The attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 has reignited the debate over how law enforcement should handle domestic extremist groups.
In nearly half of the more than 200 federal cases stemming from that day, attackers appeared inspired by conspiracy theories, right-wing propaganda and racist or extremist ideologies.
That’s according to an AP review of court records and social media posts, Michael Kunzelman and Amanda Seitz report.
The FBI has linked at least 40 defendants to extremist movements. Among them are at least 16 members or associates of the neo-fascist Proud Boys and at least five connected to the anti-government Oath Keepers.
One radicalized Trump supporter, who is charged with conspiring with the Oath Keepers, suggested getting a boat to ferry “heavy weapons” across the Potomac River to members in time for Jan. 6. It wasn’t just idle talk.
Investigators found invoices for more than $750 worth of live ammunition and for a firearm designed to look like a cellphone at his Virginia home.
Right-wing extremists, previously blessed by Donald Trump, were unleashed last month. Their talk of civil war, traitors and revolution mirrored fighting words echoed by right-wing social media personalities and websites for months as Trump spread bogus claims about a rigged presidential election.
House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi says Congress will establish an independent, Sept. 11-style commission to look into the deadly insurrection.
Pelosi said the commission will “investigate and report on the facts and causes relating to the January 6, 2021, domestic terrorist attack upon the United States Capitol … and relating to the interference with the peaceful transfer of power.”
The speaker said in a letter to Democratic colleagues that the House will also put forth supplemental spending to boost security at the Capitol. Bipartisan support appears to be growing for an independent commission, Hope Yen reports.