FARGO, ND – Three prominent Democrats in North Dakota donated to the legal defense fund of a man arrested for attacking the office of Republican Senator John Hoeven with an axe.
On December 21, 2020, according to Inforum, a masked man was captured on video entering Hoeven’s office building in downtown Fargo. The man reportedly rang the intercom at the Senator’s office, waited several seconds, and then walked away.
A few minutes later, video showed the man returning to the Senator’s door with an axe.
In the video below, the man can be seen smashing the intercom, smashing and removing the upper window, and smashing the lower window. He then walks away with his weapon.
No one was in the office at the time of the attack. Damage was estimated to be about $3,800, according to a property manager.
With the help of additional video footage and several tips, police identified the suspect as Thomas “Tas” Starks, age 30.
According to police, one of Starks’ co-workers called him “‘politically open and motivated,’ left-leaning, and ‘very active in protests.’”
Another colleague called Starks a “race car with no steering wheel.”
That employee added:
“He goes at everything 100%.”
Another expressed worry that Starks would “behave irrationally.”
U.S. Attorney Wrigley Announces the Arrest of a Lisbon, North Dakota Man for the Violent Ax Attack on U.S. Senator John Hoeven’s Office on December 21, 2020: Thomas Alexander Starks of Lisbon, North Dakota, has been indicted on charges of damaging gover… https://t.co/zGQ2Fc6xVL
— FBI Minneapolis (@FBIMinneapolis) January 22, 2021
Starks was arrested and booked into the Cass County Jail. He was released on bond a few days later.
On Tuesday, January 19, 2021, Starks was indicted by a federal grand jury.
US Attorney Drew Wigley stated after the proceedings:
“The axe attack alleged in this indictment is another attempt to blur the line between threats and speech, resorting to violence in the name of political action.”
“but we will not allow such incursions, and we will remain unyielding in our support of law enforcement, peaceful speech and lawfulness.”
FBI special agent Michael Paul added that such “[v]icious and dangerous attacks … – especially on a government official’s office – will not be tolerated by the FBI.”
Paul went on to say:
“This defendant’s violent and destructive behavior reflects a total disregard for the rule of law. The defendant will now be held to account for his unlawful actions.
“The charges announced today reflect our steadfast commitment to identifying violent criminals, enforcing the law, and protecting elected officials from acts of violence.
Starks’ wife, Laura Starks, organized a Gofundme fundraiser to cover his legal expenses.
In the fundraiser description, she claims:
“Tas has been accused of vandalizing Senator Hoeven’s Fargo office.
“Anyone who truly knows Tas knows that he’s a devoted father, loving husband, kind friend, labor union brother, and someone working to build a better world for all.
“Tas would never pointlessly put his family’s well-being in jeopardy with reckless vandalism.”
“Tas makes his political statements openly and non-violently….
“Tas is a good and innocent man, and we ask you to join to fight to keep Tas free from getting convicted to the fullest extent of retribution.”
Police in Fargo, North Dakota, say they have positively identified the ax-wielding suspect in the vandalism of the offices of U.S. Senator John Hoeven (R-N.D.).https://t.co/G1mZkAZt1F
— andrew (@gilbertstudioz) December 24, 2020
At this writing, the fund has raised $8,400 of a $15,000 goal.
Three prominent North Dakota Democrats have contributed to this defense fund. They are: Ellen Chaffee, the Democrat Party’s nominee for lieutenant governor in 2012, Party Executive Committee Representative and left-wing columnist Ellie Shockley, and Democratic-NPL Party Chairwoman Kylie Oversen.
The Gofundme page shows that Ellen Chaffee contributed $100.
Also according to the Gofundme page, Shockley was the first contributor, with a donation of $500.
In addition, Shockley evidently had a large hand in promoting the fundraiser. According to the Post Millennial, she promoted the fund several times on social media and has a personal relationship with the Starks family through “unions and activism.”
Those posts are not visible at this time on Shockley’s Facebook page, but an archived screenshot at this link shows her asking page visitors to “[p]lease, please, please” share and donate.
In another archived screenshot here, Shockley states:
“I do not regret caring about a young family in my life. Life is pretty meaningless without real relationships with other people. I will never apologize for trying to be there when a family needed it.
“I also firmly believe in rehabilitation, not retribution.”
Inforum also saved a screenshot of Oversen commenting on a Facebook post by Shockley. The original post has now apparently been removed from the site.
Per the screenshot, Oversen wrote:
“oh my gosh! I’m devastated to hear about this. I don’t practice any criminal law, but I’ll donate and ask around for someone who may be willing to help.”
