Blair
Cantwell asks Blair if she saw anyone with helmets, she said she recalls seeing a medic with a helmet.
Cantwell asks if this means anyone with a helmet would have been a medic, she says not necessarily, just that she remembers a medic with a helmet.
Cantwell is pulling up Marissa Blair’s video from before/during the car attack on Water Street, it’s playing from the start now.
Cantwell asks about the chant “who’s streets, our streets?” –
Cantwell: You don’t think of that as a violent chant, do you?
Cantwell points out red flags, asks her if those stand out in her memory, she says no.
Cantwell pauses again to point out two red bandanas
Cantwell pauses the video again to ask about people wearing respirators, Blair says she doesn’t see any
Cantwell pauses the video again 53 seconds in, asks about a thing around someone’s neck that could maybe be a respirator.
Video pans up to show the police helicopter overhead
Cantwell asks “what’s that on Marcus’ water bottle?”
Blair: it actually looks like a bandana
Cantwell notes this again apparently as part of his ‘bandana defense’
The video just progressed to the part where Fields’ car drives into the crowd, Cantwell lets it play through.
Cantwell pauses on a blurry shot after the car attack, asks “can you see this man with a mask on?”
Blair says she isn’t sure that he has a mask on (it isn’t clear from the video at all from what we can see in the media room video feed)
Cantwell stops on another frame in the chaos immediately after the car attack to point out a person with a red helmet on. He points out another person in a camouflage jacket, asks Blair if she saw them, she says she didn’t and she was trying to find her fiancee at the time.
Chris Cantwell: So you had never heard of antifa when you went down to the march on August 12?
Marissa Blair: that’s correct
Cantwell: you went on August 12 after hearing what happened on August 11?
Blair: after seeing a video
Cantwell: who published the video?
Blair: my friend
Cantwell: have you ever heard of a website called It’s Going Down?
Cantwell: have you ever heard of a website called Unicorn Riot?
Blair: not before this case
Cantwell: you said that Marcus was on probation at this time, what for?
Judge Moon: sustained
Cantwell: how would you feel knowing that you were marching with antifa?
Judge Moon: sustained
Cantwell: what did you find out about antifa?
Plaintiffs: objection, irrelevant
Judge Moon: overruled, its irrelevant but not beyond the scope
Cantwell shows an exhibit to the jury – it’s a famous photo of Fields’ car plowing into the crowd.
Cantwell asks Blair if she recognizes a black flag seen in the photo, and a red fist on another flag, she says no
Cantwell: you said you couldn’t read a book since 2017… how long ago did you pass the bar exam?
Blair: in July
Cantwell: so you couldn’t read a book but you passed the bar exam?
Blair: correct, you don’t have to read a book to pass the bar…It was hard to pass but I passed
Blair: it’s difficult to explain how I studied, you read law and learn rules… I did manage to do it but it wasn’t as easy as school was… I could tell mentally that I was not at the level that I was prior to August 2017
Cantwell: no further Qs
No additional defense cross-examination of plaintiff and car attack survivor Marissa Blair, no re-direct from the plaintiffs either so Blair is excused now.
Michael Tubbs, whose Zoom dropped earlier, is returning to finish his cross-examination shortly.
Judge Moon tells the jury that while earlier today he kept plaintiffs’ attorney Alan Levine from showing all the tweets in which Michael Tubbs said “James Fields did nothing wrong”, he will be allowing all of those tweets to be entered into the evidence available to the jury.
Michael Tubbs (Defendant) Testimony, Continued:
Bryan Jones, lawyer for Michael Tubbs, Michael Hill and the League of the South, is cross-examining Michael Tubbs now.
Jones is moving to introduce some video exhibits but says he won’t show them to the jury at this time
Jones: did you suffer any injuries at the rally?
Tubbs: when we encountered the antifa road block I was struck in the head by at least two people… at the stairs i was struck in the head w a BLM sign, i was hit several times w projectiles, I received pepper spray
Judge Moon: Mr. Tubbs your camera is not on your face, can you move it to be in front of your face…you’re still off screen, move to your right… that’s good
Jones: what is the relationship between state chapters of the League of the South and the main League of the South?
Tubbs: we’re basically separate entities from the main group like the states are from the United States
Jones: you’d never met James Fields before Aug 12, never spoke to him?
Jones: Have you ever met Jason Kessler?
