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US Monthly Headline News January 2021 Page 1

By Nicquel Terry Ellis, CNN

(CNN)A Covid-19 vaccination site in a Latino neighborhood in New York City hard hit by the pandemic saw an overwhelming number of White people from outside the community show up to get the shot this month, city leaders say, laying bare a national disparity that shows people of color are being vaccinated at dramatically lower rates. The site at the Armory Track & Field Center in Washington Heights was launched Jan. 14 by NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Vaccine appointments were initially offered to people age 65 and older who live in New York state. Lawmakers who represent Washington Heights and a doctor who staffed the site last week said the first wave of vaccinations went to many White New Yorkers over 65 who traveled to the Armory from other parts of the city and state. more...

By Donald Ayer and Dennis Aftergut

Democracy’s future depends on the stories told of the past. They must be told from facts. We have important facts about the Jan. 6. insurrectionists Donald Trump incited to invade the Capitol. Some told an FBI informant that they intended to kill Mike Pence and Nancy Pelosi. They reportedly came within 60 seconds of finding Pence. That close call should compel robust criminal investigations — not only to hold accountable all those who entered the Capitol but also to tell us exactly what Trump knew when he gave his speech that morning inciting the rioters. The facts already known do not cast Trump in a good light. Consider the context: Trump’s increasing desperation on Jan. 6 as the walls closed in on his prospects for holding power. More than 60 courts had rejected Trump’s unfounded legal attempts to overturn the election. more....

By Lexi Lonas

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) on Saturday blasted news that Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene had spoken by phone with former President Trump amid growing backlash over the Georgia Republican's past remarks. “Lies of a feather flock together: Marjorie Taylor Greene’s nonsense and the 'big lie' of a stolen election,” Romney tweeted. more...

By David Brennan

Residents of the small town of Sequim, Washington, have launched a petition to remove Mayor William Armacost from office after the local leader repeatedly expressed support for the QAnon conspiracy theory, which is linked to former President Donald U.S. Capitol earlier this month. A CNN report from Sequim broadcast Friday detailed concerns among townspeople that Armacost has embraced the anti-Semitic conspiracy theory, followers of which believe that Trump is doing battle with a shadowy international cabal of devil-worshipping cannibalistic pedophiles. QAnon devotees believe that Trump will eventually root out the so-called "deep state," with martial law declared allowing mass arrests and executions of prominent politicians, media personalities and businesspeople. more...

Not only is Joe Piscopo a business partner with Mike Lindell, he’s now turning his radio mic over to the Trump ally to spew wild claims of election fraud.
William Bredderman

One of Saturday Night Live’s most notorious former stars has turned his radio show into a regular platform for his business partner, cushion and conspiracy hawker Mike Lindell, amplifying the Trump-loving MyPillow founder and his unfounded claims about the election, Twitter “censorship,” and the deadly Capitol insurrectionist riot. Between the early 1980s and the early 2010s, Joe Piscopo went from SNL fan favorite to punchline—but resurrected his career in 2014 with Piscopo in the Morning, a four-hour block on AM 970, a talk-radio station popular with New York City commuters. Since the election of now-former President Donald Trump, Piscopo’s guests have often been a mix of dubious conservative commentators and more mainstream figures like former NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly. By 2018, his show had climbed into the top 50 most-streamed and most influential radio programs in the country, according to an industry poll. In 2021, and particularly after Trump supporters rioted at the Capitol on Jan. 6, Piscopo has repeatedly given airtime in the largest U.S. media market to Lindell, even though such hard-right outlets like Newsmax had by then sought to block the MyPillow magnate from making his outrageous claims on their air. more...

Domenico Montanaro

The forming narrative among those who don't want a Senate impeachment trial for former President Donald Trump is along the lines of, "He's out of office. What's the point?" Others are going so far as to claim that conducting an impeachment trial for Trump now that he's out of office is unconstitutional. "I think the ex-president's rhetoric on the day was inflammatory," said Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., who was criticized for his role in the Jan. 6 violence as well. Hawley was one of the instigators of objecting to Congress' traditionally ceremonial electoral vote counting. "I think it was irresponsible. I think it was wrong. But I think that this impeachment effort is, I mean, I think it's blatantly unconstitutional. It's a really, really, really dangerous precedent." It's not blatantly unconstitutional. And there is already precedent for the Senate trying an official after he has left office. It happened 145 years ago, and the impeachment managers in that 19th-century case believed that by holding that trial no one would again question whether it was allowed. more...

By Jeffery Martin

Democrat Missouri Representative Cori Bush told MSNBC host Joy Reid on Friday that she relocated her office to avoid white supremacists in Congress, including Republican Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene. Some Democratic lawmakers have criticized Greene for her continued commitment to former President Donald Trump. Videos posted to social media appear to show Greene's support of conspiracy theories, including a belief that a mass shooting at a Florida high school in 2018 was a false flag event. Some Democrats have called for Greene to be expelled from Congress. On Friday, Greene and Bush had a heated discussion over Greene's choice not to wear a face mask. After the incident, which was live-streamed by Greene, Bush announced that she would be relocating her office. more...

Indictment of a Roger Stone-connected operative may signal that Robert Mueller's spinoffs are still bearing fruit
By Roger Sollenberger

Florida man Douglass Mackey, a notorious white nationalist and right-wing social media troll, was arrested this week on charges of conspiring with others to deprive citizens of their right to vote ahead of the 2016 election, the Department of Justice announced on Wednesday. "According to the allegations in the complaint, the defendant exploited a social media platform to infringe one of the most basic and sacred rights guaranteed by the Constitution: the right to vote," Nicholas McQuaid, acting Assistant Attorney General of the Criminal Division, said in a press release. "This complaint underscores the department's commitment to investigating and prosecuting those who would undermine citizens' voting rights." more...

Roughly 30% of victims are said to have no connection to the network-management company’s tainted software
By Robert McMillan and Dustin Volz

Investigators probing a massive hack of the U.S. government and businesses say they have found concrete evidence the suspected Russian espionage operation went far beyond the compromise of the small software vendor publicly linked to the attack. Close to a third of the victims didn’t run the SolarWinds Corp. software initially considered the main avenue of attack for the hackers, according to investigators and the government agency digging into the incident. The revelation is fueling concern that the episode exploited vulnerabilities in business software used daily by millions. Hackers linked to the attack have broken into these systems by exploiting known bugs in software products, by guessing online passwords and by capitalizing on a variety of issues in the way Microsoft Corp.’s cloud-based software is configured, investigators said. Approximately 30% of both the private-sector and government victims linked to the campaign had no direct connection to SolarWinds, Brandon Wales, acting director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, said in an interview. more...

Dina Temple-Raston

Back in November, Kevin Mandia, CEO of the cybersecurity firm FireEye, opened his mailbox to find an anonymous postcard. It had a simple cartoon on the front. "Hey look, Russians," it read. "Putin did it." He might not have given it a second thought were it not for one thing: His company had recently launched an internal security investigation after officials discovered someone had tried to register an unauthorized device into its network. That inquiry eventually led to the discovery of something even more worrisome: the breach of a Texas-based network monitoring company called SolarWinds. U.S. officials now believe that hackers with Russia's intelligence service, the SVR, found a way to piggyback onto one of SolarWinds' regular software updates and slip undetected into its clients' networks. That means potentially thousands of companies and dozens of government departments and agencies may have been compromised. President Biden was concerned enough about the attack that he brought it up in his first official call as president on Tuesday with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin. It is unclear how Putin responded, but Russia has denied involvement in the past. more...

CBS News

The board of a small Louisiana cemetery that denied burial to a Black sheriff's deputy held an emergency meeting Thursday and removed a whites-only provision from its sales contracts. "When that meeting was over it was like a weight lifted off of me," H. Creig Vizena, board president for Oaklin Springs Cemetery in southwest Louisiana, said Thursday night. He said he was stunned and ashamed to learn two days earlier that the family of Allen Parish Sheriff's Deputy Darrell Semien, who died Sunday, had been told he could not be buried at the cemetery near Oberlin because he was African American. "It's horrible," Vizena told The Associated Press Thursday. He said the board members removed the word "white" from a contract stipulation conveying "the right of burial of the remains of white human beings." Semien's widow, Karla Semien, of Oberlin, told CBS Lafayette, Louisiana affiliate KLFY-TV,"It was just so much a slap in the face, a punch in the gut. It was just belittling him. You know, that we can't bury him because he's black." more...

By Rebecca Kaplan

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that House members can pay for additional security measures with their congressional allowances, and said the House would likely need to pass additional funding for member safety because "the enemy is within the House of Representatives." "It shouldn't be that not only is the president of the United States inciting an insurrection, but keeps fanning the flame endangering the security of members of Congress, to the point that they're even concerned about members in the House of Representatives being a danger to them," she said. Asked what she meant by "the enemy is within," the California Democrat said, "It means that we have members of Congress who want to bring guns on the floor and have threatened violence on other members of Congress." more...

Maggie Fitzgerald

Robinhood raised $1 billion overnight from investors to shore up its balance sheet as the brokerage app was set to ease restrictions in the trading of certain volatile stocks, according to CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin. The money raised was on top of $500 million the broker accessed through credit lines to ensure it had the capital required to keep allowing its clients to trade stocks like GameStop and AMC Entertainment. Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev told CNBC that tapping the credit lines was a proactive measure and denied it was because of a liquidity issue. “By drawing on our credit lines which we do all the time as part of normal day to day operations we get more capital that we can deposit with the clearing houses and that will allow us to enable ideally more investing with fewer restrictions,” Tenev told Sorkin in a CNBC interview on Thursday evening. more...

Emma Hurt

The Georgia Senate runoffs were the first test of former President Donald Trump's ability to bring his most fervent supporters to the polls without his name on the ballot. And after Republicans lost the seats and their U.S. Senate majority, in Georgia Republican circles, much of the blame has centered on the former president. Trump's refusal to concede his own race and constant questioning of the electoral system's integrity sowed confusion that likely dampened Republican turnout. But it was the campaigns' Trump-centric strategies that left them no room to break away, calling into question the future viability of the strategy in competitive states like Georgia. And with Trump showing no sign of heading toward a quiet post-presidential retirement, the dangers of embracing him too closely could risk other GOP candidates in 2022, when control of the House and Senate could again be up for grabs. more...

By Joe Sutton, CNN

(CNN) Multiple Fort Bliss soldiers were injured after ingesting an "unknown substance" during a field training exercise on Thursday, according to the Texas military post. "Fort Bliss is investigating an incident involving 11 Fort Bliss Soldiers injured after ingesting an unknown substance during a field training exercise, today," Fort Bliss Public Affairs said in a news release Thursday. more...

A number of members of Congress have links to organizations and movements that played a role in the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol.
By Luke Broadwater and Matthew Rosenberg

WASHINGTON — The video’s title was posed as a question, but it left little doubt about where the men who filmed it stood. They called it “The Coming Civil War?” and in its opening seconds, Jim Arroyo, who leads an Arizona chapter of Oath Keepers, a right-wing militia, declared that the conflict had already begun. To back up his claim, Mr. Arroyo cited Representative Paul Gosar of Arizona, one of the most far-right members of Congress. Mr. Gosar had paid a visit to the local Oath Keepers chapter a few years earlier, Mr. Arroyo recounted, and when asked if the United States was headed for a civil war, the congressman’s “response to the group was just flat out: ‘We’re in it. We just haven’t started shooting at each other yet.’” Less than two months after the video was posted,  members of the Oath Keepers were among those with links to extremist groups from around the country who took part in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, prompting new scrutiny of the links between members of Congress and an array of organizations and movements that espouse far-right beliefs. more...

