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.
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.
Sharon Reavis, a health rehabilitiation counseling expert, outlined the care required for plaintiffs injured in Unite the Right.
This was followed by plaintiff Elizabeth Sines, the leading named defendant in ‘Sines v. Kessler’.
In the afternoon Dr. Nadia Webb for the plaintiffs explained neurological consequences of Unite the Right. (Jump to Webb testimony.)
A video deposition with Burt Colucci from the National Socialist Movement was then played. (Jump to Colucci.)
Finally the examination of Jeff Schoep, leader of the National Socialist Movement and a defendant in this case began. (Jump to Schoep testimony.)
Sharon Reavis Testimony
The plaintiffs have called Sharon Reavis, a health and rehabilitation counseling expert. Reavis has been working in nursing and hospitals since 1966, says she worked on the second ever heart transplant to take place in the USA. Later worked as a medical case manager and a teacher.
Reavis is asked to testify about how various costs are processed in the hospital system, what ends up in a hospital bill
Reavis helped create care plans for 4 of the plaintiffs in this case who were injured in the Charlottesville car attack
Sharon Reavis is going over a ‘Life Care / Rehabilitation Plan’ she created for Thomas Baker
Baker will have X-Rays every year or so to monitor his hip injury, Reavis tells the court. When he gets older than 55, he will need closer monitoring due to the pre-existing injury
Baker’s life care plan is estimated to cost $493,000 according to Reavis Reavis is going over the Life Care /Rehabilitation Plan document she created for Marcus Martin – she estimated Martin’s life care plan cost at over $197,000.
Martin’s plan includes the category ‘vocational services’,
Reavis says this is due to his ankle injury – currently he works w heavy equipment & has difficulty getting in and out of the equipment – says the best thing would be counseling to find a less physically rigorous job
Sharon Reavis also developed a Life Care & Rehabilitation Plan for plaintiff Chelsea Alvarado – Alvarado’s plan cost is estimated at $590,253.61 but Reavis says these plans don’t cover all future costs due to changes and complications
Reavis is shown the Life Care & Rehabilitation Plan she made for plaintiff Natalie Romero who was also injured by Fields’ car – Romero’s total lifetime costs are estimated at $311,430 The plaintiffs are done questioning Sharon Reavis, rehabilitation expert and damages witness.
David Campbell, lawyer for James Fields, asks Reavis to repeat something she said earlier, which is that she isn’t a medical doctor and can’t do diagnoses. Campbell asks Reavis if her plans are based on speculation, she answers no, it’s a certain thing that these medical services will be necessary in the future for these individuals.
Campbell points out $65,000 for MRI & ankle fusion “if needed” in one life care plan, asks if she is aware of any doctor testifying in this case for this specific line item being needed. Reavis explains that this line item was in brackets and not included in the total estimate.
Campbell asks if any future surgery included in the life care plans have been shown as required by a doctor, Reavis says she relied upon a doctor to make these plans, Campbell says she isn’t “allowed to testify to that”- Reavis says she doesn’t know if any doctors have testified.
James Fields’ lawyer David Campbell has been almost invisible in this case so far but is now very involved in interrogating specific costs outlined in the life care plans for victims of Fields’ car attack – he’s asking about costs for counseling, physical therapy etc.
Campbell is asking about whether one of the plaintiffs, Marcus Martin, has had any counseling in the last four years since the attack, Sharon Reavis says he had some right after the attack. “He needs counseling that he hasn’t had since the event to the present?” – Campbell
Reavis starts to talk about PTSD, Campbell cuts her off and says she can’t give medical testimony.
Campbell is now going over plaintiff Chelsea Alvarado’s life care plan, asking about costs for a sleep study and a life coach, Campbell again points out that some services haven’t yet been used…
Reavis: there are many reasons why patients haven’t had access to treatments in the past
Campbell is questioning the need for psychiatric and mental health costs compared to treatments for strictly physical injuries.
Reavis says “support” is necessary for “quality of life” James Fields’ lawyer Campbell has moved on to questioning costs in Thomas Baker’s life plan, asks about costs including lawn care (Baker has a hip injury) as well as estimated future hip treatments Campbell again has Reavis restate that she can’t make medical decisions re: the life care plans without a doctor, Reavis says yes, that’s why I worked with a doctor.
Campbell is asking about injured plaintiff Natalie Romero’s life care plan, asks about justification for the line item for neruopsych evaluation, Reavis says she worked with a doctor on that estimate
Campbell asks Reavis if Natalie Romero has used counseling so far, Reavis says “she doesn’t have the resources”, Campbell has Judge Moon strike that answer, Judge Moon tells the jury to disregard it. David Campbell, lawyer for James Fields, is done cross-examining Sharon Reavis Sharon Reavis is excused as a witness.
Elizabeth Sines (Plaintiff) Testimony
The next witness called to testify by the plaintiffs is plaintiff Elizabeth Sines (you may recognize her last name from the title of this case – Sines v. Kessler)
Elizabeth Sines takes the witness stand and is sworn in. Sines is asked to introduce herself – she’s 27, and lived in Charlottesville when she went to UVA for law school from 2017-2019
Q: Please tell the jury why you’re here today
Sines: I’m here because of the harm done to me on August 11 and 12, 2017… I want those who harmed me to be held accountable
Sines says that at the time she was working with homeless veterans in Baltimore, came back in Charlottesville in August 2017 to do on-campus recruiting. Sines also said she came back to Charlottesville from Baltimore in summer 2017 to counter-protest the KKK rally in July
Q: had you ever been to a KKK rally before?
Q: had you ever had contact with the KKK before?
Sines: a lot of activity in my hometown, they would recruit with flyers etc
Sines is asked what she saw at the July 2017 KKK rally, she said she saw counter-protesters singing and chanting, and saw KKK members in full Klan robes.
Elizabeth Sines says attending that event made it feel more important for her to counter-protest on August 12 – says she thought the lack of violence at the KKK event was due to the large size of the counter-protest.
Sines left Charlottesville for Baltimore after the July KKK rally but then returned to town in August for the on-campus recruiting. She said she had learned about Unite The Right earlier in the summer and found out about the August 11 torch light rally that night on twitter
Sines says the plans for the torch rally on UVA campus were shocking because school wasn’t in session, “I couldn’t believe it was happening on campus… I was worried about people’s safety… that was really alarming to me.”
Sines says she went with some friends to UVA that night and they didn’t find a counter-protest when they arrived so they walked to the lawn on campus, figuring that would be a good place to start since its the center of campus.
At first Sines says she saw nothing but “you heard it before you saw it…. you could hear chanting… as they got closer i heard “you will not replace us” and “Jews will not replace us” and then she saw the torches coming up.
Sines says she “froze” and became incredibly nervous and worried when she saw the torches, worried for the safety of her Asian friend who was with her. “We didn’t know what else to do.. I had hardly been to any protests”
Elizabeth Sines says since she didn’t see any counter-protesters she felt it was important to record and let people know what was happening – she took video with Facebook Live on her phone
Sines says she decided to “report” on the events and said she felt like a “reporter in a war zone” or chasing a hurricane.
The plaintiffs’ attorney pulls up a clip from Sines’ video that she took that night, the chants of “jews will not replace us” drown out her narration
Sines says that clip of her video shows the torch march passing her on the UVA lawn, walking towards the rotunda and the Jefferson statue. She says she was “maybe 15-20 feet” away from the march when she took the video.
