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Conservative Judge: Trump Is ‘Clear And Present Danger’ To Democracy

Retired Judge J. Michael Luttig testified under oath before the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack on Thursday that the former president, Donald Trump, and his MAGA supporters are a “clear and present danger to American democracy.”

Luttig, a highly-respected conservative attorney and a former federal judge on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, advised then-Vice President Mike Pence that the John Eastman scheme to overturn the 2020 presidential election was illegal.

“I have written, as you said, Chairman Thompson, that today – almost two years after that fateful day in January of 2021 – that still, Donald Trump and his allies and supporters are a clear and present danger to American democracy.”

“That’s not because of what happened on January 6. Is because to this very day, the former president, his allies and supporters, pledge that in the presidential election of 2024 if the former president or his anointed successor as the Republican Party presidential candidate were to lose that election that they would attempt to overturn that 2024 election in the same way that they attempted to overturn the 2020 election, but succeed in 2024 where they failed in 2020.”

Luttig goes on to say, “I would have never have spoken those words ever in my life except that that’s what the former president and his allies are telling us.”

“The former president and his allies are executing that blueprint for 2024 and open and plain view of the American public.”

Watch:

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

#EndorseThis: Plaskett Proves Trump Was 'Directly Involved' In Instigating Capitol Riot

We know the truth. You know the truth. Though most of them will deny it, Senate Republicans know it too. Donald Trump caused the deadly Capitol riots that put our precious and fragile democracy in danger. And he knew what he was doing all along.

Impeachment Manager Stacey Plaskett (D-USVI) methodically proved that Trump was "directly involved" in the planning and "deliberate encouraged" the deadly and violent actions of his base, in a powerful display of abundantly clear evidence on the Senate floor Wednesday. It is all the Senate should need to convict the 45th President of the United States and make sure he can never hold again.

What Delegate Plaskett showed the world today is undeniable. Click the link and see for yourself.


WATCH: Trump was 'directly involved' in organizing Capitol attack, says Del. Plaskett www.youtube.com

Would The Framers Have Viewed The Capitol Riot As An Act Of Treason?

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Former President Donald Trump's second impeachment trial is set to begin next week, and senators will be asked to decide whether or not he committed "incitement to insurrection." While Trump has previously been accused by various commenters of "treason" on multiple fronts, in uses of the term usually dismissed by experts, the charge of treason has been largely absent from the debate around the Capitol attack. But in a recent piece of The New Yorker, Harvard University law professor Jeannie Suk Gersen, discussing Trump's impeachment and the events of Jan. 6, argued that the term may be more apt than ever.

Gerson cited the work of Carlton F. W. Larson, a law professor at the University of California at Davis, who has argued that there are many unethical acts and impeachable offenses that don't qualify as treason. Certain corners have frequently accused Trump of "treason" in the Russia investigation, the Ukraine impeachment, and other matters, but Larson has been reticent to apply that label as a technical, legal, and historical matter.

Gersen wrote: "But the insurrection of Jan. 6 changed his answer, at least with regard to Trump's followers who attacked the Capitol in an attempt to stop Congress' certification of the election."

She explained:

... to the Framers, such an insurrection was a paradigmatic case of treason. The founding-era Chief Justice John Marshall held in the treason trial of Aaron Burr that levying war entails "the employment of actual force" by "a warlike assemblage, carrying the appearance of force, and in a situation to practice hostility." If some of those who attacked the Capitol assembled in order to incapacitate Congress—perhaps even by kidnapping or killing lawmakers—then their actions could be construed as an attempt to overthrow the government, and federal prosecutors could plausibly consider treason charges. As Larson put it, "At some point, you have to say, if that's not levying war against the United States, then what on earth is?"

The United States' Founding Fathers, Gersen noted, "gave treason a narrow definition" and "made it extremely difficult to prove" because it is such a serious offense. And Gersen wemt on to explain that "since the Capitol insurrection, there has been little talk of treason charges — adding that according to Larson, that is because "everybody now tends to think of treason as mostly aiding foreign enemies."

Gersen wrote, "A treason case against Trump himself might conceivably be built, if prosecutors could establish that he knew in advance that his supporters planned to violently assault the Capitol, rather than peacefully protest; that he intended his speech urging them to 'fight harder' to spur them to attack Congress imminently; and that he purposely didn't do anything to stop the insurrection while it was unfolding — or, worse, intentionally contributed to a security failure that led to the breach. Then, Trump would have engaged in treason along with supporters who attempted, in his name, to overthrow the U.S. government."

