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Derrick Evans

Screenshot from American Independent

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

At least one Republican state lawmaker has been arrested and federally charged as part of the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol, the Department of Justice announced on Friday.

West Virginia state Del. Derrick Evans filmed himself inside of the Capitol, breaking into the building with the mob of Trump supporters.

He's one of 12 GOP state lawmakers who were either at the rally where Trump incited the mob to head to the Capitol, or were in the Capitol itself as part of the insurrection — according to a list compiled by FiveThirtyEight's Nathaniel Rakich.

Some of the lawmakers claimed they were not part of the violence. But their presence ties them to the horrific events the country watched unfold and is leading to calls for their resignations.

The Republican lawmakers are:

Tennessee state Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver: At 6:41 p.m., as law enforcement was still working to clear the building of the violent insurrectionists who broke in as part of a now-failed coup attempt, Weaver tweeted a photo from earlier in the day at the Capitol praising the mob.

"Epic and historic day gathering with fellow Patriots from all over the nation DC," Weaver tweeted.

Weaver admitted to the Tennessean that she was "in the thick of it" and falsely claimed that there "wasn't any violence going on here."

But Trump supporters were captured on video assaulting journalists and law enforcement officials by countless media outlets and individuals at the scene, in reports that traveled around the world. One Capitol Police officer is now dead from injuries sustained trying to protect the hundreds of lawmakers and workers inside, in addition to four others who died.

Virginia state Sen. Amanda Chase: A leading contender to be the Republican nominee for governor of Virginia, Chase posted an image of the pro-Trump mob gathered outside of the Capitol to Facebook, writing, "DC Rally! SHARE what the media won't show you!"

She later defended the violent coup attempt in a video, saying, "I will tell you that while I do support peaceful protest, that I believe that we the people have had enough, and when you back good people, law-abiding citizens, into the corner, they will push back when you give them no other options."

The Virginia Democratic Party called Chase's comments "despicable" and "what the whole @VA_GOPhas become."

West Virginia state Del. Derrick Evans: Like Weaver, Evans was one of the insurrectionists who illegally entered the Capitol.

The New York Times reported that in a since-deleted video posted to his Facebook Page, Evans screams "We did it!" upon entering the building, adding "Derrick Evans is in the Capitol!"

Evans also ignored demands from Capitol Police officers to leave, shouting "Patriots inside, baby!" according to the Times.

He has been charged by the Department of Justice for his role and is now facing calls to resign.

Michigan state Rep. Matt Maddock: Maddock and his wife, Meshawn Maddock, spoke at the rally before the violent insurrection took place.

Meshawn retweeted a video of the mob walking toward the building and said it was "the most incredible crowd and sea of people I've ever walked with."

A local Michigan Patch site reported that Meshawn claimed she left before the violence started.

Missouri state Rep. Justin Hill: Hill, a former police officer, did not attend his own swearing-in at the Missouri state Capitol to attend the rally and later the violent insurrection at the Capitol.

In a post on Facebook, Hill claimed that he went to the Capitol but left "immediately" when he heard that someone had been shot and suggested that the violent insurrectionists inside were not Trump supporters — a lie right-wing media and some Republican lawmakers are pushing.

Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano: A local news outlet reported that Mastriano led a bus of Trump supporters down to the rally, where Trump called on his supporters to "fight" and march to the Capitol, where the violence began.

Mastriano told a local news outlet that, "At no point did we enter the Capitol building, at no point did we tread upon the Capitol steps, and at no point did we tread upon police lines. Obviously, we're there together and we don't want to get caught in any violence, so we left out of there."

Nevertheless, his Democratic colleagues are calling for his resignation.

"Doug Mastriano is a sitting senator who actively organized a violent insurrection in an attempt to prevent a peaceful transfer of power. Sen. Corman & GOP leadership should call for his immediate resignation. If not, he should be removed from all committee or leadership positions," Democratic state Sen. Tim Kearney tweeted.

Arizona state Rep. Mark Finchem: Finchem tweeted on Jan. 1 that he was traveling to Washington, D.C., to "fight for President @realDonaldTrump," adding that he was going to be at a protest at 10 a.m. at the Capitol building, where the insurrection occurred.

Finchem later tweeted a photo of the mob on the steps of the Capitol with the caption, "What happens when the People feel they have been ignored, and Congress refuses to acknowledge rampant fraud."

That language appears to directly support the insurrection that took place.

Finchem later complained that he could not get food delivered to his hotel room after attending the violent insurrection because of law enforcement activity.