Sines tells the jury she could see “much more clearly” than what is shown in the blurry and dark Facebook Live video
Sines describes continuing to shadow the torch march, walking up to the rotunda where she could see from a “bird’s eye view” the torch march come down to encircle the statue, “it was 10 people deep on all sides” and noticed “about 10 students” were surrounded
Another clip from Elizabeth Sines’ Facebook Live video of the torch march is being played – it shows the view from the rotunda looking downward at the torch marchers having surrounded the statue
Sines’ narration in the video describes seeing the ‘VA Students Act Against White Supremacy’ banner – the attorney pauses the video and asks her to show where the banner is in the video, with the students by the statue.
Sines says as the torch marchers surrounded the students she heard them chant “white lives matter.”
Another part of Sines’ FB video is played, it shows the moments when the torch rally attendees start beating the counter-protesters, swinging torches at them and spraying mace
The attorney asks Sines what she reacted to when she said “whoa, whoa” in the video – Sines says she saw them pull students off the statue to beat, punch and kick them, describes seeing counter-protesters picked off “one by one” “like cancer cells attacking a healthy cell”
Another 30 second portion of Sines’ video is playing to the jury now – it shows the continuing fights – Sines says “it’s hard to tell in the video, but the torches went out in a wave” – it seemed coordinated.
Sines says the torch ralliers were “celebrating…they seemed happy”
Sines’ FB video from the torch rally is playing again from another timestamp – it shows the torch rally attendees loudly cheering in victory
Q: Did you see any of the defendants that night?
Elizabeth Sines: yes, I saw Richard Spencer… I recognized him by his haircut and later by his face… He came out of this chaos and stood on the stairs on the same viewing platform as us and began giving a speech… or tried to…
Sines heard Spencer yell something like “we have claimed a historic victory… these are our streets” before abruptly turning to leave – “I believe he was fleeing from the scene”
Sines is now being asked about August 12, 2017, says she learned about Unite The Right after the July KKK rally, wanted to counter-protest because she believed a large counter-protest would mean the event would go more safely.
Sines says she didn’t go downtown until around noon that saturday because she had a meeting at her law school in the morning. Says she first found a counter-protest as the state of emergency was being declared and people were being pushed out of Emancipation Park
Q: you mentioned when you got there it was already shut down, can you tell us what you saw when you got there?
Sines: Small groups… mini-demonstrations of Nazis… giving the Hitler salute, just kind of walking around…. Q: did you notice anything about how the rally-goers were dressed?
Sines: some were dressed similarly… others were in plain clothes but had signs or flags Q: did you see the rally-goers holding anything other than flags or signs?
Sines: yes, I saw flags, signs, sometimes poles, some drums, and guns, I saw a lot of guns… both very large guns and also smaller guns, handguns on people’s hips…
Q: the night before it felt important to record what you saw, did you end up doing the same thing on August 12?…How did you record?
Sines: the same way, on my Facebook livestream
Sines says she ended up marching with a counter-protest that converged with another counter-protest, says people seemed happy and celebratory because they’re didn’t seem to be any nazis or white nationalists in the area
Sines is asked how the crowd compared to the width of 4th street, she says it was a pretty narrow street
The plaintiffs’ attorney shows a partial aerial map of downtown Charlottesville focused on the area including the intersection of 4th & Water streets.
Asked to describe the scene, Sines says the street was “packed…it was a tight squeeze…”
Can you talk about what happened when you turned up 4th street?
Sines (holding back tears):… you heard it before you saw it, it’s something i’ll never forget.. like if you took a metal baseball bat and scraped it along a wooden fence…thumps.. you heard people screaming…
Sines: I don’t know I got to the side of the road but I did… I jumped… I turned around… in my mind I can still see it in slow motion… you just see a car flying down the road crashing into a large group and crash into a car at the base of the road…
Sines: …at first I thought it was an accident… but then he started to reverse..so I knew he was trying to kill as many people as he could… people were panicking trying to get out of a tiny packed street… I heard someone scream “get into the alleys”
Sines: …we went into an alley and just stayed on some stairs
How close to the car were you?
Sines: at first I was immediately in front… when i had pressed myself up on the building… maybe 4 feet, 5 feet
Sines describes running away and having to jump over unconscious people on the ground who had been hit by the car… says shortly after that she remembers hugging and comforting someone who had just seen her friend get hit by the car. Describing running down an alley and looking back, Sines describes seeing “carnage… people having panic attacks everywhere… people severely injured, blood… people trying to shield injured people receiving treatment with their banners…”
Judge Moon had the court take a break – court should be back in ten mins or so
Court is back in session – plaintiff Elizabeth Sines’ testimony resuming momentarily
The court is being shown a picture of James Fields’ car barreling down Water Street towards the crowd – Sines circles herself in the photo – she’s right in front of the car
Q: How were you able to get out of the way?
Sines: I don’t know… I don’t remember that moment
The court is being played a ~30 second portion of Elizabeth Sines’ Facebook video showing the march as James Fields’ car plows into the group and then Sines and others rush to get to safety in nearby alleys
Q: at the end of the video you’re just sort of silent… can you tell us what you were feeling…?
Sines: I think was in shock, I was in disbelief…I couldn’t wrap my head around anyone doing something like that
Q: can you describe for us how everything you saw & experienced on the 11th & the 12th affected you in the weeks that followed?
Sines: … I couldn’t sleep, which is something I still experience..if i could sleep I would wake up with a nightmare, reliving it.. seeing myself in that moment..I started having panic attacks..it would just wash over me like a wave…I was so scared all the time…I felt anxious in crowds, I was anxious in my own house… I was worried that the people, the nazis would find me, find where I lived or find where my family lived, and harm them
Q: how many panic attacks did you have in the weeks that followed?
Sines: about 3 times a week
Q: how about now?
Sines: on anniversaries and any stressful events having to do with August 11th & 12th
Q: did you have nightmares?
Sines: I had nightmares of the car attack, and nightmares of the torch rally… like if I had been at the statue, had been one of the students there
Q: have you received any professional treatment for the difficulties you mentioned?
Sines: I saw the school psychiatrist at UVA law.. and a therapist
Q: were you receiving regular treatment at that time?
Sines: no, mental health is really stigmatized where I come from and I thought if I gave it time… things would get better.. but they didn’t… I started seeing someone a few months ago…
Sines describes stopping in Charlottesville on a road trip and walking past UVA campus and having a flashback, says that was the first time she had a panic attack in public and that was when she realized “I needed help.. I wasn’t able to do it on my own”
Sines says she has been diagnosed with PTSD and a depressive disorder related to the PTSD. Says it’s “robbed me of the ability to take care of myself in the way that I used to be able to… basic things that used to come so easy have become much more difficult…”
Direct examination of Elizabeth Sines is done now.
Chris Cantwell, representing himself, is the first defendant to cross-examine her, he’s coming to the podium with his laptop now.
Cantwell: you attended the July 8 Klan rally, you described that as a peaceful event?
Sines: from what I can recall yes
Cantwell: are you aware 23 people were arrested?
Sines: I was not
Cantwell: were you aware police deployed tear gas?
Sines: I might have read about that
Cantwell: you heard about the August 11 event on twitter.. do you recall which twitter account?
Sines: I do not recollect
Cantwell: Do you follow Itsgoingdown.org on twitter?
Sines: yes, I do
Sines: I follow a lot of accounts… for news
Cantwell: so it’s your testimony that ItsGoingDown.org is a news site?
Sines: I haven’t focused on their tweets
Cantwell: Do you know Emily Gorcenski?
Sines: I now know who she is … I did not at the time
Sines tells Cantwell she learned about the August 11 torch rally from “one of the Charlottesville accounts I follow”
Cantwell: are you a member of any activist groups?