By Katelyn Polantz, CNN

(CNN) The chief judge of the federal court in Washington scorched Capitol riot suspects during a hearing on Thursday, calling their actions an assault on American democracy and ruling that a man who had bragged about putting his feet on a desk in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office should stay in jail as he awaits trial. "This was not a peaceful protest. Hundreds of people came to Washington, DC, to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power," Chief Judge Beryl Howell of the DC District Court said in the hourlong hearing for Capitol riot defendant Richard Barnett on Thursday. Howell's remarks are some of the first from a federal district judge over the more than 150 criminal cases that resulted from the siege. Her decision on Barnett also marks the first ruling in an appeal from the Justice Department after a magistrate judge out of Washington denied its request to keep a Capitol riot suspect in jail. At least four others are awaiting rulings from district judges in Washington after appeals. Howell made clear she believes the crowd was trying to thwart the federal legislative branch from carrying out its duties. "We're still living here in Washington, DC, with the consequences of the violence that this defendant is alleged to have participated in," she said. more...

By Amir Vera, Amanda Watts and Keith Allen, CNN

(CNN) A total of 12 officers have now been indicted in connection with a 2019 botched raid that left two people dead in Houston.
Six officers were indicted last year, including Gerald Goines, who is accused of lying to obtain a warrant, and Steven Bryant, who is accused of tampering with government records. Six other officers were indicted Monday, according to a statement from Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg. Those officers face a variety of charges including murder, tampering with government records and engaging in organized criminal activity. The raid took place January 28, 2019, when a tactical team raided the home of Rhogena Nicholas and Dennis Tuttle, who were both killed along with their dog. Several Houston officers on the team were injured in the raid, including Goines. "The consequences of corruption are that two innocent people and their dog were shot to death in their home by police; four officers were shot, one paralyzed, and now all of them will face jurors who will determine their fate," Ogg's statement read. more...

*** Make no mistake about it Donald J. Trump interfered in the 2020 election on multiple levels in an attempted coup. ***
By Ed Kilgore

On December 1, I looked back at Donald Trump’s elaborate efforts to discredit voting by mail and cast doubt on a Biden victory before, during, and after Election Day and asked questions about why his coup had failed. I thought faulty planning, hesitation when it looked like Trump might win without stealing it, a failure to bring Republican state legislators in on the coup, and legal incompetence were all factors. But while I acknowledged Biden’s victory would not be complete until Congress confirmed it on January 6, I didn’t expect Trump was saving his worst offenses against democracy for the very end. Ultimately, Congress did confirm Biden’s win, the mob Trump incited was repulsed, and he has been impeached for his outrageous conduct. But it’s time to ask again: How close did we come to a stolen election, or at least a constitutional crisis? Here are some moments of real peril to consider: more...

*** Republicans are the party of hypocrites. Republicans were silent when Trump did the same thing. Republicans are ok with it when they do it but are not ok with it when the Democrats do the same thing. ***

David Knowles

Over the past week, a growing number of Republicans began sounding the alarm about the number and content of executive orders being issued by President Biden. “The first week in office, what has Joe Biden done? He’s signed an executive order ending the Keystone pipeline, destroying 11,000 jobs,” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said in a Tuesday interview on Fox News. “The scale of Joe Biden’s executive orders and their impact on Americans is stark,” Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., said last week. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., blasted Biden for issuing “more executive fiats than anyone in such a short period of time, ever. More than Obama, more than Trump, more than anyone. Second, these aren’t just normal executive fiats, this is literally going down the wish list of the far left and checking all of them off.” more...

By Christopher Brito

On International Holocaust Remembrance Day, this 92-year-old survivor said it's a special, but somber occasion for him. "It's kind of a celebration and the fact that those of those of us who did survive were able to make a pretty nice life for themselves and continue," Ben Lesser told CBS News in a Zoom video call on Wednesday. "But of course, we can't forget our dear departed ones," he said. Wednesday marked 76 years after the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp. Lesser was familiar with the atrocities there. He said that he survived the work and death camps in Auschwitz-Birkenau and Dachau, Poland, two death marches and the infamous Dachau death train — where dozens of train cars carried the corpses of thousands of prisoners to Dachau near the end of World War II. Lesser is believed to be the last known survivor of the latter. more...

It comes as old Facebook posts appeared to show the Congresswoman support violence against Democrats
Justin Vallejo

A video has emerged showing conspiracy-supporting Republican congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene confronting Parkland massacre survivor David Hogg before she was elected. In the video posted to Ms Greene's YouTube account in January 2020, she can be seen following Mr Hogg down the street in Washington DC asking him to defend his stance supporting "red flag" laws, which permit temporary removal of firearms from a person considered a danger to themselves or others. "David, why are you supporting the red flag laws? If Scot Peterson the resource officer at Parkland had done his job then Nickolas Cruz wouldn't have killed anybody in your high school, or at least protected them," she said in the video. "And why are you using kids as a barrier? Do you not know how to defend your stance?" more...

In the footage, Ms Greene claimed it was the ‘law’ for the representatives to use a Bible when taking their oaths
Danielle Zoellner

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, a QAnon-supporting Republican who is known for pushing conspiracy theories and making racists comments, previously tried to force Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib to retake their congressional oaths on the Bible. Video footage surfaced on Wednesday of Ms Greene walking through the halls of Congress prior to being elected as a Georgia representative. In the footage, she was claiming that Ms Omar and Ms Tlaib were illegitimate Democratic representatives because they took their oaths of office on the Quran instead of the Bible. “We’re going to explain about how you can’t swear in on the Quran,” Ms Greene said in the footage. “We’re going to have the Bible and ask them if they would swear in on the Bible … I think that’s important.” more...

“From day one, he was the one who wanted to talk to law enforcement,” a prosecutor said at a 2014 hearing for Henry “Enrique” Tarrio.
By Tom Winter and Pete Williams

The leader of the Proud Boys, a far-right extremist group involved in the Capitol riot, went undercover to assist Miami police and cooperated with the FBI in multiple drug and illegal gambling investigations, a court transcript shows. Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, 36, began working with the FBI after he was arrested in 2013 on federal fraud charges related to a scheme to sell stolen diabetic test strips well below market value, according to the transcript reviewed by NBC News. “From day one, he was the one who wanted to talk to law enforcement, wanted to clear his name, wanted to straighten this out so that he could move on with his life,” a prosecutor told the judge at a court hearing after he pleaded guilty. In arguing for a reduced sentence for Tarrio, the prosecutor said he had helped federal law enforcement prosecute 13 other people in two separate indictments. “He has in fact cooperated in a significant way,” the prosecutor said at the 2014 hearing. more...

New details have emerged as part of a guilty plea by one of the defendants, and they include the allegation that extremists also discussed the best way to attack a Secret Service convoy.
Ken Bensinger BuzzFeed News Reporter, Jessica Garrison BuzzFeed News Report

A group of men who allegedly plotted last year to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer practiced how to storm the state’s Capitol and discussed attacking Secret Service convoys with a 37 mm projectile launcher, according to documents filed in federal court Wednesday. The new details were revealed as part of a plea agreement filed when one of the six defendants in the case, Ty Garbin, agreed to cooperate with the ongoing federal investigation of the sensational scheme. Although the men have been in custody for months, the case has found new relevance in the wake of the Jan. 6 assault on the US Capitol in Washington, DC, an event that was, in some ways, presaged by the interrupted Michigan plan. Garbin, a 25-year old aviation mechanic from Hartland, Michigan, pleaded guilty to one count of kidnapping conspiracy Wednesday morning. He is the first of six men charged in federal court to cooperate, although prosecutors have offered other defendants in the case similar deals, according to sources familiar with the matter. more...

The warning comes in the days after Biden's inauguration.
By Mike Levine

Using a federal system designed to warn all Americans about terrorist threats to the U.S. homeland, the Department of Homeland Security has issued a warning that anger "fueled by false narratives," especially unfounded claims about the 2020 presidential election, could lead some inside the country to launch attacks in the coming weeks. "Information suggests that some ideologically-motivated violent extremists with objections to the exercise of governmental authority and the presidential transition, as well as other perceived grievances fueled by false narratives, could continue to mobilize to incite or commit violence," according to a bulletin issued Wednesday through the DHS National Terrorist Advisory System -- or NTAS. The system was last used to issue a public warning a year ago, when DHS issued a bulletin over potential retaliation by Iran for the U.S. assassination of Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani in Iraq days earlier. A year before that, DHS issued a bulletin through the same system to highlight the threat from foreign terrorist groups like ISIS or al-Qaida. more...

By Peter Nickeas and Whitney Wild, CNN

Washington (CNN) The union representing rank-and-file US Capitol Police officers said Wednesday it is "angered and shocked" by statements its current leader made to Congress this week about what was known in the lead up to the January 6 riots, adding that an "unconscionable" lack of preparation led to officers dying and being injured. During a closed-door briefing on Tuesday, acting US Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman told a congressional committee that she and department leaders were aware that there was potential for violence days before the assault on the US Capitol and took blame for the attack. In statement released Wednesday, Gus Papathanasiou, the president of the union, said, "The disclosure that the entire executive team ... knew what was coming but did not better prepare us for potential violence, including the possible use of firearms against us, is unconscionable." "The fact they did not relay this information to the officers on duty prior to the insurrection is inexcusable," he said. more...

Officer Jeffrey Smith is one of two cops to die by suicide due to the aftermath of the riots at the US Capitol, Acting DC Police Chief Robert J. Contee said.
Jonathan Franklin (WUSA9)

WASHINGTON — A D.C. police officer who responded to the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol died by suicide in the weeks after the events, according to acting D.C. Police chief. Officer Jeffrey Smith is one of two cops to die by suicide due to the aftermath of the riots at the U.S. Capitol. Acting D.C. Police Chief Robert J. Contee announced Smith's death while addressing a closed session of the House Appropriations Committee Tuesday evening. more...

Dan Mangan, Christian Nunley

Police in New Jersey reportedly visited the home of former Trump White House advisor Kellyanne Conway on Tuesday, a day after her 16-year-old daughter Claudia complained on social media about a topless photo of her that briefly appeared on her mom’s Twitter account. “I have no comment,” Kellyanne Conway told CNBC when asked about the police visit and how a photo of her daughter was posted as a Twitter Fleet. The New Jersey Department of Children and Families also is “looking into all concerns around the incident” involving the Conway family, who lives in the town of Alpine, Buzzfeed News reported Tuesday. DCF told CNBC that it could not confirm any investigations, pending or otherwise, because of confidentiality rules. more...

By Annie Grayer, CNN

(CNN) Members of Congress were left stunned during a briefing from law enforcement about their failure to prepare for the insurrection at the US Capitol earlier this month, two members who attended a House Appropriations Committee briefing told CNN on Tuesday, with one saying it was "dumb luck" more people didn't die. House Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro, a Connecticut Democrat, said in a phone call with CNN that members were "shaking their heads in disbelief" throughout the briefing about the security breakdown in the lead up to January 6. During that briefing, acting US Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman admitted her department knew there was a "strong potential for violence" targeting Congress, but did not take appropriate steps to prevent it. DeLauro said the revelation left her stunned and multiple federal law enforcement agencies failed by not acting on the intelligence they had. "They had the information. They did not act on it. And a question that I have, and one that I think we need to get to the bottom of, is who made the decision not to act?" DeLauro told CNN. more...

