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    FBI Capitol Riot Investigation Shifts Gears

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    The Last Outlaw
    The Last Outlaw
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    PostThe Last Outlaw Tue Jan 26, 2021 12:43 pm

    FBI Capitol Riot Investigation Shifts Gears DZRTo

    FBI Capitol Riot Investigation Shifts Gears FYYJx

    Rebecca Davis O’Brien, Erin Ailworth of The Wall Street Journal wrote:
    FBI Capitol Riot Investigation Shifts Gears BB1d78ph

    The Federal Bureau of Investigation has marshaled hundreds of agents from specialized squads and field offices across the country as its probe of the Capitol riot moves to a new phase attempting to build conspiracy charges against an expanding number of suspects.

    Authorities are sifting through reams of evidence—including more than 200,000 digital tips gathered from social media, members of the public, confidential informants, local news and surveillance footage, according to court filings and people involved in the cases. The sprawling investigation includes FBI agents who normally handle a range of other matters, including securities fraud, public corruption, drugs, and gangs, the filings show.

    FBI field offices from Arizona to New York have fanned out to make arrests, search homes and interview witnesses, family members and associates. Homeland security agents and local law enforcement have also taken part in the investigation, according to the filings and people involved.

    Current and former law-enforcement officials said the effort was comparable with some of the largest investigations in the FBI’s recent history, such as the Oklahoma City bombing and the Boston Marathon attack. The result has been a rapid-fire series of criminal complaints, arrest and search warrants, and grand jury indictments, with more arrests expected. The effort is aimed at deterring future efforts to besiege the capital and to root out dangerous groups, the officials said.

    “The scope and scale of this investigation and these cases are really unprecedented not only in FBI history, but probably DOJ history,” said Michael Sherwin, acting U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, which is overseeing the prosecutions. Speaking at a recent news conference, Mr. Sherwin said there were thousands of potential witnesses and likely hundreds of criminal cases.

    Five died amid the violence at the Capitol, including a U.S. Capitol Police officer and a 35-year-old military veteran who was shot by police. Three died while suffering medical emergencies.

    Investigators’ next challenge will be taking a cascade of low-level criminal charges like unauthorized entry into the Capitol and using them as predicate offenses that allow agents and prosecutors to dig further in their attempt to build a broader case for conspiracy, law-enforcement officials said.

    “Now after those charges are filed, then we have the ability to then indict these individuals on more significant charges,” Mr. Sherwin said. Pointing to efforts to secure more serious charges in multiple states, he said, “And that is exactly what has happened.”

    “The arrest is only the starting point,” said Richard M. Frankel, the former special agent in charge of the Newark, N.J., FBI field office. “Now they can go back and say, ‘Is this an organized effort to violate Congress, and do further criminal acts?’”

    The breach of the Capitol gives the FBI an entry point to investigate white nationalist groups long on law enforcement’s radar, allowing for a review of finances, communications and affiliations, Mr. Frankel said.

    Attorneys said that lawyers defending against conspiracy charges might argue that defendants were taking their cues not from a militia, or from QAnon, or from a white nationalist group, but from one person: former President Trump, whom Congress impeached on a charge of inciting an insurrection.

    “These are like those high-school football players,” whose coach gets them “jumping up and down to get out and play football,” said Albert Watkins, a lawyer representing Jacob Chansley, the self-described QAnon Shaman who faces six counts, including felony charges of civil disorder and obstruction stemming from the riot.

    During a more than hourlong speech, Mr. Trump repeated false claims of voter fraud and called on then-Vice President Mike Pence to step in and reject election results during a joint session of Congress.  “Because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength and you have to be strong,” Mr. Trump said.

    Mr. Trump has denied any responsibility for the violence perpetrated by his supporters at the Capitol last week, saying his speech before the riot was “totally appropriate.”

    Law-enforcement officials and defense attorneys say the probe will have to go deeper than social-media posts and unlawful intrusion charges to yield broader conspiracy charges, which are more difficult to charge and harder to prove.

    “I’m not sure they know what their endgame is,” Mr. Watkins of the federal investigators. “That is the problem with picking people up and acting with haste while people are screaming for the lynch mob mentality.”

    Federal prosecutors have already filed conspiracy charges against some alleged rioters, including three who authorities say had acted in an “organized and practiced fashion” and at one point appeared to suggest the possibility of gassing lawmakers in the tunnels below the building.

    The individual cases suggest the breadth and swiftness of the investigations.

    A New York City sanitation worker was arrested Thursday on charges of disorderly conduct and entering restricted grounds, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in D.C. The arrest followed an investigation detailed in a sworn statement from a federal agent that involved the FBI, two city agencies, surveillance footage, a Telegram account, and license plate readers on toll roads in New Jersey and Maryland, court filings show.

    A self-professed white supremacist from Maryland was arrested after his probation officer reported him to the FBI, according to an FBI affidavit. The man had gained permission from the probation officer’s supervisor to travel to Washington to distribute Bibles with a religious organization, the probation officer told the FBI, according to the affidavit. The man’s GPS monitoring device appeared to show him inside the Capitol barricades.

    A Federal Aviation Administration employee from California who declared he had “Q clearance” and claimed that World War III would start on Jan. 6, landed on the FBI’s radar in late December, several days before a television camera recorded him inside the Capitol, according to an affidavit filed in his case.

