Hard to believe…but glad they are there.
Trump is isolated and angry at aides for failing to defend him as he is impeached again
When Donald Trump on Wednesday became the first president ever impeached twice, he did so as a leader increasingly isolated, sullen and vengeful.
With less than seven days remaining in his presidency, Trump’s inner circle is shrinking, offices in his White House are emptying, and the president is lashing out at some of those who remain. He is angry that his allies have not mounted a more forceful defense of his incitement of the mob that stormed the Capitol last week, advisers and associates said.
Though Trump has been exceptionally furious with Vice President Pence, his relationship with lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani, one of his most steadfast defenders, is also fracturing, according to people with knowledge of the dynamics between the men.
Trump has instructed aides not to pay Giuliani’s legal fees, two officials said, and has demanded that he personally approve any reimbursements for the expenses Giuliani incurred while traveling on the president’s behalf to challenge election results in key states. They said Trump has privately expressed concern with some of Giuliani’s moves and did not appreciate a demand from Giuliani for $20,000 a day in fees for his work attempting to overturn the election.
As he watched impeachment quickly gain steam, Trump was upset generally that virtually nobody is defending him — including press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, economic adviser Larry Kudlow, national security adviser Robert C. O’Brien and Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, according to a senior administration official.
“The president is pretty wound up,” said the senior administration official, who, like some others interviewed, spoke on the condition of anonymity to be candid. “No one is out there.”
One of Trump’s few confidants these days is Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), who broke with the president last week over attempts to overturn the election only to be welcomed back in the president’s good graces a couple of days later. Graham traveled to Texas on Tuesday in what was Trump’s last scheduled presidential trip, spending hours with Trump aboard Air Force One talking about impeachment and planning how Trump should spend his final days in office.
“The president has come to grips with it’s over,” Graham said, referring to the election. “That’s tough. He thinks he was cheated, but nothing’s going to change that.”
Trump asked Graham to lobby fellow senators to acquit him in his eventual impeachment trial, which Graham did from Air Force One as he worked through a list of colleagues to phone. A few senators called Trump aboard the presidential aircraft on Tuesday to notify him of their intent to acquit. During the flight home, Graham said, he tried to calm Trump after Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.), the No. 3 House GOP leader, announced she would vote to impeach.
“I just told him, ‘Listen, Mr. President, there are some people out there who were upset before and are upset now, but I assure you, most Republicans believe impeachment is bad for the country and not necessary and it would do damage to the institution of the presidency itself,” Graham recalled. He said he told Trump, “The people who are calling on impeachment are not representative of the [Republican] conferences.”
Trump told reporters Tuesday that the drive toward impeachment was causing “tremendous anger” and posed a “tremendous danger to our country.”
Although he has shown flashes of anger over his impeachment — and is livid with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for leaving open the possibility that he might vote to convict — Trump privately has told advisers that he does not believe he will be removed from office before his term expires Jan. 20, according to people familiar with the conversations.
Many of the president’s advisers and outside associates share that mind-set. As one put it, “Whoop-de-do.”
McConnell effectively guaranteed that outcome Wednesday, releasing a schedule after the House impeachment vote that would push a trial until after President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.
Trump has been more concerned with other actions that could have serious consequences for his post-presidential life, according to people familiar with the president’s concerns. The developments include Twitter and other social media companies suspending his accounts, the PGA of America canceling a golf tournament at one of his properties, and Deutsche Bank announcing it would no longer finance his developments.
Trump carried on with various activities Wednesday. As the House debated his impeachment, Trump issued a statement calling on his supporters to stand down.
“In light of reports of more demonstrations, I urge that there must be NO violence, NO lawbreaking and NO vandalism of any kind,” the statement said. “That is not what I stand for, and it is not what America stands for. I call on ALL Americans to help ease tensions and calm tempers. Thank You.”
Minutes after the House voted to impeach him for a second time, Trump held a private ceremony in the Oval Office to award the National Medal of Arts to country singer Toby Keith, a senior administration official said.
The White House released a video Wednesday evening featuring Trump seated behind the Resolute desk in the Oval Office pleading with supporters not to engage in further violence. “Violence and vandalism have absolutely no place in our country and no place in our movement,” he said.
A senior administration official said Kushner, the president’s daughter Ivanka Trump, Deputy Chief of Staff Dan Scavino and Pence persuaded Trump to film the video, telling him it could boost support among weak Republicans. They asked him not to mention impeachment, and he didn’t.
Still, in a stark illustration of Trump’s isolation, the White House did not mount a vigorous defense Wednesday as House members debated his fitness for office and, ultimately, voted to impeach him. The president’s aides did not blast out talking points to allies. His press secretary did not hold a briefing with reporters. His advisers did not do television interviews from the White House’s North Lawn. His lawyers and legislative affairs staffers did not whip votes or seek to persuade lawmakers to vote against impeachment.
This is both because there was no organized campaign to block impeachment and because many of his aides believe Trump’s incitement of the riot was too odious to defend. White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, who was central to the president’s defense in his first impeachment a year ago, told other staffers to make sure word got out that he was not involved in defending Trump this time, according to one aide.