*** Republicans pledge full allegiance to Trump but not to America. ***

Once a producer of centrist Republicans like Arlen Specter and Tom Ridge, the state GOP now bears the MAGA stamp.
By HOLLY OTTERBEIN

PHILADELPHIA — Pennsylvania once stocked D.C. with a steady stream of establishment Republicans. Now, in the wake of Donald Trump’s reelection defeat, it’s better known for its GOP hard-liners — among them, Scott Perry, the congressman who recently made headlines for his behind-the-scenes efforts to assist Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia. The state GOP’s transformation from the party of former Sens. Arlen Specter and John Heinz — and Govs. Dick Thornburgh and Tom Ridge — to a bastion of Trump loyalists has been decades in the making. But the shift has perhaps never been so obvious as in the past two months when Republicans here were repeatedly thrust into the spotlight for their role in trying to override President Joe Biden’s victory. more...

Candy Woodall USA TODAY

Calls are mounting for U.S. Rep. Scott Perry to resign after a report late Saturday exposed his "significant role" in trying to overturn the 2020 presidential election. Perry, a Republican from York County, connected President Donald Trump with a Justice Department official to try to remove the acting U.S. attorney general from his post and pressure Georgia lawmakers to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential contest, according to The New York Times. The congressman did not respond to questions from The Times before publication. He also did not immediately respond to questions from the USA TODAY Network on Saturday night. It was Perry, according to the report, who made Trump aware that Jeffrey Clark, "a relatively obscure Justice Department official" and acting chief of the civil division, supported the former president's view that the election had been stolen. more...

By Star-Ledger Editorial Board

Republicans are floating anti-impeachment trial balloons, and here is the essence of their argument: Putting Donald Trump on trial again before the Senate will just make everybody edgy, so let’s agree to move on. That was the proposal Sen. Marco Rubio made Sunday, when he told Fox that “we already have a flaming fire on this country and this is like taking a bunch of gasoline and pouring it on the fire.” Nobody wants a fire. But the constitutional inferno was set by Trump himself, who told an army of gas-fueled yahoos to invade the US Capitol and prevent Congress from conducting business so that he can stay in the White House. Rubio seems to think a mulligan would help bring about unity, because the dysfunctional Senate is too busy doing the “really important things,” and has a chance to “kinda bring the country together” by governing for a change. Mitt Romney set him straight: “If we’re going to have unity in our country,” the Utah senator said, “I think it’s important to recognize the need for accountability, for truth and justice.” more...

Todd Spangler

Kellyanne Conway, ex-counselor to disgraced former President Trump, allegedly posted a topless picture of her daughter Claudia, 16, on Twitter on Monday. Reached for comment, a Twitter rep told Variety the company’s teams are investigating the incident. Kellyanne Conway could not be reached for comment. According to screen captures posted by users on social media, Kellyanne Conway’s account (@KellyannePolls) shared an image of her topless teenage daughter using Twitter’s recently launched Fleets feature, which deletes posts after a 24-hour period (similar to Instagram and Snapchat’s stories). The Fleet was removed but not before Twitter users documented it. On TikTok, Claudia Conway on Monday posted videos confirming that the picture was authentic; those have since been deleted from her TikTok account but Twitter users reposted copies of the videos. In the videos, a visibly upset Claudia Conway speculated that her mother may have accidentally posted the image. “I’m assuming my mom took a picture of it to use against me one day and then somebody hacked her or something,” she said. “I’m literally at a loss for words. If you see it, report it.” more...

*** 'False flag', ‘crisis actors’, ‘alterative facts’ the lies (Bulls***) Republicans and conspiracy theorists use to deny the facts. ***

By Lexi Lonas

The Oregon Republican Party earlier this month approved and released a resolution calling the Jan. 6 Capitol riot by pro-Trump supporters a “false flag” operation and condemning Republicans who voted to impeach now-former President Trump over his role in the assault. The resolution claims without proof that there is “growing evidence” that the Capitol attack that left five dead was a “false flag” event meant to “discredit President Trump, his supporters, and all conservative Republicans.” “This provided sham motivation to impeach President Trump in order to advance the Democrat goal of seizing total power,” the statement says. The resolution goes on to rebuke the 10 House Republicans — none of whom are from Oregon — who joined every Democrat in the chamber in voting to impeach Trump on Jan. 13. more...

By ZEN SOO

Twitter has permanently banned My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell’s account after he continued to perpetuate the baseless claim that Donald Trump won the 2020 U.S. presidential election. Twitter decided to ban Lindell, who founded bedding company My Pillow, due to “repeated violations” of its civic integrity policy, a spokesperson said in a statement. The policy was implemented last September and is targeted at fighting disinformation. It was not immediately clear which posts by Lindell on Twitter triggered the suspension of his account. Lindell, a Trump supporter, has continued to insist that the presidential election was rigged even after U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration has begun. more...

By Sam Stanton

The member of the Proud Boys elected to Sacramento County’s Republican Party Central Committee has been told by GOP officials to resign his post or face expulsion. Jeffrey Erik Perrine, whose election to the committee post was revealed Monday in The Sacramento Bee, says he was told by country GOP Chairwoman Betsy Mahan after the story was published that he had to resign because he had not sufficiently disavowed past statements he has made regarding immigration and other issues. “They’re not even willing to allow me to be in the party because I’m a Proud Boy,” Perrine said in an interview with The Bee. “Betsy and the executive committee emailed me and immediately demanded my resignation.” more...

Government-backed hackers in North Korea are reportedly responsible
By Jon Porter

Government-backed hackers based in North Korea are targeting individual security researchers through a number of means including a “novel social engineering method,” Google’s Threat Analysis Group is reporting. The campaign has reportedly been ongoing for several months, and worryingly appears to exploit unpatched Windows 10 and Chrome vulnerabilities. Although Google doesn’t say exactly what the aim of the hacking campaign is, it notes that the targets are working on “vulnerability research and development.” This suggests the attackers may be trying to learn more about non-public vulnerabilities that they can use in future state-sponsored attacks. more...

The governor ordered a halt to nonessential medical procedures last year, which the attorney general then said applied to "any type of abortions."
By Pete Williams

The Supreme Court handed a victory to advocates of abortion rights Monday, wiping off the books lower court rulings that had upheld a Texas order banning nearly all abortions in the state during the coronavirus pandemic. Gov. Greg Abbott ordered a halt to nonessential medical procedures in late March to conserve hospital resources and personal protective equipment. Attorney General Ken Paxton then said the order applied to "any type of abortions," including medication abortions that do not involve surgery. A federal judge in Texas declared the order too broad and lifted the ban. But the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans restored it. In public health emergencies, the appeals court said, a state can restrict constitutional rights, including "one's right to peaceably assemble, to publicly worship, to travel, and even to leave one's home," adding: "The right to abortion is no exception." more...

Opinion by Jonathan Capehart

When domestic terrorists fueled by outlandish conspiracy theories spun by a white supremacist president of the United States stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 to overthrow the government, I was shocked. But not surprised. Our history is filled with eruptions of violence when our nation’s entrenched system of white supremacy feels that its place at the center of American life is threatened. David Blight, Ron Chernow and Nikole Hannah-Jones, three chroniclers of our fraught racial history, were the perfect people to put the Capitol insurrection into greater perspective. “We have plenty of precedents for what happened on January 6, not at the federal level, but in white-on-black violence in the South during Reconstruction,” Chernow told me in a primer he emailed to me before appearing on my Sunday show on MSNBC. “During this dreadful period, we had numerous cases of rampaging whites invading legislatures.” Chernow is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of a biography of President Ulysses S. Grant. more...

By John Kruzel

Dominion Voting Systems on Monday filed a lawsuit against Rudy Giuliani alleging that the former New York City mayor spread numerous defamatory statements about the voting machine company while he helped lead former President Trump’s failed post-election legal campaign. The company is seeking $1.3 billion in damages over what it called a “viral disinformation campaign,” alleging that Giuliani made malicious false accusations against Dominion, including that the company had engaged in voter fraud and election fixing. “For Dominion — whose business is producing and providing voting systems for elections — there are no accusations that could do more to damage Dominion’s business or to impugn Dominion’s integrity, ethics, honesty, and financial integrity,” reads the 107-page complaint filed in federal court in Washington, D.C. more...

By Anita Chabria, Paige St. John

As the pandemic continues to shutter businesses, close schools and upend lives in California, Gov. Gavin Newsom has become a target of angry frustration for some, driving a grassroots effort to recall him from office. What once started as a pipe dream is beginning to look like a political threat for the Democratic governor. But a Times investigation found that recall campaign leaders, seeking to capitalize on the darkening public mood, allied with radical and extreme elements early on to help collect signatures. Those included groups promoting distrust of government, science and medicine; peddlers of QAnon doomsday conspiracies; “patriots” readying for battle and one organization allied with the far-right extremist group, the Proud Boys. The recall gave those fringe factions a higher profile and a shared villain. They helped energize the campaign with large and often inflammatory rallies over masks, in support of Trump and against the election they falsely say was stolen from the former president — ripe venues to harvest petition signatures. more...

By Peter Sblendorio | New York Daily News

It hasn’t been a banner year for former President Donald Trump. A banner, apparently flown near Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida on Sunday, ripped the ex-commander-in-chief, reading “TRUMP WORST PRESIDENT EVER,” according to images shared on social media. The banner can be seen trailing behind a plane in a video shared Sunday by Twitter user Daniel Uhlfelder. more...

*** It is official republicans are the anti-American party; republicans are loyal to Donald J. Trump but not to America, the constitution or the oaths of office they have taken. ***

The votes demonstrate the party leadership's loyalty to Donald Trump.
By ASSOCIATED PRESS

PHOENIX — Arizona Republicans voted Saturday to censure Cindy McCain and two prominent GOP members who have found themselves crosswise with former President Donald Trump. The censures of Sen. John McCain’s widow, former Sen. Jeff Flake and Gov. Doug Ducey are merely symbolic. But they show the party’s foot soldiers are focused on enforcing loyalty to Trump, even in the wake of an election that saw Arizona inch away from its staunchly Republican roots. Party activists also reelected controversial Chairwoman Kelli Ward, who has been one of Trump’s most unflinching supporters and among the most prolific promoters of his baseless allegations of election fraud. The Arizona GOP’s combative focus has delighted Trump’s staunchest supporters and worried Republican insiders who have watched the party lose ground in the suburbs as the influence of its traditional conservative establishment has faded in favor of Trump. A growing electorate of young Latinos and newcomers bringing their more liberal politics from back home have further hurt the GOP. more...

By Kelly McCleary, CNN

(CNN)Thirty-three missing children were recovered this month in an anti-human trafficking operation led by FBI's Los Angeles field office, the bureau said in a statement Friday. Of the 33 children recovered during "Operation Lost Angels," eight were being sexually exploited at the time of their recovery, the FBI said. The operation began on January 11. Two children were recovered multiple times during the operation, the FBI said, noting it's not uncommon for rescued victims to return to commercial sex trafficking "either voluntarily or by force, fraud, or coercion." "This harmful cycle highlights the challenges victims face and those faced by law enforcement when attempting to keep victims from returning to an abusive situation. Victims may not self-identify as being trafficked or may not even realize they're being trafficked," the FBI statement said. more...

