When InfoWars correspondent Millie Weaver was arrested last week, her supporters claimed she was the victim of a “deep state” prosecution of a truth-telling journalist. By Tuesday afternoon, they had raised more than $170,000 to help her fight the charges.
In reality, Weaver wasn’t some heroine at the vanguard of a fight against nefarious government agents. Instead, she was arrested on charges of robbing her own mother, according to newly released court documents from police and prosecutors. But despite the less dramatic plot, Weaver’s backers are still laying claim to her victimhood status. And she does not appear inclined to give the money back.
On Friday, Weaver livestreamed her arrest at her Ohio home by sheriff’s deputies in Portage County. She claimed she didn’t know why she was being arrested, complained that she had not been warned via the mail that she was about to be indicted, and insisted–as she was being arrested—that she was on the cusp of a major professional moment.
“I was literally about to break huge breaking news right now and I’m being arrested and I have no idea why,” Weaver said on her livestream.
Soon after the arrest, one of Weaver’s supporters published “Shadow Gate,” a convoluted “documentary” in which Weaver and a handful of oddball characters allege a deep-state conspiracy among government contractors alleged to be the puppet masters behind American politics. And soon after that, Weaver’s right-wing allies quickly claimed that the damaging secrets in “Shadow Gate” were what prompted the authorities to descend on her.
Blaze TV host Elijah Schaffer claimed Weaver had been arrested "for allegedly obtaining leaked government documents." Attorney Robert Barnes, who has represented InfoWars in the past, claimed that Weaver’s arrest was probably “criminalizing journalism that obtains information from whistleblowers.”
Ezra Levant, the head of conservative Canadian outlet Rebel News, set up a GoFundMe page in Weaver’s name. With Weaver in jail, the donations began pouring in.
What happened to #MillieWeaver likely reflects local authorities weaponizing the theory in the #Assange indictment, criminalizing journalism that obtains information from whistleblowers. This is why the #Assange indictment threatens the First Amendment so dangerously.
— Robert Barnes (@Barnes_Law) August 15, 2020
Over the weekend, there was near-total silence from local authorities about the charges she faced. Indeed, when asked whether Weaver was arrested for her documentary, a county jail official only “laughed” in an interview with the Daily Dot.
But official documents now show that Weaver’s arrest had nothing to do with the deep state—unless the alleged conspiracy includes her own mother.
Weaver is formally facing three felony charges for robbery, evidence tampering and obstruction of justice, as well as a misdemeanor domestic charge over an April family fight gone wrong. Weaver’s husband, Gavin Wince, and her brother, Charles Weaver, are facing the same charges.
The incident in question took place on April 25, when Millie Weaver began arguing with and insulting her mother, Felecia McCarron, according to a police report. McCarron started a recording on her phone, in an apparent attempt to catch Weaver, Weaver’s brother, and Weaver’s husband talking about her. The Weavers and Wince allegedly tried to take her phone away in a scuffle, and all three allegedly “wrestled Felicia to the ground.”
“Chuck grabbed Felicia’s arm as Gavin grabbed the other,” the report reads. “Millie joined in and they all threw Felicia to the ground and held her down.”
The trio succeeded in taking the phone, according to McCarron’s account, in what constitutes the “robbery” Weaver is charged with. McCarron, who suffered a small abrasion in the scuffle, fled to a neighbor’s house and called 911. While there, she saw Charles Weaver running to the back of the house, in what she took to be an attempt to hide her phone.
When deputies arrived, the Weaver siblings and Wince claimed that McCarron suffered from mental issues and had in fact lost her phone days earlier, the report alleges. But deputies became suspicious of the trio, suspecting that they were making up the explanation on the spot.
Further investigation proved that McCarron had been texting someone from her church on her phone shortly before the alleged robbery, meaning that she couldn’t have lost it days earlier. By comparison, the deputies found McCarron’s version of events believable.
“As Millie told the story, she paused numerous times and seemed to be thinking of the details as she spoke,” the report reads. “The three would look at one another and pause, as if looking for the right answer before one would provide an answer.”
The trio’s alleged attempts to lie to officers were so obvious to authorities that they were described as absurd. At one point, Weaver’s brother Charles told an officer that he had run behind the house to check out a flooding issue, not to hide the phone. When the officer pointed out that there were no footprints in the mud to show that Weaver had gone behind the house, Charles countered that he had “jogged” — which supposedly wouldn’t have left footprints.
“I commented on the absurdity of their explanation,” one deputy’s account of the interview reads.
Millie Weaver didn’t respond to a request for comment. Wince and Charles Weaver, along with McCarron, couldn’t be reached for comment.
Even as the details about Weaver’s case trickled out, her supporters continued to believe she had been somehow punished by the government for her “Shadow Gate” video. Roughly a dozen Weaver supporters gathered outside an Ohio courthouse Monday for Weaver’s hearing, carrying signs that said “Shadow Gate” or “Free Millie Now.” One claimed that Weaver had been “arrested for journalism.”
And while Weaver’s arrest turned out to be related to an alleged robbery of her mother, rather than deep-state skulduggery, GoFundMe will still allow Weaver to receive the $170,000 she’s raised so far. GoFundMe will offer donors refunds if they request them, according to a statement.
“In order to honor the intent of the fundraiser and pay legal fees related to this arrest, the funds will be transferred to Weaver's legal counsel,” the statement reads. “This will ensure the money raised will only be used for the campaign's stated purpose.”