Site Search

Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

March 2023


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Tag: Jan. 6

Proud Boy Trial Halted After Revelation That Witness Was FBI Informant

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

By Steve Neavling

The seditious conspiracy trial involving the Proud Boys was temporarily halted this week after prosecutors revealed that a defense witness has been an FBI informant since 2021, defense attorneys said in a court filing. 

“During this period of time, the [informant] has been in contact via telephone, text messaging and other electronic means, with one or more of the counsel for the defense and at least one defendant,” Carmen Hernandez, an attorney for one of the five Proud Boys, Zachary Rehl, said in a motion, Politico reports.

The trial, which has stretched into its fourth month, involves five Proud Boy members who are charged with conspiring to block the transfer of presidential power to Joe Biden after the 2020 election. 

Prosecutors argued that the informant was never involved in gathering information on the far-right group and that her relationship with the bureau ended after she was asked to appear as a witness. 

Prosecutors said they had no idea the informant was communicating with the defendants or their counsel. 

“This is all news to the government,” said Denise Cheung, acting deputy chief of DOJ’s criminal division.

Norm Pattis, one of the defense attorneys, said the revelation should put an end to the trial. 

“I don’t want the trial to proceed,” Pattis said. 

A judge will determine when – and if – to resume the trial.

Arrests Related to Jan. 6 Insurrection Reach Milestone of 1,000

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

By Steve Neavling

At least 1,000 people have been arrested so far for their role in the Jan. 6, 2021, siege on the U.S. Capitol, marking a milestone as the Justice Department continues to pursue new charges in the insurrection. 

In a news release Monday, the Justice Department said that roughly a third of those arrested were charged with assaulting, resisting, or impeding law enforcement. Of those, more than 100 were charged with using a deadly or dangerous weapon or causing serious injury to an officer. 

During the attack, about 140 officers with the U.S. Capitol Police and Washington D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department were injured.

Twenty-six months after the insurrection, the FBI continues to arrest alleged participants in the riot. 

So far, about 518 defendants have pleaded guilty to federal charges. Of those, about 133 have pleaded guilty to felonies, including four who were convicted of seditious conspiracy. 

The charges led to guilty verdicts in 53 trials.

Of the 420 defendants who have received sentences so far, about 220 were sent to prison. 

The FBI is still seeking the public’s help in identifying more than 260 people who are suspected of committing violent acts. 

Pence Vows to Fight Subpoena to Testify in Trump Case

Former Vice President Mike Pence

By Steve Neavling

Former Vice President Mike Pence pledged Wednesday to fight a subpoena from special counsel Jack Smith to testify before a grand jury about Donald Trump’s efforts to undermine the 2020 election. 

“No vice president has ever been subject to a subpoena to testify about the president with whom they served,” Pence told reporters, calling the subpoena “unprecedented and unconstitutional,” NBC News reports

Pence insists that legal protections for lawmakers makes him immune from testifying because he was acting as president of the Senate when the body was conducting the Jan. 6 Electoral College count. 

“For me, this is a moment where you have to decide where you stand, and I stand on the Constitution of the United States,” Pence said.

Still, the former vice president took a jab at Trump for his role in the insurrection. 

“On Jan. 6th, President Trump was wrong. As I’ve said before, his words were reckless, and they endangered my family and everyone at the Capitol,” he said.

Pence added, “I had no right to overturn the election.” 

“But I would say in this very moment, it’s also wrong to establish a precedent where a legislative official can be called into court by the executive branch.”

Meanwhile, the special counsel subpoenaed Trump’s former chief of staff Mark Meadows to testify in the case, CNN reports.

Mike Pence Receives Subpoena from special counsel investigating Efforts to Overturn Election

Former Vice President Mike Pence

By Steve Neavling

Former Vice President Mike Pence received a subpoena from the special counsel investigating former President Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election, ABC News first reported

Special counsel Jack Smith requested documents and testimony from Pence, who was the target of Trump’s ire when he refused to help the former president overturn the election. 

During the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection, many rioters chanted, “Hang Mike Pence!” 

The subpoena comes after months of negotiations between federal prosecutors and Pence’s legal team. 

Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Smith to investigate Trump’s efforts to overturn the election and his handling of classified documents. 

It’s not yet clear whether Smith’s team plans to question Pence about Trump’s handling of classified documents. 

Pence’s aides recently notified the Justice Department that they found some classified documents at his home in Indiana. 

A few week ago, Smith’s team interviewed Chad Wolf, Trump’s former acting homeland security secretary.

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.”

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.