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Monday, December 09, 2019

Tag: january 6 investigation

Endorse This! Colbert Renames Mobster Movie For Donald Trump

Late Show host Stephen Colbert returned from hiatus with a blistering takedown of failed former President Trump -- after it was revealed the wannabe mafioso attempted to contact a witness in the House Select Committee's January 6 investigation. Luckily, the witness declined to respond to the call and alerted counsel

“He’s trying to commit witness tampering using his own phone,” Colbert said of Trump. “You can see the whole story in the new mob film Not Very Good At This, Fellas. ”

The witness has yet to appear at a public hearing, but was called by Trump after the damning public testimony by former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson,. The hearings into the January 6 insurrection and attempted coup are scheduled to resume in prime time on Thursday.

Endorse This! Kimmel Lays Into Drunk Giuliani's Election Night Scheme

Jimmy Kimmel didn't waste any time laying into the latest revelation about lispy, gassy, leaky, and now tipsy Rudy Giuliani and the revelation that he was drunk on election night. Kimmel devoted his entire monologue to “Episode 2 of CSI: I Can’t Believe Donald Trump’s Not in Jail Yet”—otherwise known as the January 6 congressional hearings.

Trump’s absolutely insane and authoritarian decision to “reject the advice” of members of his team and declare victory on Election Night when even Fox News said he’d lost came from “an apparently inebriated” Rudy Giuliani.

“Apparently inebriated—which, by the way, is the title of Rudy Giuliani’s biography,” joked Kimmel. “Rudy Giuliani told him to go out and say he won. The way that you can tell Rudy is drunk is his breath smells more like booze than cigars and cat turds for a change.”

The claim that Rudy was as lit as the Capitol on January 6 was backed up by former Trump aide Jason Miller who, when asked whether there was anyone that night who “in your observation had had too much to drink,” replied, “Um… Mayor Giuliani.”

As Kimmel said, but then what was Trump's excuse?

Watch the entire segment below:

How Tucker Carlson’s Favorite January 6 Conspiracy Crumbled

Ray Epps was always something of an odd choice for a right-wing scapegoat in the January 6 Capitol insurrection, considering that you’d have trouble finding a more dedicated Donald Trump supporter and Oath Keepers member prior to that event. But then, the conspiracy theory concocted by far-right apologists for the riot claiming that Epps was secretly in cahoots with the FBI to make the Capitol siege happen as a way to entrap “Patriots” shows how readily these fanatics will eat their own.

And now the theory—promoted by Tucker Carlson and Glenn Greenwald and the whole “1/6 Truther” crowd, and largely discredited already because of its counter-factual premises—has crumbled completely. Freshly revealed information from the FBI’s investigation shows that Epps—contrary to the theory—had nothing to do with inspiring the initial breach of police barricades, and that moreover he had no connection with the FBI’s informants program.

The conspiracy theorists had pointed to Epps’ appearance at a key moment in the riot, at around 12:45 p.m. that afternoon at the northwestern corner of the Capitol lawn, where police had set up a barricade around which a crowd started to gather. Only five Capitol Police officers were stationed there, supported by a couple dozen more closer to the Capitol. The crowd chanted: “We love Trump!”

A group of Proud Boys that had already marched around the Capitol was there, including Ryan Samsel, a Proud Boys organizer from Pennsylvania wearing a red MAGA cap and a jean jacket. Epps was seen on video conferring briefly with Samsel. A little while later, Samsel was the first man to approach the barricades and begin pushing on them and fighting police. Others joined in, toppling the metal barricades and knocking a police officer backwards onto her head, causing a concussion. Meanwhile, the mob began pouring onto the lawn as the outnumbered police retreated back to where their fellow officers had formed an interim line of resistance that eventually was overwhelmed.

According to the New York Times’ Alan Feuer, Epps called an FBI tipline two days after the riot, when he saw his name on a list of suspects, and cooperated with authorities immediately. He told investigators he had actually tried to calm Samsel down, telling him the police outside the building were merely doing their jobs.

When investigators spoke to Samsel, he told them the same thing: A man he did not know had come up to him at the barricades and urged him to chill out. “He came up to me and he said, ‘Dude’—his entire words were, ‘Relax, the cops are doing their job,’” Samsel said.

