Thursday, September 21, 2023

Republican takes Jan. 6 and Justice Dept. claims to new places    Story by Aaron Blake •1d

Spartz compares Justice Department to KGB

Conservative efforts to downplay the events of Jan. 6, 2021, and allege the political “weaponization” of the government seem to ratchet up with each passing week.

But rarely have they reached such a fever pitch, at least at the official level, as they did Wednesday with Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-Ind.).

During a House Judiciary Committee hearing featuring Attorney General Merrick Garland, Spartz both suggested that the scene at the Capitol on Jan. 6 was actually something of an innocent family affair and also seemed to compare the U.S. government to the Soviet KGB.

“There probably were some people that came on January 6th here, you know, that had bad intent,” Spartz allowed. “But a lot of good Americans from my district came here because they are sick and tired of this government not serving them. They came with strollers and the kids, and there was [a] chaotic situation because the proper security wasn’t provided.”

It wasn’t initially clear whether Spartz was talking about the rally on the Ellipse that preceded the Jan. 6 insurrection or the crowd near the Capitol whose participants ultimately violently forced their way in. But it was soon evident she was referring to the latter.

“They were throwing smoke bombs into the crowd with strollers with kids,” she said. “People showed up, you know, FBI agents, to people’s houses. You had, in my district, in my town, FBI phone numbers all over the district. … People are truly afraid.”

There do not appear to be many publicly available images of small children and strollers in the most contested areas near the Capitol on Jan. 6. Nor have many Republicans previously raised this as a complaint. A Wall Street Journal timeline states that smoke and tear gas were wafting through the crowd as of 1:13 p.m. By that point, scuffles between law enforcement and angry protesters had broken out.

Spartz’s comments build on increasing suggestions about supposed persecution of the hundreds who were convicted or pleaded guilty to taking part in the insurrection. Many times, GOP leaders have pushed back on these efforts, but that hasn’t stopped the claims, the minimizing of the events and even suggestions that the crowd was goaded.

More than two years ago, it was Rep. Andrew S. Clyde (R-Ga.) suggesting at another hearing that the day’s events were akin to a “normal tourist visit” rather than an insurrection. House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) responded at the time by saying, “What happened on the 6th was atrocious.”

In early 2022, the Republican National Committee cited the “legitimate political discourse” of Jan. 6 in a resolution censuring two members who served on the House Jan. 6 committee. Again, some leaders pushed back.

After McCarthy this year provided security tapes of the insurrection to then-Fox News host Tucker Carlson, Carlson predictably used the tapes to whitewash the events. Numerous Republicans again spoke out against it.

Despite the occasional pushback, these views have flourished within the conservative movement, spurred recently by severe sentences for members of extremist groups who were convicted of seditious conspiracy for their roles. GOP presidential candidates have joined former president Donald Trump in floating pardons for some figures.

A poll last year showed more Republicans regarded Jan. 6 as a “legitimate protest” (61 percent) even than a “riot” (45 percent) — a reversal from the months after the insurrection.

But Spartz didn’t stop there. She also broke ground over related GOP claims about the supposed “weaponization” of the government. She referenced the report by special counsel John Durham, which reflected poorly on the FBI but largely failed to live up to the Republican hype about what it would lay bare regarding those who had investigated Trump’s ties to Russia.

“I look at [the] Durham report and the … [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] violations,” Spartz said. Spartz’s comments weren’t entirely clear, but ultimately the congresswoman, who was born in what was then the Soviet republic of Ukraine, added, “It’s like KGB.”

While Republicans have often put forth speculative theories about the Justice Department’s supposed weaponization, comparing it to one of the most notorious spy agencies in recent world history is taking things to another level. The KGB routinely cracked down on dissent with invasive and heavy-handed tactics, including assassination. The KGB and its predecessors have been accused of playing a role in millions of deaths.

Garland wasn’t given much of a chance to weigh in on what Spartz was saying. But early on, she asked him whether he was aware of how many Americans feared persecution from the U.S. government.

Garland responded, “I think that constant attacks on the department and saying —.” But Spartz quickly interrupted him, and then lit into the kind of presentation that may well perpetuate that fear of persecution.

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

I could be wrong, but....I seem to remember a video with Epps using a bullhorn, directing people...???

Ray Epps Charged With Jan. 6 Crime—

After Conspiracy Theory Claimed He 

Worked For FBI

Forbes Breaking News   Sep 19, 2023

Sep 19, 2023
Ray Epps—a supporter of former President Donald Trump who was spotted at the January 6 Capitol riot—was charged with disorderly conduct for his alleged involvement in the attack, after the lack of charges against Epps led personalities like Tucker Carlson to baselessly claim Epps was a government provocateur.

Only saw a half hour on TV. This is the full interview

Full Trump Interview: ‘I don’t consider us to have much of a democracy right now’   NBC News


Sep 17, 2023 Meet The Press NOW | NBC News NOW
In this full, unedited interview with Meet the Press, former President Trump discusses his views on the 2020 election, abortion rights, foreign policy and more.

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