Lofgren: Capitol Police official being investigated for directions to pursue only ‘anti-Trump’ protesters Jan. 6

An investigation found an official’s radio transmission to “all outside units’ attention” that they should not be “looking for any pro-Trump in the crowd,” according to Lofgren. A Capitol Police official denies her account.

An American flag flies beyond barbed wire near Union Station on January 19.

Many Democratic lawmakers expressed alarm after the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob that some of the Capitol Police officers appeared to either wave the crowd through or pose for selfies with them. | Nathan Howard/Getty Images

By KYLE CHENEY

A Capitol Police official radioed units outside of the building on the morning of Jan. 6 and told them only to scout for anti-Trump troublemakers — not pro-Trump protesters, according to Rep. Zoe Lofgren, who described what she said were details of an internal investigation conducted in the aftermath of the mob attack.

Lofgren (D-Calif.) revealed the finding while she questioned Capitol Police Inspector General Michael Bolton, who appeared before the House Administration Committee Wednesday to testify about security failures that precipitated the Jan. 6 attack. Lofgren, who chairs the panel, described the findings as she asked him whether he had read the internal investigation reports.

Lofgren said the department’s Office of Professional Responsibility was reviewing information that a radio transmission to “all outside units’ attention” that they should not be “looking for any pro-Trump in the crowd,” according to Lofgren. She added they were “only looking for any anti-Trump.”

Bolton said he had yet to review the reports of internal investigations into the conduct of about three dozen officers on Jan. 6, many of which are ongoing in the department’s Office of Professional Responsibility, or OPR.

A committee aide declined to disclose additional details from the investigation but emphasized that Lofgren’s panel “is recently in receipt of new documents and emails related to the Jan. 6 insurrection, including materials which brought to light these issues the Chair asked the (inspector general) about today. The committee is continuing to review those documents and emails and intends to review the relevant recorded audio when it is available.”

A Capitol Police official told POLITICO that the radio communication Lofgren described involved “a Capitol Police command official who told officers simply to be on the lookout for counterprotesters because that is often where we have clashes between both sides.”

“This is not, and was never, under investigation by OPR,” the official said, adding that the radio message was delivered at 8 a.m. “well before there were any issues with anybody in the Capitol.”

Although the details are still disputed, Lofgren’s comments are the first insight into specific concerns about the conduct of Capitol Police on the day of the insurrection. Neither Lofgren nor the department identified the official. The Capitol Police have acknowledged ongoing investigations — including the fact that six officers were suspended for their particular actions — but have provided no updates since they began months ago.

Many Democratic lawmakers expressed alarm after the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob that some of the Capitol Police officers appeared to either wave the crowd through or pose for selfies with them. The reality has been more complex. About 138 Capitol Police and DC police officers were assaulted on Jan. 6, some receiving severe injuries. One died hours later of apparent strokes and two took their own lives in the days and weeks after the attack.

Footage from the riot shows at times savage hand-to-hand combat in which outnumbered police were attacked and beaten, pepper sprayed and bludgeoned with poles, batons and even a hockey stick and a skateboard. Inside the building, rioters often confronted police, and in other cases police were reduced to bystanders as the crowd patrolled Capitol hallways. Outside the House and Senate chambers, however, it was a different story, as police beat back fierce crowds attempting to breach the rooms where lawmakers were being evacuated.

[Source]

Capitol Police IG Says There’s No Oversight Over the Force’s Board (+2 more)

WASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 13: Fencing topped with barbed wire surrounds the Capitol Building (Photo by Jonathan Newton /The Washington Post via Getty Images)

By Kate Riga

While disparate congressional committees have chipped away at what exactly allowed a pro-Trump mob to muscle into the Capitol building on January 6, one thing has become clear: the opacity cloaking the inner workings of the Capitol police.

Much of that scrutiny has become focused on the Capitol Police Board, the overseeing body of the force comprised of the architect of the Capitol, House and Senate sergeants at arms and the chief of police in a non-voting role.

The board has authority over almost all of the security decisions made at the Capitol, but received little attention until the January 6 disaster. Calls for its reform have become a bipartisan unifier as lawmakers look to improve Capitol security. 

