Politics Opinion: The bombshell Jan. 6 report
The AP Interview: Capitol Police chief sees rising threats
WASHINGTON (AP) — The newly installed chief of the U.S. Capitol Police says the force, still struggling six months after an insurrection that left its officers battled, bloodied and bruised, “cannot afford to be complacent.” The risk to lawmakers is higher than ever. And the threat from lone-wolf attackers is only growing. In an interview with The Associated Press, J. Thomas Manger said his force is seeing a historically high number of threats against lawmakers, thousands more than just a few years ago. He predicts authorities will respond to close to 9,000 threats against members of Congress in 2021 — more than 4,100 had been reported from January to March.
The more information that emerges about former President Donald Trump's efforts to remain in power despite losing the 2020 election, the more difficult it becomes for the Department of Justice to avoid investigating the wide array of potentially criminal conduct by the former President between the election and January 6.
The Senate Judiciary Committee'sadded significant details to what was previously known about how Trump tried to subvert DOJ authority by attempting to turn what is meant to be an independent law enforcement agency into a co-conspirator.
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Some of the report's damning facts were, such as: following the election, Trump pressured then-Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen to throw DOJ's weight behind baseless election fraud claims, in large part by using theories already rejected in the courts. Previous reporting also revealed the former President's threats to replace Rosen with Jeffrey Clark, an underling supportive of Trump's election conspiracy theories -- only backing off when numerous high-ranking officials said they would resign en masse in response.
But what the Committee's report -- with the benefit of additional documents and the testimony of Rosen and others -- makes clear is Trump's actions and those of others, like Clark, were even more manipulative, persistent and pointed in pressing debunked fraud claims to justify their effort to overturn the election. This disturbing knowledge comes at a moment when the Committee's work is still underway, as they await documents and testimony from others, includingwho are trying their hardest the .
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Any criminal referrals the Committee may make to the DOJwhen the investigation is complete.
Of course, DOJ doesn't need a referral to start investigating, and there is no benefit to waiting; cases only grow weaker over time and memories fade. Typically, a criminal investigation is also considered more serious than, and takes precedence over, a Congressional probe. So as the revelations pile up, the question many have asked for months comes to the fore again: will the DOJ investigate these events and possibly file charges against anyone?
There is no lack of possible crimes to investigate here. Interfering with or attempting to interfere with a federal election, as is to federal officials or with the operations of Congress.
The standard for initiating a criminal investigation is a modest one, requiring only articulable facts reasonablya crime has occurred; at this point, more than enough evidence of each of these crimes has been publicly revealed to justify a full federal investigation.
Subpoenas could shed light on how Jan. 6 rally came together
The House committee investigating the violent Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, with its latest round of subpoenas, may uncover the degree to which former President Donald Trump, his campaign and White House were involved in planning the rally — which had been billed as a grassroots demonstration — that preceded the riot. The 11 subpoenas sent this week went to people who organized or worked at the rally at the Ellipse where Trump encouraged the crowd to march to the Capitol and told them “you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong.
Of course, it's possible an investigation is proceeding; usually, criminal investigations are not announced publicly. Law enforcement works out of the public gaze, in part to allow for the effective gathering of evidence that, in many cases, is subject to strict grand jury secrecy rules. In this instance, however, given the publicity surrounding the events in question and the ongoing Congressional investigation, a secret DOJ investigation being carried out at the present time appears unlikely.
Make no mistake: prosecuting the former President would be a significant challenge for any prosecutor: the burden of proof in criminal cases is high; Trump has a knack for trying to make things happen without being explicit, making proof of intent difficult; and the former President and his supporters would likely claim (wrongly) the prosecution is politically motivated. But none of these obstacles is a barrier to, at minimum, investigating egregious behavior.
Some reluctance is understandable. Attorney General Merrick Garland and his colleagues have lots of work to do to restore the integrity of the Department after the abuses of the Trump years, and to advance their priorities in various important areas, likeand civil rights abuses by police.
Marine Corps refutes claim of corporal who told Trump rally he hoisted baby over wall at Kabul airport
The Marines refuted a claim made by a Marine that he was the one who lifted a child over a wall at the Kabul, Afghanistan airport in a viral photo.Lance Cpl. Hunter Clark was invited to a Sept. 25 rally held by former President Donald Trump, and Clark was introduced to the Perry, Georgia crowd by Trump as being the Marine who "helped evacuated children over ... the airport wall. You saw him. He did a great job.
There are legitimate worries a case of this historic magnitude and complexity could overshadow everything else DOJ does, not to mention concerns about the unknown political ramifications of bringing such charges. The Biden White House also seems to have little appetite, although President Joe Biden himself has pledged in the past not to interfere with DOJ's criminal decision-making.
So far, Garland has appeared to defer to other investigations instead of building his own case, assisting Congress's inquiry by providing DOJ documents and declining to assert executive privilege over.
Meanwhile, Trump'sGeorgia's election officials to "find" him just enough extra votes to overtake Biden has prompted a Fulton County District Attorney's investigation, which could theoretically lead to charges for at least that part of Trump's machinations.
But the federal courts, ultimately, remain the best place to prosecute an overarching scheme -- involving an attack on Congress -- to undermine the results of a free and fair election across multiple states.
As a nation, are we really willing to accept that a former President, who pledged to faithfully execute our laws but instead tried to fraudulently steal an election to stay in power, walks away without even a comprehensive federal criminal investigation of his conduct? The lack of transparent, unequivocal action by DOJ in defending our democracy from an attack of this magnitude lets us all down.
These are the people the select committee may call to testify about the Jan. 6 Capitol attack .
Two weeks after its first public hearing, the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol attack has yet to announce who else it plans to call to testify, though members have made clear that anyone with relevant information about the insurrection, including former White House officials, Republicans in Congress and even former President Donald Trump himself, could be subject to a subpoena. “If we get an inkling that there’s any resistance with providing the committee some of this information, boom, here comes the subpoena,” the committee’s chairman, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said in a recent interview with the Washington Post.