Monday, March 22, 2021

Last Call For Our Little White Supremacist Domestic Terrorism Problem, Con't

Evidence the government obtained in the investigation into the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol most likely meets the bar necessary to charge some of the suspects with sedition, Michael R. Sherwin, the federal prosecutor who had been leading the Justice Department’s inquiry, said in an interview that aired on Sunday.

The department has rarely brought charges of sedition, the crime of conspiring to overthrow the government.

But in an interview with “60 Minutes,” Mr. Sherwin said prosecutors had evidence that most likely proved such a charge.

“I personally believe the evidence is trending toward that, and probably meets those elements,” Mr. Sherwin said. “I believe the facts do support those charges. And I think that, as we go forward, more facts will support that.”

The last time federal prosecutors brought a sedition case was 2010, when they accused members of a Michigan militia of plotting to provoke an armed conflict with the government. They were ultimately acquitted, and the judge in the case said the Justice Department had not adequately proved that the defendants had entered a “concrete agreement to forcibly oppose the United States government.”

The statute on seditious conspiracy also says that people who conspire to “oppose by force the authority” of the government or use force “to prevent, hinder or delay the execution of any law of the United States” can be charged with sedition.

The government has charged some defendants in the Jan. 6 case with conspiring to derail the final certification of President Biden’s electoral victory.

Mr. Sherwin witnessed the crime as it unfolded. After he dressed in his running clothes and entered the crowd at the rally near the White House, he observed a “carnival environment” of people listening to speeches and selling T-shirts and snacks.

“I noticed there were some people in tactical gear. They were tacked up with Kevlar vests. They had the military helmets on,” he said in the “60 Minutes” interview. “Those individuals, I noticed, left the speeches early.”

“Where it was initially pro-Trump, it digressed to anti-government, anti-Congress, anti-institutional,” Mr. Sherwin said. “And then I eventually saw people climbing the scaffolding. The scaffolding was being set up for the inauguration. When I saw people climbing up the scaffolding, hanging from it, hanging flags, I was like, ‘This is going bad fast.’”
Boy, did it ever.

From the start, Mr. Sherwin oversaw the investigation as the acting U.S. attorney in Washington, a role that he ceded to a new interim leader in early March. He stepped down from leading the investigation on Friday and returned to Miami, where he had been a line prosecutor.

Mr. Sherwin told “60 Minutes” that the government had charged more than 400 people. Among them are hundreds accused of trespassing and more than 100 accused of assaulting officers, including Brian D. Sicknick, the Capitol Police officer who died after fighting with rioters.

Mr. Sicknick and two other officers were sprayed with an unidentified chemical agent that one of the assailants said was used to repel bears.

A medical examiner has not determined how Officer Sicknick died, Mr. Sherwin said, so two suspects were charged with assaulting an officer instead of murder. But that could change, he said.

“If evidence directly relates that chemical to his death,” Mr. Sherwin said, “in that scenario, correct, that’s a murder case.”

Mr. Sherwin said that only about 10 percent of the cases so far dealt with more complicated conspiracies planned and executed by far-right extremists — including members of the Oath Keepers, the Three Percenters and the Proud Boys — to organize, come to Washington and breach the Capitol
I'll take 10% of the insurrectionists going to federal prison on sedition charges.
I really do hope some of them are Republican members of Congress, too.

The Anti-Social Network

Former President Donald Trump is coming back to social media -- but this time with his own network, a Trump spokesperson told Fox News on Sunday.

Jason Miller, a long-time adviser and spokesperson for Trump's 2020 campaign told Howard Kurtz on Fox's "MediaBuzz" that Trump will be "returning to social media in probably about two or three months." He added Trump's return will be with "his own platform" that will attract "tens of millions" of new users and "completely redefine the game."

"This is something that I think will be the hottest ticket in social media," Miller told Kurtz. "It's going to completely redefine the game, and everybody is going to be waiting and watching to see what President Trump does, but it will be his own platform."

Miller said during his appearance on Fox News that the former president has been approached by numerous companies and is in talks with teams about the new platform.

"This new platform is going to be big," Miller said on Sunday. "Everyone wants him and he's going to bring millions and millions -- tens of millions -- to this platform."

The announcement comes after Trump was permanently suspended from Twitter and other social platforms, such as Facebook, following his incitement of the US Capitol riots on January 6 -- where hundreds of Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol building, leaving five people dead.


This is going to be a terrible idea, because we're mostly going to see the demand by the insurrectionist Trumpist right to take Trump's hate platform seriously as "news" and it will be relentlessly covered by our broken press.

Even worse, there's a very good chance that the GOP will use Trump's platform as a stalking horse to go after Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, with "very concerned" Beltway types arguing that the only way to rein in Trump's hate speech is to "reform" all of social media by removing federal liability protections, leaving Red State attorneys general to go after everyone but Trump's platform while decrying any efforts to stop Trump's hate speech as political targeting from Biden's "corrupt" Justice Department.

It doesn't take much to see this becoming the fast track back to the daily political relevance of Trump, and a daily way to constantly feed his violent cultists their steady diet of outrage and anger.

I know I've said for year that Trump wants his own TV network, but with FOX News and its competitors fighting over him, he doesn't need it. His own social media network would potentially be much more powerful for much less money, and it would control the political discourse of basically all cable news for free.

If Trump can get major political investors behind this project so that their servers can't be cut off by hosting services like Amazon or Google, this could be a nightmare cesspool of white supremacist hate with no bottom. That's the worst-case scenario, certainly.

Or, it could crash and burn like Trump's other projects because he lacks the expertise and the will to pay the people who actually can run something like this the money they'll want. Maybe it'll never get off the ground in the first place, and given Trump's history, the likelihood of failure to launch is relatively solid.

We'll see.

Open States Go Viral, Con't

A combination of red state governors declaring the COVID-19 pandemic over and blue state weariness in states like New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts is leading to another completely avoidable rise in new virus cases.

Even as the pace of vaccinations accelerates in the U.S., Covid-19 cases are increasing in 21 states and highly infectious variants are spreading as governors relax restrictions on businesses like restaurants, bars and gyms.

Public health officials warn that while roughly 2.5 million people nationwide are receiving shots every day, infection levels have plateaued this month and some states have failed to reduce the number of daily cases.

The 7-day moving average of new infections plateaued at 54,666 as of Friday after declining for weeks, according to a CNBC analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University.

More than 541,000 people in the U.S. have died of the disease.

White House Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci warned during a briefing on Friday that the country should not declare victory until the level of infection is “much, much lower.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky has also urged states not to reopen too quickly and undermine progress the country is making against the pandemic.

“The concern is that throughout the country, there are a number of state, city, regions that are pulling back on some of the mitigation methods that we’ve been talking about: the withdrawal of mask mandates, the pulling back to essentially non-public health measures being implemented,” Fauci said at the briefing.

“So it is unfortunate but not surprising to me that you are seeing increases in number of cases per day in areas — cities, states, or regions — even though vaccines are being distributed at a pretty good clip of 2 to 3 million per day,” Fauci added. “That could be overcome if certain areas pull back prematurely on the mitigation and public health measures that we all talk about.”

Infections are rising in the following states: Alabama; Connecticut; Hawaii; Idaho; Illinois; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Missouri; Montana; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New York; North Dakota; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Virginia; Washington; and West Virginia.

The highly contagious variant first identified in the U.K. likely accounts for up to 30% of Covid infections in the U.S. Health officials say the variant could become dominant by the end of this month or in early April.

The variant is seen as the cause of Europe’s third coronavirus wave. Several countries including France and Italy have imposed new lockdown measures to mitigate virus spread as cases surge.
We're in danger of rounding the corner into another, even more virulent mutation of the virus, and everyone is acting like it's over.
It's not.


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