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Many GOPers Plan To Skip Biden’s First Speech To Congress If Invited

WILMINGTON, DE - JULY 28:  Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee former Vice President Joe Biden delivers a speech at the William “Hicks” Anderson Community Center, on July 28, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. Biden addressed the fourth component of his “Build Back Better” economic recovery plan for working families, how his plan will address systemic racism and advance racial economic equity in the United States.  (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden delivers a speech at the William Hicks Anderson Community Center on July 28, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)

By Cristina Cabrera

A lot of Republicans reportedly won’t attend President Joe Biden’s first address to Congress next week if invited.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office has not yet decided how many tickets for the event will be allotted to Democratic and GOP lawmakers in both chambers, but Republican leaders told Punchbowl that there’s little desire among rank-and-file members of their caucuses to go regardless.

“I don’t think I’ll probably attend,” Senate Republican Conference Vice Chair Joni Earnst (R-IA) said, according to Punchbowl.

It’s unclear why so many GOP lawmakers wouldn’t show up if they get invited, though some of them cited logistics as a reason for their absence.

However, a handful of Republicans said they do want to attend Biden’s speech, including Trump loyalists like Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH).

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Watchdog Finds Trump Admin Created Obstacles That Delayed Relief Aid To Puerto Rico

President Donald Trump tosses paper towels into a crowd as he hands out supplies at Calvary Chapel, Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump tosses paper towels into a crowd as he hands out supplies at Calvary Chapel, Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. Trump is in Puerto Rico to survey hurricane damage. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

By Zoë Richards

The Trump administration lined up unprecedented bureaucratic obstacles that delayed approximately $20 billion in hurricane relief for Puerto Rico, according to an inspector general report that could be released publicly as soon as Thursday.

In a 46-page document first reported by the Washington Post early Thursday, the inspector general said it found procedural hurdles created by the White House budget office that stalled recovery aid even as watchdogs were met with efforts by Trump administration officials to obstruct their investigation into the delay by the request of Congress in 2019.

Hurricanes Irma and Maria had left Puerto Rico residents without power and clean water for months after ravaging the U.S. territory in 2017.

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Proud Boys Leaders Ordered Jailed Ahead of Trial for #MAGA Riots (+2 more)

Brad Reed

Proud Boys leaders ordered jailed ahead of trial for MAGA riots: report

Proud Boys in Washington, D.C. (Johnny Silvercloud / Shutterstock.com)

Two leaders of the far-right Proud Boys gang are now being detained ahead of their trial for their roles in the January 6th riots at the United States Capitol building.

As reported by BuzzFeed News’ Zoe Tillman, Proud Boys leaders Ethan Nordean and Joseph Biggs were ordered to go back to jail pending their trials by United States District Judge Timothy Kelly of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

In his ruling, Kelly emphasized the seriousness of the charges facing Nordean and Biggs, whom he said “stand charged with seeking to steal one of the crown jewels of our country, in a sense, by interfering with the peaceful transfer of power.”

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‘Everyone in the Capitol is Nervous’: Florida Republicans Fear They’ll Be Swept Up in Matt Gaetz Investigation, Lawmaker Says

Matthew Chapman

Rep. Matt Gaetz

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) (Photo: Gage Skidmore)​

On Sunday evening, Jordan Zarakin of Progressives Everywhere on Substack released an interview with Florida state Rep. Carlos Smith, the first gay Latino member of the Florida legislature, in which they discussed the growing sex trafficking scandal surrounding Rep. Matt Gaetz.

During the segment, Smith noted that the Florida Republican Party, behind the scenes, is terrified that the investigation could sweep up more of their members.

“The web of corruption that Matt Gaetz, Joel Greenberg, and [Ron] DeSantis are all wrapped up in is really a web that appears to tie up the entire Republican Party of Florida,” said Smith. “It seems like everyone in the Capitol is nervous about what the next revelation is going to be and who else is implicated in this sweeping saga of corruption that they’ve been a part of for so long.”

[Read On]


Trump and the GOP suffer another humiliating Supreme Court defeat

Tom Boggioni

Trump and the GOP suffer another humiliating Supreme Court defeat

US president Donald Trump. Photograph: Mandel Ngan/AFP

According to CNN, the Supreme Court has once again declined to take up a lawsuit asserting the 2020 presidential election was tainted by voter fraud.

