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Brian Sicknick died from injuries sustained “while physically engaging with protesters” at the Capitol, police said.
Pilar Melendez, Ana Lucia Murillo, Will Lennon, Matt Taylor

WASHINGTON, D.C.—A Capitol Police officer hurt while trying to defend the seat of the United States government from pro-Trump rioters died late Thursday. Brian Sicknick passed away at around 9:30 p.m. after he “was injured while physically engaging with protesters” who had stormed the Capitol Building a day earlier, Capitol Police said in a statement. The New York Times reports law-enforcement sources said Sicknick was struck with a fire extinguisher during the rioters’ rampage in the halls on Wednesday after President Trump’s rally. “He returned to his division office and collapsed,” a Capitol Police statement said. “He was taken to a local hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.” The officer’s family had rushed to the hospital to be by his side earlier on Thursday evening. His brother, Craig Sicknick, told The Daily Beast that the family had learned he was on a ventilator with a blood clot on his brain and that “it did not look good.” Sicknick said his brother graduated as a Capitol cop two days before the inauguration of President Barack Obama, and “always tried to do what was right.” more...

Wednesday saw a thin deployment of officers as rioters stormed the Capitol. In June, a very different scene unfolded in the same city
by Julian Borger

The contrast between the law enforcement reaction to the storming of the Capitol on Wednesday and the suppression of peaceful protests in the summer is not just stark – it is black and white. The Black Lives Matter demonstrators crowd outside the White House on 1 June was a block away from the building and made no attempt to breach its security. It was a mostly Black crowd, and it was charged by a force made up of Washington police, US Park police, over 5,000 national guard troops and federal agencies like the Bureau of Prisons. An army helicopter swooped low over the heads of the protesters. Teargas, batons and horses were used to clear a block so that Donald Trump could stage a photo op outside a church across the road. A national guard commander later admitted there had been “excessive use of force”.

The events in Lafayette Park in June 2020 represented a defining moment of the Trump presidency. So will 6 January 2021. The mob that stormed the seat of US democracy on Wednesday had openly talked about such a plan, were explicitly intent on overturning a fair election, and some had hinted they might be carrying guns. They were almost all white. Many were openly white supremacists, and yet the thin Capitol police collapsed in their path. more...

A known white nationalist recorded the clip that went viral amid the chaos of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Jessica Lee

In the aftermath of American far-right extremists storming the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, video evidence surfaced online allegedly depicting a U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) officer posing for a “selfie” photograph with a member of the pro-Trump mob that vandalized and occupied the building. The nine-second video clip spread rapidly online among supporters of the country’s civil rights movement to hold police officers accountable for their use of force against civilians, particularly people of color and Native Americans, or to reimagine public safety with less focus on police.

Kayla Reed, a Black social justice activist, told The Washington Post: “One hundred years ago, the sheriffs knew all the Klan members in their town and were often the Klan members in their town. Now we’re watching officers take selfies with domestic terrorists who are angry that Black voters have delivered the Democrats victory in the White House and in Congress.”

In other words, critics of law enforcement saw the alleged selfie video (which we examine in detail below) as proof of USCP’s allegedly lackadaisical or hypocritical approach to the mob that included neo-Confederates, when so many Black or Brown Americans risk injuries or death when interacting with police on a daily basis. more...

By Marina Pitofsky

Law enforcement officials have opened at least 25 domestic terrorism cases following the riot that broke out at the U.S. Capitol building last week amid pro-Trump demonstrations in Washington, D.C. Rep. Jason Crow (D-Colo.) confirmed on Twitter on Sunday that Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy said during a call that “at least 25 domestic terrorism cases have been opened as a result of the assault on the Capitol,” according to Crow’s notes from the conversation.

McCarthy “indicated that the (Defense Department) is aware of further possible threats posed by would-be terrorists in the days up to and including Inauguration Day and is working with local and federal law enforcement to coordinate security preparations,” Crow also wrote. According to Crow’s account of the call, the Department of Defense made “several” attempts to offer National Guard resources to the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police and U.S. Capitol Police before the mob breached the Capitol building on Jan. 6. The department “repeatedly were told no additional resources needed.” The Democratic lawmaker also said that “due to a lack of coordination and preparation, there was not a functioning operations center in the Pentagon to manage (National Guard) presence and direct additional resources” amid the riot. more...

By Justine Coleman

Most of 120 people who have been arrested in connection to or identified as being at the Capitol riot through photos and videos are longtime supporters of President Trump, an Associated Press analysis determined. The Associated Press reviewed the social media posts, voter registrations, court files and other public records of 120 individuals suspected of being involved with the riots at the Capitol building and concluded that most backed the president.

The AP analysis comes after several conservatives, including lawmakers, have promoted without evidence the theory that groups like antifa and Black Lives Matter infiltrated the pro-Trump protests and were responsible for the riots in the Capitol. The 120 people included Republican Party officials, GOP political donors, far-right militants, white supremacists and those who believe in QAnon, a theory that Satan-worshipping pedophiles control the government, the AP found.

Many of the rioters were found to have posted unfounded claims promoted by Trump that the election had been stolen or that widespread voter fraud contributed to President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. Several of the posts involved threats of violence against Democrats or Republicans considered not on the president’s side. Many posted either during or after Wednesday’s events, with several expressing pride in their actions, according to the AP. more...

By Justine Coleman

Outgoing Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund accused House and Senate security officials of hindering multiple efforts before and during the Capitol riots to call in the National Guard. Sund told The Washington Post in an interview published Sunday night – his first since the events at the Capitol Wednesday – that he asked House and Senate security officials in the days before Congress was set to county the Electoral College votes to allow him to request the D.C. National Guard to be on standby in case troops were needed ahead of the pro-President Trump protests.

But the Capitol Police chief, who was officially replaced as chief on Friday after his resignation, told the newspaper that the officials denied the request. Sund reported that House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving said he wasn’t comfortable with the “optics” of declaring an emergency ahead of the protests, and Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Stenger recommended Sund informally request the Guard to be ready for last Wednesday. “We knew it would be bigger,” Sund told the Post. “We looked at the intelligence. We knew we would have large crowds, the potential for some violent altercations. I had nothing indicating we would have a large mob seize the Capitol.” more...

Ken Dilanian and Tom Winter and Jonathan Dienst and Julia Ainsley and Michael Kosnar and Andrew Blankstein

WASHINGTON — The FBI and the New York City Police Department passed information to U.S. Capitol Police about the possibility of violence during the protests Wednesday against the counting of the Electoral College vote, and the FBI even visited more than a dozen extremists already under investigation to urge them not to travel to Washington, senior law enforcement officials said. The previously unreported details undercut the assertion by a top FBI official that officials had no indication that violence was a possibility, and they add to questions about what intelligence authorities had reviewed before the Capitol riot, which led to the death of an officer and four other people, including a rioter who was shot and killed by police.

"Social media is just part of a full intelligence picture, and while there was First Amendment-protected activity on social media to include some people making threats, to this point, investigators have not found that there was an organized plot to access the Capitol," a senior FBI official said.  It was immediately obvious after the Capitol was seized by a violent mob Wednesday that Capitol Police, whose job is to defend the facility and the lawmakers who work there, had completely misjudged the security threat. The chief of the force was quickly forced out of his job, as were other key legislative security officials.

As evidence mounts that some extremists had told the world what they had in mind through social media, questions are emerging about whether the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and other federal agencies took the postings seriously enough — and why, if they did, they didn't step in until well after the building was under attack. more...

By Alexander Mallin

WASHINGTON -- Richard Barnett, the man who allegedly broke into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office, posed for pictures and stole mail from her desk, was arrested Friday morning in Little Rock, Arkansas, and has been charged with three federal counts. Barnett allegedly entered the restricted office area and took photographs with his feet propped up on furniture, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. Barnett, who goes by the name "Bigo," was captured in news media photographs and took an envelope off of Pelosi's desk addressed to Rep. Billy Long, R-Mo., the complaint says.

Saul Loeb, a staff photographer at Agence France Presse, was the one who snapped the now-infamous photograph of Barnett behind the desk in Pelosi's office. "[Barnett] was sitting at her, at a staff member's desk, in her office with his feet up, just making himself at home, you know, just sort of like he owned the place," Loeb told ABC News. "Here you have Nancy Pelosi, one of the highest members of the U.S. government, and this theoretically highly secure location in this highly secure building and these people are just basically doing whatever they want and looking whatever they want." more...

By Eric Levitz

On Wednesday, a mob of the president’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, shattered its windows, assaulted its police officers, and engaged in an armed standoff at the door of the House chamber while the nation’s elected representatives prepared to hide beneath their desks. These rioters had learned to see November’s election as a fraud at Donald Trump’s instruction. They had gathered outside the Capitol to “defend” their republic at his orders. And as the mob made members of Congress fear for their lives, and instigated conflicts with law-enforcement agents that resulted in critical injuries, the president offered one more invitation to insurrection, tweeting, “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth!” more...

Republicans, including Sen. Josh Hawley, have condemned violence but haven't backed down from baseless claims of fraud and irregularities.
By Jane C. Timm

After a mob stormed the Capitol based on President Donald Trump's election fraud lie, some top Republican allies have called for peace while still leveling the same baseless claims of widespread voter fraud that fanned the flames of violence. In almost the same breath as he condemned the rioters who temporarily disrupted Congress from its normal process of affirming President-elect Joe Biden's win, Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., the first Republican to announce his intent to object to the certification, suggested Biden's victory was illegitimate.

“We do need an investigation into irregularities, fraud,” Hawley said, before staring directly into the camera in a video his office would promptly upload to YouTube and saying, “We do need a way forward together. We need election security reforms.” In a statement, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, condemned the violence, too. Still, he said, his calls for an investigation into voter fraud were the “right thing to do," before adding, “I very much wish Congress had not set aside these concerns.”