Countless Trump critics have described the Jan. 6 attack asn an "insurrection," but Gersen stresses that insurrection doesn't necessarily fit the Constitution's narrow definition of treason.

"While federal prosecutors could charge some of the leaders of the riot with treason, seditious conspiracy would be far easier to prove," Gersen explains. "It is clear that the rioters' goal was, at a minimum, to delay Congress' legally mandated counting of electoral votes. Prosecutors would need to prove that two or more people had agreed to undertake the seditious conduct, but, with respect to the rioters who were explicit about their aims and coordinated their actions, the evidence may well be sufficient, particularly given the violent result."

‘High Alert’: State Capitols Preparing For Armed Trumpist Assault

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

State officials are acting quickly to protect their capitol buildings after a cryptic FBI bulletin warned that armed protests are being planned across the country in the days leading up to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration.

The bulletin, obtained Monday by ABC News, stated that "armed protests" were "being planned at all 50 state capitols from 16 January through at least 20 January, and at the US Capitol from 17 January through 20 January."

It continued, "The FBI received information about an identified armed group intending to travel to Washington, DC on 16 January. They have warned that if Congress attempts to remove POTUS via the 25th Amendment, a huge uprising will occur."

The news comes days after pro-Donald Trump extremists attacked the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, leaving five people dead.

The riots were incited hours earlier by Trump himself, who called on his supporters to march on the Capitol where lawmakers were assembled to certify Biden's Electoral College victory, suggesting he would be with them and telling them they would never take back the country with "weakness."

Across the nation, state capitols rush to amplify security measures in light of the looming violence.

Minnesota

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said Tuesday that he plans to deploy the National Guard to protect the capitol building in the days ahead of Biden's inauguration.

He told the media that he would announce his full plans on Wednesday.

New York

On Tuesday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said there would be "increased security during that period of time" that the FBI's bulletin warned about.

In Albany, state and local law enforcement authorities prepared for the possibility of unrest at the capitol, closing it to the public and closing a portion of State Street in the capital's downtown area to traffic.

State troopers are also patrolling the halls inside the New York Capitol.

Beau Duffy, State Police spokesperson, said, "Given recent events in Washington and across the country, the New York State Police has, out of an abundance of caution, taken steps to harden security in and around the State Capitol in Albany. These restrictions are in place until further notice."

California

At the California State Capitol in Sacramento, law enforcement officials are implementing "additional safety measures."

"In light of recent armed protests at the U.S. Capitol, additional security measures are being implemented in the Assembly, though we will not be disclosing the nature of those security measures publicly," Alisa Buckley, chief sergeant at arms of the California Assembly, told the Los Angeles Times.

Gov. Gavin Newsom said on Monday, "Everybody is on high alert in terms of just making sure that everybody is safe and protected. ... I can assure you, we have a heightened, heightened level of security."

Connecticut

In Hartford, Capitol Police are working with the state's agencies to ramp up security to protect the state capitol building.

"We're increasing our patrols with our K-9 officer who's a bomb-detecting dog, we're checking those areas and we're also working very closely with a lot of other agencies — Hartford police, state police and FBI for additional possible manpower," said Capitol Police's Officer First Class Scott Driscoll.

Wisconsin

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has authorized the state National Guard to aid capitol law enforcement's security efforts in Madison.

"Members of the Wisconsin National Guard will mobilize to state active duty to support safety and security efforts at the State Capitol in Madison. The Wisconsin National Guard will serve in a support role to local authorities and conduct a site security mission," Evers said in a release. "The mobilized troops will serve in a State Active Duty status in support of the Capitol Police."

Michigan

In Lansing, the state's Capitol Commission on Monday voted unanimously to ban the open carrying of firearms and weapons inside the capitol building.

State police are also amping up security, with Michigan State Police public affairs director Shanon Banner saying Monday, "I can confirm that out of an abundance of caution, we are increasing our visible presence at the Capitol for the next couple of weeks starting today."

Washington

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has activated as many as 750 National Guard troops to help state police to secure the capitol building in Olympia.

The governor said on Friday, "The actions we saw in both Washington, D.C. and Olympia earlier this week were completely unacceptable and will not be repeated in our state capital again."