Jones: did you ever conspire with any defendants to commit racially motivated violence?
Tubbs: not at all
Jones: no further questions
Richard Spencer (representing himself) is cross-examining Michael Tubbs now
Spencer: on any point during August 11-12 did you happen to see me in your vicinity?
Spencer: have we ever been in any communication at all?
Spencer: no further Qs
Chris Cantwell (also representing himself) is cross-examining Michael Tubbs now
Cantwell asks Tubbs about the April 2017 Pikeville rally, Tubbs says he didn’t attend
Cantwell plays a video from outside the park where the Unite The Right rally was on August 12, 2017 – the video gets paused when the plaintiffs object to the relevance and the lack of foundation for Cantwell introducing the video
Cantwell pauses the video to show a Traditionalist Worker Party member who appears to have been maced, Cantwell asks Tubbs if the guy looks like he was maced, Tubbs said it’s one of the guys who marched into the park – “he was one of our allies, I recognize him from that day”
Cantwell is circling a National Socialist Movement (NSM) banner in the crowd in the paused video, has Tubbs identify it.
Cantwell points out what seems to be a journalist with a respirator on and asks Tubbs about it, plaintiffs object
Cantwell asks Tubbs about TWP members filing into the park as seen in the video, Tubbs says he recognizes them and says their shields were up because people were throwing things.
Cantwell: were their shields all banged up like that before they started marching?
Tubbs: they were fairly new shields
Cantwell is circling pink helmets on counter-protesters
Cantwell circles someone fighting with neo-nazis in the street, asks Tubbs if he recognizes him.
Tubbs says that person “was causing us trouble”, Cantwell asks about if he’s wearing a backpack.
Plaintiffs object “on leading grounds”
Cantwell circles a counter-protest banner with a raised fist and asks Tubbs about it, Tubbs says the fist is “associated with communism and the left in general”.
Cantwell is now fast-forwarding through footage showing brawls outside the park on August 12
Cantwell: when the people who were blocking your path stop fighting, do you go after them more?
Plaintiffs: objection, leading, we move to strike the answer
Judge Moon: sustained
Cantwell pulls up video that shows the League of the South & TWP column marching up Market Street, circles one of the counter-protesters w arms linked in the street, asks Tubbs if he recognizes him. Tubbs claims he assaulted League of the South members in the market street parking garage
Cantwell shows another angle of the same person, Tubbs now says he doesn’t think that is the guy he said before anymore
Edward Rebrook, counsel for Jeff Schoep and the National Socialist Movement, is cross-examining Michael Tubbs now. He asks Tubbs if he had contact w Schoep regarding UTR planning, Tubbs says not a lot.
Rebrook: when did you leave Charlottesville that day?
Tubbs: shortly after the fight in the parking garage
Rebrook: you said antifa threw things at you, can you say more about that?
Tubbs goes on for a while claiming acid, urine, and concrete filled bottles were the “majority” of what was thrown
Rebrook: were you engaged in any planning with National Socialist Movement (NSM) members?
Tubbs: when I got to the campground Friday night Jeff Schoep was there in a meeting but I think all they discussed were the logistics of getting to the parking garage
Rebrook: at what point did you discuss causing violence?
Tubbs: we never discussed that at any point
Re-direct examination questions from Alan Levine being directed to Michael Tubbs now
Levine: you testified on cross that the Florida state chapter was separate from the national League of the South that Mr. Hill was president of, is that your testimony?
Tubbs: yes we have a wide latitude of sovereignty
Levine: but you’re the number two, in the national League of the South correct?
Michael Tubbs (while Zoom audio is distorted in autotune-like fashion): can you define number 2?
Levine: you were the Chief of Staff in the national League of the South… and chief of operations for the national League of the South participating in the event?
Tubbs: chief of operations was Ike Baker
Levine: Mr. Tubbs you were deposed in this case on June 19, 2020… you were shown a video of August 12 and of pushing into the counter-protesters to get into the park, weren’t you?
Levine: you were asked “so your testimony is you don’t really recall the events that you just saw…?”, you said “From the time that I was attacked by the rioters to the time we entered the park it was very fuzzy”
Tubbs: yeah, it was a little fuzzy.
