Civil Liberties Are Being Trampled by Exploiting “Insurrection” Fears. Congress’s 1/6 Committee May Be the Worst Abuse Yet.

When a population is placed in a state of sufficiently grave fear and anger regarding a perceived threat, concerns about the constitutionality, legality and morality of measures adopted in the name of punishing the enemy typically disappear. The first priority, indeed the sole priority, is to crush the threat. Questions about the legality of actions ostensibly undertaken against the guilty parties are brushed aside as trivial annoyances at best, or, worse, castigated as efforts to sympathize with and protect those responsible for the danger. When a population is subsumed with pulsating fear and rage, there is little patience for seemingly abstract quibbles about legality or ethics. The craving for punishment, for vengeance, for protection, is visceral and thus easily drowns out cerebral or rational impediments to satiating those primal impulses.

The aftermath of the 9/11 attack provided a vivid illustration of that dynamic. The consensus view, which formed immediately, was that anything and everything possible should be done to crush the terrorists who — directly or indirectly — were responsible for that traumatic attack. The few dissenters who attempted to raise doubts about the legality or morality of proposed responses were easily dismissed and marginalized, when not ignored entirely. Typically, they were vilified with the accusation that their constitutional and legal objections were frauds: mere pretexts to conceal their sympathy and even support for the terrorists. It took at least a year or two after that attack for there to be any space for questions about the legality, constitutionality, and morality of the U.S. response to 9/11 to be entertained at all.

For many liberals and Democrats in the U.S., 1/6 is the equivalent of 9/11. One need not speculate about that. Many have said this explicitly. Some prominent Democrats in politics and media have even insisted that 1/6 was worse than 9/11.

Joe Biden’s speechwriters, when preparing his script for his April address to the Joint Session of Congress, called the three-hour riot “the worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War.” Liberal icon Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), whose father’s legacy was cemented by years of casting 9/11 as the most barbaric attack ever seen, now serves as Vice Chair of the 1/6 Committee; in that role, she proclaimed that the forces behind 1/6 represent “a threat America has never seen before.” The enabling resolution that created the Select Committee calls 1/6 “one of the darkest days of our democracy.” USA Today’s editor David Mastio published an op-ed whose sole point was a defense of the hysterical thesis from MSNBC analysts that 1/6 is at least as bad as 9/11 if not worse.S.V. Date, the White House correspondent for America’s most nakedly partisan “news” outlet, The Huffington Post, published a series of tweets arguing that 1/6 was worse than 9/11 and that those behind it are more dangerous than Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda ever were.

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Internal police docs: ‘No good reason for shooting’ Ashli Babbitt

After obtaining over 500 pages of internal documents from the DC Metropolitan Police, Judicial Watch has found that they believe the shooting of Ashli Babbitt, who inside the Capitol during the riot on January 6, was unjustified.

In May, Judicial Watch filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act to obtain more than 500 pages of internal documents from the DC Metropolitan Police regarding the killing of Ashli Babbitt.

In the report, eyewitness testimony from a Capitol Police sergeant, whose name was redacted, suggests that while Babbitt did in fact climb through a broken window to enter the Capitol building, she was not carrying a weapon when she was shot by Capitol Police officer Lt. Michael Byrd.

“Sergeant [redacted] observed a white, female protester was climbing through an opened area where the glass pane had been knocked out,” a document from the Internal Affairs Division states.  

“He heard a gunshot and this female fell backwards through the opening. The crowd on the other side of the barricaded east doors, began to step back and some put their hands in the air. Sergeant [redacted] observed Lieutenant Byrd step back just after hearing the gunshot. He did not see anything in the female protester’s hands prior to the gunshot.”

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Ashli Babbitt coverup sparks federal action

The Department of Justice has been hit with a lawsuit for failing to provide public access to its records about the “killing” of Ashli Babbitt.

She was the California woman, unarmed, a 14-year Air Force veteran, who was shot and killed by Capitol police last January when dozens of protesters got rowdy, broke windows and doors, and vandalized parts of the building.

Democrats over and over have claimed the events that day as worse than 9/11 and a true threat to the future of American government.

Babbitt was shot and killed as she climbed through a broken interior window.

Congress and federal and local authorities kept secret for months before finally revealing that her killer was U.S. Capitol Officer Michael Byrd, and then they quickly confirmed he would face no punishment for killing her.

