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Denver Riggleman: Combating Conspiracy Theories

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Denver Riggleman: Combating Conspiracy Theories

Denver Riggleman is a former representative for Virginia’s 5th congressional district, and an ex-Republican. He served as a technical advisor to the January 6th committee, and now he’s partnered with Hunter Biden’s legal team to provide data analysis in the face of congressional inquiries and the GOP’s claims about Hunter’s conduct.

Denver’s new podcast, The Mighty Peculiar, takes a deep dive into conspiracy theories. In this episode, he describes the appeal of conspiracy theories, and the damage that they can do.

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Denver Riggleman:

It’s just like a cascading effect of bizarreness and BS that all of a sudden, is a baseline for research for people who, when you look at them, they got some really weird backgrounds, man. There's some people that are … they're freaky deaky.

And I think when you really dig into the sources, you start to say, “If he actually believes that every night he spoons with zeta reticulins, I don't think that's a guy that I really want to listen to when it comes to UFO theory.”

Ken Harbaugh:

I'm Ken Harbaugh, and this is Burn the Boats, a podcast about big decisions. My guest today is Denver Riggleman, a former representative from Virginia's 5th congressional district, and an ex-Republican.

He served as a technical advisor to the January 6th committee, and now, he's partnered with Hunter Biden's legal team to provide data analysis in the face of congressional inquiries and the GOP's claims about Hunter's conduct.

Denver, welcome back to Burn the Boats.

Denver Riggleman:

Thanks for having me. Good to be back.

Ken Harbaugh:

Let's start with the podcast, you just launched a new one. It's called Mighty Peculiar, and it builds itself as a hilarious deep dive into conspiracy theories, backrooms, bigfoot, and bourbon. Tell us what's going on with that.

Denver Riggleman:

Yeah, I just figured when I started doing this a long time ago, you know how I got hit with the Bigfoot erotica stuff when I wrote the first book, Bigfoot … It’s Complicated. And by the way, that book is being shopped for a movie right now, believe it or not. I know that's insane.

So, I had a couple guys come to me and I had signed some deals with some podcast production companies that I got out of. I said I just want to be independent and do things on my own. And it's not huge, it's two guys. I really like a researcher and a producer, and I'm a very independent guy. So, I wanted to tackle some very thorny subjects with some seriousness, but also some humor.

And I think we're pulling it off. So, far it's a big learning curve, and we've done things all the way from Marjorie Taylor Greene's conspiracy theories to The Seekers in the 1950s, who combined UFO aliens with Jesus, they had a cosmic Jesus that was going to take them up into the spaceships.

So, we have a wide variety of topics, but what we do is we link all these historical things that happened from Roswell to The Seekers, right to Mad Gasser of Mattoon that caused a town wide panic. And we link that to today's conspiracy theories and the myths and cults that people are really tuning into.

Ken Harbaugh:

What's your ultimate goal? Because I know you're not just in it for the laughs. It's a funny show and it's a challenge in this day and age to make conspiracy theories entertaining and not just terrifying, but what's a win for you?

I don't imagine you're getting many of the conspiracy theories saying, “Oh, I get it now, thank you for opening my eyes.” Is it family members? Is it just affecting the larger conversation? How would you define a win?

Denver Riggleman:

I think the win is giving people a toolkit to really go house to house with how to actually sort of engage with myths and cults and conspiracy theories, or people that become so tribalists, they can't even see what a facts-based insight looks like.

That's really what I want to do, and I'm hoping that maybe I can break through to at least … my whole goal, as I told you before, Ken, if we get to 3 to 5% of the public, that is mass. And maybe you just sort of clip away at some of those belief systems, maybe you can get to a couple people and help them out.

Ken Harbaugh:

I have really been resisting this, but you left the door wide open to ask about these UFO hearings. You host a podcast on conspiracy theories, you were a former member of Congress. What do you make of this? And I'm just going to put my biases on the table — this colossal waste of congressional time investigating alien life forms in government freezers?

