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Tag: terrorism

Why Republicans Need Jan. 6 Commission More Than They Realize

It's been a given that Democrats would benefit from an official probe into the January 6 rampage on the Capitol and Republicans would not. The thinking goes that Democrats would use a commission report to bash Republicans in the 2022 midterm elections. It would certainly detail how former President Donald Trump incited his supporters to commit the outrage.

Where Republicans err is believing that without a report, Democrats won't have the ammo to bash them effectively. But the trauma of that day is already seared in the American brain.

Legislation passed by the House would establish a 10-member commission appointed equally by Democrats and Republicans. Without Republican input, the official story of January 6 will be told by historians, journalists and the courts.

That was Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's argument. "It's not at all clear what new facts or additional investigation yet another commission could lay on top of the existing efforts by law enforcement and Congress," he said.

He's missing something. The trials of those who ransacked the Capitol will hardly help the Republican cause. And with Trump and many in the party continuing to reject the outcome of the election, Republicans would lose another chance to turn around the public's perception that they've got a screw loose.

It is rare that a president's party adds seats in midterm elections, but Republicans made that happen in 2002 under George W. Bush. That's because they campaigned on the terror of 9/11. They didn't need fancy explanations, because the national calamity — jetliners crashing into the World Trade Center —was so visual and visceral.

The same can be said of the horrific imagery that emerged from January 6 as Trump supporters vandalized the Capitol and beat cops with flagpoles. It's all on video.

And so is the rally at the Ellipse, where Trump pushed the dangerous lie: "We will never give up. We will never concede. ... You don't concede when there's theft involved."

Back in 2002, fear of terrorism created a new group of voters, the so-called security moms, who rewarded Republicans in the midterms. Shortly after, former President Bill Clinton criticized his party for failing to address Americans' widespread anxiety. "We have to have a clear and strong national security stand," he said.

Two years later, Bush was reelected, despite growing dismay at his Iraq War. Clinton had already seen that coming. "When people are feeling insecure," he'd said in 2002, "they'd rather have someone who is strong and wrong rather than somebody who is weak and right."

The recent election showed that Trumpification has already cost the Republican Party female voters, now called suburban moms. Come the midterms, these women won't like pictures of furniture piled up at the House chamber doors and officers with guns drawn as the mob tried to enter.

Some Republicans open to a commission pushed for a December 31 deadline to wrap up its work. That would have provided very little time to do an adequate job, but, they reasoned, in getting it over with by year end, the results wouldn't be waved at their candidates right before the midterms.

Republicans can't possibly believe that Democrats won't be featuring that sickening day in their campaign ads, however old a commission report. Republicans would be better off if they kept their hands in telling the story. They could have used their cooperation to do what Clinton wanted Democrats to do in 2002: to reassure the public that the democracy will be defended.

If they don't want to help construct a respected explanation of the awful events of January 6, then fine. Democrats will be happy to do it.

Follow Froma Harrop on Twitter @FromaHarrop. She can be reached at fharrop@gmail.com. To find out more about Froma Harrop and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators webpage at www.creators.com.

How Biden Can Curtail Terrorism, Tax Evasion, And Money Laundering

Reprinted with permission from DC Report

Money laundering, both for terrorist finance and tax evasion, threatens national security. Now a private group that watches the quality of anti-money laundering efforts has put forth a smart plan to modernize and upgrade our government's capacity to track illicit cross-border financial transactions.

This is news you will be hard-pressed to find elsewhere.

Global Financial Integrity has a plan, and it's a good one, to better America's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. FinCEN, as it's known, is a critical government agency housed at Treasury and staffed heavily with IRS financial sleuths. It doesn't get nearly the respect or budget it deserves.

Global Financial Integrity is itself an under-appreciated Washington nonprofit funded by a host of sources including the Ford Foundation and five governments, though not the United States. On a budget of not much more than $1 million per year, it has done solid work calling attention to the growing problem of illicit finance.

Jim Henry, DCReport's economics correspondent, has spent decades documenting the flow of illicit money. He estimates from analysis of official banking and trade documents that at least $40 trillion of illicit money sloshes around the globe. The total may be $50 trillion.

To get an idea of the gigantic size of that bag of corrupt money consider this: Henry's lower-end estimate almost equals the combined annual economic output of the world's two largest economies, America and China.

