Inspectors General of the Dept. of Homeland Security, Justice Dept., Dept. of Defense, and Dept. of the Interior are investigating their agencies’ preparation for and response to the events of Jan. 6. The Pentagon IG will examine “requests for DOD support leading up to the planned protest and its aftermath at the U.S. Capitol complex”. D.C. and Capitol Police accused the Defense Dept. of responding too slowly to pleas for back up during the riot, saying their initial request for assistance was denied.
The Inspector General of the Capitol Police is also conducting an immediate investigation into everything from the conduct of officers to intelligence and planning failures. Separately, the Capitol Police’s Office of Professional Responsibility is investigating specific officers, with eight probes into 17 officers related to their conduct.
- Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH), chair of the the House Appropriations legislative branch subcommittee, said two Capitol Police officers have been suspended due to their behavior during the insurrection. One took a selfie with a rioter; the other wore a “Make America Great Again” hat and gave rioters directions around the Capitol building. Ryan criticized Capitol Police leadership, saying they have not bee transparent: “We are having a hell of a time getting information out of [them].”
Speaker Nancy Pelosi appointed retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré to lead a review of security in the Capitol, including “security infrastructure, interagency processes and command and control.” Honoré previously commanded the task force responding to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. On Twitter, he called the events of Jan. 6 a “shit show,” adding “the [Capitol Police] were on their Ass”.
Federal prosecutors wrote in a court filing that “the intent of the Capitol rioters was to capture and assassinate elected officials in the United States Government.” Their analysis was in a memo (PDF) seeking to keep Jacob Chansley, the “QAnon Shaman,” in jail. Chansley’s attorney claimed he “wasn’t violent,” but evidence shows that he left a note where Vioce President Mike Pence was sitting in the Senate warning “it’s only a matter of time, justice is coming.” So far, he has been charged with six crimes, including
- When Chansley spoke with FBI agents the day after the insurrection, he told them he intended to return to D.C. to “protest” Biden’s inauguration: “I’ll still go, you better believe it. For sure I’d want to be there, as a protestor, as a protestor, fuckin’ a.”
- In an interview with NBC News before his arrest, Chansley bragged about his involvement in the insurrection: “The fact that we had a bunch of our traitors in office hunker down, put on their gas masks and retreat into their underground bunker, I consider that a win.” He then admitted to coming to the Capitol due to Trump’s request that all “patriots” attend. Chansley’s attorney told the court that his client “loved Trump, every word. He listened to him. He felt like he was answering the call of our president.”
- During a CNN interview, Chansley’s attorney called on Trump to give his client and the other rioters arrested a pardon. “If there’s one iota of a chance that the guy who’s the president of our country — who invited everybody down Pennsylvania [Avenue] — will give my client a pardon, you know what? I’m going to do it.”
Prosecutors revealed that some of the insurrectionists intended to “take hostages” during the attack, citing the fact that some carried plastic zip-tie handcuffs. The accusation was specifically made in the case against retired Lt. Col. Larry Rendall Brock Jr., who was the subject of a viral image last week. Prosecutors argued that Brock should be kept in jail, however the magistrate judge in Texas released him to home confinement.
“He means to take hostages. He means to kidnap, restrain, perhaps try, perhaps execute members of the U.S. government,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Weimer said of retired Lt. Col. Larry Rendall Brock Jr. without providing specifics…
[Weimer] also read in court social media posts from Brock, including one posted on the day of the Capitol riot that said: “Patriots on the Capitol. Patriots storming. Men with guns need to shoot their way in.”
An AP review found that dozens of insurrectionists either are or have been members of the military or law enforcement. Particularly conspicuous in videos of the attack, some were kitted in military-esque gear, used military-style hand signals to communicate, and moved in a formation known as “Ranger File.” This video stands out in my mind. According to the AP, some of these people may have been members of militia, such as The Oathkeepers.
The identification of individuals using military, small unit tactics is among the “highest priorities” for a Sedition Task Force being run by the D.C. U.S. Attorney’s office. The apparent use of “small unit tactics,” trained to military and law enforcement, drew immediate scrutiny from investigators. These tactics were witnessed both outside and inside the Capitol Building, CBS News has learned.
