Posts tagged with "Capitol riot"

Why Jim Jordan can’t save himself—or Trump—from the Capitol riot committee

September 2, 2021

Representative Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) has backed himself into a corner, according to former FBI official Frank Figliuzzi.

Speaking to MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace about the threats from pro-Donald Trump militias expected to riot again on September 18, a group of panelists agreed law enforcement is prepared this time. Representative. Madeleine Dean (D-Pennsylvania) explained that it is clear the January 6 attackers aren’t finished and that they fully intend to move forward with further attacks on the country.

According to a report by Raw Story, Wallace noted that the threats of mayhem are putting the Republican Party in a difficult position because they are in danger of becoming the party of violence and terrorism—and she specifically mentioned Reps. Madison Cawthorm (R-NC), Jim Jordan (R-OH), Lauren Boebert (R-CO), Mo Brooks (R-AL), Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), Jody Hice (R-GA), Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Andy Biggs (R-AZ) and Scott Perry (R-PA) as those who had public contacts or associations with Capitol attackers.

Dean noted that Jordan was “glib” when discussing his contacts with President Donald Trump on January 6. He somehow couldn’t remember when he spoke to Trump, but noted that he talks to Trump all of the time.

“So, unlike [Mr.] Cawthorn and the others […whom]t you are talking about, they will get the records,” Dean promised. “They will see who was complicit in terms of whether it was supporting Donald Trump and his lies.”

But while things are moving forward with the investigation, September 18 is a new date that many to fear will spur further Republican violence.

“We have to be very mindful,” Dean said. Because “1/6 is not over. As [Cawthorn] said, it sounds like he might even be a part of some planning for further violence or Americans attacking Americans. It couldn’t be more serious than this.”

But it was ultimately Figliuzzi who explained that Jim Jordan is stuck in a corner with no good way to get out.

“I think we now know why Nancy Pelosi had to reject Jim Jordan,” he said. “He is a fact witness and he’s going to get a very complicated future ahead of him. Here is why: First, he claims that he can’t remember how many times on January 6th he called the president or what time of day, that’s easily remedied by simply checking your phone log and checking that date. If he can’t do it, the phone company will be more than happy to supply the select committee with that. That’s going to happen eventually.

Next, he’s in a trick bag because if he concedes, as has been reported, that he actually called the president and said, ‘stand this crowd down, they’re inside, it is getting violent, you’ve got to stop them,’ that implies, of course, that he believed Trump controlled the crowd and had the ability to stop or start the crowd.”

Figliuzzi explained that is a disaster for Trump, and Jordan will be forced to answer the question one way or another.

“It hurts him because if he thinks the people were violent he goes back home to Ohio and his voter base says,’Wait a minute, those were patriots; those weren’t violent people,’” Figliuzzi continued. “So, he can’t win there either. This gets extremely complicated.”

Research contact: @RawStory

Rudy Giuliani suspended from practicing law in New York over ‘Stop the Steal’ messaging

June 25, 2021

A New York court on Thursday suspended Rudy Giuliani from practicing law in New York State because of his “false and misleading statements” about the election loss of former President Donald Trump, his client.

According to a report by CNBC, “The suspension is a stunning blow to Giuliani, the former New York City mayor who previously served as a top Justice Department official, and the head prosecutor for the federal Southern District of New York.”

Indeed, The Daily Beast reports, Giuliani and Trump have since last November made false claims about the legitimacy of the election of President Joe Biden–—leading a “Stop the Steal” movement among Republicans nationwide.

The New York Supreme Court Appellate Division’s grievance committee filed a summary of disciplinary proceedings on Thursday, June 24, outlining multiple “uncontroverted” instances of professional misconduct.

“[W]e conclude that there is uncontroverted evidence that respondent communicated demonstrably false and misleading statements to courts, lawmakers and the public at large in his capacity as lawyer for former President Donald J. Trump and the Trump campaign in connection with Trump’s failed effort at reelection in 2020,” the five-member Attorney Grievance Committee said in its filing.