Global Financial Integrity, in a report titled "Enhancing National Security by Re-imagining FinCEN," makes these recommendations:

  1. Give the FinCEN director a seat on the Deputies Committee of the National Security Council (NSC) to raise the agency's stature within the national security community.
  2. Create within FinCEN a National Anti-Money Laundering Data Center for advanced data collection, synthesis, analysis, and distribution to law enforcement for AML activity.
  3. Establish a "Manhattan Project" to identify, develop, and use state-of-the-art technologies needed to fulfill the technology for that data center.
  4. Launch within FinCEN a National Anti-Money Laundering Training Center which will be an anti-money laundering knowledge and education hub for FinCEN staff, financial institution regulators, law enforcement at the federal, state, and local levels and for both state and federal prosecutors.
  5. Create a Strategic Analysis Team to examine emerging and long-term trends in money laundering methods and computer technologies to counter those threats.

Those are superb ideas all. But will Congress care?

A core problem with hunting for terrorist finance is that the tools used to sift through billions of transactions involving trillions of dollars are the financial equivalent of trawling the ocean bottom for cod. Trawlers catch plenty of cod, but they also drag in many unwanted species.

Tax Cheats Off The Hook

The George W. Bush administration was averse to a serious hunt for big-league tax cheats. It disconnected from a nascent movement by major countries to coordinate their tax policies, a boon to tax cheats. It even refused to hire 80 more IRS investigators to hunt for transactions by Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups in the wake of 9/11.

Source: UN Office on Drugs and Crime

The official excuse was that taxpayers couldn't afford an extra $12 million in spending. That is an absurdity when trillions were being spent on the wars in Afghanistan, still underway, and Iraq. But the funding denial made perfect sense if you knew that anti-money laundering nets catch tax cheats along with terrorists. And since the political donor class is rife with tax cheating, catching tax cheats can be inconvenient for politicians in power, and fellow party members, as a Congressional staffer recently reminded me.

In writing about money laundering in casinos since 1988, in my coverage of taxes since 1995, and on terrorist finance after 9/11, I developed a deep appreciation for the unsung work of FinCEN – and recognition of its weaknesses.

More People, Better Tech

What is needed now to strengthen FinCEN: more staff, super-sophisticated computers on par with the National Security Agency, and, most of all, adding a seat for FinCEN at White House National Security Council meetings.

A FinCEN director once told me that given enough time and resources his staff could find a single $19.99 credit card transaction anywhere in the world. The 9/11 attacks were cheap, costing only about $100,000. We shouldn't forget that relatively small expenditures can be used to cause enormous harm.

To find the little transactions behind big attacks in the future FinCEN needs enormous computer power to separate golden nuggets of fact from the massive overburden of routine financial transactions. FinCEN also needs to be set free to find not just terrorists, but tax cheats.

With trillions of dollars of illicit money in the hands of criminals, kleptocrats, and terrorists, and hundreds of billions of dollars of federal income taxes evaded each year, it's long past time to upgrade FinCEN.

Trump Signals That His Coup Plotting Isn’t Really Over

Reprinted with permission from DC Report

The violent mob Donald Trump sent to attack and loot our Capitol receded during the night, but his efforts to overthrow our government continue. Trump signaled in a Tweet that even after he leaves office his criminally seditious behavior will persist.

This is "only the beginning of the fight to make America Great Again!" Trump declared at 3:49 a.m. Thursday. (An aide tweeted his message after Twitter locked Trump's own account for spreading dangerous lies.)

While Trump's middle of the night statement also promised a peaceful transition of power when Joe Biden is inaugurated on Jan. 20, it came without a critical word about the chaos and violence Wednesday by fanatical Trumpists in California, Kansas, Georgia, Oregon, Washington, and Utah.


Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri, among others, defended or excused Trump's solicitation of mob violence. Eight senators and a majority of House Republicans voted to reject the certified election results from two states. Hawley should be ousted by the rest of the Senate, not the least because Hawley gave a raised fist in solidarity with the mob as he entered the Capitol Wednesday.

Support for Rioters

Trump's baseless claims that he won by a landslide in November—for which he produced no evidence in 60 failed lawsuits—are believed by a large share of Republicans. A poll during the siege found that 45% of Republicans support the mob attack while more than two-thirds of the GOP believe the violence and looting pose no threat to our democracy.