The person who finally triggered him to attack the police lines, in fact, was national Proud Boys leader Joe Biggs, who had led the phalanx of men around the Capitol to that barricade. Samsel later told the FBI that Biggs encouraged him to go push on the barricades and challenge the police, and when he hesitated, Biggs flashed a gun and questioned his manhood, urging him again to attack the barricades—all of which Biggs’ attorneys adamantly deny.

Biggs remains imprisoned in the D.C. jail along with other key January 6 insurrectionists, including his fellow Proud Boys. He and others still face charges of seditious conspiracy and multiple other felonies. They also face a civil lawsuit filed by the D.C. district attorney.

The conspiracy theory blaming the FBI for the insurrection by fingering Epps as a key player in the riot was concocted by the far-right propaganda organ Revolver News and its white-nationalist editor/writer Darren Beattie. This reportage, as we’ve explored in depth, was misbegotten pseudo-journalistic babble built around a simple miscomprehension of both how the federal informants’ program works and how federal prosecutors’ use of cooperating witnesses functions. Beattie fumbles basic facts and then multiplies it with baseless speculation about Epps—who in fact was a well-known Trump supporter and Oath Keepers figure in Arizona in before the insurrection.


This didn’t matter to the gaslighting brigade led by Tucker Carlson and his cohorts, who paraded Beattie’s reportage to the nation as though it had legitimacy, and built a propaganda campaign for Fox News’ audience of millions to gobble up readily. At one point, Carlson even had Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas eagerly pushing the Epps conspiracy theory.

Cruz not only bought into Carlson’s conspiracist nonsense while on his Fox News program—abjectly apologizing for having called the January 6 insurrection “a despicable act of terrorism,” which Carlson considered unacceptable, he promptly turned up in a Senate hearing on domestic terrorism and demanded to know about Epps from a senior FBI official, Jill Sanborn.

“Ms. Sanborn, a lot of Americans are concerned that the federal government deliberately encouraged illegal violent conduct on January 6,” Cruz said, demanding to know if that was true. Sanborn said it was not.

Amid the furor, the House Select Committee’s Twitter account posted a response to the theories about Epps:

The Committee has interviewed Epps. Epps informed us that he was not employed by, working with, or acting at the direction of any law enforcement agency on Jan 5th or 6th or at any other time, & that he has never been an informant for the FBI or any other law enforcement agency.

Nonetheless, Carlson went on his Fox show Wednesday night and claimed that Sanborn’s stony answers to Cruz’s questions were evidence that, in fact, “DOJ had some role in the events of January 6,” and then speculated baselessly about the committee’s tweet:

When exactly and under what circumstances did the committee talk to Ray Epps? Supposedly this interview was conducted in secret last November. If that is true—we don’t know that it is, but let’s say it is—then why did the committee wait months to tell us today in a tweet? When the committee got its hands on Mark Meadows’ text messages, we seem to remember they leaked those to the media within hours. And by the way, was this Ray Epps interview conducted under oath? Did Democrats subpoena his electronic communications as they did with Meadows and so many others? Will the information Epps revealed to the committee be available to the many January 6 defendants who are now awaiting trial? Can their lawyers see a transcript of the interview? Can we see a transcript of this interview? If not, why not?



Carlson went on to claim that even though “Epps is a longtime right-wing activist” who “urged protesters to riot,” Democrats on the committee have become “protective” of him. “So what’s going on here? Something is, that’s for sure,” he concluded.

As Politifact explains, Beattie never even confirmed that Epps is an FBI informant, but rather speculated broadly that he is. His actions on January 6, videos show, are wholly consistent with those of the outspoken Trump supporter he has been for years (notably as a spokesman for the Arizona Oath Keepers). And as with all of the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers who had informant relationships with the FBI, if Epps was also himself an informant, the information he was providing was intelligence on their “leftist” opponents, not on their own organization.

This, of course, completely misapprehends and mischaracterizes the nature of the relationship of the FBI to the right-wing groups involved in the insurrection—because we have known for awhile that figures like Biggs and his Proud Boys cohort, national chairman Enrique Tarrio (arrested on January 3 in D.C.), as well as a number of Oath Keepers, acted as informants for the FBI—all directed not at those right-wing groups, but at “antifa,” Black Lives Matter, and various leftist groups.

