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How Might The U.S. Capitol Rioters Face Justice?
A violent mob of Donald Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 amid the president’s final push for a second term in office despite his election loss by more than 7 million votes. How Might The U.S. Capitol Rioters Face Justice?
Intruders, some of them wearing tactical gear and waving Trump flags, broke windows and trashed offices in a chaotic scene that forced Congress to halt its proceeding to formally certify President-elect Joe Biden’s win.
Vice President Mike Pence vowed that “those involved will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” and Biden called the episode an “insurrection.” The slow response by police and the relatively few arrests have left observers wondering if the mob would face justice.
1. What Crimes Did The Attackers Potentially Commit?
Legal experts say a wide variety of crimes — from vandalism to sedition — occurred, and prosecutors could charge individuals even if they walked away from the incident without being detained. At least 14 police officers were injured in the day’s events, and two explosive devices were recovered. Alongside misdemeanors and felonies related to assault of law enforcement officers, members of the mob could be charged with firearms offenses, breaking and entering, trespassing and the “willful injury of federal property.”
A specific statute governs unlawful activities on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol, making it illegal to “step or climb on, remove, or in any way injure any statue, seat, wall, fountain, or other erection or architectural feature, or any tree, shrub, plant, or turf.” There are also restrictions on blocking streets, carrying a firearm or using “loud, threatening, or abusive language” on the grounds with the aim of disrupting the work of Congress. The law also prohibits anyone who is not a member of Congress from appearing on the House or Senate floor without express permission.
2. What More Serious Charges Are Possible?
Charges of sedition or insurrection would require proving intent to disrupt or even overthrow the government. (A sedition conviction carries a maximum prison term of 20 years.) During the Black Lives Matter protests in June, Trump issued an executive order stating that his administration would prosecute to the fullest anyone who did harm to federal property, which carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.
There also may be prosecutions under the Anti-Riot Act, which makes it a crime to cross state lines with the intent to incite a riot — or even just encourage another person to riot. The government can also choose to seek prison sentences of up to 5 years for those found guilty of engaging in “civil disorder,” by impeding or attempting to impede the actions of law enforcement officers carrying out their official duties.
3. Could Trump Face Charges?
Possibly. There have been calls to hold him accountable for the crowd’s actions, after he told supporters earlier in the day that he would never concede the election. “He was basically encouraging people to do it,” said former federal prosecutor Jennifer Rodgers. “He’s saying they have to fight and be strong and march to the Capitol — every step of the way he was encouraging them.” It’s not clear that a sitting president can be charged with a crime, but Trump could be charged after he leaves office. Some members of Congress, including Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, have called for his impeachment, again.
4. What Evidence Could Be Used In Prosecutions?
There’s a ton of evidence available to prosecutors, including forensic proof such as fingerprints. Much of the criminal activity took place on live television, providing ample footage that can be combined with facial-recognition technology to identify suspects. Cameras inside the Capitol captured the action as did the social-media feeds of rioters themselves.
The Federal Bureau of Investigations has posted an online form seeking “tips and digital media depicting rioting and violence in the U.S. Capitol Building and surrounding area.” Legal experts say it’s likely that even before the mayhem unfolded, undercover investigators were prowling social media to monitor whoever was organizing it. Suspects may have postings that provide evidence of their intent.
5. Will Trump’s Justice Department Charge The Rioters?
There isn’t much time before Trump leaves office. Acting Attorney General Jeff Rosen said Wednesday that the agency intends “to enforce the laws of our land.” The department can start gathering evidence now, but decisions about how vigorous the prosecution should be are more likely to be made by the next attorney general since it takes time to build cases from such a chaotic event. “The Department of Justice should be looking at it right now,” Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh said.
“These are potentially really serious crimes. They were trying to stop the election of Joe Biden and they shut down Congress to try to do it. These are not petty crimes.” The long arm of the law may also follow troublemakers to wherever they came from. U.S. Attorney Peter McCoy in South Carolina said “anyone who traveled from the District of South Carolina with intent to aid this travesty or commit acts of destruction will be prosecuted” by his office.