A "large number of Washington State Patrol troopers" will join the National Guard, Inslee added.

Idaho

On Monday, Idaho not only locked the doors to its House and Senate chambers in Boise, but also sent state troopers to guard the entrances.

National

At the federal level, in Washington D.C, law enforcement officials are set to deploy up to 20,000 National Guard troops to the U.S. Capitol, where lawmakers voted Wednesday to impeach Trump for incitement of insurrection, related to last week's attack. Trump is now the only president in U.S. history to be impeached twice.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Eric Trump Blames ‘Cancel Culture’ For Capitol Riot Blowback

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Eric Trump is not happy with the growing number of businesses that have opted to sever ties with the Trump Organization following the storming of the Capitol incited last Wednesday by his father's dangerous rhetoric. But f course he isn't blaming Daddy for the consequences their family businesses are suffering.

Instead, he claimed the distinct distancing from his father is merely a result of "liberal 'cancel culture,'" according to the Associated Press. During an interview with the publication on Tuesday, Jan. 13, Eric Trump shifted the blame instead of acknowledging his father's actions.

"We live in the age of cancel culture, but this isn't something that started this week. It is something that they have been doing to us and others for years," Eric Trump told APNews. "If you disagree with them, if they don't like you, they try and cancel you."

He went on to defend his father's actions despite the U.S Capitol riots claiming the lives of 5 people while endangering hundreds of law enforcement officials and lawmakers. "You have a man who would get followed to the ends of the Earth by a hundred million Americans," Eric Trump said. "He created the greatest political movement in American history and his opportunities are endless."

Following the chaos that erupted on Capitol Hill, Trump was dropped from nearly every major social media network due to his dangerous rhetoric. Shortly after, other companies began to follow suit.

Capital One Financial Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Deusche Bank, and New York Signature Bank, two financial institutions with long-term business relationships with the president, also joined the growing list of companies severing ties with the president. New York City officials have also announced plans to cancel city contracts with the Trump Organization.

On Wednesday, Jan. 13, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) released a statement addressing the civil unrest at the U.S. Capitol and the city's intent to no longer do business with the president's businesses.

"The President incited a rebellion against the United States government that killed five people and threatened to derail the constitutional transfer of power," de Blasio said in a statement. "The City of New York will not be associated with those unforgivable acts in any shape, way or form, and we are immediately taking steps to terminate all Trump Organization contracts."

Hometown Papers Demand Expulsion Of GOP Lawmakers Who Stoked Insurrection

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Newspapers around the country are demanding punishment for Republican lawmakers who helped fuel last week's deadly attacks on the Capitol by supporters of Donald Trump.

At least five people died on Wednesday, Jan. 6, including one law enforcement officer, when thousands of Trump's supporters violently stormed the Capitol building as a joint session of Congress met to certify the results of voting in the Electoral College in the 2020 presidential election.

The editorial boards of at least 13 newspapers have called for the expulsion, resignation, or retirement of lawmakers who voted to reject President-elect Joe Biden's victory or otherwise pushed false conspiracy theories that Trump was the real winner.

The Colorado newspaper called on Thursday for Reps. Lauren Boebert and Doug Lamborn and "other Trump insurgent abettors" in Congress to resign.

"Both should immediately resign their seats for having knowingly participated in yesterday's gruesome failed coup. If their excuse was ignorance, that, 'who knew such a thing could happen,' either would be too dimwitted to hold such important offices," the editorial said. "If they persist in believing their pursuit against election fraud is valiant, they are too corrupt to be members of this nor any government."

Danville Register & Bee

The editorial board of the Virginia newspaper urged Rep. Bob Good to resign his seat for violating his oath of office and being "unfit to serve," noting it would make the same request of Reps. Morgan Griffith, Ben Cline, and Rob Wittman "if they represented us."

"Your actions on Wednesday in objecting to the verification of the Electoral College's vote to certify Joe Biden as the new president was a violation of the oath above you swore on Sunday," they wrote on Saturday. "We had reached the conclusion that you must resign based on the demerits of your decision to join the coalition of Republicans who decided that party was more important than democracy and signed your name to the protests of verified votes by American citizens."

Decatur Daily

In an editorial published on Sunday, the Alabama outlet urged Rep. Mo Brooks to step down from his seat in Congress.

