15 votes

Daily thread - United States 2021 transition of power - January 19

This thread is posted daily - please try to post all relevant US political content in here, such as news, updates, opinion articles, etc. Extremely significant events may warrant a separate topic, but almost all should be posted in here.

This is an inherently political thread; please try to avoid antagonistic arguments and bickering matches. Comment threads that devolve into unproductive arguments may be removed so that the overall topic is able to continue.

32 comments

  1. dubteedub
    Link
    So this seems like it has been under-reported so far, but our Park Police were also overwhelmed by rioters on the 6th as well. Park Police Officers Worried That Chronic Understaffing Could...

    So this seems like it has been under-reported so far, but our Park Police were also overwhelmed by rioters on the 6th as well.

    A few hours before hundreds of President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the nation’s Capitol on Jan. 6, a group of about 150 people breached a barrier around the base of the Washington Monument. Vastly outnumbered by the agitated throng, a clutch of US Park Police officers on the scene retreated into the visitor center at the towering obelisk’s base, locking the door behind them as the loud mob furiously beat on the plate glass windows.

    Huddled inside with a man they had arrested, the dozen or so officers were eventually rescued by another group of Park Police who arrived on horseback and let them out a back door. Soon thereafter, as the unsettled cops were regrouping outside, an urgent call came in to send reinforcements to the Capitol building, where the crowd was building up with alarming speed and volatility.

    The Park Police quickly complied, but officers on hand that day said the department was only able to send a small group to the Capitol — certainly not enough, they claim, to have made a measurable difference in the disastrous events that followed.

    14 votes
  2. [3]
    dubteedub
    Link
    Two Army National Guard members removed from inauguration duty I am sure this is just the tip of the iceberg since white supremacist groups have been actively infiltrating the military for years...

    Two Army National Guard members were removed from inauguration duty as part of the security vetting process to ensure troops do not have ties to extremist groups, a defense official confirmed to CNN.

    I am sure this is just the tip of the iceberg since white supremacist groups have been actively infiltrating the military for years and years for training and access to weapons.

    13 votes
    1. [2]
      suspended
      Link Parent
      I'm seeing reports that the number of National Guard members removed is now 12.

      I'm seeing reports that the number of National Guard members removed is now 12.

      10 votes
      1. just_a_salmon
        Link Parent
        Here you go, I came across it a minute ago. The summary is that two were removed due to inappropriate comments via text message, and the other ten were removed due to personal history. There’s no...

        Here you go, I came across it a minute ago.

        The summary is that two were removed due to inappropriate comments via text message, and the other ten were removed due to personal history. There’s no description of what about those histories prompted this.

        7 votes
  3. spit-evil-olive-tips
    Link
    Texas man at Capitol riot allegedly threatened to kill his kids if they turned him in

    Texas man at Capitol riot allegedly threatened to kill his kids if they turned him in

    Two days after Guy Reffitt joined the rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, federal officials said, he returned home to Wylie, Tex., and proudly told his family of his escapade. But by Jan. 11, when Reffitt learned the FBI was on to him, he changed his tune, according to an affidavit.

    “If you turn me in, you’re a traitor and you know what happens to traitors … traitors get shot,” Reffitt, 48, said to his son and daughter, according to his wife, who recounted the conversation to the FBI, which did not name the relatives.

    11 votes
  4. [6]
    dubteedub
    Link
    Building on the update from last week on the suspicion that the attack on January 6th was an inside job, possibly including some members of Congress, two Democratic Representatives has now accused...

    Building on the update from last week on the suspicion that the attack on January 6th was an inside job, possibly including some members of Congress, two Democratic Representatives has now accused GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert specifically of giving Capitol tours to a large group the day before the riots.

    Now, two Democratic lawmakers say they personally saw one Republican — Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado — with a “large” group in a tunnel connected to the Capitol days before the attempted insurrection that left four rioters and one police officer dead.

    Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) said on Monday that he and Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) had both seen Boebert in the tunnel outside the Cannon House Office Building with a group sometime in the three days before the riots. He said he didn’t know who was in the group or if anyone with Boebert later participated in the attack.

    11 votes
    1. [5]
      MimicSquid
      Link Parent
      She was also the person who was livetweeting the Speaker's whereabouts during the attack.

      Lauren Boebert

      She was also the person who was livetweeting the Speaker's whereabouts during the attack.

