[On January 14, 2021 — just 8 days after the attack on the Capitol — I wrote the following diary pointing out all of the failures to prevent and respond to it by FBI, Homeland Security, Secret Service, Capitol Police and National Guard. Now that the Oath Keepers and Stewart Rhodes have been successfully convicted of Seditious Conspiracy — even with the J6 Committee hearings revealing much — it’s time we look back on how much we knew then, and how much we know now.]
Reports are that the Capitol Rioters planned their attack for weeks publicly, and still the police and National Guard weren’t ready.
The invasion of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday was stoked in plain sight. For weeks, the far-right supporters of President Donald Trump railed on social media that the election had been stolen. They openly discussed the idea of violent protest on the day Congress met to certify the result.
“We came up with the idea to occupy just outside the CAPITOL on Jan 6th,” leaders of the Stop the Steal movement wrote on Dec. 23. They called their Wednesday demonstration the Wild Protest, a name taken from a tweet by Trump that encouraged his supporters to take their grievances to the streets of Washington. “Will be wild,” the president tweeted.
Ali Alexander, the founder of the movement, encouraged people to bring tents and sleeping bags and avoid wearing masks for the event. “If D.C. escalates… so do we,” Alexander wrote on Parler last week — one of scores of social media posts welcoming violence that were reviewed by ProPublica in the weeks leading up to Wednesday’s attack on the capitol.
Thousands of people heeded that call.
The day before the riot the Pentagon approved deployment of National Guard to DC for Pro-Trump protests however they were not authorized to protect the Capitol, instead they were placed on traffic duty away from the rally.
The Pentagon on Monday reportedly approved the deployment of D.C. National Guard forces to the nation’s capital this week for pro-Trump protests centered around the certification of Joe Biden’s victory.
Acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller approved a request from D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser on Monday, CNN reported, citing an unnamed defense official. The Associated Press first reported earlier Monday on Bowser’s request for security help from Tuesday through Thursday.
The mayor’s office told CNN that roughly one hundred guardsmen will be deployed at any given time.
“No DCNG personnel shall be armed during this mission, and at no time, will DCNG personnel or assets be engaged in domestic surveillance, searches, or seizures of US persons,” Bowser wrote in her request letter, CNN reported.
And there’s more, much more.
The same day that the National Guard was approved for their traffic duty deployment the FBI sent out a dire internal warning about the Capitol attack, but they didn’t take any action, deploy any resources, contact the National Guard, the Capitol Police or the Metro Police. They sat on their hands.
A day before rioters stormed Congress, an FBI office in Virginia issued an explicit internal warning that extremists were preparing to travel to Washington to commit violence and ‘war,’ according to an internal document reviewed by The Washington Post that contradicts a senior official’s declaration the bureau had no intelligence indicating anyone at last week’s pro-Trump protest planned to do harm,” the newspaper reported.
“As of 5 January 2021, FBI Norfolk received information indicating calls for violence in response to ‘unlawful lockdowns’ to begin on 6 January 2021 in Washington. D.C.,” the document says. “An online thread discussed specific calls for violence to include stating ‘Be ready to fight. Congress needs to hear glass breaking, doors being kicked in, and blood from their BLM and Pantifa slave soldiers being spilled. Get violent. Stop calling this a march, or rally, or a protest. Go there ready for war. We get our President or we die. NOTHING else will achieve this goal.“
The FBI frankly, used to be known as “Trumplandia” so it’s not totally surprising that they took no action and didn’t spread the word. However, this was a deadly mistake.
Current and former FBI officials, none of whom were willing or cleared to speak on the record, have described a chaotic internal climate that resulted from outrage over director James Comey’s July decision not to recommend an indictment over Clinton’s maintenance of a private email server on which classified information transited.
“The FBI is Trumpland,” said one current agent.
This atmosphere raises major questions about how Comey and the bureau he is slated to run for the next seven years can work with Clinton should she win the White House.
The currently serving FBI agent said Clinton is “the antichrist personified to a large swath of FBI personnel,” and that “the reason why they’re leaking is they’re pro-Trump.”
As Jake Tapper susses out here with the head of the National Guard, even the requests to deploy the Guard as the attack took place were stalled for as long as two hours.
Technically, once approval was given it
took another 8 hours 90 mins for the guardsmen to be gathered, equipped briefed and redeployed. All of this should have happened the day before if they had received the warning from the FBI, but for some reason — this didn’t happen.
Besides the warning from the FBI that wasn’t shared there was also a warning within the Capital Police from three days before the Insurrection.
“Three days before thousands of rioters converged on the U.S. Capitol, an internal Capitol Police intelligence report warned of a violent scenario in which ‘Congress itself’ could be the target of angry supporters of President Trump on Jan. 6, laying out a stark alert that deepens questions about the security failures that day,” The Washington Post’s Carol Leonnig reported Friday evening.
“In a 12-page report on Jan. 3, the intelligence unit for the congressional police force described how thousands of enraged protesters, egged on by Trump and flanked by white supremacists and extreme militia groups, were likely to stream into Washington armed for battle,” Leonnig reported. “This time, the focus of their ire was members of Congress, the report said.
“Supporters of the current president see January 6, 2021, as the last opportunity to overturn the results of the presidential election,” the memo read. “This sense of desperation and disappointment may lead to more of an incentive to become violent. Unlike previous post-election protests, the targets of the pro-Trump supporters are not necessarily the counter-protesters as they were previously, but rather Congress itself is the target on the 6th.”
