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2021 Trump-Incited Insurrection at Capitol Building

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  • simply data collection, nothing to see hereClick image for larger version  Name:	lambeth.png Views:	4 Size:	144.7 KB ID:	1577607
    Last edited by TopHatter; 13 Oct 21,, 18:46. Reason: Moved to the January 6th Insurrection Thread
    In the realm of spirit, seek clarity; in the material world, seek utility.



    • Judge holds DC jail officials in contempt in 1/6 riot case

      WASHINGTON (AP) — In a case involving a Jan. 6 Capitol riot defendant, a federal judge held the District of Columbia’s corrections director and jail warden in contempt of court Wednesday and asked the Justice Department to investigate whether inmates’ civil rights are being abused.

      U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth had summoned the jail officials as part of the criminal case into Christopher Worrell, a member of the Proud Boys who has been charged in the Jan. 6 attack. Capitol. He has been accused of attacking police officers with a pepper spray gel and prosecutors have alleged he traveled to Washington and coordinated with Proud Boys leading up to the siege.

      “It’s clear to me the civil rights of the defendant were violated by the D.C. Department of Corrections,” Lamberth said. “I don’t know if it’s because he’s a January 6 defendant or not.”

      The judge ordered Quincy Booth, the director of the city’s Department of Corrections, and Wanda Patten, the warden of the DC Jail, to be held in contempt of court. While he did not impose any sanctions or penalties the judge said he was referring the matter to the Justice Department to investigate whether the civil rights of the inmates in the jail are being violated.

      The move is likely to add steam to claims by activists and supporters of former President Donald Trump who have argued that defendants are being treated unfairly while they’re locked up. The Associated Press reviewed hundreds of court and jail records for the Capitol riot defendants to uncover how many were being detained and found roughly 70 held in federal custody awaiting trial or sentencing hearings. At least 30 are jailed in Washington. The rest are locked up in facilities across the country.

      Supporters of those jailed in Washington held a rally on Sept. 18, where they sought to highlight what they said were the disturbing treatment of suspects behind bars there.

      A federal law known as the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act — commonly called CRIPA — allows prosecutors to review conditions of jails, prisons and other government-run facilities to identify if there is a systemic pattern of abuse or civil rights violations.

      A spokesperson for the Department of Corrections did not respond to a message seeking comment on Wednesday.

      The judge’s ruling in Worrell’s case comes after he found there was more than an “inexcusable” delay of jail officials turning over medical documents. Worrell, who broke his wrist in May, had been recommended for surgery in June but still hasn’t undergone the procedure.

      After the judge learned last week that the surgery still hadn’t happened, he ordered the jail system to turn over notes to the U.S. Marshals Service — because Worrell is a federal inmate housed in the local jail — so the Marshals Service could move forward and approve the medical procedure. But on Tuesday, the jail still hadn’t sent the records and the judge ordered the city jail officials to appear in court for a contempt hearing.

      A lawyer for the jail had argued that they had been working to get the records together to comply with the court’s order before the contempt hearing was set.

      “He’s needed an operation. He hasn’t gotten it,” the judge said.

      The judge had separately chastised city officials for cutting down the number of rooms in the jail for virtual court visits and for sending an inmate to his court a few weeks ago when they did not have the results of a coronavirus test, saying the “incompetence of jail officials” led to the prisoner being sent back and forth from court without appearing before the judge.

      The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has set standards for judges to apply in deciding whether to jail a Capitol riot defendant. A three-judge panel of the appeals court ruled in March that rioters accused of assaulting officers, breaking through windows, doors and barricades, or playing leadership roles in the attack were in “a different category of dangerousness” than those who merely cheered on the violence or entered the building after it was breached.

      Defendants ordered locked up while they await trial include a man accused of dragging a police officer down steps to be beaten by an American flag and another man accused of leading a group of rioters up the Capitol steps to confront officers. But there are more than 630 people people charged in the Jan. 6 melee.

      Judges have released the vast majority of the defendants, including more than a dozen members and associates of the Oath Keepers, a far-right group, who are charged in perhaps the most serious case brought so far in the attack.

      Separately on Wednesday, a judge went against the recommendation of prosecutors and sentenced two cousins who joined the mob at the Capitol and posed for photos on top of a military-style government vehicle outside to 45 days behind bars.

      Robert Bauer, of Cave City, Kentucky, and Edward Hemenway, of Winchester, Virginia pleaded with the judge for leniency, saying their actions have already had serious consequences in their lives. They both admitted to a misdemeanor charge of parading inside the Capitol.

      “There’s really no words to express how categorically wrong I was that day,” said Bauer, who was inside the Capitol with his cousin for about 17 minutes. Prosecutors had been seeking 30 days in jail.

      U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan told the men that they were not being punished for their political beliefs, but for turning their protest into a “violent occupation of the U.S. Capitol” at a time when the country was “attempting the peaceful transfer of power — something that has never been interrupted in this country’s history.”

      “The Capitol does not belong to any one group or any one party,” Chutkan said. “That house belongs to the people of the United States and that group that was there that day was there to take it from the people of the United States.”


      Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value


      • Trump's Latest Jan. 6 Riot Meltdown Gets Brutal Fact-Check, Courtesy Of Adam Schiff

        Donald Trump threw another fit on Monday about the investigation into the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, in which his supporters attempted to stop the certification of the 2020 election and keep him in power.

        Trump blasted Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), lead manager of Trump’s first impeachment, calling him “shifty” and demanded that the “partisan” committee investigating the riot “stop at once.” The committee has seven Democrats and two Republicans and is not partisan, despite Trump’s complaints.