“I just think this is the logical conclusion of someone who will only accept people in his inner orbit if they are willing to completely set themselves on fire on his behalf, and you’ve just reached a point to where everyone is burned out,” a senior administration official said. “Everyone is thinking, ‘I’ll set myself on fire for the president of the United States for this, for this and for this — but I’m not doing it for that.’ ”
A former senior administration official in touch with the White House said in describing the staff mind-set: “People are just over it. The 20th couldn’t come soon enough. Sometimes there’s a bunker mentality or us-versus-them or righteous indignation that the Democrats or the media are being unfair, but there’s none of that right now. People are just exhausted and disappointed and angry and ready for all this to be done.”
One of Trump’s only White House defenses came from Jason Miller, a senior political adviser. He did not defend the president’s conduct but rather argued that those who voted to impeach him would pay a political price. Miller sent reporters a two-page polling memo from Trump campaign pollster John McLaughlin saying that a majority of voters in presidential battleground states were opposed to impeachment and to “Big Tech censorship,” a reference to Twitter and other social media companies suspending Trump’s accounts.
“It’s a massive miscalculation by the Democrats and the Liz Cheneys of the world who are massively disconnected from the grass roots that votes in primaries,” Miller said.
“The grass roots and the base support is strong for him,” Miller added. “That’s really what matters. Washington is a very fickle town, and President Trump has never staked his strength as being in the nation’s capital. It’s always been out with the real people.”
Other than family members, the president is mainly talking to Meadows, Scavino, senior policy adviser Stephen Miller and personnel director Johnny McEntee. Hope Hicks, counselor to the president and long one of his closest confidantes, has been checked out for some time, according to people familiar with her status.
Other than his trip to Texas, Trump’s public schedule has been empty, and he is said to be doing little these days besides watching television and fulminating with this coterie of loyalists about Republicans not defending him enough.
Several aides laid blame for the situation not only on Trump but also on Meadows, because the chief of staff indulged Trump’s delusion that the election was rigged and fed him misinformation about alleged voter fraud.
“He is the one who kept bringing kook after kook after kook in there to talk to him,” one adviser said.
In the days after Twitter banned Trump from its platform, McEntee pushed the president to migrate to other social media sites, such as Parler. But Kushner and Scavino pushed back and stopped the president from joining the fringe platform, according to a person familiar with what happened who confirmed a CNN report.
Some current and former advisers described the impeachment as a sad ending that was unnecessary, propelled by a president who could not simply accept a loss and a vast array of aides willing to prop him up.
Some of Trump’s longtime advisers, including Kellyanne Conway, lament that the president has not been able to use these final weeks to burnish his legacy.
“From the time the electors certified the results to the time the president leaves office should have been spent reviewing and reliving the policy accomplishments of his four years and reminding Americans we are more peaceful or prosperous,” said Conway, a former senior counselor to the president who did not participate in the “Stop the Steal” activities aimed at overturning the election. “Instead of celebrating the accomplishments of the first term, we all watched in horror while the Capitol was run over.”
Another former senior administration official, who has been briefed on some of the president’s recent private conversations, said Trump has expressed anger not only with Pence and some of his aides but also with longtime media defenders who have deserted him, including Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberley Strassel, and others he believes have not fiercely defended him, including Fox News Channel host Laura Ingraham.
“He is feeling increasingly alone and isolated and frustrated,” this official said. “One of the metrics by which he’s often judged any number of things is: ‘Who’s out there saying good things about me or fighting on my behalf?’ And he never seemed to think there were enough people doing it strongly enough.”
Now, in the final days, this official said, “it’s like death by a thousand cuts.”
I’ve read about it a bit and I’m relatively certain that once the electoral votes are counted and certified, if Biden dies at any point Harris gets sworn in. They should be having that inauguration behind concrete and bullet-proof glass and I’m kinda mad they aren’t, and I just hope they don’t have Harris right there the whole time and keep her inside instead.
Post - Insurgency - where they are looking and who’s involved. Since we are not really hearing much from the DC Mayor and FBI directly, there are quite a few citizen efforts to identify by alternate names who is really involved. And there was a lot of pre-planning and coordination, so this is beyond scary.
Audio and chat logs show insurrectionists communicated via the app, which has avoided proactive content moderation
Audio and chat logs reveal that at least two insurrectionists who broke into the Capitol on 6 January used Zello, a social media walkie-talkie app that critics say has largely ignored a growing far-right user base.
“We are in the main dome right now,” said a female militia member, speaking on Zello, her voice competing with the cacophony of a clash with Capitol police. “We are rocking it. They’re throwing grenades, they’re frickin’ shooting people with paintballs, but we’re in here.”
“God bless and godspeed. Keep going,” said a male voice from a quiet environment.
“Jess, do your shit,” said another. “This is what we fucking lived up for. Everything we fucking trained for.”
The frenzied exchange took place at 2.44pm in a public Zello channel called “STOP THE STEAL J6”, where Trump supporters at home and in Washington DC discussed the riot as it unfolded. Dynamic group conversations like this exemplify why Zello, a smartphone and PC app, has become popular among militias, which have long fetishized military-like communication on analog radio.
After years of public pressure, Facebook, Twitter, and Discord have begun to crack down on inciting speech from far-right groups, but Zello has avoided proactive content moderation thus far.
Most coverage about Zello, which claims to have 150 million users on its free and premium platforms, has focused on its use by the Cajun Navy groups that send boats to save flood victims and grassroots organizing in Venezuela. However, the app is also home to hundreds of far-right channels, which appear to violate its policy prohibiting groups that espouse “violent ideologies”.