If other polls support this finding it is a powerful measure of how much enduring damage Trump has inflicted on our democracy by promoting disrespect for the rule of law. That Republicans, of all people, would support lawlessness and violence after decades of "law and order" sloganeering shows their fervor for authoritarian rule.

Propaganda favoring Trump plays a major role in the willingness of many Republicans to excuse Trump's criminal behavior and contemptuous violation of his oath of office.

Primetime hosts on Rupert Murdoch's Fox News repeatedly told the lie Wednesday evening that Capitol invaders were not Trumpist thugs, but Antifa posing as Trump supporters or at least some of them were Antifa. Fox News even posted a story excusing Trump's attempted coup. Fox politics writer Brooke Singman wrote:

"Trump said 'these are the things and events that happen,' referring to violent protests that sent the U.S. Capitol Building into lockdown when a 'landslide victory' is 'vicously [sic] stripped away from great patriots,' while urging America to 'remember this day forever'. "

Trump's Felonies

Trump's remarks at the rally, where he told the mob to go to the Capitol while he headed in the other direction to the security of the White House, make him liable for prosecution for at least three federal crimes: inciting insurrection, sedition and advocating the violent overthrow of the government. He could be liable for criminal conspiracy charges and local District of Columbia criminal charges.

Adding to the liability for criminal charges over the attack were the words used to rile up the crowd by his son Don Jr. and his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, who called for "trial by combat."

While some Capitol Police engaged in combat with the attackers, and one lone uniformed agent was forced to retreat up stairways as a menacing crowd closed in on him, some Capitol Police held doors open for the invaders and others smiled at them, video showed.

Had the invaders been Black instead of white it is likely the attack would have been met with batons, handcuffs and even indiscriminate gunfire by Capitol Police. As CNN reporter Omar Jimenez tweeted: "I saw more arrests during protests in Minneapolis this summer than I have watching people storm the US Capitol."

Racists In The Capitol Police?

That conduct raises questions about whether racist and fascist groups have infiltrated the Capitol Police, just as they have many local and state police agencies.

Extensive video, including Congressional security cameras, can be used to identify the perpetrators of the first sacking of our Capitol since the British attacked in 1814. Every one of these insurrectionists must be identified, arrested, indicted, tried and if convicted given long prison sentences.

The most important question that should be asked of Merrick Garland, the federal appeals court judge Biden is nominating to be attorney general, is whether he will commit to ensuring the prosecution of every one of these criminals.

Other than making deals to leverage some perpetrators into admitting guilt to the most serious crimes in return for very slight reductions in sentences, these enemies of America should be shown no mercy by our Justice Department. They also should all be tried in Washington, D.C., where they committed their many felonies.

Beyond D.C.

A variety of actions by Trumpists from Atlanta to the Pacific Northwest on Wednesday showed how deeply their desire to overthrow our government permeates American society. Posing as patriots, these people spout conspiracy theories, make remarks showing they lack even a junior high school civics understanding of our Constitution, and many call for violence against minorities, notably Muslims and Black Americans.

Some of what these American brown shirts did Wednesday:

  • Armed Trumpists marshaled outside the Utah Capitol in Salt Lake City.
  • In Sacramento police arrested 12 Trumpists for illegal possession of pepper spray during protests at the California State Capitol.
  • In Salem, Ore., Trump's Proud Boy thugs fought outside the state Capitol, prompting police to declare an unlawful assembly. A woman burned in effigy Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat.
  • In Olympia, Wash., Trumpist thugs broke down the fence at the governor's official mansion while Gov. Jay Inslee and his family were inside.
  • In Atlanta, armed Trump thugs gathered outside the Capitol, prompting state police to hustle Brad Raffensperger, the top state elections official, out of the building, partly out of concern about the presence of a former KKK leader who now directs one of Trump's faux patriot support groups. Officials in Fulton County, which surrounds much of Atlanta, suspended vote counting because of safety concerns.
  • Trump's thugs also harassed random people. In Los Angeles, a Black woman walking down the street was surrounded by a score of Trump's thugs who menacingly demanded she declare who she voted for in the November elections.
  • In Topeka, Kansas some demonstrators, echoing Trump's baseless claims he really won the November election by a landslide, entered the state Capitol, but were peaceful.
  • On an American Airlines flight from Texas to Washington, "flight attendants are struggling to control a plane full of Trump supporters as they display a pro-Trump projection and harass others passengers bound for D.C.," freelance journalist Maranie R. Staab reported, posting a video to authenticate her story.