Now government watchdog Judicial Watch has confirmed it filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice for its records relating to her death.

Earlier, the Executive Office for United States Attorneys, the Civil Rights Division, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation all failed to provide the records responsive to Judicial Watch’s April 14, 2021 and May 20, 2021, FOIA requests.

Those were for records of the shooting, including video footage, and communications about the case and more.

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Covert Postal Service unit probed Jan. 6 social media

In the days after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, an obscure arm of the U.S. Postal Service did some serious internet sleuthing.

On Jan. 11, the United States Postal Inspection Service’s Internet Covert Operations Program — better known as iCOP — sent bulletins to law enforcement agencies around the country on how to view social media posts that had been deleted. It also described its scrutiny of posts on the fringe social media network Wimkin.

Few Americans are aware that the same organization that delivers their mail also runs a robust surveillance operation rooted in an agency that dates back to the 18th century. And iCOP’s involvement raises questions about how broad the mandate of the Postal Service’s policing arm has grown from its stated mission of keeping mail deliverers safe.

The documents also point to potential gaps in the Jan. 6 select committee’s investigation by revealing concerns about a company it is not known to be scrutinizing. And those documents point to a new challenge for law enforcement in the post-Jan. 6 era: how to track extremist organizing across a host of low-profile platforms.

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Oklahoma Man Pleads Guilty to Misdemeanor for Taking Nancy Pelosi’s Beer on January 6 — Will Serve 6 Months in Federal Prison for the Crime

An Oklahoma man pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor after taking one of  Nancy Pelosi’s beers from her office on January 6.

Andrew Craig Ericson, 24, pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building. Prosecutors will drop three related misdemeanor charges in exchange for his plea. Ericson said in a signed statement that he is pleading guilty because he is in fact guilty.

He will face six months in federal prison and a $5,000 fine after he was tipped off to the FBI by someone who had known him since high school.

Six months in prison for one beer? 

Ericson posted a photo of himself on Snapchat while sitting comfortably with his feet on a table at Pelosi’s conference room and taking a beer out of a mini-refrigerator.

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9/11 Was Bad, But It Wasn’t QAnoners Wandering Around The Capitol For A Few Hours Bad

Okay, okay, let’s all cool our jets here for a minute. I know we’re all worked up about the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, and that’s all well and good. But let’s not let our emotions cloud our vision and let today’s commemorations cause us to forget the real horror we must all remain focused on: the Capitol riot this past January.

It is true that losing nearly 3,000 American lives to weaponized passenger jets was pretty bad, but I think we can all agree that this pales in comparison to the earth-shattering terror we all experienced when watching footage of wingnuts wander aimlessly around the Capitol Building for a few hours.

Serious experts agree.

In a July appearance on MSNBC’s ReidOut with Joy Reid, former Bush strategist Matthew Dowd said he felt the Capitol riot was “much worse” than 9/11 and that this is the “most perilous point in time” since the beginning of the American Civil War.

“To me, though there was less loss of life on January 6, January 6 was worse than 9/11, because it’s continued to rip our country apart and get permission for people to pursue autocratic means, and so I think we’re in a much worse place than we’ve been,” Dowd said. “I think we’re in the most perilous point in time since 1861 in the advent of the Civil War.”

“I do too,” Reid replied.

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Lawyer for Jan. 6 Defendants Released From Hospital, Says Reports He Went ‘Missing’ Are Inaccurate

A lawyer representing 17 clients who were allegedly involved in the Jan. 6 Capitol breach released a statement Tuesday saying reports he went missing are false.

John Pierce, who is based in California, issued a lengthy comment to The Gateway Pundit saying he was hospitalized for 12 days and has recovered. Pierce later confirmed to The Epoch Times on Tuesday that he released the statement.

Court filings that were submitted last month by acting U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips said that about 20 cases related to the Jan. 6 incident haven’t proceeded after Pierce didn’t show up, alleging that he was “reportedly ill” with COVID-19 and on a ventilator. A law firm associate who isn’t a licensed lawyer appeared in Pierce’s place during court hearings and proceedings, according to the filings.