Responding to a list of over 800 far-right channels, Zello said it was “prepared to take action on those”. The company also said it was working on a more elaborate response. In addition to locking some public features that would help researchers uncover more extremist content, Zello had begun purging some far-right groups as of Wednesday.
Rightwingers flock to ‘alt tech’ networks as mainstream sites ban Trump
Two hours after the Guardian published this report, Zello announced it had deleted more than 2,000 “channels associated with militias and other militarized social movements”.
“It is with deep sadness and anger that we have discovered evidence of Zello being misused by some individuals while storming the United States Capitol building last week,” the company wrote in a blog post. “Looking ahead, we are concerned that Zello could be misused by groups who have threatened to organize additional potentially violent protests and disrupt the US presidential inauguration festivities on January 20th.”
The Zello user who described breaking into the Capitol building appears to be Jessica Watkins, a 38-year-old bartender from Ohio, who admitted to participating in the insurrection. Watkins told the Ohio Capital Journal she was the leader of a local militia called the Ohio State Regular and a member of the national Oath Keepers militia.
One week after an angry mob stormed the Capitol, Congress struggled on Wednesday to make sense of the most serious incursion on its home in more than two centuries as lawmakers called for new investigations and federal authorities fanned out across the country, taking into custody several more suspects, including two police officers from Virginia and a firefighter from Florida.
The flurry of arrests and appeals for inquiry came as the House brought a historic second impeachment charge against President Trump and federal law enforcement officials continued to examine whether the assault on the Capitol included coordinated efforts by small groups of extremists and was not merely a mass protest that spiraled out of control. All of this took place as official Washington remained in a defensive crouch, with much of the city surrounded by protective fencing and armed troops camped inside the Capitol complex.
Led by Representative Mikie Sherrill, a New Jersey Democrat and former Navy pilot, more than 30 lawmakers called on Wednesday for an investigation into visitors’ access to the Capitol on the day before the riot. In a letter to the acting House and Senate sergeants-at-arms and the U.S. Capitol Police, the lawmakers, many of whom served in the military and said they were trained to “recognize suspicious activity,” demanded answers about what they described as an “extremely high number of outside groups” let into the Capitol on Jan. 5 at a time when most tours were restricted because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Separately, the inspector general’s office of the Capitol Police said it was opening a potentially wide-ranging inquiry into security breaches connected to the siege. The Government Accountability Office, a nonpartisan federal watchdog agency, signaled that it would look into what role, if any, members of Congress may have played in inciting the mob of Trump supporters who breached metal barricades and shattered windows on Jan. 6, seeking to overturn the results of the election.
There is a huge twitter presence for those who are trying to find out who the Insurgents are…
And this one…who’s trying to ID who these thugs are, and calling them by different names so they do not tip them off. Looking for Military-style paraphernalia, communications devices - ear phones/plugs - and weaponry, and finding out who is communicating with who.
Yeah, you will need it. Terrorism has been activated.
FBI report warned of ‘war’ at Capitol, contradicting claims there was no indication of looming violence
The Gutted, ‘Unnerving’ State of the Agencies Supposed to Keep the U.S. Safe
As the nation’s security and intelligence apparatus prepares for more violence, it’s facing a dangerous leadership vacuum that seems to be getting worse by the day.
I have been hearing that the insurrectionists had maps, but can’t yet find a story to verify?
The Man Who Saw the Coup Attempt Coming Is Only Surprised It Wasn’t Much Worse
“It was not the army I expected it to be.”
Arieh Kovler knew. “On January 6, armed Trumpist militias will be rallying in DC, at Trump’s orders,” he wrote on Twitter on December 21st. “It’s highly likely that they’ll try to storm the Capitol after it certifies Joe Biden’s win. I don’t think this has sunk in yet.” It sank in for the rest of us yesterday, when Trumpist militias stormed the capitol. If Arieh Kovler knew, why didn’t everyone else?
We all could have, says Kovler, a political consultant with a background in government relations in the U.K. who studies extremist Trump message boards. In his telling, it wasn’t all that difficult to see the writing on the wall. (In fact, many people went beyond Kovler, and went as far as to email DC police warning them of an incoming siege.) A single Trump tweet had the power to provoke his base into organizing yesterday’s events. “Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!” Trump wrote. “Once Trump said be there,” Kovler said on a phone call Thursday morning, “they interpreted that as a call to action, as their marching orders.” As one Trump supporter on Reddit interpreted it: “DADDY SAYS BE IN DC ON JAN. 6TH.”
Scarier still is how much worse Wednesday could have gone. Kovler wondered if one way the protesters might swing the election in Trump’s favor was by “forcing Congress to certify him as the winner at gunpoint,” he wrote in the original Twitter thread from December. This wasn’t baseless theorizing, either—it, too, came from online posting visible to anyone who bothered to look. “They imagined that this was the day there were going to be mass executions of Congressmen,” Kovler said. So while DC police assert there was “no intelligence that suggests that there would be a breach of the US Capitol,” Kovler is just surprised it wasn’t much worse.
GQ: How are you doing?
Kovler: I’m not terribly surprised, because I’ve been stressed out about this for weeks. And ultimately, you know, compared to what I saw, it didn’t go as badly as it could have gone.