        Trump also delivered a curious gripe given his own position on the events of Jan. 6, writing:
        What happened to the Capitol would have never happened if the people in charge did their job and looked at the intelligence. They abandoned the officers on the ground, just like Biden abandoned Americans in Afghanistan. Instead of holding bad leaders accountable, the Democrats are going after innocent staffers and attacking the Constitution.

        Schiff was quick to fire back on Twitter, complete with an accurate title for Trump that those around the former president never use:

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        As president at the time, Trump was indeed one of the “people in charge.” Although a bipartisan Senate report found multiple failures with plenty of blame to go around, some were the fault of federal agencies under Trump.

        “Neither the FBI nor DHS deemed online posts calling for violence at the Capitol as credible,” the report stated.

        Although Homeland Security filed at least 15 documents on unrelated domestic extremism threats ahead of the attack, the department filed nothing about its intelligence on the plans forming about the Capitol assault.

        Trump was also in charge in another much more direct way. He spent months spouting false claims about the election, and on Jan. 6 egged on the crowd and sent it to the Capitol as Congress met to certify the election results.

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        Click image for larger version  Name:	donald-trump-responsibility.gif Views:	0 Size:	37.9 KB ID:	1577613

        I'm curious to know how the January 6th Committee is "attacking the Constitution"....
        Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value


        • 'There have to be consequences:' Judge ups sentences for U.S. Capitol rioters

          WASHINGTON, Oct 13 (Reuters) - A federal judge in Washington has repeatedly sentenced people who stormed the U.S. Capitol to more prison time than prosecutors sought, saying that even people who were not violent should face consequences for joining the unprecedented assault.

          In the past week, U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan has imposed sentences ranging from 14 to 45 days on four people who pleaded guilty to unlawful parading and picketing inside the Capitol building on Jan. 6 — a misdemeanor offense.

          "There have to be consequences for participating in an attempted violent overthrow of the government, beyond sitting at home," Chutkan said at one of the hearings.

          More than 650 people have been charged with joining the Jan. 6 violence, when supporters of Republican Donald Trump fought with police, smashed windows and charged through the building in an attempt to overturn his election defeat.
          So far, more than 100 people have pleaded guilty, and at least 17 of those defendants have been sentenced.

          Four people died on the day of the violence, one shot dead by police and the other three of natural causes. A Capitol Police officer who had been attacked by protesters died the following day. Four police officers who took part in the defense of the Capitol later took their own lives. More than 100 police officers were injured.

          On Wednesday, Chutkan sentenced two cousins who breached the Capitol and took selfies while doing so to 45 days in jail.

          Prosecutors had asked Chutkan to sentence each of the defendants — Robert Bauer of Kentucky, and Edward Hemenway of Virginia — to 30 days in prison.

          A day earlier, Chutkan sentenced an unrelated defendant, Dona Sue Bissey of Indiana, to two weeks of incarceration.

          Prosecutors recommended Bissey, 52, serve probation, citing her early acceptance of responsibility and cooperation with law enforcement.

          Bissey's friend, Anna Morgan-Lloyd, avoided jail time after pleading guilty to the same crime, receiving a sentence of three years of probation from a different judge in June.

          Chutkan, a former public defender appointed to the federal judiciary by former President Barack Obama, last week sentenced another defendant who admitted to the misdemeanor charge, Matthew Mazzocco, to 45 days in prison.

          That court hearing marked the first time that one of the judges overseeing the hundreds of Jan. 6 prosecutions imposed a sentence that was harsher than what the government asked for.

          Chutkan is not the first judge to second-guess the Justice Department's handling of the Jan. 6 prosecutions.

          Beryl Howell, the chief judge of the federal court in Washington, has suggested prosecutors were being too lenient in allowing some defendants to plead guilty to misdemeanor offenses.

          At a hearing in August, Howell said even defendants facing low-level offenses played a role in "terrorizing members of Congress" on Jan 6.

          During a plea hearing, the judge asked: "Does the government, in agreeing to the petty offense in this case, have any concern about deterrence?"

          So far, no judge has rejected a plea deal offered by prosecutors in a Jan. 6 case.

          Almost all of the defendants to be sentenced so far pleaded guilty to non-violent misdemeanors. The Justice Department has signaled that it plans to seek much stiffer penalties for felonies.

          In the case of Florida man Paul Hodgkins, who pleaded guilty to one felony count of obstruction of an official proceeding, the Justice Department requested an 18 month sentence. U.S. District Judge Randolph Moss went lighter on Hodgkins, sentencing him to eight months.
          Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value


          • Evidence of Armed Trump Extremists Continues to Emerge in January 6 Cases

            Since January 6, Republican lawmakers attempting to cover up the Trump-driven insurrection have claimed that no one brought guns to the US Capitol. That claim is false, as we showed in a recent Mother Jones investigation documenting an array of criminal cases—from a defendant who was armed on Capitol grounds and called for the overthrow of the US government, to an alleged operation in which numerous members of the so-called Oath Keepers, a loose-knit far-right militia, stockpiled firearms at a hotel near downtown DC for potential battle in support of Trump.

            Since the end of September, further evidence has emerged linking armed extremists to the events of January 6, including in the case of an additional Oath Keeper charged with participating in the Capitol riot. According to a complaint and arrest warrant filed in DC federal court, 47-year-old Jeremy M. Brown of Florida, a US Army special forces veteran and briefly a 2020 congressional candidate, faces charges for his presence on restricted Capitol grounds and disorderly conduct in confrontation with police. The complaint contains photos showing that Brown was outfitted that day in “full military gear, including a helmet, radio, a tactical vest, and prominently displayed large surgical trauma shears tucked into a pack sitting on the vest,” according to the FBI. Brown also displayed a Trump logo on his tactical belt, the photos show.

