On a near-daily basis, the Department of Justice announces new arrests related to the events of January 6. Authorities arrested a Minnesota man on Wednesday for allegedly obstructing law enforcement and other minor offenses; U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Matthew Graves, appointed by Joe Biden in 2021, trumpeted the news on his office’s X account.
Court proceedings for January 6 defendants fill the docket of the federal courthouse in Washington on any given day as the current caseload exceeds 1,200 Capitol protesters. Political prisoners wait out excessive sentences as appeals slowly make their way through the system.
The human wreckage left in the wake of the DOJ’s abusive, retaliatory prosecution of individuals who protested Biden’s election nearly three years ago is an ongoing tragedy. Meanwhile, the same DOJ — along with their accomplices in Congress and national news media — has concealed the truth about what really happened before and on that fateful afternoon.
After months of promising to do so, House Republicans finally released the first tranche of surveillance footage captured by security cameras on January 6. The move was lauded by the Right — and condemned by J6 propagandists including members of the now-defunct January 6 Select Committee. Rep. Jamie Raskin accused House Speaker Mike Johnson of “giving a diagram to future insurrectionists & terrorists.” Former Representatives Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney took to X to post well-worn video clips of protesters clashing with police.
But their time of controlling the narrative is over. Millions of Americans will now see video of police officers standing by as protesters walked in the building, some exchanging handshakes and fist bumps. Future video releases could shock the public as it reveals numerous instances of police brutality that resulted in the deaths of three individuals that day.
Which is just one reason why Speaker Johnson’s next move must be the formation of a separate January 6 committee. Tapes only tell a small part of the story; more must be revealed to expose the full truth, redeem those who have been destroyed by the cruel weaponization of the four-hour disturbance, and hold the architects of the Jan 6 fraud accountable.
Here is what a GOP J6 Committee should investigate:
- The role of the FBI: House Democrats did not interview FBI Director Christopher Wray to determine both his agency’s failures or involvement that day. Time to put Wray on the stand — under oath — in front of the American people. What specific intelligence about potential violence did the bureau have before January 6? Did any intelligence warn of possible involvement of antifa or BLM rioters? How many undercover agents and confidential human sources (informants) were embedded in so-called “militia groups,” online and encrypted chats, and in the crowd? How many were dressed like Trump supporters? Did any commit crimes? How many investigators were pulled off child sex offender cases and other serious crimes to investigate J6ers? How many armed raids has the FBI conducted on the homes of J6ers? What happened to the investigation into the pipe bomber?
- The J6 committee coverup: Table turning time — subpoena every member of the Democrats’ J6 Select Committee starting with Chairman Bennie Thompson then compel them to publicly testify. Where are all the records from the investigation especially pertaining to the role of the Secret Service? Where are the records from former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the official primarily responsible for securing Capitol grounds? Where are the video interviews produced by the committee that House Republicans have been denied access to? Where are the missing transcripts including that of Secret Service agent Bobby Engel, the officer Cassidy Hutchinson claimed was nearly strangled by Donald Trump?
- Selective prosecution of Capitol protesters: Attorney General Merrick Garland, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, and Matthew Graves deserve a primetime hearing of their own. When in DOJ history have charges such as obstruction of an official proceeding, a felony now slapped against more than 300 J6ers, been used to prosecute political protesters? When in DOJ history has the government recommended 30 years or life for an American convicted of seditious conspiracy? Further, how many Americans has the DOJ charged with seditious conspiracy before January 6? How can the DOJ justify terror enhancements at sentencing for nonviolent offenses? How much money has been spent on the “Capitol Siege” investigation? Where are the prosecutions of 2020 rioters? Where are criminal charges against Rep. Jamaal Bowman? Where are obstruction of an official proceeding charges for those who repeatedly interrupted Senate hearings and occupied the Cannon House office building to protest the Israel-Gaza war? Or those who assaulted police this week outside the Democratic National Committee headquarters?
