How Christopher Cantwell crumbled

The “Crying Nazi” goes on trial this week in federal court in New Hampshire in a case that no one saw coming. Including him.

There is, perhaps, no six-month news cycle that Christopher Cantwell, a chaos agent within the already chaotic world of neo-Nazis, would have enjoyed more. But as civil unrest fills the streets, a pandemic rages across the country, and a presidential election looms on the horizon, the libertarian shock jock turned neo-Nazi podcaster has been confined to a New Hampshire jail that doubles as an immigrant detention facility. 

This week, in a courtroom in Concord, New Hampshire, Cantwell goes on trial, charged with extortion, threats, and cyberstalking. If convicted, he faces 27 years in prison. 

In the early morning hours of January 23, 2020, FBI agents arrived at Cantwell’s Keene, New Hampshire apartment. Cantwell was taken into custody, and charged with multiple felony counts. Later that afternoon, Cantwell was brought, handcuffed, his legs shackled with hot pink leg cuffs, into Courtroom B at the United States District Courthouse in Concord. 

His arraignment, at which Cantwell pleaded not guilty, drew only a small handful of reporters and a slightly larger handful of supporters, courthouse employees, and law enforcement officers. 

It was big news, for those who cover the comings and goings of neo-Nazis. But it was barely a blip on the national news. Several stories ran, but none offered much more than the basics. And how could they? 

The story of just how and why Cantwell, 39, came to be arrested on that early winter morning and what it meant to the wider neo-Nazi community, is layered and involved.

This very corner of the far right has become, for better or worse, and not by intention, or entirely by choice, my niche. 

That Cantwell finally ran afoul of the law sufficiently enough to be charged with a federal crime wasn’t necessarily surprising. But the identity of the victim was a gut punch, or a punch line. 

Cantwell wasn’t charged when he called for the murder of Charlottesville, Virginia, journalist and activist Molly Conger. Cantwell wasn’t charged when he threatened Roberta Kaplan, the attorney representing victims in the lawsuit against organizers of the 2017 “Unite the Right” rally. Cantwell wasn’t charged after he told his Gab followers how much good would result from murdering the “50 loudest leftists.” And Cantwell wasn’t charged for the many times he mused about me being raped and murdered

Cantwell was, instead, charged with attempting to extort information about a neo-Nazi from yet another neo-Nazi. 

According to the indictment, Cantwell threatened to “fuck” the wife of a neo-Nazi, who used the pseudonym “CheddarMane,” if the man did not give up information about another rival neo-Nazi, known at the time only by the pseudonym “Vic Mackey.”

Both CheddarMane and Vic Mackey are members of the Bowl Patrol, a loosely affiliated group of neo-Nazis who declare mass shooters to be “saints,” and cheer the type of violence they think will set off a race war and subsequently usher in a white ethnostate. The name of the group is an homage to the haircut worn by the white supremacist convicted of murdering multiple people in a Charleston, South Carolina church in 2015.  

“So if you don’t want me to come and fuck your wife in front of your kids, then you should make yourself scarce[.] Give me Vic, it’s your only out,” Cantwell wrote in a June 2019 Telegram message to CheddarMane. 

The journalists and activists who have, for years, found themselves the targets of Cantwell’s vitriol watched with a mix of awe, horror, and bewilderment as he was charged for threats made not against any of us, but instead against another neo-Nazi. 

Surely, we consoled ourselves privately, law enforcement was playing some kind of 4D chess. Otherwise, what were they thinking?

If you already know of Christopher Cantwell, it might be from “Race and Terror,” the August 2017 VICE documentary in which he is prominently featured. Or maybe you first became aware of him when he was dubbed the “Crying Nazi” after he was seen sobbing, on video, after the 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, fearful that his imminent arrest would involve the police shooting him. (Spoiler alert: It didn’t.) Or perhaps you saw the 2014  episode of “The Colbert Report,” in which Cantwell can be seen harassing parking enforcement officers on the streets of Keene. 

To understand who Cantwell is, how he rose to prominence in the increasingly crowded neo-Nazi landscape, and how he ended up facing 27 years in federal prison, we need to go back in time, long before he devoted himself to spewing hate and vitriol online.

Cantwell was raised on Long Island, New York, the oldest of two children. His father worked as an air traffic controller, and his mother attempted to raise Cantwell and his brother Catholic, according to Cantwell’s own telling. 