That a poll found many Trumpers support the insurrection Wednesday is not surprising if they rely only on supposed new organizations that act as propaganda arms of Team Trump.

Fox News hosts on Wednesday evening described the violent mob not as Trump supporters, but leftists posing as Trumpists, a conspiracy theory with even less factual basis than Trump's delusional claims of election fraud.

What Trump made clear early Thursday morning is that after his term ends on Jan. 20, he will continue his efforts to overthrow the government he swore on oath to defend.

The question of the day is what Democrats, now that they control the House, Senate and White House, will do to protect our democracy? Will they decide to let bygones be bygones and move ahead, or will they do their duty and bring Trump and those who committed crimes on his behalf to justice?

West Virginia GOP Legislator Charged In Capitol Riot

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

At least one Republican state lawmaker has been arrested and federally charged as part of the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol, the Department of Justice announced on Friday.

West Virginia state Del. Derrick Evans filmed himself inside of the Capitol, breaking into the building with the mob of Trump supporters.

He's one of 12 GOP state lawmakers who were either at the rally where Trump incited the mob to head to the Capitol, or were in the Capitol itself as part of the insurrection — according to a list compiled by FiveThirtyEight's Nathaniel Rakich.

Some of the lawmakers claimed they were not part of the violence. But their presence ties them to the horrific events the country watched unfold and is leading to calls for their resignations.

The Republican lawmakers are:

Tennessee state Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver: At 6:41 p.m., as law enforcement was still working to clear the building of the violent insurrectionists who broke in as part of a now-failed coup attempt, Weaver tweeted a photo from earlier in the day at the Capitol praising the mob.

"Epic and historic day gathering with fellow Patriots from all over the nation DC," Weaver tweeted.

Weaver admitted to the Tennessean that she was "in the thick of it" and falsely claimed that there "wasn't any violence going on here."

But Trump supporters were captured on video assaulting journalists and law enforcement officials by countless media outlets and individuals at the scene, in reports that traveled around the world. One Capitol Police officer is now dead from injuries sustained trying to protect the hundreds of lawmakers and workers inside, in addition to four others who died.

Virginia state Sen. Amanda Chase: A leading contender to be the Republican nominee for governor of Virginia, Chase posted an image of the pro-Trump mob gathered outside of the Capitol to Facebook, writing, "DC Rally! SHARE what the media won't show you!"

She later defended the violent coup attempt in a video, saying, "I will tell you that while I do support peaceful protest, that I believe that we the people have had enough, and when you back good people, law-abiding citizens, into the corner, they will push back when you give them no other options."

The Virginia Democratic Party called Chase's comments "despicable" and "what the whole @VA_GOPhas become."

West Virginia state Del. Derrick Evans: Like Weaver, Evans was one of the insurrectionists who illegally entered the Capitol.

The New York Times reported that in a since-deleted video posted to his Facebook Page, Evans screams "We did it!" upon entering the building, adding "Derrick Evans is in the Capitol!"

Evans also ignored demands from Capitol Police officers to leave, shouting "Patriots inside, baby!" according to the Times.

He has been charged by the Department of Justice for his role and is now facing calls to resign.

Michigan state Rep. Matt Maddock: Maddock and his wife, Meshawn Maddock, spoke at the rally before the violent insurrection took place.

Meshawn retweeted a video of the mob walking toward the building and said it was "the most incredible crowd and sea of people I've ever walked with."

A local Michigan Patch site reported that Meshawn claimed she left before the violence started.

Missouri state Rep. Justin Hill: Hill, a former police officer, did not attend his own swearing-in at the Missouri state Capitol to attend the rally and later the violent insurrection at the Capitol.

In a post on Facebook, Hill claimed that he went to the Capitol but left "immediately" when he heard that someone had been shot and suggested that the violent insurrectionists inside were not Trump supporters — a lie right-wing media and some Republican lawmakers are pushing.

Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano: A local news outlet reported that Mastriano led a bus of Trump supporters down to the rally, where Trump called on his supporters to "fight" and march to the Capitol, where the violence began.

