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A lone man stands in front of the Utah State Capitol building at a protest in Salt Lake City, Utah on Sunday.
Photo: George Frey/AFP via Getty Images
On January 13, the House impeached President Trump again, charging him with “incitement of insurrection” for his role in the Capitol riot. Meanwhile, federal law enforcement officers are still working to piece together what happened during the January 6 attack, identify insurrectionists, and file charges against them. Below, updates on the ongoing fallout from the riot.
To be clear, there does not appear to be any evidence that will happen, but this is nonetheless a chilling report from the Associated Press:
U.S. defense officials say they are worried about an insider attack or other threat from service members involved in securing President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, prompting the FBI to vet all of the 25,000 National Guard troops coming into Washington for the event.
The massive undertaking reflects the extraordinary security concerns that have gripped Washington following the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by pro-Trump rioters. And it underscores fears that some of the very people assigned to protect the city over the next several days could present a threat to the incoming president and other VIPs in attendance.
Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy told The Associated Press on Sunday that officials are conscious of the potential threat, and he warned commanders to be on the lookout for any problems within their ranks as the inauguration approaches. So far, however, he and other leaders say they have seen no evidence of any threats, and officials said the vetting hadn’t flagged any issues.
On Saturday, Defense One reported on the efforts to screen National Guard troops providing security for the inauguration, and noted that the Defense Department “broadly has struggled to get a handle on the problem of extremism, including white supremacy, in its ranks”:
A senior official told reporters on Thursday that the Pentagon has seen an increase in white supremacist beliefs among both active duty service members and veterans, but was unable to provide concrete figures. Several people arrested in connection with the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol were current and former military members and at least one person arrested is a member of the Virginia National Guard. …
What is known as the Guard’s RUF card — their rules for the use of force that dictates under what circumstances Guardsmen may use force in the course of their duties — mandates that Guardsmen are armed only for their personal protection, [Major General William] Walker said. Some images of Guardsmen patrolling perimeters near the U.S. Capitol have shown them armed with M4 rifles, but with the magazine stowed safely in pouches on their vests.
The Washington Post reports police confronted him after they noticed his clearly visible handgun:
A 22-year-old Virginia man whose Facebook page features a photo from the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol was arrested near the Capitol complex Sunday, and police said he was carrying three high-capacity magazines, 37 rounds of unregistered ammunition and a Glock 22 firearm.
The arrest of Guy Berry of Gordonsville, Va., was reported by D.C. police and confirmed by his aunt, who said she was his primary caregiver when he was a child and who asked not to be named to protect her privacy. The aunt said she saw Berry on Jan. 6 and knows he was not at the Capitol that day, when a mob of supporters of President Trump forced their way into the building to try to stop the certification of his election defeat.
Very few protesters showed up anywhere. The ones that did — often a handful at most — encountered fortified capitol buildings defended by police and National Guard troops. In several cases, the protesters were outnumbered by journalists. Though federal and state authorities were justifiably anxious the planned far-right protests following the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, there thankfully were no reports of violence on Sunday.
The Wall Street Journal reports that “members of several far-right militant groups were charged or arrested over the weekend for allegedly participating in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, as investigators examine what kind of organization and planning might have gone into the attack.” One was Indiana resident and Oath Keeper member Jon Schaffer:
Schaffer, identified as a member of the heavy metal band Iced Earth, was arrested on charges of engaging in violence in a restricted building, disorderly conduct and other crimes, and was photographed wearing a baseball cap at the riot bearing the words “Oath Keepers Lifetime Member,” according to an affidavit for his arrest filed on Saturday. The Anti-Defamation League calls the group an “antigovernment right-wing fringe organization.” The affidavit alleged that at the riot Mr. Schaffer used bear spray on police officers.
The Daily Beast notes that Robert Gieswein, who was seen wearing body armor and wielding a baseball bat at the riot, has now been charged:
The Woodland Park, Colorado, resident was seen in photos wearing distinctive patches and military-style equipment on Jan. 5 and on Jan. 6 as he pushed through police barriers at the Capitol and confronted officers in the building alongside a number of rioters wanted by the FBI.
He is charged with assaulting, resisting or impeding a federal officer, depredation of U.S. property. obstruction of an official proceeding, and entering a restricted building with the intent to impede official functions. …
Gieswein’s Facebook page, now-deleted, also showed him to be a fan of right-wing militia groups. In November 2018, he posted pictures of himself flashing the “Three Percent” sign, an apparent reference to so-called Three Percenter militias, outside of Shooters Grill, a Colorado bar owned by Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO).
Per the San Francisco Chronicle, Daniel Goodwyn, a member of the far-right Proud Boys group, was also arrested and charged:
A San Francisco freelance web developer who calls himself a Proud Boy and has an extensive history of COVID denialism has been charged for his alleged involvement in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
According to the [FBI’s] complaint, Goodwyn identified himself by his first and last name on a livestream posted by Baked Alaska, the stage name of popular right-wing agitator Anthime Gionet. Gionet was arrested Friday in Houston.
Cowboys for Trump founder Couy Griffin, a county official in New Mexico, has also been arrested for his involvement in the siege, NBC News reports:
In an affidavit, a Metropolitan Police detective said a Cowboys for Trump videographer told authorities that after he and Griffin saw the group push past security barriers, they scaled the Capitol building’s wall before making their way to an outside deck. There, Griffin used a bullhorn to lead the group in prayer, the document states. …
In a Facebook post on the Cowboys for Trump page, Griffin later said he planned to return to the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 20 for a possible “2nd Amendment rally” that would include “blood running out of that building,” the affidavit says.
