Crime Six Members of 'Three Percenters' Militia Indicted on Capitol Riot Charges
Federal Judge Roger Benitez Says ‘Assault Weapons’ Are ‘Anti-Crime Guns’ That Are ‘Perfect’ As ‘Militia Service’ Weapons
A U.S. District Court judge on Friday issued a 94-page opinion which overturned California's long-standing ban on certain guns deemed by state law to be "assault weapons." The post Federal Judge Roger Benitez Says ‘Assault Weapons’ Are ‘Anti-Crime Guns’ That Are ‘Perfect’ As ‘Militia Service’ Weapons first appeared on Law & Crime.(1) The AR-15 rifle is like a Swiss Army Knife.
Multiple California men associated with the "Three Percenters" militia movement have been indicted on federal charges related to their alleged participation the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Among those indicted Thursday were Alan Hostetter, 56, and Russell Taylor, 40—key members of a group called the American Phoenix Project. As leaders of the group, they organized a Washington, D.C. protest in support of former President's false claims of a "stolen" 2020 presidential election one day before they allegedly took part in the Capitol riot. Both of their homes were raided by the in late January.
Security, intelligence failures led to Jan. 6 insurrection: Bipartisan Senate report
A bipartisan Senate investigation of the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection found security and intelligence failures at every level of government that led to the Capitol's breach The 95-page report, a product of a roughly five-month, joint probe by the Senate Homeland Security and Rules Committees, found significant breakdowns ranging "from federal intelligence agencies failing to warn of a potential for violence to a lack of planning and preparation by (U.S. Capitol Police) and law enforcement leadership." There was no overall operational or staffing plan for that fateful day, a total failure of leadership, according to the committees.
The other named defendants were 45-year-old Erik Scott Warner, 47-year-old Felipe Antonio "Tony" Martinez, 39-year-old Derek Kinnison and 51-year-old Ronald Mele. Each of the six defendants were charged with one count conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, one count of obstruction of an official proceeding and aiding and abetting and two counts of entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds.
Taylor was also charged with one count of obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder and aiding and abetting, as well as one count of unlawful possession of a dangerous weapon on Capitol grounds or buildings—which the indictment describes as "a knife having a blade over three inches in length." Kinnison was charged with one count of tampering with documents or proceedings for allegedly attempting to erase or obscure potentially incriminating messages in a group chat the defendants shared with each other using the Telegram messaging app.
Senate report on Capitol attack finds police need basic gear, better sharing of intel
WASHINGTON – A Senate report on the Jan. 6 Capitol riot recommends Congress empower the Capitol police chief to request help from the D.C. National Guard in emergencies and that officers receive regular training on handling civil disturbances and are provided basic protective gear including helmets, gloves and gas masks. The joint report from the Senate Rules and Homeland Security committees details the failure of law enforcement to fully understand the threat in the days leading up to the insurrection, when online posts warning of violence were deemed not credible by the FBI and Department of Homeland Security.
The indictment includes a large number of messages that authorities say were part of the group chat. On the morning of January 6, a message allegedly sent by Taylor boasted that he wanted to "be on the front steps and be one of the first ones to breach the doors." Days before the riot, members of the group allegedly sent messages to each other that suggested bringing weapons including knives, hatchets, bats and bear spray to the Capitol.
The far-right "Three Percenters" is an anti-government militia movement that took its name from a misconception that only three percent of Americans fought against the British during the American Revolutionary War. The national group, which described itself as "America's insurance policy" and vowed to "combat all those who are corrupt," dissolved after the January 6 riot while condemning those who participated in the violence.
Senate report on Jan. 6 attack finds Capitol Police, intelligence agencies failed to relay threat posed by pro-Trump rioters
In the weeks leading up to Jan. 6, the day Congress was scheduled to meet to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election, the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis struggled to determine whether social media posts calling for supporters of former President Trump to go to the U.S. Capitol armed and prepared for violence amounted to a legitimate security threat or was simply “online bravado.” Ultimately,Ultimately, according to a Senate report released Tuesday, both DHS and the FBI concluded that such conversations were not credible and, as a result, neither agency issued an official threat assessment or intelligence bulletin to warn law enforcement about the potential for violence at the
Hostetter retired from his job as chief of police for La Habra, California, in 2010. His career course took a somewhat unusual turn after that, becoming a yoga instructor catering to wealthy suburbanites in Orange County, according to a January opinion article published by The Washington Post. A 2017 article published by The San Clemente Times recalls Hostetter hosting a "restorative yoga session" to a class of 40, featuring guided "sound meditation" using "Tibetan and crystal bowls, didgeridoos and a large gong."
During the summer of 2020, Hofstetter was involved in leading protests against public health restrictions amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Los Angeles Daily News. Hofstetter's attorney, Bilal A. Essayli, told the paper on Thursday that he believes his client "did not enter the Capitol" and he is "very concerned that the government is charging him with multiple felonies."
Newsweek reached out to Hostetter for comment.
Senate investigation of insurrection falls short .
The report on the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol leaves many questions unanswered; it details what went wrong but not why. The investigators appended former President Trump's Save America rally speech to their report but did not consider whether his remarks incited violence. According to the New York Times, the bipartisan nature of the investigation seriously limited its scope, as "Republicans refused to ask questions about the riot that could turn up unflattering information about Mr. Trump or members of their party." Lack of cooperation also hampered the investigation.