6 January Assault on The Capitol and aftermath 2023

Written by  //  September 8, 2023  //  Government & Governance, Justice & Law, U.S.  //  Comments Off on 6 January Assault on The Capitol and aftermath 2023

Select January 6th Committee Final Report and Supporting Materials Collection

7-8 September
Peter Navarro was his own worst enemy
(Politico) Peter Navarro has never been particularly well known for his tact or humility. So it was hardly a surprise to see the obstreperous former Trump White House advisor emerge from a federal courthouse in Washington D.C. Thursday afternoon after his conviction for contempt of Congress and present himself as some sort of martyr.
… The “issue” is whether a former White House official can completely blow off a congressional subpoena after his boss has left office and after the sitting president has made clear that he is not invoking executive privilege over the relevant communications. Much as Navarro might like it to be, this is not the high-minded, momentous constitutional issue that he is claiming it is.
Peter Navarro Convicted of Contempt of Congress Over Jan. 6 Subpoena
(NYT) The verdict made Mr. Navarro the second top adviser to former President Donald J. Trump to be found guilty of contempt for defying the House committee’s investigation.
The rapid pace of the trial reflected, in part, the fact that the case turned on a straightforward question, whether Mr. Navarro had willfully defied lawmakers in flouting a subpoena.

‘Trial tax’: Proud Boys members complain their long prison sentences punish them for demanding a trial
Members of the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers have appealed long prison sentences for the Capitol attack Jan. 6. The Justice Department has also appealed some sentences as too short.
Proud Boys member Ethan Nordean, who was sentenced Friday to 18 years in prison, filed a notice Wednesday he would appeal his sentence. His is the second-longest sentence related to Jan. 6, after Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio was sentenced Tuesday to 22 years in prison.
A lawyer for Proud Boys members Joseph Biggs and Zachary Rehl called their sentences of 17 and 15 years, which twice as long as offered before trial for guilty pleas, a “trial tax.”
The Justice Department is appealing sentences of at least eight members of the Oath Keepers, which ranged up to 18 years.

1 September
US Capitol attack: Proud Boys leader gets 18 years in prison, matching longest
(Reuters) – A leader of the far-right Proud Boys was sentenced on Friday to 18 years in prison over the U.S. Capitol attack, equaling the longest punishment in the case so far, while another member sentenced to 10 years yelled “Trump won” as he left court.
The pair were the latest members of far-right groups sentenced for taking part in the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on Congress, an attempt to overturn Donald Trump’s election defeat.
The 18-year sentence for Ethan Nordean, a leader of the Proud Boys convicted of seditious conspiracy, fell short of the 27 years prosecutors had sought and tied the sentence handed down to Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes in May.
“If we don’t have a peaceful transfer of power in this country, we don’t have anything,” said U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly.
In a statement to the judge, Nordean called Jan. 6 a “complete and utter tragedy” and said he had gone to the Capitol to be a leader and to keep people out of trouble. His wife and sister pleaded for mercy.

3 August
The Charges That Were Notably Absent From the Trump Indictment
An indictment this week did not accuse former President Donald Trump of inciting the mob that attacked the Capitol, but it did show that some close to him knew violence might be coming.
The indictment asserted that as violence erupted that day, Mr. Trump “exploited the disruption,” using it to further his goal of stopping the certification of his loss in the election. But it stopped short of charging him with actually encouraging or inciting the mob that stormed the building, chasing lawmakers from their duties.
Still, the charging document, filed in Federal District Court in Washington, made abundantly clear that a group of aides and lawyers surrounding Mr. Trump were highly aware that he was playing with fire by pushing forward with his plan to pressure his vice president, Mike Pence, to throw the election his way during the congressional proceeding on Jan. 6.
Pence Says Trump Pushed Him ‘Essentially to Overturn the Election’
The remarks, made in an interview with Fox News, are some of Mr. Pence’s most pointed to date about what he experienced in the weeks leading up to Jan. 6, 2021, when he presided over the congressional certification of Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory.
The new remarks are less of a pivot than a subtle shift in Mr. Pence’s language on a topic over which he has long walked a delicate tightrope — condemning Mr. Trump’s behavior while saying he hoped an indictment would not be in the offing, describing it as divisive for the country.