What you wrote on Twitter so precisely predicted what happened yesterday. What were you seeing that led you to these beliefs?
We first encountered Trumpism bubbling up through the Chans—4Chan, 8Chan, 2Chan—and Reddit. In around 2015 it emerged into an essentially performative act. The original Trump fans online were people who didn’t believe in Trump particularly, but they thought he was really funny. They essentially convinced themselves into believing their own joke.
Obviously by the time he was the nominee, things were different, because he had much wider support. Originally, it was on the Chans, which became a haven for the far right—what would become in modern parlance the alt right. And also Reddit—the most popular subreddit for Trump supporters was called r/TheDonald, which was banned. For a time it was quite important, and then it became less important, and then it was finally banned and the people behind it went and set up their own version of it at TheDonald.win, which is one of the major Trumpist forums online.
You can see that, basically, the day Trump put out his call saying “big rally in Washington on the 6th,” the die was cast. I’m sure that there were going to be people coming on the 6th anyway but once Trump said “be there,” they interpreted that as a call to action, as their marching orders. Trump supporters thought they would come and would be called on to do something.
What did they think they were being called on to do?
They thought, “This is the thing we have been asked to do. Trump is telling us to do this, so we have to do it.” But more than that, it must be important enough, the key to his winning. Because why would he ask us to come to Washington if it wasn’t part of the plan? It wouldn’t make any sense. There’s a trend among the Trump fans—it’s almost religious—to see him as basically infallible and any mistakes are caused by bad people around him. He wouldn’t be calling us to Washington unless there was a purpose that would ultimately end in him winning the election.
So they saw that, and are convinced they’re coming in order to win the election. Or perhaps they’re going to be an army. You can see the discussions around this: “Why has he asked us to come? Surely there’s a reason.” They would say, “Should we bring guns? Is he asking us to bring guns? But maybe he doesn’t want us to be armed because if we’re armed we’ll get in trouble, and we need to be there.”
The other part of it this is that since the late summer, when Trump was falling in polls and Biden was polling thoroughly ahead, the one thing I picked up from all parts of Trump World—from the QAnon-ish to the MAGA-ish to fairly moderate conservatives—is: Trump’s gonna win. You didn’t see that from people supporting Biden. You saw, you really hope he wins. The Trump people thought: Trump’s going to win and not only is he going to win, you smug liberals, you’re going to have the smile wiped off your face . This ideology really took hold and a lot of people really believed it. Trump was continually telling them everything was in the bag and he was massively ahead and we’re going to win California and it’s going to be a landslide.
Come Election Day, he doesn’t win. So all these people go, “Wait, it can’t be. How could Trump possibly lose an election that everyone I know knew he was going to win?” I could just see a certain reality catching up with [them], and it would have to be on that day [of the certification]. And once they saw Trump saying to his supporters, come to DC on that day, I could see it going the wrong way.
You could see the discussion become less abstract. By last week, these people were sharing maps of D.C. They were talking about having enough of them that they would be able to erect basically their own cadre around the entire area of Congress. They had a map of the tunnels [in the basement of the Capitol], and they were talking about how they’re going to be able to stop Congress from leaving. They imagined that this was the day there were going to be mass executions of Congressmen.
But a lot of them also just imagined they were going to be there for this historic time when Trump pulled away the curtain and revealed that all of Congress were traitors and then took his just and equal revenge. There were a variety of characters: people who were there to watch Trump gain control and people who thought Trump would win, but only by activating the military, [with] a proper military coup that they supported. They thought they were there to go and purge Congress. They were there to stop the certification. They were there to punish those who went against Trump. When you put them all together, you get this explosive mixture.
The only thing that surprised me was that it was not the army I expected it to be.
Why do you say that?
They didn’t have as many guns. They had this fantasy that, There are going to be thousands of us carrying AR-15s and what are they going to do? But many of them may have had guns in their cars and just didn’t take them out. And maybe Capitol police were surprised and then took less forceful action against the protesters. And that’s how these guys were able to march in. I actually feel like, if they were armed, it would have triggered a more severe response.
It sounds like there were plans for something much more severe. You’re talking about the execution of members of Congress. Why do you think that didn’t come to fruition?
A lot of these people were there for the ride. I think that had things gotten more violent, there would have been a lot of people who would be very willing to go along with it. I think that ultimately the police successfully kept elected officials out of the hands of these people.
There’s also the question of what cues they’re taking from Trump. While he was certainly quite contentious [in his video], it didn’t quite rise to the level of, “Now is the time to act.” He could have said something that was absolutely unequivocally understood by these people to be an order to attack. Instead, he told them to go home. It confused the hell out of them. On the one hand, there’s a nudge and a wink, but they didn’t understand. They thought, “Aren’t we here to do a job? Did we do the job? Did we win?” It was a lot of confusion about what that was all about.
From what you’ve said, it sounds like a lot of this planning and organizing for this was really happening in plain sight if you were just willing to look and dig. Is that correct?
I think that’s true, up to a point. In the last week or so, this stuff began to move more into private groups. I don’t know what you would have gotten if you were in the private groups; the answer is possibly nothing. There was so much going on in public, I find it hard to believe that there was that much going on in private.
But my point is, if you knew this was going to happen weeks ago, it seems reasonable that we should expect that people in power should have known and prepped for this.
