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Author Topic: 1/6 Insurrection Investigation  (Read 63086 times)

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: 1/6 Insurrection Investigation
« Reply #1416 on: July 12, 2023, 08:51:46 AM »
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Special Counsel Jack Smith zeroes in on 'fake electors' scheme in Jan. 6 investigation
https://www.msnbc.com/american-voices/watch/special-counsel-jack-smith-zeroes-in-on-fake-electors-scheme-in-jan-6-investigation-187286597552


The DOJ Is Probing Trump’s Push to Overturn the Election. Here’s What We Know

Special Counsel Jack Smith has already indicted Donald Trump, and his second investigation into the former president is heating up

THE DEPARTMENT OF Justice has already indicted former President Donald Trump on a myriad of charges related to his handling of classified documents after leaving the White House, but Special Counsel Jack Smith’s work is far from over.

Among the torrent of headlines, Truth Social rants, and court rulings pertaining to the Mar-a-Lago investigation, it’s easy to forget that Smith was also tasked with overseeing a probe into the coordinated effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election. The Jan. 6 committee determined last year that Trump was at the center of that effort, and asked the Justice Department to charge him criminally.

It’s been more than two years since the Jan 6. attack on the Capitol that capped the effort to overturn the election, and while there’s been congressional investigations, countless cases against rioters, and even a presidential impeachment, Smith’s investigation is the first to rigorously examine whether or not criminal conduct took place at the highest levels of government. So here’s what’s going on:

What is the Justice Department investigating?

In the early days of the Biden administration, Attorney General Merrick Garland — then a nominee for his current position — vowed that the DOJ would conduct a thorough investigation into the events precipitating the riot on Jan. 6, as well as into who was ultimately responsible for efforts to interfere in the 2020 election.

It took time for those efforts to come to full fruition. The Washington Post reported last month on how it took more than a year before federal prosecutors agreed to formally pursue an investigation into the Trump administration’s role in the chaos following the 2020 election.

Despite the delay, under Garland the department launched several probes into potential election interference that fell short of directly involving the former president. Last November, the department consolidated their work into a single investigation overseen by independent Special Counsel Jack Smith, and no one was off limits.

Garland tasked Smith with establishing if “any person or entity unlawfully interfered with the transfer of power following the 2020 presidential election or with the certification of electoral college vote held on or about Jan. 6 [2021].” Smith quickly empaneled a grand jury to oversee evidence related to the probe.

Smith’s appointment came less than a week after Trump announced his candidacy for the presidency in 2024. As previously reported by Rolling Stone, Trump had made clear to his allies and advisers that his bid for re-election is at least partially an attempt to escape accountability for his potentially illegal conduct in and out of office.

What specifically is Special Counsel Jack Smith focusing on in the Jan. 6 investigation?

Smith’s investigation revolves around Trump and his allies’ effort to meddle with the certification of Electoral College votes that took place on Jan. 6, primarily through a scheme of fake electors that would swing the certification in Trump’s favor. 

Smith has subpoenaed vast troves of materials from election officials in battleground states like Georgia, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Michigan, and Wisconsin — some of whom allege the former president and his cronies attempted to pressure them into manipulating election results. Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, whom Trump personally attempted to bully into “finding” the votes to give him the state, was among the first witnesses called to testify.

Trump’s behind-the-scenes words and actions in the aftermath of his election loss are also of interest to the department. Smith has issued subpoenas to a myriad of the former president’s advisers and staff, including former White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, in an attempt to gain deeper insight into the former president’s motivations, and his role in the escalating violence on Jan. 6.

CNN reported on Friday that Smith has been particularly interested in a meeting that took place in the Oval Office six weeks after Election Day. The meeting reportedly included Cipollone, Trump attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Sidey Powell, as well as former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Attendees reportedly discussed several desperate ploys to keep Trump in power, including seizing voting machines and invoking martial law.

The investigation also probed Trump’s firing of Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Director Christopher Krebs, who publicly resisted the former president’s claims that the election had been fraudulent.

Outside of Trump’s desperation to cling to power, Smith is eying financial gain as a potential motivator of Trump’s election lies. In April, The Washington Post reported that the probe had expanded to include allegations that Trump knowingly used false claims of election fraud to scam potential donors.

Who has the Justice Department interviewed for the Jan. 6 investigation?

So many people. From former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to Steve Bannon, to former Vice President Mike Pence, Smith’s investigation is casting a wide net over Trumpworld.

The attorneys who worked with the former president to level legal challenges against Biden’s presidential victory have faced heavy scrutiny from the DOJ. According to The Wall Street Journal, Smith has requested testimony from Rudy Giuliani, election conspiracy theorist Sidney Powell, and attorney Jenna Ellis — all members of Trump’s post-election legal team.