Levine: no further questions
Thomas Rousseau Video Deposition
Next witness testimony to be called by the plaintiffs will be a videotaped deposition of Thomas Rousseau – aka Thomas Ryan, leader of Vanguard America (Rousseau later splintered off his neo-nazi followers to form a new group called Patriot Front)
The video deposition starts with Thomas Rousseau being sworn in, he’s questioned by Joshua Seigel from the plaintiffs’ legal team.
Asked about communications he had about Unite The Right leading up to the event, Rousseau says they happened “sporadically” over Discord Who attended these calls?
Rousseau: various people.. Richard Spencer may or may not have been at them, its possible, I don’t remember exactly. Cantwell may have been at one, I don’t think Matthew Heimbach was at them. Robert Ray did attend a few, one or two…
Approximately how many calls took place?
Rousseau: a handful
Less than 10?
Rousseau: Around 10 perhaps, maybe
How did you find out about these calls?
Rousseau: on the discord server
Who organized these calls?
Rousseau: Jason Kessler
What were the calls about?
Rousseau: mostly for Jason Kessler to talk about what he had been doing… Eliott Kline would talk about …logistics…
Do you remember which organizations were represented during these calls?
Rousseau: any number of them on or off, it had more to do with personalities than organizations
Do you recall any orgs who had a rep on these calls?
Rousseau: Identity Evropa, Daily Stormer (Robert Ray)…that’s probably as much as I can remember right now
At the time of these calls what was your role with Vanguard America?
Rousseau: I did design, managed the twitter account, was a social media manager…
Anything other than social media manager?
Rousseau: I would meet up with my locals but that was on case by case basis
Do you remember the names of any persons you traveled to Charlottesville with?
Rousseau: Robert Ray, a person who I knew at the time named Phil, one named Alex (Rousseau is making a really smart ass face on the video if you can’t see)
What is Vanguard America?
Rousseau: it was an organization which did a variety of things
When you say an organization was it incorporated formally as an entity?
Rousseau: I think it was an LLC
Who formed it?
Rousseau: Dillon Hopper
Where was it formed?
Do you know why Dillon Hopper would say that you formed it?
Rousseau: bc he wants to say that I’m the one who did it…
Do you know any of the officers of VA?
Rousseau: Dillon Hopper, he was president, there was another one named Alex I think he lived in Louisiana, there was another one named Chris, maybe
What was Alex’s position?
Rousseau: you needed 4 people to create an LLC so Dillon had other people hop onto it
Were you one of those people?
When were you first involved with Vanguard?
Rousseau: late 2016
Plaintiffs’ attorney Seigel is showing a series of texts between Rousseau & Matt Heimbach
Heimbach wrote: “meeting tonight at 8 with the organizers, where a lot of details will be hammered out”
Rousseau is shown what he calls a “social media graphic” of a Vanguard America propaganda poster that says “Defend Charlottesville, August 12, Lee Park”
Do you know personally everyone who has posted to a Discord server affiliated with Vanguard America?
Did you read everything posted to a Discord server affiliated with Vanguard America?
Did you keep a list of members of Vanguard America?
What is the purpose of Discord servers for Vanguard America?
Rousseau: to communicate…
Attorney pulls up the ‘Vanguard Manifesto’ on the old Vanguard America ‘Blood and Soil’ website, Rousseau says he was one of the “collaborators” who wrote it.
Rousseau is asked about pictures of nazi flyers posted in public seen on the site – Rousseau says he created some of them
You were involved in planning Vanguard’s attendance at that rally?
Rousseau: in a way yes… I was managing parts of the local party that I was going with… I was involved in… public relations type encouragement of relaying messages from leadership…
And Discord was the primary method you used to coordinate these activities?
You encouraged members to attend the Charlottesville rally?.. on Discord?
Attorney pulls up a post Rousseau made in the ‘Vanguard Texas’ Discord server where he wrote – “Fields dindu nuffin tbh”
Rousseau says it’s “a joke”
Switch to a newer deposition video conducted over zoom – the last one was done in person.
Vanguard America used Discord to communicate with its own members… Vanguard operated different channels and servers on Discord, correct? Part of the reason Vanguard used Discord was to plan and organize the Unite The Right rally in Charlottesville in August 2017, correct?
Rousseau: that seems to have been public knowledge…
Attorney asks Rousseau to read a post from the Vanguard South District discord server. Rousseau smiles and subtly laughs before quickly reading the post: “I think we all agree that there were camps and Jews were in them, and some of them may have been treated rudely in those camps, but the number was inflated to reach 6mil and gas chambers were not used”
Rousseau is shown a series of posts from the ‘Vanguard Texas’ Discord server – it shows Rousseau using various racial slurs for Jews and Black people and waxing poetic about admiration for Nazis. Asked to read the post out loud, Rousseau says “I try not to use vulgarities anymore” and refuses to say the slurs out loud.