Matthew S. Schwartz, Emma Bowman

Arizona Republicans passed resolutions on Saturday to censure three of the state's most prominent party leaders who have found themselves at odds with former President Trump: Gov. Doug Ducey; former Sen. Jeff Flake; and Cindy McCain, widow of the longtime Sen. John McCain. The sweeping — yet essentially symbolic — rebuke took place during a meeting to figure out how to move forward after the state flipped blue in November, narrowly giving its 11 electoral votes to now President Joe Biden. McCain and Flake, both of whom endorsed Biden for president, were censured for their outspoken opposition to Trump and for their support of globalist interests, according to state GOP members. In condemning Ducey, the party cited the governor's decision to enact emergency orders during the pandemic that the committee said are unconstitutional and "restrict personal liberties." Much of the meeting, held indoors at Dream City Church in Phoenix, was largely a pep rally for state Republicans who support the former president and his baseless claims of election fraud. more...

*** Trump was impeached before he left office the process needs to be completed. Republicans are still protecting Trump after he tried to commit a coup and incited a riot that caused the sacking of the capitol of the United State of America and caused the deaths of five Americans. Republicans are definitely the anti-American party; they are protecting a man who attempted to commit a coup on the United States of America. Not sure if it is white privilege or they are just spoiled children when they do not get there way they want to blow everything up. ***

Reuters in Washington

The Texas Republican senator John Cornyn warned on Saturday that Donald Trump’s second impeachment could lead to the prosecution of former Democratic presidents if Republicans retake Congress in two years’ time.
US man charged with threatening to 'assassinate' Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Read more

Trump this month became the first US president to be impeached twice, after the Democratic-controlled House, with the support of 10 Republicans, voted to charge him with incitement of insurrection over the assault on the Capitol by his supporters on 6 January which left five people dead. Trump failed to overturn his election defeat and Joe Biden was sworn in as president this week. After a brief moment of bipartisan sentiment in which members from both parties condemned the unprecedented attack on Congress as it met to formalize Biden’s victory, a number of Senate Republicans are opposing Trump’s trial, which could lead to a vote blocking him from future office. “If it is a good idea to impeach and try former presidents, what about former Democratic presidents when Republicans get the majority in 2022?” Cornyn, a 19-year veteran of the Senate who last year tried to distance himself from Trump when it seemed his seat was at risk, tweeted at majority leader Chuck Schumer. more...

By Tom Kludt and Brad Parks, CNN

(CNN) Larry King, the longtime CNN host who became an icon through his interviews with countless newsmakers and his sartorial sensibilities, has died. He was 87. His son, Chance, confirmed King's death Saturday morning. King hosted "Larry King Live" on CNN for over 25 years, interviewing presidential candidates, celebrities, athletes, movie stars and everyday people. He retired in 2010 after taping more than 6,000 episodes of the show. A statement was posted on his verified Facebook announcing his passing. "With profound sadness, Ora Media announces the death of our co-founder, host and friend Larry King, who passed away this morning at age 87 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles," the statement said. "For 63 years and across the platforms of radio, television and digital media, Larry's many thousands of interviews, awards, and global acclaim stand as a testament to his unique and lasting talent as a broadcaster." The statement did not give a cause of death. more...

The latest back-and-forth is an example of the type of legal wrangling arising from his administration that will continue to dog Donald Trump.
By TOBY ECKERT

A federal judge on Friday ordered the Treasury Department to give attorneys for former President Donald Trump 72 hours' notice if it decides to turn over Trump’s federal tax returns to House Democrats. District Court Judge Trevor McFadden said the order would last for two weeks, amid uncertainty over how the change in administrations will affect House Ways and Means Chair Richard Neal’s long-running effort to get Treasury to turn over Trump’s returns. McFadden also ordered attorneys for all sides in the case to file a joint status report by Feb. 3. Former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin refused to surrender Trump’s returns when Neal requested them in 2019. But with Democrat Joe Biden now in the White House, Treasury could decide to hand them over. In a hearing before McFadden, House Counsel Douglas Letter said the committee still wants the returns and hopes Treasury “will follow what we believe is a clear legal obligation” to provide them. more...

Arkansas senator has repeatedly said he served as "a U.S. Army Ranger in Iraq and Afghanistan." That's not true
By Roger Sollenberger

Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas has accrued a resume tailor-made for a Republican politician: He leapt from a small-town Arkansas cattle farm to Harvard University and then Harvard Law School; he left a leading New York firm to join the military after George W. Bush's re-election; he was discharged after nearly eight years and two war-zone deployments as an Army captain and decorated hero — including two commendation medals, a Bronze Star and a Ranger tab. But when Cotton launched his first congressional campaign in 2012, he felt compelled to repeatedly falsify that honorable military record, even as he still served in the Army Reserve. more...

*** Republicans are punishing the Republicans who did not go along with Trump’s coup attempt but are not punishing the ones who helped in Trump’s coup attempt. ***

Alex Isenstadt

Former President Donald Trump’s supporters are mobilizing to exact revenge on the 10 House Republicans who supported impeachment last week, thrusting the GOP into a civil war just as party leaders are trying to move on from the Trump era. Pro-Trump Republicans are racing to launch primary challenges. The former president’s donors are cutting off the Republican incumbents. And Trump’s political lieutenants are plotting how to unseat them. The unrest shows how Trump is all but certain to cast a shadow over the Republican Party long after he’s left the White House. Trump has split the GOP, pitting his loyalists against those who say he incited the Capitol Hill insurrection and want to expunge him from the party. Whether the Trump-inspired primary challengers succeed is far from clear. Dislodging an incumbent is notoriously difficult, and Republican leaders are expected to move aggressively to protect their members. But the early activity illustrates the degree to which Trump’s staunch allies are determined to make his critics pay a price. more...

wcvb

WASHINGTON — Officials with the Massachusetts National Guard on Friday released a statement identifying and correcting falsehoods in a report that suggested a Massachusetts congressman was responsible for Guardsmen being sent to a parking garage. Without mentioning the source of the report, the statement appears to reference an article published by the conservative Breitbart website on Thursday. The authors said a source told them Rep. William Keating had "complained about one National Guard member not wearing a mask at a cafe in the building" and linked that to troops being "forced to evacuated the Capitol building grounds." more...

The agency has resisted civilian oversight even after several fatal shootings by deputies.
By Dennis Romero

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Friday announced a state civil rights investigation of the perpetually troubled Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department after allegations of excessive force. The state will investigate a possible pattern of unconstitutional law enforcement, the attorney general's office said in a statement. "The California Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation comes on the heels of allegations of excessive force, retaliation, and other misconduct, as well as a number of recent reported incidents involving LASD management and personnel," the office said. Becerra, President Joe Biden's nominee for secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, tweeted, "There are serious concerns and reports that accountability and adherence to legitimate policing practices have lapsed at LASD." Sheriff Alex Villanueva said in a statement that he has repeatedly asked the attorney general's office for its oversight. more...

By Michael Warren and Jamie Gangel, CNN

Washington (CNN) As the House prepares to send articles of impeachment to the Senate on Monday, CNN has learned that dozens of influential Republicans around Washington -- including former top Trump administration officials -- have been quietly lobbying GOP members of Congress to impeach and convict Donald Trump. The effort is not coordinated but reflects a wider battle inside the GOP between those loyal to Trump and those who want to sever ties and ensure he can never run for President again. The lobbying started in the House after the January 6 attack on the Capitol and in the days leading up to impeachment. But it's now more focused on Sen. Mitch McConnell, the powerful minority leader who has signaled he may support convicting Trump. "Mitch said to me he wants Trump gone," one Republican member of Congress told CNN. "It is in his political interest to have him gone. It is in the GOP interest to have him gone. The question is, do we get there?" McConnell had proposed delaying the trial until February, but with the articles coming to the Senate on Monday, the process will likely be set in motion sooner. It would take 17 Republicans to join all 50 Democrats in order to convict. While the bar is high, some GOP sources think there is more of an appetite to punish the former President than is publicly apparent. "There were 10 House Republicans who voted for impeachment. There were probably over 150 who supported it," said Charlie Dent, a former Republican congressman and CNN contributor. more...

By Tom Batchelor

Pro-gun Republican lawmaker Lauren Boebert allegedly set off a metal detector and refused to comply with U.S. Capitol Police Thursday, a report said. The newly elected Colorado congresswoman, an ardent support of former President Donald Trump who campaigned on a conservative platform that included fierce opposition to gun control, could face a $5,000 fine if found to have flouted new security rules implemented in the wake of the Capitol riots. Shortly before 9 p.m. on Thursday, Florida Republican Matt Gaetz tweeted: "They're trying to disarm @laurenboebert on the floor of the House of Representatives because, ultimately, they're coming to disarm many, many more." more...

Georgia congresswoman appeared to support several comments on Facebook in 2018 claiming that several deadly mass shootings were ‘staged’ or ‘false flags’
Alex Woodward

Gun control organisations and school shooting survivors have called for newly elected Republican congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene to step down after more uncovered social media posts appear to show her supporting conspiracies that the 9-11 attacks were “done by our own" government and that "none of the school shootings were real or done by the ones who were supposedly arrested for them." Earlier this week, Media Matters discovered that the Georgia congresswoman appeared to endorse a conspiracy theory on Facebook in 2018 that the deadly mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida was a “false flag” event. The right-wing media research group also found that she had replied to a Facebook comment in 2018 amplifying numerous conspiracies, including that the killing of 20 children and six school staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012 was a “staged” event, and that there are messages in the Georgia Guidestones, a granite monument in the state that has been central to several conspiracy theories. She said: “That is all true. By the way, I’ve seen the Georgia guide stones.” more...

By: WSBTV.com News Staff

ATLANTA — He is the one man that Muhammad Ali said he idolized “more than myself.” He became known to the world as “Hammerin’ Hank.” Legendary Atlanta Brave and Major League Baseball record holder Hank Aaron died Friday at the age of 86, according to Aaron’s daughter. Born in Mobile, Alabama, on Feb. 5, 1934, Henry Louis Aaron was one of eight children born to Herbert and Estella Aaron. His family was so poor they could not afford baseball equipment, so he began honing his baseball skill by hitting bottle caps with sticks. Aaron had his first major league tryout as a 15-year-old with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1949. Although he did not make that team, he did make an impact and returned to school to get his diploma. more...

By Annie Grayer, CNN

(CNN) US Capitol Police are investigating an incident in which a Republican lawmaker was stopped from bringing a concealed gun onto the House floor on Thursday, sources told CNN, the first time a member of Congress has been discovered with a firearm by the metal detectors now set up outside the legislative chamber. Rep. Andy Harris, of Maryland, set off a metal detector outside the House floor on Thursday and an officer soon discovered it was because he was carrying a concealed gun on his side, a Capitol official told CNN. The officer sent Harris away, prompting him to ask fellow Republican Rep. John Katko, of New York, to hold his weapon. According to a press pool report, Katko refused to hold the gun for Harris, saying that he did not have a license. Harris then left the area and returned moments later, walking onto the House floor without setting off the magnetometer. The Capitol official confirmed to CNN that Harris did not enter the House floor with a weapon. Harris' office did not immediately return a request for comment. more...

Bobby Allyn

A federal judge is refusing to restore the social media site Parler after Amazon kicked the company off of its web-hosting services over content seen as inciting violence. The decision is a blow to Parler, an upstart that has won over Trump loyalists for its relatively hands-off approach to moderating content. The company sued Amazon over its ban, demanding reinstatement. U.S. District Judge Barbara Rothstein sided with Amazon, which argued that Parler would not take down posts that threatened public safety even in the wake of the attack on the U.S. Capitol, and that it is within Amazon's rights to punish the company over its refusal. "The Court rejects any suggestion that the public interest favors requiring AWS to host the incendiary speech that the record shows some of Parler's users have engaged in. At this stage, on the showing made thus far, neither the public interest nor the balance of equities favors granting an injunction in this case," Rothstein wrote on Thursday. more...