Allegations of voter fraud and irregularities have been used by Republicans to sow distrust in the American electoral system for decades, experts said, laying the groundwork for Trump's sweeping claim that widespread fraud denied him a second term and priming the party's base to believe him despite his inability to prove it. These same falsehoods, the experts said, will be used to restrict ballot-box access in the future.

"The same lies that drove the insurrections were also being repeated on the floor of the Congress by the people trying to upend the people’s votes," said Michael Waldman, president of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law. "And those are the same lies we’re going to hear in state capitols by people trying to restrict the vote." Hawley and Cruz, who are widely believed to be eyeing bids for the GOP presidential nomination in 2024, have been fiercely criticized for their roles in stoking the unrest that led to the deadly clashes in the nation's capital. more...

By Olivia Nuzzi

On Friday afternoon, 48 hours after the U.S. Capitol was stormed by violent insurrectionists encouraged by Donald Trump in an attempt to overthrow the government in protest of his election loss, a senior member of his administration spoke to me while he was driving to work. “This is confirmation of so much that everyone has said for years now — things that a lot of us thought were hyperbolic. We’d say, ‘Trump’s not a fascist,’ or ‘He’s not a wannabe dictator.’ Now, it’s like, ‘Well, what do you even say in response to that now?’”

For four years, people like this official — lifelong Republican operatives — have convinced themselves that Trump’s obvious faults were worth tolerating if it meant implementing a conservative policy agenda. These officials believed the benefits of remaking the courts with conservative justices, or passing tax reform, outweighed the risks that a Trump presidency posed to democracy and to the reputation of the country in the world. Now, at the 11th hour, with 12 days left before Joe Biden is sworn into office, it’s clear to some that it was always a delusion. “This is like a plot straight out of the later, sucky seasons of House of Cards where they just go full evil and say, ‘Let’s spark mass protests and start wars and whatever,’” the senior administration official said. more...

By Chas Danner

Atlanta’s top federal prosecutor was apparently forced by the White House to resign earlier this week, ahead of the Georgia runoffs, because he didn’t do enough to help President Trump overturn the 2020 presidential election. The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday that Trump-appointed U.S. Attorney Byung J. Pak, who had cited “unforeseen circumstances” for his sudden resignation on Monday, had been told by a senior Justice Department official that he needed to step down because Trump was not satisfied with his efforts to investigate alleged voter fraud. Pak, who had originally planned to resign on January 20, was the top federal prosecutor for the Northern District of Georgia. He has refused opportunities to comment about the circumstances of his resignation from both the Journal and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Trump had complained about Pak during the recorded call he made to Georgia election officials on January 2, writing the prosecutor off as a “Never Trumper.” This was the same call in which the president attempted to pressure Georgia’s secretary of State to “find” him enough votes to overturn his loss to President-elect Joe Biden in the state. The Washington Post reported Saturday that Trump had also made an earlier call to Georgia’s top elections investigator to pressure them to “find the fraud” in late December. It’s possible, if not likely, that these were not the only direct efforts the president and his allies made in the state. The Journal additionally reports that “an official at the Georgia secretary of State’s office on Saturday said the White House called officials and staff at the office for weeks demanding proof of election fraud — long before the call to Mr. Raffensperger”: more...

by: Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — House lawmakers may have been exposed to someone testing positive for COVID-19 while they sheltered at an undisclosed location during the Capitol siege by a violent mob loyal to President Donald Trump. The Capitol’s attending physician notified all lawmakers Sunday of the virus exposure and urged them to be tested. The infected individual was not named. Dr. Brian Moynihan wrote that “many members of the House community were in protective isolation in the large room — some for several hours” on Wednesday. He said “individuals may have been exposed to another occupant with coronavirus infection.”

Dozens of lawmakers were whisked to the secure location after pro-Trump insurrectionists stormed the Capitol that day, breaking through barricades to roam the halls and offices and ransacking the building. Some members of Congress huddled for hours in the large room, while others were there for a shorter period. No further details were provided on which person has tested positive for the virus. Some lawmakers and staff were furious after video surfaced of Republican lawmakers not wearing their masks in the room during lockdown. Newly elected Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a presidential ally aligned with a pro-Trump conspiracy group, was among those Republicans not wearing masks. Trump is now facing impeachment after having incited supporters who were rallying near the White House before they marched to the Capitol. The House could vote on impeachment in a matter of days, less than two weeks before Democratic President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated on Jan. 20. more...

By Kim Bellware

Police officers and at least one police chief from departments across the United States are facing termination, suspension or other discipline for their proximity to or alleged involvement in a chaotic gathering in Washington on Wednesday that ended in a riot at the U.S. Capitol and left five people dead. Departments in California, Washington state, and Texas are among those that have announced investigations into their officers based on tips, social media posts and other evidence, though more officers could be identified as evidence emerges in the coming days.

The probes come after an especially fraught year for U.S. policing that saw massive civil rights protests against police violence. They are likely to raise questions about free speech, the expansion of surveillance and public trust in law enforcement, while legal experts warn the scrutiny could have unintended consequences. In Seattle, Interim Police Chief Adrian Diaz confirmed at least two officers had been placed on administrative leave and referred to internal investigations after the department received social media posts showing the officers in Washington Wednesday. more...

Abigail Rosenthal

Some are pointing to a TikTok video taken at Wednesday's attack on the Capitol as evidence that the police opened barricades and allowed rioters to enter the premises. Freelance journalist Marcus DiPaola posted the viral video in question. It has been viewed nearly 2 million times on TikTok and more than 33 million times on Twitter. "Police are squabbling with protesters — ope, there we go," DiPaola says in the background of the video. "And they just breached the Capitol again." more...

By Matthew Daly and Michael Balsamo, Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- The police were badly outnumbered. Only a few dozen guarded the West front of the Capitol when they were rushed by thousands of rioters bent on breaking into the building. Armed with metal pipes, pepper spray and other weapons, the mob pushed past the thin police line. One rioter hurled a fire extinguisher at an officer, according to video widely circulated on YouTube. "They're getting into the Capitol tonight! They're getting in," the man filming shouts in delight. more...

By A.J. Nwoko

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Twitter has defined the voice of the Trump Administration for the past four years, but after Wednesday’s deadly insurgence at the US Capitol, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram have permanently banned the president. Virginia Senator Amanda Chase is facing similar suspensions from Facebook after the social media giant says she spread false claims about the riots. The move is drawing criticism from Trump, Chase, and others who are calling the decision a violation of free speech. But VCU constitutional law expert, Dr. John Aughenbaugh, says that isn’t the case. “What Twitter did does not violate the First Amendment of the constitution,” Aughenbaugh said. “The First Amendment applies to the government, and Twitter or Facebook, or any other social media platform, by and large, is a private sector actor and therefore the First Amendment does not apply.” more...

The former California governor compared the deadly mob at the U.S. Capitol Building to the Nazi assault of Kristallnacht in 1938 Germany, calling Trump a failed leader.
By Doha Madani

Arnold Schwarzenegger shared words of hope on Sunday in the aftermath of the deadly mob at the U.S. Capitol, while also denouncing President Donald Trump and the "spinelessness" of his fellow Republicans. Schwarzenegger, an actor and former GOP governor of California, drew parallels to his upbringing in post-World War II Austria while discussing Wednesday's pro-Trump riot at the U.S. Capitol Building. In a video statement released on Sunday, he compared the riot in Washington, D.C., to Kristallnacht — the 1938 assault by Nazis in Germany who began destroying Jewish homes, businesses and synagogues as thousands were rounded up for concentration camps — calling it the “day of Broken Glass here in America.”

“The broken glass was in the windows of the United States Capitol,” Schwarzenegger said. “But the mob did not just shatter the windows of the Capitol, they shattered the ideas we took for granted. They didn’t just break down the doors of the building that housed American democracy, they trampled the very principles on which our country was founded.” Schwarzenegger said that as a child he saw broken men who drank away their guilt over participating in the most “evil regime” in history, revealing that his father would often get drunk and hit him and his mother. “President Trump sought to overturn the results of an election, and of a fair election,” Schwarzenegger said. “He sought a coup by misleading people with lies. My father and neighbors were misled also with lies.” more...

“Now we’re going back to the drawing board and saying, ‘Wait a minute, what are we doing here?’” a police trainer said.
By Jon Schuppe

The reckoning of American police entered a new chapter this week with the televised spectacle of federal security agents overrun by a mob of armed far-right extremists storming the Capitol. On its face, the siege was a failure of planning: The U.S. Capitol Police, who deal with all sorts of protests and demonstrations year-round, did not seem to anticipate the threat posed by thousands of people who, at the urging of President Donald Trump — and after sharing their plans online — converged on the Capitol to protest his election loss. Although some officers fought with them — one rioter was shot to death and one officer later died of injuries — others took selfies and appeared to offer no resistance, allowing dozens of rioters to leave without being arrested.

The relatively lenient handling of the invaders was deeply troubling to many Americans whose views of Wednesday’s mayhem were influenced by their reaction to the anti-police protests that roiled the country over the summer. The attack on the Capitol may end up deepening the divisions between those who want police power diminished and those who warn of lawlessness, underscoring the need for police to repair their relationships with their communities. more...

By Elise Takahama and Lewis Kamb - Seattle Times staff reporters

At least two Seattle police officers who were in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday during the riot at the U.S. Capitol have been placed on administrative leave, according to a Friday night statement from interim Police Chief Adrian Diaz. “The Department fully supports all lawful expressions of First Amendment freedom of speech, but the violent mob and events that unfolded at the U.S. Capitol were unlawful and resulted in the death of another police officer,” Diaz said in the statement. “… If any SPD officers were directly involved in the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, I will immediately terminate them.”

The city’s Office of Police Accountability (OPA) is investigating whether any Police Department policies were violated and will conduct a “full review of any SPD employee activities at the U.S. Capitol.” Officer Valerie Carson, a spokesperson for the Police Department, said Friday night the officers were not on duty while they were in D.C. The department did not release any other information about the officers and Carson referred further questions to OPA.

