In a raid earlier this month, the FBI seized electronic devices and outfits worn to the Capitol on Jan. 6 from a Georgia couple who are linked to the head of a Three Percenter offshoot group.
According to a document obtained by TPM, federal agents seized computers, phones, hard drives, and a black “fraud” hoodie from Donnie and Anne Hyatt of Newton County, Georgia. The couple told TPM they were both present at the Capitol on Jan. 6 along with their children, though they said they did not enter the building.
The Atlanta-Journal Constitution first reported news of the raid, which took place on the morning of Aug. 10.
“This massive flurry of flashing lights, armored vehicles came crashing through my yard,” Donnie Hyatt told TPM in a phone call from Juneau, Alaska.
Kevin Rowson, a spokesman for the FBI’s Atlanta field office, confirmed to TPM that the bureau had “carried out court authorized law enforcement activity at that location.”
The couple said they both socialize with Chris Hill, founder of the “Three Percent Security Force,” which the Southern Poverty Law Center describes as an anti-government militia. Anne Hyatt said she talks with Hill regularly, and that an FBI agent asked her about the militia leader.
The Hyatts provided TPM with a sealing order issued Aug. 2 by U.S. Magistrate Judge Christopher Bly for the Northern District of Georgia, and with a property receipt given by the FBI for items taken. It lists two smartphones, five laptops, hard drives, tablets, and computer towers, as well as outfits that the couple says they wore on Jan. 6.
A DOJ spokesman declined to comment.
Donnie told TPM that he believes he piqued the FBI’s curiosity after posting in a private Facebook group that he had a “private server” on which people could hold discussions.
“One of the agents actually cited to me something that I had said in a private chat on Facebook,” Hyatt said, recalling that he told a “small, private” group of people that “‘Facebook is cancelling people for using patriot-type words,’ so I said ‘you guys should use my private server.'”
Hyatt added that the agent asked him why he said that, to which Hyatt said he replied: “The very reason that you’re citing it to me is why I said that.”
Anne attracted attention after broadcasting a Facebook live video from the steps of the Capitol on Jan. 6.
That video, a portion of which was posted online by Atlanta Antifascists, contains audio from a communications channel, on which one person who is narrating the events says that the “tip of the spear — the MAGA spear — has entered the tyrant, and they’ve broken through the Capitol barriers.”
Interesting detail from Jan. 6 video posted by GA militia member Anne Hyatt to Facebook, before her account came down: Hyatt was looped into one of the communications channels for the DC action.
Channel chatter also supports claim that storming Capitol was goal from the start. pic.twitter.com/Wvmshb6E8u
— Atlanta Antifascists (@afainatl) January 20, 2021
Hyatt denied playing any active role on the channel in a conversation with TPM, and said that she had tuned in to protect her children from “Antifa.”
“All of our friends are generally patriotic Americans, but they had sent us channels to listen to to stay away from the trouble,” she said.
She said she was unable to remember who specifically gave her the link to access the channel. Donnie recalled attending a Stop the Steal rally in November 2020 at which, he said, he was cornered by “left-wing people.” He said that the encounter prompted him and his wife to search for a way to listen in on what might be going on around them, and described the channels they listened to on Jan. 6 as belonging to “Antifa.”
When asked directly about the “MAGA spear” audio, Anne Hyatt confirmed that she had heard it, but that her “understanding is that it was not Trump supporters because of the nature of the channel.”
“She had gone live from the Capitol steps which, in retrospect, probably caused a lot of this confusion,” Donnie Hyatt said of his wife. He recalled that an FBI agent asked him whether he had “at any point been in communication with anybody who went in or possibly had been coordinating it.”
Chris Hill, the leader of the militia with which the Hyatts are associated, did not return emailed requests for comment from TPM.
But Anne Hyatt said that an FBI agent took specific interest in her ties to the militia leader.
“It kinda felt a little bit like they were trying to get to him instead of us,” she said.
“He had said, ‘Chris Hill is really smart in that he gets other people to do his dirty work for him,'” she recalled.
Hill posted a video about the FBI’s raid on the Hyatt’s farm this week to a social network called Clapper.
An archived version of the video shows Hill, shirtless in front of a Three Percenter flag, warning of a “patriot round up.”
“The round up has begun, the police state has begun,” Hill said.
Referring to the Hyatts by their online usernames Honey Badger (Anne) and Liberty or Death (Donnie), Hill repeated that federal agents were interested in them because of their access to the Jan. 6 communications channel.
“They were in D.C., they listened to a channel, listening for Antifa chatter or listening for aggression,” Hill said.
Hill was not in D.C. on Jan. 6., but instead reportedly attended a protest at the Georgia State Capitol that included Chester Doles, a former leader of a white supremacist group.
The Hyatts told TPM that the search warrant execution occurred in front of their daughters, with federal agents allegedly targeting the family with laser-pointed gun sights.
Hill, in his broadcast, referenced Randy and Vicki Weaver, the white separatist subjects of the 1992 Ruby Ridge standoff.
“All you have to do is simply stand on American soil and your constitutional rights are trampled, your life is ruined, and you get raided, Weaver-style, in front of the family,” he said.
Read the documents here:
TPM chose to redact the Hyatts’ address from the legal documents.