Yeah. I don’t understand how things went as badly as they did. My only thought is that they were maybe expecting people to be more armed and when they didn’t see a bunch of people carrying AR-15s they thought, “Aw, that’s all right, it’s just a normal protest,” and then failed to understand the gravity of the situation. But this was absolutely predictable.
I’m also almost surprised to hear that they sort of were mapping out these pretty specific plans or fantasies, because it does seem that when a lot of them got into the Capitol Building, they didn’t really know what to do. They went up on the dais, someone stole a podium, they trashed some offices. But it didn’t appear that there was a coherent plan that had been worked out for weeks.
That’s right. When all these people were talking about their contingencies, it was always if and when Trump tells us to . The overriding message I was seeing was, “We’re here to do a job, we don’t know what that job is yet. When Trump said we’re going to go to the Capitol, I guess our job is to go to the Capitol.” But then they didn’t get any further instructions, so there was a moment of, “Okay, now what? Surely this isn’t why Trump called us to DC, we don’t get it. This was where he was supposed to unveil the evidence, or arrest the plotters, or reveal that China is behind it.” And then none of this happened.
I even saw people looking for post-Trump Trumpism. They’re furious at Ted Cruz when he flipped back, and at Mike Pence, [in their minds] one of the biggest traitors. But now there’s a little thinking that, “Trump kind of betrayed us, too. He told us he was the only one who could save the country and we believed it. And he’s the only one who can stop Communist Joe Biden from selling organs to Chinese people. And he’s not doing that and that means he’s also a traitor.” There’s some very odd stuff popping up in Trump spaces right now. Obviously, that’s not the majority of Trump fans, but there are all these people who just don’t know, “Was there ever a plan? Was there a plan and it didn’t work?” What we are going to see over the next few days is people trying to reassemble their worldviews.
From what you’re seeing, is there a chance that something like yesterday, happens again in the next couple of weeks, leading up to or even on Inauguration Day?
I don’t think so. First, the inauguration is done with the Secret Service and the FBI. It’s a different ballgame. I think the next couple of days, statehouses need to watch out. That’s where I would be looking at. I don’t think there’s going to be another thing in D.C.
Speaking of scary predictions, you also wrote on Twitter that you believe Trump is going to run again in 2024. What leads you to that?
Well, I know that that’s out there—I didn’t think of it. It has been broadly talked about. It’s going to make him a lot of money. There’s a decent possibility that he holds his first rally for president on Inauguration Day.
On these channels, are you seeing that people are excited at the prospect of him running again?
Honestly, no. I’m not detecting their enthusiasm yet, but that might change if he says he’s going to do it. No one is saying, “Oh, well, we have 2024.” Partly because they believe the elections are rigged. They don’t think he can win in 2024.
CLues about the Insurgency/Terror attack now getting pretty dark with funding coming from possible foreign sources to several Right-wing activists.
On Dec. 8, someone made a simultaneous transfer of 28.15 bitcoins — worth more than $500,000 at the time — to 22 different virtual wallets, most of them belonging to prominent right-wing organizations and personalities.
Now cryptocurrency researchers believe they have identified who made the transfer, and suspect it was intended to bolster those far-right causes. U.S. law enforcement is investigating whether the donations were linked to the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol.
While the motivation is difficult to prove, the transfer came just a month before the violent riot in the Capitol, which took place after President Trump invited supporters to “walk down Pennsylvania Avenue” and “take back our country.”
Right-wing figures and websites, including VDARE, the Daily Stormer and Nick Fuentes, received generous donations from a bitcoin account linked to a French cryptocurrency exchange, according to research done by software company Chainalysis, which maintains a repository of information about public cryptocurrency exchanges and whose tools aid in government, law enforcement and private sector investigations. Chainalysis investigated the donations after Yahoo News shared the data points about the transaction.
According to one source familiar with the matter, the suspicious Dec. 8 transaction, along with a number of other pieces of intelligence, has prompted law enforcement and intelligence agencies in recent days to actively investigate the sources of funding for the individuals who participated in the Capitol insurrection, as well as their networks. The government is hoping to prevent future attacks but also to uncover potential foreign involvement in or support of right-wing activities, the source said.
During a press conference on Tuesday on the investigation into the Capitol riot, acting U.S. Attorney Michael Sherwin said the “scope and scale of this investigation in these cases are really unprecedented.”
Trump Reconciles With Ex-Strategist Steve Bannon in Talks on Election
Biden lets us know where to find him on Twitter. And since we’ve seen the abuse twittersphere was subjected to by DJT, here’s to hoping Biden will just be a normal ‘Joe’ on this platform.
This is where the bounced twitter crowd goes…
Metropolitan Police Officer makes a plea to the insurgents.
I think any realtor I ever need should be grounded in REALITY first.
This is why investigations are good; when done properly, they don’t just expose the corrupt, they also exonerate the innocent, like Lt. Tarik Khalid Johnson, who donned a MAGA hat to cleverly rescue 16 trapped officers during the insurrection.
From someone who knows warfare quoting another one who knows civil strife.
The F.B.I. is investigating 37 people related to the killing of Officer Brian Sicknick, the Capitol Police officer who died after being injured during the pro-Trump riot on Jan. 6, according to an F.B.I. memo sent to the private sector and others on Friday. The Times obtained a copy of the report.
