In a quaint, sparsely populated neighborhood in Decatur, a small town of fewer than 7,000 people to the northwest of Fort Worth, far-right lawyer Jason Lee Van Dyke has been kept busy by two separate holiday season gatherings for Nazis and fascists.
“As the Aryan Freedom Network and the self-described fascist they hired as an attorney know well, the First Amendment and the Texas Citizens Participation Act provide strong protections against this kind of frivolous lawsuit,” Goldsmith told the Observer. “Task Force Butler will not be intimidated by nazis, fascists, and white supremacists anywhere—especially not in court—because justice is on our side.”
The incident occurred on October 22, when several dozen members of the Aryan Freedom Network gathered in De Kalb, a town two hours to the east of Dallas, at the home of Dalton Henry Stout. Stout, an AFN leader, had previously run a KKK affiliate known as the Church of the KKK. Goldsmith, founder of the Task Force Butler Institute (TFBI), an organization dedicated to researching and exposing fascist groups across the country, successfully gathered footage of the gathering using his drone. Days later, TFBI was hit with a lawsuit from Stout filed by Van Dyke.
On November 23, Goldsmith’s lawyer received a letter from Van Dyke saying that his client, AFN leader Stout, asked him to withdraw the lawsuit without prejudice. The reason for withdrawal is unclear, but Van Dyke wrote that he would refile the lawsuit if Texas’ drone law, which was thrown out in its entirety for being unconstitutional, is reinstated by the 5th Circuit Court, the most politically conservative court in the country.
In previous comments to the Texas Observer, Van Dyke insisted he has “nothing to do with the Aryan Freedom Network.” But new evidence points to Van Dyke being more than just a lawyer for the neo-Nazi group. A vehicle with the same make, model, color, and rims that Van Dyke drives and has posted to his social media appears in the aerial surveillance drone footage of the AFN gathering captured by TFBI. When presented with this evidence via email, Van Dyke did not deny attending the AFN gathering.
Regarding the second holiday gathering, Van Dyke worked hard to prepare his home for a big holiday party where he had enough food to feed over 20 members of the neo-fascist organization, Patriot Front, who joined him with their wives and kids for a Thanksgiving feast. Photos of the event posted to the Patriot Front Telegram channel appear to show members of the neo-fascist group on Van Dyke’s property. The photos also indicate Thomas Rosseau, the group’s supreme leader and propagandist, was in attendance for the meal. The location of the Patriot Front gathering at Van Dyke’s home is supportedby open source intelligence reviewed by the Observer.
Van Dyke has also repeatedly denied any involvement with Patriot Front, the neo-fascist group whose members he has previously represented in court. But leaked chats from the group indicate Van Dyke may be a member of the group himself, in addition to the photos posted by Patriot Front on their Telegram channel which reveal Mr. Van Dyke hosted the Thanksgiving gathering at his home in Decatur.
While Patriot Front blurred their members’ faces in an attempt to conceal their identity, images posted by the neo-fascist hate group provide a visual match with the surrounding areas of Van Dyke’s backyard. Though Van Dyke has made an effort to hide the likeness of his home by blurring his address on Google Earth, another Google Earth view shows that Van Dyke’s neighbor owns a carport that is identical to one featured in one of the Patriot Front images. The siding and roof of Van Dyke’s house, shown in another image posted to Telegram, can also be seen when looking at the neighbor on Google Earth. Incidentally, Van Dyke’s house is registered as a gun shop, Invictus Gunworks LLC, which allows for Federal Firearm Licensee transfers.
On Telegram, the neo-fascist organization posted: “Members held a gathering to celebrate Thanksgiving in Texas. With friends and family in attendance, men stood to speak of that for which they were thankful.” Patriot Front’s leader, Thomas Rosseau, was in attendance and posed for a photograph. The gathering occurred the weekend before Thanksgiving.
On Thanksgiving Day on the right-wing social media site GETTR, Van Dyke posted: “Not stolen. Conquered. And don’t you ever forget it.”
When asked for comment about the Patriot Front gathering at his home, Van Dyke said, “I’m not doing this interview stuff anymore. I talked to my partners about it, we don’t need to be doing them, and you write what you want, alright? You can please put down that I respectfully decline to comment.”
Late Monday night before Van Dyke’s activities were made public, he posted on GETTR: “We can’t even have dinner or have friends over anymore without it being a scandal. This summer I am setting up more cameras and building a privacy fence cause I’m sick of it too. With antifascists using drones, I am also considering a 6 barrel hand cranked gatling gun that runs on 3.5″ 12 gauge BBB. That’s a half pound of steel per revolution. I’d just have to figure out how to feed it.”
The Texas State Bar has not responded to a request for comment regarding Van Dyke’s associations with extremist groups. In the past, the state bar has suspended Van Dyke for threatening to murder one of his legal opponents.