The cozy relationship that far-right groups enjoyed with law enforcement generally, in fact, has played a key role in their continual emboldenment over the past five years, constantly ratcheting up their violence and threatening rhetoric, culminating in the events of January 6. On that day, many of them directed their fury at police officers, believing they were being betrayed by forces they had assumed were on their side.

As the Brennan Center for Justice’s Michael German explored in a study, law enforcement has increasingly been polluted by the rising numbers of far-right extremists within their ranks—some of them recruited from within police forces, while others have surreptitiously infiltrated them. “While it is widely acknowledged that racist officers subsist within police departments around the country, federal, state, and local governments are doing far too little to proactively identify them, report their behavior to prosecutors who might unwittingly rely on their testimony in criminal cases, or protect the diverse communities they are sworn to serve,” he writes.

German, himself a former FBI agent, has a more realistic view of the agency than Greenwald’s caricatured vision of a relentlessly oppressive monster that journalists should routinely repudiate and attack. Like any such operation endowed with phenomenal powers that are easily abused, the FBI indeed has a long history both of horrifying atrocities and impressive work safeguarding the American public.

And a major portion of the former involves the way that federal law enforcement has historically targeted left-wing activists while routinely ignoring far-right extremist violence and giving its perpetrators the kid-glove treatment—the latter of which, apparently, is just fine with Carlson, Greenwald, and company.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

Fox News Ignores Bombshell Story Of McCarthy’s Big Lie

Fox News is ignoring the biggest political story of the day after newly released audio revealed House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said he was planning to push for then-President Donald Trump’s resignation shortly after Trump’s failed coup attempt on January 6, 2021.

The New York Times reported Thursday that in the days following the attack on the Capitol, both McCarthy and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell had privately examined ways for congressional Republicans to join with Democrats in pushing Trump out of politics. McCarthy reportedly told a group of Republican leaders, “I’ve had it with this guy,” and said that he would tell Trump to resign from office rather than be impeached, which he believed had a high likelihood of succeeding. But those same Republican leaders sang a completely different tune in public, opposing the effort to impeach Trump and successfully blocking an indictment in the Senate that would have disqualified him from holding public office ever again. (They have also opposed all efforts to conduct a comprehensive investigation of the coup attempt.)

McCarthy’s lie gets unmasked

McCarthy posted a statement Thursday on Twitter, calling the Times’ report “totally false and wrong.” The problem here is that there’s an audio recording from January 10, 2021, showing that McCarthy just lied. He did voice support for Trump’s removal from office, clearly stating his plan to encourage the president to resign rather than being forced out. You can listen to the audio yourself.

Times correspondents Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns appeared on Thursday night’s edition of MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show, during which the host played the audio recording of McCarthy saying, “The only discussion I would have with [Trump] is that, I think this [impeachment] will pass, and it will be my recommendation you should resign. I mean, that would be my take, but I don’t think he would take it, but I don’t know.”

“Mr. McCarthy flat-out and categorically denied that today,” Maddow said. “He denied that he said he would tell Trump to resign. He in fact said exactly that.

Martin contrasted McCarthy’s plan with his later realization that House Republican members were, by and large, not angry with Trump over the events of the insurrection, saying, “McCarthy is down at Mar-a-Lago before the month is out and patching up his relationship with President Trump.”

Burns said, “If past performance is any indicator of future results, what you heard on that tape and then what Kevin McCarthy did subsequently to hold Donald Trump to account — which was nothing — is a pretty ominous story about the future.”

Fox News’ cover-up of the biggest scandal of the day

Fox News has not covered the tape on the air, and late Friday morning its website published a strange article with the headline “McCarthy rebuts reporting on leaked recordings recommending Trump resign as Cheney, Scalise deny involvement.” The article only contained references to events from earlier on Thursday — including McCarthy’s denial — before the tapes actually became public later that night. A person who read only this article would not even know that the audio recording is now in the public record and that McCarthy’s public denial was revealed as a complete lie.