Giuliani reportedly gave more than eight hours of testimony to investigators, dishing on everything from Powell’s efforts to convince Trump to have the government seize voting machines, to pro-Trump attorney John Eastman’s efforts to orchestrate the fake electors scheme.

Eastman’s efforts were foiled by another (reluctant) witness for the special counsel: Mike Pence. The former vice president, who refused to illegally overthrow the election on behalf of his boss on Jan. 6, initially resisted Smith’s subpoena. It took a judge’s ruling to compel Pence to testify, although he was granted an exemption from directly discussing the events of Jan. 6, before he agreed to sit with prosecutors.

Aside from the major players, Smith is also looking to secure the cooperation of those who directly carried out the schemes to meddle with the election outcome. Last month, CNN reported that at least two fake electors had been granted immunity deals in exchange for testimony.

How has Trump responded to the Jan. 6 investigation?

Trump has responded with the unbridled public ire we’ve come to expect from the former president, and some not-so-covert digging to try and establish how screwed he might be.

Trump has publicly attacked Smith on Truth Social and at his public campaign events. Following his indictment and indictment in Smith’s Mar-a-Lago probe, Trump lost it on social media, calling the special counsel a “deranged ‘psycho’ that shouldn’t be involved in any case having to do with ‘Justice,’ other than to look at Biden as a criminal, which he is!”

Behind the scenes, the former president has been attempting to ascertain who in his orbit had flipped on him. As previously reported by Rolling Stone, Trump has sent his attorneys on a fact-finding mission to collect information on what exactly Mark Meadows has been telling investigators. Privately, his team now uses a rat emoji as shorthand for Meadows.

Will Trump be indicted again?

Trump’s stack of indictments could very well increase this summer, but someone else may beat Smith and the Justice Department to the punch. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who is running a separate investigation into election meddling in Georgia, is preparing to level her own indictments in August — and could very likely include the former president. In April, Willis sent a letter to local law enforcement advising that her summer indictment could “provoke a significant public reaction,” that would likely require “heightened security.”

There are not yet indicators that charges in relation to Smith’s election meddling investigation are imminent, but the special counsel has already proven he won’t pull his punches. Smith last month leveled 37 criminal counts against the former president related to his handling of classified documents.

The Mar-a-Lago documents case led to very clear signs that charges were incoming. Trump’s lawyers rushed to Washington, D.C., for last-minute negotiations, and Trump was served a letter notifying him that he was the subject of a criminal probe. He also, of course, posted about it on social media. Similar signals could predate an indictment in the election meddling probe.

https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/jan-6-investigation-trump-election-meddling-probe-explained-1234784856/

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Re: 1/6 Insurrection Investigation
« Reply #1416 on: July 12, 2023, 08:51:46 AM »


Offline Rick Plant

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Re: 1/6 Insurrection Investigation
« Reply #1417 on: July 13, 2023, 05:56:16 AM »
Brian Mock, a Minnesota man accused of assaulting & shoving police & taking police riot shield is found GUILTY by federal judge.

He had a prior conviction and had been accused in 2010 of directing gun at 3 kids.


Offline Rick Plant

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Re: 1/6 Insurrection Investigation
« Reply #1418 on: July 13, 2023, 08:19:12 AM »
NC man who slashed at cops with flagpole, gave Nazi salute, gets 38 months for Jan. 6 crime
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/nc-man-slashed-cops-flagpole-210426509.html


Jan. 6 rioter who beat cop with American flag pole and gave Nazi salute sentenced



Another Jan. 6 attacker was sent to prison on Tuesday, CBS News reporter Scott MacFarlane reported on Twitter.

Matthew Beddingfield showed up at the U.S. Capitol in 2021, swinging a flag pole at cops trying to hold back the crowds and throwing Nazi salutes.

According to the federal indictment: "Beddingfield was on Capitol grounds using a flagpole with the Star-Spangled Banner still attached to strike police officers who were attempting to protect the Capitol and those inside. After attacking the police officers with the flagpole, Beddingfield threw a piece of the broken flagpole at another officer. Beddingfield then faced the Capitol and made a gesture (one that is commonly associated with the Nazis), extending his arm and hand forward and at an upward angle."

The officer he attacked was Aquilino Gonell, who has spoken out about his experience that day. The officer resigned from the force last year citing his trauma. U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols allowed Gonell to speak ahead of sentencing

Reading his victim-impact statement, Gonell explained how Beddingfield “desecrated the American flag by using it as a weapon” against the officers, The Charlotte News Observer reported. He then turned a wooden post into a spear to stab Gonell in his thighs and groin, inflicting “excruciating pain.”

