“I’ve got freedom again,” declared Jan. 6 defendant Luke Coffee.
“It’s amazing. It’s surreal. It’s crazy looking down at my ankle and seeing that monitor isn’t on.”
A parole officer in East Texas removed Coffee’s ankle monitor last week after DC District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras changed Coffee’s bond status from home detention to personal recognizance.
The change came after Coffee spoke up two weeks earlier after his status hearing He felt led by the Holy Spirit to speak boldly, explaining to Judge Contreras he had already been released from prison on the grounds he was a nonviolent peacemaker.
The judge gave a slight smile, agreeing Luke had been on home detention long enough. DOJ prosecutor Melanie Alsworth disagreed, telling Judge Contreras, “It’s working out so well.”
However, Luke mentioned he was granted the ability to work overnight at the last status hearing. The judge recognized how his compliance with release conditions over the past nine months put him in a position to remove the home detention restrictions.
The Court’s decision represents a fresh start, providing Coffee the opportunity to rebuild a film company he’s invested 14 years of sweat equity into creating.
Coffee and other defendants on home detention have endured extreme isolation and logistical challenges. Some missed funerals, family weddings, medical appointments, outdoor playtime with their children, and even the basic ability to care for their dogs and shovel snow.
Along the way, Coffee and others faced ostracism from friends, family, and associates. A former classmate at Baylor University turned Coffee into the FBI. Individuals in his social circle didn’t understand why he appeared on billboards and mainstream media stories as a supposed “domestic terrorist.”
After engaging with the FBI, circumstances didn’t get easier. Coffee spoke with FBI agent Michael Hillman. Hillman told Coffee he was no longer a suspect because he acted nonviolently
However, when Coffee then asked him to remove his name from its Most Wanted List, Hillman claimed he was unable to work through the bureaucratic government hierarchy to do this.
Hear more about how Luke Coffee acted as a nonviolent peacemaker below:
Later, Coffee was surprised when the government continued investigating him- charging him with a felony even though FBI agent Hillman said he would only incur misdemeanor charges (listen in final interview below at timestamps 13:39-13:48.)
Luke feels it is ironic he’s twice played the role of a domestic terrorist on television and was then accused of being one in real life.
In an interview with Coffee’s friend, FBI agents used the names of fictitious TV show characters Coffee and a colleague created, acting as though the satirical characters were real people. As you will hear below, the script of Luke’s theatrical character was brought up in his pretrial hearing as a reason to detain him.
“It doesn’t matter whether you’re innocent or not,” says Sidney Powell, bestselling author of Licensed to Lie.
While practicing law, she witnessed federal prosecutors break rules, make up crimes, hide evidence, and send innocent people to prison.
“If the government wants to put you in prison, you will go to prison.”
Coffee prepares for trial on Feb. 27 of next year and states he is not afraid of dying or going to prison. He believes it is more important to obey God and expose the truth than to receive approval from man.
“There’s a freedom in losing everything,” he states.
You can support Luke’s legal defense at www.givesendgo.com/freecoffee
In addition, you can listen to Luke Coffee’s testimony and message of hope to other defendants here:
Listen below to American Gulag’s entire interview with Luke Coffee, as he describes what he has experienced in prison and on home detention:
Laura Elizabeth Jenkins: And so I hear you saying that FBI agent Michael Hillman has new evidence to convict you of what he believes will be a misdemeanor.
So, what’s going through your mind the first time you are hearing this? Where are you at mentally as this is unfolding?
Luke Coffee: Well, I had the impression they were going to charge me with something because they kept contacting me. I didn’t believe it would be what ended up happening. The charges were elevated and trumped up.
But I was- immediately, when I found out I was now a suspect- I needed to turn myself in. I cancelled my lease and was trying to move out and get my stuff in storage because I knew they were sending people to DC and that this was a political witch-hunt. I already saw the writing on the wall how they were using this vent and all of us as their pawns in this political game.
It was- not to throw anybody under the bus-but I had friends and family who already thought I was guilty because of the bad press. They kept showing the scene of me picking up the crutch and this chaos.
So that was-I was told by another reporter- that was one of the most shown scenes from the day. That’s where the violence was mostly happening in the midst of that.