But somehow that warning went unheeded.
Consequently, the previous shift of Capitol Hill Police was sent home early before the attack: “We could have stopped them.”
A U.S. Capitol police officer says he and others expected to work an extra shift but were sent home early last Wednesday, barely hours before thousands descended on Congress, broke in, and hunted for the Vice President and Speaker of the House in an insurrection incited by President Donald Trump and his closest allies.
Business Insider reports the officer, who is remaining anonymous, “was working the night shift last week and found it ‘puzzling’ that he and his colleagues were sent home earlier than expected on Wednesday. He also said nobody asked him to come back after the attack happened.”
The officer “told Insider that he and others expected to pull an extra shift,” and “said everybody in the department knew in advance that the Trump march was going to take place, and thought it would be an all-hands-on-deck situation.” He even “packed a backpack full of coffee and protein bars, expecting to work into the afternoon after his regular shift ended at 7 a.m.”
Also, 50 DHS Agents were staged near the Capitol, but weren’t deployed in time.
“As a violent mob of Trump supporters outnumbered Capitol Police and stormed inside the Capitol on Wednesday, approximately 50 uniformed, armed DHS personnel stood inside a federal building just down the street waiting on a call to be deployed,” NBC News correspondent Julia Ainsley reported Tuesday, citing “two current Department of Homeland Security officials and one former DHS official.”
“But while the violence escalated, the call to deploy to the Capitol did not come in time to help,” Ainsley reported. “The roughly 50 DHS personnel, all from various parts of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, were waiting in a staging area inside the Ronald Reagan Building, just 13 blocks down Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol. The officers, in blue, and the agents, in green, had waited in the same place this summer, just before they were called in to respond to protests outside the White House in the wake of George Floyd’s death. In that instance, they were called to be deployed by then-Attorney General William Barr.”
DHS also failed to warn, well anyone, about the Jan 6th attack.
Across conversations with multiple former DHS officials and analysts, TPM found that a top-down aversion from the Trump administration towards addressing the threat of far-right extremism, inept management, and the dismantling of DHS bureaucracies aimed at coordinating, analyzing, and disseminating information about extremist groups contributed to the lack of warning.
“Nobody wanted to write a formal intelligence report about this, in part out of fear that such a report would be very poorly received by the MAGA folks within DHS,” one former DHS official who served in the Trump administration told TPM, on condition of anonymity to speak freely.
The acting head of the FBI’s Washington field office defended the bureau’s preparation on Tuesday, saying that agents in part were tasked with sifting through months of online threats with no indication of what was puffery and what was real. NBC reported on Wednesday that that field office had received an “F” grade in an internal FBI evaluation on its ability to fight domestic terrorism.
Multiple former officials described a climate of fear within DHS around reporting threats from the far right, specifically within the Department’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A).
I&A was created after 9/11 to process and share information and intelligence gathered by federal agencies at the state and local level.
Over the years, it became a lynchpin of national efforts to monitor domestic terrorist threats, analyze the information, and disseminate it to law enforcement around the country. That’s exactly the kind of information-sharing which would have resulted in a joint intelligence bulletin warning ahead of Jan. 6.
Elizabeth Neumann, a former DHS assistant secretary for threat prevention and security policy, pointed out that FBI and DHS produced a JIB before the deadly 2017 Charlottesville Unite the Right rally.
“Somebody was doing something back then, at least,” she said.
Neumann, who left DHS in April 2020 and endorsed Joe Biden in summer 2020, added that, in the years since 2017, DHS officials had steered I&A away from far-right extremism, leaving that issue to the FBI.
“That was a distinct shift from how DHS had operated in the past,” Neumann said.
This left the understaffed Capitol Police in the unenviable position of having to hold off thousands of violent rioters all by themselves. Further, there is footage of Capitol police officers taking selfies with the protesters inside the Capitol and making way for them as they entered, particularly with protesters who appeared to be off-duty cops from other cities who would flash their badges as they entered. As it turns out multiple off-duty cops participated in the Capitol Assault.
Not only did the officer’s friendliness with the seditionists highlight the stark contrast between the police’s response to far-right agitation that day versus peaceful Black Lives Matter protests during the summer, it also raised alarms that at least some of the police openly welcomed the deadly invasion.
[Rocky Mount PD] Sergeant Thomas Robertson and officer Jacob Fracker were arrested this week after the selfies they took at the Capitol went viral.
Two Capitol police officers have been suspended, one of whom posed for selfies with the attackers:
The other officer allegedly put on a “Make America Great Again” hat and gave some of the rioters directions inside the building, according to Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH), the chair of the House subcommittee investigating the riot.
At least 10 others are under investigation for their conduct during the riots, Ryan told reporters on Monday. Law enforcement has not reported specific details of the officers’ alleged offenses.
Those concerns have been heightened by revelations that several cops across the country allegedly participated in the violence or at least sympathized with the rage that inspired it by attending Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally.
So that brings us to Rep. Clyburn who says that someone inside the Capitol was “complicit” with letting the mob in. Yeah, ya think?
“I do believe that something was going on,” Clyburn told CBSN’s Lana Zak in an interview on Friday. “They knew where to go.”
Clyburn told the network that he had heard from others in Congress that their staff reported seeing members of the violent mob being let into the building “through side doors.”
“Somebody on the inside of those buildings were complicit in this,” the South Carolina lawmaker asserted.
Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ) claims GOP Reps led rioters on “recon” before the Insurrection.
Sherrill did not specify whether the “groups” were visibly staunch adherents of President Trump’s, nor did she detail what she described as “a reconnaissance,” a term that hearkens back to Sherrill’s prior military service and refers to an exploratory mission for the purpose of gaining enemy information.
Dems are now seeking to investigate MAGA tours by members of Congress which took place just before the Insurrection although the Capitol has been on lockdown during the pandemic.
“Many of the Members who signed this letter, including those of us who have served in the military and are trained to recognize suspicious activity, as well as various members of our staff, witnessed an extremely high number of outside groups in the complex on Tuesday, January 5. This is unusual for several reasons, including the fact that access to the Capitol Complex has been restricted since public tours ended in March of last year due to the pandemic.”
Rep. Sean Maloney (D-NY) has confirmed Rep.Sherrill’s claim to MSNBC that the GOP Rep who hosted the MAGA Tour, according to a colleague, was possibly Rep.Lauren Boebert (R-CO). Boebert has said the claim that she hosted a MAGA tour before the Insurrection is a “lie” and complained that she’s received death threats because of it. Borbert later apologized to Maloney because according to the transcript he never said her name, he only described a Rep who likes to carry a gun around the Capitol and had been arguing with Capitol Police about the new Metal Detectors. [So there are still several suspects.]
Anyone wanna take a bet that this was really Marjorie Taylor Green (R-GA)? So many wingnuts, so little time. [It has since turned out that Boebert did have a tour through the Capitol at night with some of her family.]
Morgan State University Prof. Jason Johnson has said that GOP Staffers may have aided in the Capitol Insurrection.
There’s also the fact the Rep. Ayanna Pressley’s office says that their panic buttons were missing on the day of the assault.
Rep. Ayanna Pressley’s (D-Mass.) chief of staff, Sarah Groh, said in a recent interview that panic buttons she had previously used in the congresswoman’s office had been taken out before the violent riot at the U.S. Capitol last week.
Groh revealed the information in a new interview with The Boston Globe published Wednesday, in which she recounted her experience the day of the riot.
Groh said that she, Pressley and her husband, Conan Harris, had arrived at Capitol Hill early that day after the House sergeant-at-arms urged lawmakers to do so to avoid large crowds as hundreds of the president’s supporters had flocked to D.C. to oppose the November election results.
How exactly does that happen unless it was done by someone who was already inside the Capitol?
Also, there’s footage of Insurrectionists inside the Capitol discussing building schematics and layout. So that’s awesome.
Just to be clear Pro-Trump activist Ali Alexander, who is an associate of Roger Stone who originally created the “Stop The Steel” movement in 2016, has said that Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Mo Brooks (R-AL) and Paul Gosar (R-AZ) helped him plan the Insurrection. Whoops.
Right-wing activist Ali Alexander said he and the GOP lawmakers — whom he identified as Reps. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Mo Brooks (R-AL) and Paul A. Gosar (R-AZ) — planned the protest as a means to put pressure on Congress to reject the certification of Joe Biden’s election win, reported the Washington Post.
“We four schemed up of putting maximum pressure on Congress while they were voting,” Alexander said in a video that has since been deleted. “[We hoped to] change the hearts and the minds of Republicans who were in that body, hearing our loud roar from outside.”
Alexander, who pleaded guilty more than a decade ago to property theft and credit card abuse, organized the “Stop the Steal” movement aimed at overturning Trump’s election loss, announced plans for the Jan. 6 protest last last month, and he suggested the president’s supporters try to disrupt the certification by storming the Capitol.
We have GOP reps providing tours and inside information just prior to the attack. Panic Buttons are disappearing. We have GOP House members openly colluding with a wing-nut activist. We have the FBI knowing about the pending attack but essentially standing down. The Pentagon deploying elsewhere. DHS deploying elsewhere. Capitol Police who were expecting to work a double shift being sent home that day, then members of the Capitol Police shepherding the fucking terrorists into the building.
Here just prior to the shooting of Qanoner Ashli Babbitt four officers standing in front of the entrance to the Speaker’s Lobby — move out of the way of the crowd instead of standing their ground. Then the rioters break through the windows and an officer on the other side fires and kills Babbitt as she tries to climb through the broken window.
The point I’m making is that this shooting wouldn’t have happened if the officers hadn’t moved and let the crowd break the glass. [Arguably, this may have been a deliberate tactical ploy.] Mere seconds after the shot is fired Tactical Officers from Metro PD arrive and start pushing back the crowd.
This is a cascade of failures that simply can’t be pure coincidence.
The rioters came to the Capitol with a gallows and a noose to murder Pence, Pelosi and any other lawmaker they could find. This riot was a modern day Lynch Mob which echoed the Massacre in Tulsa from 100 years ago and included White Supremacists from the FBI watchlist.
“Dozens of people on a terrorist watch list were in Washington for pro-Trump events Jan. 6, a day that ended in a chaotic crime rampage when a violent mob stormed the U.S. Capitol, according to people familiar with evidence gathered in the FBI’s investigation,” The Washington Post reported Thursday.
“The majority of the watchlisted individuals in Washington that day are suspected white supremacists whose past conduct so alarmed investigators that their names had been previously entered into the national Terrorist Screening Database, or TSDB, a massive set of names flagged as potential security risks, these people said. The watch list is larger and separate from the ‘no-fly’ list the government maintains to prevent terrorism suspects from boarding airplanes, and those listed are not automatically barred from any public or commercial spaces, current and former officials said,” the newspaper reported.
