The judicial police and the U.S. Attorney’s Office have launched an exhaustive investigation into how the insurrection that led to the looting of the Capitol and the death of five people was prepared and executed, in the face of growing evidence that that violent assault was not spontaneous, but was prepared over weeks, and largely openly on internet forums. There are currently 60 defendants, some 20 of whom are facing federal charges for the violent assault on the Capitol, which given the evidence being amassed by the prosecution and the FBI was much more serious than it first appeared.
In several internet forums, accessible to anyone, there are messages from the past few weeks calling on supporters of Donald Trump to descend on Washington, the federal capital, on January 6 to abort the validation of Joe Biden’s victory in the November elections. According to several messages analyzed and revealed by the group Site, a specialist in web extremism, the plan was to take over the Capitol and handcuff the vice president and the Democratic leaders. That is why several of the detainees appear in images taken on the day of the assault with plastic bracelets or handcuffs. The masses, when they assaulted the Senate, shouted “hang Mike Pence,” the name of the Vice President.
A careful analysis of the images of the takeover of the Capitol reveals that there were commandos of men in bulletproof vests, dressed in camouflage, carrying loads to force the doors of the building. Several of them were armed, although they had their weapons hidden under their clothes, as required by law in the federal capital. Others carried wooden and metal sticks. A police officer, Brian D. Sicknick, died in the struggle after being hit on the head with a fire extinguisher. Another appears in some images crushed until blood comes out of his mouth, and is in serious condition. Later, the police found improvised bombs in front of the Democratic and Republican Party headquarters. Sicknick was buried yesterday, and the president finally accepted that the flags in the White House would fly at half-mast in honor of that murdered agent.
Police officers arrested Cleveland Grover Meredith, who had traveled to Washington from the state of Georgia with two guns, on Jan. 7 and said in a text message that he was preparing to shoot Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi. Pelosi’s office was ransacked, and a laptop computer was taken from her, among other things. Already arrested and charged is Richard Barnett, 60, of Arkansas, who entered the office, sat down in a chair and put his feet up on the table, before taking some envelopes. Also arrested in Florida is Adam Johnson, 36, who took the lectern Pelosi uses to hold her press conferences on Capitol Hill.
According to Rita Katz, director of the group Site, the organization of the assault began after a message from President Trump on Twitter on December 19, in which he said: “Big protest in Washington on January 6. Come on, it’s going to be brutal. According to Katz, “It is amazing that the police were not better prepared, given the clear and explicit warnings from Trump’s supporters, who expressed their intention to surround and assault Congress and use handcuffs and braces, and their clear plans in public forums and the recent precedent of a plot to storm Michigan’s Capitol.
Internal Affairs is also investigating the actions of the Capitol police, given several videos showing officers letting assailants through, although others show clear signs of struggle. At the request of political leaders, Capitol Police Chief Steven A. Sund and House Sergeant-at-Arms, a position dedicated to ensuring order during plenaries and hitherto held by Paul D. Irving, have resigned.
Of the more than fifty people arrested for the violent assault on the Capitol, several are police officers. Various security forces in states such as California, Washington, Texas and New Hampshire have initiated disciplinary proceedings upon receiving information that several of their agents had attended the protest in the capital. The weekend also saw the resignation of a state representative from West Virginia, Republican Derrick Evans, who participated in the insurrection and recorded himself entering the Capitol with the rest of the assailants.
Since the day of the insurrection, the question is whether President Trump faces criminal charges for inviting the protesters he gathered in front of the White House to surround Congress. His lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, said at the same rally, “This will be decided in a fight. A few hours later there were five dead. On Thursday, U.S. Attorney Michael Sherwin said in a conference call that he is considering filing charges against the president. However, the next day a Justice Department spokesman said that at the moment that is not a path they are following.
The Democrats, for their part, continue with plans to impeach the president. The charges will be filed this Monday, and the deputies plan to vote on Wednesday. Thus, Trump would be the only president in history to have been impeached twice, even though the Senate has not removed him from office. More and more Republicans have joined in the calls for Trump to leave office. Pennsylvania Republican Senator Pat Toomey said yesterday in an interview on CNN that Trump must resign and that he also faces criminal charges for inciting the mob to storm the Capitol.