So, I had a former business partner who kind of leans pretty left saying “I’m seeing you all over CNN, and MSNBC.”
It was surreal, and I was prepared to go to DC, to the gulag.
And so I ended up-we negotiated where I could turn myself in to the Dallas County Courthouse to Agent Hillman and another FBI agent. And I told him-they wanted to get in my vehicle, my truck-so I rode over and gave them the right to go enter my apartment and go in my truck. I said “the jacket’s in my truck.”
I hadn’t mentioned this, but I was wearing what turned out to be an outfit for the poster-boy for this ‘insurrection’ for a ‘domestic terrorist.’ I was wearing my duck hunting jacket because it was cold that day, and a cowboy hat, and I found this camo paint from the last time I went hunting. To make my buddy laugh, I put all over my face.
[Laughter back and forth.]
Laura Elizabeth Jenkins: Oh, boy. What a day!
Luke Coffee: On the way down, this is just a funny side note, we were livestreaming with my buddy on the way down. And I played different characters on this, since I’m a part-time actor. The click bait was that a ‘fledgling actor beats police with a crutch.’ But I’ve done some little one-off roles on TV shows.
So anyway, I’m a weird guy. I’m a character, I’m weird person.
On the way down, we were livestreaming on my buddy’s Conspiracy Castle show. I’m playing this redneck character, “Scouter T. Jennings Jr, the cubicle cowboy” and my buddy was “Skeeter.”
So it was like-they have this evidence that-you can act like I’m in a militia or whatever but it’s completely a parody of the view of what I became-everybody on the right’s a ‘domestic terrorist.’
So when the FBI was contacting my family and my friends, they contacted my buddy Brady, Agent Hillman asked “Is this Skeeter?”
I was just like, ‘this is fake redneck, stuff…’
[Laughter back and forth]
Laura Elizabeth Jenkins: Stage name, right?
Luke Coffee: So anyway, when I turned myself in it was very surreal. They had around my legs, chains around my legs and my waist, all cuffed together. They put me in the back of the FBI car. I spent my first night in this jail in downtown Dallas in a holding facility for the FBI.
I had to go in front of the judge the following day, and so I did my first night in my street clothes in the county jail. Then they came and got me and they read the charges. I think there was five at that point-one was a felony assault. I don’t think it was ‘with a deadly weapon at that point,’ but it was the four charges that everyone gets- trespassing- and there was nothing.
I’ve made this point to my attorneys and anyone I’ve spoken to-there was no fencing, no cops, no signs preventing anyone from going on those Capitol Grounds. They need to give about 30,000-40,000 of these misdemeanor trespassing charges…
That’s just what’s nuts, because by the time I got there this afternoon, there was no fencing, no signage, no cops saying you can’t get up there. It was just free to walk up there. But everyone has this charge.
So, I stood before the judge and they read my charges. And based on the judge, my attorney was like, ‘This judge would be a better judge to decide’ basically if they would hold me as a threat to society or a flight risk. By the way, I have no criminal record.
So the hearing, he was like, ‘You have to wait in for 6 days, but this judge is better than the judge you’d have in 2 days.’
And I said, ‘I’ll wait.’
They go and take me about 2 and a half hours from Dallas to Limestone County Detention Center, which is a federal holding facility. They had supposedly condemned it right before COVID but COVID hit and they kept it open. But it was a very run-down prison.
And I’ve done prison ministry with my father. My father has been going into Texas prisons doing ministry full-time. I’ve shared the Gospel and it’s a little different trying to share as an inmate in there, rather than coming in as an outsider.
But this was one of the worst prisons that I’d seen, and I saw the underbelly. I have stories from the underbelly of what I saw in the prison.
The night they checked me in I was the only Jan. 6er in there, in that facility. It was basically, the majority of people had already been convicted and were waiting because the courts were so behind because of COVID. They were waiting to be sentenced. They had either taken plea deals and been convicted-and I was one of the few who was just in there pre-trial- I was one of the few. I didn’t meet actually anyone else who was pre-trial in there.
So, immediately, when I was checking in, and the warden… It was surreal. I’ve played a prisoner in a TV show and I’ve played a domestic terrorist in another one.
This was just art reflecting life, art coming to life.