"We have had our differences with Brooks in the past, but he is, for better or worse, the duly elected congressman from Alabama's 5th District. On Wednesday, however, he disgraced his office. He encouraged protesters to start 'kicking ass,' and lo and behold they did. Ideas have consequences. He aided Trump's illegitimate effort to stay in office. ... Brooks should resign."

Houston Chronicle

The editorial board of the second-largest newspaper in Texas on Saturday published an editorial titled, "Resign, Senator Cruz. Your lies cost lives."

Arguing that Sen. Ted Cruz deserves "special condemnation": "A brilliant and frequent advocate before the U.S. Supreme Court and a former Texas solicitor general, Cruz knew exactly what he was doing, what he was risking and who he was inciting as he stood on the Senate floor Wednesday and passionately fed the farce of election fraud even as a seething crowd of believers was being whipped up by President Trump a short distance away."

Noting that Cruz's lies helped spur the assault on the Capitol, the board wrote, "You are unlikely to be prosecuted for inciting the riots, as Trump may yet be, and there is no election to hold you accountable until 2024. So, we call for another consequence, one with growing support across Texas: Resign."

Kansas City Star

The Kansas City, Missouri, newspaper's editorial board published two editorials on Thursday: one titled, "Assault on democracy: Sen. Josh Hawley has blood on his hands in Capitol coup attempt" and the other, "If Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley had a conscience, he'd resign. He'll have to be removed."

In the second editorial, the board wrote, "If Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley had shown any evidence that there's a conscience in there somewhere, underneath the ambition and the artifice and the uncommon combo of striving and laziness that he's somehow made work for him, then we wouldn't be where we are right now. We wouldn't, that is, be wondering what to say to a man who, having so disgraced his office, and our state, must either resign or be removed from the U.S. Senate."

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

On Thursday, the Milwaukee outlet called for Sen. Ron Johnson, Rep. Scott Fitzgerald, and Rep. Tom Tiffany to either resign or be expelled "for siding with Trump against our republic."

"Fitzgerald and Tiffany were the only members of the House of Representatives from Wisconsin who joined in an insurrection built upon a foundation of ignorance and lies," the editorial board wrote.

Noting that Johnson had ultimately voted against overturning the election results, they blamed him for "Sen. Ron Johnson decided to vote against both baseless challenges to certified votes only after our nation's Capitol was sacked as Congress gathered to perform its simple constitutional duty to recognize the Electoral College vote. But Johnson had been shilling for Trump and this moment for days, adding kindling to the megalomaniac's fire, so his last-minute switch does nothing to absolve his role in stoking this shameful day in American history."

Orlando Sentinel

An editorial published by the Florida paper's editorial board on Thursday called Sen. Rick Scott and Reps. Katherine Cammack, Mario Diaz-Balart, Byron Donalds, Neal Dunn, Scott Franklin, Matt Gaetz, Carlos Giménez, Brian Mast, Bill Posey, John Rutherford, Greg Steube, and Daniel Webster "enemies of democracy" who "brought shame on themselves, on their offices and on Florida": "Each is unfit for office and none should be returned if they have the audacity to seek reelection in 2022."

Philadelphia Inquirer

The editorial board of the Philadelphia paper published an editorial Thursday calling for "Republican lawmakers who were complicit in sparking a coup attempt by their continued support of Trump's baseless lies of a rigged election" to "face consequences."

Noting the eight Pennsylvania Republican congressmen who had backed efforts to throw out their constituents' votes — Dan Meuser, Scott Perry, Lloyd Smucker, Fred Keller, John Joyce, Guy Reschenthaler, Glenn Thompson, and Mike Kelly — the board wrote, "In speeches into the night, Perry and his Republican colleagues from the commonwealth and elsewhere repeated easily disputed lies — including those about Pennsylvania voting law that originated in the Republican General Assembly — that have been already debunked or dismissed by the courts."

"If they believe so strongly in election fraud that they're calling to overturn the presidential race, how can they serve with confidence that their own elections were legitimate?" the board asked. "If they don't resign, they should take responsibility for the damage that they inflicted to American democracy, and at the very least, apologize. But we won't hold our breath."

San Antonio Express-News

On Saturday, the San Antonio publication urged impeachment for Trump and "expulsion for enabler Cruz" based on "his efforts to undermine the presidential election."

