Mark Follman, Dan Friedman, Ryan Little, and Sam Van Pykeren
September 30, 2021
photo above: Mother Jones illustration; John Minchillo/AP; Official Congressional Directory
WN: And so it goes . . . Tragic. Sick. Dangerous. Deadly.
Some family members are speaking out against some of the rally’s ringleaders:
Republican Accountability Project, which has been calling out enablers of former President Donald Trump’s election lies by name, also created an online feature to allow voters to see if their lawmakers tried to overturn the election results and make a pledge not to support anyone who did.
The Republican Accountability Project maintains a “Hall of Shame” on its website featuring Republican lawmakers who “have made it clear that they cannot be trusted with power.” That list includes Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas (“one of Trump’s most loyal enablers”) and Gaetz (“a Trump sycophant for as long as Trump’s been in office”).
The group also keeps a list of “Defenders of Democracy,” or the 10 members of the House who voted to impeach Trump.
See finally the video below, where we hear:
“If Kevin McCarthy really opposes dangerous rhetoric, he can start by cleaning up his own house,” states the voiceover in the video. . .
For more than eight months, Republican lawmakers have sought to rewrite the harrowing events of January 6. They have continually whitewashed the assault on the US Capitol despite copious footage showing mobs of Trump supporters ransacking Congress, threatening to kill Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and viciously attacking scores of police officers with chemical spray, fire extinguishers, hockey sticks, and flagpoles. The attack led to several deaths and was followed by the suicides of several police officers who defended the Capitol.
“It was not an insurrection,” Rep. Andrew Clyde of Georgia declared at a House hearing in May, suggesting that most participants were engaged in “a normal tourist visit.”
“By and large it was peaceful protest,” said Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin after the May hearings.
This attempted political cover-up has hinged on another specific claim: that no one who stormed the Capitol brought guns.
“This didn’t seem like an armed insurrection to me,” Johnson said five weeks after the attack, adding, “When you think of armed, don’t you think of firearms?” During the May hearings, Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona claimed “zero firearms” were found among suspects charged with breaching the Capitol. “There were no guns whatsoever,” former President Trump declared repeatedly during a Fox News interview in July.
Evidence of numerous firearms among January 6 perpetrators shows those claims to be false. A Mother Jones investigation drawing on public video footage, congressional testimony, and documents from more than a dozen federal criminal cases reveals that various Trump supporters descended on DC that day armed for battle with guns and other potentially lethal weapons. At least three people arrested in connection with the insurrection are facing charges for carrying firearms on Capitol grounds. At least eight others carried knives or tasers at the Capitol, including two defendants who allegedly committed assaults with tasers, according to FBI and court documents. Multiple others arrested downtown and in the vicinity of the Capitol had rifles, pistols, explosive materials, and large supplies of ammunition. And communications among numerous January 6 suspects detailed in court documents indicate that many of their fellow insurrectionists were armed with guns.
Among the defendants who face weapons charges is Trump supporter Christopher M. Alberts of Maryland, who is accused of multiple federal crimes, including engaging in physical violence at the Capitol and unlawfully carrying a semiautomatic pistol and a large-capacity ammunition device. Appearing in January 6 video footage recorded by an unknown person in the crowd outside the Capitol, Alberts wore a tactical vest and called for overthrowing the US government. “If the government is no longer for the people,” he shouted, “it is your duty to overthrow that government and reinstate a new government, for the people.”
According to court documents, Alberts later tried to flee from DC police, who arrested him carrying a Taurus G2C 9mm pistol and more than two dozen rounds of ammunition. An attorney for Alberts did not respond to multiple requests for comment about Alberts’ alleged crimes and the January 6 footage of him, which Mother Jones authenticated using public records, previous news reporting, and video footage of Alberts, who had long protested publicly in support of Trump.
Another person charged with unlawfully carrying a handgun is Guy Reffitt of Texas, whom the government alleges is a Three Percenter militia member who wore a helmet and body armor as he confronted police defending the Capitol. According to FBI wiretap evidence contained in court documents, Reffitt boasted to family and fellow militia members after returning to Texas in January that he and other insurrectionists brought guns to the siege. “The people that were around me were all carrying too,” he said. “I had every constitutional right to carry a weapon and take over the Congress, as we tried to do. We went in, they scurried like rats and hid. That’s how it works.” Reffitt and his attorney did not respond to requests for comment.
Mark Sami Ibrahim of California, who was on personal leave on January 6 from his job as a special agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration, was indicted in July on four federal charges stemming from his alleged activity outside the Capitol. Multiple images contained in the criminal complaint against him show Ibrahim posing for photos while displaying his badge and DEA-issued pistol; according to the complaint, he later made a false statement to a federal investigator, saying he “never exposed” his badge and gun at the Capitol. Among the charges against Ibrahim—who the complaint says was not on DEA duty and “had no role as a law enforcement officer” on January 6—are that he knowingly was on restricted Capitol grounds without lawful authority while carrying “a deadly or dangerous weapon or firearm.” Ibrahim, who said during an appearance on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show in March that he did nothing illegal and had since been fired from the DEA, did not respond to requests for comment, nor did his attorney.
To date, more than 600 people have been arrested and charged with federal crimes in connection with January 6. Stark footage and accumulating criminal evidence make clear that the assault on the Capitol, grim as it was, teetered on the brink of turning far worse.
The FBI’s wanted list in connection with that day remains hundreds of people long, including an unknown individual suspected of planting pipe bombs outside the headquarters of both the Democratic and Republican national committees the night before the insurrection. Federal judges overseeing some January 6 cases have warned that the threat is far from gone, with one judge observing in a pretrial detention ruling that the “steady drumbeat” of lies from Trump and other GOP figures about the 2020 election could continue to incite violence. At a political rally in Georgia in late September, Trump added a brazen new twist, suggesting that investigation of the January 6 insurrection was just another partisan “hoax.”
Please click on: Trump Extremists Brought Numerous Guns