“There are some things that I agree with Nick Fuentes on, and some that I don’t,” the former White House staffer told HuffPost.
As congressional Republicans ramp up their efforts to investigate Hunter Biden, the president’s son, they are getting help from a controversial source, HuffPost has learned — a former Trump White House staffer who has reposted far-right material online and played a role in the Trump White House’s effort to contest the 2020 election results.
The former Trump staffer, Garrett Ziegler, has bragged of meetings with congressional investigators who have worked for months to dig into Hunter Biden’s overseas business dealings and the contents of his abandoned laptop. At least one committee chair has implied the probe is actually about hurting President Joe Biden’s reelection chances.
Speaking to HuffPost, Ziegler denied any bigoted beliefs, but he has also repeatedly reposted material online from the prominent white nationalist Nick Fuentes and other bigots.
During phone interviews with HuffPost, Ziegler described himself as a “paleoconservative” — not a “bogeyman” — and compared himself to Pat Buchanan. “There are some things that I agree with Nick Fuentes on, and some that I don’t,” he said of his online presence. Referring to reposting material, he said, “sometimes you just do it because you think it’s a very, very good thing for the conversation.”
Ziegler himself has referred on multiple occasions to meetings or correspondence with congressional investigators, including an attorney on the House Oversight Committee staff and House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan’s (R-Ohio) chief of staff. More recently, he bragged of a planned meeting with Jordan himself — though one he now says did not occur. At least two members of Congress have praised his work in interviews, saying it contained potential evidence of criminality by the Biden family. He also says he’s met personally with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) in the member of Congress’ office.
‘I Would Kill For Subpoenas’
For all of his behind-the-scenes work, Ziegler isn’t exactly a household name — an apparent sore spot for the operative, who once vented online that “in a just world,” he would have earned a spot in Forbes’ “30 Under 30” list, before lamenting that the media was a “leftist sewer” that would “never appreciate me.”
Aside from his Hunter Biden research, the former Trump staffer is mostly known for helping facilitate Michael Flynn, Sidney Powell and ex-Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne’s frantic visit to the White House in December 2020, when the trio reportedly urged Trump to seize voting machines across the country.
Ziegler himself has baselessly referred to Joe Biden’s election as a “soft coup,” and he worked with his then-boss in the White House, trade adviser Peter Navarro, on a series of reports attempting to substantiate Trump’s claims of a stolen election. Ziegler told HuffPost that he believes the election was stolen in “multiple ways.”
“I don’t think they could have stolen the election without COVID-19,” he said.
Ziegler was interviewed by the congressional Jan. 6 committee, and subsequently called women who’d testified before the committee “total hoes and thots” and said the panel represented a “Bolshevistic anti-White campaign.” (For his part, Navarro faces contempt of Congress charges for refusing to comply with a subpoena from the committee. His trial is set for Sept. 5.)
Ziegler’s latest chapter started last October, when his research group, Marco Polo, published “Report on the Biden Laptop,” a 644-page research packet based on their analysis of the computer’s contents, which Ziegler said he received through Rudy Giuliani. The document accuses the president’s son of hundreds of criminal and regulatory violations — most of them related to sex and drugs, in addition to claims of money laundering, violations of foreign lobbying laws, and similar allegations related to the younger Biden’s overseas business dealings.
A representative from Hunter Biden’s legal team declined to comment, but in February, the younger Biden’s lawyers asked the DOJ, IRS and Delaware Attorney General to investigate Ziegler and others, and separately sent Ziegler and several others letters asking them to preserve documents ahead of potential legal action. In April, the same team asked the Treasury Department to investigate the alleged leak of “suspicious activity reports,” protected banking records, to Ziegler.
Those reports, known as SARs, may have made their way to Congress: In November, the House Oversight Committee published a report on the Biden family that included a picture of a SAR — one that appeared identical to a watermarked picture of a SAR that Ziegler published on Marco Polo’s website. Ziegler speculated to HuffPost that, after he gave someone else a non-watermarked version of the SAR, that person gave it to the committee. Spokespeople for the committee didn’t return HuffPost’s requests for comment.
In addition to the report, Ziegler and Marco Polo have posted the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop online, as well as entries from Ashley Biden’s diary, allowing Trump supporters and other citizen investigators the world over access to the first family’s documents.
