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Alaska’s Assistant AG Caught Posting Antisemitic, Homophobic Messages Online

An Alaska assistant attorney general, Matthias Cicotte, has been identified as a supporter of the Mormon-derived extremist group, the Deseret nationalists, who has posted a series of antisemitic, racist and homophobic messages on social media.

Cicotte, whose job means he works as the chief corrections counsel for Alaska’s attorney general, has acted for the department of law in a number of civil rights cases.

But evidence from his Twitter output allowed Cicotte to be identified by anti-fascist researchers, whose evidence was confirmed and augmented by a Guardian investigation.

After the department was presented with the information last week, Alaska’s deputy attorney general, Cori Mills, wrote in a statement shared with the Guardian: “The department of law takes the allegations raised here seriously, and we uphold the dignity and respect of all individuals and ask that all of our employees do the same.”

Mills added: “Having just learned about this late last week, we are gathering information and conducting a review. Since this involves personnel issues, we are very limited in our ability to comment further.”

Online, Cicotte, under the moniker J Reuben Clark and the Twitter handle @JReubenCIark, has expressed extreme positions on race, criminal justice and religion. Since-deleted tweets archived by anti-fascists reveal that he advocated various extreme positions including the summary imprisonment of Black Lives Matter protesters; vigilante violence against leftwing groups; and a punishment of execution for acts including performing gender reassignment surgery.

The JReubenCIark account was also one of the earliest and most prominent accounts to promote Deseret nationalism on Twitter using hashtags like #DeseretNationalism and #DezNat.

Deseret nationalists or DezNats are a loose association of rightwing Mormons. Previously they have been noted for harassing perceived enemies online, such as progressive Mormons, LGBTQ Mormons, former Mormons and political progressives.

Many DezNats flirt with accelerationist neo-Nazi imagery, and pass around memes and catchphrases that are adaptations of imagery and verbiage associated with the “alt-right” movement.

The account is pseudonymous, but it left a trail of evidence regarding Cicotte’s identity which were archived by antifascist activists. The moniker not only references a prominent 20th-century Mormon leader and attorney, but is the name of Brigham Young University’s law school, from which Cicotte graduated in 2008.

Many of the tweets under the JReubenCIark moniker suggest antipathy towards Jews, who are the subject of hundreds of tweets that suggest that they are involved in conspiracies against white people, or that they already control the commanding heights of the economy, the media or education.

In 2016, his account sent a tweet evoking a past time when “real history was taught in school, angry yentas didn’t rule, white men didn’t play the fool”.

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The tweet – which suggests the malign influence of Jewish women and the decline of white men as problems in the contemporary world – tagged in two then prominent alt-right accounts at a time when that movement was at the height of its influence on social media.

In February this year, JReubenCIark wrote in reference to the Republican Jewish Committee’s push for the expulsion of Marjorie Taylor Greene that he supported their efforts “to combat the conspiracy theory that Jews run everything by getting any member of Congress they don’t like expelled from Congress”.

JReubenCIark also evinced a dismissive animus towards Latinos. On 25 June last year he wrote: “I can’t believe there’s a faithful Latter-day Saint out there who can look at the collapse of birthrates among the Latter-day Saints and say, ‘Well, hey, at least lots of Catholic Mexicans are coming to the US.’”

The account tweeted about violence against trans people – on 17 October 2017, responding to news of a Drag Time Story Hour event in Long Beach, California, Cicotte wrote: “This demon should be burned to death and everyone responsible for that library event should be in prison.”

On 16 August 2019, he tweeted: “People who encourage a kid to think he’s a different sex than what he is (including parents) go to jail for child abuse”, adding that “people who perform or abet sex change operations on kids get the death penalty.”