"It was Cruz who gathered support of other senators and senators-elect to object to the formal counting of electoral votes, not because there was voter fraud but because of the 'unprecedented allegations of voter fraud, violations and lax enforcement of election law, and other voting irregularities,'" the editorial board noted. "It was Cruz who cynically said to Democrats on the Senate floor before the mob descended: 'I understand your guy is winning right now.'"

"It remains to be seen if the assault on the Capitol is a warning sign or a turning point for this nation. If we seek a turning point in support of democracy, then those who have damaged it must be sanctioned and repudiated," the board wrote.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

The St. Louis newspaper's editorial board published an editorial on Thursday calling for Sen. Josh Hawley to "do Missourians and the rest of the country a big favor and resign now."

"Sen. Josh Hawley had the gall to stand before the Senate Wednesday night and feign shock, shock at what happened — hours after he had fist-pumped and cheered the rioters as they arrived on Capitol Hill," the board wrote. "Hawley's tardy, cover-his-ass condemnation of the violence ranks at the top of his substantial list of phony, smarmy and politically expedient declarations."

University of Virginia Cavalier Daily

The campus newspaper of the University of Virginia also called out Virginia Reps. Cline, Good, Griffith, and Wittman on Thursday and urged their removal.

"Only three days into his term as congressman, Rep. Good has already significantly contributed to the same dangerous rhetoric that caused the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville — the very community he was sent to Congress to represent," the editorial board wrote. "Those who objected to the election certification have proven their blind loyalty to Trump over the will of the American people. Their indulgence in conspiracy theories warrants immediate expulsion from their roles as representatives of the people."

Wichita Eagle

In an editorial published Wednesday, the Kansas paper's editorial board wrote that Sen. Roger Marshall and Reps. Ron Estes, Jake LaTurner, and Tracey Mann "share the blame" for the "calculated, premeditated, violent assault on democracy and our country's commitment to the peaceful transfer of power."

"Remember them, Kansas voters," the board urged. "Hold them accountable."

York Dispatch

On Thursday, the Pennsylvania outlet demanded the resignation of Rep. Scott Perry.

Its editorial board blasted him for "leading a gang of Republican congressmen in an ill-advised, ultimately fruitless attempt to disenfranchise his own constituents by objecting to the counting of the electoral votes from 'my beloved commonwealth of Pennsylvania.'

"If Perry truly believes that the election that returned him to the Capitol for a fifth term was illegal and the results should be overturned, he does have a personal recourse. He can and should resign. Immediately."

So far, no Republican lawmakers have acknowledged that their actions helped fuel the mob attacks.

Asked by reporters on Thursday if he believed he bears any of the blame for the rioting the previous day, Ted Cruz answered, "Not remotely."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Notorious White Nationalists Identified In Capitol Rioting

Reprinted with permission from ProPublica. This story is part of an ongoing collaboration between ProPublica and FRONTLINE that includes an upcoming documentary.

Members of the ultranationalist street gang known as the Proud Boys were easy to spot at the protests that flared across the United States throughout 2020, often in the middle of a brawl, typically clad in black and yellow outfits.

But in December, as the group's leaders planned to flood Washington to oppose the certification of the Electoral College vote this week for President-elect Joe Biden, they decided to do something different.

"The ProudBoys will turn out in record numbers on Jan 6th but this time with a twist...," Henry "Enrique" Tarrio, the group's president, wrote in a late-December post on Parler, a social media platform that has become popular with right-wing activists and conservatives. "We will not be wearing our traditional Black and Yellow. We will be incognito and we will spread across downtown DC in smaller teams. And who knows....we might dress in all BLACK for the occasion."

Henry "Enrique" Tarrio's Parler post in late December.Screenshot from ProPublica.

The precise composition of the mob that forced its way into the Capitol on Wednesday, disrupting sessions of both houses of Congress and leaving a police officer and four others dead, remains unknown. But a review by a ProPublica-FRONTLINE team that has been tracking far-right movements for the past three years shows that the crowd included members of the Proud Boys and other groups with violent ideologies. Videos reveal the presence of several noted hardcore nativists and white nationalists who participated in the 2017 white power rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that President Donald Trump infamously refused to condemn.


Invasion of the Capitol Was Planned for Weeks in Plain Sight | FRONTLINE + ProPublica www.youtube.com

Tarrio does not appear to have been present during the insurrection. Two days before members of the House and Senate gathered to certify the Electoral College results, Washington's Metropolitan Police Department arrested Tarrio and charged him with possessing high-capacity firearm magazines and destruction of property over the burning of a Black Lives Matter banner last month. A judge barred him from entering the city while he awaits trial.

