Jim Watkins, QAnon Celebrity, Met With the Jan. 6 Committee

Jim Watkins, the 8chan/8kun operator and an influential figure among adherents of the QAnon conspiracy theory, met with the Jan. 6 committee on Monday.

Watkins posted about the meeting on his Telegram account. “The committee decided to do it by zoom. So I didn’t go to DC,” he wrote in response to followers questioning why he posted a picture of himself in Chicago rather than Washington, D.C. Watkins posted on Friday that he was scheduled to have “an appointment with Congress on Monday.”

A spokesperson for the Jan. 6 committee did not immediately respond to an inquiry about Watkins’ claim, nor did Watkins immediately respond to questions about the nature of the meeting.

Some researchers have pegged Watkins as the person behind the “Q drop” posts that inspired the QAnon conspiracy theory, which holds that the United States is run by a cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles whom former President Trump would — or, potentially, will — expose and imprison. Members of the QAnon cult were present during the attack on the Capitol last Jan. 6. The most notable among them was Jacob Chansley, also known as the “QAnon Shaman,” who was sentenced to 41 months in prison last fall for storming the building in horns and furs while toting an American flag. QAnon signage was also photographed outside the building.

Watkins’ ties to the cult stem from his ownership of 8kun (formerly 8chan), the far-right message board that has played host to QAnon since it moved off of 4chan. The Jan. 6 committee last August demanded records from 8kun — along with social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok — suspecting that Trump supporters may have used it to plot the Capitol attack.

The committee’s meeting with Watkins on Monday serves as a reminder that though it has already scheduled televised hearings, its work is not done.

The first of six public hearings will take place on Thursday. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) has teased that the committee’s findings will “blow the roof off the House.” He said on Monday that the committee has found evidence that Trump’s role in the events of last Jan. 6 extend beyond simply “inciting” the Capitol attack. Among Thursday’s scheduled witnesses is documentarian Nick Quested, who was embedded with the Proud Boys and its chairman Enrique Tarrio prior to Jan. 6.

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