Man Charged For Pipe Bombs Who Itched For ‘War’ Was Just A Big Trump Fan, Lawyer Says

Department of Justice
Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

A California man allegedly possessed several operational pipe bombs and spoke about “going to war” for Donald Trump in the wake of the attack on the Capitol, according to a federal complaint filed Wednesday.

“I want to blow up a democrat building so bad,” Ian Benjamin Rogers of Napa County allegedly wrote in Jan. 11 text messages reviewed by law enforcement.

He also mused about attacking Twitter, Facebook and Gov. Gavin Newsom’s offices, according to an FBI agent’s affidavit.

“The democrats need to pay,” he allegedly wrote. And later: “I hope 45 goes to war if he doesn’t I will … Sad it’s come to this but I’m not going down without a fight.”

Napa County Sheriff’s Office

When police executed a search warrant on Rogers’ home and business on Jan. 15, they allegedly found five “fully operational” pipe bombs and 49 firearms, including “what appears to be a kit-built replica of a MG-42 belt-fed machine gun. The MG-42 was used by Nazi troops during World War II, FBI agent Stephanie Minor’s affidavit noted. Rogers has been charged with unlawful possession of an unregistered destructive device.

But Rogers’ lawyer says he’s simply an “enthusiastic follower of the President.”

“I guess that used to make him a patriot and now that makes him a terrorist,” defense attorney Jess Raphael told local station KGO.

Also among the search warrant haul: A “White Privilege Card” and books like “Homemade C-4 A Recipe For Survival.” Rogers also allegedly had a sticker on his vehicle referring to the “Three Percenter” movement, a loose national network of right-wing militia groups.

The items recovered during the search “indicate that the pipe bombs were not just for entertainment purposes,” contrary to what Rogers told police, Minor’s affidavit alleged.

Department of Justice
Department of Justice
Latest News
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: