Jon Ritzheimer, the face of Arizona’s anti-Islam movement, wrote an open letter to the American people earlier this week in which he declared his intention to drive around the country with other militiamen and systematically arrest and detain U.S. senators who support President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran.
The group plans to invoke Section 3, Article 3 of the Constitution — the part that defines treason as "levying War against [the United States], or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort” — and have them tried in federal court.
Because “America is still at war with terrorism and Iran is the leading sponsor of terrorism throughout the globe,” Ritzheimer explains, Congress members who support the deal are, in essence, adhering to the enemy.
“If these people are innocent, then it should be proven in court. But there is overwhelming evidence stacked up against them that says otherwise,” he adds.
Ritzheimer, the 31-year-old marine veteran who stumbled into the national spotlight earlier this summer by organizing a demonstration outside a Phoenix mosque, has become the de facto leader of a growing anti-Islam movement across this and certain other countries.
He usually uses his selfie videos to rant about the evils of Islam and implore his followers to rise up and join him — he is helping to plan a purportedly global rally against Islam on October 10 — but from time to time this summer he’s gone on long tangents about the Iran nuclear deal.
As for his latest plan, he writes that the “first target” will be Michigan U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow because of his group’s “strong ties with the Michigan State Militia and [the state’s] lax gun laws that will allow [them] to operate in a manner necessary for an operation like this.” And after that, “we will continue to move across the country and arrest everyone involved with the Iran Nuke Deal. Even the President.”
According to Ritzheimer, he’s notified law enforcement about the plan and says he intends “to keep this as smooth as possible so we don’t have another ‘Shot Heard Round The World’ situation.” (A reference to the gunshot that incited the Revolutionary War.)
“I am not seeking fame or fortune,” Ritzheimer goes on to say, adding that he is “humbly accepting donations to help with fuel costs for our convoy.” (Ritzheimer verbally pummeled by his critics earlier this summer after he started a GoFundMe page to raise money for his family to go into hiding because of all the death threats he was receiving.)
Ritzheimer’s had a tricky relationship with the media since his name first started showing up in newspapers and in TV reports. He spoke at length with New Times before the mosque rally, but following the negative press his protest received — particularly from CNN’s Anderson Cooper — he declared he would never speak with mainstream media again. (He does pop up from time to time, though.)
His most recent announcement that he and other members of the Oath Keepers, an association of American patriots, would arrest Stabenow has attracted the attention of law enforcement agencies in the nation's capital.
(As we reported earlier this year, Ritzheimer’s been reported to the FBI by the Council for American and Islamic Relations on numerous occasions, though the federal agency declines to comment on whether it has an open investigation into him.)
His current plan to arrest Stabnow has attracted the attention of militia men in Michigan — suffice it to say that they are not happy about it.
As the Washington Times reported, the paper received an e-mail from Jason Van Tatenhove, media director for the Oath Keepers, explaining that “Ritzheimer is ‘merely a new member of the Oath Keepers, having newly joined in July’ and holds no leadership role in the organization…He has now been suspended for his actions, and we are in the process of following our bylaws to kick him out entirely. We, in NO WAY condone his actions, and are in the process of putting out statements to our membership to inform them of such.”
Ritzheimer, never one to hold anything back, it seems, released his response in a video this morning:
“You think throwing a vest on...you think that’s what makes you a patriot? You have no initiative,” Ritzheimer screams.
“You’re too busy rolling around out there shooting at tree stumps that you can’t sit there and do the real work…What are you doing? Why is an Arizona man having to get an indictment for somebody up in your area?”
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Others wonder somewhat the same thing…
Read Ritzheimer's letter to the American people below: