Tuesday, January 31, 2023

U.S. prosecutors say rioters on Capitol Hill came to ‘assassinate’ officials

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US prosecutors said there was “strong evidence” that rioters who stormed the Capitol last week targeted government officials for capture and assassination.

The detail came in a court file against one of the defendants arrested in the attack, Jacob Anthony Chansley, the so-called Qanon Shaman who was pictured wearing a horned hat and face paint aggression.

“Strong evidence, including Chansley’s own words and actions on Capitol Hill, supports the intention of the rioters on Capitol Hill was to capture and assassinate elected officials of the United States government,” prosecutors said on the file. in Arizona Federal Court.

Chansley left a note on the dais of the Senate Chamber, where Vice President Mike Pence had presided over the session minutes earlier, warning that ‘it is only a matter of time, justice is coming’. , indicates the folder.

Prosecutors said while Mr Chansley said the note was not meant to be a threat, “the government strongly disagrees.”

The filing underscores the seriousness of the allegations that prosecutors are suing in what they described as an “unprecedented” investigation into the attack, which has already led to dozens of charges.

Internal watchdogs overseeing several U.S. government agencies have launched reviews of the events that led to last week’s deadly assault on the Capitol, as security measures around Washington and other state capitals were stepped up ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration next week.

The inspectors general of the departments of Justice, Homeland Security, Defense and the Interior announced Friday the coordinated investigations in their respective agencies amid the fallout from the rampage, which left five dead.

The Justice Department watchdog said it would look into sharing intelligence with Capitol Hill police and other agencies, and whether procedural weaknesses hindered its response. The Pentagon Inspector General would review requests for military support leading to the riots and determine whether the ministry’s response was “legal and supported by requirements consistent with acceptable regulations and guidelines.”

Washington has drastically tightened security in the U.S. capital ahead of the January 20 inauguration, including the suspension of tours of the Washington Monument, the closure of the Capitol to the public on inauguration day, and the deployment of thousands of armed National Guard members to the streets.

Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the US House of Representatives, said on Friday she asked Russel Honoré – a retired US Army lieutenant general who worked with House leaders in the response Hurricane Katrina – to conduct “an immediate review of the Capitol Building Security Infrastructure, Interagency Processes and Procedures, and Command and Control.”

Christopher Wray, Director of the FBI, has warned of the risk of “potential armed protests” around the inauguration, claiming that government buildings and officials in Washington and state capitals appear to be targets of extremist groups.

Jake Sullivan, Mr. Biden’s new national security adviser, met with senior FBI and U.S. Secret Service officials on Wednesday for a briefing on known threats and to plan to protect the president-elect, according to a person briefed on the question. The preparations include detailed plans for the transition of power in the event of violence during Mr Biden’s swearing-in or inaugural address.

Law enforcement has also been the subject of close scrutiny for breaches of Capitol guarding last week, including Capitol Police, whose Inspector General suspended all other work to focus only on conducting a comprehensive force review, two people briefed on the investigation said Thursday. Steven Sund, the outgoing force leader, tendered his resignation following the attack.

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