Alaska state Rep. David Eastman: Eastman was at the rally earlier in the day where Trump incited the mob but claimed that he did not go to the Capitol, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

Still, Eastman traveled from Alaska all the way to Washington, D.C., to attend a rally, whose sole purpose was to egg on the effort to force Republican members of Congress to block President-elect Joe Biden's victory.

Eastman told the Daily News that he thought the riot and break-in was "pretty terrible."

Democratic state Rep. Sara Hannan told the outlet that she heard from constituents who wanted Eastman to be expelled for attending the rally, but said he would not be because he had a First Amendment right to attend a rally.

"If his picture shows up having breached and vandalized the Capitol buildings ... then I think there should be repercussions," Hannan told the Daily News. "But as far as his right to protest, that's an American's right."

Incoming Nevada state Assemblywoman Annie Black: A local news outlet in Nevada reported that Black was at the Capitol when the violence broke out but did not go past the security line "to avoid being associated with the mob."

Like Eastman, Black traveled a long distance to attend a rally that was specifically trying to pressure Congress to overturn a free and fair election. Yet she condemned the violence, later trying to blame it on "rogue Trump supporters or outside agitators" — the same kind of blame-shifting rhetoric that has been seen on right-wing media outlets.

"Whoever these people were, whether they were rogue Trump supporters or outside agitators, they should be identified, arrested, charged, prosecuted, and severely punished," Black told 8NewsNow.

Illinois state Rep. Chris Miller: Miller posted a video to Facebook at the rally before the mob breached the Capitol.

He used violent rhetoric, calling the rally a "great cultural war to see if we will survive, whether if we will remain a free people."

He spoke of the "dangerous Democrat terrorists" who are "trying to destroy our country."

Miller's wife is Rep. Mary Miller, also a Republican, who is now facing calls to resign after she spoke at the rally and said "Hitler was right" to recruit youth into his Nazi movement.

Outgoing Georgia Rep. Vernon Jones: Jones attended the rally that preceded the violent insurrection, where he officially declared that he was leaving the Democratic Party and joining the GOP.

"Moments ago, I announced that I am officially joining the Republican Party," Jones tweeted. "Now more than ever, the Republican Party is in desperate need of leaders that know how to fight. I know how to fight."

Jones took a selfie at the march to the Capitol with Finchem, one of the other GOP lawmakers at the insurrection.

Outgoing Arizona state Rep. Anthony Kern: Kern posted photos traveling to the District of Columbia for the rally urging a coup, tweeting on Jan. 4, "DC Hear We COME!!!!!! #StoptheSteal"

Kern went to the rally where Trump fired up his supporters to go to the Capitol. He tweeted a photo of himself outside of security fencing, and it's unclear whether he went inside.

Kern lost reelection in 2020.

Former Pennsylvania state Rep. Rick Saccone: Saccone is no longer in the state Legislature, but he was also part of the violent mob at the Capitol.

He said in a since-deleted Facebook post that, "We are storming the capitol. Our vanguard has broken through the barricades. We will save this nation. Are u with me?"

Saccone lost a special election to Democratic Rep. Connor Lamb in 2018. Saccone went on to lose a GOP primary in a different United States House district in Pennsylvania later that year.

The violent insurrection that occurred on Wednesday was spurred on by Trump himself.

Trump called for Republicans to fight 20 times in his rambling one-hour-and-13 minute-long speech, in which he called on his supporters to march to the Capitol to "give our Republicans, the weak ones, because the strong ones don't need any of our help, we're going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country," according to a transcript.

Trump is likely to be impeached for a second time over the incitement.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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Mark Meadows

Donald Trump’s White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows wanted a presidential pardon. He had facilitated key stages of Trump’s attempted 2020 coup, linking the insurrectionists to the highest reaches of the White House and Congress.

But ultimately, Meadows failed to deliver what Trump most wanted, which was convincing others in government to overturn the 2020 election. And then his subordinates, White House security staff, thwarted Trump’s plan to march with a mob into the Capitol.

Meadows’ role has become clearer with each January 6 hearing. Earlier hearings traced how his attempted Justice Department takeover failed. The fake Electoral College slates that Meadows had pushed were not accepted by Congress. The calls by Trump to state officials that he had orchestrated to “find votes” did not work. Nor could Meadows convince Vice-President Mike Pence to ignore the official Electoral College results and count pro-Trump forgeries.

And as January 6 approached and the insurrection began, new and riveting details emerged about Meadow’s pivotal role at the eye of this storm, according to testimony on Tuesday by his top White House aide, Cassidy Hutchinson.