Another Discord post by Rousseau in the same Discord server is pulled up where he’s talking about an all white “ethnostate”.
Another January 20, 2017 post of his from the ‘Vanguard Texas’ server says “I want to see jackboots on commie skulls, blood on the pavement”
Judge Moon calls for a 20 minute break.
[Dillon Hopper & Thomas Rousseau are eager to blame each other in this case, reflecting a feud stemming from Rousseau staging a coup inside Vanguard America. Chats UR leaked in 2017 show Rousseau was basically running the org by the time of Unite The Right. Later in 2017, Thomas Rousseau splintered off and took most of the membership and assets of Vanguard America to form a ‘new’ neo-nazi group called Patriot Front. Our 2018 leak reporting from inside Patriot Front shows how they organized.]
Judge Moon is back now – says after the jury is discharged we’ll be hearing about scheduling matters regarding how many more trial days are needed (the case is set to end on the 19th right now but not clear how realistic that is)
The jury is coming back in now, the Thomas Rousseau deposition video has resumed playing.
Rousseau is being shown a series of private messages between himself & Dillon Hopper on Discord on June 19,
2017 Hopper-Rousseau June 19 2017 Discord DMs:
Hopper: what’s going on in Charlottesville? Who are we in contact with?
Rousseau: it’s going to be another rally like the last one…
Vanguard South District’ June 26 2017 Discord post from Thomas Rousseau:
“We are renting a 15 seat van to go to Charlottesville, on August 12th for the Unite The Right…This event is a **BIG DEAL**…”
Thomas Rousseau is now being asked about messages he posted in the Charlottesville 2.0 Discord chat used to plan Unite The Right – Rousseau wrote that ‘@ RCO Nick- TX can represent VanAM‘ (Vanguard America)
Asked if he and Vanguard America helped create promotional materials for Unite The Right, Thomas Rousseau says yes. He’s asked about the Unite The Right poster he apparently helped make that says “join Azzmador and the Daily Stormer to help end Jewish influence in America”
Thomas Rousseau DM to ‘Azzmador’ (Robert Ray): “Hope it gains traction, was I going to be added to this main DSBK server with leadership?” (DSBK = Daily Stormer Book Club)
Rousseau is asked about chats he sent in the Vanguard Southern District discord giving orders about the dress code to be worn at Unite The Right, asked how many Vanguard members were in Charlottesville, he says he doesn’t know.
Rousseau is shown another discord post he made in the ‘Cville Vanguard’ Discord server where he’s telling Vanguard America members “Fascism is fucking beautiful more than anything else, make people know that“
Vanguard America promoted fascism?
Rousseau: okay, sure
Another Discord post pulled up by Thomas Rousseau’s deposition questioner shows shields with the nazi black sun design in a photo that Rousseau posted- Rosseau’s next message says “DS guy’s shields” (These shields were later seen being held by the Daily Stormer crew)
Thomas Rousseau is shown an image he posted in a Vanguard chat that says “crack open a red one with the boys” and shows a communist being hit with a bat.
Questioner goes over how Rousseau sent that violent image 2 days before the Charlottesville rally, as a Vanguard America leader, in the chat just for Vanguard Charlottesville rally attendees.
8/10/17 Discord chat from Rousseau in ‘Cville Vanguard’ server:
“Boys it’s travel day. The bravest sons of the nations are headed across these lands…”
Roussau: this is a very poetic passage obviously posted alongside other jokes…a bit of a jest…
Rousseau is shown this message from the Charlottesville 2.0 discord where he said all member groups of the Nationalist Front coalition would not be “bringing any women.”
Thomas Rousseau is asked about another August 11, 2017 Discord message he sent saying “the leadership meeting has been compromised” asked what he meant by this he claims he doesn’t know.
Rousseau is asked how Vanguard Members got to Charlottesville – he says he was in a rented 15-passenger van, claims he does not remember who drove it. Remembers Azzmador (Robert Ray) was there, is magically blank when it comes to anyone else.