            The complaint further alleges that Brown and other unidentified individuals coordinated travel for January 6 using an encrypted messaging platform, communications in which Brown described plans to drive a recreational vehicle he referred to as “GROUND FORCE ONE” from Florida to DC.

            “Plenty of Gun Ports left to fill,” he said in the encrypted group chat, according to evidence from the FBI. “We can pick you up.” The plan was to stop overnight in North Carolina and arrive in DC about a day before the congressional certification of President Joe Biden’s victory. “This will give us the 4th/5th to set up, conduct route recons, CTR (Close Target Reconnaissance) and any link ups needed with DC elements,” Brown messaged. According to the complaint, Brown brought guns with him on the trip but left them with unidentified people in Virginia and didn’t take them to the Capitol.

            In a second case, Brown faces federal gun charges stemming from the investigation of him since January 6. According to court documents filed in the middle district of Florida, federal agents who searched Brown’s home in Tampa in late September found a short-barreled semiautomatic rifle and a sawed-off shotgun—both unregistered in violation of federal law—as well as two “military ordinance” grenades.

            Brown’s defense attorney did not reply to a detailed request for comment.

            In court filings and during an October 5 detention hearing, federal prosecutors presented evidence in support of their argument that Brown remains too dangerous to release from custody, including an alleged threat Brown directed at the FBI and other federal and local law enforcement agencies. According to court filings, and prosecutors’ remarks as reported in the Tampa Bay Times, Brown called out those agencies in a handwritten sign he posted in front of his house following a visit from federal agents earlier in the year:

            Re-read your Oath. You are being used as a Pawn by the Enemies of this Republic & your Liberties. If you don’t care & say to yourself ‘I’m just following orders,’ then Go Fuck Yourself. P.S. Better bring a bigger Tactical Package

            Despite his apparent reference to the amount of force the feds would need to take him into custody, Brown said during the October 5 hearing that he was not making a threat with the sign, according to the Times. Brown said that he respected police and that he was not antigovernment, but was “anti-tyrannical government.” In arguing for his pretrial release, Brown and his attorney further suggested that the government was targeting Brown’s “freedom of speech” and his “skepticism of law enforcement.”

            District Judge Sean P. Flynn ordered Brown detained, acknowledging in his ruling that Brown had a long and distinguished career in military service and no criminal history. Judge Flynn further emphasized that his decision was not due to Brown’s political beliefs or ownership of weapons. “You made a specific threat to law enforcement,” he told Brown, according to the Times, “and that’s something I can’t ignore.”

            Brown’s actions in early January as described in the FBI complaint echo the alleged activity of other Oath Keepers charged in the insurrection. They include several Oath Keepers from Florida who drove to DC by way of a stopover in North Carolina, according to an Oath Keepers lawyer, and went on to stash guns at the Comfort Inn Ballston in northern Virginia, about 7 miles from the US Capitol, between January 5 and 7. As detailed in our recent investigation, multiple Oath Keepers stockpiled an “arsenal” at the hotel, as one group member described it, for potential use by a “quick reaction force” inside DC to battle perceived enemies of Trump, according to court documents.

            The FBI complaint against Brown stated that just ahead of January 6, Brown “deposited his guns with individuals in Virginia and retrieved them after the riots.”

            It is unclear whether Brown’s case connects with actions of other Oath Keepers facing charges. According to the FBI, evidence of his alleged crimes was corroborated by “Defendant 4,” an unidentified person in the complaint “who has pled guilty to Conspiracy to Obstruct an Official Proceeding relating to his conduct and the conduct of others in breaching the US Capitol.”

            Since June, as we previously reported, three Oath Keepers have admitted guilt on conspiracy charges—two of whom drove to DC from Florida. According to the GW Program on Extremism, a total of 69 Floridians face charges stemming from the events of January 6, the highest number of such cases of any state.

            Other developments: further pointing to extremists carrying guns during the attack on Congress include recent reporting about an indicted Proud Boys leader who allegedly had a concealed weapon at the Capitol, newly unsealed evidence of a defendant stating he was armed during the riot, and a recently disclosed document showing that FBI agents were aware before January 6 of specific intelligence about armed people traveling to DC.

            According to the New York Times, defendant Ryan Samsel, who is charged with assaulting police at the Capitol, told FBI investigators that Joseph Biggs, an organizer for the Proud Boys, had a gun in the crowd on January 6 and flashed it at Samsel as he urged Samsel to confront officers defending Capitol grounds. (Samsel has no publicly known connection to the Proud Boys.) A lawyer for Biggs denied the allegations to the Times, saying they amounted to a “tall tale.” Biggs currently faces charges including conspiracy, civil disorder, obstruction of an official proceeding, and destruction of government property, to which he has pleaded not guilty. He has not been charged with any gun crimes.

            In the case of January 6 defendant Thomas H. Smith of Mississippi, who was indicted in May on 10 counts including assault on police, a court filing unsealed Tuesday described evidence suggesting Smith was armed at the Capitol. According to prosecutors, Smith sent a private message through Facebook in which he “claimed that he had a pistol in his pocket during the riot on January 6.”