Andrew Myerberg, OPA’s civilian director, said late Friday that the patrol chief notified his office about the officers around 9 p.m. Thursday evening, and an internal investigation case was initiated early Friday. “We learned about this in an email last night,” Myerberg said in a phone interview. “There’s a picture that circulated on social media of the two officers at the protest rally. So, yes, we believe they were there, but we don’t know all the facts yet, so that’s why we’re doing the investigation.” more...

Authorities are more than twice as likely to break up a left-wing protest than a right-wing protest.
By Maggie Koerth

As images from Wednesday’s riot by pro-Trump extremists at the U.S. Capitol filled our TV screens and social media feeds, one thing was notably absent: the kind of confrontation between police and protesters that we saw during the Black Lives Matter protests last summer. Even though the Capitol mob was far more violent — and seditious — than the largely peaceful BLM demonstrators, police responded far less aggressively toward them than toward BLM protesters across the country. Researchers who track this sort of thing for a living say that fits a pattern.

Instead of National Guard troops being posted en masse around landmarks before a protest even began, we saw the Defense Department initially deny a request to send in troops — and that was after the Capitol had been breached. Instead of peaceful protesters being doused in tear gas, we saw a mob posing for selfies with police and being allowed to wander the corridors of power like they couldn’t decide whether they were invading the Capitol or touring it. Instead of President Trump calling these violent supporters “thugs,” as he called racial justice protesters, and advocating for more violent police crackdowns, we saw him remind his followers that they were loved before asking them nicely to go home. more...

*** The GOP is full of shit they have no problem when they don’t want to provide service to someone who they do not agree with but if you don’t service them because of your beliefs they are up in arms screaming about how unfair that is, the just plain bull shit. Free speech does not give you the right to yell fire in crowed theater nor the right to threaten someone life you do not agree with and does not give you the right to incite violence against people who do not agree with you. ***

Less than 24 hours after Trump’s ban from Twitter, Republicans seized on the issue for the midterm elections and beyond.

Republicans are fuming, but the timing of Donald Trump’s Twitter ban couldn't have been better for the party. Fractured in the aftermath of Trump’s defeat and a riot the president helped incite at the Capitol, the GOP found a unifying foil in the social media platform’s erasure of the president — elevating Big Tech‘s status in the culture wars from an annoying foe to archvillain.

For institutionalist Republicans weary of litigating Trump’s role in the insurrection, the ban — and the sudden silencing of Trump’s bullhorn — served as a diversion. And for the base of the party, it offered a rallying point for broader grievances about “cancel culture” and perceived attempts to censor conservative viewpoints. Less than 24 hours after the ban, Republicans were preparing to seize on the issue for the midterm elections and in 2024.

“A level of censorship that would make China proud,” James Dickey, the former chair of the Texas Republican Party, said Saturday, describing the ban as a “wake-up call for everyday Americans.” Dickey predicted Republicans “100 percent” will campaign on the unrestrained power of social media and other technology firms in the midterms — and some GOP strategists were planning to capitalize on the controversy surrounding Twitter even sooner. more...

Larry McShane, New York Daily News

Officer Brian Sicknick, mortally wounded by a fire extinguisher to the head while defending the U.S. Capitol from rioters, was a true American patriot: An Iraq War veteran, unafraid to question his country’s leaders. Sicknick, a 42-year-old New Jersey native, passed away around 9:30 p.m. Thursday, one day after he was attacked by rioters who invaded the Capitol following an incendiary speech by President Trump. Flags at the Capitol flew at half-staff Friday to honor Sicknick, who joined the Capitol Police in 2008. No arrests were yet made in the killing of the veteran law enforcer, who was injured in a scuffle with protesters.

Prosecutors were set to launch a federal murder investigation into his slaying. Sicknick, a former Air National Guardsman, served in Operation Desert Shield and Operation Enduring Freedom before joining the D.C. police force, his brother told the Daily Beast. The veteran officer collapsed Wednesday after returning to his police division office and never recovered. “The sacrifice of Officer Sicknick reminds us of our obligation to those we serve: to protect our country from all threats foreign and domestic,” said Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. “May it be a comfort to Officer Sicknick’s family that so many mourn with and pray for them at this sad time.”

Back in 2004, Sicknick penned a letter to his local New Jersey newspaper about the White House race between incumbent President George W. Bush and Democratic challenger John Kerry. “Bush’s foreign policies are one reason the world has become as dangerous as it is,” wrote Sicknick. “I don’t know why everyone is brainwashed that only Bush can protect us.” more...

Tom Porter

President Donald Trump has not ordered flags to be flown at half-mast over federal government buildings in honor of Brian D. Sicknick, the police officer killed in the storming of the Capitol on Wednesday. An aide to Vice President Mike Pence told The New York Times that while Pence has contacted Sicknick's family to offer his condolences, Trump has not contacted them. Flags over the US Capitol were flown at half-mast in honor of Sicknick Saturday, while the White House did not lower its flag. more...

Weeks ago, he seemed like the clear frontrunner. Now, Republicans blame him for inciting riots at the Capitol and his 2024 prospects are in doubt.

After he lost his reelection bid in November, Donald Trump immediately told allies he planned to run for president again in 2024, preparing to announce as soon as Inauguration Day. He began backing off the idea after learning that running would require him to release a new round of financial documents that would make him vulnerable to his ongoing criminal and civil investigations and lawsuits, according to two Republicans close to Trump. Then came last week. A growing number of Republicans hold Trump responsible for inciting the deadly riots inside the U.S. Capitol Wednesday.

The clashes came hours after they blamed Trump for a pair of losses in Georgia that will leave the Senate in Democratic control. In interviews, more than half a dozen Republicans who had supported or worked for Trump say the president isn’t likely to run again, though he may tease it. If Trump changes his mind again and chooses to run, some said they would urge him not to, while others hope he’d be talked out of it. “I think nothing is going to happen,” said a Trump friend. “He won’t be around in 2024. He’s not going to run. He’s going to fuck around and say he’s going to run. … He’ll tease. I don’t think he’s ever going to say ‘I won’t run.’ He just won’t run." more...

By Sabrina Tavernise and Matthew Rosenberg, New York Times

WASHINGTON — There were infamous white nationalists and noted conspiracy theorists who have spread dark visions of pedophile Satanists running the country. Others were more anonymous, people who had journeyed from Indiana and South Carolina to heed President Donald Trump’s call to show their support. One person, a West Virginia lawmaker, had only been elected to office in November.

All of them converged Wednesday on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol, where hundreds of rioters crashed through barricades, climbed through windows and walked through doors, wandering around the hallways with a sense of gleeful desecration, because, for a few breathtaking hours, they believed that they had displaced the very elites they said they hated. more...

Betsy DeVos relentlessly promoted school choice and ended many Obama-era rules. She shares few similarities with her likely successor, Connecticut state education chief Miguel Cardona.

Betsy DeVos will soon step down from her perch as Education secretary, ending her four-year run as the most polarizing person to have led the department. The Michigan billionaire, education philanthropist and staunch supporter of school choice will be remembered as a Cabinet secretary who successfully delayed and dismantled Obama-era rules at all levels of education. Her nomination to the Education Department’s top office in 2016 attracted more opposition than almost any other nominee and confrontations with public education advocates persisted throughout her term, especially during the coronavirus crisis, when she aggressively pushed for schools to reopen. more...

In the House, a shockingly large number of first-time lawmakers opposed the Electoral College vote, including Georgia's Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.
By Seth Masket, director of the Center on American Politics at the University of Denver

This week’s biggest political story was undoubtedly the violent attempted coup perpetrated by President Donald Trump’s supporters at the U.S. Capitol. But we should not forget the legislative event that this long-planned insurrection coincided with, and indeed was largely motivated by. Some eight Republican senators and 139 Republican House members objected to the Electoral College vote confirming President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. As has been written previously and exhaustively, these objections were always doomed to fail.

But the objections did their job of providing a public spectacle and a rallying cry for insurrectionists. It prolonged and drew attention to a process that, for nearly every presidential election, has served as a rubber stamp. It served as a chance for Republican members to signal their fealty to Donald Trump above all else. It gave them an opportunity to say that they would rather lose American democracy than see Trump lose an election.

Importantly, some members protested the presidential election results in their own states. That is, they objected to the electoral systems that put them in office. Others objected to the elections that put their new colleagues in office. Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., was sworn in on Sunday as Doug Jones’ replacement — one of his first acts as a senator was to object to a free and fair election. Indeed, he did so after Wednesday’s violent events. He was one of three newly minted senators to register such objections. more...

By Brian Stelter, CNN Business

(CNN) News outlets are publishing more and more videos, photos and testimonials from Wednesday's pro-Trump riot on Capitol Hill. And it's becoming clear that as heinous as the attack looked in real time, on live TV and in our social feeds, it was even worse than we knew then. It was even more violent. It was even more treacherous. And Trump's behavior was even more disturbing. On Wednesday we witnessed history through a handful of soda straws, to borrow a metaphor from the 2003 Iraq invasion.

Journalists bravely covered the riot in real time and deserve enormous credit for doing so. But in the fog of chaos, it was impossible to see the full picture as it was happening. The public didn't find out that a US Capitol Police officer was gravely wounded until Thursday, for example. Officer Brian D. Sicknick died Thursday night, and federal prosecutors have now opened a homicide investigation. As is the case with many traumatic events, it has taken some time for the reality to sink in. "I was in the crowd and didn't realise how bad it was until a day or two after," reporter Richard Hall of The Independent, a British newspaper, tweeted Saturday. Reconstructions of the events and follow-up reporting by news organizations are bringing it into focus.