“Unfortunately, it seems that Mr. Pierce may be hospitalized and unable to communicate, and it is unclear when Mr. Pierce will recover,” prosecutors wrote in the filing.

Pierce, however, said that he was released from a Los Angeles-area hospital on Sept. 5 after a 12-day stay.

“I was not ‘missing’ or anything of the sort. I am greatly appreciative of the many expressions of prayer and support,” he said in a statement. “And I am deeply grateful for the amazing care I received from the doctors, nurses, and staff who cared for me.”

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U.S. Capitol Police Tell Federal Court January 6 Disturbance Videos Are Not Public Records

Judicial Watch announced today the U.S. Capitol Police seeks to shut down a public records lawsuit for January 6 disturbance video and emails by arguing to a federal court that the requested are “not public records.”

Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit in February 2021 under the common law right of access to public records after the Capitol Police refused to provide any records in response to a January 21, 2021, request for:

  • Email communications between the U.S. Capitol Police Executive Team and the Capitol Police Board concerning the security of the Capitol on January 6, 2021. The timeframe of this request is from January 1, 2021 through January 10, 2021.
  • Email communications of the Capitol Police Board with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security concerning the security of the Capitol on January 6, 2021. The timeframe of this request is from January 1, 2021 through January 10, 2021.
  • All video footage from within the Capitol between 12 pm and 9 pm on January 6, 2021.

Regarding withholding the videos, the Capitol Police told the court:

The USCP’s camera security system, including footage recorded by it within the Capitol and sought by [Judicial Watch], is solely for national security and law enforcement purposes.

Access to video footage from the USCP’s camera security system is limited to narrow circumstances and strictly controlled by USCP policy.

The USCP has not made any public disclosures of video footage from January 6 from its camera security system.

There are currently pending criminal investigations and prosecutions of individuals involved in the events at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.

There are currently pending congressional investigations into the events at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.

In its motion, the Capitol Police also argues the case should be closed because, among other assertions, even if the records Judicial Watch asks for are “public records,” the USCP’s interests in confidentiality “outweigh any public interest in those materials.”

It also claims not to have access to many of the emails sought by Judicial Watch.

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Lawyer Representing 17 Jan. 6 Defendants Has Mysteriously Gone Missing: Court Filings

An attorney who is representing 17 accused Jan. 6 Capitol breach defendants has disappeared, possibly suffering from COVID-19, according to a court filing on Monday.

Acting U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips said in a court document (pdf) that nearly 20 cases related to the Jan. 6 incident are not proceeding after John Pierce, the lawyer, went missing.

Pierce, according to the court filing, is “reportedly ill with COVID-19, on a ventilator, and unresponsive.” Pierce’s law firm associate, Ryan Marshall—who is not a licensed attorney—has been appearing in Pierce’s place at court hearings and proceedings. Marshall also was the one who revealed Pierce’s alleged hospitalization and condition, said the filing.

The lawyer, who generally posts on Twitter several times per day, has not posted since Aug. 20.

“Because Mr. Pierce is unavailable and Mr. Marshall cannot ethically or legally represent Mr. Pierce’s clients,” Phillips said, “the government is making the Court aware of Mr. Pierce’s reported illness so that it can take any steps it believes necessary to ensure the defendant’s rights are adequately protected while Mr. Pierce remains hospitalized.”

But later in the court filing, the U.S. attorney’s office said it obtained “conflicting information about Mr. Pierce’s health and whereabouts.”

When it was revealed publicly that Pierce was hospitalized with COVID-19, a report from NPR, citing unnamed sources, said that he may have been suffering from dehydration, exhaustion, and is believed to have symptoms related to COVID-19.

And a colleague of Pierce, Brody Womack, told Business Insider that Pierce “appears to have been suffering from dehydration and exhaustion in relation to his tireless work on behalf of his clients, including the many defendants he represents in connection with the January 6, 2021 protest at the Capitol.”

On Aug. 26, Marshall appeared in place of Pierce, telling a U.S. attorney’s assistant that he hasn’t had any contact with Pierce and adding that one of his friends “had told him that Mr. Pierce was sick with COVID-19 and another had said he was not,” the filing said.

“From the government’s perspective,” said Phillips’ office, “given Mr. Pierce’s reported illness and the fact that Mr. Marshall is not a licensed attorney, this case is effectively at a standstill.”

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