A mistake on the part of the cyberattackers led to their discovery -- and that of the data they pillaged.
By Charlie Osborne for Zero Day

Operators of a phishing campaign targeting the construction and energy sectors exposed credentials stolen in attacks that were publicly viewable with a simple Google search. On Thursday, Check Point Research published a blog post describing the campaign, in which stolen information was dumped on compromised WordPress domains. The recent phishing attack began with one of several fraudulent email templates and would mimic Xerox/Xeros scan notifications including a target company employee's name or title in the subject line.  Phishing messages originated from a Linux server hosted on Microsoft Azure and were sent through PHP Mailer and 1&1 email servers. Spam was also sent through email accounts that had been previously compromised to make messages appear to be from legitimate sources. Attackers behind the phishing scam included an attached HTML file containing embedded JavaScript code that had one function: covert background checks of password use. When credential input was detected, they would be harvested and users would be sent to legitimate login pages. more...

By Zack Budryk

A judge on New York's Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a lawsuit from the state against the National Rifle Association may proceed. New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) sued the lobbying group and its Chief Executive Wayne LaPierre in August 2020, alleging it violated state laws on nonprofits’ financial practices. Last week, the NRA announced it would file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and reincorporate in Texas. In a motion to dismiss, it asked the court to prevent James from suing in state court and change the venue to Albany, where the organization was headquartered before the reincorporation announcement, Reuters reported. “It would be inappropriate in these circumstances to find that the attorney general cannot pursue her claims in state court just because one of the defendants would prefer to proceed in federal court,” Justice Joel Cohen ruled. “Today’s order reaffirms what we’ve known all along: the NRA does not get to dictate if and where they will answer for their actions,” James said in a statement. “We thank the court for allowing our case to move forward and look forward to holding the NRA accountable.” more...

By Justine Coleman

Anti-government protesters smashed windows at Oregon’s Democratic Party headquarters in Portland after gathering for an Inauguration Day rally. A group of about 150 people marched to the Democratic Party headquarters on Wednesday afternoon as part of one of four protests taking place in the city. Although the Portland Police Bureau said two of the protests remained “largely peaceful,” the other two “resulted in property damage and arrests.” Police reported that some of the demonstrators smashed windows and vandalized the Democratic headquarters building, leading officers to make “selective arrests.” more...

Misinformation and online radicalization led to the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, says Joan Donovan—and understanding exactly how that happened is the first step to seeing where we’re headed.
By ZACK STANTON

Zack Stanton is digital editor of Politico Magazine. As law enforcement continues its nationwide manhunt for violent pro-Trump extremists involved in last week’s deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, one of America’s top experts in disinformation is here to remind you that if you want to understand how we got here, you need to look beyond Donald Trump and Washington. “The internet is a crime scene,” says Joan Donovan, research director at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy. “We’re collectively witnessing the aftermath of probably one of the biggest lies ever told in terms of the amount of people it reached and the effects that it had.” more...

By Joseph Choi

Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Iowa) has asked Congress to dismiss a petition from her Democratic competitor Rita Hart who is challenging the results of the election after Miller-Meeks won by only six votes. Alan Ostergren, an attorney for Miller-Meeks, filed a motion in the House on Thursday, the Des Moines Register reports, asking that the current election results be left as they are. “The precedents of the House, going back a century or more, require contestants to avail themselves of every single remedy they have under state law before they go to Congress,” said Ostergren in his filing. Miller-Meeks won the election for Iowa’s 2nd District after a district-wide recount. Out of around 400,000 votes, she won by six. Hart announced in December she would be appealing the results of the election directly to the U.S. House of Representatives. Hart’s campaign stated they were overstepping the in-state legal review as there was not enough time to properly review the votes that were left out. more...

The administrator of 8kun, the longtime home of the mysterious Q, says it’s time to move on
By Drew Harwell and Craig Timberg

Followers of the extremist ideology QAnon saw their hopes once again dashed Wednesday as President Trump left Washington on the final day of his presidency, without any of the climactic scenes of violence and salvation that the sprawling set of conspiracy theories had preached for years would come. As Trump boarded Air Force One for his last presidential flight to Florida, many QAnon adherents — some of whom had earlier this month stormed the Capitol in a siege that left at least two QAnon devotees dead and others in jail — began to wonder whether they’d been duped all along. When one QAnon channel on the chat app Telegram posted a new theory that suggested Biden himself was “part of the plan,” a number of followers shifted into open rebellion: “This will never happen”; “Just stfu already!” “It’s over. It is sadly, sadly over.” “What a fraud!” more...

By Jennifer Hansler, Kylie Atwood and Nicole Gaouette, CNN

Washington (CNN) With one day left in his tenure, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took to his taxpayer-funded Twitter account and denounced multiculturalism, saying it is "not who America is." "Woke-ism, multiculturalism, all the -isms — they're not who America is. They distort our glorious founding and what this country is all about. Our enemies stoke these divisions because they know they make us weaker," he wrote Tuesday. But Pompeo himself, who is widely believed to have 2024 presidential ambitions, has stoked those very divisions with loaded rhetoric and dog whistles decrying "wokeness" and an American way of life "under attack" during protests against racial injustice and police brutality. The secretary of state's assertion that "multiculturalism" is not part of the American ethos was swiftly denounced as a shocking and racist affront to the workforce he leads, the agency he represents and the values it is meant to espouse. "Unconscionable," one diplomat said. Another diplomat asked how this is supposed to make diplomats of color, or those of non-Christian backgrounds, feel. more...

By Priscilla Alvarez, CNN

(CNN) Sen. Josh Hawley blocked quick consideration of President-elect Joe Biden's Homeland Security nominee, Alejandro Mayorkas, on Tuesday, leaving the third-largest federal department without confirmed leadership as it faces national security concerns, a pandemic and an incoming president prepared to roll out ambitious immigration plans. The Missouri Republican's decision stemmed from an exchange with Mayorkas hours earlier during the nominee's confirmation hearing before the Senate Homeland Security Committee. "Mr. Mayorkas has not adequately explained how he will enforce federal law and secure the southern border given President-elect Biden's promise to roll back major enforcement and security measures," Hawley said in a statement. "Just today, he declined to say he would enforce the laws Congress has already passed to secure the border wall system. Given this, I cannot consent to skip the standard vetting process and fast-track this nomination when so many questions remain unanswered," he continued. more...

Two of them made threatening comments toward lawmakers, and one expressed support for President Trump. The others were removed for a wide variety of reasons.
By Eric Schmitt and Helene Cooper

WASHINGTON — Twelve National Guard members have been removed from duties related to the inauguration of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr., two of them for expressing anti-government sentiments, Defense Department officials said on Tuesday. Two of the members were removed over texts and social media posts that made threatening comments toward political officials, Pentagon officials said. They declined to specify the exact nature of the threats. “I will share that they were inappropriate,” Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, the chief of the National Guard Bureau, told reporters during a telephone briefing. Two officials described the texts as broad in nature — not directed specifically at Mr. Biden or Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, but rather at lawmakers as a whole. One of the service members removed, the officials said, made a point of expressing support for President Trump in addition to making menacing comments. more...

QAnon followers have become more divorced from reality since the Capitol riots as some are targeted by extremists who try to radicalize them further.
By Ben Collins

Liesa Norris got a panicked phone call Monday from her brother. He told her to buy a ham radio. The radio, he explained, would be one of the few ways they could communicate once President Donald Trump launched his plans to take permanent power. "We were dancing around the subject, and then he just brought up that on the 20th, you know, the truth is going to come out," Norris said. "He was just going on and on about how we needed to have ham radios because we're not going to be able to talk on regular phones and everything is going to be dark." Trump has no such plans. But in the fractured QAnon community, which has turned to a variety of smaller messaging apps and YouTube to keep spreading conspiracy theories, evidence-free reports of a nationwide blackout and impending martial law Wednesday have become a last stand for true believers that Trump will be president after Inauguration Day. NBC News reviewed the social media accounts of Norris' brother, part of a sea of QAnon accounts that have become increasingly divorced from reality since the Capitol riot. Most of the accounts have expressed a belief that Trump will declare martial law and execute Democrats on Inauguration Day as part of the cult's long-awaited doomsday. more...

NEW YORK (WABC) -- An active duty American soldier is in federal custody Tuesday after he plotted with someone he thought was a member of ISIS to attack a landmark in New York City and fellow troops overseas, according to a law enforcement official.
ABC7NY

Cole James Bridges, a private first class in the U.S. Army who is stationed at Fort Stewart, is charged with attempting to provide material support to ISIS and attempting to murder U.S. service members. The Ohio native spoke to an undercover FBI agent when he thought he was planning an ISIS-inspired attack against the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. He also was charged with planning to attack fellow U.S. soldiers. "As alleged, Cole Bridges betrayed the oath he swore to defend the United States by attempting to provide ISIS with tactical military advice to ambush and kill his fellow service members," Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said. "Our troops risk their lives for our country, but they should never face such peril at the hands of one of their own. Today, thanks to the efforts of the agents and detectives of the JTTF, and our partners in the Department of Defense, Bridges is in custody and facing federal terrorism charges for his alleged crimes." more...

By Erin Tiernan

A lead organizer of Boston’s “Straight Pride Parade” is being detained and a Natick Town Meeting member has been ordered to stay away from the Massachusetts State House as both face charges in connection with the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Mark Sahady, 46, of Malden, and Suzanne Ianni, 59, of Natick — both avowed President Trump supporters — were arrested by FBI agents at their respective homes early Tuesday and both appeared later in U.S. District Court in Boston where a prosecutor suggested the pair could still pose a threat. “The defendant was part of an organized horde, whose actions collectively resulted in the murder of one police officer, four other deaths and at least 60 other people injured,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney William Bloomer of Sahady during a virtual court appearance. Bloomer did not oppose Ianni’s release, but asked a judge to order her to stay away from the Massachusetts State House. more...

By Spencer S. Hsu, Tom Jackman and Devlin Barrett

U.S. authorities have leveled the first conspiracy charge against an apparent leader of an extremist group in the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol, arresting an alleged Oath Keeper who is accused of plotting to disrupt the electoral vote confirmation of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory and proposing further assaults on state capitols. Thomas Edward Caldwell, 66, of Clarke County, Va., was taken into custody before 7 a.m. on four federal counts, including conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States in the attack on the Capitol. The conspiracy charge is reserved for offenses interfering with or obstructing the lawful operation of government. A charging affidavit says he helped organize a group of eight to 10 individuals, including self-styled Ohio militia members apprehended Sunday, who wore helmets and military-style gear and were seen moving purposefully toward the top of the Capitol steps and leading the move against police lines. more...

Law enforcement responses to more than 13,000 protests show a clear disparity in responses, new statistics show
Lois Beckett

Police in the United States are three times more likely to use force against leftwing protesters than rightwing protesters, according to new data from a non-profit that monitors political violence around the world. In the past 10 months, US law enforcement agencies have used teargas, pepper spray, rubber bullets, and beatings at a much higher percentage at Black Lives Matter demonstrations than at pro-Trump or other rightwing protests. Law enforcement officers were also more likely to use force against leftwing demonstrators, whether the protests remained peaceful or not. The statistics, based on law enforcement responses to more than 13,000 protests across the United States since April 2020, show a clear disparity in how agencies have responded to the historic wave of Black Lives Matter protests against police violence, compared with demonstrations organized by Trump supporters. 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...