The report made Ziegler a player in right-wing circles during the Biden years, earning him interviews with everyone from Roger Stone to Infowars to the popular conservative Christian radio host Eric Metaxas.
It also apparently caught the attention of high-profile Republican politicians.
Soon after Ziegler published the report last year, House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer (R-Ky.) praised the document in a Newsmax interview, saying that one “positive” aspect about the report was Ziegler’s inclusion of SARs.
By January, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) told “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd to “read the Marco Polo report” as evidence of Hunter Biden’s “potential” crimes.
In between those two episodes, Ziegler claims to have briefed congressional staffers on the report.
In November, Ziegler said during an interview that he’d “told congressional investigators – I won’t say who” about who they should subpoena. The following month, during a gathering of the Macomb County Republican Party in Michigan, Ziegler claimed to have just finished meeting with a congressional counsel earlier in the day.
“I would kill for subpoenas,” Ziegler said. “I would love to — In fact, that’s what I was doing today. I was meeting with the House Oversight Committee counsel, telling them who to subpoena.”
A few days later, Ziegler said during a discussion on Twitter “Spaces” that he’d been advising congressional investigators, but that “we both agreed that I wouldn’t say their names or which office they were in so that the left can’t put them in a corner and, you know, say they were taking advice.” In January, on Infowars, Ziegler said he’d had an audience with both Senate and House investigators “two weeks after they gained the majority.” Two months later, in another interview, he made the same claim.
Last month, Ziegler grew more specific. On April 20, on “The Big Mig” show, Ziegler himself said he’d “spoken directly to his [Jordan’s] chief of staff directly.” A week later, on ”The Modern Conservative Podcast” with Jonathan Harvey, Ziegler said he would soon meet with congressional leadership, adding, “this Oversight Committee, and Jim Jordan, who I’ll be meeting with, they need to send criminal referrals to state AGs.”
Russell Dye, communications director and counsel for Jordan and the Judiciary Committee, told HuffPost in an email that neither “Chairman Jordan, nor his Chief of Staff, have met with Mr. Ziegler.”
Ziegler said in a text message that he had in fact communicated with Jordan’s chief of staff, Kevin Eichinger. “I corresponded with Kevin Eichinger about our Report. I never said I spoke to Jim Jordan about it,” Ziegler said, adding of his laptop dossier, “[Eichinger] said he’d have his team look over it.”
“Members of the public call, email and mail our office things all the time,” Dye said.
At some point, Ziegler said, he spoke to Greene about the report as well, during a meeting in her office. Greene called the report “comprehensive” and committed to reading it, Ziegler recalled. He said he’s spoken with other members of Congress as well, but declined to name them.
“Congresswoman Greene’s meetings are none of your damn business,” Greene spokesperson Nick Dyer told HuffPost in an email.
Despite his apparent far-right beliefs — another description he disputes — Ziegler is a go-to source for Biden opponents beyond congressional investigators: Lawyers for Lunden Roberts, an Arkansas woman who is suing Hunter Biden over child support payments, have sought to use Ziegler as an expert witness on the president’s son.
In an April email entered into the court record, Roberts’ attorney responded to objections from Biden’s attorney to Ziegler’s inclusion in the case in part by saying, “Have you seen [Ziegler’s] work with the laptop? Members of Congress consult with him about your client.” Ziegler sat for a deposition in the case last week.
‘I Don’t Think I Am Part Of The Mainstream’
Aside from his congressional meetings, Ziegler has an audience of thousands on his Telegram channel, where he airs views to the far right of the political mainstream.
There, Ziegler has repeatedly reposted — or “forwarded,” in Telegram parlance — material from Fuentes, a prominent white nationalist and leader of the “America First” or “Groyper” movement. Posts of Fuentes’ that Ziegler has shared on Telegram include one simply saying, “If you’re not Christian you’re wrong.”
In November last year, after the antisemitic rapper Ye was ostracized by mainstream society for his views, Ziegler shared a Telegram post from Fuentes that expressed support for Ye, and added, “I support an honest conversation about the power of the ADL and organized Jewry.” Ziegler told HuffPost he supports “dismantling” the Anti-Defamation League due to its cooperation with the FBI, but added, “I don’t sit at home every day thinking about how to go after organized Jewry.”