But it appears that Tarrio's followers heeded his advice. A journalist working with ProPublica and FRONTLINE encountered members of the Proud Boys in dark clothes walking through Washington on the night before the attack. The four men posed for a photo and confirmed their membership in the group. Few participants involved in the Capitol siege were seen wearing Proud Boys colors or logos.


But since the incident, Proud Boys social media channels have flaunted their direct role in the attack and looting of the Capitol.

One prominent Proud Boys account encouraged rioters as the chaos was unfolding: "Hold your ground!!!... DO NOT GO HOME. WE ARE ON THE CUSP OF SAVING THE CONSTITUTION."

So far, police have arrested more than 80 people in connection with the attack, including at least one Proud Boy, Nick Ochs. They have seized pipe bombs and Molotov cocktails and arrested at least six people on illegal firearms charges, including one Maryland man who was captured in the visitors' center of the Capitol. More arrests are expected.

As the crowds ringing the Capitol swelled on Wednesday, a small group of men clad in body armor shuffled toward the doors at the center of the building's east-facing facade.

The eight men, whose movements were captured on video, were identified by ProPublica and FRONTLINE as members of the Oath Keepers, a long-standing militia group that has pledged to ignite a civil war on behalf of Trump. Members of the group joined the protesters and insurrectionists flooding into the Capitol. Footage from later in the day shows Oath Keepers dragging a wounded comrade out of the building.

Stewart Rhodes, a former soldier and Yale law school graduate, who founded the Oath Keepers in 2009 and built it into a nationwide network, was seen on video standing outside the Capitol building. While he was not seen entering the Capitol, he could be seen talking with his militia followers throughout the day.


Stewart Rhodes, founder of the Oath Keepers, at the Capitol on Wednesday. (Ford Fischer)Screenshot from ProPublica.

Several other of the participants ProPublica and FRONTLINE identified from video have direct links to the white nationalist movement, which has seen a resurgence of activity during the Trump era.

One was Nick Fuentes, an internet personality who streams a daily talk show on DLive, an alternative social media platform. Fuentes, who marched in Charlottesville during the 2017 white power rally there, speaks frequently in anti-Semitic terms and pontificates on the need to protect America's white heritage from the ongoing shift in the nation's demographics. He has publicly denied believing in white nationalism but has said that he considers himself a "white majoritarian."

Fuentes, who spoke at pro-Trump rallies late last year in Michigan and Washington, D.C., said he was at the rally on Wednesday but didn't follow the mob into the Capitol. One group of Fuentes' supporters, who call themselves the Groyper Army, was filmed running through the Capitol carrying a large blue flag with the America First logo.

Days before the Capitol was stormed, Fuentes seemed to encourage his followers to kill state legislators in a bid to overturn Biden's electoral victory, as Megan Squire, a computer science professor at Elon University who follows online extremist communities, noted on Twitter.

"What can you and I do to a state legislator — besides kill him?" he said with a smirk. "We should not do that. I'm not advising that, but I mean, what else can you do, right?"

Squire fears that Fuentes' incendiary rhetoric will inspire his followers to engage in more drastic — even lethal — acts of political violence. "Instead of trying to appear democratic he's making an argument for fascism, for monarchism," she said. "He's criticizing democracy at every turn. He doesn't believe in democracy and it's scary because his fans find him fascinating."

DLive recently announced that it has booted Fuentes from its platform.

Another figure inside the Capitol with ties to white nationalists was Tim Gionet, a livestreamer who uses the handle Baked Alaska and who participated in the Charlottesville rally, which left one woman dead. Gionet was photographed within the Capitol and apparently used DLive to stream from within the building as events unfolded. Part of his video appeared to show him in Nancy Pelosi's office, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups.

Other extremist figures present either at the rally or within the Capitol included Vincent James Foxx, an online propagandist for the Rise Above Movement, a now-defunct Southern California white supremacist group.

Also on scene: Gabe Brown, a New Englander who helped create Anticom, a now-defunct organization devoted to physically combating leftists. In 2017, Anticom members posted a vast trove of bomb-making manuals to a private online chatroom.

The militant group members joined with scores of others who rampaged inside the Capitol.

