When people take pains to communicate with each other in a covert way, it raises suspicions. However, when Donald Trump’s people behave this way, it’s downright alarming. New evidence about the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol from sources directly involved reveals disturbingly shady planning that further darkens the straight line from the attack to Trump.
According to three people involved with the rally outside the Capitol who spoke with Rolling Stone, Kylie Kremer, a top official for the “March for Trump” conspiracy theory bus tour that began on December 27, instructed an aide to purchase three burner phones before the attack. One of these sources explained that Kremer insisted it was “of the utmost importance” that they purchase these phones in cash.
All three sources said that Kremer used one of the phones to communicate with top White House and Trump campaign officials, including Eric Trump, Lara Trump, Mark Meadows, and Katrina Pierson. They also told Rolling Stone that the burner phones were needed for critical planning communication between top rally organizers and Trump’s inner circle. Amy Kremer, another top rally organizer and Kylie’s mother, reportedly used one of the other two phones while the third phone’s usage remains unknown for now.
This new evidence about the burner phones arrives days after Rolling Stone reviewed group texts in which the Kremers claimed they were coordinating with the Trump team for the rally. Prior to that, sources had already revealed to Rolling Stone that “multiple members of Congress were intimately involved in planning both Trump’s efforts to overturn his election loss and the Jan. 6 events that turned violent.”
The use of burner phones is significant because of what it implies. Burner phones are prepaid cellphones that are meant to be used temporarily. Buying a burner phone does not involve setting up an account and paying for it in cash adds even further to the anonymity. As a result, it’s that much harder for the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack to get a full accounting of the coordination between Trump’s team and the rally planners.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Trump’s inner circle embrace unusually shady communications around highly suspect topics. Perhaps most notably, Jared Kushner tried to set up a secret back channel between Trump’s transition team and the Kremlin in late 2016. According to the Washington Post, which broke this story after the Trump administration finally acknowledged the plan months later, Kushner wanted to set up the channel using Russian diplomatic facilities.
Although Trumps’ penchant for shady communication is disturbing, it is neither new nor surprising. Despite Trump’s attempts to conceal his steps, his efforts are now backfiring, and the truth is coming out. Indeed, the House Select Committee already has its hands full.