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If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.
18 USC Ch. 115 §2384. Seditious conspiracy

Trump's Sedition 2021

Legendary actor Jon Voight, 81, father of actress Angelina Jolie, uploaded a pro-Trump video to his Twitter account on Nov 10, 2020: "My fellow Americans, I stand here with all who feel as I do: disgusted with this lie that Biden has been chosen, as if we all don't know the truth. And when one tries to deceive, we know that one can't get away with it. There will be a price to pay. The ones who are jumping for joy now are jumping toward the horror they will be in for, because I know that the promises being made from the Left to the American people will never come to be. My friends of all colors, races, and religions, this is now our greatest fight since the Civil War: the battle of Righteousness versus Satan. Yes, Satan! Because these leftists are evil, corrupt, and they want to tear down this nation. We must not allow this. We must fight this corruption that has taken over, and fight for the good that seems lost. Let us give our trust to God, and fight now for Trump's victory, because we all know this ballot count is corruption, like they are. So let us not back down. Let us fight this fight as if it is our last fight on Earth. As Muhammad Ali said, 'It's not over until the last punch you have.' God bless."

The aftermath of the 2020 presidential election contributed to an environment where civil disturbance activity was almost certain to continue to persist. Heightened anxieties attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing unrest increased the possibility of nationwide civil disturbance. There were multiple ways that protest activity could play out such as large-scale protests that escalate to riots, looting, or criminal activity.

While the election finished, a large segment of the population viewed the results as invalid or fraudulent. Conspiracy theories, amplified by social media echo chambers, both increased the potential for civil disturbance activity and intensified the level of civil disturbance activity as well. The observed nature of modern-day protest and civil disturbance activity is meant to cause disruption of day-to-day activities in support of whatever cause is being championed. Discussions and planning often include use of various social media sites with emphasis on hashtags to coordinate and raise awareness, as well as encrypted communications apps such as Signal and WhatsApp to avoid monitoring by both law enforcement and counter protest groups.

US President Donald Trump in a statement on 07 November 2020 said the US presidential election is not over despite several media outlets projecting Democratic nominee Joe Biden as the winner. "We all know why Joe Biden is rushing to falsely pose as the winner, and why his media allies are trying so hard to help him: they don’t want the truth to be exposed," Trump said in the statement. "The simple fact is this election is far from over. Joe Biden has not been certified as the winner of any states, let alone any of the highly contested states headed for mandatory recounts, or states where our campaign has valid and legitimate legal challenges that could determine the ultimate victor."

Administrator Emily W. Murphy was nominated by President Donald J. Trump to lead the U.S. General Services Administration. She was confirmed unanimously by the U.S. Senate and sworn in as the administrator of GSA on December 12, 2017. She initially refused to sign off on the necessary paperwork to begin the transition process that would officially hands over millions of dollars to the transition team of the incoming administration, and grant access to government officials, office space in agencies, and equipment. The Presidential Transition Act of 1963 is the law which governs the process by which an incoming administration gradually assumes the reins of power. It states that a candidate becomes ‘president-elect’ when the GSA administration - in this case, Murphy - ascertains that it is ‘apparent’ they have won a majority of electoral college votes.

Trump’s re-election campaign on 09 November 2020 filed a lawsuit in Pennsylvania alleging the creation and implementation of an illegal “two-tiered” voting system for the 2020 General Election. Pennsylvania's “two-track” system resulted in voters being held to different standards depending on how they chose to exercise their right to vote. The suit claimed this two-tracked system resulted in two Constitutional violations: 1) Equal Protection Clause violation, and 2) Elections and Electors Clauses violation.

“The idea that a sitting president would try to...pressure, cajole, persuade state legislators to dismiss the will of their voters...is completely inconsistent with any kind of truly democratic society." Senator Pat Toomey (R, PA). Across an amazing broad political spectrum, observers saw Trump’s refusal to concede the election results as absurde. In the reliably right wing Washington Examiner, Timothy Carney wrote, “Trump is a con man, and his insistence that he can overturn the election is his latest grift.” In reliably left wing The Nation, Jeet Heer argued that, while Trump’s behavior is concerning, “it is very different than a coup. It is more accurately viewed as a cover-up,” adding that Trump is “interested in keeping his con game afloat.” NBCNews reported Trump was worried that his campaign’s legal team, which is being led by his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, is comprised of “fools that are making him look bad”.