Almost 30 police officers from across the country are currently known to have attended the Jan. 6 pro-Trump rally, with evidence that several took part in the attack on the Capitol. Most prominently, two Rocky Mount, Virginia, officers were arrested after posing for photos inside the Capitol building. One of the men, Jacob Fracker, is also a corporal in the Virginia National Guard – the first known active military service member charged in the insurrection.
NPR: In a since-deleted Facebook post, Fracker wrote after the riots: “Lol to anyone who’s possibly concerned about the picture of me going around… Sorry I hate freedom? …Not like I did anything illegal…y’all do what you feel you need to.” And in screenshot of a Facebook post circulating, Robertson wrote: “CNN and the Left are just mad because we actually attacked the government who is the problem and not some random small business … The right IN ONE DAY took the f——— U.S. Capitol. Keep poking us.”
- Houston police officer Tam Pham, an 18-year veteran, resigned after pictures surfaced of the officer inside the Capitol building; the chief expects federal charges to be filed.
- Two Seattle police officers posted pictures of themselves in the crowd at the Capitol. They were put on administrative leave pending investigation. If it turns out they “engaged in the actual insurrection,” [Interim Seattle Police Chief Adrian] Diaz said the officers will be fired and information about the officers will be shared with federal authorities.
- Bexar County (TX) Sheriff Lt. Roxanne Mathai was put on unpaid leave after posting photographs showing herself in the crowd outside the Capitol building and writing “this was, indeed, the best day of my life.” In video taken by Methai, she states that she was “going in” to the Capitol building, adding, “Tear gas don’t bother me.” Sheriff Javier Salazar forwarded the social media posts and videos the FBI and wants her fired.
House Republicans insinuated that there was no proof the insurrectionists were incited to act by Trump, which has been proven incorrect. The following four incidents demonstrate that people at the Capitol on Jan. 6 believed they were there at Trump’s behest.
- Jacob Chansley, the “QAnon Shaman” who was arrested by the FBI last week, told investigators that “he came as a part of a group effort, with other “patriots” from Arizona, at the request of the President that all patriots” come to D.C. on January 6, 2021.” (PDF)
- In a video clip, a man yells at police: “We were invited here. We were invited by the president of the United States”
- One of the people who stormed the Capitol building told Bloomberg that he was inspired to do so by Trump’s tweet saying: “Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!” The rioter, Brandon Fellows, stated he has “no regrets” for his actions.
- Another attendee, Douglas Sweet, told the local news that he traveled to Washington because, “Trump asked all the patriots to show up, so I did.”
Not that we need to hear it from the insurrectionists; we have Trump’s own words as evidence. Trump spent the month before Jan. 6 tweeting calls to action coupled with lies about the election being stolen:
Dec. 19: “Statistically impossible to have lost the 2020 Election” and “Big protest in DC on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!”
Dec. 27: “See you in Washington, DC, on January 6th. Don’t miss it. Information to follow.”
Dec. 28: “The BIG Protest Rally in Washington, D.C. will take place at 11:00 A.M. on January 6th. Locational details to follow. StopTheSteal!”
Jan. 3: Trump retweets the following (sent by a now-banned account): “If you are planning to attend peaceful protests in DC on the 6th, i recommend wearing a body camera. The more video angles of that day the better.”
Jan. 4: Donald Trump Jr. tells supporters at a Georgia rally, “We need to fight.” President Trump then tells the crowd, “They’re not taking this White House. We’re going to fight like hell.”
Jan. 6: Before the Capitol rally, Trump tweets: “The States want to redo their votes. They found out they voted on a FRAUD. Legislatures never approved. Let them do it. BE STRONG!”
During the Jan. 6 rally – prior to the attack on the Capitol – Don Jr., Giuliani, and Trump incited violence from the stage. The following are key moments from their speeches. You can watch the Trump’s entire speech or this supercut of some of Trump’s most incendiary lines.
Don Jr.: “These guys better fight for Trump. Because if they’re not –Guess what? I’m gonna be in your backyard in a couple of months… If you’re gonna be the zero and not the hero, we’re coming for you and we’re going to have a good time doing it.” (clip)
Rudy Giuliani: “If we’re right, a lot of them will go to jail. So let’s have trial by combat … I’ll be darned if they’re going to take our free and fair vote…We’re going to fight to the very end to make sure that doesn’t happen.” (clip)
Trump: “I would love to have if those tens of thousands of people would be allowed the military, the Secret Service…I would love it if they could be allowed to come up with us.”