Several well-known Hate groups identified as participating in the riot including the Proud Boys, white nationalists who had participated in the 2017 Charlottesville rally, members of the Oath Keepers, members of the defunct White Nationalist California group Rise Above, a former Nazi Skinhead leader, members of the Boogaloo Boi group Last Sons of Liberty, and the leader of group DC Under Siege.
The Oath Keepers are a particular problem because their membership includes many law enforcement officers.
Meanwhile, Trump fiddled. Or ate popcorn or something. NYT’s Haberman reported that Trump was “pleased” watching the riots even though he knew someone could have been killed.
New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman on Tuesday shocked CNN host Alisyn Camerota when she revealed that President Donald Trump was “pleased” watching his supporters riot at the United States Capitol building.
While appearing on CNN, Haberman disputed reports that Trump was simply transfixed like a toddler by TV images of his supporters violently attacking the Capitol, and she said the truth was much uglier: Namely, the president was enjoying what he was seeing.
“He was pleased because it was people fighting on his behalf,” the New York Times reporter explained. “He was pleased because he liked the scene. He was pleased because it was delaying the certification of the electoral college vote.”
Haberman added that the president “knew what was happening” but “just didn’t want to do anything” to stop it.
He didn’t put out a statement of non-violence until A WEEK LATER. And even that was weak sauce. He offered no contrition, took no responsibility for the attack and still didn’t admit he honestly lost the race which is exactly what would put a lid on this problem.
It’s clear that this wasn’t a “spontaneous event.” People came with zip-ties, guns, sticks, pipe bombs, batons, and pepper spray. And lest anyone doubt that they did it because Trump asked, the “Qanon Shaman” has unraveled the GOP Impeachment defense after admitting he “came at the request of [Trump]”
“Your affiant and an FBI agent spoke on the phone with [Jacob] CHANSLEY, who confirmed that he was the male in the face paint and headdress in the Vice President’s chair in the Senate,” investigators said in an affidavit filed in court. “CHANSLEY stated that he came as a part of a group effort, with other ‘patriots’ from Arizona, at the request of the President that all ‘patriots’ come to D.C. on January 6, 2021.”
And frankly, Trump wasn’t alone as CNN unearthed videos of GOPers predicting Pro-Trump chaos and still supporting him anyway.
“There are people who warned over and over that electing Donald Trump would be bad for America,” Keilar explained. “There are even people who predicted this moment in American history that we now find ourselves in. These people are Republicans.”
The host then played clips of former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley (SC), Sen. Rand Paul (KY), Sen. Lindsey Graham (SC), White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, Sen. Mike Lee (UT), former Rep. Jason Chaffetz (UT), Sen. Ted Cruz (TX) and Sen. Marco Rubio (FL).
Also, freshman Qanon Congresswoman Lauren Boebert (R-CO) is facing scrutiny for having tweeted Nancy Pelosi’s position to rioters during the attack.
Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), a gun-toting supporter of the QAnon movement, is facing backlash after she was accused of live-tweeting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) location during the attack on Capitol Hill last week.
Boebert shared the tweet soon after President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol with deadly results.
“The Speaker has been removed from the chambers,” Boebert wrote.
GOP Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) tried to cover his tracks by quietly deleting his own tweet telling “Stop the Steal” supporters to “Keep Fighting.” However, the NYTimes further documents how GOPers egged the rioting crowd on until the attack.
“Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Lauren Boebert of Colorado, first-term lawmakers who ran as outspoken defenders of Mr. Trump, referred to the day as Republicans’ ‘1776 moment,'” continued the report. “Representative Paul Gosar of Arizona, who for weeks promoted the Jan. 6 protest and other ‘Stop the Steal’ events across the country more than a dozen times, repeatedly referred to Mr. Biden as an ‘illegitimate usurper’ and suggested that Mr. Trump was the victim of an attempted ‘coup.'”
Meanwhile, said the report, “For weeks before the rally, mimicking Mr. Trump’s tone, Republican operatives and lawmakers had used inflammatory language to describe the president’s effort to overturn Mr. Biden’s victory. At a Turning Point USA event in December, Representative Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina encouraged attendees to ‘call your congressman and feel free — you can lightly threaten them.'”
These people are never going to be able to admit that Trump honestly lost this election.
That was what was documented as of January 14th.
Now since then, we’ve learned this:
Many people have attacked Nancy Pelosi for supposedly telling the National Guard to “stand down” but that simply didn’t happen. Instead, she spent her time during the attack contacting the Capitol Police Chief, Mayor Bowser, the Governors of Maryland and Virginia, the Secretary of the Army, the Acting Secretary of Defense and the Acting Attorney General trying to more State Police and National Guard deployed.
However, on the other hand, FBI has admitted they were warned that some of their agents were sympathetic to the rioters.
A top FBI official was warned that a large number of bureau employees were sympathetic to Capitol rioters who threatened the lives of law makers.
NBC News reported that Paul Abbate, number two at the FBI, was warned about agents within the bureau showing sympathy to 6 January participants.
The email, sent from an unnamed person, read:
There’s no good way to say it, so I’ll just be direct: from my first-hand and second-hand information from conversations since January 6th there is, at best, a sizable percentage of the employee population that felt sympathetic to the group that stormed the Capitol… Several also lamented that the only reason this violent activity is getting more attention is because of ‘political correctness.