At 19, he had his first serious brush with law enforcement, when he pleaded guilty in New York’s Suffolk County to misdemeanor counts of criminal possession of a weapon and operating under the influence, according to prosecutors.  

“I made a series of very poor decisions that ultimately landed me in jail on misdemeanor charges at the age of 19 for 4 months,” Cantwell later wrote online. 

Cantwell has made his struggle with substance abuse no secret. But in his writing and podcasts, including a series of recordings he made in late 2016, Cantwell offered significant additional details of his battles, saying he began abusing drugs at 13, beginning with marijuana, and then expanding to include alcohol, stimulants, steroids, PCP, acid, mushrooms, crack, cocaine, ecstasy, heroin, and methamphetamine. 

Following his first incarceration, Cantwell has said he was trained as a computer technician and worked as an overnight technical support representative and operations manager before launching his own computer consulting business.

In 2009, Cantwell was again arrested for driving while intoxicated. He has claimed that while researching for his own legal defense in this case, he began closely examining the Constitution and came to the realization that the “country was in serious danger.” It was this perceived injustice, he has said, that most led him to learn about, and question, the state. 

Cantwell promptly joined the Libertarian Party, and then, with charges pending, he launched a campaign for New York’s 1st Congressional District. His mother was listed as campaign treasurer

He failed to gather enough signatures to get his name on the ballot, but Cantwell wasn’t ready to give up on the idea of a future in politics, and he remained involved with the Libertarian Party and related activism. He also pleaded guilty and served 28 days behind bars.

“It is not impossible, impractical, or immoral to overthrow the government,” Cantwell wrote in a March 2014 blog post. “My proposal, and in all honesty, I’m still working out the details, has been to resort to force. … To kill government agents who would otherwise use force against them, until their jobs simply become so dangerous that they seek other lines of work.”

Three months later, in June 2014, Cantwell celebrated the death of two police officers, writing, “The good news is, two cops are dead.”

While he was celebrating the murder of police officers, he was also a featured speaker at the Suffolk County Libertarian Party Annual Convention. 

Discouraged by his inability to easily obtain firearms in his home state,  Cantwell moved from Long Island to New Hampshire, settling in the town of Keene, home to the Free State Project, a political migration movement that has resulted in a, shall we say, lively libertarian community. 

In Keene, Cantwell quickly became a fixture, albeit a controversial one. 

In 2014, at a Halloween event, Cantwell dressed as a police officer, a gaping gunshot wound visible on his forehead. He spoke openly about his hatred of law enforcement, so much so that he was ultimately “kicked out of the Free State Project and ostracized by a bunch of people,” according to a FreeKeene.com post.

Cantwell launched “Some Garbage Podcast,” an extremely low-budget, live radio call-in show where he and a co-host discussed politics and sometimes interviewed guests. (He had a prior show briefly on BlogTalkRadio). 

“My name is Chris Cantwell. I’m an anarchist, an atheist, and an asshole,” Cantwell said to start Episode 1. 

On April 19, 2015, Cantwell rebranded and relaunched the podcast as “Radical Agenda.” And as Trump campaigned for the presidency, Cantwell’s transformation from an outspoken, obnoxious, and controversial libertarian to an outright fascist accelerated. 

He suggested helicopter rides for his detractors, regularly used racial slurs on Twitter, and called for liberals to be killed. 

He also increasingly advocated for violence against women. In 2014, Cantwell advised a Jezebel writer to kill herself.  He then excused his comment, saying it wasn’t a threat, per se, and that he was simply “pointing out the obvious fact that the world would be a better place without feminists” like the writer he had targeted. 

Cantwell’s increasingly racist rhetoric also got him banned from Keene’s FreeTalkLive radio, where he had been a regular guest.  

In the years since, Cantwell has been supportive of an ethnostate. He has discussed, at length, his belief that blacks have lower intelligence, that Jews are subversive communists, that immigrants will destroy the country, that women don’t appreciate him enough and should therefore be murdered, and so on. 

While Cantwell has, at times, complained about being labeled a Nazi, he has also worked incredibly hard to earn the label. He uses Nazi symbols. He shares Nazi propaganda. He quotes Adolf Hitler. He is unequivocally racist, misogynistic, homophobic, and transphobic. 