Cantwell asks Sines if she knows about activist groups like SURJ and Solidarity Cville, if she learned about the torch rally from them on twitter
Cantwell: did you know that the torch march was supposed to be a secret?
Sines: i don’t know
Cantwell: in the video…you arrive after the torch bearers have already surrounded the statue?
Sines: No, that is incorrect
Cantwell: you get to the area where the Thomas Jefferson statue is after they surround the statue..when you approached the Jefferson monument they’ve already surrounded the monument… do you know who started the fighting..?
Sines: I do not… I did not see any students start fighting.. I saw nazi pulling them down unprovoked, punches, kicks, fluids…
Cantwell: in one moment you said it was systematic and another you said chaotic, which was it?
Sines: I think it was both…
Cantwell: are you certain that all those people down there were either nazis or students?
Sines: I saw the banner that said ‘Students’… but no I didn’t know who everyone was
Cantwell: are you aware that Emily Gorcenski was there?
Sines: I was not aware
Cantwell: do you now know that Emily Gorcenski was there?
Sines: I know that from you… I’ve seen you talk about it
Cantwell: who is [name]? who is [name]? who is [name]? who is [name]?
Sines: I don’t know who that is
Cantwell: suffice it to say, you don’t know everyone who is at the statue?
Plaintiffs: objection, lack of foundation that those people were there
Judge Moon: overruled
Sines: I saw the nazis attack the students and the people around the statue…
Cantwell: so are you sure that [name] didn’t start the fight?
Judge Moon: She’s already said she doesn’t know who that is
Cantwell: have you watched closer video of the fighting that night?
Sines: no, i try to avoid it
Cantwell: so after witnessing this scene that night you decided to go back for more the next day…
Cantwell: …by the time you arrived at what was Lee Park the crowd had already dispersed?
Sines: there were still people around but they weren’t in an organized way…
Cantwell: and then you started a Facebook live video?
Sines…yes I was on Facebook live
Cantwell: where are you when your Facebook Live video begins?
Sines: walking to the area, walking to Emancipation Park
Cantwell: did you broadcast more than one FB live video?
Sines: yes I did
Cantwell: where were you when you started your third FB live video?
Sines: I believe that would have started at McGuffey park… walking to 4th & Water
Cantwell: is McGuffey Park on water street?
Sines: No it is not
Cantwell asks the plaintiffs to pull up their map showing the area with the parks in downtown Charlottesville, he asks Sines to circle McGuffey Park, she says it isn’t on this map.
Cantwell is asking Sines about how Facebook Live works, how the video shows up in a post in a FB feed etc.
Cantwell asks Sines about the timestamp on the video seen in a black & white Facebook screenshot
Cantwell is showing Facebook comments under where Sines went live, asks about an image that seems to be a screenshot of the stream, that was posted under the post with the live video.
Cantwell asks if she recognizes it, she says it seems to be a thumbail
Cantwell circles a person in the thumbnail, asks if someone in the screenshot appears to be wearing a helmet and camouflage, Sines says the image isn’t clear.
Cantwell is showing another Facebook post that Elizabeth Sines made about taking another Facebook post down.
Judge Moon says names of people shown reacting to the post on FB should be redacted
The now-redacted post is shown to the jury, it shows Elizabeth Sines saying she took down her stream of the car attack because it was too graphic and she wanted to protect people’s identities.
Cantwell: were any of the people that you were marching with carrying weapons?
Sines: not that I can recall
Sines: I do remember seeing helmets, yes
Cantwell: …wearing goggles?
Sines: not that I can recall right now
Cantwell:.. did you see anybody carrying baseball bats?
Sines: as I sit here today, no, I don’t recall that
Cantwell: …carrying flagpoles?
Sines: I saw people with flags and a lot of them were on poles…
Cantwell: did you see anybody with pepper spray?.. wearing masks…?…bandanas?
Sines: not that I can recall, no
Cantwell asks about chants on the march, Sines says she remembers chanting but not the specific chants
Cantwell: do you know what antifa is?
Sines: no but I know the term…
Cantwell: did you know the term on August 12… did you understand antifa to sometimes use violence against fascism?
Sines: I don’t recall what I knew about that in 2017
Cantwell: do you know now whether antifa uses violence?
Sines: i don’t know antifa with any certainty…just that they’re anti-fascism
Cantwell: and anti-fascism, that’s something you can get on board with, right?
Cantwell is playing Sines’ FB Live video from before the car attack again, repeatedly pauses it to point out people wearing goggles, someone holding what appears to be a pole, someone wearing gloves, another flagpole, someone with a bandana or gaiter on their face.
Cantwell pauses Sines’ FB Live video of the march leading up to the car attack a bunch more times to point out more bandanas/masks, helmets, sunglasses, flagpoles
Cantwell pauses the video when Sines is addressing a friend, Cantwell tries to force Sines to name the friend under oath but plaintiffs object, Judge Moon sustains.
Cantwell asks about National Lawyers Guild legal observers’ green hats seen in the video, asks Sines if she knows that the NLG “is communist”.
Sines says she is just generally aware of the NLG & the green hats
Cantwell pauses the video to try to make something out of Sines chanting “whose streets, our streets” with the marching crowd
The Plaintiffs’ object to the length of Cantwell playing out this video, it’s 8 mins long and Cantwell is pausing like every 5 seconds.
Judge Moon agrees this is taking a while, Cantwell says he is “almost done” “pointing out the weapons”
Plaintiffs object to Chris Cantwell dancing in court along with the protest chant as he plays Sines’ video- “we understand that this is very entertaining to him”.
Judge Moon says “it would be nice” if he stopped dancing, Cantwell agrees to stand still, goes back to asking about signs etc
Cantwell pauses Sines’ Facebook Live video, switches to showing the screenshot of where Sines posted the video on FB and someone posted a picture of a thumbnail as a comment. Then he again refers to her post the next day about taking her stream down.
Cantwell claims that Sines didn’t want to show “you were walking around with people with weapons on August 12”, raises his voice to the point of yelling.
Plaintiffs object, Judge Moon sustains
“I deleted this video because of how graphic it was and I didn’t want my family and friends to see my sobbing… it’s very difficult to see” – Sines
Cantwell repeats Sines’ words of “graphic” and “sobbing” in a condescending, snide tone
Cantwell is asking Sines’ about how she re-posted her friends’ video showing the car attack while deleting her own.
Sines says she wanted to hide her own emotional reaction, “my reaction is graphic to me”
Cantwell gets more badgering and pushy with questions about the Facebook posts, raising his voice over plaintiffs as they object.
Cantwell asks her about the National Lawyers Guild aagin, Sines says she maybe attended one NLG meeting in law school
Cantwell: what is the National Lawyers Guild?
Sines: …a collection of lawyers… they do legal observing.. that’s about all I know
Cantwell: did you attendance at the NLG meeting come before or after August 12?
Cantwell: how long after?
Sines: I don’t remember
Cantwell shows the court the photo of James Fields’ car plowing into the crowd, circles a black flag and asks Sines if she recalls seeing it, she says she doesn’t recall it or the other flags he asks about.
Cantwell: no further questions
Next to cross-examine plaintiff and witness Elizabeth Sines is Edward Rebrook, defense counsel for Jeff Schoep and the National Socialist Movement.
Rebrook: you referred to the torch rally as a nazi march, can you identify which members of the march were nazis as opposed to.. klan or other groups?
Sines: I don’t know the difference
Rebrook: you went to these events because you were concerned about safety?
Sines: I thought counter-protests contributed to safety
Rebrook: would it not have been safer to not have been around the torch march?
Sines: certainly, but I thought it was..still the right thing to go
Rebrook: did you see Jeff Schoep at the torch march?