*** Under, Trump the Republican Party has become the Anti-America Party and the party of treason, sedition and insurrection. ***

By Darragh Roche

The chair of the Wyoming Republican Party suggested over the weekend that his state could consider seceding from the union following Congresswoman Liz Cheney's vote to impeach President Donald Trump. Frank Eathorne spoke to former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon on his War Room Pandemic podcast, which was recently banned from YouTube, about Cheney's decision. "We need to focus on the fundamentals that's been stated in this broadcast, and that is what Wyoming is," Eathorne said. "We are straight-talking, focused on the global scene, but we're also focused at home. "Many of these Western states have the ability to be self-reliant, and we're keeping eyes on Texas too and their consideration of possible secession. Now, they have a different state constitution than we do as far as wording, but it is something that we're all paying attention to." more...

*** If was not a false flag nor was it the left, BLM or Antifa it was the right who attacked our country and sacked our capitol. ***

Jaclyn Diaz

Federal investigators say they have arrested several alleged members of extremist and white supremacist groups who participated in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol building. At least eight people allegedly affiliated with organizations such as The Three Percenters, The Oath Keepers, Proud Boys, Texas Freedom Force, and other self-described Nazis and white supremacists were among those who joined the thousands that stormed the U.S. Capitol building, according to federal investigators. Details of their arrests highlight how different, yet organized, extremist groups, with members throughout the country, coalesced to support Trump and his (disproven) claims that the November election was stolen. Law enforcement officials were able to track suspects down by using information gleaned from tipsters, social media posts shared by the accused, and news media coverage. One of them is Timothy Hale-Cusanelli, a member of the U.S. Army Reserve, who as a defense contractor at Naval Weapons Station Earle in New Jersey, has a security clearance and access to a variety of munitions, according to court documents. more...

By Maggie Haberman

Officials with Dominion Voting Systems have sent Mike Lindell, the C.E.O. of MyPillow, a legal letter warning of pending litigation over his baseless claims of widespread fraud involving their machines. “You have positioned yourself as a prominent leader of the ongoing misinformation campaign,” the letter said, referring to his continued false claims that their systems were rigged by someone to effect the outcome. “Litigation regarding these issues is imminent,” the letter said. Mr. Lindell is only the latest to get a warning letter from Dominion officials about potential litigation, after he and Sidney Powell, the right-wing lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani and others have continued to spread false claims about the integrity of the results the machines showed. more...

*** Republicans believe they have the right to refuse service to anyone they do not want to service, but they do not believe they should be refused service. ***

By Khaleda Rahman

Mike Lindell, the CEO of My Pillow, has said that several companies have stopped selling his products following his continued pushing of baseless allegations of voter fraud in the 2020 election. Lindell, an ardent supporter of President Donald Trump, has repeatedly and falsely claimed that Trump did not lose the election and will stay in office for a second term. His continued push of these false narratives, even after the deadly assault on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, prompted calls on social media for retailers to stop carrying MyPillow products. In interviews this week, Lindell said Bed Bath & Beyond, Kohl's, H-E-B and Wayfair are all dropping MyPillow. "They're trying to cancel me out," Lindell told the Right Side Broadcasting Network's Brian Glenn in a lengthy interview on Monday. "I just got off the phone with Bed Bath & Beyond. They're dropping MyPillow. Just got off the phone not five minutes ago. Kohl's, all these different places," he said. "These guys don't understand... they're scared, like a Bed Bath & Beyond, they're scared. They were good partners. In fact, I told them, 'You guys come back anytime you want.'" more...

CBC News: The National

Although some platforms have tried to silence extremists after the Capitol Hill riots, they are using the darker corners of the internet to plan for their next move — and experts are worried about what could be around the corner. video...

CNN

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe weighs in on new video from The New Yorker showing rioters inside the Capitol during the January 6 insurrection. video...

Sarah K. Burris

Fox News settled a lawsuit with Seth Rich's family in the fall that was large enough that they weren't required to apologize publicly for lying about the family's son for years. But one provision that New York Times reporter Ben Smith discovered, was that they asked that the settlement news not be announced until after the November election. "Why did Fox care about keeping the Rich settlement secret for the final month of the Trump re-election campaign?" Smith asked. "Why was it important to the company, which calls itself a news organization, that one of the biggest lies of the Trump era remains unresolved for that period? Was Fox afraid that admitting it was wrong would incite the president's wrath? Did network executives fear backlash from their increasingly radicalized audience, which has been gravitating to other conservative outlets?" It proved just how integrated Fox News became with the Trump campaign, he explained. more...

She displayed "a round metallic object later identified as a Military Police Challenge Coin" and said she was part of law enforcement, police said.
By Ben Kesslen

A woman pretending to be "part of the presidential Cabinet" was arrested at an inauguration checkpoint in Washington, D.C., on Saturday morning. The woman, Linda Magovern, 63, was charged with impersonation of a law enforcement officer, failure to obey and fleeing a law enforcement officer after she presented herself at the checkpoint while in a car, NBC Washington reports. Magovern displayed "a round metallic object later identified as a Military Police Challenge Coin" and said she was part of law enforcement, according to a police report. After she initially complied when asked to park her car, Magovern drove off when she was then asked to provide her license, according to a police report obtained by NBC News. Officers eventually stopped her and took her to a hospital to be evaluated, police said. more...

By Donie O'Sullivan and Paul LeBlanc, CNN

Washington (CNN) Twitter on Sunday temporarily suspended the account of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene for repeated violations of new rules the social media platform put in place following the violent US Capitol riot earlier this month, a company spokesperson told CNN. "The account referenced has been temporarily locked out for multiple violations of our civic integrity policy," the spokesperson said. As a result, the congresswoman will be locked out of her account for 12 hours. Greene, who has a track record of incendiary rhetoric and ties to the baseless QAnon conspiracy theory, had tweeted a conspiracy-laden thread earlier Sunday about the Georgia Senate elections. Some of the tweets earned labels from Twitter noting: "This claim about election fraud is disputed, and this Tweet can't be replied to, Retweeted, or liked due to a risk of violence." The Georgia Republican bemoaned her suspension in a statement Sunday calling on Congress to "act swiftly" to "protect free speech in America." more...

By Brian Fung, CNN Business

Washington (CNN Busness) Parler's website suddenly reappeared online Sunday afternoon with a message from its CEO, John Matze: "Hello world, is this thing on?" The message, dated January 16, implies that the social network popular with members of the far right has found a new online hosting platform, after Parler was booted from Amazon Web Services on January 10 in the wake of the Capitol siege. Parler now appears to be hosted by Epik, according to a WHOIS search. Epik is a hosting platform that supports Gab, 8chan and other services often used by members of the far-right. Prior to hosting Parler, Epik issued a lengthy statement blasting what it said was a "kneejerk reaction" by major companies of "simply deplatforming and terminating any relationship that on the surface looks problematic or controversial." more...

As part of the investigation, the FBI is examining payments of $500,000 in bitcoin to key figures and groups in the alt-right before the Jan. 6 riot.
By Ken Dilanian

WASHINGTON — The FBI is investigating whether foreign governments, organizations or individuals provided financial support to extremists who helped plan and execute the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, one current and one former FBI official told NBC News. As part of the investigation, the bureau is examining payments of $500,000 in bitcoin, apparently by a French national, to key figures and groups in the alt-right before the riot, the sources said. Those payments were documented and posted on the web this week by a company that analyzes cryptocurrency transfers. Payments of bitcoin, a cryptocurrency, can be traced because they are documented on a public ledger. Separately, a joint threat assessment issued this week by the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and various other federal and D.C.-area police agencies noted that since the Jan. 6 riot, "Russian, Iranian, and Chinese influence actors have seized the opportunity to amplify narratives in furtherance of their policy interest amid the presidential transition." more...

Daniel Pipes

The world is fascinated by Donald Trump, but I am not. Trump is Trump: a hyper-well-known, mostly transparent and utterly mundane personality. I am fascinated by his supporters, those astonishing Republicans who chose a sketchy and flamboyant real-estate developer to be president of the United States in 2016, stuck close by him through thick and thin and now endorse his claim of an international plot to steal the 2020 election. As the Trump presidency ends, it is clear that a majority of Republicans have abandoned their party's historic policies and temperament. Policies: As then-House speaker Paul Ryan put it, Trump won in 2016 because he "heard a voice out in this country that no one else heard." Trump rejected significant elements of the previously dominant movement conservatism in favor of a folk nationalism in the tradition of Andrew Jackson. Nicholas M. Gallagher explains in National Review: "Jacksonians characteristically emphasize anti-elitism and egalitarianism while drawing a sharp distinction between members of the folk group and those outside it." more...

By Gregory Korte

President-elect Joe Biden plans an early blitz of executive action to reverse some of President Donald Trump’s most contentious policies and address the coronavirus pandemic, according to an outline of Biden’s first 10 days in office. The plan, spelled out in a memo Saturday by Biden Chief of Staff Ron Klain to incoming White House advisers, will address what Klain called “four overlapping and compounding crises.” They are the Covid-19 pandemic that has claimed close to 400,000 U.S. lives, the resulting economic downturn, climate change, and a national reckoning over racial equity in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement. “In his first 10 days in office, President-elect Biden will take decisive action to address these four crises, prevent other urgent and irreversible harms, and restore America’s place in the world,” Klain wrote. “President-elect Biden will take action -- not just to reverse the gravest damages of the Trump administration -- but also to start moving our country forward.” more...

Rebecca Falconer

President-elect Joe Biden will roll back some of President Trump's most controversial policies and address "four overlapping and compounding crises" in his first 10 days in office — the pandemic, the economic downturn, climate change and racial inequity.

Driving the news: The plan is outlined in a memo from incoming White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain Saturday. Following Biden's inauguration Wednesday, he'll "sign roughly a dozen actions to combat the four crises," Klain said.

Zoom in: Biden's actions on day one of his presidency will include rejoining the Paris climate agreement, extending a pause on federal student loan payments, reversing Trump's ban on travel to the U.S. from several Muslim-majority countries and issuing a coronavirus mask mandate. more...

By Christina Maxouris, CNN

(CNN) Just days ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration, the entire country is on edge. The FBI has warned of indications that "armed protests" are being planned at all 50 state capitols and the US Capitol in Washington in the days leading up to January 20. A joint bulletin from the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI and eight other agencies says domestic extremists pose the most likely threat to the presidential inauguration -- particularly those who believe the incoming administration is illegitimate. Online, calls for violence have intensified. And experts warn the perceived success of the deadly insurrection earlier this month may be motivation for another attack. "As somebody who worked on al Qaeda-related terrorism throughout the 2000s at the Justice Department and worked extensively on counterterrorism investigations and cases, there were several times where we were anticipating a follow-on attack to a world event," Carrie Cordero, a CNN legal and national security analyst, said Saturday. "I have that same feeling now." "It feels like there is a substantial threat that exists," Cordero added. In response, state leaders across the US are ramping up security around their capitol grounds -- pulling in National Guard members for help, erecting barriers, boarding up windows, asking residents to avoid the area and some even closing down capitol grounds altogether. more...

Tom Porter

Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska has warned that the QAnon conspiracy theory movement is destroying the GOP in a blistering op-ed for The Atlantic. In the article, Sasse describes how devotees of the movement played a prominent role in the Capitol's January 6 riots. "The violence that Americans witnessed—and that might recur in the coming days—is not a protest gone awry or the work of "a few bad apples." It is the blossoming of a rotten seed that took root in the Republican Party some time ago and has been nourished by treachery, poor political judgment, and cowardice," writes Sasse. He praises Capitol Police officer Eugene Goodman for luring a mob led by a man wearing a QAnon shirt away from a chamber where senators and Vice President Mike Pence were present during the unrest. more...