Cantwell’s ties within the larger neo-Nazi movement are too numerous to mention, although many of them are relationships he destroyed along the way. His guests have included Richard Spencer, Matt Heimbach, Augustus Invictus, Tom Kawczynski, Daniel “Grandpa Lampshade” Jefferies, Andrew Anglin, and Andrew “Weev” Auernheimer. Cantwell’s show was, for a time, featured on The Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi blog which strives to be the most vile place on the internet, often succeeding. 

It was in 2017 that Cantwell arrived on the national stage, though certainly not how he intended. 

Cantwell was billed to be a speaker at the August 2017 “Unite the Right” rally. When he arrived in Charlottesville for the event, a VICE team followed and interviewed him as he seemed to delight in being the big man on the Nazi campus, featured alongside the likes of Richard Spencer and David Duke. 

In the VICE documentary, Cantwell can be seen, in a hotel room, his assorted guns around him. 

“I carry a pistol, I go to the gym all the time. I’m trying to make myself more capable of violence,” Cantwell told VICE on August 11 as he sat for an interview in Charlottesville’s McIntire Park, with a group of “Radical Agenda” fans — including at least one individual associated with Bowl Patrol — standing behind him. 

That evening, Cantwell headed, along with hundreds of others, to take part in the now infamous “torch march”, where participants, including Cantwell,  carried tiki torches across the University of Virginia campus while yelling “Jews will not replace us!”

Cantwell made good on his promise to become more violent, using pepper spray to attack activists Emily Gorcenski and Kristopher Goad, both of whom contacted local law enforcement. 

The violence continued on Saturday, and Virginia’s governor declared a state of emergency. Police attempted to clear the streets, and as the day began to wind down, a neo-Nazi from Ohio drove his Dodge Charger into a crowd of counter-protestors, murdering anti-racist activist Heather Heyer and injuring dozens of others. (The man was later sentenced to life plus an additional 419 years.)

After the rally, University of Virginia police issued an arrest warrant for Cantwell on charges of illegal use of tear gas and malicious bodily injury.  

When Cantwell learned he was wanted for three felonies, he posted a video of himself distraught over the notion that police might simply murder him. Gone, at least temporarily, was the aggressive, cocky Cantwell from just days prior. The edgelord neo-Nazi who had once dressed as a dead police officer and who had proudly stated his intentions of violence, had become, in the blink of an eye, the “Crying Nazi”. 

Cantwell ultimately surrendered to law enforcement in Lynchburg, Virginia, was arrested without incident, and charged with felony assault. He spent several months in the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail. From behind bars, Cantwell recorded 35 podcast episodes. (Maine white nationalist podcaster Jared Howe was then, and continues to be, instrumental in assisting Cantwell in the effort to continue broadcasting from behind bars, including during his current detention.) 

While incarcerated, Cantwell also spent time stewing over his situation, which he called a “politically motivated, malicious prosecution,” and reading antisemitic propaganda, including Hitler’s “Mein Kampf.” 

“I’ve spent the last 107 days reading everything I could get my hands on about the Jewish Question, and I am about to start transmitting that knowledge to the world,” Cantwell wrote in a blog post.

In October 2017, Cantwell was named in the federal civil suit brought against the individuals and organizations that planned the “Unite the Right” event. (The lawsuit was scheduled to go to trial this fall, but the trial is on hold due to the pandemic. Cantwell is representing himself. In a pleading, authored by Cantwell and filed just before his arrest, he included a lengthy blockquote, from Hitler, who Cantwell described only as a “Famous 20th Century Statesman.”)

Cantwell was released on bail in December 2017, after raising money via fundraising efforts on Hatreon and GoyFundMe (two short-lived knockoffs of Patreon and GoFundMe that were geared toward Nazis). 

Multiple bond violations followed, including in April 2018, when Cantwell was charged with public intoxication.

In July 2018, Cantwell pleaded guilty to two counts of misdemeanor assault stemming from his actions at the “Unite the Right” rally, and returned home to New Hampshire. As part of the plea deal, he was barred from entering the state of Virginia for a five-year period. He was also barred from mentioning either Gorcenski or Goad in public. Just days later, Cantwell did just that, bragging about “gassing kikes and trannies,” a thinly veiled reference directed at Gorcenski and Goad. Prosecutors in Albemarle County requested his bond be revoked. Cantwell was ordered to pay a fine

The criminal charges weren’t the only fallout for Cantwell following “Unite the Right.” He was deplatformed from a large number of websites in the months following the rally, a list that has only grown since. (Cantwell has been banned from: Facebook, OkCupid, Gab, Tinder, MakerSupport, GooglePlus, Match.com, Venmo, BluBrry, Reddit, GoDaddy, Twitter, iTunes, YouTube, Instagram, PayPal, Dwolla, MailChimp, Stripe, Amazon, GoFundMe, and countless groups in Keene.)