Denver Riggleman:

Colossal waste of government time, that is exactly what it is. And we have, I think, reached the idiot exhaustion stage of the United States Republic. Once we start having hearings on UAPs, UFOs, and even trying to change it to UAPs to make it more palatable to the American public is really hilarious to me. I know how that works.

But yeah, I watched Rush, I watched these individuals, there's no data to validate any of this. And by the way, Ken, we have a background in the military. I did hundreds of military missions. I was trained at F-15s, F-16s, B-1s, combat zones.

I did not only the mission pre-briefs, but the debriefs. I've had my guts in the hands of AMRAAMs, air to air, and air to ground missiles. I know JDAMs inside and out. I know our weapons characteristics. I was on hundreds of special access programs and STOs, special technical operations.

And I never in my life had one person direct me to brief about UAPs before pilots went out into a missionary. I know that's anecdotal.

I had somebody come to me, actually to my distillery who know these guys to try to talk me into believing this and told me some stories, and it was in good faith that he did it. But I think at this point … this is the same thing that happened … from 1947 on, there's been three projects that went back-to-back to back.

There was Project Saucer, there was Project Grudge, and then there was Project Blue Book. And when you're looking at all these individuals, they even had a report from the CIA and other government agencies. Like their biggest worry is mass psychosis of people who think they see what they see.

Last thing; when you look at UFO reports from 1947 to today, all the UFOs match the actual technology of the day. And that is something that — and so, I think we have to go back to Joseph Campbell, the meaning of things in society.

I think 1947 was an explosion for UFO sightings, and I think now, we sort of have this fantastical base of people who might have been retired officers or might have flied jets and things like that. But to automatically assume that there's some kind of alien presence, I think we're getting into sort of ludicrous speed right now with those type of things.

Ken Harbaugh:

Yeah, I mean, even the Navy pilots aren't claiming little green men. I mean, I saw stuff I couldn't explain in the moment as a Navy pilot, especially flying over the middle of the Pacific, you see weird stuff out there.

But it's, I think the loss of critical thinking ability, which seems societal now, where the first explanation is the craziest explanation. I also think that might be an artifact of what gets clicks, what makes headlines, and it becomes self-perpetuating.

But for me, the real danger is this loss of critical thinking ability among the population, which by the way, select our government.

Denver Riggleman:

Well, you said something really interesting there. You said that the first idea of something, it's something extraterrestrial or out of bounds, out of some kind of natural thing that we can explain. It's the same with a Bigfoot expedition.

When I was studying Bigfoot believers, the first time you hear a wood knock, or they saw something red in the woods, which I never saw — there was 40 people around me. I'm looking right at the same place, and I don't see the red eye shine that they're saying that they see.

But everything in the woods, every noise in the woods, from a wounded coyote to a rabbit getting eaten is Bigfoot. And you're just sort of like, “Jesus, Pete, man, not everything in the woods is Bigfoot.” I've been hunting all my life, done things all my life, and if I hear a little roar in the woods or a growl, my first say, “Oh, Bigfoot's chasing me, shit, oh, I better run.”

So, I think you're right about that. I think people are automatically assuming some kind of bizarre, extraterrestrial or mythological, crypto zoological, zeta reticulin, reptilian humanoid reason for something happening in the natural world. And it can get exhausting.

Ken Harbaugh:

Now, you are a data-driven guy, I would probably be fair in calling you a data fanatic, and this title in Scientific American really made me think of you. It reads, “Bad data, not aliens may be behind the UFO surge,” NASA team says.

I mean, the data can teach you a lot, even if it's just spreadsheets. You pointed out the fact that UFOs always match the technology of the times. If you look at maps of UFO abductions, they always seem to be in first world countries with robust tabloid media, you know what I'm getting at?

