The Daily Beast

The Far-Right Paramilitary Wannabes Feeding Mike Flynn’s Conspiracy Machine

Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast

When QAnon conspiracy theorists descended on a Dallas event hall in late May for their convention, they were met at the door by members of 1st Amendment Praetorian, a tough-talking new volunteer group devoted to running security at MAGA events, assembling “intelligence” dossiers on perceived Trumpist foes, and foiling threats from “antifa” protesters, real or imagined.

Decked out in black shirts bearing their group’s Roman-helmet logo, the self-proclaimed Praetorian members soon found that Dallas was light on antifa. Instead, they helped to bounce a few reporters, including one from The Daily Beast.

The QAnon conference marked a new high-profile stage for the group. Its co-founder, former Green Beret Robert Patrick Lewis, tweeted a photo of himself unfurling a Pine Tree flag—a Revolutionary War-era emblem appropriated by the far right—with disgraced former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and then-Texas GOP Chairman Allen West.

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