January 6 committee news – latest: Trump could face ‘seditious conspiracy’ charge, ex-prosecutor says as 91% of backers still think Biden stole vote

Liz Cheney says Trump ignored Ivanka’s calls to stop Capitol riot

Documents obtained by a House panel investigating the assault on the US Capitol mounted by pro-Trump rioters nearly one year ago reveal how the former president’s allies planned a campaign to intimidate election officials and spread voter fraud falsehoods.

That revelation came as a new poll found that as many as 91 per cent of Republican voters believed the 2020 election was not won by president Joe Biden “fair and square”, in figures that suggest a widening divide among Americans.

Voters for Mr Biden meanwhile said by 75 per cent that false accusations of fraud could trigger “another attack like Jan 6”, according to YouGov and Yahoo.

Another document obtained by the committee was reportedly drafted for the former president for his signature, calling for the seizure of “evidence” in service of the false claims of voter fraud that propelled the attack and his spurious bid to overturn election results.

In recent weeks, the committee has accelerated its probe into the attack, fuelled by conspiracy theories that the 2020 presidential election was rigged against Mr Trump, and a violent attempt to reject the votes of millions of Americans.

On Thursday, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will deliver remarks to mark one year since the attack, according to the White House. At the Capitol, lawmakers will hold a memorial service.

Meanwhile, the former president – who has waged a legal challenge to block the committee’s access to records – will deliver remarks from Mar-a-Lago reviving his baseless narrative that the election was stolen from him.

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Sentencing of second Capitol rioter to occur Tuesday afternoon

A second Capitol rioter will be sentenced on Tuesday as the proceedings in Michael Joseph Rusyn’s case are set to begin at 1:00 p.m. eastern.

Mr Rusyn, who plead guilty to one count of demonstrating, parading or picketing in the US Capitol, appears to have gotten a relatively light charge given what federal prosecutors say he was involved in during the January 6 attack. According to the sentencing memo filed in a US District Court, Mr Rusyn was involved in two separate scenes where rioters clashed with and overwhelmed law enforcement. He was also accused of lying to investigators in the course of the probe into his and others’ actions.

“His conduct…is more serious than that of other misdemeanor defendants who were not present when points of entry were breached and police lines were overwhelmed,” reads the sentencing memo.

Prosecutors are hoping for a sentence of 45 days and a $500 fine for Mr Rusyn.

John Bowden4 January 2022 17:15


‘You’re affected by it’: Capitol Hill staffers vent frustrations one year after Jan 6

Capitol Hill staffers are still traumatised by the violence and chaos that unfolded at their workplace nearly a year after thousands of Trump supporters stormed the complex.

In interviews with The Independent, many described how they were haunted by rioters’ explicit death threats against themselves and members of the House and Senate.

“No matter who you are, if you work up there, if you’re a staffer up there, you’re affected by it. If you were there, it is gonna leave a scar,” said a staffer with the office of the Clerk of the House.

The staffer, who remained anonymous, excoriated members of Congress for showing public support of Ashli Babbitt, a woman killed by police during the riot while attempting to breach the House chamber while lawmakers were inside against police orders to turn back.

“You’ll just see a tweet where a member you know supports Ashley Babbitt, and it’s like …f*** you. You know what I mean? Like f*** yourself,” he said.

John Bowden4 January 2022 16:50


Sentencing to begin shortly for 19-year-old rioter

Sentencing begins at 11:00 a.m. eastern for Leonard Pearson Ridge IV, a 19-year-old from Pennsylvania who has plead guilty to one charge in relation with his participation in the January 6 attack.

Mr Ridge plead guilty to one count of entering and remaining in a restricted area, a charge for which federal prosecutors in the District of Columbia are seeking 45 days in jail, community service hours, and a $500 fine.

“[T}he defendant used social media to boast about the riot, including that he had stormed the U.S. Capitol Building and that individuals had broken down doors,” reads the federal government’s sentencing request.

“The defendant’s conduct on January 6, like the conduct of scores of other individuals, took place in the context of a large and violent riot that relied on numbers to overwhelm law enforcement, breach the Capitol, and disrupt the proceedings. The requested sentence is necessary and appropriate in light of the defendant’s participation in the riot and his particular actions described herein,” it continues.

John Bowden4 January 2022 16:10


Trump could face seditious conspiracy charge over Capitol riot, expert says

A former US attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan speculated during an MSNBC appearance that former President Donald Trump could be charged with seditious conspiracy, a violation of the US code that carries a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

Barbara McQuade told the news network that Mr Trump’s supposed refusal to stop the riot from occurring could potentially rise to the level of attempting to obstruct an official procedure.