The email also added that several agents felt that the Capitol riots were no different than racial justice protests that happened in summer 2020.
That has been confirmed more recently as some FBI Agents are reluctant to prosecute rioters.
MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace started her show Monday with an exclusive bit of information that FBI field offices are staffed with agents miffed over the prosecutions of the Jan. 6 attackers, feeling that what they did was nothing more than misdemeanors. It was reported last week by NBC News that one former FBI official sent a letter to Paul Abbate, who is now the No. 2 official at the bureau.According to the former official speaking to Wallace, the agents in field offices don’t think prosecuting the Jan. 6 defendants is all that important, but they’re doing it anyway.
“Resistance that does not amount to outright refusal, but rather complaining about the focus on Jan. 6th when many of the cases being prosecuted are misdemeanors,” she said of the official. “This official tells us they keep repeating talking points and that the violence from the Black Lives Matter protests is not being taken as seriously as the Jan. 6 attack.”
We now know that the FBI did have informants embedded within the Proud Boys.
The FBI may have had up to eight informants inside the far-right Proud Boys organization around the time of the Capitol riot, court papers suggest along with a New York Times report.
Defense lawyers for five members of the Proud Boys who face seditious conspiracy charges related to the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021, filed a motion last week to dismiss their indictment or delay the trial.
In court documents, the lawyers argued that hundreds of pages of records that were withheld by the government until recently pose information that may be “exculpatory” for their clients.
The New York Times reported that the filings suggest that the FBI may have had up to eight informants inside the organization and that the defense lawyers are arguing that some of the information those sources provided to the government could be helpful to fight their clients’ sedition charges.
Some of this may have been why the FBI was slow and reluctant to pass on threats to Capitol Police — not wanting to burn their informants as sources — but it’s difficult to know for sure. It’s still a good question just how much those informants knew about the Proud Boys’ planning, and why none of that information reached the people who needed to know.
The Right would consider this to be a “smoking gun” to limit the liability of those Proud Boys who attacked the Capitol. But unless those informants were the authors of the Proud Boys’ planning document “1776 Returns” — I don’t think so.
WASHINGTON — A document, titled “1776 Returns,” which federal prosecutors said was used by the leader of the Proud Boys, lays out a plan to occupy Capitol buildings on Jan. 6, 2021, using covert operators to let “patriots” inside government offices in an apparent effort to force a new election.
Enrique Tarrio, the former leader of the Proud Boys, and four other members were indicted on seditious conspiracy charges this month. Tarrio has twice been ordered detained until trial.
The nine-page document, filed in federal court Wednesday, lays out a plan to fill buildings “with patriots and communicate our demands.” Its stated goals include maintaining control “over a select few, but crucial buildings in the DC area for a set period of time” and getting as “many people as possible inside these buildings.”
“These are OUR building, they are just renting space,” the document reads. “We must show our politicians We the People are in charge.”
Another issue from the right that has come up is the issue of Oath Keeper Ray Epps who was caught on film on Jan 5th, saying they needed to “Go into that building.” Suspicions have been since he was briefly on an FBI wanted poster then removed, that he himself was an FBI informant and “agent provocateur” as if the entire riot wouldn’t have happened if not for this one guy.
The problem with that is that he has already testified to the J6 Committee and stated that he has no connection to the FBI.
.Epps, who has become the centerpiece of an unsupported GOP claim that the FBI incited the mob that ransacked the Capitol last year, met with the Jan. 6 select committee in November and told them he had no relationship to the FBI or any other federal law enforcement agency. But the meeting was just a precursor to a more-formal transcribed interview this week, said Epps’ lawyer John Blischak.
Blischak said he expected more details of Epps’ involvement to become public soon thereafter.
Epps has kept a low profile since former President Donald Trump’s allies began promoting a theory that Epps was a federal agent and helped foment the attack. Their claims stem from videos taken on Jan. 5 showing Epps urging Trump allies to “go into the Capitol” — an exhortation that some in the crowd quickly booed and responded to with chants accusing Epps of being a “fed.” Epps quickly added that it should be done “peacefully.”
Epps was also seen in footage just before 1 p.m. on Jan. 6 at the front of a line of Trump supporters who were among the first to breach the Capitol barricades. He whispered something into the ear of Ryan Samsel, who has been charged as one of the first defendants to breach secured Capitol grounds. Moments later, Samsel and others charged through a barricade, injuring a Capitol Police officer on the other side.
As was correctly reported here, the first person to approach the barricades before the attack was Ryan Samsel, but as revealed in this detailed video report on the actions of the Proud Boys before and during the attack, Ryan Samsel also spoke with Proud Boys Leader Joe BIggs just before he approached the cops. He’s since told the FBI that Biggs encouraged him to attack the police, but Biggs denies this. Epps has said he told Samsel not to go in. And yet he did it anyway.
As the footage shows, he didn’t take them on alone, he had dozens of Proud Boys and other protestors right there with him.
On this video, Joe Biggs states that the Proud Boys were going to the rally “In Cognito.”
“You’re not going to know who the f-ck you’re standing next to.”
This may have indeed been the “Phantom Antifa” we constantly here were involved in the attack, and yet, no one can identify anyone from Antifa and no one from Antifa has been arrested. Those people who were arrested say they aren’t Antifa.
There was no evidence for these claims then, and there still isn’t any now. Shortly after the riot, the FBI directly refuted the conspiracy theory, saying there is “no indication” that antifa — a decentralized collection of far-left groups and individuals — was involved. To date, no one who has since been charged in the attack appears to have any connection to the anti-fascist movement either.