The story about the audio confirming the Times’ reporting has been carried by multiple other news outlets, including The Associated Press, Politico and The Washington Post. On CNN’s New Day, co-anchor Brianna Keilar bluntly declared, “Here he is caught, pretty much, in a lie.”

Even the far-right website The Gateway Pundit picked up the story — to express outrage at McCarthy’s betrayal of Trump. But anyone who gets their news by watching Fox would still not have heard of it.

Fox News has consistently downplayed stories about Trump’s threat to American democracy — something in which the network has played its own part. This latest situation is also eerily similar to Fox’s selective silence five months ago, when the network did not cover an audio recording in which Trump openly defended rioters who had chanted “Hang Mike Pence,” following his failed efforts to cajole his then-vice president into unconstitutionally refusing to certify President Joe Biden’s election victory. (Another shared attribute between two stories: Both have involved mainstream reporters obtaining this information, but then refusing to report it to the public for months — instead saving it for a book launch.)

Printed with permission from MediaMatters.

New Texts Expose January 6 Coordination Of Proud Boys And Oath Keepers

A series of text messages newly poured into the record for the impending seditious conspiracy trial of extremist Oath Keepers leader Elmer Rhodes and his cohort has exposed often frantic correspondence where members discussed providing security details for Trump World figures like Roger Stone, Michael Flynn, Alex Jones, and others.

The texts also appear to show a working relationship with the Proud Boys, another extremist network once headed by ringleader Henry Tarrio, who now sits in jail as he—and his minions—await trial for numerous charges related to the events of January 6, including conspiracy to obstruct Congress and assaulting police.

From December 2021 onward, the text messages made public late Monday demonstrate a startling pathway to January 6. They were released as part of the exhibits that accompanied a pretrial release motion filed by Oath Keeper Edward Vallejo. A hearing will be held on that matter on April 29.

Rhodes, as the apparent ground zero for the group, served as a touchstone for the daily concerns, schemes, and strategy of fellow Oath Keepers coming from all around the U.S. to Washington, D.C., for January 6. He would add people to the group chat, introduce them, and explain their roles.

In the hundreds of texts that were made public, some stand out more than others, like those from late afternoon on New Years Day.

It was hours after Oath Keepers held a conference call for “DC Leadership,” when they began chatting about firearm restrictions and magazine limits in Washington. They also spoke about possible loopholes they believed might exist for private security guards.

In one exchange, Jessica Watkins — who prosecutors say was in one of the Oath Keeper stack formations that marched on the Capitol during the breach — mentioned that she heard GOP fink and convicted felon Roger Stone call for security during his appearance on Alex Jones’ show, Infowars.

Florida Oath Keeper division leader Kelly Meggs, using his handle “OK Gator 1” initially told Watkins: “We have Stone.”

Then moments later, Meggs said he “just texted him.”

When another person in the chat believed to be an Oath Keeper—their name or handle is redacted—chimed in that they wanted to shake Stone’s hand, Meggs boasted that he could arrange it since he had been to Stone’s home “a few times.”

“I’m down for doing PSD for folks,” Watkins replied, using shorthand for “private security detail.”

“I don’t want to be a spectator. I want to be useful,” she added.

“As per Stewart,” a reply from a redacted sender began, “We are all likely to be doing PSD most of the time ...”

Stone has tried to put distance between himself and the Oath Keepers, albeit poorly.

He has also denied being in Washington on January 6, though he was filmed fleeing D.C. that day by a group of documentarians. And in that same film, a screenshot shows he was in a group chat with Rhodes as well as Tarrio.

Joshua James, the Alabama Oath Keeper chapter leader who pleaded guilty to the seditious conspiracy charges in March, served as security detail for Stone on January 5. He also hauled him to meetings at the Willard Hotel where Trump and his cronies Steve Bannon, Rudy Giuliani, attempted coup strategist John Eastman, and others would often meet in their self-described “war room.”

Sal Greco, a former New York Police Department officer, allegedly worked alongside James when they did private security for Stone on January 5 and 6. Greco has denied being anything more than a friend to Stone. Greco is facing a police department trial in New York for misconduct.

