Tag: january 6th
Harry Dunn

'Shocking': Cops Who Defended Capitol Slam Trump Over Debate Slurs

Two U.S. Capitol police officers who battled insurrectionists on January 6, 2021 are condemning former President Donald Trump's response to moderators' questions about the Capitol riot.

During a Friday interview with CNN, former Capitol police officers Harry Dunn and Sgt. Aquilino Gonell blasted the 45th president of the United States for his refusal to take responsibility for his part in fomenting the deadliest attack on the Capitol since the War of 1812. Dunn said that for him, the moment that stood out the most in Thursday night's debate was Trump refusing to say definitively that he would accept the results of the 2024 election regardless of the outcome.

"He eventually said he would accept it if it was fair, but over 60 courts ruled that it was fair and he still didn't accept it," Dunn said. "So what is the category that defines it as fair? That's what was most shocking and angering about last night, because he's already planting the seeds that could lead to another January 6."

Sgt. Gonell said that he was struck by Trump's pivoting on the issue when moderators Dana Bash and Jake Tapper pressed him, saying the former president "doesn't take responsibility for what happened, even though he's the one who incited the mob to the Capitol." When he was asked what he thought of President Joe Biden's poorly received debate performance, Gonell didn't waver, arguing Trump was a far bigger threat.

"I'm supporting somebody who doesn't send a mob to kill me and my colleagues at the Capitol, someone who is not dangling pardons for the people who assaulted police officers and somebody who is not trying to upend democracy," Gonell said.

"It's very upsetting that the people we risked our lives for, like Speaker Mike Johnson, about two weeks ago, received him with open arms like he was a hero," Gonell added. "And the only reason why they are alive today is because of the actions of police officers like myself and my colleagues."

Both Dunn and Gonell — who are no longer with the U.S. Capitol Police Department — have been surrogates for Biden on the campaign trail throughout the 2024 cycle. They have both insisted that their experience doing battle with Trump supporters at the Capitol on January 6th has cemented their determination to keep the ex-president out of office.

However, despite Republicans making their support for law enforcement a key plank of past campaigns, that hasn't always led to warm receptions for the two former Capitol police officers. During a visit to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives earlier this month, Republicans were heard booing Dunn and Gonell after they were officially recognized by the speaker.

Voters will also have the events of January 6 in their minds as they cast their ballots in the 2024 election. A January 2024 poll by the Washington Post and the University of Maryland found that 55 percent of voters say the Capitol insurrection was an "attack on democracy that should never be forgotten." That same month, a CBS News/YouGov survey found that 78 percent of respondents said they disapprove of the actions of the rioters who forced their way into the Capitol building.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Moderate Voters Are Repelled By Trump's Felony Convictions

Moderate Voters Are Repelled By Trump's Felony Convictions

The election will likely come down to a few ten thousand moderate voters across a handful of swing states. And former President Donald Trump so far is not making any efforts to court them.

That's according to The Bulwark publisher Sarah Longwell, who is also the executive director of the group Republican Voters Against Trump. She told Politico in a recent report that a focus group she conducted with Republicans who voted for Trump both in 2016 and 2020 was educational for her in showing how the ex-president's felony convictions were a bridge too far.

"[A] lot of these sort of suburban swing voters will look at Trump and say ‘I can’t do it.’ Especially with the conviction — and not just the conviction, but January 6," she said. Longwell added that the focus group saw the 34 felony convictions handed down by a New York jury last week "as just more confirmation of how unfit he is."

"Trump has not figured out how to appeal to more center-right voters, and I think he doesn’t think he has to," Longwell said. "I think he thinks that frustration with Biden and the economy is enough to sort of drive these college-educated suburban swing voters back to him."

So far, the former president plans to double down on his rhetoric challenging the validity of efforts to hold him accountable in the criminal justice system. He insists that "our whole country is being rigged" and that if his 34 convictions aren't overturned on appeal, "we are not going to have a country anymore."

Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE), who is considered one of the more moderate members of the House Republican Conference, urged that Trump "should be conscious" of how moderate voters would perceive a candidate who has been found guilty of 34 felonies.

"Ninety percent already have their mind made [up], but that 10 percent is important," Bacon told Politico.

Other Republicans, however, want the former president to stick to his guns when talking about his felony convictions. Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC) argued that if Judge Juan Merchan opted to incarcerate the former president during his July 11 sentencing hearing, it would be politically beneficial for Trump.

"People know what they’re doing to him is wrong. Let him keep doing that," Norman said. "Let him put him in jail. See how that works out."

However, Arizona GOP strategist Barrett Marson said Trump would benefit from leaving the verdict aside and appealing to the center. He said it was "incumbent" on Trump to give voters a "reason" to show up for him, saying moderates want to know "how you are going to bring down gas prices or bring down interest rates or bring down inflation."

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Donald J. Trump and Amy Coney Barrett

Justice Barrett's Husband Represents Fox In Defamation Lawsuit

While US Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito faces ongoing backlash for hanging flags related January 6 and Christian nationalism outside of his homes — which he attributes to the actions of his wife; another Supreme Court justice’s spouse appears to also be connected to right-wing entities.

Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s husband, according to court documents obtained by Rolling Stone, is representing Fox Corporation in an ongoing defamation lawsuit.

Noting that Coney Barrett's husband, Jesse Barrett, “is a partner at SouthBank Legal,” Above the Lawreported, “That, in and of itself, isn’t a problem. The issue is she won’t disclose who her husband’s clients are.”