Still, the idea has stuck. On Feb. 12, one of former President Donald Trump’s attorneys echoed it at Trump’s second impeachment trial. On Feb. 23, during the first hearing regarding the breach at the Capitol, Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., blamed the attack on “fake Trump protesters” and “agents provocateurs” presumed to be antifa or “leftist agitators.” And in a Suffolk University/USA Today poll released last week, 58% of Trump voters said they viewed the events of Jan. 6 as “mostly an antifa-inspired attack that only involved a few Trump supporters.”
But an NPR analysis of more than 280 people charged in the Capitol insurrection reveals a far different picture of the attack than the one painted by this baseless conspiracy theory — and it comes from the perspective of the rioters themselves.
Not only did the Proud Boys in disguise document their intention to enter and attack the building before the riot — you can hear them in the video repeatedly saying:
“Lets put an end to this city. This is our f-ing city.”
“Let’s take the F-ing Capitol.”
“Whose House is it? Our House. Take it.”
“Do you want your house back? Take it.”
“Pushing Inside” “We’re Trying!”
“We’re at a stands still… fighting cops.”
“Stopped by 25 officers, don’t back down patriots. The whole fucking world is watching.”
Biggs and the Proud Boys are shown riling up the crowd, getting them excited, and inciting them to push forward and attack the police. Then strategically reassessing for the next vulnerable point of attack.
So the argument that the attack only happened because of something Ray Epps said, is flatly ridiculous. He didn’t say anything that dozens of other people also said loudly, and again, some of it in writing. Much of it in text messages. He wasn’t an FBI plant, he didn’t start the riot. And even if he was, that doesn’t take the blame away from anyone else for what happened. Certainly not the Proud Boys.
On the other hand, there were at least two points where the rioters breached the building where Capitol Police “waved them in.”
And there has been a case where one rioters had his charges dropped because he argued “police let him into the Capitol.”
WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge on Wednesday acquitted a New Mexico man of misdemeanor charges that he illegally entered the U.S. Capitol and engaged in disorderly conduct after he walked into the building during last year’s riot.
U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden issued the verdict from the bench after hearing testimony without a jury in the case against Matthew Martin. McFadden, who was nominated by former President Donald Trump, acquitted Martin of all four counts for which he was charged.
McFadden said it was reasonable for Martin to believe that outnumbered police officers allowed him and others to enter the Capitol through the Rotunda doors on Jan. 6, 2021. The judge also said Martin’s actions were “about as minimal and non-serious” as anyone who was at the Capitol that day.
The Righties would like to use this fact as an argument that rioters were all “invited” in by a few police. This ignores that the entire area was fenced off and there were signs on the fence that said “AREA CLOSED” every few feet. (Again, this is visible in the detailed videos) Rioters tore those fences down and stomped over them. This also ignores the fact that hundreds of police fought to keep the crowd out for hours. If they were “invited in” how exactly did all those police get hurt?
Some police were complicit, most were not.
Interestingly this video shows the initial push on the first barricade which caused Officer Edwards — who was one of the first people to testify to the J6 Committee — to fall and hit her head knocking her unconscious, but it’s clear that one of the rioters — apparently Ryan Samsel — runs to her aid, and helps get her back into the hands of her colleagues.
Similarly, there was a protestor who ultimately protected Officer Fanone and helped him get back to the police lines. So people crossed the lines on both sides.
Beyond all that, we now know that the Secret Service received a threat a week prior to the attack and communicated some threats to the Capitol Police, but they didn’t pass on a direct threat to Speaker Nancy Pelosi until after the Insurrection.
The Secret Service knew of a threat to Nancy Pelosi on January 6th days before the insurrection, but did not pass it along until hours after the Capitol had been breached, according to Secret Service emails obtained by CREW.
On January 4, Secret Service agents discovered a Parler account, which we’ve chosen not to name, posting a series of violent threats towards lawmakers. Other profiles with the same name appeared on Twitter, MeWe, Bitchute, Youtube and Facebook.
On December 31, the account posted, “January 6 starts #1776 all over again…Fight for EVERYTHING” and listed “Enemies,” including Pelosi. At 5:55 pm on January 6, after hours of defending the United States Capitol from a violent mob, the United States Capitol Police received the post along with a message from the Secret Service:
“Good afternoon, The US Secret Service is passing notification to the US Capitol Police regarding discovery of a social media threat directed toward Speaker Nancy Pelosi.”
The language used by the account, as we’ve now seen repeated in recordings released by the January 6th Committee, is a clear call for a violent overthrow of the American government on January 6, 2021.
We now know that Secret Service deleted their text messages during the attack, so it’s more difficult to see exactly how much more they actually knew and what more they may not have communicated.
In mid-July, Joseph Cuffari, the inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security, under which the Secret Service operates, sent a letter to Congress informing them that text messages sent by agents on and before January 6 had been erased. A spokesperson for the Secret Service claimed that this was part of a long-planned “system migration,” but the erasures have now spurred a criminal investigation after investigators could find only a single relevant text message from two dozen agents subject to a congressional subpoena.
It has since been reported that the messages during this period were erased for the two top officials at the Department of Homeland Security at the time as well. Text messages for Chad Wolf, the acting homeland security secretary, and Ken Cuccinelli, the acting deputy secretary, “are missing for a key period leading up to the January 6 attack,” according to the Washington Post.