[Laughter back and forth.]
The night I was checking in, and honestly, humor was the best medicine in this broken world. God has given me a good sense of humor to be able to laugh at very wild and weird and strange experiences I’ve experienced in my life. It’s kept me sane.
Laura Elizabeth Jenkins: We do. We need humor. That’s important.
Luke Coffee: Oh, we do, yeah. Life’s serious enough, you know, and God has a sense of humor. I’m getting checked in and they asked you your sexual preference and if I you’re in any gangs, and all of this stuff.
And I said ‘no sir, I’m actually one of the Jan. 6 defendants and I was honestly I was trying to be a peacemaker that day and I was charged.’
As I was sitting in there with the warden, these two black guys were like:
“Luke Coffee? Luke Coffee?”
“Is that you? We’ve got ourselves a celebrity in here?”
Each cell had like a TV and they watched TMZ the entertainment show religiously. It made it through the prison-because I was a part-time actor and in the film industry- and it was on TMZ with the crutch-that I had been arrested.
And so, it actually worked on my behalf because people didn’t mess with me, and they kind of left me a alone. There was some weird respect angle to that whole thing. They thought it was a joke that I was even in there.
But hey called me ‘Hollywood’ and ‘the insurrectionist.’
[Laughter back and forth.]
Later on, there was a guy in there who said:
‘Luke Coffee…I played football with this guy who went to Highland Park High School.’
And I was like:
“Yeah, that was me.’
[Laughter back and forth.]
Laura Elizabeth Jenkins: What’s the likelihood, right?
Luke Coffee: We were in-the COVID cell, the first cell we were in. There were 16 of us together in a COVID cell, and I was working out with these couple guys. And he was like,
“Coffee, Coffee, I played against this Coffee from Highland Park.”
I come from an affluent community, and he said:
‘We’ve got a silver spoon, a Highland Park boy in here.’
So I was like:
‘Please don’t’ tell people that.’
Immediately, these guys befriended me and said:
‘You need to pick a team man.’
And I knew what they meant. He said:
‘You can roll with the whites, but there’s a lot of white supremacists.’
‘Or roll with the Christians, and they get you back in the yard.’
I will say, God took away any fear, I had absolutely, really zero fear. It was a very dark, demonic place, prison in general. The lights are on all night, the TV is on all night, and you hear people just yelling and screaming all night. I saw the guards passing drugs.
They were smoking K2 all night long. It’s a synthetic marijuana that has PCP-like effects. They were smoking 24 hours a day in my cell, on and off. I saw the underbelly of what the system is.
And I heard a lot, everyone was pretty open about their stories of how they got there. There were a lot of FBI set-ups, entrapments, and that was a common theme. You have to take everything with a grain of salt. But there was a reoccurring theme that people were entrapped by different scenarios that lead them in there and took a plea deal.
There was a cartel guy that was in there with me that didn’t want to rat-the cartel was threatening his family’s life. He was associated with a cartel member and didn’t want to rat on the cartel member he knew. So he was taking this –the plea deal was 5-7 years.
He said, ‘that keeps my family alive.’
So you see scenarios like that in there. It was wild, so. I got in verbal altercations a couple of times, and I just stood my ground. They actually respected me more that I think, when I stood up for myself. I was just who I was, like I’m talking to you, Laura, in there. And I couldn’t have any guests because of COVID.
I was in there essentially the first five days, then I went to the initial pre-trial hearing. That’s where the FBI agent on the stand admitted- he said if anything, it would be a misdemeanor, that’s what I’d be charged with. So we got him non the record admitting that.
They showed the video, but the main focus of that 8-hour hearing… I had 6-7 character witnesses, my little sister got up there and was crying, my dad, a guy I worked with, a couple of long-time friends just testified that I’m not a violent person. It was like a full-blown trial, Laura, this pretrial.
They ended up taking clips from this Conspiracy Castle where I was saying this was a false flag. It was more of what my beliefs were about that day than what I actually did. 25% was what I actually did.
The rest was like, ‘he’s a crazy Alex Jones type that thinks this is all fake.’
And they were trying to make me look like, and that’s what a lot of the press that came out said, that I was Q-Anon. I never looked at a Q board but I knew what they believed and said in this interview with The Texas Monthly that I do agree with some of what they believe, that people conspire.
