Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certification

Re: Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certificat

Postby admin » Sun Jan 10, 2021 1:08 am

‘The storm is here’: Ashli Babbitt’s journey from capital ‘guardian’ to invader
by Peter Jamison, Hannah Natanson, John Woodrow Cox and Alex Horton
Washington Post
Jan. 9, 2021 at 3:20 p.m. MST

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Image
Ashli Babbitt, 35, was shot and killed in the Capitol on Wednesday.
(Courtesy of Timothy McEntee)


Ashli Babbitt, 35, was shot and killed in the Capitol on Wednesday. (Courtesy of Timothy McEntee)

The politician she revered above all others had lost an election. She’d struggled with crippling amounts of debt. Her home state of California was locking down again because of a virus she believed was fiction.

As she walked east along the Mall on Wednesday, wearing a backpack emblazoned with the American flag, Ashli Babbitt was elated.

“It was amazing to get to see the president talk,” Babbitt said, beaming in a video she streamed on Facebook early Wednesday afternoon that was later published by TMZ. “We are now walking down the inaugural path to the Capitol building. Three million-plus people.”



There was no crowd of three million: just a mob, lawless and maskless, that numbered in the thousands. Babbitt’s mission, which she had repeatedly avowed on social media, was to restore American democracy. But she was about to take part in a riot that would go down in history as one of that democracy’s most grievous attacks.


After a long but undistinguished military career and years of personal travails, Babbitt — a 35-year-old Air Force veteran from Southern California who once supported Barack Obama — believed she had found a cause that gave her life purpose. Within hours, that cause would bring her life to a violent end.

Hers was the first death reported Jan. 6, when rioters incited by President Trump overran the seat of the U.S. government. In the coming days there would be others. Brian D. Sicknick, a 42-year-old Capitol police officer who died after being injured while trying to push back the mob. Rosanne Boyland, Kevin D. Greeson and Benjamin Phillips, who died of medical emergencies during the chaos.

But it was Babbitt, fatally shot by police as she attempted to leap through the broken window of a door inside the Capitol, whose name would almost instantly become synonymous with the feverish movement that had propelled thousands of Americans to desecrate a pillar of their government.

Back in California, Babbitt’s brother, Roger Witthoeft, didn’t even know she had attended the protest before their dad, distraught, called him with news of the shooting. He found a video online.

“There was no doubt that it was my beautiful sister,” Witthoeft recalled.

Her comrades in the movement have declared her a martyr and planned to gather at the Washington Monument Saturday to hold a vigil in her name.

Babbitt’s journey — illuminated through her extensive social media activity, court and military records, and interviews with some who knew her — was one of paranoid devotion and enthusiasm that only increased as Trump’s fortunes waned.

She avidly followed the QAnon conspiracy theory, convinced that Trump was destined to vanquish a cabal of child abusers and Satan-worshiping Democrats.
She believed Wednesday would be “the storm,” when QAnon mythology holds that Trump would capture and execute his opponents.


Long before she embraced those ideas, Babbitt was on a rocky path. She was loyal but rebellious, devoted to her country but often unable to get along with those who shared it. A believer in American pluck and free enterprise, she struggled in her attempts to run a small pool-service company outside San Diego.

She served more than a decade in the armed forces but chafed under the military hierarchy. Six of those years were spent in an Air National Guard unit whose mandate is to defend the Washington region and respond to civil unrest. Its nickname: the Capital Guardians.

Like so many others, she believed Jan. 6 would be not a day of infamy, but an end to her troubles.

“Nothing will stop us,” she tweeted Jan. 5. “They can try and try and try but the storm is here and it is descending upon DC in less than 24 hours....dark to light!”

It was the last thing she would write.


‘Absolutely unafraid’

She was fed up with her executive officer. It was 2014, and Babbitt — along with much of her Air National Guard unit, then stationed at the Al Dhafra Air Base in the United Arab Emirates — detested him, according to a former staff sergeant in the unit who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he fears backlash online.

But despite her reputation for being outspoken, she kept herself in check. Then one day, the executive officer slipped new papers into a briefing binder shortly before quizzing service members on its contents.

Babbitt asked for permission to speak freely, the former staff sergeant said, and the executive officer granted it — “which was a huge mistake for that captain.”

For the next several minutes, she “let him have it,” the former staff sergeant said. He and other members of the unit watched, riveted, as Babbitt shouted and gesticulated, warning that the officer — who far outranked her — was sapping morale. Another former airman who served with Babbitt said he also witnessed the interaction.

“She was like a dog with a bone,” the former staff sergeant said. “She could never let go of whatever her attention was on, and she was absolutely unafraid of anything.”

Image
CommonAshSense
@Ashli_Babbitt
Video2 of 2... sorry I am not proficient at any of this yet!
#MAGA
10:57 AM Nov 26, 2018



AT 0:46


Babbitt, who grew up in a small town in the foothills of Southern California’s Cuyamaca Mountains, left similarly strong impressions on others who crossed her path. She was a fast talker, whipping through sentences “like a chinchilla that had just done a line of cocaine,” the staff sergeant said. She escaped punishment for confronting the officer in 2014, according to the airmen who served with her, but it was not the only time that her personality put her at odds with the culture and rules of the military.

She deployed at least seven times, an Air Force journalist wrote in 2014, and relished the opportunity to mentor newer airmen. But discipline issues and insubordination stunted her career, said two former airmen who served with her. She was demoted at least once, they said.

Babbitt left the military in 2016 as a senior airman — a relatively low rank for someone who spent more than a decade in uniform.

The same year, Babbitt spotted her husband Aaron Babbitt’s ex, Celeste Norris, pulling out of a shopping center parking lot in southern Maryland, according to a court petition for a protective order Norris later filed. Babbitt spun her white SUV in a U-turn and began chasing Norris, according to the petition, eventually rear-ending the other woman’s car three times and forcing her to stop.

Babbitt then exited her own car “screaming at me and verbally threatening me,” wrote Norris, who declined to comment for this report. Norris filed a second protective order petition in early 2017, saying Babbitt had followed her home from work and called her “all hours of day and night.”


Some who served with Babbitt kept in touch with her, remembering how fiercely she defended people she cared for. At one point in her life, that meant other service members.

But within a few years of leaving the military, “she had a new cause,” one of her fellow airmen said. “And her cause was QAnon.”

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Supporters President Trump fly a U.S. flag with a symbol from the group QAnon as they gather outside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

‘Today we save America’

Babbitt would eventually share more than 8,600 tweets, offering a vivid account of her descent into a world of conspiracy theories and delusion, but her first message was addressed to Trump, the man she believed was destined to rescue her country.

“#love,” she wrote Oct. 31, 2016, beside his name and above a photo of three signs nailed to a tree: “Make America Great Again,” “H FOR PRISON” and “CHRISTIAN DEPLORABLES LIVE HERE.”

A week later, on Election Day, she wrote to Trump again: “today we save America from the tyranny, collusion and corruption.” When he won, Babbitt cried.

She was an avid viewer of Fox News, praising Tucker Carlson and other far-right media personalities on the network as she derided their liberal targets. A registered Libertarian, she hadn’t always despised Democrats, declaring at least three times in recent years that she voted for Obama.

“I think Obama did great things...I think he jacked some s--- up,” she wrote in November 2018, “but I think he did do a lot of good...at a time where we needed him.”

But the man we needed now and for years to come, she had decided, was Trump, and her devotion only grew as she became more obsessed with baseless online propaganda — all while her professional life collapsed.


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A Maryland driver's license photo of Ashli Babbitt. (Maryland MVA/Courtesy of the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

On July 1, 2019, a judge issued a $71,000 judgment against her pool business because she had apparently failed to repay a loan. The day before, Babbitt had suggested starting a GoFundMe to pay for Trump’s addition to Mount Rushmore, and the day after, she lodged an angry tirade at U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).