The General Services Administration informed President-elect Joe Biden 23 November 2020 that the Trump administration was ready to begin the formal transition process, according to a letter from Administrator Emily Murphy. The letter was the first step the administration had taken to acknowledge President Donald Trump's defeat, more than two weeks after Biden was declared the winner in the election.

"I want to thank Emily Murphy at GSA for her steadfast dedication and loyalty to our Country. She has been harassed, threatened, and abused -- and I do not want to see this happen to her, her family, or employees of GSA. Our case STRONGLY continues, we will keep up the good fight, and I believe we will prevail!" Trump tweeted.

President-elect Joe Biden delivered a forceful rebuke on 14 December 2020 to Donald Trump's attacks on the legitimacy of his victory, hours after winning the state-by-state Electoral College vote that officially determines the U.S. presidency. "In this battle for the soul of America, democracy prevailed," Biden said in a prime-time speech from his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware. "Now it's time to turn the page, as we've done throughout our history – to unite, to heal."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a speech in the chamber on 15 December 2020 that he wanted to "congratulate President-elect Joe Biden." The remark came one day after the Electoral College vote officially confirmed Biden's victory. After the speech, the two spoke over the phone. Biden told reporters that they "had a good conversation." He also said, "although we disagree on a lot of things, there are things we can work together on." Few Republican members of Congress have accepted the election result because of Trump's allegations of voter fraud and unsuccessful legal fight to overturn the outcome.

“Big protest in D.C. on January 6th,” Trump tweeted on Dec. 19, just one of several of his tweets promoting the day. “Be there, will be wild!”

Supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol to stop Congress from certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s election victory. Trump and his supporters had proclaimed Jan. 6, 2021, as a day of reckoning. A day to gather in Washington to “save America” and “stop the steal” of the election he had decisively lost. Calls for violence against members of Congress and for pro-Trump movements to retake the Capitol building had been circulating online for months, bolstered by Trump, who had courted fringe movements like QAnon and the Proud Boys. Trump's Deputy Chief of Staff tweeted 02 January 2021, calling on people to "Join the March" (not attend the rally) to "be a part of history."

Plans by Trump supporters to march on Washington, DC, and storm the Capitol on January 6 were shared widely on social networks in recent weeks, including TikTok, Twitter and The Donald, a forum for Trump supporters. However, when the day came, police presence outside the Capitol building was not reinforced. Videos of the incident show throngs of Trump supporters overpowering police barricades, as well as sharing friendly interactions with officers, leading many to wonder why police failed to prevent the siege.

Trump encouraged his supporters to confront Republican lawmakers going against him to side with the Constitution. “We will never concede,” Trump said at the rally, "... you will never take back our country with weakness”. Trump did not in fact accompany the supporters he pressed to fight for him. “We will never give up,” Trump declared. “We will never concede. It doesn’t happen. You don’t concede when there’s theft involved. Our country has had enough. We will not take it anymore, and that’s what this is all about.”

Donald Trump Jr., Giuliani, even the president of the United States, were calling on their supporters and hate groups to go to the Capitol and in the words of Rudy Giuliani "exercise combat justice".

Trump told supporters he vowed to “stop the steal” and renewed pressure on Vice President Mike Pence to “do the right thing” and decertify the results of the election. Pence released a letter saying he did not have the power to do what the president wanted him to do. “Vesting the vice president with unilateral authority to decide presidential contests would be entirely antithetical” to the constitutional design, he wrote.

“Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth!” Trump wrote on Twitter. Trump initially rebuffed and resisted requests to mobilize the National Guard.

“After this, we’re going to walk down — I’ll be with you — we’re going to walk down to the Capitol and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women and we’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them, because you’ll never take back our country with weakness,” Trump said. “You have to show strength and you have to be strong". The president told his supporters to “peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.” Despite promising "I’ll be with you", Trump returned to the White Hose to watch the spectacle on TV. A lot of people who thought they were part of the con now discovering that they were the marks. Which is exactly how a con works.