.“These false statements were made to improperly bolster respondent’s narrative that due to widespread voter fraud, victory in the 2020 United States presidential election was stolen from his client. We conclude that respondent’s conduct immediately threatens the public interest and warrants interim suspension from the practice of law, pending further proceedings before the Attorney Grievance Committee.”

All licensed attorneys in New York must abide by professional rules of conduct, which are upheld by judicial departments of the Supreme Court’s Appellate Divisions.

In its 33-page ruling, the grievance committee outlines—and then systematically debunks—a long list of statements Giuliani made during his months-long crusade to overturn Joe Biden’s election win, The Daily Beast notes.

For example, Giuliani claimed in several interviews and state legislature hearings that more absentee ballots came in during the election in Pennsylvania than were sent out before the election—a statement that the committee easily proved was “simply untrue.”

In response, Giuliani told the committee that an unidentified member of his “team” had “inadvertently” taken misleading information from Pennsylvania’s website.

In other examples, Giuliani repeatedly claimed that dead people voted in Georgia, at times quantifying it as 800;  6,000; or 10,515 dead people. (In truth, officials were investigating two potential cases of votes being cast in the name of dead people.) In Pennsylvania, he put the number at 8,021 dead people and then 30,000 dead people.

Public records “unequivocally show that respondent’s statement is false,” the committee said. (Giuliani argued during disciplinary proceedings that he didn’t know the statements were false but he failed to provide “a scintilla of evidence” to support his claim, the filing says.)

The probe was initiated in January, in the wake of the Capitol riot, when State Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Brad Hoylman urged the grievance committee to investigate Giuliani’s role.

“I will be filing a formal complaint with the Appellate Division of the Unified Court System asking them to consider revoking Rudy Giuliani’s license to practice law in New York due to rampant and egregious violations of the Rules of Professional Conduct related to his participation in a scheme to unlawfully overturn the results of a free and fair election and his complicity in inflaming a violent coup attempt in our seat of federal government,” Holyman said.

Separately, the New York State Bar Association launched an investigation into former President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer after receiving hundreds of complaints about his role in the Capitol riot.

In a statement in January, NYSBA blamed the mob on Trump’s repeated false claims about the results of the 2020 election—but notes that the “president did not act alone.”

“Hours before the angry mob stormed the Capitol walls, Trump’s personal attorney, Rudolph Giuliani, addressed a crowd of thousands at the White House, reiterating baseless claims of widespread election fraud in the presidential election and the Georgia U.S. Senate runoffs,” the association, which counts 24,000 lawyers among its members, said.

While the grievance committee said it wanted to immediately boot Giuliani from practicing law, it said the suspension was only temporary pending a full formal disciplinary proceeding. Giuliani will be able to appeal to decision.

esearch contact: @thedailybeast

Capitol rioters intended to ‘capture and assassinate’ officials, court filing says

January 18, 2021

Federal prosecutors offered an ominous new assessment of last week’s siege of the U.S. Capitol by President Donald Trump’s supporters on January 14, saying in a court filing that rioters intended “to capture and assassinate elected officialsn” The Huffington Post and Reuters reported.

Prosecutors offered that view in a filing asking a judge to detain Jacob Chansley—the Arizona man and QAnon conspiracy theorist who was famously photographed wearing horns as he stood at the desk of Vice President Mike Pence in the chamber of the U.S. Senate.

The detention memo, written by Justice Department lawyers in Arizona, goes into greater detail about the FBI’s investigation into Chansley—revealing that he left a note for Pence warning that “it’s only a matter of time, justice is coming.”

“Strong evidence, including Chansley’s own words and actions at the Capitol, supports that the intent of the Capitol rioters was to capture and assassinate elected officials in the United States government,” prosecutors wrote.

A public defender representing Chansley could not be immediately reached for comment. Chansley is due to appear in federal court on Friday.

According to the HuffPost, the prosecutors’ assessment comes as prosecutors and federal agents have begun bringing more serious charges tied to violence at the Capitol, including revealing cases Thursday against one man, retired firefighter Robert Sanford, on charges that he hurled a fire extinguisher at the head of one police officer and another, Peter Stager, of beating a different officer with a pole bearing an American flag.

