Politics, Moderate



We Can’t Let Ongoing Election Lies Become Political White Noise

Rex Huppke, Tribune Content Agency on

Daniel “D.J.” Rodriguez, one of the hundreds charged in the Jan. 6 domestic terrorist attack on the U.S. Capitol, broke down in tears while speaking to FBI agents: “I’m so stupid. I thought I was going to be awesome. I thought I was a good guy.”

He was neither awesome nor a good guy. Just a dupe.

Like many who have embraced former President Donald Trump’s ongoing lie that the 2020 presidential election was stolen, Rodriguez embodied the old saying, “There’s a sucker born every minute, and two to take him.”

Now the California man stands charged with, among other things, tasing U.S. Capitol police Officer Michael Fanone, who was beaten and suffered a heart attack during the insurrection. Rodriguez is facing the possibility of decades in prison and nobody should feel sorry for him.

But it’s worth reading the nearly 200-page transcript of Rodriguez’s March 31 interview with FBI agents to see the shameless mental havoc wreaked by people like Trump and every Republican politician and pundit pimping, or even playing footsie with, a profoundly false election narrative.

It’s a con transparent as a freshly cleaned window. And it’s dangerous.


Most recognize that, but those who continue spreading it are unconcerned with collateral damage to people or democracy, and those rolling their eyes and letting it become political white noise are missing the urgency and tragedy of the matter.

The transcript of Rodriguez’s interview with federal agents was filed Friday by his attorneys as part of a motion to suppress the interview, alleging the man was not properly Mirandized. Rodriguez was arrested earlier this year after he was identified by online sleuths at Huffington Post, an example of the so-called sedition hunters who have scoured photos and videos from the Jan. 6 attack and traced the identities of many insurrectionists.

In the interview, Rodriguez explains why he left his home in California and traveled to Washington for the “Stop the Steal Rally.”

“Trump called us,” he said. “Trump called us to D.C.”


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