Sines: I would not have known him if I saw him
Rebrook: do you recall seeing him near the car attack?
Rebrook: were you assaulted by any of the protsters?
Rebrook: did you receive any injuries from James Alex Fields’ car attack?
Sines: no *physical* injuries
Rebrook asks Sines about which number in the alphabet her last name starts with, and why she was chosen to be the main name on the case. Plaintiffs object, Judge Moon sustains
Rebrook: what are your actual damages…?
Sines: a lot of trouble sleeping, difficulty sleeping, panic attacks and anxiety, hyper-vigilance about nazis attacking me or my family
Rebrook: you said you saw guns… did you see anyone get shot…?
Rebrook: what was your response to hearing the state of emergency?
Sines: i left the area of the park
Rebrook: when did you graduate in law school…take the bar exam?
Rebrook: so you were able to pass the bar exam?
Rebrook: so you didn’t have trouble focusing for the bar exam?
Sines: i certainly did have trouble…
Rebrook: you said you have trouble getting out of bed… are you currently employed?
Sines: yes, at a law firm
Rebrook: isn’t it true that [law firm] is one of the highest grossing law firms in the world?
Rebrook: are you regularly absent or late from work?
Sines: I work from home right now…
Rebrook: do you regularly turn in assignments late?
Sines: sometimes… yes
Rebrook: did I hear you laughing in the video that Mr. Cantwell shared with the court?
Sines: i don’t recall laughing…
Rebrook: no further questions
Next to cross-examine plaintiff Elizabeth Sines is defendant Richard Spencer, representing himself
Spencer: you attended a few demonstrations over the summer of 2017 as a counter-protester – the KKK rally and then the events on August 11-12. You have stated in your testimony that a large counter protest is an important of safety, can you describe that in more detail?
Sines: at the KKK rally… that counter-protesters probably outnumbered the Klan members 10-1 and I think that’s why there wasn’t any violence… it kept the Klan in check, why would they inflict violence on people if they were so outnumbered… that’s what I mean
Spencer: is another way of staying safe staying at home?
Spencer: so you wanted to go out into a hot political situation… outnumbering someone or rescuing someone?
Sines: I felt like I needed to be a good neighbor, using my voice to speak out agains injustice
Spencer: so we’re not talking about safety are we…?
Sines: those are two different things that I’m talking about, I think i misunderstood the question
Spencer is asking Sines about her narrating her videos
Spencer: do you remember talking to the media shortly after the events of August 12?.. does MTV ring a bell?
Sines: yes it does
Spencer: you did give an interview to MTV?
Spencer is playing the MTV video to the jury – the video features Sines talking about events on August 12 where she said there were reports of people of color being attacked downtown
Spencer: was it your feeling that UTR was over at that point [after the state of emergency was declared]?
Sines: I don’t really remember how I felt at that time
Spencer: in this interview you said “they wanted us to mobilize”, who is “they” and what is “mobilize”?
Sines: When I was in McGuffey Park there were lots of counter-protesters, someone there said there were people stuck in their homes in Friendship Court because nazis were intimidating them
Spencer: “Trapped in your home”, is it dangerous to be your home?
Sines: if there are nazis outside and you’re Black…I think it would be very scary
Spencer: …August 11, the torch march.. you were at the top of the steps in the rotunda… doing a Facebook Live video…then you described some events and then you have testified that you saw me. Before August 11 did you know who i was…?
Sines: to some degree
Spencer: what did you know then?
Sines: that you were a nazi, a leader of the nazi party
Spencer: were you on social media in 2017?… Twitter?
Spencer: did you become aware of me on twitter?
Sines: I don’t remember how I became aware of you
Spencer: does the punch ring a bell?
Sines: i don’t know if that’s how I became aware of you
Spencer: did you ever retweet that? [him getting punched]
Sines: I don’t remember
Spencer: you saw me walk up the rotunda, do you remember what I was wearing?
Sines: I believe I you were wearing a jacket, a suit jacket
Spencer: could you give a little more detail… you saw me, was there other people there?
Sines: yes there were, with you
Spencer: around how many?
Sines: maybe 6 or 7
Spencer: did we make eye contact..?
Sines: I don’t remember if you were aware of me, we did not engage
Spencer: you said that I tried to give a bit of an impromptu speech with a megaphone…?
Sines: yes but the megaphone didn’t work
Spencer:…what happened next?
Sines: you quickly left
Spencer: Did I physically confront you at all on August 11?… yell invectives at you…?
Sines: no you did not
Spencer: On August 12 did we encounter each other in any way?
Sines: No, I do not recall seeing you on August 12
Spencer: has anyone ever called you a ‘commie’?
Judge Moon: sustained
Spencer: you’ve referred to various defendants as “the nazis”… do you think upon further reflection that that’s a fair political characterization?
Sines: i just use nazi as a kind of catch-all for people who hate other people because of their race or religion…
Spencer is done cross-examining Elizabeth Sines.
Bryan Jones, lawyer for Michael Hill, Michael Tubbs & League of the South, is cross-examining Sines now
Jones: is it your testimony that you feel safer traveling in groups as opposed to on our own..what about on August 12?
Sines: i wasn’t with a group on August 12, just my one friend
Jones is asking Sines about her interviews to MTV, New York Times, Glamour and a Facebook group called Pantsuit Nation
Jones is done w cross examination now.
James Kolenich, lawyer for Jason Kessler, Nathan Aamigo & Identity Evropa is cross-examining Sines
Kolenich asks Sines about her vantage point from the rotunda looking down the steps to the Jefferson statue
Kolenich: you were at the top of the steps… how far is that from where the statue is?
Sines says she’s bad w numbers, Kolenich has her estimate based on comparing it to distances in the courtroom
Kolenich asks Sines about her testimony that she saw counter-protesters pulled off the Jefferson statue and beaten, asks her about guns she saw on August 11, she says she saw “nazis” with holstered guns
Jones asks Sines about the list of names of alleged antifa people Cantwell asked her about, asks Sines if she wouldn’t know if she saw them with a gun… Sines says she saw people in the torch march w guns.
Kolenich is done w cross-examination.
Plaintiff Elizabeth Sines is dismissed as a witness.
Judge Moon calls for a lunch recess until 1:30 PM. Some scheduling discussion happening now about plans for after lunch- plaintiffs say they will call a Dr. Nadia Webb as well as play some other videos (likely depositions?) and will be calling National Socialist Movement leader Jeff Schoep as a hostile witness
Judge Moon may also today be reading jurors “facts deemed” as to non-responsive defendants Robert ‘Azzmador’ Ray and Eliott Kline
Plaintiffs’ attorney Roberta Kaplan points out how long Cantwell’s cross-examination took today and says she anticipates issues with his defense case as he plans to play a two hour video.
Judge Moon is done talking about schedule issues etc, court is out for lunch for real now.
Dr. Nadia Webb Expert Testimony
The jury is coming back in now – plaintiffs’ next witness is Dr. Nadia Webb, an expert witness w a background in neuropsychology and other related fields.
Dr. Webb was asked to evaluate the records of plaintiffs Devin Willis, Natalie Romero, Marcus Martin and Chelsea Alvarado for evidence of psychological injuries – says they all met the criteria for major PTSD and a major depressive disorder. 3 of the injured plaintiffs – Chelsea Alvarado, Natalie Romero and Marcus Martin – met the criteria for traumatic brain injury, Dr. Webb tells the court.
Asked to describe how PTSD effects the brain, Dr. Webb says that it hinders the ability of the brain to ‘turn off’ the ‘fight or flight’ response. Says that “human-caused disasters” like assault are more likely to cause PTSD than natural disasters.