            As our recent investigation detailed, law enforcement officers who defended the Capitol testified to Congress that they believed the mob of Trump extremists was far more heavily armed with guns than is definitively known. Internal communications from January 6 among US Park Police and other agencies that have since been made public support that view. The lack of certainty, the officers told lawmakers, was a result of their limited capacity to make arrests that day amid the sheer number of people, compounded by fears that taking more aggressive action could set off perilous violence.

            A document obtained recently by a government transparency watchdog, Property of the People, contains indications that the FBI had specific intelligence, prior to January 6, about armed people headed for the nation’s capital. According to emails circulated among FBI agents in the bureau’s Seattle field office on January 5, intelligence analysts with the Washington State Fusion Center had specifically noted social media comments suggesting that some residents of the state were “planning to travel armed to Washington D.C. for tomorrow’s protests there.”



            • Can the 6 January select committee overcome Donald Trump’s legal strategy to stonewall it?
              Since Democrats regained control of the House of Representatives in 2019, they have doggedly used Congress’s power to compel documents and testimony from Donald Trump and those in his orbit – and more often than not, they have butted up against a Trumpian wall of disparagement, denial, and delay.

              At the outset of the House Intelligence Committee investigation that led to the first of Mr Trump’s two impeachments, then-White House Counsel Pat Cipollone sent a letter to House Democrats’ leadership which flatly rejected the legitimacy of the House’s investigative prerogatives.

              “In order to fulfill his duties to the American people,” Mr Cipollone wrote on 8 October 2019, “the Constitution, the Executive Branch, and all future occupants of the Office of the Presidency, President Trump and his Administration cannot participate in your partisan and unconstitutional inquiry under these circumstances.”

              Two years later – in spite of having been obliged to relinquish the presidency this past January – Mr Trump’s position has not changed.

              In a letter to former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon – who last month received a subpoena of his own from the 6 January committee – Mr Trump’s current attorney, Justin Clark, wrote that the ex-president “instructs Mr Bannon to… invoke any immunities and privileges he may have from compelled testimony in response to the Subpoena…not produce any documents concerning privileged material in response to the Subpoena… and… not provide any testimony concerning privileged material in response to the Subpoena”.

              And last week, Mr Trump sent a letter to the archivist of the United States, David Ferriero, in which he purported to invoke executive privilege over White House records which the archives – at the direction of the Biden administration – is preparing to turn over to Congress as part of the insurrection investigation.

              In a statement, the former president claimed that the House’s probe is “not based in law or reality” and that he is asserting privileges “in defense of the Office of the Presidency”.

              But legal experts say the man Biden administration officials like to call “the former guy” has no leg to stand on.

              According to Harvard Law School Emeritus Professor Laurence Tribe, executive privilege does not exist for former presidents. “We have only one president at a time,” Mr Tribe told The Independent, “and the constitutional presumption is that the incumbent president is the best judge of the factors bearing on whether and when to invoke executive privilege to withhold documents or testimony.”

              Because the House select committee investigating the 6 January insurrection must be reauthorised by the new Congress that begins in 2023, Mr Trump’s goal in dusting off his stonewalling strategy is to frustrate the committee’s efforts in the courts long enough to make way for a new Republican House majority that will allow the investigation to quietly die.

              And while the committee’s chair and vice chair, Representatives Bennie Thompson and Liz Cheney, have vowed to pursue criminal contempt charges against those who do not cooperate, it’s unclear whether such efforts will receive a speedy hearing in the courts.

              And yet, there’s reason to believe that Mr Trump could have less room to manoeuvre this time around. Norm Eisen, the Brookings Institution scholar who served as counsel to the House Judiciary Committee during Mr Trump’s first impeachment, predicted that the 45th president’s tactics could fail simply because Democrats have learned how to deal with him and his circle.

              “The committee’s determination is evident in the extremely accelerated compliance schedule that they’ve laid down for both the documents and the testimony in these three waves of subpoenas,” he explained.

              As he pointed out, the committee not only gave short turnaround times for documents and testimony from subpoena recipients but also dispensed with the usual practice of requesting voluntary compliance before issuing subpoenas in the first place – both signs that the House recognises the stakes of this investigation.

              “This moment is nothing less than a one of existential threat from within to American democracy,” Mr Eisen said. “There’s an urgency that surrounds the moment that I… think will lead them to drive forward on court proceedings. It could be criminal contempt… it could be civil, and when the House votes, I anticipate that both will be authorised”.

              Mr Eisen also said he believes that any court challenges on the grounds of privilege will be settled quickly because Mr Trump’s frequent use of privilege claims during his administration brought about numerous court rulings that can now guide future cases.

              “The underlying legal questions that we face – about testimony in the McGahn litigation and about documents in the Mazers litigation – have now been addressed at length by the DC Circuit and the Supreme Court, respectively. So the soil has been tilled, that allows things to move faster,” he said. “The only question that the courts will confront is whether Trump has any residual executive privilege after he leaves office, which he absolutely does not”.

              However, Mr Eisen does not think the House will use what could be its most powerful tool against recalcitrant Trumpworld witnesses: inherent contempt. Under this principle, were the House to invoke its own authority to hold witnesses in contempt instead of relying on the courts, it could pass a resolution ordering the House Sergeant-at-Arms (with the aid of US Capitol Police) to arrest witnesses and detain them until they testify.

              Last month, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said that inherent contempt was “on the table,” and some House Democrats – most notably Maryland Representative and select committee member Jamie Raskin – have expressed support for invoking that authority for the first time since the 1930s.

              Yet Eisen believes that doing so could touch off just the sort of lengthy legal fight that Democrats cannot afford right now.

              “The issue is that… because it hasn’t been tested in a while, there’ll be a court battle over it,” he said.