Upon Cantwell’s return to Keene, he resumed his “Radical Agenda” Internet call-in show, and he continued to use the internet and his show to spread racism and encourage violence against those he deemed deserving of it. By this time, Cantwell’s only viable options were Telegram and Gab. 

At times, his posts were vague, designed to garner attention and increase his fan base. 

“We’re going to kill you,” Cantwell wrote on Gab on August 13, 2018, not referencing anyone in particular. 

But he also made posts encouraging violence toward specific groups and, sometimes, specific people. 

Cantwell latched onto his targets, posting constantly about the people he deemed deserving, and in doing so encouraged his followers to follow suit. 

“Hey Jews,” Cantwell wrote on Gab, on October 29, 2018, just two days after multiple people were murdered by a shooter at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue. “We are going to take over our government, and when that happens, none of your money, newspapers, or other corruption will save you. Get the fuck out of our country, and leave us alone. Your time is short.”

In November of that year, Cantwell began promoting, on both his website and Gab, a video game called Angry Goy II, in which the objectives include killing Jews, people of color, and members of the LGBTQ community. He also wrote about sympathizing with mass shooters. 

Beginning that same month and lasting through February 2019, I became Cantwell’s target, enduring months during which he publicly fantasized about me being raped and murdered. He even went so far as to offer a “free Radical Agenda bumper sticker” to whoever made the best Photoshop using a photo of my dog. (The least offensive entry included my dog’s head attached to Adolf Hitler’s body.) I wasn’t his only victim, nor was what he directed at me nearly as extensive as what others endured. But, it was a very unpleasant experience! I have also, at various points since 2018, been the target of a number of Cantwell’s followers, as well as individuals associated with the Bowl Patrol.

While Cantwell was busy attempting to incite violence publicly, he was privately warning his fans of plans to tone down his rhetoric in order to avoid being further deplatformed.

“My inability to grow the show by being on other platforms, my inability to make money, is threatening to bankrupt me and end the show,” he wrote in late October 2018, in a private Telegram group consisting, at the time, of 270 of his most loyal fans. 

Cantwell soon launched a slightly less edgy version of the “Radical Agenda” called “Outlaw Conservative,” which aired once a week and helped him keep the cash flowing in. 

But Cantwell’s efforts to fill his own pockets did not earn him support within the movement, and he increasingly began making enemies of his former supporters — including members of the so-called Bowl Patrol.

In April 2018, Cantwell had been the very first guest on the “Bowlcast,” a podcast produced by the Bowl Patrol and distributed on Telegram. The group went on to produce seven more episodes of a the “Bowlcast,” throughout which they fawned over mass shooters, and discussed raping and murdering their perceived enemies, from Jews to Muslims to individuals in the neo-Nazi movement and individual anti-racist activists. 

But by late 2018, Vic Mackey, the self-appointed leader of the Bowl Patrol, and his cohorts, including CheddarMane, began engaging with Cantwell in what can best be described as an exact taste of Cantwell’s own medicine. They prank called his show. They made fake accounts purporting to be him. They made music videos poking fun at him. They gave Cantwell the Cantwell treatment. 

Cantwell could have laughed it all off. He could have done a better job of ignoring it all. He could have not shown just how much it bothered him. Instead, he lost it, time and again, up in arms that he finally had to suffer the displeasure of being on the receiving end of what he had long delighted in doing to others. 

Cantwell had, after all, dedicated much of his “career” to making others miserable in virtually the exact same manner. The irony seemed entirely lost on him. 

Cantwell, who had long proclaimed his mistrust and dislike of police, began begging law enforcement to intervene. 

At the same time, he continued to post violent threats and target his perceived enemies on Gab, the social media platform where the alleged Pittsburgh synagogue shooter appears to have been radicalized

On February 2, 2019, Cantwell posted a photo of himself on Gab, a bowl haircut photoshopped on, with the word “soon” scrawled on it. 