Rousseau is asked to recount the events of the August 11, 2017 torch march on UVA campus, describes lining up & people started walking with the torches along a route, ending up at the Jefferson statue, says he was a little bit away and then saw “people get scuffly” but no details.
At some point you were in a van that went to a parking lot for the torch march?
You got of the van with Vanguard members & ppl who were not Vanguard members?
and many of those ppl carried tiki torches?
did you carry a torch?
Rousseau: I was handed one by someone…
You marched on to the UVA campus…the group was chanting… Rousseau is asked to recite the chants, claims that the “Jews will not replace us” chant may have “been a misspeak”
Did any Vanguard members chant “you will not replace us”?
Rousseau is showed another Discord chat record from the ‘Cville Vanguard’ server on August 11, 2017:
Rousseau chat: “We aren’t open carrying. We have people who are concealed carrying. Those are the rules...”
Another chat is pulled up from 8/11/17 on the ‘Cville Vanguard’ server where Thomas Rousseau wrote: “We have VA security already set for the meeting. We’ll say the torch time and location once it’s finalized”
Rousseau is shown pics from torch rally & related comments posted in chats including the ‘Azzmador’ discord, one of them is a screenshot showing the Vanguard America flag at the torch rally.
“March was a big success guys, hope things are even better tomorrow” – Rousseau chat
Another chat Rousseau sent in the ‘Cville Vanguard’ discord chat read “@ everyone Today’s the big day. head to McIntire park. Carpool as much as possible… Bring any gear you plan to have at the rally“
Rousseau says he was just “passing on” info from Jason Kessler & Eliott Kline
August 13, 2017 chats in ‘Vanguard Texas’ Discord server:
Thomas Rousseau: They caught me in the middle of screaming either “blood” or “soil”
Rousseau: I’m referring to a very unflattering photograph that I’m sure you’ve seen
Deposition interviewer shows Rousseau an image of himself and other Vanguard America members marching with shields into Charlottesville on August 12.
Rousseau is shown another pic of then-Vanguard member Dan Kleve participating in a beating with his Vanguard polo on.
Rousseau is shown another photo of men at Unite The Right lined up with shields with the Vanguard America logo on them – one of them is James Alex Fields, who carried out the deadly car attack later that day.
Rousseau is shown a post from the Vanguard America website – it shows a pic of Vanguard members w faces blurred holding Vanguard shields that seem to be the same shields shown in the previous pic where James Fields was holding one.
The deposition interviewer pulls up the previous photo and has Rousseau confirm that they are the same logo seen on the shields in both images –
Rousseau: “It looks similar”
Are you saying they’re different?
Rousseau: It looks like a similar logo…these look a little different.. this one’s a little oval shaped….
Other than the fact that it’s oval-shaped…
Rousseau: sure we can say they’re the same
So other than a slightly different shape this is the same icon that’s on Vanguard America’s website in exhibit 90?
Rousseau is shown a photo of himself in a Vanguard America polo, next to a man in a Vanguard America hat holding a Vanguard America shield at Unite The Right.
The next pic shown shows Rousseau and another VA member in Vanguard hats and polos. Next to/behind them is James Fields holding a Vanguard shield
Thomas Rousseau is shown another photo that shows Unite The Right organizer Eliott Kline on his phone inside the park at Unite The Right with James Fields standing behind him
The deposition questioner plays videos of Vanguard America members led by Thomas Rousseau marching into Charlottesville as they chant “fuck you f*gg*ts” and “blood and soil”
That was the group that you were marching with that day?
Roussau: i’m not sure if I noticed myself in the lineup…
Let’s watch it again, I think you’ll notice you’re the third individual in the line…
A new video is played now, a closer angle of the Vanguard America group marching in
Another angle of the same moment played just now clearly shows Thomas Rousseau in the front of the line helping lead the marching column of Vanguard members with shields
Rousseau is shown August 12, 2017 chats sent on the ‘Vanguard Texas’ Discord server, after the rally
“Took a deep breath of tear gas and stomped out rolling burning cylinders, while Alex was out there slamming commies in the face”
“We all safe and accounted for guys? Just got out of the lame afterparty…. Can confirm y’all are way more fun to party with…”
That’s it for the Rousseau deposition video, attorney Roberta Kaplan tells the court.