The same NBC News report adds that Bryan Betancur, who was seen in video carrying a Confederate flag inside the Capitol, was also arrested Sunday. The self-professed white supremacist “was on probation for a burglary conviction, was wearing an ankle bracelet, and GPS data showed he was in the area for three hours on Jan. 6, according to the documents.” Another suspected rioter arrested Sunday, Kentucky resident Chad Barrett Jones, “[appeared] to use a rolled-up Trump flag to smash a window in the Speaker’s Lobby, which leads to the House chamber.” He was identified by a family member who saw him in news coverage of the riot.
University of Kentucky student newspaper Kentucky Kernel helped identify fellow student Gracyn Courtright as one of the rioters. Courtright could be seen in video footage of the siege carrying a “Members only” sign up a staircase in the Capitol. She is also now apparently facing arrest, per the Kernel:
Courtright, a senior mathematical economics major and West Virginia native, entered the Capitol on Jan. 6 with other rioters as they took over the building[.] Courtright posted her presence on social media, where it was quickly recorded and reported by other users. Now, that online evidence has been used by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to file an affidavit “in support of criminal complaint and arrest warrant.” …
The FBI also obtained direct messages between Courtright and an unnamed individual where Courtright says “I walked into the Senate like in the chamber where the desk are” and “idk what treason is.”
The witness then calls Courtright “embarrassing.” She responds with “It’s history idc” and then “I thought it was cool.”
Another suspected rioter facing charges, a South Carolina man named Andrew Hatley, reportedly took a selfie inside the Capitol in front of the controversial statue of former vice-president and notorious slavery advocate John C. Calhoun. WCBD News notes that according to the federal complaint against him, Hatley was using a mobile app which broadcasted his location to other users, and that data was used to help confirm that has among the rioters.
The Associated Press confirms that Trump campaign officials “played key roles in orchestrating the Washington rally that spawned a deadly assault on the U.S. Capitol, according to [a]review of records, undercutting claims the event was the brainchild of the president’s grassroots supporters”:
A pro-Trump nonprofit group called Women for America First hosted the “Save America Rally” on Jan. 6 at the Ellipse, an oval-shaped, federally owned patch of land near the White House. But an attachment to the National Park Service public gathering permit granted to the group lists more than half a dozen people in staff positions for the event who just weeks earlier had been paid thousands of dollars by Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign. Other staff scheduled to be “on site” during the demonstration have close ties to the White House.
CNN reports that she the company temporarily suspended her account “for repeated violations of new rules the social media platform put in place following the violent US Capitol riot”:
“The account referenced has been temporarily locked out for multiple violations of our civic integrity policy,” the [Twittter] spokesperson said. As a result, the congresswoman will be locked out of her account for 12 hours. Greene, who has a track record of incendiary rhetoric and ties to the baseless QAnon conspiracy theory, had tweeted a conspiracy-laden thread earlier Sunday about the Georgia Senate elections.
ProPublica has published more than 500 videos it pulled from Parler, the now defunct social media platform which was popular with far-right extremists. ProPublica, which arranged the videos on a timeline to form a remarkable video diary of the mayhem, notes that, “Taken together, they provide one of the most comprehensive records of a dark event in American history through the eyes of those who took part.”
That’s the conclusion of a new Wall Street Journal analysis published Sunday:
On Jan. 3, three days before the attack on the Capitol, Enrique Tarrio, the leader of the far-right organization known as the Proud Boys, shared a cryptic post on the messaging app Telegram: “What if we invade it?” The message was sent to his more than 7,000 followers on the app, with the first reply reading “January 6th is D day in America.”
The Wall Street Journal reviewed thousands of posts from the Proud Boys and their members across Parler, Telegram and Gab, the social-media platforms where they rallied supporters online after mostly being banned from Facebook and Twitter. The messages show the group repeatedly invoking President Trump’s rhetoric in the weeks leading to the Jan. 6 protest as they built momentum toward what became a violent showdown. …
The Journal’s review, which included now-deleted posts that have been archived by researchers, suggests the Proud Boys viewed Mr. Trump’s messages as a call to action.
NBC News’ Ken Dilanian spoke with federal law enforcement sources about the probe:
As part of the investigation, the bureau is examining payments of $500,000 in bitcoin, apparently by a French national, to key figures and groups in the alt-right before the riot, the sources said. Those payments were documented and posted on the web this week by a company that analyzes cryptocurrency transfers. Payments of bitcoin, a cryptocurrency, can be traced because they are documented on a public ledger.
Separately, a joint threat assessment issued this week by the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and various other federal and D.C.-area police agencies noted that since the Jan. 6 riot, “Russian, Iranian, and Chinese influence actors have seized the opportunity to amplify narratives in furtherance of their policy interest amid the presidential transition.”
State capitols across the U.S. had stepped up security in anticipation of armed protests by far-right groups and Trump supporters planned for Sunday, stationing both police and National Guard troops to defend against any attempts to repeat what happened at the U.S. Capitol on January 6. So far, the protests have been uneventful. The Associated Press reports that the protests held outside at least three state capitols were small and peaceful:
About two dozen people, several carrying long guns, protested outside the Ohio Statehouse, observed by several of the dozens of state troopers positioned around the building. Several dozen people — some carrying American flags — gathered at South Carolina’s Statehouse. And at Michigan’s Capitol, a small group of demonstrators, some armed, stood near a chain-link fence surrounding the building as state police walked the grounds and National Guard vehicles were parked nearby.
In Oregon, journalists outnumbered the protesters on Sunda
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