“There is a crime making it illegal to corruptly impede or obstruct an official proceeding, which includes proceedings before Congress,” she said. “If he had the power to stop that riot from happening and to permit the vote to go forward, his failure to do that could be that effort to corruptly obstruct the official proceeding.”

The US code defines seditious conspiracy as any attempt by two or more people to overthrow the US government, as well as any attempt to “prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States”, which could potentially include the congressional procedure to certify the results of the Electoral College vote on January 6.

John Bowden4 January 2022 15:43


Trump backers say by 91 per cent that election not won ‘fair’

As many as 91 per cent of Trump voters told pollsters that the 2020 election was not won by US president Joe Biden “fair and square”, a new poll has found.

The poll by Yahoo News/YouGov poll also found that as many as 75 per cent of Trump voters (75 percent) falsely said the 2020 election was “rigged and stolen”.

That was reportedly the highest figure yet, and suggests a widening divide among Americans over 2020’s vote and the following Capitol riot.

Biden voters meanwhile said by 75 per cent that false accusations of fraud could trigger “another attack like Jan 6”, pollsters said.

The concerns echo fears of analysts and commentators about the risk of future unrest in the US – should Mr Trump or a similar figure return to the White House.

Gino Spocchia4 January 2022 13:55


The most memorable images of the Capitol riot

The Capitol riot will long be remembered for the destruction that occurred as hundreds of Trump supporters swarmed the seat of American democracy, and the five lives lost that day.

It will also be hard to forget the figures who appeared in now iconic images of the day that rocked the US, including the sight of Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman confronting rioters in a hallway of Congress.

Lawmakers were also famously pictured hiding from rioters or barricading themselves into the House chamber, with the “QAnon Shaman” and others on the other side.

Gino Spocchia4 January 2022 13:20


How many accused Capitol rioters have been charged?

The US Justice Department has said at least 275 people have been charged with corruptly obstructing, influencing, or impeding an official proceeding on 6 January, and around 40 have been charged with conspiracy to obstruct a congressional proceeding.

Another 31 accused rioters have been sentenced to prison already, the department says, and another 165 have pleaded guilty to federal charges, with four facing up to 20 years in prison for felonies.

In total, around 640 have been charged with entering or remaining in a restricted federal building or grounds, with over 75 charged with entering a restricted area with a dangerous or deadly weapon, 45 with destruction of government property, and over 30 have been charged with theft of government property.

The FBI remains on the hunt for 350 people suspected of rioting on the Capitol.

Gino Spocchia4 January 2022 12:55


Fewer than half of Republicans recall attack ‘violence’

Fewer than half of all Republicans who responded to a new poll have said the 6 January attack on the US Capitol was not “very or extremely violent”.

In fact, about four in 10 said the attack carried out by supporters of Donald Trump was very violent or extremely violent, and three in 10 Republicans said the attack was not violent at all.

The poll, carried out by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, found a sharp divide between Republicans and Democrats, with about nine in 10 of the latter describing 6 January as violent.

The trend follows similar polls that suggest Republicans are more likely to support violence against the government and are more likely to feel that 2020’s election was stolen – as alleged by Mr Trump before the attack on the Capitol.

Gino Spocchia4 January 2022 12:20


US could fall to a right-wing dictatorship by 2030

A political science professor has warned that the US could be under a right-wing dictatorship by the end of the decade.

Thomas Homer-Dixon, who is the founding director of the Cascade Institute at Royal Roads University, British Columbia, wrote in a recent editorial that “By 2025, American democracy could collapse, causing extreme domestic political instability”.

Mr Homer-Dixon said that could feature “widespread civil violence. By 2030, if not sooner, the country could be governed by a right-wing dictatorship.”

His warning comes after an American political science researcher and former US military generals all recently warned of increasing political instability in the wake of 6 January.

Gino Spocchia4 January 2022 11:55


How many police officers were injured on 6 Jan?

Some 140 police officers – including about 80 Capitol Police officers and about 65 Metropolitan Police Department officers – were assaulted in the attack while on 6 January,

The police departments have revealed how injuries sustained ranged from bruises and cuts to concussions, rib fractures and burns – while one police officer even suffered a mild heart attack.

Among the more than 350 suspects still wanted by the FBI, more than 250 are suspected of assaulting law enforcement officers during the attack.

Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick was killed during the riot “while physically engaging with protesters,” and two other officers died in the days and weeks after the riot by suicide, police have said.

Gino Spocchia4 January 2022 11:35

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