Trump: “We’re going to walk down to the Capitol– and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women and we’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them.” He later says, “We got to get rid of the weak congresspeople. The ones that aren’t any good. The Liz Cheneys of the world. We gotta get rid of them.”
Trump: “You’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong. We have come to demand that Congress do the right thing and only count the electors that have been lawfully slated” (clip)
Trump: “Something is wrong here, something is really wrong, can’t have happened and we fight, we fight like hell, and if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.”
Trump: “So we are going to–we are going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue, I love Pennsylvania Avenue, and we are going to the Capitol, and we are going to try and give–the Democrats are hopeless, they are never voting for anything, not even one vote but we are going to try–give our Republicans, the weak ones because the strong ones don’t need any of our help, we’re try–going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country. So let’s walk down Pennsylvania Avenue.” (clip)
Finally, during the insurrection, Trump egged on his supporters and put a target on VP Pence.
Trump: “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth!”
Trump: “These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!”
It wasn’t until several hours into the riot that Trump finally asked his supporters to leave the Capitol, but not without validating their insurrection:
Trump: I know your pain. I know you’re hurt. We had an election that was stolen from us. It was a landslide election, and everyone knows it, especially the other side, but you have to go home now. We have to have peace. We have to have law and order… We love you. You’re very special. You’ve seen what happens. You see the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil. I know how you feel. But go home and go home at peace.” (Video).
Others who incited the violence
Dec. 21: Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) told Turning Point USA rally-goers to “call your congressman and feel free — you can lightly threaten them.” He continued: “Say: ‘If you don’t support election integrity, I’m coming after you. Madison Cawthorn’s coming after you. Everybody’s coming after you.”
Jan. 1: Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) says on Newsmax that because the courts dismissed his lawsuit seeking to overturn the election, the people “gotta go the streets and be as violent as antifa and BLM.”
Jan. 3: At a rally in Georgia, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) says, “We will not go quietly into the night. We will defend liberty. And we are going to win.”
Jan. 4: Trump makes numerous remarks inciting violence at his pre-Georgia runoff rally. “If the liberal Democrats take the Senate and the White House — and they’re not taking this White House. We’re gonna fight like hell,” he said. At various points, the crowd chants “Fight for Trump!” and “Stop the steal!”
Jan. 5: Michael Flynn told a pro-Trump crowd that “we did not have a free, fair, transparent vote on the third of November,” adding that “everybody knows” Trump actually won. Flynn then issued a veiled threat to Congress: “Those of you who are feeling weak tonight, those of you who don’t have the moral fiber in your body — get some tonight because tomorrow we the people are going to be here.” George Papadopoulos also gave a speech, saying “there are two parties in this country: traitors and patriots… we cannot forget the traitors [in the Senate] who vote against” the objections to certifying the Electoral College results.
Jan. 6: Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) tweeted “Today is 1776”. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) tweeted, “FIGHT. FOR. TRUMP.”
Jan. 6: At the Stop the Steal rally preceding the riot, numerous speakers before President Trump used violent rhetoric. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) opened with: “Today is the day that American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass.” Don Jr. said of Republican lawmakers, “If you’re gonna be the zero and not the hero, we’re coming for you.” Rudy Giuliani took the stage next, saying: “If we’re right, a lot of them will go to jail. So let’s have trial by combat … I’ll be darned if they’re going to take our free and fair vote…We’re going to fight to the very end to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
Hints of inside help?
House Democrats are asking the Acting House Sergeant at Arms, Acting Senate Sergeant at Arms, and Capitol Police to investigate if Republican members gave tours to people associated with the insurrection on Jan. 5. The first suggestion of possible assistance from lawmakers came from Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ), who said that she saw Republicans “who had groups coming through the Capitol that I saw on Jan. 5 for reconnaissance for the next day.” In her press release, Sherrill explains:
Many of the Members who signed this letter, including those of us who have served in the military and are trained to recognize suspicious activity, as well as various members of our staff, witnessed an extremely high number of outside groups in the complex on Tuesday, January 5. This is unusual for several reasons, including the fact that access to the Capitol Complex has been restricted since public tours ended in March of last year due to the pandemic.
The tours being conducted on Tuesday, January 5, were a noticeable and concerning departure from the procedures in place as of March 2020 that limited the number of visitors to the Capitol. These tours were so concerning that they were reported to the Sergeant at Arms on January 5. The visitors encountered by some of the Members of Congress on this letter appeared to be associated with the rally at the White House the following day.