Denver Riggleman:

Yeah, I do. And it seems like the aliens are really attracted to cows, and all the wrecks happen with a farmer who doesn't know what he's looking at. And there's this the story of the farmer Roswell — by the way, it wasn't Roswell that the plane crashed, it was actually an adjacent town. The record was taken to Roswell, that's the first issue.

But the farmer didn't even think it was a big deal when he found whatever the tritus was, it was probably a nuclear balloon, that was Project Mogul, back in the day. So, he just said, “Oh, this is a weird looking silvery thing.”

And then all of a sudden, he saw in the paper, that one reporter who screwed up and said, “Was it a flying saucer?” And it was, I think a week after, or days after, before he even reported it. That's how non-excited he was about what he found.

So, the whole thing, it's just like a cascading effect of bizarreness and BS that all of a sudden, is a baseline for research for people who, when you look at them, they got some really weird backgrounds, man. Even there's some people that are they're freaky deaky.

And I think when you really dig into the sources, you start to say, “If he actually believes that every night, he spoons with zeta reticulins, I don't think that's a guy that I really want to listen to when it comes to UFO theory.”

Ken Harbaugh:

What we haven't talked about, and this is probably the biggest piece, is the monetization of conspiracy theories. I've driven through Roswell on trips out west. I bought the alien jerky for 20 bucks a bag. You know, the billboards, you just can't miss them, alien jerky-

Denver Riggleman:

I do.

Ken Harbaugh:

10 miles up ahead, 5 miles up ahead; talk about how much money there is in blowing up these conspiracy theories.

Denver Riggleman:

Well, the thing is, is that I'm enemy number one, if you're looking at the Gaia channel or you're looking at monster hunting and Bigfoot shows or UFO shows, or the spiritual Bigfoot shows that are coming out now, or the alien bigfoot mix, or the fact that the Orbs that everybody seems to see. Now, you have aliens and ghosts that are starting to mix in together. So, it's a sticky bomb of conspiracy theories.

But the money, Ken, the money — you think about the first Bigfoot exhibition I went on, you're talking about they were charging $2,000 a person, there were 40 people there. And this was in a state park. And so, the money is so big for these grifters, and if they can continue, it's interesting.

It's like, “Can we continue the fantasy on the backs of people that have some kind of, I guess, they have some plausible respectability in some kind of field, say a pilot, and then jump on that and spin this magical theory based on stuff that's unvalidated.”

So, yeah, I'm a data fanatic because you got to look at good data and bad data. There's unvalidated data and validated data, and there's forensic chain of custody. And then data that doesn't mean the chain of custody.

It's, “Are you willing to go all the way into what you can prove and try to use facts-based insights rather than fantasy-based insights.” I think that's really just the key. And right now, I think all the data we have now, all the social media, everything that we're seeing, all the streaming ways that we can get data, I think it's made people progressively dumber.

Ken Harbaugh:

It's one thing when that grift is for entertainment. Actually, don't begrudge the person who wants to spend 2000 bucks to hunt for Bigfoot in a national park, but it has infected our politics. It's infected our decision-making, it's infected our national security and our health as a country.

You recently tweeted, “Ignorance is a cash crop and business is good.”

And you were referring to RFK’s rise and his celebration in certain quarters as one of the leading purveyors of this crap.

Denver Riggleman:

Dear Lord, I mean, if anybody even goes two or three layers deep on Robert F. Kennedy Jr, you can see the guy’s absolutely a whack job. And when you go to the bottom of everything, and Ken, I've been always trying to like, “What is the bottom-line conspiracy theory belief system?”

From everything, 9/11, truthers, fake moon landing, flat earthers, hollow earthers, Adrian Crow, Italian satellites, the whole Stop the Steal thing from the broken algorithms to hammer and scorecard from NSA, anti-vax. Every conspiracy theory you can think of, going back to World War II, you know what happened then.

All these things, the baseline and RFK Jr's a master at it. Is that it's a deep state globalist coverup or a deep state globalist … some kind of thing that you can't control that's actually manipulating your entire life.