Cantwell had previously given members of the Bowl Patrol login privileges to his website, and in February 2019, members of the group used those credentials to publish a series of blog posts, designed to appear Cantwell had authored them. The over-the-top posts were quickly removed by Cantwell, who was, once again, outraged. It was exactly the kind of prank Cantwell would have at least celebrated, had the butt of the joke been a journalist or an antifascist. 

Cantwell vowed revenge, promising to alert the FBI, and then posting about how he had done just that. It certainly wasn’t the first time Cantwell had spoken openly about his contact with law enforcement. But he didn’t stop there. 

The members of Bowl Patrol were “Jews trying to make Nazis look bad,” Cantwell wrote in an email to Keene police, according to prosecutors.

When he wasn’t lobbying law enforcement to come to his defense — Cantwell emailed law enforcement over 50 times in a four-month period in 2019, according to prosecutors  — he was calling for violence. 

"If you killed the 50 loudest Leftists in the United States, especially if you didn't get caught, and continued killing, these people would shut their stupid fucking asshole mouths,” Cantwell wrote on Gab on March 17. 

Soon thereafter, Cantwell’s Gab account, with well over 10,000 followers, disappeared. 

“I think I’ve been banned from Gab,” Cantwell wrote on his website, begging to be reinstated. (He wasn’t.)

It is hard to overstate just how difficult it is to get banned from Gab. It’s very, very difficult. But no one has a knack for getting banned from a platform or website quite like Cantwell.

He was now relegated to posting on Telegram.

In March 2019, Cantwell contacted Jared Holt, an investigative reporter for Right Wing Watch. In an email with the subject line “Fucking over Nazis,” Cantwell offered up dirt on others within the movement. The way Cantwell saw it, if he was going to suffer from being deplatformed, he wasn’t going down alone. 

Cantwell soon took things a step further. The way to stop Bowl Patrol, Cantwell decided, was to unmask its leader, still known only as “Vic Mackey.” 

A few months later, Cantwell approached Bowl Patrol member CheddarMane via a private chat on Telegram. 

Over the course of two days in mid-June 2019, Cantwell told CheddarMane that unless he handed over the identity of Vic Mackey, Cantwell would “fuck” his wife. Cantwell further suggested, with regard to CheddarMane’s wife, that one of his “incel listeners would love to give her another baby.” He also threatened to contact child protective services and report CheddarMane for drug use. 

Cantwell included in his messages to CheddarMane a photo of CheddarMane, a photo of CheddarMane’s wife and young children, and their home address. The message, prosecutors allege, was clear: If you don’t give me Vic Mackey, I will destroy your life. CheddarMane told Cantwell he didn’t even have the information Cantwell wanted. And then, according to prosecutors, Cantwell contacted CPS. Screenshots of the Telegram exchange — redacted by Bowl Patrol to protect CheddarMane’s identity and address — were quickly shared across Twitter and Telegram. 

Cantwell’s attorneys don’t dispute that their client sent the Telegram messages. They do, however, disagree with prosecutors’ characterization of the conversation. Cantwell’s statements to CheddarMane were not “true threats,” but rather “the kind of empty mud-slinging, name-calling, and attention-getting that pervaded the contacts and interactions among this group,” according to defense filings in the case. 

In September 2019, in what Cantwell must have understood to be a way to punish his harassers, Cantwell met with the FBI, according to pre-trial testimony and filings in the case. 

The following month, FBI agents arrived at CheddarMane’s workplace, where they found him dressed in “a sweatshirt with the Bowlcast logo portraying Dylann Roof’s haircut,” according to a recent court filing. 

“The FBI made it clear at the outset of this interaction that they were seeking evidence to prosecute Cantwell for the June communication,” the filing reads. 

While the FBI put together the pieces needed to prosecute him for the threats against CheddarMane, Cantwell again put himself squarely on law enforcement’s radar. 

“I just sat down to see Joker, and I have a gun,” Cantwell wrote on Telegram on October 10, amidst concern over the possibility of a mass shooting at a movie theatre showing “The Joker.”

The Keene Police Department was notified, and officers responded to the Key Road Cinema where they spotted Cantwell’s black Ford Taurus. The manager told police she preferred not to have Cantwell at the theater, according to testimony, and the movie was paused while officers located Cantwell, alone in the theater, and escorted him (and his loaded 380) out of the establishment, according to police. 

Cantwell initially told police the post was a joke, but later said in an email to the Keene Police Department that the post “was intentionally provocative, playing to fears drummed up in the media about this film,” according to prosecutors. 