“You are losing it,” Babbitt wrote, “seriously.”

She promoted far-right lies that Hillary Clinton has kidnapped children and described the left as modern-day enslavers. She appeared to use a QAnon hashtag for the first time early last year, parroting the cryptic jargon promoted by its most ardent followers.

“The best is yet to come,” she wrote Feb. 24.

“What is dark will come to light!” she added a month later.

“We have to #SaveTheChildren,” she demanded in one post, using a humanitarian hashtag that conspiracy theorists hijacked to promote their claim that a secretive group of elites run a pedophilia ring.


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A sign on the door of the Spring Valley, Calif., pool-cleaning business co-owned by Ashli Babbitt, who believed the coronavirus was a hoax.. (REUTERS/Mike Blake)

Witthoeft, her brother, knew little about that side of his sister, he said. He understood, as millions of people do now, that she was an intense woman deeply devoted to Trump, but she didn’t push politics on Witthoeft, who preferred to talk to her about surfing, hockey or comedy.

“She was passionate yes but also very compassionate,” he told a Washington Post reporter through text, recalling a dark time in his own life about a decade ago. He was in California, where they had grown up, but she was living on the East Coast. He confided in her during a phone call and the next day, when he got home from work, she was waiting for him.

She was, to him, an optimist who was seldom overwhelmed, even by her business troubles.

“I’m healthy, have people that love me and live in the best country in the world,” he recalled her saying. "Every other problem is small.“

But online, she argued that the country’s problems were bigger than they had ever been.

Her anger appeared to intensify amid the pandemic, which she insisted was overblown, calling it the “controla virus” and “a F---ING JOKE.”

“We are being hoodwinked,” she wrote in July. “The sheep need to wake up.”

On Dec. 29, eight days before her death, she discovered a tweet from Vice President-elect Kamala D. Harris promising to distribute more vaccines, promote mask-wearing and get students back to school.

“No the f--- you will not!” Babbitt retorted.


In the week leading up to her trip to Washington for the Trump demonstration, however, her online fury receded, replaced with glee and a new sense of mission. She retweeted dozens of figures promoting Trump’s demands that his supporters gather to overturn the election, including Trump supporter Jack Posobiec, QAnon activists, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Donald Trump Jr.

“I will be there tomorrow!” she wrote Jan. 4 in response to another supporter heading to the nation’s capital. “Gods speed!”


She boarded a plane in San Diego the next morning and sat beside Will Carless, a journalist from USA Today who would later film the moment just before the pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol. He called her “gregarious and chatty” and said they talked about a California beach town each of them loved.

The next day, it was overcast and cold in the District. Babbitt dressed in a hooded jacket and put an American flag backpack on her shoulders. She listened to the president tell her and many others that the country could only be taken back with strength, not weakness. Then she marched to the Capitol, surrounded, she said in her final Facebook video, by fellow “patriots.”

“She loved her country, and she was doing what she thought was right to support her country, joining up with like-minded people that also love their president and their country,” her husband told Fox-5 San Diego.

Not long after 2 p.m., he said, he sent her a message to ask how she was doing. She never wrote back.

A truth affirmed

While her husband was waiting, Babbitt was with the mob that swarmed the lightly staffed barricades surrounding their national legislature. In a scene unlike any in American history, they bashed in the windows of the U.S. Capitol. They fought with the police, screaming and waving Trump campaign flags and Confederate battle flags. They wandered through the halls and chambers of the Capitol as panicked lawmakers sheltered in place or were evacuated. Tear gas canisters were discharged in the Rotunda.

And a gun was fired.

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The Post obtained video showing the chaotic moment before 35-year-old Ashli Babbitt was fatally shot as rioters rushed toward the Speaker's Lobby. (The Washington Post)


Video shows moment woman was shot in U.S. Capitol riot
CGTN America
Jan 7, 2021


It is unclear exactly how and when Babbitt entered the Capitol. She undoubtedly understood law enforcement could use deadly force in response to the breach. Airmen in the role Babbitt once occupied in the D.C. Air National Guard’s 113th Air Wing receive riot-control training, and her former unit was mobilized to protect the Capitol on Wednesday.

But it has since become clear what happened inside: The raging crowd that bashed in the windows of a barricaded door to the Speaker’s Lobby, with a short tanned woman in an American backpack at the front of its ranks. Her attempt to climb through one of those windows, leading the way, despite a Capitol Police officer pointing a handgun in her direction. The abrupt way she toppled backward after a single shot resounded.

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U.S. Capitol police officers stand near blood on the floor after demonstrators breached barricades to the Capitol. (Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg)

And it was clear how she left.

At about 3 p.m., a team of paramedics rushed a gurney to an ambulance parked at the southeast corner of the building. On it was Babbitt, staring listlessly in the direction of the building she had just tried to occupy, the place where her dreams of a revitalizing “storm” were supposed to come true.

Blood ran from her nose and covered half of her face. Her eyes were on the verge of closing. Riot police guarded the ambulance as its doors closed and pulled away. And that night — the night Babbitt died far from her home and family — Congress affirmed as true what she had died denying: Donald Trump would not remain president.

Julie Tate, Jennifer Jenkins, Dan Lamothe, Drew Harwell, Justin Jouvenal, Dalton Bennett, Greg Jaffe and Randy Dotinga contributed to this report.
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Re: Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certificat

Postby admin » Sun Jan 10, 2021 2:05 am

Woman dies after shooting during pro-Trump occupation of US Capitol
by ITV News
https://www.itv.com/news/2021-01-06/donald-trump-fires-up-protesters-in-washington-as-congress-prepare-to-confirm-biden-victory
Thursday 7 January 2021, 9:33pm

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YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


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Watch ITV News Washington Correspondent Robert Moore's report from inside the US Capitol as protesters stormed the building

A woman who was shot inside the US Capitol during violent pro-Trump protests has died, officials have told the Associated Press.

The protests - which were encouraged by President Donald Trump and turned violent - have been roundly condemned and led to the First Lady's chief of staff resigning.

The Republican National Committee described the extraordinary events as "domestic terrorism" and said the represent "an attack on our country and its founding principles.”

Lawmakers to be evacuated, which delayed the constitutional process to affirm President-elect’s Joe Biden's victory in the November election, after mobs stormed the US Congress on Wednesday.

The chaotic scenes culminated in a fatal shooting.

The Metropolitan Police Department said it was taking the lead on the investigation but did not immediately provide details about the circumstances of the shooting.

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Trump supporters breach Capitol security and enter building

The police chief of Washington, DC said pro-Trump protesters deployed "chemical irritants" on police in order to breach the security perimeter and stormed the building.

More than a thousand National Guard troops were deployed to disperse the crowds and after a four-hour standoff, the site was declared secure by 6pm (local time).

Protesters, who were seen fighting with officers both inside the building and outside, were described as "special people" by President Donald Trump, who responded to calls to condemn the violence.

In a video address shared on Twitter, he urged his supporters to "go home" but repeated an unsubstantiated claim that the election was "stolen".

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ITV News Washington Correspondent Robert Moore reports on an extraordinary day of unrest in DC:

He said: "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 have to respect our great people in law and order. We don't want anybody hurt."

He described it as a "tough period of time", and repeated false claims that the November's election was "fraudulent".

He ended the video message by calling the protesters "very special", adding: "We can’t play into the hands of these people.

"We have to have peace. So go home. We love you. You’re very special."

Twitter disabled the video from being liked or retweeted "due to a risk of violence". It was later deleted.

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Police try to hold back protesters outside the east doors to the House side of the U.S. Capitol.
Credit: AP


Trump shared his video address minutes after President-elect Joe Biden described the violent protests as "an assault on the most sacred of American undertakings: the doing of the people’s business."

Biden demanded Trump immediately make a televised address calling on his supporters to cease the violence.