Inforum reports that additional comments by Oversen appear to have been removed.
Despite these apparent efforts to conceal her involvement in Starks’ defense, Oversen did publicly acknowledge and explain her donation.
According to KFYRTV, she issued the following statement:
“I firmly believe that everyone, no matter their socioeconomic status, deserves a full and rigorous defense when accused of a crime.
“The small donation I made won’t even pay for an hour of time with a private defense attorney.
“I plainly and resolutely condemn violence, including against elected officials and public property. My donation does not reflect my views on the incident.”
Her words against political violence are empty. https://t.co/lM24TTBcYt
— Rob Port (@robport) January 23, 2021
North Dakota Republican Party Chairmen Rick Berg was apparently unimpressed by Oversen’s attempts to explain her involvement.
Berg issued a statement condemning Oversen for her actions, saying:
“It is inexcusable that Chairwoman Overson (sic) would be personally involved in supporting a far-left extremist whose violent actions constitute an assault on our democracy.
“Video evidence leaves little in doubt about this attack, so it is unfathomable why ND Dem-NPL officials would lend their name and financial support to a man they refer to as ‘innocent.’”
“We will not be intimidated by violence and extremism – even when it is explicitly and sadly endorsed by our opposition.”
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Here’s your ‘unity’: More damage reported after far-left rioters engage in vandalism in Portland and Seattle
According to reports, groups of far-left rioters engaged in various acts of vandalism and other alleged criminal offenses in both Seattle, Washington and in Portland, Oregon following the inauguration of President Joe Biden.
Among these groups of rioters were individuals adorning what’s typically referred to as Antifa black bloc.
With regard to the events that transpired in Seattle, Washington, there are reports of at least three people who were arrested during the unrest.
According to Seattle police, one individual had been arrested for property damage, another arrested for assault, and another individual arrested for an alleged burglary and property damage with respect to a Starbucks storefront within the city.
Police have arrested a female from the group for an assault at 2nd Avenue and Cherry Street.
— Seattle Police Dept. (@SeattlePD) January 21, 2021
Images of the property damage that occurred in Seattle were shared by the Seattle Police Department on Twitter.
Among the images displayed are what appeared to be an Amazon Go storefront having been defaced with spray paint and also shattered windows among the William Kenzo Nakamura courthouse.
Police have arrested a man in the 1900 block of Pike Place for investigation of burglary and for the property damage seen in these photos. pic.twitter.com/l2HnB4Tvp5
— Seattle Police Dept. (@SeattlePD) January 21, 2021
The protests which hosted the criminal acts started at around 4:30 p.m. on January 20th in Seattle, which started out initially as a hodgepodge of individuals having congregated at a park before they started to march throughout the streets of downtown Seattle.
Individuals among the group that were marching had been seen carrying signs that hosted such popular far-left slogans like “Abolish ICE”, while other signage present during the protest bore messages generally denigrating both law enforcement and the newly elected President Biden.
Local reporting of the riotous demonstration that transpired in Seattle alleged that some within the group of protesters were hurling objects at vehicles and engaging in targeted harassment of people who were not among them protesting.
Videos also surfaced online showcasing an American flag that was draped out in the middle of an intersection that was lit afire by the protesters. However, the fire was reportedly extinguished quickly thereafter.
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) January 21, 2021
As mentioned earlier, protests and riotous acts of this brand were not only present in Seattle on January 20th – but also in Portland.
According to Portland Police Sergeant Kevin Allen, a group of roughly 150 people had amassed at Revolution Hall at approximately 2:00 p.m. on January 20th in Portland and then made their way over to the Democratic Party of Oregon headquarters.
This Portland-based protest was coined as the J20 protest – which was essentially billed as a demonstration against President Biden’s inauguration and also expressing disdain toward law enforcement in general.
Apparently, this group of people we’re also trying to support the rights of indigenous people.
Portland: Watch shocking footage of #antifa smashing up the Democratic Party of Oregon headquarters. They bring weapons while their comrades use umbrellas to block surveillance video. Video by @Julio_Rosas11. #PortlandRiots pic.twitter.com/KdNNRgIEV0
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) January 20, 2021
Much in line with the typical acts often associated with Antifa inspired protests and riots, the Portland demonstration saw the likes of smashed windows, buildings being vandalized by way of graffiti, and also hostile interactions with police officers who were attempting to maintain order.
Despite a new administration coming into the White House that are compliments of the Democratic Party, it appears those among the far-left are still not satisfied – and are up to the same sort of antics akin to the summer riots of 2020.
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Author: Lizzy Murica