The New York Times reported "Trump concluded his 70-minute exhortation by encouraging everyone to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue to give Republicans at the Capitol “the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country.” Then the president of the United States returned to the White House, at a safe distance from the mayhem that was to unfold."

Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the third-ranking Republican in the House, said Trump was responsible for the violence. “There’s no question that the president formed the mob, the president incited the mob, the president addressed the mob,” she told Fox News in comments she then posted online. “He lit the flames. This is what America is not.”

A group approached barricades in front of the grounds of the Capitol just before 1pm on 06 January 2020. The fewer than 10 officers stationed at the post were unable to disperse the crowd who began to push through. The officers attempted to hold the barriers in place for several seconds before retreating. Once they reached the building, the Trump supporters began to break windows and force open doors in order to gain access to the interior of the building. At the front door of the Capitol, a solitary police officer attempted to keep the door closed, as a huge crowd pulls it open.

A motley crew of miscreants, extremists and fringe movements proudly displayed their slogans and insignia - and maskless faces - for the world to see. Scenes from the assault were a shock to many Americans and the world at large, but to many on the far-right, it was the culmination of a long-unfolding saga. Judging by the bizarre cast of characters incited by US President Donald Trump to march on the Capitol to #stopthesteal, it was closer to a circus than a coup. As overzealous Trump supporters broke into the temple of American democracy, eventually giving way to scenes of ransacked offices and eventually a fatal shooting.

The most recognisable figure in videos and photos of the chaos was a topless man donning a raccoon fur hood, patriotic face paint, and Viking horns – Arizonian voice actor Jake Angeli, or “QAnon Shaman” as he’s known by his followers. Angeli quickly became the symbol of a weird and frightening spectacle as he roamed the halls holding an American flag fixed to a spear in one hand and a bullhorn in the other.

While protesters were able to access the chambers of the Senate, Secret Service agents and plain-clothed Capitol police guarded entrances to the House chambers. One female protester was shot and killed by a Capitol Police officer as she attempted to climb through a window and enter the secured area. After several hours inside the Capitol building, the mob was expelled after law enforcement deployed tear gas and flash-bang grenades. Over the course of the Capitol infiltration, police were captured on camera taking selfies, fist-bumping and shaking hands with protesters.

There was no parallel in American history, with insurgents acting in Trump’s name vandalizing Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office, smashing windows, looting art and briefly taking control of the Senate chamber, where they took turns posing for photographs with fists up on the dais where Pence had just been presiding.

The Washington DC police chief said 68 people were arrested, with 41 of those on US Capitol grounds for violating the 6pm (23:00 GMT) curfew imposed by Mayor Bowser. Some of the others were arrested on charges related to carrying unlicensed or prohibited firearms. Three people died because of medical emergencies, and 56 police officers were injured - two of whom remained hospitalized. US Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick died from injuries sustained while on duty during the riot, beaten to death with a fire extinguisher.

While the number of people arrested is expected to grow, the initial number pales in comparison to the more than 300 people who were arrested by police following the June 1 protests in the district related to the police killing of George Floyd. The Capitol Police are now facing questions about why they did not do more to secure the Capitol and let many of the rioters later exit the building without arrests. Law enforcement officials said that they did not anticipate the size of the protest, and that “chemical irritants” were used to breach police barricades, an apparent reference to pepper spray used by some of the protesters.

Instead of singing a spontaneous rendition of God Bless America, a half-dozen Senate Republicans and more than 100 House Republicans picked up where they left off prior to the siege: objecting to the electoral vote count in an effort to placate Trump and his supporters as well as slow down, if not halt outright, Joe Biden’s legitimate victory.

Former President Barack Obama called the violence "a moment of great dishonor and shame for our nation." George W. Bush, the 43rd Commander-in-Chief, likened the clashes to an "insurrection." Bush said in a statement that “this is how election results are disputed in a banana republic.”

One Trump confidant and occasional golf partner, Senator Lindsey Graham, said after four years of trying to work with Trump, he had had enough. “Trump and I, we’ve had a hell of a journey. I hate it to end this way. Oh my God, I hate it,” Graham said. “From my point of view, he’s been a consequential president, but today … All I can say is a count me out. Enough is enough.”