"The words of a president matter, no matter how good or bad that president is," Biden said. "At best the worlds of a president can inspire, at the worst, they can incite."

He added: "Therefore I call on President Trump to go on national television now to fulfill his oath and defend the constitution and demand an end to this siege."

Biden added: "Let me be very clear, the scenes of the Capitol do not represent a true America, do not represent who we are.

"What we are seeing is a small number of extremists."

Former President Barack Obama added his condemnation, saying history will rightly remember the violence at the Capitol as a moment of great dishonor and shame for the nation.

Photographs from inside showing politicians ducking for cover while police guard windows to the room with guns drawn.

The Senate resumed debating the Republican challenge against Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential election victory more than six hours after the interruption.

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The Republican National Committee said it strongly condemned the violence at the Capitol, adding that the violent scenes “do not represent acts of patriotism, but an attack on our country and its founding principles.”

The group’s communications director, Michael Ahrens, said: “What happened today was domestic terrorism.”

Stephanie Grisham, the current chief of staff for first lady Melania Trump, has resigned in the wake of the violent protests.

Stephanie Grisham, chief of staff and press secretary for first lady Melania Trump, has resigned following violent protests at the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump.

Grisham was one of Trump’s longest serving aides, having joined the campaign in 2015. She served as the White House press secretary and never held a press briefing.

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Lawmakers and politicians in the chamber were evacuated as rioters stormed the room.
Credit: AP


At least one explosive device was found near the Capitol amid which law enforcement officials said the device was no longer a threat Wednesday afternoon.

Police Chief Robert Contee said officials had declared the scene a riot and confirmed one civilian was shot inside the Capitol and several police officers were injured.

Thirteen arrests were made of people from out of the area.

President Trump had encouraged his supporters to protest in Washington DC ahead of the confirmation of Joe Biden's election win.

He urged his supporters to march to the Capitol, telling them to “get rid of the weak Congress people” and saying, “get the weak ones get out; this is the time for strength.”

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President Trump encouraged his supporters to protest during a speech in Washington DC.

He has embraced wild conspiracy theories about election fraud and demanding that November's already-certified election results are overturned.

Telling his supporters in Washington DC that he will "never concede" the election, he called on his Vice President Mike Pence to "do the right thing" and overturn Biden's victory.

"All Vice President Pence has to do is send it back to the states to recertify and we become president and you are the happiest people," Trump said.

However, Pence released a statement saying he "does not have the power to discard electoral votes" in what would be a ceremonial role.

Mr Pence has gone further than President Trump by condemning the protests, warning on Twitter that they will be "prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law".

"The violence and destruction taking place at the US Capitol Must Stop and it Must Stop Now," he said. "Anyone involved must respect Law Enforcement officers and immediately leave the building."

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Mike Pence @Mike_Pence Jan 6, 2021
The violence and destruction taking place at the US Capitol Must Stop and it Must Stop Now. Anyone involved must respect Law Enforcement officers and immediately leave the building.
Mike Pence
@Mike_Pence
Peaceful protest is the right of every American but this attack on our Capitol will not be tolerated and those involved will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
1:35 PM Jan 6, 2021


In a second Tweet, the Vice President said: "Peaceful protest is the right of every American but this attack on our Capitol will not be tolerated and those involved will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

Rioters in the Chamber got up on the dais and yelled "Trump won that election" while several dozen others continue to roaming the halls of the building yelling: "Where are they?".

The mayor of Washington DC ordered a curfew in the capital from at 6pm (local time) in a bid to control the riots.

Approximately 20 minutes before the curfew, police used tear gas and percussion grenades to begin clearing pro-Trump protesters from the grounds.

The US Capitol complex was declared "secure" just before 6pm after after heavily armed police moved to end the nearly four-hour violent occupation.

Mayor Bowser said the behaviour of the Trump supporters was “shameful, unpatriotic and above all... unlawful.”

She added: "There will be law and order and this behaviour will not be tolerated.”

Members of Congress inside the chamber were told by police to put on gas masks after tear gas was dispersed to try and push back rioters.

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Credit: AP

Law enforcement instructed lawmakers to retrieve masks from under their seats amid the clashes, before lawmakers and senators were evacuated.

One congresswoman reported "sounds like multiple gunshots" and said she had been evacuated from her office after reports of a pipe bomb.

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Sophie Alexander
@SophieAlex1
We are out of the thick of it now. It's safe to say police were completely overwhelmed. As we left, rioters were still storming the #Capitol despite presence of National Guard @itvnews
2:02 PM Jan 6, 2021


British politicians have reacted to the chaotic scenes unfolding. The prime minister condemned the "disgraceful scenes".

Boris Johnson tweeted: "The United States stands for democracy around the world and it is now vital that there should be a peaceful and orderly transfer of power."

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer wrote on Twitter: "Horrendous scenes from the US. These are not ‘protestors’ - this a direct attack on democracy and legislators carrying out the will of the American people."

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon described the scenes as "utterly horrifying," adding: "Solidarity with those in (the United States) on the side of democracy and the peaceful and constitutional transfer of power. Shame on those who have incited this attack on democracy."

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Watch ITV News Washington Correspondent Robert Moore's live report from DC:

Trump was earlier defied by his vice-President who said he cannot reject the vote that confirmed Joe Biden's win.

Trump had called on Mike Pence to overturn the will of US voters by refusing to confirming Biden's win in Congress - something he has no authority to do.

Joe Biden won the electoral college vote by 306 to 232.

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Addressing the crowds, Trump described the election as a "theft" - despite there being no evidence of any voter fraud.

President Trump falsely repeated his call to VP Pence to overturn the will of the voters and tip the results in the president’s favour.

He claimed VP Pence "has the power to do this" - but Pence's role is largely ceremonial in presiding over the certification of the electoral college vote count in front of a joint session of Congress.

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Crowds gathered near the White House, despite the Covid pandemic.
Credit: AP


"Mike Pence, I hope you're gonna stand up for the good of our Constitution and for the good of our country," he said.

But VP Pence issued a statement shortly before his ceremonial duty in Congress saying he could not claim "unilateral authority" to reject electoral votes.

"My oath to support and defend the Constitution constrains me from claiming unilateral authority to determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not," Pence said.

The president responded with a tweet later on writing: "Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution".

There has been no evidence of any voter fraud in the election, despite Trump's claims.

Addressing his supporters, President Trump encouraged the crowd to march towards the Capitol building and "make your voice heard".

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Trump supporter Scott Matheny says his loyalty is unshaken:

Police had already reported 10 protest-related arrests on Tuesday and Wednesday for a variety of offences - including weapons charges, assault on a police officer, simple assault, possessing a stun gun and other violations.

Election officials from both political parties, governors in key battleground states and Trump’s former attorney general, William Barr, have said there was no widespread fraud in the election.

Nearly all the legal challenges from Trump and his allies have been dismissed by judges, including two challenges rejected by the Supreme Court.

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You've seen the report - now hear how the ITV News team stunned the world with the footage no one else could get
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Re: Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certificat

Postby admin » Sun Jan 10, 2021 2:45 am

QAnon supporters believed marching on the Capitol could trigger 'The Storm,' an event where they hope Trump's foes will be punished in mass executions
by Tom Porter
Business Insider
Jan 7, 2021, 9:23 AM

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


Image
Jake Angeli, the "Q Shaman," was one of several rioters to confront police officers at the US Capitol on Wednesday. SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

• Some QAnon conspiracy theorists had long held January 6 as the coming of a dramatic and violent event they called "The Storm."
• This is the day when they believe President Donald Trump will overthrow and execute the corrupt, child-abusing elites who the baseless theory says run the world.
• As Trump supporters excitedly discussed a coming protest on social media, some planned for violence against those they perceived as the president's enemies.
• They saw Trump's support for a mass protest against the certification of Joe Biden's election victory as a sign The Storm was close.