And I think a lot of people that are addicted to that are those that already believe that they have a direct link to the supernatural. And sadly, that's people that are very evangelical or very religious also.

And so, if you think that something supernatural can affect your life all the time, or you have a direct line to deities, is it that hard to believe that 9/11 was an inside job where there's a deep stake globalist cabal that’s out there.

I think if I could go all the way down and just meet it out, all the way down to the bottom, it's that there's something else out of your control that's always just one step, one thing away from your grasp that you can get. And usually, that's some kind of conspiratorial, overarching deep state globalist, government, one world government, new world order that's controlling all our lives.

And if you go to the base of that, there's always a coverup or what I always say, false flags, are the bastion of the dumbest conspiracy theorists. And I think all of it sort of goes down to sort of roots down to that.

Ken Harbaugh:

You have studied conspiracy theories across time, across cultures. Let me try to understand what you're saying; are the people drawn to them looking to explain a lack of control in their lives? They're looking to attribute some of the chaos they can't explain, which is just life to some external force, some malevolence. Is that what it's about? Is it a deep seated psychological phenomenon?

Denver Riggleman:

Yeah, I think it is. And I think it's been exacerbated, and I know that this is a hell of a linkage I'm about to do right here.

But when you're talking about the ReAwaken America Tours by Mike Flynn, where you're talking about seven mountains dominionism, but also when you're talking about people who feel like they're powerless in society, I think they have a really difficult time accepting that life is just life. It's just life.

And I think so many people have sort of accrued this arrogance through ignorance. I think that that's one of those things that really strikes me, is the more arrogant somebody you're dealing with, you find out that the amount of volume and words that they use, I think are directly relatable to their low IQ, or their credulous nature or their way of fantastical thinking.

And I think that's what scares me is that you become a hero in your own movie of good against evil by embracing things that you can't really prove, but it hits you in the fields, and then you have to back into weird things using data that's unvalidated or piecing together things that seem to be real. But there really is no linking tissue to them.

And I think as you keep going down that rabbit hole, every conspiracy theory becomes something that you like or something that attracts you.

Ken Harbaugh:

I've never heard it put that way, this arrogance through ignorance characterization. But I see that, I see that as another common thread linking conspiracy theories and conspiracy theorists in that desire to feel special, to feel like they know something, they're part of a club and you're not. You are unaware and oblivious to the real truth that they have an inside window into.

And this might be a little harsh. You attribute that to low IQ in a lot of cases. I attribute that to just having an uninteresting life and wanting some excitement. And conspiracy theories are exciting.

Denver Riggleman:

Plus, they give you that good against evil glow.

Ken Harbaugh:

Yeah.

Denver Riggleman:

I tell people that you got to remember when I was raised, I was raised to be a warrior of God. I was raised in the spiritual warfare mindset, and even up until the ages, in my young twenties, I'm putting on the armor of God. I had this, I'm doing the right thing.

The Constitution is a divine document, I have a chance to be a god myself. I'll have a massive family in heaven, being raised LDS from Mormon (I was an elder in a Mormon church). So, I had this absolute 100% certainty that I was of the one true religion.

And I even listened to some of my elders at first who said … or bishops, “Don't read any book.” That's anti-Mormon because that's apostates and that’s of the devil. But I started doing that.

I started questioning things because you have to say, “Hey, am I okay with a prophet that has 50 wives, and some of them very young? Am I okay with some of the things that the actual root belief system of the LDS church seems absolutely fantastical, bizarre?”

So, if you break out of that, even if you're raised in that, you still are always sort of fighting that want to go back into that soft, sweet cocoon of belief. Because listen, life is brutal. Life is facts-based, and a lot of times life is boring. And that's just part of it. It's a slog.

But if you believe that you have been called in some almighty mission based on saving our children from the basement of a pizza shop, or that you're trying to stop Venezuelan programmers from fixing the election, or you're trying to stop the Italian satellites from changing votes, you're saving America, because God wants you to.