Further concerns were raised after it was revealed that Cuffari had known about the erased messages for over a year but had not said anything.
And now we have Secret Service agents who seem to have highly faulty memories testifying to the Committee.
Anthony Ornato, a former Secret Service official and White House deputy chief of staff in the Trump administration, told the House Select Committee investigating the January 6th Capitol riots that he could not recall a conversation he’d had with White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson.
Sources tell CBS News that Ornato testified under oath this week and “told lawmakers and committee staff that he did not recall the conversation with Hutchinson” where she alleged that he told her former President Donald Trump had lunged at a Secret Service official after being told that he would not be traveling to the United States Capitol on January 6th, 2021.
Ornato’s testimony before the committee this week came months after he suggested that he would testify under oath that Hutchinson’s claims about their conversation were false.
However, many members of the House Select Committee were skeptical that Ornato was being forthcoming with them and they suggested that they believed Hutchinson’s account.
Prior to the attack the rally organizers had gained a permit for the Ellipse area, but they hadn’t obtained a permit for the march to the Capitol. Reportedly this was because they didn’t want to pay for proper security — but what this really meant was the Capitol Policen’t were really aware of that this march would follow the rally.
Del. Stacey Plaskett, D-Virgin Islands, claimed Wednesday that the “Save America” rally did not have a permit to march to the Capitol on Jan. 6 until President Trump stepped in.
Plaskett posted a photo of the permit, requested by organizing ‘Women for America First,” stating that the group was authorized to occupy the Ellipse from Jan. 2 until Jan. 8. The Ellipse is a park south of the White House. “This permit does not authorize a march from the Ellipse,” the permit posted by Plaskett read.
The group initially applied for a demonstration at the Lincoln Memorial and Freedom Plaza for Jan. 23 billed as a “First Amendment rally,” application documents provided to Fox News from the National Park Service (NPS) show.
They eventually withdrew that application and applied for another one on Jan. 6 at the Ellipse.
“The permit stated in no uncertain terms that the march from the ellipse was not permitted,” Plaskett said. “It was not until after President Trump and his team became involved in the planning that the march from the Ellipse to the Capitol came about.”
But while a “march” was not allowed, the permit for the Jan. 6 rally also mentioned that some participants would head to the Capitol.
According to the rally permit, provided by the National Park Service to Fox News:
“Women for America First will not conduct an organized march from the Ellipse at the conclusion of the rally. Some participants may leave to attend rallies at the United States Capitol to hear the results of Congressional certification of the Electoral College count.”
There does not appear to be any subsequent permit granted for a march at the request of Trump.
The Capitol didn’t know the Trumpers were coming.
Secret Service knew about this march as testimony to the J6 Committee has shown. They also knew that some people in the crowd were armed, and that they didn’t even try to get through the magnetometers, because they wouldn’t be allowed closer to the Ellipse stage. This angered Trump and he reportedly demanded
“Take the mags away, They aren’t here to hurt me.”
That begs the question: Who were they here to hurt? And why did he want the armed people to march to the Capitol so badly?
Secret Service didn’t warn the Capitol that there was a march to the Capitol planned, even while they were in the midst of trying to work out how, and if, they were going to get Trump to the Capitol. They also didn’t tell Capitol police that the crowd was armed. So, again, we have to wonder about their motivations and actions here. Certainly, their primary goal is to take care of their protectees, but to the extent of screwing over other people and the members of Congress at the Capitol?
Even Officer Michael Officer Fanon has talked about how other White Officers have been stand-offish with him since he’s been so vocal about his experience in the riot, while Black Officers remain supportive. Shocker. But then again, that is basically the problem isn’t it?
I think we have to look at this as part of a continuum. Someone inside the Capitol removed the panic buttons. Someone knew exactly where Nancy Pelosi’s office was, and someone — like a former DC National Guardsman with responsibility to protect the Capitol who was now a Qanon nutball — knew exactly how to get to the House Floor. Trump certainly did have supporters in law enforcement. Again, some of the rioters were carrying police badges.
There, fortunately, have been some positive events on this front. A former Capitol Police Officer has been prosecuted for trying to help a rioter avoid prosecution.
A federal jury Friday returned a guilty verdict on one count of obstruction of justice against a former Capitol Police officer charged with aiding a rioter who participated in the Jan.6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Michael Riley, a 26-year veteran of the Capitol Police, was charged last year after he allegedly encouraged a participant in the attack to delete social media posts that showed the person joining the pro-Trump mob storming the Capitol.
Investigators said Riley reached out to the rioter, Jacob Hiles, over Facebook on Jan. 7, and encouraged him to delete posts that showed him inside the Capitol the day before.
A retired NYPD Officer was convicted of assaulting a Capitol Police Officer during the attack.
WASHINGTON – A retired New York police officer was convicted Monday in a federal trial of assaulting a police officer in the Capitol attack Jan. 6, 2021.
Thomas Webster, 56, of Goshen, New York, is a Marine veteran and retired 20-year New York Police Department officer who served in then-Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s security detail. Webster was the second former police officer to face trial in the attack.
Webster was charged with assaulting D.C. Police Officer Noah Rathbun. Webster was recorded pushing a bicycle rack into police officers while skirmishing outside the Capitol, then swinging a Marine Corps flag pole he was carrying at Rathbun and tackling the officer to the ground, according to court records.