              If Democrats choose to authorise criminal contempt referrals, the ball lands in the court of Merrick Garland’s Department of Justice. The law governing contempt of Congress requires the US Attorney for the District of Columbia to present any contempt referral to a grand jury for possible indictment. While previous administrations have ignored this provision of the United States Code, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki recently told the media that the Biden administration would “of course” honour the law’s requirements.

              Glenn Kirschner, a former Assistant US Attorney for the District of Columbia, told The Independent that should Mr Garland and the Justice Department fail to act, the department would effectively be “endorsing everything Trump and his criminal cohorts have done for the last four or five years”.

              And while he believes Mr Garland will ultimately act on a referral from the 6 January committee, Mr Kirschner warned that congressional inaction in the face of yet more open defiance would have far-reaching consequences.

              “If Congress declines to enforce its own subpoenas, it is… neutering itself for all time – kiss oversight goodbye, because nobody’s going to comply with subpoenas anymore,” he said.

              “They’d be doing untold damage to our democracy, because unless we can hold all of the insurrectionists accountable – including those who incited the insurrection and plotted and planned and schemed it – they’re going to do it again, they’re going to be successful, and they’re going to be completely unconstrained, because there have been no consequences.”

              This is where the rubber meets the road: Is Donald Trump, as he has claimed and has de facto demonstrated on numerous occasions, truly above all law, able to obstruct even the act of mere investigation into his affairs...or is this a nation of laws, governed by the rule of law? I have a feeling no matter what happens, the inevitable GOP reclaiming of the House and Senate in 2022 will immediately shut down any Congressional committees looking into Trump. Because we can't have the Dear Leader held accountable to the law now can we.
              Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value


              • Bennie Thompson not ruling out subpoenaing Trump

                Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), the chairman of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, did not rule out subpoenaing former President Trump when asked about the possibility during an interview on Thursday.

                “Are you ruling out or ruling in the possibility of eventually subpoenaing Trump?” CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked Thompson.

                “Well, I would say this at this point, Wolf, nobody is off limits to a subpoena from this committee,” Thompson responded.

                He added that “a lot of what we decide” on Trump will depend on how much information the Biden White House provides to the committee, despite Trump’s claims of executive privilege.

                The White House on Wednesday formally rejected an attempt by Trump to exert executive privilege over a set of documents the panel had requested.

                “I appreciate the White House agreement to look at executive privilege and give us consideration on a lot of the information we want. A lot of what we decide on former President Trump is dependent on what we find in this information,” Thompson told Blitzer.

                "I believe the Biden information and deliberate efforts to make sure that we have access to certain information is crucial to what we do,” he added. The chairman sounded a similar note in July when asked about potential subpoenas for Trump, former Vice President Mike Pence and other White House officials, telling PBS NewsHour, "If the facts themselves lead us to any individual, we will not hesitate to bring them before the committee."

                While there is no guarantee that the committee will ultimately subpoena Trump, the former president is already gearing up for a legal fight if the panel requests documents and his testimony.

                Trump in a statement last month vowed to “fight the Subpoenas on Executive Privilege and other grounds,” contending that such a move would be “for the good of the country.”

                Legal experts, however, are at odds over whether the former president’s claim of executive privilege would hold up in court.

                Thompson's comment came hours after the committee announced that it plans to refer ex-Trump White House strategist Stephen Bannon for criminal prosecution after he failed to comply with a subpoena by the deadline.

                Bannon is refusing to provide requested documents and testimony, citing a yet-to-be filed lawsuit from Trump, who claims the materials in the subpoena are protected by executive privilege.

                Reports surfaced last week that Trump was advising four of his former aides, including Bannon, to defy the subpoenas they received from the panel.

                The select committee will write up a report detailing the efforts the panel took to get Bannon to comply with the subpoena, and his failure to do so. It will then go before the House for a vote.

                If approved, the Justice Department will then be tasked with stepping in and deciding how aggressively it wants to pursue Bannon. That decision will likely be determined by the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington, D.C., and top lawyers at the main Justice Department.

                Thompson on Thursday rejected Bannon’s claim that his testimony is protected by executive privilege.

                “You can't say that Steve Bannon should hide behind executive privilege when he wasn't even the government. Just because former President Trump says it, it's not the law,” he told Blitzer.

                Bannon was not serving in the administration on Jan. 6.

                In addition to Bannon, the select committee has also sent subpoenas to Trump’s former chief of staff Mark Meadows, former deputy chief of staff for communications Dan Scavino and Kashyap Patel, the former chief of staff to then-acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller.

                Meadows and Patel have so far been “engaging” with the committee, Thompson and Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) revealed in a statement last week.

                Meadows, Patel and Scavino have all been granted short postponements by the committee for their depositions, which were scheduled for this week, according to CNN.

                Most recently, the committee requested records and testimony from Jeffrey Clark, a Trump ally and former employee at the Department of Justice who encouraged its leaders to investigate Trump’s claims of election fraud.

                In a letter to Clark, Thompson wrote that the panel’s investigation “has revealed credible evidence that you attempted to involve the Department of Justice in efforts to interrupt the peaceful transfer of power.”

                “You proposed that the department send a letter to state legislators in Georgia and other states suggesting that they delay certification of their election results and hold a press conference announcing that the Department was investigating allegations of voter fraud,” the letter added.

                Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value


                • Prosecutors: Capitol cop told Jan. 6 rioter to hide evidence

                  WASHINGTON (AP) — A U.S. Capitol Police officer has been indicted on obstruction of justice charges after prosecutors say he helped to hide evidence of a rioter’s involvement in the Jan. 6 insurrection.