    The riot’s participants effectively live-streamed themselves on social media, creating a kind of “Where’s Waldo?” identification game for investigators. Tipsters have provided investigators with screenshots and video clips preserved before they could be deleted.

    Investigators dug into the social-media and real-life networks of Dominic Pezzola, a former Marine in Rochester, N.Y. charged in the riots, said Mr. Pezzola’s attorney, Mike Scibetta. Prosecutors have said Mr. Pezzola is one of several people authorities described as Proud Boys arrested for taking part in the riot. Members of the Proud Boys describe themselves as “Western chauvinists” and advocate misogynistic, racist and anti-Semitic views.

    Enrique Tarrio, the leader of the Proud Boys, has told The Wall Street Journal that he ordered his members not to storm the Capitol but that he won’t denounce any who did.

    Mr. Scibetta said Mr. Pezzola wasn’t part of any organized effort, and that his client was at most intrigued by the Proud Boys—a loose affinity, nurtured online and with like-minded friends in local bars. Of the broader investigation, Mr. Scibetta said that while the charges are low-level, the scale of the effort is remarkable.

    “It really is uncharted territory,” Mr. Scibetta said. “It’s like a strange roundup of your neighbors.”

    Prosecutors will also be looking for people who want to cooperate. Some of those arrested have already indicated regret for their participation, and some defense lawyers say they expect their clients to be helpful to law enforcement.

    So far, prosecutors’ suggestion that a broader conspiracy at work in the Capitol riot has had mixed reception in courthouses around the U.S.; magistrate judges processing the cases locally have released some defendants on bail, over prosecutors’ objections. Others have been ordered detained while they await transport to Washington to face charges.

    On Friday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Chip Frensley in Tennessee approved the release of Eric Munchel, who was photographed in the Senate chamber bearing plastic handcuffs and a Taser. Mr. Munchel and his mother face charges including conspiracy and civil disorder.

    Seeking Mr. Munchel’s detention, prosecutors pointed to a cache of weapons in his home and a video of him fist-bumping a purported member of the Oath Keepers—a loose coalition of militias that recruits from former military, law enforcement and first responders. Judge Frensley disagreed, saying he had “no reason to believe that Mr. Munchel is a member of any organized collective action against the government.”

    The judge, who reviewed video taken by Mr. Munchel on a cellphone strapped to his chest, agreed with prosecutors that it depicted “shocking conduct.” But he said Mr. Munchel’s intrusion didn’t appear planned, that instead Mr. Munchel went to the event “and then fell into the mob.”

    Judge Frensley stayed his decision pending a ruling from Beryl Howell, the chief judge in Washington D.C. federal court. Judge Howell denied Mr. Munchel’s release and ordered the U.S. Marshals Service to bring him to Washington D.C. in custody.

    Mr. Munchel’s Tennessee lawyer didn’t respond to requests for comment.

    President Franklin D. Roosevelt once declared that December 7, 1941 was "a day that will live in infamy."  Some people declared that September 11, 2001 was a day that would live in infamy.  I'm here to declare that January 6, 2021 is a day that will live in infamy.  What are the differences in those declarations?  On December 7, 1941, we were attacked by outside forces.  On September 11, 2001, we were attacked by outside forces.  On January 6, 2021, our democracy was attacked... by our own people.  Why?  Because they were told by their dear leader, Donald J. Trump that the election was "stolen".  He made baseless claims of "widespread" voter fraud.

    He has been on a losing trend since the election.  The Breakdown looked like this.

    The race was called on the Saturday after Election Day.  On Election Night, he falsely declared victory, then claimed voter fraud.

    He continued to claim voter fraud as the race to the White House was called in favor of the-NOW President Joe Biden.

    He took his cases to federal court (without any evidence) and was literally laughed out of court 59 times.

    He took his cases to The Supreme Court (again, without any evidence).  The case was not even entertained.

    So Trump and his political allies took their case to his base... the MAGA tribe.  The people who will literally kiss the ground that Trump walks on.

    Trump said...

    "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 people really came up with, we will stop the steal..."

    "Now it is up to Congress to confront this egregious assault on our democracy. After this, we’re going to walk down and I’ll be there with you. We’re going to walk down. We’re going to walk down any one you want, but I think right here. We’re going walk down to the Capitol, and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators, and congressmen and women. We’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong..."

    "After this, we’re going to walk down and I’ll be there with you. We’re going to walk down. We’re going to walk down any one you want, but I think right here. We’re going walk down to the Capitol, and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators, and congressmen and women. We’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong..."

    "We fight like Hell and if you don’t fight like Hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore..."

    These are the words from the 45th President of the United States.  The same man who is denying any responsibility for this happening on January 6, 2021.  This was not Antifa.  This was not Black Lives Matter.  This was MAGA!  I guess if the question were to come up, "If Donald Trump told you to go to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and jump off it, would you do it?"  The answer would be an astounding and astonishing YES!  Why?  Because Donald J. Trump said so!

    Just Saying.
    FBI Capitol Riot Investigation Shifts Gears I6goy

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    FBI Capitol Riot Investigation Shifts Gears FBCTRFBI Capitol Riot Investigation Shifts Gears D5SsG
    FBI Capitol Riot Investigation Shifts Gears Nexads420

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