James, however, admitted that on January 6 he used a stolen golf cart with co-defendant Robert Minuta to evade police as they beelined for the Capitol. From there, James has admitted, he was part of an organized effort to breach the Capitol as lawmakers conducted the counting of electoral votes, a necessary step toward the peaceful transfer of power.

Other text messages from Meggs to the group also indicate a through-line between the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys.

Video has already emerged showing Rhodes meeting with Tarrio in a parking garage on the evening of January 5 in D.C.

Tarrio was arrested just a day before on an outstanding warrant for his December theft and burning of a Black Lives Matter banner from a prominent church.

The Miami, Florida, resident was ordered out of Washington after his release, but before he left, he met with Rhodes, Oath Keeper lawyer Kellye SoRelle, Josh Macias, and Bianca Garcia in the D.C. garage. Macias is the founder of Vets4Trump and Garcia is the president of Latinos for Trump.

As news of Tarrio’s arrest first spread, Meggs told the group he tried reaching out.

“I just called him no answer. But he will call [when] he’s out,” Meggs said of Tarrio.

That evening, another redacted speaker in the chat responded to the news of the arrest.

“They [think] chopping the head off kills it or something? Damn fools should have left him alone,” the text said.

This is also far from the first time that prosecutors have exposed a unity between the groups.

In a December 19 message entered into the record by prosecutors last month, Meggs tells a person on Facebook that he spent the week doing outreach to Proud Boys leadership.

“This week I organized an alliance between Oath Keepers, Florida 3 percenters, and Proud Boys. We have decided to work together and shut this shit down,” Meggs wrote.

The Three Percenters are an anti-government extremist militia.

A week later, according to exhibits attached to Meggs’ request for pretrial release, the Florida Oath Keeper told members their groups had a plan in place to deal with “antifa,” or supporters of the anti-fascist movement.

Meggs explained how they would coordinate together on January 6:

“We’re going to march with them for awhile then fall to the back of the crowd and turn off,” Meggs wrote in December 2021. “Then we will have the Proud Boys get in front of them [and]] the cops will get between antifa nad Proud Boys.”

He continued: “We will come in behind antifa and beat the hell out of them.”

Many of the Oath Keepers charged with seditious conspiracy who have pleaded guilty have maintained they only came to Washington because they believed Trump would invoke the Insurrection Act.

If he did so, then, in short, they believed they would then have the green light to proceed and assist him as necessary.

The messages revealed Monday also offered a brief glimpse into the network’s ties to 1AP, or the First Amendment Praetorian, a self-styled militia. That pro-Trump group was subpoenaed by the January 6 committee already for its connections to Michael Flynn. Flynn used its members as bodyguards at “Stop the Steal” rallies. The group also threw its support behind proposals to seize voting machines as a part of Trump’s bid to stay in power.

Like the Oath Keepers had in the past, 1AP also reportedly had members assigned to protect Jones.

Rhodes appeared enthralled by the prospect of working with Jones again in a text Rhodes sent to members on Dec. 31, 2020.

“Bottom line, is those of you wanting to do PSD details will get plenty of opportunity. We may also end up assisting the PSD for Alex Jones again. Which was a great feather in our cap. We worked subperbly (sic) well with both Alex Jones security team (who are awesome guys) and with the Praetorian Guard (also awesome veterans led by SF and SEAL veterans),” Rhodes wrote. “They LOVE working with us because of our legit ‘quiet professional’ demeanor and skillsets.”

Rhodes continued: “It’s incredibly important for us to be front and center and again very visible for the patriots AND the domestic enemies. Heck, also to our foreign enemies, who will surely be watching as well.”

Jones was subpoenaed by the committee months ago. He had a private meeting with investigators in January and when he emerged, he went on his own show to unpack the day. He vowed that he “stayed silent” and said he didn’t know answers to half of what he was asked.

Jones also swore that same day that he did not use members from the Oath Keepers or Proud Boys as his private security. Instead, he said, he hired 12 or 14 people from a private security firm in Texas. He simultaneously claimed that some of those members were D.C. or Maryland police officers.

Jones also didn’t think the Oath Keepers or Proud Boys were threat. He chalked up their activities to “live action role playing.”

