Jan 6 probe subpoenas Facebook and more – latest news
Fox News host says Trump must ‘learn to lose’
The sprawling effort to bring the 6 January rioters to justice has crossed a new rubicon with prosecutors bringing charges of “seditious conspiracy” against the leader of the Oath Keepers, a self-styled militia who joined the insurrection. Elmer Stewart Rhodes has been arrested and charged along with 10 other members of the group, who stand accused of plotting to “oppose the lawful transfer of power by force”.
As for the investigation on Capitol Hill, House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy has refused to provide the 6 January committee with information about his conversations with Donald Trump during the attack last year, calling the panel “illegitimate”. Liz Cheney, one of the committee’s only two Republicans, said Mr McCarthy is attempting to “cover up” what happened, and that the committee would evaluate other options for obtaining his testimony. “I wish that he were a brave and honorable man,” she told CNN.
Joe Biden, meanwhile, has faced an abject week in Congress – and it seems his popularity is suffering badly. According to FiveThirtyEight, in the annals of the modern presidency, only Donald Trump had a lower approval rating at this point in his first year.
Follow live updates below
The real significance of the Oath Keepers indictment
Speaking on the sedition charges brought against the leader of the Oath Keepers over the 6 January riot, former FBI assistant director Frank Figliuzzi last night pointed out that “seditious conspiracy” has not been successfully charged by the US since the mid-1990s. “We charge seditious conspiracy against international terrorists trying to blow us up,” he said to MSNBC’s Nicole Wallace, “and now we’re doing it against our own.”
He also pointed out that the Oath Keepers’ membership includes many retired and active US law enforcement and military personnel.
Andrew Naughtie14 January 2022 12:51
Social media and the insurrection
Since the rise of Donald Trump as a political force, social media giants have been under increasing pressure for hosting misinformation and incitements to political violence – and now, the 6 January committee has subpoenaed records from YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Reddit to try and understand “what steps – if any – social media companies took to prevent their platforms from being breeding grounds for radicalizing people to violence”.
Donald Trump himself was banned from Twitter and Facebook after the riot, radically limiting his ability to communicate directly with supporters.
Andrew Feinberg has more:
Andrew Naughtie14 January 2022 12:28
ICYMI: Biden overshoots on what’s possible in divided DC – Analysis
He was supposed to break through the congressional logjam. End the pandemic. Get the economy back on track.
Days before he hits his one-year mark in office, a torrent of bad news is gnawing at the foundational rationale of President Joe Biden’s presidency: that he could get the job done.
Read the latest analysis from the Associated Press:
Andrew Naughtie14 January 2022 12:00
Trump says Biden has ‘failed miserably’ following vaccine mandate decision
Donald Trump heralded the Supreme Court’s decision to block the Biden administration’s plan for a vaccine mandate for large businesses.
In a statement released through his spokesperson, the former president called the proposed mandate “unconstitutional”.
The Supreme Court has spoken, confirming what we all knew: Biden’s disastrous mandates are unconstitutional.
Biden promised to shut down the virus, not the economy but he has failed miserably on both — and mandates would have further destroyed the economy.
We are proud of the Supreme Court for not backing down. No mandates!
Ella Glover14 January 2022 11:20
Rabbi charged in Capitol riot wants to pay $50 to avoid jail time
A Messianic rabbi who is among the hundreds charged in the Capitol riot has argued that he should be allowed to pay a fine of $50 (£36) and not be sent to jail.
Rabbi Michael Stepakoff, who took a selfie inside the Capitol on the day of the riot, is accused of entering and remaining and carrying out disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building.
He is also charged with violent entry and disorderly conduct and parading, demonstration or picketing in the Capitol building.
Ella Glover14 January 2022 10:23
Biden loses hope over elections and voting rights legislation
President Joe Biden appeared to concede defeat over the Democrats’ elections and voting rights legislation package that would see the biggest overhaul of US elections in a generation, AP reported.
“The honest to God answer is I don’t know whether we can get this done,” Biden said following a closed-door meeting with Democratic senators.
However, he added: “As long as I’m in the White House, as long as I’m engaged at all, I’m going to be fighting.”
But their efforts have stalled in the narrowly divided senate, where they lack the 60 votes out of 100 needed to overcome a Republican filibuster.
The legislation would aim to counteract a number of new state laws, inspired by former president Donald Trump‘s false claims of a stolen election, that have made it harder to vote.
However, pushing it through the senate has proved difficult as Democrats lack the 60 votes out of 100 needed to overcome a Republican filibuster.
Ella Glover14 January 2022 09:33
Accused Capitol rioter rapped about January 6 on YouTube, FBI says
A South Dakota man accused of taking part in the 2021 Capitol riot rapped about the insurrection on YouTube, federal agents say.
According to a criminal complaint, Billy Knutson, 36, posted photos of himself outside the Capitol on the day of the attack. A relative of his told the FBI about the photos, and a second source showed them a video that allegedly showed Mr Knutson climbing into the Capitol Building through a broken window.
Nathan Place has details here:
Shweta Sharma14 January 2022 07:45
Capitol rioter lashes and storms out of hearing after judge orders
Tim Boughner, 41, from Michigan who is accused of assaulting a Capitol officer and spraying pepper spray, lashed out at the judge and walked out of his detention proceedings.
His meltdown happened as the judge ruled that he would stay behind bars during his virtual hearing.
US Magistrate judge Zia Faruqui said that Boughner was a flight risk and a danger to the community, adding that he might attempt to flee to Canada or somewhere else.
“You got these dumb*ss comments that you’re saying I said but I did not say these things,” frustrated Boughner shouted. “Do we really have to go through all this?”
“You guys don’t know what happened,” Boughner continued. “You really don’t know what happened. You guys [are] gonna believe what you guys wanna believe. So hey, it is what it is.”
He went on to interrupt the judge and said: “You know what, I don’t care anymore, I’m done with this. So I’d like to go eat my food and play cards.”
Shweta Sharma14 January 2022 07:15
16 Michigan Republican who signed fake electoral certificate could face federal charges
As many as 16 Michigan Republicans who submitted fake certificates to the National Archives falsely declaring that Donald Trump won seven states are now facing potential federal investigations.
On Thursday night, Michigan attorney general Dana Nessel said that her office has referred the case to the US Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Michigan after a year-long investigation into the matter.
“I will say that under state law, I think clearly you have forgery of a public record, which is a 14-year offence, and election law forgery, which is a five-year offence,” Nessel told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow.
“But what we have decided to do with the investigation, in light of the fact that of course we have seen … various different false slates of electors from several different states, in what seems to be a coordinated effort between the Republican parties in various different states, we think this is a matter that is best investigated and potentially prosecuted by the feds.”
Trump allies created fake certificates in Georgia, Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Nevada and New Mexico, seeking to replace valid presidential electors, according to documents.
Shweta Sharma14 January 2022 06:25
Texas AG Ken Paxton ordered to turn over Trump rally records
Texas attorney general Ken Paxton has been given four days deadline to turn over the documents of his communication from 6 January when he took part in the pro-Trump rally before the riots.
The Travis County district attorney determined that Paxton violated the Texas open records law by withholding or failing to retain his communications that should be subject to public release, reported Austin American Statesman.
Paxton, who is running for re-election this year, is facing…