26 May
More Oath Keepers convicted with Rhodes for Jan. 6 attack are sentenced
Army veterans Jessica Watkins and Kenneth Harrelson brought weapons to Virginia before marching into the Capitol in 2021, but were acquitted of seditious conspiracy
Army veterans Jessica Watkins and Kenneth Harrelson were acquitted of seditious conspiracy but convicted on other felony counts in November at trial with Rhodes and his on-the-ground leader, Kelly Meggs. Rhodes and Meggs were convicted of seditious conspiracy and sentenced Thursday.

24 May
Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes sentenced to 18 years for seditious conspiracy in Jan. 6 attack
By Michael Kunzelman and Lindsay Whitehurst and Alanna Durkin Richer
(AP) — Oath Keepers extremist group founder Stewart Rhodes was sentenced Thursday to 18 years in prison for orchestrating a weekslong plot that culminated in his followers attacking the U.S. Capitol in a bid to keep President Joe Biden out of the White House after winning the 2020 election.
Rhodes, 58, is the first person convicted of seditious conspiracy in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack to receive his punishment, and his sentence is the longest handed down so far in the hundreds of Capitol riot cases.
It’s another milestone for the Justice Department’s sprawling Jan. 6 investigation, which has led to seditious conspiracy convictions against the top leaders of two far-right extremist groups authorities say came to Washington prepared to fight to keep President Donald Trump in power at all costs.

8 March
White House goes after Tucker Carlson by name over Jan. 6 coverage
In a rare rebuke of the Fox News ratings leader, the White House said Carlson is “not credible.”
(Politico) The White House joined in widespread condemnation of Fox News star Tucker Carlson on Wednesday, singling out the prime-time ratings king for his misleading portrayal of the U.S. Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021.
In comments shared first with POLITICO, the White House joined Republican Senate leaders and Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger, who a day earlier assailed Carlson’s broadcasts of selected assault footage as being “filled with offensive and misleading conclusions.”
Carlson has taken fire from all sides since House Speaker Kevin McCarthy opted to give the Fox host exclusive access to more than 40,000 hours of video captured on Jan. 6 by Capitol Police cameras. McCarthy has defended his granting of the footage to Carlson. But both he and the Fox host have been widely criticized for presenting slanted and sanitized coverage of the insurrection.
7 March
Despite McConnell’s rebuke, McCarthy defends Jan. 6 tape release to Fox News
Despite a chorus of widespread attacks on Fox News host Tucker Carlson for his portrayal of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol — including from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell — House Speaker Kevin McCarthy defended his decision to hand over more than 40,000 hours of related security footage.
Carlson and his team had exclusive access to the security tape surrounding the attack thanks to McCarthy, drawing concerns the host would use it to spread a new wave of disinformation.
McCarthy said on Tuesday evening that he didn’t watch Carlson’s show the night before, where Carlson falsely stated that the attack on the Capitol was “mostly peaceful chaos” and that “the footage does not show an insurrection or riot in progress.”
Fox News Internal Texts And Emails Show Network’s Scramble In Aftermath Of 2020 Election And January 6th: “Maybe Sean And Laura Went Too Far,” Rupert Murdoch Wrote
A huge release of partially redacted text messages, emails and deposition transcripts that dropped Tuesday in the Dominion vs. Fox litigation sheds further light on the scramble among Fox News personalities and Fox Corp. executives to respond to the backlash in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election and then the repercussions after the attack on the Capitol on January 6th.