6. Can Trump Pardon The Mob?
He can pardon them for any federal crimes. Trump has issued several pardons to supporters and controversial criminals. In this case, the president could even theoretically issue a blanket pardon that would apply to anyone involved in the assault on the Capitol, even if he didn’t know their names and they haven’t all been formally charged. Criminal defense lawyer Jon Sheldon said that while there is little guidance in the law, there have been other instances of presidents granting “group” pardons, including a case where the Supreme Court interpreted an 1865 pardon by President Andrew Johnson as allowing attorneys from the Confederacy to practice despite a law requiring them to swear that they never engaged in hostilities toward the U.S. If Trump were to issue a pardon, it’s likely prosecutors would file charges in some cases anyway to test the president’s authority.
7. Why Did The Police Response Create Doubts About Whether Justice Would Be Served?
Despite the fact that there were thousands of people on the Capitol grounds, there were no mass arrests. As of 9:30 pm Wednesday, 52 people had been arrested by the D.C. police department for alleged activities related to the riot. Four arrests were for carrying pistols without licenses, one was for possession of a prohibited weapon and 47 others were arrests related to curfew violations and unlawful entry. Twenty-six of these 52 arrests were made on U.S. Capitol grounds.
A two-minute video posted to Twitter by a reporter for a Canadian news outlet appeared to show dozens of people freely walking out of the Capitol through a door being held open by a uniformed police officer. In contrast, Black Lives Matter protesters were violently attacked by police during peaceful protests near the White House in June, with law enforcement officers using batons and deploying tear gas against people holding signs in parks.
According to a tally by the Associated Press, more than 10,000 people had been arrested as of early June in the wake of national protests about police brutality. “We shudder to think how police departments would have responded had Black and Brown individuals stormed a government building to protest police brutality,” said Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union.
The Double Standard For Policing Capitol Rioters and BLM Protesters
In June, Black Lives Matter demonstrators were met with a massive show of force from police and federal officers. The Trump insurrection that stormed the Capitol didn’t receive similar treatment.
The world watched in shock as an unruly mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 in an effort to overturn the results of the presidential election. The inability of the U.S. Capitol Police to stop the riot led to a catastrophic breach in national security and a reckoning over law enforcement in Washington, D.C.
Horrified onlookers including President-elect Joe Biden could not help but notice the striking contrast between the police response to Trump’s insurrection and the hard fist that met Black Lives Matter protests in June.
During largely peaceful protests on June 1, D.C. police officers arrested 289 people, with federal officers tear-gassing demonstrators in Lafayette Square to clear the way for Trump’s infamous Bible photo-op at St. John’s Episcopal Church. By comparison, local police in Washington, D.C., who secured the Capitol grounds on Wednesday and enforced the 6 p.m. citywide curfew have made only 68 arrests as of Thursday morning.
Other scenes illustrated the chasm in the police response: A TikTok clip appeared to show Capitol Police opening barricades for pro-Trump agitators. One officer in riot gear helped a Trump supporter down the steps.
Even as police fired tear gas and flash grenades into the churning crowd, others gave departing Trump supporters directions to their cars or hotels. This reporter overheard a Capitol Police officer apologize, unprompted, to would-be insurrectionists as they left the still-chaotic scene at the Capitol grounds: “Sorry about all of this. Thanks for your patience.”
“The dichotomy in treatment is plain to see,” D.C. Attorney General Karl A. Racine said in an interview. For the BLM protests, Trump “made a huge deal of calling in real tough guys” from other government agencies “to absolutely intimidate and be a force against rioters and looters,” Racine said. At the Capitol, police used “kid gloves” and let protesters pass, he said.
The incident shows that the system of criminal enforcement and policing isn’t fair and that Trump and his supporters are wrong to claim there is no systematic racism, Racine said.
“There is no doubt that BLM protesters would not have been treated with the respect and deference that has been shown here,” former federal prosecutor Harry Sandick said in an interview. “President Trump, and his advisers and lawyers, and those members of Congress who encouraged this, should be shamed and driven from public life for all time.”
Biden, in a speech on Thursday, called the different treatment of BLM protestors compared with the mob of Trump supporters “unacceptable.”
During a press conference Wednesday, D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee III defended the number of arrests at the Capitol. “We had to contain the situation that we were dealing with and the moment we were able to contain the situation, [police] were able to make arrests.”
Steve A. Sund, chief of the United States Capitol Police, said in a statement that his officers responded valiantly. “The violent attack on the U.S. Capitol was unlike any I have ever experienced in my 30 years in law enforcement here in Washington,” Sund said. “The actions of the USCP officers were heroic given the situation they faced.”
One viral photo seemed to crystallize the comparison between the police response to Black Lives Matter protests in 2020 and the pro-Trump insurrection in 2021. It shows steely looking military police in fatigues and armor preparing to hold the line during the BLM rally.
Most of the people who shared it yesterday got the details wrong — the photo shows the National Guard lined up on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, not the Capitol — but this viral critique isn’t exactly incorrect: It still gets at a glaring disparity in the federal law enforcement response then and now.
“These photos are a striking reminder of real double standard and institutional racism playing out not just today but over the course of our story,” Janet Murguía, president of Hispanic advocacy group UnidosUS, said Wednesday on Twitter.
“All around our nation, we have seen Black peaceful protestors attacked, charged with felonies, threatened with militarized police presence and treated inhumanely, as they exercised their first amendment rights,” Our Black Party, a political action committee and advocate, said in a statement.
“Our nation has witnessed law enforcement stand idly by while these armed men and women occupy our capitol building and we demand that they immediately act to protect and serve this country and utilize equal force to remove them now. We need our country’s leaders to not only condemn this behavior but to utilize the law to uphold justice and democracy.”
When racial justice protests erupted around the country in June, the federal government made awesome preparations for local protests. Then-Attorney General Bill Barr mobilized unmarked military police and federal law enforcement units to secure D.C. streets, while then-Secretary of Defense Mark Esper asked Ohio, Maryland, Indiana and other states to send National Guard units to lock down the city.
“The sooner you mass and dominate the battlespace, the quicker this dissipates,” Esper said during a conference call with state governors, describing peaceful protests in public squares. Barr eventually expanded his program to include other “anarchist jurisdictions.”
The show of force on June 2 — the day the photo was taken at the Lincoln Memorial — prompted concerns from some military and local officials that the government had violated the Posse Comitatus Act and even the Third Amendment.
Ahead of the long-planned rallies by the Proud Boys and Trump supporters, those same precautions were not taken. The Capitol Police failed to anticipate the size and energy of the crowds, and the Pentagon pointedly sidelined the D.C. National Guard as well, “to avoid the poor optics of uniformed military personnel and Humvees once again returning to the streets of D.C.” the Washington Post reported.
But those concerns over optics only materialized after Barr hammered cities such as Chicago, Seattle, and Portland, Oregon, with preemptive law enforcement actions against the wishes of local and state leaders — and in the service of Trump’s order to protect statues and monuments.
While the Department of Homeland Security reportedly authorized sweeping intelligence measures to protect monuments, federal authorities apparently did not see the Proud Boys as the same threat category as art vandals.
D.C.’s experience with the far-right group should have proved otherwise: In November, a Proud Boys rally led to violent clashes and arrests, and during their December gathering, Proud Boys members destroyed the property of historically Black churches in the city.
At a briefing on Thursday, MPD Chief Contee defended his department’s response. “There was no intelligence that suggested that there would be a breach of the U.S. Capitol,” he said.
The fact that the mob of Trump supporters was largely white likely played a major role in the disparate enforcement approaches, says Chris Burbank, vice president of law enforcement strategy for the Center for Policing Equity, a research center based at Yale University. “There is a different response to Black and Brown people than there is to white people in policing,” he says.
“There is a tremendous disparity in how we treat people and what we as the people believe should be done with different groups when race is involved.”
In addition, the Jan. 6 event had been explicitly summoned by President Trump. “This was the President of the United States who encouraged the groups to go do this. How does that play in to the Capitol Police response, to the FBI response, to the MPD response, when it’s the president who said go do this?” Burbank says. “I’m more disappointed in that leadership perspective than anything else, but without a doubt there was a noticeably different response, and it was felt throughout Black America.”
