WASHINGTON—Robert Patrick Lewis is a Green Beret turned co-founder of 1st Amendment Praetorian, a group that provides security to grassroots, patriotic, and religious events, protecting these Americans’ First Amendment rights. This brought Lewis to Washington on Dec. 12, where he was part of the personal security detail for Lt. General Michael Flynn, who spoke about the fate of the presidential election in front of crowds gathered at the Supreme Court and the National Mall.
“The Praetorian Guard was the group of elite Roman soldiers who were specifically protecting the emperor. For us, we’re First Amendment Praetorian because we believe the First Amendment is the thing that makes us American,” Lewis said. It’s what separates Americans from all other nations of the world, he said.
Thousands gathered to join marches and rallies in Washington on Dec. 12, petitioning the government for fair elections and transparent counting. Similar grassroots protests took place every Saturday since the general election in capitals across the 50 states. For the Washington event, Lewis’s group had been coordinating with local law enforcement agencies and scraping the web and social media to identify potential threats at the event.
“It’s integral that people can come out here and make their voices heard, that they can let it be known that they are not gonna sit down, that they are not going to be quiet anymore, that they want to talk about political support, how they feel religiously, just to say that they are not gonna sit down and allow our election to be stolen, and we want to protect them and give them the right to do that,” he said.
The division in the country has made this an event to watch.
“A lot of people are very angry. And so we’ve been tracking this on the intelligence side for a while now as a low-intensity conflict,” Lewis said. “We see a lot of people that, in 2016, they were afraid to even say they were a President Trump candidate supporter. And now you have all these people that are no longer afraid. All across the country, they are willing to get up off the couch, they’re coming out, they’re making their voices heard, here in real life, on social media, in their families, in their neighborhoods. Those people aren’t going back to sleep. The media has tried to have a veil over everything for a long time, and people have woken up.”
“The longer that somebody’s been asleep, once they wake up, they are the angriest and they are the most dedicated,” he said. “And that’s not going to stop. That’s one of the things that really worries me, is that we know there’s outside influences in a lot of what’s going on. We know that Sidney Powell outlined China, Iran, Pakistan, we saw some other outside adversaries that had a part in this. That’s my biggest fear, is that if they try to do that, if we do come to a point where there is violence in this country, our adversaries will start to come in and it will become a battleground, the United States will become a battleground. That’s what really worries me the most, because that’s when chaos, I was in the army, I was a Green Beret, so I’ve been in warzones. I don’t want to see that here. I’ve got a family, I’ve got have kids. I hope that we can stop it before it comes to that point, but if we don’t, there are alot of people that are not going to go back to sleep, they’re not going to sit down, they’re not going to allow it to happen.”