John Tiegen (center), organizer of the “Patriot Muster” rally in Denver’s Civic Center Park, shortly before the event began on Oct. 10, 2020. (Chase Woodruff/Colorado Newsline)
In social media posts following the violent takeover of the U.S. Capitol by right-wing rioters earlier this week, a surrogate for President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign in Colorado said that “a little fear is always good” and warned that similar assaults might happen in the future.
“Both sides seem to be fed up with government not working for them,” John Tiegen, leader of a group calling itself the United American Defense Force, said in a statement that was posted to both Twitter and its conservative alternative, Parler. “This was ultimately caused by politicians that do what they want for power & greed and not the will of their constituents. … If they don’t wake up there will be more storming and destruction in D.C. and across America in the future.”
“A little fear is always good,” Tiegen continued. “The government should always fear it’s own people.”
Tiegen is a conservative author and ex-Marine who was tapped by the Trump campaign to formally submit the president’s reelection paperwork to the Colorado secretary of state’s office in November 2019. His UADF group is associated with FEC United, an organization founded by controversial Colorado conservative Joe Oltmann, who has been sued over his role in spreading conspiracy theories involving Denver-based Dominion Voting Systems and false allegations of fraud in the 2020 election.
Tiegen’s comments on Wednesday’s chaotic scenes at the Capitol — which left at least five dead, including a U.S. Capitol Police officer — follow unfounded claims by some of his fellow Colorado conservatives that pro-Trump forces weren’t the ones responsible for the violence. In a Facebook post on Wednesday, state Rep. Mark Baisley, a Republican from Littleton, speculated without evidence that the event “matches the signature of Antifa rioters.”
Oltmann and FEC United were among the conservative figures who organized a satellite rally on the steps of the Colorado Capitol on Wednesday, where a pro-Trump crowd cheered the news of the Capitol takeover despite gentle pleas for “order” from some rally speakers.
Tiegen organized the “Patriot Muster” in Denver’s Civic Center Park in October, where 49-year-old rally attendee Lee Keltner was fatally shot by a 9News security guard.
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