Meadows had been repeatedly told that threats of violence were real. Yet he repeatedly ignored calls from the Secret Service, Capitol police, White House lawyers and military chiefs to protect the Capitol, Hutchinson told the committee under oath. And then Meadows, or, at least White House staff under him, failed Trump a final time – although in a surprising way.

After Trump told supporters at a January 6 rally that he would walk with them to the Capitol, Meadows’ staff, which oversaw Trump’s transportation, refused to drive him there. Trump was furious. He grabbed at the limousine’s steering wheel. He assaulted the Secret Service deputy, who was in the car, and had told Trump that it was not safe to go, Hutchinson testified.

“He said, ‘I’m the f-ing president. Take me up to the Capitol now,’” she said, describing what was told to her a short while later by those in the limousine. And Trump blamed Meadows.

“Later in the day, it had been relayed to me via Mark that the president wasn’t happy that Bobby [Engel, the driver] didn’t pull it off for him, and that Mark didn’t work hard enough to get the movement on the books [Trump’s schedule].”

Hutchinson’s testimony was the latest revelations to emerge from hearings that have traced in great detail how Trump and his allies plotted and intended to overturn the election. Her eye-witness account provided an unprecedented view of a raging president.

Hutchinson’s testimony was compared to John Dean, the star witness of the Watergate hearings a half-century ago that led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon for his aides’ efforts to spy on and smear Democrats during the 1972 presidential campaign.

“She IS the John Dean of the hearings,” tweeted the Brooking Institution’s Norman Eisen, who has written legal analyses on prosecuting Trump. “Trump fighting with his security, throwing plates at the wall, but above all the WH knowing that violence was coming on 1/6. The plates & the fighting are not crimes, but they will color the prosecution devastatingly.”

Meadows’ presence has hovered over the coup plot and insurrection. Though he has refused to testify before the January 6 committee, his pivotal role increasingly has come into view.

Under oath, Hutchinson described links between Meadows and communication channels to the armed mob that had assembled. She was backstage at the Trump’s midday January 6 rally and described Trump’s anger that the crowd was not big enough. The Secret Service told him that many people were armed and did not want to go through security and give up their weapons.

Trump, she recounted, said “something to the effect of, ‘I don’t f-ing care that they have weapons. They’re not here to hurt me. Take the mags [metal detectors] away. Let the people in. They can march to the Capitol from here.

As the day progressed and the Capitol was breached, Hutchison described the scene at the White House from her cubicle outside the Oval Office. She repeatedly went into Meadows’ office, where he had isolated himself. When Secret Service officials urged her to get Meadows to urge Trump to tell his supporters to stand down and leave, he sat listless.

“He [Meadows] needs to snap out of it,” she said that she told others who pressed her to get Meadows to act. Later, she heard Meadows repeatedly tell other White House officials that Trump “doesn’t think they [insurrectionists] are doing anything wrong.” Trump said Pence deserved to be hung as a traitor, she said.

Immediately after January 6, Hutchinson said that Trump’s cabinet discussed invoking the 25th Amendment to remove a sitting president but did not do so. She also said that Meadows sought a pardon for his January 6-related actions.

Today, Meadows is championing many of the same election falsehoods that he pushed for Trump as a senior partner at the Conservative Partnership Institute (CPI), a right-wing think tank whose 2021 annual report boasts of “changing the way conservatives fight.”

His colleagues include Cleta Mitchell, a lawyer who pushed for Trump to use every means to overturn the election and leads CPI’s “election integrity network,” and other Republicans who have been attacking elections as illegitimate where their candidates lose.

Hutchinson’s testimony may impede Meadows’ future political role, as it exposes him to possible criminal prosecution. But the election-denying movement that he nurtured has not gone away. CPI said it is targeting elections in national battleground states for 2022’s midterms, including Arizona, Georgia, Florida, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

Trump did not give Meadows a pardon. But in July 2021, Trump’s “Save America” PAC gave CPI $1 million.

Steven Rosenfeld is the editor and chief correspondent of Voting Booth, a project of the Independent Media Institute. He has reported for National Public Radio, Marketplace, and Christian Science Monitor Radio, as well as a wide range of progressive publications including Salon, AlterNet, The American Prospect, and many others.

Tina Peters

YouTube Screenshot

A right-wing conspiracy theorist who was indicted in March on criminal charges of tampering with voting machines to try to prove former President Donald Trump's lies of a stolen 2020 presidential election on Tuesday lost the Republican primary to run for secretary of state of Colorado, the person who oversees its elections.

With 95 percent of the vote counted, Tina Peters, the clerk and recorder of Mesa County, Colorado, was in third place, trailing the winner, fellow Republican Pam Anderson, 43.2 percent to 28.3 percent.

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