On Wednesday, D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department led the effort to retake the Capitol building, along with Capitol Police and with support from more than 18 local, state and federal agencies, including officers from Maryland and Virginia. The National Guard arrived, eventually, providing a backstop to other law enforcement agencies.
Perhaps the most striking disparity between the two events was the response from the White House. In June, Trump was eager to use the Insurrection Act to deploy some 10,000 troops to Washington and other cities to suppress Black Lives Matter demonstrations. Yesterday, when an actual insurrection arrived, his message was different. To the rioters ransacking the Capitol, in a video message since deleted by Twitter and Facebook, Trump said, “I love you.”
These State Lawmakers Joined, Observed Pro-Trump Mob At Capitol
Charleston, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia lawmaker who filmed himself and supporters of President Donald Trump storming into the U.S. Capitol is facing bipartisan calls for his resignation as federal prosecutors step up their pursuit of violent perpetrators.
State Del. Derrick Evans was among lawmakers from at least seven states who traveled to Washington, D.C., for demonstrations rooted in the baseless conspiracy theory that Democrat Joe Biden stole the presidential election. Wearing a helmet, Evans ultimately joined a screaming mob as it pushed its way into the Capitol building, and livestreamed himself joyfully strolling inside.
It’s unclear if Evans was the only elected official to participate in what Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and many others called a “failed insurrection.” It’s also not known if any of them will be prosecuted.
Derrick Evans, a newly elected lawmaker from West Virginia, livestreamed video showing him and a mob of rioters forcing their way into the U.S. Capitol.
Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano said he helped organize a bus ride to the demonstrations but left the U.S. Capitol area after the eruption of violence, which he called “unacceptable.” The top Democrat in the Pennsylvania Senate, and eight of his colleagues, want him to resign, saying his actions and words disputing the election’s integrity encouraged a coup attempt and inspired the people behind it.
Tennessee state Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver said Wednesday night that it had been an “epic and historic day.” The Republican lawmaker told The Tennessean she was “in the thick of it” but hadn’t seen any violence. Weaver did not respond to emailed questions from The Associated Press about whether she entered the Capitol.
Incoming Nevada state Assemblywoman Annie Black, a Republican, said she marched from the White House to the U.S. Capitol, where she saw men on megaphones revving the crowd to storm the security barrier. She said she retreated to avoid being associated with the mob.
“We all had a choice when that fence came down,” she said. “Whether it was our group that incited that to happen or another group, every single person had the choice to make.”
Arizona state Rep. Mark Finchem posted photos of himself attending the protest outside the Capitol, but his office said he observed from afar. Liberal groups in the state want him expelled for backing the effort to overturn the election.
Virginia state Sen. Amanda Chase, an outspoken Trump supporter who is running for governor, attended the president’s rally Wednesday in which Trump urged supporters to march to the Capitol. Chase said in a Facebook video that she left near the end of the rally on the advice of her security team, and there is no indication she was part of the group that stormed the Capitol.
Republican state Reps. David Eastman of Alaska and Justin Hill of Missouri both said they went to Washington to object to the Electoral College votes of several states confirming Biden’s election, but didn’t participate in the demonstrations.
Hill described the Trump rally as “very peaceful.”
“But what I saw at the Capitol was not the same people,” he said. “I wasn’t there rallying troops to overthrow the government.”
The president of the national Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, Jessica Post, said “any Republican legislator who took part in yesterday’s insurrection, in Washington, D.C., or anywhere else in the country, should resign immediately.”
“Yesterday was a stain on our country’s history and a dangerous affront to democracy — all those involved have no place making laws,” Post said in a news release.
Washington, D.C., officials said the FBI and the local Metropolitan Police Department were leading the investigation into identifying the participants in Wednesday’s violence. D.C. police have arrested 68 people so far. The top federal prosecutor for the District of Columbia, acting U.S. Attorney Michael Sherwin, said 40 cases have already been presented in superior court and prosecutors plan to file 15 federal cases Thursday. Sherwin said “all options are on the table,” including sedition charges.
