The Guardian has identified an Alaskan deputy attorney general as a supporter of the extremist group of Mormon origin, the Deseret Nationalists, which posted a series of racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic posts on social media.
The Guardian’s investigation sparked a review at the Alaska Law Department, where the lawyer works.
Matthias Cicotte, whose job means he works as chief corrections attorney for the Alaska Attorney General, has acted for the Department of Justice in a number of civil rights cases.
But the evidence of his Twitter exit allowed Cicotte to be identified by anti-fascist researchers, whose evidence was confirmed and augmented by a Guardian investigation.
After the department received the information last week, Alaska Assistant Attorney General Cori Mills wrote in a statement shared with the Guardian: “The Department of Justice takes the allegations raised here seriously, and we defend the dignity and respect of all individuals. and ask all of our employees to do the same.
Mills added, “After learning this late last week, we’re gathering information and doing a review. Since this involves personnel issues, we are very limited in our ability to comment further. “
Matthias Cicotte did not respond to repeated requests for comment.
Online, Cicotte, using the nickname J Reuben Clark and the Twitter account @JReubenCIark, has expressed extreme positions on race, criminal justice and religion.
Tweets since deleted on file by anti-fascists reveal that he advocated various extreme positions, including the summary imprisonment of Black Lives Matter protesters; the violence of vigilantes against leftist groups; and an execution penalty for acts including performing gender reassignment surgery.
The JReubenCIark account was also one of the first and most important to promote Deseret’s nationalism on Twitter using hashtags like #DeseretNationalism and #DezNat.
The nationalists of Deseret or DezNats are a loose association of right-wing Mormons. Previously, they were known to harass perceived 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 is now much of the interior of the western United States, which Mormons sought to admit into the union, and effectively ruled between 1862 and 1870.
Some DezNats advocate the creation of a secessionist theocratic Mormon state, and some have proposed that it be a white ethno-state, a desire reminiscent of the proposals of some white nationalists for a white ethno-state in the north. -western Pacific.
Many DezNats flirt with accelerationist neo-Nazi imagery and circulate memes and slogans that are adaptations of images and verbiage associated with the “alt-right” movement.
The account is pseudonymous, but it left a trail of evidence regarding Cicotte’s identity that was archived by anti-fascist activists.
The nickname not only refers to a prominent 20th-century Mormon leader and lawyer, but it is also the name of Brigham Young University’s law school, from which Cicotte graduated in 2008.
The account revealed a number of biographical details that match Cicotte’s, from the length of his marriage to the identity of his criminal law professor, his frequent moves, the dates of his divers stays in higher education, in his possession of a Minivan, on the date of purchase of his house.
There are other clues based on the course of his life or contemporary events. In August 2020, the account owner remarked that he was overweight but had lost a lot of weight, which corresponds to a long chronological sequence of photographs obtained on his wife’s Facebook page.
The most convincing evidence comes from the photographs published by the account, presenting them as depictions of the interior of the owner’s home. One reveals a distinctive pattern on masonry and another a similar distinctive pattern on wood panels in a kitchen.
The first corresponds to a fireplace illustrated in two photographs of Cicotte’s house published on the realtor.com website; the second corresponds to several photos of Cicotte’s cuisine on the same site. Photos of the kitchen also reveal a layout and countertops to match the image posted on Twitter.
In a phone conversation which took place after viewing the photographs posted on Twitter, Ellsworth Warner, who lived in the house until 2014 when it was sold to Cicotte, said: “Yes, it is. the same house ”and identified the cabinets. as having been installed by his mother, Renee Warner.
Another description of her home’s layout on Twitter also matches satellite images.
Numerous tweets under the nickname JReubenCIark suggest antipathy towards Jews, who are the subject of hundreds of tweets suggesting that they are involved in conspiracies against whites, or that they already control the peaks of the economy, media or education.
In 2016, the account tweeted about a past where “real history was taught in school, angry yentas didn’t rule, white men didn’t fool around.”
The tweet – which suggests the malicious influence of Jewish women and the decline of white men as issues in the contemporary world – was tagged in two then-prominent alt-right accounts at a time when this movement was at the height of its influence on social media.
In February of this year, JReubenCIark wrote in reference to pressure from the Republican Jewish Committee for the expulsion of Marjorie Taylor Greene that it supported their efforts “to combat the conspiracy theory that Jews rule while having any member expelled. of Congress that they don’t like. Congress”.
The account also regularly denied the reality of anti-black racism, attacked black public figures, and showed extraordinary hostility towards anti-racist protesters associated with the Black Lives Matter movement. He also casually made racist remarks about other groups, including Mexicans and Native Americans.
In a March tweet, JReubenCIark claimed that the racism accusations were “purely a tool to control people on the right,” then asked, “try to think of an example of an accusation of racism that has helped the right, or Christians, or whites in the last 10 years ”.
On June 15 of last year, he echoed a slogan from so-called Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, tweeting: “The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and its aftermath was a disaster for the human race.
The narrative also repeated talking points familiar to white nationalists about the relationships between race, crime and IQ. He tweeted, “Is it ‘white supremacy’ to note that some racial groups have higher IQs than others based on IQ tests? I believe it and I’m just a Deseret supremacist.
JReubenCIark also displayed a disdainful animosity towards Latinos. On June 25 of last year, he wrote: “I can’t believe there is a faithful Latter-day Saint who can look at the plummeting birth rates among Latter-day Saints and say: ‘ Well, hey, at least a lot of Catholics Mexicans come to the United States.
On June 30, as the protests over George Floyd’s murder were in full swing, the count Told a BLM supporter from Utah who he argued with on Twitter: “You and all your violent criminal friends and liars belong to jail.” He later added: “#BlackLivesMatter is a criminal enterprise that kills people and destroys property. In a healthy world you would all be in jail or worse.
On July 2, referring to an incident in Provo, Utah, in which a man appeared to be driving his car into a crowd of BLM protesters, he said, “No one was allowed to block their car. You all belong to the prison.
The account tweeted about violence against trans people.
On October 17, 2017, responding to news of a Drag Time Story Hour event in Long Beach, Calif., Cicotte wrote, “This demon should be burned alive and everyone responsible for this library event should be in jail.
On August 16, 2019, he tweeted: “People who encourage a child to think they are of a different gender than they are (including parents) go to jail for child abuse,” adding that “people who perform or encourage sex reassignment surgeries on children get the death penalty.”
The account was more lenient towards accused murderers with right-wing political sympathies.
Discussing the case of Kyle Rittenhouse, charged with a double murder of protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last August, he wrote: “The justice system will fail. He’s not a cop, he’s gonna get fucked like James Fields.
James Fields was convicted last year of the murder of Heather Heyer, whom he killed in a car bombing after marching with white supremacists at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville in 2017.
The account has regularly advocated self-defense action against political opponents.
In June 2017, JReubenCIark concluded a thread on how best to respond to left-wing characterizations of conservatives with the remark: “If brutal violence is the only way out, what do they want from us?”