Mr. Sicknick was struck with a fire extinguisher as a violent mob flooded the halls of Congress, according to two law enforcement officials. Lawmakers hid under their desks from violent protesters after President Trump encouraged them during a rally to head to the Capitol. Mr. Sicknick died in the hospital where he was getting treatment for his injuries.
Fourteen other Capitol Police officers were injured in the mob last week, the memo said.
Law enforcement officials are bracing for more unrest in the days leading up to the inauguration.
Since the Jan. 6 siege, intelligence officials have seen Chinese, Iranian and Russian efforts to fan the violent rhetoric, according to a joint threat assessment dated Thursday. The amplification is consistent with previous efforts to take advantage of divisive Republican rhetoric, such as the Russian efforts to amplify disinformation spread by Mr. Trump during the campaign about the security of mail-in voting.
Posting the lead up to the Jan 6th Insurrection from Billmoyers.com and several days after. It is worth a read through. (He has been a PBS commentator and has writers who review events that have happened that impact our Democracy.)
Every minute a damning new fact emerges, and the case against Donald Trump gets stronger. That will continue. Meanwhile, we’ve added a few new bombshell items to the BillMoyers.com Insurrection Timeline. The new items appear with an asterisk (*).
The Department of Defense’s January 8, 2021 initial press release purports to “memorialize the planning and execution timeline” of the deadly insurrection that it calls the “January 6, 2021 First Amendment Protests in Washington, DC .”
[Late in the afternoon on January 11, 2021, the Defense Department changed the title of its January 8 memorandum and reissued it “to more appropriately reflect the characterization of the events at the U.S. Capitol on January 6.” The retitled summary is the “January 6, 2021 Violent Attack at the U.S. Capitol.”]
The memo’s minute-by-minute account creates a false illusion of transparency. In truth, its most noteworthy aspects are the omission of Trump’s central role in the insurrection and the effort to shift blame away from Trump and his new Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller.
Who is Christopher Miller?
By November 9, every news organization declared that former Vice President Joe Biden had won the election. On that day, Trump fired Acting Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and replaced him with Miller, an Army retiree who worked for a defense contractor until Trump tapped him as his assistant in 2018. Miller’s promotion began a departmental regime change that embedded three fierce Trump loyalists as top Defense Department officials: Kash Patel (former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA)), retired army Gen. Anthony Tata (pro-Trump Fox News pundit), and Ezra Cohen-Watnick (former assistant to Trump’s first national security adviser, Mike Flynn).
At such a late date in Trump’s presidency, many asked, why the shake-up at the Department of Defense? We may be learning the answer.
Prior to the Attack
The department’s January 8, 2021 memo ignores Trump’s central role in igniting and then encouraging the January 6 insurrection. In fact, the only reference to Trump appears in a January 3 entry when Miller and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Milley meet with him and he concurs in activation of the DC National Guard “to support law enforcement.”
Other than that, Trump is conspicuously absent, along with the most important parts of the story. In the date and time entries that follow, only those in italics and preceded with “(DoD Memo)” summarize items from the Defense Department’s January 8 memorandum. The memo ignores every other fact set forth in this post.
Dec. 19, 2020: Trump tweets: “Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!”
Jan. 3, 2021: Replying to a tweet from one of the rally organizers, Trump tweets: “I will be there. Historic day.”
Jan. 4: The National Park Service increases the crowd estimate on the January 6 rally permit to 30,000 – up from the original 5,000 in December.
*Jan. 5: Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) receives a call from White House Political Director Brian Jack asking him to speak at the “Stop the Steal” rally on January 6. Brooks agrees.
January 6, 2021
8:17 a.m.: Trump tweets: “States want to correct their votes, which they now know were based on irregularities and fraud, plus corrupt process never received legislative approval. All Mike Pence has to do is send them back to the States, AND WE WIN. Do it Mike, this is a time for extreme courage!”
Noon: Trump begins to address the mob and continues speaking for more than an hour.
“We will never give up. We will never concede. It doesn’t happen. You don’t concede when there’s theft involved.”
“We won this election, and we won it by a landslide. This was not a close election.”
“I hope Mike is going to do the right thing. I hope so. I hope so, because if Mike Pence does the right thing, we win the election… All Vice President Pence has to do is send it back to the states to recertify, and we become president, and you are the happiest people.”
1:00 p.m.: While Trump continues his rant to the mob, some members of Trump’s crowd have already reached the US Capitol building where Congress assembles in joint session to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. An initial wave of protesters storms the outer barricade west of the Capitol building. As the congressional proceedings begin, Pence reads a letter saying that he won’t intervene in Congress’s electoral count: “My oath to support and defend the Constitution constrains me from claiming unilateral authority.”
1:11 p.m.: Trump ends his speech by urging his followers to march down Pennsylvania Avenue: “We fight like hell. If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore… Our exciting adventures and boldest endeavors have not yet begun… We’re going to the Capitol. We’re going to try and give them [Republicans] the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country.”
If the District of Columbia were a state, its governor alone could have deployed the National Guard to crush the riot. Instead, Trump and his Defense Department had that responsibility, and an unprecedent assault on a sacred institution of government succeeded, if only for a few hours.
(DoD Memo) 1:26 p.m.: The Capitol Police orders the evacuation of the Capitol complex.