6 January
The January 6 Attack Is Not Over – America still needs accountability at every level.
By Tom Nichols
On the second anniversary of the January 6 insurrection, Joe Biden decorated Americans for courage during the unrest, while on Capitol Hill, the House of Representatives remained in limbo as many of the same people who tried to overturn the 2020 election bickered over electing a speaker.
(The Atlantic Daily) President Biden today decorated 14 Americans with the Presidential Citizens Medal, an honor established by President Richard Nixon in 1969 to recognize any citizen of the United States who has “performed exemplary deeds or services for his or her country or fellow citizens.” There are, I am sure, people on the right who will roll their eyes at honoring a Democrat such as Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, or a Republican such as the former Arizona House speaker Rusty Bowers (whose long political career ended with censure and a primary defeat from his own party). Likewise, the Capitol Police officers and the election officials who will be honored have already been the target of harassment and threats; their medals cannot make them whole now. Nor can such a posthumous honor restore Officer Brian Sicknick to life. (Sicknick’s family yesterday filed a wrongful-death suit against former President Donald Trump and two of the January 6 rioters.)
These American citizens are all, in fact, heroes. They took risks—not only politically but also by enduring physical threats from unhinged conspiracists—to protect our democracy. It’s easy to forget just how much danger these people were in, and how narrowly we escaped even greater chaos. Imagine what America would look like today if some of the people being honored by Biden had been intimidated or defeated, or if they’d just lost their nerve.
I reached out to Rosa Brooks today to explore that question. Brooks is one of the scholars who convened a group of experts and partisan operatives in late 2020 to game out the “worst thing that could happen to our country during the presidential elections.” She and her colleagues attracted a lot of snippy criticism at the time, but the events of January 6, 2021, proved their prescience. When I asked about her view of the worst that could have happened on that day, her scenario was chilling: She believes that had the rioters caught Vice President Mike Pence, or perhaps some members of Congress—such as the Democrats trapped in the House gallery at the time—they may well have been beaten or killed. “We know what happened to the police officers caught by the mob,” she told me. “Imagine if the mob had caught members of Congress.”
From there, Brooks suggested, more violence might have erupted, with more deaths. With Pence perhaps missing or incommunicado, there would have been no way to certify Biden’s victory, and Trump would have attempted to impose martial law.
Brooks’s most disheartening conclusion was that we escaped this disastrous possible outcome only by sheer luck. “I don’t think some sort of resilience in our system prevented that,” she said. “It wasn’t the supposed ‘guardrails of democracy’ that kept things from getting that bad—it was chance, plain and simple.”
I agree. We might be glad Pence stood firm at a key moment, but Pence had to be free—indeed, alive—to act. We might also comfort ourselves knowing that the clowns and opportunists who tried to overthrow our constitutional order have been outed by a thorough investigation in Congress. We can hope that justice is served, with prison sentences for some of the most dangerous seditionists and violent rioters. But is it enough? As the Capitol Police officer Harry Dunn tweeted this morning: “730 days later. We’re still waiting on accountability.”
Too many of the most important figures in the January 6 plot—and, as we know from the House investigation, it was indeed a plot, and not some random outbreak of violence—have escaped true accountability. From Trump on down to the group that the Washington Post writer Greg Sargent calls the “coup lawyers,” including John Eastman and Rudy Giuliani, we know their names. But severe consequences for such people have been rare.
Meanwhile, most of the Republicans who voted to overturn the election are still in Congress—or would be, if the House could get organized enough to swear them in. (At a ceremony at the Capitol today to mark the anniversary of the insurrection, only one Republican, apparently, bothered to show up.) The White House event to honor those who defended democracy took place at the same time that Representative Kevin McCarthy, just down the street at the Capitol, submitted himself for another few rounds of political bastinado, as the House, for the 12th and 13th times, failed to elect a speaker.
The anniversary of January 6 should remind us that the crisis of American democracy isn’t over, and that we should continue to take seriously what a close call we had in January 2021. (Exhibit A: Twitter’s new boss, the deeply unserious Elon Musk, trollishly chose today to reinstate the account of the disgraced Trump national security adviser Mike Flynn, the man who wanted the military to seize voting machines.)

4 January
Most Americans — but fewer than in 2021 — disapprove of the January 6 Capitol takeover
(YouGov) After the House Select January 6 committee released its final report, the Economist/YouGov asked Americans a variety of questions about the Capitol rioters, former President Donald Trump’s involvement, and the House committee’s handling of the investigation. The results show that approval of the Capitol takeover remains modest but has increased. Most Americans believe Trump is at least somewhat responsible for the day’s events. Two in five Americans approve of the House committee’s handling of the January 6 investigation, and slightly more are supportive of its decision to issue criminal referrals for Donald Trump.
While most Americans disapprove of the January 6 Capitol takeover, the share who approve has increased significantly since the event first took place. Two years ago, just 9% of Americans said they strongly or somewhat approved of the takeover; now, 20% do. The share who approve of the takeover has increased 13 percentage points among Democrats (to 16%, from 3%) and 16 percentage points among Republicans (to 32%, from 16%), with no significant change observed among Independents. However, the share of Independents who say they’re not sure has increased to 25% from 6%.
In addition to its focus on Mr. Trump’s actions, the report went into great detail about a supporting cast of lieutenants who enabled him. Mark Meadows, his final chief of staff, and the lawyers John Eastman, Rudolph W. Giuliani, Jeffrey Clark and Kenneth Chesebro were named as potential “co-conspirators” in Mr. Trump’s various attempts to cling to power.

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