Dr. Webb talks about evaluating the 4 plaintiffs using the criteria for PTSD in the DSM-V – plaintiff’s attorney Jessica Phillips goes over slides outlining the DSM criteria.
Webb is now explaining the “avoidance” criterion for PTSD diagnosis in which the person will show “avoidance of distressing trauma-related stimulus” – may seem unaffected because they avoid things that make them reminded of and affected by the traumatic event
“People tend to delay getting treatment and hope it will get better on its own… if often doesn’t” – this criterion can include “social withdrawal”, Dr. Webb tells the court.
Criterion D for PTSD in the DSM is “Negative Alterations in Cognitions and Mood” – this can include both enhanced memory and/or amnesia, viewing the world as more dangerous, a sense of guilt, blaming themselves for things they couldn’t stop… “These are the kinds of things that haunt people after a traumatic event” – Dr. Webb
Webb tells Phillips that like the other criteria, all 4 plaintiffs she examined met this PTSD criterion. Phillips asks Dr. Webb about the duration of symptoms – Webb says the diagnosis isn’t made until these problems “persist for a month.”
Dr. Webb says she evaluated the 4 plaintiffs in 2020 and they all met the criteria for severe PTSD as well as depression. Webb says that PTSD often “travels along with” other issues, usually including depression.
Dr. Webb says that compared to other traumatized people, the 4 plaintiffs she examined had “severe” PTSD.
Dr. Webb also evaluated Marcus Martin, Natalie Romero and Chelsea Alvarado and said they all showed symptoms of a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) (a concussion is a TBI).
Webb says she saw evidence of “stable and permanent impairment”
Phillips: how long does a TBI persist?
Dr. Webb: it is permanent at this point
Phillips is done w direct examination of medical expert witness Dr. Nadia Webb.
James Fields’ lawyer David Campbell has Webb confirm she wasn’t a treating physician for any of the plaintiffs, Webb says no, she was retained as an expert. Campbell asks Dr. Webb for the dates of the days she examined each of the 4 plaintiffs she testified about.
Campbell: did you charge anything for those?
Webb: I did not charge for my time
(Campbell has Webb agree that she will be paid hourly for her expert testimony)
Campbell is asking Dr. Webb about the various medical records she examined for each of the plaintiffs.
Campbell: is it your opinion that all 4 sustained the same level of PTSD diagnosis and for all 3, the same level of brain injury?
Webb: for PTSD they all scored in the 99th percentile for PTSD…when it comes to TBI the grading would place a concussion as a mild TBI… for Romero I think that would be shading into moderate…
Campbell asks if Natalie Romero’s PTSD from being hit by the car is the same as Devin Willis’ PTSD from seeing the car on TV…Dr. Webb points out that Willis’ PTSD originates from violent attacks the night of August 11 but “there are things from both days that contribute to it”
Campbell is going through each of the 4 plaintiffs asking Dr. Webb to specifically explain the source of their PTSD
Campbell asks if the 4 plaintiffs have been undertaking the treatments she recommends, Dr. Webb says she wishes they had but these things take resources
Campbell is done, Chris Cantwell is cross-examining her now
Chris Cantwell asks Dr. Webb “did you say that these people were damaged by words?”
Webb: they were injured by the totality of it… they’ve all be called racial words before …but not in the context of tiki torches, ak-47s
Cantwell: so the combination of the words combined with marching with people with weapons etc… were anyone other than Martin, Willis, Romero… damaged by racial epithets?
Webb: I think you are slightly twisting what I said…
Cantwell: so out of these bills we’ve seen, there’s not a line item for “you got called a name?”
Dr. Webb: No, that would be really silly
Cantwell is done w cross-examination.
Edward Rebrook, lawyer for Jeff Schoep and the National Socialist Movement is cross-examining next.
Rebrook: you mentioned avoidance of pre-trauma activities…would that include breaking off relations with persons they’ve been familiar with for many years?
Dr. Webb: yes
Rebrook: persons with PTSD may feel unwarranted shame and guilt… even if they weren’t responsible for an event?
Dr. Webb: It’s often called survivor’s guilt…
Rebrook: did you specifically mention physical assaults as a common catalyst for PTSD?
Dr. Webb: it certainly can be, especially if it’s done purposefully…
Rebrook: what issues to persons with PTSD have in getting and keeping gainful employment?
Dr. Webb: these symptoms can affect things like getting a job, holding a job, getting along with coworkers… can be hard if you’re not sleeping well to be a chippy interviewee…
“Trauma that is human-caused breaks trust…most jobs are jobs with people” – Dr. Webb
Rebrook: are some people strengthened by traumatic experiences?
Dr. Webb: there’s some debate…
Rebrook: you mentioned human-caused trauma is more likely to lead to PTSD than a tornado for instance…what about intentional exposure to situations likely to cause trauma, such as war?
Dr. Webb: war is probably the one we think of most…combat in particular
Rebrook: is it unusual for persons who have experienced trauma leading to PTSD to actively work in others overcoming trauma?
Dr. Webb: when you get to the endpoint… some people do feel that’s a way to find a silver lining…
Rebrook is done w his cross-examination
A sidebar has been going on for a few minutes, Dr. Webb hasn’t been dismissed as a witness yet.
The sidebar is done, James Fields’ lawyer David Campbell is asking again if Webb had started any of the plaintiffs in 2018 on any of the “treatments that they needed to get better”, she says no
Burt Colucci Deposition Video
Plaintiffs are now playing a video of a deposition of Burt Colucci from the National Socialist Movement (NSM).
Colucci calls the NSM ” a white civil rights organization”, asked if he is a member he says “depends on which faction you’re talking about” – refers to a Detroit faction led by Jeff Schoep and a faction called “NSM Corporation” based on Florida of which Colucci is now president.
Colucci says he joined NSM in 2001, became its chief of staff in January or February 2018, the position was offered to him by Jeff Schoep after the previous chief of staff resigned. Colucci says he got “re-engaged” with the NSM in November 2017.
Later he ended up handling NSM business day to day from February 2018 onward. was previously a Sergeant in the group starting in the 2000s
Asked if Jeff Schoep has provided his electronic devices as evidence for this lawsuit, Colucci says he thought Schoep did.
Colucci says Schoep had an NSM email address but that no one has access to it because it’s “been cancelled… I cancelled the accounts”
Q: Did you specifically discuss w Mr. Schoep deleting that account?
Colucci says he told Jeff Schoep he would be deleting Schoep’s NSM email – asked if Schoep asked him to preserve his email records for the litigation, Colucci doesn’t have a clear answer.
Matt Heimbach used to be in the NSM, Colucci ended up deleting his NSM email account too.
Have you personally deleted any other NSM88 dot org email addresses?
Burt Colucci: no
That’s it for the Burt Colucci deposition video.
Jeff Schoep (Defendant) Testimony
The plaintiffs are now calling defendant Jeff Schoep, former leader of the National Socialist Movement, to testify. Bill Isaacson from the @IntegrityforUSA legal team is questioning Jeff Schoep on his direct examination now.
Isaacson: you were a member of NSM for 27 years… had a leadership position called Commander for 25 years… you were in charge…?
Isaacson: The NSM traces its roots back to the original American Nazi party, correct?
Isaccson asks about the rank structure and titles within the organization – ‘major’ was the highest rank below ‘Commander’
Isaacson: NSM had several divisions, including the “stormtrooper” division for “street action”….
in 2017 you considered yourself a “warrior for the interests of white Americans”?