A YouGov Direct poll of 1,397 registered voters who had heard about the event finds that most (62%) voters perceive these actions as a threat to democracy. Democrats (93%) overwhelmingly see it this way, while most (55%) Independents also agree. Many Republicans (45%) actively support the actions of those at the Capitol, although as many expressed their opposition (43%). While 59% of voters who are aware of the events at the Capitol perceive them as being more violent than more peaceful, the opposite is true of Republicans. By 58% to 22%, Republicans see the goings on as more peaceful than more violent. Biden is the biggest culprit in the eyes of Republicans, at 52%, compared to 28% for Donald Trump and 26% for the Congressional Republicans

The ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP)'s propaganda machine stepped up a gear this week, mocking the United States after a pro-Trump mob stormed the Congress building in Washington. The Global Times, a nationalistic tabloid with close ties to CCP mouthpiece the People's Daily, ran a slew of op-ed and opinion articles accusing the U.S. of hypocrisy after its politicians supported the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong. It was especially keen to make a comparison with the attack on Congress and the storming of Hong Kong's Legislative Council (LegCo). The assault on the US Capitol reflected a failure of leadership, as well as the deep divide running through American society, editorials in China’s state media said “The unprecedented mob in the Capitol, a symbol of the US system, is the result of the US society’s severe division and the country’s failure to control such division,” Global Times said.

In Taiwan, the United Daily News, which supports the opposition Kuomintang (KMT), which advocates closer ties with China and which operated an authoritarian, one-party state in Taiwan under decades of martial law, also drew a parallel between the storming of the Capitol and Taiwan's 2014 Sunflower movement, during which peaceful demonstrators occupied the island's parliament in protest over a trade deal struck between the KMT and China.

Africans responded to the chaos at the US Capitol with irony, sarcasm and humor. Africans were astonished at the disarray around the US seat of power — especially those Africans familiar with the playbooks of leaders who refuse to concede defeat, who carry out coups or who incite political violence. Trump never visited the continent but famously called African nations "shithole countries" in 2018 - in 2021 Africa to Trump: Who's a shithole now?.

Twitter Inc said on 08 January 2021 that it had permanently suspended U.S. President Donald Trump's account due to the risk of further incitement of violence following the storming of the U.S. Capitol. "After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence," the company said in a tweet. The suspension of Trump's account, which had more than 88 million followers, silences his primary megaphone days before the end of his term and follows years of debate about how social media companies should moderate the accounts of powerful global leaders. He had used his personal @realDonaldTrump account, which has sometimes tweeted more than 100 times a day, to reach supporters, spread misinformation and even fire staff.

The attack was not just deliberate, but carefully planned in advance. In advance of the event alt-right instigators had discussed storming the building and targeting lawmakers, including the next three individuals in the line of succession (VP, Speaker of House, Senate Pres Pro Tempore) were in the building. Media intelligence firm Zignal Labs found more than 1 million mentions of “civil war” and “storm the capitol” appeared in Twitter posts. Others called for Vice President Mike Pence to be tried for treason. One Facebook post, quickly deleted, said Pence, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should be hanged.

Rioters came with riot helmets, gas masks, shields, pepper spray, fireworks, climbing gear, explosives, metal pipes, baseball bats. The Capitol was breached just before 2:00 PM. Capitol Police worked with other federal authorities, including the Secret Service, the Park Police and the FBI, to secure lawmakers. Rioters can be heard chanting, “Where’s Mike Pence?” as they raced through the building, while others demanded “heads on pikes”. Rioters at the Capitol said that they hoped to find Vice President Mike Pence and execute him by hanging him from a Capitol Hill tree as a traitor.

Violent graphic video continues to emerge of a group of insurrectionists who had breached the Capitol chanting “Hang Mike Pence, hang Mike Pence” as others yelled “Tell Pelosi we’re coming for that bitch. Tell fucking Pelosi we’re coming for her.” One armed rioter was arrested and texts were found on his phone of plans to execute House Speaker Nancy Pelosi by shooting her or running her over with his car. A noose was rasied on makeshift gallows as supporters of Donald Trump stormed the Capitol.