Rolling Stonereports:

Jesse Barrett’s work for Fox Corporation highlights one of ethics experts’ biggest complaints about the Supreme Court: Justices are not required to disclose their spouses’ clients, so the public has no way to track who is paying money directly to their families. In her 2021 financial disclosure, Justice Barrett even redacted the name of her husband’s firm, despite it being common knowledge that he works there.

There’s no way for the public to identify the high-profile attorney’s clients, Rolling Stone reports, “for the most part. However, federal court records show that Barrett is serving as Fox Corporation’s lead counsel in an ongoing defamation case. He had the case moved from Cook County, Illinois, to federal court late last month.”

Per the report, “The defamation case was filed by Lavell Redmond, an Illinois man who was convicted of aggravated sexual assault as a minor and served 24 years in prison. Redmond was hired as a code enforcement officer by the mayor of Dolton in 2021, the original complaint says.”

“FOX 32’s reporting directly led to Redmond being arrested and wrongfully charged with violating the reporting requirements of the sex offender registry,’ as well as his subsequent termination," according to the complaint, and “Redmond has suffered more than $1 million in damages based on Fox’s reporting.”

Redmond is seeking $3 million from the corporation.

Above the Law’s Kathryn Rubino writes:

Jesse Barrett is a lawyer, this is what lawyers do… it’s a non-issue.

…Unless, of course, the case somehow winds up before the Supreme Court and Coney Barrett doesn’t recuse herself. Which, again, we have no way of knowing as long as Coney Barrett refuses to disclose the list of her husband’s clients.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Trump Has Promoted QAnon Cult Over 800 Times On Truth Social

Trump Has Promoted QAnon Cult Over 800 Times On Truth Social

Former President Donald Trump has amplified QAnon-promoting accounts over 800 times during his first two years of actively posting on his social media platform Truth Social, according to a Media Matters review.

In our review, we deemed Truth Social accounts “QAnon-promoting accounts” if they explicitly promoted the conspiracy theory by sharing affiliated slogans, posts from QAnon’s central figure “Q,” or imagery related to the conspiracy theory. We counted reposting or quoting a post as amplifying it.

This activity marks a stark increase for the former president, who previously boosted promoters of the conspiracy theory on Twitter (now X) during his presidency. From 2017 until his account was suspended on January 8, 2021, Trump amplified QAnon-promoting accounts on that platform more than 300 times, and he also praised the QAnon community multiple times.

Months after Trump left office, and after the hosts of a QAnon show received press credentials for a Trump rally, Politico reported that associates of Trump would try to “weed out any QAnon influences — both adherents and postings — getting close to him.”

Yet between April 28, 2022 — when Trump began actively posting on Truth Social — and April 28, 2023, Trump amplified QAnon-promoting accounts on Truth Social nearly 500 times. In some cases, he promoted explicit QAnon content.

That trend continued during Trump’s second year of actively posting on the platform: A Media Matters review found that between April 29, 2023, and April 29, 2024, Trump amplified QAnon-promoting accounts nearly 350 times, raising his total to over 800 times overall. Those second-year amplifications also included some explicit QAnon content.

The activity from Trump, who helped create Truth Social following his ban from Twitter after the January 6 insurrection, fits with an analysis from The Washington Post, which found that Trump posts on the platform “29 times a day on average, far more than he tweeted during his first campaign and most of his presidency,” that he is “more likely to write in all caps,” and that his posts frequently “contained insulting language directed at someone.” The Post also found that the former president’s feed “is packed with links to right-wing news sites and conservative influencers,” which differs from his previous Twitter activity of linking “to a mix of mainstream and partisan sources.”

Among Trump’s over 800 amplifications of QAnon-promoting accounts on Truth Social, he specifically:

  • Amplified at least 6 posts from QAnon-promoting accounts that featured text from Q posts. That includes 1 video that also included 9/11 Trutherism, and 1 post that also mentioned the letter “P,” which has been invoked in multiple Q posts in reference to supposedly nefarious figures.
  • Amplified at least 33 posts that featured the letter “Q” in their text or image; the QAnon slogan, “where we go one, we go all” (or “WWG1WGA” for short); the QAnon phrase “nothing can stop what is coming” (or “NCSWIC” for short); or “Q+,” a term some QAnon supporters use to refer to Trump himself. Twenty of these came during his first year of actively posting on the platform, and 13 in the second.
  • Amplified more than 170 individual QAnon-promoting accounts.
  • Amplified 1 post from a QAnon-promoting account which linked to a Rumble video that showed a Q post, with Trump calling it an “incredible video!”
  • Amplified 2 posts from QAnon-promoting accounts featuring a video that included the QAnon slogan.
  • Amplified 1 post from a QAnon-promoting account with the phrase “Do it, Q!” Some QAnon supporters claim that a photo from a Trump tweet had that phrase in its source code.
  • Amplified 1 post from a QAnon-promoting account that was originally posted in a Truth Social group dedicated to the conspiracy theory.
  • Amplified 2 posts from an account named after the QAnon slogan. He has also amplified 4 posts from an account whose handle is the QAnon slogan.
  • Amplified “Patri0tsareinContr0l,” who has pushed the QAnon conspiracy theory and has been a member of a known QAnon influencer collective.

This activity comes as Truth Social’s leadership has actively courted QAnon supporters to the platform, and the former president and his allies have associated with and appealed to the QAnon community in other ways. For instance, former Trump administration official and Truth Social board member Kash Patel said that “we try to incorporate” QAnon “into our overall messaging scheme to capture audiences.” The former president has also been photographed with multiple QAnon figures, and his campaign has given QAnon figures press passes for his events, while denying some mainstream journalists. Trump has also used a song associated with QAnon on social media and at his rallies.

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.

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