Jay McDonald was puttering around his Anchorage house when the call came in on Feb. 8. The man with the raspy voice identified himself as an agent with the FBI at the Anchorage Field Office, and he wanted to know if McDonald had traveled to Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6.
Jan. 6 was the day of the protest, when hundreds of thousands of Americans thronged to the nation’s Capitol to object to the certification of the Electoral College. A small number of the protesters surged into the Capitol while the Senate was in session; the vote to certify was delayed while the protesters were cleared. There was violence at the front of the surge that is being characterized by the Left as an insurrection.
At first, McDonald couldn’t comprehend what was being inferred or why he was being called. But he knew something was up, and the wheels of his brain were turning.
It didn’t seem like a prank call — the guy on the other end of the phone sounded legitimate. But this kind of query from federal law enforcement is something McDonald thought would be done in person. Later, he verified that the call had, indeed, come from the Anchorage Field Office of the FBI.
The “agent” proceeded to try to question him about his whereabouts on Jan. 6, but McDonald refused to cooperate. There were absolutely no grounds for the allegation, and McDonald knew it. He hasn’t left Anchorage in a year, and has not left Alaska in five years. He was starting to wonder about his civil liberties.
“I mean, if you’re with the FBI wouldn’t it be pretty easy to see flight records?” McDonald asked the man on the other end of the phone. The man agreed but said this way was easier and faster.
“My goal is to get this shut down and make this go away, if at all possible,” the agent replied.
McDonald then asked the agent: Who had made the report? Who had told the FBI that he was in Washington, D.C. that day. The agent refused to tell him and said he would have to put in a “Freedom of Information Act” request for that.
“And that information will be released to you,” the agent said. “My goal is to resolve this as quickly and peacefully as possible.”
The exchange went on for a few more seconds, and McDonald, who is a U.S. Army veteran, had had enough.
He asked the FBI agent why the agency wasn’t pursuing Anchorage mayoral candidate Forrest Dunbar, who bragged on social media that his cousin was taking part in the Portland riots. The agent dodged the question, as he was establishing that he was the one who was going to be asking, not answering questions.
“I don’t feel like talking to you. If you want to bring me in or arrest me, then we could talk,” McDonald said.
“OK, look forward to it sir,” the agent replied.
Must Read Alaska has an audio copy of the second half of the conversation, which McDonald managed to tape after he realized what was going on with the call. He did not capture the agent’s name, which was at the beginning of the call.
Through an attorney, Must Read Alaska has performed that Freedom of Information Act request regarding the matter, and has been denied by the agency.
McDonald has his ideas about how the agency came to put him on a list of suspicious persons to call. He is politically active in campaigns for Republicans, and has developed a reputation as a formidable opposition researcher. He actively campaigned for former Rep. Lance Pruitt and against Liz Snyder, the Democrat who won District 27.
He believes it was most likely a Democrat operative targeting him with malicious intent. He also wonders if the FBI is simply compiling information on average Americans during this dragnet operation, building a type of “social credit score,” as the Chinese Communist Party is doing with its citizens.
As the FBI sweeps through the country to find people who may have physically entered the Capitol in DC on Jan. 6, its methods of discovery include asking people on social media to help the agency identify people who were there.
“The FBI is accepting tips and digital media depicting rioting and violence in the U.S. Capitol Building and surrounding area in Washington, D.C., on January 6, 2021,” a post on the FBI website reads.
“If you do not have an attachment but have information to provide, please submit it at tips.fbi.gov,” according to the posting.
And thus, the probability that Democrat political operatives all over the country may have reported people who they think simply fit the profile of someone who may have gone to the protest on that day, with or without evidence. Or they may be turning in people they want to harass and intimidate.