• Trump has courted the support of the far-right movement as he spread conspiracy theories about the election.

Before she was fatally shot in the chaos that engulfed the Capitol on Wednesday, Ashli Babbitt wrote a cryptic social-media post.

"They can try and try and try, but the storm is here and it is descending upon DC in less than 24 hours....dark to light!" said a Twitter post written under Babbitt's name, a post counter-extremism researchers believe is genuine.

"The Storm" is a resonant phrase at the heart of QAnon, the sprawling online conspiracy movement that baselessly claims that President Donald Trump is working to dismantle a network of elite child-abusers who run world affairs.


Adherents of the movement were on the front line in Wednesday's violence. As seen in the photos below, a man wearing a top emblazoned with a Q symbol and slogan was among those confronting police officers in the Capitol.

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Protesters and police officers inside the US Capitol on Wednesday. Win McNamee/Getty Images

A QAnon influencer known as the "Q Shaman" played a prominent role in the unrest, and was pictured in his trademark horned helmet seated in the Senate chamber after rioters broke in.

Image
Steven Nelson
@stevennelson10
Photo of Senate right now. 'Where's Pence, show yourself!' protester shouts
1:01 PM Jan 6, 2021


January 6 had been billed by some in the movement as step toward the day they, like Babbitt, had long awaited.

They see The Storm as a day of violent retribution, when Trump's enemies in the Democratic Party and those they as regard traitors in the Republican Party will face mass executions.

Posts like this weeks ahead of the protest sought to heighten expectation for what the day would bring.

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Preserve Liberty
@Liberty9821
We are the Storm.
On January 6, 2021 the world will shake and @realDonaldTrump will be confirmed as President one way or another, come hell or high water.
Are you ready?
You're invited by the President!
45[2]
Washington DC
January 6th

6:43 PM Dec 22, 2020


Trump's holding onto power on Wednesday was seen by the movement as a step toward that, a QAnon expert named Alex Bradley Newhouse told Insider.

Newhouse is a lead researcher of the online far right at the Middlebury Institute in Monterey, California.

QAnon supporters, he said, think events will lead "to the apocalyptic conclusion, The Storm, which theoretically involves mass arrests, military tribunals, and executions throughout the world."

He explained that few QAnon adherents thought the day of reckoning itself had arrived Wednesday but that "even fewer accepted that Trump would not emerge victorious."

He said many showed up expecting violence: "What I can say confidently is that right-wing groups knew they would be protesting on Jan. 6, they believed that a Trump loss could only be due to corruption, and they had no intention of going home without confrontation."


Since Trump lost to Joe Biden in November's presidential election, rage has simmered among hardline supporters of the president and far-right extremists.

As Trump has pursued his baseless claims that the election was stolen from him as a result of mass fraud, an increasingly close symbiosis formed between the president and QAnon.

Trump has retweeted key QAnon figures in support of his election-related conspiracy theories and enlisted the support of the QAnon-associated attorneys Lin Wood and Sidney Powell, while supporters of the movement have cheered on the president's attempts to subvert the election.


Bipartisan US election officials, meanwhile, have said the election was the most secure in US history.

When Trump on Twitter called on supporters to gather on January 6 for a "wild" protest against the certification of Biden's win, some saw it as the key step in the day of reckoning they had long been waiting for.

Peter Navarro releases 36-page report alleging election fraud 'more than sufficient' to swing victory to Trump https://t.co/D8KrMHnFdK. A great report by Peter. Statistically impossible to have lost the 2020 Election. Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!

—Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 19, 2020


Cindy Otis, a former CIA analyst who is now a researcher at the Alethea Group, said the rally had been promoted for weeks on QAnon forums as well by other radical right-wing groups.

"Attendance at the rally was promoted in Q forums and groups, but it was shared by general Trump supporters as well as by violent domestic groups that call themselves "militias,"" she said.

"And that's what we saw in photos, videos, and livestreams — well-known QAnon believers, neo-Nazi members, and far-right personalities storming the Capitol building."

On the social-media app Parler, where many prominent QAnon influencers have congregated after being ousted from mainstream platforms, the hashtag #TheStorm was used by thousands of QAnon followers ahead of and during the riot.

Joe M, an influential QAnon account, promised in a Parler message Wednesday that "maximum penalties" were on the table for Trump's foes.


Image
Shayan Sardarizadeh
@Shayan86
Here are some social media posts by influential QAnon believers with huge followings tonight.
"Maximum penalties are now on the table"
"People are fucking pissed. And it's 100% justified"
"The storm was always gonna be ugly"
"Patience is no longer a realistic explanation"
Joe M @StormIsUponUs
It's a bad crime to attempt to cheat in an election. It's a worse crime to actually cheat in an election. It's the worst crime of all to steal an election, certify fraudulent results and get to the finish line. Maximum penalties are now on the table, and we caught them all. Buckle up.

Pepe Lives Matter
@Pepe Matter
The storm was always gonna be ugly.
Remember this my frens:
The alternative timelines were much much uglier.
We are the calm before and during the storm.

7:03 PM Jan 6, 2021

JuliansRum @JuliansRum
Patriots have exercised more patience than I ever thought possible.
But we've reached the point where patience is no longer a realistic expectation. People are fucking PISSED. And it's 100% justified.
Trump and his allies must take action soon. VERY SOON. Waiting any longer may very well destroy our republic.

HAMMER Elect (H.O.T.U.S.)
@RebelRising2020
The U.S. Constitution gives Citizens two options for holding their government accountable.
The right to Vote, and the 2nd Amendment... and the first one is now an illusion?
Congress has HOURS left to act. Our Constitution now hangs by a thread.
11:20 PM Jan 6, 2021

9:37 PM Jan 6, 2021


On Twitter, QAnon supporters in the run-up to Wednesday's protest were eagerly anticipating The Storm.

But Trump's takeover Wednesday failed to materialize. After protesters were ousted from Capitol by a hugely reinforced police presence, many took to social media to question what went wrong — and asked what the president had in store to turn the tables.

The movement has been resilient in the past when its conspiracy theories were proved false, and Wednesday was no different.

Otis defined QAnon as a "choose your own adventure" ideology, which "encourages individual discovery, interpretation, and analysis of events and ideas."

"Some saw yesterday as the start of the event they call 'The Storm' and are encouraging believers to hold the line. I've seen other members across Q forums begin to lose hope in the conspiracy because they are seeing the reality — that the predictions and claims never actually happen," she told Insider.

Experts believe that when Trump leaves office in a matter of weeks, it could inspire violence from QAnon supporters.


"QAnon's influence in broader right-wing circles is likely to continue waning, but there exists a core base of religious-like support for QAnon that will likely last throughout the Biden administration," said Jared Holt, a research fellow at the Atlantic Council's Digital Forensic Research Lab. "Conspiracy-driven extremism, generally, will likely intensify."

"QAnon supporters have largely trusted Trump to validate their outlandish beliefs and eventual act on them. As Trump exits office and the political reality becomes undeniable, there is a risk that some believers could act out in ways that may include violence."

Wood, the attorney who has supported Trump's bid to overturn Biden's win in Georgia, on Parler reassured supporters that it was far from over — even after Congress returned early Thursday and certified Biden's win.

"Time for rest. I had to stay up to watch the conclusion of the greatest attempted theft in history. Now it is a completed crime," he wrote.

"Many traitors will be arrested & jailed over the next several days. President Donald J. Trump will serve 4 more years!!!"
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Re: Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certificat

Postby admin » Sun Jan 10, 2021 4:06 am

QAnon is a Nazi Cult, Rebranded
by Gregory Stanton
justsecurity.org
September 9, 2020

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


Image
If you're a nazi and you're fired,
it's your fault!
If you're a nazi and you're fired,
it's your fault!
If you were spotted in the mob,
and you lost your fucking job,
You're a nazi, and you're fired!
It's your fault!


