Former WA Attorney General on QAnon theory claiming Trump will be president on March 4

Jan 29, 2021, 9:34 AM | Updated: 9:59 am
QAnon, 1871 act...
Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump fly a U.S. flag with a symbol from the group QAnon as they gather outside the U.S. Capitol Jan. 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

A lot of the people who invaded the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 were part of QAnon, which believes that the United States is not actually run by a Constitution anymore. They believe the country is actually a corporation due to an act in 1871, therefore there are parts of the Constitution that need not be obeyed.

Ross: New QAnon theory shows why Senate needs to vote to convict Trump

Former state Attorney General Rob McKenna looked into the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1871, which established D.C. as a corporation, and he says it does not completely subvert the Constitution.

“What a relief, right? It did not,” McKenna said. “It simply repealed the individual charters of the city of Washington and the city of Georgetown and established a new territorial government for the entire District of Columbia. By doing this, they created a single municipal government or municipal corporation, as municipalities are typically called.”

Washington D.C. is a municipal corporation that is organized as a federal territory, McKenna explained, because in the early days of the Republic, they didn’t want the nation’s capital to be in a state.

Now, as a consequence of this 1871 act, there are people who sincerely believe that whatever happened under the Constitution after that act is null and void.

“Right, because they claim that the act of 1871 didn’t just create a municipal corporation, it turned the quote ‘United States into a corporation,’ which apparently is secretly controlled by international bankers, and we’re actually owned by foreign entities as a result of that,” McKenna said. “But it means that any enactments after that date are not actually valid.”

“But it’s important to understand that QAnon is picking up an idea that’s been around a while that has been promoted by the sovereign citizen movement, which consists of people who believe they’re not subject to the laws of the United States or any of the other governments,” he added. “So [it’s] the collision of one set of conspiracy theorists and believers with another.”

If there’s no Constitution and D.C. is a corporation, who runs the country? Do we have to obey laws?

“Sovereign citizens say we don’t because they believe that the original Constitution was ‘thrown in the dustbin’ by the act of 1871,” McKenna said. “But it means that any enactment of Congress after 1871 isn’t valid in their view. And that would include the 20th Amendment to the U. S. Constitution, which established the end date of the terms of the president and vice president.”

“It used to be that the president and vice president’s terms ran until March 4, which is why, until 1936, the president was inaugurated on March 4. The original idea was that they should have more time to get to D. C., there should be more time to process the election results and the like,” he continued. “So if the 20th Amendment is not actually valid then that means that the real inauguration is March 4 and the QAnon people grabbed onto that to say, ‘Ah, well, then President Trump is going to be re-inaugurated as president, but it’s going to happen on March 4.'”

“It’s a little hard to get your head around because it doesn’t really make any sense,” McKenna added.

If they were to take over, there would be no government, McKenna explained.

“The economy would definitely tank if we didn’t have rule of law,” he said. “It allows you to claim that the government has no power over you. And that might mean, for example, that the QAnon people who invaded the U.S. Capitol could claim that they’re not … subject to the jurisdiction of the United States for the criminal acts that they committed.”

If this were true, as Dave Ross pointed out, it’d also mean women can’t vote anymore.

“Good point, post-1871, yeah,” McKenna acknowledged.

Former WA AG: ‘Not impossible’ for Senate to bar Trump from holding office again

When McKenna was Washington state’s attorney general, he says there were fortunately no serious incidents like what happened in Oregon some years back, but he did have the occasional run-in with folks.

“There are people who claim they don’t have to pay their taxes because they’re sovereign or they don’t have to obey other laws,” he said. “It’s not the way the social contract works. You don’t get to opt out based on your own theories. You don’t get to make up your own laws. We have a system for that. But there’s some people who just choose not to believe it. Just like there’s some people who choose to believe that man never landed on the moon, and that the Earth is actually flat, and so forth.”

“But, listen, at least the law of gravity was enacted before 1871, so obviously there’s that.”

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Dave Ross on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dave rossTune in to KIRO Radio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

Dave's Commentary

Dave Ross

Dave Ross

Ross: Now we know what they were planning

On Monday, it was revealed why former President Donald Trump had every reason to believe he would win the 2020 election.
23 hours ago
trump, secret service...
KIRO Radio staff

Fahrenthold: Taxpayers paid $1.7 million to protect Trump’s four kids, three officials

There's quite a bit of taxpayer money that went to the Secret Service to protect not just the president, but a bunch of other people as well.
2 days ago
Texas abortion...
Dave Ross

Ross: You get a lawsuit, and you get a lawsuit

The way the Texas law is written, Dr. Braid could be sued hundreds of times, and sued successfully, since he’s basically confessed to providing an abortion.
2 days ago
Dave Ross

Ross: Convincing billionaires that Earth is more exciting than space

Instead of trying to tax billionaires, why not find a way to motivate them to want to spend their money on something besides just space?
3 days ago
school bathrooms...
Dave Ross

Ross: The war on school bathrooms

Kids are vandalizing school bathrooms and posting their mischief on TikTok as some bathroom challenge. Soap dispensers, sinks, and toilets are gone.
6 days ago
nurse, covid, ICU...
KIRO Radio staff

‘They are exhausted’: Spokane reporter offers look inside ICU treating COVID patients

KXLY TV's Robyn Nance shares a special report from inside the ICU at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, Washington.
7 days ago

Sponsored Articles

IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.
Courtesy of JWatch Photography....
Experience Anacortes

Summer Fun Activities in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
By Alaska Airlines

Calling all football fans: follow Russell on the road

Take your Northwest spirit that we’re known for on the road this season with Alaska Airlines.
By Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.
Former WA Attorney General on QAnon theory claiming Trump will be president on March 4