Or you're saving America because you have, as you said, I'm coming full circle back to you, Ken — you have a unique specialness that you know more than the other person. And you have this massive trove of unsubstantiated shit that you can throw at somebody who’s facts-based.

And then I have to go back and say, “Listen, I know you believe in eight-foot ghosts with 12-foot tongues, but that is not something that is actually validated by data.” But they'll say, “But I saw an eight-foot ghost with a 12-foot tongue,” and I like to sleep them.”

So, those are the issues that you have, and that's the fight, is that how do you fight … it's almost like fact-based people are fighting smoke, and that's really difficult.

Ken Harbaugh:

The problem with fighting back against a conspiracy with facts is that it reinforces the conspiracy, especially when you're talking about deep state conspiracies and things like that.

Denver Riggleman:

Yes, you're so right.

Ken Harbaugh:

I am so far off script here, but I have to ask you, given your upbringing and your reference to the warrior for God stuff, I have to ask you about the Sound of Freedom movie and its ties to the crazy QAnon world.

We've covered it already in this show, but as a Mormon, what's your take? The protagonist, of course, is from LDS. Alright, you take it away.

Denver Riggleman:

Gosh, I've been out of the LDS church now I think for 22 years, but I know it well, and the fact is, is that I think I saw a poll that the third largest denomination of believing QAnon was LDS. I think it was polls or sometimes, whatever. But it was interesting. I think it was 18%.

Listen, you live in a fantasy world. Again, and there's great people in the LDS church, so great friends, I just can't, I'm like, “Come on, it's not a thing.” I just don't see how that's possible. And if it is, and I'm at the pearly gates and Jesus or God or somebody goes, “Hey brother, you should have had more than one wife or you should know …” I'm kidding, we don't do that anymore.

But you should have lived by this specific type of premise that you thought was fantastical, but actually it wasn't. You know, it did come from the celestial kingdom and the celestial and the terrestrial kingdom, and there are three kingdoms, and there are pearly gates and you can be a god in other worlds and you can build your own universes.”

And I'll be like, “Oh crap, I really screwed up. I guess, I'm just going to be chilling.” But when you see something out of Sound of Freedom (I'm going to go see it this week) — when you look at the belief systems of those individuals, and you've seen Jim Caviezel absolutely go off the deep end, you have to look at the source of the film.

And if the film is already facts-challenged and you have people going to see it, and it's making over a hundred million dollars, and who knows if people, Biden take their side, I really don't care. The fact is, it has proved that it had legs. And I think that what you're going to see is that Sound of Freedom is going to be a rallying cry going into the 2024 election.

And I think it's really, really sort of pushed back up the #SaveOurChildren sort of QAnon adrenochrome type of thing that's going on. And Caviezel has even said that himself, this is extremely dangerous. If you're going to do a movie, it has to be facts-based.

Child trafficking is evil, it's awful. But if our eyes are off what's really happening and people are actually concentrating on fantasy, we're taking resources away from actually trying to stop the evil that people do. I think that's what pisses me off.

Ken Harbaugh:

It's an enormous distraction from the actual threats that children face, both in terms of human trafficking, which is mostly perpetuated by people they know, and other threats like guns in schools and mental health and everything like that.

Instead, we construct this vigilante fever dream, that is the other problem that it provokes others to take on that warrior mindset and do the Lord's bidding and raid a pizza parlor that turns out not to have a basement full of kids, much less a basement.

Denver Riggleman:

Been there. Yeah, actually, I know when it happened, I went there. I know people are like, “Oh, Den, you're such a nerd.” But I was in Congress and I've been in DC multiple times, I'm walking in there like, “How in the living hell would they be running a fricking pedophilia ring ad?” It's so ludicrous.

Ken Harbaugh:

Give us the Cliff's notes version of Comet Pizza.