1:30 p.m.: The crowd outside the building grows larger, eventually overtaking the Capitol Police and making its way up the Capitol steps. Suspicious packages – later confirmed to be pipe bombs – are found at Republican National Committee headquarters and Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington.
(DoD Memo) 1:34 p.m.: DC Mayor Muriel Bowser asks Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy – who reports to Miller – for more federal help to deal with the mob.
Bowser is told that the request must first come from the Capitol Police.
(DoD Memo) 1:49 p.m.: The Capitol Police chief asks the commanding general of the DC National Guard for immediate assistance.
*Also at 1:49 p.m.: Trump retweets a video of the rally, which includes his previous statements that: “our country has had enough. We will not take it anymore and that’s what this is all about. To use a favorite term that all of you came up with, we will stop the steal. . . You’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong.”
*Shortly after 2:00 p.m.: While the senators are in a temporary holding room after the Senate chamber is evacuated, Trump tries to call Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), but mistakenly reaches Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), who hands the phone to Tuberville. Trump then tries to convince Tuberville to make additional objections to the Electoral College vote in an effort to block Congress’ certification of Biden’s win. The call is cut off because senators are asked to move to a secure location.
2:15 p.m.: Trump’s mob breaches the Capitol building – breaking windows, climbing inside, and opening doors for others to follow.
(DoD Memo) 2:22 p.m.: Army Secretary McCarthy discusses the situation at the Capitol with Mayor Bowser and her staff.
They are begging for additional National Guard assistance. Note the time. It’s been almost an hour since Bowser requested help.
2:24 p.m.: Trump tweets: “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth!”
After erecting a gallows on the Capitol grounds, the mob shouts, “Hang Mike Pence.” Rioters create another noose from a camera cord seized during an attack on an on-site news team.
2:26 p.m.: Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund joins a conference call with several officials from the DC government, as well as officials from the Pentagon, including Lt. Gen. Walter E. Piatt, director of the Army Staff. Piatt later issues a statement denying the statements attributed to him.
“I am making an urgent, urgent immediate request for National Guard assistance,” Sund says. “I have got to get boots on the ground.”
The DC contingent is flabbergasted when Piatt says that he could not recommend that his boss, Army Secretary McCarthy, approve the request. “I don’t like the visual of the National Guard standing a police line with the Capitol in the background,” Piatt says. Again and again, Sund says that the situation is dire.
(Memo) 2:30 p.m.: Miller, Army Secretary McCarthy, and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff meet to discuss Mayor Bowser’s request.
(Memo) 3:04 p.m.: Miller gives “verbal approval” to full mobilization of the DC National Guard (1,100 members).
It has now been more than 90 minutes since Mayor Bowser first asked Army Secretary McCarthy for assistance. It took an hour for Defense Department officials to meet and another half-hour for them to decide to help. And Bowser still doesn’t know the status of her request.
(Memo) 3:19 p.m.: Pelosi and Schumer call Army Secretary McCarthy, who says that Bowser’s request has now been approved.
(Memo) 3:26 p.m.: Army Secretary McCarthy calls Bowser to tell her that her request for help has been approved.
The Defense Department’s notification of approval to Bowser came two hours after her request.
While Miller and his team were slow-walking Mayor Bowser’s request, she had sought National Guard assistance from Virginia Governor Ralph Northam (D) and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan ®. At about the same time, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) called Northam directly for help and he agreed.
3:29 p.m.: Gov. Northam announces mobilization of Virginia’s National Guard. But there’s a hitch. Federal law requires Defense Department authorization before any state’s National Guard can cross the state border onto federal land in DC. That approval doesn’t come until almost two hours later.
The Defense Department “repeatedly denies” Hogan’s request to deploy the National Guard at the Capitol. As he awaits approval, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) calls Hogan from the undisclosed bunker to which he, Speaker Pelosi, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) have been evacuated. Hoyer pleads for assistance, saying that the Capitol Police is overwhelmed and there is no federal law enforcement presence.
4:17 p.m.: Trump tweets a video telling rioters, “I know your pain, I know you’re hurt. We had an election that was stolen from us. It was a landslide election and everyone knows it, especially the other side… It’s a very tough period of time. There’s never been a time like this where such a thing happened where they could take it away from all of us — from me, from you, from our country. This was a fraudulent election, but we can’t play into the hands of these people. We have to have peace. So go home. We love you. You’re very special. You’ve seen what happens. You see the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil.”
(Memo) 4:18 p.m.: Miller gives voice approval to notifying surrounding states to muster and be prepared to mobilize their National Guard personnel.
(Memo) 4:32 p.m.: Miller gives verbal authorization to “re-mission” DC National Guard from city posts where most have been directing traffic and monitoring subway stations “to conduct perimeter and clearance operations” in support of the Capitol Police force.
4:40 p.m.: More than 90 minutes after Governor Hogan had requested federal approval to send his state’s National Guard troops to DC, Army Secretary McCarthy calls and asks, “Can you come as soon as possible?” Hogan responds, “Yeah. We’ve been waiting. We’re ready.”
5:40 p.m.: The first DC National Guard personnel arrive at the Capitol.
(Memo) 5:45 p.m.: Miller signs formal authorization for out-of-state National Guard personnel to muster and gives voice approval for deployment to support the Capitol Police.
The first Maryland National Guard personnel don’t arrive at the Capitol until January 7 at 10:00 a.m. The first Virginia National Guard members arrive at Noon.
