Capitol Breach Anniversary: How 'Insurrection' Probe Lost Steam & Failed to Reach Its Objectives
Exactly a year ago, a crowd of protesters breached the Capitol building amid a joint session of the 117th United States Congress to count the Electoral College ballots in a final stage of confirming Joe Biden's victory in the 2020 elections. How has the year-long "insurrection" probe panned out for the Dems, the GOP and Donald Trump?
On the first anniversary of the 6 January Capitol breach President Joe Biden pinned the blame for the riots on his predecessor Donald Trump, stating that the latter had not just lost the elections but also "tried to prevent the peaceful transfer of power". He also attacked Trump's assumption that the 2020 election was rigged and accused the former president and his supporters of attempting to suppress the people's vote and subvert the elections.
Former President Trump responded to Biden's 6 January remarks accusing his successor of destroying the American nation with "insane policies of open borders, corrupt elections, disastrous energy policies and unconstitutional mandates". According to Trump, the present president used his name to "try to further divide America".
Capitol Breach Events Leave More Questions Than Answers
"On 6 January 2021, investigative journalist Jason Goodman filmed about five hours of video during our walkaround in DC including several hours at the Capitol," recalls Wall Street analyst Charles Ortel who, together with Goodman and thousands of Trump supporters remained out of the restricted area during the riot.
"My impression then, strengthened by the passage of time was that the overwhelming majority of DC visitors were peaceful patriots, fearful that the election was about to be hijacked by Democrat, globalist grifters and hopeful that Mike Pence would have the courage to follow provisions wisely included in the constitution that deal with contested results," the Wall Street analyst emphasised.
According to Ortel, "there also were ruffians in this vast crowd whose true motivations and allegiance are not yet known to this day". What struck the analyst on that day was how few guards were protecting the Capitol. Furthermore, "the video captures well conditions there on that day that seemed as if protestors were almost encouraged to enter the Capitol," he suggests, adding that the whole set of events still leaves more questions than answers.
11 October 2021, 16:00 GMT
What's Wrong With the FBI's 'Insurrection' Probe?
The US Department of Justice and the FBI immediately started an investigation into the Capitol protests with more than 700 American civilians having been arrested so far. Despite prosecutors initially raising the prospect of using seditious conspiracy law to charge some Capitol attackers, none of the alleged participants of the breach have been charged with counts such as sedition or insurrection.
to the Washington Post, 640 were charged with entering a restricted federal building or its grounds and 75 were charged with entering a restricted area with a deadly weapon. About 165 individuals pleaded guilty to federal charges ranging from misdemeanors to felony and obstruction. Seventy defendants have received some kind of sentence with 31 people jailed; 18 sentenced to home detention; and the remaining 21 defendants on probation.
However, the FBI's methods, rationale and conduct, including the use of pre-dawn raids and SWAT teams, triggered serious concerns among conservative observers
who regard 6 January detainees as no less than "political prisoners". This prompted a group of senators, including Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Rick Scott (R-Fla.) and Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), to send a letter
to attorney general Merrick Garland in June 2021 over concerns about the handling of the 6 January probe by the FBI and DOJ.
Moreover, US conservative pundits, including Tucker Carlson of Fox News, Darren Beattie of The Revolver News, and Julie Kelly of American Greatness are suggesting that the FBI could have been involved in either instigating or even organising the Capitol Hill riots.
"Sadly, our FBI appears still to harbour many corrupt elements, some of whom seemingly believe that they sit atop politicians in both parties and run the country behind the scenes," remarks Charles Ortel.
Falling short of finding any evidence of supposed "sedition" and "insurrection", the FBI's ongoing 6 January probe resembles nothing so much as "show trials" with the aim to vilify Trump supporters as well as the former president, according to the analyst.
"Insurrection" Tale is Continuation of 2016 Anti-Trump Campaign
Despite intense mainstream media coverage of the DC protest and its consequences, the FBI probe and congressional inquiry by the Democrat-led House select committee on the 6 January attack, former President Donald Trump continues to enjoy strong support from the Republican Party and his electoral base. According
to David Smith, the Guardian's Washington DC bureau chief, Trump's "control" of the GOP has only "grow[n] stronger since insurrection".
Even though the House of Representatives impeached Trump for the second time on 13 January 2021, the former president was again acquitted by the Senate a month later. The Senate's acquittal opened the door to Trump's potential re-election bid in 2024.
According to Ortel, the 6 January investigations and mainstream "insurrection" narrative are part of the large anti-Trump campaign launched back in 2016, shortly before and after he assumed the Oval Office. These efforts are now aimed at nixing the former president's potential run in 2024, the analyst believes.
"An actual attempt to rig the 2016 Democratic primaries and the general election in 2016 and then hobble the Trump Administration is a topic I hope Special Counsel John Durham is considering in detail," Ortel says. "Tales of a 6 January 2021 'insurrection' are sold to a gullible public by the same team that spun the now debunked Russian hoax narratives. No serious person buys the Insurrection plot."
29 December 2021, 11:58 GMT
The Democrats are not sitting on their hands: the 6 January panel is at present seeking access to Trump's White House records. Two weeks ago Trump asked the US Supreme Court to block the Democrat-dominated House select committee from obtaining his White House records, citing executive privilege.
According to Ortel, the Biden administration's attempts to pin the blame for the 6 January havoc on Trump and stymie the debate over alleged election irregularities during the 2020 elections are unlikely to prevent a potential "red wave" in the 2022 midterms
"Biden and Harris cling to power, barely, and will probably accomplish little positive before 2023 when conservatives will hold many to account," the analyst suggests, adding that the mid-terms will largely define the outcome of the 2024 presidential race.