Mastriano told a local news outlet that, "At no point did we enter the Capitol building, at no point did we tread upon the Capitol steps, and at no point did we tread upon police lines. Obviously, we're there together and we don't want to get caught in any violence, so we left out of there."

Nevertheless, his Democratic colleagues are calling for his resignation.

"Doug Mastriano is a sitting senator who actively organized a violent insurrection in an attempt to prevent a peaceful transfer of power. Sen. Corman & GOP leadership should call for his immediate resignation. If not, he should be removed from all committee or leadership positions," Democratic state Sen. Tim Kearney tweeted.

Arizona state Rep. Mark Finchem: Finchem tweeted on Jan. 1 that he was traveling to Washington, D.C., to "fight for President @realDonaldTrump," adding that he was going to be at a protest at 10 a.m. at the Capitol building, where the insurrection occurred.

Finchem later tweeted a photo of the mob on the steps of the Capitol with the caption, "What happens when the People feel they have been ignored, and Congress refuses to acknowledge rampant fraud."

That language appears to directly support the insurrection that took place.

Finchem later complained that he could not get food delivered to his hotel room after attending the violent insurrection because of law enforcement activity.

Alaska state Rep. David Eastman: Eastman was at the rally earlier in the day where Trump incited the mob but claimed that he did not go to the Capitol, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

Still, Eastman traveled from Alaska all the way to Washington, D.C., to attend a rally, whose sole purpose was to egg on the effort to force Republican members of Congress to block President-elect Joe Biden's victory.

Eastman told the Daily News that he thought the riot and break-in was "pretty terrible."

Democratic state Rep. Sara Hannan told the outlet that she heard from constituents who wanted Eastman to be expelled for attending the rally, but said he would not be because he had a First Amendment right to attend a rally.

"If his picture shows up having breached and vandalized the Capitol buildings ... then I think there should be repercussions," Hannan told the Daily News. "But as far as his right to protest, that's an American's right."

Incoming Nevada state Assemblywoman Annie Black: A local news outlet in Nevada reported that Black was at the Capitol when the violence broke out but did not go past the security line "to avoid being associated with the mob."

Like Eastman, Black traveled a long distance to attend a rally that was specifically trying to pressure Congress to overturn a free and fair election. Yet she condemned the violence, later trying to blame it on "rogue Trump supporters or outside agitators" — the same kind of blame-shifting rhetoric that has been seen on right-wing media outlets.

"Whoever these people were, whether they were rogue Trump supporters or outside agitators, they should be identified, arrested, charged, prosecuted, and severely punished," Black told 8NewsNow.

Illinois state Rep. Chris Miller: Miller posted a video to Facebook at the rally before the mob breached the Capitol.

He used violent rhetoric, calling the rally a "great cultural war to see if we will survive, whether if we will remain a free people."

He spoke of the "dangerous Democrat terrorists" who are "trying to destroy our country."

Miller's wife is Rep. Mary Miller, also a Republican, who is now facing calls to resign after she spoke at the rally and said "Hitler was right" to recruit youth into his Nazi movement.

Outgoing Georgia Rep. Vernon Jones: Jones attended the rally that preceded the violent insurrection, where he officially declared that he was leaving the Democratic Party and joining the GOP.

"Moments ago, I announced that I am officially joining the Republican Party," Jones tweeted. "Now more than ever, the Republican Party is in desperate need of leaders that know how to fight. I know how to fight."

Jones took a selfie at the march to the Capitol with Finchem, one of the other GOP lawmakers at the insurrection.

Outgoing Arizona state Rep. Anthony Kern: Kern posted photos traveling to the District of Columbia for the rally urging a coup, tweeting on Jan. 4, "DC Hear We COME!!!!!! #StoptheSteal"

Kern went to the rally where Trump fired up his supporters to go to the Capitol. He tweeted a photo of himself outside of security fencing, and it's unclear whether he went inside.

Kern lost reelection in 2020.

Former Pennsylvania state Rep. Rick Saccone: Saccone is no longer in the state Legislature, but he was also part of the violent mob at the Capitol.

He said in a since-deleted Facebook post that, "We are storming the capitol. Our vanguard has broken through the barricades. We will save this nation. Are u with me?"

Saccone lost a special election to Democratic Rep. Connor Lamb in 2018. Saccone went on to lose a GOP primary in a different United States House district in Pennsylvania later that year.