As the FBI warns of violence, anti-government extremists are ready to get in on the chaos.
Story by Michael J. Mooney

In the menagerie of right-wing populist groups, the boogaloo bois stand out for their fashion, for their great love of memes, and, to put it plainly, for the incoherence of their ideology. Which is saying a lot, considering that the riot at the Capitol last Wednesday featured partisans of the long-gone country of South Vietnam, Falun Gong adherents, end-times Christians, neo-Nazis, QAnon believers, a handful of Orthodox Jews, and Daniel Boone impersonators. The boogaloos weren’t a huge presence in that mob. But according to federal officials, the attack on the Capitol has galvanized them and could inspire boogaloo violence in D.C. and around the country between now and Inauguration Day. The FBI warned earlier that boogaloos could launch attacks in state capitols this Sunday, January 17. The boogaloos don’t appear interested in fighting for Donald Trump—they tend to despise him, mostly because they think he panders to the police. But for the past year, boogaloo bois all over the United States have been cheering on the country’s breakdown, waiting for the moment when their nihilistic memes would come to life and the country would devolve into bloody chaos. more...

Jay Reeves and Julie Carr Smyth - Associated Press

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — War-like imagery has begun spreading in Republican circles after the attack on the U.S. Capitol by a mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters, with some elected officials and party leaders rejecting pleas to tone down rhetoric calling for a second civil war. In northwestern Wisconsin, the chairman of the St. Croix County Republican Party was forced to resign Friday after refusing for a week after the siege to remove an online post urging followers to “prepare for war.” The incoming chairwoman of the Michigan GOP and her husband, a state lawmaker, have joined a conservative social media site created after the Capitol riot where the possibility of civil war is a topic. Phil Reynolds, a member of the GOP central committee in California’s Santa Clara County, appeared to urge on insurrectionists on social media during the Jan. 6 attack, declaring on Facebook: “The war has begun. Citizens take arms! Drumroll please….. Civil War or No Civil War?” more...

By Benjamin Fearnow

West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, considered by many to be the most conservative Democrat in the Senate, said his colleagues should consider expelling Republican Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley for their alleged roles in inciting the January 6 "insurrection" at the Capitol. In a Friday interview on PBS' Firing Line with Margaret Hoover, Manchin said that while he has a good personal relationship with Cruz and Hawley, their alleged violation of the 14th Amendment's rule against inciting an insurrection and holding public office should be investigated. Both Hawley and Cruz have been widely condemned for challenging the Electoral College results during certification, especially after Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in hopes of derailing President-elect Joe Biden's impending move into the White House. Manchin said he personally confronted Hawley to "change his mind" and think about the wider repercussions of his and Cruz's attempt to block the January 6 vote, but there was essentially zero meaningful response. more...

By JAY REEVES and JULIE CARR SMYTH - Associated Press

BIRMINGHAM, ALA. — Warlike imagery has begun spreading in Republican circles after the attack on the U.S. Capitol by a mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters, with some elected officials and party leaders rejecting pleas to tone down rhetoric calling for a second civil war. In northwestern Wisconsin, the chairman of the St. Croix County Republican Party was forced to resign Friday after refusing for a week after the siege to remove an online post urging followers to “prepare for war.” The incoming chairwoman of the Michigan GOP and her husband, a state lawmaker, have joined a conservative social media site created after the Capitol riot where the possibility of civil war is a topic. Phil Reynolds, a member of the GOP central committee in California’s Santa Clara County, appeared to urge on insurrectionists on social media during the Jan. 6 attack, declaring on Facebook: “The war has begun. Citizens take arms! Drumroll please….. Civil War or No Civil War?” more...

Zignal Labs charts 73 percent decline on Twitter and beyond following historic action against the president
By Elizabeth Dwoskin and Craig Timberg

Online misinformation about election fraud plunged 73 percent after several social media sites suspended President Trump and key allies last week, research firm Zignal Labs has found, underscoring the power of tech companies to limit the falsehoods poisoning public debate when they act aggressively. The new research by the San Francisco-based analytics firm reported that conversations about election fraud dropped from 2.5 million mentions to 688,000 mentions across several social media sites in the week after Trump was banned from Twitter. Election disinformation had for months been a major subject of online misinformation, beginning even before the Nov. 3 election and pushed heavily by Trump and his allies. Zignal found it dropped swiftly and steeply on Twitter and other platforms in the days after the Twitter ban took hold on Jan. 8. more...

Almost 30 police officers attended the Capitol rally. It should come as no surprise.
By Anna North

As investigations of last week’s riot at the US Capitol continue, one thing has become abundantly clear: The people involved were not just “fringe” elements, disconnected from the mainstream of society. Prominent among the rioters was a group with a lot of institutional and social power — police officers and other law enforcement officials. Indeed, nearly 30 sworn officers have been identified so far as attendees to the rally leading to Wednesday’s riot, according to NPR. That includes Virginia police officer Thomas “T.J.” Robertson, who was arrested this week in connection with the insurrection. “CNN and the Left are just mad because we actually attacked the government who is the problem and not some random small business,” Robertson reportedly wrote on Facebook after storming the Capitol. Those arrested also include his colleague Jacob Fracker, a Virginia police officer as well as a corporal in the state’s National Guard. “Lol to anyone who’s possibly concerned about the picture of me going around,” Fracker apparently wrote on Facebook. “Not like I did anything illegal.” more...

By Dan Merica, CNN

(CNN) President-elect Joe Biden plans to sign roughly a dozen executive orders, including rejoining the Paris climate accord and ending the travel ban on predominantly Muslim countries, on his first day in office, according to a memo from incoming chief of staff Ron Klain. He'll also sign orders halting evictions and student loan payments during the coronavirus pandemic and issuing a mask mandate on all federal property in an effort to either roll back moves made by the Trump administration or advance policy in a way that was impossible in the current administration.

One of Biden's most common campaign trail promises was to tackle an issue on his first day in office -- a pledge he usually made to either contrast himself with President Donald Trump or highlight just how important he believed an issue to be. These promises were made on everything from climate change to immigration to foreign policy, and many are reflected in Klain's Saturday memo, which was first reported by the New York Times.

"During the campaign, President-elect Biden pledged to take immediate action to start addressing these crises and build back better," Klain writes. "As president, he will keep those promises and sign dozens of executive orders, presidential memoranda, and directives to Cabinet agencies in fulfillment of the promises he made." more...

BBC

National Guard troops from across the country are being sent to Washington DC, to discourage any repeat of the deadly riot that unfolded on 6 January. The FBI has warned of possible armed marches by pro-Trump demonstrators at all 50 state capitols. The National Mall in DC has been shut. Barricades are lining the streets of the capital amid tightened security. Police confirmed on Saturday that a Virginia man had been arrested a day earlier with two handguns and 509 rounds of unregistered ammunition, as he tried to pass through a Capitol Police checkpoint. He was carrying a "non-government issued credential", police said. Responding on Twitter, Representative Don Beyer of Virginia said "the danger is real", and urged people to avoid the Capitol area. more...

Complaint could stop top NRA executives from discharging a substantial portion of the organisation’s debts
Ed Pilkington in New York

A major donor to the National Rifle Association is poised to challenge key aspects of the gun group’s bankruptcy filing, in an attempt to hold executives accountable for allegedly having defrauded their members of millions of dollars to support their own lavish lifestyles. Dave Dell’Aquila, a former tech company boss who has donated more than $100,000 to the NRA, told the Guardian on Saturday he was preparing to lodge a complaint in US bankruptcy court in Dallas, Texas. If successful, it could stop top NRA executives discharging a substantial portion of the organisation’s debts. It could also stop Wayne LaPierre, the NRA’s controversial longtime chief executive, avoiding ongoing lawsuits that allege he defrauded the pro-gun group’s members to pay for luxury travel to the Bahamas and Europe and high-end Zegna suits. LaPierre has denied the allegations of financial impropriety, insisting in a letter to NRA members that the group is “well-governed, financially solvent and committed to good governance”. more...

Arrested supporters say they were ‘listening’ to the president
Oliver Milman

Jenna Ryan, a Texas real estate broker who took a private jet to Washington to join the attack on the US Capitol, has pleaded with Donald Trump to pardon her after she was arrested by federal authorities. After surrendering to the FBI on Friday, Ryan said: “We all deserve a pardon.” “I’m facing a prison sentence,” she told CBS11 at her home. “I think I do not deserve that.” Turning to look into the camera, she said: “I would ask the president of the United States to give me a pardon.” On Wednesday, Trump was impeached for inciting the attack on 6 January that left five people dead, including a police officer, and sent lawmakers fleeing for their lives. Ryan said she had been “displaying my patriotism”, adding: “I listen to my president who told me to go to the Capitol.” Ryan left a trove of information online. Court papers show she posted a picture of herself taking a private jet to Washington DC the day before the riot, subsequently posing on the steps of the Capitol and beside a window smashed as the pro-Trump mob broke in. more...

BBC

National Guard troops from across the country are being sent to Washington DC, to discourage any repeat of the deadly riot that unfolded on 6 January. The FBI has warned of possible armed marches by pro-Trump demonstrators at all 50 state capitols. The National Mall in DC has been shut. Barricades are lining the streets of the capital amid tightened security. Police confirmed on Saturday that a Virginia man had been arrested a day earlier with two handguns and 509 rounds of unregistered ammunition, as he tried to pass through a Capitol Police checkpoint. He was carrying a "non-government issued credential", police said. Responding on Twitter, Representative Don Beyer of Virginia said "the danger is real", and urged people to avoid the Capitol area. more...

The suspect, Wesley Allen Beeler, 31, was stopped in a Ford pick-up truck with gun-related decals.
By Dennis Romero and Suzanne Ciechalski

A Virginia man was arrested at a Washington checkpoint near the Capitol with an "unauthorized" inauguration pass, a gun and more than 500 rounds of ammunition, according to Capitol police. The suspect, identified as Wesley Allen Beeler, 31, was stopped at the checkpoint near Lower Senate Park about 6:30 p.m. Friday, an arrest report said. An unregistered gun and hundreds of rounds of ammunition were found inside the truck that was adorned with gun decals days ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration, according to Capitol Police. Beeler, of Front Royal, Virginia, allegedly presented an "unauthorized Inauguration credential" to a Capitol Police officer. They did not describe what sort of document he showed that raised suspicion. The arrest comes after the violent Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol where supporters of President Donald Trump and his unfounded claims of election fraud stormed the building in a violent siege that left five people dead and many more injured. more...

By Michael Warren, CNN

Washington (CNN) Donald Trump may be leaving the White House in a few days, but the umbrella of conspiracy theories he inspired is only just arriving in Washington. The chief theory known as QAnon -- that the US government is run by a cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles only Trump can expose -- began nearly four years ago as a fringe movement in the dark corners of the internet. Now QAnon has adherents in positions of power within the Republican Party and in the halls of Congress. The January 6 domestic terror attack on the US Capitol was the violent manifestation of that movement and its attendant theories -- including that the 2020 election was stolen. Thousands of its adherents, steeped in years of conspiracy theories espoused by Trump, stormed the Capitol ready for violence -- seemingly certain they were the ones liberating the country. Many displayed clothing and paraphernalia associated with the movement. One of the more conspicuous rioters, wearing a horned helmet and carrying a six-foot spear, is known online as the "QAnon Shaman." "There is a violent anarchy to QAnon that is baked into it," said Mike Rothschild, the author of a book examining and debunking some of the most prominent conspiracy theories. How deep into the GOP's infrastructure QAnon has penetrated is an open question. So too is how Trump's departure from the presidency and banishment from most social media will affect the reach of conspiracy within the Republican Party. more...