“The vicious hits by him kept coming until his flagpole bended (sic), nearly breaking (from) so many strikes he did on us,” Gonell wrote in the statement.

Beddingfield pleaded guilty on July 7 and was sentenced Tuesday.

Federal prosecutors had asked for a 42-month prison sentence, but the judge sent him to prison for 38 months.

Beddingfield was already out on bail when he went to the Capitol on Jan. 6. He was accused of shooting a teen in the head at a Walmart in Smithfield, NC. He said that he was being robbed when he shot.

Read More Here: https://www.wusa9.com/article/news/national/capitol-riots/capitol-rioter-with-adolescent-brain-sentenced-to-3-years-for-assaulting-police-matthew-beddingfield-north-carolina-nazi-salute/65-2d67bb55-3014-4bd0-b481-c39d7b6c2662


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Re: 1/6 Insurrection Investigation
« Reply #1418 on: July 13, 2023, 08:19:12 AM »


Offline Rick Plant

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Re: 1/6 Insurrection Investigation
« Reply #1419 on: July 13, 2023, 09:23:29 PM »
Months after seven Oath Keepers were given rather long prison sentences by the court system for their seditious conspiracy convictions, the DOJ is now asking the courts to go back and make those sentences even longer. On first blush it feels like the DOJ is simply trying to send a message: even Stewart Rhodes’ eighteen year prison sentence isn’t long enough for trying to overthrow the United States government. But the timing of the move makes it feel like there could be more to it.

We still don’t know what precise charges Jack Smith is planning to bring against Donald Trump and his co-conspirators in relation to January 6th, the fake elector scheme, and the overall attempt at overthrowing the 2020 election. But we do know that Jack Smith’s grand jury is back in session this week, doesn’t appear to be hearing from any witnesses, and may now be in the process of issuing indictments.

So what’s going on here? The DOJ certainly had to be hoping that getting convicted at trial and sent to prison for the majority of their remaining lifespan would have been enough to get at least some of these Oath Keepers to enter into cooperation agreements. But as far as anyone knows, none of them have. A handful of Oath Keepers flipped a long time ago. But the ones who decided to go to trial and got convicted are still sticking to their guns. This could be an attempt at pressuring these Oath Keepers into flipping on people like Roger Stone and Michael Flynn, at a time when the likes of Stone and Flynn may be on the verge of indictment.

On the other hand, if Jack Smith is indeed about to indict any political figures for seditious conspiracy, the DOJ could now be trying to set a precedent for just how serious of a charge seditious conspiracy is and just how harsh the punishment should be. It’s almost as if the DOJ is trying to say that if Stewart Rhodes should get longer than eighteen years in prison for trying to overthrow the government, so should Donald Trump when he gets to trial.

We’ll see where this goes. Sometimes things do happen out of pure coincidence. But we’re at a point where the DOJ is making the extraordinarily rare move of going back well after the fact and asking the courts to make existing prison sentences for seditious conspiracy longer, just as the DOJ appears to be preparing to indict bigger fish on charges along the lines of seditious conspiracy. The timing of all this is at least worth keeping an eye on.



Justice Dept to appeal length of prison sentences for Stewart Rhodes, Oath Keepers for Jan. 6 attack



The Justice Department plans to appeal the 18-year-prison sentence handed down for Stewart Rhodes, the founder of the far-right Oath Keepers, in the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol, as well as those of other Oath Keepers, because the terms were not as long as what prosecutors had sought, according to court papers filed Wednesday.

Although Rhodes received a lengthy sentence for seditious conspiracy and other convictions, the 18-year term was less than the 25 years the Justice Department had asked for in one of the most serious cases to go to trial in the Capitol riot and below the range recommended under federal guidelines. Still, Rhodes' sentence was the longest handed down so far in over 1,000 Capitol riot cases.

Defendants routinely appeal their convictions and sentences, but it is more unusual for prosecutors to challenge the length of a prison term imposed by judges who have wide discretion when handing down punishments.

Rhodes' attorney, James Lee Bright, called the government's decision to appeal "surprising." At his sentencing hearing in May, a defiant Rhodes claimed to be a "political prisoner," criticized prosecutors and the Biden administration and tried to play down his actions on Jan. 6.

The Justice Department filed notices in court that they they intend to appeal the sentences of other Oath Keepers, including Florida chapter leader Kelly Meggs, who was convicted of seditious conspiracy alongside Rhodes and sentenced to 12 years behind bars.

