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Trump-Appointed Conspiracy Theorist Still On Board Overseeing Holocaust Monuments Despite Outrage

Trump-Appointed Conspiracy Theorist Still On Board Overseeing Holocaust Monuments Despite Outrage

Right-wing conspiracy theorist Darren Beattie continues to serve on the Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad—which oversees the preservation of monuments including Holocaust memorials across Europe—despite calls to fire him.

Beattie was appointed by former Republican President Donald Trump and has remained in his position for a year since Democratic President Joe Biden took office.

Beattie's continued presence on the board has received criticism from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which monitors antisemitism.

Jake Hyman, a spokesperson for the organization, stressed Beattie should be removed, citing his promotion of falsehoods and conspiracy theories about the January 6 insurrection.

"Since Beattie's appointment to the Commission in November 2020, he has continued to spread outrageous and deeply harmful falsehoods and misinformation, including about the January 6 insurrection, that are at odds with serving in such positions of official responsibility."
"We retain our view that Beattie, who once attended an event with White supremacists and participated in a panel discussion with White nationalist Peter Brimelow, should have no place on a commission that plays a special role preserving Jewish heritage sites from before the Holocaust."

Beattie, a former Trump speechwriter, was fired by the administration in 2020 after it emerged he had attended the 2018 HL Mencken Club conference, which is attended by White supremacists. At the time, Beattie said there was "nothing objectionable" about his decision to speak on a panel at the conference.

The HL Mencken Club describes itself as "a society" for "independent-minded intellectuals and academics of the Right" but has been cited by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) for hosting "some of America's most prominent White nationalist ideologues in the past, and serves as a safe space for professors to vent their racist views."

Beattie also promoted a conspiracy theory alleging agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) instigated the January 6 insurrection, which took place when a mob of Trump's supporters stormed the United States Capitol on the false premise the 2020 presidential election was stolen.

Beattie claimed James Ray Epps, a wedding venue owner from Phoenix, Arizona who once held a leadership role in the Oath Keepers, was an FBI plant assigned to instigate the deadly riot. However Epps was not the person who held a rally and told his followers to march on the Capitol to send Congress and Vice President Pence a message—that was Trump.

Beattie's disproven claims received the praise of Trump—who recently lauded him for pushing back against the House Select Committee tasked with investigating the violent attack that resulted in several deaths, over 100 injuries and millions of dollars in damages.

Trump's Twitter mouthpiece tweeted his lauding of Beattie.

For much of the last year, many called on President Biden to fire Beattie and appoint a new member to the commission

In an interview with Insider, Professor David Eric Lewis of Vanderbilt University—an expert in the United States executive branch—said President Biden has the authority to fire Beattie because the law does not offer Beattie explicit protections for him to remain in his position.

The White House has not responded to requests for comment though other experts have pointed out Biden previously fired another Trump appointee serving in a similar role.