Schoep: …at the time…
Isaacson refers to a quote where Schoep expressed admiration for Hitler, Schoep admits he probably did say that but it doesn’t represent his current beliefs.
Isaacson moves to strike that last part of Schoep’s answer
Isaacson refers to 2016-2017 statements Schoep made about “international jewry” being “in the thick of the evil that plagues us”
Schoep: is the political ideals on trial here or what because this doesn’t seem relevant to me…
Schoep:… it is possible I made statements like that…I was an avowed anti-semite for a long time
Isaacson: you were also a white supremacist for a very long time…?
Schoep: I don’t care for that consideration
Issacson: do you consider the NSM to be a white supremacist organization?
Schoep: I suppose you could consider it that Jeff Schoep is shown a National Socialist Movement party platform that talks about how only white people can be members of the nation, “we demand that all non-whites…be required to leave the nation”
Schoep says “at one point that may have been part of the platform”
Isaacson: the NSM was also friends with Klan groups while you were commander, is that correct?
Schoep: that is correct
Isaacson shows Schoep a document signed by Schoep – an NSM announcement about discontinuing the use of swastikas and replacing them with the ‘Odal rune’ symbol
Schoep yawns and says “give me just a minute to read it”
Isaacson is going over the several paragraph long statement where Schoep called the switch in symbols a “slight re-branding”
Isaacson: the reason you switched…was to make the National Socialist Movement more palatable to the public, is that right?
Schoep: that’s one reason
Isaacson shows the court a photograph from Charlottesville on August 12, 2017 with an NSM shield with the Odal rune being carried by an NSM member in Unite The Right
Isaacson: you did believe that the Odal rune was significant to the Nazi party?
Schoep: …there was a division of the Waffen SS that used that particular rune
Isaacson: you were involved in helping to organize the Nationalist Front, is that correct?
Schoep: the Nationalist Front was a coalition… the NSM which I ran at the time was part of the Nationalist Front
Schoep: there was no organizing of the Nationalist Front… the Nationalist Front was a coalition of organizations… I helped to facilitate an alliance between organizations
Isaacson:… you helped to organize this alliance… did you do organizational work to help form that alliance?
Schoep: this is schematics… I don’t know what you mean by that (we think by ‘schematics’ Schoep meant to say “semantics”)
Schoep is read his deposition transcript where he said “yes” when asked if he “organized” the Nationalist Front.
Isaacson: the member groups in the Nationalist Front included the National Socialist Movement, it included defendant in this case League of the South, defendant in this case Traditionalist Worker Party or TWP, and defendant in this case Vanguard America?
Schoep: I think so…
Isaacson pulls up a snapshot of the Nationalist Front website where it shows the same list of the member organizations of the Front.
Isaacson: do you recognize this as an email that you wrote to individuals that included Matthew Heimbach on May 4, 2017?
Schoep: this does appear to be an email I sent… The email is shown in court. It shows Schoep writing to Heimbach & others about adding League of the South to the listing of groups in the Nationalist Front – “I just spoke with Dr. Hill and he is on board…”
Isaacson points Schoep to his email signature that includes the website NSM88 dot org
Isaacson asks Schoep about the Nationalist Front website being hosted on the hosting used by the Traditionalist Worker Party, Schoep agrees that was the case
Isaacson shows a list of leaders of the Nationalist Front taken from the Nationalist Front website. Jeff Schoep is the first leader listed with a biography. Others are Matt Heimbach of TWP, Dillon Hopper of Vanguard America, Michael Hill of the League of the South
Isaacson: you were a friend of Matthew Heimbach for many years?
Isaacson: the Nationalist Front described itself as a “voluntary alliance”?
Schoep: sounds accurate
Isaacson shows more materials from the Nationalist Front website – one paragraph reads “the Nationalist Front is a voluntary alliance that movement leaders are encouraged to join in order to pool resource and manpower…”
More writing from the Nationalist Front website shown in court:
“The Nationalist Front will leverage the power of solidarity and scale to raise our voices and our fists against the organized Left and the globalist Jewish oligarchs”
Schoep agrees the quote seems accurate
In his deposition Schoep agreed that the Nationalist Front was “an agreement for members to support each other” and hold their political demonstrations in “a similar way”.
Schoep agrees that in his deposition he agreed that “The National Socialist joined that agreement that you described as the Nationalist Front… you knew the Traditionalist Worker Party… League of the South…Vanguard America… was part of that agreement…”
Isaacson: “At the time of your deposition did you believe that [members of the Nationalist Front] were white supremacist groups?”
Schoep:…in the white nationalist movement, a lot of people don’t see themselves as white supremacists…if you ask me today, sure, they’re white supremacists
Schoep in his deposition said about members of NSM and similar groups: “…they often believe that there’s going to be a race war or a civil war… they have that mindset…”
Judge Moon interrupts to initiate a 20 minute recess.
Direct examination of witness and defendant Jeff Schoep, former leader of the neo-nazi National Socialist Movement who claims to no longer be a racist and to have ‘accidentally’ dropped his evidence phone into his toilet, will resume after the break.
Court is resuming – Bill Isaacson from the @IntegrityforUSA legal team will resume questioning Jeff Schoep shortly.
Judge Moon is talking about how whether or not Jeff Schoep has abandoned his racist views could be relevant in regards to punitive damages but its “not a defense”
The jury is coming back in now
Bill Isaacson (plaintiffs’ attorney): In April, 2017 the National Socialist Movement held its annual meeting in Pikeville, Kentucky… you gave a speech…
Isaacson plays a portion of a video of Schoep’s Pikeville rally speech. It shows Schoep saying “you anti-fascists, you should know by now you cannot face the [NSM] in the streets.. how many times have you picked up your bodies… your injured comrades… off the streets?”
More clips of Schoep’s Pikeville rally speech are played – one where he calls NSM members “the shock troops of the white race” and another where he tells anti-racists “it will be your blood on the ground”
Isaacson shows a group photo from the Pikeville rally – Schoep is standing in the middle of the large group with his arms crossed – Matt Heimbach is next to Schoep, Michael Hill is next to Matt Heimbach.
Isaacson: you’re familiar with the term ‘triggering’, it’s basically the same concept as baiting someone?
Schoep: i suppose they’re the same
Isaacson: would you agree that…’triggering’ was a concept you knew from your familiarity with the white supremacist community?
Schoep: I don’t know that white supremacy and triggering mesh together… I know the word
Isaacson refers to Schoep’s deposition where when asked the same exact question, he answered “that’s fair, I mean it’s something you hear a lot in online talk…”
Isaacson pulls up an email chain between Jeff Schoep & Michael Hill of the League of the South. Shows a May 10 email where Hill wrote “we are in the initial stages for a rally in front of the SPLC..We want to let the antifa & BLM know in hopes they will try to crash our party”
Schoep later replied to Hill: “I remember you saying something about protesting the scum at the SPLC and I would like to be involved with that”
Isaacson shows a snapshot of Jeff Scheop’s VK social media page – the “inspired by” section of his profile says “Adolf Hitler, Cmdr. Rockwell”. “About me” section says “Do not cross my path if you are filthy anarchist, communist, antifa or any other kind of degenerate…”
Isaacson pulls up June 25-26 2017 texts between Jeff Schoep and Jason Kessler
Schoep: Jason this is Jeff Schoep from NSM, Matt Heimbach gave me your # this week…
Kessler: Hey Jeff just seeing your text now I’m available whenever you want to call
Schoep: nice speaking to you brother I’m looking forward to attending your event
7/9/2017 emails between Schoep & Kessler
Kessler email to Schoep: “here’s the invite to the Charlottesville Discord planning server…”
Schoep email to Kessler: “Hails Jason… last year we formed up the Aryan Nationalist Alliance and later changed the name to the Nationalist Front…perhaps Matt Heimbach or Dr. Hill have let you know about that or Vanguard America or one of our partners… …amazing to finally see everyone working together… Do you have a website or link that’s promoting your august event… we will help promote it…there were about 200 of us in Pikeville… I would like you to see what we bring to the table besides experience…men who are battle tested in the streets…”
Isaacson: the “men who are battle tested in the streets” you refer to are National Socialist Movement members?… they are battle tested in the streets?
