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FBI Tipped Off Capitol Police about Potential for Violence at U.S. Capitol

U.S. Capitol

By Steve Neavling

The FBI warned U.S. Capitol Police about the potential for violence in Washington D.C. on Jan 6 and even visited more than a dozen extremists to encourage them not to attend the planned protest, NBC News reports.

The FBI and NYPD also passed on information to Capitol Police about the risk of violence as lawmakers planned to vote on the Electoral College. 

The report contradicts statements from some several law enforcement officials who claimed there was no evidence that protests would turn violent. 

Steven D’Antuono, head of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, said last week that “there was no indication that there was anything (planned) other than First Amendment-protected activity.”

Despite the warnings, Capitol Police were overwhelmed by violent Trump supporters who forced their way into the building. At least five people were killed, including a police officer. 

Now the FBI is asking for the public’s help tracking down rioters.

Weekend Series on Crime History: Nixon Resigns

Justice Department Considers Charges of Sedition Following Violence Capitol Siege

Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Photo via Shutterstock.

By Steve Neavling

President Trump supporters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday could face charges of seditious conspiracy, rioting and insurrection, Justice Department officials. 

Acting U.S. Attorney Michael Sherwin said Thursday that those charges are “on the table” as authorities investigate the insurrection and begin tracking down participants, CNBC reports

“All options are on the table,” Sherwin told reporters. 

So far, the Justice Department has filed more than 40 criminal cases. 

A U.S. Capitol Police officer was among a handful of people who died following the violence siege.

Grenade Sought by ATF Exploded, Killed Teen in North Carolina

Grenade sold in North Carolina, via ATF.

By Steve Neavling

The ATF made an urgent public plea in late December for help tracking down a hand grenades that were “thought to be inert” after they were sold to unsuspecting customers at an antique mall in North Carolina. 

Unfortunately the ATF wasn’t able to locate one of the grenades before it exploded and killed a Virginia teenager two days before Christmas.

The grenade were sold at the Fancy Flea Antique Mall in Shallotte. 

The store owners thought the grenade was a dud, the ATF said in a news release. The ATF is asking for the public’s help tracking down the other grenades. 

“The grenades were thought to be ‘inert’ MK2 grenades, a style used during World War II,” the ATF said. “At the time of sale, neither the vendor nor buyer(s) believed the grenades to be functioning or hazardous.”

Barr Slams Trump, Calling His Actions a ‘Betrayal’

By Allan Lengel

Ex- Attorney General William Barr is slamming President Donald Trump, a day after he egged on supporters, who ended up trashing the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Barr called Trump’s behavior as a “betrayal” of the presidency.

In a statement to the Associated Press, Barr said “orchestrating a mob to pressure Congress is inexcusable”

The violence has opened up Trump to a lot of criticism on Capitol Hill and beyond.

Biden to Nominate Merrick Garland as Attorney General

Judge Merrick Garland, via White House.

By Steve Neavling

President-elect Joe Biden plans to nominate Merrick B. Garland, a widely respected federal judge, as attorney general.

Garland, 68, rose to national prominence in 2016 when President Obama nominated him to the U.S. Supreme Court, but Republicans denied him a hearing. 

With Democrats poised to take control of the U.S. Senate, Republican won’t be able to block his nomination to serve as attorney general.  

Garland was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 1997. 

Garland is a graduate of Harvard University’s college and law school. 

FBI Seeks Information Related to Storming of U.S. Capitol

U.S. Capitol

By Steve Neavling

The FBI is investigating President Trump supporters who incited violence and stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, causing federal lawmakers and employees to flee.  

The bureau is asking for images, videos and other multimedia files that show possible violations of federal law. Anyone with evidence is asked to send it using an electronic form at fbi.gov/USCapitol

“The FBI is seeking information that will assist in identifying individuals who are actively instigating violence in Washington, D.C.,” the FBI said in a news release. “The FBI is accepting tips and digital media depicting rioting and violence in the U.S. Capitol Building and surrounding area in Washington, D.C., on January 6, 2021.”

One woman was fatally shot by police, and about 30 people were arrested for violating a curfew. 

Off-Duty DEA Agent Accused of Misusing Badge in Encounter with Noisy Neighbor

By Steve Neavling

The DEA is investigating one of its off-duty undercover agents who is accused of misusing her badge in an attempt to get her neighbors in Texas to turn down their music on New Year’s Eve. 

One of the neighbors, James Downs, of Hillsborough County, filed a complaint against the unnamed agent, ABC affiliate WFTS reports.

The tense exchange was caught on a surveillance camera. It happened shortly after midnight, when the agent knocked on the neighbor’s door and requested he turned down the music. 

“Turn it down, turn it down,” the agent says while flashing a badge. “It’s the last time I come here. Yeah, turn it down.”

Downs’ wife Christina Downs said the agent’s actions are “an abuse of power that is way completely unacceptable.” 

“I felt like it was very unethical and so unprofessional and such a terrible way to represent that agency,” she said. 

Plant City Police Sgt. Alfred Van Duyne agreed. 

“If it were me I would be looking at it that it reflects badly on my agency as well as myself,” Van Duyne said.

A DEA spokeswoman confirmed the agency is investigating the complaint.