                  The officer, Michael A. Riley, is accused of tipping off someone who participated in the riot by telling them to remove posts from Facebook that had showed the person inside the Capitol during the Jan. 6 attack, according to court documents.

                  Riley, 50, appeared virtually in federal court in Washington and was released with several conditions, including that he surrender any firearms and not travel outside the U.S. without permission from a judge. He was ordered to return to court later this month.

                  Riley, who responded to a report of a pipe bomb on Jan. 6 and has been a Capitol Police officer for about 25 years, had sent the person a message telling them that he was an officer with the police force who “agrees with your political stance,” an indictment against him says.

                  The indictment spells out how Riley sent dozens of messages to the unidentified person, encouraging them to remove incriminating photos and videos and telling them how the FBI was investigating to identify rioters.

                  Riley’s attorney did not immediately respond to a reporter’s message seeking comment.

                  In a statement, U.S. Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger said the department learned of the investigation against Riley several weeks ago and placed him on administrative leave when he was arrested Friday. Manger called the indictment a “very serious allegation” and said the department’s Office of Professional Responsibility was also opening an internal investigation.

                  His arrest and the accusation that an active duty Capitol Police officer was trying to obstruct the investigation into the attack is particularly notable because many of his colleagues were brutally beaten in the insurrection. The riot left dozens of police officers bloodied and bruised as the crowd of pro-Trump rioters, some armed with pipes, bats and bear spray, charged into the Capitol, quickly overrunning the overwhelmed police force.

                  One officer was beaten and shocked with a stun gun repeatedly until he had a heart attack; another was foaming at the mouth and screaming for help as rioters crushed him between two doors and bashed him in the head with his own weapon.

                  More than 600 people face charges in the Jan. 6 attack, in which a mob loyal to then-President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol, battled police and tried to stop the certification of the election victory for President Joe Biden.

                  In the days after the attack, scores of rioters flaunted their participation in social media posts that bragged about their ability to get inside the Capitol. But then many started realizing it could be used as evidence and began deleting it.

                  An Associated Press review of court records has found that at least 49 defendants are accused of trying to erase incriminating photos, videos and texts from phones or social media accounts documenting their conduct as the pro-Trump mob stormed Congress and briefly interrupted the certification of Democrat Joe Biden’s election victory.

                  Experts say the efforts to scrub the social media accounts reveal a desperate willingness to manipulate evidence once these people realized they were in hot water. They say it can serve as powerful proof of people’s consciousness of guilt and can make it harder to negotiate plea deals and seek leniency at sentencing.

                  Riley told the rioter that the scene was a “total s---show.” “I’m glad you got out of there unscathed. We had over 50 officers hurt, some pretty bad,” the officer wrote, according to the complaint.

                  When the rioter said through messaging that he didn’t think he’d done anything wrong, Riley responded, according to court papers: “The only thing I can see is if you went into the building and they have proof you will be charged. You could always articulate that you had nowhere to go, but that’s for court.”

                  Later in January, after two had discussed their love of fishing, Riley told the man to get off social media.

                  “They’re arresting dozens of people a day,” he wrote, according to the posting. “Everyone that was in the building. Engaged in violent acts or destruction of property and they’re all being charged federally with felonies.”

                  Making digital content vanish isn’t as easy as deleting content from phones, removing social media posts or shutting down accounts. Investigators have been able to retrieve the digital content by requesting it from social media companies, even after accounts are shut down. Posts made on Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms are recoverable for a certain period of time, and authorities routinely ask those companies to preserve the records until they get court orders to view the posts.

                  Despite initial criticism that Capitol police did not do enough to stop the rioters, Riley is the first Capitol police officer to be charged with a crime involving the insurrection.

                  But several current and former police officers were arrested on riot-related charges, including two Virginia police officers who posed for a photo during the attack. In July, authorities arrested an off-duty Drug Enforcement Administration agent accused of posing for photographs in which he flashed his DEA badge and firearm outside the Capitol during the riot.

                  Other law enforcement officers were investigated for their presence at the Capitol that day or at Trump’s rally before the riot. In January, an Associated Press survey of law enforcement agencies nationwide found that at least 31 officers in 12 states are being scrutinized by their supervisors for their behavior in the District of Columbia or face criminal charges for participating in the riot.

                  In September, Capitol Police said officials had recommended disciplinary action in six cases after an internal review of officer behavior stemming from the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. The department’s Office of Professional Responsibility had opened 38 internal investigations and was able to identify 26 of the officers involved, police said in a statement at the time. In 20 of the cases, no wrongdoing was found.

                  It isn’t clear whether Riley was among the officers who were referred for disciplinary action.

                  Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value


                  • An interesting turn-up for the books

                    ON TUESDAY, a Florida judge sentenced Daniel Baker, an anti-fascist activist, to 44 months in federal prison for social media posts that called for armed defense against possible far-right attacks on the state’s Capitol in the wake of the January 6 riots. Baker, a 34-year-old yoga teacher and emergency medical technician trainee, had no previous criminal convictions and has already been held for 10 months of harsh pretrial detention, including seven months in solitary confinement. He never brought a weapon near a government building; he amassed no armed anti-fascist forces; he made no threats on a single individual.

                    Baker will, nonetheless, face considerably more prison time than most January 6 defendants, including those who crossed state lines, small arsenals in tow, with the aim of overturning a presidential election.