John Bryan, a West Virginia attorney representing Evans, was defiant that the delegate will not resign despite lawmakers from both parties seeking to expel him. The Republican speaker of the West Virginia House of Delegates, Roger Hanshaw, said Wednesday night that Evans will need to “answer to his constituents and colleagues” for his actions. Democratic leadership called for his prosecution. About 40,000 people signed a petition on change.org asking for Evans’ removal.
“He committed no criminal act that day,” Bryan said in a statement late Thursday.
The two U.S. Attorneys in West Virginia said in a statement that they are in touch with counterparts in other states and “prepared to enforce the Rule of Law and the laws of these United States.”
Evans, a vocal conservative activist with more than 30,000 followers on Facebook, has not publicly posted on social media since issuing a statement Wednesday that he attended the events as an “independent member of the media to film history.” He took his Twitter account private late Wednesday and didn’t respond to emailed questions.
“At no point was Mr. Evans located in the crowd on the West side of the (Capitol) building, nor anywhere else on the Capitol grounds, where violence and destruction of property was, or had been, occurring,” Bryan said.
In his now-deleted video, widely shared online, Evans is clamoring inside a jampacked Capitol building doorway, trying with others to push his way inside. He hollers along with other Trump loyalists and thanks a law enforcement officer for letting them in.
Strolling the grand Capitol Rotunda, where historic paintings depict the republic’s founding, Evans implores others to not vandalize artwork and busts, some of which would indeed be vandalized.
“Our house!” Evans yells inside Capitol halls. “I don’t know where we’re going. I’m following the crowd.”
Like several other political first-time winners in November’s West Virginia elections, Evans swept aside a Democratic rival to win his seat representing Wayne County. High GOP turnout credited to Trump elevated down-ballot Republicans in the state and gave the party a statehouse supermajority.
The chairwoman of the state GOP, Melody Potter, declined to answer questions about Evans.
House Democrats To Introduce Article Of Impeachment Against Trump
Article to focus on riot at Capitol by Trump supporters and to accuse president of inciting an insurrection.
House Democrats plan to introduce an article of impeachment against President Trump on Monday, according to two Democratic aides, as lawmakers intensified calls to remove the president soon before the end of his term after he encouraged a mob that later stormed the Capitol in an effort to disrupt the certification of his election loss to President-elect Joe Biden.
More than 150 House Democrats, well over half of the caucus, have signed on to the article of impeachment written by Reps. David Cicilline of Rhode Island, Ted Lieu of California and Jamie Raskin of Maryland that focuses on the breach of the Capitol complex and accuses the president of inciting an insurrection. If passed, it would make Mr. Trump the first president in the nation’s history to be impeached twice.
“This conduct is so grave and this president presents such a clear and present danger to our democracy, I don’t think you can simply say let’s just wait it out” until Mr. Trump leaves office, said Mr. Cicilline in an interview. Mr. Biden’s inauguration is Jan. 20.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) said Friday the House would move to impeachment if Mr. Trump doesn’t leave office imminently, though she hasn’t specifically backed the article that lawmakers plan to introduce. Democratic leadership hasn’t scheduled a vote on the matter, and the House is scheduled to be on recess until after the Biden inauguration, meaning it would have to end the recess and reconvene.
Democratic lawmakers are pushing to vote on such a measure next week and send the article of impeachment to the Senate in what would be an unprecedented move in the final days of Mr. Trump’s presidency, as the fallout over the attack on the Capitol continues to reverberate throughout Washington.
The White House pushed back against the effort, with spokesman Judd Deere saying in a statement: “As President Trump said yesterday, this is a time for healing and unity as one nation. A politically motivated impeachment against a president, who has done a great job, with 12 days remaining in his term will only serve to further divide our great country.”
While many Republicans have heavily criticized Mr. Trump’s actions, it wasn’t clear how much support there would be in the GOP-controlled Senate for his removal. Sen. Ben Sasse (R., Neb.) did say he would consider impeachment, while Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski became the first Republican senator to call for Mr. Trump to resign.