CNN aired a horrifying video Friday night, first published by investigative outlet Status Coup, showing a police officer pinned between a door and the mob. The officer screamed in agony. There are all sorts of practical reasons why these scenes weren't shown live on Wednesday. Inside the Capitol, many correspondents were locked down and shepherded to secure locations along with lawmakers. For more on the absolute terror of this ordeal, read NBC reporter Haley Talbot's account from inside the House chamber. On the outside, some reporters had a hard time getting news out because wireless towers were overwhelmed. Additionally, some news crews were threatened by groups of Trump supporters, making the working conditions even more difficult. more...

By Christina Zhao

The shirtless rioter who was pictured storming the U.S. Capitol in an outfit of horns and fur has told the FBI that he came to Washington D.C. on Wednesday "at the request of the President." Jake Angeli, 32, of Arizona, whose real name is Jacob Anthony Chansley, was arrested on Saturday and charged with "knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, and with violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds," according to the Department of Justice. A Capitol Police arrest affidavit shows that Chansley called into the Washington Field Office for the FBI on January 7, one day after the riots, and "voluntarily" confirmed to officials that he was the "male in face paint and headdress in the Vice President's chair in the Senate." Chansley, who was among the mob that broke into the Capitol as lawmakers met to formally certify President-elect Joe Biden's 2020 presidential election win, said he "came as part of a group effort, with other 'patriots' from Arizona, at the request of the President," according to the document. more...

Pressure for resignation was part of broader push by President Trump to overturn state’s election results
By Aruna Viswanatha, Sadie Gurman and Cameron McWhirter

White House officials pushed Atlanta’s top federal prosecutor to resign before Georgia’s U.S. Senate runoffs because President Trump was upset he wasn’t doing enough to investigate the president’s unproven claims of election fraud, people familiar with the matter said. A senior Justice Department official, at the behest of the White House, called Trump-appointed U.S. Attorney Byung J. Pak and told him he needed to step down because he wasn’t pursuing vote-fraud allegations to Mr. Trump’s satisfaction, the people said.

Mr. Pak resigned abruptly on Monday—the day before the runoffs—saying in an early morning email to colleagues that his departure was due to “unforeseen circumstances.” The pressure on Mr. Pak was part of Mr. Trump’s weekslong push to try to alter presidential election results favoring President-elect Joe Biden, which included his win in Georgia. Mr. Trump this week, following the U.S. Capitol riot, said he would leave office on Jan. 20 when Mr. Biden is inaugurated. more...

By Jeremy Diamond and Pamela Brown, CNN

(CNN) President Donald Trump is considering having Rudy Giuliani and Alan Dershowitz defend him if he faces another impeachment trial, two sources familiar with the matter said. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday Democrats are prepared to move forward with impeachment next week if Trump doesn't resign, and Trump is beginning to mull who would represent him in a Senate trial. Giuliani, Trump's personal attorney, is expected to represent him, the sources said, and Trump is also considering hiring Dershowitz, a controversial attorney.

Dershowitz declined to comment to CNN, saying, "I don't talk to CNN, I sue them." But he told Politico on Friday that it would be his "honor and privilege" to defend the President. A Giuliani spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
While the President's impeachment defense team is only just coming into view, it is becoming increasingly clear that the primary members of the team during his first impeachment would be unlikely to join. Constitutional attorney Jay Sekulow, White House counsel Pat Cipollone and attorney Jane Raskin are not expected to be involved for a second impeachment trial. Cipollone is said to have considered resigning in recent days. more...

By Daniel Politi

President Donald Trump has been active across different social media platforms but it was never a secret which was his favorite. Trump often credited his Twitter account for his popularity and even said that his political future would have been very different without the site. “Without the tweets, I wouldn’t be here,” Trump told the Financial Times in April 2017. So it came as little surprise that the commander in chief did not take it well when Twitter decided to permanently ban him from its service “due to the risk of further incitement of violence.” It seems there was pandemonium over at the White House when Twitter announced its decision Friday night. Trump went “ballistic,” a senior administration official told Politico, noting the president “was scrambling to figure out what his options are.”

Trump seemed to be engulfed by a burning desire to tweet and so he grabbed hold of the official @POTUS Twitter account and published a statement that the White House also issued separately. Trump lashed out at Twitter, saying it had “coordinated with the Democrats and the Radical Left” to remove his account. Trump also said he had been “negotiating with various other sites” and that he and his allies are looking “at the possibilities of building out our own platform in the near future.” Twitter quickly took down the messages from the @POTUS account. Donald Trump Jr. characterized the ban as “absolute insanity,” adding that it showed how “we are living Orwell’s 1984.” more...


President Donald Trump and his supporters in the Republican Party continue to make false claims about who actually stormed the US Capitol and who tried to stop the deadly riot. CNN's Daniel Dale fact-checks the claims. video...

Ryan W. Miller, USA TODAY

More rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol this week were arrested and charged Saturday as additional video came out showing the chaos of the deadly mob incited by President Donald Trump. Among those arrested were the rioters seen carrying House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's lectern, a Republican legislator from West Virginia and the man who calls himself a QAnon shaman. Meanwhile, House Democrats plan to introduce an article of impeachment as early as Monday, likely an article alleging "incitement of insurrection."

Trump was banned from Twitter late Friday "due to the risk of further incitement of violence," the social media company said, adding that there was a risk of "future armed protests" at the Capitol. Trump attempted to evade the ban by tweeting from other accounts, which have also been banned or had tweets deleted. Earlier, he said he would not attend Biden's inauguration, an event for which ADL (formerly known as the Anti-Defamation League) says extremists have begun plotting their next coup attempt. more...


BOSTON (AP) — One Twitter wag joked about lights flickering on and off at the White House being Donald Trump signaling to his followers in Morse code after Twitter and Facebook squelched the president for inciting rebellion. Though deprived of his big online megaphones, Trump does have alternative options of much smaller reach, led by the far right-friendly Parler — even if Google removed it from its app store Friday and Apple threatened the same. Trump may launch his own platform. But that won’t happen overnight, and free speech experts anticipate growing pressure on all social media platforms to curb incendiary speech as Americans take stock of Wednesday’s violent takeover of the U.S. Capitol by a Trump-incited mob.

Twitter ended Trump’s nearly 12-year run on Friday. In shuttering his account it cited a tweet to his 89 million followers that he planned to skip President-elect Joe Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration that it said gave rioters license to converge on Washington once again. Facebook and Instagram have suspended Trump at least until Inauguration Day. Twitch and Snapchat also have disabled Trump’s accounts, while Shopify took down online stores affiliated with the president and Reddit removed a Trump subgroup. Twitter also banned Trump loyalists including former national security advisor Michael Flynn in a sweeping purge of accounts promoting the QAnon conspiracy theory and the Capitol insurrection. Some had hundreds of thousands of followers. more...


Jacob Anthony Chansley, known as Jake Angeli, is in custody on charges including violent entry and disorderly conduct. Mr Chansley, who calls himself the QAnon Shaman, is allegedly the man pictured with a painted face, fur hat and horns inside Congress on Wednesday. Donald Trump faces another impeachment charge for his role in the unrest. Democrats accuse the president of encouraging the riots, in which five people died. The FBI has been appealing to the public to help bring the assailants to justice. more...

By Patrick Condon Star Tribune

About 100 supporters of President Donald Trump gathered Saturday at the Minnesota State Capitol, waving flags, chanting, praying and expressing support for the president's discounted claims that he actually won the 2020 election. As watchful Minnesota state troopers lined the steps of the Capitol facing the crowd, the protesters declared that they would stay peaceful, and they did so. Prayer was a large part of the rally, with speakers saying that if God wills it, Trump will remain president. more...

Ron Elving

It took a building to bring down Donald Trump. Unleashing the angriest of his supporters this week against the U.S. Capitol may have been only the culmination of Trump's 60-month campaign against the Washington establishment. But it was also its undoing. And his. When the crowd that Trump whipped up on the Ellipse marched up the National Mall with his blessing and encouragement, they became a mob assaulting and invading the Capitol. The Capitol is the closest thing to a national civic temple we have or would ever want in America. People who have been there once remember the awe they felt. People who go there nearly every day can still have that feeling.

That was why we were sickened by the real-time video and endlessly repeated images of desecration and terror on Wednesday — images we will live with for the rest of our lives. In substance, the mob's aim was to stop the orderly, bipartisan process of electing a president. Serious as that was, what gave it the force to shock and change minds was the spectacle of it happening where it did. Americans were sickened, and they shared that feeling across a wider spectrum of the nation's political sentiment than at any time since the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. more...

By Alexander Bolton

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), who has played a leading role in opposing efforts to throw out the results of the 2020 election, on Saturday said President Trump has “committed impeachable offenses.” “I do think the president committed impeachable offenses,” said Toomey said during an interview on Fox News’s “The Journal Editorial Report.”

Toomey is the top-ranking Republican on the Senate Banking Committee. He plans to retire from Congress at the end of 2022 to return to the private sector. Toomey said he did not know whether the Senate would act on any articles of impeachment passed by the House during the final 11 days of Trump’s term in office and voiced concern that Democrats may try to “politicize” the process.

“I don’t know what they are going to send over, and one of the things that I’m concerned about, frankly, is whether the House would completely politicize something,” he said. While Toomey said he believes Trump “committed impeachable offenses,” he added, “I don’t know what’s going to land on the Senate floor if anything.” more...

Opinion: The race is on for Republicans to distance themselves from Donald Trump. It also gives room for Joe Biden to focus on racial equality.
Greg Moore Arizona Republic

We all saw what happened: The president of the United States lost a fair election and responded by gathering a mob of his angry loser supporters who then stormed the Capitol building. What happens next is bigger than Donald Trump, and it creates a huge opportunity for anti-racists and criminal justice reform advocates to influence the direction of the nation for decades. The pro-Trump riot was a national security threat in so many ways that it’s impossible to tally them all. You think North Korea or Iran or Russia or even China didn’t see what happened and recognize the massive cracks in the foundations of American democracy? All it takes is one well-executed misinformation campaign and tens of thousands of people can seek to undermine the very principles they claim to hold sacred? more...

