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FBI describes large probe into deadly Capitol riot

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FBI investigators are combing through more than 100,000 pieces of digital evidence as part of their investigation into last week’s deadly U.S. Capitol riot, and are looking to determine if the horde planned on taking lawmakers hostage, authorities said Tuesday afternoon at a joint press conference between the FBI and the Department of Justice (DOJ), The New York Post reports.

This mind-boggling amount of evidence is only the beginning to a wide-reaching probe that is expected to result in hundreds of alleged rioters facing criminal charges, FBI and DOJ officials pledged.

“I want to stress that the FBI has a long memory and a broad reach,” said Steven D’Antuono, assistant director of the FBI’s Washington, D.C. field office. “Even if you’ve left DC, agents from our local field offices will be knocking on your door if we find out that you’re part of the criminal activity at the Capitol.”

The riot took place the same day Congress was set to certify the states’ Electoral College votes and President-elect Joe Biden’s 2020 victory. As the vote was happening, rioters violently stormed the U.S. Capitol to prevent that, attacked Capitol Police officers, and defaced and stole property.

D’Antuono noted that the bureau, in spite of how recently the riot occurred, has already put together a huge case backed by tons of evidence. Much of this evidence was provided by the public.

“We have opened over 160 case files, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg,” he said. “This is a 24/7, full-bore investigation into what happened that day.

“We cannot do our job without the help of the American people,” D’Antuono continued. “Since our call for tips, videos and pictures, we have received more than 100,000 pieces of digital media—which is absolutely fantastic—and we are scouring every one for investigative and intelligence leads.”

Michael Sherwin, the acting U.S. attorney for Washington, D.C., similarly expressed that the work has only just started.

“We’ve already charged over 70 cases, and again that number I suspect is going to grow into the hundreds,” Sherwin said.

Want more details on this story? Read the full original report on the press conference by The New York Post here.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Immigration

BREAKING: Senate votes down both articles of impeachment against Mayorkas in party-line vote

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The Senate voted down two articles of impeachment Wednesday which alleged Department of Homeland Security Secretary  Alejandro Mayorkas engaged in the “willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law” regarding the southern border in his capacity as DHS secretary. The second claimed Mayorkas had breached public trust.

What resulted in a party-line vote, began with Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., proposing a point of order declaring the first article unconstitutional, to which the majority of senators agreed following several failed motions by Republicans. The article was deemed unconstitutional by a vote of 51-48, with Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, voting present.

Fox News reports:

Schumer’s point of order was proposed after his request for unanimous consent, which would have provided a set amount of time for debate among the senators, as well as votes on two GOP resolutions and a set amount of agreed upon points of order, was objected to by Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-Mo.

Schmitt stated in his objection that the Senate should conduct a full trial into the impeachment articles against Mayorkas, rather than the debate and points of order suggested by Schumer’s unanimous consent request, which would be followed by a likely successful motion to dismiss the articles. 

Republican senators took issue with Schumer’s point of order, as agreeing to it would effectively kill the first of the two articles. Several GOP lawmakers proposed motions, which took precedence over the point of order, to adjourn or table the point, among other things. But all GOP motions failed. 

After another batch of motions to avoid voting on Schumer’s second point of order, which would deem the second article unconstitutional, the Senate agreed to it. The vote was along party lines 51-49, with Murkowski rejoining the Republicans. 

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