Joe Biden’s Justice Department notched another victory last week in the agency’s sprawling investigation into the January 6 protest on Capitol Hill against Biden’s presidency.
On Wednesday, Michael Curzio pleaded guilty to one count of parading, demonstrating, or picketing in the Capitol building. The government offered the plea deal to Curzio’s court-appointed attorney in June; Curzio faced four misdemeanor charges, including trespassing and disorderly conduct, for his role in the Capitol breach.
Curzio will pay the government “restitution” in the amount of $500 to help pay for the nearly $1.5 million in damages the building reportedly sustained. (The Architect of the Capitol initially said the protest caused $30 million in damages but prosecutors have set the figure far lower.)
The Department of Justice now says a DoJ court document claiming to have recovered a “fully constructed U.S. Capitol Lego set” from the home of a man charged in the Jan. 6 Capitol breach was “a miscommunication,” and the Lego set was actually unconstructed and in a box. Robert Morss, 27, is accused of leading fellow rioters in what prosecutors say was “one of the most intense and prolonged clashes” with officers on Jan. 6.
The new court filing said, “In original detention memoranda, the undersigned stated that law enforcement found a ‘fully constructed US Capitol Lego set.’ That statement appears to be inaccurate. The Lego set was in a box and not fully constructed at the time of the search.”
Once again, the Justice Department has had to admit that they lied about events surrounding January 6th. While the Lego lie may seem silly, it is part of a pattern that federal law enforcement has demonstrated in this case, and indeed over the past five years.
The House approved a resolution Wednesday to create a select committee into the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol weeks after Senate Republicans killed a bipartisan commission into it.
The bill authorizes House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to select eight members and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to select five in consultation with her. It passed 222 to 190, with two Republicans joining all Democrats in voting in favor.
Though the bill passed with bipartisan support, it was significantly less than the 35 House Republicans who voted for the bipartisan commission in May. House Republican leadership came out against the bill Tuesday, urging its caucus to vote no on the grounds that it would “pursue a partisan agenda and politicize the Jan. 6 attack.”
The widower of Ashi Babbitt, the Air Force veteran who was killed by a Capitol Police officer on January 6th, has filed a lawsuit seeking to finally uncover the name of the guilty officer, the New York Post reports.
Aaron Babbitt filed the lawsuit in the Washington D.C. Superior Court, demanding all information related to his wife’s murder, including video footage and statements from witnesses to the incident, in addition to seeking the identity of the officer who fired the fatal shot. Separately from this lawsuit, Babbitt’s family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit for $12 million against the Capitol Police, according to the Babbitt family’s attorney Terry Roberts.
Babbitt had previously filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), but the MPD failed to respond by the original May 12th deadline, by which time they either had to provide the material or give a formal response explaining why they could not hand over the materials.
Senate Republicans killed a bipartisan bill establishing a commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack at the Capitol, filibustering the first legislation since President Joe Biden took office after a multi-hour, overnight session pushed the vote back a day.
The bill failed 54 to 35, getting the support of six Republicans instead of the 10 that it needed to overcome the Senate’s 60-vote threshold required to begin debate. The bill would have established a 10-member, bipartisan commission into the Capitol riot, when pro-Trump rioters attempted to block Congress from certifying Biden’s victory.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell led the Republican opposition, and called the bill “slanted and unbalanced” last week.
A newly-obtained video shows United States Capitol Police officers speaking with several January 6 protestors—including Jacob Chansley, the so-called “Q shaman”—inside the Capitol that afternoon.
One officer, identified in the video and confirmed by charging documents as Officer Keith Robishaw, appears to tell Chansely’s group they won’t stop them from entering the building. “We’re not against . . . you need to show us . . . no attacking, no assault, remain calm,” Robishaw warns. Chansley and another protestor instruct the crowd to act peacefully. “This has to be peaceful,” Chansley yelled. “We have the right to peacefully assemble.”
In a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland, Representatives Chip Roy (R-Texas) and Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) asked for information about the Justice Department’s abusive investigation into January 6.
“Those that damaged property and assaulted police officers on January 6th should rightfully face justice,” the pair wrote in a letter sent May 14. “However, the public outcry and hyper-politicization of the events on January 6th may incentivize prosecutors to use overly aggressive tactics, overcharge, and abuse the power of the federal government in order to satisfy favored political groups.”
Roy and Massie asked Garland to schedule a briefing with Congress before the end of the month to address several concerns, including how plea deals are arranged, the FBI’s use of force in raiding the homes of nonviolent protesteors, and the Justice Department’s request to hold defendants behind bars pending trial. “[C]ongressional oversight of these prosecutions is essential as a check and balance on that power.”
The two top lawmakers on the House Homeland Security Committee reached an agreement Friday on legislation that would create a bipartisan, 9/11-style commission to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
The bill, authored by Mississippi Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson and New York Republican Rep. John Katko, is focused exclusively on the attack and not other episodes of political violence as multiple Republicans earlier insisted. Though it has the support of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, it is unclear whether Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and other members of his caucus support it.
“I haven’t read through it,” McCarthy told reporters when asked about the bill Friday morning.
Army veteran Denton Knapp has announced a bid for Wyoming’s one and only House seat, meaning that sitting Rep. Liz Cheney will face yet another challenger in the GOP primary.
Knapp, who graduated from Campbell County High School in Gillette, Wyoming, lives in California but is returning to the state, according to the Gillette News Record. He will face-off against multiple other Republicans who will also be competing in the contest.
Cheney, the House Republican Conference chairwoman, has been a vocal critic of former President Trump’s claim that the 2020 election was tainted by fraud. She was also one of 10 House Republicans to vote in favor of impeaching Trump in the wake of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
Two men have been arrested and charged with assaulting U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick during the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol Building. The men allegedly sprayed Sicknick with bear spray, but authorities have not determined whether the assault led to Sicknick’s death.
More lawmakers are backing an independent 9/11-style commission into the Capitol riot on Jan. 6 following the Senate’s acquittal of former President Donald Trump on a charge of inciting the deadly insurrection that took place.
Congressional investigations were already scheduled after this week’s recess, but lawmakers from both parties have called for a holistic investigation following Trump’s acquittal on Saturday afternoon. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also asked retired Army Gen. Russel Honoré in January to lead oversee a thorough review of the Capitol’s security in order to prevent something similar from occurring in the future.
More than a month after the siege on the U.S. Capitol, the Washington, D.C. medical examiner’s office says it does not know when it will reveal why Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick died after responding to the Jan. 6 melee.
“The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will release the cause and manner of death when this information is available,” spokesperson Cheryle Adams said in an email to Just the News.
Two veteran school bus drivers from a West Virginia school district have filed a civil lawsuit for suspensions related to their attendance at the January 6 Washington, DC protest.
Tina Renner and Pamela McDonald were suspended by Jefferson County Schools Superintendent Bondy Shay Gibson after receiving word the drivers had “posted threatening and inflammatory posts on their Facebook pages, had been present at the Electoral protest march on Wednesday that erupted in violence, and had violated […] leave policy.”
University of Louisville professor Ricky Jones wrote in an op-ed that Republicans should “be forced to shut the hell up” about the Capitol Hill attack unless they denounce their former support of President Donald Trump.
“Republicans, you should not be allowed to speak about being shocked by President Donald Trump or the recent right-wing raid in Washington, D.C., for your words ring hollow,” wrote Jones, who is the chair of the Pan-African Studies department.