Three other Oath Keepers tried with Rhodes were acquitted of the sedition charge but convicted of other felonies. Four Oath Keepers were convicted of the seditious conspiracy charge at a second trial in January.

An attorney for Meggs declined to comment Wednesday.

In May, prosecutors had argued before U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta that Rhodes, who is 58, qualified for a more lengthy sentence under federal anti-terrorism laws given the "threat of harm and the historic significance" of his crimes. Mehta agreed to impose the terrorism enhancement, noting that Rhodes did not demonstrate "acceptance of responsibility" for his role in the attack. It was the first time the enhancement had been applied to a Jan. 6 defendant.

But the judge ultimately went below — in some cases far below — the sentence prosecutors were seeking for each defendant.

The Justice Department's announcement came after it suffered a rare setback in a related case involving Oath Keepers associates. A former "Jesus Christ Superstar" actor was acquitted Wednesday of conspiring with members of the far-right extremist group to obstruct Congress in the Capitol attack.

James Beeks — a former Oath Keeper and Florida resident who was playing Judas in the traveling production of the musical when he was arrested — was cleared of conspiracy to obstruct Congress' certification of the 2020 election and civil disorder after a trial in federal court.

Mehta, appointed to the bench by former President Obama, was also the judge in Beeks' case. He ruled Wednesday there was little evidence that Beeks actually planned ahead of Jan. 6 or was aware of the group's alleged conspiracy, according to WUSA Reporter Jordan Fischer. "I just can't get there based on this stipulated evidence," Mehta said, according to Fischer.

However, Mehta convicted Beeks' co-defendant, Ohio resident Donovan Crowl, of the same charges after hearing evidence without a jury. Crowl had pleaded not guilty.

Beeks is only the second Jan. 6 defendant to be acquitted of all charges after a trial. Beeks represented himself at trial, though he was assisted by a lawyer who served as stand-by counsel and delivered his closing argument. Approximately 100 others have been found guilty of at least one count after a trial decided by a jury or judge, and more than 600 have pleaded guilty.

Beeks and Crowl — who was a member of an Ohio militia — opted for what's known as a a stipulated bench trial, in which the defense and prosecutors agree to a set of facts and comply with a judge's decision on the defendants' guilt. Such trials allow defendants to admit to certain facts while maintaining a right to appeal any conviction.

Prosecutors had previously charged Beeks with other lower-level offenses, including illegally entering the Capitol. The pair had been indicted on multiple charges, but the parties agreed last week that the bench trial would only decide two felony counts — conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding and civil disorder. In exchange, the government dropped the remaining counts.

Prosecutors say Beeks and Crowl were part of a group of Oath Keepers wearing paramilitary gear who stormed the Capitol alongside the mob of Trump supporters. Beeks joined the Oath Keepers in December 2020 and drove to Washington from Florida before meeting up with a group of extremists ahead of the riot, prosecutors said.

Beeks, who was also a Michael Jackson impersonator, wore a jacket from Jackson's "Bad" World Tour along with a helmet and was carrying a homemade shield during the riot, according to court papers.

Mehta said Beeks — unlike other Oath Keepers charged with riot-related crimes — didn't post any messages on social media or exchange text messages with other extremists that could establish what his "state of mind" was leading up to the Capitol riot. The judge also cited a lack of evidence about what Beeks did inside the Capitol that could support a conviction for interfering with police.

"His actions must rise and fall on their own," the judge said.

Beeks was arrested in November 2021 while he was traveling in Milwaukee with the "Jesus Christ Superstar" tour. He told reporters after the verdict that it "feels like a huge burden" has been lifted of his shoulders.

He acknowledged that he had joined the Oath Keepers through the group's website but said he never met or communicated with any of his alleged co-conspirators before Jan. 6. He said never knew of any plan to attack the Capitol and mistakenly believed the Oath Keepers "were the good guys."

"I met up with the wrong people," he said. "I lost my whole career. (Jan. 6) is like a scarlet letter."

Crowl was part of the Ohio State Regular Militia led by Jessica Watkins, who was acquitted of seditious conspiracy but convicted of other serious charges in the trial alongside Rhodes. In December 2022, Crowl sent a message in a group chat that included Watkins that said "law abiding citizens are fix'n to 'act out of character'... Time for talk'in is over."

Crowl's attorney, Carmen Hernandez, said her client was exercising his First Amendment free speech rights on Jan. 6 without any intent to obstruct Congress from certifying President Joe Biden's 2020 electoral victory.