Image

A secret cabal is taking over the world. They kidnap children, slaughter, and eat them to gain power from their blood. They control high positions in government, banks, international finance, the news media, and the church. They want to disarm the police. They promote homosexuality and pedophilia. They plan to mongrelize the white race so it will lose its essential power.

Does this conspiracy theory sound familiar? It is. The same narrative has been repackaged by QAnon.

I have studied and worked to prevent genocide for forty years. Genocide Watch and the Alliance Against Genocide, the first international anti-genocide coalition, see such hate-filled conspiracy theories as early warning signs of deadly genocidal violence.

The plot, described above, was the conspiracy “revealed” in the most influential anti-Jewish pamphlet of all time. It was called The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. It was written by Russian anti-Jewish propagandists around 1902. It collected myths about a Jewish plot to take over the world that had existed for hundreds of years. Central to its mythology was the Blood Libel, which claimed that Jews kidnapped and slaughtered Christian children and drained their blood to mix in the dough for matzos consumed on Jewish holidays.

The Nazis published a children’s book of the Protocols that they required in the curriculum of every primary school in Germany. The Nazi newspaper, Der Stürmer (derived from the German word for “Storm”) spread the Blood Libel. Hitler’s Mein Kampf, his narcissistic autobiography and manifesto for his battle against the Jewish plot to rule the world, copied his conspiracy theories from the Protocols.

The Nazis worshiped Adolf Hitler as the Leader who would rescue the white race from this secret Jewish plot. Nazi “storm troopers” (“storm detachment” – Sturmabteilung) helped bring Hitler to power. Nazi Germany went on to conquer Europe and murder six million Jews and millions of Roma, Slavs, LGBTQ and other people.

America had its own dark side. Henry Ford echoed Nazi hatred of Jews and had 500,000 copies of the Protocols printed and distributed in the U.S. Father Coughlin preached the Protocols on national radio. The Ku Klux Klan combined its white supremacist racism with hatred of Jews.

QAnon’s conspiracy theory is a rebranded version of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

QAnon purveys the fantasy that a secret Satan-worshiping cabal is taking over the world. Its members kidnap white children, keep them in secret prisons run by pedophiles, slaughter, and eat them to gain power from the essence in their blood. The cabal held the American Presidency under the Clintons and Obama, nearly took power again in 2016, and lurks in a “Deep State” financed by Jews, including George Soros, and in Jews who control the media. They want to disarm citizens and defund the police. They promote abortion, transgender rights, and homosexuality. They want open borders so brown illegal aliens can invade America and mongrelize the white race.

QAnon true believers think Donald Trump will rescue America from this Satanic cabal. At the time of “The Storm,” supporters of the cabal will be rounded up and executed.

The QAnon conspiracy theory has now spread to neo-Nazis in Germany, where over 200,000 German QAnon accounts infest the internet. A faction known as “Reichsbürger,” or citizens of the Reich, orchestrated a brief storming of Parliament on Aug. 29.

Many people are perplexed at how any rational person could fall for such an irrational conspiracy theory. But modern social science shows that people in groups don’t always think rationally. They respond to fear and terror. They blame their misfortunes on scapegoats. They support narcissistic demagogues they hope will rescue them.


In the 1930’s, millions of Europeans were unemployed. Violent battles between Nazis and Communists raged in city streets. Democratic governments were powerless. Fascist dictators ruled Spain and Italy. Hitler took power in Germany and conquered Western Europe. Stalin’s Communists conquered the East. The Hitler-Stalin Pact sealed totalitarian rule over most of Europe. It took World War II and the deaths of millions to defeat the Nazis’ genocidal tyranny, and another fifty years to free the gulags of the Soviet Union.

Today the American people suffer from a Plague. Millions of Americans have lost their jobs. Angry mobs roam American cities and battle militarized police and heavily armed militias. The American government seems to be paralyzed. Dictators rule Russia and China. Islamic fascists rule Saudi Arabia and the old Ottoman and Persian empires. The American President appeases Russia, scapegoats China for the pandemic, and looks the other way as Vladimir Putin and Mohammed bin Salman murder their opponents.

In July, the Texas Republican party unveiled a new slogan, “We Are the Storm.” Over a dozen Republicans running for Congress have signaled support for the QAnon movement. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Republican candidate from Georgia who has endorsed QAnon’s views, is likely to win a seat in Congress. The President praises her as a “future Republican star.” The Trump campaign welcomes QAnon supporters to his rallies. When asked about QAnon on national television, the President replied, “I understand that they like me very much, which I appreciate.”

Some leading Republicans have begun to speak out against QAnon. Rep. Liz Cheney, chairwoman of the House Republican Conference, has denounced QAnon as “dangerous lunacy that should have no place in American politics.” Republican leaders such as Rep. Adam Kinzinger and Sen. Ben Sasse have also denounced QAnon. Former Gov. Jeb Bush has said of QAnon, “Nut jobs, racists, haters have no place in either Party.”

The world has seen QAnon before. It was called Nazism. In QAnon, Nazism wants a comeback.
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Re: Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certificat

Postby admin » Sun Jan 10, 2021 6:45 am

Capitol mob built gallows and chanted ‘Hang Mike Pence’
by JILL COLVIN
Associated Press
Posted: Jan 9, 2021 / 12:07 PM CST / Updated: Jan 9, 2021 / 12:07 PM CST

Image
TOPSHOT – A noose is seen on makeshift gallows as supporters of US President Donald Trump gather on the West side of the US Capitol in Washington DC on January 6, 2021. – Donald Trump’s supporters stormed a session of Congress held today, January 6, to certify Joe Biden’s election win, triggering unprecedented chaos and violence at the heart of American democracy and accusations the president was attempting a coup. (Photo by Andrew CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP) (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

They were never a natural fit, the straight-laced evangelical and the brash reality TV star. But for more than four years, President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence made their marriage of political convenience work.

Now, in the last days of their administration, each is feeling betrayed by the other. It’s part of the fallout from an extraordinary 24-hour stretch in which Pence openly defied Trump, Trump unleashed his fury on the vice president, and a mob of violent supporters incensed by Trump’s rhetoric stormed the Capitol building and tried to halt the peaceful transfer of power.

The Trump-Pence relationship is “pretty raw right now,” said one top GOP congressional aide, who described multiple phone calls in which Trump berated Pence and tried to pressure the vice president to use powers he does not possess to try to overturn the results of the 2020 election. Pence, for his part, was left feeling “hurt” and “upset” by the episode, according to people close to him. They spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal matters.

Pence’s decision to publicly defy Trump was a first for the notoriously deferential vice president, who has been unflinchingly loyal to Trump since joining the GOP ticket in 2016. Pence has spent his tenure defending the president’s actions, trying to soothe anxious world leaders put off by Trump’s caustic rhetoric, and carefully avoiding the president’s ire.

He has taken on some of the administration’s most high-pressure projects, including leading its response to the coronavirus. And he has stood by Trump even as the president leveled baseless allegations of voter fraud and refused to concede the election after his loss to Democrat Joe Biden.

Under normal circumstances, the vote-tallying procedure that began on Wednesday would have been a mere formality. But after losing court case after court case, and with no further options at hand, Trump and his allies zeroed in on the congressional tally as their last chance to try to challenge the race’s outcome.

In a bizarre interpretation of the law, they argued that the vice president had the unilateral power to reject Electoral College votes supporting Biden. The Constitution makes clear that only Congress has that power.

The effort effectively turned Pence into a scapegoat who could be blamed for Trump’s loss if the vice president refused to go along with the plan. Trump and his lawyers spent days engaged in an aggressive pressure campaign to force Pence to bend to their will in a series of phone calls and in-person meetings, including one that stretched for hours on Tuesday.