      13 votes
      1. [4]
        dubteedub
        Link Parent
        Yup, I discussed that in my original update linked from the 13th. Before being sworn in she has also declared that she will carry her gun in and around the Capitol. In ad, lawmaker vows to carry...

        Yup, I discussed that in my original update linked from the 13th.

        Before being sworn in she has also declared that she will carry her gun in and around the Capitol.

        Then following the terrorist attack on the 6th Beobert set off the new metal detectors that were set up in the Capitol and refused to let Capitol Police search her handbag.

        "There have been increasing tensions with certain incoming freshmen for months, who have been insistent on bringing firearms in violation of law and guidelines," one House Democrat said, in a reference to Republican Reps. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina and others.

        Boebert was filmed in a campaign advertisement vowing to carry her Glock handgun around Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. and has said she would carry her gun to Congress. The District has strict gun laws and Washington's police chief has warned the congresswoman that she is subject to the same laws as everyone else in the nation's capital.

        Boebert set off the metal detectors and initially refused to show police what was in her bag. She was eventually allowed into the chamber.

        She has also been temporarily suspended from Twitter for posting election misinfo and encouraging violence, she has a long history of associating with militia groups, and her comms director has already resigned. Oh and of course she is a strong Qanon conspiracy theorists whacko.

        Beobert should be expelled from Congress, along with her other Qanon supporting cohorts.

        14 votes
        1. [3]
          Omnicrola
          Link Parent
          To refresh my own memory, I looked up the requirements to expel a member of Congress. Which is pretty simple as it turns out:

          Beobert should be expelled

          To refresh my own memory, I looked up the requirements to expel a member of Congress. Which is pretty simple as it turns out:

          Article I, Section 5, of the United States Constitution provides that "Each House [of Congress] may determine the Rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member." Since 1789, the Senate has expelled only fifteen of its entire membership.

          10 votes
          1. [2]
            emdash
            Link Parent
            What's the likelihood of this actually happening, and does it have any permanent consequences or is it mostly a procedural thing?

            What's the likelihood of this actually happening, and does it have any permanent consequences or is it mostly a procedural thing?

            6 votes
            1. Omnicrola
              Link Parent
              Unclear. The linked page has descriptions of the few (16) times that Congress has actually done it. 10 at one time because the Civil War happened. The most recent one was in 1906 for essentially...

              Unclear. The linked page has descriptions of the few (16) times that Congress has actually done it. 10 at one time because the Civil War happened. The most recent one was in 1906 for essentially flagrantly asking for money to legislature on a company's behalf.

              5 votes
  5. RapidEyeMovement
    (edited )
    Link
    During senate confirmation hearing of Avril Haines , nominee for Director of National Intelligence , in response to Sen. Dianne Feinstein question about domestic terrorism, Haines confirms...

    During senate confirmation hearing of Avril Haines , nominee for Director of National Intelligence , in response to Sen. Dianne Feinstein question about domestic terrorism, Haines confirms international connections to white nationalist.
    Live hearing Link

    Feinstein: The world has seen firsthand the radicalization of significant numbers of Americans, who believe that the election was rigged and some have sought to reverse its legitimate results by force. I for one am concerned about the threat in DC and across the country how would you, if confirmed, approach the issue of right wing domestic terrorism

    Haines: Thank you senator...recognized that this is a major issue for the country. The intelligence community, of course, would not be on the lead on an issue such as (solely) domestic terrorism. That this is something I would expect the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security to be focused on, but the intelligence community can provide them with support with these issues, critical support I hope, support both in terms of identifying connections between domestic terrorist and international terrorist actors. In the context of White Nationalism for example as you pointed out we have seen, as I understand it, some connections... , I need, if confirmed, to get in the job and actually get better informed based on classified information that is available on these questions. but ahh, I do understand that there are some international connections and this is an area we can provide some support to them on.

    10 votes
  6. [2]
    spit-evil-olive-tips
    Link
    Twitter thread: Good afternoon, followers of frivolous election litigation. There's a last-minute entry in the competition for dumbest pre-inauguration lawsuit - a totally loony effort to...

    Twitter thread:

    Good afternoon, followers of frivolous election litigation. There's a last-minute entry in the competition for dumbest pre-inauguration lawsuit - a totally loony effort to apparently leave the entire USA without a government.

    Link to the lawsuit in question (54 page pdf)

    Boils down to "the entire election violated the 2002 Help America Vote Act, therefore the entire election needs a do-over".