By Celine Castronuovo

The Houston Chronicle's editorial board is calling for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) to resign after he helped lead the effort to challenge the 2020 election results in Congress. The Chronicle, which has been a vocal critic of Cruz over the years, wrote in an opinion piece Friday that the senator’s actions helped fuel Wednesday’s deadly pro-Trump mob at the Capitol.

The Texas senator "knew exactly what he was doing, what he was risking and who he was inciting as he stood on the Senate floor Wednesday and passionately fed the farce of election fraud even as a seething crowd of believers was being whipped up by President Trump a short distance away," the editorial board wrote.

The editorial board blasted what it called "Cruz's cynical gamble," saying he "peddled his phony concern for the integrity of our elections, he argued that senators who voted to certify Biden’s victory would be telling tens of millions of Americans to ‘jump in a lake’ and that their concerns don’t matter." The editorial board then addressed Cruz directly, arguing that “those terrorists wouldn’t have been at the Capitol if you hadn’t staged this absurd challenge to the 2020 results in the first place.” more...

By Lexi Lonas

Republican West Virginia legislator Derrick Evans resigned from office Saturday after he was arrested and charged in relation to the Capitol riots that occurred Wednesday.  In a statement obtained by Metro News and addressed to West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R), Evans tendered his resignation. The short message to the governor read, "I hereby resign as a member of the West Virginia House of Delegates, effective immediately."

Evans, who reportedly filmed himself inside the Capitol while the riots took place, was arrested and charged with two federal misdemeanors on Friday. The first charge was for entering restricted government buildings, and the second was for violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. There was a federal court hearing Friday afternoon, and Evans was released on a personal recognizance bond, according to Metro News.

Evans, a newly elected lawmaker, submitted his resignation letter to the state's House of Delegates on Saturday after his Republican colleagues called on him to resign, according to the news outlet. “I take full responsibility for my actions, and deeply regret any hurt, pain or embarrassment I may have caused my family, friends, constituents and fellow West Virginians,” Evans said in a statement the West Virginia House of Delegates posted. more...

*** Trump did not want to send the National Guard against white protesters but had no issue sending them again black protesters. ***

By Lauren Giella

After the chaos of the raid on the Capitol on Wednesday, there is still much confusion over the response of federal law enforcement and the delayed authorization of the National Guard and police support. While President Donald Trump initially encouraged his supporters to march to the Capitol, he later asked the mob to "remain peaceful," nonviolent and support law enforcement in a tweet that said, "I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order – respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!

Minutes later, Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany tweeted that the president directed the National Guard to protect the Capitol. In a video posted on Twitter on Thursday, Trump repeated the claim, saying, "I immediately ordered the National Guard and federal law enforcement to secure the building and expel the intruders."

After the video was posted, it was widely reported that Trump was not directly involved with the deployment of the National Guard on Wednesday. In a statement Wednesday, Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller did not mention working with Trump. He said he "spoke separately with the Vice President [Mike Pence] and with Speaker Pelosi, Leader McConnell, Senator Schumer and Representative Hoyer about the situation at the U.S. Capitol." more...

Graig Graziosi

Donald Trump launched an expansive campaign to convince more than 150 Republican officials to overturn election results in his favour, a new report claims. A Politico report outlined the unprecedented steps Mr Trump took to convince Republican lawmakers at various levels of power to use their authority to overturn election results in his favour. In one instance, Mr Trump contacted Monica Palmer, who sits on a board that confirms the election results for Wayne County, Michigan – the state's most populous county. Shortly after the call, Ms Palmer said she wanted to rescind her vote to authorise the election results, which showed that Joe Biden had won. Though her efforts were ultimately in vain, they were just the beginning of Mr Trump's attempts to sway lawmakers into fraudulently naming him the election victor. more...

By Amy Gardner

President Trump urged Georgia’s lead elections investigator to “find the fraud” in a lengthy December phone call, saying the official would be a “national hero,” according to an individual familiar with the call who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the conversation. Trump placed the call to the investigations chief for the Georgia secretary of state’s office shortly before Christmas — while the individual was leading an inquiry into allegations of ballot fraud in Cobb County, in the suburbs of Atlanta, according to people familiar with the episode.

The president’s attempts to intervene in an ongoing investigation could amount to obstruction of justice or other criminal violations, legal experts said, though they cautioned a case could be difficult to prove. Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger had launched the inquiry following allegations that Cobb election officials had improperly accepted mail ballots with signatures that did not match those on file — claims that state officials ultimately concluded had no merit. more...

*** It is not the left we need to worry about it is right wing media and the radical right that we need to worry about before they destroy our country. ***
Brian Schwartz

A web of pro-Trump dark money groups helped organize the rally that led to a deadly riot on Capitol Hill. During the rally on Wednesday, President Donald Trump encouraged his supporters to march to the steps of Congress to protest the results of the Electoral College vote that certified Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 election. “We’re going to walk down to the Capitol and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women and we’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them,” Trump said at the rally just in front of the White House before the riot started. After the rally, Trump supporters marched to the steps of Congress and broke into the U.S. Capitol building.

At least five people have been pronounced dead, including a police officer. Though the Justice Department has said Trump himself is not expected to be charged, acting D.C. U.S. Attorney Michael Sherwin had previously acknowledged he’s “looking at all actors” that had a role in Wednesday’s attack. Trump is currently embroiled in yet another potential impeachment inquiry following the riot. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said that unless the president resigns, the House will move ahead with a motion for impeachment. more...

Lauren Feiner

Twitter permanently suspended President Donald Trump’s account on Friday. The company said in a tweet it made the decision “due to the risk of further incitement of violence.” Twitter said it feared Trump’s most recent tweets were being interpreted as supporting the rioters and that plans for future armed protests had already been proliferating both on and off the platform, including a proposed attack on the U.S. Capitol and state capitol buildings on Jan. 17. The suspension amounts to a ban: Trump can no longer access his account and his tweets and profile picture have been deleted. Trump had 88.7 million followers prior to his suspension. Institutional accounts such as @POTUS and @WhiteHouse are still active.

Trump later tweeted a statement from the @POTUS account before it appeared to be deleted. Later Friday, the same statement was shared by the Trump campaign’s Twitter account before that entire account was permanently. “As we’ve said, using another account to try to evade a suspension is against our rules,” a Twitter spokesperson said in a statement. Twitter said it would not suspend intuitional accounts like @POTUS unless it had to in order to avoid real-world harm, but that it could limit those accounts’ capabilities. Those accounts will be transferred to the next administration. more...

By Darragh Roche

President Donald Trump has suggested he could set up his own social media site following his personal account's permanent suspension from Twitter on Friday. Trump sent a series of tweets from the official @POTUS account in an attempt to circumvent his ban, accusing the company of stifling free speech. But Twitter soon deleted the posts, which were captured in screenshots.

"As I have been saying for a long time, Twitter has gone further and further in banning free speech, and tonight, Twitter employees have coordinated with the Democrats and the Radical Left in removing my account from their platform, to silence me — and YOU, the 75,000,000 great patriots who voted for me," Trump wrote."

The president won 74,223,744 votes in the 2020 presidential election, while President-elect Joe Biden won 81,283,485. "Twitter may be a private company, but without the government's gift of Section 230 they would not exist for long," Trump went on. Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act has been a bugbear from Trump and other conservatives for some time. more...

Ryan W. Miller USA TODAY

Rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol this week were still being identified Saturday as more video came out showing the chaos of the deadly mob incited by President Donald Trump. Among those arrested was the rioter seen sitting at the desk of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Republican legislator from West Virginia and a suburban Chicago CEO. House Democrats plan to introduce an article of impeachment as early as Monday, likely an article alleging "incitement of insurrection."

Meanwhile, Trump was banned from Twitter late Friday "due to the risk of further incitement of violence," the social media company said, adding that there was a risk of "future armed protests" at the Capitol. Trump attempted to evade the ban by tweeting from other accounts, which have also been banned or had tweets deleted. Earlier, he said he would not attend Biden's inauguration, an event for which ADL (formerly known as the Anti-Defamation League) says extremists have begun plotting their next coup attempt. more...

Online extremists started planning the chaos of January 6 months ago.
By Rebecca Heilweil and Shirin Ghaffary

Ali Alexander, a far-right activist and conspiracy theorist, posted a video to YouTube on Christmas Day, urging people to come to Washington, DC, on the day that Congress would finalize Joe Biden’s election to the US presidency. With a triumphant soundtrack, the video features President Trump at a rally declaring, “We will never give in. We will never give up, and we will never back down. We will never ever surrender.” It urges people to register to attend on a website, WildProtest.com, directing them to get to the Capitol building by 1 pm on the day of the event. The website even offered to help people find rides to get there.

This was just one of a slew of efforts from online communities that came together for the insurrection at the United States Capitol on Wednesday that left at least five people dead and many more injured. Many of these groups had been building enthusiasm online for such an event for years. They planned Wednesday’s event on social media and, as it was happening, gleefully livestreamed the destruction.

The events represent a turning point for the nation in its reckoning with the impact of online extremism. While misinformation researchers have warned for years of the growing influence of groups like QAnon, the Proud Boys, and neo-Nazis, Wednesday’s storming of the Capitol was the clearest evidence yet that these movements threaten to destabilize American democracy. more...