                    It goes without saying that a United States federal court is no place to appeal to ethical grounds for militant anti-fascist resistance. Yet Baker, while prone to hyperbolic and sometimes paranoid rhetoric, was certainly not alone in fearing that there could be January 6-style events in statehouses nationwide ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration and that local police could hardly be trusted as a bulwark. The Federal Bureau of Investigations warned of the potential for armed protests at state capitols. Florida is home to over 60 far-right, white supremacist, and neo-Nazi groups recognized by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and there are well-reported links between Florida police departments and far-right militiae.
                    In the realm of spirit, seek clarity; in the material world, seek utility.



                    • Originally posted by Parihaka View Post
                      An interesting turn-up for the books

                      ON TUESDAY, a Florida judge sentenced Daniel Baker, an anti-fascist activist, to 44 months in federal prison for social media posts that called for armed defense against possible far-right attacks on the state’s Capitol in the wake of the January 6 riots. Baker, a 34-year-old yoga teacher and emergency medical technician trainee, had no previous criminal convictions and has already been held for 10 months of harsh pretrial detention, including seven months in solitary confinement. He never brought a weapon near a government building; he amassed no armed anti-fascist forces; he made no threats on a single individual.

                      Baker will, nonetheless, face considerably more prison time than most January 6 defendants, including those who crossed state lines, small arsenals in tow, with the aim of overturning a presidential election
                      Huh...looks like we do actually "punish" speech and "thought crimes" and Intentions actually matter. Can't he just say he was "just joking" or something and then club a cop to the ground with a flag pole? Easiest way I can think of to get off with a slap on the wrist...
                      Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value


                      • Originally posted by TopHatter View Post

                        Huh...looks like we do actually "punish" speech and "thought crimes" and Intentions actually matter. Can't he just say he was "just joking" or something and then club a cop to the ground with a flag pole? Easiest way I can think of to get off with a slap on the wrist...
                        The bright line for incitement is pretty well defined. If this dude did not plead out and appeals his conviction I would like to see the appellate brief. The article does not give much in the way of details. Generally there has to be a clearly defined effort to get someone else to target some other identifiable person in some specific way, or a true threat to a engage in some criminals act or your own. Either or may apply here without us knowing the details, or he could appeal and have it thrown out. If he plead out, well stupidity is a sentence enhancement.


                        • Trump sues Jan. 6 committee, National Archives

                          Donald Trump is suing the Jan. 6 select committee and the National Archives to block the release of his White House’s records related to the Capitol attack.

                          The former president’s lawyers filed the suit in D.C. district court on Monday. It names the Jan. 6 panel’s chair, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), and the national archivist, David Ferriero, along with the committee and the archives. And it calls the Jan. 6 probe “a vexatious, illegal fishing expedition.”

                          In the lawsuit, Trump’s lawyers ask a federal judge to declare the entire request from the select committee to be invalid and to block the National Archives from turning over any materials to Congress in response to the request. They also specifically ask the court to block the Archives from turning over any documents that Trump says are covered by executive privilege.
                          And Trump’s team also asks for the court to have the Archives first identify all the documents from Trump’s White House that could be responsive to the request, and then let Trump’s lawyers review them in their entirety before sharing them with Congress. That process could take years.

                          The lawsuit kicks off a complex, high-stakes legal fight over congressional investigations and executive privilege. In the Nixon era, the Supreme Court acknowledged that former presidents may have an interest in shielding documents from public view. But this is the first public legal dispute between a current president and his predecessor over whether to assert executive privilege.

                          This new lawsuit was several months in the making. The Jan. 6 select committee asked the National Archives in late August for voluminous records related to Trump administration communications on the day of the attack. It also asked for documents going back to April 1, 2020, related to Trump’s plans for the presidential campaign, including records concerning polling and any documents given to Trump predicting he might lose his re-election bid.

                          Following that request and according to standard practice, the head of the archives then sent hundreds of pages of those records to Trump and his lawyers to review. That was just the first batch of material; the archivist is still reviewing reams of documents for records that may also be responsive to the request, and is sending those records to Trump for review on a rolling basis.

                          Trump and his team determined that at least three dozen of the records from that first batchwere covered by executive privilege — meaning that, in their view, Trump had a right to keep them secret. Trump sent a letter to the archivist on Oct. 8, which POLITICO reviewed, stating his position and telling the archivist to withhold the documents.

                          But the Biden White House has taken a different position on whether or not those records can be released. Biden’s White House counsel, Dana Remus, told the archivist later on Oct. 8 that the president wanted the documents provided to the Hill.

                          Trump’s lawsuit argues that the Jan. 6 committee doesn’t have a valid legislative purpose for seeking the White House records — and, therefore, shouldn’t get any of them. Congressional investigators must prove that they seek materials to aid in their legislative work.

                          In his suit, Trump cites the Supreme Court’s 2020 decision in the so-called Mazars case — a lawsuit by the House to obtain Trump’s personal financial records. In the ruling, the Supreme Court laid out a complex four-part test to determine whether Congress could access the private papers of a sitting president. But more significantly, the court laid out some outer limits for congressional probes, insisting that — at least in the case of a sitting president — the inquiry be no more far-reaching than necessary.

                          The ruling, however, also emphasized Congress’ constitutional right to get information necessary to legislate — and House attorneys have suggested any limits laid out by the Supreme Court only apply to sitting presidents.

                          The Jan. 6 select committee has previously brushed off claims that it is conducting an improper investigation that lacks a legislative goal. The resolution establishing the committee identified multiple policy areas it may legislate on — from domestic extremists’ use of social media to the intelligence agencies’ handling of threat information to the security posture at the Capitol.

