World Capitol National Guard Operation Could Last Beyond May Due to 'Domestic Threat': Pentagon
FBI Director Shoots Back, Insisting Bureau Shared Intel Ahead of Capitol Insurrection
FBI Director Christopher Wray, pushing back against the Capitol and D.C. police, insisted on Tuesday that his agents shared intelligence with them “in three ways” ahead of the Jan. 6 insurrection. Making his first substantial public comments on the FBI’s performance since an attack he called “domestic terrorism,” Wray told the Senate Judiciary Committee that the FBI had provided a now-infamous “situational information report” from its Norfolk bureau to D.C.
Secretary of Defensehas approved a request from the U.S. Capitol Police to extend the deployment of thousands of National Guard troops in Washington, D.C., in an effort to help law enforcement guard against the threat posed by domestic extremist groups.
The troops were first deployed after the storming of the U.S. Capitol by aon January 6.
Almost 2,300 national guards will now remain deployed to the capital until at least May 23, around half of the 5,100 currently operating around the Capitol building. Speaking with reporters Tuesday,press secretary John Kirby refused to say whether the deployment could be extended further.
Capitol Police Chief Pittman says threats to Congress members up by 93.5% in first 2 months of 2021
Capitol Police acting Chief Yogananda Pittman testified before a House Appropriations subcommittee Wednesday that threats to members of Congress have increased by 93.5% within the first two months of 2021, compared to the same time period last year. And from 2017 to 2020, Pittman said there has been a 118.66% increase in "total threats and directions of interests," with the overwhelming majority of suspects residing outside the National Capital Region (NCR) in Washington, D.C. CAPITOL RIOT HEARING: DC NATIONAL GUARD GENERAL SAYS 3 HOURS PASSED BEFORE ARMY APPROVED REQUEST ON JAN.
Asked whether the deployment would become an "enduring mission" by one reporter, Kirby responded: "I don't think anybody can answer that question right now. Right now, we're really dealing with a specific request for assistance for an additional couple of months extension at a reduced number from what we're seeing now."
"That's where our focus right now is," Kirby said. "So I'm in no position to speculate beyond that."
Asked whether this meant the deployment could be indefinite, Kirby responded: "I think you might be over-hearing me. I'm saying what we're focused on is this focus request—that's where the focus is right now, and I just wouldn't hypothesize about this going forward."
March 4th Capitol Attack Fears Grow as Conspiracy Theorists Talk of Trump's Return
QAnon believers think Trump will arrive on March 4th to finally execute the long-awaited "storm"—that is, ordering mass arrests and executions of satanic pedophilies who are part of the "deep state."On Wednesday, the United States Capitol Police (USCP) announced that they had uncovered threats by militia groups to breach the Capitol building on March 4. The "possible plot" appeared to be connected to the QAnon theory that Trump would return to office on that date, when presidents were inaugurated pre-1933.
Troops are deployed to the Capitol to support, who were overwhelmed by pro-Trump rioters on January 6. The USCP is currently reviewing the events of that day, and has already dismissed six officers and suspended 29 others, pending further investigation.
"Part of the calculus here is in helping fill some of the gaps incapabilities on Capitol Hill and at the Capitol complex," Kirby told reporters Tuesday.
"So part of this is obviously valid requirements to have in there, but also to help backfill some of these capabilities, as they look at themselves as an institution and what they need to do for their long-term future."
The National Guard is deployed to the capital to protect against a repeat of January 6, asand conspiracy theorists continue to organize and online.
The Biden administration, meanwhile, has put a new focus on right-wing extremism, long a toxic strain within American conservatism but one that has grown more influential and dangerous in recent years, encouraged—critics say—by Trump and his allies in the GOP.
Capitol rioter accused of assaulting cops with chemical spray served as Marine, to remain jailed before trial
A federal judge in Texas ruled Friday that a former Marine accused of dousing at least 15 police officers with a chemical spray outside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 and bragging about it later on video will remain in custody, according to a report. Daniel Ray Caldwell, 49, of The Colony, Texas, will stay behind bars until his trial in Washington, D.C., The Dallas Morning News reported. After hearing testimony during several detention hearings in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Magistrate Judge Kimberly Priest Johnson decided no conditions of release would "reasonably assure the safety" of the community.
The Pentagon is itself in the midst of a 60-day stand-down order to review. The National Guard is also under added scrutiny, and 12 members were removed from their inauguration duties over extremist concerns.
Austin and Kirby have both admitted they do not yet know how serious the problem of extremism in the military is. Kirby repeated Tuesday that the focus of the probe is on far-right extremists and gangs.
Kirby explained that the National Guard operation was required given concerns about more extremist violence. "It's obviously different here at home than it would be for forces overseas, of course," he said.
"It's a domestic threat that we're talking about, which means that the information and the intelligence comes from domestic law enforcement agencies."
"It's important to remember is that the Guard presence on the Hill, while certainly there to address a requirement that is based on law enforcement's concerns, is also there to help bolster and support the Capitol Police and their capabilities, which may not be at the level where it needs to be, given the fact that we're in sort of a new environment in this country."
China State Media Decries Pentagon's 'Nitpicking' Task Force
A senior military analyst has described the Pentagon's China Task Force as Biden's fault-finding mission.The 20-member Department of Defense task force—comprising military and intelligence officials as well as civilian leaders—was announced by the president last month and held its first meeting on March 1.
The Department of Defense confirmed the decision on Tuesday. In a statement, the Pentagon said officials "will work with the U.S. Capitol Police to incrementally reduce the National Guard footprint as conditions allow."
Fact Check: Is the Pentagon Spending $15M a Year to Kill Brown Tree Snakes on Guam? .
The Western Pacific island of Guam was trending on Twitter after Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) referred to the U.S territory as a foreign land.The island was a major U.S. Naval and Air Force base during World War II, and the Guam Organic Act of 1950 made Guam an unincorporated territory of the United States, transferring jurisdiction from the U.S. Navy to the Department of the Interior (DOI).