    The truth of the allegations set forth herein compels the shocking conclusion that every member of currently-seated 117th U.S. Congress and the President-Elect, who is scheduled to be sworn in this coming Wednesday, January 20th, were not legitimately elected because the People of the United States were given ballots that were patently illegal under federal law, namely HAVA. Therefore, the entire 117th Congress is illegitimate and all actions taken since January 3, 2021, including the counting of the Electoral College votes and confirmation of Joseph Biden as President-Elect and the impeachment of President Donald J. Trump are null and void.

    Somehow Mark Zuckerberg is named as a defendant, along with the usual suspects (Pelosi, Schumer, McConnell). Also...every member of Congress and the state governors of multiple states.

    A huge portion of the lawsuit is simply copy-pasted from Ballotpedia's summary of what states changed in response to voting under covid conditions

    10 votes
    1. MonkeyPants
      Link Parent
      That is the most epic Mulligan I have ever seen in my life. As stated in Law and Crime

      That is the most epic Mulligan I have ever seen in my life.

      As stated in Law and Crime

      [The attorney] Davis was fired by Goosehead Insurance the day after he placed himself at the scene of the storming of the U.S. Capitol.

      In the video Davis posted, he said he was trying to get public officials to “audit” the vote of the 2020 presidential election. He said he was tear-gassed by police, but claimed he didn’t actually “storm” the Capitol.

      “We’re all trying to get into the Capitol to stop this,” he said. “And this is what’s happening. They’re tear-gassing us, and this is not acceptable–not acceptable. People are not going to stand for this.”

      Davis later denied wrongdoing in a post to Instagram.

      “For those of you claiming I was trying to ‘storm the Capitol,’ it’s obvious from my entire story that I was peacefully demonstrating,” he wrote. “They gassed the entire crowd that was standing there with me. I was not trying to break in. Was just talking to the police officers and praying over them.”

      In a follow-up post, he said he did not intend anything violent by saying they were “trying to get into the capitol,” but that he was discussing a protest.

      “The Twitter video is out of context, just like they do to all conservative patriots,” he said.

      Davis, who is representing Latinos for Trump, Blacks for Trump, and Joshua Macias, claimed that his lawsuit will be taken out of context by the media in the same way. Davis, preemptively blaming the media for rejecting the idea the 2020 election and the entire Congress is illegitimate, asserts that his lawsuit isn’t trying to destroy democracy but to save it:

      3 votes
  7. Icarus
    Link
    Kevin McCarthy warning Republican lawmakers to not call out other legislators (Republican or Democrat) for fear of inciting violence against them

    Kevin McCarthy warning Republican lawmakers to not call out other legislators (Republican or Democrat) for fear of inciting violence against them

    “Later after this call, I’m going to get another briefing from the FBI. and it doesn’t matter which side of the position you were -- I respect it, I respect why you did what you did. But what we’re saying on television when we say a member’s name … everybody has done something. This is not the moment in time to do it. The briefings that I’m getting, you can incite something else. … I get these reports on a weekly basis, I’ve seen something I haven’t seen before. … Do not raise another members’ name on television, even if they are in a different position or not. …

    “What you say matters. Let’s not put other people in danger. Let’s watch what words we’re using and let’s definitely not be using other members’ names in any media.”

    9 votes
  8. [2]
    suspended
    Link
    The Complete List of Trump’s Twitter Insults (2015-2021)
    9 votes
    1. kfwyre
      Link Parent
      This is a breathtaking collage of character (or, more specifically, a lack thereof). It really shows how low Trump has dropped the bar for Presidential behavior. It's also a good indicator of how...

      This is a breathtaking collage of character (or, more specifically, a lack thereof). It really shows how low Trump has dropped the bar for Presidential behavior.

      It's also a good indicator of how he drives talking points through sheer repetition alone. Say something enough times, with conviction and the implicit authority of power, and people will undoubtedly believe you.

      13 votes
  9. cfabbro
    Link
    Riley June Williams arrested: Allegedly stole Pelosi’s laptop, planned to sell it to Russia cc: @spit-evil-olive-tips, since you posted the initial report yesterday

    Riley June Williams arrested: Allegedly stole Pelosi’s laptop, planned to sell it to Russia

    Riley June Williams was arrested Monday, according to a Justice Department official. It’s not yet known when her initial court appearance will be.

    The FBI said in an arrest warrant Sunday that Williams hasn’t been charged with theft but only with illegally entering the Capitol and with disorderly conduct.