Denver Riggleman:

Okay, I love this stuff. So, really if you look at Comet Ping Pong, you're looking at really, I would say the starting gun for the QAnon conspiracy theory. I think the first drop came out three months after that. Ping Pong was there's a pedophilia ring being run out of the basement; they were actually trafficking children; Hillary Clinton was part of it.

And that was really the baseline of why that individual went into Comet Ping Pong to actually shoot it up. Or came in with a weapon and discharged the weapon, and then afterwards said it was stupid. But the issue that she had was there were supposedly trafficking children out of the basement at Comet Ping Pong, there is no actual physical basement there.

And the only thing I could find where you could hide is they have a pretty nifty bathroom where it looks like a panel and you just move the panel to the side. So, I guess the bathroom’s hidden a little bit if somebody wanted to hide in the bathroom.

But yeah, that was the whole genesis of it, is that it was it was a central part in DC for the deep state or Democrats, or a globalist, new world order where they would use those children and actually, they would traffic them out of Comet Ping Pong.

And Hillary Clinton was a huge part of that based on her background as part of the huge, I guess, new world order or the globalist or the deep state pedophilia ring that had been run out there.

Ken Harbaugh:

And the shooter later said to the investigators that he had had bad intel. I mean, he had no intel.

Denver Riggleman:

Yeah, that's so funny you said that. Because bad intel, dude, that's like having … I don't even know what it is. It's like, I would say base your whole life off of your belief that Lord of the Rings is a documentary. I don't know if that's bad intel. I think it's just living in a fantasy world.

Ken Harbaugh:

Yeah. But he's using obviously, military jargon, back to this idea that you're special, you know something that others don't, and you're a warrior for good. And man, we just see how dangerous that can be, especially when it's politicized. And we're going into the highest stakes presidential election arguably in our country's history.

Denver Riggleman:

Ever. And now, even today in Congress, everything, you policy being set by fantasy. And it's really difficult, I think, to run a world superpower where people don't know the difference between what a fact looks like or what a fiction looks like. And I think that should frighten people, what's going on right now.

Ken Harbaugh:

Okay, I need your take on the GOP primary. You have said that the VP race is the only game in town. Do you really think there is zero chance of someone taking the baton from DeSantis and moving into that whole position to take out Trump or is it over?

Denver Riggleman:

Well, you know I'm an old intelligence officer, so you never say 100%. So, you can say, well, I never said 100% Ken, but I think right now, we're in probably the 95% threshold where Trump is the presumptive nominee.

And I don't know, Ken, I watched DeSantis, I don't know if there's something wrong with that boy, I'm not quite sure what his deal is. But the only person that looks like that has sort of can drag the acts in an effective way is Chris Christie. And I know that's interesting that he helped Trump so much, but he's the one who seems to be able to attack.

But I think what you're going to see on that stage at this debate is the first person who comes out and says, “Guard the vote,” which is the new Stop the Steal, or the first person that says election integrity units, or the first person that says it's a witch hunt.

Whoever, you see those people who are trying their best to insert that into the conversation of the people who’re running for VP. And I think that's what I'm going to look for, is I got a feeling that five out of the seven on that stage are running for VP.

The only two that might be a little bit bowed up is DeSantis and Christie. The issue with DeSantis is Christie's going to probably drag him around the stage. I just got a feeling it's not going to be great for Ron because he's really not a policy-centric guy. And I think that's going to be really interesting how he responds to that. And the fact is, his polling is tanking.

You know what, the other candidates, they sense chum in the water. I mean, they're going to come and they're going to eat, and I think they're going to just get all over to DeSantis. I think he's going to have a rough time.

I think they're going to prepare him for — they have no idea how Christie's going to come at him. And I think they're going to think they do, but I don't see his staff being able to prepare him for what's about to happen.

Ken Harbaugh:

I hope Christie brings up his collateral duty as a Navy jag. Do you know the one I'm referring to?

Denver Riggleman:

I do know what you're referring to.

Ken Harbaugh:

Not the urinalysis coordinator, the assistant urinalysis coordinator. That was DeSantis … that was the job his commanders gave him when he wasn't jagging.