A jury convicted Webster of all six charges against him, including assaulting a police officer and engaging in violence on restricted grounds with a dangerous weapon. U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta scheduled sentencing for Sept. 2.
There are those in the FBI, Secret Service and even the Capitol Police who were also upset about his defeat in the election. They’re still upset. Deep down these people are Trumpers. And Traitors. Traitors with badges.
Although hundreds of officers did their duty and stood their ground along with Officer Edwards, Officer Fanone, Officer Dunn, Officer Goodman, Officer Sicknick and Sargent Gonnel — over 150 of them were injured many of those being permanent injuries — some of them didn’t. Some of them failed. Some of them let it happen.
The Oath Keepers have been successfully prosecuted and convicted. Treason and Insurrection are now proven in court. All the narratives, that the attack was “spontaneous”, that it was caused by Nancy Pelosi and hidden FBI/Antifa informants and not real Trump supporters, that the mostly “peaceful joyous” protestors just got “caught up” in the moment, that nobody except Ashli Babbit was really hurt — no, nine people died including four protestors— that there really wasn’t a fairly intricate PLAN — actually four plans, the Oath Keepers assault plan, coordinated with “1776 Returns” by the Proud Boys, the “Green Bay Sweep” with Peter Navarro, Steve Bannon and Roger Stone and the Fake Electors plot by John Eastman with over 100 members of Congress — behind what was happening and that it had nothing to do with Donald Trump have now been completely debunked. It had everything to do with Donald Trump, none of it would have happened without him and his mountain of lies.
All that shit has been crushed to powder. None of it holds any water at all. This was not a boating accident. Trump picked the time and date for the rally with his December 19th tweet. [The tweet that happened immediately after the hours-long meeting/argument over his election fraud claims he arranged between Guiliani, Michael Flynn, Sydney Powell and his own White House Counsel, Pat Cippilone] It was after this meeting that he likely realized that his plan to use legal means to stay in power were likely to fail, so other means needed to be used. He also was directly involved in staging the march to the Capitol, even though they didn’t get a permit for that march. He created that crowd and fired them at the Capitol like a cruise missile.
All these plots work together. The Proud Boys drive the crowd to attack. Once the building is breached the Oath Keepers were like special forces intended to get in behind the Proud Boys then — with Trump’s blessing under the Insurrection Act and Martial Law — kidnap, arrest and potentially kill targeted members of Congress if needed. This would disrupt the proceedings and prevent Biden from being certified, it might also either kill Mike Pence, scare Pence enough to join on with John Eastman’s Electors plan or else cause him to leave the building in fear and let Senate Pro Tem Chuck Grassley take over. Without Pence, the Green Bay Sweep can then be implemented, the original electors from the swing states are disregarded, the fake electors are implemented and Trump Stays in the White House. It’s not simple, it’s not sane, but without the physical assault of the building Pence remains in place, and without arresting or eliminating key members of Congress the “Green Bay Sweep” doesn’t have enough votes. Without the attack, all Trump’s hopes to change the result crumble. We’re all just lucky that Pence refused to leave and the members of Congress escaped.
Further trials for other Oath Keepers and Proud Boys are pending. But what of Navarro, Bannon and Stone? What of John Eastman, Trump, the Republican Operatives and the members of Congress who tried to implement the False Electors Plan? What of the Boogaloo Bois? What of the Rise Above and DC Under Siege? What of Patriot Front? What about the other Officers inside the Capitol, FBI, Homeland Security and the Secret Service who were complicit?
These people are not just a random collection of individuals, they acted in concert, in coordination, in collusion. They were explicitly told what was coming but chose to ignore it and/or refused to believe it, then did nothing about it. Some of them cheered it on.
These people were all participants in the attack, including Police, including FBI, including Secret Service. They were slow-footed. They didn’t honor their oaths. They gave in to the mob. They all aided, abetted and implemented an assault on Democracy. They can’t be allowed to skate free without consequences or else this could happen again.
On top of that, we still don’t really have a valid explanation why — after being initially contacted by the Mayor and Chief of Capitol Police at 1:30 pm, then Pelosi, Schumer and Pence later — the Acting Secretary of Defense didn’t finally decide to deploy the National Guard until 3:00 pm, and they still had to wait another 90 minutes to develop a “Plan” for how they’d be used. Consequently, they weren’t released to go to the Capitol until 4:30 and didn’t get there until after 5:00 pm. It was all over except for the shouting by 5 pm. A lot more people could have died by 5 pm.
How did that happen? What the fuck was he thinking?
Nearly all of this explains why their actions were so pathetic in preparing for the Trump mob compared to their paramilitary response to a Black Lives Matter protest that was totally non-violent. They weren’t afraid of a crowd of white people. They gave them the benefit of the doubt — even while the attack was happening — even as they smashed their way into the Capitol. Some welcomed them in. They didn’t use guns to defend themselves, except for once. They couldn’t get the military to bother to show up. They just didn’t take this shit seriously. Everyone knows that if this had been a BLM or Antifa crowd — it would have happened very differently. I did happen differently when that was the case.
Despite all their denials, again, this was a White Power Lynch Mob. They even brought a make shift gallows just to eliminate all reasonable doubt of their intentions. This is how White Power works, it operates in the cracks. It works right under your nose. It works In the cumulative small actions that people choose not to take to stop it which slowly culminate in a horrific tragedy.
There needs to be a bigger spotlight on all this, much bigger. Hopefully, we’ll get some of that with the new Special Counsel, but I’m not expecting it.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.