Freezing weather didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the 60 or so Trump supporters who gathered outside Colorado’s Capitol today to support a group that claims China rigged the election and predicts the U.S. will go to war against the Asian nation.
The rally, is one of dozens of similar events taking place across the country today under the “Stop the Steal” banner. The Denver event is co-branded with the religious right “Jericho March” (happening today in Washington, D.C.) and a pair of pro-Trump groups.
The Supreme Court’s swift rejection of the Texas lawsuit yesterday didn’t dissuade them either, as they are yet again calling for the court to “Stop the Steal,” which appears to mean cancel the election results and order state legislatures to choose new electors.
It was promoted by the brand-new conservative group United States Election Integrity Project (USEIP). Organizer Dave Roach says the group “sprang out of the chaos after the election.” He acknowledged that the group is new (its website URL was registered on Dec. 4) and linked to national interests. He told the crowd that since its inception the group has grown to over 100 members.
Attendees carried Trump and Gasden “Don’t Tread On Me” flags, as well as handwritten “Stop The Steal” and “Stay In The Fight” signs. One waved a Three Percenter militia flag. The group gathered on the lower landing near Broadway. A pair of women heralded the beginning of the event, one playing a bugle and the other a shofer, which is a traditional Jewish wind instrument carved from a ram’s horn.
Addressing the crowd, USEIP’s Roach stated now-familiar claims that the election wasn’t fair and had been stolen from President Trump. He noted that while some Trump supporters have been calling for civil war, he didn’t think that should happen because he doesn’t believe “fellow Americans” were responsible for rigging the election. Instead he blamed China.
Roach claimed without evidence that Chinese money “funded the voting machines” and that there are “reports of hundreds of thousands of ballots counterfeited in China and sent here to swing states.”
“China was behind everything,” Roach said. “It is not our fellow Americans we will have war with- it is China! The Chinese Communist Party is evil!”
Another group of racial justice advocates and Black Lives Matter supporters occupied the upper area, where they called for accountability for the U.S. Marshalls who shot and killed Ohio resident Casey Goodson, an unarmed black man who was carrying a bag of sandwiches. The two groups mostly kept apart, though individuals did have some polite conversations.
Roach also says his group is responsible in part for the Legislative Audit Committee’s “election integrity” hearing set for Tuesday morning at the Capitol. He says the group worked with Rep. Kevin Van Winkle (R-Highlands Ranch) to initiate the hearing. A message requesting comment from Van Winkle was not immediately returned. This article will be updated with any response.
Several statehouse Republicans have promoted the hearing as an investigation into potential election fraud. The press release specifically references the conspiracy theory that Denver-based Dominion Voting, which provided voting machines and software to almost every county in Colorado and most states across the nation, was involved in a plot to tip the both the national presidential election to President-elect Biden as well as local elections to Democrats.
USEIP supports the Dominion Voting conspiracy theory. In a letter attacking Colorado GOP chair Ken Buck and a trio of Republican county clerks for hosting a voting security panel that concluded Colorado’s elections were safe and secure, USEIP accused them of “an orchestrated, coordinated and manipulative narrative intended to gaslight and pacify the people of Colorado.”