This a continuation of my series that is watching the unfolding saga around the attack on the Capitol by Trumpian thugs……..
The big news is that the Congress has grown a set and found Bannon in contempt….
The full House has voted to hold Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress, reports the Hill. The vote was 229-202, largely along party lines. The former Trump aide refused to appear before a House panel investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol. What happens next is in the hands of the Justice Department. If the department decides to present the case to a grand jury, Bannon could eventually face a fine or jail time, or both. Our original story from Oct. 19 follows:
A House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection voted unanimously Tuesday to hold former White House aide Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress after the longtime ally of former President Donald Trump defied a subpoena for documents and testimony. The committee’s chairman, Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson, said Tuesday that Bannon “stands alone in his complete defiance of our subpoena” and the panel will not take no for an answer. He said that while Bannon may be “willing to be a martyr to the disgraceful cause of whitewashing what happened on January 6th—of demonstrating his complete loyalty to the former president,” the contempt vote is a warning to other witnesses, the AP reports.
“We won’t be deterred. We won’t be distracted. And we won’t be delayed,” Thompson added. The Tuesday evening vote sends the contempt resolution to the full House, which is expected to vote on the measure Thursday. House approval would send the matter to the Justice Department, which would then decide whether to pursue criminal charges against Bannon. The contempt resolution asserts that the former Trump aide and podcast host has no legal standing to rebuff the committee—even as Trump’s lawyer has argued that Bannon should not disclose information because it is, he claims, protected by the privilege of the former president’s office.
Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, one of just two Republicans on the committee, said: “Mr. Bannon’s and Mr. Trump’s privilege arguments do appear to reveal one thing, however: They suggest that President Trump was personally involved in the planning and execution of January 6th. And we will get to the bottom of that.” The committee says it is pursuing Bannon’s testimony because of his apparent role in the events of Jan. 6, including his communications with Trump ahead of the siege, his efforts to get the former president to focus on Jan. 6, the day Congress certified the presidential vote, and his comments on Jan. 5 that “all hell is going to break loose” the next day.
I do not understand why the House was not more prepared for this eventuality….instead they dragged this out ad nauseum.
At least one judge is getting tough on those convicted of the breach and the violence….
Prosecutors asked for 30-day terms for two Capitol rioters when they were sentenced Wednesday in Washington. US District Judge Tanya Chutkan gave Robert Bauer of Kentucky and Edward Hemenway of Virginia 45 days each. On Tuesday, Chutkan gave another person convicted in the Jan. 6 attack—Dona Sue Bissey of Indiana—two weeks, though prosecutors wanted probation. She’s imposed jail terms of 14 to 45 days in the past two weeks on defendants who pleaded guilty to riot charges, Reuters reports. “There have to be consequences for participating in an attempted violent overthrow of the government, beyond sitting at home,” Chutkan said.
She’s not the only judge to be critical of sentences and recommendations she finds too lenient in the riot prosecutions. But in a case last week, Chutkan became the first judge to impose a harsher sentence than prosecutors sought. The chief judge of the federal court in Washington also expressed concern about allowing defendants to plead guilty to misdemeanors. Even those convicted of relatively minor crimes, Judge Beryl Howell said, were involved in “terrorizing members of Congress.” During a hearing in August, Howell asked, “Does the government, in agreeing to the petty offense in this case, have any concern about deterrence?”
Chutkan, who was appointed a judge by former President Obama, raised that issue last week when Matthew Mazzocco was sentenced on a single misdemeanor charge, per WUSA. “A sentence of probation does not reflect the seriousness of the crime. … If Mr. Mazzocco walks away with probation and a slap on the wrist, that’s not going to deter anyone from trying to do what he did,” the judge said. “Nor do I agree with the government that confining him to his home, where he can be with his family, is appropriate.” Among the selfies Mazzocco took on Jan. 6 was one he posted showing the building behind him with the caption, “The capital is ours!” Chutkan gave him 45 days.
At least one Capitol police man was aiding the violent protesters…..apparently he thought more of the thugs and their moronic cause than the safety of his fellow cops….
“Take down the part about being in the building,” a Capitol Police officer advised a rioter on Jan. 7 who’d posted online about taking part in the attack the day before, new charges say. The rioters who went inside the Capitol will be charged, Michael Riley reportedly told the man in a Facebook message, USA Today reports. “Just looking out!” Riley, 50, appeared Friday in DC federal court, accused of obstruction of justice. He’s the first Capitol Police officer to be charged with helping the rioters, per CNN.
The person who communicated with Riley was arrested in January but was not named in the indictment. The two didn’t know each other but had been in Facebook groups related to fishing, the indictment says. Riley sent a friend request. “Hey, im a capitol police officer who agrees with your political stance,” their conversation began, prosecutors say. “Im glad you got out of there unscathed We had over 50 officers hurt, some pretty bad,” Riley told him the same day. The man sent Riley videos showing him at the Capitol, some of him inside the building.
Around the middle of January, Riley told the man to stay off social media, the court filing says. “Theyre arresting dozens of people aday,” the officer messaged. “Everyone that was in the building, engaged in violent acts, or destruction of property…and theyre all being charged federally with felonies.” The two spoke on the phone, as well, and the man then let others know he was communicating with “capitol police” and tell them trespassing charges were imminent. Riley is scheduled to be arraigned on Oct. 26.
A 25-year veteran, Riley was working in the K-9 unit at the time of the riot; he was not on duty in the building when it was attacked. He’s been placed on administrative leave, and the force is doing its own investigation of his conduct. Riley deleted his direct messages after the other man was arrested, per CNN, but not before writing that he was angered by seeing the rioter smoking marijuana in the Capitol on video and “acting like a moron.”
Flying the Black Flag…..
On a daily basis Fox News and other elements of the right-wing disinformation propaganda machine use stochastic terrorism and other techniques to radicalize their audience into committing acts of political violence. To this point, the Democratic Party and the political and news media class in general have remained in denial, and largely passive in response.
In one troubling new development, Trump supporters have begun flying all-black American flags, in an implicit threat to harm or kill their opponents — meaning nonwhite people, “socialist liberals,” Muslims, vaccinated people and others deemed to be “enemies” of “real America.” As media critic Eric Boehlert recently noted, the liberal opinion site Living Blue in Texas is sounding the alarm about the specific meaning of the black flag and the Republican-fascists support for terrorism and other political violence. That post, “Are Your Republican Neighbors Planning on Killing You?”, merits lengthy quotation:
I shall continue to watching the situation around the legal issues surrounding the attack on the republic of 06 January…..
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