Vasillios Pistolis Deposition Video
Next is a 33 minute video of the deposition of Traditionalist Worker Party member and Atomwaffen affiliate Vasillios Pistolis – its playing now
Vasillios George Pistolis states his full name for the record – he lives in Charlotte, NC
Vasillios Pistolis is shown a racist cartoon he posted w the text “n*gg*rs, Jews… Bad news!”
Were you ever a member of the Daily Stormer Book Club?
Vasillios Pistolis: I was a member of a book club
When did you join?
Pistolis: I don’t recall
Pistolis is shown a June 7, 2019 Discord DM he mad with a discord user ‘Zebo’ (Jason Kessler):
VasilistheGreek: Would it be a problem if we put guys at the monument around 7 AM or 8?
Zebo: No, the earlier people can get there the better
The deposition interviewer is going over messages sent to & from Pistolis about Unite The Right with Ambien Falcon (Jason Kessler) asking about flags and masks being allowed at Unite The Right
Why were you discussing flags with Jason Kessler?
Pistolis: i wanted to know what we are not allowed to bring
You were asking Jason Kessler what you are and are not allowed to bring?
Asked about Michael Tubbs, Pistolis says he thinks Tubbs was already there
Pistolis says Tubbs screamed “follow me” to himself and others on August 12.
Do you agree you had discussions on Discord about bringing flags?
Do you agree that part of why you brought a flag was to use it as a weapon?
Pistolis: I’ve been instructed to plead the fifth
Pistolis is asked about the flagpole he brought – did you use that flagpole for violence?
Pistolis: I’ve been instructed to plead the fifth
Did you discuss violence in regards to Unite The Right?
Pistolis: I’ve been instructed to plead the fifth
Pistolis is showed a printout of Discord messages from inside the Atomwaffen Division, he wrote “how do you get your flags do you have a member that makes them…?“
An Atomwaffen member replied “We have had them mostly printed”
Another message Pistolis exchanged w Atomwaffen guys shows him joking about blowing up Synagogues… Pistolis says “I’ve been instructed to plead the fifth” when asked about that.
To be clear you’re invoking your right against self-incrimination in regards to a message you sent about blowing up a synagogue?
Vasillios Pistolis: I plead the fifth
Pistolis’ posts in Atomwaffen discord:
“we do have security teams assigned
TWP Is main security force
Police are not even letting us conceal carry or carry knives
but my flag pole happens to have staples from a staple gun sticking out
The rally i’m going with several groups“
Pistolis: I may have discussed it on Discord but I invoke the fifth
Did you send a direct message to Kessler about bringing flags?
Pistolis: I likely did
Did you chant Jews will not replace us?
Pistolis: I did
What makes you say that the people surrounding the statue were antifa?
Pistolis: that’s my assumption…nobody else is going to counter-protest us
You were involved in a fight on August 11, corret?
Pistolis: that is correct
You agree that you assaulted a counter-protester, right?
Pistolis: I plead the fifth
You agree that you assaulted a counter-protester next to Christopher Cantwell on August 11th?
Pistolis: I was never criminally charged, and I plead the fifth
Shown a picture of Chris Cantwell macing counter-protesters at close range on august 11, Pistolis pleads the 5th when asked if he helped Cantwell commit assault
He’s then shown an image of himself w a flagpole and a shield on 8/12 at Unite The Right
Is that a League of the South shield?
Pistolis: i don’t know… I saw a lot of shields
The League of the South had white shields, this is a white shield…?
Pistolis: i have to assume
Pistolis is being asked about the definition of a ‘shield wall’ and Michael Tubbs being involved in street fighting involving the shield wall. Pistolis is shown another pic of himself cranking up an upside-down flagpole clearly cranking it up to whack someone
Did you use the flag as a weapon?
Pistolis: I’ve been instructed to plead the fifth
Is this a fair and accurate depiction of you in Charlottesville on August 2017?
Another pic shown to Pistolis by the deposition interviewer shows him with the same flag, mid-swing (the flag pole is blurry and clearly mid-strike in the pic.)
How many people did you beat with the flag pole…how many times did you use your flag pole as a weapon.. on August 12?
Pistolis: I invoke the fifth
Yet another pic is shown of Vasillios Pistolis clearly beating a fallen counter-protester with his flagpole
The deposition interviewer is playing a video clip for Vasillios Pistolis – it shows the street brawl outside Unite The Right the morning of August 12 – Pistolis can be seen in the video hitting people with his flagpole, running across the frame after Michael Tubbs
You’re assaulting counter-protesters with your flagpole?