The violent insurrection that occurred on Wednesday was spurred on by Trump himself.

Trump called for Republicans to fight 20 times in his rambling one-hour-and-13 minute-long speech, in which he called on his supporters to march to the Capitol to "give our Republicans, the weak ones, because the strong ones don't need any of our help, we're going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country," according to a transcript.

Trump is likely to be impeached for a second time over the incitement.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

VIDEO: Thugs Who Attacked Capitol Were Prepared To Take Hostages — And Execute Them

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

The people who besieged the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday were not merely rioters and insurrectionists. Some of them appear to have been intent on taking hostages and murdering them, and there are signs that the attempt was carefully planned out.

Photo evidence shows people who entered the building came prepared to take hostages, and to bind them with zip ties. Witnesses say talk was rampant about executing Vice President Mike Pence—who only an hour before the riot had declined to follow Donald Trump's urgings and object to the Electoral College results—as well as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer.


Capitol insurrectionists chant 'Hang Mike Pence!', vow to return to 'finish the job' www.youtube.com

The rioters could be seen on video chanting "Hang Mike Pence!" as they entered the Capitol. Getty Images photographer Win McNamee captured the startling image of a masked and armed man clambering about Senate chambers—where Pence had been presiding over the proceedings only an hour before—with a parcel of premade zip cuffs. Other photosshowed multiple invaders carrying restraints—in one case was a man identified as a military veteran with a security clearance.

Reuters photographer Jim Bourg, who was with the rioters, reported:

I heard at least 3 different rioters at the Capitol say that they hoped to find Vice President Mike Pence and execute him by hanging him from a Capitol Hill tree as a traitor. It was a common line being repeated. Many more were just talking about how the VP should be executed.

Journalist Andrew Feinberg reported that the rioters went on the hunt for Pence, Pelosi, and Schumer upon gaining entry to the Capitol. White nationalist Tim "Baked Alaska" Gionet livestreamed himself invading Pelosi's office and vandalizing it while making mock phone calls from it.

The entire scenario these invaders seemed to have in mind bore more than a passing resemblance to the plot dreamed upby the members of Michigan's "Wolverine Watchmen," who before their arrests by the FBI for conspiring to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer actually planned to invade the state Capitol in Lansing, take public officials hostage, and then televise or livestream their executions.

And there are indications that the invasion of the Capitol was carefully planned, perhaps with the participation of the Oath Keepers, a far-right group that specializes in recruiting and radicalizing military and law enforcement veterans. The organization's leader and founder—who as a speaker at previous pro-Trump rallies in Washington, D.C. and had urged Trump to use the Insurrection Act in order to declare martial law—was spotted at Wednesday's rally, and members of the group not only were seen appearing to prepare for the assault on the Capitol, but were seen on video shot by journalist Ford Fischer playing a key role in the initial breaching of its security perimeter.

Oath Keepers have played a leading role in whipping up groundless conspiracist hysteria over what they call the "stolen election"—and even before the election had called for Trumpto declare martial law. Rhodes urged his members to prepare for "civil war," and after the election, Oath Keepers' rhetoricveered into outright threats of violence against public officials and journalists.

Whichever former law enforcement officials might be involved in these schemes are seemingly oblivious to the existence of federal laws that make even planning to kidnap members of Congress a crime punishable with life imprisonment (namely, 18 U.S. Code § 351).

Nothing appears to deter these extremists, who are currently basking in massive online adulation by their far-right brethren for the attack on American democracy as Jared Holt, analyst for the Atlantic Council, explained to Greg Sargent of The Washington Post.

"By all measurable effects, this was for far-right extremists one of the most successful attacks that they've ever launched," Holt said. "This will be lionized and propagandized on likely for the next decade."

Moreover, he explained, the insurrectionists' success in overtaking the building will be a long-term talking point for the radical right: "These communities are discussing the attack as some sort of validation that it actually is possible for them to exert their power like this and achieve results. They're talking about this as the first stab in a greater revolution."

Certainly, the insurrectionists Wednesday had no doubts that they would be returning with even greater violence in mind. Multiple rioters verbally attacked police officers trying to hold the line, telling them, as one of them did afterwards: "Traitors get the rope. Traitors get the noose. Wait till we come back with rifles, motherfucker. You think that's an idle threat?"

