Dustin Stockton, Poker Player Turned MAGA Activist, Cooperating with Jan. six Committee
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A man who described himself as a competitive poker player had a big role in organizing the rally that led to the deadly violence in Washington, DC, last January.
Dustin Stockton, 38, from Reno, Nevada, appeared ahead of Congress for a deposition Tuesday, supplying seven hours of testimony to the Select Committee to Investigate January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol. He and his fiancé, Jennifer Lynn Lawrence, who is to be deposed on Wednesday, reportedly are cooperating and ready to reveal what they know about how a rally turned into a riot.
Stockton’s lawyer Josh Ness mentioned his client brought with him a “treasure trove” of documents and suggested that members of the Trump administration and Congress “have very good reason to be quivering in their boots today.”
After darlings and energy brokers of the Tea Party movement and Trump’s very first campaign, Stockton and Lawrence were dubbed by Politico Magazine in a November feature as The Bonnie and Clyde of MAGA Globe. Now their cooperation could reveal important insights about how the Jan. six insurrection was organized and who may possibly have been accountable for mob action that resulted in 5 deaths and 138 Capitol police officers injured.
Just talked to @DustinStockton. He says he spoke with the January six committee for about seven hours and their concerns had been focused on communications rally planners had with members of Congress and senior members of Trump’s group including Mark Meadows.
— Hunter Walker (@hunterw) December 15, 2021
From aspiring poker pro to Mr. Tea Party
As a poker player, Stockton wasn’t specifically accomplished. He has four recorded in-the-money finishes as a live tournament player, like a win in a $150 nightly at Caesars Palace in 2015, and far more lately, a 238th-location finish in a $1,500 event at the 2019 WSOP. But he had a poker mentality that shaped his worldview.
Stockton talked about playing poker in his self-published 2013 autobiography, “Community Organizer: A Tea Party Story.”
“I didn’t have a college degree or any serious career prospects outdoors of the difficult, unpredictable globe of competitive poker,” he wrote.
For a whilst in 2008, he was trying to make ends meet as a forklift driver and on-line poker pro, but would have a change in profession perspective right after his very first kid was born.
Aggravation with the leadership of Harry Reid, then the Senate Majority Leader from Nevada, and with watching the value of his newly bought home in Reno go underwater, drove Stockton to identified the Western Representation PAC. He swiftly discovered his capabilities as an on-line organizer and fundraiser.
In the five years that followed, Stockton went soon after Reid and went from a warehouse worker and component-time poker player to rubbing elbows with political heavyweights like Steve Bannon, who he initial met at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in 2012.
“The thing I often loved about poker is, in most of life, ruthlessness is frowned upon,” Stockton told the Washington Totally free Beacon in 2013. “At a poker table, it is the opposite. The guy with the most strategy and the most ruthlessness is rewarded with all the cash. It’s a quite excellent gig. Politics is equivalent in that the much more you set up your play, the much more you’re rewarded.”
The glowing profile in the conservative publication gave him the name “Mr. Tea Celebration,” and, in it, Stockton mentioned the crossover in between the poker table and politics “is genuinely type of disgusting.”
He also talked about the games he knew of in and around the Beltway.  “There’s a handful of consultants who are very good, but most of the poker games I’ve played in DC, pros would spend to get access to,” Stockton said. “These guys have a bunch of income, and they’re as crappy at poker as they are at politics. It is a beautiful issue.”
Rising MAGA stars
Stockton, alongside Lawrence, worked for Bannon at Breitbart. According to a Rolling Stone profile on the two, they “reported directly to Bannon and honed their skills producing mischief and headlines on ‘special projects’ for his internet site.”
Typically dressed more like folks found in the Palace Station Casino on a random Tuesday night rather than like their ivy-league, Brooks Brother-wearing colleagues, and smelling like cigarettes or weed (to remedy his hiccups, of course), Stockton and Lawrence never cracked via to the interior of the political establishment.
Nonetheless, they persisted, throwing their capabilities behind We Build the Wall, a non-profit organization that utilised GoFundMe to raise a lot more than $20 million that was supposed to be turned more than to the Treasury to create a wall along the southern border with Mexico. The cash raised for that effort never located its way into federal coffers, however, leading to federal fraud charges against Bannon.
As element of that investigation, US Postal agents raided the couple’s RV outside a casino hotel in Mesquite, Nevada, and seized their computer systems and cell phones. Trump eventually pardoned Bannon just before he faced trial. Stockton said there was speak of a “blanket pardon” for anyone involved in the failed We Create the Wall campaign. When those by no means materialized for any person but Bannon, Stockton stated that is when cracks in their loyal support emerged.
“We are just tired of watching folks take advantage of other people and then us getting forced to bear the consequences of it,” Stockton told Politico. “There are a lot of grifters in our space, a lot of individuals who are not acting in excellent faith, and we know a lot about that, and we are prepared to share.”
The cards speak
Stockton told Politico he now believes Joe Biden was relatively elected President of the United States. But final November, he was confident the election was stolen, which led him and Lawrence, who operates with the pro-Trump PAC Girls for America 1st, to get involved in a multistate bus tour spreading election conspiracy theories to angry and impressionable crowds.
People who spoke at these rallies, Stockton and Lawrence incorporated, repeatedly encouraged people to descend on DC on Jan. six, for the March for Trump rally. They both deny cheerleading the Capitol siege when that fateful day arrived, nevertheless, claiming they were frustrated by what seemed like fighting words by Trump and other individuals, and leaving the rally just before violence erupted.
Given that then, it’s not so a lot that the mega-MAGA couple has had a modify of political philosophy, but far more that they have had their eyes opened to corruption surrounding their trigger. They say they see it as their civic duty to aid expose the truth — specifically for these who attended the Jan. 6 rally in great faith.
Stockton told the Nevada Independent on his way to Washington, DC, “It’s critical to us that the hundreds of thousands of folks who did not participate in any violence have their voice heard in the official proceedings. We have as considerably interest and desire as anybody to get to the bottom of the tragedy at the Capitol practically a year ago simply because it has tarnished the peaceful protests we worked so hard to place with each other.”
In an interview with Anderson Cooper following his testimony on Tuesday, Stockton explained how a person so committed to the MAGA cause could have their eyes opened to a different Donald Trump. “In a lot of approaches we bought into what primarily turned out to be a bluff.”
“The buck has got to stop at Pres. Trump.”
Dustin Stockton, one of the organizers behind pro-Trump rallies that took location Jan. 6, tells CNN’s @AndersonCooper that he feels “a sense of betrayal.”
He testified just before the House select committee investigating the Capitol riot. pic.twitter.com/15pMziDY0E
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) December 15, 2021