The push in the House underscored the perilous moment for Mr. Trump, as cabinet officials resigned and both Democrats and Republicans criticized the president for his role in encouraging the violence after months of refusing to acknowledge his loss to Mr. Biden.
On Thursday, Mr. Trump acknowledged that a new administration would begin on Jan. 20, called for calm and promised an orderly transition, but he said on Friday that he wouldn’t attend Mr. Biden’s inauguration.
Mr. Trump was denied a key communication platform on Friday, as Twitter Inc. said it was permanently suspending his account, citing the risk of further incitement of violence after the attack on the Capitol.
The White House released a statement from Mr. Trump responding to the move.
“Twitter employees have coordinated with the Democrats and the Radical Left in removing my account from their platform, to silence me—and YOU, the 75,000,000 great patriots who voted for me,” he said. He added that he was negotiating with other sites and looking into “the possibilities of building out our own platform in the near future.”
Mr. Trump’s statement was also posted on the @POTUS government Twitter account. Twitter removed those new tweets from the @POTUS account soon after they were posted, saying the move was consistent with its policy against using other accounts to try to evade a suspension. “For government accounts, such as @POTUS and @WhiteHouse, we will not suspend those accounts permanently but will take action to limit their use,” a Twitter representative said.
Mr. Biden, when asked about the House Democratic impeachment efforts, deferred to Democratic lawmakers, calling it “a decision for the Congress to make. I’m focused on my job.” The president-elect was harshly critical of the rioters, calling them domestic terrorists, and of Mr. Trump, saying he was “not fit to serve.”
Mr. Biden said the quickest way to get Mr. Trump out of office will be when he is sworn in on Jan. 20. He said “what action happens before or after that is a judgment for the Congress to make.”
He also said that Mr. Trump’s decision not to attend the inauguration was “one of the few things he and I have ever agreed on.” But he said the vice president would be welcome.
Mrs. Pelosi has pushed Vice President Mike Pence to remove Mr. Trump with the cabinet, using the 25th Amendment, and told Democrats that is the route she would prefer, but if Mr. Pence doesn’t move, she would back impeachment.
“The House will preserve every option—including the 25th Amendment, a motion to impeach or a privileged resolution for impeachment,” Mrs. Pelosi said on Friday. A privileged resolution would fast-track the process to a vote. She also said the House would consider legislation by Mr. Raskin that establishes a nonpartisan body that could, with the vice president, declare the president unfit for office utilizing the 25th Amendment.
Neither Mr. Pence nor any cabinet members have expressed support for using the 25th Amendment to remove Mr. Trump.
Mrs. Pelosi also said on Friday she spoke with the Joint Chiefs chairman, Army Gen. Mark Milley, “to discuss available precautions for preventing an unstable president from initiating military hostilities or accessing the launch codes and ordering a nuclear strike.”
“I was assured that there are safeguards in place,” Mrs. Pelosi said on a private phone call among House Democrats, calling the president unhinged, according to a person on the call.
The Pentagon acknowledged the call Friday but provided no details.
“Speaker Pelosi initiated a call with the chairman,” said Col. Dave Butler, a spokesman for Gen. Milley. “He answered her questions regarding the process of nuclear command authority.”
The House sending an article of impeachment to the Senate triggers an automatic trial, but it is complicated because the Senate is in recess until the day before the inauguration.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) sent a memo to Republican senators on Friday outlining how an impeachment trial could work, saying it would be impossible to do it before Mr. Biden becomes president.
The first day the Senate could formally receive the article would be Jan. 19, according to the memo viewed by The Wall Street Journal. To do it earlier, consent would be needed of all 100 Senators to act on any articles of impeachment before then, which isn’t likely to happen because many Republicans oppose impeachment.
Once the Senate receives the article, there is some formal business required to start the trial, and then the official proceedings would “begin after President Trump’s term has expired—either one hour after its expiration on January 20, or twenty-five hours after its expiration on January 21,” according to Mr. McConnell’s memo.
