FBI Illegal Disruption of Hawaii Republicans?

Hawaii lies on the far outer fringe of the FBI’s nationwide dragnet for January 6 insurrectionists.  While the last three years have produced zero arrests since Hawaii Proud Boys leader Nick Ochs was nabbed at Honolulu Airport, January 7, 2021, they have produced immense disruption within the Hawaii Republican Party.

Hawaii Business Registration documents filed March 10, 2022 with DCCA BREG, show Steve Lipscomb, a failed 2018 Republican Lt Governor primary candidate, joining the Board of Directors of the FBI Honolulu Citizens Academy Alumni Association, an organization which, in the words of former Honolulu Special Agent In Charge, Vida Bottom, “has been a part of the FBI Honolulu Division for many years as all members are graduates of the Honolulu Citizens Academy or retirees of the FBI Honolulu Division.”

Which one of these things is not like the Others?

Six weeks later, April 25, 2022, Lipscomb’s name appears last on a list of 29 signers of a ‘Formal Complaint’ demanding removal of the Hawaii Republican Party from the Hawaii election ballot.  The other signers are mostly associated with the antivaxxer Aloha Freedom Coalition and ‘Klean House Hawaii’ (KHH).  Their semi-literate ‘Formal Complaint’ (see pg 20-24) addressed to the Hawaii Office of Elections, Campaign Spending Commission and Ethics Commission demands “decertification of the Hawaii Republican Party as a party in good standing and the party name not to appear on the 2022 election ballot.”

The petition became the focal point of an ongoing KHH campaign of harassment and crackpot litigation against Hawaii Republicans in both State and Federal courts which continues to this day, costing the Party over $38K in legal fees.  PDF: List of KHH State and Federal lawsuits since 2020.

Hawaii Republican Party’s finances suffered, causing the remaining party leaders to consider selling the $1M value Hawaii GOP HQ building.  Until it was exposed in July, 2023, by Hawai’i Free Press “Real Estate Sharks Circle Hawaii Republican HQ as Party Loses ANOTHER Chairman,” the Klean House Hawaii website was hosted on pacig.com, site of a local “hard money lender.”  The old KHH site can still be seen on the Wayback Machine: khh.pacig.com.

Lipscomb did not respond to a request for comment from Hawai’i Free Press.

The Honolulu FBI responded with the usual formula: “To protect the privacy of people who contact the FBI, we cannot confirm or deny any particular contact or the potential existence of an investigation. As a general matter, though, allegations of criminal conduct are reviewed by the FBI for their merit, with consideration of any applicable federal laws. When warranted, the FBI takes appropriate action and that the FBI does not discuss specific law enforcement tactics, techniques, or procedures.”

After signing the KHH petition, Lipscomb was in March, 2023, elected Chair of the Honolulu County Republican Party.

Also in March, 2023, Lipscomb was reappointed to the FBI HCAAA Board of Directors.  According to the FBI HCAAA website, he now serves as “Membership Coordinator”.   In an amusing coincidence, Lipscomb’s first ‘Membership Renewal’ announcement appears on the FBI HCAAA website right above a post titled: “FBI looking for information related to recent violence at the U.S. Capitol.”

According to the USDOJ, Dec 6, 2023, “1,237 (J6) defendants have been charged in nearly all 50 states and the District of Columbia.”

That implies a sprawling COINTELPRO, or post-9/11-style, FBI spying and provocation operation—this time seeking real or imagined right-wing radicals instead of leftists (COINTELPRO) or Islamists (post 9/11).  Logically, such an operation would place agents and/or informants in right-wing radical groups nationwide–such as Hawaii’s KHH and the Aloha Freedom Coalition—but, aside from the January 7, 2021 Honolulu Airport arrest of Proud Boys leader Nick Ochs,  the FBI has no results to show for it.

Contrast Hawaii’s paltry J6 bust with the volume of J6 arrests in Michigan—which include a Republican Gubernatorial Primary candidate and a ring of ‘militiamen’ conspiring to kidnap Governor Jennifer Whitmer.

Violations of 18 USC 242?

Does the ‘Formal Complaint’ and subsequent campaign against Hawaii Republicans constitute a form of voter fraud harassment and intimidation?  The United States Department of Justice 296 page handbook on “Federal Prosecution of Election Offenses” describes one form of “Conduct that Constitutes Federal Election Fraud” as “Conspiring to prevent voters from participating in elections in which a federal candidate is on the ballot, or when done ‘under color of law’ in any election, federal or nonfederal (18 U.S.C. §§ 241, 242).” (See pg 35)

All of this has happened before, and it will all happen again.

Here is an interesting coincidence:

During the post-9/11 era Islamist investigations, DCCA BREG documents show the Honolulu chapter of the Federal Law Enforcement Foundation (FLEF) included Hawaii Housing Director Hakim Ouansafi on its Board of Directors.  Ouansafi eventually rose to be vice chair.  Leader of Hawaii’s only mosque, Ouansafi tricked the Hawaii Legislature into celebrating Islam Day on September 24, 2009—which just happens to be September 11 in the old Julian calendar.  This may have given him credibility with Islamist radicals.  The very next year, Honolulu-based federal agents arrested an Islamist who foolishly thought Honolulu Muslims would help get him to Afghanistan to join the Taliban.  Ouansafi also managed to oversee the May, 2013, arrest of a home-grown radical within the Honolulu Mosque.

Soon Ouansafi was promoting FLEF as a co-sponsor of Islam Day activities in Hawaii.  But, after inquiries in May, 2011 to the FLEF National HQ by Hawai’i Free Press, the local chapter was, according to Vida Bottom’s March 20, 2013, FBI letter to DCCA BREG, ordered by FBI HQ to change its name November 1, 2011, to the current FBI HCAAA.

After nearly three years hunting right-wing radicals, Honolulu FBI has nothing to show for itself beyond the immediate arrest of Ochs and a whole bunch of chaos and dissention artificially imposed on Hawaii Republicans possibly in violation of 18 USC 242.  Many other State Republican parties are similarly suffering amidst FBI meddling.

Elections are themselves a means to achieve political moderation.  How many civil rights and election rights must be sacrificed on the off-chance that FBI will find some radicalized idiot willing to act illegally on his own rhetoric?


Andrew Walden


PDF: Letter from Vida Bottom

1941: Forgotten Honouliuli: Jack Burns, Police Spy

2011: Federal Law Enforcement Foundation: Hawaii Muslims not sanctioned to use our name

2023: Real Estate Sharks Circle Hawaii Republican HQ as Party Loses ANOTHER Chairman

2023: Lawsuit: Libertarians Ask Federal Court to ‘Disband Hawaii Republican Party’

2023: Can Hawaii Republicans Stop Vexatious Litigants?

2023: Hawaii Republicans set Presidential Caucus for Tuesday March 12, 2024

EDITORS NOTE: This Hawaii Free Press column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

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