    FBI officials said a caller claiming to be an ex of Williams said friends of hers showed him a video of her taking a laptop computer or hard drive from Pelosi’s office. The caller alleged that she intended to send the device to a friend in Russia who planned to sell it to that country’s foreign intelligence service, but that plan fell through and she either has the device or destroyed it. The FBI says the matter remains under investigation.

    Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff, Drew Hammill, confirmed Jan. 8 that a laptop was taken from a conference room but said “it was a laptop that was only used for presentations.”

    Williams’ mother told local law enforcement that her daughter packed a bag and left before she was arrested, saying she would be gone for a couple of weeks. She also changed her phone number and deleted a number of social media accounts, the FBI said. Court documents don’t list an attorney for her.

    cc: @spit-evil-olive-tips, since you posted the initial report yesterday

    6 votes
  10. boredop
    Link
    Biden's public schedule for inauguration day, via Daniel Dale on Twitter. I have to admit, I found it rather calming to read this. It almost looks ... normal.

    Biden's public schedule for inauguration day, via Daniel Dale on Twitter. I have to admit, I found it rather calming to read this. It almost looks ... normal.

    6 votes
  11. skybrian
    Link
    House security chief said lawmaker wariness of military at Capitol drove his resistance to early request for National Guard [...] [...] [...]

    House security chief said lawmaker wariness of military at Capitol drove his resistance to early request for National Guard

    “There’s a reality there — the leaders of the House and the Senate don’t want the military up there. They don’t want to show they can’t control their own turf,” said Bill Pickle, who served as the Senate sergeant-at-arms from 2003 to 2007 and spoke to The Washington Post at Irving’s request.

    Pickle confirmed the account of former Capitol Police chief Steven Sund, who previously told The Post that when he suggested bringing in the Guard, Irving responded that he was concerned about the “optics” of such a move. Irving did not consult first with his boss, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), but thought he was reflecting her likely response, Pickle said.

    [...]

    Past attempts by congressional security chiefs to bolster the Capitol’s defenses were shot down by members of Congress who did not want to restrict access to the seat of American democracy.

    [...]

    Irving and Stenger were surprised, Pickle said, when they issued an urgent request for the National Guard as rioters lay siege to the building and the Defense Department did not immediately approve the request.

    [...]

    Pentagon officials have said that congressional officials did not formally request military assistance in advance and that they moved as quickly as possible that day, noting that the National Guard is not designed to be a rapid-response unit.

    3 votes
  12. [2]
    spit-evil-olive-tips
    Link
    Buzzfeed listicle, but: 82 Stupid Things From The Trump Era You Probably Forgot About
    2 votes
    1. Akir
      Link Parent
      Would it be a faux pas if I admitted that the simple childishness of all of this made me feel a little better about where we are right now?

      Would it be a faux pas if I admitted that the simple childishness of all of this made me feel a little better about where we are right now?

      3 votes
  13. [4]
    Kuromantis
    Link
    Can the 20th thread be posted earlier? This thread pops up at noon where I live at -3 (or 9 AM UTC), but Biden's inauguration is at noon at -5 (or 7AM UTC), a full 2 hours before the megathread.

    Can the 20th thread be posted earlier? This thread pops up at noon where I live at -3 (or 9 AM UTC), but Biden's inauguration is at noon at -5 (or 7AM UTC), a full 2 hours before the megathread.

    6 votes
    1. [2]
      Deimos
      Link Parent
      You did the math backwards. Noon in UTC-5 is 17:00 UTC (add 5, don't subtract 5), and this thread is posted every day at 15:00 UTC. @cfabbro

      You did the math backwards. Noon in UTC-5 is 17:00 UTC (add 5, don't subtract 5), and this thread is posted every day at 15:00 UTC.

      @cfabbro

      4 votes
      1. Kuromantis
        Link Parent
        Oh, whoops. Given the tweet boredop posted says Biden's public activities begin at 8:45 EST (so 13:45 UTC), it might be worth doing it anyway, even if just for a few hours for people to say what...

        Oh, whoops. Given the tweet boredop posted says Biden's public activities begin at 8:45 EST (so 13:45 UTC), it might be worth doing it anyway, even if just for a few hours for people to say what they are all feeling.

        2 votes
    2. cfabbro
      Link Parent
      Yeah, syncing it better with the inauguration is probably a good idea. Would you mind tweaking it a bit, @Deimos?

      Yeah, syncing it better with the inauguration is probably a good idea. Would you mind tweaking it a bit, @Deimos?

      3 votes