Denver Riggleman:

Ron Golden Showers DeSantis.

Ken Harbaugh:

You said it, not me.

Denver Riggleman:

Hey man, military man, come on. If he can't take a joke, I mean, probably shouldn't have been in the military.

Ken Harbaugh:

On a serious note, that Guard the Vote stuff that you brought up really scares me because it is militarizing that True the Vote stuff. And I think we're going to see in the run up to the election just an order of magnitude increase in the number of people who show up at the fringes, at the outside edges of those polling places.

I think it's a hundred-foot buffer barrier, but armed to the teeth with their tactical gear, with their masks on, carrying loaded long rifles. And we saw this from a group of veterans last go around True the Vote who just happened to only go into minority communities to protect polling places.

Voter intimidation as clear as day, but under the guise of True the Vote, now Guard the Vote, and I think it's going to be a call to arms, and it's scary.

Denver Riggleman:

It is, I think spring of ‘24, you're going to see some crazy stuff, man. You got the back-to-back-to-back-to-back indictment schedule for Trump. You got somebody who's going to be seen by his true believers as a political prisoner, the deep state's attacking. There we go again, back to the deep state globalist conspiracy theories.

I think all that's going to happen at once. And I think, in spring, I still think Biden's a presumptive nominee on the Democrat side. But if you look at the combined age, what is it, 157 right now between Biden and Trump, between Joe and Don.

Ken Harbaugh:

Something like that.

Denver Riggleman:

And so, when I look at that, dude, next year is a long way away in a health way. Everybody's like, “Oh God, it's just around …” Well, you come into June or July of next year, you're talking about people that are not young, that have another year on them. We don't know what that's going to look like. I think you're going to have health problems one way or the other, oh my God.

So, when you say, “Is there somebody other than DeSantis?” I mean, if Trump has a health scare, who knows. If Biden has a health scare, boy, that could change the whole dynamic. I think the Guard the Vote thing is going to really rally people.

I think you're right. I think some people are going to get froggy, but it also comes to this. I mean, if they can intimidate enough or they can suppress vote or you can disenfranchise people or you can change just enough laws, I still think it's very possible Trump gets over 70 million votes if he is the nominee, and will Biden get 81 million if he’s still the nominee? I don’t know.

So, anybody out there saying Trump can’t win, I think you got to take your head out of the sand and start looking around.

Ken Harbaugh:

They said that in 2015, and DeSantis is saying, the Republican field now is more solicitous of Trump than they were in 2015. So, he’s in a better position, at least in the primary.

We got to get to your day job or at least your latest gig. There was this bombshell headline, ex-congressman (that's you) suggest Hunter Biden alleged laptop data is fabricated. What's going on with that?

Denver Riggleman:

Yeah, it's the age-old thing. First of all, if people would watch … you know this on Acosta, I was talking about forensic chain of custody and we know the forensic chain of custody is completely broken. There is no public data right now out there that could be linked to any device. It just isn't possible.

The other thing with that, when you see database structures that are messed up or things that are actually inserted or you see things that have been deleted to change context, you start to get into that fabrication or insertion of data or deletion of data to change the actual narrative. And that is pure information warfare.

And I read Hunter's book, Beautiful Things, I talked to Hunter a lot. It was very difficult for them to convince me to try to do this because I did tell them anything I find is discoverable.

There's lots of data out there that's not just specifically to a laptop sort of ludicrous, to think that COVID started from Hunter's laptop, which seems to be the — everything comes from Hunter's laptop. Aliens for the love of God, probably erupted from Hunter's laptop.

But I think it's the thing between proof and maybe untoward activities. And like I told the Biden legal team, the thing is, is that he's already confessed to doing really bad things because he's trying to change his life. You know, how do you defend that?

