A candidate for lieutenant governor of South Carolina says he was interrogated by agents of the federal government’s Joint Terrorist Task Force (JTTF) this week – part of what he referred to as the “political weaponization of labels” and an attempt by federal authorities to “label lynch” him.
Zoe Warren is running for lieutenant governor on a ticket with Harrison Musselwhite – a.k.a. “Trucker Bob” – who announced his intention to challenge incumbent GOP governor Henry McMaster in the 2022 Republican primary election last December.
Warren, 45, is a native of North Charleston, S.C. He currently resides with his family in Lexington, S.C.
According to Warren, federal agents came to his home to question him about his participation in the events of January 6, 2021 at the U.S. Capitol. On that day, a protest of the disputed 2020 election devolved into chaos and violence when hundreds of demonstrators breached the Capitol building and attempted to disrupt the certification of electoral votes.
Warren was in Washington, D.C. on that fateful day. He claims he was merely chronicling the events for The Standard SC, a conservative news outlet.
“They didn’t come to ask me for help identifying people who broke the law (though I have hours of footage),” Warren wrote on his Facebook page. “They came to ask me if I went inside the Capitol. They came with a business card with the word TERRORISM on it. What is the reason for a TERRORISM task force asking an American questions about his involvement in a protest that was Americans protesting perceived bad actions of their own government?”
Warren noted that the agents who paid him a visit were “kind, trained and thorough” and were “consummate professionals.” However, he described them as being “abused” and claimed they were “being used for an agenda.”
“Who will they be weaponized against next?” he wrote. “Soccer Moms protesting school boards that allow porn on library shelves? Native Americans protesting planned oil pipelines through their lands? Black Lives Matter activists protesting perceived offenses? This kind of political weaponization of labels and the government was used against my forefathers in this country to silence them and marginalize their voices.”
Warren speculated that the federal focus on his activities at the U.S. Capitol last January could be due to his political activism – and specifically the fact he is “running alongside Trucker Bob Musselwhite.”
“Was it a plan from someone higher up?” he asked. “Was it politically motivated?”
Warren vowed to mount an effort to work with congressional leaders in an effort to “determine the difference between crime and terror” and to put an end once and for all to “this type of policy perversion.”
“This is an attempt to label lynch me- to put me on a list of potential terrorists and it is happening to too many South Carolinians- it is happening to too many Americans!” he wrote. “We aren’t racial, or religious extremists! We don’t subscribe to threats and political violence!”
This news outlet reached out to the Columbia, S.C. office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Through a spokesperson, the agency declined to comment on the status of any pending investigations.
Stay tuned … we will keep a close eye on this investigation as it moves forward.
In the immediate aftermath of the January 6, 2021 rioting at the U.S. Capitol, I decried the “hoodlums who broke into federal legislative offices and mugged for selfies as they vandalized other people’s property – including taxpayer property.”
I rebuked their destructive behavior as “definitionally disgraceful, dangerous, immoral and extralegal.”
In a word, “deplorable.”
I further called on law enforcement and prosecutors to hold those who participated in the violence accountable for their actions. Accordingly, I support tough sentences for those who engaged in violent acts against law enforcement – and have no problem with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) pursuing such punishments.
Having said that, I certainly believe Warren has a compelling point about the weaponization of government against free expression – especially free expression coming from the right flank of the nation’s political spectrum.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children. And yes, he has LOTS of hats – including that Asheville Tourists’ lid pictured above.
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