Schoep: politically, yes
Kessler email to Schoep on July 1, 2017 : “It’s truly humbling to think I can play a part in bringing various factions together…I’m so glad to hear you have a pre-existing alliance with Dr. Hill and Matt…”
Isaacson asks Schoep if he communicated “extensively” with Matt Heimbach about Unite The Right, Schoep contests the word “extensively” but says they communicated
Isaacson pulls up phone records between Schoep & Heimbach, June 4 – August 12, 2017
Isaacson: leading up to Charlottesville you had at least 17 calls w Mr. Heimbach for a total of four hours…?
Schoep: I talked to Matt quite often
Isaacson shows texts between Schoep & Heimbach from May 29-August 11, 2017 – “there are 80 such texts”
“I would have texted often with him during any period, I don’t think this, uhhh, I don’t really understand the question” – Jeff Schoep
Isaacson: another way you communicated with Mr. Heimbach was you would text using an app called Signal, right?
Schoep: it’s possible…
Isaacson: looking at your deposition…
(Schoep said “I believe so” when asked about this in his deposition)
Isaacson: you used a Signal function that would delete messages after a certain period of time?
Schoep: I didn’t say that
Isaacson refers Schoep to his deposition transcript where he literally did say that.
Isaacson: so there is no record of your text messages with Mr. Heimbach on Signal because of the instruction you gave to Signal to delete them within a short period of time?
Schoep: I don’t remember either way… what i said here [ in my deposition]… was speculation
Isaacson: is it your testimony that the cell phone you were using fell into a toilet?
Schoep: yeah the cell phone that I was using did fall into a toilet
Isaacson: you did not produce the emails from your NSM88 dot org account?
Schoep: I gave you all the materials you asked for
Isaacson: it’s your testimony you don’t know if you produced any emails?
Schoep: it was too long to remember… if you have it then I produced it, I’m assuming
Isaacson: moving on…
Isaacson refers to Schoep’s deposition where he agreed that his attitude going to Charlottesville was that he would be “facing thousands of antifa there” and said that antifa was a “broad brush” term used to define any opposition
Isaacson: you do recall that you were promoting on social media attending Unite The Right?
Schoep: yeah that sounds right
Isaacson shows Schoep another screenshot from his VK account – it says “We will be there. Mobilize, and organize comrades, get out there and be active, hope to see you there” about Unite The Right
Isaacson pulls up an 8/9/17 email from Jeff Schoep to an ‘NSM World’ yahoo group with the ‘Subject: Unite the Right be there!’ – he wrote “Do not “just show up”, you will not be able to get in, if you are attending contact NSM Chief of Staff NOW.”
Isaacson: you told NSM members that you personally would be attending Charlottesville 2.0… encouraged them to attend…?
Isaacson shows Schoep a flyer for Unite The Right produced by National Socialist Movement & the Nationalist Front – shows the Nationalist Front & NSM insignias at the top
Schoep: I don’t remember seeing this but it’s clearly something that the group put out
PX-1488 is a VK message Jeff Schoep sent with a ‘Chad Radkersburg” (Peter Tefft) about attending Unite the Right in ‘BDU’ (battle dress uniform) – meeting up w Nationalist Front groups to march in together (“it’s all set already.. this is strictly need to know!!“)
Schoep is asked about meeting up with the Nationalist Front members at the JoAnn Fabrics parking lot before driving together to the Market Street parking garage in Charlottesville. Schoep agrees other alt-right groups arrived separately with different routes.
Isaacson shows a photo of a National Socialist Movement Banner and NSM members with NSM shields and standard flags with the Odal rune symbol on them – as the Nationalist Front column is marching up Market Street to the scene where counter-demonstrators were attacked.
Another photo from behind and above is shown of NSM members marching with their flags in the same column as the rest of the Nationalist Front, right behind the formation of League of the South members with League flags.
Schoep agrees when asked by Isaacson that NSM member Brian Culpepper was in the group that marched up Market Street.
Isaacson: one way that you would identify your allies that day was by the uniforms they were wearing… NSM had an all-black uniform… TWP was wearing all-black.. League of the South was wearing black with khaki pants…?
Isaacson refers to Schoep answering yes in his deposition when asked if he saw Vanguard America members in Charlottesville, if he would see them as an ally
Isaacson pulls up an ‘NSM Media’ video produced with footage from Unite The Right and plays a clip of it- it shows the National Socialist Movement marching out of the parking garage the street with their official shields, flags and banners
Isaacson refers to Schoep’s deposition where he agreed that he heard “racist comments” from the people he was marching with in Charlottesville.
Isaacson shows VK direct messages between Jeff Schoep and Ike Baker of the League of the South –
8/18/17 – Shoep writes “It was truly an honor to stand with our brothers in the League… you guys are… truly street activists.. you have some really solid men in your org… …Spencer [Borum] marched back with us in the last group to get to the ramp and I was really impressed with him…Michael Tubbs who I had not met before clearing the way to get into the park was like a bulldozer. I really like him too” – Schoep email to Baker 8/18/17
Ike Baker email to Schoep on August 23:
“I forwarded the above message to Dr. Hill. He asks that I convey his sincere thanks… His words to me were “IT was an honor to stand with them.. …I have come to the sincere believe that we who were present in Charlottesville and fought the jew-directed communist horde were present for the very genesis of the resurrection of our folk… I have sent a report about future matters via encrypted email…” – Ike Baker/Michael Hill email to Jeff Schoep, 8/23/17
Isaacson plays another video that seems to be taken inside Emancipation Park during Unite The Right, it shows NSM members and League of the South members standing around with their flags and talking.
Isaacson shows a June 4, 2017 VK message that he says was produced by Jeff Schoep as part of discovery in this case. At the end it says “one of my main goals in this movement has been to get everyone on our side to fight side by side against the enemies of our Folk…”
Isaacson shows a “Unite The Right After-Action Report” written by Major Brian Culpepper of the National Socialist Movement, Schoep agrees these reports were part of regular NSM business. Isaacson shows a copy of a NSM magazine whose table of contents shows Culpepper’s after action report.
Culpepper’s report says in part that “on Friday evening a torchlight march…went as planned…”
More quotes from the Brian Culpepper After-Action Report:
“…as the formation moved out into the streets were were met by…an unruly mob of filthy left-wing degenerates…an unholy alliance of homosexuals and self hating whites…a number of fist fights and other physical confrontations broke out as leftist began a feeble effort to stop the forward progress of the determined NF column to reach our permitted rally..” – Culpepper NSM report
Asked about language in Culpepper’s report, Schoep calls it “marketing” and “propaganda.”
Isaacson: when you say propaganda, do you mean making false statements?
Schoep: not necessarily
Isaacson: do you mean the statement is misleading?
Schoep: …embellishment, making it sound amazing…
Isaacson: are you saying that the statements are misleading… something that should not be believed?
Schoep: it depends on what you’re asking about
Isaacson: was propaganda used by the Nationalist Front?
Schoep: I think propaganda is probably used by most organizations
Isaacson: what about you, were you using propaganda as a tool?
