Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Our Little White Supremacist Domestic Terrorism Problem, Con'

In what should come as a surprise to no one, a new inspector general report on the actions of the US Capitol Police on the day of the January 6th terrorist attack on Congress finds that the Trump regime stopped officers from using crowd-control methods on Trump's terrorists.

The Capitol Police had clearer advance warnings about the Jan. 6 attack than were previously known, including the potential for violence in which “Congress itself is the target.” But officers were instructed by their leaders not to use their most aggressive tactics to hold off the mob, according to a scathing new report by the agency’s internal investigator.

In a 104-page document, the inspector general, Michael A. Bolton, criticized the way the Capitol Police prepared for and responded to the mob violence on Jan. 6. The report was reviewed by The New York Times and will be the subject of a Capitol Hill hearing on Thursday.

Mr. Bolton found that the agency’s leaders failed to adequately prepare despite explicit warnings that pro-Trump extremists posed a threat to law enforcement and civilians and that the police used defective protective equipment. He also found that the leaders ordered their Civil Disturbance Unit to refrain from using its most powerful crowd-control tools — like stun grenades — to put down the onslaught.

The report offers the most devastating account to date of the lapses and miscalculations around the most violent attack on the Capitol in two centuries.

Three days before the siege, a Capitol Police intelligence assessment warned of violence from supporters of President Donald J. Trump who believed his false claims that the election had been stolen. Some had even posted a map of the Capitol complex’s tunnel system on pro-Trump message boards.

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“Unlike previous postelection protests, the targets of the pro-Trump supporters are not necessarily the counterprotesters as they were previously, but rather Congress itself is the target on the 6th,” the threat assessment said, according to the inspector general’s report. “Stop the Steal’s propensity to attract white supremacists, militia members, and others who actively promote violence may lead to a significantly dangerous situation for law enforcement and the general public alike.”

But on Jan. 5, the agency wrote in a plan for the protest that there were “no specific known threats related to the joint session of Congress.” And the former chief of the Capitol Police has testified that the force had determined that the likelihood of violence was “improbable.”

Mr. Bolton concluded such intelligence breakdowns stemmed from dysfunction within the agency and called for “guidance that clearly documents channels for efficiently and effectively disseminating intelligence information to all of its personnel.”

That failure conspired with other lapses inside the Capitol Police force to create a dangerous situation on Jan. 6, according to his account. The agency’s Civil Disturbance Unit, which specializes in handling large groups of protesters, was not allowed to use some of its most powerful tools and techniques against the crowd, on the orders of supervisors.

“Heavier, less-lethal weapons,” including stun grenades, “were not used that day because of orders from leadership,” Mr. Bolton wrote. Officials on duty on Jan. 6 told him that such equipment could have helped the police to “push back the rioters.”
There's no question that Capitol Police were purposely hamstrung by the Trump regime. The question now is whether it was solely out of subservience to Trump, or if it was part of a deliberate attempt to weaken the response to the terrorist coup so that it would succeed.

And at this point, there's no doubt in my mind that it was, in fact, deliberate.

Meathead Matt's #MeToo Moment, Con't

Indicted former Seminole County, Florida tax collector Joel Greenberg is flipping states' evidence on Florida GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz and has been cooperating for months.

A former local official in Florida indicted in the Justice Department investigation that is also focused on Representative Matt Gaetz has been providing investigators with information since last year about an array of topics, including Mr. Gaetz’s activities, according to two people briefed on the matter.

Joel Greenberg, a onetime county tax collector, disclosed to investigators that he and Mr. Gaetz had encounters with women who were given cash or gifts in exchange for sex, the people said. The Justice Department is investigating the involvement of the men with multiple women who were recruited online for sex and received cash payments and whether the men had sex with a 17-year-old in violation of sex trafficking statutes, people familiar with the inquiry have said.

Mr. Greenberg, who is said to have met the women through websites that connect people who go on dates in exchange for gifts, fine dining, travel and allowances and introduced them to Mr. Gaetz, could provide investigators with firsthand accounts of their activities.

Mr. Greenberg began speaking with investigators once he realized that the government had overwhelming evidence against him and that his only path to leniency lay in cooperation, the people said. He has met several times with investigators to try to establish his trustworthiness, though the range of criminal charges against him — including fraud — could undermine his credibility as a witness.

Mr. Greenberg faces dozens of other counts including sex trafficking of a minor, stalking a political rival and corruption. He was first indicted in June. The Justice Department inquiry drew national attention in recent weeks when investigators’ focus on Mr. Gaetz, a high-profile supporter of President Donald J. Trump who knew Mr. Greenberg through Republican political circles in Florida, came to light.

Speculation about Mr. Greenberg’s cooperation began mounting last week, after his lawyer and a federal prosecutor both said in court that he was likely to plead guilty in the coming weeks. “I’m sure Matt Gaetz is not feeling very comfortable today,” Fritz Scheller, Mr. Greenberg’s lawyer, told reporters afterward.

The United States attorney’s office for the Middle District of Florida is leading the investigation, which is examining not only whether Mr. Greenberg, Mr. Gaetz and others broke sex trafficking laws but also whether Mr. Gaetz paid for women over the age of 18 to travel with him to places like the Bahamas.

A Justice Department spokesman and a lawyer for Mr. Greenberg declined to comment.

A spokesman for Mr. Gaetz said he had done nothing wrong. “Congressman Gaetz has never paid for sex,” said the spokesman, Harlan Hill, who suggested that Mr. Greenberg was “trying to ensnare innocent people in his troubles.”


I know indicted Republicans never serve time (see Duncan Hunter, pardoned by Trump) but Gaetz is in real trouble at this point. Greenberg is facing a dozen years in prison so far and he'll spill the tea on Matt in a heartbeat.

The only question is when the indictments come.

And they are coming.
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