Rep. Jason Crow (D-CO) led over 100 lawmakers in asking the Government Accountability Office to open an investigation into “efforts by government and/or elected officials to limit preparation, coordination, or response” to the insurrection. The nonpartisan watchdog has signaled that it will do so.
“To the extent there were members of the House that were complicit, and I believe there were, we will pursue appropriate remedies including expulsion and a prohibition from holding elective office for the rest of their lives,” Crow said.
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) said in an interview that “I do know that, yes, there were members that gave tours to individuals who participated in the riot.” She said an investigation is needed, adding, “What I don’t know is whether they were aware of what their plans were for the next day.”
Rep. Ayanna Pressley’s chief of staff Sarah Groh told the Boston Globe that the panic buttons in her office had “been torn out” sometime prior to Congress going on lockdown. A group of staffers had barricaded themselves in Pressley’s office during the insurrection when they noticed “the whole unit” was inexplicably missing.
“Our staff has used these devices before and they are regularly tested and maintained. The matter has been raised with the relevant agencies and is currently under investigation,” a representative for Pressley said in a statement.
”Stop the Steal” organizer Ali Alexander claimed in a now-deleted video that three Republican congressmen helped him plan the Jan. 6 rally that turned into an insurrection. Alexander named: Reps. Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Mo Brooks (Ala.) and Paul A. Gosar (Ariz.). “We four schemed up of putting maximum pressure on Congress while they were voting,” Alexander recounted (clip). Biggs and Brooks denied helping Alexander, and a representative for Gosar declined to comment.
- In a tweet from the end of December, Alexander threated action if the House and Senate did not accept the Electoral College vote objections of pro-Trump lawmakers: “If they do this, everyone can guess what me and 500,000 others will do to that building. 1776 is always an option.”
Rep. James Clyburn, the Democratic whip, told CBS News that the rioters were able to find his unmarked office in the Capitol. His marked office was not disturbed. “They didn’t go to where my name was, they went to where I usually hang out, so that to me suggests that something untoward was going on,” Clyburn said.
Representatives including Ayanna Pressley and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez expressed feeling unsafe during the insurrection in the lockdown room with Republican members who supported the pro-Trump mob.
Rep. Pressley: The second I realized our “safe room” from the violent white supremacist mob included treasonous, white supremacist, anti masker Members of Congress who incited the mob in the first place, I exited. Furious that more of my colleagues by the day are testing positive.
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez: “I didn’t even feel safe around other members of Congress… There were QAnon and white supremacist sympathizers, and frankly white supremacist members of Congress, in that extraction point who I have felt would disclose my location and would create opportunities to allow me to be hurt, kidnapped, etc.,” she said during a live Instagram stream.
Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert, a Qanon supporter, tweeted about Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s location during the attack, spurring criticism and suspicion from other lawmakers. Boebert first sent a tweet saying “We were locked in the House Chambers,” then added: “The Speaker has been removed from the chambers” (archived). She responded to allegations that she betrayed the Speaker:
“They accuse me of live-tweeting the speaker’s presence after she had been safely removed from the Capitol, as if I was revealing some big secret, when in fact this removal was also being broadcast on TV.”
The FBI and Dept. of Homeland Security both obtained intelligence that violence would occur on Jan. 6, yet both failed to produce a threat assessment related to the event. In contrast, DHS and the FBI distributed threat assessments for the mostly peaceful Black Lives Matter demonstrations last year.
[R.P. Eddy, a former U.S. counterterrorism official,] said if there wasn’t an intelligence bulletin ahead of the pro-Trump rally, that was a problem. “If the reality is that … neither FBI nor DHS did a threat assessment for Jan. 6, that was blinking red. If that’s indeed the fact, then that’s absolutely a failure of intelligence … and weird,” he said.
The division of DHS in charge of producing threat assessments is called the Office of Intelligence and Analysis, headed by acting Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Intelligence and Analysis Joseph Maher. Previously serving as the Principal Deputy General Counsel, Maher was temporarily promoted when the previous acting I&A chief, Brian Murphy, was reassigned on August 2, 2020. The I&A division has not had a Senate-confirmed leader since May 9, 2020.
Former I&A chief Brian Murphy filed a whistleblower complaint in September 2020 alleging the Trump administration sought to “censor or manipulate” intelligence for political purposes. According to Murphy, DHS number 2 Ken Cuccinelli ordered him to downplay the threat posed by white supremacists and include more information on “left-wing” groups and Antifa.