On a private call with House Democrats on Friday, Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D., Calif.), who managed Mr. Trump’s previous impeachment trial, outlined the impeachment process and said that it is important to be on the same page as Mr. Biden, according to people familiar with the call.
The House passed two articles of impeachment against Mr. Trump in December 2019 related to his efforts to have Ukraine investigate Mr. Biden, and the president was acquitted by the GOP-led Senate last February.
On the House Democrats’ call Friday, not everyone favored moving to impeachment. Rep. Kurt Schrader (D., Ore.) compared a rushed impeachment to a “lynching” and said it wouldn’t give the president due process, according to another person on the call.
In the Senate, some of the most centrist Democrats said it was time for Mr. Trump to leave, or be removed from office. “I would support anything that could remove him between now and Jan. 20,” Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.) said in an interview.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) said he opposed removing Mr. Trump.
“It will do more harm than good,” he said on Twitter. “I’m hopeful President-elect Biden sees the damage that would be done from such action.”
Mr. Graham repeated those comments on Fox News Friday. He said he had been with Mr. Trump for much of the day.
“He wants to move on to a peaceful transfer of power. He wants this to end.”
Hundreds of Trump supporters, pushing past security barriers and Capitol Police officers, breached the Capitol on Wednesday afternoon as both the House and Senate were meeting inside to ratify Mr. Biden’s November victory. The attack forced the evacuation of some lawmakers, while others barricaded themselves against the crowds. It followed a rally where Mr. Trump urged supporters to head to the Capitol and “fight.”
Man Seen In Senate Carrying Zip-Ties Among Those Charged In Riot
Two men photographed carrying zip-ties in the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday were charged Sunday in a federal court in the District of Columbia in connection with the riots.
The charges followed those of three men on Saturday, including a man seen wearing Viking garb and one photographed carrying the Speaker’s lectern in the Capitol while mugging for the camera.
Eric Gavelek Munchel was arrested in Tennessee, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia said in a statement Sunday. He was photographed with the restraints in the Senate chamber.
“Photos depicting his presence show a person who appears to be Munchel carrying plastic restraints, an item in a holster on his right hip, and a cell phone mounted on his chest with the camera facing outward, ostensibly to record events that day,” the Attorney’s Office said.
The second man, Larry Rendell Brock, was arrested in Texas. Both face charges of knowingly entering a restricted building and a count of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
‘White Flex Cuff’
“It is alleged that Brock was identified as one of the individuals who unlawfully entered the U.S. Capitol wearing a green helmet, green tactical vest with patches, black and camo jacket, and beige pants holding a white flex cuff, which is used by law enforcement to restrain and/or detain subjects,” authorities said.
On Saturday, the Justice Department announced the arrest of three men who allegedly took part in the riots at the U.S. Capitol.
Jacob A. Chansley, also known as Jake Angeli, was charged with illegally entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds, and with violent entry and disorderly conduct on the Capitol grounds, the department said in a statement on Saturday.
Chansley was identified as the man seen in media coverage who entered the Capitol building shirtless and wearing horns, a bearskin headdress and red-white-and-blue face paint.
Adam Johnson, 36, of Florida was arrested on multiple charges including one count of theft of government property. The U.S. alleged he removed the House Speaker’s lectern from where it was stored on the House side of the Capitol building.
Widely circulated photos showed a man wearing a Trump beanie inside the Capitol, carrying the lectern while smiling and waving.
Derrick Evans, 35, of West Virginia, a recently-elected member of the West Virginia House of Delegates, faces illegal-entry and disorderly-conduct charges, the DOJ said Saturday. He streamed a video of himself joining and encouraging a crowd unlawfully entering the U.S. Capitol live on Facebook, according to the department.
In the video, Evans is allegedly seen crossing the threshold of the doorway into the U.S. Capitol and shouting, “We’re in, we’re in! Derrick Evans is in the Capitol!”
Following the announcement of his arrest, Evans resigned from the House of Delegates.
“I take full responsibility for my actions, and deeply regret any hurt, pain or embarrassment I may have caused my family, friends, constituents and fellow West Virginians,” he said in a statement.
All five men charged over the weekend are in custody.
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