CNBC.com staff

This is CNBC’s live blog covering the latest news on the U.S. Capitol riot, calls for Trump’s impeachment, and the Biden transition. More than 200 lawmakers in the Democrat-controlled U.S. House of Representatives are now calling for President Donald Trump’s removal from office in the wake of a mob attack on Congress that left at least 5 people dead including a police officer. Though calls for Trump’s removal are growing, either through impeachment or the 25 Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, time is short with less than two weeks to go until President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated on Jan. 20. It’s also unclear whether there is enough Republican support to execute such a move. Vice President Mike Pence is said to oppose ousting Trump with the 25 Amendment, a process that would require majority support from the president’s Cabinet. And so far, no Republican in the Senate has openly backed a second impeachment of Trump. more...

By Christina Maxouris, CNN

(CNN) On the heels of the country's deadliest week since the Covid-19 pandemic's start, state officials are warning of more alarming patterns following the holiday season. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said the state was seeing a "real and significant increase in cases and our positivity rate from people's gatherings around the holiday." "This surge that we're in right now is at least twice the rate, the seriousness, of the previous surges that we have seen," the governor added. "This is our most dangerous time." Colorado's state epidemiologist Dr. Rachel Herlihy on Friday warned of "early signs" of a rise in Covid-19 cases. "We are starting to see the impact of the holidays show up in our data," she said. Health experts believe about one in 105 residents are currently contagious, Herlihy added.

"We continue to see a large percentage of Colorado's population actively infected with Covid-19 and having the potential to transmit infection to each other, so contact between individuals continues to be high risk in this state," Herlihy said. It's been a warning repeated across other states since the start of the New Year. Arkansas' governor said earlier this month the state was "certainly in the surge after Christmas." And Mississippi officials said on Monday the state had experienced more Covid-19 patients in the ICU than ever before and was bracing for another rise in virus numbers following the holidays. "We do strongly anticipate another surge following the holidays," State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs had said. "It's kind of been a recurring theme, it's not something that should be too surprising. And this is also occurring when we have full ICU rooms, our hospitals are really overburdened." Wednesday's unprecedented storming of the US Capitol is also a worrying event in terms of the pandemic. more...

Ron Elving at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C.

It took a building to bring down Donald Trump. Unleashing the angriest of his supporters this week against the U.S. Capitol may have been only the culmination of Trump's 60-month campaign against the Washington establishment. But it was also its undoing. And his. When the crowd that Trump whipped up on the Ellipse marched up the National Mall with his blessing and encouragement, they became a mob assaulting and invading the Capitol. The Capitol is the closest thing to a national civic temple we have or would ever want in America. People who have been there once remember the awe they felt. People who go there nearly every day can still have that feeling. That was why we were sickened by the real-time video and endlessly repeated images of desecration and terror on Wednesday — images we will live with for the rest of our lives. more...


President Donald Trump tweeted that he won't attend President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration. CNN's David Gergen says the move shows Trump is a "sore loser" and contradicts the message of unity the President released the previous day. video...


Dr. Lance Dodes joins Lawrence O’Donnell to discuss Trump’s mental state as he’s banned from Twitter and why he will get worse once he leaves office and faces legal jeopardy: “The more desperate he becomes, the more delusional he is, the more he needs to prove to himself ultimately that he is still a god, so the less power he has, the more stress he’s under, the more dangerous he is.” video...

The president acknowledged his defeat and urged for political reconciliation. His online faithful didn’t take it well.

After years of fidelity, Donald Trump's most ardent online fans have finally turned on him. All it took was for the president to acknowledge the reality of his loss a little over a day after they, the MAGA faithful, stormed the Capitol in a violent attempt to stop the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s win.

“People were willing to die for this man and he just threw them all under the bus. That’s the only thing that’s shameful about the events of the past 36 hours,” Nick Fuentes, the host of the America First podcast and the unofficial leader of the white nationalist Groyper Army, angrily tweeted, shortly after Trump released a video Thursday night in which he conceded that Biden would be the next president and called for political reconciliation. Cassandra Fairbanks, a prominent MAGA activist, tweeted: “[He] tells angry people to march to the capitol [and then] proceeds to throw his supporters under the bus.” more...

By Casey Tolan, CNN

(CNN) Black Lives Matter protesters in Washington, DC, last summer found themselves facing a massive show of force: military helicopters hovering over the city, National Guard troops patrolling the streets and tear gas filling the air. When a mob of President Trump's supporters broke into the US Capitol on Wednesday, they were confronted by a far smaller police presence -- and by the end of the day, far fewer of the rioters ended up in custody. DC police arrested more than five times as many people at the height of the Black Lives Matter protests last summer than they did during the day of insurrection at the Capitol, according to a CNN analysis of Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) data. And many of those arrested amid this week's unrest were detained on less serious charges. more...

The president has used Twitter to punish perceived disloyalty within his party. Now he's lost his favorite tool at a defining moment.

Donald Trump was meeting then-campaign manager Brad Parscale and other political aides in the White House Cabinet Room early last year when the president made a demand: Find me a social media platform to use other than Twitter. Someone in the meeting had piped up with concern that Twitter — Trump’s primary outlet for communicating with his supporters and the outside world — might eventually ban him over controversial posts. The Trump team mobilized after the meeting, with Parscale starting discussions about whether to have the president take up a major presence on the Trump-friendly platform Parler, posting messages there first in order to drive more users to the platform. more...

Michael Medved

The gut-wrenching spectacle of flag-waving mobs storming the Capitol building on January 6th represented more than the dangerous delusions of a few thousand radicals. Tens of millions of decent, patriotic Americans share the rioters' core conviction—an outrageous lie that serves to polarize the public and to poison our national discourse.

Shortly after the violence that threatened members of Congress and interrupted the process of officially receiving the previously certified Electoral College votes, the president himself gave renewed expression to the same toxic falsehood that provoked the unrest in the first place. After releasing a video in which he assured the protestors "I know your pain, I know your hurt" and reminded them that "we love you, you're very special," he posted a now-deleted tweet that justified the rampage. more...

The 'Hemingway of 140 characters' has lost his favorite bullhorn.

President Donald Trump has many prized possessions. But few seemed to inspire as much personal joy as his Twitter feed. Trump routinely boasted of the social media bullhorn he possessed. He credited it with launching his political trajectory. And he used it as a tool to lacerate his foes. On Friday night, he lost it. And, then, he lost his mind.

The president is “ballistic,” a senior administration official said after Twitter permanently took down his account, citing the possibility that it would be used in the final 12 days of Trump’s presidency to incite violence. The official said Trump was “scrambling to figure out what his options are.” So too was much of the political universe, which has become bleary-eyed obsessive about Twitter these past four years as Trump used the medium to fire advisers, sink legislative initiatives, encourage social duress and, lastly, praise the scores of MAGA faithful, just days after hundreds of them violently ransacked the Capitol.

In a statement issued by the White House, Trump said he’d been “negotiating with various other sites” while “we also look at the possibilities of building out our own platform in the near future.” But aides did not reveal what plans were in the works. When Trump’s eldest son, Don Jr. offered up a URL to those hoping to keep tabs of his father’s whereabouts, it was a site that had been purchased in 2009 and, in recent years, a place where his books were sold. For those who did sign up, an email was sent, plugging his latest work: “Liberal Privilege”. more..

By Jason Murdock

Fox News host Sean Hannity said on Thursday that President Donald Trump has an account on Parler, a social media platform pitched as an alternative to Twitter that has become a popular destination for conservatives. Hannity said the president had signed up to the platform during a segment that featured former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders alongside right-wing commentator and radio host Dan Bongino—an investor in the app. "I saw that the president had joined it. At least there is a place, it's like Twitter, it's called Parler, I have an account there... good for you because the president joined, because they are censoring him and Dan Scavino and everybody else," Hannity said. more...

By Rob Kuznia, Curt Devine, Scott Bronstein and Bob Ortega, CNN

(CNN) "Trump or war. Today. That simple." "If you don't know how to shoot: You need to learn. NOW." "we will storm the government buildings, kill cops, kill security guards, kill federal employees and agents, and demand a recount." In the weeks, days and hours ahead of Wednesday's siege on the Capitol by President Donald Trump's zealous supporters, the warning signs were clear: online posts from hate groups and right-wing provocateurs agitating for civil war, the deaths of top lawmakers and attacks on law enforcement.

And now, as the dust settles and the country struggles to make sense of the violence that left five dead -- including an officer with the US Capitol Police -- experts warn that the calls for violence have only intensified ahead of Inauguration Day, when President-elect Joe Biden will be sworn in as commander in chief. "We are seeing ... chatter from these white supremacists, from these far-right extremists -- they feel emboldened in this moment," said Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, which tracks and counters hate. "We fully expect that this violence could actually get worse before it gets better." more...

By Jon Swaine, Dalton Bennett, Joyce Sohyun Lee and Meg Kelly

Two previously unreported video clips obtained by The Washington Post shed new light on the fatal shooting by police of Trump supporter and Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt as she and other rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol. Babbitt and others were attempting to breach a barricaded door inside the Capitol building on Wednesday afternoon, angrily demanding that three U.S. Capitol Police officers who were guarding the door step aside, one of the clips shows. The officers moved away as colleagues in tactical gear arrived behind the rioters, according to the clip and other video posted online. Roughly 35 seconds after the officers moved away, as she climbed up toward a broken section of the unguarded door, Babbitt was shot by an officer on the other side. more...

By Sunlen Serfaty, Devan Cole and Alex Rogers, CNN

Washington (CNN) President Donald Trump and his attorney Rudy Giuliani both mistakenly made calls to Republican Sen. Mike Lee as deadly riots were unfolding at the US Capitol earlier this week, a spokesman for the senator confirmed to CNN -- calls that were intended for another GOP senator the White House was frantically trying to convince to delay the counting of Electoral College votes. Lee's spokesman said the calls from Trump and his attorney were intended for Sen. Tommy Tuberville, a newly elected Republican from Alabama.

The effort by the White House to get Tuberville to delay certification of the votes provides insight into the President's thinking and priorities as a mob of his supporters lay siege to the iconic building. As the President worked to convince Tuberville to delay the process, he and other top White House officials did little to check in on Vice President Mike Pence while he and members of his family were inside the breached Capitol, a source close to the vice president told CNN.

