President Joe Biden intends to keep FBI Director Christopher Wray in his post, a sign of confidence for the bureau’s leader who has more than six years remaining in his term, CNN reports.
Extraordinary new video from Luke Mogelson at the New Yorker offers a chilling look into the Capitol siege that left five dead.
Bloomberg reports that “selfie-snapping rioters” at the U.S. Capitol last week left the FBI a trail of over 140,000 images.
“Justice Department prosecutors have formally walked back their assertion in a court filing that said Capitol rioters sought to ‘capture and assassinate elected officials,'” CNN reports.
“A federal prosecutor in Arizona asked a magistrate judge in a hearing on Friday to strike the line in a recent court filing about defendant Jacob Anthony Chansley, a man who is alleged to have led some in the crowd in the first wave into the Capitol with a bullhorn while carrying a spear and wearing a fur headdress.”
“Three days before thousands of rioters converged on the U.S. Capitol, an internal Capitol Police intelligence report warned of a violent scenario in which ‘Congress itself’ could be the target of angry supporters of President Trump on Jan. 6, laying out a stark alert that deepens questions about the security failures that day,” the Washington Post reports.
“In a 12-page report on Jan. 3, the intelligence unit for the congressional police force described how thousands of enraged protesters, egged on by Trump and flanked by white supremacists and extreme militia groups, were likely to stream into Washington armed for battle.”
Federal prosecutors offered the most chilling description yet of rioters who seized the Capitol last week, writing in a new court filing that the intention was “to capture and assassinate elected officials,” CNN reports.
“The view was included in a memo seeking to keep Jacob Anthony Chansley, who rallied people inside the Capitol using a bullhorn, in detention. According to Capitol Police information included in the filing, Chansley was notable for his headdress, face paint and carrying of a six-foot spear.”
Wrote prosecutors: “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.”
A must-read in the New Yorker from Luke Mogelson:
“The Capitol was breached by Trump supporters who had been declaring, at rally after rally, that they would go to violent lengths to keep the President in power. A chronicle of an attack foretold.”
“Federal prosecutors on Thursday for the first time described last week’s assault on the U.S. Capitol as a ‘violent insurrection that attempted to overthrow the United States Government’ — and one they consider to still be underway,” Politico reports.
“FBI and Justice Department officials have emphasized that more serious charges are on the horizon, after an initial round of lesser charges were leveled to ensure they corralled some of the most dangerous offenders.”
“The vast majority of Americans say they oppose the actions of the rioters who stormed and ransacked the Capitol on Jan. 6, while smaller majorities say President Trump bears responsibility for the attack and that he should be removed from office and disqualified from serving again,” according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll.
“As President Trump’s supporters massed outside the Capitol last week and sang the national anthem, a line of men wearing olive-drab helmets and body armor trudged purposefully up the marble stairs in a single-file line, each man holding the jacket collar of the one ahead,” the AP reports.
“The formation, known as ‘Ranger File,’ is standard operating procedure for a combat team that is ‘stacking up’ to breach a building — instantly recognizable to any U.S. soldier or Marine who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was a chilling sign that many at the vanguard of the mob that stormed the seat of American democracy either had military training or were trained by those who did.”
“Dozens of people on a terrorist watch list were in Washington for pro-Trump events Jan. 6, a day that ended in a chaotic crime rampage when a violent mob stormed the U.S. Capitol,” the Washington Post reports.
“The majority of the watch-listed individuals in Washington that day are suspected white supremacists whose past conduct so alarmed investigators that their names had been previously entered into the national Terrorist Screening Database, or TSDB, a massive set of names flagged as potential security risks.”
“On Dec. 8, someone made a simultaneous transfer of 28.15 bitcoins — worth more than $500,000 at the time — to 22 different virtual wallets, most of them belonging to prominent right-wing organizations and personalities,” Yahoo News reports.
“Now cryptocurrency researchers believe they have identified who made the transfer, and suspect it was intended to bolster those far-right causes. U.S. law enforcement is investigating whether the donations were linked to the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol.”
The FBI urged police chiefs across the country to be on high alert for extremist activity and to share intelligence on any threats they encounter, as the U.S. government issued a dire intelligence bulletin warning of potential violence ahead of the inauguration, the New York Times reports.
“National Guard units are being told to prepare for the possibility that improvised explosive devices will be used by individuals plotting to attack the Capitol in the days surrounding the Inauguration,” Politico reports.
A day before rioters stormed Congress, an FBI office in Virginia issued an explicit internal warning that extremists were preparing to travel to Washington to commit violence and “war,” the Washington Post reports.
An internal document contradicts a senior official’s declaration the bureau had no intelligence indicating anyone at last week’s pro-Trump protest planned to do harm.
“The Justice Department and the F.B.I. have embarked on a nationwide manhunt to track down scores of people who attacked the Capitol last week, as they grapple with the fallout from the widespread government failure to protect the building,” the New York Times reports.
“Investigators are pursuing more than 150 suspects for prosecution, a total that is almost certain to grow… Analysts are also scouring intelligence to identify any role that domestic terrorist organizations or foreign adversaries may have played in radicalizing Americans who were among the rioters.”
“Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), the incoming chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) are unveiling legislation that would seek to end federal capital punishment, putting a focus on the issue as their party prepares to take over complete control of Congress, along with the White House,” NPR reports.
The FBI has “received information about an identified armed group intending to travel to Washington, DC on 16 January. They have warned that if Congress attempts to remove POTUS via the 25th Amendment a huge uprising will occur,” according to a bulletin obtained by ABC Radio reports.
Yahoo News: “Federal authorities are warning state and local law enforcement about threats of possible violence by right-wing extremists at a series of protests planned for later this month in Washington and in state capitols.”