I do believe people are working against us and there’s pedophile rings and all of that. So I agree with some of them and what they believe. But I’m not a ‘Q person.’ But it’s easier to paint us all as these crazy Q-Anon people.
But that’s where, in court, they were showing clips and trying to show just because of my beliefs, that’s enough to keep me locked up. That’s what was frustrating. I was muzzled like a dog, chained, and couldn’t defend myself. It was letting this prosecutor just rail-road me and just take it for 7 hours.
So at the end, the judge released me. They countered it and wanted the DC courts to decide. So I had to wait another 40 days to get in front of a DC judge, Judge Howell. I was in prison during that time, that forty days. But had already been released by the DC judge. They held me to let the upper courts in DC decide.
Judge Howell released me based on another Munchel case, where he had in his backpack zipties but had never taken them out to use. She had kept him locked up it went to another judge, they appealed it, and they ended up releasing him. And so my first attorney, they put together citing that ‘Mr. Coffee didn’t bring up the crutch as a weapon.’
Judge Howell said ‘I’ve seen the video evidence. It looks like he was pushing instead of using it as a deadly weapon, as it claims.’
And the prosecution even said ‘We understand and can see how there’s some confusion here.’
So I was released on home detention, and have now been on home detention for 20 months.
I moved to my family lake house. We have a guest cabin where I’ve been living in. I’m a 43 year old man, my father is my warden basically…
Laura Elizabeth Jenkins: Custodian, I guess.
Luke Coffee: Yes, he’s my custodian. He’s here about half the time. They split time between Dallas and here, my folks. So it’s been wild.
In prison, there was camaraderie, even though there was a pedophile in there with me, and three gang-banger types who were openly in a gang. Two of them said they had murdered someone. And it was wild.
I was in a 15×30 cell with 8 guys for the majority of the time. You eat in there, use the restroom and shower. And we got out and we only went to the yard about several times for about an hour each time. So you only have 7 hours in 45 days that we actually left the cell.
My dad was able to come in as my chaplain. So at the very end, it was surreal. He put his hand up to the window and we got on the phone. So he gave me a little devotional lesson. And anyway, so it’s been a wild ride. I felt God’s presence the whole time I was in prison. I felt like I was in there to minister to these guys. I was reading Paul’s letters the whole time.
Laura Elizabeth Jenkins: Wow, nothing’s changed. There’s a lot of parallels there is seems.
Luke Coffee: There are. It was very surreal. And the book of Job I love as well. It was very surreal.
Being on home detention has its own… the isolation. I kind of moved out of Dallas and I wanted to, because I know so many people in the big city. It’s been a breath of fresh air, but it’s been lonely. There’s been a lot of depression that I’ve been fighting.
But God has carried me and He’s good. So it’s been an interesting road. There’s family and friends who have come after a year. They’ve seen the narrative wasn’t… My story hasn’t changed. But because of journalists like yourself and other independent media who have gotten out more of the truth, my story is more believable now. Which is good, I’ve just been praying for that.
God is the author of truth and I believe we’re living in a Luke 8:15 time, where all that is hidden is being revealed. God actually told me, Laura, 6 months before. God’s spoken to me 2x audibly.
He said: ‘Luke, I’m going to take you through a dark storm, and you’re going to lose friends and family and your business. But I’m going to redeem you and carry you through and it won’t last long.’
He didn’t say how long or what it was going to look like. But he said he wanted me to start speaking out with my convictions and using my social media platform and connections to be bold and speak what I believe was truth and exposing how media was manipulating people when it came to COVID.
We had taken our focus off of God and put it into that of man. And whether it be DC politicians or Hollywood celebrities. They know we follow the stars. And that’s how they’ve used those to program us with an agenda. If you can step back and look, it’s very calculated. It’s a brilliant, evil plan how the media can be used against “We the People” to divide and conquer.
They want order out of chaos, so they want us to be in our tribes, and have families going. Just the vaccine thing alone, just brothers going against brother. It’s been wild in my own family. But I think we’re living in these very divisive times.
God also said “a curtain is going to be falling, a veil is going to be lifted and show the deception” during this time. So everything is played out and he’s prepared me for that.