Trump first called the personal cell phone of Lee, a Utah Republican, shortly after 2 p.m. ET. At that time the senators had been evacuated from the Senate floor and were in a temporary holding room, as a pro-Trump mob began breaching the Capitol. Lee picked up the phone and Trump identified himself, and it became clear he was looking for Tuberville and had been given the wrong number. Lee, keeping the President on hold, went to find his colleague and handed Tuberville his phone, telling him the President was on the line and had been trying to reach him. more...

James Kitfield

WASHINGTON — As an angry mob stormed the barricades of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday afternoon, sending lawmakers and their staffs fleeing for their lives, the government was temporarily paralyzed by confusion over who was in charge. The Capitol Police and the mayor of Washington, D.C., pleaded for help from the National Guard, but the Pentagon was reluctant to respond after criticism over deploying troops against protesters in Washington last summer.

Finally Vice President Mike Pence, from a secure, undisclosed location where he took shelter with leaders of Congress, reached out directly to acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller and Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley. National Guard troops from neighboring states were activated, but by then the Capitol building had been overrun. more...

“At 1:00 p.m., we will march to the Capitol building and call on Congress to stop the steal,” said the voice on the recording, which was obtained by NBC News.
By Laura Strickler and Lisa Cavazuti

An arm of the Republican Attorneys General Association, a national group representing the top law enforcement officers in their states, sent out robocalls encouraging people to march to the U.S. Capitol the day before the building was stormed by a pro-Trump mob. “At 1:00 p.m., we will march to the Capitol building and call on Congress to stop the steal,” said the voice on the recording, which was obtained by NBC News.

The calls, which did not advocate violence or suggest the building should be breached, was sent out by the Rule of Law Defense Fund, a fundraising arm of the Republican Attorneys General Association. The groups share funding, staff and office space in Washington, D.C. In a statement to NBC News, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, who runs the fund, said the calls were sent out without his knowledge.

“I was unaware of unauthorized decisions made by RLDF staff with regard to this week’s rally,” said Marshall, who assumed his role Nov. 10. “Despite currently transitioning into my role as the newly elected chairman of RLDF, it is unacceptable that I was neither consulted about nor informed of those decisions. I have directed an internal review of this matter.” A website set up to promote the rally that preceded the Capitol incursion lists the Rule of Law Defense Fund as one of the participating organizations. The site has since been taken down. more...

The president’s preferred megaphone cited “the risk of further incitement of violence.” It acted after Facebook, Snapchat, Twitch and other platforms placed limits on him.
By Kate Conger and Mike Isaac

OAKLAND, Calif. — Twitter said on Friday that it had permanently suspended President Trump from its service “due to the risk of further incitement of violence,” effectively cutting him off from his favorite megaphone for reaching the public and capping a series of actions by mainstream sites to limit his online reach. Twitter said in a blog post that Mr. Trump’s personal @realDonaldTrump account, which has more than 88 million followers, would be suspended immediately. The company said two tweets that Mr. Trump had posted on Friday — one calling his supporters “patriots” and another saying he would not go to the presidential inauguration on Jan. 20 — violated its rules on glorifying violence.

The tweets “were highly likely to encourage and inspire people to replicate the criminal acts that took place at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021,” Twitter said, referring to the storming of the Capitol by a mob of Trump loyalists. Within minutes, Mr. Trump’s account on Twitter was no longer visible or accessible. The move was a forceful repudiation by Twitter of Mr. Trump, who had used the platform to build his base and spread his messages, which were often filled with falsehoods and threats. Mr. Trump regularly tweeted dozens of times a day, sending flurries of messages in the early morning or late evening. In his posts, he gave his live reactions to television news programs, boosted supporters and attacked his perceived enemies. more...

By Kara Scannell and Devan Cole, CNN

Washington (CNN) A West Virginia Republican state lawmaker who recorded himself storming the US Capitol during a deadly riot there earlier this week is facing a criminal charge, US officials announced Friday. Derrick Evans, a member of the West Virginia House of Delegates, has been charged in a criminal complaint with entering a restricted area and entering the US Capitol, said Ken Kohl, a top official in the US attorney's office for Washington.
The complaint will be made publicly available later Friday.

Evans' lawyer, John Bryan, told CNN he hasn't yet seen the complaint and declined to provide any comment on the charge. The charge comes as federal authorities begin to arrest and bring charges against some of the scores of people who participated in the riot at the Capitol on Wednesday, which was incited in part by President Donald Trump and resulted in the deaths of five people, including a US Capitol Police officer. The Department of Justice on Friday announced that 13 people are facing federal charges stemming from the riot Wednesday at the Capitol. The full court records have not yet been made available for all defendants and only a handful of the individuals have made court appearances. In addition to those who have been charged, the Justice Department said that additional complaints "have been submitted and investigations are ongoing." more...

John Haltiwanger

Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Friday implored her Republican colleagues to embrace the push to remove President Donald Trump from office after he provoked an attempted coup at the US Capitol earlier in the week. "To my GOP colleagues: know that this President incited an insurrection against and incited his mob to find, harm, and possibly kill not just Democrats, but you, too. He *will* allow opportunities of physical harm against you if you aren't sufficiently loyal to him. Remove him," the New York Democrat said in a tweet.

Ocasio-Cortex has ripped into Trump and his GOP enablers over the few days, explicitly blaming them for the violence at the Capitol. She's singled out GOP Sens. Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley in that regard. Five people died as a result of the chaos at the Capitol on Wednesday, during which the insurrectionists could be heard shouting "where's Mike Pence." Trump made Pence a target of the violent mob's ire by scapegoating the vice president over his election loss. more...

The incident comes after Sen. Lindsey Graham publicly broke with the president following the deadly riots on Capitol Hill.

Sen. Lindsey Graham was verbally harassed by about a dozen Donald Trump supporters at Reagan National Airport on Friday after his public break with the president, according to a person at the scene who provided a video of the incident. Several people repeatedly loudly yelled at the South Carolina Republican that he was a “traitor.” One woman called him a “liar,” while another said, “You work for the people, you work for us, do you hear me?” They promised not to touch him as he was surrounded by security. The identities of the people shouting at Graham couldn’t immediately be identified, and it’s unclear if they attended the Trump protest on Wednesday that turned into a deadly riot on Capitol Hill. more...

A known white nationalist recorded the clip that went viral amid the chaos of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Jessica Lee

In the aftermath of American far-right extremists storming the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, video evidence surfaced online allegedly depicting a U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) officer posing for a “selfie” photograph with a member of the pro-Trump mob that vandalized and occupied the building. The nine-second video clip spread rapidly online among supporters of the country’s civil rights movement to hold police officers accountable for their use of force against civilians, particularly people of color and Native Americans, or to reimagine public safety with less focus on police.

Kayla Reed, a Black social justice activist, told The Washington Post: “One hundred years ago, the sheriffs knew all the Klan members in their town and were often the Klan members in their town. Now we’re watching officers take selfies with domestic terrorists who are angry that Black voters have delivered the Democrats victory in the White House and in Congress.” In other words, critics of law enforcement saw the alleged selfie video (which we examine in detail below) as proof of USCP’s allegedly lackadaisical or hypocritical approach to the mob that included neo-Confederates, when so many Black or Brown Americans risk injuries or death when interacting with police on a daily basis. more...

Dan Mangan

President Donald Trump is not expected to be criminally charged with inciting a riot at the U.S. Capitol, a Department of Justice official said Friday, just a day after the top federal prosecutor in the District of Columbia did not rule out charging Trump. “We don’t expect any charges of that nature,” the official said Friday during a conference call with reporters when asked if the DOJ was considering charges against speakers at a rally for Trump right before Wednesday’s riot.

Trump, his lawyer Rudy Giuliani, and Trump’s eldest son Donald Trump Jr. all spoke at the rally, which focused on their bogus claims that Joe Biden only won the presidential election through ballot fraud in multiple states. Another DOJ official said that at this point the federal investigation is focused solely on criminal acts at the Capitol building. Thousands of Trump supporters invaded the halls of Congress after the rally, where Trump had asked his fans to help him thwart the confirmation Biden as the next president of the United States. more...

By Darragh Roche

A growing number of Republicans are calling for President Donald Trump to step down or be removed from office following the Capitol riot on Wednesday. Illinois Congressman Adam Kinzinger was the first Republican to seek Trump's removal publicly, but he was soon followed by other GOP critics of the president. Some lawmakers have left the door open to supporting Trump's removal if the correct circumstances arise, including Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), once a loyal defender of the president.

"Here's the truth. The president caused this. The president is unfit and the president is unwell. And the president now must relinquish control of the executive branch voluntarily or involuntarily," Kinzinger said in a video posted to Twitter on Thursday. "All indications are that the president has become unmoored, not just from his duty, nor even his oath, but from reality itself," he went on. more...

Images apparently showing Richard Barnett of Arkansas in the speaker's office became emblematic of the mayhem that tore across the U.S. Capitol.
By Pete Williams and Erik Ortiz

WASHINGTON — A man photographed casually sitting with his foot on a desk in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office at the U.S. Capitol while a pro-Trump mob rampaged the halls of Congress was arrested Friday, law enforcement officials said. Richard Barnett, 60, of Gravette, Arkansas, was taken into custody in his home state on federal charges of entering and remaining on restricted grounds, violent entry and theft of public property, according to a Department of Justice official. Further details were not immediately available.

Images, apparently of Barnett, were splashed across social media as the deadly mayhem unfolded in the nation's capital on Wednesday, just as Democratic and Republican lawmakers convened to count the Electoral College votes. Members of Congress condemned the violence and rioting, which was preceded by a rally led by President Donald Trump who told his supporters to swarm the Capitol in defiance of the election results. Also charged Friday in connection with the rioting at the Capitol was a state lawmaker from West Virginia, Republican Del. Derrick Evans, who had recorded and then deleted a video of himself joining the throng. A petition has been started for him to step down. more...