According to the texts, Oath Keepers were also interested in providing security to Ronny Jackson during the insurrection itself. Jackson was the former White House physician under Trump who turned into a congressman for Texas.

“Dr. Ronnie Jackson on the move,” one message from an unidentified person stated on January 6 at 3:08 PM. “Needs protection. If anyone inside cover him. He has critical data to protect.”

Rhodes sent a text asking what Jackson needed and then offered up his cell phone number.

“Rep. Jackson is frequently talked about by people he does not know. He does not know nor has he ever spoken to the people in question,” a spokesperson for Jackson said Tuesday morning.

In another message appearing to involve U.S. lawmakers, on January 3 Meggs told the group that friends to the Oath Keepers mentioned the group “on the call with congressmen,”

“[They] wanted to say thank you all for providing and protecting us,” Meggs wrote.

Attorneys for Rhodes, Tarrio, and Meggs did not immediately return a request for comment.

Published with permission from DailyKos.

Coup Plotter Eastman Claims Privilege Over 37,000 Emails Sought By Select Committee

On Monday, April 18, far-right attorney John C. Eastman — who is infamous for a memo outlining a plan for former President Donald Trump to overturn the 2020 presidential election results — revealed that he has asserted attorney-client privilege over 37,000 pages of e-mails that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s select committee on January 6, 2021 has been seeking.

According to Politico’s Kyle Cheney, “The January 6 select committee has objected to ‘every claim’ over those pages, which now sends the gargantuan dispute to U.S. District Court Judge David Carter for a case-by-case review. Eastman revealed the scope of the dispute in a status report to Carter, concluding a three-month review that Carter demanded he undertake. Since January, Eastman has been reviewing 1000 to 1500 pages per day.”

Carter, in a recent ruling, was highly critical of Trump and Eastman’s actions following the 2020 presidential election. The federal judge ruled that they “more likely than not” engaged in a criminal conspiracy to obstruct the joint session of Congress held on January 6, 2021, when now-President Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory was certified. And Carter described efforts to overturn the election results as a “coup in search of a legal theory.”

Carter, Cheney notes, “has described the select committee’s work as urgent” but “must now determine how to parse these 37,000 pages” of e-mails “in time for the committee to employ them in its ongoing investigation of Trump’s effort to subvert the transfer of power.”

“The e-mails are all drawn from Chapman University, where Eastman was employed until shortly after January 6,” Cheney explains. “The committee subpoenaed Chapman to obtain the e-mails, but Eastman sued the school and the select committee to slow the process. Carter then ordered the review that Eastman undertook.”

Cheney adds, “The select committee urged Carter to prioritize documents sent from January 4 to January 7, 2021, the key period of the panel’s review. That narrower review resulted in Carter’s bombshell ruling about likely criminality by Trump. But now, Carter must turn to the broader review of Eastman’s e-mails stretching back to November 3, 2020, the date of the presidential election.”

The January 6 select committee, Cheney notes, has “raised doubts about whether Eastman was legitimately acting as Trump’s lawyer prior to January 6.”

“Eastman, under an order from Carter, produced a retainer agreement dated December 6, 2020,” Cheney writes, “but it was unsigned. And it’s not clear when it was effectuated…. Carter also ruled that Eastman did, eventually, become Trump’s attorney, noting that he filed court papers on Trump’s behalf in late December and communicated with top White House aides and other officials while representing himself as Trump’s lawyer.”

Cheney adds, “Of the 90,000 pages of e-mails subject to the select committee subpoena, about 30,000 were immediately ruled out as irrelevant mass e-mails. Eastman made no privilege claims over an additional 25,000 pages of records.”

Time is of the essence for Pelosi’s select committee, as Democrats may lose their majority in the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2022 midterms — and many House Republicans don’t even believe the committee should exist. Pelosi has included two non-MAGA Republicans on the bipartisan committee: Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, but the majority of House Republicans are loyal Trumpistas and resent Cheney and Kinzinger deeply for their participation.

Published with permission from Alternet.

Carlson Flipped Out When Sen. Cruz Called January 6 'Terrorist Attack' (VIDEO)

Fox News' Tucker Carlson is not pleased with Sen. Ted Cruz's (R-TX) remarks describing the January 6 insurrection as a "terrorist attack."

