Courtney Holland, a Nevada-based political activist who does not appear to have entered the Capitol building herself and has not been charged with crimes related to January 6, was named Adam Laxalt’s top spokeswoman in early July. Laxalt is running against Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto and the race is considered a toss up.
Holland traveled to Washington, DC, for the January 6, 2021, “Stop the Steal” rally where she was listed as a speaker for a rally to be held
near the Capitol following then-President Donald Trump’s speech near the White House. That second rally did not take place as scheduled. She had previously spoken
at a November event in Washington, DC, and was photographed with several “Stop the Steal” organizers who also spoke. The “Stop the Steal” movement believes Trump’s lies that the 2020 election was stolen from him.
There is no indication Holland herself entered the Capitol. Pictures posted by amateur sleuths last year tracking Capitol rioters appear to show Holland
in a restricted area in front of the Capitol
. Holland later repeatedly downplayed
the attack, retweeting false claims suggesting the riot was the work of the far-left group Antifa and a tweet
calling the protest “the largest civil rights protest in history.”
Holland told CNN in her Tuesday statement that she went to Washington expecting to attend a “peaceful gathering.” She said she did not know the Oath Keepers who led her to the second “Stop the Steal” event that was supposed to take place near the Capitol. Holland said she has never been subpoenaed, questioned, or accused of wrongdoing and called the riot “an unfortunate day in our country’s history.”
“Like thousands of others I attended the event, with expectations of a peaceful gathering. Event organizers asked me and many others to speak at a permitted area behind the Capitol and provided us with what we were told was event security, who we did not know, to reach the area. Upon reaching the permitted area, I became aware that the situation was deteriorating and decided to leave the Capitol complex to return to my hotel. I intended to speak at a peaceful rally, similar to a previous event held in November. Once it became clear what was happening, I left,” Holland said.
Guided by far-right militia members
Videos on social media and YouTube show
to the Capitol with her hand on Harrelson’s shoulder. The group appears to be
led at points
by an unidentified man in a blue blazer wearing an Oath Keepers sweatshirt. The group walked
in a “stack” formation that the Department of Justice said the Oath Keepers used to move through crowds on January 6, 2021.
The FBI explained the Oath Keepers’ use of stack formations in a criminal complaint against Harrelson, which does not reference Holland or her group’s walk to the Capitol. “One defining feature of this formation is that members keep their hands on the backs or vests of the person in front of them to remain together while entering a room or weaving through a crowd,” they wrote in the complaint, which includes a photo of a different group of Oath Keepers marching in that formation outside of the Capitol building. “The purpose of maintaining direct physical contact with one another is to efficiently communicate with one another, especially in crowded or noisy areas.”
— from the amateur sleuth YouTube account “Hunting Insurrectionists,” which was verified by CNN’s KFile by watching the original videos — tracking their group’s march to the Capitol shows Holland walking from behind with her hand on an Oath Keeper’s shoulder that appears to be Harrelson as someone yells, “make a hole ladies and gentlemen,” for their group to pass. Strand can also briefly be seen talking to Gold. Another YouTube video
shows Harrelson, Gold and Strand all marching together with Holland. Dolan appears at the front of the group as well.
Harrelson was charged
by the Department of Justice for a number of actions related to breaking into the Capitol, and later he was also charged
with sedition. Dolan was also charged
by the Department of Justice with five counts related to the Capitol riot, but three of his charges were dropped
as part of a plea agreement that included cooperation with the government. Dolan pleaded guilty
to two counts of conspiracy and one count of obstruction of an official proceeding.
outlining evidence against Dolan noted both Oath Keepers traveled
to Washington together and were frequently together before and during the Capitol riot. It alleged both men brought weapons to the area that they left in Virginia. Dolan’s indictment
from the Department of Justice makes reference to his march from the event near the White House.
Numerous members of the Oath Keepers have been charged
for their roles breaking into the Capitol building. Last week, the Justice Department released
new details that alleged extensive planning by the Oath Keepers to prepare for violence in Washington, DC, on January 6, 2021, including lessons to conduct “hasty ambushes,” a “death list” of Georgia election officials and attempts to acquire homemade firearms.
Holland’s exact movements after getting to the Capitol are unclear.
The group appeared to have made it to the east side of the Capitol, where the second rally was supposed to take place. One video
by the Department of Justice to news organizations in the case against Harrelson, shows a cell phone video shot by the Oath Keeper on the east side of the Capitol with several members of the stack formation together, including what seems to be Holland.
One video appears
to show her on the northwest side of the Capitol building with several members of her group, but not the Oath Keepers. A video
from a since-deleted tweet also shows her at the east side of the Capitol near where the video shot by Harrelson was taken.
Following the riot and aftermath, Holland said in since-deleted tweets she would still stand up for Trump.
“Last time I checked the Constitution it said ‘We the People’ not ‘We the Government,'” she said
just after the attack, and added in another tweet, “I’m still not giving up on fighting for Trump.”
A year later, Holland maintained
on Instagram the riot was “not an insurrection.”