On Monday, the high court declined to take up a case filed by Republicans that the voting in Pennsylvania was tainted by changes to voting rules.

Noting that the latest dismissal by the court is signal that the justices want no part in Donald Trump’s assertion that he was robbed of his second term, CNN reports, “Before Monday, the justices had already declined several requests to dive into one of the most litigious elections in history, denying petitions from then-President Donald Trump and other Republicans seeking to overturn election result in multiple states President Joe Biden won.”

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Is It Possible to Smother a Political Idea to Death? (+1 more)

By Shane Ryan  |  April 13, 2021

Photo courtesy of Getty

Is It Possible to Smother a Political Idea to Death?

Let’s start by considering the following opinion, as expressed by some hypothetical U.S. citizen:

As a country, America should be most concerned with protecting itself. We live in a dangerous world, even a deteriorating world, and as it becomes worse, we need to ensure that we value our own safety above all else. Opening our nation to uncontrolled immigration is a recipe for disaster, and while terrible things might be happening to those people outside our borders—and I truly feel bad for them—trying to fix it ourselves will result in a dangerous flood that ends up ruining our country too. It may be true that America achieved its current status in ways that are unfair, but that’s the reality we live in and we can’t change the past. What’s most important now is to ensure that we keep the good life we have for our people, no matter what happens anywhere else. We can’t help them, but we can help ourselves.

For many of us, that idea would be abhorrent, even though the theoretical speaker is taking pains to sound reasonable. We might think there’s an implied racism in the words, even though the speaker doesn’t mention race and, if pressed, would insist he’s not racist and that he supports controlled, i.e. “good,” immigration. We would make other assumptions, too; this person is a Trump supporter, a Republican, and his or her stated values of “protecting Americans” probably fall short when it comes to the poor, minorities, etc., and the display of empathy (“I truly feel bad for them”) is likely bullshit.

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American Insurrection Attempts to Shine a Light on Hate Groups Operating In Broad Daylight

By Jacob Oller  |  April 13, 2021  

Another day in America, another racist killing. A Black man, Daunte Wright, shot dead for a dangling air freshener. Another documentary laying bare the vicious and institutionalized hate in our country, another example of journalists, filmmakers and social media activists seeking justice by telling the same story. A collaboration between PBS’s Frontline, ProPublica and UC Berkeley’s Investigative Reporting Program, writer/director Rick Rowley’s documentary American Insurrection follows journalist A.C. Thompson as he loosely tracks the increasingly violent, open and fearless alt-right over the course of Donald Trump’s presidency, from Charlottesville’s Unite the Right rally to the insurrection at the capitol. With interviews that’ll make your skin crawl, American Insurrection can still feel as powerless and lost as the rest of us who watched a mob attack Congress on January 6.

The doc retreads some ground from Rowley and Thompson’s Documenting Hate: Charlottesville, further exploring the ingrained connection between the alt-right and the military while expanding its thesis to include the latest and greatest from America’s neverending supply of creative hate. It’s our cottage industry, after all.

Covering both large-scale group events (Charlottesville, the Portland right-wing rallies, the Richmond gun rights protest) and more specific criminal acts (those of Steven Carrillo, the planned kidnapping of Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer), we watch Thompson and other investigative reporters put boots on the ground—but their reporting can only be so confrontational considering how violent these people are. Thompson already wears a bulletproof vest. And that’s mostly ok, seeing as the point of the doc is more about shedding light on the movement’s facets than exposing individuals.

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Lock Him Up: Leaked Pentagon Document Supports Case for Trump Treason Charges

BY JASON EASLEY

A leaked document from the Pentagon shows that Mike Pence ordered the military to clear the Capitol on January 6, but Trump didn’t.

The AP reported on the timeline in an internal Pentagon document that they obtained:

The timeline adds another layer of understanding about the state of fear and panic while the insurrection played out and lays bare the inaction by then-President Donald Trump and how that void contributed to a slowed response by the military and law enforcement. It shows that the intelligence missteps, tactical errors, and bureaucratic delays were eclipsed by the government’s failure to comprehend the scale and intensity of a violent uprising by its own citizens.

