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Tag: insurrection

Garland Speaks Out As Jan. 6 Insurrection Nears 2nd Anniversary

Attorney General Merrick Garland. (Photo: DOJ)

By Steve Neavling

With the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol nearing its second anniversary, Attorney General Merrick Garland released the following statement:

“Two years ago, the United States Capitol was attacked as lawmakers met to affirm the results of a presidential election. Perpetrators attacked police officers, targeted and assaulted members of the media, and interfered with a fundamental element of our democracy: the peaceful transfer of power from one administration to the next.

“Since then, countless agents, investigators, prosecutors, analysts, and others across the Justice Department have participated in one of the largest, most complex, and most resource-intensive investigations in our history. I am extremely grateful for the dedication, professionalism, and integrity with which they have done this work. This investigation has resulted in the arrest of more than 950 defendants for their alleged roles in the attack. We have secured convictions for a wide range of criminal conduct on January 6 as well as in the days and weeks leading up to the attack. Our work is far from over.

“We will never forget the sacrifice of the law enforcement officers who defended the members of Congress and others inside the Capitol that day. And we will never forget the five officers who responded selflessly on January 6 and who have since lost their lives: Officer Brian Sicknick, Officer Howard Liebengood, Officer Jeffrey Smith, Officer Gunther Hashida, and Officer Kyle DeFreytag. 

“The Justice Department remains committed to honoring them. We remain committed to ensuring accountability for those criminally responsible for the January 6 assault on our democracy. And we remain committed to doing everything in our power to prevent this from ever happening again.”

The Justice Department also released data on the arrests and charges in connection with the attack. 

Of the more than 950 people charged for their role in the attack, 284 were charged with assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers or employees. Nearly 100 people have been charged with using a deadly or dangerous weapon or causing serious bodily injury to an officer. 

During the insurrection, about 140 officers were assaulted, including about 80 from the U.S. Capitol Police. 

About 484 defendants have pleaded guilty to a variety of charges. Of them, 119 pleaded guilty to felonies. 

Forty defendants have been found guilty during trials. 

U.S. Capitol Police Prepared for Possible Future Attacks on Congress, Chief Says

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

By Steve Neavling

U.S. Capitol Police are ready to respond to any future attacks on Congress, USCP Police Chief Tom Manger said Monday, three days before the second anniversary of the deadly Jan. 6, 2021, attack. 

“The current threat climate, particularly against elected officials, will require continued and heightened vigilance,” USCP Police Chief Tom Manger said in a statement. “With the polarized state of our nation, an attack like the one our Department endured on January 6, 2021 could be attempted again. Should the unthinkable happen, we will be ready.”

The riot resulted in five deaths, and more than 140 police officers were injured. 

About 900 people have been charged for their role in the riot, resulting in about 470 guilty pleas. 

A House committee investigating the attack recommended that the Justice Department should charge Trump with four criminal counts, including conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and inciting an insurrection. 

Outgoing GOP Congressman Calls on DOJ to Prosecute Trump for Sake of Country

Donald Trump, via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling

If former President Donald Trump isn’t prosecuted for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack, then outgoing Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger said he’s worried “for the future of this country.”

The Illinois congressman, one of two Republicans to sit on the House Select Committee to investigate the Capitol riot, made the statement in an interview with CNN.

Kinzinger called on the Justice Department to prosecute Trump, saying if he is not considered a criminal, then “I don’t know what is.”

Kinzinger said the Justice Department should follow through on the committee’s recommendation to charge Trump with four counts, including conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and inciting an insurrection. 

“If a president can incite an insurrection and not be held accountable, then really there’s no limit to what a president can do or can’t do,” he said. 

Kinzinger said he has confidence the Justice Department will prosecute Trump. 

“If he is not guilty of a crime, then I frankly fear for the future of this country,” he said.

He added, “Because now, every future president can say ‘hey, here’s the bar,’ and the bar is: do everything you can to stay in power.”

New Book: Ex-Capitol Police Chief Was ‘Mad As Hell’ at Response to Jan. 6. 2021

Alex Gakos/Shutterstock.com

By Steve Neavling

Repeated government failures were to blame for the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, according to former Capitol Police Chief Steven A. Sund. 