One of the Capitol invaders interviewed by Fischer blamed Mike Pence for the day's violence, notably the shooting of an insurrectionist near the House chambers by a Capitol Police officer.

"We're not putting up with this tyrannical rule!" he shouted. "If we gotta come back here and start a revolution, and take all of these traitors out, which is what should be done, then we will."

'The Day That Broke The GOP': Republicans Abandon Trump In Wake Of MAGA Riot

Yesterday was an embarrassing day to be an American.

Armed terrorists in support of President Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol as Congress met to confirm Joe Biden as the next President of the United States. If that weren't humiliating enough, the president stood by these people, as they disrupted a Constitutional process that has taken place since the beginning of our country. And the worst part is President Trump responded by telling them, "We love you."

In the hours since, Congress has made President-elect Joe Biden's victory official and Trump finally committed to a peaceful transfer of power. But it's too late. And many Republicans, even some of Trump's close allies, realize that.

"All I can say is count me out, enough is enough." Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of Trump's staunchest supporters said in a fiery floor speech last night.

"I, above all others in this body need to say this, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were lawfully elected and will become the president and the vice president of the United States on Jan. 20," Graham continued.

This was a complete reversal for Graham, who has been right by the president's side during the election fight and is considered one of Trump's closest allies.

Kelly Loeffler, who lost her Georgia Senate race yesterday giving Democrats control of the Senate, backed down on the Senate floor and decided not to challenge Joe Biden's victory.

"When I arrived in Washington this morning I fully intended to object the certification of the electoral votes," she said in a somber speech on the Senate floor last night. "However, the events that have transpired today have forced me to reconsider, and I cannot now, in good conscience, object to the certification of these electors."

She maintained her belief in "election irregularities" but condemned the terrorists who laid siege to the Capitol.

The Senators changing course on their plan to challenge the electors didn't stop there. After all of the damage caused by Trump and his most violent supporters throughout the day, six senators maintained their election challenge-- which is still too many people considering the overwhelming evidence that the election was fair and free. Still, over half dropped their challenge.

"I did think that today changed things drastically," Indiana Sen. Mike Braun, one of the 13 senators who had signaled he would challenge the electors, said. "Yeah, whatever point you made before that should suffice. Get this ugly day behind us."


Trump Faces Calls For Immediate Impeachment Following Capitol Rioting assets.rebelmouse.io


"Obviously the commission we have asked for is not going to happen at this point," said Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford, who also planned to object to the result of the election. "I understand that. And we are headed tonight toward the certification of Joe Biden as president of the United States."

Now, some Republicans are considering taking "drastic" measures-- like invoking the 25th Amendment-- to remove President Trump from office in the final days to his presidency, according to Axios.

"Republicans are furious with the president for what they see as fomenting an attack on American democracy, disgracing their party and invading the sanctity of their chambers on the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue," the Axios report said. "There's concern about whether the country can withstand another two weeks with Trump at the helm, and what additional chaos and division could be sowed. There's also rage inside the GOP at Sens. Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz, and others whose plans to object to Biden's certification gave oxygen to Trump, the protests, and the notion that Congress could be used to overturn the will of voters."

The Senate floor wasn't the only place where long-time allies who were close to Trump jumped ship, as the ugly events that transpired because of the president were too much for them to stomach. Reports came barreling in last night of top aides and appointees of Trump either were deciding or decided to quit. First Lady Melania Trump's chief of staff and a White House social secretary both decided to resign, according to CNN. A Fox News reporter tweeted that White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Matthews also decided to throw in the towel. Even President Trump's former Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney decided enough was enough, according to CNBC. And these were just the beginning of a long line of resignations that are expected in the coming days.

Politico called the pandemonium caused by our own president, "The day that broke the GOP."

"It literally took a riot of Trump supporters in the Capitol for many Republicans to finally confront the defeated president — a moment of bedlam that put those GOP lawmakers' own lives at risk," the article read.

For many Republicans, yesterday tainted the "legacy" of Donald Trump's presidency -- which was tainted long ago for Democrats and most Americans.

"Everything that (Trump's) worked for ... all of that — his entire legacy — was wiped out yesterday," said Nancy Mace, a Republican Representative from South Carolina. "We've got to start over."

Sadly, not all Republicans came to their senses after the atrocities that their party created and allowed to happen.