When Pence, who consulted with his own legal team, constitutional scholars and the Senate parliamentarian, informed Trump on Wednesday morning that he would not be going along with the effort, the president “blew a gasket,” in the words of one person briefed on the conversation.

Not long after, Trump took the stage in front of thousands of his supporters at a “Stop the Steal” rally, where he urged them to march to the Capitol and continued to fan false hopes that Pence could change the outcome.

“If Mike Pence does the right thing we win the election,” Trump wrongly insisted. He repeatedly returned to Pence throughout his speech as he tried to pressure the vice president to fall in line.

But Trump already knew what Pence intended. And as Trump spoke, Pence released a letter to Congress laying out his conclusion that a vice president cannot claim “unilateral authority” to reject states’ electoral votes. He soon gaveled into order the joint session of Congress where his and Trump’s defeat would be cemented.

Not long after that, members of Trump’s rally crowd arrived at the Capitol, where they overwhelmed police, smashed windows, occupied the building and halted the electoral proceedings. Pence was whisked from the Senate chamber to a secure location, where he was held for hours with staff as well as his wife and daughter, who had been there to support him.

Trump did not call to check in on his vice president’s safety during the ordeal and instead spent much of Wednesday consumed with anger over Pence’s action, tweeting, “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution.”

Later, members of the mob outside the Capitol were captured on video chanting, “Hang Mike Pence!”

Image


For allies of Pence, it was a deeply upsetting episode that put the vice president in danger after four years of unstinting loyalty to the president and left Pence himself feeling hurt.

“I just think he’s had enough,” said John Thompson, who served as Pence’s campaign spokesman and and also worked for the Republican Governors’ Association.

“Yesterday just really pulled on his heartstrings,” Thompson said. “He’s been this loyal individual and the president was asking him to break the law and act outside his constitutional duties. I think it just reached a boiling point and the vice president said, ‘I’ve had enough.'”

Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma told Tulsa World, “I’ve never seen Pence as angry as he was today.”

“He said, ‘After all the things I’ve done for (Trump),'” Inhofe added.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, an informal Trump adviser, also came to Pence’s defense, tweeting that his action was “a profile in courage.”

It remains unclear how the dynamic between Trump and Pence will play out over the next two weeks and how long the president will hold his grudge. The White House declined to discuss Trump’s thinking, but allies said Pence intends to spend the next two weeks focused on the transition.

He is also expected to attend Biden’s inauguration.

And while Pence had been banking on his close relationship with the president to propel him to top-tier status if he decides to run for president in 2024, allies said they didn’t think the vice president’s actions this week would have long-term consequences, even if some voters blame him for Trump’s defeat.

“I thought that was a very courageous moment for him,” Thompson said. “And I think that’s going to help his future.”

Associated Press writers Alan Fram and Zeke Miller contributed to this report.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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Re: Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certificat

Postby admin » Mon Jan 11, 2021 2:18 am

Surprise, Surprise: Off-Duty Cops From All Over the Country Were in D.C. During Capitol Coup Attempt
by Ishena Robinson
Sun, January 10, 2021, 10:00 AM PST

Image

Several police departments across the country have opened investigations into cops among their ranks to find out if they were involved in the siege on the U.S. Capitol on Washington, D.C. on January 6th.

The growing number of probes follows an announcement from the Seattle Police Department on Friday that two of its officers have been put on administrative leave pending an investigation into allegations that they were in the nation’s capital during the raucous events.

The New York Times reports that cops from Texas, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire are now under similar scrutiny after social media posts placed them near the riots that took place in the nation’s Capitol.

Some of the potentially incriminating posts were made by the MAGA-supporting officers themselves.

From the NY Times:

In San Antonio, Sheriff Javier Salazar of Bexar County said he had referred Lt. Roxanne Mathai to the internal investigations department after she posted a video of herself on Facebook from near the Capitol, wearing a red, white and blue face mask and wrapped in an American flag. The officer waxed enthusiastic about the day but stated explicitly that she would not enter the Capitol.

Plumes of tear gas waft in the background of the video, and Mr. Salazar said investigators would determine whether police had declared the gathering an unlawful assembly. “If that is the case and she remained on scene and began filming and began making challenging statements, that means breaking the law,” the sheriff said.


The video of Mathai has been forwarded to the FBI.

Meanwhile, the Zelienople Police Department in Pennsylvania is reviewing whether one of its officers, Timothy Goldie, may have broken the law by taking part in the insurrection after he was captured in pictures at the D.C. unrest.

“Him being there is not a problem — he had a right to be there, but not to break into the Capitol, obviously,” the head of that police department, Jim Miller, told the Times.

David Ellis, chief of the Troy Police Department in New Hampshire, has also been identified as a protestor in D.C. on January 6th. Troy residents have called for his resignation.

And the names of multiple members of the New York Fire Department have been turned over to the FBI based on reports that they were photographed at the riots, according to NBC New York.

The future of most of the investigations depends on whether the officials accused specifically participated in breaching the Capitol building—which is outright criminal activity that led to the death of five people, including one police officer. U.S. Capitol police said over 50 law enforcement officers who responded to the violence were injured by the mass of white supremacist rioters.

Two Black officers who were working at the Capitol during the attack told Buzzfeed News that some of the insurgents they came face to face with were in fact off-duty cops:

“[One guy] pulled out his badge and he said, ‘we’re doing this for you.’ Another guy had his badge. So I was like, ‘well, you gotta be kidding.’”

Another officer, a newer recruit, echoed these sentiments, saying that where he was on the steps to the rotunda on the east side of the Capitol, he was engaged in hand-to-hand battles trying to fight the attackers off. But he said they were outnumbered 10 to one, and described extraordinary scenes in which protesters holding Blue Lives Matter flags launched themselves at police officers.

“We were telling them to back up and get away and stop, and they’re telling us, they are on our side, and they’re doing this for us, and they’re saying this as I’m getting punched in my face by one of them … That happened to a lot of us. We were getting pepper sprayed in the face by those protesters, I’m not going to even call them protestors, by those domestic terrorists,” said the officer.


One thing is clear so far: there was a whole gang of people who earn tax-payer dollars among the horde of Trump supporters who travelled to D.C. to claim this country as theirs alone and violently attack democracy.

Sounds just like America.
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Re: Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certificat

Postby admin » Mon Jan 11, 2021 2:26 am

Reps. Paul Gosar, Andy Biggs credited in video with organizing Trump crowd in DC on day of riot
by Robert Anglen and Ronald J. Hansen
Arizona Republic
7:30 a.m. MT Jan 10, 2021

Image
Rioters breached security and entered the Capitol as Congress debated the 2020 presidential election Electoral Vote Certification

The man who has led the "Stop the Steal" election protests nationally singles out Reps. Paul Gosar and Andy Biggs of Arizona for helping make Wednesday's pro-Trump gathering in Washington happen.

The social-media video, which is gaining newfound attention, was taped before the event turned into a riot at the U.S. Capitol that left five people dead, including a police officer.

Biggs strenuously denies any involvement with the Wednesday event. Gosar's chief of staff did not respond to an inquiry by The Arizona Republic.

Both men have figured prominently in the GOP's rejection of President Donald Trump's election loss, but they have done so in different ways.

In the video, Ali Alexander is seen speaking into the camera describing how the gathering in Washington was coming together.

"I was the person who came up with the Jan. 6 idea with Congressman Gosar, Congressman Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) and then Congressman Andy Biggs," Alexander said. "We four schemed up of putting max pressure on Congress while they were voting so that who we couldn’t lobby, we could change the hearts and the minds of Republicans who were in that body hearing our loud roar from outside."

In a statement, Biggs' spokesman, Daniel Stefanski, pushed back against any involvement.