Speaking during a recent Senate Rules Committee hearing, the Texas senator weighed in on the anniversary of the U.S. Capitol riots where he condemned rioters and praised law enforcement officers.

“We are approaching a solemn anniversary this week,” Cruz said in a Senate Rules Committee hearing. “And it is an anniversary of a violent terrorist attack on the Capitol, where we saw the men and women of law enforcement demonstrate incredible courage, incredible bravery, risk their lives for the Capitol.”

Carlson made his disdain clear during his Fox News primetime segment on Wednesday, January 5.

“He did not mention the pipe bomber,” Carlson said in reference to the unidentified suspect who planted explosives near the federal building. “That individual was caught on surveillance tape. The pipe bomber was on a phone several times. That’s traceable. Where is that person? Merrick Garland did not mention that.”

Seething, Carlson added, “What are they busy doing? Repeating the talking points that Merrick Garland wrote for them."

While Carlson did acknowledge Cruz's popularity among conservative voters, he argued that the Republican senator's description of the January 6 description was inaccurate.

“Now let’s be honest,” Carlson proclaimed. “Everyone who’s conservative appreciates Ted Cruz. You may not like him. But you’ve gotta appreciate him. He’s legitimately smart. He’s one of the more articulate people to serve in Congress, maybe the most articulate."

Although Carlson admitted that the breach of the U.S. Capitol was a riot, he attempted to claim that it was not an insurrection or terrorist attack.

“He described January 6 as a violent terrorist attack. Of all the things January 6 was, it was definitely not a violent terrorist attack. It wasn’t an insurrection,” Carlson exclaimed. “Was it a riot? Sure. It was not a violent terrorist attack. Sorry! So why are you telling us it was, Ted Cruz?”

Carlson concluded with a question about Cruz's remarks saying, “What the hell’s going on here?"

"You’re making us think, maybe the Republican Party is as worthless as we suspected it was," Carlson said. "That can’t be true. Reassure us, please, Ted Cruz.”

Article reprinted with permission from Alternet

Biden's Strong January 6 Speech Prompts Predictable Trump Tantrum

For the 80 million-plus sane Americans who said enough to the non-stop attacks on our country in November 2020, it was cathartic to watch President Joe Biden's full-throated and unambiguous rebuke of former President Trump's assault on our democracy that culminated in the violent insurrection of January 6. Even though these are remarkably abnormal times, Biden has stuck to the script of norms when it comes to avoiding criticizing your predecessor. But when the one-year anniversary of your predecessor's attempt to overthrow our democratic system comes up, all bets are off.

“We must be absolutely clear about what is true and what is a lie. And here’s the truth: The former President of the United States of America has created and spread a web of lies about the 2020 election,” Biden said.

Anticipating a flurry of attacks from Fox News about the president being "divisive," Biden got ahead of them by putting such propaganda to rest.

"The way you have to heal is you have to recognize the extent of the wound. You can’t pretend. This is serious stuff, and a lot of people, understandably would rather go…’I would just as soon not face it.’ You got to face it. That is what great nations do. They face the truth, deal with it and move on," he said .

Former President Donald Trump, whose own January 6 speech was canceled at the last minute, responded in a predictably narcissistic and mendacious fashion as he continued spouting lies about 2020 and projecting his own failures onto the man who defeated him.

"Biden, who is destroying our Nation with insane policies of open Borders, corrupt Elections, disastrous energy policies, unconstitutional mandates, and devastating school closures, used my name today to try to further divide America," Trump said, even though Biden didn't specifically say his name in the speech. "The Democrats want to own this day of Jan. 6 so they can stoke fears and divide America. I say, let them have it because America sees through [their] lies and polarizations."

And since he forever lacks all self-awareness and the ability to accept blame or show humility on anything, Trump just had to go on his election rants...still.

"It’s because they don’t have the answers or justifications for what happened. They got away with something, and it is leading to our Country’s destruction," Trump claimed. "They want all conversation concerning the Election 'Canceled.'"

Whether you agree with Biden's policies is irrelevant: The current president offered a perfect timeline of the events that led to the January 6 failed coup and the man responsible.