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Tag: donald trump

Comey: Prosecuting Trump for Inciting Riot Will Give Him Attention He Craves

Former FBI James Comey in previous testimony, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

Former FBI Director James Comey said federal prosecutors shouldn’t charge President Trump for his role in inciting the Capitol riot because it would give him the attention he craves. 

“The country would be better off if we did not give him the platform that a prosecution would for the next three years,” Comey told the British broadcaster Sky News.

“Instead, turn off the camera lights,” said Comey, whom Trump fired as FBI director in 2017 while he was leading an investigation into possible collusion with Russia by Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

“I’d like to see some of the lights go out and he can stand on the front lawn at Mar-a-Lago and shout at cars in his bathrobe and none of us will hear it,” he said.

Trump fired Comey as FBI director in 2017, leading to the appointment of Robert Muller as special counsel overseeing the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. 

Comey, 60, said he supports the Senate convicting Trump as part of the House’s impeachment. But, Comey said, a prosecution would further divide the country. 

“The country needs to find a way to heal itself, and the new president needs the opportunity to lead and heal us — both literally and spiritually,” Comey said. “And that will be much, much harder if the Donald Trump show is on our television screens every single day in the nation’s capita

FBI Investigating 160+ Related to U.S. Capitol Siege, with Sedition Charges Possible

Alex Gakos/Shutterstock.com

By Steve Neavling

The FBI is investigating more than 160 cases connected to the storming of the U.S. Capitol last week, and federal prosecutors are considering sedition charges against some of them.

During a news conference Tuesday, the FBI and Justice Department pledged to aggressively investigate all leads following the violent riot. 

The bureau has received more than 100,000 videos, photos and other forms of digital media related to the Capitol siege, said Steven D’Antuono, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office.

“To be clear, the brutality the American people watched with shock and disbelief on the 6th will not be tolerated by the FBI,” D’Antuono told reporters. “The men and women of the FBI will leave no stone unturned in this investigation.”

Acting U.S. Attorney Michael Sherwin said 70 people have already been charged, and that number is expected to grow into the hundreds. 

To read D’Antuono’s full prepared statements, click here.

Secret Service Officer Under Investigation over Facebook Posts about Trump Election

By Steve Neavling

A Secret Service officer is under investigation for allegedly posting a comment on Facebook that suggested lawmakers who formally accept the electoral college vote are guilty of treason. 

The unnamed officer also posted President Trump’s baseless conspiracy theories about widespread election fraud, The Washington Post reports

One of the memes posted on Facebook shows Trump shaking hands with himself under the title “Here’s to the Peaceful Transition of Power.”

One day after the Capitol riot, the officer allegedly posted a comment that accused lawmakers who formalized President-elect Joe Biden’s victory of “committing treason on live tv.”

“Good morning patriots!” the post read. “Yesterday started out beautiful and as usual Antifa soured the mood and attacked police and an Air Force veteran was murdered….It’s OFFENSE time finally!!”

A Secret Service spokeswoman responded, “The U.S. Secret Service carries out its law enforcement mission in an objective and apolitical manner. Any allegation that an employee is not carrying out their duties in that manner will be investigated. As this is a personnel matter, the agency will not be commenting.”

Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf Resigns, Citing ‘Recent Events’

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf’s interview with Axios.

By Steve Neavling

Chad Wolf, acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, announced his resignation Monday as federal authorities grapple with threats of violence ahead of Inauguration Day.

Wolf, who took the helm in November 2019, will continue as under secretary for policy. 

In a written message to DHS employees, Wolf said he is resigning because of “recent events,” citing court challenges over the legality of his appointment, The Associated Press reports.

“Unfortunately, this action is warranted by recent events, including the ongoing and meritless court rulings regarding the validity of my authority as Acting Secretary,” Wolf wrote. “These events and concerns increasingly serve to divert attention and resources away from the important work of the Department in this critical time of a transition of power.”

Wolf defended his leadership, saying the department increased border security and safeguarded the 2020 election. 

“I leave knowing that the Department has positioned itself for an orderly and smooth transition to President-elect Biden’s DHS team,” he wrote. “Welcome them, educate them, and learn from them. They are your leaders for the next four years — a time which undoubtedly will be full of challenges and opportunities to show the American public the value of DHS and why it is worth the investment.”

Wolf replaced acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan, who resigned after leading the agency for about six months. Wolf had served as chief of staff under Kirstjen Nielsen, who was the last Homeland Security secretary to be confirmed by the Senate. She resigned in April 2019.

Leading Homeland Security has been no easy task because Trump has demanded a secretary whose focus is clearly on immigration, which is only one part of the multi-faceted agency.

President elect-Joe Biden has nominated Alejandro Mayorkas to become the first immigrant and Hispanic to lead Homeland Security.

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.

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.

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. 

Secret Service Changing Presidential Detail Amid Concerns about Trump Loyalty

By Steve Neavling

Some Secret Service agents who previously worked with President-elect Joe Biden when he was vice president will return to the White House to serve in his presidential detail in the coming weeks, The Washington Post reports.

Such staffing changes aren’t unusual when a new administration assumes office, but allies of Biden have expressed concerns that some Secret Service agents may align themselves with President Donald Trump, who refuses to concede defeat in the election. 

Trump continues make unfounded allegations about widespread election fraud, a position that courts have repeatedly rejected. 

Some Secret Service agents also have come under fire for defying COVID-19 guidelines to wear a mask, parroting Trump’s reckless behavior during the pandemic. 

More than 150 Secret Service officers and agents tasked with protecting Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have either been infected with COVID-19 or have been quarantined. 

“That is smart to give the incoming president the comfort of the familiar,” said one former Secret Service executive, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive personnel changes. “You want him to be with people he knows and trusts, and who also know how he operates.”