I’ve pretty much lost my business, which I’ve built a production company where I’ve directed commercials in media for the last 14 years in Dallas. I built it from nothing. You asked earlier, when we were speaking off camera, and it’s been a grieving process. And by the way, I hope my story reflects other Jan. 6ers. I don’t want it to be about Luke Coffee.
We all have to grieve. Our reputation has been just muddied, and these lies, and I believe satan is behind them, he is the great deceiver, he’s the accuser. We’ve been accused of these crimes, we’re already guilty in the mind of legacy media which has muddied the water of getting us a fair and free trial in DC at least. Because of the media, what they’ve already said about us.
They’ve painted us with a broad brush. At a time where we hope that justice is blind, it’s like liberty and justice has lost her blindfold and there’s two tiers of justice. It’s just been grieving that.
I think I liked man’s approval. That was one last thing. God has taken me through another storm in my life. That’s another thing he’s stripped me of, is wanting man’s approval and to be acknowledged as a good guy and a successful person.
As men, we put pride in our identity and in success, and in what we do. That’s satan’s favorite sin is pride, obviously, and vanity. That has been peeled away from me over this last year and a half. I’ve had to let go of people’s reputation- and I heard a good quote that ‘what people think of you is none of your business.’
So, if you put on as a Christian and someone believes Jesus is my Lord and Savior, He is the Way, Truth, and the Life-my identify should be in Him alone and especially not in this world. I don’t want to have a foot in the world and a foot in the kingdom. I want to be kingdom-minded, living with eternal perspective and as other people are going through-not just J6ers, we are on a journey through life. It’s but a vapor.
I’ve lost two women that I love more than anything- my cousin and a girl I considered my fiancé in an accident we had. To me, they are in our eternal home in heaven. And this is God’s broken journey where he wants to refine us and use us for His glory if we allow him to.
We can allow him to do that. We can obviously push against His will, but His will will be done. We just have to give our-this is as a believer, I believe, God has given me this life. It’s His life he wants to use. And I’m a story guy.
And every story has an inciting incident or two, where there’s conflict, there’s redemption. And God’s greatest redemption story is what he did through Jesus Christ for us as the perfect Lamb on the cross. He allowed this perfect being to come and live a perfect life and then He knowingly died for the rest of us so we could have this eternal gift.
So if my King can go through suffering and brokenness, then it’s a gift if I go through this as well. I understand greater who He was and who He is and the gift He gave us. And He wants to retell these redemption stories in our own lives. That’s where He will overcome in us.
When we are weak, He is strong. So, I wouldn’t change. I’ve had some big, hard moments in my life and I don’t think I would change anything. God’s refined me, and I’m still an imperfect, broken person. And I’ve been broken of a lot of things I needed to be broken of.
Like a wild stallion, we need to be broken and stripped of some of our fleshly pride, whether just living for ourselves. We’re selfish beings and we’re seeing selfish times. We can identify as anything we want and do what we want. Instead of living for God, we’re living in a time where our eyes have fallen off of God our creator. We’re looking for and trusting these imperfect men.
And whether it’s ‘this person is going to save us,’ or ‘that person is going to save us,’ or ‘this celebrity is actually for us,’ we need to know that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
And without God in me, I’m not a good, I’m a selfish being and living for this world and my ego. So that’s the gift of whoever’s going through a storm. Without the storms, we can’t appreciate the beautiful sunsets and the rainbows that come.
And I’ve always wanted to experience all of the colors of the rainbow. Down here, if heaven’s going to be this perfect place, if we go through some brokenness and storms, we’re going to appreciate what it’s like to get to that eternal home. We live for that place and not for this, and it takes away the fear of man, the fear of what can happen.
If God calls me to go back to prison, I’m going to go share the Gospel. I pray that’s not his will for me, at least for a long time. But I’m kind of game for whatever he’s called me.
There’s a freedom in losing everything, Laura. There’s a real freedom.
Elizabeth who I lost in this accident, our favorite song was Me and Bobby McGee by Janis Joplin. One of the main lyrics is- ‘Freedom is just another thing for nothing left to lose.”
If you’ve truly lost it all and you know life-in the ebb and flow of life the waves can come and bring you everything and that it can change in a moment. I’ve experienced that.