                          Trump’s suit also zeroes in on the Presidential Records Act, the federal law governing access to White House documents. Trump’s lawyers argue that if the act permits a sitting president to overrule a former president on privilege, then it’s unconstitutional. That question has never been fully fought out in court.

                          The complaint argues the court should also block the Archives from sharing materials that Trump deems privileged. Many legal experts hold that only the sitting president can assert executive privilege. But a court has never ruled on whether — and just how far — that privilege extends after a president leaves office.

                          The suit also asks the court to slow down the process of sharing the documents with Congress. Trump’s lawyers argue that they need more time to review the documents that are responsive, and that they shouldn’t have to make determinations about executive privilege without seeing all the records in context.

                          It normally takes years for the National Archives to sort through and organize White House records. So if a judge blocked the release of any documents until the archivist has gone through all of them, Congress could have to wait for quite some time before obtaining the materials in question.

                          “Today, President Donald J. Trump filed a lawsuit in defense of the Constitution, the Office of the President, and the future of our nation, all of which the sham Unselect Committee is trying to destroy,” said Trump spokesperson Taylor Budowich in a statement provided to POLITICO. “The fact is America is under assault by Pelosi’s Communist-style attempt to silence and destroy America First patriots through this hyper-partisan and illegitimate investigation.”

                          The lawsuit will likely rally several other witnesses facing subpoenas from the Jan. 6 committee, which includes two anti-Trump Republicans. Steve Bannon, a former Trump aide and longtime political ally, has cited Trump’s claim of executive privilege to refuse to share documents and testimony with the panel. The committee is slated to hold Bannon in criminal contempt of Congress on Tuesday.

                          The legal fight brings a risk for Biden, since a court ruling that narrows the scope of executive privilege could help congressional Republicans target his administration’s records after he leaves office. But when asked recently about that prospect, White House press secretary Jen Psaki pointed to the unprecedented nature of the attack on the Capitol.

                          “I can assure you … that this President has no intention to lead an insurrection on our nation's Capitol,” she told reporters.

                          Long before Trump’s election, U.S. presidents have asserted executive privilege to keep their allies from answering questions from investigators — and sometimes, federal judges have rejected their arguments. A federal judge struck down then-President Bill Clinton’s efforts to use the privilege to keep White House staff from answering questions in the Monica Lewinsky probe. Years later, a federal judge ordered the Obama administration to turn over documents related to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' “Fast and Furious” guns operation, despite the assertion of executive privilege.

                          During his presidency, numerous Trump allies pointed to executive privilege to try to dodge congressional inquiries, including during the House Intelligence Committee’s Russia probe and the first Trump impeachment. Most famously, the House sued to obtain the testimony of former White House counsel Don McGahn, a star witness in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation who detailed Trump’s efforts to obstruct the special counsel inquiry.

                          Trump declared McGahn “absolutely immune” from testifying, and the House spent years in court before only recently cutting a deal with McGahn to testify.

                          The lawsuit comes as Trump signals he may run for president again in 2024 and as he pushes fellow Republicans to embrace the false conspiracy theory that the 2020 election was stolen from him.

                          Who does this piece of shit think he is? Oh right, "Above The Law".

                          Just gotta run out that clock and he'll be home free. Again.
                          Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value


                          • The judge hearing Trump's lawsuit to block Jan. 6 subpoenas once called Capitol rioters a 'violent mob' trying to overthrow the government
                            A federal judge assigned to former President Donald Trump's lawsuit filed to stop the release of records to House select committee investigating the Capitol riot has previously slammed the insurrection and handed out harsh sentences to defendants.

                            Trump on Monday filed a lawsuit in Washington, DC, citing executive privilege as a reason that Trump-era White House documents relating to the attack should not be released to the bipartisan congressional committee investigating it.

                            US District Judge Tanya Chutkan was on Tuesday randomly assigned to hear the case, Reuters reported.

                            In a separate court case earlier this month, Chutkan had described the pro-Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol in January as a "violent mob seeking to overthrow the lawfully elected government," adding that the crowd posed a "very real danger" to democracy, CNN reported.

                            The comments came during her sentencing of Matthew Mazzocco, who pleaded guilty to illegally demonstrating in the Capitol building. Chutkan sentenced Mazzocco to 45 days in jail, marking the first time a Capitol riot participant had been sent to jail without prosecutors asking first.

                            The prosecution had asked for home confinement but Chutkan said, according to The Washington Post: "There have to be consequences for participating in an attempted violent overthrow of the government, beyond sitting at home."

                            Chutkan has also handed sentences of at least 14 days to other participants in the insurrection, Reuters reported.

                            At least 11 participants in the January 6 riot have received sentences so far.

                            The case filed by Trump, which Chutkan is set to hear, represents a significant point in the congressional committee's attempts to obtain extensive information about the Capitol riot which is held by the National Archives.

                            Trump argued in the lawsuit that he and his associates were protected by executive privilege and said the committee's subpoenas were "invalid and unenforceable through the Constitution and the laws of the United States."

                            As well as issuing subpoenas for the tranche of White House documents, the committee has also subpoenaed several of Trump's former aides, including Steve Bannon.

                            President Joe Biden's administration has flatly rejected the arguments in Trump's lawsuit. The Associated Press reported on Monday that the White House counsel had written to Bannon - who is refusing to comply with the subpoena - saying that "at this point we are not aware of any basis for your client's refusal to appear for a deposition."

                            How does one retain "executive privilege" when one is no longer the Chief Executive?
                            Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value