Capitol insurrection

POLICE OFFICERS GIVE DRAMATIC TESTIMONY TO CONGRESSIONAL PANEL ON CAPITOL INSURRECTION

 

“This is how I am going to die.” – Capitol Police Officer and Army veteran Aquillino Gonell, on his thoughts after insurrectionists beat him, sprayed him with chemicals, and called for his execution.  

View video of full hearing: https://www.c-span.org/video/?513434-1/capitol-dc-police-testify-january-6-attack

By Miriam Raftery

July 28, 2021 (Washington D.C.) – Four l police officers gave emotional and at times, tearful testimony yesterday before the House select committee on the January 6 insurrection, revealing how the mob violently assaulted, tortured, and nearly killed law enforcement officers defending the Capitol 

The officers endured beatings, eye gouging, tasering to the head, death threats, and lasting injuries. Much of their testimony was backed up by newly released body cam video footage showing supporters of Donald Trump brutally attacking the officers, who implored Congressional members to assure that everyone responsible is held accountable.

The House committee includes Republicans Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, along with Democrats. Senate Republicans filibustered any effort to appoint an independent bipartisan commission as was done to investigate the 9/11 attacks, so Speaker Pelosi appointed members of both parties and invited House minority leader Kevin McCarthy to name additional members. But after Pelosi vetoed two of his six picks because of conflicts of interest, since the two could be called as witnesses and possible conspirators, McCarthy withdrew all six of his nominations and refused to name others.

Both McCarthy and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell have said they did not watch yesterday’s hearing, citing other business commitments. But for much of the nation that tuned in to watch, the evidence presented was deeply disturbing.

Below are highlights of the officers’ testimony:

OVER 100 ARRESTED AFTER CAPITOL INSURRECTION; HUNDREDS MORE UNDER INVESTIGATION

By Miriam Raftery

January 18, 2021 (Washington D.C.) – According to the U.S. Justice Dept., more than 100 people have been arrested for federal crimes related to the Capitol insurrection on charges ranging from possession of numerous bombs and other weapons to violent entry and disorderly conduct. 

The arrests include a heavily armed man who threatened to kill House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, another who left a note threatening Vice President Mike Pence, and others engaged in acts of violence  Another 275 people are reportedly under investigation related to the capitol insurrection.

The U.S. Justice Dept.has set up a website listing those charged to date. According to the federal site and media reports on CNN, The Hill and other major news outlets, the arrests include these suspects:

SAN DIEGO FBI ASKS PUBLIC HELP TO PREVENT VIOLENCE RELATED TO THE CAPITOL INSURRECTION AND INAUGURATION

By Miriam Raftery

 

January 17, 2021 (San Diego) – The FBI is seeking tips from the public to prevent violence locally related to the Capitol siege and potential violence related to the upcoming inauguration of President-Elect Joe Biden.

10 HOUSE REPUBLICANS JOIN DEMOCRATS, VOTE TO IMPEACH TRUMP FOR INCITING INSURRECTION

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left, cc by Tyler Merbler:tear gas during Capitol insurrection

January 13, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) – Donald Trump is now the only president in U.S. history to be impeached twice. Today, 10 Republicans including Liz Cheney, the third highest ranking Republican, joined with Democrats int voting to  impeach Trump for “incitement of insurrection.” The action comes after a violent mob stormed the capitol with intent to halt the certification of Joe Biden as president.

Five people died in the invasion of the Capitol, including a Capitol Police officer, and dozens of officers were injured.  Some chanted “death to Pence,” the Vice President; one of those arrested had a semi-automatic weapon and had posted his intent to assassinate House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. President Trump, at a rally at the White House ellipse just before the violent takeover, urged his supporters to march to the Capitol and “fight” to halt the vote, also accusing Pence of cowardice if he did not certify the vote. Pence later returned that night and voted to certify the election with Joe Biden the winner, as did the majority of legislators.

VOEPEL STATEMENTS ON CAPITOL INSURRECTION PROVOKE CALLS FOR EXPULSION OR RESIGNATION

By Miriam Raftery

Photo via a recent "Tea Time" video for the Tea Party on Assemblyman Voepel's Facebook page

January 13, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) --  Days after insurrectionists violently took over the nation’s capitol, threatening lives of legislators and resulting in five deaths including a police officer, statements made by East County Assemblyman Randy Voepel are drawing sharp criticisms, including calls for his resignation or expulsion from the Legislature.

Voepel, also a former Santee Mayor, said of the insurrection, “This is Lexington and Concord. First shots fired against tyranny. Tyranny will follow in the aftermath of the Biden swear-in on January 20," the San Diego Union-Tribune reported on January 10.

That prompted numerous posts on the Republican Assemblyman’s Facebook page overwhelmingly condemning his statements, including several calls for him to resign and an organization that promotes national security after 9/11 urging the Legislature to expel Voepel.

EX-GOV. SCHWARZENEGGER: TRUMP SOUGHT “COUP”, LIKENS CAPITOL INSURRECTION TO NAZIS IN HIS NATIVE AUSTRIA

 

View Schwarzenegger’s video: https://youtu.be/x_P-0I6sAck

By Miriam Raftery

Rebecca Jefferis Williamson contributed to this story.

January 13, 2021 – California’s former Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, an Austrian immigrant, delivered a powerful video message  in response to the insurrection at out nation’s capitol this week.  He likened it to Kristallnact, a night of rampage in his native Austria carried out against Jews by the “Nazi equivalent of the Proud Boys.” 

In an emotional tone, Schwarzenegger warned of where such actions can lead if left unchecked. He recalled growing up “in the ruins of a country that suffered the loss of its democracy,” adding, “Growing up, I was surrounded by broken men, drinking away their guilt over their participation in the most evil regime in history.”  That included his own father and neighbors.

He recalled that it all started with “lies and intolerance” and warned that this could happen here. He blamed President Donald Trump for spreading lies to try and overturn “a fair election” adding. “He sought a coup by misleading people with lies.”

WOMAN KILLED STORMING CAPITOL HAD SPRING VALLEY TIES

By Miriam Raftery

January 7, 2021 (Spring Valley) – A woman shot and killed by police while breaking into the Speaker's gallery inside the U.S. Capitol during yesterday’s insurrection has been identified as Ashli Babbitt. An Air Force veteran describe by KUSI as a “high level security officer” during her military service, Babbitt was the CEO of Fowler’s Pool Service & Supply in Spring Valley, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.  10 News reports that she grew up in Lakeside.

Although some sites have described her as an "unarmed protester," her documented actions went far beyond Constitutionally protected protest activities. The New York Post has published video showing the moment when Babbitt was shot while climbing through a broken window in the Capitol, attempting to illegally access the House chamber where Congressional members were holding a hearing on certifying the Electoral College votes from the presidential election.  (Warning: graphic content).

The video shows armed officers rushing up stairs into a crowd of insurrectionists intent on disrupting the peaceful transfer of power process, many wearing MAGA hats as they attempt to break down a barricaded set of doors. The crowd lifted up Babbitt, who was wearing a backpack with a flag as she attempted to climb through a broken window in one of the doors, when she was shot by law enforcement.