For me, it was the curiosity of data. What exactly is out there, and why is it that the laptop story is so convoluted? And once I started looking at the people and how they self-identified, like the John Paul Mac Isaac, who's the owner of the Mac shop in Delaware, he wrote a book that contradicted what he said initially.

And now, we know that he did not know what a forensic copy was. So, now we're really in a weird space where you have him giving away copies to Rudy Giuliani and his daddy. And I mean, this is a guy who was afraid of a basket of fruit. He thought had been poisoned by the Biden assassination team.

So, I mean, you have a conspiratorial guy who's legally blind, who's somehow a Mac repairman, who the only data he's ever released is Hunter Biden's, out of the thousands of clients you said that he has, you get to a point that you're like, “Okay, what's really going on here?”

And I think what you have is that Hunter Biden was just a flank to the 2020 election, just like January 6th. And when you trace all that back to Bannon and Giuliani, you had a Chinese team that Bannon ran, a Russian team that Giuliani ran, and you know, the people they talked to, and we have the video and the data, we have validated data …

You start to think, well, this was just another op where they used some facts to change the narrative to make it a lot worse than it was when it was already bad. And they thought they had a willing target in Hunter Biden and they went after.

And I think if I was the Biden legal team, I probably would've reacted to some of those things a lot quicker than they did.

So, they made some mistakes, but they brought me in to just look at the data and see what we could forensically prove. And right now, I think that's why you see the Hunter Biden team on the offensive is because they believe that they have a pretty good case for data being stolen and invasion of privacy.

Ken Harbaugh:

They're suing, they're actually going after the folks who did it.

Denver Riggleman:

Yeah, they are. And I think it's going to get more aggressive because Fox seems to be a favorite target of people because they seem to like to make things up. So, I wouldn't be surprised if the Biden team went after Fox eventually. I just think they have a lot of validated points that they could bring up.

And the thing too is that does Hunter just to want to move on with his life too, they got to make that decision. He's going to be out of the criminal woods here. And even with the crap show that went on with the plea deal that I was looking at, but I think he's going to be out of those woods.

He's got to make a decision whether he wants to continue to sue people for what happened to him, or if he wants to move on. But if it can happen to Hunter Biden at this level, it can happen to anybody. And that's again, what I want to go back to is how effective is information operations against average citizens or even citizens related to people in power. It's pretty awful to behold.

Ken Harbaugh:

Last question, how's the bourbon business going?

Denver Riggleman:

It's going good, man. We're making more barrels, we're expanding. We just got into Kentucky. We're about to get into Louisiana as far as distribution. So, that's a very busy job too.

I know sometimes it’s like God, Den, you probably look tired, but I also started a new AI company, so I got investment coming in and I'm starting a new analysis company on trying to find point of origins for specific type of bad actors, but also blending data that's never been blended before. And using some of the new technologies to do that, to try to give you a better idea of what the battle space looks like. And so, I got that going on too.

So, I started another tech company. I got Silverback going. I'm supporting not only the legal team for Hunter Biden, but multiple clients and I got media stuff going on. So, it's been a road, it's been a trip the last four or five years, I'll tell you that, Ken.

Ken Harbaugh:

Indeed, it has, keep it up Denver. As always, it is fun talking to you. Thanks.

Denver Riggleman:

Ah, thanks man, I appreciate you. You take care, buddy.

Ken Harbaugh:

Thanks again to Denver for joining me. Make sure to check out his podcast, The Mighty Peculiar. The link is in the show description.

Thanks for listening to Burn the Boats. If you have any feedback, please email the team at [email protected]. We're always looking to improve the show.

For updates and more, follow us on Twitter at Team_Harbaugh. And if you enjoyed this episode, don't forget to rate and review.

Burn the Boats is a production of Evergreen Podcasts. Our producer is Declan Rohrs and Sean Rule-Roffman is our audio engineer.

Special thanks to Evergreen executive producers, Joan Andrews, Michael DeAloia and David Moss. I'm Ken Harbaugh and this is Burn the Boats, a podcast about big decisions.


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