Nolan Brewer’s Guilty Plea

What Brewer says about IE and “Sarah and Douglas” doesn’t just give us insight into his thinking; it also tells us something about the organization at large. At the same time, his remarks establish a pattern of inconsistency and raise questions about his relationship to this group as well as “Sarah and Douglas’s” role in the organization.

Brewer claims that Identity Evropa is non-violent and wouldn’t approve of vandalism. Brewer describes meeting with three other members of IE on August 11th, 2018. Brewer calls “Sarah and Douglas” an “extremely nice” couple and insists they would not approve of his attack on the synagogue.

NB: Uhh, my wife and I recently had a dinner with a bunch, with a lovely couple from a group called Identity Europa and we had a nice little dinner down at the Indy Diner…and we just sat there and

BB: Identity Eu-Europa?

NB: Yeah, in—instead of like a u, it’s a v, it’s weird.

EK: What were their names?

NB: Uhh Sarah and… Douglas (42)

He later says IE does “banner drops but vandalism is not OK.” (56) “Banner drops” means hanging banners from railings or taking group photos where a banner is held up by a line of people. More than this, Brewer seems to imply that joining IE was a sign he was moving away from violent activities. This makes sense in the context of his broader strategy to appear apologetic for his crime as a way to avoid a harsher sentence. This was the core of his attorney’s defense against the DOJ’s sentencing recommendations. Nolan’s attorney tried to argue that Nolan had taken steps to reform.

IE/AmIM’s purpose is to make white supremacy more mainstream while still promoting, harboring, and spreading Nazi views. Brewer’s involvement is a model example of how that works. The Brewers attacked a synagogue and then, in what appears to be an effort to clean up their image, reached out to IE. The meeting with “Sarah and Douglas” took place weeks after the attack, and Brewer still had evidence from the attack in his car when he had dinner with IE members (the FBI found it when they arrested him on August 15th). In this case, Brewer used IE exactly as it is meant to be used: He put it forward as a shield between himself and his hate crime.

NB: Identitarian is just like, it, it’s the same root word identitarian… identity

BB: Mhm

NB: It’s just how you are, it’s just we’re European, be proud of it just don’t be an ass

BB: Okay

NB: Which is… the school of thought, that I try and subscribe to more than anything else, because its more socially acceptable and you don’t have people trying to punch you in the face over it (55).

More troublingly, we cannot be sure what, if anything, IE members knew about Brewer’s activities, and there are inconsistencies in Brewer’s interview that make it difficult to trust his testimony completely.

First, Brewer’s attorney argued that Brewer was radicalized by his wife: “It is clear from their respective histories, as well as their FBI interviews, that Kiyomi was the one pushing a white supremacist ideology on Nolan. It is similarly clear that Kiyomi was the instigator who pushed Nolan to participate in the instant offense.”1Sentencing Memorandum from Nolan Brewer’s Defense Attorney (4) https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/6027996-Defense.html#search/p1/NOLAN%20BREWERHowever, Nolan claims in his interview to have been “raised” with Nazi views, saying that his grandfather had a necklace from the “Old” German Army and used to say “Heil Hitler” (43-45). So the narrative about his radicalization is inconsistent, some of it clearly contrived to form a defense.

For speaking about a casual meeting unrelated to the crime, Brewer has a difficult time maintaining a clear narrative about why he went to dinner with other IE members after the synagogue attack. First, he describes the meeting as an alternative activity to “Unite the Right 2.” There, he simply says he’s going “with a bunch of Identity Evropa members to dinner.” But only seconds later, he says “One more his name was Steve, he was the guy that’s just like hey you guys are new, you two are new how about we all get a dinner date together,” making it sound like a new members’ meeting.

NB: Because of us subscribing to Identity Evropa… Identity Evropa said you can’t, we’re not allowing any of our members to go to the Unite the Right 2 so instead we went and with a bunch of Identity Evropa members to dinner.

EK: To dinner?

NB: Yeah,

EK: what’s—so there were other I—IE

NB: Yep

EK: guys at the dinner

NB: One more his name was Steve, he was the guy that’s just like hey you guys are new, you two are new how about we all get a dinner date together. (69-70)

Furthermore, through some slippery language, Brewer gives the impression that “Sarah and Douglas” were “new members” when he met them at the Indy Diner. We’ve already established that Sarah became a member of IE in 2017. In the discussion above, Brewer seems to suggest that they were new members like himself. He says “you guys are new” and “you two are new” and then suggests they “all get a dinner date together.” It is possible that Brewer didn’t know them well, misunderstood, or is actively trying to deceive the FBI agent. But perhaps it is partially true. Maybe this was a new member meeting for the Brewers specifically, since Nolan claims that they had just paid their dues.2Despite the number of inconsistencies in Brewer’s description of his activities and affiliations, we do have other reason to be reasonably sure that Brewer is telling the truth about when he joined IE. Brewer claims that his wife was the only one of them who was active on the Discord chats. Kiyomi Brewer goes by the name of Kim, and we do have evidence that a “Kim” was admitted as a new member on August 4th. If that is in fact Kim Brewer, it would corroborate what Nolan said about when he joined. In that case, this would be the timeline for his affiliation:
July 27th – Synagogue Hit
August 4 – welcome “Kikrawks” (Kim) to Nice Respectable People by “unclefesster”
August 11 – dinner at Indy’s with Volkmom
August 15 – FBI interview
In which case, could it have been their official interview? And were Sarah and Douglas conducting it? Was he lying about Sarah and Douglas’s role in the organization, and did he have a reason for doing so?

The other issue with Brewer’s information is what he says about the individuals with whom he discussed the crime. We know that Brewer bragged to at least two of his coworkers about the attack and showed them pictures. But he told the FBI he only mentioned it to a local friend and an Online acquaintance.3BB: Who have you told about it? …anyone?
NB: Other, other than Peter and Alex… no (76).
He also said Kiyomi got on Discord immediately after leaving the synagogue to talk to said Online acquaintance, “Asbestos Peter,” a man Brewer claimed helped them plan the attack.4EK: When you got back from doing this, did you or Kiyomi get on Discord and tell them you’ve done it before it hit the news, cause it took a bit for it to hit the news, did… you guys communicate with him that hey we did it
NB: I think she hopped on her data on the way home
EK: Literally on her ph—on the way home from
NB: Yeah, I, I think we were about… since we were coming south on 465 on the west of the west side, I think we got to like maybe to Rockville and she said it’s done. (57)
So could others have known about his attack as well?

We cannot know what transpired between Volkmom and the Brewers, mainly because Nolan Brewer cannot maintain a clear narrative about it. What we can say is that the information Brewer provided to the FBI about it is contradictory and confused, and that it raises concerns about whether there was something more to this meeting than what Brewer says. Moreover, we want to underscore that one would be hard-pressed to find a clearer portrait of American Nazism than what we find in Brewer: He was raised with Nazi values, he identifies as a National Socialist, he wore Nazi regalia to work, he had Nazi regalia at home, including Nazi heirlooms, he married an underage girl who shared the same views as him, and he attempted to burn down a synagogue. And he and his wife were dues-paying members of Identity Evropa who were personally vetted. Both ideologically and in practice, as this case demonstrates, IE/AmIM is a Neo-Nazi organization. 

References & Footnotes   [ + ]