capitol riot investigation
February 18, 2021

A Capitol Police spokesman on Thursday said 35 officers are under investigation for their actions during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, including six who have been suspended with pay.

"Acting Chief Yogananda Pittman has directed that any member of her department whose behavior is not in keeping with the department's rules of conduct will face appropriate discipline," spokesman John Stolnis told CNN.

Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) previously said one of the suspended officers took a selfie with a member of the mob that stormed the Capitol. So far, more than 250 people have been charged in connection with the attack. Catherine Garcia

January 21, 2021

Seven Senate Democrats filed an ethics complaint against Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) on Thursday, asking the Senate Ethics Committee to investigate whether they coordinated with leaders of the pro-Trump "Stop the Steal" rally that took place immediately before the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

In a letter, the Democrats — Sens. Ron Wyden (Ore.), Tina Smith (Minn.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Mazie Hirono (Hawaii), Tim Kaine (Va.), Sherrod Brown (Ohio), and Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.) — said the committee "should also offer recommendations for strong disciplinary action, including up to expulsion or censure, if warranted by the facts uncovered."

Prior to the rally and attack on the Capitol, Hawley and Cruz said they would object to the vote counts in several states lost by former President Donald Trump. This "amplified claims of election fraud that had resulted in threats of violence against state and local officials around the country," the letter stated, adding that Hawley and Cruz "touted their plan to challenge the electors to drum up campaign contributions."

The Democrats said the question that must be answered is whether Cruz and Hawley "failed to 'put loyalty to the highest moral principles and to country above loyalty to persons, party, or government department' or engaged in 'improper conduct reflecting on the Senate' in connection with the violence on Jan. 6."

Hawley and Cruz have both defended themselves by saying they believed they were protecting the integrity of the election. Catherine Garcia

January 14, 2021

FBI agents know that Proud Boys members were part of the pro-Trump mob that stormed the Capitol last week, and now they are investigating whether they had a role in planning the violence, people familiar with the matter told The Washington Post.

The leader of the Proud Boys — a far-right group with ties to white nationalism — is Enrique Tarrio. He was arrested in Washington, D.C., two days before the riot, which took place immediately after a "Stop the Steal" rally attended by President Trump. Tarrio planned to go to the rally, he told the Post, before he was arrested in connection with the earlier burning of a Black Lives Matter banner that was stolen from a historic Black church.

During a Wednesday interview with the Post, Tarrio said the Proud Boys did not orchestrate the riot. "If they think we were organizing going into the Capitol, they're going to be sadly mistaken," he added. "Our plan was to stay together as a group and just enjoy the day. We weren't going to do a night march, anything like that. That's it as far as our day."

Tarrio told the Post he is also urging Proud Boys members to stay away from upcoming armed marches, including the Million Militia March scheduled for Inauguration Day. The group is on a "rally freeze and will not be organizing any events for the next month or so," he said.

Federal law enforcement is split when it comes to the Proud Boys. Some officials told the Post they are nothing more than a street gang that was only put in the spotlight because Trump publicly mentioned them by name. Others view the group in a more sinister light, and believe it is quickly growing into a more dangerous entity. Catherine Garcia

January 14, 2021

Since last Wednesday's Capitol riot, the FBI has been sifting through tips, gathering evidence, and making arrests, and investigators have found that dozens of people on a terrorist watch list were in D.C. for pro-Trump events, The Washington Post reports.

People familiar with the matter told the Post many of these individuals are suspected white supremacists who were put on the FBI's Terrorist Screening Database due to their alarming behavior. This is separate from the "no-fly list" that is maintained by the government to keep terrorism suspects off airplanes, and can be accessed by different law enforcement officers, including state troopers and border agents.

The Post spoke with several current and former officials who said it isn't surprising these individuals went to the "Stop the Steal" rally, held immediately before the Capitol riot. President Trump urged his supporters to pressure lawmakers into overturning election results, and many saw this as the last time they could publicly oppose the certification of the Electoral College votes.

Prior to the rally, FBI agents spoke with several suspected extremists, asking them to stay away from D.C., and many did heed their advice, the Post reports. Dozens of people have been arrested in connection with the riot, but it's unclear how many are on the watch list. Catherine Garcia

January 12, 2021

The "scope and scale" of the investigation into last week's deadly riot at the United States Capitol is "unprecedented" and prosecutors are treating it as a "significant counterterrorism or counterintelligence" probe, Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Michael Sherwin said during a Tuesday afternoon press briefing. FBI official Steven D'Antuono provided some numbers to prove that point, noting that the agency has opened more than 160 case files, charged 70 people, and received more than 100,000 tips so far, before clarifying "that's just the tip of the iceberg."

The charges represent a wide range of criminal activity, Sherwin said, going from simple trespassing to felony murder. He added that the Justice Department is looking at "significant felony cases tied to sedition and conspiracy."

D'Antuono and Sherwin were fairly open about some of their findings— Sherwin explained that pipe bombs found on the Capitol grounds on the day of the riot were "real devices" with "explosive igniters," and it's unclear why they didn't go off — but they kept other matters under wraps, including whether they have made any progress in the investigation into U.S. Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick's death.

Sherwin went on to say that he thinks there are "a lot of misconceptions about what happened within the capitol" and he believes people will be "shocked with some of the egregious conduct" that took place. Tim O'Donnell

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