It was only a few months later when FBI agents, assisted by local police, arrived at Cantwell’s Keene apartment. Agents swiftly arrested Cantwell, who has since said he was awake, playing Nintendo, and pantless, when police broke down his door. 

Seventeen firearms were recovered from Cantwell’s apartment and vehicle, according to pre-trial testimony from officers involved in the arrest. Inside his home, police found two AR-15s, five other rifles and long guns, four shotguns, and five handguns. A single handgun was recovered in an unlocked case attached to the exterior of Cantwell’s car, parked just yards away from an elementary school, police said. A large amount of ammunition, as well as a crossbow, a machete, and several knives, were also recovered from the scene, according to police. 

At a detention hearing in February, prosecutors said Cantwell posed a risk to public safety, and asked that he be held while awaiting trial. 

Prosecutors pointed out Cantwell’s history of targeting and threatening his perceived enemies on social media, as well as his history of committing violent acts. But they also voiced concerns about Cantwell’s history of attempting to incite others to commit violence on his behalf. Prosecutors also detailed Cantwell’s history of substance abuse, playing a four-minute portion of the audio recordings from late 2016, in which Cantwell described his methamphetamine addiction. (Cantwell had used drugs and alcohol the day of his arrest, and steroids were found in his apartment, prosecutors said.)

Defense countered, pointing out what a good tenant his landlord says Cantwell is, how all of his guns include serial numbers, and how he volunteered a spare key to the local police department. 

While Cantwell’s interactions with law enforcement were numerous, they were self-serving and not entirely honest, prosecutors said.  

Yes, prosecutors admitted, he turned himself in when a warrant was issued for his arrest following the “Unite the Right” rally. But no, they argued, he didn’t turn himself in immediately. Yes, they acquiesced, he spoke to the FBI twice without an attorney. And yes, they agreed, he contacted the Keene Police Department countless times. But no, they said, he hadn’t been entirely straightforward with law enforcement.

The judge sided with prosecutors, and Cantwell has been held since at the Strafford County Department of Corrections in Dover, New Hampshire, which operates as both a county jail and an ICE detention Facility

On July 7, 2020, Vic Mackey, the pseudonymous leader of Bowl Patrol, whose identity Cantwell had sought, was publicly identified by antifascist activists as Andrew Richard Casarez, a 27-year-old pizza delivery driver living with his parents and grandmother in Orangevale, California. 

Fearful Casarez might commit violence once he was unmasked, the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department obtained a gun violence emergency protective order against him, and on July 15, executed a search warrant at his home, confiscating a single handgun and a T-shirt bearing a Bowl Patrol logo, according to police. Casarez contested the order, but a judge ruled that the order will remain in place for one year

On July 22, 2020, Cantwell was charged in a superseding indictment with additional charges of threatening to injure property or reputation and cyberstalking,  charges stemming from the same series of Telegram messages that prompted the initial charges. (Prosecutors dropped one of the charges on September 14.) 

CheddarMane is expected to testify for the government, but negotiations are ongoing as to whether CheddarMane’s wife will testify as well. There is, to be clear, no evidence that she had any involvement in, or knowledge of, her husband’s online activities and violent ideological views. Thus far, federal prosecutors have opted not to publicly disclose the identity of CheddarMane. It remains unclear whether he will retain his anonymity throughout the course of the proceedings. 

Paul Nehlen, the twice failed Wisconsin congressional candidate who has emerged, in recent years, as “one of the most high-profile advocates of terrorism in America today,” is on the government’s witness list. Nehlen has associated with, and shared content made by, the Bowl Patrol. In the days leading up to the trial, Nehlen cleared out his Telegram channel, deleting the vast majority of posts that once filled the channel. (Archives exist.) 

A jury of twelve, along with four alternates, was selected on September 15. 

Cantwell spoke about the upcoming trial in a podcast appearance on August 24. 

“I don’t relish the prospect of trusting my life to the wisdom of twelve registered voters,” Cantwell said. “Depending on who my opponent is, trial by combat might be more appealing. But then again, I’ve lost a fight or two.” 

Opening statements begin Tuesday. I will be there throughout the trial, which is expected to last two weeks. 

Read our coverage of the trial:


Hilary Sargent is a freelance journalist. She has written for The New York Times, QUARTZ, The Boston Globe, and The Wall Street Journal. Follow her on Twitter at @lilsarg.

Illustrations by Colleen Tighe.

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