There’s a freedom in living in your calling for God and standing up for your convictions. What else can they do to me? They can put me back in prison or kill me. They already taken my reputation and my business and all of these things. But they’ve made me more fearless than ever before.
I want to be a patriot for God more than anything. I want to stand for truth and righteousness. God is the author of truth and we’re living in deceptive times, where satan has confused people into thinking truth is ‘your own truth.’
We’ve lost focus and God gives us a lane to drive in. We can drive fast and stay within the speed limit. But now you can go and drive off here, and it’s like there’s anything goes. He can go off roading. He said ‘Live this life and I will bless you.’
And if you go here and there, your life will turn into chaos. And the world will. So I believe we’re in these times where God’s allowing us to see what it looks like to not have any rules, to not have the lanes to drive in.
I believe it’s an amazing time to be alive. I think we’re in the last days, so what you and others are doing Laura, that are trying to reveal the truth, God is the author of truth. Satan is the great deceiver and the liar. It’s a spiritual battle of good vs evil. It’s beyond red and blue and donkey vs elephant. That’s kind of where we are.
I hated politics because it’s divided my family so much. I mentioned half of my family is very liberal and my step-grandfather was chairman of the DC. Politics has so much divided before since COVID happened. So I’ve always disliked politics and the political games.
I’ve spoken enough, Laura, if you have any questions or want me to cover anything else.
Laura Elizabeth Jenkins: Bitterness…We can go from being the hero in our own story to being a villain if we’re not careful on that road. I think the hardest thing is being willing to confront the grief and the bitterness.
You indicated previously that before Jan. 6 you had to confront this. What might help someone else to work through some of those emotions- if they know they are going to be sentenced or just worried about the trial- how can they work through those emotions. They are very real emotions, right?
Luke Coffee: The bitterness I had to let go of was having some friends and family who I thought had turned their back on me when I was a good friend and walked through some storms with them.
I was bitter when they couldn’t hear my perspective, or just the grief of that relationship being severed. So I had some bitterness towards that. And any time you can blame God for the broken world we live in, He is not the one to blame.
He allows it. He is sovereign, which means He allows the evil and the brokenness. But it’s to expose the evil and show His glory and His light. What is hard, is I’m in the wilderness, I’m in the waiting room, like a lot of the J6ers are.
We don’t know what our future holds. I don’t know what my future career looks like. I’m still single at 43. I’d love to have a family but I have some ankle jewelry here, an ankle monitor.
When I’m on a date, it’s like ‘how do you feel about someone who’s gone to prison and may go back to prison?’
So it makes dating a little interesting. But if we put our hope and our trust in Him, it’s all in God’s hands. And it’s not us being the hero, but God showing up in our stories and us allowing him to be lead of our life, the director and great author of our live.
If we put our hands into those sovereign, providential hands, there’s a freedom in not knowing. In like, ‘I don’t know Lord.’
Every day, you have to just give over that. You can’t live on your own understanding. You have to all our ways acknowledge Him and He will make our path straight. We can plan our own way, but God directs our steps.
So, if we know Romans 8:28, “All things work for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose.”
He wants to use all things. Whether that is to expose if we do go to prison, he wants us to expose the injustice of our current system, of the evil that’s happening in Washington. We’re living in times of the upside-down clown world.
We have antifa people who are completely down for burning down courthouses in Portland OR and taking over a city for six weeks. And MAGA granny walks in and gets 60 days and she has cancer. But God wants to use his people. If we totally abandon ourselves and our own will to God’s will. He will work through this.
I’m saying this being in the wilderness. I’m still fighting depression and grieving parts of my old life and not knowing what He has in store for my new one.
Know that he will work things for our good and for His glory. So, it’s a win, win for us. This is temporary. This is a vapor. We can be gone in a second.
So, I would rather live fearlessly. And I would say any other J6ers or anybody that’s going through a storm, just get on your knees. And pray that God works through this. He wants to use and mold this. The greatest time He can show up is when we are in need and can’t do it on our own. And out of every other religion- and it’s not a religion, it’s a relationship- he knows everything we have endured. He knows the feelings of being human. There’s no other religion when God comes down and endures the suffering of man.