In December, Scheuer blogged that “those who do not believe QAnon will be mighty surprised.” It made him the senior-most former intelligence official to embrace a social media-born cult that portrays Trump’s political enemies as a pedophile conspiracy. “There is so much accuracy, and well-proven accuracy,” he wrote of a theory holding John F. Kennedy Jr. is alive and secret indictments will soon imprison Obama and others at Guantanamo.

“QAnon is a very interesting person to me. I listen to it whenever I can. In intelligence operations, if you get one thing out of 10 to work, that’s usually a pretty good deal, and I think that his information has been, to my mind and what I’ve seen in terms of corroboration, about 60 percent, which is extraordinary in this day and age,” he said.

But the conspiracy was less important than what it licensed: “Personally, I would prefer immediate and lethal, post-trial punishment —by loyal-citizen firing squads chosen by lottery,” he wrote. Targets included the “Kenya-born” Obama, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, John Brennan, Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, Russiagate’s Christopher Steele and leading congressional Democrats. Other hit lists include journalists, academics, “any police chief or officer” who supports police budget cuts, and “all medical doctors, teachers, and teacher unions advocating the continued closure of schools across the republic,” which Scheuer sees as commensurate with the predations of Jeffrey Epstein and, allegedly, Ghislane Maxwell. “There is no Constitutional protection for U.S. citizens who wage war against their country, especially those who enlist foreign governments to assist them,” Scheuer judged—meaning not the “Russia, if you’re listening” president, but Trump’s opponents.