In a new book, Courage Under Fire, Sund wrote that federal law enforcement had received numerous warnings about the potential for violence, but none of the agencies took the proper precautions to protect the Capitol.  

If the problems remain unfixed, Sund warned, a similar attack could occur in the future, according to The Washington Post, which received an advance copy of the book, which is set to be published Tuesday. 

Sund described the agony and shock he felt, and how he urged military generals for National Guard reinforcements. 

Sund recalled having a conference call with two Pentagon leaders at about 2:35 p.m., 20 minutes after the violent crowd had broken into the Capitol. 

Sund said he felt “nauseated” and “mad as hell” after Lt. Get. Walter Pratt told him he didn’t want to send uniformed Guard troops to the Capitol because of the optics. 

“It’s a response I will never forget for the rest of my life,” Sund wrote.

House Committee Investigating Jan. 6 Attack Recommends Changes to Capitol Police

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

By Steve Neavling

Recommended changes to the Capitol Police were outlined in the final report from the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. 

The report calls for boosting oversight of the police department “as it improves its planning, training, equipping, and intelligence processes and practices its critical incident response protocols, both internally and with law enforcement partners,” Roll Call reports.  

The committee also recommended congressional testimony from the Capitol Police Board. 

In addition, the report suggested “full funding for critical security measures.”

In the 2023 omnibus funding bill that passed the House on Friday, appropriations included $734.6 million for the agency, a more than 20% increase, which would enable the hiring of up to 2,126 officers and 567 civilians. 

Lawmakers have blamed numerous intelligence failures at the agency and demanded structural change. 

The U.S. Capitol Police Inspector General previously recommended 40 changes to the agency, from polices on security planning to increased training for security at large events. 

House Panel Urges Justice Department to Charge Trump for Role in Jan. 6 Riot

U.S. Capitol

By Steve Neavling

The House panel investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol on Monday recommended that the Justice Department pursue criminal charges against former President Donald Trump. 

The panel of seven Democrats and two Republicans unanimously voted in favor of a criminal referral during its final public hearing.

Nearly two years after Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, the panel concluded that the former president was criminally responsible for inciting the violence that occurred. 

In predictable fashion, Trump called the investigation a partisan “witch hunt” and said he did nothing wrong.

“Republicans and Patriots all over the land must stand strong and united against the Thugs and Scoundrels of the Unselect Committee,” Trump said on Truth Social Sunday. “It will be a dark period in American history, but with darkness comes light!!!”

Ultimately, the decision to charge Trump belongs to the Justice Department. Attorney General Merrick Garland named Jack Smith as special counsel to investigate Trump’s role in the insurrection and the theft of sensitive government documents. 

Trump Incites Violence against FBI Agents by Calling Them ‘Thugs And Tyrants’ Who Stole Election

Donald Trump, via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling

Former President Trump appeared to incite violence and threaten FBI agents, saying the bureau and Justice Department are “Thugs and Tyrants” that need to be “dealt with.”

In a Truth Social post over the weekend, Trump baselessly insisted the FBI was “absolutely” involved in a “coordinated effort to change the election results” to make Joe Biden the winner. 

He said the FBI’s alleged actions justified the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. 

Trump supporters responded on Truth Social, calling the FBI “gestapo” and members of “organized crime.”

Trump’s post once against endangers FBI agents with nonsense allegations. 

Jan. 6 Committee Interviewed Former Trump Secret Service Agent Tony Ornato

By Steve Neavling

The House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol interviewed Tony Ornato, former White House deputy chief of staff and top Secret Service official, on Tuesday, The New York Times reports.

The interview is significant as the committee seeks to sort out conflicting testimony about the activities of the Secret Service around the time of the insurrection. 

It wasn’t immediately clear what Ornato discussed with the committee during the closed-door interview.

In June, former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson told the committee that Ornato recounted to her that Trump wanted to join the riot and lunged at a secret Service agent in a limousine when he was told he couldn’t go.

Other Secret Service officials have privately contradicted Hutchinson’s testimony. 

This would mark the first time the committee had spoken to Ornato since Hutchinson’s dramatic testimony. 

The panel also recently questioned Kellyanne Conway, a former senior adviser to Trump.