"Congressman Biggs is not aware of hearing of or meeting Mr. Alexander at any point — let alone working with him to organize some part of a planned protest," Stefanski said. "He did not have any contact with protestors or rioters, nor did he ever encourage or foster the rally or protests. ... The people who committed the violence at the Capitol are solely responsible for their crimes."

Alexander did not respond to a request to clarify his remarks as it related to Biggs and Gosar.

Image
Jason Paladino
@jason_paladino
Organizer @ali claims he organized the insurrection "with congressman @RepGosar @RepMoBrooks and @RepAndyBiggsAZ. We four schemed up putting maximum pressure on congress while they were voting..."
These 3 congressmen need to be held accountable.
Everyone must come to DC now. Civil Rights. Bring a tent and a sleeping bag too. They are shutting US down. #JAN6

10:54 AM Jan 8, 2021


Before D.C., a Phoenix rally

While Biggs maintains he wasn't involved with Alexander or organizing for the Jan. 6 event, another video from a Dec. 19 "Stop the Steal" rally at the Arizona Capitol shows he played a small role.

At that rally, Alexander said, "Congressman Andy Biggs sent us a video" message for those in attendance. From his cellphone, Alexander played the 80-second message from Biggs.

“Andy Biggs here, I wish I could be with you. I’m in the D.C. swamp fighting on behalf of Arizona’s residents and freedom fighters all over the country," Biggs is heard saying.

He goes on to say, "I wish I could be with you today" and "We are going to keep fighting, and I implore you to keep fighting, too. God bless you for being here today. And God bless this great country."

When it ended, Alexander leads the crowd in chanting "Biggs, Biggs, Biggs."

Stefanski said Biggs provided the taped statement to Gosar's aides at their request. Biggs did not mention Alexander during his remarks.

After playing Biggs' statement, Alexander told the crowd what to expect on Jan. 6.

"I want you guys to know, we are all marching to D.C. on January the 6th, and we are going to plop our asses on the U.S. Capitol with or without a permit," he said to cheers. "And those members of Congress will hear from us after they exit that chamber January 6th."

Biggs has throughout the post-election period repeated the unfounded allegations of election fraud in Pennsylvania and called for an audit of Arizona's election systems.

It does not appear that he pointed his social media followers to Alexander or the "Stop the Steal" gatherings.

Image
President Trump spoke to the crowd and urged them to go to the building. Then the crowd turned violent as rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol USA TODAY

Gosar, Alexander ties on social media

By contrast, Gosar has repeatedly used his Twitter account to point to Alexander or his efforts to thwart the election results.

Gosar's personal Twitter account points to Alexander's account at least 23 times since the Nov. 30 meeting in Phoenix that included Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani outlining what participants viewed as the case for fraud in Arizona's election results.

Gosar tweeted various versions of "StoptheSteal" at least 25 times in the same span.

For Alexander, crime and politics

Alexander is a national organizer for “Stop the Steal,” an organization that falsely contends that widespread fraud took place during the 2020 election to deny Trump victory over challenger Joe Biden.

On his Patreon web page, Ali Akbar Alexander describes himself as public figure with more than a decade of political experience.

A biography describes Alexander as a petty criminal who capitalized on the right-wing blogosphere to recast himself as a conservative guru.

“In 2007 he broke into a van, stole a debit card and tried to use it. He was caught, arrested and convicted on felony charges,” Bill Schmalfeldt wrote in a biography of Alexander titled “Vice and Victory: With the Emphasis on the Former.”

Alexander, 35, has lived in Texas, Louisiana and Virginia.

Even as he pleaded guilty to credit card fraud in 2008, he got a job at the Republican National Convention that year, according to published accounts.

Gosar, Biggs spoke in debate over vote certification

Apart from their social media differences, Biggs and Gosar were key players in the failed effort Wednesday by most House Republicans to block the certification of election results in Arizona and Pennsylvania.

Gosar was the House member who formally challenged Arizona during the joint session of Congress.

Biggs, who heads the House Freedom Caucus, spoke early on in the subsequent debate in the House of Representatives on the case against Arizona's election system.

Stefanski emphasized that Biggs' primary concern is upholding election integrity.

"He was focused on his research and arguments to work within the confines of the law and established precedent to restore integrity to our elections, and to ensure that all Americans — regardless of party affiliation — can again have complete trust in our elections systems," Stefanski said.

'No signal'

While Gosar had been prolific in touting election protests and the intended rally in Washington on Jan. 6, he has been relatively quiet on social media in the days since.

After no public tweets on Thursday, his first on Friday was a message with the image saying, "No signal" and the color bars sometimes used on TV.

By contrast, Biggs has repeatedly tweeted his appreciation about law enforcement in recent days. On Saturday, for example, he noted it was Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.

Republic reporter Yvonne Wingett Sanchez contributed to this article.

Reach the reporter Ronald J. Hansen at ronald.hansen@arizonarepublic.com or 602-444-4493. Follow him on Twitter @ronaldjhansen.
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Re: Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certificat

Postby admin » Mon Jan 11, 2021 2:58 am

Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, Other GOP Objectors Face Donation Boycott From Major Businesses
by Jason Lemon
Newsweek
1/10/21 AT 2:27 PM EST

GOP Senators Josh Hawley of Missouri and Ted Cruz of Texas, along with other Republicans who objected to President-elect Joe Biden's win in key battleground states last week, are now facing a donation boycott from leading American businesses.

Hawley and Cruz, two prominent Trump loyalists, were joined by six other Republican senators Wednesday evening as they objected to some electoral votes as Congress met to certify Biden's victory over Trump. GOP Senators Tommy Tuberville of Alabama, Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi, Roger Marshall of Kansas and John Kennedy of Louisiana sided with Hawley and Cruz in voting to overturn the results in Arizona—while GOP Senators Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming and Rick Scott of Florida joined Hawley, Cruz, Tuberville, Hyde-Smith and Marshall in attempting to disenfranchise Pennsylvania's voters.

In the House of Representatives, Congressman Mo Brooks of Alabama led nearly 140 Republican lawmakers in voting to reject the two states' results. Republican Senate leaders had strongly discouraged GOP senators from signing onto the House effort. Following the Wednesday attack on the U.S. Capitol by Trump's supporters, several GOP lawmakers who planned to object to the results changed their minds.

Image
Several major American corporations have said they will no longer contribute to Republicans who objected to the certification of President-elect Joe Biden last week. In this photo, Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Senator Josh Hawley (R-Missouri)—who both objected—speak during a joint session of Congress to count the electoral votes on January 6.
OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP/GETTY


Now, Hawley and Cruz and the other Republican objectors won't be receiving donations from hotel giant Marriott International, health insurance provider Blue Cross Blue Shield and bank holding company Commerce Bancshares, the Popular Information newsletter reported on Sunday. The three companies confirmed to the newsletter that they would no longer contribute to the Republican lawmakers who objected.

Blue Cross Blue Shield's PAC, known as BLUEPAC, said it was suspending support to all Republican lawmakers who attempted "to subvert the results of November's election by challenging Electoral College results."

"At this time, we have suspended all support for officials who have impeded the peaceful transfer of power," Commerce Bancshares told Popular Information.

Separately, Citi's Head of Global Governmental Affairs Candi Wolff sent an internal memo to colleagues announcing that the company would pause political contributions for the quarter, The New York Times' journalist Lauren Hirsch reported Sunday. Wolff noted that the Citi Political Action Committee had contributed $1,000 to Hawley in 2019.

"We want you to be assured that we will not support candidates who do not support the law," she wrote in the memo.