"His conduct was no different than that of many Americans who've gone to Congress to peacefully protest and have not been charged with felonies," Hernandez wrote in an email.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/justice-dept-appeal-stewart-rhodes-oath-keepers-jan-6-prison-sentences

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: 1/6 Insurrection Investigation
« Reply #1420 on: July 14, 2023, 08:11:26 AM »
There have been numerous signs this week that Jack Smith’s criminal indictment of Donald Trump for January 6th may be imminent. Smith’s grand jury has reportedly met at least twice this week, seemingly without hearing from any witnesses. And now the news broke today that Jared Kushner testified against Trump to the grand jury a month ago.

Now Trump is talking on his social media site like he expects to be imminently indicted again: “I never thought I would say that, as the leading political opponent of Crooked Joe Biden, getting Indicted and Arrested by sick government “Thugs” would be my great honor. I am doing it for our Country, to show how evil and sinister a place it has become.”

Did the DOJ just inform Trump that he’s being indicted again? Or is Trump simply reading the tea leaves after seeing the news break that his own family member has already testified against him? In any case, you only publicly declare that some punishment would be a “great honor” if you’ve given up any hope that you might avoid that punishment. Trump either expects, or knows, that he’s about to be indicted by Jack Smith again at any moment.



Special Counsel Jack Smith questioned Trump’s inner circle about 2020 election

Smith’s team reportedly asked witnesses – including the former president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner -- whether or not Trump acknowledged his loss in the days following the election.

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Re: 1/6 Insurrection Investigation
« Reply #1420 on: July 14, 2023, 08:11:26 AM »


Offline Rick Plant

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Re: 1/6 Insurrection Investigation
« Reply #1421 on: July 14, 2023, 08:21:59 AM »
Jared Kushner and Hope Hicks key to zeroing in on Trump's intent: ex-prosecutor



Two of Donald Trump's longtime top aides — his son-in-law Jared Kushner, and political adviser Hope Hicks, were interviewed by special counsel Jack Smith as part of the criminal investigation into the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. According to reports, Kushner told Smith that Trump genuinely believed the election had been stolen from him.

These interviews are massively important to establish the former president's intent, argued former federal prosecutor Jennifer Rodgers on CNN Thursday.

"How much of a window can prosecutors get on Trump's intent — key word, intent — on his in-laws like Jared Kushner, his son-in-law?" asked Wolf.

"They can get a lot," said Rodgers. "Also Hope Hicks. These are two of the people who were around him most in those days following the election and leading up to January 6th."

"There were others as well, Mark Meadows and others," Rodgers continued, "But these are two people who were often in the room, and so as Trump and his allies were discussing what to do now about the election, the fact that he lost, how they're going to move forward with the court cases and the other steps they ended up taking, they would be two of the people there listening to the back and forth. Really critical evidence about what the former president knew when they were making all of those plans."

All of this comes amid the backdrop of the federal case Smith brought against Trump, involving the alleged theft of classified documents, continuing to move ahead, with a back and forth between prosecutors and defense about when to hold the trial.

Watch:





Jared Kushner appears before federal grand jury

Former lead investigator for the Jan. 6 Select Committee Tim Heaphy, former Justice Department prosecutor Andrew Weissmann, and former acting U.S. Solicitor General Neal Katyal react to the breaking news that Jared Kushner testified to the Jan. 6 grand jury.

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'Host of federal crimes Trump could be charged with’: Co-creator of Jan. 6 prosecution memorandum

Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner has testified to the January 6th grand jury. More on this breaking news in the special counsel’s investigation into Donald Trump’s efforts to try to remain in power after his 2020 election loss.

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Offline Rick Plant

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Re: 1/6 Insurrection Investigation
« Reply #1422 on: July 14, 2023, 09:00:56 AM »
Feds will be seeking 15+ years in the Capitol siege case of Kyle Fitzsimons of Maine, arguing he was responsible for "five separate violent assaults against police officers during the brawl at the mouth of the tunnel”.

Fitzsimons wore a butcher coat while amid mob.


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Re: 1/6 Insurrection Investigation
« Reply #1422 on: July 14, 2023, 09:00:56 AM »


Online Richard Smith

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Re: 1/6 Insurrection Investigation
« Reply #1423 on: July 14, 2023, 01:50:20 PM »
After spending about one week the secret service has closed the cocaine investigation at the White House.  They can't solve it.  What a shock!  Nothing to see there.  Of course, if Trump had been in the WH there would have been armed raids, arrests, and interrogations of individuals.  Trump would have been impeached and indicted even if he had nothing to do with it.  But nothing to see here.  They also found marijuana but never told anyone.  No double standard of justice, however.  Just ask Wray and Garland.  Every Granny who was present on Jan. 6 has been investigated for years, placed in maximum security prisons.  But one week and done at the White House.