- J6 Celebrity Police Officers: The first televised hearing of the Democrats’ J6 committee featured emotional testimony from four officers on duty that day: MPD officers Michael Fanone and Daniel Hodges and Capitol Police officers Harry Dunn and Aquilino Gonell. Time to call them back for another round of testimony. Why did Officer Dunn lie under oath to Congress and during court proceedings as a government witness that protesters hurled racial epithets at him when no evidence exists to support his claims? Why did he lie about the conduct of the Oath Keepers, as investigative journalist Steve Baker has reported here? Why did Officer Gonell lie about his injuries as I reported here? Why did Fanone lie about the extent of his injuries since body worn camera footage from a fellow officer shows Fanone laughing about his “attack?” Where are their medical reports? How much did Fanone, Dunn, and Gonell get paid for their book deals? Does any correspondence exist between these officers and House Democrats before January 6? Have they received any other monetary compensation for their ongoing involvement in perpetuating J6 myths?
- Police brutality: Four Trump supporters died on January 6; three deaths are tied to use of excessive or deadly force. Capitol Police and D.C. Metro police allegedly conducted investigations into misconduct, but the public hasn’t seen those reports. Time to release them. Victims of police brutality that day should testify publicly so the public can hear stories of unprovoked violence against Trump supporters. Also, House GOP should question former and current chiefs of both departments as to whether their officers violated use-of-force policies. (They did.) Who authorized the use of nonlethal munitions including flashbangs, which were thrown into a crowd outside against common practice? Who authorized the use of copious amount of tear gas? Who shot rubber bullets randomly into the crowd on the west side? Which officers, seen on video beating protesters including women, have been reprimanded or fired? Where are the findings of the investigation into DC Police Officer Lila Morris, who beat Rosanne Boyland’s lifeless body that afternoon? Where is the official report related to the investigation of the deadly shooting of Ashli Babbitt?
- Misconduct of federal judges: For nearly three years, the federal courts in Washington have acted as little more than a rubber stamp for the DOJ. Congress has abdicated its oversight role of the federal judiciary — it is long past time to reclaim that authority. Subpoena former chief judge Beryl Howell and ask her about the propriety of establishing special guidance related to pretrial detention for one set of defendants as she did for January 6 defendants. Ask Howell to name other examples of individuals without criminal records denied release for nonviolent offenses such as obstruction or conspiracy. Ask Judge Tim Kelly to defend his orders to keep three nonviolent members of the Proud Boys behind bars for almost two years awaiting trial. Ask him to explain why he designated the shaking of a temporary metal fence a new crime of terrorism. And ask him why he refused to move the Proud Boys trial out of Washington even as the J6 committee held televised hearings mentioning the defendants by name. Ask Judge Amit Mehta the same questions about the three Oath Keepers’ trials. Further, ask each judge, including Judge Tanya Chutkan, to justify denying every change of venue motion despite the need to select jurors from a city populated almost exclusively by Democrats. Ask Judge Royce Lamberth why he recently declared a J6 defendant guilty before his trial started and warned the defendant he was going to jail. Ask Judge Tom Hogan to defend his order to keep two men charged with allegedly spraying Brian Sicknick with pepper spray behind bars awaiting trial, an order overturned by the appellate court for one defendant. When else during his long career as a judge did he deny release of an individual accused of spraying pepper spray at police? And when else during his long career did he sentence that same individual to serve more than six years in jail?
Others undoubtedly will add to this list — there’s certainly no shortage of areas ripe for investigation and exposure.
But perhaps most important is hearing from the victims of this reckless, vengeful prosecution. In fact, Johnson might be well served to launch the committee with a public hearing featuring J6 defendants and their families — particularly those who lost a loved one to suicide — who can explain to the American people the torment they’ve endured at the hands of line prosecutors, FBI agents, and federal judges.
House Republicans have America’s attention on January 6. The dam is breaking on the official narrative — time to bust it wide open.
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