Loews Hotels announced it would not play host to an already scheduled event for the Missouri senator.
By EVAN SEMONES

Loews Hotels announced Saturday that it won’t host a planned fundraiser next month for Sen. Josh Hawley at one of its Florida properties. “We are horrified and opposed to the events at the Capitol and all who supported and incited the actions,” the company said in a statement posted to Twitter. “In light of those events and for the safety of our guests and team members, we have informed the host of the Feb. fundraiser that it will no longer be held at Loews Hotels.” While the statement doesn’t mention the Missouri Republican by name, a political action committee affiliated with Hawley’s re-election, Fighting for Missouri PAC, was scheduled to hold a Valentine’s Day weekend fundraiser for the senator Feb. 12-15 at the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel in Orlando, Fla., near the Universal Orlando theme park. more...

*** Republicans, Fox news and right wing media enabled the big lie if they had been honest with American people the Trump insurrection would not have happened and the capital would not have been sacked. ***

Melissa Block

Last Wednesday, just before a mob of pro-Trump extremists stormed the U.S. Capitol in an insurrection that left five dead, the president stood before a huge crowd gathered in front of the White House for a so-called "Save America" rally. Trump whipped up his supporters, repeating a false claim that he has made over and over in the weeks since Nov. 3: "We won this election, and we won it by a landslide," he insisted. "This was not a close election!" "They say we lost," the president went on. "We didn't lose." Among the thousands of falsehoods Trump has uttered during his presidency, this one in particular has earned the distinction of being called the "big lie." It's a charged term, with connotations that trace back to its roots in Nazi Germany. Hitler used the phrase "big lie" against Jews in his manifesto Mein Kampf. Later, the Nazis' big lie — claiming that Jews led a global conspiracy and were responsible for Germany's and the world's woes — fueled anti-Semitism and the Holocaust. more...

By Molly Crane-Newman New York Daily News

Under fire in New York on charges of misspending members’ money, the National Rifle Association filed for bankruptcy Friday and announced plans to reincorporate in gun-friendly Texas. The nation’s biggest pro-gun group said it will restructure as a Texas nonprofit “to exit what it believes is a corrupt political and regulatory environment in New York,” a statement on the NRA’s website reads. “This strategic plan represents a pathway to opportunity, growth and progress,” NRA Chief Executive Wayne LaPierre said in a statement. “Obviously, an important part of this plan is ‘dumping New York.’” more...

KPIX CBS SF Bay Area

San Francisco police along with FBI agents have shut down a neighborhood near Candlestick Point after finding chemicals used to make explosives. video...

Lindsay Schnell, Cara Richardson, Joel Shannon, Jordan Culver - USA TODAY

Man in Pelosi desk photo barred from using Internet; house arrest denied A federal judge in Washington on Friday night halted a plan to release and put on house arrest the Arkansas man photographed sitting at a desk in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office during last week’s riot at the U.S. Capitol. Richard Barnett will instead be brought to Washington, D.C., immediately for proceedings in his case, Chief U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell ordered Friday night, staying a decision by another judge to confine Barnett to his home in Gravette, Arkansas, until his trial. Howell’s ruling came hours after U.S. Magistrate Judge Erin Wiedemann in Arkansas set a $5,000 bond for Barnett and ordered that a GPS monitor track his location. Wiedemann also prohibited Barnett from using the internet or having contact with anyone else who participated in the Jan. 6 violence. more...

By Lexi Lonas

Former Oklahoma GOP Congressman Mickey Edwards said that he is leaving his party because it has become a “cult” led by President Trump. Edwards was critical of Republicans questioning the results of the presidential election, and of Republicans who voted to throw out Electoral College votes of two battleground states after a mob invaded the Capitol building last week to stop their work. “This has become a cult. It’s no longer a political party. It’s a cult,” Edwards told Oklahoma's News 4 on Thursday. "It’s the kind of a cult that when the leader of the cult does anything, no matter what it is, or how awful it is, they voted. “They voted to question the election results even after people came into the Capitol, tried to kill them and killed a police officer who was trying to protect them. And they did that.” more...

CBS New York

The gun rights group says it will move its headquarters from New York to Texas and restructure as a non-profit there. video...

*** The  people who committed insurrection, sedition, sacked our capital and wanted to capture and kill those who they disagree with do not deserve a pardon. ***

Jacob Chansley, a 33-year-old man from Phoenix, was one of the most recognizable perpetrators of the Capitol siege.
By QUINT FORGEY

The lawyer for the “QAnon shaman” who was part of the deadly siege of the Capitol last week publicly petitioned President Donald Trump on Thursday to pardon his client. In an interview on CNN, attorney Albert Watkins said his client, Jacob Chansley, “felt like he was answering the call of our president” when he stormed the nation’s seat of government last Wednesday during a riot that resulted in the deaths of at least five people. more...

N'dea Yancey-Bragg USA TODAY

In early October 2013, Miriam Carey was shot to death after what police described as a brief high-speed car chase from the White House to near the U.S. Capitol that was captured in part on video. Law enforcement has said that she was mentally unstable and that there was not enough evidence to prove the officer's use of deadly force was excessive. Her older sister, Valarie Carey Reaves-Bey, doesn't believe that. "They shot an unarmed woman who wasn’t a threat to anyone," she said. "She was treated unjustly. Her life was taken away from her." She remembers Miriam as a high achiever who was beautiful "inside and out" and loved to cook, travel and entertain. She said the 34-year-old dental hygienist, one of five sisters, lived in Connecticut but spent her weekends visiting family in Brooklyn, New York, where each sibling would sometimes bring a different dish to their mother's home. It's an image in stark contrast to the one painted by police. more...

By Nicole Chavez, CNN

(CNN) Hours before President Donald Trump was impeached for his role in inciting last week's deadly attack, several lawmakers described the rioters as White supremacists. "Let us be clear, this was a domestic terror attack perpetrated by riotist mobs of White supremacists, armed equipped and many skilled in police and military tactics who came to overturn an election in which their candidate Trump lost," Rep. Joyce Beatty of Ohio and chair of the Congressional Black Caucus said in the group's hearing. During the impeachment debate Wednesday to excoriate Trump, Rep. Cori Bush of Missouri, who was a veteran BLM activist before becoming a legislator, called the President "White supremacist in chief."

"Madam Speaker, St. Louis and I rise in support of the article of impeachment against Donald J Trump. If we fail to remove a White supremacist President who incited a white supremacist insurrection, it's communities like Missouri's First District that suffer the most," Bush said during her speech. Rioters stormed the US Capitol building last week, unleashing a wave of comparisons to last year's Black Lives Matter protests. The difference in police response was striking and there's more that sets them apart. People marched by the thousands in both after believing that a wrong had been done to them. The calls for racial justice across America over the summer were backed by the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and the pain of following generations of anti-Blackness sentiment. Unlike BLM protests, the insurrection at the Capitol was triggered by lies and deeply rooted racist stereotypes, experts say.

Convinced that the presidential election was stolen, rioters touted themselves as "patriots" and repeatedly chanted "USA, USA" while vandalizing and destroying the building at the heart of America's democracy. Trump, who has embraced dog whistle tactics such as calling Mexicans "rapists" and called the words Black Lives Matter a "symbol of hate," incited them. "Once something like that feels true, you can't dissuade them with the facts," said Ian Haney López, the author of "Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class." more...

By Valerie Edwards For Dailymail.com

Delta Air Lines has banned passengers who heckled Utah Sen Mitt Romney and South Carolina Sen Lindsey Graham ahead of their flights last week and will be prohibiting all guns in checked baggage on flights to Washington, DC, until after President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration next week. Romney, the lone Republican senator to vote to oust President Donald Trump after he was impeached, was on a flight from Salt Lake City to DC when he was first harassed by a Trump supporter while waiting on his flight. A second video showed dozens of people on a flight yelling ‘traitor’ at Romney, though he isn’t seen in that clip. On Friday, Graham was preparing to leave DC when Trump supporters confronted him at the Reagan International Airport and also called him a ‘traitor to the country’. Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian said that the company has now placed 880 people on its no-fly list for not complying with its mask requirements and others were banned from flying with the airline for harassing passengers or unruly behavior related to the US election results. more...

*** Gaetz’s  is using the Republican standard operating procedures (SOP) lie, deny, deflect, blame others, alternative facts, attack  and when all else fails use apples to oranges whataboutism. ***

By Lauren Giella

The mob attack on January 6 at the Capitol caused a firestorm on social media, as right-wing pundits and conspiracy theorists claimed that the rioters were not Trump supporters, but members of antifa in disguise. The theory spread through Facebook, Twitter and into Congress.

The Claim
During his post-raid election-certification speech in which he objected to Arizona's electoral votes, Representative Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.)advanced the theory that some people who invaded the Capitol were antifa, according to a Washington Times story that was later retracted. "I don't know if the reports are true, but The Washington Times has just reported some pretty compelling evidence from a facial recognition company that some of the people who breached the Capitol today were not Trump supporters—they were masquerading as Trump supporters and, in fact, were members of the violent terrorist group antifa," he said. more...

Charges stem from "the largest criminal investigation in the history of the state of Michigan," the attorney general says.
By David K. Li and Erin Einhorn

Nine former Michigan officials, including ex-Gov. Rick Snyder, were charged Thursday for their roles in the Flint water crisis in a case one prosecutor said was about "finally, finally, finally holding people accountable." Snyder, 62, and eight others who worked under him face a host of charges stemming from a water supply switch in 2014 that exposed Flint residents to dangerous levels of lead and Legionnaires' disease. "Let me start by saying the Flint water crisis is not some relic of the past," Michigan Solicitor General Fadwa Hammoud told reporters. "At this very moment the people of Flint continue to suffer from the categorical failure of public officials at all levels of government who trampled upon their trust and evaded accountability for far too long." State Attorney General Dana Nessel appointed Hammoud and Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy to investigate the case, throwing out earlier charges brought by her predecessor, Bill Schuette. more...

Bill Chappell

New York Attorney General Letitia James has filed a lawsuit against the New York City Police Department, citing "a pattern of using excessive force and making false arrests against New Yorkers during peaceful protests" that sought racial justice and other changes. The Black Lives Matter movement and other activists organized large protests in New York and other states last year, after the Memorial Day death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis. Demonstrations grew over similar incidents, including the killing of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Ky. James' office says it has received "more than 1,300 complaints and pieces of evidence" about the police response to the protests in New York City. It's now seeking a court order "declaring that the policies and practices that the NYPD used during these protests were unlawful." Along with the court order, the attorney general is asking for policy reforms, as well as a monitor to be installed to oversee the NYPD's tactics and handling of future protests. more...

Rebecca Morin USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – Rep. Peter Meijer, one of 10 Republicans who voted to impeach President Donald Trump Wednesday, said he and some of his colleagues are buying body armor and altering their daily routines due to fear of violence. “It’s sad that we have to get to that point, but you know our expectation is that someone may try to kill us,” Meijer, R-Mich., said Thursday in an interview on MSNBC. Meijer said the body armor is a reimbursable purchase. “We don't know what's going to happen next. We weren't expecting for the Capitol to get overrun for the first time in 200 years,” he said. “And so in this unprecedented environment with an unprecedented degree of fear of divisiveness and hatred, we have to account for every scenario.” more...


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