Mr. Cuccinelli and Mr. Wolf also blocked the release of a threat assessment completed in March by Mr. Murphy’s office that would have singled out white supremacy and Russian election interference as pressing dangers to the United States, according to the complaint. Mr. Murphy said Mr. Glawe was told the release of the report would be blocked because of how it would “reflect upon President Trump.”
The FBI office in Norfolk, Virginia, warned of extremists traveling to D.C. to commit “war” the day before the insurrection. It is not known why law enforcement failed to act on the situational information report. The D.C. FBI Field Office claimed to not have intelligence suggesting the rally would turn violent and former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund said he was not made aware of the report.
Three days before the insurrection, an internal report was developed by the Capitol Police warning that “Congress itself” would be “the target” of rally-goers on Jan. 6. The intel continued, explaining that the “sense of desperation and disappointment” at losing the election “may lead to more of an incentive to become violent.” Former Capitol Police Chief Sund said leadership expected “the potential for some violent altercations” but “has nothing indicating we would have a large mob seize the Capitol.”
The report said organizers were urging Trump supporters to come armed with guns and to bring specialized combat gear — including gas masks and military-style bulletproof vests called “plate carriers” — to Washington on Jan. 6.
More than an hour after the Capitol Police chief said he alerted his superiors that his force was being overrun, Pence remained on the Senate floor. The insurrectionists were only seconds away from intercepting him. The Secret Service did not evacuate Pence until 14 minutes after the police reported the breach of the building. As he was being taken to a secure room, the mob was less than 100 feet away.
About one minute after Pence was hustled out of the chamber, a group charged up the stairs to a second-floor landing, chasing a Capitol Police officer who drew them away from the Senate… If the pro-Trump mob had arrived seconds earlier, the attackers would have been in eyesight of the vice president as he was rushed across a reception hall into the office.
- The insurrectionists had built a gallows outside the building and attacked the police while chanting “hang Mike Pence!” (Video). Numerous journalists and photographers on the scene that day overheard the rioters talking about how Pence should be killed. A Reuters photographer stated he heard them “say that they hoped to find Vice President Mike Pence and execute him by hanging him from a Capitol Hill tree as a traitor.”
Despite it being over a week later, we still don’t know exactly why it took so long for the Capitol Police to receive reinforcements on Jan. 6. Due to D.C.’s lack of statehood, it is not in control of National Guard (NG) troops; the NG needs to be invited and approved by Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy and Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller.
We know that D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser requested and received about 340 NG members to conduct crowd management and traffic control on Jan. 6. According to the Pentagon, the day before the attack Mayor Bowser told Miller and McCarthy that the district has no additional support requests. However, Bowser later said it was up to the Capitol Police to call in guard support to the Capitol grounds.
Once the mob arrived on Capitol grounds, then-Capitol Police Chief Sund told the House and Senate Sergeants at Arms that the NG was needed. It would be more than an hour later that the Sergeants got approval to call in the NG and passed it along to Sund. The following two hours were taken up with bureaucratic discussions between Miller, McCarthy, and Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The additional troops didn’t arrive until nearly 6 p.m.
CNN and the NYT both reported that Trump “initially resisted” requests to mobilize the National Guard, with Pence playing a key role in approving deployment. However, Miller does not mention Trump being involved at all:
“Chairman Milley and I just spoke separately with the Vice President and with Speaker Pelosi, Leader McConnell, Senator Schumer and Representative Hoyer about the situation at the U.S. Capitol. We have fully activated the D.C. National Guard…”
Trump, of course, took credit for the NG deployment in a statement tweeted by White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany.
Former Police Chief Sund blames the failed security response on the Senate and House sergeants at arms, who he claims rebuffed his requests for assistance prior to the event. According to Sund, on Jan. 4 he requested the National Guard be put on emergency standby and was denied. The day of the attack, Sund said he requested emergency National Guard support after the insurrectionists broke through the Capitol barricade. The sergeants at arms sought approval from congressional leadership, but it took more than four hours for the first military reinforcements to arrive.