6:01 p.m.: Trump tweets: “These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!”
*7:00 p.m.: Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, intends to call Sen. Tuberville but, like Trump five hours earlier, he reaches Sen. Lee. Unaware that he has reached the wrong number, Giuliani leaves a voicemail message saying, “Sen. Tuberville? Or I should say Coach Tuberville. This is Rudy Giuliani, the President’s lawyer. I’m calling you because I want to discuss with you how they’re trying to rush this hearing and how we need you, our Republican friends, to try to just slow it down so we can get these legislatures to get more information to you. I know they’re reconvening at 8 tonight, but it … the only strategy we can follow is to object to numerous states and raise issues so that we get ourselves into tomorrow — ideally until the end of tomorrow.”
When Congress resumes the session at 8:06 p.m., Tuberville votes in favor of objections to certifying Biden’s election.
(Memo) 8:00 p.m.: The DC Capitol Police declare the Capitol building secure.
The Aftermath of the Attack
8:31 p.m.: After widespread media reports that Pence, not Trump, had actually given the order to deploy the National Guard, Kash Patel – Miller’s chief of staff and former top aide to Rep. Nunes – tells the New York Times, “The acting secretary and the president have spoken multiple times this week about the request for National Guard personnel in D.C. During these conversations, the president conveyed to the acting secretary that he should take any necessary steps to support civilian law enforcement requests in securing the Capitol and federal buildings.”
But according to the Defense Department’s January 8 memo, the only such conversation with Trump occurred on January 3.
Jan. 7: Trump releases a video in which he lies, saying, “I immediately deployed the National Guard and federal law enforcement to secure the building and expel the intruders.” Defense Department officials confirm that they did not speak to Trump on January 6.
Jan. 8: Trump tweets: “The 75,000,000 great American Patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future. They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!”
Shortly thereafter, he tweets again: “To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.”
Jan. 9: Twitter issues a statement saying that it has banned Trump because his “statement that he will not be attending the Inauguration is being received by a number of his supporters as further confirmation that the election was not legitimate… and encouragement to those potentially considering violent acts that the Inauguration would be a ‘safe’ target, as he will not be attending.”
Twitter’s statement continues, “The use of the words ‘American Patriots’ to describe some of his supporters is also being interpreted as support for those committing violent acts at the US Capitol. The mention of his supporters having a ‘GIANT VOICE long into the future’ and that ‘They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!’ is being interpreted as further indication that President Trump does not plan to facilitate an ‘orderly transition’ and instead that he plans to continue to support, empower, and shield those who believe he won the election.”
The statement concludes: “Plans for future armed protests have already begun proliferating on and off-Twitter, including a proposed secondary attack on the US Capitol and state capitol buildings on January 17, 2021.”
*Jan. 12: Preparing to board Marine One for Andrews Air Force Base en route to a speech in Alamo, Texas, Trump says, “And on the impeachment, it’s really a continuation of the greatest witch hunt in the history of politics. It’s ridiculous. It’s absolutely ridiculous. This impeachment is causing tremendous anger, and you’re doing it, and it’s really a terrible thing that they’re doing. For Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer to continue on this path, I think it’s causing tremendous danger to our country and it’s causing tremendous anger.”
*Also on Jan. 12: As he prepares to board Air Force One, Trump says, “So if you read my speech — and many people have done it, and I’ve seen it both in the papers and in the media, on television — it’s been analyzed, and people thought that what I said was totally appropriate.
And if you look at what other people have said — politicians at a high level — about the riots during the summer, the horrible riots in Portland and Seattle, in various other — other places, that was a real problem — what they said. But they’ve analyzed my speech and words and my final paragraph, my final sentence, and everybody, to the T, thought it was totally appropriate.”
*Also on Jan. 12: Speaking to his Texas audience, Trump says, “Before we begin, I’d like to say that free speech is under assault like never before. The 25th Amendment is of zero risk to me but will come back to haunt Joe Biden and the Biden administration. As the expression goes: Be careful what you wish for. The impeachment hoax is a continuation of the greatest and most vicious witch hunt in the history of our country, and it is causing tremendous anger and division and pain — far greater than most people will ever understand, which is very dangerous for the USA, especially at this very tender time.”
*Also on Jan. 12: The House Judiciary Committee issues a 76-page report of the events before, during and after the January riot that culminated in the deaths of five Americans, including a US Capitol Police officer. It concludes, “President Trump has falsely asserted he won the 2020 presidential election and repeatedly sought to overturn the results of the election. As his efforts failed again and again, President Trump continued a parallel course of conduct that foreseeably resulted in the imminent lawless actions of his supporters, who attacked the Capitol and the Congress. This course of conduct, viewed within the context of his past actions and other attempts to subvert the presidential election, demonstrate that President Trump remains a clear and present danger to the Constitution and our democracy.”
*Jan. 13: As the article of impeachment and House Report head to the House floor for a vote, CNN reports that members of Congress, under pressure from Trump, are “scared” and “fear for their lives and their families.” Appearing on MSNBC, Rep. Jason Crow (D-CO) says, “I had a lot of conversations with my Republican colleagues. … A couple of them broke down in tears … saying that they are afraid for their lives if they vote for this impeachment.”
The fight to save American democracy is now down to a single defining question:
Which side are you on?