The Guardian has identified an Alaska Assistant Attorney General as a supporter of the Mormon-derived extremist group Deseret Nationalists, which has posted a variety of racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic messages on social media.
The Guardian’s investigation has sparked a review of the Alaska Department of Justice where the attorney works.
Matthias Cicotte, whose job means serving as chief legal counsel for the Alaska Attorney General, has served the Justice Department on a number of civil rights cases.
But evidence from his Twitter issue made it possible to identify Cicotte by anti-fascist researchers, whose evidence was confirmed and augmented by a Guardian investigation.
After the information was presented to the Department last week, Alaska Assistant Attorney General Cori Mills wrote in a statement shared with the Guardian: “The Department of Justice takes the allegations seriously and we uphold the dignity and respect of all persons and requests You that all of our employees are doing the same. “
Mills added, “Having only heard about this late last week, we’re collecting information and doing a review. Since these are personnel issues, we are very limited in our ability to comment further. “
Matthias Cicotte did not respond to repeated requests for comments.
Online, Cicotte, nicknamed J Reuben Clark and Twitter handle @JReubenCIark, has voiced extreme positions on race, criminal justice and religion.
Tweets since deleted and archived by anti-fascists show that he took various extreme positions, including the summary detention of Black Lives Matter protesters; Vigilante violence against left groups; and execution punishment for acts including performing gender reassignment surgery.
The JReubenCIark account was also one of the first and most prominent accounts to promote Deseret nationalism on Twitter with hashtags like #DeseretNationalism and #DezNat.
Desert Nationalists, or DezNats, are a loose association of right-wing Mormons. Previously, they were known to molest suspected enemies online, such as progressive Mormons, LGBTQ Mormons, former Mormons, and political progressives.
Some who identify with the movement wish to recreate Deseret, the region that now makes up much of the interior of the western United States, that Mormons wanted to join the Union, and that was effectively ruled between 1862 and 1870.
Some DezNats advocate the creation of a theocratic secessionist Mormon state, and others have suggested that this be an ethnic white state, a wish that echoes the proposals made by some white nationalists for an ethnic white state in the Pacific Northwest.
Many DezNats flirt with accelerationist neo-Nazi images and spread memes and catchphrases that are adaptations of images and vocabulary associated with the “alt-right” movement.
The report is pseudonymous but left a trail of evidence of Cicotte’s identity archived by anti-fascist activists.
In addition to referring to a prominent Mormon leader and attorney of the 20th century, the moniker is the name of Brigham Young University’s law school, which Cicotte graduated from in 2008.
The report revealed a number of biographical details consistent with Cicottes, from the length of his marriage to the identity of his criminal law professor to his frequent moves and dates various Stages in higher education, to owning a minivan, to the date of buying a house.
There are other clues based on his résumé or contemporary events. In August 2020, the account holder noticed that he was overweight but had lost significant weight, which is a long chronological sequence of photos obtained from his wife’s Facebook page.
The most compelling evidence comes from photographs released by the account that depict the interior of the owner’s home. One shows a distinctive pattern on the brickwork, another shows a similarly distinctive pattern on wood paneling in a kitchen.
The first coincides with a fireplace depicted in two photos of Cicotte’s house posted on the realtor.com website. the second coincides with several pictures of Cicotte’s kitchen on the same page. The pictures of the kitchen also show a layout and countertops to match the picture posted on Twitter.
In a phone conversation after seeing the photos posted on Twitter, Ellsworth Warner, who lived in the house until 2014 when it was sold to Cicotte, said “yes, it’s the same house” and identified the cabinets as being from his mother, Renee Warner.
Another description of the location of his house on Twitter is also consistent with satellite images.
Many of the tweets, nicknamed JReubenCIark, suggest antipathy towards Jews, who have been the subject of hundreds of tweets suggesting that they are involved in conspiracies against white people or that they are already the dominant heights of business, media, or education check.
In 2016, the account sent a tweet recalling a bygone era when “real history was taught in school, angry yentas didn’t rule, white men didn’t play fools.”
The tweet – pointing to the vicious influence of Jewish women and the decline of white men as problems in today’s world – was tagged in two then-prominent alt-right accounts at a time when that movement was at the height of its social media influence was.
In February of that year, in response to the Republican Jewish Committee’s urging for the expulsion of Marjorie Taylor Greene, JReubenCIark wrote that he supported her efforts to “combat the conspiracy theory that Jews do everything by calling every member of Congress they don’t like, exclude ”. Congress”.
The account also regularly denied the reality of anti-black racism, attacked black public figures, and displayed extraordinary hostility towards anti-racist protesters associated with the Black Lives Matter movement. He also made casual racist remarks about other groups, including Mexicans and Native Americans.
In a March tweet, JReubenCIark alleged racism allegations were “purely a tool to control people on the right,” and further asked, “Try to imagine an example of an allegation of racism helping the right or Christians or whites has the last 10 years “.
On June 15 last year, he tweeted about a catchphrase from the so-called Unabomber Ted Kaczynski: “The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and its consequences were a catastrophe for humanity.”
The report also reiterated familiar white nationalist topics of conversation about race, crime and IQ relationships. It tweeted, “Is it ‘white supremacy’ to notice that some ethnic groups have higher IQs than others, based on IQ tests? I believe so and I’m just a Deseret champion. “
JReubenCIark also showed a hostile animus towards Latinos. On June 25 last year, he wrote, “I can’t believe there’s a devoted Latter-day Saint out there who can watch the birth rate collapse among Latter-day Saints and say, ‘Well, hey, at least many Catholics Mexicans come to the US. ‘”
On June 30, when protests were in full swing following the assassination of George Floyd, the account was opened told a Utah BLM follower he argued with on Twitter: “You and all of your lying violent criminal friends belong in jail.” He later added: “#BlackLivesMatter is a criminal company that murders people and destroys property. In a healthy world you would all be in jail or worse. “
Speaking of an incident in Provo, Utah on July 2, in which a man appeared to drive his car into a crowd of BLM protesters, he noted, “Nobody had the right to block their car. You all belong in prison. “
The account tweeted about violence against transsexuals.
In response to news of a Drag Time Story Hour event in Long Beach, California, on October 17, 2017, Cicotte wrote, “This demon should be burned and everyone responsible for this library event should be in jail.”
On August 16, 2019, he tweeted, “People who encourage a child to believe that they are a different sex than what they are (including parents) go to jail for child abuse,” added that “People who perform or assist in sex reassignment surgery on children, the death penalty. “
The report rather forgave accused murderers with right-wing political sympathies.
Regarding the Kyle Rittenhouse case, accused last August of the double homicides of protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, she wrote: “The judicial system will fail. He’s not a cop, he’s being ripped off like James Fields. “
James Fields was convicted last year of the murder of Heather Heyer, who he killed in a car attack after marching with white racists at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville in 2017.
The report regularly advocated vigilante justice against political opponents.
In June 2017, JReubenCIark closed a thread on how best to respond to the left’s characterizations of the conservatives, noting, “If brutal violence is the only way to get rid of them, what do they expect from us ? “