A Washington Post report read: "Gaetz admitted he does not know 'if the reports are true.' But, he said to audible boos, 'some of the people who breached the Capitol today were not Trump supporters. They were masquerading as Trump supporters and in fact, were members of the violent terrorist group antifa."

WATCH: Mulvaney Resigns In Protest, Says Others Will Also Quit

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Former acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney has resigned his post as United States Special Envoy for Northern Ireland. Mulvaney, who also once served as Trump's Director of the Office of Management and Budget, says he expects other administration officials to quit over Wednesday's Trump-supported insurrection.

"I called [Secretary of State] Mike Pompeo last night to let him know I was resigning from that. I can't do it. I can't stay," Mulvaney told CNBC.

"You can't look at that yesterday and think 'I want to be a part of that,'" he said referring to the attempted coup by Trump insurrectionists who took over the U.S. Capitol.

On Wednesday, in response to the domestic terror attack, four other Trump administration officials resigned: Stephanie Grisham, the First Lady's chief of staff; Rickie Niceta, the White House Social Secretary; Sara Matthews, the White House Deputy Press Secretary; and Matt Pottinger, the Deputy National Security Advisor.

"Those who choose to stay, and I have talked with some of them, are choosing to stay because they're worried the president might put someone worse in," he added.

Mulvaney at one point was one of the most powerful officials inside the Trump White House.

Watch:



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Republicans Blame ‘Antifa’ For Capitol Assault By Trumpists

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

A number of Republican lawmakers and right-wing media personalities are blaming "antifa" for the violent attack by supporters of Donald Trump on the Capitol on Wednesday that led to at least four deaths, ignoring their own responsibility in helping foment the rage underlying the attack.

Some GOP lawmakers did call out Trump and members of their own party for the lies about voter fraud and a stolen election that culminated in Wednesday's failed coup, placing the blame at their feet.

"What happened here today was an insurrection incited by the President of the United States," Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) said in an impassioned speech on the Senate floor after the body reconvened to certify President-elect Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 election.

"You have some senators who, for political advantage, were giving false hope to their supporters. These senators, as insurrectionists literally stormed the Capitol, were sending out fundraising emails," Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) said on Fox News.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) had quite literally sent a fundraising text as the Trump-supporting mob ransacked the Capitol.

Some repetitions of the lie that the attack was carried out by so-called antifa and not Trump supporters came from top GOP leadership. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy made the suggestion Wednesday night in an interview with Fox News host Laura Ingraham.

"People came here to do some damage. I don't know who they were with," McCarthy said of the group, which wore Trump hats, Trump shirts, and carried Trump flags. His comment was followed by a suggestion from Ingraham that "Antifa was in there."

Two other House Republicans, some of the most vocal supporters of Trump's coup, have also falsely blamed antifa for the attacks.

Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama, a leader in the failed effort to block the certification of Biden's win, has tweeted numerous times that the attack was a false-flag operation.

"Please, don't be like #FakeNewsMedia, don't rush to judgment on assault on Capitol. Wait for investigation. All may not be (and likely is not) what appears. Evidence growing that fascist ANTIFA orchestrated Capitol attack with clever mob control tactics," Brooks tweeted, a baseless lie that seeks to absolve Trump supporters of the violence.

Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, who has previously said his sole purpose in Congress is to support Trump, issued the same lie from the House floor during the debate over certification.

"Some of the people who breached the Capitol today were not Trump supporters, they were masquerading as Trump supporters and in fact were members of the violent terrorist group antifa," Gaetz said.

Other right-wing figures, such as Fox News' Sean Hannity and Sarah Palin, the former vice presidential nominee, also tried to absolve Trump supporters of guilt by falsely pinning the attack on antifa.

Trump knew that the rioters were his own supporters, treating the terrorists with kid gloves in tweets, as members of his current and former staff implored him to send a message to end the attack.

"We love you. You're very special. You see the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil but go home and go home in peace," Trump said.

Antifa has been the go-to boogeyman for Republicans over the 2020 presidential cycle. They blamed the group for violent protests across the country.

Trump himself demanded his administration designate antifa as a domestic terror organization on Tuesday night. Experts say antifa cannot be deemed a domestic terror organization because it is not an organization at all, but rather a loosely organized movement.

Analysis continues to show that right-wing white supremacist groups and not antifa represent the biggest domestic terror threat the country currently faces.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.