Sund told the Post that House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving was concerned with the “optics” of declaring an emergency ahead of the protests and rejected a National Guard presence… Sund says he requested assistance six times ahead of and during the attack on the Capitol. Each of those requests was denied or delayed, he says.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan relayed a similar story of obstruction and delays in trying to send his state’s NG to D.C. Hogan said he received a call from Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer, the No. 2 House Democrat, in the midst of the attack on the Capitol. The governor said Hoyer “was pleading with us” to send the National Guard, but approval was “repeatedly denied” by the Pentagon and/or White House. It took an hour and a half for Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy to call Hogan, asking him to send the NG.
“I can’t tell you what was going on on the other end, on the decision-making process. There’s been lots of speculation in the media about that, but I’m not privy to what was going on inside the White House or inside the Pentagon,” Hogan said.
Amazon, Apple, and Google have banned the Parler app from their services and app stores, driving the social networking site offline. Google banished Parler on Friday, with Apple following suit on Saturday, saying the owners allowed “continued posting in the Parler app that seeks to incite ongoing violence in the US.” After being banned by Amazon Web Services on Sunday, Parler filed suit in the Western District of Washington Court, alleging Amazon’s decision was “motivated by political animus” and designed to help Twitter.
Amazon replied in a court filing:
This case is not about suppressing speech or stifling viewpoints. It is not about a conspiracy to restrain trade. Instead, this case is about Parler’s demonstrated unwillingness and inability to remove from the servers of Amazon Web Services (“AWS”) content that threatens the public safety, such as by inciting and planning the rape, torture, and assassination of named public officials and private citizens.
Amazon’s filing included emails its executives sent to Peikoff with dozens of examples of Parler users calling for violence, including killing Democrats, Republicans who haven’t supported Trump’s efforts to overturn the November election, members of the Black Lives Matter and Antifa movements, professional athletes, tech executives, and even the police.
- Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton – Trump supporter and subject of an FBI bribery probe – opened an investigation into the platforms that banned Parler and other users, including Trump. “[T]he seemingly coordinated de-platforming of the President of the United States and several leading voices not only chills free speech, it wholly silences those whose speech and political beliefs do not align with leaders of Big Tech companies,” Paxton said.
The banishment of Parler has driven right wing extremists onto other messaging apps, particularly ones that use encryption to keep communication secure. Between the time of the insurrection and Jan. 10th, Signal app downloads had grown eight times over and Telegram was downloaded more than twice as often than before. Marc-André Argentino, a researcher who studies extremist movements, told Axios that Telegram’s “open channels serve as a recruiting ground for violent extremists to target new recruits, then shift to more private avenues.”
NBC News: In the days since the Capitol attack, for example, an Army field manual and exhortations to “shoot politicians” and “encourage armed struggle” have been posted in a Telegram channel that uses “fascist” in its name… There are multiple Telegram channels for the right-wing group called the Proud Boys, and the largest of them have more than 28,000 members. One channel frequented by Proud Boys has been renamed to attract ex-Parler users.
Telegram took action on Wednesday, shutting down at least 15 extremist channels that have been up for months. However, white supremacist and Neo-Nazi content remains on the app. A moderator of an explicitly Nazi channel wrote: “We are working on alternative communication methods, but it appears several large channels are getting removed by Telegram as I type this.”
The website TheDonald[dot]Win – home of banned /r/The_Donald – hosted some of the planning for last week’s insurrection, celebrating its success and discussing future extremist action. In fact, the FBI reported flyers that appeared on the website advertising a caravan of Trump supporters traveling from the South to D.C. for Trump’s Jan. 6 rally.
“An online thread discussed specific calls for violence to include stating ‘Be ready to fight. Congress needs to hear glass breaking, doors being kicked in, and blood from their BLM and Pantifa slave soldiers being spilled. Get violent. Stop calling this a march, or rally, or a protest. Go there ready for war. We get our President or we die. NOTHING else will achieve this goal.’”
The Atlantic reports:
Commenters called for those on the scene to find the “Congress filth,” and posted all-caps approval: “DEATH TO THE WEAK AND DECADENT REPUBLIC! HAIL TRUMP!” Some claimed to actually be at the Capitol, though they could have been posturing for a clearly receptive audience. “I just left … I had a pitchfork and it was heavy! It was damn amazing to see,” one wrote.
Justice Dept. list of defendants charged in federal court in the District of Columbia related to crimes committed at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C
Vice News: Every Video Ever Posted to Parler Is Now Available to Download
The Verge: A Parler archive is being converted into an interactive map of the Capitol building attack