Rep. André Carson, a Democrat from Indiana, said the scene reminded him of a Ku Klux Klan rally. Photos from within the Capitol showed one unidentified man carrying a Confederate battle flag and another wearing a sweatshirt emblazoned with a skull and the words "Camp Auschwitz," a reference to the infamous Nazi death camp.

Carson and other House members who spoke to ProPublica and FRONTLINE said the body would be launching an extensive investigation of the Capitol Police force and its mishandling of Wednesday's events.

The rioters, said Carson, who is Black, "were hostile. They were venomous. And I think there was a sense of entitlement that they carried that somehow their country was being taken away from them."

After the siege, a Boogaloo Bois group called the Last Sons of Liberty, which includes militants from Virginia, posted a video to Parler purporting to document their role in the incident — a clip that shows members inside the Capitol. A loose-knit confederation of anti-government militants, the Boogaloo Bois have been tied to a plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and to the murder of two law enforcement officers in California. ProPublica and FRONTLINE have been unable to independently confirm their involvement.

Some far-right activists are already calling for retribution over the death of Ashli Babbitt, a 35-year-old Air Force veteran from California who was shot and killed by a security officer. "We've got a girl that's dead. She's shot, laying on the ground in there," said Damon Beckley, leader of a group called DC Under Siege, in an interview just outside the Capitol while the riot was ongoing. "We're not putting up with this tyrannical rule. ... If we gotta come back here and start a revolution and take all these traitors out — which is what should happen — then we will."

Another person took to Parler to say that they were planning to show up, armed, in Washington for Inauguration Day. "Many of us will return on January 19, 2021 carrying Our weapons," wrote the Parler user, who goes by the handle Colonel007. "We will come in numbers that no standing army or police agency can match."

The Proud Boys also celebrated on social media. On Parler, one Proud Boys leader posted a photo of members of Congress cowering in fear and captioned it with a menacing statement: "Today you found out. The power of the people will not be denied."

Logan Jaffe of ProPublica and Lila Hassan, Dan Glaun and Zoe Todd of FRONTLINE contributed reporting.

Correction, Jan. 9, 2021: This story has been updated to remove the name of an individual who upon further investigation could not be definitively identified.

Right-Wing Websites Revealed Plans For Washington Violence

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

The disturbing violence that ensued on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, Jan. 6 was a pinnacle of far-right rhetoric and several weeks of premeditated online planning clearly publicized on right-wing media websites, according to a new report published by NPR.

Jared Holt, a visiting research fellow at the Atlantic Council's Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFRLab) in Washington, D.C., offered details about his own findings after investigating right-wing extremist activity online. Since President Donald Trump lost the presidential election, Holt has noted an uptick on various sites including "Parler, Gab, TheDonald, and MeWe."

According to Holt, those sites have been inundated with "conspiracy theories, disinformation and outright lies about the results of the election." He also noted that many of the lies circulated on those sites "often came from the top arbiters of power in the Republican Party, notably President Donald Trump himself."

Holt also noted that the vast majority of the posts published by TheDonald ahead of the Electoral College certification highlighted "calls for violence."

More than 80% of the top posts on TheDonald on Wednesday about the Electoral College certification featured calls for violence in the top five responses, according to research from Advance Democracy, Inc., an independent, non-partisan organization.

On social media platforms, including Twitter and TikTok there were other posts inciting violence on Jan. 6 several days before the event took place. The publication reports "ADI found more than 1,480 posts from QAnon-related accounts about Jan. 6 that contained terms of violence since Jan. 1."

A substantial number of TikTok videos inciting violence had also gone viral with "hundreds of thousands of views." While it is no secret that President Donald Trump's post-election rhetoric over the last two months contributed to his base's hostile response, his promotion of the "Save America" rally and his remarks during the event subsequently served as gasoline being poured on a blazing dumpster fire.

"Then it really, really went nuts," Holt says. After Trump promoted a Jan. 6 protest in D.C., "a lot of his extremist supporters interpreted this as a call to action for them."

While Holt claims he was "closely monitoring" the dialogue and discussions taking place on right-wing platforms, he admits he was taken aback by the rapid escalation in violence that erupted on Capitol Hill.

"I was surprised," Holt admitted. "One of the challenges of doing the line of work that I do is these are extremist communities and the rhetoric is extreme just all the time. It got really, really intense running up to the protest, but oftentimes the ratio of extreme rhetoric to extreme action — there is a little bit of difference there."