Schoep: at times
Isaacson: would the Nationalist Front use violence to minimize the violence against your opponents?… are you saying the National Socialist Movement used propaganda to minimize the strength of your opponents?
Schoep: to, in that sense making the opponent sound weaker than they actually are? Oh, all the time
Isaacson: would you use propaganda to minimize any allegations of violence against antifa?
Schoep: the National Socialist Movement was a legal organization… nobody was allowed to attack anyone… that’s why no one was arrested
Isaacson: so you didn’t use propaganda to minimize any violence by your opponents?
Schoep: you’re mincing words and I’m getting confused by it
Isaacson goes back to the Culpepper after-action report from August 12 – “Commander Schoep himself decked a red with a single blow in self-defense after being shoved…” –
Issaacson: “was that a true statement?”
Schoep: …I can’t speculate… I was struck and my defended myself
Isaacson: did you deck that individual.. did you knock them to the ground?
Schoep: there was.. violence going on
Judge Moon: if you hit him, did he go to the ground?
Schoep: I believe so
Isaacson reads from the after action report that says “our admiration and thanks go out to the professionalism exhibited by the highly trained League of the South who took point in the shield wall that pushed through the opposition…”
The NSM report also applauds “the very tough groups of skins that were right there with them”, Schoep claims ignorance when pressed by Isaacson about his knowledge of the Hammerskins and other known violent skinheads being present.
The NSM report ends with saying that NSM members generally “came away unscathed and proved their mettle” and Isaacson asks Schoep if that’s consistent with his memories – Schoep now says he had liquid poured on him, “balloons” were thrown, claims people around him smelled like pee was thrown on them
Isaacson refers to Schoep’s deposition where he says he went “back to the motel” after the rally and that he “didn’t think” anyone in his group at the motel was injured or needed medical assistance.
Isaacson refers to Schoep answering “I don’t recall” when asked in his deposition if any of his “allies were injured.”
Isaacson pulls the NSM after-action report back up… it says “there was an incident involving a vehicular death which looks like it was in an effort to disengage from a leftist mob attacking an individual”
Isaacson: that’s how the NSM is relating the car attack to its membership, correct?
Schoep: when was that?
Isaacson: this is August 17, after August 12. Is this what was said to the membership about what happened with the car attack?
Issacson: the report says “there were a few minor incidents along the way in which the leftists lost miserably… when not in groups they are pathetically weak…”
Schoep flip flops when asked about this compared to his earlier answers re “propaganda”
Isaacson shows the court a Tweet Schoep sent on August 13, 2017 – “Self defense is beautiful, I knocked out an antifa scumbag who attached us in Charlottesville. Laid him out in the street #JeffSchoep” (That was not a typo, Schoep hashtagged his own name in that tweet)
Isaacson plays video showing the Nationalist Front column marching into counter-protesters on Market Street – you can see NSM flags, League of the South Flags and TWP symbols.
Isaacson plays another portion of the same video in slow motion – points out Schoep in the right of the frame – the video isn’t centered on Schoep but the side of the shot shows him punching a counter-protester.
Isaacson shows another clip of the same scene
Schoep: Now you’re splicing video together??
Isaacson: your counsel has this entire video
Judge Moon to Schoep: were you with that group, in that group of people?
Schoep is silent
Judge Moon has Jeff Schoep stand up and turn around so the jury can see him from behind and decide for themselves if it’s him in the video
Isaacson refers to Schoep’s deposition where he says “how am I supposed to know?” when asked how many “antifa members” were in Charlottesville
Isaacson shows a tweet Jeff Schoep made on August 13, 2017: “It was an honor to stand with U all in Cvill this weeknd. NSM, NF, LOS, VA, CHS…“
Isaccson has Shoep confirm CHS stands for Confederate Hammerskins.
Isaacson shows a photo of Schoep with League of the South leaders and David Duke at a League of the South conference where awards for “valor in last year’s Charlottesville rally” were being given to people involved in the street fighting
Isaacson: did you get an award?
Schoep: I don’t recall getting an award…
Isaacson shows the court an email Schoep wrote on August 15, 2017 to Matt Heimbach. It reads in part, “this weekend we absolutely must keep up what we are doing. The alliance between NSM, TWP and the League is really awesome….Dillon from Vanguard America also came over before the barricades were pushed down looking for me to bring me over to the other side..Your men & the League fought well..I will be telling everyone of the gory and bravery of the NF groups and leaders…We are actually finally fucking winning and that’s because we are all on basically the same page…” – Schoep 8/15/17 email to Heimbach
Schoep: …you’re taking things out of context…
Isaacson is done w direct on Schoep.
Richard Spencer is cross-examining Schoep now.
Spencer asks Schoep if they have ever met before, if Spencer was ever an NSM member, Schoep says no.
Spencer: did I see you on August 11, did your paths ever cross?
Schoep: no, i was not at the torch march
Spencer: on August 12 did our paths ever cross?
Schoep: no Spencer: who was the organizer of Unite The Right?
Schoep: Jason Kessler was the permit holder
Spencer: who was your point man for that rally?
Schoep: .. I don’t know.. Kessler was the permit holder.. I had emails w him
Spencer: no further Qs
James Fields’ lawyer David Campbell is crossing Schoep now – asking him if he had ever met James Fields or ever seen him at any event, Schoep says not that he can remember. Campbell is done.
Bryan Jones, lawyer for the League of the South and Michael Hill and Michael Tubbs, is cross-examining Jeff Schoep now.
Jones is asking about the NSM Media video shown earlier that shows the Nationalist Front column marching into Unite The Right, moves to enter the whole video
Jones: when you marched with the group from Market Street parking garage to the park, Vanguard America was not part of that group, were they?
Schoep: no, they were not
Jones: from where you were standing could you see Michael Tubbs in the front of the line?
Schoep: I don’t recall
Jones: You don’t have any memory of seeing Michael Tubbs at the front of the column?
Schoep: I don’t recall
Jones is done w cross-exam on Schoep.
Joshua Smith, attorney for Matt Heimbach, Matt Parrott & the Traditionalist Worker Party, is crossing Schoep
Smith: this Nationalist Front thing, was there ever a formal document of what the NF did for its member groups?
Schoep: i don’t recall
Smith: nothing that was every signed by all the parties or anything like that?
Schoep: not that I recall
Smith: was there any understanding that the organization would be responsible for the conduct of the member organizations?
Schoep: if i recall correctly there was some sort of agreement saying that all the groups operated independently…
Smith: so it was really just a political alliance right?
Smith: No further questions
Chris Cantwell says he will “start” to cross-examine Schoep but says he wont be done by end of court at 5 PM Cantwell is asking Schoep about the Pikeville rally, if he remembers what the term “Pikeville model” means – Schoep says “typically these rallies were peaceful and police kept both rallies separate”
Cantwell asks Schoep about the police barrier in Pikeville – Schoep says police had “metal fences, police blocking both sides… typically when these groups come together there are violent clashes… so typically people are carrying shields…”
Cantwell: why did you want the police to keep us separate?
Schoep: so there wouldn’t be violence
Cantwell: was it your understanding that police had been coordinated with in Charlottesville?
Schoep: … it wasn’t my rally so I was just showing up…I assumed Jason Kessler would be handling that
Cantwell: at Pikeville did we meet?
Schoep: It would have been very brief
Cantwell: was I ever a NSM member?
Cantwell: no further questions
Edward Rebrook (lawyer for Schoep and NSM) says he has “substantially more” than 3 minutes of cross-examination Qs for Schoep, so Judge Moon ends court for the weekend now.
Trial resumes at 9 AM eastern time on Monday morning.
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