Shouldn’t some people be excluded from mainstream political discussion? HuffPost asked.
“I don’t think I am part of the mainstream,” Ziegler responded. Separately, he said of Fuentes, “both he and I have strong objections to the Republican Party, just like Pat Buchanan did, and just like Donald Trump did.”
“I think he needs to get married, I think he needs to settle down,” Ziegler said of Fuentes, an infamous “involuntary celebate” in addition to his well-known white nationalist views.
“I think he’s immature in some respects, but everything he says is not wrong. That said, I disagree with some of what he says.”
A few days after resharing Fuentes’ Ye post, Ziegler forwarded a bit of scripture to his followers from the relatively small account “Classical Theist,” which itself has praised Fuentes and referred to Jews as “satanic.” The scripture in question? John 7:13: “yet no one spoke openly of Him, for fear of the Jews.”
“That’s just the Bible!” Ziegler objected, saying he didn’t agree with Classical Theist’s “satanic” descriptor.
Separately, in one post Ziegler forwarded, a Telegram user lamented that ChatGPT purportedly provides responses when asked to describe “trans genocide,” “Black genocide” and “LGBTQ genocide,” but not “white genocide,” which, the post asserts, is “the only one that actually exists.” In another post of his own, Ziegler depicts a pie graph showing an “Antiwhiteism” slice engulfing a sliver of “Antisemitism.”
Speaking to HuffPost, he called the ChatGPT post a “fascinating” look at the potential biases of the technology. “By basic arithmetic, there are many more white people than there are Jewish people in the United States,” he said of the second post.
Ziegler said he believes white people in America are under attack, as evidenced by policies such as affirmative action.
Last month, Ziegler forwarded a post linking to a 1974 William F. Buckley Jr. interview with B.J. Vorster, then South Africa’s pro-apartheid prime minister. In it, Vorster defends apartheid as a way to “avoid friction” between races.
“It’s almost unbelievable how far the window of acceptable discourse has shifted in just half a century — not only the candor and wisdom displayed by the SA prime minister re: race relations, but even just the level of vocabulary and conceptual nuance employed by both speakers,” the post Ziegler forwarded said, before adding, “the (communist-backed) media’s success in inciting racial animosity against whites have been proven without doubt today.”
Ziegler denied being pro-apartheid, but called the video a “fascinating conservation” and said he was interested in South African politics.
“It’s unbelievable how far the window of acceptable discourse has shifted,” he said, denying any racial bigotry.
In a March video posted to Marco Polo’s Substack account, announcing a second printing of the laptop report, two notable titles can be seen prominently behind Ziegler’s baseball cap, which bears the presidential seal: “The Open Society Playbook” and “Faith and Heritage,” two publications from Antelope Hill — identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a white nationalist publishing company that “specializes in translating historical works by Nazis, fascists and ultranationalists, and original works by contemporary white nationalists, neo-fascists and others on the far right.”
“Faith and Heritage,” a “Christian Nationalist Anthology” from the defunct racist website of the same name, includes essays on such topics as “A Biblical Defense of Entho-Nationalism” — which states, “God intended for racial distinctions to exist for his own glory” — and “Christianity as a Necessary Foundation for White Nationalism.”
“The only thing that I know is that God created everyone, and thus, it stands to reason that God created people of different races, and we’re supposed to love them,” Ziegler said.
“The Open Society Playbook,” for its part, runs through a cast of characters purportedly scheming to achieve “the subjugation of humanity under a One World totalitarian state,” labeling them with their religion: “Jewish neocon Bill Kristol” or “the half-Jewish Wesley Clark.” Referring to neo-liberalism, author Scott Howard writes, “Jews are the system’s primary drivers and beneficiaries, and no discussion of neoliberalism and the various factors presently imperiling the West is complete without an understanding of the centrality of Jewish interests.”
In a phone interview in late March, Ziegler acknowledged that Marco Polo received the books from Antelope Hill, but he did not condemn them, saying he couldn’t react to reviews.
“I’m not going to say that I hate the books because I haven’t read them, I just don’t know yet,” he said. Two months later, he said he still hadn’t read the books and couldn’t comment on them.