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Lawyer: Traditionalist Worker Party membership roll still exists, despite Matt Parrott’s vow to destroy database

In the churning hours after Traditionalist Worker Party chief Matthew Heimbach’s arrest amidst a sex scandal, organization benefactor and spokesman Matt Parrott promised to delete membership information about the group.

Now, his lawyer said on Tuesday, that didn’t happen.

James Kolenich of Cincinnati, who is representing TWP and others in a federal lawsuit stemming from the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, said in a motion that Parrott “has not deleted or in any way destroyed” any data potentially relevant to the lawsuit.

Parrott, in a sworn declaration filed with the motion, said he never destroyed the membership list, knowing it was potentially part of the lawsuit.

“There is no need to attempt to repopulate or recover any such records as none have been deleted or otherwise tampered with,” Parrott said.

The status of the TWP membership rolls and other data came into question on March 13, after Heimbach was charged with hitting his wife and Parrott at the trailer park they shared in Paoli, Indiana, a bit more than an hour north of Louisville, Kentucky.

Heimbach, 26, was having an affair with Parrott’s wife. Parrott and his step-daughter from his first marriage discovered the fling in a sordid tale involving an audio recording, a box and an unexpected confrontation, prompting a fight that led to Heimbach’s arrest.

In the hours after the arrest, Parrott announced his resignation from TWP — “Matt Parrott is out of the game. Y’all have a nice life,” he told the Southern Poverty Law Center — and posted on the alt-right social media site Gab that “all of the information systems” for TWP “will be destroyed within a few hours” to ensure the security of the information.

The posting prompted the plaintiffs in the Charlottesville lawsuit to quickly ask the judge to allow them to examine Parrott’s computers and, if necessary, reconstruct the membership rolls.

Heimbach, once considered to be the “next David Duke” of the far-right, is charged with assault in Indiana. He has remained publicly quiet about the arrest.

At an initial appearance on Monday, Heimbach did not have an attorney and a judge rejected his request for a public defender. He is due back in court in Indiana for a pre-trial hearing there on May 30.

Heimbach’s legal woes also extend to the south side of the Ohio River.

Heimbach pleaded guilty in July 2017 to disorderly conduct in the assault of a protester at a 2016 campaign event for Donald Trump in Louisville, Kentucky.

Heimbach was fined $145 and sentenced to 90 days in jail after pleading guilty to disorderly conduct, a lesser charge. District Court Judge Stephanie Pearce Burke suspended the jail time so long as Heimbach avoids being charged with another offense in the next two years.

A probation hearing for Heimbach is set in Kentucky on June 1.

A federal civil lawsuit is pending against Heimbach, President Donald Trump and others stemming from the incident. The case is pending before the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.

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