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Washington (AFP) – Investigators sought Friday to find out why a 34-year-old mother from Connecticut led police on a high-speed chase through Washington only to be shot and killed outside the U.S. Capitol.

Miriam Carey, a dental hygienist, allegedly rammed a barrier at the White House in a black Infiniti two-door coupe, then sped down Pennsylvania Avenue with her year-old baby girl at her side.

The infant was placed in protective custody in a Washington children’s hospital in the aftermath of a drama that triggered a lockdown of the Capitol on day three of a U.S. government shutdown.

Police who searched her home in Stamford, Connecticut found a crib, children’s toys and baby bottles, but no weapons or anti-government material, the Hartford Courant newspaper reported.

Carey’s mother Idella Carey told ABC News that her daughter had “no history of violence” and that it was a mystery why she was in the nation’s capital in the first place.

“She had postpartum depression after having the baby” in August last year, she said. “A few months later, she got sick. She was depressed… She was hospitalized.”

Quoting anonymous police sources, NBC News said that Carey had “a history of mental issues” and that investigators had “discovered indications” that she believed she was being stalked by President Barack Obama.

On Facebook, there was an outpouring of anger directed at police on a memorial page for Carey created by a friend in the wake of the incident.

“I hope her family sues the Capitol Police Dept,” wrote one woman, referring to the well-armed specialized force that patrols the Capitol building and its surroundings.

She added: “Why couldn’t they shoot the tires of the vehicle? Deadly force with a child in the car? I just can’t understand this.”

Officials said the chase began at the outer perimeter of the White House security cordon, where the suspect’s car struck a barrier and a uniformed Secret Service officer.

No shots were fired initially, but agents gave chase as the car sped away. As the vehicle closed in on the Capitol, the seat of Congress, it was cornered by police vehicles and armed officers on foot.

Footage aired by TV broadcasters showed the car executing a tight U-turn as shots rang out, and then speeding off. Shortly afterward it hit another barrier and more shots were fired.

It was the second major security breach in the U.S. capital in less than three weeks. On September 16, a deranged gunman stormed the nearby Navy Yard and killed 12 people.

In Stamford, an hour’s drive from New York City, on Thursday local police and FBI agents sealed off Carey’s home in a non-descript condominium complex and began an overnight search for clues.

“A full investigation is underway by federal authorities who are in Stamford currently,” said Stamford mayor Michael Pavia, quoted by the city’s Advocate newspaper. “Stamford police are assisting … as needed.”

News media outlets, citing public records, said Carey, an African-American, lived near her family in the New York borough of Brooklyn for several years prior to moving to Stamford in 2002.

A college graduate and registered dental assistant, she worked at Advanced Periodontics in Hamden, Connecticut, which in 2011 published a newsletter — still on its website Friday — raving about her people skills.

“We are excited to have Miriam!” it said. “She not only brings a delightful bedside manner, but also has a degree in nutrition that we hope to utilize in educating our patients about how important their diet is to maintaining optimum oral health.”

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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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