In Chansley’s case, prosecutors said the charges “involve active participation in an insurrection attempting to violently overthrow the United States government,” and warned that “the insurrection is still in progress” as law enforcement prepares for more demonstrations in Washington and state capitals.

They also suggested he suffers from drug abuse and mental illness, and told the judge he poses a serious flight risk.

“Chansley has spoken openly about his belief that he is an alien, a higher being, and he is here on Earth to ascend to another reality,” they wrote.

The Justice Department has brought more than 80 criminal cases in connection with the violent riots at the U.S. Capitol last week, in which Trump’s supporters stormed the building, ransacked offices and in some cases, attacked police.

Many of the people charged so far were easily tracked down by the FBI, which has more than 200 suspects, thanks in large part to videos and photos posted on social media.

Michael Sherwin, the Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, has said that while many of the initial charges may seem minor, he expects much more serious charges to be filed as the Justice Department continues its investigation.

Research contact: @HuffPost

Trump supporters flee to MeWe, Gab, and Rumble after Parler goes offline

January 13, 2021

Now that the account of @realDonaldTrump has been banned from Twitter—and both Apple and Google have dropped Parler from their app stores—supporters are flocking to the social media sites MeWe, Gab, and Rumble, Fortune reports.

Gab, a service that claims to champion free speech, said it added 600,000 new users over the weekend. Meanwhile, MeWe, a similar service, said it has added 400,000 users every day since Saturday and now has more than 14 million members.

The gains follow Sunday’s shut down of conservative social network Parler, which went offline after Amazon web hosting service dumped Parler as a customer because of violent posts and threats in wake of the Capitol riot. Shortly beforehand, both Apple and Google had banned Parler from their app stores.

Adding to the increased interest in alternative social media sites are bans by Twitter and Facebook on President Trump and other high-profile conservative personalities..

On Monday, Fortune notes, Facebook went to the additional step of removing content containing the phrase “stop the steal” in hopes of preventing future violence. The phrase is a popular rallying call of Trump supporters who falsely believe there was widespread fraud in the presidential election.

“It’s almost like the perfect storm,” MeWe CEO Mark Weinstein told the news outlet, adding, “The melting pot of people coming to MeWe are coming from all directions.”

Weinstein hammered home the point that his goal is to be “more vigilant” in moderating content on his service, and that he does not want to be an “anything goes” app—a thinly veiled swipe at Parler’s lax approach.

He said that MeWe has just shy of 100 content moderators who review posts on its service, and that they actually adhere to “strict” terms of service that includes the possibility that they’ll alert authorities about any concerning posts. But on Monday, several QAnon and “patriot” private groups could be found, one of which called Patriots Unleashed asked users if they were “armed and ready” before allowing them to join.

Weinstein acknowledged that some of MeWe’s user growth has been due to Parler shutting down. But he added that the app was growing prior to the election and riots. As a result, he said MeWe’s users have a wide array of political views, and are not just Trumpists.

“Those other guys, they’re opinion chambers,” he said about Parler and Gab. “We’re a social network.”

The rise of alternative social media services began late last year after Facebook and Twitter began labeling and removing more posts on their services for election misinformation. Conservatives considered the crackdown to be evidence of bias against them and President Trump.

For example, Rumble, a little-known YouTube rival, suddenly soared in popularity. Over the weekend, users downloaded its app 162,000 times— a nearly 10-fold gain from last weekend, Fortune says.

But Mark Shmulik, analyst at investment bank AB Bernstein, said he doesn’t expect the latest rise in popularity of MeWe and Gab to be long-lasting. “It’s a fad,” he said. “There will be a little niche, but it won’t disrupt what we’re seeing on Twitter.”

Shmulik said Twitter and Facebook, though growing slower, are far larger and also attract a more diverse set of users with a diverse set of thoughts. That’s what makes big social media companies more engaging than the upstarts, he added, which he described as the “equivalent to Trump rallies.”

“You can continue that, but at some point you have to reach the masses,” Shmulik said.

Research contact: @FortuneMagazine