Image
Lauren Hirsch
@LaurenSHirsch
Per internal memo on Fri, Citi will pause all campaign contributions through its PAC this quarter. The bank says it gave $1,000 Sen. Hawley "who represents a state in which we have a significant employee presence."
"We will not support candidates who do not support the law."
Dear Colleagues,
The assault on the Capitol this week that attempted to disrupt the peaceful transition of power was one of the most disturbing days I have seen in the more than 30 years I have worked in Washington. I spent eight years as a staffer in the Senate and I have a deep respect for the building and the institution that were under attack. As Mike Corbat said earlier this week, our firm maintains its faith in the democratic process and we are committed to working with government officials, regardless of the administration or party in power. It has been that way at Citi for more than 200 years.
In light of this week's events, I thought it was important to send you a note about the impact on our political giving. The Citi Political Action Committee (PAC) supports a range of candidates who share our commitment to a strong financial services sector that enables widespread economic growth. We support engaging with our political leaders even when we disagree, and our PAC is an important tool for that engagement. Of the candidates who led the charge against the certification of the Electoral College, we gave $1,000 (2019) to the campaign of Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) -- who represents a state in which we have a significant employee presence.
We want you to be assured that we will not support candidates who do not respect the rule of law. We intend to pause our contributions during the quarter as the country goes through the Presidential transition and hopefully emerges from these events stronger and more united.
Sincerely,
Candi Wolff

10:10 AM Jan 10, 2021


Marriott had contributed $1,000 to Hawley and $1,000 to his leadership PAC during the 2020 cycle. Blue Cross Blue Shield's PAC contributed a combined $12,000 to Hawley, Tuberville and Marshall. Commerce Bancshare had contributed $2,500 to Marshall.

Other prominent companies, including Bank of America, Ford Motor Co. and AT&T said they were considering the events of the last week before they make future political contributions. CVS Health, Exxon Mobil, FedEx and Target said they are reviewing their political donations as well.

Newsweek reached out to press representatives for Hawley and Cruz for comment, but they did not immediately respond.

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, a newly-elected Georgia Republican who objected last week and previously expressed her belief in the bizarre and unfounded QAnon conspiracy theory, dismissed the corporations' decisions.

"That's fine. I'll be very happy with $5 dollar donations from 75 million Americans who donated to President Trump," Taylor Greene wrote on Twitter. "I work for the people, not the communists."

The Republicans objecting to Biden's win cited concerns about widespread voter fraud. But those were baseless claims pushed and promoted by Trump and his supporters. The allegations have been thoroughly litigated, with more than 50 lawsuits brought by the president and his supporters failing in state and local court.

Even some judges appointed by Trump and other Republicans pointed out in their rulings that attorneys did not provide evidence to support their often bizarre claims. Former Attorney General William Barr, who resigned in late December, said before leaving office that there was "no evidence" of voter fraud that would change the election's outcome.

But Trump and his loyalists continue to push unfounded conspiracy theories about the election. This led to a mob of the president's supporters storming the nation's Capitol on Wednesday, leaving five dead. Prior to the assault, which prominent Republican lawmakers have described as an "insurrection," Trump urged supporters at a Washington, D.C. rally to march to the Capitol, telling them they needed to "fight harder" to overturn the election results.
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Re: Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certificat

Postby admin » Mon Jan 11, 2021 3:04 am

Trump went 'ballistic' after being tossed off Twitter: The 'Hemingway of 140 characters' has lost his favorite bullhorn.
by Gabby Orr, Daniel Lippman, Tina Nguyen and Sam Stein
01/08/2021 10:23 PM EST

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For President Donald Trump’, the Twitter ban was yet another inglorious passage to the final chapter of his presidency | Getty Images

President Donald Trump has many prized possessions. But few seemed to inspire as much personal joy as his Twitter feed. Trump routinely boasted of the social media bullhorn he possessed. He credited it with launching his political trajectory. And he used it as a tool to lacerate his foes.

On Friday night, he lost it. And, then, he lost his mind.

The president is “ballistic,” a senior administration official said after Twitter permanently took down his account, citing the possibility that it would be used in the final 12 days of Trump’s presidency to incite violence. The official said Trump was “scrambling to figure out what his options are.”

So too was much of the political universe, which has become bleary-eyed obsessive about Twitter these past four years as Trump used the medium to fire advisers, sink legislative initiatives, encourage social duress and, lastly, praise the scores of MAGA faithful, just days after hundreds of them violently ransacked the Capitol.

In a statement issued by the White House, Trump said he’d been “negotiating with various other sites” while “we also look at the possibilities of building out our own platform in the near future.” But aides did not reveal what plans were in the works. When Trump’s eldest son, Don Jr. offered up a URL to those hoping to keep tabs of his father’s whereabouts, it was a site that had been purchased in 2009 and, in recent years, a place where his books were sold. For those who did sign up, an email was sent, plugging his latest work: “Liberal Privilege”.

“As you know, the election is coming up,” it read, of the contest that took place two months ago.

For Trump, the Twitter ban was yet another inglorious passage to the final chapter of his presidency. Over the past two days, he’s been admonished by his own aides, chastised by Republicans, and threatened once more with impeachment.

Through it all, he’s been uncharacteristically quiet — banished temporarily at first from the main social media platforms but also unwilling to go out and speak before the press. The only times the public saw him were through awkwardly-edited White House produced-videos. In one, he urged for the rioting to end while clinging to the fiction that the election had been stolen from him. In another, he conceded he would not serve a second consecutive term.

There are no plans to immediately emerge from the cocoon either. One White House official said there were initial internal discussions between White House aides and Trump of doing a “last farewell interview.” But, the official added, “I’m not sure if they’re going to come to fruition,” much to the official’s chagrin.

“I don’t want the lasting impression of this administration to be what happened at the Capitol,” the official said. “We have a lot of accomplishments of this administration that should be highlighted so that we can leave a good final impression.”

Trump entered office boasting of how he was the “Hemingway of 140 characters” and crediting Twitter in particular for powering his political ascent. More than 56,000 tweets later, he leaves it amid a futile game of Whac-A-Mole with the tech moguls he despises, exiled to the outer provinces of the internet.

If this is how Trump’s presidency closes out, it will be a remarkable endnote. As a candidate for office, he was — at times — ubiquitous: posting outrageous takes on Twitter, calling into cable news shows, and grabbing the camera’s attention even when the podium on which he was set to hold a campaign rally was empty. Now, he’s increasingly isolated and receding from the spotlight. His favorite bullhorn is gone; oh, and the presidency is too.
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Re: Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certificat

Postby admin » Mon Jan 11, 2021 3:08 am

Parler CEO Says Service Dropped By “Every Vendor” And Could End His Business
by Bruce Haring
Deadline
January 10, 2021 12:04pm

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Parler CEO John Matze said today that his social media company has been dropped by virtually all of its business alliances after Amazon, Apple and Google ended their agreements with the social media service.

“Every vendor from text message services to email providers to our lawyers all ditched us too on the same day,” Matze said today on Fox News.

Matze conceded that the bans could put the company out of business while raising free speech issues, calling it “an assault on everybody.”

“They all work together to make sure at the same time we would lose access to not only our apps, but they’re actually shutting all of our servers off tonight, off the internet,” Matze said. “They made an attempt to not only kill the app, but to actually destroy the entire company. And it’s not just these three companies. Every vendor from text message services to email providers to our lawyers all ditched us too on the same day.”

The remarks come a day after Amazon dropped Parler from its servers, joining Apple and Google. They all cited the potential of spreading violent content on the site, which is favored by conservatives as an alternative to Twitter and Facebook.

Matze said that the services are unfairly targeting Parler. “They’re trying to falsely claim that we’re somehow responsible for the events that occurred on the 6th,” he said, the date of the Capitol building takeover by protesters.

“It would put anybody out of business,” he said of the tech bans. “This thing could destroy anybody.”

He added: “We’re going to try our best to get back online as quickly as possible. But we’re having a lot of trouble because every vendor we talk to says they won’t work with us. Because if Apple doesn’t approve and Google doesn’t approve, they won’t.”
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