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Prosecutors: ‘strong evidence’ shows Capitol rioters sought to ‘capture and assassinate’ officials



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The violent mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol last week sought to “capture and assassinate” elected officials, federal prosecutors said in court documents filed late Thursday.

These comments came from a motion filed Thursday in the case against Jacob Chansley, the Arizonan who participated in the deadly January 6 riot while wearing no shirt, face paint, and a furry headdress with horns. Images of his barbarian-looking attire while carrying an American flag on a spear-tipped pole have been dominating the internet.

After Chansley scaled up to the dais where Vice President Mike Pence had been overseeing the Electoral College certification moments earlier, prosecutors say that he penned a threatening note to the vice president saying: “It’s only a matter of time, justice is coming.”

Prior to rioters storming the Capitol—while President Donald Trump and his staunchest supporters held a rally in front of the White House opposing the certification of the votes and of President-elect Joe Biden‘s 2020 election victory—Pence released an eleventh-hour statement saying that he would not, and constitutionally could not overturn the states’ electoral votes, going against Trump’s vocal demands.

The U.S. Secret Service and Capitol Police had escorted Pence and other leaders out of the chamber before the rioters busted into the room.

“The crimes charged in the indictment involve active participation in an insurrection attempting to violently overthrow the United States Government. By Chansley’s own admissions to the FBI and news media, the insurrection is still in progress and he intends to continue participating,” the filing reads.

“Strong evidence, including Chansley’s own words and actions at the Capitol, supports that the intent of the Capitol rioters was to capture and assassinate elected officials in the United States Government,” prosecutors wrote.

“When questioned as to the meaning of that statement, Chansley went on a lengthy diatribe describing current and past United States political leaders as infiltrators, specifically naming Vice President Mike Pence, former President Barack Obama, former Senator Hillary Clinton and U.S. President-elect Joe Biden as infiltrators involved in various types of wrongdoing,” prosecutors added. “Although he stated his note was not a threat, the Government strongly disagrees.”

Prosecutors have also urged the judge to deny Chansley bail. A detention hearing is scheduled in his case for Friday afternoon.

When questioned by investigators, Chansley told them he ventured to the Capitol “at the request of the president that all ‘patriots’ come to D.C. on January 6, 2021.”

On Tuesday, an indictment in Washington, D.C. was unsealed that charged him with civil disorder, disorderly conduct in a restricted building, obstruction of an official proceeding, and demonstrating in a Capitol building.

Chansley said he would return to D.C. on Jan. 20 if he could. “I’ll still go, you better believe it,” he told the FBI, according to the filing. “For sure I’d want to be there, as a protestor, as a protestor, f—–’ a.”

The FBI has been investigating whether any of the rioters intended to kidnap lawmakers and hold them hostage, especially looking into the rioters witnessed carrying pepper spray and plastic zip tie handcuffs. For instance, on Friday in the case of a former Air Force officer, prosecutors claimed he brought plastic zip-tie handcuffs because he sought “to take hostages.” As of yet, the Department of Justice has neither released any specific evidence on the plots nor illustrated how the rioters intended to go about them.

On Saturday, Chansley, who nicknamed himself “QAnon Shaman” and has been present for a long time at Trump rallies, surrendered to the FBI field office in Phoenix.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Biden Administration Proposes Rule to Fortify Federal Bureaucracy Against Republican Presidency



Joe Biden

In a strategic move, the Biden administration has unveiled a proposed rule aimed at reinforcing the left-leaning federal bureaucracy, potentially hindering future conservative policy implementations by Republican presidents. This move has raised concerns about the efficacy of democratic elections when a deep-seated bureaucracy remains largely unchanged, regardless of electoral outcomes.

Key points of the situation include:

Presidential Appointees vs. Career Bureaucrats: Of the 2.2 million federal civil workers, only 4,000 are presidential appointees. The vast majority, made up of career bureaucrats, continue in their roles from one administration to the next. This continuity is facilitated by rules that make it exceedingly difficult to discipline or replace them, resulting in a bureaucracy that tends to lean left politically.

Union Political Affiliation: A striking 95% of unionized federal employees who donate to political candidates support Democrats, according to Open Secrets, with only 5% favoring Republicans. This significant political skew among federal workers raises questions about the potential for political bias in the execution of government policies.

Obstructionism and Challenges for GOP Presidents: Some career bureaucrats have been accused of obstructing Republican presidents’ agendas, leading to policy delays and challenges. For example, during the Trump administration, career lawyers in the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division declined to challenge Yale University’s discrimination against Asian American applicants, prompting Trump to seek legal counsel from other divisions. The case was subsequently dropped when Joe Biden took office.

Biden’s Countermeasures: President Biden has taken steps to protect the bureaucracy’s status quo. In October 2020, Trump issued an executive order aiming to reclassify federal workers who make policy as at-will employees, but Biden canceled it upon taking office.

Proposed Rule and Congressional Actions: The rule unveiled by the Biden administration seeks to further impede a president’s ability to reinstate Trump’s order. Additionally, some Democrats in Congress are pushing to eliminate the president’s authority to reclassify jobs entirely. This has been referred to as an attempt to “Trump-proof the federal workforce.”

Republican Candidates’ Pledge: GOP candidates such as President Donald J Trump, Vivek Ramaswamy, and Ron DeSantis have pledged to address this issue. According to reports from Fox News, Ramaswamy has gone further, advocating for the elimination of half or more of civil service positions, emphasizing the need for accountability.

Debate on the Merit of the Civil Service: While Democrats and their media allies argue that civil service protects merit over patronage, critics contend that the system has evolved into a form of job security for federal workers with minimal accountability. Federal employees often receive higher salaries and more substantial benefits than their private-sector counterparts.

In summary, the Biden administration’s proposed rule and broader actions to protect the federal bureaucracy have sparked a debate over the role of career bureaucrats in shaping government policy.

Republican candidates are vowing to address these concerns, highlighting the need for accountability and ensuring that government agencies work in alignment with the elected president’s agenda. This ongoing debate raises important questions about the relationship between the bureaucracy and the democratic process in the United States.

Information in this article was retrieved from Fox News.

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