Pistolis: I invoke the fifth
Did Michael Tubbs assist you in assaulting counter-protesters with your flagpole on August 12?
Pistolis: I invoke the fifth
Another video clip is played showing Pistolis using his flagpole to strike people, he pleads the fifth again.
Who is Nigel Krofta?
Pistolis: A guy I know
Pistolis: How did you meet him?
Pistolis: I met him in Charlottesville… we became friends on FB
Pistolis is shown a pic of Nigel Krofta – a guy w combed-over blonde hair and purple paint splattered over him.
Pistolis is shown another pic from before and Nigel Krofta is circled in the pic. Another pic is shown w Krofta standing next to James Fields in the park
Pistolis is played a video of people marching into Charlottesville on August 12, 2017 – the small group of men in white polos included James Fields The video is replayed to show Nigel Krofta walking nearby James Fields.
August 12, 2017 Discord post from Vasillios Pistolis shows a black sun flag with blood on it – the discord post reads “not my blood“.
Were you bragging about assaulting counter-protesters?
Pistolis: I plead the fifth
A tweet by Pistolis is shown where he wrote “GG member made antifa bleed yesterday after curb stomping him after the #Charlottesville rally“
Asked several Qs about the tweet, Pistolis says he pleads the 5th
Is it fair to say you were bragging about hurting a counter-protester to Unite The Right in this post?
Pistolis: I plead the 5th
Pistolis post on August 12 in Atomwaffen Discord: “Today cracked 3 skulls open with virtually no damage to myself”
You cracked 3 skulls open?
Pistolis: I invoke the 5th
In fact Michael Tubbs encouraged you to crack skulls open on August 12th?
Pistolis: i plead the fifth
You believe James Fields did nothing wrong?
You believe Heather Heyer died of a heart attack?
You believe James Fields was a hero… why is he a hero?
Pistolis: for going to jail after he did nothing wrong
Pistolis posts in Atomwaffen discord: “This guy is a hero to bad he killed just 1 land whale“
You’re referring to James Fields and Heather Heyer?
Pistolis is shown a tweet he sent w text “f*gg*t” with an image of a car like Fields’ running someone over, it says “good night left side.”
Pistolis said he posted it because “I thought it was funny” Pistolis is asked about disparaging comments he made about Heather Heyer, he said he called her a “fat cunt” “because that’s what she is”.
The Pistolis deposition video is done playing, Judge Moon is eager to end court for today.
Judge Moon reminds jurors that the deposition videos apply to all defendants except for Cantwell, then he excuses the jury.
Judge Moon asks about the scheduling discussion – Roberta Kaplan says that after emailing with the defendants she thinks the best option is to agree to do the direct examinations of Jason Kessler and Chris Cantwell – says Cantwell has objected (“I’m not sure why”) Kaplan says this would ideally avoid having people have to come to the stand twice.
Kaplan also says plaintiffs can stipulate to compensatory damages to eliminate “two damages witnesses” and if that happens the plaintiffs can be done w their case this Friday.
Kaplan says that would give the defendants a week to put on their case which should be enough to end by the 19th as scheduled. Compensatory damages referenced by Kaplan would include “future medical bills”, defense counsel Kolenich seems inclined to contest damages re: mental health issues like PTSD in terms of medical bills/damages.
Chris Cantwell: i don’t exactly understand the terminology here.. but my intention, since there’s been no evidence of a violent racist conspiracy here, is to move to dismiss after the plaintiffs finish their case… there’s no need to put on a defense.
Judge Moon to defense: do you think defendants could finish their case in three days?
Kolenich: I don’t think so…
Moon: the verdict form is so complicated, it’s gonna take them a long time to do that
Kaplan talks about “maybe going into the next monday or tuesday”
Judge Moon proposes maybe working through this Thursday, which the jury was told they were getting off for the federal holiday. Sounds like Matt Parrott from TWP will be testifying tomorrow.
Judge Moon has left the bench, court is done for the day
Rush transcripts: Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7 | Day 8 | Day 9 | Day 10 | Day 11 | Day 12 | Day 13 | Day 14 | Day 15 | Day 16
Read Unicorn Riot's live tweets from trial proceedings - Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7 | Day 8 | Day 9 | Day 10 | Day 11 | Day 12 | Day 13 | Day 14 | Day 15 | Day 16 | Day 17 | Day 18 | Day 19