With Trump not engaged, it fell to Pentagon officials, a handful of senior White House aides, the leaders of Congress, and the vice president holed up in a secure bunker to manage the chaos.

Mike Pence called the Pentagon and demanded that the Capitol be cleared, and the military didn’t do it. Logic suggests that there is only one person above Pence who could have overruled his order.

The difference between sedition and treason is, “While seditious conspiracy is generally defined as conduct or language inciting rebellion against the authority of a state, treason is the more serious offense of actively levying war against the United States or giving aid to its enemies.”

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So Far Biden Is Taking Right-Wing Extremism Seriously. But Actually Fixing the Problem Will Be a Lot Harder.

Experts say he’s taken the right initial steps to begin identifying the problems.

Pro-Trump protesters inside the US Capitol on January 6 Michael Nigro/Pacific Press/Zuma

Since before he was even sworn into office, Joe Biden has made it clear that fighting the spate of right-wing extremism would be a top priority for his administration. The day after the Capitol insurrection, in announcing his Justice Department nominees, Biden said he wanted to take the department back to its original roots “to stand up to the Klan, to stand up to racism, to take on domestic terrorism,” he vowed. “This original spirit must again guide and animate its work.”

Though the Biden presidency is still nascent, the fight against domestic terrorism and extremism has been at the center of the administration’s work so far. Immediately after he was sworn in, Biden ordered his just-appointed director of national intelligence, Avril Haines, to work with the FBI and Department of Homeland Security to put together a top-to-bottom assessment of the threat from violent extremists. That report, which came out last month, found that “newer sociopolitical developments,” like the pandemic and the rise of right-wing conspiracy theories, “will almost certainly spur some [domestic violent extremists] to try to engage in violence this year.” Meanwhile, the Justice Department has arrested at least 360 people in connection with the insurrection. And the Defense Department is engaged in its own efforts to address extremism in the military; in early February, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin signed a memo directing commanding officers to conduct a one-day “stand down” to discuss extremism in the ranks with personnel.

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Red-pilled Conservatives Ready to Give Up on Democracy and Embrace Fascism

Red-pilled conservatives ready to give up on democracy and embrace fascism

Image via Screengrab. David Neiwert and Daily Kos March 31, 2021

After the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, American conservatives were faced with a stark choice: Recognize that their movement had inspired a seditious attack on democracy itself and work to restore the damage, swallowing the cold blue pill of the reality that they lost the 2020 election; or instead embracing the authoritarianism that had inspired a significant chunk of their base to attempt to lynch members of Congress and overthrow the legitimate counting of ballots, gulping down the red pill of conspiracism that fueled those warped beliefs.

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Unpacking the Insurrection

via People for the American Way

Unpacking the Insurrection – YouTube

To Repair Our Country After Violent Insurrection, We Must Fight White Supremacy

Bettina Ramon | January 14, 2021

Just two weeks ago, many of us celebrated the new year – and the end of an especially devastating one – with a renewed sense of optimism that perhaps the worst of the Trump presidency was behind us.

That hope came to a screeching halt on January 6 when a violent, insurrectionist mob stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6.

Many forces at work perpetuated and exacerbated the disturbing events that unfolded that day, and immediate and decisive efforts to hold Trump legally accountable have already begun:

  • On January 13, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to impeach Trump a second time for inciting insurrection, an effort People For fully supported.
  • In addition to Trump’s impeachment, we have also called for the resignation of every senator and House member who voted to reject certification of the Electoral College results, and censure for Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Josh Hawley, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Whip Steve Scalise.
  • In addition, we believe the Justice Department should undertake an investigation into Trump’s potential criminality in inciting the riots, as well as potential criminality of the actions of Trump cronies and rally participants, including Rudy Giuliani, Mike Flynn, Peter Navarro, and Rep. Mo Brooks.
  • And we have called for a full investigation of the law enforcement response for fraternizing with rioters and potentially even facilitating the violent attack, and for the stark disparity in their response to the pro-Trump mob and their history of needlessly aggressive policing tactics at Black Lives Matter protests, during Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings, and other events.

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