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January 6th Riots

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As the summer hearings of the Jan. 6 committee come to a close, Chairman Bennie Thompson has indicated that the panel is looking elsewhere. As work continues, the investigation is moving closer to the top ranks of the White House and the defeated president’s inner circle.

“We continue to receive new information every day,” Thompson, D-Miss., said last week, announcing the next round of hearings in September. “We are pursuing many additional witnesses for testimony.”

The House committee is investigating not only the grisly attack on the Capitol, but Trump’s extraordinary effort to overturn the presidential election by submitting “fake” slates of electors from the battleground states to vote for him, not Biden, when Congress convened Jan. 6 to tally the 2020 presidential election results. 

The senators could provide information about the run-up to Jan. 6, including any conversations they may have had with Trump and his lawyers who were putting together the plan for the fake electors, said Norm Eisen, a senior fellow at Brookings and former top adviser to Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee.

In one dramatic screenshot of a text exchange, the committee told the story of how a top aide for GOP Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin attempted to hand off a slate of false, pro-Trump electors to then-Vice President Mike Pence as he was presiding in his ceremonial role of certifying the election. Johnson has said he was not involved in that effort.

 

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WASHINGTON (AP) — With only three months left in the year, the House Jan. 6 committee is eyeing a close to its work and a final report laying out its findings about the U.S. Capitol insurrection. But the investigation is not over. 

The committee has already revealed much of its work at eight hearings over the summer, showing in detail how former President Donald Trump ignored many of his closest advisers and amplified his false claims of election fraud after he lost the 2020 election to Joe Biden. Witnesses interviewed by the panel — some of them Trump’s closest allies — recounted in videotaped testimony how the former president declined to act when hundreds of his supporters violently attacked the Capitol as Congress certified Biden’s victory on Jan. 6, 2021. 

Lawmakers say there is more to come. The nine-member panel — seven Democrats and two Republicans — interviewed witnesses through all of August, and they are hoping to have at least one hearing by the end of the month. Members met Tuesday to discuss the panel’s next steps.

 

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WashingtonCNN — At 4:34 pm on January 6, 2021, a cell phone registered to a Capitol rioter who had stormed the building, received a phone call from a White House landline, according to records obtained by CNN. 

The call lasted for only nine seconds. 

Who placed the call and why remains a mystery, but it is notable as the only known call made from the White House to the phone of a rioter during this critical time period. 

According to the records, the call came from 202-456-1414, the publicly available number for the White House. Like many businesses, outgoing calls from the White House do not show a specific extension. The call was placed in the late afternoon, shortly after former President Donald Trump posted a video message on social media telling the rioters at the Capitol, “go home, we love you, you’re very special,” at 4:17pm. 

It’s unclear what, if any, connection exists between the White House and the rioter, including whether the call was made by mistake or whether the call went to voicemail.

 

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WASHINGTON (AP) — A North Carolina man pleaded guilty Thursday to plotting with other members of the far-right Proud Boys to violently stop the transfer of presidential power after the 2020 election, making him the first member of the extremist group to plead guilty to a seditious conspiracy charge.

Jeremy Joseph Bertino, 43, has agreed to cooperate with the Justice Department’s investigation of the role that Proud Boys leaders played in the mob’s attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, a federal prosecutor said. 

Bertino’s cooperation could ratchet up the pressure on other Proud Boys charged in the siege, including former national chairman Henry “Enrique” Tarrio. 

The guilty plea comes as the founder of the another extremist group, the Oath Keepers, and four associates charged separately in the Jan. 6 attack stand trial on seditious conspiracy — a rarely used Civil War era offense that calls for up to 20 years behind bars.

 

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The House Jan. 6 committee is set to unveil “surprising” details including evidence from Donald Trump’s Secret Service about the 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol in what is likely to be its last public hearing before the November midterm elections.

The hearing Thursday afternoon, the 10th public session by the panel, is expected to delve into Trump’s “state of mind” and the central role the defeated president played in the multipart effort to overturn the election, according to a committee aide who discussed the plans on condition of anonymity.

 

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes was convicted Tuesday of seditious conspiracy for a violent plot to overturn President Joe Biden’s election, handing the Justice Department a major victory in its massive prosecution of the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection.

A Washington, D.C., jury found Rhodes guilty of sedition after three days of deliberations in the nearly two-month-long trial that showcased the far-right extremist group’s efforts to keep Republican Donald Trump in the White House at all costs. 

Rhodes was acquitted of two other conspiracy charges. A co-defendant — Kelly Meggs, who led the antigovernment group’s Florida chapter — was also convicted of seditious conspiracy, while three other associates were cleared of that charge. Jurors found all five defendants guilty of obstruction of an official proceeding: Congress’ certification of Biden’s electoral victory. 

The verdict, while mixed, marks a significant milestone for the Justice Department and is likely to clear the path for prosecutors to move ahead at full steam in upcoming trials of other extremists accused of sedition.

 

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