Camouflage-clad rioters broke windows and scaled walls to occupy the Senate Chamber, and assault the House Chamber. A long, disciplined line of men in body armor moved as a unit up the Capitol steps. The special assault squad of roughly a dozen individuals dressed in helmets, tactical vests, and camouflage jackets rapidly made their way through the crowd on the Capitol steps, placing hands on the shoulder of the man in front of them to keep together and move as a unit - clearly men on a mission. Two were soon identified amd arrested, but perhaps half a dozen others initially remained at large.

Larry Rendell Brock, of Texas, was charged 10 January 2021 with one count of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and one count of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. Brock was arrested today in Texas. Brock was identified as one of the individuals who unlawfully entered the U.S. Capitol wearing a green helmet, green tactical vest with patches, black and camo jacket, and beige pants holding a white flex cuff, which is used by law enforcement to restrain and/or detain subjects.

Eric Gavelek Munchel, of Tennessee, was charged with one count of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and one count of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. Munchel was inside of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Photos depicting his presence show a person who appears to be Munchel carrying plastic restraints known as a flex cuff or zip tie, an item in a holster on his right hip, and a cell phone mounted on his chest with the camera facing outward, ostensibly to record events that day.

In an interview with the Washington Post on 1 January 2020, former [USCP] Chief Steven Sund -- forced out after the attack -- said the department asked the D.C. National Guard "be placed on standby in case he needed quick backup." Sund asserts that House and Senate security officials "turned him down." Sund told the Post that he asked his superiors for help "six times'' and was turned down. "If we would have had the National Guard, we could have held them at bay longer, until more officers from our partner agencies could arrive," Sund told the Post. Lt. Gen. Walter E. Piatt, chief of the Army Staff, reportedly said, "he could not recommend that his boss, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy, approve the request."

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said : "Whether impeachment can pass this United States Senate is not the issue. The issue is we have a president who most of us believe participated in encouraging an insurrection and attack on this building and on democracy and trying to subvert the counting of the presidential ballot. ... We are trying to act in [an] expeditious fashion on making sure that this president is, as soon as possible, removed from the ability to repeat the seditious action that he took last Wednesday and the encouragement of people to attack the government, an equal branch of government, and to prevent us from doing our constitutional responsibility."

One senior Democratic Hill aide told Punchbowl News he would not meet with anyone from any firm that hired former Trump officials. "[A]fter Wednesday, I, and other staffers I've spoken to, all agree that anyone that doesn't, at a minimum, stand up and speak out publicly, will be black balled if they try to lobby us. And for my part, if I'm contacted by one of them for a meeting, I won't just refuse the meeting I'll call their client's government affairs team and tell them they need to find a new lobby shop if they want any face time with me or my bosses. K Street needs to know that these people aren't just toxic, they're caked with anthrax."

The U.S. House of Representatives impeached President Donald Trump on 13 Janaury 2020, declaring he incited insurrection last week when he implored thousands of his supporters to march to the Capitol to try to overturn his reelection loss, prompting a mob demonstration that turned into deadly mayhem. The 232-197 majority for impeachment, with just a week remaining in Trump’s four-year term, was made up of Democratic Party lawmakers joined by 10 of Trump’s fellow Republicans. The House vote branded Trump with a singular distinction, making him the first president in the country’s 245-year history to be impeached twice.

A two-thirds vote in the politically divided Senate would be needed to convict Trump. If convicted, a simple majority vote could bar him from ever holding federal office again. Sen. Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, said a Senate trial need not take long. “I will be a juror in Donald Trump's impeachment trial, but I was also a witness to the insurrection,” he tweeted. “We don’t need a weeks-long trial to determine that he committed high treason. We saw Trump’s betrayal of his oath of office and impeachable actions on live television.”

Plans for future armed protests had already begun proliferating on and off-Twitter, including a proposed secondary attack on the US Capitol and state capitol buildings on January 17, 2021. Still unclear what this is all about, other than freedom to spit on people and wave a gun around.

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Page last modified: 14-01-2021 19:23:04 ZULU