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Tag: capitol rioters arrests

Capitol Riot Conspirator Renounces Oath Keepers, Still Denied Bail

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

Among the many right-wing groups who figured prominently in the January 6 insurrection was Oath Keepers, the far-right group of former policemen, former first responders, and former service(wo)men. One of their leaders, former Army Ranger Jessica Watkins, figured prominently in filings by prosecutors about just how far these domestic terrorists—and yes, these are terrorists—were willing to go. According to prosecutors, Watkins believed she came to Washington on Trump's direct orders.

Later that week, Watkins claimed she met with Secret Service agents and was part of the security detail at the Save America rally. However, in a remarkable turnabout, late Friday she publicly renounced the Oath Keepers and denounced the insurrection.

Jessica Watkins, 38, of Champaign County, told U.S. District Judge Amit P. Mehta in the District of Columbus that she was appalled and humiliated by the events of Jan. 6.
"As soon as I'm out, whether acquittal or release, I'm canceling my Oath Keepers membership," she said. "I have no desire to continue with people who say things like that."
(snip)
"We're done with that lifestyle," Watkins said. "We've got a struggling small business. I did it out of the love of my country, but I think it's time to let all of that go … I don't intend to read social media for amusement or political purposes. I think it's just time for me to focus on my business."

But Mehta didn't buy it.

"I've thought about this quite hard, Miss Watkins," the judge said. "And I think, at the end of the day, I just can't get there. I don't think putting you on home detention would ensure the safety of the community ... You are an active participant, organizer, leader of others in engaging in this kind of conduct. The material found at your home certainly suggests further potential for organizing and further potential for violence."

That "material" included a stash of weapons and tactical gear, as well as "a recipe for making a destructive device." Mehta added that her previous desire to, as he put it, "fight, kill, and die over the result of this election" belied her claims to have not taken part in any violence on that horrible day. Therefore, he couldn't justify letting her out on bail. One has to wonder if Mehta would have been more sympathetic if Watkins hadn't claimed she'd done what she did out of love for America. We can do without that kind of love, thank you very much.

Sounds like Watkins is one of many people who thought expressing remorse for their role in the insurrection would be enough to get them out of jail. To my mind, the only way any claims of remorse will be believed is if they plead guilty. After all, those who took part in that horror deserve to have to answer for it for the rest of their lives.

Cop Charged In Capitol Riot Has ’No Regrets’

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

A Pennsylvania police officer has been hit with felony charges for his participation in the Capitol riots and now details about his Facebook posts are also coming to light.

According to HuffPost, Joseph Fischer, a patrolman for the North Cornwall Township Police Department, is facing a string of charges including "obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder, knowingly entering a restricted building without lawful authority, violent entry and conduct on Capitol grounds, and obstruction of justice/Congress."

He was aware that he might lose his job and face consequences from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. However, Fischer suggested that did not matter to him.

Under a social media account with the handle "SV Spindrift," Fischer posted footage of himself running toward a line of police officers at the Capitol screaming, "Charge!" He also noted that there were four rows of officers and he'd "made it to level two" which suggests he pushed beyond two rows of the officers.


In comments he wrote about the video, Fischer admitted to being present at the Capitol as he explained his purpose for being there. "I was there..we pushed police back about 25 feet," Fischer wrote in one comment. "Got pepper balled and OC sprayed, but entry into the Capital was needed to send a message that we the people hold the real power."

Fischer also admitted that he was aware that the FBI would likely arrest him, but suggested that he was not concerned. He also revealed the North Cornwall Township Police Department police chief also spoke with him about his actions. However, he claimed that Fischer losing his job might be the "price I have to pay to voice my freedom and liberties which I was born with and thusly taken away."

Despite the consequences, Fischer stood firm in his beliefs. He wrote, "I told him I have no regrets and give zero shits. Sometimes doing the right thing no matter how small is more important than one's own security."

Although Fischer believes he acted accordingly, the Department of Justice and FBI think otherwise. Fischer is one of more than 230 individuals facing charges for the insurrection on the U.S. Capitol.

Woman Arrested For Capitol Riot Threatened To Shoot Pelosi ‘In Her Friggin’ Brain’

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Federal authorities arrested two women on multiple charges in connection with the U.S. Capitol siege on Friday, after the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) confirmed one of the women expressed her intent to harm House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)

According to FOX--29, the FBI received a tip about the women on Jan. 12 which led to the bureau's week-long investigation into their trip to Washington, D.C. ahead of the Electoral College certification.

The FBI's affidavit indicated that the women—identified as Dawn Bancroft and Diana Santos-Smith—were seen on video donning Make America Great Again (MAGA) hat and, making threatening remarks about Pelosi. In a video sent to her own children, Bancroft bragged about breaking into the U.S. Capitol. She also revealed they were searching for Pelosi to kill her but were unable to find her.

"We broke into the Capitol. . . . We got inside, we did our part," Bancroft said in the disturbing video, according to the bureau's affidavit released on Friday. "We were looking for Nancy to shoot her in the friggin' brain, but we didn't find her."

However, Santos-Smith is singing a different tune. Although Bancroft confirmed their entry into the Capitol, her friend claims they never made it inside. In fact, Santos-Smith reportedly insisted that she "knew that they should not be going inside the building."

Despite her claims, both women are now facing multiple charges including "knowingly entering a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and impeding in government business by engaging in disorderly or disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds," reports The Inquirer.

The latest arrests come as the bureau continues its investigation into the U.S. Capitol siege. Since Jan. 6, the FBI has arrested more than 100 people in connection with the deadly riots. The FBI's criminal investigation will be ongoing.