Kassidy Vavra

CAPITOL rioters appeared to scream "hang Mike Pence" after Donald Trump blamed the "furious" vice president for not blocking Joe Biden's win. Pence's reported rage came ahead of riots that led to him being evacuated from the Capitol on Wednesday, as members of Congress met to certify Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential election. Video shared on social media from a livestream during the Capitol riot appeared to show demonstrators calling for the vice president to be "hanged." "Hang Mike Pence! Hang Mike Pence!" crowds at the Capitol in Washington, DC, appeared to yell. The apparent chants came after Trump repeatedly called for Pence to block Congress from certifying Biden as the winner – but the VP said he would not do so. Republican Sen Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma told Tulsa World ahead of the riots that Pence was outraged at Trump's calls to block the certification of the election. more...

By Teo Armus

John C. Danforth, a former Republican senator from Missouri, had once viewed Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) as a “once-in-a-generation” talent — a young, upstart politician with a promising future in Washington. Yet after a mob of Trump supporters burst into the Capitol on Wednesday, Danforth said that campaigning for Hawley to take his old seat was “the worst mistake I ever made in my life.”

Hawley had been the first senator to announce he would object to President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, citing baseless claims of mass election fraud. So when the rioters bashed inside, attempting to overturn the election, it was clear who was at fault, Danforth said. “But for him it wouldn’t have happened,” Danforth told the Kansas City Star. He made the certification vote “a way to express the view that the election was stolen. He was responsible.” more...

Sonam Sheth

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell never wants to speak to President Donald Trump again following a violent insurrection at the US Capitol on Wednesday, the Washington Post reported. The president has been accused of inciting the riots by urging his supporters at a rally Wednesday "to fight" and march to the Capitol, where Congress was counting electoral votes and finalizing President-elect Joe Biden's victory in the November election.

Trump has spent months spinning bogus conspiracy theories about voter fraud and election-rigging, while falsely insisting the race was "stolen" from him and that he is the rightful winner. At Wednesday's rally, the president reiterated those claims, adding, "We will never concede," as his supporters cheered. Throngs of them subsequently stormed the US Capitol, clashed with police, broke into the building, ransacked lawmakers' offices, and made it as far as the House and Senate floor. more...

The South Carolina Democrat also suggested Trump is unlikely to be removed from office by impeachment with less than two weeks before his term expires.

House Majority Whip James Clyburn on Friday accused former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao of “running away from their responsibility” by resigning from President Donald Trump’s Cabinet before invoking the 25th Amendment to remove him from office. In an interview Friday morning on CNN, Clyburn (D-S.C.) repeated his call for Cabinet members to join together to remove Trump from the presidency, arguing that particular constitutional remedy was preferable to launching a second round of impeachment proceedings in the final 12 days of Trump’s term.

“It’s the quickest way to do it, and it’s there. It is the proper way to do it,” Clyburn said. “But this president always liked being distinctive, for whatever reason. And he can be by being the first president in this country to be impeached twice. So if they don’t do it, I do believe that the votes are in the House of Representatives to put forth articles of impeachment.” The South Carolina Democrat suggested Trump is unlikely to be removed from office by impeachment with less than two weeks before his term expires.

“No, I do not believe 13 or 14 days are enough to run that. But it's sure enough for the vice president and the Cabinet members,” Clyburn said, before invoking DeVos and Chao. “For two Cabinet members to resign, that says to me they are running away from their responsibility. If they feel that strongly, they would stay there and wait on this meeting so they can cast two of the votes that are necessary to invoke the 25th Amendment,” he said. “They are running away.” more...

Delusional claims of fraud — rejected time and again by the courts — are not a difference of opinion. They are a conspiracy to overthrow democracy.
Catherine Cherkasky

The rioters in Washington, D.C. this week converged on the Capitol Building in the name of protesting “election fraud" — or so they say. As a defense lawyer and a so-called right-leaning legal commentator on Fox News, I am very sensitive to claims of unfairness or illegality in our nation’s institutions and processes, particularly in our elections. In fact, I spend much of my private practice defending clients, in part, by pointing out the breakdown or failure of processes, and arguing why it should invalidate the charges against them. I am, you could say, highly sensitive to such possibilities.

In this case, however, these violent protests are not about a breakdown in the election process rendering the outcome invalid. They are about nothing more than the bruised ego of President Donald Trump, who lost an election then failed to present any tangible legal grounds upon which it should be reversed. This is not just me saying so. This is the Supreme Court, state election officials, the president’s own attorney general, and dozens upon dozens of other courts, many with judges appointed by President Trump himself. Legally speaking: The jig is up. more...

By Erik Larson

Former Trump campaign lawyer Sidney Powell was sued for defamation by the voting-machine company she repeatedly placed at the center of a vast and unfounded election conspiracy that she claimed switched votes to favor President-elect Joe Biden.

The complaint filed Friday by Dominion Voting Systems Inc. seeks $1.3 billion from Powell, who filed numerous unsuccessful court cases seeking to overturn the election results. She was dumped by the Trump campaign not long after a Nov. 19 press conference in which she claimed that agents from Iran and China infiltrated Dominion’s voting machines to help Biden, and that the software had ties to Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, who died in 2013.

“Powell’s wild accusations are demonstrably false,” the company, based in Toronto and Denver, said in the complaint. “Acting in concert with allies and media outlets that were determined to promote a false preconceived narrative about the 2020 election, Powell launched a viral disinformation campaign about Dominion that reached millions of people and caused enormous harm to Dominion.” more...

President Donald Trump in July 2020 had signed an executive order authorising up to 10 years of imprisonment for 'injury of federal property’
Namita Singh

Condemning the violent rioters who stormed the Capitol on Wednesday, acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen in a statement assured that those responsible for the attack would "face the full consequences of their actions under the law."  The protesters are liable to be punished with up to 10 years in prison for “injury of federal property," under the executive order signed by President Donald Trump during the Black Lives Matter anti-racism protests in July 2020. "I just had the privilege of signing a very strong Executive Order protecting American Monuments, Memorials, and Statues - and combatting recent Criminal Violence," Mr Trump wrote on Twitter on 26 June, after people took to the streets in the wake of George Floyd’s murder. "Long prison terms for these lawless acts against our Great Country!" Mr Rosen, in the statement, did not mention a specific punishment or refer to the executive order. more...


We all knew President DONALD TRUMP’s term would end badly. It had to. There were just too many lies. Too many conspiracy theories. Too many times where journalists searched their syllabuses for new ways to say “unprecedented” and where Americans across the country sat aghast learning just how low we could go in our own eyes and in the eyes of the world.

As I said during PBS NewsHour’s special coverage Wednesday, “The false information has consequences. The conspiracy theories have consequences.”

In the aftermath of what can only accurately be described as an armed insurrection in our capital city, we are still sinking even lower with each hour, past our nation’s basement floor and into the very foundation of our democracy. Burned into our collective souls are the brutal images of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Oklahoma City bombing and now the Jan. 6 Siege at the Capitol.

A quick pause. I’m Yamiche Alcindor, the White House correspondent for PBS NewsHour.

For years now, I have covered the Trump administration up close and watched him create a house of mirrors for fervent followers to replicate at their dinner tables, at their city council meetings and in their own city capitals. I talked to sources who enabled his lies and who saw in Trump a vehicle for all their political dreams to come true. more...

Tom Porter

A man arrested during the riots at the US Capitol was carrying 11 Molotov cocktails and an assault rifle, a federal prosecutor said Thursday. Mike Sherwin, the acting US attorney for the District of Columbia, gave a press conference describing action taken by prosecutors against members of the pro-Trump mob which attacked the Capitol building on Wednesday. Sherwin told reporters that 15 federal charges had been filed against people present at the riots for offences including illegally entering the Capitol, possessing a firearm and stealing congressional property. Among those facing federal charges was the unnamed man arrested with the Molotov cocktails, a type of makeshift explosive. Sherwin described the devices as "ready to go." more...

By Jacob Jarvis

President Donald Trump faces being impeached for a second time in his tenure as Democrats seek routes to strip his powers early with calls for the 25th Amendment to be used seemingly hitting a dead end. Vice President Mike Pence has been pressed to invoke Section 4 of the 25th Amendment to have Trump's presidential powers stripped, with him then to become acting president for the remainder of the tenure. Democrat figureheads House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) called Pence on Thursday morning to discuss this point, though they did not speak to him and in a recent statement said he had not been in touch with them.

"The President's dangerous and seditious acts necessitate his immediate removal from office," the pair said in a joint statement. "We look forward to hearing from the Vice President as soon as possible and to receiving a positive answer as to whether he and the Cabinet will honor their oath to the Constitution and the American people." The 25th Amendment route would require Pence's cooperation. With this potentially not forthcoming, lawmakers have drafted articles of impeachment as another potential means of ousting the president. more...

By Jacob Jarvis

Betsy DeVos and Elaine Chao have been accused by senior Democrats and campaigners of resigning their Cabinet positions so as to avoid calls for them to push for President Donald Trump's removal from power via the 25th Amendment. Chao, who served as transportation secretary, became the first Cabinet member to resign in the wake of the recent violence at the Capitol and was followed by DeVos, formerly education secretary. Both cited the recent chaos in Washington, D.C., in which Trump supporters stormed the Capitol after a rally linked to his baseless election fraud claims, when detailing their departures. Calls for Trump to have his presidential power removed through Section 4 of the 25th Amendment have mounted and such action would require Vice President Mike Pence and majority of the Cabinet to agree upon the undertaking. "Elaine Chao and Betsy DeVos aren't taking some brave moral stand by resigning now. They knew how terrible he was. By getting out now, they avoid the 25th Amendment debate," Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington said in a tweet. more...

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